Lap Dance

This blog documents my experience with the adjustable gastric band. The surgery took place in July, and thus the pre-op and post-op information can be found in the July archive.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My First Fill

Today I had my first fill. Dr. Horgan requires no eating or drinking for four hours prior to getting the fill.

I showed up at the clinic for my 4:30 appointment. The nurse took me back almost immediately and she took my weight and blood pressure, which was 87 over 52. That seems bizarrely low to me, but she didn’t say anything about it or seem to take special notice.

The scale also does body fat percentage. I started out at 40.3,%, and now I’ve dropped to 37.7%. How disgusting is it to contemplate the fact that one’s body is 40% fat? Mr. Kennedy speculates that, by taking my original weight multiplied by the original body fat percentage (208 x .403= 83.8), that will give my original amount of fat in pounds. Re-running that with my present numbers, I have 70.5 pounds of fat on my poor frame.

After the initial weigh-in, we went back to the fluoroscopy room. A fluoroscopy machine is a device that allows the person doing the fill to look at x-rays of you digestive tract in real time - it’s x-ray as a television program. Two doctors were there, and I have to admit that I don’t remember either of their names. We’ll call them Nice Doctor and Hot Doctor. Hot Doctor was nice but not as nice as Nice Doctor, and Nice Doctor was hot but not as hot as Hot Doctor. It seems that nearly all of Dr. Horgan’s crew are from Argentina.

Nice Doctor put me in front of the fluoroscopy machine, and gave me a big swallow of barium. We all watched on the screen as the barium flowed nicely down my esophagus, into my pouch and through the band. Nice Doctor then had me pull up my shirt to reveal my port area, and he poked around while looking on the fluoro screen to find the port. He marked it with a pen. Nice Doctor sprayed down the port area with a local anesthetic.

Hot Doctor asked me to look at a picture on the wall and find the green dinosaur, which caused me to look away from the needle Nice Doctor was preparing. Nice Doctor then proceeded to stick me with the needle. He got it in the port on the first try. The puncture had a quick two-part feel to it, like when you press down a stapler and it goes down a little bit, hesitates a split second, and then goes the rest of the way. The pain and sensation was very comparable to using a blood sugar meter that punctures the pad of one’s finger.

So the needle was hanging out of me, and I still wasn’t looking at it. I thought to myself that I would look at the needle after it was over so I could describe it later, but for now I was taking Hot Doctor’s advice and not looking at it. Nice Doctor commented that he felt some resistance to the fluid, and asked if I was sure that I hadn’t had a fill before because it felt like there was already fluid in there. I assured him I hadn’t. Then the troubled started.

I became really nauseated really fast, and my vision began to get staticky. I began sweating, so much that I sweat through my khaki pants. I knew I was going to pass out.

As an aside, I have a long history of passing out in medical situations. I passed out the first time that I put my contacts in. I passed out sitting in the waiting room of the emergency room when I took Mr. Kennedy in to get an allergic reaction treated. I passed out while my dad was being prepped for hip replacement surgery. I passed out when I saw Mr. Kennedy after he had his wisdom teeth extracted. Disclaimer: I do not feel that anything about getting a fill would induce passing out in a normal person. I am a big freak about that.

Clearly I was not the first person that this had happened with, because Nice Doctor pushed me straight down into a chair strategically located under the arms of the fluoroscope. Note that the large needle is still hanging out of my side. I could hear him talking to me, but the sound was very faint and I had to really concentrate to hear him and understand. I could not really see anything anymore. Nice Doctor was hanging onto the needle and asking me questions to try to get me to refocus and stay conscious I remember him asking me what I’d worked on that day and me telling him I didn’t remember. He kept asking, and I tried to shake the fuzziness out of my head and remember. Meanwhile, this blessed man was still doing the fill, working the needle while Hot Doctor held me in the chair.

Finally I felt well enough to stand up inside the arms of the fluoroscope so that Nice Doctor could check his handywork. I was dripping rivulets of sweat all over my body. Nice Doctor gave me another swig of barium, and we watched it go through the band. It seemed like there was only 2/3 of the flow through the stoma that there was before the fill. Nice Doctor pulled out the needle and I was done.

