Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Just Another Day

And we come up towards the end of 2014.  Time really does fly doesn't it?  How many years has it been since I installed what my friends call this 'after market add on?"  How many years have I been a mother?  How many years since the weekend I met a bunch of crazy lap band ladies in Chicago?  How many years?

This year has been a struggle health-wise.  One of the benefits of running a yarn store is all of the ladies who come in.  They come in all shapes, forms ages and personalities and overall this diversity makes me grateful for my life.  Some are suffering some have already been through this hell that my menopause has become for me.  They are supportive and sometimes trying :) but overall wonderful to know and learn from.

I went in for another run at blood tests.  My records have all been sent to the new primary care doctor.  Fingers crossed something changes for 2015 health wise.

In the mean time I plan on re-attacking my health in the ways I do have some control over.  Eating right, vitamins, exercise.  Bring it on.

xxoo

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A big catch up-Problems but better.

I like lists so this is coming as a list:

1.  I have had several once every two week fills.  I am up to somewhere around 8cc's again.  Finally this last one I have real restriction again and the scale has stopped its upwards spiral and has turned down again.  I have been here before and had it all fade away in a couple of weeks but..my top weight was 222 at my last visit.  I am as of today down to 218.  This regain SUCKS and no matter how good I feel like I am being with the food the weight has come on.  I am assuming that just one or two bites different per meal has meant the difference in daily calories.
  With this new fill I am finally back to feeling very little hunger.  I had my morning coffee yesterday (and it has been WAYY scaled back to a late with coconut milk) and felt no hunger until 2pm.  Can I hear a whoopppp whoop! :) I had a small yogurt and a small dinner (plain old beef and one slice of cheese) and I was good for the rest of the evening.

2.  I have had an iron infusion, a B-12 shot and am finally feeling energetic again. No periods so apparently the menopause is (cross your fingers) complete.  Now I am battling the hand pain and weakness only. I have had two massages.  The second one with a new guy helped a whole bunch!  I had a day with just a small amount of hand pain and I took no pain meds all day.  I could not get back into this particular massage therapist until after Christmas so I have to sit out and wait now.  I finally called again because I developed this back pain that felt like my head was being pulled down into my shoulder.  I do not know if the back thing is causing the hand thing or the hand thing has caused the back thing or if they are unrelated.  In either case the result was totally worth it.

3.  I had some questions about the nature of the pain-my hands are mostly painful at night.  I wake up and they throb with my finger joints swelled up and painful to bend.  During the day my finger joints loosen up but the pain moves into my wrists.  I cannot open most jars or bottles and I cannot use my hands to pull up or push up when I get in and out of chairs.  Shaking hands with someone is sometimes agonizing.  So much so that I sometimes just have to say no..I cannot.  I have changed how I brush my hair holding the brush and moving my whole arm.  Hence my question as to whether the hands caused the back pain or vice-versa.

4.  I went to a rheumatologist about the hand pain.  He did all of the blood tests gave me a different 750mg NSAID drug that had little effect.  It worked no better really than the aleive. He took blood.  When i did the 30 day follow up visit (I hate the f-ing waiting by the way).  nothing really had changed and he found nothing in the blood work.  I was so annoyed..it feels like at times that doctors are lazy or they are just not as good as I build them up to be.  If there is nothing in a blood test they have no f-ing clue and send you away for another waiting period.  This time he said go home take your alieve for 2 months and come back.  I so wanted to tell him where to shove it.

5.  I have changed General doctors.  She is my neighbor and I have up until how held off changing my medical care to a person I drink/socialize with.  We had a Christmas party and had a chat about the medical thing (yeah I know we had one of those get treatment advice for free conversations!)  I hate it when that happens-policemen always get the I hate cops and I had this bastard give me a ticket.  Doctors get the I have this pain and math teachers get the traumatic math story.  Well..I did that..(shaking my head in shame).  Well...anyhow she said to come in and that it was ridiculous that I should just put up with the pain and there must be something.  A few days later she then walked up to me at the bar ( our neighboring watering hold and social center) and grabbed my back and said..you are wayyy tight.  (I could tell she was working on the problem even after hours).  Well..I have come to the conclusion that I want a doctor that is invested enough in my health to think about it beyond the 5 minutes I am sitting in her office.  So I changed.

6.  A doc left a message on this blog about a Thiamine deficiency after my previous post.  I will ask or check out my blood stats and see.

