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


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

September 7, 2010

Whew! Just got off of the treadmill after two hours!

Okay, maybe it was more like 21 minutes and 34 seconds, but who’s counting?

Time is relative, but I will say I wasn’t sure I knew that toenails could sweat. Maybe they are crying tears of joy since the workout is done, but who can tell? In case you haven’t caught on, I really don’t like exercise — but it’s so much better than hot weather! Finally, some nice temperatures.

First of all, I have been meaning to do some of my entries on video, but I keep forgetting to get the camera. So, I thought I would write something tonight while it was in my little head.

I’m still holding at 55 pounds and am none too pleased. All I can do is continue to do what I have been doing and increase my level of exercise. It has been some time since my last appointment, but I’m thinking of making one soon because, for some reason, I’m starving all the time. Maybe my body is insulating itself for winter? That’s definitely what it’s used to this time of year.

Oh — I was in the grocery store tonight, and the five-gallon buckets of ice cream looked lonely. I’ve been known to take a stray ice cream home at times, but these didn’t look that lonely — yet.

Sorry if I seem long-winded tonight, but I had kind of a stressful day at work — and writing this has been keeping me away from the lonely refrigerator! ;)

Time to face reality,

— Lisa

April 19, 2010

HEY FOLKS! I’m back again after a short absence. Today I am one month and three days post-op and I have lost 32 pounds!

Things have been remarkably unremarkable as far as recovery goes, and it’s been easier than I thought it would be. The biggest challenge I face is the liquid restrictions before and after meals. I have always consumed lots of liquids all throughout the day, so this has been difficult. With my job in the operating room, I never know when I’m going to get a break, so I have to decide which I want more: water or food. There was a little learning curve, but I’m learning to adjust. It’s easier for me not to think about how thirsty I am after eating — and eventually, my 90 minutes is up.

Dr. Erickson put some fluid in my band at four weeks because I was hungryall of the time. That worked for a few days — but now as I sit here, I’m hungry again. They have told me it may take a few fills until I reach that “happy spot,” so until then I try to stick to smaller portions.

Something to work on, though, is my exercise. We all know you can’t starve fat off, so I need to find what works for me. I see Patrice and Dr. Erickson again on April 27, so I’ll have a picture taken then to show you how I look — so I don’t just have to tell you how I look!

That’s all for now,

— Lisa