Monday, November 29, 2010

In and out of the zone

Wow! It has been a very eventful week for me with the band. I've been in the orange, green and red zones and everything in between.

For those readers who are not familiar with the zones, these refer to the level of restriction we have (see excellent diagram below). If a bandit is in the orange zone that means that there is not enough restriction and the person can eat more than a cup of food at meals and is frequently hungry between meals. The red zone is at the opposite end of the spectrum and the bandit has trouble eating and even trouble drinking clear fluids, often to the point of bringing up whatever they have tried to consume. This is often referred to as PBing - productive burping, which is as gross as it sounds and is often accompanied by a lot of slime. The green zone is where we all aim for. The sweet spot it is often called. The place where the band has the right amount of fill so we can comfortably eat about a half to a cup of normal healthy food and be satisfied and not wanting to snack constantly between meals. This is the Holy Grail of banding. 

Copyright Monash University Centre for Obesity Research and Education

Last Monday I recorded a loss of only 300 grams (just over half a pound) which must be why I didn't write about it last week. That day I had an appointment with the doctor for my second fill. I told him that I was well and truly in the orange zone (and had been for a while as documented in my previous post: It's hard to be good without you (restriction)). He asked me how I felt just after I got the first adjustment and I told him that I was initially very restricted and couldn't really eat solids until about a week later (see my previous post: First fill - first almost PB for detail). I told him how I continued to eat solids when I probably should have kept to a couple of days of liquids and mushies as I think I caused some swelling by eating too soon. I was really surprised that he actually disagreed with me by saying I should be able to eat as normal just after a fill. No wonder I didn't remember him saying anything about liquids that first time.

So because of my not being able to eat solids straight away he thought it better that we go a bit slower this time around and only put in 0.5ml taking me up to around 5ml in my 10ml Allergan band. I didn't disagree with him so left not long after. My next appointment was made for 22 December.

That night and for the three days that followed I really didn't feel much change at all. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed as I really want to get to my goal of 85kg by the time we go away for Christmas, and by continuing to be in the orange zone, I'd probably not make it. So Thursday morning I called up the clinic and asked for another appointment. I was very lucky that they could squeeze me in the next day.

On Thursday too, I joined a gym.  We have one in the building but I'm so crap at going and I really miss my spin classes. I have not told anyone about the gym. Only you guys now. You know why? Because I have joined so many different gyms in the past and wasted the membership by not going. At a cost of $56 a fortnight, having that much taken out of my account is gonna sting too. This place is 20 minutes drive from me but it is a women's gym and has a crèche as well as a sensible class timetable with spins at 10am most mornings. All the gyms around me are city gyms with classes before work, lunchtime and after work - all times that are inconvenient to me, and don't have somewhere for Noo to play if I need to take him. I figured I'll tell my fam after I've been going consistently for a few weeks. It is only a six month contract, so I haven't signed my life away.

Thursday night I cooked a beautiful Wagu steak for mum and me for dinner. Mum did a delicious salad. Two bites in and I got stuck, badly stuck. So much so I had to walk around the apartment, pacing up and down the hall jumping and punching my chest trying to relieve the discomfort. Noo joined in too, thinking it was hilarious watching his mum acting like a crazy woman. I know, I know, we're not suppose to eat steak, but I've never had a problem with red meat cooked medium rare... so far, at least.

Friday morning, my breakfast took a little longer to get down and when I took Noo over to visit my brother the fresh pikelets he cooked on the BBQ were a little uncomfortable going down as well. What to do? What to do? Were these signs I had got in the green zone finally, four days after the fill on Monday? Or was it just a little swelling from the steak incident the night before and would probably go down soon anyway?

I'd made the appointment and felt obliged to go. It was miles away though. At least an hour's drive. The usual rooms I go to are 10 minutes from my apartment but this appointment was in Wahroonga which is ages away for me. I had to drive through a national park to get there because sat nav took me the most convoluted way. The whole time I was thinking, am I doing the right thing? What the hell am I doing out here in the bush?

When I arrived I explained things to the doc but left out the fact I'd got stuck the night before. I thought, I'm here now, he might as well put a bit in to make sure my restriction was good to last me through to the end of December. He took all the saline out of the band to check how much was in there and then put it all back plus another half a mil. Big mistake... on my part, not his. I should have told him about the steak and the pikelets because oh am I paying for it now.

