Monday, April 8, 2013

Fill No. 4 (A really long post.)

Holy moly, chickadees. This fill has been an experience.

A tiny bit of background: my surgeon used to be a private practice. Shortly after having my surgery, he joined a large, university-based group. So now, a lot of things are done "centrally" through the group, like making appointments, etc. Last week, he moved his office to a different building in the hospital/surgery center/medical building complex that they've been in. Previously, the office was in a section of the complex that was similar to a strip mall type set-up, where each doctor's office had it's own outside door and was it's own individual space. Now, they've moved into one of the medical buildings, so you have to walk into the big building and then find the "suite" for your individual doctor.

So on Saturday, I arranged for MFN to watch The Kid and I went to the new building to get my fill. My appointment was at 1:30 and I showed up at 1:20. I walk up to the building doors and...they're locked. I knock, nothing. I do that whole hands covering the sides of your face as you creepily peer into the building thing. Nobody. I notice that there's another set of doors directly across the atrium on the back side of the building - maybe those are unlocked? So I get back in my car, drive around the building to the back side, park, get out, go up to the doors, and...locked. WTF? My next thought is to call the office, so that's what I do. Only, remember how I mentioned that as a part of this new group everything is more centralized? Yep, I get an automated system saying that the group's normal business hours are Monday through Friday, blah blah blah, thank you, good bye.

Again I say, WTF?

Seriously, what do you do in that situation? I know the office is on the second floor, so it's not like I can go all peeping Tom in the windows to try and find somebody. I can't get in the doors, and I can't call. What the hell?

Very luckily, as I found out later, the receptionist had been taking two other women back to their appointments and heard me knocking on the door (Even though she couldn't see me because they were up on the second floor of the open atrium. She could hear me, but couldn't see me) so she came down to let me in. I only had to wait about five minutes. As opposed to the two other women who had just been taken back, who had been waiting and knocking outside for more than an hour, with everyone inside completely oblivious to the fact that the doors were locked. The receptionist and my nurse apparently just thought that those two ladies didn't show up for their fill appointments, and the consensus was that the doors must have automatically locked on a timer because other people were able to get in earlier in the day.

I finished all my paperwork and paid my $75, then sat down to wait for my appointment. At this point, it was already 1:45 - 15 minutes past my original appointment time, and had we been at the old location, I would have been in and out by now. But since the other two ladies waited outside for the entire duration of their appointment times, I now had to wait for both of them to have their fills before it could even be my turn. I finally went back at 2:20, almost an hour past my original appointment time.

My fill was with a different nurse - not the one I prefer to go to. But to be honest, that preference is really based off of "inside tips" from other people who heavily suggested I not let her do my fills. I, personally, didn't have any problem with her on Saturday, so maybe I won't be so selective in the future unless I start to see things that worry me.

I told her about what I've been eating and how my weight isn't going anywhere. She told me that according to their records, I had lost 8 pounds since my last visit in February. Not sure where they're getting those numbers from, because my records show that I had only lost 2.6 pounds in that time. I weighed in at 245.2 fully clothed on her scale.

We settled on 1.0 cc, which was the maximum I was willing to get. She said that since I'm getting up there (I'm now at 10.4 {probably really 10.5cc) in my 14cc band) I would probably start getting 0.5cc or 0.2cc fills after this one. And that's FINE BY ME. Oh, and if you're Lap Band Gal's friend on FB, you'll remember some recent conversation about a photo she posted of a recent fill where her surgeon didn't wear gloves to administer it. My nurse didn't wear gloves for my fill on Saturday, either. And I can't remember them wearing gloves any other time. Do yours wear them? Are you grossed out/worried that some don't? I'm not, but now wondering if I should be. LOL.

The fill itself was painless - nothing like last time. She found the port in one stick and was in and out in less than a second. Sah-weet!

