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Friday, February 19, 2010

2/19/10 My 'Bander Meal'

Today's blog may seem like I'm diverting a little from my 'nutrition series', but to me, this is part of my nutrition...at least partly with vitamins/supplements...and the other part is medications, but since some of us also have the same 'obesity related comorbidities' I thought I'd include them as well. I know when I was starting out I wondered what kinds of vitamins and supplements others were taking, especially since all this 'pill' stuff was new to me.

*Portions of Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Yep, this is how many pills I take a day...morning on the left/plate (I use the lg. daily pill box), evening on the right/plate (I use the sm. daily pill box...yes, today is my day to refill them), and 'as needed' in packaging. Just a few years ago I was taking absolutely NO pills, unbelievable. I had some daily mulitvitamins that I'd try to remember to take when I was dieting (remember, I was ALWAYS dieting or gaining), but I almost never took them. Now, as DH says, I'm consuming a whole 'Bander Meal' of pills LOL...yep they're filling (and I will admit having to 'search' through a PB to see which ones came back up once...not fun). I'm not someone who was ever into supplements or liked adding medications without a need, but you'll see that almost everything I'm now taking was Doctor recommended. Am I happy that I'm taking this many pills? No, but I'm getting my health back and it's working.

OK, this is going to be dry reading and not something that anyone will need ALL this information. Skim down through the sections in CAPS/bold and just read the ones that pertain to you. Feel free to ask me anything as I'm an open book, and I'd love it if you shared information you have that's different from mine in any of these areas.

COUGHING/ALLERGIES/ASTHMA:
*I have had Pneumonia about 6 times in my life and have always had a problem with many bouts of Bronchitis and other things effecting my lungs. A few years ago I had a very severe 12 week cough. I went back to my (then) PCP's and saw three different doctors over that cough before they finally sent me to a Pulmonologist (of course by then the cough was done).
*Testing: Lung x-rays (twice), blood tests (one Doc thought I had 'hand/foot/mouth disease), strep test, chest CT (one doc thought I'd had some pulmonary embolisms that had dissolved on their own by the time they ordered this test-at the end of my cough).
*Medications: I was put on several different rounds of different antibiotics (some thought it was Bronchitis), prescription cough suppressants, even a narcotic shot, throat numbing tabs, and mucus treatments. I was also put on several types of inhalers.
*Our whole family (minus DD who was at college) went to the Allergist for testing. To everyone's surprise (even the Allergist) I found out then that I am highly allergic to almost everything environmental (no foods). My lung function was also very impaired.
*My new PCP got me to a different Pulmonary specialist group and after going through all the breathing testing I found out I had Adult Onset Asthma and severe Post Nasal Drip. Asthma can be aggravated by Obesity.
*My new PCP gave me the Pnemonia vaccine and I am now on several medications for the Asthma and the Allergies. I haven't had any major lung problems since then.
-Rx: Fluticasone Proionate---50 mcg---1 spray each nostril---2x/day---for Allergies and Asthma
-Rx: Singulair----------10 mg-----1 tab---------------------1x/day----for Allergies and Asthma
-Rx: Albuterol Sulfate--17 g-------2 puffs AS NEEDED-4-6 hours--for Allergies and Asthma
-OTC: Antihistamine---10 mg---1 tab----------------------2x/day----for Allergies and Asthma
-OTC: Halls Methol-----7 mg----1 drop AS NEEDED---2 hours----for cough

INCONTINENCE:
*Most of you will remember all my incontinence issues and the doubled surgery I had for it (Hysterectomy and Bladder Sling), which both failed (my Urologist said I'm the only one he's ever had that's failed…great). Yes, stress incontinence can be related to Obesity. I had given up, but went back to the Urologist (this was several years after the surgery) and went through both the Urodynamic testing (lots of wires and TMI) and later the bladder scoping again (both fine).
*He sent me to a specialist. She gave me an exam and sent me for both a bladder and abdominal ultrasound and internal ultrasound as well as abdominal x-rays. She gave me this daily pill and it works very well (YAY, no more peeing my pants...I'm down to tiny pads, really my 'security blanket', and off those MEGA pads!).
-Rx: Vesicare----5 mg------1 tab--------1x/day---for Incontinence

