Thursday, August 13, 2015

Doctors, laser tag, barium and asshats

I'm SO pleased that I have my computer back to type on!  When I typed my last blog, I was on my phone in the waiting room at my Surgeon's office.  I shall not take my keyboard for granted again.

I've had an eventful few weeks and we could even stretch that out to a few months.  First I had all the issues regarding my band and vomiting etc... but the past few weeks I've been struggling with headaches and migraines.  I am pleased to report that for 3/4 of the day today, I have not had any pain at all.  I hope it continues to stay like this.  I took advantage of my mostly pain free day and took the twins bowling and to laser tag.  They had a curriculum day today.  I love my babies.  Sorry about the picture size - it's not letting me shrink it for some reason!

I am not sure what brings my migraines on.  I have tried to pin point what the cause is.  When I get one, I start thinking back to what I've been doing, eating and drinking to try and put my finger on why they start.  I have had MRIs, CT scans and other numerous tests in an attempt to work out where they come from but none of the tests have come up with anything other than the fact that everything is normal.  This is good but also frustrating.  I went to the Hospital a week and a half ago and the treatment they normally administer didn't go to plan.  I reacted adversely to the drugs that they give over a period of time so it's no longer an option for me to have that treatment anymore.  I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I have been given some new medication to try but it hasn't done anything as yet.  Now that I'm headache free again (13 days later), I can continue on with my life as normal which brings me to my next medical drama, my Gastroscopy and my barium swallow.

Everything is PERFECT!  The band is in the perfect position, I have nothing interesting going on in my stomach and all the biopsies came back normal.  It's all systems go.  I said to Dr Winnett what I mentioned in my last blog - I am quite enjoying being able to have a variety of food at the moment.  I am still continuing to lose weight but it's good to be able to enjoy a steak or a piece of chicken without worrying about vomiting.  I see him in a month so I believe that I may have a small fill then but at this point, I shall remain at 4.2ml until Dr Winnett suggests otherwise!  He was very pleased with my progress thus far.

I made my appointment with the plastic surgeon yesterday.  I am so nervous!  Nervous but excited.  I see him in a few weeks.  I am looking forward to seeing some of his work and finding out when it's possible for me to do this!  Dr Winnett has said in 20kg time.  That was 7kg ago!  I am getting closer quite quickly!  I have had a read of his website and information and I can't believe that this may actually happen.  Sooner than I thought!  I shall keep you posted.

I went to the gym tonight for the first time in 2 weeks.  I had my personal training session and I also did aqua aerobics.  I was excited to feel my FatBit buzz on my wrist when I made it to my step goal!  I haven't made it to my goal for a few weeks now.  I see Neil (my personal trainer) again in a week and we'll have a double session to make up for the fact that I wasn't able to attend last week.  I really missed the gym.  I aim to get up tomorrow morning at 5am and head on in.  Given the fact that it's 10.30pm almost, I am going to be pushing it as I LOVE my sleep!

Tonight whilst I was at the gym, I was on the exercise bike.  There were 2 men over in the area adjacent to me and they were pointing and laughing.  They then proceeded to take a photo.  I know it was a photo of me as the flash went off.  They continued laughing to one another until they noticed that I was watching.  This has made me VERY angry.  Yes, I am fat.  Yes, I do look funny on the exercise bike.  Yes, I do wobble everywhere and yes, I do sweat (just like everyone else) but that does not give ANYONE the right to take a photo of me.  I am going to speak to the manager of the gym about it tomorrow.  I am horrified to think what they are going to do with the photo.  I don't want to end up on a meme.

It's not the first time that I have been singled out for my weight.  It was only a little while ago that the kids next door were bullying me but this is different.  Kids are kids.  Adults are supposed to be adults.  But I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing.  I am going to continue to lose my weight.  I am going to push harder than before and reach places I didn't think possible.  People don't know other people's journey.  They don't know their story or what they've been through.  We have no right to judge another person.  I will continue to stick up for myself.  I will take a stand against bullying and I WON'T be deterred by some man who thinks it's funny to take photos of another human being without their permission.

I forgot about weigh day this morning so I shall do that tomorrow.  As you know, I update my weights and exercise log as I go (when I remember!) but I've been a bit slack the last month or so.  I'll try and get around to that over the next few days.  I've had a few people say to me over the last few days how I'm looking like I've lost weight :) it feels good to hear that again.

Monday, August 10, 2015

I have a headache ��

Sorry for the lack of inactivity over the past 2 weeks or so on my blog! Firstly, my lap top broke and it wouldn't type N, Y or O! My blog would be a very interesting read without these letters! I have since gotten a replacement.