Even though when I drank a class of water in the clinic I was kind of ok, by Friday evening I was struggling with liquid so missed out on dinner. Noo was up half the night vomiting for some reason (he was fine Saturday morning) and I could barely manage a sip of water while getting up to change sheets and pajamas and mop up vomit. Saturday morning I felt just terrible. Dehydrated and lacking in sleep and we were packing up to go away for the night with my sister and her husband.

Mum, dad, Noo and I bundled into the car and headed north, stopping at a servo on the way for fuel and a drink. I got a chocolate milk as I thought I'd be able to manage some more fluids and the milk would make me feel better. Wrong. I PBed it straight up into a plastic bag. Gross. From then on I only took the tiniest of sips of water and by the time we reached the Central Coast I felt horrific.

My sister and her husband got to the house a couple of days before so were all settled. They are so great with Noo so took over while I just laid around trying not to focus on the terrible headache and nausea I felt. I basically dozed the entire day. It was a pretty nice place to sloth around in...

The view from the deck

I've mentioned loads of times before about my family and food. Well they cooked up a storm all weekend with dishes ranging from grain fed beef tenderloin with salsa verde and free range, pasture reared organic chooks with walnut, beetroot and goats cheese salad and vegies, bread... the works! Mum also made the Mangomisu we had on my birthday as well as a chocolate cake. While they all ate the weekend away, I sucked on ice cubes and tried not to cry about my rotten dehydration headache.

Things improved slightly Sunday morning and I was able to keep a fair bit of water down and a cup of coffee. I was buzzing like crazy from the coffee so was able to join in rather than just sleep. Some friends came up for lunch but I just sat up the end of the table with a Gatorade and fed Noo.

Buzzed on caffeine and getting through my second day without food 

By Sunday evening things improved a bit more. I had a cocktail party to go to with some friends who were visiting from London. It was a lovely evening and the most delicious looking canapés were served. I refused all those offered and only sipped on water. 

The best thing about the night was everyone's amazement at the weight I've lost. The compliments came thick and fast and I loved every minute of it, which kind of made up for the dizziness and the gnawing stomach. I even told people why I couldn't eat. I explained about my surgery and that I got a little too much saline put in but all would be ok in the end. At around 8pm I even managed some soft cheese and a couple of spoonfuls of guacamole. That was all I had eaten since breakfast Friday morning.

Today has been tough again. I've kept water down all day and have eaten two small pieces of soft cheddar cheese. For lunch I had a small skim cappuccino. For dinner I tried to eat the insides of a meat pie Noo was having for dinner, but it got stuck. I didn't PB though. I've just had about a quarter of a cup of Asian chicken broth which has stayed down too.

To all you bandits out there, what would you do in my situation? Would you go back for an unfill asap so you could eat again? Or would you ride it out and wait for the restriction to go down a bit by itself first? I'm so worried if I go back I'll get back in the orange zone and be eating again. Especially after almost four days of fasting. But how long can I sustain this for? The doctor said you can survive without eating but not without drinking water and I can drink water. Plus today's weigh in sees me at 88kg! That makes me 12kg (26.5lb) down! I want to keep that going. I'm not really hungry most of the time but I don't have my normal energy levels and at times I feel faint.

The crazy thing is that I think I was in the green zone Friday morning and I missed it. It is still early days with my band so I wasn't to know for sure, but I'm pretty certain I've learnt my lesson now. A fill adjustment can take days to take effect and I shouldn't rush back for second appointments until at least a couple of weeks post fill.

So fellow bandits, help me here... what would you do?



Outback Bandit said...

I know, I know, we're not suppose to eat steak
My dietitian has actually told me I need to attempt a steak this week...

To all you bandits out there, what would you do in my situation? Would you go back for an unfill asap so you could eat again? Or would you ride it out and wait for the restriction to go down a bit by itself first?
I'd go back and ask for a small unfill.

You look gorgeous in the white dress! I hope you were able to enjoy your weekend away, regardless of the overfill.

Darlin1 said...

Hopefully you are feeling better--keep your protein intake up.

The hardest part of this whole process is----

SLOW AND STEADY----you will look better and feel much better in the long run---

Do it for you and Neddy!!

amandakiska said...

I would absolutely get some taken out. The band is designed to work best with solid foods. I've had an unfill once before when I couldn't keep liquids down. It is really miserable. The good news is that since you're just a bit overfilled, the unfill will probably take you to the green zone.

Hope you feel better!

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