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Pictures of Me
* = Pre-Op

 My story in my own words, most mispelled

This is the Pre-Op page - A diary of all that happened UP to my operation.
There is a post-op page HERE now that I have HAD the operation

A GREAT Article appeared on my weight loss Click here!

UPDATE: 4/4/07 - Lots of links are broken, Im fixing them!
Im feeling better and will have new updates soon
Im really Sorry about the delays!

= Funny Stories

If you represent a media company, are a student writing a report or anyone interested in interviewing me for any talk show, magazine, thesis, census or other types of interview please click here

Here is my story:

Today is Sunday September 07, 2003 two days before I go to my first seminar on a lap band surgery Today I spent a few hours on the net doing research and reading a lot about you out there who have had great results with the lapband. So soon I will be joining this closing circle (pun intended) of 'bandsters'

I registered "bandster.us" as a domain name. I hope to use this site to journal my operation from start to finish, With a lot of pictures and stories.

My name is Jonathan. Im a 44 year old man, I weigh approx. (I have'nt weighed myself in years) 450 lbs. I am a computer geek for a children's clothing manufacturer in NYC. I have been on a lot of diets (the last one a 6 month liquid diet, where I dropped 100 lbs, but sadly it came back slow and steady) the reason for my decision to get the lapband is that this year 2003 has been my 'breakdown' year.

Before this, taking an aspirin was a big deal for me, I have been (really) sick twice in my life, but aside from my weight I lived a normal life, Home, girlfriends, a reasonable sex life.

And then It started with a lump on my neck...
 The 'Lump' and Thoughts.

 Tuesday, September 09 2003

I missed the seminar, I thought it was at 7:30 not 6:00 and I missed it. I was very upset about it. As I was driving home a little voice in my head kept saying "reward yourself, comfort yourself, you need some comfort " I wanted to, very badly buy some ice cream, some Chinese food, any type of comfort food to calm me, But I went home and crawled into bed and moped.

 Friday, September 12 2003

This morning I went to get a MRI done, to see how my sciatica is healing. The MRI machine barely held me, and they had to use a "extra large" coil on me. They had some technical problem so I need to come back next week. The tech was telling me he never used it before, and it was probably never set up. Am I THAT large? to be the first person to use it.
Im not alone, read this article

It makes me think have I set myself up in a world where I have custom fit everything to me? And I don't see just how fat I am

I "FEEL" Normal, I KNOW I'm fat, but I didn't know HOW fat, I look at fat people and go GOD THEY'RE FAT, and think of myself as HALF of what they look like. But I think maybe I have been deluding myself.

I have a job, I have a relationship with a 'normal' woman, I never have given thought to Is there such a difference between me and everyone else?

I drive a SUV, I wear stretch pants so I never have a waist band digging into me, I have a Jacuzzi so I can fill it to my chest and submerge myself. Have I put on a 'emperor's set of clothes' (Super size it Please!) and made it all very comfortable for myself and lost touch with just how fat I am?

This is something I need to think about.

Do you think you're morbidly fat? click here

 Saturday, September 13 2003
I have been reading a lot on the operation and mentally preparing myself for it. I am taking daily (well some days I miss a day) pictures of myself to track the loss. - Im going to try and NOT weigh myself
I want to see myself get thinner, not live for numbers.
Tuesday I have my psyche evaluation and Thursday
is the seminar with Dr. Ren.

Here is a listing of Seminars dates Held by Dr. Ren.


Wendnesday, September 24 2004 
 I had my meeting with Dr. Huberman It went really well, he asked me about my family and my eating habits, if I binged and if I was a big meal eater (I am) or a "snacker" (I'm not) and that the band is a commitment NOT a miracle pill, and that I can cheat the band and not lose weight, and to use it as a tool to help me lose weight

Also the avarage is a 60% loss of weight and that I am hoping to go to 250lbs (My 'ideal' would be 190) and that it was aggressive, but achievable.

Now that I have met with the psychologist I was given the green light to make an appoitment with dr. ren (Yea!) which is Oct 01 2004 Thursday I am going to her seminar (she still requires it) as a pre-amble to surgery

 Thursday, September 25 2004
The Seminar

At the Seminar there where 35 people there all "my size" Dr. Ren is a thirty something lady, a bit cynical but sincere. I know a oxy-moron, but she really believes in what she is doing and she definetly connects with her patience, when she spoke of the loss of a patient it effected her deeply, and showed. She went thru all the different procedures Stomach bypass, and lapband. she also brought along a LapBand so everyone can see it, hold it in there hands make it less foreign (after all its gonna live in you for the rest of your life) She also gave a power point presentation (on a mac) of the facts and figures of weight gain, and the procedure (I will try and get a copy of it to put online)

Some of the Highlights:

Your stomach is the size of a football
After the operation the 'pouch' that's created is the size of a golf ball
(approx 2 oz)

OK, Here is a MORE scientific Picture!