I haven't been to the gym properly in the last few weeks as I've had a non stop mixture of headaches that turn into a migraine. I ended up in hospital last week due to it. When I go there, they treat it with Largactil but due to the adverse reaction I had, I'm not able to have it again. I'm not sure where to from here but I've been ensuring I drink as much water as I can. I'm going to investigate any other natural remedies that might be out there to treat them. I have had one session of acupuncture in the past and I also went to see the Osteopath on Wednesday last week. I wish I knew what caused them as they are awful.

I'm typing this from the waiting room of my Surgeon's office. I'm having a Gastroscopy today to see if everything is okay with my band. Since the fluid has been taken out, I haven't been vomiting everything. It's been quite nice to to be able to eat small portions of steak and chicken as in the past, I haven't been able to do this due to having a lap band. Although I still have some restriction, it's nothing like it was before. I've continued to lose weight so it's all good.

I hope to get to the gym this week. I have a very busy few days ahead of me so I'm not sure where I'm going to fit everything in. I've avoided going due to the fact I fear it will make my head worse but I need to try something to make it better.

My goal for last week was to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. I didn't quite achieve it but did give it a good shot. My goal the week prior was to go the gym at least 5 times. I did this without a hitch. This week, my goal is to eat as much fresh food as I don't eat enough fruit and vegetables and want to change that. Now that I can eat a bit more than I normally can, there's no excuse for not achieving this! 

I shall let you all know how my Gastroscopy goes and if there is anything wrong. Fingers crossed there isn't. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

5 weeks in and still going strong

Well, I'm 5 weeks in and I'm still going strong.  When you decide to change something, I find it quite invigorating when you make it to (or past) a certain point that you weren't even sure you'd get to.  The last 5 weeks has gone really quick and I'm glad that I am more determined than ever to stay to keep going and see this through.

The issues I had with my band are no longer bothering me which is good.  I can still eat, drink and sleep without any issues.  I actually had a steak on Wednesday night for the first time years without worrying if I was going to vomit or not (steak is normally a big no no when you have a lap band as it gets stuck).  I am still very mindful that I can eat more and I am still very careful when making decisions regarding my food choices.

I've decided that I am going to set a goal for myself at the beginning of each week.  I'm going to put some thought to them as I want them to be achievable yet challenging.  Some of the things that have gone through my head are drinking 2 litres of water a day (I'm not great at that!), going to the gym 5 times a week (without fail!), eating more fruit and vegetables or trying a new class at the gym.  This will keep me focussed and engaged.

I'm finding that my fitness levels are increasing quite rapidly.  I was on the cross trainer last night for 6 minutes - that is the most I've ever done.  I had my personal training session with Neil last night and I think he was quite impressed with the fact that I was able to talk through most of my session (impressed that I could do it, not so impressed that I'm a chatterbox!).  Due to all the excitement with my band, I wasn't able to attend my favourite classes at the gym this week (aqua and fat blaster) but I look forward to going back next week.

I put on some weight this week which didn't really bother me.  I have lost lots of centre meters over the last month which is good.  I think regardless of what the scales say, so long as you know you've done the right thing then you're fine.  I wasn't able to do much exercise last week due to the my band issues so I am putting it down to that.  It will motivate me to work harder this week :)

I'm putting together a list of questions that I get asked about my band and I'll share them with you in a few weeks.  The answers are purely based on my experiences and as everyone's experiences are different, I always direct people to a form called 'banding together'.  You will find lots of bandits at all different stages who are happy to answer your questions.  They are full of helpful information and they are a great bunch of people - head over to should you wish to check the forum out :) 

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend xo

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Testing times ahead (and a small rant)

If you read the blog I wrote last night, you'd know that I had fluid taken out of my band last night and I couldn't quite wait to have an amazing sleep.  I guess you couldn't ask for anything better than that after not sleeping more than 2 hours straight for 2 weeks?  Well, my band had other ideas.

I went to bed at around midnight.  I woke up at 1.  Then 2.  3.  4.  5 and 6.  And finally, 7.  Each time, I woke up vomiting.  This horrible thick coloured acid (bile) that stung the back of my throat.  I've been so tired today as a result.

I called Dr Jason Winnett's rooms shortly after they opened and informed them of what was going on.  They consulted with Jason and phoned me back informing me Jason had recommended go and get 1ml of fluid out from my band.  I phoned the place where I got to have this done and they had no one there who could do it.  I phoned Jason's rooms back and informed them what had transpired.  They phoned me back about half an hour later and let me know that Jason had managed to locate a Doctor at the imaging centre who would do it for me.  I was relieved.  There was no way I could have another sleepless night.

