Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I haven't posted in a while because I have been feeling kind of in the dumps.  My insurance has denied my revision surgery and their only basis is that it hasn't been 2 years since i had my original surgery.  They don't seem to take into account that I'm not tolerating my band and because of that I have an empty band just sitting in there not doing me any good.  So, either I wait it out until June and then have surgery, or I go to Mexico (the boyfriend is in total disagreement with this) or I get a lawyer and fight the denial.  I am hoping to move out of state before June of next year, so that would affect putting the decision off.  I was hoping to start having kids by the end of next year which would also be offset because of the surgery being postponed (can't have kids for a year after surgery).  The boyfriend is totally against Mexico (though at this point I'm all for it).  I could fight with a lawyer, risk losing the money it costs to do so, because there is no guarantee they will get the decision reversed and I may end up waiting until the 2 year mark anyway.  FRUSTRATION.  So yeah... I haven't felt much like blogging.  I don't have much to say.  I'm not gaining, and I'm not losing.  I'm just staying about the same and I'm frustrated.  There.  I'm done.  Got that out.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Insurance Companies Suck the Life Out of Everything

I've been trying to get myself to blog for a week or so now.  I've been wrestling with the emotions that have come up since my insurance company denied my revision surgery.  That's right, you heard me correctly.  I will not be having revision surgery, at least not any time soon.  I have been denied.  At first I was denied because they said that my BMI did not meet the requirement of 40.  Mind you my BMI at the time of my last visit was 39.6.  3 lousy pounds more and I would be a 40.  I ate some ice cream.  Voila 40!  Then my surgeon had a peer to peer call with my company and they then denied me based on the fact that it hasn't not been 2 years since my lap band surgery.  That point is 9 months from now.  Even if I hit the 2 year mark, I would still need to have a BMI of 40 for revision and that would mean not losing a single pound from now till June.  WTF.  So even if I do wait, I have to try not to lose any weight lest I be too small to fix this device in me??  Needless to say I am frustrated.  I've gotten past the depression that initially came and after fits of trying to find alternate ways to deal with this (including self pay at $23,000, or going to Mexico for surgery a more modest $5,000~~which my boyfriend vehemently disapproved of), I have finally come up for air and am dealing with this with a clearer head. 

I decided to give the band yet ANOTHER shot to get me sick to give me restriction.  I have had numerous fills and unfills and at the present have a whopping 1cc in my band.  I'm going to have the doctor give me a TINY fill on the 20th.  I decided to proceed with my pre-op diet just as I would have if I were to have gone ahead with the surgery.  I figure this will give me a little kickstart in the downward direction of losing.  On monday I started the mostly liquid diet and am currently down 4.6 lbs in 5 days.  I haven't been SUPER strict with the diet, but have been following it pretty closely.  It's friday, and the weekends are usually a little tough for me, but I'm determined.  I am also going to join the YMCA this weekend with my man.  We made the decision to be healthier together.  I think it will be a good thing to have something health centered in our relationship too.  So here I go again.  Wish me luck.  Oh, and here's a pic of myself and the man-o-mine on the beach a couple weeks back.  My sexy beast over there.  Yeah, I still have a crush after all this time.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Date Change and Support System

My surgery date has been changed to September 24. A week later than I had anticipated but that's ok. I'm getting it done and that's the important thing. Today I saw my primary doc to be cleared for surgery. Last thing I need to do now is get my upper endoscopy on Thursday. I've had a colonoscopy or two in my day so I'm not foreign to the whole scoping world, BUT I've never been scoped up top and in fact have had a panic attack in the dentists chair before during a procedure that I needed to have stopped so I could bring myself back down to earth. Anxiety is something I sometimes struggle with. Funny thing is most people that know me don't view me as the anxious type. I'm the gal who is stable and keeps it all together. I am the level headed one that other people go to for advice and can be depended on to keep my cool in times of distress. Hell, I volunteered downtown Manhattan during the 9/11 attacks. If anyone keeps it together it's me...  Except when it comes to my own health. Thank goodness I have some excellent support around me. When I had my band surgery, my brother, his wife and my niece all took care of me after surgery. They were kind enough to take me back to their house and help take after me. All three of them probably have no idea how much this means to me and that it made me feel so much closer to them. I appreciate them so very much. This go around I have a man at home to look after me. Something I did not have before.  My boyfriend has been invaluable. He has talked me down from some emotional ledges. When I have felt defeated and was self loathing he reminded me of my worth and has helped me to see how loved I am. I appreciate him and value him more than he could possible comprehend.  If anyone asked me what was really important to know before going into this process, it would be that you need to have support around you. A support system can do wonders for you. They cheer for you when you're up, pick you up when you're down, laugh with you and even sometimes cry with you. It is important to find a way to have this support whether through a support group, online community or family or friends. Support can be instrumental in helping this process be a successful one. I highly recommend it. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lots to do! Lots to do!