When you eat the pouch fills and secrets a chemical called Ghrelin or Leptin that tells your brain it is full (I also have heard it called by the name apitstate - Im sure that's a non medical term) and then slowly empties (every 2 hrs) into your larger stomach and is digested as normal. The size of the opening in your lap band can be the size of a dime (personally it looked more like the size of a half dollar) to the size of a pencil eraser (looked larger, Im quoting Dr. Ren) What ever you eat has to go thru the lapband

If you eat something that is not (really) well chewed it will sit on top of the pouch (accompanied by a bit of pain (last a few minutes)) and won't go down At that point you have to excuse yourself and throw it up. to 'clear' the opening. Luckily the food has not been subjected to digestive acids so its not 'too gross' If you know what I mean!

"Fat people eat fast, what will stop us from wolfing down our food"
A lady asked.

Dr Ren replied "PAIN"

Everyone laughed. I know that pain is a great teacher and NONE of us want pain.

There are no tests yet, but the lapband has a estimated life of 20 years. Then it can be removed or replaced.

The estimated weight loss is 65% of your total body mass.
So using myself as a example, Im 450 lbs (estimated) I will lose 100 Lbs in the first year - 80 Lbs the second year - 30 Lbs the third year and by year five I will have gained back 20-30 Lbs (the way I figure it)
My personal goal is 250 Lbs (My "ideal" weight is 190 for my height.

They say the Biggest weight loss is the first year (which makes sense you can lose 50 lbs of weight just from excess water stored in your fat cells)

 Seminar Part II

One disturbing thing Dr. Ren Talked about, was, Obisity is now becoming a epidemic, The second preventable killer, right behind smoking!


The figures are shocking

To me this is more frightening then a picture showing a enlarged heart and fat wrapping itself around the lungs.

 Saturday, September 27 2003

Whoa! - Lots going on.
Well last night I had a panic attack, well it felt like one.
I was 'hungry' constantly even after I just ate, I was hungry again.
Somewhere deep in my sub-consious Im starting to panic. Its becoming real to me and im starting to think about all the foods I will never be able to eat again.

I spent most of my day doing internet research on Dr. Ren, not on the operation but to get a feel for 'her' - My initial feelings where dead on. She is a no nonsense but caring doctor, and everyone who has used her raves about her.

FYI: the band can hold .5cc of liquid - the 'perfect' fill seems to be at .2cc

 Monday, September 29 2003

I saw a great video on Roberta's Story
Roberta is the president of ob/gyn.net had a lap band installed in Germany.
They covered her procedure from pre-op to two years after, with alot of insights and you get to see the actual surgery both internally and externally
Very informative (and just a touch scary)

 Tuesday, Sept 30 2003

Wednesday is my meeting with Dr. Ren, Today I got my doctors letter, and a copy of my last blood work-ups.
I am as ready as Im going to be (well, paper work wise) and now to meet with her. Hopefully my next entry will have a DATE!!!!

 Wednesday, October 01 2003

Well, I met with Dr. Ren, but, No Date!
My blood pressure / sugar levels are too high and she wants me and my GP to get more aggressive with the treatment.

The BIG surprise of the day is my weight, I thought I weighed in at 450 Lbs, My Real weights is 365 Lbs!!!!!

I know im still a tubbo. But Jesus I was off my almost 100 POUNDS, that was a SHOCKER! I guess im taking better care of myself then I thought!

 Tuesday, October 7 2003

I spent several hours at my GP office to arrange the tests I need for pre-qualifying for surgery I need to get a esophagogram or more info
And a Stress Thallium (1-3 hours) You can't have food, liquids or take heart medications 6 hours before the scheduled stress test time.
This exam requires the you return 1-3 hours after the first appointment time for scanning to be completed.
Read .pdf for specific details Stress Tess pdf
I have to tell you, that Im felling apprehensive now a days I feel like if I don't get my BP under control Dr. Ren is gonna put the kibosh on me getting the surgery and that it will not happen. And I dread that.

