Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Within Six Weeks!!!

I had my appointment with my surgeon Dr. Minkin on Wednesday. My husband went along with me which was very helpful for him. He has been very supportive since I told him about my decision and I think meeting with the doctor helped to assure him that this is a low risk procedure. It helped to reassure me too. All of your comments helped too - thanks!

Dr. Minkin was generous with his time and spoke with confidence. We talked about the risk of anesthesia and just surgery in general. Dr. Minkin performs the most lap band procedures in St. Louis and that is reassuring to me. I have my prescription for the bulk of the pre-op testing (minus the blood tests) and I'm registered to take the nutrition class that his office puts on next week!

I'm really looking forward to the nutrition class. Dr. Minkin only requires a 3 day pre-op diet. Why do pre-op diets vary so much? Don't get me wrong, I'd like to minimize my intake of protein shakes but I also want to make sure I'm best prepared for surgery. And, loosing a bit of weight to jump start things wouldn't be bad either. I've tried to google this but haven't found a good explanation.

And, speaking of diets... My last "six month diet" appointment is next Friday and my six months will officially be up on May 11. I can't believe it's finally here.

I didn't realize my insurance would require a two year weight history and I was a bit worried that that would throw a wrench into the approval. I got it together and fortunately (or unfortunately) my BMI has been over 40 for the past two years. I knew I have been gaining weight at a pretty good clip for a while since I have essentially thrown any restraint out the window but it's something else to see the numbers in print.

During my "six month diet", I have gained 16.4 pounds. I hope that the insurance company doesn't deny based on that. They only specify a diet, not loosing weight. Maybe I should have had a better attitude about the "diet" but I really think it's just a crock. Pouring salt in the wound if you will. I have been on (unsuccessful) diets for more than 20 years. My bad attitude is definitely reflected in the numbers. I think a better term for me might be a "six month bender".

I've had such little hope about losing weight for so long that I really tossed all consideration about what to eat (or rather what not to) out the window some time ago. I'm actually looking forward to making choices again. I want to make good choices and I'm so happy that I'll have a tool to help me.

I'm beyond thrilled that I'm getting close. My daughter's birthday is June 12 so I'm guessing that I'll have the surgery after that. YIPPPPPEEEE!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

To Sag or Not to Sag

My appointment with the surgeon is in two days - YEAH!! I hope I get good news... ala we can move ahead with testing, get a date to start the pre-op diet and maybe even a tentative surgery date.

With things getting closer, I am starting to get more worried. I've never been under general anaesthesia before. I'm terrified that I could have monumental complications because of something I'm choosing to have. Of course, I could have (and do already have) complications from my weight and it's just a matter of time before those complications escalate if I don't do something. I'm going to call the physician's board to check on my doctor. Any other tips?

I'm also starting to wonder more about sagging skin. Kudos to the "Band Babe" for her bravery in posting her tummy tuck photos. I've never had a problem with saggy skin in the past but that was always about 60+ pounds ago and one pregnancy. I'm not sure I could handle a tummy tuck but I really hope that things sort of shrink back into place. Is there anything that can be done to help that?

Friday, April 23, 2010

What's in the mirror?

I've heard others talk about how even at their heaviest, in their mind they don't view themselves that way. Sort of like the reverse of body dysmorphic disorder - or the opposite of how anorexics see themselves as fat. I completely do this as do many others in lap band blog land as well per their posts.

But, why is it that I do this as I'm gaining weight but not when I'm thinner? It's been a long time, but thinking back to when I was a healthier weight, I never accepted that I was thinner. I still saw myself as significantly overweight. It was never enough. I never attained the goal - whatever it was. Even if the number was right (or close to right), my butt was still too big, my face too round, the size was still too high, etc. It was never enough and always an issue. I always had a weight issue.

This time.... I want to work on this.

One of my goals is to work on bringing my vision of myself in my mind in line with what is actually on the outside. To try to see myself as others see me and celebrate the positive while giving myself a break on the less than perfect.

And - news flash - our self worth doesn't need to be unconditionally tied into what the scale says. I'm not less of a wonderful person because I'm super heavy right now. And, I won't be more of a wonderful person when I'm thinner. I will be more active, more healthy, more energetic.... lot's and lot's of "more's". But, my intrinsic value as a super human being is inside of me always. It doesn't change.

Maybe that's why I've been left unsatisfied when achieving weight loss goals in the past. I expect bells to go off, balloons to drop, a tattoo to appear on my forehead or something when I'm thinner and I've suddenly achieved nirvana. Nope, I'm still the same person just in better pants and hopefully a whole lot less sweaty.

Please God let there be less sweating!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's the title about?

I thought I'd explain where the title of my blog comes from. I was inspired by Angie of "In Repair's" use of a song lyric. I am a child of the 80s and the Go Gos are one of my favorite bands of all time. I also contend that they deserve to be in the pantheon of all time rock greats as one of the seminal all-female punk bands.

So, "stop spending all our precious time" comes from the Go Gos song "Turn to You". It kind of goes along with Catherine's post about skipping reunions, get togethers, etc.. because of our weight. I have been there for quite a while. I find myself skipping mundane things like going down into the basement to get a soda because it's too much effort. Really? This is just crazy. I don't want to waste a minute because life is too precious and way too finite.