7.  Yarn shop--has been Busy!  I have two employees now and sub out payroll and taxes to a accountant firm.  I am also getting a volunteer bookkeeper (thank goodness for nice knitters) for next year to help me organize myself.

8.  Oh..on the health front again--The iron and B-12 shots helped but slowly.  I felt somewhat better right away but last night for the first time in a long time I really felt great.  Sure my hands hurt but I have my energy back and that spring in my step that I developed when the weight came off came back last night.  I was beginning to despair that this had all gone down the tubes and I was just going to be an old tired old lady.  I think there is a little life in here yet ;)

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Good New Year and all that :)
xxoo

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Hematological Visit

I visited with Dr Who (not his real name but somehow in my illness fuzzed brain that is what he became).  I went into the freaky Oncology/Hemo office and everyone kept reiterating that I was there for anemia not cancer (perhaps a clue they should work on their PR a little?).  I know I would change the answering machine messages pronto.

They drew some blood.  The gals in the lab were very nice and made jokes.  I liked them.  I showed up early and actually got seen a full hour before my appointment :)  Love that!!

Now the lame-o news.  I have Anemia (well roll out the bandwagons that is new!  NOT).  He said the arm and hand pain were not the result of anemia.  He wants me to come in for IV Iron though (4 freaking hours!!!).  He checked my B-12 results and despite being told on the phone that mine was low..it was very average??? WTF??

So now a full week after thinking I was being sent to this guy to work on the actual pain I was in and continue to be in I am no further towards knowing anything.  I called my GP back to ask..but of course you know you get the shuffle and I have now get to wait until next week for an appointment to see her again.  OH wait..that is also when I see the band doctor for another teensy fill (oh yes the good saline is no longer there..stuff hardly touches the sides again and my 2 pound weight-loss is no more).

and a recap: I have not actually met the new surgeon.  Just my old nurse practitioner is still working.  My old surgeon retired and I have been left with DR saline miser.

so next Friday my only full on relax day for laying in, coffee and paperwork is now being filled with doctors appointments.  Next week is fill, Mammogram and GP visit.

I have to cancel the Iron IV (4 hours) and move it to the 24th.

Did you know you are not supposed to take your Iron with coffee?  Apparently according to DR WHO you are not..from now on I am to drink my coffee, take my alieve and then save the iron for two hours later and a glass of OJ.

If anyone has had hand/arm pain let me know.  Right now no one is any closer to knowing why mine are screwed.  I will take all opinions, speculations and ideas.

:( day.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Its Amazing What Just a Little Saline Can Do

I got a teensy fill on Friday.  My new guy is a beast.  I am only allowed one CC every two weeks.  I miss my old surgeon :(.  I begged for and got..a generous CC of fluid.  Although I am still lower than what I left the hospital with when I started this whole journey I feel better.  Both today and yesterday my hunger dial moved WAYYYY down.  I remember this feeling last time (only since it happened before)  for some reason the heat seeking hunger I have experienced for the last few months has with this little fill shifted to a new kind of hunger..and I am on my knees kissing the feet of the saline makers for it.  Now hungry is when I get a little dizzy..my tummy did not do the talking today.  I do not know if this will last but for today I am truly greatful for this little crumb.  Perhaps at least now I can turn the tide from weight gain to a little bit of loss.


I see the hematologist next Thursday.  My hands and arms are still really painful.  I still cannot really knit.  I did have a little burst of energy today and did some house cleaning.  Given my energy levels over the last few months I am really happy with that.  My self-induced (or husband induced) regime right now is 2 iron tablets, 2 b-12 tablets, a shot of flax seed oil (apparently helps with inflammation), one Aleive in the morning, one prilosec in the afternoon.  He and a friend have suggested I also go get some probiotics to add to the mix. At this point I am gain to try anything while I work to have the pros sort things out.

So basically today..the glass is half full :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

And the Illness Continues

The illness just keeps on giving.  The pain in my hands has gone up and down but mostly so bad that I have not been able to knit for about a week.  Last night I managed to do some tatting but in the middle of the night i woke up with pain in the middle of my hands so bad it woke me up.

So for a quick catch up:

Gyno problems -progesterone IUD solving bleeding issues but not sure if implicated in all of this other junk.

Stomach and side pains-finally have faded but upper GI and endoscopy found nothing but inflammation.

body/join pains increased until I finally went back to my General Doctor.  She decided it was either Iron problems, Lupis or Rheumetoid Arthritis.  She did a blood workup and it came back with no Iron stores and almost no B-12.