However, afterward, this fill has been ridiculous. As I've come to discover, for me, my fills are SUPER tight for the first 2-3 days, then they tend to relax. Well, I think I'm getting close to my maximum comfort zone, because the first two days with this fill have been seriously RED ZONE for me. Saturday, I couldn't even keep down water. Sunday, for lunch, I made it through about 5 spoonfulls of chicken noodle soup and then had to stop. Finally, by Sunday night things were relaxing a little bit and I made it through some protein - a cookout at my Dad & Bonus Mom's house where I had about 1/3 of a hot dog, no bun, in TIIIIIIIIINY bites, a couple bites of hamburger patty with ketchup, no bun, and a few bites of baked beans. Other than eventually having to PB up a bunch of slime, the food never came back.

I felt HORRID yesterday. Dehydrated and exhausted from no calories or protein. Obviously, that's not the way you're supposed to feel with the band. That's obviously RED ZONE behavior. And I'm considering going in for a slight unfill if things don't loosen up today or tomorrow. Like I said, I can tell that things are relaxing a bit because I was able to eat some protein yesterday, and I had a protein shake this morning just fine. We'll see how lunch and dinner go today and then I will make a decision.

I kind of feel like you have to find your red zone in order to find the green zone, you know? Like you have to hit a point where you can say, "WHOA. Too much. That's my limit." so that you can then back it up a tiny bit into the green. I'm not saying you should do crazy fill amounts to try to get red, but that hitting the red, while uncomfortable and unpleasant, is actually pretty helpful in terms of gauging where you're at in the process. I think being red during my initial fill phase tells me that once things settle down, I'll be pretty close to green. Of course, if I'm not able to eat any real food at lunch or dinner today, I'll be going back in to take it down a notch. But for now, we'll see how it goes.

There is ONE thing to say about being in the red: it's conducive to weight loss. I weighed in at 239.8 this morning. Obviously not the optimal, sustainable, or healthy way to go about weight loss with the band, but I'm not gonna lie: seeing the 230s this morning was kind of awesome. I'm sure it will bounce back up a bit once I'm able to eat again, but fleetingly, I'll take it.


Kay S said...

Hi Anna! I think I'm pretty close to my green zone too, so I have incremental fills. Like .1 and .2 at a time. Red zone feeling is the worst! The last time I have a bad stuck episode, the NP told me I could take children's liquid ibuprofen to help get the swelling down. That definitely helped me out. Because I always have a hard time eating after a stuck episode, sometimes for days. Don't know if that's an option for you? Some practices don't want us using ibuprofen at all.
Hope you start feeling more comfortable soon!

jennxaz said...

I am surprised they don't have you on liquids for a day and then mushies for a day..that way you are not eating real food until day 3...that would get you thru the tights in the beginning. Also you wouldn't have gotten as dehydrated. Good luck with the fill...if you PB.,..go back to liquids for the rest of the day because your band will get irritated and swollen from the PB.

Mon said...

Oh yikes, that sounds uncomfortable! Hopefully it relaxes a but so you don't have to go get an un-fill. I'm assuming that would be another $75...? I have my next appointment with my surgeon on April 24, when (as he said) "we'll talk about the first fill." I don't know if that means we'll really just be talking about it, or if I can get one that day. I hope the latter, because I have very little restriction right now.

Let us know how things go!!!

Chris P said...

I am on liquids immediately following my fills for 2 days afterwards. I don't think my NP wears gloves either. I will have to pay closer attention next time. Doesn't bother me either tho. Good luck with your fill!

RockBand Barbie said...

My surgeon requires 2 days of liquids after a fill. I have only ever had 2 fills, but both times I think I had a lot of swelling afterwards. Other than those first few days after the fills, I don't think I have ever been in the red zone...thank goodness...I hate feeling tight.

Cheri said...

Scary. :-( I hope you can take it easy like everyone is suggesting - with liquids, protein shakes, etc. as long as you need for the swelling to go down. I understand that desire to eat something to up your energy, but hopefully the protein shakes could do that...maybe this is old news now though and you are feeling better. I hope so. xoxo You take it easy!!!