Wednesday, January 31, 2007

37 hours to go!!!

Ok, so today I've started to freak out a little more. It's becoming a little more real to me and what I'm about to go through. *deep breaths* I think I'm freaking out more about the surgery itself than anything else. Maybe I shouldn't have watched that real lap band operation on YouTube yesterday... it kinda freaked me out.. all that blood, and burning of flesh and stitching.. how can you not be in pain after that!!

I guess also I'm nervous about what will happen after the surgery, my diet will change, I know that.. but will I do enough to make the lap band work for me? Or will this be yet another failure on my part to control my weight.. yet again!! If this doesn't do it, nothing will.

I'm hoping to post one last time before the surgery, but I have a busy day tomorrow and not sure if I can get online before I go under the knife!! *eek* This is getting all too real.

So if I don't get to post before the big day, wish me luck! I will post as soon as I can after the surgery to tell you all about my experience in hospital and the first few hours afterwards.

... 2 sleeps to go!!!! Holy CRAP!

LBG xx

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It's all good..

Friday 2nd Feb will be my surgery date... it's back on, the surgery just called. THANK GOD. I was having mild heart palpitations wondering if I'd have to wait another couple of days for the surgery... waiting this long has been hard enough!


... 3 more sleeps!!! (for real!)

LBG xx

Crap!!! Don't want to change my Surgery Date!!!

I've just received a call from the secretary at the Doctors Office asking me if I can change the date of my surgery to tomorrow!! I can't, as I have work commitments. She said that apparently there will not be an aneasthatist available on the day that I'm booked for surgery, which totally sucks. She then asked if I could have the surgery on 5th February instead of 2nd Feb. *sigh* I really hope that I can keep my surgery date.. I've planned time off work around this and I don't want to have to change that.

Keep your fingers firmly crossed that this goes ahead!

... 3 sleeps to go.. Maybe.. :\

LBG xx

Monday, January 29, 2007

The countdown begins!

First of all, Thanks to Jane for leaving my first ever comment!! Someone else is actually reading this thing... amazing!!

This weekend was pretty nice, although not so optifast friendly. I managed to get through Friday without too much drama.. although it was tough smelling all those delish Australia Day BBQs fired up around the neighbourhood. Saturday morning I weighed in after 1 week on Optifast to report a nice loss of 2.3kg. Off to a good start. I just hope I can maintain this until Friday. However, the fact that I lost so much weight kinda gave my brain licence to eat, so I've pretty much been on a bender ever since. I have been having my Optifast in the mornings (made a delish mango vanilla shake with loads of ice yesterday.. so thick I had to eat it with a spoon!! YUM!) but then it goes down hill for there. I've been very social too, with lunches and dinners and get togethers this weekend. Back to it today!

On another note.. I got back some photos from a recent party I went to... I looked so fat. Why isn't my fat brain working? I thought I looked great.... but I looked like a marshmallow!!! Another reason for me getting this band.

... 4 sleeps to go!!! Not long now!

LBG xx

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Ok, while I'm getting used to the optifast I'm still not getting used to the hunger thing. It's been pretty tough since I've been back at work to actually stick to the Optifast and I did sneak in a biscuit earlier (man, it tasted good!!). Gearing up for the long weekend on Optifast... No Australia Day BBQ for me!!!

I also haven't exercised all week, which is kind of strange for me. I haven't had alot of energy this week, probably because of the optifast... so will try for a gym class tomorrow and Saturday and see if that helps give me a boost. I'm feeling so flat lately!!

Good news on the weight loss front so far... I've managed to drop 1.6kg in 5 days.. and that was after I'd been on a 5 hour flight (fluid retention) and with TTOM coming up I should be gaining weight at the moment... so far so good. The Doctor wanted me to lose 3-4 kg before the surgery. I'm on track at the moment... Yay!

8 sleeps to go!!!

Happy Australia Day Everyone! When I next post (Monday 29th) there will only be 4 sleeps to go... *eek*

LBG xx

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Struggling with Optifast...

Geeez, if you're not at home and are on the go the whole day, Optifast doesn't provide a whole lot of energy to get you through it. It was ok, when I was at home and could just lie around for the day and not expend much energy... but I was on the go all day yesterday and was constantly hungry. I even had two low-carb meals and only one Optifast meal yesterday cos I was just soooooo hungry.

Today will be another day of "on the go" stuff, and I'm not sure if I'm going to make it on two optifast shakes... I'm also travelling at the moment and so I've had to take the shaker and the optifast sachets with me!!! I've ordered a bowl of strawberries for breakfast that I will have with the shake...

