Tag Archives: lapband

Slowly but surely…

25 Feb

(Heather’s Perspective)…

Just thought I’d share a little photo.  OK – given, not the world’s greatest photo… but better than nothing!!

About 109 kilograms / 240 pounds

Today, I fitted into another pair of jeans that I have kept in storage for years – and which couldn’t fit me for years – and which now fit me (comfortably, I might add)!  They’re not the nicest or the most flattering pair of jeans… in fact, they’re those “mom jeans” that the fashion police warn you about.  You know, high waist… high pockets… and a bit to much camel-toe for my liking!

Still! I-can-FIT-into-them!!! And this is cause for celebration!!  (Now – I’m looking forward to getting too big for them, so I can happily toss them out!)

Yesterday, I went to the shops and purchased myself some new clothes (I have not done this in a very… very long time).  I bought some new undies, a pair of boots and 2 nice jerseys (American friends, translate: sweaters).  It felt really nice to shop at Woolworths – instead of at my usual haunt – Donna Claire or Penny C (which stock, I kid you not, disgusting… DISGUSTING clothes!  For evidence – click here).

I’m still a bit impatient about the slow progress of weight loss… and yes, yes – I know, I know!  1 kg per week is supposedly perfectly acceptable progress – but I don’t have the patience for it!  I want it ALL…GONE…NOW!!  Maybe I should take Soo up on her offer of going for hip-hop dance classes together…. that’ll probably help the weight-loss progress, huh?

Anyway – that was just a quick little update for the day.  Still extremely happy with my lap-band… and yes, I will book a 2nd fill for March – just to speed things up a bit.

X

 

A heartbreaking response to this blog

23 Feb

Note from Heather:  A brave person responded to our blog with the message below.  I can’t begin to tell you how familiar her message is to me.  I have heard it time and time again – from so many, many desperate people who have been struggling with obesity for years and years.  Indeed, it’s my own voice too.  My heart breaks for those who struggle with eating disorders… for those who are regularly discriminated against (because of their size).  To the friend who wrote this letter, I say:  You might not realise or accept it – but you are beautiful, worthy, valuable and deserving of respect and love – exactly as you are right now!

Hi Heather,

I know I should be replying to your blog as to how your journey of the past weeks has affected me as a “fattie”, but I’m afraid I’m just not as brave as you have been. I would say that I take my hat off to you, but I probably ate that too.

I read a little about how you were feeling just before going in for your procedure. This is a subject so close to my heart as I am pretty much where you were in Dec, give or take a pound or two. I live each day battling to get up and face the world with the strength and courage that I should naturally have.

I work with people daily, who I know (sad but true), judge me the moment my hand extends to shake theirs, the moment I get out of my car or the moment they open their front door.  I have a husband and two stunning girls that I feel like I am letting down and embarrassing every day. I have resigned myself to the fact that my weight is one fight I just cannot fight any longer. and am now lying down to play dead, getting up only when I have to do whatever the day puts before me. Active I am, devoted to my family and business, most certainly I am. Dead inside from hurt, embarrassment and low self-esteem, well that I most certainly AM!

I have no self-esteem left, have no will left to fight this, feel quite happy to work for myself locked up in my study without a corporate office having to witness me having a slice of toast or chatting every time the “fat” chick walks to the kitchen (even if it’s only for a glass of water)……. I haven’t really had anyone say anything to my face about my weight, in fact they don’t even have to say a thing, it’s written all over their faces.   I even planned an eye op smack bang in the middle of the week of my hubbies 20 year reunion, just so I could avoid it.  Yes Heather, you heard right, I actually did that, and at the last minute postponed the op due to guilt.  But alas, we never went as I had stuffed up plans and it was all too much to organize accomodation at the last minute……….. so Heath, when I read your blog, I cry so much.  So much happiness for you, so much hurt for me.

I haven’t stopped crying today since I read it.  I know this sounds like an agony aunt column, but I honestly am so desperate to get this op done that I will go to any lengths.  Desperate is what I was years ago, broken is where I am now. I have not been able to afford this, and so I have made an appointment to go see a surgeon to check what the cost is on this procedure, please could I ask you if you would kindly send me the details of your doc and if possible cost as well.

I can’t tell you how happy I am for you, you deserve this so much Heather, and if I had the energy, I would stand and be your pom-pom girl,  but right now I’m sitting….. (ha ha, we all know about the fat jokes)………….

PS:  Sorry if this letter doesn’t make sense, I have just typed and typed whatever I have felt… just cant stop crying right now……….