I took a look at the needle, and it was not nearly as big as I had imagined from the descriptions on the DFW Bandsters board. If you’ve every seen a cheesy spy movie in which the bad guy injects the good guy with the incapacitating/lethal drugs from a syringe, the needle looked exactly like that. You know the kind I’m talking about: the good guy/girl is restrained in a chair, eyes wide as the bad guy prepares the syringe. The bad guy snaps on a pair of rubber gloves and puts the drugs on the needle, pointing it upward and pushing in the plunger until a little bit of the drug liquid squirts out. Then the bad guy sticks the good guy; fade to black. That’s what it looked like.

Good Lord, I felt like such an asshole for passing out during the fill. I still don’t know why I did it. As I started to fade out, I kept telling the doctors, “I don’t know why I’m doing this - it didn’t hurt!” I hope that I won’t pass out every time. That would make my band experience more melodramatic than I would like. I’m really hoping that I have decent restriction so I won’t have to do this again for a while. I’m sure the good doctors Nice and Hot aren’t looking forward to my return visit either.

My guidelines for getting a fill are when I experience any one of the following things: I don’t feel restricted, I get hungry between meals, or I don’t lose two pounds per week. I think that these guidelines make my doctor a little more aggressive than others.

After the fill, I felt fine. I took the train home and went to the gym. My port area felt a little tender when poked, but I had no residual pain other than that.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Telling Mom

My parents came to visit me today, and I told my mom that I had had surgery.

My mom and I used to have a much closer relationship than we do now. In the past we did lots of things together, just the two of us. However, there was a tragedy in our family five years ago that totally changed the dynamics in our family, and now my mom refuses to leave my dad by himself. Given what happened, it's understandable. But I don't relate to my father very well, and always having him come along means that I can't have candid face-to-face conversations with my mom anymore.

There is no way I would ever tell my dad that I had this done. He's always been rather critical of my weight and physical appearance, and he lacks the edit function in his brain that most people have. There is nothing that tells him that just because an idea flitted across his mind, it need not shoot out of his mouth. Furthermore, I would never trust him not to tell anyone else.

I hadn't planned to tell my mom today, or necessarily ever. I know she can relate to my struggle with weight issues, but I figured she would go ballistic because I had undergone a surgery. People tend to assume that every bariatric surgery is a gastric bypass, and there is a very dangerous reputation to that procedure. I was concerned that my mom would tell someone, even though I knew she'd promise not to. I was also loath to tell her because I want my parents to think I'm as perfect as possible, and the surgery is an admission that I can't and never will be able to control my weight on my own. I find it very humiliating that I lack the self-control to manage my eating without surgery. I feel like I'm part of that American stereotype that wants to medicate everything instead of doing the work myself. And frankly, I feel that is true: I failed. I acknowledge that I will continue to fail without help.

My dad stepped out for a few minutes, and I just kind of blurted it out. She looked totally shocked, and there's no reason she wouldn't be. I was pleasantly surprised at how fast she said she totally understood why I had made that choice. I didn't have enough time to explain how the device works. She didn't come down on me at all, either for doing it or for not telling her. We didn't have very much time alone, so I feel like I dropped a total bomb on her and then didn't have enough time to give her enough information to process it.

My mom said she had thought something was up with me in July because I dropped off the radar for a few weeks, but she said that she thought that maybe Mr. Kennedy and I were having problems. Wow, nothing could be further from the truth. It's weird to think that that's how my behavior looked to someone on the outside.

In the aftermath of telling her, I kind of wish I hadn't, but not because of anything in the way she reacted. I'm still really nervous that she will tell someone in my home town, which is the functional equivalent of telling everyone in my home town. I feel like I've added to the number of people waiting to see if I succeed, and that makes me feel even more pressure. Overall, I just feel sad and humiliated because I admitted to yet another person that I can't do this.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Don't Let the Door ...

Sorry to disappoint the teetotalers in the crowd, but I didn’t have a whiff of a hangover this morning. When you’re drunk by 4:30 and throw up by 8:00, that seems to help the process. I was piss-drunk, and nobody caught me.

The in-laws left after lunch. My sister-in-law was a great deal more annoying then my mother-in-law. The sister likes to take potshots at my husband to make herself look better, and my husband has too much class to unload on her with both barrels. She used to do that to me, but I don’t have my husband’s class, and that seems to have stopped the behavior. The bonus was that she was sufficiently obnoxious that Mr. Kennedy has declared her persona non grata for the time being. These pronouncements don’t last that long, but any respite from her heinous self is welcome.

