Back in April of 2009 when I decided to pursue getting approval for LapBand surgery, I began jumping through my insurance companies hoops and cutting all their red tape. I had to be on a doctor-monitored weight loss schedule for 6 months that included monthly visits, weigh-ins, and "evidence" that I had tried to make progress on my own.
I was so glad that I had to do this. Yes, it slowed me down, but I got to know my doctor's office and build a relationship with them (I ended up going 13 months in a row!) and learned a lot about the state of my health. I learned that I do have arthritis in my knees, that I had high blood pressure, and that my cholesterol was great! I learned that B-vitamins are so important, and I finally figured out why my memory had been SO terrible.
I originally thought that my memory was related to poor nutrition or something. I couldn't focus on anything and I couldn't remember a task for more than 1 minute. Someone at work would ask me for a file and then 2 seconds later, I'd forget to send it to them. I was easily distracted and VERY forgetful. It was beginning to really cause a problem at work (I think it was more a personal problem of me being stressed because I couldn't remember things than it was the bosses getting tired of me forgetting). When I talked to my doctor's office about it, the first thing they said was "Have you ever been tested for ADHD?". No. I never thought about it.
She gave me the test (similar to this one online) and WOW. I was checking "yes" more often than not and I was thinking "This is my life!" They gave me a low dose of the adult ADHD drug Vyvanse to try out. Initially I was on 40mg because they want a dose that is low enough and still works - especially if you have high blood pressure. I think they only allowed me to take this because my blood pressure wasn't sky high, just moderately high...
At the time, I wasn't so sure if I believed in adult ADHD - it seemed like a cop-out or something for being a lazy spazoid, but once I tried it, it made a HUGE difference. I can focus, I remember things easier, and I get things done which alleviates a lot of stress. I get stressed out when I have these big "to do" lists and when the list gets too long, sometimes I just shut down all-together. That is not good. The longer things remain unattended to, the more stressed I get. Stress is not good.
Why am I reminded of this now, you ask? And what does this have to do with WLS?
Well, in preparation for LapBand, I took a little Vyvanase vacation. In my mind, I wanted to make sure my blood pressure was as even as possible and thought that not taking it for a week, would do that. That though process was my own - no medical person ever told me that. I don't go stark raving mad when I don't take it, but I do lose focus over time. During my recovery, I was also off of Vyvanse and have since have not been on it regularly.
I have been so distracted and scattered for the last few weeks (just read yesterday's post) that I decided that I have to pick it up again. I don't function nearly as well without it! I'm on 50mg now and that is plenty for me to function, but not have the sleeplessness that can be a side-effect. I think I have more sleeplessness the longer I go withOUT taking it!
One of the side-effects is described as "decreased appetite", but I would describe it more as a "blocker of obsessive food thoughts". It's not why I began taking the medication, but I can tell you, that it really helps me control all obsessive thoughts that lead to over-eating or unhealthy eating. Even with this commitment to a healthy life-style, I will obsess over healthy foods as well. I haven't given in, but I will spend all day searching for a recipe. This drug makes me not care so much about what I eat as long as it's good for me and fuels my body. It makes me care less about the experience of eating and more about the necessity of it. It doesn't take the pleasure out of food, but it takes the greediness out of my brain. Alleviating the stress of being mentally unorganized also helps by lessening the chances of my eating out of frustration. Which I realize I am prone to do.
I've been thinking about talking to a psychologist about it and getting my prescription handled by them rather than my general practitioner's office. For one, they may give me a script that includes refills rather than having to pay $10 for a refill request. For another, I can reassure myself that this is the best medicine and the best dose for me. AND, lastly, I get to "talk it out" with someone who understands. Even if it's just that once, I think it might have a positive effect on my successful loss with this LapBand, ya know?
It's time to get back on track mentally. Now that my body is on track, the brain needs to follow suit!