Weight Tracker


The Skinny on Holly Mother of Pain, Batman

Last night around 4:30 in the morning, I woke up to go to the bathroom and noticed my lower back hurt a little. I have a history of having back spasms there so at first I thought nothing of it. Then I lay back down and tried to get into my usual comforting positions when by back hurts but it kept getting worse and worse. I also noticed that even though it was the same spot as my back spasms, it didn't feel the same at all...I could stand up straight move around, etc, etc. which I can’t do when I have musculo-skeletal pain there.

Regardless of what was causing the pain, it was excrutiating, so much so that I started getting nauseous. I was hoping at this point it was just severe gas pain. I went to the bathroom a couple of times, tried curling up in the fetal position which I find is usually the most comfortable position with gas pain, even took a Vicodin and…nothing. Then I went for a walk around the block (0.7 miles) because moving around is good for getting rid of gas pain. While walking I noticed that that sensation of someone stabbing me repeatedly in the kidney was a tad bit better but my nausea kept getting worse. And then, as soon as I can back, the stabbing feeling returned just as bad—if not worse than—before. Finally I gave in about 2 hours after it started and realized that it probably wasn't gas pain and given the location I was highly suspicious of a kidney stone so it was off to the ER for me.

Turns out I was right. Kidney stone was the Dr.’s first suspicion as well when I got there. They hooked me up to fluids, got some blood and urine, and sent me for a CT. They had me drink some contrast (which tasted exactly like Crystal Light) so that in addition to checking for a stone, they could use the contrast to evaluate my stomach and make sure there was no leak or anything else band related that could be the cause.

Well, no surprise here, the CT showed a big, honking (5mm) kidney stone. They said under 7mm you can usually pass it on your own, but 5 mm is still very large; and let me tell you—very painful. Although thank the lord (and the Dr.) for the morphine and Toradol because it took my pain from a 9-10 on the pain scale down to almost non-existent. Best meds ever! I really hope they don’t wear off too soon.

Finally I was on my way with a couple of prescriptions—Percocet, Motrin and Phenergen. The Phenergen in an anti-emetic (stops vomiting) since I vomited 3 times in the hospital because the pain had gotten so bad. The Percocet and Motrin are for pain. I asked about the Mortin and the Doc said that the bariatric surgeon at their hospital said it was okay, but I decided to call up my Doc’s office to confirm. The PA got on the phone with me and advised me that for a legitimate need like this, it is okay to take Motrin despite the fact that it is an NSAID and NSAIDs increase your chances of developing ulcers, especially in a banded patient when the medicine will be trapped in that small pouch for an extended period of time. She advised that I should follow the medicine with 2 glasses of water to push the pill out of the pouch and into my big stomach. She also said I shouldn’t eat when I take the meds because that would keep the pill trapped longer. Lastly she recommended taking some Mylanta to coat the stomach for protection. I think for today I’ll be sticking with the Percocet, but tomorrow I have to work and sadly I can’t do my job under the influence of narcotics, so the Motrin will have to do.

I was also instructed that I should pee into a jug and run it through a strainer every time I pee (fun :eyeroll:) so that I can catch the stone when it finally passes and bring it to the urologist to have it analyzed since there are many different kinds of stones which develop under different kinds of conditions in the body. My urologist appointment in next Tuesday and hopefully this will be over and done with by then and he will tell me that I am healthy and this was just a fluke.

And I would just like to mention the bad part about going to the ER (yes besides the long waits, ugly non-closing gowns, bad smell, uncomfortable beds, etc.). The bad part is the 2 liters of fluids they bloused into my veins which made me gain 6.5 pounds between this morning at 6:30 AM and noon when I got home from the hospital. As if I wasn’t already retaining another 2 ½ pounds of water thanks to my monthly visitor. Oh well, I’m sure that weight will be gone in a few days and on the bright side it will be nice to see the scale moving quickly again.

Another interesting note about this whole mess…My sister knows an acupuncturist who does some work on helping people quit smoking, etc, and he said he’d be willing to try some stuff with me to help me with weight management issues. Anyhow, I went to my second appointment with him Tuesday and he explained that evaluation of the tongue and the pulse are the main methods of eastern diagnosis. Well, apparently the kidney portion of my pulse (I didn't know pulses had portions but apparently they do) was weak. He wasn’t able to tell me specifically what was wrong with it but he could tell that it was not right. How strange is that? He totally knew something was up with my kidney just from checking my pulse and now, here I am 3 days later with a kidney stone. If that doesn't make me a believer in this stuff, nothing will. Hopefully he’ll be just as good at helping me on my weight-loss journey.