So chapter two of this whole saga is:  I need to get a colonoscopy, I need to see a Hemotologist.  It is totally freaking me out that when you look up hemotologist the name is synonymous with cancer or oncology.  I keep saying to myself..just blood Tina just the blood specialist.  When I called to make an appointment today all of the on hold information was about how cancer patients need to eat  and exercise!!!  eek.

On Friday I get to have another fill.  I am going to petition for a big more than the 1cc I have been promised.  apparently if this is blood related there is no reason I cannot have my band help back and..more importantly the weight I have gained cannot be helpful for my health.  I have had to buy big girl underwear again :((((((( and I have about 4 outfits that fit because they are like flipping moomoos.

On the bubbling resentment front-why did it take my GP to finally call for those sorts of blood tests.  You would think the lapband people would have at least done that???

I am sick of eating but hungry as hell.  I am sick of having to try and work and fit in doctors appointments.  I am sick of being so tired I barely get through the work day and then crawl my sorry self up to bed.  I am sick of the pain.  I am sick of gaining weight and hate getting dressed.  :( SAD FACE.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Definitely Not Just One

Gyno:
The gyno stuff is definitely sorted out.  I feel so much better in that arena.  No more water retention. No more bleeding.

Tummy Troubles:

I have been semi-faithfully taking my Prilosec.  When I do take it I have no stomach pain just shoulder pain when I do not eat (I am not going to say this means I am hungry because I'm pretty sure those are not the same thing).  When I forget to take the prilosec the pain has changed to a burning right in the middle of my sternum.  They said a week for the biopsy.  It has been two and one day.  Still no news.  I have called twice.  it is rather annoying.

Other things that are cropping up:

I ache.  My hands hurt, my hips and legs hurt.  I keep wondering if this is because I have fallen back out of shape from knitting all of the time (and sitting on my backside) or if all of this illness junk is because of something bigger or this is just one more thing because I am plain old worn out!

Weight gain:

202 and holding.  I have had to get some new clothes.  My underwear is tight.  and Oh happy day I am the mother of the bride next week.  I have out grown the dress and need to find something that is not form fitting and BLACK!!

Gah…Not living on happy street yet.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Just Call Me Queen Antacid.

Gyno:

I am now the proud owner of a shiny new, installed merena IUD.  The installation SUCKED.  it was almost as bad as the uterine biopsy.  First she had to "measure my uterus"  It was exactly as painful as a half-time biopsy.  After I finished yelping and the assistant instructed me to take cleaning (labor anyone?) breaths.  She said "ok now that is the worst of it'  followed by "except for just this" as she poked me up in a way that felt like pin the tail on the ovary.  I yelped a gian F**ck while laying on her exam table and viola…The sucker was installed.  Menopause junk hopefully solved.

Upper Endoscopy:

Two days later I went in for an upper endoscopy to check out the status of my band, esophagus and stomach.  The doctor who performed the exam, unlike the gyno. was very interested in the fact that I was retaining water like no tomorrow.  He poked and prodded my left ankle and said..yes, if you are having edema like this in your legs all of your internal organs are bloated up too.  I was out in seconds after he said it and woke up goodness knows how long later back in the prep room.  I was a tad miffed that he told all of what he saw to my husband and didn't even wait long enough to at least have me listen in a woozy state.  He said to my husband that: yes my esophagus and stomach were 'inflamed'.  He said that he took a biopsy and he said if it keeps up they will  probably need to pull the band (my knight in shining armor of a husband said--I don't see how inflamed automatically means she will not be able to lose the band.  why so?  and he said it put the doctor off and he back pedaled.

Lame Fill:

I immediately went to my next appointment-band fill.  We discussed the Upper endoscopy but she had no results.  She said they would be done in a week (it has now been 9 days and no results).  She then said that my new meanie surgeon would only allow me to have one cc of fluid into my band per month.  It is going to be almost a full year!!!  She gave me my measly 1cc and sent me on my way.

The result:

The merena IUD is pretty awesome.  It kicked in about 2 days ago.  I had a single moment where I got a little misty for  no reason whatsoever but that was really it.  The water has been shedding.  I can get my wedding rings back on.  No bleeding thus far.  On the down side I am having 3 hot flashes a night. Like clockwork-3 am, 5 am and 8am.  it is the really hardcore kind too..wakes me up all of the way when I am scrambling to get every inch of blanket off pronto.

