Posts Tagged ‘Lap Band’

I’ve alluded to this a few times in the past couple of weeks, but I realized that I hadn’t actually written a whole post on the subject, so since I’m in the mood to write tonight, I figured I’d make sure you guys were in the loop.

As you know, last July I decided to get WLS and since I’d heard such great things about Lap Band, I knew that was the surgery for me.  Then I met with the surgeon and he was adamantly opposed to Lap Band, mentioning all of the drawbacks:

  • It is the newest of the WLS, and as such, long term information is unknown.
  • Because there is a foreign object in your body, it can be rejected.
  • There can be scarring and/or erosion.
  • While the Lap Band is “removable” it isn’t really “reversible.”  The damage that occurs many times cannot be corrected.
  • We have no idea how long the band itself will last – it may need to be replaced in my lifetime, meaning another surgery.

The surgeon highly recommended that I got with either the VSG or the Gastric Bypass.  I told him then and there that GB was too invasive, but that I’d look into VSG.  And then I really didn’t do anything more.  I had it in my head that I knew what was best for me, and that was Lap Band.  Why I thought I knew better than the surgeon, I can’t tell you.  I don’t think of myself as a stubborn or hard-headed person, but for some reason, I was dead set on getting the Lap Band and I didn’t want to hear anything negative about it.

I’m actually really glad that I’ve had this year in between (although the impatient side of me wishes I’d already had the surgery), because I’ve come to decide against having the Lap Band.  It all started with Scale Warfare’s post about the pros and cons of Lap Band vs. VSG.  That post really got me thinking about what I was doing.

  • Why did I think Lap Band was so much better?
  • Why were there so many people on the WLS forums who were so disappointed with Lap Band and/or who had such complications?
  • If SW was having these kinds of doubts, shouldn’t I also take a look at the logic behind my decision?
  • Why wasn’t I heeding my surgeon’s advice?

And that final question really put me over the edge.  Of course I should listen to the professional.  My surgeon has performed thousands of procedures, seen thousands of patients, and knows the risks and drawbacks of each surgery.  So I started doing my own research and came across this very informative video that explains the differences between the two surgeries:

And after really reading up on the VSG procedure, visiting the online forums for both types of WLS, and watching tons of videos on YouTube from people who had had the VSG, I have decided to get that instead of Lap Band.  Some interesting differences:

  • Most of the weight loss occurs in the first 6 months post-op.  Which means that if I have 120 pounds to lose, I’ll lose 90-100 pounds in 6 months.
  • The only real complication with VSG is that the staples used to seal the smaller stomach don’t heal properly and leak.  But if I follow the advice of the surgeon, this won’t be an issue.  A couple of weeks post-op, they do a “leak test” and if all goes well that’s it.  There really aren’t other types of complications that can occur.
  • The healing process takes longer, about a month or so.  I’m unsure how much work I would miss, but I have over 36 sick days, so I’m not worried about it.
  • Food is reintroduced at a slower pace, but once I’m back on “real food,” there are very few restrictions to my diet, other than portion size.  Obviously sugar and fat should be kept to a minimum/avoided.  And no bubbly stuff (i.e. beer, champagne, sparkling water, etc).

Now that I’ve made this decision and I’m more well informed on the VSG surgery, I’m more motivated than ever to lose the required weight and get on the list for the surgery.  It’s amazing to think that it could happen later this year and that I could be my skinnier self by next year at this time.  😀

I’m so ready to just get it done.  To stop planning and hoping and researching and anticipating and just start LIVING!

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This morning I decided to go ahead and change the title and url of my blog.  I’ve been trying to come up with a new title that would reflect my new journey that I’m about to embark on with Lap Band surgery.  I tried “Bella Gets Banded” and then “Bella’s Band,” but because I’ve been learning about what a wonderful tool the Lap Band is, I thought I’d do a play on the Alice in Wonderland thing.  So, Bella in LapBandLand helps to announce the new life that will be filled with wonder.  (And a lot of hard work, too, I’m sure). 

I’ve been Bella on the Beach since I first started weight loss blogging in 2008.  Most of you may not realize this, but the “Bella on the Beach” started because I was trying the South Beach Diet, and I thought the name was catchy.  I liked the name and didn’t change it even when I went back to the tried and true WW because I love the serenity and power that the beach represents.  (Which is also why my header photo will remain unchanged).

Now that I’m about to go through the journey of the Lap Band pre-op diet and then surgery, I thought I should take the plunge, embrace the commitment I’m about to make, and change the name/url to express this new, life-altering aspect of my weight loss journey.

I went ahead and paid the $15 so that I could be a .com, rather than a .wordpress.com  I know it’s silly, but it sort of makes me feel more “official” to simply have the .com.  🙂

So, if you have me in your blogroll/blog links, I’d really appreciate it if you’d update the name of the blog and the url.  It should automatically redirect to this blog, even if you keep the old one, but I want to get the new name out there.

Beginning next Wednesday, I should have quite a bit to write about this new journey.  I will be attending the first informational meeting for bariatric surgery at Kaiser, and from there the final journey to a healthier me begins.  I’m so excited!

