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April 5, 2012

Lap Band...back on track?

Last weekend, my sister-in-law Katie had a baby shower for the twins she's expecting!!  I had to add the exclamations because that is so exciting...a boy and a girl.  Their names are perfect too - Jameson and Ainslee! Anyway, I was at the baby shower and got a chance to talk with one of my mother-in-laws friends who also has a lap band.  She's been very successful with her band and has lost about 170 pounds and is still continuing to lose.  I told her about my experience - I've NEVER had food come back up and IF something gets stuck a little, a few small swallows of water allow it through.  In three years, she has never been able to drink water and deal with stuck food.  For her, if it gets stuck, it's coming back up.  Either way, she is doing well and continues to maintain/lose weight!

Then there's me...

I did really well for a while after surgery.  I was losing weight and feeling really good about myself.  Then something happened and I didn't feel like the band was doing a whole lot.  Food went down pretty easily and I wasn't feeling like I had been when I ate.  I knew it was time for an adjustment because they want you to be in this middle zone - that's where you aren't able to eat a ton of food and hunger is minimal between meals but you aren't to the point of throwing all your food up because it's getting stuck on the band.

The doctor who did my surgery left the practice though.  She opened up a practice in Myrtle Beach (who could blame her?)  Anyway, the other surgeon in the office isn't a big fan of the band.  He has always pushed for the full bypass over the band which is why I didn't choose him for my surgery and post care.  Since there was no other option, I went to him to get the band adjusted and he said that he wouldn't go any tighter.

Here I sit one year later not losing any weight, slowly creeping back up and getting frustrated with myself and wishing I hadn't done the procedure at all.  I want to get an adjustment, but I'm worried about spending money to go to the doctor.  I'm worried about going back to him and being told that they won't tighten the band.  At the same time, I'm bothered because I want to continue this process.  SO, I decided to call another doctor.

When Dr. Parnell left the practice, she was referring patients to Dr. Dickinson in Fort Collins.  I called down and talked to a gal who said they charge a $500 fee to assume patient care when someone hadn't gone through them for surgery.  It was a "program fee."  Immediately after hearing that, I promptly told her, "That's not going to happen."  I managed to find another clinic that operates out of Greeley and Loveland and Tuesday, I will be heading down for an upper GI and having my band adjusted for the first time in a year!  I'm nervous about what I will hear about my progress and about the idea of spending more money on this...but I'm more worried about what I'm missing out on and what I might miss if I don't keep working on it.