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Details of the fill

17 Feb

For those who want to know the morbid details of what a “fill” is like…

My surgeon chooses a different process from many other lap-band surgeons.  He prefers to bury the port in the lower part of my stomach (instead of the upper part, just underneath the boob).  He told me that the reason for this is two-fold:

1)  Once the patient has lost all of their weight, he found that a port (which has been placed in the upper regions) can stick out in a noticeable way (I guess, like a large, unexplained bump).

2)  He also said that, with some patients, the port (placed in the upper regions) can feel uncomfortable… for example, when crouching or gardening (you can feel it digging into you).

Therefore, he opts to secure his patients ports “lower” and “deeper”.

This is all very fine and well, but it comes with a cost – mostly notably the price tag!  When a patient has had their port installed under the boob – a fill can be performed whilst the patient lies flat on the doctors’ examination table.  Quick-quick… and pretty painless, I’m told.

But with my low & deep port… my surgeon has to access the port via X-ray… so I have to lie on the X-ray table while he locates the (metal ring) of the port – and then (ouch!) he jabs me with a long needle in my stomach (which needs to go in deeper than normal).  You might ask:  what does that feel like?  Well, it feels like he’s jabbing me with a long needle!  (no local anesthetic)  The good news – is that he did it REALLY quickly.  So that moment of pain lasted about 3 seconds and then it was over.  Really not a big deal.

The gross part, for me, is having to drink a vile, bitter liquid (that they can view on the X-ray)… and he watches this liquid move into my stomach – just to check that everything is okay and that the band is doing it’s job – and what not.  I probably hate the vile liquid more than I hate the long needle!  And then of course, there’s the price tag.  X-Ray procedure costs R1250 ($173) – and surgeon doing the fill costs R700 ($97)  (Eeek!)

Well… at least one only goes for a fill occasionally!!!

I have booked my next fill for the end of March.  I would like another 2cc’s of saline injected into my lap-band.  The restriction that the band offers is great…. but I would prefer just that little bit extra!

Any curious questions – feel free to shout!

H.

20 kilograms (44 lbs) down…

16 Feb

I had my lap-band installed on the 6th of December and I have lost 20 kilograms so far.  This is GOOD progress… but I find myself increasingly impatient with the weight-loss.  I’ve been told the statistics time and time again…  lap-band patients don’t lose their weight as fast as gastric bypass or gastric sleeve patients…. but, 5 years after surgery, the weight-loss ratio (of the lap-band) is pretty much the same as the other surgery options.  Does that make sense?

In other words – lap-band patients do lose their excess weight…  just not as FAST as the other guys.

I knew these stats…  and I accepted these facts when I opted for the band.  BUT… now I am just so damn impatient!  I want the weight all GONE – and I want it gone NOW!

Yes, yes.  I know it’s not a race.  I know I should be patient.  I know.  But “knowing”…. and “feeling”…. are two different things.  And you can’t just switch off “feeling”.

Good news and celebrations though…  I cannot tell you how WONDERFUL it feels to be 20 kilograms lighter!!!  Already my energy levels have soared (I was constantly tired before).  A real treat for me is to fit into jeans that had been stored away for many months (because I was way, way too fat for them).  Now – I’m throwing THOSE jeans away!  The jeans you saw me wear in my previous post – are now too big – and have been donated.  Shirts that I hadn’t managed to squeeze into for many months are now baggy.  Even my feet have shrunk!  And… I can wear my wedding ring again.

I guess my only grumble is the rapid shrinking of my boobs!  Bra’s that used to fit very snugly are now loose – both around my back – and in the “cup” area!  I am a natural-shaped pear, and I KNEW this would happen…  but still, I’m not entirely delighted about it, I must say.

Apart from clothes that now fit – there have been lovely, satisfying little milestones along the way.  Like, being able to fit comfortably into the movie seats at the Cresta cinema without having to force my butt past the armrests!  I only realized after I had sat down, that my butt had brushed past the armrests (instead of being painfully forced).  This put a big smile on my face.

Oh, and I went for my first “fill” the other day.  The surgeon injected 5cc’s of saline into my band.  It gives me enough restriction to feel fairly full for most of the day – and to eat normal-sized plates of food (instead of the huge mountains I managed to devour before)… but I would still prefer more restriction… maybe another 2cc’s.  I have booked myself in for a second “fill” at the end of March.  In the meantime, the progress has settled down into a gradual loss of about 1 – 1.5 kilograms a week (which, I must admit, makes me feel very impatient indeed).

