Thursday, February 4, 2010

The First Fill.

The experience of the first a word? Easy! I had a slight frustration with the process, which I'll explain in a minute...but let's focus on the positive! I had only one patient in front of me, so my wait to see the doctor was very quick. Once weighed and inside the room, the doc instantly came in and asked about my dietary habits...he was proud of the weight I'd lost so far, but asked what I'd been doing. I told him about how anal I am about counting my calories and keeping myself accountable...of course, he agreed at what a good habit it is, and encouraged me to continue drinking the truckload of water I consume in a day. I told him that I've been hungry...he says, "Well, you're not eating near as much as you used to, right? I mean, you can't possibly eat that much anymore, right?" My reply, "I'm sure I COULD - I've come close!" Yes, I've been starving...but keeping myself accountable with my FitDay program helps me make better food choices every day. Yes, I COULD sit down with a supersized Double Quarter Pounder w/Cheese meal...and probably get through it! But, I choose not to. After the quick discussion, I laid down...he stabbed me with some numbing stuffness and then worked on getting the fill needle in. He kept palpating the port area, and I wasn't quite sure why he needed to feel that much - I feel the port all the time! Eventually, he had me do a crunch to tighten my stomach muscles while I was laying there so that he could more easily see/feel the port. He finally got the needle and syringe in, and began to pull back on the syringe stopper to see if there was liquid already in my band. Apparently, the doctor who did my surgery commonly puts liquid in the band already - and, yup, I had 2.5 cc's of saline in my band! The doctor today had great bedside manner - although I'm very familiar with syringes and needles because of my work with livestock, he explained what he was doing, did the math for me (he started with 4 cc's in his syringe, after emptying the band he has that means there were how many already in there?? LOL!), and then filled me back up with 4.5 cc's of saline. He then had me sit up, drink a few sips of water to see if I was okay and not too "tight" with the restriction. When the sips went down without issue, he asked me to take a gulp of water...did that, and voila! I felt like I was ready to that point, he said "good" and sent me on my way. Overall, easy and painless process with a nice doctor. It felt good to get my questions answered (Can I go back on birth control now?) and discuss the weight loss I've seen tracked against my calories (less than 1,000 calories, and my body maintains...1,200-1,400 seems about right for me to consistently lose - yay for body chemistry!).

My big peeve of the visit, though? Once we finished, he made sure to give me the doctorly advice...

"Okay, be sure to have only liquids for the next 24 hours."
Me: ::nodding head yes:: "Wait, I could have eaten this MORNING?!"
(My nutritional packet from the nutritionist said that I had to be on liquids the DAY OF the fill and could resume normal foods the following day.)
Him: "'s only after the fill that you need to maintain liquids while your stomach adjusts."

Not a HUGE deal, since it was early in the afternoon when I got the fill...I had consumed an 8oz. protein drink (my normal breakfast) and a bunch of water. Usually by that time in the day, though, I eat my largest meal...doubled up the protein drink in the morning, though (usually start the day with 4oz.) because I knew I wouldn't be eating.

Moral of the story? I CAN EAT leading up to a fill - just not the 24 hours after! So, by the time I get home from work tomorrow, I'll have been about 36 hours on liquid...and craving some substance, I'm sure!

Ooo ooo - and I go back for fill #2 in THREE WEEKS! It's reassuring to know that I'll be "checked up on" pretty quickly - so if I'm not feeling restriction yet from the extra 2 cc's put in me today, my doctor and I can continue to work together to get this band working for me! Only drawback there? It's the day before our HUGE annual FFA Open it Spring Break yet? I'm dying on the vine!

As an aside? Remember the one patient I had in front of me in the office? She came out to schedule her next fill and recognized my voice. Turns out it was the grandmother of a former student of mine! I'd had this student the last two funny! Even funnier? She had her LapBand surgery done the SAME day as me, at the SAME hospital, by the SAME doctor...only about 6 hours before me. Today was her first fill, too! Awesome!


  1. That's great that your 1st fill was so easy! :)

  2. Wow stories like yours make me feel a bit less nervous about all of this :)