 Sunday, October 12 2003

I started a new Blood pressure medication today, to get a better handle on my BP
Since Dr. Ren won't do the surgery with my current BP,
Im hoping this new medicine works.
Im happy to say Im not having contra effects as I did with my former meds, dizzyness, spacyness, weird feeling.

Im apprehensive about the tests tommorow, im worried that I will not be in good enough shape to get the operation.

But I trudge ahead and hope for the best!

 Monday, October 13th @ 6:54 AM

I woke up at 5:00 AM and could not get back to sleep. On jitters about the tests today
Its 7:00 AM I am washed, dressed and cooling my heels for a 9:30AM appointment.

Monday, October 13th @ 12:50 PM

Well I had SOME of it done, Oxford & my doctor could not sync up,
so I was not cleared to get the heart stress thallium, so I had it re-booked for Thursday.

I was able to do the barium sip, more like a barium Big Gulp if you ask me,
Click here for a complete description
I was given two separate drinks one for my esophogram standing, and one for my esophogram lying down.

The procedure is first you take a sip hold it in your mouth and then gulp it down as they xray you, you do this several times, while they watch it makes its way down.
Then you lie down and keep drinking as they x-ray you again (several times)

Im feeling a touch nauseous from it, it may be because im hungry or, because I have 2 liters of barium swallow swimming in my stomach.

 Wednesday, October 15 2003

Well, Insurance bugaboos cleared up, Im having my heart thallium done tommorow at 10:00AM Im feeling no real apprehention now, I guess I stressed enough on Monday (grin)

 Thursday, October 16 2003

I got in to take the test at 9:00am, I just was chomping at the bit to 'get it over with'
I waited about 30 minutes and they brought me in,
I had to change into a surgical gown (didn't fit) and they shaved a small amount of hair off my chest and put glue (they look like something from the matrix) 'probes' on me to attach electrodes for the heart / EKG machine. An IV of some clear liquid was put into my arm, and I sat down for about 30 minutes, while it dripped.

I then was taken into a room with a treadmill and ekg machine, My blood pressure was taken then I was hooked up to the EKG machine and a cardiologist was there to monitor my progress, he started the treadmill, with a slow even walk, I walked for about 6 minutes, and then he said 'its going to get faster (UH OH) and it did!

I strolled and then DOUBLE TIMED for about three minutes. (at this point he injected dye into my IV) My heart was really beating and I REALLY felt like Steve Austin (The Bionic man) he kept giving me countdowns, and at 15 seconds we counted down together.... and then it was done..

I then sat down and my BP was taken. I was HEARING my heart thumping in my chest, and was breathing deeply after a few minutes my heartbeat returned to normal.

Then I was brought into another room and I lied on a table and they took 'pictures' of my heart.

I finished, dressed, and had to come back in two hours to get another set of pictures.
I will know the results of both tests in 5-7 days

 Sunday, October 19 2003

Today is my birthday, Im 45!

 Thursday, October 23 2003

I went to my doctor's office to get the results of my tests, and I'm happy to say
I'm normal (what ME normal?) My heart stress thallium showed no real problems,
but the report said I was in poor physical condition (Can you say FAT?)
and I did the treadmill for 6 minutes not the 10 I thought (felt longer, folks)
I also got more blood taken to see how my sugar levels are,
My pressure is better BUT still not good, So another med was added to my breakfast buffet of pills.

 Monday, October 27 2003

Well This will be a nothing week for me, Thursday I go back to my GP and get the blood results for my appointment with Dr. Ren Nov 4th - I also am getting copies of my hospital report when I had the syatica, they gave me a Blood pressure med that KNOCKED my BP to normal in one dose, And I had no effects (well if I did I was in so much pain I didn't care!) so I am investigating that med as a alternative if my current meds aren't doing the job.

Im also going to try and work the full week, I have been only working three days a week waiting for the syatica (did you read my lump story?) and the ripped tendons to heal
Im still a little worried that Dr. Ren won't give me a date till I lose 20 lbs,
I hope this won't be a issue. - I hate the waiting.

 Saturday, November 01 2003

Now Im in purgatory, I did everything I could in preparation.
My sugar and pressure are within 'normal operating parameters' now I sit and wait, and wait

I wait for a doctor to approve me and give me a date
I wait for the insurance company to approve me, and give me a date
And while im waiting im TRYING to keep enthusiastic and positive
But the time is like drops of water eating at my resolve.

It sucks moose dick.

 Wednesday, November 5 2003

I met with Dr. Ren and I GOT MY DATE!!!!!!

