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Kiwizoo

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About Kiwizoo

  • Rank
    Bandit

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Sydney
  • Band/Sleeve Status
    Post-Op
  1. Kiwizoo

    almost 3 months on.

    Well done! Really inspiring to hear. All the best on your future journey.
  2. Hey - looking at your tickers and your profiles you have all done SO WELL! You serve as an inspiration to us new bandits, and remind us that we're all human. The kind of self-awareness like you have all demonstrated is waaaaay more important than a week or two off the rails. Of course you'll do something about it when you're ready! Life throws all sorts of crap at us, so that playing by the rules ALL the time is honestly sometimes near impossible! Don't beat yourselves up too much - you're all pretty amazing and your results show that really clearly
  3. Kiwizoo

    Depressed about eating out!

    Hello - I tend to look for places to eat that do really small dishes to begin with, Tapas, Japanese, Sushi etc - so it doesn't feel odd or even noticeable to have a couple of really small plates (and a glass of wine of course!) and makes it feel like a night out. I'm in Sydney, so it's pretty easy to find places like this so I'm lucky. Otherwise I skip the entree when friends have theirs (sometimes have some olives etc.) and then have an entree when they're having their main. Nobody really notices or comments (they know I'm banded though!). Remember - if you're eating out YOU are paying the $$ so you can do what you like, and always ask for a container! A regular sized lasagne as a treat will last me 3 meals at home. The Italian owner says he takes it as a compliment when people ask to take food home! All the best for your journey ahead
  4. Kiwizoo

    Travel Insurance as at 2013

    Hi Brenden, I can confirm that Southern Cross Insurance definitely do. You have to take the Gastric Banding option as an add on - it's an extra $150. It's a little fiddly to do online, but just call them up if you're unsure. Unfortunately I can't upload the PDF to show you but the important sentence is: "We are happy to confirm that we are able to offer you cover for the following Pre-Existing Condition(s), and these are now considered to be Covered Conditions - Gastric Banding - This means we are able to cover unexpected events in relation to these Covered Condition(s)" Worth having a look. Also happy to email you (or anyone else) a copy of the policy doc if it helps give you something to refer to when calling them. All the best.
  5. Kiwizoo

    Overseas travel and getting fill removed?

    Thanks for the tip Rosieroo - I just bought policy online with them and it was pretty easy as you say. You have to choose to cover a 'Pre existing condition' and type in Gastric Banding. The basic policy was $110 and the Gastric Banding cover $150. So $269 which isn't exactly cheap - but I'm going to US/Canada where medical care is expensive - def worth it for the peace of mind! So thanks for sharing.
  6. Kiwizoo

    Travel Insurance as at 2013

    I just got a policy online through Southern Cross Travel Insurance. www.scti.com.au for a US/Canada trip in September. They won best travel insurance 4 years in a row, so that persuaded me a little. The basic 'Superworld' cover I wanted (for US and Canada) was $110 - PLUS a $150 supplement for Gastric Banding (which is classed as a pre-existing condition). So $260 all in. Not cheap - but medical care in the US can be VERY expensive, so worth doing for peace of mind. It was pretty easy - just had to walk through the application online and click the box half way through about wanting a Pre Existing Condition covered, you type in Gastric Banding and a little box pops up asking a couple of questions. But you can call them too if you prefer. They email you with all the policy details once done.
  7. Kiwizoo

