Well, it’s been about 18 months and I reached my goal weight of 150. That’s down from 280 and I feel so much better. Well, Mostly.
Mostly because towards the end of my lap band experience, I was having extreme difficulty holding down anything. Even water. This obviously is concerning because I wasn’t sure what was going on. It became serious as I was experiencing dehydration and unable to go to the bathroom.
I went to visit the lovely lap band folks at True Results clinic where I’ve been going for a couple of years. They were nice enough to put me under the scope, an x-ray-like procedure where they have you drink the barium solution and watch it go down. As I saw the dark liquid enter my throat, esophagus and then down to my stomach – there it was. The stomach. The band. Everything.
But as the liquid hit the stomach nothing happened. That is to say, nothing was entering. That was a problem obviously and explained why my blood pressure was so low and I was feeling so crappy. I wasn’t even able to take in liquids. Additionally, you could see on the screen that my esophagus had become somewhat bloated or “dilated” as the folks at True Results were telling me. A condition where when the band has slipped or is too tight the food backs up into the esophagus. This is not a healthy condition. So, the protocol turns out to be to remove the saline immediately to allow the food to pass into the stomach naturally without restriction.
Well. That turns out to be ok for me. 1 because the condition is not comfortable and I thought at points I would die of feeling constricted. 2 because I’ve pretty much met my goal now and so it’s time to have it reduced anyway.
What occurred after this can only be described however as the equivalent of uncapping a volcano. When the band was loosened all that acid that had been building in my stomach shot up into my already dilated and irritated esophagus and I thought throughout the day that I’d pass out. Really – I felt weak, dizzy and like I’d collapse from pain. I’d never have thought heart burn or reflux could be so severe that it’d make you lose consciousness. I was wrong.
It turns out after a week of Dr. visits and general not feeling good – I feel better. Much better.
I celebrated my feeling good with – and get this – a visit to the gym. I’m thinking I must have changed on some level that I hadn’t because this, before my surgery, would never have occurred to me.
Food has always been my first choice of celebration. So, for me to go and have a walk on the treadmill to celebrate my victory is not only a ‘new’ thing – it’s a revolutionary one.
Of course, that was last Friday. Then came Saturday. I woke up “hungry”. It’s been a while since I’ve woken up famished. With the band, I rarely found myself in a situation where I felt “hungry”.
The worst I felt was more described as indifference. Like “I could eat, or not. I’m not sure one way or the other”. But this morning – Saturday – was definitely that old feeling that I hadn’t experienced in a while which was ‘hungry’.
So, I thought “waffles”. I thought that because of all the breakfast foods I missed during my lap band mode, this was probably one of the hardest to give up. During my 18 months with the band I ate eggs and bacon, pretty much anything but bready things like toast, pancakes, biscuits, etc. But waffles I missed.
So I had some. They were delicious. Well. I don’t have to tell you!
But then I thought about all the things I missed and proceeded to reminisce with sandwich, pasta, pizza, cookies, smores and more. Not all in one sitting of course. But throughout the weekend.
Nevertheless it left me a little worried this morning when I stepped on the scale and found myself at 155. Good golly miss Molly. How can one gain so much back in such a little ole thing as a weekend? Well. It’s all coming back to me now. How I got into the situation I was in, in the first place! And, I’ve enjoyed my weekend of walking down memory lane. I’m sure there are other things I’d like to remind myself of how good they are. (Chocolate cake?). But I have a life time to eat those things and in moderation. This, as we know, is not a word I’ve been familiar with.
I’m going to remind myself of refocus and commitment. So, as I sit here, Monday morning, with a cup of hot tea and a handful of almonds – I’m reminded that I actually like eating the lap band way. I feel more than just a sense of being satiated for my hungry. I feel a victory in the investment in myself and my health. Sure the pizza, sandwiches is all good. And, I’m sure with some level of restraint I can have those things. As a matter of fact, when eating that Italian sausage and peppers sandwich at Mandola’s, I finished half, and wrapped the other half to take home. I checked in with my stomach that responded “hey. we’re unbanded! We can eat the whole thing. No problem!” And, rethought how much food was on my plate, and whether I really needed to eat a whole sandwich in one setting. Even, if I could.
I decided it was better to spread so much food between two or more meals. Maybe I did learn something! Maybe something took. Time will tell – but that’s my prayer for today.