That's me at a park in Brooklyn overlooking the Williamsburg Bridge and the tallest of the lit up buildings is the new World Trade Center's Freedom Tower.  The boyfriend and I were having an impromtu photo shoot on a date night not too long ago. 

So... new things in the works.  I am on my way towards revision surgery.  My surgeon and I have settled on the Sleeve Gastrectomy.  This will happen on September 17, just 4 1/2 short weeks away.  I am in the midst of doing all sorts of pre-op prepping.  I have to go through all of the same rigamarole as I did with the first surgery.  Thank goodness that I work in the hospital and it makes it much easier for me to get things like appointments and blood work done that normally would require taking off multiple days from work.  Today I had my psych evaluation (yes... another one).  This is an insurance requirement.  Though I already had it done last year, I guess they want to make sure that having the band didn't drive me mad.  I'm sure there are a few loose screws up there, but I managed not to alarm the psychologist too badly.  Luckily I am an employee of the hospital.  He waived my fee for the evaluation (which cost me about $200-250 last year if I remember correctly!). 

Tomorrow it's on to nutrition counseling.  I'm not sure that there is much difference in the pre and post op diets from the band to the sleeve.  Back to protein shakes I'm sure.  I'm not looking forward to all liquids again.  I missed having something to crunch last surgery.  But... it's only for a while and I'm sure it's going to be fine. 

Next week is an appointment for medical clearance with my general doc and then an upper endoscopy after that later next week.  So much stuff to get done!  All while prepping to go back to school for the fall.  If I didn't know how good the outcome from this promised to be, I might be overwhelmed right now.  I'm on my way to better days.  Now I'm off to research more info on the ins and outs of this gastric sleeve business!

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's a Wrap LapBand... :-/

Bittersweet news.  My surgeon has decided to remove my band.  After many many MANY episodes of being seen emergently for tightness beyond the point of dehydration and unbelievable pain, she feels that the band is not for me.  I went into a pretty dark depression for a few days after finding out this decision, but now I kind of feel a sense of relief.  Before this decision was made, I wondered every day, is this going to work out?  is this fill going to be ok?  am I going to end up in the ER again on the weekend?  I was having trouble that I know most don't have.  I am not knocking the band AT ALL.  Without it I could not have lost the 70ish pounds that I have taken off in the past year.  Without it, I would still be eating excessively and gaining, and I can honestly say I'd probably be way over the 300 pound mark by now (I was teetering somewhere in the 290s!).  One of my good friends has made excellent strides with the band and has lost 110ish pounds in the past 15 months and she looks and feels great.  I KNOW the band works, it just doesn't fit with me. 

I had to accept that it is time to move forward with another option.  I will have my band removed next month as well as have a sleeve gastrectomy.  My surgeon and I both agree that the restrictive method works for me, just not in band form.  We are going to go another route and I am pretty confident that this is going to do the trick for me.  It may sound silly, but one of my big fears going into this surgery is losing the support of my fellow blogging bandsters.  All of y'all have helped to keep me focused, supported and on track, especially in the toughest of times.  You have congratulated me on losses, kicked my butt when I've needed it and encouraged me when I have felt really down.  I have to tell you, I don't want to feel like I'm going to get kicked out of the club because I am having a revision.  I hope to continue to have your support along this next phase of my journey, which I think is all of our journey.  The journey to healthier and happier existence.  I hope y'all will still be here once my band is gone...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weekly Check In

I've decided that Friday is a good day for me to check in.  Mondays are so haphazard that I many times forget to weigh-in before leaving the house so here it is.  227.4.  That's down 2.1 from last weigh in.  I'm happy that it was a loss and not a gain.  I didn't try very hard this past week or so to be good, so I'm not surprised at all that it isn't more.  School is finally out so I have a bit more time on my hands to plan and get on track.  Not so fly by the seat of my pants this week.  I did get a bunch of walking in this week as well because my car got impounded.  Good ol' NYC parking enforcement got me.  The got my wallet too!  Unfortunately it wiped out any chance of me going to the Chicago BOOBS too.  :(  I'll be there in spirit though! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

BOOBS Anyone??

