An update on my belly and the scars which have healed nicely after two years, notwithstanding the leaky band of course which means am likely to be reopened!!
So I demanded a full under X-ray from the hospital group even if I pay for it myself at a cost of 400 quid!!!! I was just getting fed up of the unknown of if am adjusted right or not and also I’m out of package now so instead of continuing with the hit and miss approach I thought it was worth it for the accuracy and reassurance.
A little back story first though…
A couple of weeks ago I went for another adjustment, I was feeling like shit about the whole thing and beginning to gain weight for the first time in 4 years and, quite frankly, it was scaring the life out of me. Not that anything was wrong, oh no that didn’t bother me, but the worst thing that could ever happen was for me to creep all predictably back to 21st (and then some) like all other times in my life. So I had low expectations and to be honest was pretty darn down in the dumps.
So I trot into the clinic where when am seen it is confirmed my band is leaking, about a mil down this time. So I’ve decided to just sort this out once and for all and pay for a bloody fluoroscopy, this has turned out to be a good decision, I’ll tell you why.
Living near Newcastle, I’m told the nearest place I can have adjustment under X-ray done is at Leeds Nuffield Hospital, about a two and half hour drive there and as much back, but I don’t care, I just want it seen to. So I pay the money over the phone and receive my appointment for a week later. The morning of the appointment I set off, not eating a thing but drinking plenty water, if only to stave off the hunger pangs. I arrive at the hospital in the nick of time and am quickly seen into radiology and the lovely radiologist and assistant begin to prep me. I explain my plight and he sets to having a gander inside me while I drink the most vile gloopy “contrast” fluid (barium I think). “Big swallow” he says, encouraging me to down the whole mouthful so he can see its passage through my upper gut. “Yes, that’s very little restriction there, let’s see what’s in there and get you adjusted up”. I’m jabbed with the now expect needle and he checks the fluid, I’m two mils down on my last check so I’ve a leak for sure but from where he says will be hard to tell as it’s too hard to see with slow leaks like mine. Fucking brilliant! My band is broken and I’m thinking how much this is now going to cost me, even though I’ve not done anything to break it yet it’s going to cost me to be opened up and refitted. Anyway, my disappointment is distracted while I’m adjusted to optimum under X-ray. 8.5 mils as it happens in my 14 mil band gives me optimum restriction and I’m set at that before leaving the hospital, so all I have is my ideal sweet spot, god knows how long will last! and a mind full of disappointment, anger, confusion and worry about how I proceed.
So essentially, like a bike tyre, I’ve a slow puncture, one which unless I tend to I could just top up regularly to keep me on the road or, still metaphorically speaking, change the tube but that takes me off the road for a while and also costs money.
The hospital group have dropped a few clangers with me lately of which I won’t go into on here for fear of jeopardising my case, but I’m determined that they put this right at their cost. I’ve yet to call them but intend to this weekend.
Two years in to the day, and I’m 6lbs down in total. I feel like A. FUCKING. FAILURE.
Well, I’ve just been having a rubbish time of late. I’m struggling to lose weight even though I’m consuming way less calories than I should be and still exercising at least twice a week. So 4 weeks ago I decided to log everything like I used to, which worked out well for me in the past, but this time this log would be so that people would believe that I am not a secret eater or somewhat oblivious to what I am eating, as I feel I need external help but worry they won’t believe me when I ask for it.
So with myFitnessPal app I’ve been weighing, scanning, recording and reviewing everything that I have ate, drank or otherwise and bar two days where I was at a wedding I ate below 1500calories. My base amount is calculated at 2560 so this is more than a 1000calorie deficit meaning in theory I should lose 7000 calories of fat a week or 2lbs…how much have I lost in 4 weeks? 1lb.
Before having the band fitted I had lost rather easily it would seem over 4 stone in a year or so by diet and exercise and when I begun to plateau I was so fearful of regaining I got the band for two reasons, to continue a with the push I needed and to stop me piling weight back on as I had so many other times. The reality of it is since getting the band two years ago, I’ve lost about a stone in total.
So the one fault I have in my diet is that I have always believed you should be able to eat everything in moderation and therefore provided I’m eating within my calorie allowance nothing is off the menu. I know I have a massive sugar addiction which I’ve tried to kick on numerous occasions without success. The addiction only manifests itself in two ways. 1) I love a cup of tea with 2 sugars, and this cup of tea is my rock, my crutch if you like. It gets me through the day, even if I only have one a day, I have to have it. 2) after a savoury meal I’ve always punctuated it with something sweet like a yoghurt or a bit of chocolate – this currently adds anywhere between 100-300cals to my evening meal, which I do account for in my allowance but I think now I’m probably taking the piss with the sugary foods now and wondering if this blatant sugar junky denial is what is keeping me from weight loss success. I will be honest with you, imagining my life without sugar is not a very pleasant thought for me but one I have to conquer.
So last week I got another mil put in my band and now it really seems to be working – but I’ve had this niggling in my mind that maybe I could get too tight and rupture or erode my stomach. After all, my stomach is being nipped by a bit of silicon, am sure that has inherent risks before you throw in half chewed food, PBing and the rest. This plays on my mind constantly…what if something goes wrong? Is being slim really worth dying for?