The fill has had brief moments of a little bit of change-like I needed to slow down a little and chew more but..no restriction really.  I am happy I can feel anything but I have a long way to go..My weight topped at 202 when I got my fill.  I have not gained any more but I have no lost anything either.  I do think the end of water retention has helped with the stomach pain and shoulder pain a lot.

I have also been religiously taking a prilosec in the morning and two tums before bed at night.  Who knows what the magic is but for now..I am hedging all of my methods.  I do not want to lose this band.

so..mixed results but a bit of promise I hope.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Such a Frustrating Month

This whole illness thing is SOOO old now.  I really don't have anwers to anything more than I did before.  I am frustrated by the fact that I have two specialists who are only looking at their specialty and not looking at the big picture..which I suspect is probably more the problem.

Next week I am being fitted with a Morena.  Although the bleeding has stopped the OBGYN thinks it will solve things in a more permanent way.  I am game as I also suspect the stomach issues I am having are related.

At one point I thought the side pain might be a hernia..i called my lapband doctor had me go for a CAT scan.  They found nothing.  Of course the position they put me in guaranteed that any hernia I had in that region would not be protruding as I use that same position to get rid of the pain..lay down tip on my right hip and lift my arm above my head..exactly.

It took a full week for the lapband doctor to get back to me.  At the time I had a colonoscopy and an ugi  (I think that is what they call it anyway) scheduled.  They didnt get back to me and I had a conflicting thing at work.  I called and cancelled the appointment until I heard from them.  Well apparently my lapband doctor (although she didnt call me for a flipping week with the results) was unhappy with that action and she with no warning cancelled my fill appointment.  I found out on my online record notification!  I figure the least she could have done is get me in and turn me down.

In the mean time I called them back after I had my CAT scan results and rescheduled the UGI appointment (I am just so sick of the poking and prodding I am going to hold off on the colonoscopy until spring).  That appointment is set for the same day as my fill would have been.  Of course now too late they cancelled it..I was rather miffed at that.

Now yesterday and today..for some Unknown reason my completely empty lapband has all of a sudden found some restriction.  Who the heck knows how or why.  I am in the middle of trying to transition to a low carb diet (I have to do something!!) and last evening I ate a few mixed nuts.  I felt full for the first time since she pulled my fill.  Later in the evening I had a drink and voila..PB (first one in AGES).  Tonight my husband and I came out to the bar (while daughter was in a movie) and I had one mixed drink (low sugar) and some chicken.  I ate and drank but that has not posed a problem before now..and voila..I now have restriction and am running to the bathroom (not sure if I am stuck or pbing yet..but it is not pretty).  Thsi definitely reminds me of the old days when I was learning to navigate this thing. By the way.  I am typing this mid..whatever this thing is.

I am not sure how I feel about it..I am happy to have some restriction back but..PB and stuck?  Have I learned nothing in 5 years??

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Finally a Little Breakthrough

We finished up our vacation and came home.  I had a very traumatic failed appointment at the gynecologists office but frankly I don't really care any more.  The bleeding has stopped and although I am retaining water like crazy I am no longer afraid I am going to keel over with a lack of Iron or anything.  The gyno thing is not longer top priority.

The abdominal pain continues to be really bad.  If I eat solids  like clockwork in 1-2 hours I experience some pretty high levels of pain.  On Saturday I (along with 8 other people) helped my oldest daughter move.  I didn't carry anything too heavy but hauled boxes and such up 9 stairs and down a sidewalk to her town home.  About 15 minutes after we finished the pain appeared on my left side as usual.  We left pretty quickly after the stuff was into her place and it hurt so bad on the drive home I had to recline my seat back and push on my side…well while pushing I found what I am pretty sure is the hernia.

My highly efficient and WONDERFUL digestive health nurse practitioner had her aide call me and we talked about what was going on and she in under 24 hours managed to get me in for a CT scan to have a look.  NOT ONLY did they treat me with respect and check up on me they listened to my suspicions and acted on it.  They are now the BEST people in the world to me!!

Tomorrow morning I have a CT scan, tomorrow afternoon the gyno visit is happening (hopefully for real this time and some sort of solution or plan).

I have a endoscope and colonoscopy scheduled for next week.  If this hernia thing pans out I am so going to cancel it and take a break before rescheduling in 6 months or so.  I have taken enough working days off to visit doctors.  The surgery will mean at least another couple.