Not long to go now... 9 sleeps to go!!!

LBG xx

Monday, January 22, 2007

Optifast - The Journey Begins

Day 3 on Optifast and I've lost 1.3kg already! WooHoo! These past few days were pretty tough though. I had a low carb meal on Friday night to help set me up for the start of optifast on Saturday. I went to a spin class in the morning and had my first optifast shake... Ok, so it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but 15 mins after I drank it, I was starving again. Not a good start! I managed to go 3 hours before I had my next shake. The rest of the afternoon was a write off. I had to lie down for the rest of the day. I had a low carb meal for dinner and my energy picked up a little but started to develop a bit of a sore throat. Sunday I was pretty sick with the flu, so didnt' have a lot of energy. I only had one optifast in the morning and then a low carb meal in the evening. We went to the movies in the afternoon and I managed to get past the popcorn and choc-tops and enjoyed a diet coke and some sugar free lollies.
Today, while I'm feeling pretty lousy, I don't have those hunger pangs I was having on the weekend. I think the "initial stage" has passed. Hopefully I'll be able to deal with the temptations that present me during the next two weeks!

11 sleeps to go!!!

LBG xx

Friday, January 19, 2007

Surgeon's Appointment and Costs of the Lap Band

Today I had the surgeon's visit with Dr R, the doctor who will be doing my surgery. I bought my Fiancee along so that he had a good idea of what was going to be done. We chatted for around 45 mins, and I feel well informed about the whole process and of course, what risks are associated with getting this surgery done. I feel more comfortable with the whole thing now... I'm even first on the list for the day to get operated on! Yay Me! If there is a diabetic patient being operated on then they get to go first... but if not, I'm first up baby! Good! I want to get it over and done with. The sooner the better quite frankly!

Just to let you know about how I am paying for this procedure. I am going through the Circle of Care program that costs $6500 for the year. This includes the surgery and follow-up for 1 year including dietitian, physiotherapy, Psychology and Band fill appointments. I also have full private health cover for the hospital visit so I'm only out of pocket for the excess amount of $500. There is also the opportunity to claim approx $1400 from medicare and some more back for the dietitian, physio and psychologist appointments through my health fund. So all up, I'm out of pocket approx $4000. I even got a new job with more pay so that I can pay for it myself. The good thing is, is that I am able to pay it over 1 year, and that if I am able to pay more off then the interest on the remaining payments goes down.

Ok, enough from me. Gotta go Psych myself up for starting my Opti-crap for the next two weeks. Wish me luck!! Will write soon.

14 sleeps to go!!

LBG xx

Thursday, January 18, 2007


... 15 sleeps to go!!!

My goodness, it's been 9 days since I had my first appointment with Dr T for the lap banding. Time has flown. I just want it to be 2nd February already. I am so pumped up to get this over and done with and get on with the liquid stage and I don't want to lose this "excitment" to be overcome with fear of the operation.. *eek*.

*deep breaths*

LBG xx

P.S Had chalky poos well into today. Have just had a Normal "movement"... thank god!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Gall Stones and Chalky Poo

Today I had my upper abdominal ultrasound and barium meal swallow done. So had to change into a blue gown and lie on a table while I was poked and prodded with the ultrasound machine. Funny thing was, that I wasn't that uncomfortable pulling up my shirt and having someone touch my stomach. It was actually quite a painful procedure, and I'm quite tender on both my sides, and I'll probably end up with a bit of a bruise.

Next was the barium meal - friggen GROSS. They first of all made me shot two different types of liquids that when combined fizzed to produce gas in my stomach. I was told not to burp. It was hard!!! Then I was told to drink this chalky thick liquid that tasted so gross I felt like I was going to vomit. It didn't go through my system too well either.. I'm still feeling the effects of this barium test! (Chalky Poo!!!)

Anyway, next step is a visit with the surgeon on Friday. I've got heaps of quesetions to ask, so will be looking forward to that. I'll also be taking my fiancee with me so that he has an idea of what will be happening and what I will be going through. Will let you know how the Dr's appointment goes.

16 sleeps to go!!!

LBG xx

Monday, January 15, 2007

Shopping Trip.. and taking blood

This weekend I went to pharmacy direct to pick up some optifast sachets to start on this weekend *eek* and to see what else I might need for the optifast stage and past the operation stage. The optifast was cheaper at pharmacy direct by about $10 per box. I paid $39.95 per box, usually they can be $50-$55 per box, so a pretty good saving there. I also picked up some Benefibre for any constipation and some DeGas in case I can't burp!!

