Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Phil

Hello all, and Happy New Year.

As many of you know, I call my band "Phil". He was with me for nearly 3 1/2 years, but on Monday, I had to let him go.

Over the past few months things haven't felt quite right. I'd have good days, and bad days, but the bad days were outnumbering the good.. Eating solid food was becoming more and more difficult. I was vomiting almost daily.
I had an Upper-GI done in October to make sure my problems weren't band related. The Radiologist said everything looked just fine.
Since the GI was fine, I kept blaming my issues on the loss of my gallbladder. In fact, my doctor said there's a small percentage of people who have what's called "Post Cholesystectomy Syndrome", which means they just never go back to normal eating habits after havng the gallbladder removed. I thought that was me.

Well, last Sunday we flew to NY to visit family for Christmas. I was able to get 2 protein shakes down and some juice, and that was it for the entire day. I remembered some people said flying made their band tight so I still wasn't all that worried. When I woke up on Monday morning I couldn't even get a protein shake to go down.

I called the local Bariatric surgeon's office, which is where 2 of my best friends go, and begged them to see me for an emergecy un-fill. The PA was great and let me come right in. She took all the fuid out of my band. I discovered that either myself or my doctor had miscalculated because there were 2CC's in there, and I had thought I had less than 1CC since my last un-fill. Anyway, the unfill really didn't give me any relief.

On Christmas Eve I had some hummus, and it came right back up.
On Christmas Day I had some mashed potatoes and it came right back up.

I knew something was wrong so I went to the local emergency room. I won't get into the long story of how awful the care at that hospital was, but they did give me another Upper-GI. The Radiologist told me my band was completely backward and I had a dilated pouch.

At this point I hadn't had any real food in 5 days so I was ready for them to say I could stay and they would remove my band. Nope. The stupid ER doc said that since I was from out of town and was not their patient, they were sending me home. They gave me a prescription for an acid reducer and sent me on my way.

Thank God before we left my husband thought enough to get my Upper-GI put on a disc so we could send it to my surgeon. We sent it to him overnight and he called the next day.
The surgeon said my band was so far out of place that he was shocked I wasn't admitted to the hospital right away. They should have taken my band out as an emergency situation.
He told me that I'd have to come to his hospital through the emergency room as soon as I got back into town, but that if things got worse, I'd have to go back to the local hospital and he would tell them to take it out for me!

We got home to Wisconsin on Sunday night, super late. I told the surgeon since I wasn't having any pain I'd prefer to wait until Monday morning, and he was OK with that decision.

So, after a week of nothing but liquids, and an 8 pound weight loss, hubby and I made our way before dawn to the hospital. They were expecting me since my surgeon had called ahead. They brought me right back and got me in a bed. Top notch service.

The surgeon came in to see me before his morning operation. He had them take one last X-ray to see what was going on with the band. He was shocked to see that the band had started to correct itself and was almost back to its normal position.

He gave me a choice: 
Wait it out and see if it goes back to normal
Just have it taken out now

I decided on immediate removal, and here's why.
I haven't been able to eat any fruits or vegetables in months. Even before this slip happened I was not eating a healthy diet because all the good foods would come back up, but all the bad things (like cookies) would stay down. That's not a good way to live. I'm tired of not being able to eat a meal with my family. I cook for them, and I sit there eating oatmeal while they enjoy the meals I make.
Also, I've maintained my goal weight for more than 2 years now, I'm not new at this, so hopefully I've learned how to do this and can do it on my own.

The surgeon agreed that it should probably come out, because it would likely slip again once I started eating solids. So at 1pm. on Monday afternoon I had Phil removed.

I'm home now and recovering nicely. I could have tried to eat some solid food yesterday but I still have no appetite and don't want to push it. I'm scared that I might throw up and hurt something in there! I'm getting plenty of liquids and protein down. I might try oatmeal today. We'll see how that goes.

I've read many blogs where people are sad about losing their band, and they actually grieve after the removal. I can tell you that is not me. I am actually relieved to have it out. Yes, of course I'm afraid of gaining the weight back, but I'm happy that once again I will be able to eat meals with my family and I won't be vomiting daily!

I've already come up with a food and fitness plan to keep me on track. The surgeon says I must weigh myself every single day, without fail. He told me not to let the pounds 'creep back on', because it's too hard to get them off once that happens.

So, that's the update on what's been going on in my life for the past week.
I'm hanging in there and hoping I'll continue to get support from this blogging community.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have a healthy New Year!


Sarah G said...

How scary! Sorry to hear about your band. Glad you're OK and will continue to get better though. That's all that matters.

Sarah Kopf said...

I'm so sorry you had to endure all of that! And glad you're okay! Get some rest!


Rhonda said...

I love the positive attitude. I had no idea based off FB posts, etc.

I hope you're doing well!

Hollee said...

I'm glad you're okay and not sad about the loss of Phil. I look forward to watching you maintain without the tool! I know that I would be freaking out in your shoes.

Dawnya said...

I'm glad Phil is gone too!! You deserve to live your best life. Now you can again. I know you are ready for this. You are so dedicated to feeding your family healthy meals. Now you can enjoy them with them. You are very good at reaching your fitness goals. This is not going to be a problem for you. Hugs!!

Caron said...

Wow! That is quite a lot to have to deal with and I hope you are feeling better very soon.

I think I most definitely would have made the same decision as you and said "Goodbye Phil." You know, you still had to make good decisions when you had the band and you can do it without it. Keep us posted on your progress. I hope you can eat some vegetables soon. :)

♥ Drazil ♥ said...

OMG - you poor thing. I am so glad you feel better. I have no doubt you're going to be fine!! xoxo

Maria said...

Yikes! So sorry you had to go through that bit of nastiness. I will admit I grieved a little bit when I had my band out, but mostly I was relieved like you. Take it easy and you'll be back on your feet soon! I think it took about two weeks for my appetite to really come back -- they say it takes almost a year for your stomach to return to it's normal shape!