Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dancing Trolls & Password Changes

Many moons ago, when I was a young buck-ette (I guess that would be a doe), I was prescribed Ambien.  I am not one of those people who just fall asleep at bedtime.  Heather give me a night-night kiss, say I love you, spoon me...and that's it.  Lights out for her.  I will just be laying there, hearing the dogs licking their paws, thinking and thinking.  My brain doesn't shut off.  THEN, when I do fall asleep, I will wake up a gagillion times.

ANYWAYS, back in the day, Ambien made me hallucinate.  Not in a bad way really, but my Doc had told me to take it about 45 minutes before bedtime, and are supposed to take it go to bed right away.  Because if not...your brain goes cray-cray.

A few things that happened, in no particular order:

1.  I was pretty sure the basement of my townhouse, where my computer was, was full of spirits that disappeared every time I tried to make eye contact.

2.  My best friend Lisa and I would be talking on the phone (she lives in Seattle, I in Kansas at the time), and then I would be so confused where she went because I thought she was on the bed with me...not on the phone.

3.  Once, there were tiny dancing trolls on my curtain rod.  They were UH-DOREABLE.

4.  My dog likes to lick me.  Which I do not like.  Well, I let him lick my face repeatedly bc I thought he was King of a magical land and he was anointing me.

Seriously.  I am not making any of that up.

Well, upon reporting these happenings to my doctor...he stopped prescribing them to me.  Saaaad day.

So when I went to my new doctor a couple of weeks ago, I asked for another try.  And I love those little sleepy pills.  And I haven't had any strange visions or anything.

WELL, today I went to get on my work iPad.  It has a different iTunes account and iCloud account than my personal phone of course, and today it kept telling me my password was wrong.  THEN I saw and email on my ipad email account that said someone had changed my password on Tuesday.

Who could have done it?

My coworker who set up the account?

A hacker?

After pointing fingers and fretting about it for a couple of hours it hit me.

I think I DID!  The reset email was 9:47 pm on a Tuesday night.  Hmmmm...perhaps I vaguely remember being on my iPad.  But not really.

I am sticking with the identity theft theory.

I did make a mental note to make sure I wasn't sexting long lost loves or half-cousins.

Heather should keep a better watch over me.  Course she is asleep at that time, but still.

I just wanted to share that story with y'all.

Happy Thursday.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Little White Pill and A Tiny Fill

Two weeks ago tomorrow, I went and met my new primary care physician.  Everytime I find a good PCP, they leave or move or go where doctors go to die...Boca Raton.  I had no pressing issue, but I need to have my woo woo exam because it's been a couple of years and mama and her vagina aren't getting any younger and one must say abreast of ham wallet health.  I also wanted to talk her about the new FDA approved diet drugs on the market.

So I can in and weigh (sweet mamba-jamba their scale of death said 197), I meet her, we make small talk...and then I summon to courage to say...

"SO, what do you think about prescription diet pills?"

(It should be noted that I HATE asking my doctors for meds.  I always feel like they are going to think I am a drug-seeking coo coo bird). 

And she replies..

"Wellllll...I think that weight loss is really about diet and exercise and encourage food journaling before pills".

Good answer.  Good answer.  But I had a little Heather sitting on my shoulder saying grab your lady balls and tell her you want some (It should also be noted that Heather would never say lady balls).

She went on to say that usually patients will tell her "I don't know why I am not losing weight",  but when she has them keep a journal of their food, they will find that their diet is the issue.

To which I said, "Listen Doc.  I KNOW that food is my problem.  I have the exercising thing down, and I have this lapband, but I can't seem to get back on track so can I TRY the pills for at least a month."

Tick tock.  Tick tock.

She said yes, as long as I kept a food journal.

She prescribed me phentermine.  Now, I THOUGHT this was the new drug they approved in the fall, but turns out the new drug is a combination of phentermine and Topamax and only certain docs can prescribe it right now.  Regardless, I had my prescription filled and on a Tuesday, 13 days ago...I started taking them.

At this point, juuuust in case anyone is confused, I should state that I AM NOT A DOCTOR NOR AM I TELLING YOU TO START TAKING THIS DRUG.

Shooo, glad we cleared that up.

But, here is my review thus far. 

I popped that little white pill (in the morning, before breakfast) and off I went.  On my very first day, I felt like I was hopped up on caffeine.  I didn't snack.

