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Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Over the course of the past 14 years I have tried every fly by night energy enhancer, weight loss miracle and snake oil available to try to regain some strength. If you have Chronic Fatigue you will understand totally and I'm sure you have also purchased your fair share. When I first got sick in 1999 I weighed around 160. Being all of 5'4'', that is too heavy for a small frame. but manageable.  I was never overweight as a child or young adult. I had a quite traumatic event in 1992 that was emotionally shattering and quite publicly humiliating. Looking back I saw the pounds start to accumulate after this situation. Hello emotional eating... When I became full blown CFS/ME and Fibro(FM) it was all over for my puny metabolism. I took my current job in 2001 and by 2004  i weiged 230 pounds. One common remark from all doctors and most acquaintances was "If you would lose that weight you wouldn't be so tired and would feel so much better". Seemed plausible. So in 2004 my insurance covered me to have the Lap-Band gastric procedure. If you are not familiar, basically through laproscopic surgery, a round ring is placed around the upper section of the stomach, forming an hour glass shape. You have a  new smaller stomach that is about the size of an egg. The band actually can be adjusted  via a port under the skin of the mid stomach area to allow more or less solid food  to pass through to the bottom of the stomach. It is reversible and not as drastic a procedure as a full gastric by-pass. I did very well and lost weight quickly. I  only needed one adjustment or fluid increase to get to a desired weight of around 150 for me. That put me in a size 12 and I was very happy with that. Now the bad news: If possible, i felt worse with more fatigue and body pain after the procedure than before. My hair fell out by the handfuls, I had to have IV iron infusions twice due to severe anemia. I also discovered that if you have an eating disorder or stress binge eat, you will continue to do the same  with the band. On that note, may I say that vomiting becomes a way of life if you have the band. I named my band Gary. Strange guttural noises at the most inopportune times are also part of Lap-Band. Mine sounded like a cat meowing... so naturally I named it Gary after the snail from Bikini Bottom. If you don't watch Sponge Bob then bless your heart, you're clueless about now. Anyway, I felt absolutely no better approx. 80 pounds lighter. That was when I knew I had true Chronic Fatigue. Don't blame the fat,or the depression or lack of exercise... I'm freaking too tired to live.  This type of fatigue does not improve with spring, or new relationships or a new job. It's life altering and your environment or the time of the year has little to do with it. I get so tired of hearing how I should just "get outside and do more". Folks listen to me please: It is only by the grace of God I can work a 40 hour week, I have to crash and recoup every minute I'm home!  To add to the stress and disappointment of no improvement to my symptoms, I began to have horrible acid reflux in late 2011. I got aspiration pneumonia  and was very ill. I certainly knew how dangerous untreated acid reflux is and a precursor to esophageal cancer. So in January of 2012 I got the bad news my band had "failed". My upper stomach was herniated into my spleen. So all fluid was removed and I pretty much can eat as much as I can hold..not a good thing for me. My doc told me the old style bands were having to be removed from most patients and I could have a newer procedure involving the removal of some of my stomach. I don't think so.. I have gained a tremendous amount of weight in one year which is so depressing. On the other hand I really missed fresh fruits and vegetables and good solid food that i could not eat with the Lap-Band.  I'm a sugar junkie. That is my main issue.  This leads me to my latest quest for energy and weight control: Chia Seeds..yep, just like the most valued of cheesy gift ideas. These are the edible variety from health or specialty stores.  Do not buy a Chia Pet and eat the seeds..they are not sanitary and edible.The ones I bought are organic and cost around $13 for small bag. Every week I pick up a Woman's World magazine and this was one of their featured diets a week or so ago. The title caught my eye "Better than Lap-Band Surgery" ok, I'll bite... it works on the theory the seeds expand in the stomach and give the sensation of fullness.They also claim to be a natural energy enhancer. I have to say my food consumption today has dropped significantly, no hunger pangs all day. I drank a Slim Fast with a tbsp of seeds in it this morning. I suppose the next few days will tell the tale.. I will be a few pounds lighter or I will be sprouting a lovely green moss... on that note ,where's my razor?