One Month Post Op – 1st Band Fill
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One Month Post Op – 1st Band Fill

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They say time flies when you’re having fun. Well, I’ve been having fun, but it’s really seemed like time has been dragging on and on and on. I’ve been waiting for today, well for a month now, but it’s seemed like months! At two weeks post-op it felt like a month, 3 weeks felt like two and today felt like forever and would never come. I guess it’s the same as Christmas when you’re a kid . . . well except instead of presents, I got stabbed with a couple of needles. OK, so it’s not like Christmas at all!

ANYWAY, so for the past four weeks, I’ve been on a liquid diet. Mostly. There was the chicken incident. And I’ve had a baked potato and small bites of some things that Teri has been eating, but for the most part, I’ve been surviving on Safeway soup. (BTW, the magic bullet does a fantastic job of pureeing Jambalaya!) I honestly can’t tell you how tired of soup I am.

I’m trying to get into the habit of having enough protein each day and probably not getting enough. Along with that, trying to get in the habit of taking the plethora of vitamin and mineral supplements I’m supposed to be taking, WHEN I’m supposed to be taking them. All while trying to not eat anything that resembles solid food. Cap that off with a restriction of not being able to lift anything more than 5 lbs (my laptop weighs 6) and it makes for a LOOOOOONG month.

So today I went to the doctor’s office. The goal of this session was to put the first “fill” in my band and to find out what I can and cannot do. What do I mean by “fill”? OK, think of the band as a zip tie. Lay the zip tie flat on a table, that’s how they snake it into your body. When they get it to the place it needs to be, they wrap it around the upper part of your stomach and lock it into place. Coming off the band is a tube and attached to the tube is a “port”. The port is a hard plastic disc, but in the middle it has a rubbery substance. The port sits at the bottom of your rib cage, just below the skin. NOW, back to the band. Inside the band is a bladder, that is attached to the tube that is attached to the port. This is how they adjust the band. When the bladder is full, the amount you can eat is restricted, when it’s empty, you can eat more. So the doctor (or nurse) inserts a needle full of saline into the port and injects the saline through the tube into the bladder, thus restricting your stomach opening. It’s pretty cool actually when you think about it. My particluar band holds 14cc of liquid. Today, they injected 4cc.

After every adjustment, I’m to be on a liquid diet for two days until any potential swelling around the band subsides. BUMMER! Liquid for two more days! Today at my first fill, I asked the nurse what I can and can’t do for the next month. Here’s the short list:

  • Swimming, Biking, Running and Elliptical all OK!
  • Liquid diet for two days, then soft foods (think mashed potatoes, soft noodles, etc.) for two weeks, then start with normal food SLOWLY to see what agrees and what doesn’t
  • 5 Pound weight lifting restriction for two more weeks, on October 5th, should be fully healed and able to pick up my laptop again

I go back in for my next adjustment (fill) on the 19th of October, just a few days before my first real social experiment will occur. On the 23rd of October, Teri and I fly to California for my family reunion. LOTS of good food to be had (my dad’s chicken is AMAZING!) and I’m REALLY going to have to be concious of what I’m putting in my mouth. Especially as I’m already adjusting to the further restriction of the band.

Overall, I’d say I’m doing pretty well. When I weighed in a Dr. Oh’s office on my first visit, I was at 356 pounds. Today at his office I was at 309, or 47 tubs of butter lost. (306 on my scale, so now you know how much my clothes weigh . . . EDITORS NOTE: Sorry for that visual). With adding exercise BACK into the mix, my hope is that I’m below 290 at my next appointment. That would be 19 pounds in 28 days. It’s a stretch and under normal diet and exercise wisdom, not advised. BUT under weight loss surgery standards, not unusual at all I don’t think. But honestly at my next appointment if the number starts with a 2, I’m gonna be psyched!

Bike ride anyone? Tonight? Orting Trail? 20-30 miles?

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