    Banded 24-Hours Ago

    ONE MONTH IN! Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of contact over the past 2 weeks. Work has taken me interstate. I'm flying a lot with no problems at all. Anyway, thought I would give you all an overview of the past month. The pain subsided after about 7 days - and got much better after 2 weeks. People still ask me if the procedure is painful and I say - not in itself, but the recovery is a bugger! I felt I had been kicked by a horse some days. The trick, I feel, is to keep smiling. We've all done this because we are unhappy with our bodies in some way or other, and a little bit of pain (and I mean, it's manageable with painkillers!) is just one of the unfortunate side effects. Your liver has to get raised up (read: physically lifted) for the procedure to happen with a lap-band, and the band is then stitched into place. This was a bit of a revelation to me as I was kind of paranoid about the band slipping - it is a hard thing to happen (although not impossible) when it is physically stitched into place! Paranoia creeps in when you least expect it when you have a foreign body in your, erm, body! All sorts of strange dreams popped into my head and at first, and these were confronting. I kept asking myself "Is the band OK?' Am I eating too much?' Should I be having a glass of red?" And it took me some time to settle down and relax to be honest. The band is a robust thing and hundreds of thousands of people have had it without any complications; your experience is individual of course, but don't worry - we all feel these worries and they are apparently really common. I started eating mushies by week 2 - soup has never felt so good! And I even had a glass of red wine, which just made me smile. I moved onto solid food (well, when I say solid - I mean, chewing it to a pulp) week 3 and again, this really made me feel good. Portion sizes have been small - I have never eaten the same amount as I had pre-band but my appetite remains big! Healing is coming on really well too - scars are tiny and while noticeable, hardly worth a second glance. I can feel the port - it's on my left side and my tummy is a LITTLE bit skewed because of where it's placed. (ie. My tummy now has a little dimple! ) I will grow to live with this. It's a little sore at times, but remember, this is stitched into the abdominal muscles, so naturally will take longer to heal and settle down (4-6 weeks apparently). I have a 10ml band, which Dr Taylor from the O Clinic said is put in at a 'neutral' fill level of 3ml. And I'm eating well - but with little restriction. I haven't had a stuck moment, as I'm conscious and chew and chew and chew when I eat - but white bread (which I don't have often) makes me gasp a little and is followed by a slooooooooow wait until it goes down. You can feel it! (I'm quite intrigued as to how more experienced banders have first experienced this sensation?) I am going for my first saline fill in 2 weeks time, and I am quite excited. Although a low BMI-er (I had a few weight related health issues) I have lost about 8% of my body weight in 4 weeks. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Was it sore? A little - but it gets better quickly. Would I do it again? Absolutely? Am I a happier person? YES! BEST thing about the band - I actually feel in control of my body for the first time in 10 years AND IT WORKS!!! WORST thing about the band - the callousness and ignorance amongst friends and family. I was sent a news article from a 'friend' 7 days post-op about someone who had severe complications and had to have their stomach removed. (This is a one in 10,000 occurrence, but some people think they should 'inform you' of the dangers.) These people are idiots. Ignore them. Not the kind of thing you want to read in recovery. It hurt me deeply and made me really angry! I mean, would you send someone with diabetes a similar article? Or someone just recovering from heart surgery?) Other tips: you have to be careful of nutrients - take your Vitamin pill every day - I noticed I was getting tired as a result of forgetting (silly I know!). Optifast is still my choice of brekky, but the band feels tighter in the morning for some reason. Remember to pop in a few teaspoons of Beneful - it is great for constipation (sorry!). But I am eating anything and everything - just less of it. Anyway - off to bed. Good luck to all of you and feel free to holler with any Q's. Will post again in a week or two once I've had my fill. Good luck and best wishes to you all. x
  8. Kiwizoo

    Eat slow, but how???

    In prep for the band, I jumped on ebay and bought a pack of 12 stainless steel Oyster forks. They're little 3 pronged forks and cost about $10 plus $3 postage. So I'm going to use these 'mini forks' instead of the biggies!
  9. This is a GREAT thread - really interesting to know I can lead a (sort of!) normal eating life after the liquid/mushie stage. This is really helpful and inspiring to us newbies and thanks for being so open and generous! For my part, on the liquid/mushie stage I'm having: Breakfast: Optifast Vanilla shake (Shudder!) NT: Skim milk coffee Lunch: Veggie Soup from local cafe (blended) Afternoon: Vanilla Optifast Shake (Shudder again!) Glass of drinking yoghurt (loving that stuff) Evening: Thin Lentil Dahl Soup And...wait for it - a small glass of wine to celebrate 7 days in!! (I'll probably regret it tomorrow! but hey!)
  10. Kiwizoo