So, three days after my fill I’m travelling down to London for a few days in our southern office and decide to order lunch in the train station. There’s Burger King, too claggy. There’s Costa, all carbs. Then I spot a new deli which sells lovely salads, bingo! That’ll do nicely. So I order a chicken salad and a coffee and the guy brings it over. I start digging in, small bites, lots of chewing, I get through a handful of food on my plate but my habit of forgetting to chew has me in slight discomfort, enough to make me want to find the nearest loo. While trying to hold down this bit of food I wander to the bathroom and begin ejecting it into the nearest unoccupied cubicle. The toilets are rank, covered in shit and smelling like month old piss, I’m slowly PBing but close to vomiting now because of the dreadful stench. I look into the shit stained pan and there are bits of dark red in my PB. I PB some more and more red comes up, like ruby red..BLOOD RED! I’m vomiting and panicking as the toilet becomes a thick dark red. Oh my god am haemorrhaging, I need to call 999!! I rush out of the loo back to my seat all the way thinking how stupid I had been and starting to regret my decision more and more. In my hurry to eject the food causing me discomfort I’d left my phone on the table. Is it quicker to get Taxi direct to hospital or wait for ambulance to show up. Shaking I pick the phone up about to dial 999 to get me to hospital when I glance at my plate. Surrounding the lovely lettuce leaves and the char grilled chicken is the remnants of two slices of beetroot, yes BEETROOT… For fucks sake, it wasn’t blood but the beetroot I’d hastily ingested only a moment earlier. Panic over, I pay the bill as I walk out feeling spectacularly stupid.
Well I pretty much beat myself up all weekend for losing focus. Today is where I get myself back on track. It is entirely pointless in delaying any longer.
I don’t know why food and food choices are such a problem for me. I am to have 4 healthy meals a day, not for any reason other than that’s what I will need to keep satisfied. If I can also get back to cycling everyday I should be onto a winner.
Time to give myself a shake. Lets see how long this lasts!
Well it’s been an eventful few weeks and I must cut to the chase – I’ve lost only two pounds! While I get over the initial disappointment it dawns on me that I have full responsibility for not doing better. When I analyse a bit more I just thought the gastric band would take away the thinking so that when I lapse in will power or weight loss zeal it will be there prodding my insides telling me to get a grip…well I come crashing down to reality in that the band just ain’t that clever.
So where am I at? I am still getting fills and i think i’m getting close to a sweet spot at the delight at both myself and my fill nurse. My fill nurse Sam is lovely, and I mean lovely, she has so much patience and positivity, I actually look forward to seeing her each time and she is super hot too which is a bonus. I started a new job recently with a company that offered me a package too good to turn down. I loved where I worked previously but not enough to deprive myself of a huge spike in disposable income so half begrudgingly I left and I have never looked back since. Just being happy in my work has had a massive positive improvement to my eating habits but I’m struggling with some personal issues which I can’t bring myself to share with you lot (for now at least). Nevertheless, my weight loss and exercise regime has been shit and I need to give myself a shake and sort it out.
I am currently at just over 9ml in a 14ml band and each half mil now I can feel so It must have only just started constricting my stomach. Sam has reassured me that it can take a long time of small adjustments to get to a point of restriction. I have to trust her as it hasn’t been too forthcoming. At the moment bread is pretty much impossible to eat without it getting stuck. When it gets stuck, I will be honest with you, it fucking hurts like hell! Your oesophagus is naturally contracting food through the hole and when it gets stuck my throat uncontrollably tries to force it through, soon saliva builds up and also just adds more to what it needs to push through so quickly ascends into a battle against time to get the bolus of food up and out – I do this in a similar way to a snake dislocating its jaw. It’s hard to explain but I open my mouth and kind of roar like a lion and it usually pops into my mouth covered in gruesome clear mucus which I spit out. It might take two or three attempts for the pain to subside. It’s really weird though as the same volume of food one day could slip through unnoticed and cause all manner of pain the next. It really is a sneaky bugger.
My portions are getting smaller and it is working. My food choices are shit, I can’t be arsed to make a packed lunch and nearly always end up trotting along to the shop on the business park for a pasty or sandwich for my lunch. I struggle to eat breakfast usually as I am still putting my shirt and tie on as I get in the car but also I just can’t face eating that soon (5 minutes) after getting out of bed.
So what am I going to do about it? Well with my new job I finish at a suitable time which should allow me to get out on my bike, even for Half an hour, I think something is better than nothing. The next thing I’ve done is cleared all processed carb laden food from my cupboards (this was emotionally difficult trust me) to make room for things that I like but know have a low chance of me binging on them. I need to drop another 5 stone and am determined to do it, while I haven’t gained the 5 I’ve lost am not stopping at this weight. I want a half decent body that I’m not ashamed to be the owner of.
Let’s hope I can keep this up. Thanks for staying with me.
Well, over the last couple of weeks things have started looking up. I have been headhunted for a new role with a large company who are offering a package i am finding difficult to refuse. I had a fill this month where it turns out i was 1ml short of what we thought was in. My wonderful nurse de-filled and refilled me up to 7ml and i am starting to feel satiety, albeit not as soon as I like, but i think 0.5ml more will probably get me perfectly set. I have lost 16lbs post op and 60lbs since 2010.
I was out on friday night for a few drinks and bumped into an old friend i used to work with where she looked ate me and said “you look lush!” Being the shy sort that doesn’t take compliments well i just bashfully looked away and changed the subject but her words resonated with me all the way home – it dawned on me that the last time she would have saw me i was about 30lbs heavier (was actually in a ‘lighter’ part of my life then when i was clubbing a lot)
So with my band working and a positive outlook on life i want to start really concentrating on my band – ive fired up myfitnesspal again and want to up my excercise again. Lets see if i can drop 2 stone for summer.