December 5th!!!!

More info soon!!!!!!!

 Friday, November 7 2003

I feel like I've been running in a marathon, and have seen that I am at the 3/4 mark
and feel strangely quiet, and saddened that the race is almost over - Also from the 'head'
of wait for rejection / disappointment now its Oh my god, I have so much to do before the date! -- (From rejection to direction)

I still have a will to write, blood to donate
(I highly recommend this to anyone having any operation,
Your blood is the most compatible with YOU, and if they don't use it,
you give blood for someone who does need it!) Pre testing to do,
a treadmill to buy, Post op stuff to plan, really a thousand and one things...
it's great. It's terrible it's wonderful.

I'm no longer worried I won't be approved or will fail a pre-test,
that part is over with. Even though my insurance has not been approved,
that is a paperwork worry, not a personal worry. And its something out of my control,
I'm (To quote from alcohol anonymous 'letting go, and letting god')

My sister is talking a film course,
and im trying to convince her to 'interview' me pre-op
and follow along thru the 18-month possess of weight loss,
exercise, plastic surgery, etc.

We will see what she says.

 Sunday, November 9 2003

I am on a WLS board, and on there lapband forum, and I get the impression
that a lot of the people on the site don't really grok the lapband,
and after a few weeks being post-op there seeing just how far they can cheat it,
I know 6 months from now there gonna be whining that the lapband is garbage and how
they don't lose any weight on it.. well DUH!

I'm not letting them get me down, I am planning to be as strict as I can be,
I know I have a 18 month window of opportunity here to lose weight and im gonna try NOT to screw around.

Big words pre-op lets see what I say in a few months from now :)

 Tuesday, November 11 2003

Well I gave blood today, not really a painful experience,
but I was light headed and some minor discomfort in my arm where
they stuck the needle, Sadly I was misinformed about the blood,
if they do not use it, they throw it out, its not just put into a blood bank, sad.

If your getting a lap band, there is very little blood lost so you really
do not have to give blood, the other operations it is still a good idea,
and of course just giving blood is a good idea as well!

Officially Thanksgiving will be my LAST meal.
That Friday is my 7 days pre-op countdown date
so I'm starting on the liquid part of the diet. And the countdown starts!

 Saturday, November 15 2003

Well, Today was a me day (If I can have such a thing) where
I was left to my own devices as well as my own time.
My mother and sister went off on an excursion and I did not have to do
the annual (weekly) shopping chores. So I checked out treadmills at Sears,
I checked out Nutrition drinks at GNC and at a local health food store, I got a haircut
(That's 3 lbs pre op weight right there!) and was out most of the day driving around,
and running errands. It was FUN!

My top pick on a treadmill at the moment is the NordicTrack C 1800i
The cost is around $800 it can handle my weight for walking or 250lbs
For running (which is the weight I plan to be at before I start jogging)
So it's a machine I can grow "into" it also uses ifit.com technology that
Lets you scale your training on the internet and even have a Online physical trainer
(via the net it programs the treadmill) It folds up and is Mid price with a 20" tread
(the cheaper ones have a 18" too small for big spread of legs)
it also has a 10 degree incline to add resistance.

On the protein drinks, I didn't have as much luck, there are HUNDREDS of them available and each one claims 'it's the best' BAHHH Humbug!
I drank a 'total protein' drink for lunch, it tasted like a mouth full of chemicals
(My Barium drink had better taste) and it kept me not hungry for about 3-4 hours
but two of those hours where spent with its after taste in my mouth (ehwwwwwwwwww)
I bought some Met-rx Powder and Im going to see how that goes down (Tomorrow's breakfast) and take it from there.

 On a completely different track...

I want to run in the 2005 Marathon; my legs have been carrying around
This load for 30 + years and My heart has had to pump blood thru miles of fat,
at my last physical both my heart and lungs and legs are in good shape,
if I can keep the muscle tone that carrying my weight has developed I think
I could run the marathon, and not be the worst for it.
It's a very ambitious plan since now walking a block makes me winded,
but I'm aiming high.

 Monday November ??????????

I had the MET RX drink for lunch, it reminded me of the 'shake' drink
I was on when I was doing the Liquid diet thru St lukes hospital,
its more like a fiber drink then a malted, where there is chocolate
flavored chunks of fiber like substance, I drank.
I mixed into a 20 oz cup of hazelnut coffee,
it took a long time to get rid of the chunky bits,
but it was a good meal, and kept me not hungry for 4 hours,
with almost no after taste.