These weeks without restrictions has prompted me to think about some things:


  • The first week the re-found freedom to eat was really fun.
  • Fruit and Salads are really tasty after so long with restriction.  I had all but given up more than a bitr of them as they were difficult for me to eat.
  • The 'hernia' thing did give me pause but at first it didn't really cause me to eat less.  I found this curious.  Why does throwing up after eating too much have such a quick impact on my eating habits but pain doesn't really have the same impact?
  • The eating is so not worth the weight gain and I am ready to start getting my restriction back.
  • I can already feel my good habits slipping.  While I am eating I know I can drink and I think about it but I drink.  Chewing has slipped.
  • I have given up coffee Not a single frapp. in days.  I had one hot mocha and it was a disaster (pain). I switched to a much lower calorie Peach Green Tea Lemonade.  I am so thirsty that this has not been a problem at all.  I always chase each one with a refill of water the same size.



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Catching up

We have been on vacation to Central Oregon.  Of course the Gynecologist did not fit me in for an appointment.  I promptly decided enough was enough and called another one recommended to me.  They fit me in right after my vacation and I jumped.  Then while on vacation I got a phone call canceling this appointment but…they rescheduled me with an unknown doctor a day earlier.  I can live with this.  Since when did there become a shortage of good gynecologists??  It sure wasn't such a hassle when I was having babies.

Now onto my tummy troubles.  They have been REALLY bad.  After every meal I have to get up and walk around holding onto my left side.  After a great dinner last night for the first time since I had the unfill I had no pain at all (and I did overeat for sure!).  Then today I got all cocky thinking the tummy troubles were over and had a burger and fries for lunch…I didn't even get halfway through the burger and whammo I was in agony.  I left the restaurant and tried to walk it off to no effect.  The pain lasted for at least an hour and started to improve a bit.  In the past a nice warm coffee eased things up so I stupidly stopped for one.  The pain ramped up even more and as I stumbbled around a store in agony it didn't improve.  I finally asked David to take me to the emergency room.  On the drive there of course it began to get better.  After we arrived I walked around a bit and after two laps around the parking lot it shifted to just shoulder pain again.  I really did not want to go to an emergency room in a small town-much preferring one in my home town and at the University hospital that installed the band int he first place.

I have decided to stick as much to liquids as possible until I can get into see someone.  I bought some gasx to try too!!

On a positive note-other than irritating everyone with my side aches vacation has been fun!
 We met up with some friends from home for drinks and dinner!
 We took two canoes and paddled for 3 hours.


 Grace resting
Grace and her friend racing ahead
 I was the rudder-David was the power paddler
dinner with two camera shy girls

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I am Hangry!!!

This band stops nothing.  It is so weird because I distinctly remember when I had surgery that I felt different right away.  Obviously that was swelling because I've got NO restriction and I am HUNGRY and have a bottomless Pit.

Things I have been thinking about:

1.  I am super excited to eat again.  Last night we went out to an Italian dinner.  This was no cheap chain meal either.  This was FINE Italian.  The bread was DIVINE and I ate some.  We had an antipasti plate and it was good.  I had some lasagna with home-made pasta and sausage and eggplant.  It was delicious.  We then chased on a little Cannoli love.  I had no problem eating all of this (not all mind you) but oh so much.  I loved it while I was eating and savored each flavorful bite.   However when I was done and full and driving towards home guess what reappeared?  you got it-the post binge self-loathing. :(  I haven't had that feeling in a while.

2.  On my last visit to DR. Wolfe he said that he was finding that band patients who were able to self-monitor and stick to meal sizes (not relying on feel) seemed to be the successful ones.  Now I felt like I did rely on feel.  My band does not appear to be the stomach pain problem.  and without restriction I am not able to stop nearly where I should be.  I want to know if he is wrong or if somehow my powers to stop rely on something else besides the band??

3.  The tummy pain is definitely not the bands fault.  About an hour after our meal last night I had agonizing pain again.  it shows up on my left side, hurts like a mother…$#@!# and shoots lightly up to my shoulder.  With the band the shoulder pain was stronger but otherwise similar.   At times I have wondered if it is some weird gas thing but then that would be really stupid eh?

4.  I am calling the gastro people to make an appointment to discuss these questions.  The gyno stuff will hopefully be in hand tomorrow (I was assured by a nurse I would have a new appointment tomorrow).  Fingers crossed it actually happens.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

And the Fat Returneth

The scale showed a gain today.  Only about a pound overall but my clothes are not comfortable today.  I am feeling bloated-but the bloat has been a problem on a daily basis for the lat four months since this womanly fun began.  I am slowly drinking a tall with no whip peppermint mocha and will chase it with a vente water and iron pill.

