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Husband, father, grandfather, friend...a few of the roles acquired in 62 years of living.  I keep an upbeat attitude, loving humor and the singular freedom of a perfect laugh.  I don't let curmudgeons ruin my day; that only gives them power over me.  Having experienced death once, I no longer fear it, although I am still frightened by the process of dying.  I love to write because it allows me the freedom to vent those complex feelings that bounce restlessly off the walls of my mind; and express the beauty that can only be found within the human heart.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

My Lap-Band Life: Seven months in

Copyright © 2011 by Ralph Couey
July was a disappointment, in many ways.  The organization I work for may close in the next month or so and while I’ve been fortunate enough to receive job offers, I haven’t heard final confirmation of my acceptance.  Either way, we have to move, something I’m not looking forward to.  I accept that change is the only consistent thing in life; but upheaval is not and that’s what I’m going through.
In the past, when I was going through stressful times, I would turn to food for solace.  When I chose to have lap band surgery, I knew that this would be the monster crouched on my doorstep.  The disappointing thing was that even though I was aware of this trap, I still fell into it. 
I gained one pound in July.
It was embarrassing to report this to the doctor at my regular monthly visit, especially after losing 14 pounds in June.  The one encouragement I was able to find was him telling me that nearly all lap band patients go through a bad month or two, but more to the tune of 5 or 6 pounds gained, not just one.  He suggested other ways to try to manage my stress, mainly being more active.  That’s good advice because when I’m stressed, my tendency is to shut down, crawl into a corner and mope.  What I need to be doing instead is to get up and move; taking a walk for example.  Not only would this help to fend off a reversal, expending some of that pent-up adrenaline would ease my mind considerably and take a load off my heart, which has been talking to me of late in urgent little twinges.  I'm holding off on another adjustment until I see what happens here in August.
There is good news to report, though.  I had blood work drawn and everything was flat normal, even those pesky triglycerides.  Blood sugar was a bit elevated at 140, but the Doctor said that wasn’t too bad considering the stress I had been under.  It does raise a question about this home testing kit.  I test about once per week and the numbers are always between 82 and 95.  I haven’t had a reading above 100 since about March.  And yet, the A1C numbers don’t lie.  I’ll have a more searching conversation with my regular Doctor about the disparity in those numbers.  Still, I remain off my diabetes meds, so that remains a good thing.
Even though I gained a pound, my clothes continue to get looser.  I’m now wearing a size 42 pants comfortably, down from a size 52 at my worst.  I’m wearing XL shirts, down from 3XL, and even my shoes are getting loose.  So the exercise that I’m getting is having a salutary effect on my wardrobe.  I’ve been shopping at Goodwill for pants and shirts and two weeks ago I re-donated the first set of “skinny” clothes back to them. 
Good news and not-so-good news to report.  I still feel really good overall, and I look at July, not as failure, but a valuable learning experience to apply to my journey.
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