I also had the pleasure of having blood taken for my operation. I was asked by the lap band doc to have all my bloods done. So you know when you go and have a blood test they fill up some tubes? I had 7 tubes filled with blood for all the different tests!!! Not only that, but my vein decided to stop working halfway through, and so after the venepuncturist had finished digging her needle in my arm to try and find my blood flow again, I politely suggested that she try the other arm... (cos what she was doing was causing me a little pain... *duh*!!). So after acting like Miss Pincushion 2007 I finally had 7 tubes of blood out of me. *phew* I then had a quick ECG test done.... all the results should be with my doctor by the time I have my surgeons appointment this Friday 19th January!!

2 days to go until I have my ultrasound and barium study done, 4 days until the surgeons appointment... and then it's optifast fun until my surgery!!

On Friday 19th Jan my fiancee and I are going to go out for "my final meal"... one last HOORAH before the start of my new (skinnier) life. I was reading on the Yahoo Health Lapband message boards the amazing amounts of weight that people have lost over their first 5-10 weeks. 10kg, 18kg, 24kg... WOW!! If I lose around the average that these other bandits are losing I'll be in the 90's by MARCH!!! WooHoo!!

18 sleeps to go!

LBG xxx

Friday, January 12, 2007

3 weeks to go!!!

... until the operation that will change my life! How exciting! I've got so much going through my head right now, so much to organise before the operation. Tomorrow I'm having my bloods done, next Wednesday my ultrasound and barium swallow, 19th is the appointment with the surgeon and then it's 2 weeks of optifast! WooHoo!

I started making a list of things I might need once I've had the surgery, food mostly.. thing that I will be able to tolerate for the first 4 weeks on the liquid and puree diet stage:

  • Optifast
  • Fruit Juice
  • Vege Juice
  • Protein Powder
  • Drinking Yoghurt
  • Cup-a-soup (not the chunkie ones)
  • Drinking Straws
  • Measuring Cup
  • Icey Poles
  • Fruit Puree tubs
  • Baby food
  • Instant Mashed Potato

I'm sure I'll think of more, but that's the list for now. Mr LBG (my wonderful fiancee) will be coming with me to the surgeons visit on 19th January 2007. I think it's really important that he understand's exactly what is going on with me and what I will be experiencing and will give him a chance to answer any questions he may have.

I've also decided that with my 2 weeks on OptiFast, I'm going to replace 2 meals a day with Optifast, and make the other meal a low carb meal with loads of veges, lean meat and low carb fruit like strawberries and rockmelon. I just know that if I try and do this for 3 meals a day on Optifast then I will go insane and more than likely I will cheat (just being honest here!!!). Also, because I am travelling quite a bit up to my operation date, I may find it quite challenging to keep my optifast routine, especially if there is no opportunity to prepare the shakes etc.

Have a great weekend! 21 sleeps to go!!!

LBG xxx

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My Preparations

For my, my preparations for having the surgery and beyond have been quite psychological. Part of me is really excited for the future and the expected weight loss, and part of me is apprehensive about what the next few months holds. Not only that, I have to start thinking about what foods to have on hand during the OptiFast stage, liquid diet, puree diet (or "mushies" as some other bandits call it), soft food and then normal diet again.

So, further update on the preparations:
13th January 2007 - Full Blood count done (I have to be fasted for 10 hours prior), I also have to have an ECG done also!
17th January 2007 - Upper Abdominal Ultrasound and Barium Meal to be done to look for gall stones and any problems with reflux. Again, I need to be fasted for 8 hours, ultrasound is at 9am and Barium Swallow at 9:30am
19th January 2007 - Appointment with Dr R regarding the surgery.
20th January 2007 - Start "Liver Shrinking Diet" Optifast
2nd February 2007 - SURGERY!!

I'm starting to think of some questions that I think I need to ask him about the surgery and anaesthetic. I'm going to start a list and if I think of any, I'll write them down here:

So far, my questions are:
1. What is "shoulder tip" pain? Why do you get it?
2. What number am I on the operating list (I'd definitely prefer to be sooner rather than later!!!)
3. Will coughing affect the band placement?
4. Are movements restricted (i.e. back arches - for physiotherapy)?
5. What happens if I feel like vomiting/am nauseous while at home?
6. What is the best sleeping position?

Ok, that's all for now... 22 days to go!!!


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Getting my head around it all

Last night I had a big think about what I was going to embark on. What I am most nervous about is probably the actual surgery and what happens before, during and after. I'm a medical person, and I understand more than the average person.. and that probably doesn't help much!!I'm worried about the pain, I'm worried about the anaesthetic.. what it will feel like to go under, what it will feel like afterwards, how long it will take me to feel "good" again. I wonder what it will be like to totally change my eating forever, how I will cope through the various stages of the diet.

