Saturday, August 7, 2010

Banded: the beginning.

Well, I got my gastric banding surgery done this past Monday, August 2nd, 2010.

I'd spent nearly four months preparing myself mentally, physically and emotionally for what I knew would be a decisive step into a radically different way of approaching the whole subject of food, eating and weight after 44 year of doing things my way. Gastric banding (more commonly known as Lap Band surgery, which is actually the brand name of the device that's been used the most widely in the U.S.) creates a "pouch", or smaller upper stomach, without any cutting or stapling.

It's not a gastric bypass, which includes re-routing some gastro-intestinal "plumbing". The band is much less invasive, can be implanted laparoscopically, and has far fewer rates of complication than the bypass. 

For anyone who's wondering, I opted for the Realize Band versus the Lap Band.  They are two different "brands", there are differences between them, but they both accomplish essentially the same thing.

I'm happy to say my experience so far with the band has been very, very good!

I have at least 100 pounds to lose. More like 125. If I'd started this surgery at my top weight, it would have been closer to 175 to shed. Clearly, my relationship with food isn't "normal".

Note the crazed look in the eyes.

Since Monday, I've had nothing but fluids: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday consisted of only "clears": sugar-free popsicles and Jell-O, broth, and non-caffeinated/carbonated sugar-free beverages. (I've become addicted to Crystal Light in the Fruit Punch, Cherry and Strawberry flavors.  More accurately, I should say the Wal-Mart Great Value version of Crystal Light.  Nom nom!).

On Friday I was able to add protein shakes. The nurse gave me the go-ahead to add 16 ounces of whey-protein based shakes to the clear liquids, and oh BOY did that first shake taste great! To have the sensation of chocolate on my tongue again, it was goooood.

You might think I've been hungry on such a calorie-limited food plan, but because my stomach is still so swollen, I haven't experienced a single hunger pang.

Not a one!  Can't say I'm missing them, either.

This is odd for me, because I've never experienced that before on such a calorie-limited diet. I'm kind of enjoying it, though I know it won't last much longer, as my stomach heals up.

The thing that's really been bothering me (and it's the only thing) is that my "head hunger" is no less ravenous than it was before I got the surgery. They told me this would be the case, that the operation is on my body and not my brain. That the cravings would not cease, and I would have to find a way other than eating to handle them.

They were so right.  It gets REALLY FREAKING HARD!

Blogging is one of the things I've done a lot of in order to keep my brain "otherwise occupied" when the cravings come barreling out of nowhere, as they're wont to do.  I blog primarily at The Daily Corgi, and also at Buttercup Bungalow.  You'll see from these that I am passionate about Welsh Corgis and design.  My tastes are very particular ... but I happily claim them as my own!

So I blog, and I drink my liquids, and I talk on the phone, and I walk the halls of my apartment building for exercise, and I smother my cat with affection (thank God she' s a lap cat) and I try to find something worth watching on basic cable.

Not exactly the most exciting life, but if I am losing weight (and I am), there will be excitement aplenty in the near future.

I'm looking forward to that.

Stay tuned!

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