    July 2013 Bandits

    HI ForMySon, Welcome and congratulations! The pain goes from being mile to severe; had to come home from work early today - stabbing pains in my chest (not my heart, it's aright above an entry point). It gets better as the days go on though. The stabbing shoulder pains are worst, but these tend to happen mid-afternoon for me. Take your painkillers - they can make you drowsy (es Endomol) but they WORK so keep using them until you feel better!
  11. Kiwizoo

    Freshly banded

    Hi Jello - welcome aboard. I'm newly banded too (last week). All of the bandits on here are really generous with their time and advice - and the more experienced ones are always up for answering any questions. Makes a huge difference.
  12. Kiwizoo

    Why Are People So Delusional??

    I keep these things really positive; I just do a bit of reverse psychology and say, 'Oh Yum - I'm LOVING it! AND it works for me!' But if she keeps it up, just say 'OMG! Wait until I give you my new deep fried mars bar recipe!! You'll LOVE it too!'
  13. Kiwizoo

    Banded 24-Hours Ago

    DAY 6 Hi everyone, thought I'd post a quick update. It's been a really interesting time. Healing has come on leaps and bounds, but I got myself really down - seemed to have a mini-depression the past couple of days. My mate who's a GP says it was most likely a combination of the trauma (your body DOES go through a lot) and the anaesthetic. He also told me to relax; this is regarded as relatively serious surgery and to not sprint for the finish line. I'm not down about the band (which I 'm really happy about!) just a vague feeling of melancholy that was hard to describe and I was REALLY irritable - like a bear with a sore head. A lot more calm and reflective tonight. The night pain has gone and I've come off painkillers. I was starting to not enjoy them (although I'm saving some Endomol for when I'm better and uber stressed and I can have a couple with a glass or red! Just kidding (maybe). Ha! I'm sticking to soups and shakes but I couldn't bear the thought of Optifast anymore. Had a Pea and Ham today which was well blended, but perhaps not 'through a straw' thin, but I chewed it very carefully and boy, was that a welcome treat! It felt like a meal and I was instantly happier. Had about 250mls easy. One of the things I'm really enjoying is drinking yoghurt, which I picked up in Woolies. This has been great for my protein levels, but also for a real tangy taste; it's filling and far from bland. I am noticing a more 'full' feeling even with a cup of coffee or a small soup; I'm going to stick with soup for another week or so before going on to mushies. One of the things I'm hoping one of the more experienced bandits might let me know is, when do you actually KNOW you're full this early on? Or have eaten too much? Is it obvious? I do get little 'electric shocks' of shoulder pain and these HURT but they are pretty rare; every body is different i suppose, and while I didn't get a lot of shoulder pain, I have had a LOT of painful burping. I'm hoping this calms down in time. I also went back to work - I'm a writer so I have a pretty sedentary job. I'm taking it very easy on myself, and am heading home a bit earlier than usual. Anyway - only 6 days in to my new life, but really happy and no regrets. I've lost about 5kg too, which just makes me smile every time!
  14. Kiwizoo