I have only told 3 people that I am having this surgery. Other people think I am having my gall bladder removed and thats why I need the surgery. I don't like being secretive, but I know there is a lot of negativity associated with the surgery and lap band and quite frankly, I don't need that!!! I also don't want people to think that I am "taking the easy way out".

Ok, so my plans for the next few weeks leading up to the surgery:

Between now and 19th January I need to have my Ultrasound done and bloods taken, I will book that in, in the next couple of days.
19th January 2007: Visit with the surgeon to explain more about the surgery, give me details about the times and where to be for the operation etc and answer any questions I might have
20th January 2007: Start OptiFast! (someone called it Opti-Gross... sounds appealing!)
2nd February 2007: Operation (not sure what time I will be operated on - will find that out!)
3rd February 2007: Return home after o/n stay in the hospital - have taken a full week off work - returning 12th February!

23 days to go!!!

Will post soon!

LBG xx

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

2nd February 2007!!!

Holy Crap. I've just set a date for my Lap Band Surgery! 2nd February 2007 - And it's in less than 4 weeks time!!! *eek* I went to see Dr T, the assistant surgeon today for my first initial consultation. He took my medical history, did a quick medical exam (listened to my breathing, my heart, felt my abdomen), we discussed the surgery (it's pros and it's cons), talked about the actual lap band, where it would be positioned, how the surgery would be performed and then the after care and visits to the dietitian, psychologist, physiotherapist and getting a "fill".

I have been asked to have some blood taken for analysis and also an ultrasound and x-ray to check for gall stones. I also have to have a barium meal done through x-ray to check what my swallowing is like and if I have any hernias.

I have been told I need to go onto OPTIFAST 2 weeks before the surgery to shrink my liver (I didn't know it was swollen!) Apparently most obese people have enlarged fatty livers.

Other than that, the doctor said that I was a great candidate for the surgery, I was otherwise healthy with minimal complications!! This is too too exciting!

Ok, must go... will check in soon!

LPG xx

Monday, January 8, 2007



I have decided to write this blog on getting and having a lap band, to help others who are in a similar situation who want to know more about the "real life" aspects of having surgery to treat their obesity. I am not doing this on behalf of any company and I am not being paid to keep this blog going. I've just found that during my research into weight loss surgery, there aren't many "real life" stories about living with a lap band. I really hope this helps people considering this treatment option make the decision that is right for them.

My privacy is very important to me, so I will not be revealing any personal information of who I am, where I live or information about my friends and family. Only 3 people know that I am getting a lap band - my fiancee and 2 close girlfriends, one of which has already had the lapband done!

Tomorrow I am going for my first appointment to visit the surgeon who will be performing my surgery. This is my first visit to the clinic and I am very much looking forward to discussing the lap band procedure and asking loads of questions.

Just a little about myself:
I'm in my mid 20's, I'm 5'7 and approx 106kg. I'm not sure exactly how much I weigh, the last time I weighed was just before christmas at 104.7kg. I've tried so many different diets, and I have failed at most of them. I say most, because I have been on diets where I have lost weight, only to put it back on when I stopped - so the diet did work... I was the problem!!

It's funny, because I don't consider myself "morbidly obese" but that's where my BMI is. I don't have a problem with fitting into Airplane seats, I fit into booths at resteraunts, and I wear a size 18 very comfortably. I am not unhappy with my life either - I have a wonderful man who I am going to marry, I have a great job and some fantastic friends and I work out regularly. My problem is, is that I LOVE food and I love to eat and I eat BIG. Dieting and my weight loss is All consuming - I mean, we have to eat to live, so it's not like I can try to quit cold turkey like I did with smoking. Infact, giving up smoking has been a walk in the park compared to weight loss let me tell you!

At first, I thought that getting a lap band would be my "last resort", and to me was not an option. Surely there were other things I could try that would work. But to be honest, I don't want to be 5, 10 15 years older and still be obese and have diabetes, heart problems, problems having children etc. To me, having a lapband is the missing piece of the puzzle and will only enhance my weight loss already. I have, on my own lost 16kg this past year, my fitness has improved, my education on good nutrition has increased and I am mentally in a really good position to go forward with the surgery. Not only that, I don't have any kids, no major responsibilities to deal with - this is the best time for me to have this done.

Ok, enough for today. Tomorrow is the first consult so I report back and blog what I've found out! I may even be lucky enough to set a date for the operation if all goes well!


LBG (LapBandGirl)