JOINT PAIN/OSTEOARTHRITIS:
*I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my lower back about 10 years ago. It had gotten to the point where I was taking a lot of anti-inflammatories and using a heating pad most nights. After pulling some major muscles across my back and left shoulder lifting a couch a few years ago, my shoulder had been progressively been getting worse, I had sporadic back and arm muscles spasms and even numbness and tingling in my hand. I just figured I would have to eventually have shoulder surgery like my Dad had. I was also beginning to have more pain in my knees and feet (Can you say Obesity?).
*My new PCP sent me for spine and shoulder x-rays and sent me to Physical Therapy for the first time. I found out that I have osteoarthritis not only in my lower back, but also in the spine near my neck and that is what was causing the shoulder problems. I also found out from the x-rays that I had mild scoliosis/curvature to the side and pretty severe lordosis/sway back (yes, this can be aggravated by Obesity…just take a look at my fat a$$ my back had to hold up).
*The treatment I got through Physical Therapy helped the shoulder a LOT, and the lower back somewhat (I'd highly recommend PT). Getting the weight off has also helped tremendously.
-OTC: Glucosamine Chondroitin---1,500 mg---1 tab----1x/day----for healthy cartilage and joint support.

MIGRAINES:
*I got my first migraine about 20 years ago and they had very slowly increased in frequency to the point where a few years ago I had some weeks where I had them 3x a week. They were completely debilitating and OTC meds were no longer helping (had been helping if I started them soon enough).
*My new PCP sent me for a brain MRI ('unremarkable', hee-hee) and had me keep a migraine journal (coming off caffeine and other trigger foods didn't help). It was determined that I was getting severe migraines as well as rebound headaches from all the OTC pain relievers I was taking for both the headaches and the osteoarthritis pain.
*They started me on a migraine daily preventative which worked really well until recently when I've been getting some again and now they've increased the dosage and that seems to be helping. This is the only one of my pills that I only take in the evening as the migraines almost always begin in the wee hours of the morning. The PCP also gave me a non-NSAID pain reliever to use when I get one (after LB we can't take NSAIDS), and they also gave me a 'vomiting remedy' prescription as I can get violently nauseous (bad with the Band) with some migraines (I have used this twice since banding for vomiting).
-Rx: Amitriptyline----75 mg------1 tab----1x/day at night---for Migraine prevention
-Rx: Isometh/APAP (generic Midrin)--1-2 caps AS NEEDED--every hour, up to max 5/12 hrs.---for Migraine pain
-Rx: Ondansetron-----8 mg----1 tab AS NEEDED-----2x/day----for severe vomiting (I'd recommend all Banders have something similar on hand for severe vomiting of any kind).

HYPERTENSION/HEART:
*I had consistent hypertension for a year before the PCP started me on medication for it (when I started it was 158/110). They had to double the dosage to get it under control. Recently I was at the PCP and my lower number had finally come down into the mid-low 80's, so I asked about cutting down on the meds. She's OK'd me cutting my pills in half as a test and I was finally able to get a BP check at the Cardiologist the other day. I was thrilled to see the best reading I've had in years 120/80 and he said if this keeps up I could go off the medication in about 6 months.
*I had to go to the Cardiologist for my LB clearance due to my family history. Dad has had 2 heart attacks and 3 stents, one sister has had two mini strokes, and both are on BP meds. I had a heart MRI (normal), an EKG, and a clearance exam/visit pre-op. Five days post-op I was back at the hospital with chest pain and pain breathing. A clot was ruled out, my lungs weren't inflating all the way, but my EKG was abnormal so they kept me overnight for a stress test (normal, some ribs were displaced in the surgery).
-Rx: Lisinopril-----5 mg------1 tab-----1x/day------For Hypertension
-OTC: Vitamin E--400 IU----1 tab-----1x/day------Cardiovascular health
-OTC: *Fish Oil--with 300 mg Omega-3's--1 softgel--2x/day------ " "
* As soon as we use up this bottle, I'm going to buy the Costco/Kirkland, Enteric coated fish oil, which has a higher concentration of the Omega 3's needed:
Omega 3 EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) 410 mg
Omega 3 DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) 274 mg
I'm hoping I'll only need 1 of the new kind/day, but am interested in your opinions on how much is needed.