And now it’s time for me to give in to the Vicodin, morphine, Clonapin (similar to Valium) and Percocet in my body and go take a nap. Till next time, toodles.


The Skinny on My 3 Month Weigh-in

Another month has passed and it’s time for another weigh-in. Things have slowed down a bit scale-wise but as long as they’re not stopping or going in the wrong direction, I’m happy. Besides, I had another fill 1 ½ weeks ago and I think that will help pick things up again. Not to mention that I’m looking damn hot in my new photos ;) The inches are coming off too, although I’m getting kind of depressed by my upper arms—or the “double good-byes” as my trainer calls them (because they keep waving good-bye even after you’ve stopped). I just don’t feel like I’m making any progress there no matter how much my trainer tries to whip them into shape. I am resigned to the fact that I will probably need plastic surgery although I was hoping it would only be my stomach and breasts. Now I’m starting to think my arms will need it as well. I guess empty, saggy skin is better than fat-filled, saggy skin though. I’ve upped my usage of Palmer’s Coco Butter to twice daily in hopes that the elastin, collagen and Vitamin E will help my skin maintain some elasticity. Mostly I think I better save my bucks for Dr. 90210.

I’ve also noted a few other non-size related things lately. One, I think my hair is starting to fall out. It could just be that I know this is the time it usually happen and it’s all in my head (as opposed to all falling off of my head :P) but I think it’s real. Luckily I have a lot of very fine hair so losing some extra strands won’t be that noticeable. Otherwise I guess I’ll just have to wait another 3 months for it to grow back even thicker and more luxurious than before. I’ve also noticed that my teeth seem much whiter, no doubt thanks to my Diet Coke abstinence. I guess I can skip that professional whitening now. I’ll put that extra cash in my “bye-bye double good-bye” fund.

Pictures are here… http://s603.photobucket.com/albums/tt120/skinnywren/3%20Months%20Later/
And here are this months stats…

Weight: 313.4#
Chest: 52.5”
Waist: 51.5”
Hips: 59.5”
Thigh: 29.5”
Calf: 20”
Arm: 21.5”

Last Month
Weight: 269#
Chest: 50"
Waist: 45”
Hips: 58”
Thigh: 28”
Calf: 18.25”
Arm: 19”


Weight: 258#
Chest: 49"
Waist: 43.5”
Hips: 57”
Thigh: 27.5”
Calf: 18.25”
Arm: 19.25”


The Skinny on Moving Out and Moving On

Three months ago this coming Monday I made what I believe to be the best and most important step in my life so far second only to becoming a veterinarian—I got my lap-band. Life since then has been a series of ups and downs and relearning the habits I’ve developed over the last twenty-seven years. It hasn’t all been easy, but it hasn’t been hard either. My life did not change as drastically as I had hoped for and feared in equal measure. I’m still early in my journey and believe that those good changes are still to come but I am far enough out to feel that my fears have been properly assuaged.

I can still eat the foods I love—this week alone I’ve indulged in pizza, ice cream and chocolate cake (insert horrified gasp here, for I am a naughty bandster). That’s right people, I’ve eaten all of that…and enjoyed every minute of it. I don’t have time to feel guilty over enjoying the foods I love because let’s face it—food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Would most of us struggling with our weight have gotten there if it weren’t? The difference is that now I can eat just a few bites of the cake and put the rest away or order the smallest sized ice cream and still be unable to finish it. And when I’m done with my teeny, tiny portions, I do not feel deprived or as though I need to keep eating—I feel satisfied. Can you believe it? Being satisfied with only a few spoonfuls of ice cream? I know a few months ago I never would have thought it possible.

And now that I am firmly on the new path that this amazing tool has led me down, it is time for me to make another big change in my life. This past Thursday I bought my first home. Although if you ask my sister, the lawyer, she will disagree—she will tell you that I am not a home owner, but rather a “stock holder in a cooperative corproration with a proprietary lease to a unit in the corporation's asset.” What the heck does that mean? Well, I didn’t buy a house, but rather a co-op. I think these may be a New York phenomenon, so for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s similar to a condo only instead of buying a specific unit in the condo complex, you buy a share of the entire complex and get to live in one of the units. Either way, to me it’s a home—my first home.