After having my in-laws as house guests drunk and having them sober, I have concluded that drunk is the way to go. I was trying really hard to not let on that I was tanked, and that gave me something to concentrate on other than watching the clock and biting back ridicule. When I’m drunk, my impulse is to laugh at them instead of thinking of places to hide the bodies.

I did step aerobics tonight, which I enjoy. I also took some measurements. My BMI began at 36.8, and is now down to 33.3. I’ve lost 17.25 inches. And I weighed 189 before bed, so I should lose tomorrow morning.

Shopping spree total: $137.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Brought to My Knees

The crazy train rolled into town today. The plan was for me to make dinner, since my in-laws told us that eating in restaurants is inappropriate and “not our thing.” Who doesn’t eat in restaurants? I made as much of the dinner this morning as I could, and then went to the gym.

After telling us that they wanted to eat lunch with us, they showed up with Burger King and didn’t bring any for anyone else. So I didn’t get to eat lunch. These are not people to deal with on an empty stomach. I sat around and listened to them talk about Mr. Kennedy’s childhood with a vacant smile on my face for a while - I couldn’t really participate because I wasn’t there, and they love to make sure that I can’t participate in conversations. Then Mr. Kennedy took all of them on a tour of the town while I ostensibly began dinner. It turns out I shouldn’t be left unsupervised.

I bought some of those Minute Maid Light juice things in cans last week. The Raspberry Passion makes a really good mixer with several ounces of vodka. I don’t drink much, but I decided to throw back as much booze as I could in the short time that they were gone. But they were gone for a lot longer than I thought, during which time I threw back about a 1/5th of a bottle of raspberry vodka in about 45 minutes. I drunk-dialed my best friend, my friend from law school, and my mom while sitting out on my steps. I didn’t feel too drunk when they came back, and Mr. Kennedy took one look at me with a tumbler in my hand and laughed until he cried. Then he told me I’d better put on the performance of my life, and warned me that I would get drunker before I got soberer.

Mr. Kennedy knows his liquor. By the time all the vodka got in my system, I was stumbling drunk but not slurring (that I know of). They all went out on the back porch, and I stayed in the kitchen to put dinner together. In retrospect, me using the oven wasn’t the best idea. To my credit, I really don’t think anyone was the wiser. Except Mr. Kennedy, who could hardly keep from laughing.

I made it all the way through dinner, but I was getting dizzier and dizzier. Finally, I had to go throw up. It felt the same as throwing up without the band. I threw up, felt immediately better, and went back downstairs to resume the torture.

As an aside, my weight this morning was 188.5, up a half-pound. As if I haven’t been punished enough today.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Emotional Eating

Wow, I have a lot going on today.

First, a bit of background. I detest my in-laws. Actually, not all of them. Just my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. They spent the five years that Mr. Kennedy and I dated actively trying to convince him to leave me. In particular, my mother-in-law thinks it’s abominable that I work outside the home, and feels that I cannot be a good wife to Mr. Kennedy because I don’t devote all of my time to caring for him. She railed about that so much that I finally told her that Mr. Kennedy was very capable of cooking and cleaning up after himself, and if he weren’t, then perhaps she’d been remiss in her parenting. Please note that she is a hoarder, and as a result she has the dirtiest house I’ve ever seen short of those videos you see on TV when the cops go in and take 75 cats out of some crazy lady’s house.

Anyway, I could do an entire blog on how much my in-laws piss me off. The point of the background is that my mother-in-law called my husband (she won’t call our house, only his cell phone so she won’t risk having to speak with me) and informed him that she and my father-in-law would be staying with us this weekend. Mrs. Parent-of-the-Century has never visited us before, for which I am grateful. They will arrive tomorrow.

I knew that I am an emotional eater, but I always thought that I only did it when I was bored or procrastinating. However, evidently I also do it when I’m anxious, because I’ve packed in everything that isn’t nailed down since she called. I’ve cleaned house with one hand and eaten with the other.

I’ve given up on the idea that she will ever approve of me as a wife for the illustrious Mr. Kennedy. However, I would kind of like to say “fuck you” by demonstrating my considerable cooking and housekeeping skills in the beautiful home that I helped purchase with the money I earn working outside the home.