I made the appointment at 1pm and the Doctor was able to take out 1ml of fluid.  I currently have 4.2ml in there which is less than what I have had since I have had my band I believe.  I am able to drink freely and eat food.  Let's just hope that I don't have another night of vomiting.

I got home only to be greeted by the children next door.  They were standing out the front of my house shouting out 'look out for the fat lady, it's the monster house'.  For anyone who isn't familiar with the movie 'monster house', one of the characters is a very large lady and she meets this man who she falls in love with.  ***Spoiler alert*** They go to build a house and she spends most of the time yelling at the children who walk past.  Anyway, one day, she falls in a hole and is covered with cement and the house is haunted as a result.  Her name was Constance.

Rest in peace, Constance
Although they are children, it still hurts.  I spent almost every single day being bullied when I was in Primary School and High School.  The song 'I feel the earth move under my feet' was sung by a group of girls every single time I walked past them.  A girl refused to let me on the bus one day as she believed I would pop the tyres so she closed the door as a result.  I missed on a school excursion because of it. 

As an adult, the bullying hasn't subsided.  People assume just because I'm fat I live off take away, I don't exercise, I have diabetes, cholesterol - whatever.  All because of what I look like.  People assume that I am a strain on the health system.  I've been told I shouldn't have been allowed to have children as I'm not responsible enough to look after myself so why should I have the care of someone else.  I've heard it all before but it still hurts.  I think the reason I might be upset about what they called me tonight is because I've never been called monster house before.  It's a new name.  And new ones hurt and take me back to when there were lots of new names.  And I hate it.

Over the past few years, I have worked hard on accepting myself for who I am.  I am fat.  But I am also remarkable.  As a bigger person, I often have to work harder to gain respect from people.  It can be harder for me to get a job and it can be more difficult to convince someone that just because I'm big doesn't mean I'm lazy.  I've spent a lot of my life pushed aside to make room for someone better and it does cut deep but I do have a thick (and fat) skin and I shall get past this.  No matter how big I am, I am an amazing person.  I would love to have me in their life.  And I know those who do have me are glad they do.

So FTW!  And I shall concentrate on my weight loss despite that it's going to be harder than ever to be able to use my band given the fact that it's not going to be doing a lot because I've got this and I will get through the testing times ahead.

A long time ago.  Me at 240kg odd.  Yes, I can see the resemblance to the character from monster house when I was that big but I don't see it now.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Another quickie

After another sleepless night last night, I was ecstatic to go and get some fluid taken out of my band today!

They took .3ml out of my band before they did the barium swallow.  The barium tasted revolting but I was told it was supposed to taste like strawberries.  It tasted like I was drinking the sweat out of someone's sandy sneakers.  It was vile.  I had to take 3 large mouthfuls of it.  Urgh.  To do the stress test, they get you to eat some food prior to taking more pictures.  I was handed a double chocolate chip cookie!  I asked them if they had any saladas or something else that I could have as I mentioned I was concerned about how bad it was for me and they offered me their only other alternative - a Tim Tam.  I stuck with the cookie. 

A photo of my port with the needle inside it.

I know I'll hear from Dr Winnett if there is anything to be concerned about.  He'll have the pictures by tomorrow morning so I'll sit and wait until then.  I also have a Gastroscopy booked for early August to check out if there's anything interesting going on inside. 

It's so nice to be able to eat and drink again!  I didn't realise how bad things were until after they had taken the fluid out.  From the moment I sat up, I could feel that it was better.  I look forward to having a good sleep tonight.  I certainly need it. 

I've had a few questions about my banding issue.  Has my band slipped?  I don't know.  I'll find out tomorrow.  Was there too much fluid in there?  Yes, it appears as though that was the case.  It didn't feel like to begin with but over time, it got worse and worse.  Am I going to have a sleeve procedure if I need to have more surgery?  Probably not.  But it's not something I'm worrying about right now.

I have my PT tomorrow which I'm looking forward to.  I have so much to do tomorrow but hardly any time!  I am going to work on my meal plan for the week as well which takes quite a while.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the week and doing much as I can :)

Trying to find the sweet spot

A quick blog tonight but I shall write more tomorrow.

The last few days have been a bit of a struggle as I've been struggling to determine if my band is too tight.  For the first few days after my fill, I lived on yogurt, soup and smoothies.  Things settled over the weekend and then last week, I couldn't keep much down again and I kept waking up vomiting stomach acid.  I've been really tired and most of the week due to the fact I'm missing out on a few hours of sleep each night, food and drink but despite this, I've still been able to function as normal.

