From the beginning....

Welcome to my blog, which is predominantly about my journey pre and post "lap band" op...however I can't help but share my dating stories (oh the ones I have collected over the years!), cocktail-encounters and super London haunts along the way...

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Bit tight?

I went for a second barium test on Friday to check to see how tight my band really is. It's weird, some days I can (slowly) eat most things - ie I can go out for dinner and not look like a freak, and have sensible food, maybe a tiny piece of the side bread, and as long as I take my time and don't overeat all is fine. These days are brilliant.

However there are other days when I have trouble with everything. Wow this makes it so embarrassing going out for meals (and amongst my friends/colleagues etc we tend to eat out a lot), and I had one of those experiences yesterday. My best friend's mum took me out for lunch, and I just couldn't eat anything. The waiter kept coming over wondering why I wasnt eating, and it looked like I was a bulimic when I had to keep heading off to the bathroom. At least my friend's mum knows about the band, but I don't necessarily want to tell everyone I meet about it!


I regularly have the same issue with my boyfriend (! more on that later...) - he knows about the band, but I think it's still hard for him when we have dinner (in or out) and I barely touch it.

The other bad thing is that while "good" food (ie nutritious, normal food) sometimes doesn't go down, you can bet that crap food (ie chocolate, icecream) generally will.

So anyway, I went for the barium meal thing, and this was so much of a quicker process. The first time I went I had to drink at least a whole cup full before they got a decent picture, but this time I only needed 2 sips and it was all done. It looks like I'm just a tad tighter than I should be - they recommended that I may need just a small de-fill. Anyhoo, I have an appointment with the band nurse at the end of this month, so can discuss then. The good news is that I have lost some weight - although no idea how much as my scales are broken! It's actually quite liberating not stepping on them, instead I'm just keeping a track of how my clothes feel/sit and how my wobbly tummy looks ;)

Yep, I am officially someone's girlfriend. It feels lovely. Infact I have been Tim's girl for a little while now (he's the pilot). The hardest thing is not seeing him for at times because he's away flying. Whenever I see him it's amazing, but wow I do miss him when he's away...and this tends to bring out the inner crazy. Eeek! The relationship is not without ups and downs (what relationship is?!), but I just really hope it works out... One amazing thing is that Tim likes me the way I am, whether i lose weight or not. I can't tell you what a relief that is, but perhaps doesn't encourage me to stay entirely on the waggon...

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Settling down

Pouf I was a bit worried at times over the first week after the band tightening, and there are still moments when the band seems to have a life of its own.

So - first week - I did liquids for a whole week. Have never done this for a whole week after band tightening, but it's only when the band is actually tight that I understand why this is necessary. Gives you time to get used to the band, and time for the band to get used to you. When it's actually tight, nothing is like it was before. You can't gulp water (it's weird - you take a large mouthful, and then can feel it draining through). And you know what, one morning for an hour even water didn't go down. I got really quite worried then! Told myself not to panic and just wait it out (and then it was fine...). I also have found that certain fluids were just got good at different times - for example orange juice first thing in the morning was too acidic (never had this problem before), and a glass of milk was the best thing.

So then I started on mushy stuff, thinking that would just drain through like the fluids. Oh nope. I have to have small mouthfulls of mushy stuff and give that time to slip through the band, before taking more. If I have swallowed too much, then water won't help flush it through., it just means I would have to PB.

In fact, now that I'm onto solids I think that mush and solids need to be treated in the same way. At times I think it's easier to eat certain solids than mushy stuff. Mashed potato is a total no-no for me, just blocks up the band hole like glue. I love hummus, but even that I have to be careful with. Very sadly, lentil soup also seems difficult for me...(sadly because, as predominantly a veggie, lentils are a staple for me!) - the lentils are so little that you feel like they can;t be chewed, however they collectively seem to block up the band hole.

So onto the solids (carefully, going back to liquids for breakfast (milk/milky drinks) and sometimes lunch (smooth soup) to "warm up" the band...
Things I can eat that I thought I wouldn't be able to: crackers. 
Things that I'm having problems with: pulses and peas (just need to remember to chewchewchew even though they are tiny), anything mushy (guacamole, chips, squash, pumpkin)
Things that are ok as long as I think carefully when I eat: chicken, salad
Things that slip down: cheese, chocolate
Things I haven't tried: bread, falafel

The bad news is that cheese and chocolate do still slip through - although I can safely say I can't eat as much of those as before. My biggest challenge will be keeping a check on these.

As an example - I had a smallish chicken salad (handful of leaves, half chicken breast, half avocado, oil, vinegar, mustard) this evening for dinner, and it took me about 40 minutes to eat. This is all good!