Another small problem is that whenever my sister-in-law comes over, she is constantly trying to snoop through our things. I’ve caught her looking in my cabinets, going through Mr. Kennedy’s wallet, looking in my closet, and reading our mail and other papers lying about. You may recall that I haven’t told anyone beside Mr. Kennedy that I’ve had the surgery, and I’m desperately afraid that she’ll find something related to it. It would make her decade to be able to bust me out on that.

I weigh in tomorrow morning, and it’s not going to be good. Combining that with the way that my mother-in-law makes me feel like I’m inadequate, I feel pretty worthless today.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Annoying People at the Gym

I did my obligatory weekend hour-long session on the incline today while watching Celebrity Fit Club on VH1. Time goes much faster when there's something good on the TV or radio. I was almost done when the older guy on the incline next to me began an impromptu lecture about how one should give up alcohol and smoking and get plenty of exercise and eat right. I swear, he was a walking talking after school special next to me. He told me that, because of all his efforts, he is a 60 year old man with four girlfriends ranging in age from 50 to 26. What, pray tell, is the proper response to this Hugh Heffner wannabe?

Mr. Kennedy and I went for some truly divine sushi last night, and as a result I am up a pound this morning. Back on the wagon. Frankly, even as much of a scale hound as I am, the sushi was frickin' worth every calorie and penny I spent on it. This was the first time I'd had it since surgery, and Lord, how I've missed it. It was so good that the husband and I didn't even chatter through the whole meal like we usually do; instead we just chewed and sighed blissfully. The chefs very courteously complied with my request that they cut the rolls up in as many pieces as possible so it was easier to chew up.

Speaking of that, I went to Japonais this past week, which is a chic Asian restaurant on the north side of Chicago where the infamous Cabrini Green used to be. I asked them if they would cut up my rolls in as many pieces as possible, and they said NO! I couldn't believe it. For the kind of money they charge, I should get my damn rolls any damn way I please! I was so pissed that I canceled my order (but was not rude to the waiter).

Tonight after mass we went to a restaurant, and I ate even though I wasn't hungry. I ate, and I ate far too much. I feel like a real piece of shit for doing that. I know tomorrow is another day, and I know I'll get back on track, but I know that I won't see results as fast for doing that.

The shopping spree total is now up to $108.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Six Week Weigh-In

Great weigh-in this morning! This morning I was 188 pounds, down three from last week. The plateau is broken, and I am victorious. As of six weeks post-op, I am down a total of 20 pounds.

I think my goal weight will be 140 pounds. That puts me at the top of the range for a normal BMI for my height. If I get there, I'll see if I could still use to lose a few more. I now have only 48 pounds to go, and I haven't even had a fill yet.

For those contemplating the band, it's important to note that after you have surgery and get feeling okay again, you really don't have any restriction. You can eat plenty, so in the time before the first fill, you have to lose weight through diet and exercise or just try to maintain and wait for the fill.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Raiding My Closet

I go to the gym nearly every day after work, and I come home in my gym clothes. As a result, Mr. Kennedy rarely sees me in work clothes - just sweaty and smelling like a goat. Tonight, however, I came straight home. When he saw what I was wearing, he sarcastically said, "Is that shirt quite big enough for you?" I gave him a "huh?" look, and he told me that my shirt was way too big for me now. He marched me upstairs to my closet and we went through all the tops in there to see how many were now too big.

I was reluctant to take things out of the closet - I'm much more enthusiastic about adding to my wardrobe - but he enforced a two-fist rule. If he could stand behind me and gather two fistfulls of excessive cloth, I had to take it out. When it was borderline, he made a list of the items and I'm supposed to wear them next week.

I also tried on all my tops in the size 14 pile, and they all fit fine, so they were added to the wardrobe. The size 14 pants and skirts don't fit, so it's pretty clear that I'm losing weight from my upper body first. I'm not picky at this point. There's plenty of available fat everywhere, and as long as it's coming off somewhere I'm happy.

Just a friendly warning - remember last time I went through the 16 pile? I took a couple of blouses to the cleaners to get them ready to wear. Both of them are now on Mr. Kennedy's one-week cut list. I haven't even worn them yet. He wanted to toss them, but if I paid to have them cleaned I should at least wear them once, don't you think? So it turns out that making the piles and trying them on periodically was a great idea; otherwise I might have gone all the way through a size without wearing all my clothes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Plateau is Broken!