I thought the no snacking could have been a fluke.

However, this medicine has the strangest effect on me.  I AM REALLY NOT HUNGRY.  Now, I have been thinking about this phenomenon and how to describe it.  Even with my beautiful lapband, I clearly eat and graze when I am not physically hungry.  If I have almonds in my office, regardless of whether or not I want to eat or need to eat, I will probably crack open the can and toss a few back.  If you have nachos around me, I will partake. 

Since taking the meds, I don't really care.  I am not skipping meals, I am getting around 1200-1500 calories a day, but it has helped my brain so much.  I am in love with it.  I wish I could live in this Utopia forever.   Combined with my commitment to only drinking water, no fast food, bringing my lunches, incorporating fruits as snacks, and trying to be "mostly good", I have lost 10 pounds these last couple of weeks.

Phentermine is not intended for long-term use (can you hear the voice on the commercials right now that will talk at the end and warn of death and erections that last longer than 4 hours).  I am assuming that at some point, my body or my brain will start to become accustomed to this wonder drug and not be so effective.  The only side effect that I have experienced is CRAZY DRY MOUTH!  Like...insane.   Which helps because it makes me want to suck water down non-stop. 

I have been journaling my food as instructed, and I revisit my doc in two weeks.  If I start to think about what will happen when I go off the meds, I start to panic.  So I am just choosing to live in the now.

Other tactics that I am using for this round of weight loss:

1.  I went and got my fill on Thursday.  The beautiful Dr. Friedman told me I am doing great and that I am "obsessed with the scale"...I love him.  And would like to believe that I can stop worrying about it...but coming close to 200 is scary-land for me.  The fill is good, although I can't really tell much of a difference.  However, it's hard since I am on the meds bc restriction is not supposed to be about getting stuck on certain foods, but about satiety of those foods and how long your hunger is curbed.  Well, when you are on magic pills that curbs your can't use that to judge.  Today for lunch though I ate a sandwich I had made on those sandwich round thin thingies.  It took me about 30-35 minutes to eat it...but no problems.  Nothing uncomfy.  I might wait a month or so and go back and get just a smidge more if needed.

2.  Focusing on how my clothes fit.  I have the number 167 in my head because almost all of my pants fit preettty good at 167.  So I am using the fit of my jeans and work pants as a guide, really more so than the number on the scale.  I want all my clothes to fit again with no muffin top. 

3.  Looking at the "skinny pictures" from when I was about 10 pounds lighter.

4.  Appreciating how good I feel mentally when I am eating better and making healthier choices.

5.  Knowing I can do this. 

So far so good.  We went camping this week, and I drank 4 beers (for the first time in a couple of weeks).  I ate a couple of smores.  But I was aware of those choices and knew that it was okay.  For my lunches at work, if I bring soup or a sandwich from home, I get a little 160 calorie bag of chips to go with it.  A little sodium highly processed food in moderation.  It's a little treat.

So now we are all caught up!  Happy Monday friends.

Monday, March 11, 2013

What If The Lapband Had NO RULES?

Whilst in Phoenix meeting with Allergan, the most wonderful thing happened.  There is a gentleman, we shall call him Fern (basically because his name rhymes with Fern and it sounds funny), who is key, if not paramount, to the invention and marketing of the Lapband.  He is passionate about it.  He is really fantastic to listen to.  Some of us on the council requested that we could be provided or discuss some of the studies behind the lapband.  For a girl who does not like math or stats, I do love a study and numbers put into terms for my little old brain.

And he provided just that.  Hopefully, we will be getting access to some of those easy to read charts and slides so we can share with you.

But until then...back to the best moment ever.

Vern was talking about when Allergan sells the lap-band, that whatever new company buys it (we were calling it NewCo just for fun), that it will be a chance for NewCo and lap-band to start fresh. 

And one of the things that will change....?


You know...rules like no drinking with straws.  No fizzy drinks.  No drinking 30 minutes before or after...and on and on.

You know...the rules that make every doctor's office different.  The rules that some successful bandsters live by and preach as the gospel.

Well, Fern said that a couple of guys (including him)  and a couple of doctors kinda made up those rules when they created the lap-band.

And seriously, I thought a few of the bandsters in the room were going to pass out.  LapbandGal held strong though.  She didn't panic.  But some did. 

