Monday, August 15, 2011

From Shitty Doctor to Awesomeness...

Wow, what a difference it makes to leave a large-scale surgical practice where my LapBand was just another cog in a factory of thousands of patients!  I finally got to see a new doctor today (well, technically the registered bariatric nurse and physician's assistant) who took the time to really hear about what's been going on with my stomach and it's myriad of issues since November 2010.  I then headed over to the surgery center - across the street - and met the SAME P.A. (that shouldn't seem like a miracle, but it IS when you know what kind of surgical practice I came from) who did a barium swallow test on me.  I'd never had one done, but it was really neat to finally see what my band looks like...and it was really awesome to watch the barium quickly go down my esophagus...and just sit there.

Yup, my band is blocked.  Here's what I learned today:

  1. My LapBand is entirely too tight.  In fact, we couldn't even get the barium to pass through the band and into my stomach (you know, the way liquids are SUPPOSED to work - no wonder I couldn't get food down!) until he stuck a needle in me and removed some of the saline in my LapBand.
  2. The stoma (opening to my stomach via the LapBand) is blocked with undigested food.  Why?  Because my LapBand is too tight, every time I eat I'm continuing to add to the blockage that slowly drains into my stomach.  The food never has enough time/space to fully process through the band, leaving a constant blockage.
  3. The pouch above the LapBand which I normally fill with food has grown to at least four times the size it's supposed to be - pouch dilation.  That happened because my band was too tight and the food had nowhere else to go...the result was either throwing up (which I did quite a bit) or stretch out the pouch to attempt to hold the food until it can pass through the band (difficult when it's blocked) for future digestion.
  4. The pouch has grown so big, and so accustomed to holding onto food for hours before releasing it back up my esophagus, that it's actually pushed my LapBand DOWN...the doctor doesn't think it's permanently slipped (requiring another surgery to fix), but hopes that by draining all of the fluid today and putting me on a strictly liquid diet for the next two weeks (yay...), the pouch will shrink back to the size it's supposed to be and my LapBand will find itself back in it's original position.  He says that 99.9% of the time, this plan works to shrink the pouch and resituate the band.  I hope I'm in that percentage!!!  I'm really not looking forward to another surgery!!
  5. I've been having issues eating food and then throwing up (actually "productive burping") 3-5 hours after eating because my huge ass pouch and esophagus have learned to hold on to food.  Nice.
  6. I only had 3.6cc in my band - are you freaking kidding me?!?  My previous doctor swore I was up to 9.5cc.  What a jerk.  He also swore that I wasn't too tight - it was just me not eating properly (small bites, chewing thoroughly, eating slowly, etc.).  HEY ASSHOLE - if liquid barium can't even pass through the freakin' LapBand, I'm too freakin' tight!  Can I sue for malpractice?  I've been dealing with this ass clown since November of 2010 doubting my experience as a patient.
At any rate, it really was neat to see the band and port inside mah belly on a screen...and it's a relief to hear that my new doc is pretty sure I won't need surgery.  While I'm not totally stoked about being on liquids for the rest of August (that means no birthday cake for me on the 28th...sad face), I told the doc that I'm committed to whatever instructions he wanted to give me.  I've been so sick of not being treated correctly, not being listened to, throwing up all solid foods, bet your sweet ass I want this taken care of!  So, I stocked up on some soups (options are limited when you're looking for pure liquid soups) and some Yoplait frozen fruit smoothie packs.  That, protein shakes and water will be the second half of my August 2011!  I go back in at the end of the month for another barium swallow exam to see how things look...wish me luck!


  1. Well good for you finally getting some one to listen and respond! For liquids--maybe buy/make some soup and blend it smooth? Love broccoli/cheese soup this way and I blend in some plain greek yogurt for extra protein.

  2. thats the next day after my surgery i had to have the barium test before i could go home... glad its getting fixed.

  3. I am so glad you have answers. I got blocked for a month, my doc did a swallow as well....jerked fluid out for one month (I gained 21 pounds because I ate like an absolute NUT). Fluid back in....all is well! :O)

  4. Geez having to put up with doctor like that. That is just horrible and I'd be spreading the word around about it too if I was you. Glad it is looking like all will be good. Hope the next few weeks fly by.

  5. Wow! So glad you're now seeing someone who will take care of you. My current dr. is just like your old dr. JERKS. Why do they think we are just stupid? We know our bodies.
    It really angers me.

  6. OMG! That is horrible! I'm so glad you were able to get some relief and you won't have to put up with that joker anymore. Please send your old doctor a letter and let him know what the outcome was from the other doctor.

  7. wow! I'm soooo glad you found a new doctor and got that fixed! your old doc had to be a total assclown! Good luck on the liquid diet!!!

  8. Wow we sound so much a like. I have been having serious issues since last summer... UGGGG> I really hope that I am on the mend. I hope that this is a start of your healing journey as well..