    July 2013 Bandits

    That's GREAT new Gunner - congratulations to you! And it's brilliant that they got the hiatus hernia, once healing starts you will notice a big difference apparently. Take it easy and keep me posted on what's happening as we were actually done the same day - 12 hours apart. I also posted this earlier on in another post, might be good for you to know: Day 3 - Well the pain crept up on me last night just before bed at 11pm. I was thinking it was all a bit too much like plain sailing! However, I took an Endomol (which were provided by the hospital) and that really settled me down. The feeling was one of severe bloating and swelling, and a couple of 'kicking' pangs that freaked me out a bit. The pain started to subside and I slept until 3am, when I got up for a pee (seem to be peeing a lot, but this is good - keep the fluids up!). The pain was perhaps worst at this point; to be honest, if I hadn't read the forums, I think I might have panicked a little - as it felt very tight and the amount of noise coming from my tummy felt like there was a factory churning out a production line in there...took another Endomol and went back to bed. It was a struggle getting up and down, and I was really paranoid that I might be stretching or ripping something! But I think this feeling is normal. Lying down on my back was OK, as was my non-access port side. I slept for a solid 4 hours this way. This morning, had a shake for brekky and some liquid panadol. I walked the dog (gently) and even went into Sydney QVB to pick up some CDs I'd ordered. Again, I just took my time, enjoyed the fresh air and felt myself glow a little knowing this was only Day 3 of my new life. Even had a cup of tea in a local cafe. My one trouble point is the burping which really HURTS! I keep thinking I am going to somehow damage the lap band, and so I try and stifle it and this seems to make things worse! Wondering if everyone has experienced this? My friend who's a GP kept telling me that although it's a relatively small procedure- the nature of it means they're pulling bits of your organs around! So be gentle on yourself. It's 5pm now and I'm sipping a Protein Shake; and I got my first shoulder pangs - not bad - but I still got a bit of a startle! Feels like a little electric shock going through your shoulder blade. These are pretty intermittent and not constant, so with the painkillers, should be no problem. If I had some advice at this stage, it's to not panic, and keep a positive attitude. I am still - despite the pain today - really happy about the op. The band is an amazing bit of modern medicine when you think about it and I'm grateful i'm getting the chance to give it a go! Again, A LOT of this stuff must have been covered by the more experienced bandits, but just wanted to share my journey for the new ones, and the bandits to come! Despite the pain - I'm really excited about the days ahead
  15. Kiwizoo

    Banded 24-Hours Ago

    Day 3 - Well the pain crept up on me last night just before bed at 11pm. I was thinking it was all a bit too much like plain sailing! However, I took an Endomol (which were provided by the hospital) and that really settled me down. The feeling was one of severe bloating and swelling, and a couple of 'kicking' pangs that freaked me out a bit. The pain started to subside and I slept until 3am, when I got up for a pee (seem to be peeing a lot, but this is good - keep the fluids up!). The pain was perhaps worst at this point; to be honest, if I hadn't read the forums, I think I might have panicked a little - as it felt very tight and the amount of noise coming from my tummy felt like there was a factory churning out a production line in there...took another Endomol and went back to bed. It was a struggle getting up and down, and I was really paranoid that I might be stretching or ripping something! But I think this feeling is normal. Lying down on my back was OK, as was my non-access port side. I slept for a solid 4 hours this way. This morning, had a shake for brekky and some liquid panadol. I walked the dog (gently) and even went into Sydney QVB to pick up some CDs I'd ordered. Again, I just took my time, enjoyed the fresh air and felt myself glow a little knowing this was only Day 3 of my new life. Even had a cup of tea in a local cafe. My one trouble point is the burping which really HURTS! I keep thinking I am going to somehow damage the lap band, and so I try and stifle it and this seems to make things worse! Wondering if everyone has experienced this? My friend who's a GP kept telling me that although it's a relatively small procedure- the nature of it means they're pulling bits of your organs around! So be gentle on yourself. It's 5pm now and I'm sipping a Protein Shake; and I got my first shoulder pangs - not bad - but I still got a bit of a startle! Feels like a little electric shock going through your shoulder blade. These are pretty intermittent and not constant, so with the painkillers, should be no problem. If I had some advice at this stage, it's to not panic, and keep a positive attitude. I am still - despite the pain today - really happy about the op. The band is an amazing bit of modern medicine when you think about it and I'm grateful i'm getting the chance to give it a go! Again, A LOT of this stuff must have been covered by the more experienced bandits, but just wanted to share my journey for the new ones, and the bandits to come! Despite the pain - I'm really excited about the days ahead
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