They had shaped the last 3 plus years of their losing and success around the rules.  If there were no rules then what was left? 

I was smiling and nodding, bc you know "the rules" have also been a loose structure for me.  And I consider myself pretty successful. 

What it really comes down to is.  You have to find the rules that work for YOU.  You should listen to your doctor's rules.  If you question them, then ask him about it.  But for each of us, we are all very different.  Some people need structure in my life.  I mean, following the rules is CLEARLY working for LapbandGal.  She has maintained below goal for a very long time!  But it's okay if you aren't perfect. 

I think so many of us have the all or nothing mentality.  And for some of you, you may start off this journey with an impending sense of doom that "this might not work either" (which is a whole other post entirely) as soon as you slip up, you might give up.

Don't give up. Find your stride.  Note what your RULES are.  If you can't find your stride, look at what works for the "losers" in the community. 

Happy Monday friends.  I am going to go finish my water now...with a straw.  And then I might eat some blackberries, and drink some water before my 30 minutes is up!

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Just Wanna Be Skinny And Pretty

Good morning and happy Friday blogland!  Yesterday was a DAY!  In the morning, a co-worker and I had the opportunity to be the keynote speakers at a Career Academy University program for about 500 high school seniors.  It was SO much fun.  When Rusty and I speak together, we try to have a good mix of humor and inspiration.  We also like to procrastinate, so we usually pull our speech together the night before.  I had gone to bed Wednesday night after taking a little dose of Ambien and was trying to fall asleep but then I got "Ambien brain".  It reminded me of college when I use to eat about 4 No-Doze late at night when I was juuuust starting a 20 page paper that was due the next morning.


I whipped my Ipod out, and while Heather was snoring beside me, I starting dictating 6 life rules you should know before you become a grown-up.

And they loved it.  It is only the second time I have spoke to "kids".  Usually my audiences are business folk.  They were so much fun1  The laughed, they cheered, they sang Whitney Houston with me while some of them played random musical instruments as my backup dancers.  Whenever I speak, I am on a high.  I love it. 

But then, I crash.  So by 10 am yesterday...I was done.  No more productive work to be had.  And then, by the time the afternoon came...I was in my "dark place".  For no good reason!  I couldn't put my finger on why I was so sad and depressed.

I cried at my desk.

I cried in my car.

And then...OH AND THEN...I started playing the "comparison game" on Facebook.  There is a girl that played on Heather's softball team once as a fill-in.  Her name was Amy and they joked she was a mini-Heather.  Athletic, small build, little lesbian with short hair and biceps.  Well, she was tagged in a mutual friends facebook pic so I clicked on her profile and she had tons of pictures of her and her girlfriend.  And her girlfriend so WAS pretty.  And Skinny. 

And then I started feeling bad for Heather.  Because all she has is me.

I KNOW.  That sounds pathetic.  I am better today. But yesterday, I just wanted to be "skinny and pretty".

I have a lapband and can't be thin!  I don't know why I don't have the willpower to remain constant in my healthy food choices anymore.  I am doing great this week.  Feeling confident about my choices.  Feeling hopeful, but you and I know this usually lasts me about 2 weeks and then I not only fall off the wagon, I fall off the wagon, cover it in gravy, and eat the damn thing!

I just wanted to be one of those skinny girls that can wear skinny jeans in bright color and pull off "hobo chic" and have healthy hair and healthy skin and not need lapbands or diet pills or WHATEVER.

That's right.

I was throwing myself a pity party in full force.


So I went home and sniffled a little on Heather's shoulder.  I never put into words for her what was wrong...just told her it would pass...and it did.

For those of you who have partners who are healthy and don't suffer from food know sometimes it's hard to talk to them about "your diet".  I feel like Heather is probably sick of me saying "I haven't had soda in 4 days"...or "I'm doing good this week"...bc she knows my cycle.  I mean, I get tired of hearing MYSELF say it...

ya dig?

But it's the weekend.  And it's supposed to be beautiful here in Florida.  So it's all gonna be okay!

cyber hug and virtual kisses!

Keep Fighting the Good Fight-

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fills With The Lapband: Blessing or Curse?

Years ago, my coworker said to me (she had gastric bypass about a year before my surgery), that one reason she didn't want the lapband was because she didn't want to have to worry about fills or restrictions.  Reasonable I suppose. 