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I feel like I haven’t posted in so long, and a couple of you have been wondering where I’ve been, so I thought I’d write a post and let you know what’s been going on.  It’s going to be a long one, so hopefully it will fill the void nicely.

First of all, I’ve been loving having Lulu around, and as Tina said, she has definitely stolen me from this blog.  😉  She and I have been having a lot of fun taking walks, visiting dog parks (although she’s still really shy and seems to like the people more than the dogs), and generally just having a great time together.  She’s such a love, a joy, and a great addition to my life.

Ways that Lulu has changed my life already:

  1. Since Lulu has been here I haven’t fallen asleep on the couch once.  Mostly because she lays on the couch next to me, and there isn’t a ton of room to lay down.  LOL.  I mean, I know I could move her and lay out if I wanted to, but I actually enjoy staying awake and then going to bed when I’m tired, rather than waking up half lit because I fell asleep on the couch.
  2. Due to #1, I’ve been keeping up with my skincare routine, and it’s showing in my skin.  Cuz if you fall asleep on the couch and then wake up at 2am, the last thing you really want to do is remove makeup, cleanse, and moisturize, ya know?  It’s been great to keep up with my nightly regime, and I love how good my skin is looking lately.
  3. The house is clean, clean, clean.  Part of this is that I have time clean a little bit each day, rather than saving it all up for the weekend, like I do when I’m in school.  Part of it is the fact that I don’t want to leave things lying around for her to get into.  And part of it is that I’m just more inspired lately to take care of things right then and there, rather than putting them off.  Like emptying the dishwasher – it really only takes 10 minutes, tops, but I seemed to always put it off until I HAD to empty it.  Nowadays, I empty it while keeping an eye on Lulu as we’re hanging out in the kitchen.  I like to keep my place clean anyway, but now things are looking fairly spotless all the time, which is great.  So, although Miss Lulu is absolutely terrified of the vacuum and avoids it at all costs, she’s inspired me to keep things clean and tidy all the time, and I love it.
  4. I’ve been eating most meals in the breakfast nook, while reading, rather than in front of the T.V.  I should’ve been doing this all along, and I do find that I clean things up right after dinner, unlike when I was eating in the living room.  T.V. definitely breeds laziness; no big surprise there.
  5. Speaking of food, I have not snacked at all since Lulu got here.  It’s a lot more fun to spend time playing with her than it is to eat.  Because I’ve had a lot of appointments since the summer started, I really don’t have a lot of time to snack, which is great.
  6. I feel like I have something/someone to focus on other than myself, and it feels great.  It’s nice to fall into the routine and rhythm of a day with her.

Doctor, Doctor

In other news, I’ve had a couple of doctors’ appointments that I’ve gone to this week.  As you guys know, I had an appointment with my primary doctor because I was getting bad headaches almost daily.  In the course of the appointment, I had a really high blood pressure reading, and the doctor suggested I look into the lap band procedure.  (More on this later).  A follow-up appointment had my blood pressure in more normal ranges, and it was there again today.  Although the doctor did say that it’s still slightly high, and she’d like it to be under 130 (it was 136 today).  Here’s where the possible TMI section of the post starts, so you may want to skip to the next paragraph. One of the other things that has been going on with me is that I haven’t had a period in over 2 months.  Which is very unusual for me.  Even though I have an IUD and they say that it can cause irregular periods, mine have come every month like clockwork.  Until recently.  I thought that maybe everything was connected, or maybe the IUD had moved, but an uncomfortable gyno appointment (internal ultrasound, ugh) confirmed that the IUD is still in the proper place.  The GYN said that it may just be causing irregular periods now, even though they’ve been normal for the past 3 years that I’ve had it.  When I mentioned this to my primary physician today, she said that the missed periods are most likely because of the IUD, but that they could explain why I was getting the headaches – increased hormones.  The thing is, I’ve been headache free since I got Lulu.  Correlation?  Coincidence?   I do think that life has become a lot less stressful since I’ve been off for the summer, and Lulu definitely brings me a lot of joy, so she probably helps to keep me relaxed.  The bottom line is that my health is ok, and I’m not having terrible headaches, so I’m thankful.

Taking a break from weight loss

What hasn’t been going well is the whole dieting/weigh loss thing.  I’ve gained a few pounds (+3-5 pounds, give or take) ever since I first got the news about the possible high blood pressure/lap band idea.  But the thing is, I’m ok with it.  I haven’t been going wild with eating everything in sight, and as I mentioned before, I don’t snack at all. I haven’t been working out, other than taking Lulu on walks, so there’s absolutely room for improvement there.  Otherwise, though, I’ve been enjoying this break from counting Points and worrying about the scale. Because of this break, I don’t feel like I have that much to say on this blog lately.  Which makes me sad.  Don’t get me wrong, taking a break from the dieting has been a good thing for me and my state of mind, but not blogging is weird to me.  Writing about my life is so natural to me, and when I’m not doing it, I feel out of sorts.  So the goal for the next few weeks is to do activities that are exciting enough for me to blog about them.