I’ve been living at home with my parents for the last year and a half since I graduated vet school. I appreciate the opportunity to live rent free and enjoy a comfortable roof over my head but I am more than ready to move out and move on. Being at home and having support post operatively has been great but living with my parents has also added some extra hurdles in my way. For example my mother usually seems to be under the impression that kitchens should not be used for cooking food since it’s too messy. I relish the thought of having my own kitchen to stock with my own foods which I can use to experiment with healthy, band-fiendly recipies. In addition, my mother is overly critical of everything I eat. She means well but often makes comments that are hurtful and make me want to eat even more. In one instance I remember talking to her about the plastic surgery I might need after I hit goal to which she replied “all this because you ate too much.” Or a couple of times I’ve snacked on a Weight Watchers’ ice cream bars in the evening and everytime she asked me if I was supposed to be eating that. She constantly asks me if that food I’m eating is “dietetic” no matter how many times I remind her I’m not on a diet. She is not trying to make things harder for me, but despite her best intentions, she often does.

It will be a few more weeks before I am fully moved into my new place but I am thouroughly looking forward to the opportunity to live as an independent adult. It is only one more step, like the lap-band to gaining control over my own life. I can’t wait.


The Skinny on Fills Gone Bad

I had my second fill today—woohoo for more restriction! Not that I was doing too bad with the restriction I had. I can definitely see the difference between how much I can eat now versus how much I used to be able to eat. It’s a world of change. But it’s still not quite to the sweet spot. I can eat more than the recommended portions and I have had no trouble with any food I’ve tried. I can eat bagels, pizza, pasta, rice—no problems. Although when I eat bagels or rolls or anything, I do scoop out the insides. I doubt it would give me trouble even if I ate the whole thing though. I’m almost three months out and I have yet to get stuck or to PB. I would describe the point I’ve been at to be the perfect point if I was at goal and was trying to maintain. It’s like eating like a normal sized person. But sadly, I’m not a normal sized person yet, so I still need a bit more help.

So, I went in for my fill. Originally I was scheduled to go in for a fill a week and a half ago but my boss had to go sail away on his boat and I had to change my schedule around to cover for him. So I had to reschedule my appointment. Grr. I tried to move it to my new day off last week but they were already booked so I had to wait till today.

I have to tell you, it was an eventful visit. I got to the office and checked in. After about 10 minutes my name was called. The person doing my adjustment today was the new PA. I went in and told her how I was feeling and what I was able to eat and we decided on just a small, 1cc fill. I laid back, she prepped the area over my port and then stuck me with the big needle. It didn’t go in right away so she adjusted the needle around a little trying to get it in the port. She was right there, I could feel it—not a bad feeling, I could just tell that she was hitting the port. But the needle just wouldn’t go in. So she went to find the more experienced PA to help her out. I was left lying on the table with the needle and syringe sticking straight out of me for a few minutes before the two PAs came back. The older PA came over to try and maneuver the needle. She quickly realized the reason the needle wouldn’t go into my port. You see, apparently, my post was angled so that the rubber surface that the needle goes into was angled up towards my head. She said that it was common for the ports to be like that sometimes and that often as you lose weight they will change angles so that they may be more or less tilted. Anyhow, the young PA I guess didn’t realize what a steep angle my port was at and she went straight in. She wound up hitting one of these 4 little divots in the plastic part of the port and the needle was STUCK. They couldn’t get it out. I was told that they may need some forceps to get it out so I was left alone in the exam room once again with a big needle and syringe sticking out of my stomach. I put my hands behind my bed, closed my eyes and decided to take a mini-nap. A few minutes later, the two PAs came back with a surgeon (not one I knew) and he started cracking jokes which I responded to in kind. He came right over to me, gripped the needle and syringe and yanked. Out it came, large, bent needle and all.

So, crisis avoided, they re-prepped me and this time the second PA did the adjustment which went smoothly this time around. I got my 1cc and was on my way.

I have to say, though, that I’m glad it happened to me. Well, I mean, not “I’m glad it happened to me,” but “I’m glad it happened to me.” The older PA said that it happened to her a few years ago and the person that the needle was stuck in was having their first adjustment—they didn’t come back for another one for 6 months. For me, as a vet I have absolutely no needle phobia, don’t mind being stuck, and understand that no matter how much experience we have, sometimes you have to stick a person (or animal as the case may be) more than once. Personally, I kind of found it amusing more than anything—a little excitement in an otherwise boring day.

Plus, I’m sure it was a very nerve wracking experience for the poor PA who was just starting out. At least if it wasn’t going to go smoothly, it was with someone who was able to have a sense of humor about it and not freak out. And hopefully she’ll learn from it so that it doesn’t happen to someone else or if it does, she’ll recognize it and be able to deal with it calmly.

And now all I have to do is eat my liquids and mushies for the next 3-4 days and the wait and see if I’ve reached that elusive sweet spot. I can’t wait to see if this fill took. Toodles for now.

PS—Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince rocked my socks—even if I did keep thinking “that’s not how it happened in the book.”