Lap Band Fills - Gloria's First Fill; Filled with Excitement and Anticipation
So many newly lapbanded people are both excited and nervous to have their first fill. I was one of them! This is the story of my first lap band fill.
I just got back from my first road trip since being banded. I'm now 6 weeks post-op and I'm getting HUNGRY!! It's my second post-op appointment, and I'm expecting a fill. I'm learning what they mean by "bandster hell!" I am fully healed, and I'm getting H-U-N-G-R-Y. I listened closely as other people talk about this feeling with frustration at a lap band only support group meeting. I knew to expect this, but now it's happening to ME! This is beginning to feel more like a diet and I'm scared.
I found myself counting the minutes to the end of my last meeting before I can leave my office for a short drive to my doctor's office. I'm putting a lot of hope into the possibilities of this first fill. The day is beautiful; I have the music blaring, and I'm hoping to step on the scale and into "onderland". I'm also hoping for a fill that will give me the edge I need to make this different than all the other diets I've ever been on.
At my last appointment we decided to hold off on a fill because my weight loss was good, I was still adjusting to my band, and probably not fully healed - I got stuck on finely chopped tuna salad (no veggies), and I was planning to travel outside of the country. So here I am very excited in anticipation of my first fill.
As I sit in the waiting room and check out the other patients, I keep wondering about the skinny people - are these really weight loss surgery patients.
I hear my name called. First stop the scale. OK, does holding my breath make me weigh more of less? Here goes. Today's weight 199! Hello "onderland". Goodbye 200's forever. I had lost 4 1/2 lbs in the last 2 weeks, and I did it while traveling. Woohoo! Yay me!
My surgeon is happy with my progress (and I think my enthusiasm). We review my food journal and choices. He tells me that there is really very little to change and it's time for my first fill. I'm amazed at how a small amount of fluid added to my lap band can make all the difference!
Up on the exam table, my doctor checks my incisions, everything has healed well. This is an in office adjustment (no fluoro). He locates my port easily, by feel. After years of infertility treatment, I really have no fear of needles, so I decide to watch. It's actually all pretty straight forward. Clean the skin, insert needle (yes a fill really is just a needle stick), pull back on the syringe to clear the system; unscrew syringe, add saline to the syringe, re-attach to needle, add fluid. That's it, my first fill. I am amazed by how simple this really is, and how that tiny amount of fluid can make a difference.
Dr. Billy warns me about going back to old eating habits. "the band is just a tool, he says, YOU have to work it..." Then he places a band-aid over the needle stick area and instructs me to stay on liquids for the rest of the day. I also need to drink 3 glasses of water in the waiting room before being released back to my new life of banded living.
I really am on my way and I can't help singing at the top of my lungs as I get back into my car because I've left the 200's forever! I call Sandi, my mentor to share the good news. I'm so lucky to have her to help me on this journey! I'm also hoping that I get good restriction with this fill, that as I progress back to solids that I'll be satisfied with small portions and not hungry between meals. We'll see (and I'll hope....)