OTHER:
*GASTROENTEROLOGIST- We all had to have colonoscopies after finding pre-cancerous polyups in the family. Mine was clean. We also were sent to a Genetic counselor who found no genetic testing was yet needed.
*OBGYN- I go for annual checkups (no more PAPs after the hysterectomy), I also get yearly mammo's (dense breast tissue and lots of benign cysts usually have the tech gasping). I have had left breast pain for about 10 years (they tell me cysts can be painful, cancer isn't). A few years back the OBGYN put me on a estrogen and testosterone pill, but I went off of it after a few months at my PCP's recommendation (I was having sudden dizziness and joint pain). This year I decided to try and just address my hot flashes…my face gets beet red and it can be embarrassing, not to mention uncomfortable. The OBGYN started me on the following pill and it has been working really well for this:
-Rx: Venlafaxine---37.5 mg------1 tab-----2x/day---for hot flashes
*OPTHAMOLOGIST- Both of my parents have Macular Degeneration, although different kinds. Both my Mom's sisters also have it as well as several grandparents (so I'm screwed LOL). The Opthalmologist recommends a daily dose of this:
-OTC: Lutein------20 mg------1 softgel---1x/day---eye health

LAP-BAND:

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

What depth, I am in awe. This will help many.

I am feeling better today I can't wait to get home and get back on my own schedule. Being banded and being on a schedule is very important to me. Thanks for sharing. Love imaluckydog

LDswims said...

Wow, BG, thanks a ton!

Questions. what do you use for calcium chews? Are they high in sugar/carbs?

Do you take B12? I'm kinda curious about that one and plan to ask in one week and six days (but who's counting) at my next appt. What are your thoughts on that one?

Thanks for all the info! There is always lots to think about with this...that's for sure!

Kimberly said...

Do you have to cut those pills up to get them past the band?

Band Groupie said...

The best source of B12 is from foods rich in it (the proteins most Banders eat):
- Meat
- Poultry
- Milk and other dairy products
- Eggs
- Fish
(So vegetarians usually need supplements).

The Centrum Chewables that I take twice a day...each one has: 6 mcg which is 100% DV (so I get 200% of Daily Value per day).

There is a huge debate about whether B12 can actually boost your metabolism and how much it helps with weight loss. It's known as an 'energy booster'-to help keep you feeling like you have more energy to exercise etc., and some say that it only helps people who are deficient in it. Many say it's not proven that it does anything to the metabolism directly (we all know of people getting B12 shots to lose weight).

I'll be interested to see what your doc says about it and how much you need!

Band Groupie said...

Calcium Chews- I use the Kirkland sugar-free ones from Costco. I listed the nutrition above, the calories are 20 (5 from fat), and the Carbs are 3g (0 Sugars).

The only pills I cut are: my Lisinopril, which is a tiny triangular pill...you can see the tiny 1/2 pill on the plate (we're testing a half dose, so I'm expecting that she'll write a new Rx for the new dosage). I also just hand 'break' the Glucosamine Chondroitin pills in half...the large yellow oval pill on the plate (just below the chew on the left top) it's very dense/hard so it snaps in half easily...I could probably get this down whole, but I haven't tried to risk it...the rest go down fine. Oh and the 2 large orange ones are the Centrum chewables.

Michelle said...

Holy lots of info on here... I am scared of pills now. I took an advil 1 day after a fill and it got stuck.. So now I am super cautious about pills...

Dirttrackdiva said...

Holy list of medications batman! I'm with you on the migraines though. I get them too, accompanied with blinding muscle spasms in my neck due to a cist. I take 350 mg muscle relaxers on top of 100 of amitryptaline. I don't take them both at once, but they go down fine.

Band Groupie said...

LOL...yeah, it looks like I'm getting sicker instead of healthier doesn't it?!!

Gen said...

Okay now I feel bad whining about my little gallbladder surgery - you had the double surgery that did not work! So sorry! But wow that is great the pill is working for you. After 4 vaginal births I can only imagine how the incontinence thing will work out for me in the future....

I take diuretics for high bp but my bp has been better than ever - I know how you feel about that!

So I am totally impressed with the way you are taking care of yourself! Way to go BG!

Girl Bandit said...

Wow...thanks for the info. It is great that a lot of your health problems are being resolved as you certainly had a lot to deal with.

diane said...

Really good info. I take a chewable flintstones with my other prescription pill to make it all chewable. I read a couple of horror stories about band slippage/erosion due to swallowing whole pills. For pain etc. other OTC meds, I use liquid kids meds!

Dirttrackdiva said...

a little bit of both actually. i also have a really bad back (three herniated disks) so it's partly for that. not really as a preventative. was on topamax for that. not anymore.
been there many times though, in the fetal position vomiting in the dark. that's when i just sprawl out on the bathroom floor with ice on my face and heat on my neck. seems to work, as long as i don't breathe, throw up, or open my eyes. :D

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