I am considering a last minute (well not THAT last minute considering it doesn't happen till September) decision to go to the BOOBS get together in Chicago.  Is anyone going that might still need a roomie?  Let me know.  I'm still riding the fence, and even have a local friend who is doing the same.  What's the overall opinion/thoughts/ideas??

side note... I want to punch the chic outside my office door in the throat for cracking her gum.  It makes me friggin nuts!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Alright already!!! I'll be accountable!

Ok so here I am.  I'm going to start posting my weight up WEEKLY.  Get my ass to being accountable.  Today I had a small fill.  Went to see my NP anddddd the GYN today.  My weight today was a whopping 229.5.  My highest was in the 290's, so I'm down a bunch from the start, but still got a way to go.  I'm up from a couple weeks ago, but down from last week.  Wish me luck kids.  Monday is weigh in day.  Here we go.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One Year Bandiversary! With Picture Updates!!

Before Surgery and >>>> About a month ago

I'm a little late to posting this (about 2 weeks).  But I have officially hit my one year bandiversary.  I thought I'd take this time to reflect.  When I started this journey, it was a comment that someone said that had got me going to where I am right now.  I complimented a friend who had been working really hard to get in shape, and was succeeding.  He said "it's really important to me to be in the best shape that I can be, I owe it to myself and I want to be a healthy parent one day and be around for my kids."  He also said a couple other things and all of it hit home really hard for me.  I was 290+ pounds at the time.  The highest that I had ever been.  Over the next few days I went into a panic.  I had looked at some pictures of myself in my best friend's wedding.  My ass looked like it needed a room of it's own!  It had taken on a life of it's own and my bestie and I had an ongoing joke about my ass taking over the pictures.  As funny as it was, I knew that I had to make some serious goals for myself and to get my act in gear.  A combination of heartbreak, health issues, and just generalized all around depression and lack of motivation had led me to my highest weight ever.  No matter what I seemed to do, I couldn't seem to escape this pit that I had gotten myself into.  I joined the gym, did every diet from Cabbage Soup to Weight Watchers to South Beach to the Lemonade Fasts.  Nothing was touching my much needed weightloss. 

I went to see the doctor for a regularly scheduled visit, and had told him about the fact that I was struggling so hard to get my weight under control.  It was at that moment, he said the few words that have changed my life.  "Have you considered a banding procedure?".  I had considered it.  I never had the courage to ask about it though.  I never thought in a million years that my insurance would cover it.  I thought that I would be looked at as ridiculous by my doctor.  I even thought, even though I was pushing 300 pounds that I wasn't overweight enough to be considered for surgery (silly me, I had a BMI over 40, what was I thinking... denial anyone?).  Well it was just that simple.  After my doctor made that comment, I went back to my desk (I work in the hospital where the doc office is) and I started looking into bariatric surgeons in my hospital.  I found that we have an excellent center here and that is where my journey began.  I made my decision in April and 2 months later I would be banded and on my way. 

This journey has been far from easy.  I have good days and bad.  Stuck days and loose days.  Emotional eating (holy ice cream Batman!!) and I have good eating days.  So far I've lost about 70+ pounds.  It's hard to know exactly how much I've lost, because I avoided the scale like mad at my top weight.  Actually this picture is a clear indicator as to how big I had gotten:
I am sitting next to my best friend Riki and this is her Bridal Shower.  You can see the platter of cookies that I brought with me to Dallas all the way from Little Italy in NYC.  I look like I ate that many before I got on the plane.  When I saw this picture of me tagged on Facebook, I was MORTIFIED.  What had happened to me??  When did I get this big??  WTF!?  Who is that??  Yeah.  I was shocked to say the least.  I had completely gotten away from myself.  The following spring I had my surgery and am pleased to say that I am well on my way to a healthier happier me.  I have not been fixated too hard on the number of pounds lost, but really how I feel.  I did NOT feel good then.  I am happy to say I feel much different.  Not only have I gone down from a size 22/24 to a size 14/16, I have regained a boatload of my confidence. 

