Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,
Jacqui
jacqui

My Lap Band Surgery

Hey Gang, I'm back and banded. Thank you as always for all of your love and support. It means so much to me. I'm feeling pretty good considering I just had surgery yesterday. I was pretty uncomfortable yesterday but I've been taking plenty of pain meds, and forcing myself to get up and walk at least a hundred steps every hour.

I have several new incisions on my belly that I hope will fade away like the ones I had before. Because I am allergic to latex they used special sutures and then super glued the incisions closed, which is a very weird thing; to see these wounds on my belly without any Band aids or dressing of any kind covering them like the last time I did this.

Here is what I wrote about this on my Flickr photo site;

I had weight loss surgery, (Laparascopic R&Y gastric bypass), four years ago with Dr. Carson Liu who was with Century City Hospital at the time. At first I was depressed, because I couldn't eat and food is my favorite coping mechanism, but as the weight melted off at such a fast pace, and the compliments and support poured in, I was so happy that I remember telling friends I would go through this same surgery every year for the rest of my life if that is what it would take to keep the weight off.

I lost a total of one-hundred-and-sixty pounds and was thrilled except for the sagging skin and the fact that even though I felt healthier and could do more, I thought that I looked closer to my real age and this plus all of the attention I was suddenly getting from men was disconcerting.

Before I got to my goal weight, in order to have the tummy tuck, thigh lift and breast surgery I needed, I had a few health setbacks that had me bedridden several times for weeks at a time and after two years of keeping the weight off I began to gain some of the weight I had lost back.

I finally went to see my original surgeon who has seen a lot of his bypass patients returning with weight gain, and because of this he is mostly performing lap band surgery because it is adjustable using a saline solution that can be injected through a port just beneath the skin that will then tighten the band that has been placed around the stomach thus causing a greater sensation of fullness.

I had my latest surgery on Monday, 9/17/07. My insurance wouldn't pay for it and I had to pay for it myself. It was very expensive.

I have all kinds of feelings about all of this. I wish I could have done this on my own without surgical intervention but after having tried almost every diet known to wo/man I decided to put my life and future back in the hands of this amazing surgeon.

Right now I'm super sore from the several small incisions in my abdomen, the pinched nerve in my neck, a herniated disc that I have, and the gas that gets trapped in different places in your body when they blow your abdomen up in order to be able to work inside of you with cameras, but I was able to walk to the car immediately after surgery and now one day later I am doing pretty well. I'll be on a liquid diet for two weeks followed by two weeks of soft foods and then I'll have a better understanding of how this new tool works.

Wish me luck? I'm so sick of this lifetime of struggling with my weight.

Weight Loss Surgery

Scott took this shot of me waiting somewhat nervously in the waiting room. There was some confusion about the wording of the cashier's cheque that set us back by about a half of an hour. Apparently Westside Multispecialty Surgery Center is exactly what their accountant wanted written on the cheque and not Multispecialty Surgery Center which is what my sweet Mother had put on the check instead. A lot of trouble over one missing word. In the end they finally agreed to try to deposit it as is so we could go ahead with the surgery, phew.

Weight Loss Surgery

This is the before picture that my boyfriend Scott took of me. I was tired, a little nervous, and definitely hungry because I had to do a bowel prep, yuck, and not eat anything for two days prior to the surgery.

Weight Loss Surgery

This is me trying to keep my nerves under control by being my usual cheerful jokey self, but there was no breaking these very serious and super professional nurses. They were really kind and compassionate though. Scott took this last shot of me immediately before I was taken into the operating room. I'm shy about letting everyone see how much weight I've gained but hopefully these will be the shocking before shots that I will one day soon be able to compare with the newer thinner shots of myself. You know, the ones where you go, "Oooh wow, look at that, you look like a completely different person." Just makeup and hair alone will make a big difference, and they gave me this enormous gown to wear, which ordinarily would have made me happy, considering all of the many years I have been forced to wear tiny little gowns that barely wrapped around my body and never covered my ass. Not these gowns, I was swimming in this.

Weight Loss Surgery

Here is my surgical team minus Doctor Liu who was so slammed that he only came in to see me after I was already unconscious. The two women were my nurses and the man on the right was my very kind and friendly anesthesiologist. All of these people were lovely, compassionate, and super professional.

Weight Loss Surgery

This is what I saw as I walked in to the operating room. I guess they don't get a lot of photo-taking bloggers because everyone seemed amused by my wanting to take these pictures. How cute is my doctor posing for me like that?

Weight Loss Surgery

I did this the last time I had surgery, held off on having any mellow meds added to my IV to take the edge off my pre surgery nerves; I needed to remain sober in order to be able to snap this photo from this perspective. I was disappointed that Dr. Liu wasn't there yet for this shot but you can see my nurses and my anesthesiologist. This was seconds before they knocked me out. As I snapped this picture I could already feel something making me mellow and that's the last thing I remember until I woke up in recovery.

Weight Loss Surgery

Here finally is the super famous and successful Doctor Carson Liu performing my surgery. I love to try to mess with him by making him laugh. I wrote, "Hiya Carson," and "Two Times the Charm?" on my belly just beneath my breasts in purple Sharpie so he'd see it when he took the draping off. When I woke up it was gone but it would have been funnier if he'd written something back.

You can see a tiny bit of my freaky looking blown up belly. I'm wondering why my skin looks like that, all wrinkled and strange. You can just make out what I look like on the inside on the monitor in the upper right of the picture. I asked my anesthesiologist to take this picture for me and he kindly obliged.

And that's about it for now. I'm drinking lots of water and protein drinks, strained soup, and I had a little bit of plain Pink Berry, woo hoo. I can't wait to be able to eat any kind of food that involves chewing. It's been five days since I had anything solid and I'm really not that hungry, physically, but mentally, I want to suck back some Starburst berry flavored fruit chews and chocolate. Oh well, that part of my life is behind me again because I am really determined this time to make the most of the gift of this surgery.

Big Hugs,
Your Pal -- Jacqui
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