Lisa's Diary reveals the emotions and day-to-day experiences of a real patient in Fort HealthCare's Bariatric Program.


December 26, 2010

Merry (Belated) Christmas!

It’s about time to get down to some serious winter. So far, I’ve enjoyed the winter. Not too cold (which, to me, means not below zero), and some pretty snowfalls. I love the hush after a big snowfall. It makes me think that I should be whispering outside, because nature is.

Enough waxing poetic for the night, and down to the big question:


Well, not exactly — but pretty close! As of Christmas Day, I weighed 197, only one pound short of my goal! I’m okay with that, considering I ate a bunch of garbage before Christmas, but I also exercised a lot — that probably helped me to not gain any more weight over the holidays.

The best part of having the LAP-BAND® during the holidays is that even though I probably ate things I should have, at least I couldn’t eat too much of it! No more “bottomless holiday pit.” I found that having a bite or a small portion of my favorite holiday foods satisfied the urge for them, but I didn’t overindulge because I got full. Oh, happy day! :)

At my last appointment, I didn’t think I was going to be able to get to my goal because I had gained a pound. Actually, I gained five pounds in a day, but there was nothing I could do about it (get it, girls?).

I was feeling like a failure and really beating myself up, but then Dr. Erickson and Patrice set me straight, and I got on with life. It made me so mad because I was working hard, but then I gained weight. Sometimes I’ll lose a couple pounds without trying, but when I gain after working hard and eating right, it really gets my dander up!

I haven’t set a new goal, although it was a great incentive for me. Maybe we should bet!

Any takers? How hard do you want me to work?

I’d like to have 100 pounds off by March, but I’m not sure that’s realistic. I’m at 69 pounds lost right now, and what a difference in my clothes! I’ve gone from size 22 to size 16, and now my jeans are starting to get loose.

That’s not the only thing getting loose… My skin is getting a little droopy as it doesn’t have the elasticity of youth anymore. My double chin has taken on the appearance of double skin. Wouldn’t it be nice if the bariatric program offered free skin de-bulking with every hundred pounds lost? Unfortunately, most plastic surgery is self-pay and that’s not an option for someone in my line of work.

Oh, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without a story about giving. A friend bought me an outfit from Under Armour to work out in, because she knows I don’t like to sweat. Does she know me, or what? Now I’ll have to keep exercising. It’s still not my favorite thing to do!

Until next time,

— Lisa

October 6, 2010

Well, a couple of weeks ago I got greedy and I paid for it.

I was slowly losing weight — one or two pounds a month — and decided that needed improvement. At my monthly appointment, I decided I wanted more saline in my band because I felt I was eating too much before getting full. I discussed this with Dr. Erickson and Patrice, and we decided to “tweak” the band. He put in two-tenths of a cc — not much at all.

The next morning, I could barely get my yogurt down. I spoke with Dr. Erickson, who felt we needed to take the saline back out, so we did later that afternoon. I thought it was going to be okay, but my stomach must have been irritated and swollen — for the next week or so, even drinking water was a chore. I thought this was good because I DEFINITELY couldn’t eat much this way! When I couldn’t drink my Diet Pepsi and it took all day to get my morning medication down, it dawned on me — this wasn’t good.

(Plus the fact that I was REALLY cranky didn’t help much!)

Finally, I threw in the towel and called Patrice on a Sunday* to see what she thought, and she agreed that some saline needed to be taken out. On Monday, Dr. Erickson took one cc out. While I stood up to drink some water, it still hung around in the back of my throat. :(

I laid back down and he took another cc out, but when I sat up to drink more water, it wouldn’t go down again. Out came another half cc and the water went down — a good thing, right?

It was a great thing for me, because I felt like I had no restriction at all. I could eat and drink with impunity — but that doesn’t promote weight loss. I actually only gained one pound, because I decided to use restraint instead of just eating whatever I wanted. Still, I could eat nothing like I used to.

Now, it’s a slow process to get things back to where they were, which is perfect for me. I’ve had one cc put back in, and we’ll probably go up from there in two weeks.


If you’re losing weight (even slowly) and things are restricted but still comfortable, don’t get greedy! It was like a little vacation once they let it down, but was miserable when it was too tight. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I’m down between 58 and 60 pounds, depending on the day, but my clothes are fitting differently. I’m not setting any records, but they tell me it’s not a race. You should expect to reach your goal in 12 to 18 months — which might seem like a very long time. I’m still walking my dogs every day, and I’ll go on the treadmill three to four times a week. Love it (not!).

So long for now…

— Lisa

June 16, 2010

I would like to write about all of the fantastic accomplishments that I’ve had in the past couple of weeks, but I can’t. I’m kind of in a holding pattern right now. Since May 2, I’ve lost just over 43 pounds. Overall, that’s not too shabby — but I can’t help but think I should be down more than that. It’s not like I don’t know what’s happening. Can you guess what it is?

Complacency, that’s what!

I’ve really fallen off my exercise program for a few reasons including laziness, the weather and my new puppy. I could go on and on about Stella (my 9-week-old yellow lab puppy), but I’ll leave it at this — she takes a lot of time and energy. She’s actually sleeping through the night now, but for a while I wasn’t getting any sleep!

On Tuesday, I saw Dr. Erickson and he filled me in a little bit. I think I’m doing OK in that respect, but as I’ve said before, exercise plays a big part in this. The band is a tool to help — but I have to do the leg work, so to speak. Of course, he reassures me that everything is going to plan.

Maybe his plan, but not mine! Ha! ;)

To get myself back on the wagon, I’ve set a goal to lose 15 pounds by July 15 — so I’d better get off my butt and start working!

I know the truth is that I’m the only one who can make this happen, so I’ll talk to you again in a week or so!


— Lisa