I've also lost some weight - can feel it in my clothes - but need to get some new batteries for my scales before I can tell.

The weird thing is that there are times when the band just says no, even though I've chewed properly (or just had fluid!) - today at lunch, I had some edamame beans, thought I'd chewed enough, but PB'd the lot up. Had some sips of water. Brought this up too. Waited half hour. Had more water. Tentatively tried some more edamame beans - chewed tons. They went down fine. Weird!

Have got another barium test for 6 weeks' time, so if the doc thinks the band is too tight they can change it, but I do feel this is how it's supposed to be...

hurrah!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Long time, lots of change

Well, some things have changed a lot.

First, my flat is all finished being done up!
Won't go through tons of examples, but to give you a flavour...
Before:
 After:
Will save on the others, but basically I had every room redone, including new heating, electrics, windows, doors, floor, bathroom, kitchen, woodwork... and I helped with tiling, some woodwork, and did all painting and decorating myself. Was mental! Took up a good few months (October - December), and I missed out on a computer connection for a good portion of that time.

During this time I ate pretty erratically - lots of "quick" food, which included far too many cheese and biscuits. Happily I'd still lost another few pounds when I went back for bandfill at Christmas. Not great for a 3 month period, but better than I thought.

In December I had another fill - 0.5ml, taking me to about 7.5ml in total. This still didn't make THAT much difference - I would have thought that I'd be *there*, but I could still eat pretty much anything. Well - ok loaves of bread were out, and I'm not really a meat eater, but otherwise not much had changed, and this was getting me down a bit. I mean, I know my willpower is rubbish (hence being banded!) so I kinda wanted to be reminded constantly that the band was there...

All that took a bit of a back seat, as towards the end of January I met a lovely guy... he's called Tim, and he works as a pilot for a commercial airliner. He's based here in the UK, but originally from the US. Things are all still rather new (although we seem to be calling each other girlfriend and boyfriend), and there are ups and downs, but I guess so far so good! He knows about the banding, and happily likes me the way I am, but I don't think he'll complain if I happen to lose some more weight.

AND last week I had another band fill (having not lost any weight in a few months). Another 5ml, which takes me to 8ml in my 9ml band.

WOW I suddenly feel tight!

It was only done 4 days ago so I'm on liquids/sloppy food, but it's kinda weird...it's like I need to "warm the band up" in the morning (drinking fluids - milk, tea - not acidic things), otherwise there's no chance I can eat sloppy/bitty soup at lunchtime. It's still early days for this extra bandfill too (especially as the nurse wanted to check there was no leaking, so she sucked all the fluid out the band before refilling back up, plus the extra 0.5ml, so I suspect there is a bit more swelling than usual), but this evening I can't even drink smoothie.

I'm not panicked or worried - I'm well aware that it may take a little while to settle down - however if after a few weeks it is still really so tight that I can't always drink smoothie/soup then that may mean its a tad too tight. Don't want to speak too soon, as up until now it's not been tight enough. Quite excited by the restriction actually!

Am also calmed by how unstressful PBs seem to be. Basically if something is not going down, I can feel it in my throat - and so far have even managed to take a 25 minute tube journey to race home to get to a bathroom. Yep there is a bit of sliming, but I can generally deal with that by thinking calm thoughts. I was surprised then by just being able to bend over the toilet and open my mouth, and out comes whatever was offending... No retching, no watery eyes, no stuff coming out nose (like being sick back in the "old days"). I haven't PB'd really until this evening, when (for whatever reason) my band is just saying no. Have drunk some water since, and that's fine, so guess the smoothie was just a bit thick.

It's a weird sensation...I should be starving today (glass of milk for breakfast, lentil soup for lunch, milky hot chocolate this afternoon), but I'm not. The only thing I'm concerned about is that I haven't had my 5 portions of fruit and veg today (pureed or otherwise!), but I guess that might have to wait until the band settles down over the next few days and weeks.

Anyway, exciting stuff all round...

Will actually try to write a bit more regularly now as well...

xx

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Another fill

Woop! I've now got 7ml in my 9ml band. I haven't quite hit the sweet spot, but I am already finding that I'm making certain food choices - like bready wraps etc at lunch really just aren't working well anymore. I haven't been trying  too much (if you know what I mean), but lost half stone (3kgs) since I last weighed myself, so that was also pleasing. Nurse lady wasn't angry with me either (actually seemed quite happy with me...), which was good.

So in the 6 months since I've had my band I've lost just under 10kg. At first I thought this was quite annoyingly little, but actually if I continued losing 10kg ever 6 months then I would soon be a skinny minnie... Need to look on the positive.