Still waiting on a gyno appointment and debating whether I should call the gastro. people and tell them the pain has not gone away.  It is definitely better but gone it is not.

It struck me today that I have a dress sitting in my closet for my daughters wedding in September-Not good…not good at all.

xoxo

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

More Gyno Love

I called hoping to sort out the gyno issues.  My bleeding has increased again (just what I needed given the low Iron already). I was given an appointment for August 6.  I guess two more weeks won't make a difference?  I kind of think it will but either I really pissed off the office or they just don't care.

I called my GP and she said she cannot put in a progesterone IUD but she can take them out (ahh if that were only my problem).  She has recommended someone else who might be able to see me sooner.  WHile I had her on the phone I asked for my iron numbers form my last test but they made absolutely no sense.  I am guessing the nurse assistant did not know which number to tell me??


On the band front:  The eating is fun but still scaring me to death.  I am super hungry now!  The old food porn feelings are back in full force.  I watch what everyone is eating and savor its foody goodness.  today was just plain old weird.  I was very busy in the shop so ate a series of snacks (some good and some NOT).  I have not gained yet but fear it is in my future big time.  I am trying to take my iron tablets and drink as MUCH water as possible.


Yes..the store was super busy-that is a good thing.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Two Days on Empty and doing OK

The Scale:  so far holding steady (phew)
The sugary drinks: I had coffee but only one small one and I am chasing each one with a large water and iron pill.
The food:  Eating a lot more but mostly making healthy decisions:  1 chicken tamale for lunch, 1 big for me serving of taco salad for dinner.  2-3 cups of kettle corn at the farmers market!!

The stomach issues are still here but were better yesterday.  Perhaps things are healing?  Definitely a pain in my side whenever I eat and shoulder pain after.

I got a phone call from the lab on Saturday morning.  My iron tests were in and they are down to 6 (apparently that is red flag call the patient worthy on a Saturday).

The only real symptoms of the anemia I have is tired-took naps on both Saturday and Sunday and occasional dizzy when I get up too fast and climb stairs.  I did read something that said anemia can cause intestinal issues?  Perhaps it is one culprit after all.

I am calling the gyno today. After a weekend think and discussion with hubby we have decided to try an IUD with progesterone 1.  to see if it works and 2. to try and give me a break and bring the iron up before a hysterectomy surgery.




Friday, July 18, 2014

REBOOT 2014

Last night was not pretty.  I developed some sort of freakish pain in my side and shoulder.  I have had this before but never has it lasted so long or hurt so much.  I called first thing this morning to see if I could move my appointment with my nurse practitioner. up.  Thankfully she did.  I did not eat or drink anything as I was pretty afraid to.  Of course one has visions of slipped bands, an exploding esophagus etc.

The office called back at 10am and said come in right away.  I jumped in my car and drove straight down there (with knitting in bag).  I sat in the waiting room until 1pm.  Maggie (I have seen her before but she is my new band person) decided-after a cried a little and explained what happened that it was a good idea to empty the band----COMPLETELY.  I cannot say that I have not thought about this, or even desired it as I was writhing and walking the floor in agony last night.  When she said it though and those nebulous thoughts became a reality is scared the bejeeebies out of me.

She did it-took out all 7. something cc's of fluid and of course i started crying again.  Visions of the 300 pound me that used to be came flooding into my head.  what if…She calmly handed me tissues and went through the following list:


  • I needed to go up for a barium upper GI to have a look at the gear
  • This might not even be band related but until we pull out the fluid we won't know
  • All my gyno issues need to be in hand and having some space to eat better sources of iron would be a good idea.
  • If the barium upper GI shows nothing we will do a scope at the same time we do a colonoscopy (saving me a round of anesthesia.

All of these were of course correct but it doesn't make it any less scary.  I went downstairs for the upper GI.  They got me right in and I even SAW the doctor while the procedure was being done.  The results were explained AT THE SAME TIME I had the procedure.  She did say that Maggie needed to make final assessments but she saw nothing bad on any of the scans.  At one point the doctor even handed me a horse-pill sized chunk of barium.  This scared the shite out of me but..I took it, swallowed with a swig of water and viola not only did the pill go right down but it beat the camera!!!  