Lap Band

In terms of the lap band, I go to the informational meeting on July 15th and I can’t wait.  I’ve been doing my own research through watching YouTube videos of others who have had the Lap Band, reading blogs of “banders,” and looking things up on Google.  I feel like I have a very good idea of what happens after the procedure and what life (and eating) will be like while living with the Lap Band.  In true Bella fashion, I’m just very impatient to get the process started.  My doctor said that once I go to the meeting I should email her and she’ll give the referral/recommendation so that the process can begin.  I’ll find out more specifics after the meeting, but what I know so far is that they’ll require a series of classes, evaluations with a psychologist, meeting with the surgeon or other doctor, as well as the requirement to lose 20-30 pounds following a restricted diet.  Following a diet isn’t going to be difficult for me since I consider myself a professional dieter, but the thing that does concern me is that if I haven’t been able to lose weight following WW, will I be able to lose weight following their prescribed diet?  Although if I think about it, I’m sure that most of the people who get the Lap Band are in the same boat as I am, and when their doctors require them to lose the weight, they do it, so I should be able to, as well.  Knowing it is part of the process of getting the Lap Band will no doubt light a fire in me, and I’ll employ the same gusto that I approach any challenge that’s placed before me, and I know I’ll be successful at it.

Birthday & 4th of July Weekend

My birthday is tomorrow and I’ll rerun a blog I wrote a couple of years ago about why my birthday is always so special.  This year it’s going to be a lot more low key, which is fine with me.  My parents and I are going out to dinner at a seafood restaurant which they’ve raved about, so that will be nice.  I do miss the days when a group of friends and I would get together to celebrate, but because my bday is around 4th of July, it’s always difficult to work it out because of out of town plans.  Next year I turn 40 and I want to do something big – I’m thinking Vegas, baby.  I went there on my 30th bday, so maybe I should go again now that another decade has passed.  As far as the 4th, Lulu and I are going over to my parents’ house for a BBQ.  I got off easy with only having to bring some rice krispy treats.  Monday my sister is off of work, so I think she’s going to bring my nieces so that we can all go swimming at the pool.  Looking forward to it.

If you’re not blogging, what are you doing?

As I mentioned above, I haven’t been feeling like there’s a lot to blog about since I’m taking a break from the whole weight loss thing right now.  As things come up I will definitely write about them, but if you don’t see too many posts between now and July 15th, do not worry.  I’m fine.  I haven’t given up.  I’m just vacationing from weight loss for a bit.

I’ve  been spending more time reading on the Kindle than I usually do, and I’m loving it.  I think that reading the writing of authors I admire will help me become a better writer myself.  I was talking to my friend Alice the other day, and this summer she’s hoping to finish a book that she’s spent the past few years writing. Hearing her talk about that really inspired me to get off my ass (so to speak) and start working on the book that I want to write.  It’s item #18 on my Life List, so I think I’d better get to it.  The plan is to start writing a little bit each day, beginning tomorrow, July 2.  I’m not sure exactly what the book will be about, but I know it will be non-fiction about my life.  I don’t want to write another weight loss memoir, and no one needs to read another single girl’s guide to dating after 38.  So while I’m not sure what it will be about, I am excited to see where it goes.

I’ve also been meeting with lots of my friends, which is nice.  I feel like I haven’t seen some of them in so long, so it’s nice to have the time to be social.

Something new

Up to this point I’ve kept my blogs anonymous (except for a few photos here and there) because of my job.  I had a bad experience in the past (on a different blog) where a sneaky student found a blog I had written that had some details about my life as a single girl who was dating a lot.  Because of being burned by that (my principal found out and suggested that I remove the blog, which I did), I’ve been fairly cautious about being too public on this blog.  But the more I think about it, the more I wonder why I’m letting fear rule how I share my weight loss journey.  I mean, so what if students find this blog?  Ok, I might not want them to know some of the TMI details that I discussed in the paragraphs above, but seriously, so what if they did?  Does it undermine me as a professional?  Well, maybe.  So I might keep those types of details fewer and farther between.

Still, I’ve been wanting to make some weight loss videos and post them up here.  The YouTube weight loss community is strong, and while you guys are my first loves in terms of online weight loss support, I’m sure that as I begin this lap band journey, there are a lot of people out there who might offer some additional guidance who don’t read blogs.  Plus, I like the idea of approaching this journey in a multimedia way, as Mary does on her blog. I’m not going to reveal my real name, so I’ll be Bella on YT as well, but I think it might be nice to have a video record of myself before, during, and “after” the lap band.  So you can expect those types of posts from me now and then until I get the surgery, and then they’ll be at least weekly.

Wrap it up, this is over 2000 words!

I hope all of you have a fantastic 4th of July weekend, and please know that although I’m not posting as much as I usually do, I’m reading what you’re righting, and I’m here enjoying life.  I’m planning on using Twitter a lot more so you can “follow” me and what’s going on day to day by checking out my sidebar.

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