Hello my lovelies. You will be pleased to know that my new found enthusiasm for my silicone buddy has NOT waned. We are in Luuuurve.
It's a few days since fill #13 now and have discovered more things about things that help things (um... yeah!?!).
You can look at what I have been eating if you are that bothered by clicking on my Today I Ate... page. Its mostly been a liquid diet with a little soft food and mushy food yesterday.
I am impressed with this fill. I am not hungry and I am able to stick to my own regime of eating and being happy with what I am eating. What I have discovered through the beauty of having a blog, is that if I had the money, I could have been here a good 6 months ago.
Let me explain. I have to pay £85 each time I go for a fill or un-fill. It also takes 2 and a half hours to drive to Harley Street where the clinic is. It costs about £30 in petrol. So all in all I am looking at roughly £100 a throw. There are other clinics, but Birmingham and London are the nearest to me, but equidistant. I wish there was one in Cambridge, but there isn't - there seems to be a big gap for the East Anglian Lap Banded Population and I am kind of glad I don't live in Norwich or somewhere because that would mean a 4 and a half hour journey to either of the nearest places. Wow. So, I have to deal with that. I had this operation and I knew I would need follow up... but not quite so much maybe.
So £100 a throw is actually quite difficult for us to find. Especially if it was each month. It usually takes me a good couple to scrape it together, or I put off going until I know I have a flush month coming up. I am self employed so I either have to miss work, or make it on a Sunday. I can't always choose Sunday as the clinic is full, so sometimes I have to miss work.
All this means that I don't go to a follow up with Wendy for weigh in a chat as often as I would like to... I simply can't afford to go every other Sunday to London. I also have a life. So if I HAD had the opportunity this year, I would have gone back and back and back until it was sorted... so any of you considering buying an aftercare package and think its a lot of money... DO IT! I wish I had. It would have saved me not only money, but brain pain. The simplicity that would have come from just hopping into the car and motoring down, getting a check up/fill/un-fill having already paid in advance would have been magic. Get the package.
I didn't - and so I paid the price of being at the same point for a WHOLE YEAR. I can hardly believe it. Thankfully I have this blog so that I can see all the little peculiarities and nuances of life after lap band. Let me explain.
5th October 2008 - 7mls in my band. 16 stone 8lbs (232)
This wasn't quite enough but life and unforeseen occurrence meant that I passed the 2 week "come back and get a squeeze in for free" window. So I went back.
18th January 2009 - 0.5ml fill taking me to 7.5mls... 16stone 9lbs (233)
Wendy gave me a 0.5ml fill taking me to 7.5mls, but as she went to take the needle out the syringe snapped and I lost a teeny bit of fluid from the band. It didn't seem much but I didn't notice any significance after this fill so I went back within the 2 week window and got a top up for free (still cost £30 in petrol though grrr) hence:
2nd February 2009 - find only have 7mls in band (last fill lost down tummy.) 0.5ml in taking me to 7.5mls for real. 16stone 6lbs (230)
The 3 pound loss in 2 weeks was due to general dieting but after this fill I felt quite a dramatic reaction and noticed the difference in restriction. What do I do? I don't work with it, and end up eating something stupid which irritates my stomach so much it wont resolve - can't drink let alone eat - so I find myself going for an emergency un-fill 2 weeks later:
14th February (Ironically my 2 YEAR BAND-IVERSARY) 0.7ml un-fill taking me to 6.8ml. 16stone 4 (228)
So I now had less in my band than I did in October. These 3 trips to London severely damaged the wallet. January was payable, the top up was free, the un-fill was payable and 3 trips to London = £90 too.
So I spent £300 getting to be Less Restricted, less filled with 0.2mls less in my band than I had in October. Why? Because I didn't follow the rules and think about what I was doing.
Anyhow, I simply couldn't afford to go back again for a few months because of these 3 trips and I had to just deal with limited restriction. For me its not just a case of Money, but also time, and pain. Each fill hurts like someone has knifed me, and with 3 weeks on the trot of stabbings - I was in need of a break. A long break. I don't like having fills because of these factors, and put them off because of this.
Then in June I finally scraped both enough money and willpower to go back. Because of having limited restriction and leaving it a few months I had also re-gained all the weight lost meantime and was back to 17 stone 1 (239) - an 11 pound weight hike.
22nd June 2009 - 0.2 ml Fill taking me back to 7mls in my band. Weight 17st 1lb (239).
I rejoined Slimmingworld at this point too and decided I would stop eating when I was full and try a little harder to do this thing. However, the fill still wasn't enough... I still had the same amount as I had back in October when it wasn't enough then. I had lots of things going on, and a summer holiday to get through (8 week cash famine), so again it was a while until I could rake the resources and time to go back:
21st September 2009 - 0.5ml Fill taking me to 7.5mls. Weight 16 st 13lbs (237).
So here I am at the 7.5mls mark again. This is where I hit panic back in February, but this is the time I am going to make it work. In a year I have messed around at the same fill levels, and the same weight... but I am 5 pounds heavier now than I was on October 5th 2008. I am determined to weigh less this October 5th.
I will NOT mess this up again and I am going to play by the rules. Its amazing keeping this blog to see over time how fills react and what is too low, what is going to keep you roughly the same and what is going to help you lose.
For me, anything lower than 7mls means I gain. 7mls means I keep roughly the same, so 7.5mls will be in the region I want to be. If necessary, and I find that I struggle with food, I could have a weeny bit out, but I am going for this now. Next October I want to be significantly less and working this band to kingdom come.
I dug out my post surgery diet and I might give it a go and see what happens. Certainly after I had my initial surgery, I lost a lot of weight before it breaking, and I was following it. So hey, why not give it another crack. Something in me feels like 'this is it' like I have hit the big time and we are cooking on gas.