Monday, November 9, 2009

The Fill...

Oh this story is a long one! I'm writing it because I want people to see the real side of lap band life. There can be issues with the band. Most don't have them, but for those of you who might, I just want to remind you that you're not alone and that we can get through it!

I went in for fill number 6 on the 4th of November. The new attending, Dr. Foster, was doing fills that day. I love this doc! She's so personable, funny, sympathetic and understanding. We were all joking about girl power in the procedure suite. Who needs those crazy boy docs--they're not anywhere near as fun!

I let her know up front I'm a challenge. My port is twisted just over 20 degrees and I am a scar tissue making machine. It took her awhile, but she finally got in there. We both kept reminding the nutrition intern who was watching that this is not normal. Usually they can get in the port quite easily. I like to make it a challenge to keep the docs on their toes.

Dr. Foster was great and was pretty aggressive with the fill, adding 1.5 cc to bring me up to about 8.5 in my 10 cc band. I was able to get the barium down with no reflux into my esophagus, so we wrapped stuff up and I went on my merry way.

Thursday and Friday went pretty well. For the first time, I had to sip, sip, sip. I knew that if I didn't, it would overwhelm my pouch and things would not go well.

The current post-procedure protocol is 2 days liquids, 2 days pureed and 2 days soft foods before working your way back into the regular textured diet. The 2 days of liquids went pretty well. I had a few moments of, "whoa!" but I was very excited that the band was finally doing its thing.

Then I got to the pureed stage. Friday night (48+ hours after the adjustment), I tried some mashed sweet potato. Yeah, Bandy was not thrilled with that. Bandy got revenge on me (jeez, it was like 2 teaspoons!) by conspiring with my brain and salivary glands to throw me into Major Slime Mode.

I'm writing about this not to scare anyone off from having a Lap-Band, but to remind you that it's not a cake walk. Bariatric surgery is not the easy way out. There is a price you may have to pay when you have surgery and that comes in the form of complications.

I found out the hard way that I am a massive slimer! Basically that means when I get stuck, or my stoma gets overwhelmed by something trying to slither its way through, my stomach swells, sends a signal to my brain, and my salivary glands kick into overdrive. Normally, having a little extra pharynx lube is a good thing when you have something stuck in your throat.

Not so much when you have a Lap-Band.

The swelling caused by the offensive food particle does not like slime, either. It's incredibly viscous and can't fit through the swollen hole. So it has to go somewhere.

You're welcome, as I refrained from taking a picture of one of my full spit cups. I'll just let you know that it's gross stuff. And I could easily produce 16 oz of slime in one session. Not that I'm proud of that. Trust me, if I never produced another drop of slime EVER, I'd be a happy camper. Huge deterrent, on par with dumping syndrome that the RNYers experience.

It took about an hour on Friday night for my glands to slow down and for me to stop retching. Okay, fine. I'll take it slow and stick to liquids the rest of the weekend. My friend Debra said that she'd keep an eye on herself over the weekend, when trying to determine if she was too tight, and then go to the clinic on Monday. Sounds like a plan.

Sometimes plans don't go as, well, planned.

1 comment:

Debra Kay said...

Sliming is one of those really amazing natural phenoms. I think it's the lamprey eel that slimes so much it chokes its attacker. If it's not a lamprey, it's some other ugly eelish looking beast.

RNY'er get what they call the foamies, and it's variation of slime. I've gotten it to-the slime comes out in huge viscous bubbles. Huge as in fist sized. I swear it.

The first time it happened I almost fainted and I shouted (to no one in particular because I live alone) "how the hell did I DO THAT?"

WLS is work, but fortunately these little episodes don't happen all that often.

When I had my lovely hernia, and before I prolapsed and nothing went down for weeks, it usually just all came right back up. Since having it repaired, I'm more inclined to slime and the offending item can go either way. Down is much better than back up.

Too late now, but sitting up straight (even going for a drive) really does help.