Urgh, am also going on a running drive. Finding the gym really hard going at the moment, so gonna get out while the weather is still semi-ok. I get bored of things quite quickly, and like to shake stuff up, but also like a challenge - so every day for the next week I'm gonna get up at 6.30 and go running for just half an hour. Thought it might be something a bit different...

Excitingly, have booked flights to miami for March - going for a bit of WMC and ultra. Seems like a long way off.

xx


Sunday, 2 October 2011

Update

Where has the time gone?

In the last few months the following things have happened (with some pictures)

- I had an amazing time in ibiza - hung out with my lovely friends, danced loads, soaked up the sun, ate amazing food, kissed boys

- I've actually lost some weight (woop!)
- I've gotten back into bikram yoga
- I had a barium meal thingy

- My old job at my law firm has finished, and I start a new job (as an in-house lawyer at a large investment bank) tomorrow
- I've been back in contact with Adonis, and have felt like I've been on HEAT for weeks

- We've had a mega heat wave in London -30 degrees (that's about 90 for you people the other side of the Pond) over the last few days...and its OCTOBER.

I won't go through all this stuff, but worth mentioning the barium meal thing.

For those of you that don't know what this is, it's when an xray is taken that shows up the position of your band, and how fluid (and/or solids) can pass through the band. As the nurse/surgeon were very annoyed with me following my dappling with a private band fill, they said I should get a barium xray so they could make sure the band isn't too tight (I could have told them this, but am pleased the procedure was carried out all the same).

I had to drink a very thick white chalky fluid called barium (has a weird cough mixture taste, and is so thick and horrible), and when swallowed that passed through the band so quickly I had to do it time and time again. In the end they made me chew marshmallows into the liquid (YUK!) and managed to get a few good pictures. I could also see that I haven't stretched the stomach above the band or anything like that (I'd read one too many horror stories online and was worried this was why I didn't have enough restriction). My next fill is in 5 days, so I guess I'll discuss the results with the nurse then, but safe to say that I will be asking for another fill. I currently have 6.5ml in my 9ml band, so reckon I have a little way to go yet. It's getting there, but I'm certainly not at the sweet spot.

New job tomorrow! Am pretty nervous, but this has been slightly cancelled out by the fact that my flat is currently in utter disarray - having the electrics, central heating, windows, bathroom, kitchen, flooring... etc done, so am living currently without a bathroom or electricity. Yep, not the easiest. This was my bathroom a few days ago (don't you just love the blue...!):
Ah, and the Mr Adonis thing. This really was a moment of weakness. He rang me out of the blue. We made a date to meet up, where we went out for dinner. I brazenly invited myself round to his (he didn't exactly protest). We had hours of exceptionally good sex - potentially the best of my life. I left the next day. I haven't heard from him since. Will I ever learn?!

I've also come across some incredible music recently (introduced to me by another Bad Man in my life, although thankfully I'm managing to abstain from his delights). If you want some good things to listen to, download these tracks from british artists:
- Jamie Woon, Night Air
- James Blake - limit to your love
- Ed Sheeran - class A team
And for the sheer fun of it, download Sak Noel - Loca People. Tacky but I love it...

xx

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

First slime!

I admit, it seems a little weird that I should be excited about this, but I need to know the band is actually starting to work. I'm not quite there yet, but feel like I'm getting towards the end of bandster hell.

So yeah, I slimed. Ate a piece of toast far too quickly without thinking (was "multitasking" - doh). I swallowed, and as the lump went down I thought "hmm....too much?". 
 
Yep, it was. Actually wondered if I was going to be sick. Could feel it in my throat, and my mouth filled with saliva (like it would before you are sick) (oh so that's why its called sliming...). Had to split a lot. Waited 5 mins, lump still there, lent over toilet but wasn't sick. Had a few tiny sips of water (was a bit concerned about this - don't want to "force" anything through the band if it needs to come back up). A few mins later it had passed.

Lesson learned? Let's hope so.

Have had what I thought were a good last few weeks - moderation, etc etc, lots of exercise. Have I lost any weight? Nope. Weighed myself this morning and was very disappointed. However I feel like I've lost a little tummy and back podge. I know you aren't always supposed to measure by the weight on the scales, but at this stage (when I've got so much to lose), it was disappointing not to see the needle change. Next week...?

Off to Ibiza on Sunday! Hurrah! Have even managed to find a dress that I feel great in (makes boobs look good, and makes me look smaller than I am - I think anyway) - will post a pic of it next time. Can't wait for a week of tons of dance, great food, amazing music, and hopefully might find a man or two ;)