It's hard to describe what having a band that's too tight feels like but the best thing I can compare it to is a knot in the throat.  You know that feeling you get when you are nervous about something or you've just heard some really bad news and you get this massive knot or lump in your throat?  That's what it feels like.  24/7!  It's a pain!  And very uncomfortable.

Waking up every few hours vomiting isn't fun either.  The acid burns my throat.  Every time I vomit, I have to get up and rinse my mouth out so I end up wide awake!  I've been vomiting every 20 minutes or so today.  And it was the same yesterday.  I had school yesterday and managed to keep things down there but as soon as I was on the way home, my lunch came back up :/

I called Dr Winnett this evening and let him know that I think I need to have some fluid out.  I'm doing that tomorrow.  I'm also going to have a barium swallow (where I drink some revolting liquid and it shows up on an X-Ray - I'll share pictures tomorrow) and he is going to do an upper Endoscopy over the coming weeks just to make sure everything is okay.  He's going to get them to take out .2ml out tomorrow to see if that eases things. 

I shall post an update when I have some news.  I do hope nothing is wrong :) can't wait to have a good nights sleep tomorrow night!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Who wears short shorts? I wear short shorts.

First things first.  The last few days have been pretty tough since I had my lap band filled.  I have found it hard to keep some things down but each day has been getting better.  I ended up taking 2 days off work due to the fact that each time I drank something, half of it would need to be spat out.  Today is much better.  I have been able to eat normally (well, as normally as you can when you have just had a fill!) and I'm happy things seem to be continuing in the direction they should be.  I've also began taking Nexium which is for stomach acid.  I used to take this a few years ago to help with stomach acid.  This has provided a lot of relief. 

I had a bit of a dilemma yesterday.  Both my pairs of gym pants were in the wash and I wanted to go to the gym before everyone got home.  I had just folded a pair of bike pants that I wear around the house.  I decided that I would venture out to the gym in my bike pants and I am SO glad I did.  No, I don't look the best in them but they are much more comfortable than wearing my gym pants.  I can move around a lot better and I get more done.  I'm also not as hot. 

I know that there are a number of people who don't believe bigger people should wear the same sorts of things as what smaller people wear but I don't agree with that.  One of my gorgeous friends taught me a long time ago that you should wear what you are comfortable wearing and f**k whatever anyone else thinks.  Although I had decided I was going to wear them, I ran the thought past some of my friends and the support I had was amazing.  Thank you, lovely ladies (you know who you are) xo I wore them to the gym again today and shall continue to do so.  If people don't like what I look like in them, they shouldn't look.

Muscle pose is for comical purposes only :P I am aware that lots of weightlifters often do this in the mirror.  I failed quite miserably at being funny!

They don't look the best but gosh they're comfortable!
 Yesterday, I did 15 minutes of bike and 15 minutes of treadmill.  Today I decided to mix things up a bit.  Given the fact it's Saturday, there was hardly any one there so I had the front room to myself!  This is the room that the fat blaster class is held in so I just used some of the equipment and made myself a circuit.  I did the following for a minute with a 20 second break in between. 

1. Throwing a 6kg medicine ball in the air
2. Kettle bell squats
3. Push ups against the wall
4. Pull ups
5. Boxing using the punching bag
6. Marching on the spot and getting my knees as high as I can
7. Battle ropes (the really heavy ropes you hold at the end and make them ripple down)
8. Step ups

Once I had finished this, I would go out into the main gym and jump on the cross trainer.  I would go for 5 minutes but would have a 20 second rest and then go as fast as I could for 30 seconds.  I did 3 circuits, 2 lots of cross trainer and then a cool down.  I was WRECKED!  I also did something that I haven't done for a few years.  I ran :) I ran for 30 seconds!  I was so proud of myself.  I look forward to being able to do it for a bit longer each time I try.  Maybe I should try right at the start of my work out before I'm tired next time!

I had my flu shot yesterday and whilst I was there, my Doctor asked if he could weigh me.  I was 184.4kg on his scales.  I'm going to continue to weigh myself using my scales each week (these come up with the same figure as the ones at my Doctors) as I would like to know how well I'm tracking.  I wasn't sure if they were very accurate but they seem to be a kilo or so out so I'll take that! 
I'm really enjoying putting cut up fruit in my water.  I've had a few different suggestions on other things to try today.  Can't wait to put them to the test. 
Happy that I'm still feeling excited and on track.  The 19th of July marks 1 month since I restarted my journey.  Things are good :)