So it is official.  I have a wide open slippery stomach opening again.  I drank water.  A full 8 ounces of it.  It went down but didn't feel that easy at first.  I then stopped off at the downstairs cafeteria (it was 3pm by this time) and had a look.  Sandwich? Yogurt?  a baked good i figured was a known entity.  I got a scone and a cookie (rationalizing to myself that I would share what was left with Grace when I got home)…Um no..I drove…I ate both baked goods on the drive home.  NO problema.

This scares me even more to a certain extent.  There are some REALLY bad habits I have adopted because i could not eat much.  The biggest of these is the sugary coffee and lots of slidy desserty items.  These MUST StOP….What I can now have is salad, veges, fruit.  I am going to have to take full advantage of these and reintroduce them after I cut out the bad for me stuff.

Now..back tot he pain thing.  It isn't gone.  my side still hurts off and on and I keep having shoulder pains.  The difference now is they seem to dissipate a whole lot faster and often with a quick little burp or change in body position.

So..with my new open band I decided dinner should be a celebration of sorts and boy did I live it up:

Pot roast, a bit of bread, asparagus and potatoes.  I had at least half of what was on my plate.  then home I had a small half cup serving of vanilla ice cream with blackberries.  I am now enjoying a small version of hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps.  I am working really hard to shrink the sweet stuff or eliminate some of it as the healthier stuff expands.  

I am also going back to a daily weight in..it might kill me to watch but I am going to try and keep the same weight as much as possible.

As far the the gyno issues go I had a bit of a break through there too.  Yesterday I was feeling really down and the tummy pain issues were not helping.  I decided to just let the whole bleeding problem go and forget dealing with the gynecologist issue entirely.  One of those ostrich in the sand decisions.  Well I felt pretty good after the whole band issue decision when the gyno called (finally).  I did not lose it and start bawling as I feared.

I firmly told her about my displeasure and indecision as to how to proceed.  She is willing to give me a hysterectomy but she is also now well aware of the cock up her office and even she herself made of the whole biopsy thing.  She frankly has done so many damned biopsy's that it did not even occur to her that I was worried about results BECAUSE no one would leave a message and then when I spoke to receptionists who could not even find my results at all that I had just had a week of unnecessary worry..she seemed clueless.

I left the conversation with..instruct your receptionist who was unwilling to make the appointment I requested at the beginning of the week to allow me to make one (if I decide to) tomorrow.  However..I might just look for another gynocologist.  She ended the conversation by offering to help me find someone.

So..on the band front I am starting back at the beginning- 2008 (eek) and with the Gyno..I found a back bone instead of a shepy crying angry phone call.  Not bad for a days work.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More Phone Drama.

I got the call back from the lapband department.  I am good to go there and will see them on Monday.  They suggested that if I need and upper GI they can just send me upstairs for it right away.  I should probably round up some bloodwork-I have results from one doctor but you know they won't be sharing.

Now back to the GYNO hell.  I called the office again this morning at 10am.  I got the receptionist on the phone who asked me for my name.  I gave it.  She then asked me for my date of birth.  I gave it.  She then proceeded to tell me that they had no record of test results for me.  WTF???

I informed her that I spoke to two people yesterday who said indeed yes I have results but that they needed to be read by the doctor.  She then said well you know we have data from people from three states and there are a heck of a lot of Tina Johnstons.  None of them on my list has your birthday.  This really helps me my confidence right??  Did they lose my specimen?  Did they lose my results?  I am sure has heck not getting another biopsy that is for sure!!!

Tonight Grace informed me that the doctors office called after I left the house this morning apparently to tell me my results.   I told the doctor to provide my results to anyone who answered the phone (that all persons were fully aware of the situation).  I repeated this on two visits and this statement was met with a yes and a head-shake.  Apparently they had no intention of actually doing it.

Tomorrow I will be requesting my records to be placed in an envelope and that I will be picking them up. I will expect to receive at this time the results of my biopsy.  I will then take these records with me and go find a new gynecology office as this one is apparently completely incompetent.

Fine I have a common name but really if they cannot manage to report results to someone I am not ready to trust them with a scalpel on my lady bits.

arghghghghggh extreme frustration.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Medical Care is Changing

This morning I have called two different doctors for two different reasons only to find out that our medical care system has no sense of efficiency anymore.