However, for ME, fills were a selling point.  I liked the idea of having the ability to work with my doctor to find the right restrictions.  I liked the idea of having some choice in how loose or how tight, or restricted or how unrestricted my band was.  PLUS, at every fill I met with my doctor.  I was able to see, talk to, get advice from the man who actually did my surgery.  Which is not the case with all clinics or doctors. 

Today, I still love the ability to get fills.

However, I have been putting off getting a fill for a long time now.

For several reasons.  You ready?  Let's start with the realist of all reasons.

1.  I love being able to each a damn sandwich!  At my current fill level, there is nothing that is really "off-limits".  Somethings still pose a challenge and require more work, but for the most part, if I want to eat will probably happen.

Clearly, this has been a problem lately yes? 

So then there is number...

2.  Guilt and shame.  When you have gained some weight, or when you know YOUR poor choices are being reflected in your waist size and on the scale, you hate to have to suck it up and admit you need more help.  Which  I KNOW is ironic.  We chose WLS for a reason.  We need help.  And our doctors are supposed to help us.  That's what we pay them for. But, you still feel like a mini-failure if you have gained.  At least I do.  And I always want Dr. Friedman to be proud. of me.  What will he say when his "rockstar patient" has gained over 15 pounds since the last visit?  Will he be sad with me?

I am pulling up my big girl panties and taking my sorry ass in.  One reoccurring theme I have noticed in some bandsters that didnt lose initially or have gained a lot back is that they didnt keep up with the doctors or their appointments.  It seems to hold true with me.

3.  Getting a fill and being "too tight".  The last 2 times I got a fill, it resulted in my having reflux at night and needing an unfill.  So I have been a little timid to try again.  Which is counterproductive.  Sometimes there is a fine line between just right and too much.  I need to work with Dr. Friedman to find that "just right". 

I may also ask for a upper flourscopy.  I have never had one done, as it's not his standard practice, but 4 years out I would like a little reassurance that everything is looking good.

So there you go kids. 

There it be.

Tinkle Tinkle Little Star

Sometimes I make things up.  My family has been saying this for years, and RARELY is it true...but here is an example.  Today at work I said "I have to go pee" no one in particular, I just announced it.  Then I said "I have to sneeze" which point, I sneezed.  And then I said "at least I didnt sneeze and pee, which has happened before."

And off I went to the bathroom to partake in the peeing part of the above statements.  And then I started thinking about how one time I went to a urologist, and he told me I have what is called a "floating bladder".  It moves around more than most bladders, and this can interfere with things like pooping or visa versa.

And then...THEN...I didnt know if that urologist ever really told me that.  I mean, I THINK he told me that but maybe I made that up and I just think it's now true?

I don't know.

But you know what I am doing in this picture below?

That's me in the background...peeing.  This picture was from nearly 3 years ago.  I wasn't necessarily sober, but it really doesnt matter.  If you get me really laughing...and there is fluid in me...bad things might happen. 

I blame it on my floating bladder.

Now.  Whilst photostalking myself on Facebook, I stumbled across some skinny pictures. Maybe, instead of posting previous fat pictures, I should just keep posting pictures of me in the 160's!
Sweet butterballs I was thinner. What a difference 20 or so pounds make.  I have decided that maybe I should print some of these off and use them as motivation because sometimes in my mind I don't feel like I look that much different!

SOOOO, this week has seen a resurgence of me trying to drink my water.  I used to be so good.  tsk tsk.  I have always believed that having a special water container aids in your wanting to drink.  So, I have been bringing my favorite Tervis Tumbler to work with a new lid color ( really not a color), and a straw.  The straw is a new addition and helps me drink my water at a faster clip. 

Hmmm...what else is new?  You should know I have been THINKING about blogging almost every day for the last several weeks.  That counts right?

Last week I traveled to Phoenix and met one of my favorite Jen's and several other bandsters...which was AWESOME!  I was there with Lapband Gal and Allergan, the maker of the lapband.  It's our yearly Patient Advisory Council, and I learned a lot.  It's always a quick trip and very beneficial. I am lucky to be involved.  I will share some of my thoughts and take-aways from the meeting in upcoming posts.

OOH, I am going for a fill next week!  Which will be the first fill in at least a year I think.  I think I will make that a entirely separate post.

So happy Wednesday friends! 

hugs and kisses