I hopped on the scale this morning, and it said 188 pounds. Finally, the scale has moved, and the plateau may be broken. I hope it stays off. Naturally, after having this great success, I attempted to sabotage it by having a big lunch and a cookie. Nicely done. So I avoided dinner and did an hour of cardio, and now I'm hoping for the best. I'm sure I'm fine.

To break the plateau, I did an hour of cardio both days this weekend, mixing in jogging, elliptical and jumping rope with the incline. I'm only lifting twice a week to avoid bulking. I also tried to cut out starches.

Perhaps the two week plateau is busted. It wasn't unexpected, since I've lost weight so fast. Anyway, the shopping spree total is $91.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Birth Control Issues

I went in today for everyone's favorite annual event - the gynecologist. I've been on an injectable birth control for several years, and my doctor told me today that I need to get off of it because it causes bone loss after a while. I was a big fan of the injectables because I KNEW I couldn't screw it up. Now I don't know if I can take birth control pills because they might get stuck in the band.

So I posted my question to the DFW Bandsters board, and the unanimous vote is that it's fine and they won't get stuck. So maybe I'll go with that. I need to talk to my surgeon. Let me go on record that it is total bullshit that women bear the sole responsibility for birth control.

I also moved up my first fill by 2 days, to August 31. I need to be off the liquid diet thing by the weekend because we're going out of town, and Dr. Horgan requires 48 hours of liquids after a fill.

My blood pressure today was 110/70 - pretty good! My shopping spree total is now $84. It looks like I might have a healthy loss this week, as well, so all is right in my world.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

New Workout

My weight loss has slowed lately, so I decided to mix up my workout a bit and see if I can't nudge myself off the plateau. To date, I've only been doing the incline. But today I did ten minutes of jumping rope, ten minutes of jogging and walking, and thirty minutes of the incline. Wow, do I suck at jumping rope. We'll see if I have any results. I was at 191 this morning, for a net loss of zero pounds for this week.

I made a great find at the grocery store today: liquid Tylenol PM. My quality of life just rose. I have a bad vice of sleeping in on weekends, which means I can't get to sleep at the appropriate time on Sunday nights.

Shopping spree total to date: $72.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Clothes Horse

My husband is a newly-diagnosed clothes horse. We have a rule that he's not allowed in Bachrach until he has worn every item he bought there last time he went.

I am not a clothes horse. I don't think. Maybe if I looked good in clothes, I would want them more. Regardless, as my husband sits here beside me ordering yet more clothes online, you can bet I'm reminding him that turnabout is fair play when I finish losing weight.

We have an agreement that every time I complete a cardio workout, I get five dollars to spend toward new clothes when I'm ready to buy them. I get another $2 for lifting weights (less because I actually like doing that). I'm up to $67 since surgery. I'm hoping to be up to at least $500 when I'm ready to go shopping.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Struggling This Week

This past week I have been absolutely compliant with my exercise routine and diet (except for the snack bag of Chex Mix I had for breakfast this morning), and yet I have managed to put on two pounds for a grand total of 192.5. Ugh. I began lifting seriously again on Monday, and it's my experience that I really struggle to lose weight when I lift. I don't know if that's the problem, but one bag of Chex Mix is not the stuff two pounds are made of.

I realize that I'm due for a plateau, especially with the resumption of lifting. That doesn't make me anymore cheerful about it. I'd be less pissed off if I felt like I deserved the weight gain. It's so much easier to keep motivated when you see results every week.

Part of my efforts has been to avoid eating in restaurants unnecessarily. Know that this is a huge sacrifice for me, because I love eating out and Chicago is an unbelievable restaurant city. So I asked my husband if he'd like to go out on a date with me tomorrow night, and got reservations at Wildfire for 7:15. I'm looking forward to tucking into some well-prepared salmon and enjoying some time with Mr. Kennedy.

Instead of eating in restaurants, we have been eating at home all the time. In preparation for this, we went to Sam's Club and stocked up on fish. Since Mr. Kennedy arrives home from work before I get home from work and the gym, he's been making dinner most nights. The man knows his way around a grill, I tell you. I really appreciate the fact that he has healthy, yummy meals on the table when I walk in the door. What a guy!

My weight loss goal for the day of my fill (September 2) is four more pounds. I'll be at 188, exactly 20 pounds down. I think this is an achievable, if not too easy goal.

