First Dose

By Jen Larrabee, RN - 5/12/2010

Like Jane, this is the first blog I have written. I would like to start by saying that I am thrilled to be working in the office and truly enjoy the time I am spending there. I have learned so much and look forward to learning more.

I have worked at the hospital for almost 18 years and was quite excited when, 5 years ago, we learned that Arthur and Adam were going to start doing the lap band procedure. As someone who has struggled all my life with my weight and has tried every diet under the sun, I knew how important this program would be for many people. On the postop unit where I work, we did a good amount of training so we would understand the operation and postop process. Every staff person had to be trained and every year we have mandatory updates. We are quite protective of our lap band patients on the floor, no lap band patient is ever allowed to go anywhere other than our unit and only our specially trained staff are allowed to provide care for them.

Time went by and what I found was that I know so much about the process while in the hospital, but didn't really know what happens after someone is discharged. I was asked questions about follow up, diet, adjustments, and many other things and I did not know the answers. I asked Adam if I could come to the office to spend some time with him to better understand what happens after the hospital stay.

Last fall, I mentioned to my sister that I going to spend some time at the office and also wanted to attend an informative session. She expressed interest, and came to the info session with me. So, what did I find? I absolutely loved it! I have always loved being a nurse, but this allows me to really spend time with people, get to really know them as individuals, and be able to come up with an individualized plan for weight loss success. By the way, I am proud to say that my sister had her lap band recently and I am looking forward to her success and learn all I can from her experience.

So, now that you know how I got here, I would like to share some of my tips for success. I am an avid exerciser. I also work full time and have a young child so I know how hard it is to fit in time for exercise. Making time for yourself and working exercise into your life will help you succeed. Exercise burns calories, improves mood, helps to combat chronic disease, boosts your energy, and promotes better sleep. Even if you can't get to the gym, you can go for a walk, buy a video tape to do at home, chase your kids around the park. It all adds up.

A few other tips that can help are to park the car far away when going to the store. Try to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get a heart rate monitor. That will help you monitor your heart rate as you exercise and set a goal to always exercise a little more than last week. So many of us are care givers, we spend most of our day taking care of others, our spouse, our kids, our coworkers, and forget to take time to care for ourselves. It is much easier to be a great caregiver and bring joy to those you love if you make time first for your own happiness. I have met some of the most amazing people at the office. I hope to be a partner in your weight loss journey for a long time to come. If there is anything I can do to help you, I am in the office on Fridays and can also be reached by email at jen@massweightloss.com.

If there is anything you would like me to write about in the future, please let me know. I am happy to do some research and find the answers to any questions. I look forward to assisting you on your journey.

-Jen

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