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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Gastro follow up today and some interesting new info

I had my first follow up appt since my endoscopy last month.  As you may recall, I had a lot of issues after like stomach muscle cramps, and a total stomach shut down for days at a time.  My stomach did not want to accept anything and I was rudely awakened to throwing up water out of a deep sleep multiple times per night.  In the last week, I have suddenly gotten better.  A lot more restriction than previous the endoscopy, but I imagined that was likely due to the inflammation after the procedure.  Well, it's still very consistent restriction and as a result, I've lost 7 lbs.  I'm down again to 183.5 but today I able to eat after 7pm which hasn't been the norm for me since the endoscopy.
So wow, that was a longer paragraph than planned.  Anyway, on to the interesting new info.  Well, the gastro doc again said she was surprised I was able to wait that long to seek treatment because the esophogitis was severe.  And because the inflammation was severe, she used a balloon and expanded the band opening between the pouch and my stomach.  I was like, whaaaa?  I blurted out - how and why?  She said she had a balloon, expanded it and stretched the band because she thought the food was getting stuck in the pouch too long and that's what was causing the reflux?  I looked confused how that would work and she said, she has to be careful because too much expansion of the balloon and the band could break!
Before I expand on the latter part of that last statement, let me first say how dumbfounded I am that she made that decision without my consent.  Did she say that at some point and I missed it?  She does have a heavy accent, so I thought, maybe?  Then I thought, how in the heck could a balloon expansion stretch the band if the band is filled with fluid?  Won't it, by design, simply bounce back like a water bed?  And if the pressure on the band expansion is so strong that it would actually stretch that hard plastic band on the outside, how is that a good thing?  Wouldn't that cause a major pinch of my stomach tissue?  Know WONDER my stomach was so irritated and "shut down" as I refer to it.  GEEZ!  Am I crazy here and just don't see any upside to this revelation?
The only positive I can think of is maybe she's right.  She is a professional after all and studies stomachs for a living.  Maybe that was causing my problem and maybe this new "adjustment" is a good thing.  While my restriction is still greater than before the endoscopy, my concern is that I will lose that and once my stomach heals from the reflux, will my band then be super lax and ineffective? I can't change the fact that my band was stretched, I just have to see what happens and proceed accordingly.  I'm not going to worry about something before it happens, but I am going to ask the doctor in May at my next endoscopy not to expand the band again and if it's protocol to expand the band as well as ask about restriction concerns in the future.  I'm not going to be a jerk, but I'm going to find out and seek to understand what is stirring in me now as some pissed offedness at her assuming I wanted that done.
Ok, hope all of you are having a great week.  I'm having a hard time eating the foods I should because fibrous vegetables take so long for me to eat.  I'm having a hard time avoiding peanut butter and Nutella,  and I still have not started working out.  I am thankful that I have lost some pounds and am at this weight.  I need to take advantage and work out just for my heart, lungs, and mood - not to build muscle or meet a goal.  I need to do it just because it's HEALTHY to do so!  I'm getting there, to being more healthy, because my stomach is healing, I'm feeling better, sleeping better and now my next step is working out.  I did take a 30 min walk at work today, so at least I got UP from my desk today!!  Pure Barre by my work is offering $100 unlimited month.  My sister has had such amazing success with them, I had considered joining them since I really liked the class I attended with her once.  I think I'm going to do it and make myself go at lunch each day!  Stay tuned!
So my girl is after my own heart, she wrote this: "If you give a kid a book, he'll want to read it.  Before he'll read it, he'll get something to eat"  Yes!!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

New Low and stomach is healing and getting better!

I'm at a new low for me.  I weighed 183 this past week and that's almost 17lbs I've lost since November! I'm at 184.5 today, but my water weight is fluctuating.  The initial 8 lbs was from stress of family member passing away in late Jan (stroke after lung cancer diagnosis/treatment) and the other 9 have been a result of my reflux and subsequent endoscopy.  Seeing 183 on the scale was monumental for me!  I'm wearing a size 14 because I'm not well toned because I'm not working out.  That's my focus - to get started and stay consistent.  Oh, Amy Cheese and Sunkist, you're my inspiration!

I actually slept all night last night without waking up or puking acid/water in the middle of a deep sleep!  I've found if I take my Prilosec around 6pm, I have a better night than if I take it in the morning.  I'm just so damn happy to have slept all night!  YeeeHawww!
I've also been tracking my calories and am a little too low most days.  That's why I'm losing.  It's so easy to slip into eating what is comfortable and easy - but my energy is very low so I've not exercised.  So, I bought some protein shakes and focused on taking in protein and green vegetables to get my nutrition back in line and energy back.

I'm going to a She Crab Soup Contest today.  Samples from about 18 competitors are judged by people who buy tickets to attend.  I love she crab soup and am very picky having grown up around it all my life.  That's going to be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to attending it with my mom and daughter.  And as with most seafood events, they'll have craft beers there too.  I wanted to share a new one I discovered, UFO's Big Squeeze Shandy which is beer with grapefruit.  It's actually quite awesome - just a citrusy hint of grapefruit which I love!  This is a seasonal beer you can only get in the Summer, but if you like Shocktop's Orange or Fat Tire, you'll like this one!

My goals for this week are to continue on my quest to get to 180 by Memorial Day.  I have to start working out in the gym with weights and running to build muscle and muscle tone.  I just have to get myself to a place where I'm not as fatigued as I'm feeling now.  Increasing my protein is going to make the most impact here - so I'm focusing on that and making myself eat whole foods, not soup or mashed potatoes which I have been eating because it was all my stomach could take!  My follow up appt with my gastroenterologist is next week.  I'll be discussing my major eating issues with her then and worried about the after effects of the next endoscopy I'm scheduled for in 2 weeks.  UGH!  I'm a little freaked out worried about having the same after effects as the last.

Hope everyone had a nice Easter.  It rained here so I planned an Easter Tea party for my daughter and my nieces (and one little nephew!)  We had cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, apricot tea, fruit salad, mini quiches and other silly little tea party snacks!
 Cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwiches.  First time I've bought white bread in years! lol!!
 My sister made little coconut nests with chocolate eggs (middle tier).

 We also made Peeps houses out of graham cracked, royal icing and edible easter grass!

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