I also wanted to say Welcome! to my 7 followers! I can't tell you how excited I was to see that there was someone out there. The band blog community has been such an inspiration during this process for me and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

T minus 6 days until my appointment with the surgeon - Yeah!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

If.... When....

I understand that some women have pregnancies that progress much like a Hallmark card ad. After deciding to conceive, it happens quickly and then you cut to a fuzzy image of an excited moment in the bathroom, an endearingly cute way to tell the new dad-to-be followed by weeks of happy preparations that end with a beautiful newborn. I'm thrilled that some people have that experience. Delighted. That's how it should be. Unfortunately, it doesn't always happen that way. Even if you end up at the finish line with a beautiful newborn, there can be many bumps and less than Hallmark worthy events along the way.

It took me a while (and a lot of drugs) to conceive my daughter. Once pregnant, the worrying really began. I bled at about 8 weeks and was convinced that I was losing the baby. Thankfully I didn't and I made it through the rest of my pregnancy (with a lot of ultrasounds checking on things) to arrive at a relatively smooth labor and delivery and the arrival of the most precious little girl in the world.

This is a lap band blog right? Why am I bringing up pregnancy? Well, when I was pregnant, my friends pointed out that it took me until I was about 7 months along to start saying "when we have the baby" instead of "if we have the baby". I was so scared that I was going to loose the baby that I couldn't even verbalize a certainty. I didn't want to jinx anything. I think I was also so nervous that this could actually happen. I could have a baby.

After seeing my therapist for the psych evaluation, she suggested that I start seeing her again as I embark on this lap band journey. In talking to her, I realized that I'm terrified from moving from "if" to "when". If I lose weight. If I have the surgery. If I could get my weight issues under control. What happens when you move from if to when?

I've read a few posts this week about what it means to be thin or get to "goal"? It's wonderful to read these discussions and to dream about being at that point - and exciting to see that others are! At this point, it's such a foreign concept to me to even imagine loosing 50 lbs let alone the 110 I hope to lose. The possibility of failure is almost too much to bear - just as with my pregnancy.

I vocalized this with my therapist and explained that on a certain level, I am worried that if I fail at this, what else is there? It's the end of the road. She said "you won't fail. You will lose weight". That's almost even more scary. Beyond thrilling but scary. I've never not failed at this before. I know how that works. I can do that - God knows I have. I can succeed too but I've got to start working on moving from the "if" to the "when". This is going to happen - in part because of the band but in large part because of me. I can do this and I will. WHEN I lose the weight, I won't be perfect but I will be healthy and most importantly, happy with my body - imperfections and all!

Friday, April 16, 2010

So close!

It's really hard not to be incredibly impatient. I've been reading a lot of lap band blogs since I began researching the procedure last fall. They are so encouraging. I have to say I am incredibly jealous when I see before/after/even in between pictures. I am ready to go!!

Dumb 6 month diet. Seriously? If insurance will pay for things, I will comply but I do not get the rationale. What... I will suddenly get this figured out by doing the same things that have not worked for the past 20 years? It's like when my Mom says something like "You just need to ..... insert whatever here (give up cheese, walk, etc.). I am really really really ready to go.

Part of why I am ready to go is I am so uncomfortable and unhappy with where I'm at now. I'm have tempted to start a pre-op liquid diet on my own but I'm worried I would peak too soon and want to cheat too close to the actual procedure.

My appointment with my surgeon is April 28 and I'm really hoping that I get definite steps that will lead me to surgery. The official end of my 6 month diet is May 7. Surgery sometime towards the end of May (with starting my pre-op diet the beginning of May) would be great. I'm feel like I'm getting so much closer to my own "after" but there are days when I feel like I'm literally inching along. I'm ready to go!

(Have I mentioned I'm ready to go?)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Is blogging for me?

My fingers are posed over the keyboard. It's quite daunting to think that you're writing something that absolutely no one might read. I've decided to start a blog for me, to document my (please God) last attempt at getting my weight under control and leading a healthy life. My name is Susan and I've been on a diet since I was 13 years old. I've thought I was at least chubby since I was roughly 6 years old. Turns out, it took me until I was about 35 until I got to be really, really fat. What I wouldn't give to be chubby again. In fact, that's the goal. I hope to become someone with an overweight BMI (how exotic), a healthy blood pressure/cholesterol level who can actually walk up and down stairs, get out of a chair without firmly planting both feet on the floor and maybe oh maybe, buy clothes at a regular store. I'm the stereotypical yo-yo dieter. I can loose 20 pounds without much of a problem. That was handy when my weight used to fluctuate by about 20 pounds. Since my early thirties, it kept increasing and increasing and now, I weigh 300 pounds. Almost on the nose. 300 pounds. 300 pounds. I am over double what my driver's license says. I barely got the airplane seatbelt to connect on my last trip. I walked 6 blocks yesterday and thought my legs were going to give out. This is me, today. God willing, a year from now... I'll feel and look like a different person, like the person that is/has always been in my mind. A person who doesn't have a weight problem but rather has a program for managing my weight and leading a healthy, long life. I'll spend my precious time living the life I want to the fullest. And being here for the long term for me, my husband and my daughter. This is going to work.