OK – I must go – I have so so so much work to do (hence my not-very-regular postings)…  but here is a quick little pic I took of myself this morning.

Thanks for reading & keep in touch!

x

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT : Fed Up! Group Sessions

2 Feb

The Fed Up Manifesto :

“I am FED UP with a world which measures my worth in kilograms.  I am FED UP by the ways in which I have reacted to these measures and judgements in the past.  I am FED UP! Today, I am moving forward, taking charge, and claiming my right to life, love and happiness.  Right NOW”

Date : Tues 1 March 2011

Time : 6 to 9pm

Place : Group Lounge, My Coaching Office, Melville, Johannesburg

Session Topic : Weight Loss Surgery

A frank discussion on elective weight-loss surgery.  An opportunity for clarity and enlightenment for anyone who is considering a weight loss intervention, anyone opposed to this surgery but seeking with honest intent to understand it, or anyone conflicted on the issue. The discussion will be facilitated by myself (Suzanne ‘Soo’ Patterson), an NLP Life Coach.  All attendees will have an opportunity to participate, without pressure to communicate beyond their comfort level.

This group is for you if :  You are a woman.  You currently struggle with your weight AND/OR you have struggled with your weight in the past and still consider your relationship with food to be complicated and tenuous AND/OR you consider yourself a food addict AND/OR you are in a relationship with a food addict AND/OR you are part of the loving support system of a food addict.

Special Guest : Heather (my sister and co-blogger here) (37 yrs) – 3 months after lap-band surgery

Fed Up is NOT a slimming club.  Fed Up is a confidential on-going support system for women struggling with issues related to food addiction and self esteem.  The Fed Up Sessions have a group therapy structure, and offer encouragement and therapeutic advice in your journey to self-awareness, victory over your addiction and the issues which underlie it.  You will NOT be weighed, you will NOT be measured.  You will not be asked to leave the group if you do not lose weight.  You will never be shamed, over praised or treated like a child.  You WILL be heard, understood, and given an opportunity to vent, facilitated by a kind a gentle process.

To book contact me, Soo Patterson 071  177 7030 or email talktosoopat@hotmail.com.
To preserve the group dynamic, places are limited.  R80 per person, includes 3hr group therapy session, session notes, Coffee, Tea & Biscuits.

Bands and Ties and Other Things Which Bind

24 Jan

Suzanne’s Perspective

At the end of last year, my big sister (in all the ways that count, and some that don’t) underwent a surgical procedure, and had a weight loss device – a lap band – inserted.  She now has a teeny little inner tube circling her stomach, which when inflated will squeeze tighter and more efficiently than any iron-fisted willpower she has been able to summon to date and limit the amount of food she can comfortably eat in one sitting.

Inside my 15 year-old sister (pictured here) was always a fat person, fighting her way out. Slim and pretty, but in her mind fat and clumsy. Hiding under bulky shorts, arms covering a belly she didn't have. Eating until years later, her outside matched her inside.

Two earth-shattering, conscience jarring, where-the-hell-do-you-stand-on-anything-actually parcels of life found their way to my door step at the end of last year.  Both of them, in terms of my contribution to this blog, struck me dumb.

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15 kilograms gone!!

16 Dec

(Heather’s Perspective)

I am wearing a pair of jeans today.  They fit perfectly – and are even a bit loose around the waist and butt area.  Only a month ago – I had to squeeeeeeze into these jeans and could barely manage to get the zip up!  And even when zipped, there was a sausage of fat which hung over the waist-line.  In today’s pic, you’ll see that this is no longer the case.    I am very pleased to announce that I have lost 15 kilograms in 1 month!!  From the time I started my pre-op liquid diet – until now – 10 days post-op!  The pre-op liquid diet part was – by far – the toughest part.  Post-op… it’s been a breeze.  I can only get down tiny amounts of food (my stomach still needs some time to heal from the op – and apparently is rather swollen).  I don’t feel hungry.  I don’t feel deprived.  What a new feeling this is for me!

10 days post-op.

I removed the plasters from my wounds 3 days ago.  They’ve healed very nicely.  Still quite a bit of bruising – but it’s not painful at all.  The shortest cut is 15mm  the longest cut is 40mm… and there are 5 cuts.  The 40mm cut is where my lap-band port is placed, and is also the one which took the longest time to heal.

So!  There you have it!  I am absolutely thrilled to be losing weight and to be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for the first time in many, many years.  This is the start of a whole new journey for me!  🙂