First the Gyno and after being put on hold for several minutes I got the receptionist who could tell me that my results were in but she couldn't tell me anything until the doctor looked at them.  I suggested that I would need to be seen either way and could I not just make an appointment?  She said no we needed to wait until I had my results.  Then I got a call from the nurse to tell me that the doctor had not yet read my results and they would call me soon?????  OK…


I then called the lapband doctor.  He has retired-like completely…gone.  He was also much older than I thought because they told me how old he was over the phone!!  The nurse practicioner that I saw a few times is still there thank goodness and I am scheduled to see her.  I will miss my doctor :(.  Now here is the makes no sense part.  I called was put through to a nurse.  Told her that I needed to have an upper GI scheduled , that I had frequent shoulder pain and that I was dealing with gyno issues that were making it all more difficult.  I asked if we could just schedule it all together and she said-no you need to come in and schedule with the nurse practicioner first and then perhaps to for the upper GI..then…said she would call me back to make the appointment!!!  WTF???  Does no one keep a schedule in front of them anymore???

How much work time is wasted on phone tag and call backs?


Monday, July 7, 2014

New News-

Hello hello-

There is news on the band front.

I have been ill.  The menopause junk that I was dealing with 6 years ago is all back and being a pain in my backside.  After treating the excessive bleeding, getting through hot flashes and going into what I thought was a year of menopause  I have been told I was apparently not experiencing it.

Last Fall my normal cycle returned right about the time my 12 year old went into puberty.  Over the last year-ish stuff has returned to my pre-menopause normality until April when the excessive bleeding returned.  I called and my G.P. She called in a new prescription for birth control (the hormones helped last time).  This worked for a couple of months and then whammo it all came back.  now after at least a few months of this on again off again bleeding my iron is way low and I am sooo tired all of the time.  I have gone into a specialist who wants to redo most of the tests they did 6 years ago (including a biopsy--eek).  Wish me luck for tomorrow-Last time this was the most painful test I have ever experienced and I have had some doozies.

Meanwhile my band has been very tight.  I am not sure if this is a hormonal reaction (it always tightens up during my period).  It makes sense that a never ending period might mean a never ending tight band.  This tightness coupled with my super tiredness makes for an unhappy Tina.  I cannot seem to get enough good quality protein in which cannot be helping the low iron  problem.  Eventually I get so hungry that I look for anything to fill the void--and that usually means poor quality sliders in the late night…which then means upset tummy when I sleep.  In the morning my band is already irritated from this. and the cycle repeats itself over and over.

I decided that I should probably go in to see my lapband surgeon and gave him a call.  When I made the call today I was told that HE has left the practice!!!  They said they could not tell me where he had gone or even if he had left the university hospital where I had my surgery.  They said they would send word to my doctor and ask him if he would see me.  I had heard a few months ago through the grapevine that he had given up surgery.  This is OK because i want to consult with him about my current issues not have an op…I hope I can find him.

The last time I saw my lapband doc. he said that I would need a full work up before I came in for another fill.  I am thinking it would be wise to do this anyway.  In addition at 50 I am supposed to undergo my first colonoscopy (oh joy).  Have any of you had one of those post band?  I am rather worried about how I can possibly get through the cleaning out process necessary.  I figured it would be wise to see my surgeon about all of these things.

Other than the pile of poo I have written above life is fine.  The term ended and I am transitioning to just running the yarn store (Who knows if I will ever be able to say no to offers) but right now…just the one job is suiting me well.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another Long Time No Post…Post

Hello all if anyone is still out there.  I popped into see what people were up to and most of you are still around and doing so well!!!  I have been living life in the crazy lane but it has been for the most part good.

We went to the UK over Christmas and had a good time.  I have gained another 10 pounds.  Yes..I have gotten very good at those slider foods.  I also think 50 is not being very kind to me.  OH..and did i tell you I sit on my arse and knit too much?

My daughter (number 3)  got married this weekend.  I found good clothes despite my added poundage and had a great time.  I did the flowers and my husband made her cake.  The whole time I was running around like a crazy thing helping, bussing tables and setting up decorations I could look to my band and all of this weightloss and be thankful that I had the stamina to keep going all day without needing to sit down.

Finally-Thank goodness for this blog!  I have been participating in a big research project since I got the band almost 6 years ago and a survey came in the mail today asking me about any complications that have cropped up since getting the band..well guess where all that information is stored?  You guessed it right here on this blog!

I will try to pop in for a visit more often.   If nothing else perhaps I can get back on the band-wagon and get back down before my second oldest daughter gets married in September!

Happy Spring!!

Tina