Saturday, November 26, 2011

Back from NYC

I hadn't realized how long it had been between posts. I was under a deadline to finish a polished Part One (143 pgs) to hand over to a publisher in NYC on the 23rd. That was accomplished and now I need to polish Part Two. The characters are very much alive in my head so it shouldn't require nearly as many rewrites. I have posted some of my favorite chapters from part one on the I showed it to several people and they went bananas. Plus I already have one Independent Film producer interested in the book. It really reads more like a screen play anyway.

My primary mission for NYC was to attend the opening of the Paul Sharits solo exhibition at the Greene Naftali Gallery in the Chelsea district on Manhattan. The show is awesome and very tasteful. If you are able to make in to NYC go see it. We have two films showing, Third Degree Burn three projector installation and the single projector Axionmatic Granularity. We had a Champagne opening from 11am to 1pm and then a private dinner at 9pm in this fancy Japanese restaurant in midtown. I had two interviews with two art critique magazines and then a two hour video interview for the documentary which premiers this spring. I was burnt out on interviews so I made the film crew cram into my small hotel room. I literally did a John Lennon and did the whole interview propped up against my pillows in bed.

After the interview, we all went down to the Occupy Wall Street headquarters located on the second floor of a college again in midtown. It was kind of scary. For promoting peaceful protests, I wouldn't be surprised if they get violent. The graffiti that was covering the walls and some of the floor sounded pretty militant. I sat in on three different conversations and they all had different goals with two common threads; they wanted to keep "occupying" this school or move on to the next. The other thing that was in the air was the fear of being raided. It was around 7pm and there wasn't that many people in the space so I would think they would have gotten raided during their planning meeting at 8pm. We successfully left the building before it was raided, but we did see several police vans parked within a block of the space. I did collect OWS propaganda newspapers and various printed material including a rough blue print to interrupt the Macy's Day Parade. I couldn't believe they just had it sitting in the old protest signs. One thing is for sure; they don't have a central goal further than being pissed off and occupying things.

After that we took a taxi down to ground zero and we found that the visitors center was really a crowded gift shop. I found it revolting and we left quickly.

While we were there both the Whitney and MoMA were closed for Tuesday, but I have some power in NYC and Greg and I were allowed in with a curator tour. The museums were empty. It's a great way to see the art. I spoke at the opening dinner and it went very well. I have no problem with public speaking and I decided what to talk about in about 30 seconds. My speech was cohesive and well received.

We flew back on Thanksgiving and the airports were nearly empty. It was awesome. I went to the Macy's Day Parade and somehow managed to get a spot three people back in Times Square. By the evening we were back in Colorado and eating Thanksgiving Dinner at my brother's house. It was the perfect day.

The bottom line is that I weighed in at 333 which represents 77 pounds lost since my surgery on August 3rd. I should pass the New Years eve at 320 or less. I should be 280 pounds by my birthday on March 19th. The best present ever. I will be at my ideal weight by December 2012 at the latest.

Friday, November 11, 2011

One week later the band is working fine

For a while I was doubting the effectiveness of the lap-band. It was really more of "I thought it might be leaking." Well, it's not leaking and that last 1cc fill seems to have reduced the band aperture to the point where I can feel it when I drink too fast and once I've taken a few bites. The hunger pains are not completely gone. Yesterday I ate as instructed. Three meals of 1/4 cup and it was hard. I would do much better with 1/2 cup, but the idea is that you don't stretch out the esophagus above the band. Some people deliberately stretch it out, thus rendering the surgery less effective if not completely negated. It seems stupid.

How does the properly inflated band actually feel like?
As I previously mentioned, the first thing I do in the morning is take my bipolar meds (Lamictal and Lorasapam), bariatric supplements, vitamins (primarily vitamin D3x6), hypo-thyroid pill, and, finally my oxycodone for spleen pain. And every other day I take a water pill and subsequent potassium log (they'r big, I have to chew that one up, but it doesn't taste bad.). So this morning I took 15 pills. I can take a few of the smaller pills at the same time, and then one at a time. I can feel each one sliding through the band opening so I have to take my time and let each pill clear. It fells like there is a siphon behind my sternum. I can feel it even more with cold water. If I should happen to lay down before the water goes through, the water will try to drain back out of my mouth.

At breakfast I can feel a traffic jam if I eat something with substance or good texture. I love malt o meal, but it goes right through. An egg is better, however, I like to cook my egg with a dash of cheese, some hash browns, and salsa. It really ends up being twice the size of my meal so I save the other half for lunch. I can kind of feel it, but when I start drinking after an hour or so I can sometimes still feel some of the food and then it power slides through. I'm not supposed to be drinking coffee but I do. However, I can't even use mouthwash that has alcohol.

Lunch and dinner are pretty much the same. On water or liquids 15 mins before eating and no water for an hour after, which means you really need to drink a lot of water when you can.

For some bizarre reason, I have more trouble swallowing my night time meds than I do the morning meds. Maybe it's because I want to lay down and I can't until the meds clear. Nonetheless, I think I'm pretty safe at saying that I can lose 15 per month now. I've just about lost 70 pounds since August 3rd. I'm still hoping I can lose 10 more pounds by my trip to NYC on the 21st. Anything I can do to make the seats more comfortable. 23 inch butt into a 17 inch seat. Ouch.

One last point: My bipolar meds have been fairly consistent and stable, but, if I miss my morning meds I become argumentative by the afternoon. I am that sensitive to my meds.

Friday, November 4, 2011

New adjustment and the end of hunger pains... I hope

I'm a little frustrated because I am still at 347. Now I am quite bloated this morning. I can tell because my home scale weigh -in should have been better and I took my lasix (water pill) this morning and I have already peed like four times and it's only 8am.

On the 2nd of November I had an early adjustment in  the aperture of the band. They added one more cc. I'm sure I am at at least 5cc or maybe 6cc. I got a little confused by the doctors notes from the previous saline addition. Nonetheless, it seems to have worked. My food is staying in place above the ring and water only trickles through. I have to be careful with my meds because I could easily get them stuck and then I would have to wait until they dissolved.

So now I am sticking to the 1/4 cup rule three times a day. I really want to kick this weight loss up a notch. Last night I measured out exactly 1/4 cup of marinaded chicken bits and they stayed in place until I started sipping water. The idea is to keep the food above the ring so your body (stomach) stops creating the acid that makes you hungry. My biggest foe has been my raging appetite. If I can rid myself of the physical and mental hunger than I can lose the appropriate amount of weight.

This morning I made a scrambled egg with some ham bits and a pinch of cheese. When I measured it, it was too much by two times. So I divided it and I will have the rest for lunch. One egg is too much. It surprised me too.

My estimates of loss were too optimistic. I think I can weight 330 by November 21st. In December I should be able to lose at least 15 pounds, so I should finish the year at 315. If I only lose 10 pounds per month then I should around 290 to 280 by my birthday. At that point I really won't be that freaked out by slower weight loss. After all, at 280 by March 19th would be an overall lose of 130 pounds. I would settle for 120.

The best part of this weight loss tool is that I shouldn't ever gain the weight back. Life changer.