I think I've already done the heavy lifting as far as dress sizes go. It seems like you have to lose a lot more weight to go down a size in the big sizes. But I remember from last time I lost weight that it's a ten pound drop between 16 and 14. So I've already done the big step from 18 to 16, and now I'll see progress faster than every 17-ish pounds. Size 14, here I come. And that's when the cuter clothes starts.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Clothes Are Fun Again

Remember how, before surgery, I sorted all the clothes I can't fit into in piles by size? Last week my secretary noted that my pants were all baggy, and tactfully suggested that I get some that were a little more snug. I was putting off trying on the next size down because I didn't want to try and fail.

Since I'm now officially 17 pounds down, I decided to try on my first pile, that of size 16s. I was in an 18. All of them fit perfectly. I picked up ten "new" outfits - new in that I could get my fat ass into them again. I've always heard that you should go down a dress size for approximately every ten pounds loss, but that doesn't apply to the big sizes. I put away three pairs of pants that are simply too big to wear in public.

I packed the clothes away instead of putting them in the Salvation Army box. Dr. Phil - I never tire of hearing him yell at stupid people - says that we should get rid of the clothes when they're too big so that there are more consequences for regaining the weight. I told myself that I'm keeping them because they'll come in handy if I ever become pregnant. In truth, I can't trust that the band and I will make sure that I never put all this weight back on, just like the other times.

Because I can't stand too much success in one day, I'm now going to spend the rest of the evening trying to hook my Treo PDA up to my laptop. There is such a thing as too many functions on one device. I put my odds of success at about 30%.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Tofu: the Other White Source of Protein

My sweet husband is out of town for the weekend, and I have some much-needed time to myself. When we're here together, I just want to be with him, and I fall behind on the little things. We've been married for a year and a half, and we still feel the need to be together all the time we're at home. Maybe that will wear off someday, but I hope not.

No one was as stunned as I was this morning when I weighed in at 191 pounds. Yes, that's only one pound for the week. But considering I was up a pound and a half yesterday, and now I'm down a pound, I'm delighted. Considering how fast I've been losing weight, a bit of a plateau is not unexpected. Also, I started lifting this week, very lightly, and lifting always slows or stops my weight loss. I'm hoping that won't happen this time, and I'm looking forward to the loss of inches lifting provides. I'm hoping to be past any bulking period by the time I get my first fill, so then I can lose weight with the benefit of the higher metabolism that lifting provides. My first fill is scheduled for September 2.

I went to the gym this morning and did the incline for an hour. Mr. Kennedy doesn't like tofu, so I took the opportunity of his absence to make it in vegetable stirfry. My eating has been stellar today, so perhaps with the extra exercise and good diet I can break the plateau.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Gaining Weight? WTF?

I've been to the gym every damned day this week, and I've done at least 35 minutes every day this week, and I've PUT ON a pound and a half. How in the hell is that possible? Intellectually, I know it's a short-term thing and no big deal, but it's still very discouraging.

If it's not already apparent, I am a compulsive scale-hopper. I get on the scale every morning, and sometimes at night too. Spare me the lectures; it will do no good. I have only two vices: food and weighing myself. The band is taking care of the food vice. So one out of two ain't bad.

If I want to lose weight while I still have no restriction, then I have to reform my eating habits. I do better when I have fewer carbs. I had a snack bag of Chex Mix for breakfast, and that doesn't help. Breakfast is my downfall - I'm so hungry by lunch time, and knowing that, I overeat to avoid it. I wish I could come up with a good breakfast that I could eat at my desk that would keep me full until lunch. I suppose that won't be a problem after I get a fill or two, but until then it's hard.

Mr. Kennedy and I went to Sam's Club this past weekend and stocked up on frozen fish that we can grill. My husband is a mean cook on the grill. Yesterday he made tilapia filets topped with a mixture of pureed peppers, onion, garlic and cajun seasoning. It was terrific. Sam's also carries these blackened salmon filets that are quick and delicious. If you're contemplatng getting the band, learn to like fish. It will be a great help.

So far no food has come back up or gotten stuck. I've tried many of the problem foods, like rice, shrimp, and pasta. I thought scallops were surprisingly hard to get chewed up. I've also not eaten too much to the point that it comes back up, but I'm being ver careful. The band is ruling me by fear.