The runner up in my quest has been the Atkins shakes, though thinner
then the met-rx it had good flavor and only a slight after taste,
it kept hunger off for three hours, and of course it was 'pre-made'
so there was no prep needed.

 Saturday, November 22, 2003

Good Morning!

I went for my surgical pre-testing yesterday where, they took more blood,
and x-rayed me, checked my breathing, checked my lungs,
I was given a Spirometer to exercise my lungs so that I will not have any breathing
problems, and breathing problems after the surgery. Also I met with an anesthesiologist
(Nice man, reminded me of my family doctor from a million years ago)
we chatted about what happens before surgery. And met with
Gasper from Dr. ren's office) he 'tested' me on my knowledge of
the upcoming surgery, if I REALLY KNEW what it was about and
if I had learned the proper procedures, a very smart thing to do
(in my opinion) to see if the patient is REALLY ready for this.

 My "5 year plan"

I have found out that a LapBand will keep working after 18 months, I was in error. But
I am staying on the '18 month plan' because it is tailored for me, but like the LapBand
if it don't work, I still have the rest of my life to adjust it! (I like those kinds of ODDS)
My goal is two pounds a week.. That's it 2 pounds a week and I'm a happy camper.
I don't care if its 15 lbs one week and .02 oz the second, as long as it averages out in
the end IM going to be ECSTATIC! - I have (grabbing calculator)
175 lbs to lose - 104 in the first year -- 53 Lbs the second year My 18 month Goal
157 Lbs (160 rounded) Third year and rest of my life.. 18 more lbs to lose.. To be 'ideal'

I just got a call from Gasper at Dr. Ren's Office and there is a new bump on my road
to WLS, My heart test (EKG) was irregular in the hospital pre-screening

(personally I think it was a equipment failure) I passed the heart stress
thallium with flying colors, so I need to see my doctor and get
approval from him before surgery, I don't anticipate a problem,
BUT if there is any problem it will probably delay my surgery
(which at the minute is not as bad as it has been in the past)
I think my nerves are winning at this point we will see what happens,
I still plan on going pure Liquid Friday the day after Thanksgiving.

 Sunday November 30th 2003

Well T-4 Days and counting.
Thanksgiving was a bit hard, but I ate a late lunch that day,
so ate a late thanksgiving dinner, had a lot of salad some turkey,
some quiche and ONE PIECE of pecan pie.
(I never ate one piece of anything in my life)
I started the Liquid the next day,
Im drinking met rx, which is kind of a thicker shake, so its harder to drink
in just one sitting, so I carry it along with me and drink it whenever im thirsty or hungry
(I did that for the car trip home)
the funny thing is Im drinking less now, cause it fills me / (kind of)
nauseates me so Im not that hungry (Go figure) Im not feeling apprehensive or
nervous about the surgery, I almost feel numb.
I think my mind/body has shut down and im on autopilot.

I think I will go to my doctor tomorrow, and get the paperwork
clearance for my surgery instead of leaving it till Wednesday (the last moment)
just in case of any more 'bumps'

 Monday, December 1, 2003 : T-3 Days

I seem to have gotten used to the liquid diet now, my energy levels are good
Though I am sleeping a lot longer then normal, sleep is my way of dealing with things
when things are out of my control, my body shuts down and regenerates and gives me a chance to equal out.

I know its escape-ism but its better then drinking or drugs. (A lot cheaper too!)

I am going to work today, and plan to have a normal Monday,
Tuesday I will go to the Doctor and get the approval for the surgery then go to work.
Wednesday I take off and pack and prep for Thursday
and you ALL know what Thursday is!!!!!!!

 Wednesday December 03 2003 : T-1 Day - 8 Hrs

OK, I'm scheduled to check into the hospital at 9:30 AM and surgery is
scheduled for 11:00 with luck and no complications I will be out by 12:30
Maybe I will get lunch (grin)

This is my final entry in my Pre-Op Log. I will be starting a POST-OP part in a few days
When I have recovered enough. I want to thank you for reading my weblog and
Hopefully you got something out of it, more then just the ranting of a crazed fat person.



Copyright 2005 Jonathan Gleich

The time is:

(so far)

225 Lbs since the siatica!

The web pages are for information only, they are a journal of my own experiences
They may not be yours, please DO NOT consider what I have written as medical advice, only your doctor can give you that.

This work is Copyrighted 2007 By Jonathan Gleich - All rights reserved, No part of this webpage can be re-printed or re-transmitted without written permission by the author