This is me this week in the dressing room at Anne Taylor Loft:

The dress I'm wearing is a size Large.  I haven't worn a size Large since high school.  This is a huge accomplishment for me.  This is my first visit to a store that doesn't specially carry plus sizes.  I haven't been able to shop in a mainstream store in years if at all in my adult life.  It was such a nice feeling.  Not only did I shop there, I wasn't trying on the biggest size they had.  No scavaging for XL and hoping it's cut big enough to fit.  I was in nearly all Larges.  I was speechless.  The saleswoman that helped me was amazing.  As a matter of fact I need to write a letter to the store to commend her.  Hopefully they will acknowledge her.  I was close to tears so many times and at one point needed to sit down to regain my composure.  All those years of being the big girl are starting to fade away.  I have a long way to go and this journey has really only just begun, but I feel amazing.  I am happy with my decision.  I wouldn't take it back for the world.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My very first "10 Things Thursday"

Somehow I missed this trend of "Ten Things Thursday" and I'm not even sure I'm going to do this right.  I'm guessing that we list 10 random things that has happened to us in the past week.  So here we go!

  1. I started back taking classes again.  I'm now doing shit 7 days a week... in the summer...  what was I thinking.  M-F work, and Sa & Su school 9-1.  Good thing I'm enjoying the class and the professor otherwise I might have bailed on the idea after the first weekend of missed beach time.
  2. My poor boyfriend has got some sort of crazy eye infection in BOTH eyes and has been home on the miserable side for 4 days now.  Men are not very good at being sick.  I am a little too accomodating too, but I know what a baby I can be when I'm sick, so I spoil away.
  3. Today is my bandiversary!  One year today I got this miserable device put in me and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I will have another post about this later though, once I take some pics when I get home.
  4. I don't know if I can come up with 10 random things... this is crazy!  I am feeling much better after having to have an emergency unfill on saturday.  I tried to eat myself out of house and home yesterday though, so they better fill me back up quick!
  5. I am roommate free... the way to be!  This has been the best part of this week.  I have so much room to BREATHE!!!  I forgot how nice it is to have a space this big and to know that whatever I put in it can only be messed up by me or my man who I can promptly kill.  No one will ever treat your stuff the way that you do.  They will break things, throw things away, take things that aren't theirs (like air conditioners) and just act like it is allllll cool.  I'm over it.  Never again in life will I have a roommate.
  6. My niece graduates from high school this week.  That makes me officially an adult.  Somehow that is the event that did it.  (not passing the age of 35 or credit card payments or anything like that).
  7. None of my clothes fit.  I look like a hobo.  No wait... That would be an insult to hobos.
  8. Man... 3 more to go.  who knew this was so tuff?  I'm getting my new sofa delivered this weekend!!  :)  No more college dormatory hand me down looking furniture!!
  9. Two more... hmm... My feet shrunk.  My shoes aren't fitting.  Did anyone else run into this issue??  I'm turing into one of those annoying people who clomp... clomp... clomp... down the halls at work and it's making me bananas.
  10. I'm searching for new ways to get in my leafy greens as they always get stuck.  Has anyone tried their hand at juicing and if so did it get you feeling good??  Did it break your pockets??
Well there you have it kid... My first attempt.  Hope it wasn't too boring.  :-/

Monday, June 11, 2012


I hadn't realized that I have not put up a new pic in a while.  This is almost 10 pounds ago, but here.  Have a look anyway.  I'll take some newby pics for the Bandiversary!

Ups & Downs

It's been a bit of a tough week.  I have been really excited to see the scale moving in the right direction (and consistently at that), however, I had a terrible episode this weekend that resulted in me having to be seen emergently and having all of my fluid removed from my band.  This most recent fill which was about 6 weeks ago, I had a small amount of fluid added to my band.  It was jussst enough to get me to my green zone.  Tight enough to keep me from going overboard, loose enough that I was comfortable eating without much trouble... Until last week. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Big Changes

Yeah... That's pretty much how I feel (and quite possibly look too!).  The past couple months have been tense to say the least.  Lots of good, and some bad, and some just plain old changes.  I officially have a boyfriend these days!  I am so lucky to have this amazingly supportive guy in my life right now.  I can't ask for a better partner.  We met over a year ago, kept in touch long distance for about a year, then took the leap.  A GIANT leap! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012


My name is Ivy and I am a food addict.  I have fallen off the wagon recently.  Due to a necessary unfill I have been able to eat way more than I should.  I need to get back to being accountable.  I have been out of the gym for nearly 2 weeks and need a kick in the ass.  Feel free to start kicking (or encouraging) away.  Calling all fellow banded buddies.  I'm attempting accountability.  Help a girl out here!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Guilty As Charged

I am quite aware that I am behind on my blogging.  The holidays definitely have eaten up a bunch of my time and attention.  There is also the matter of a boy coming to visit me for a week that has caught up my attention as well.  I am prepping for that in so many ways.  I can't wait to share.  For now though, I am at work and need to get my act together.  I will give all the deets later!  Rest assured, there are fun things to report...