Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Band Fill Last Wednesday + Results

I had my first band fill last Wednesday in Olympia.  I've decided to make the best use of the hour-long drives by listening to Byron Katie's audiobooks.  I was able to finish "A Thousand Names For Joy:  Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are" .  What a mind-bender this book is.  She goes straight to the big scary things in life (cancer, death of a child) and using "The Work" challenges the reader/listener to see the Tao in all of it.  The beauty in all of it, just exactly the way it is.  Never the way you think it should be.  Promise me, if you get interested in Byron Katie's work, please start with her earlier books like "Loving What Is:  Four Questions That Can Change Your Life" so you have a foundation in her concepts. 

Onwards to The Fill:  My band, model AP Standard LAP Band has the capacity to hold 10 ccs of saline.  I received a 4.4 cc fill on Wednesday.  The procedures was done under the guidance of a seated flouroscopy machine (a streaming xray machine), similar to this picture.  There was a nurse and a technician with the nurse administrering the barium and band fill.  The procedure was simple: 
1. drink barium,
2. watch the flow through rate between the upper pouch and the lower stomach
3. add saline until the flow through rate looks right and the contents of the upper pouch empty very slowly into the lower stomach.

The nurse and technician were amiable and were happy to answer technical questions and followed sterile technique.  I was grateful this practice uses a flouroscope to help the nurse know specifically how much to fill the band by direct visualization and not guessing or sensing the pressure by hand.  All around a pleasing experience.

How was the pain?  Bigger than a bee sting for sure but not as bad as some dental novacaine experiences I've had.  No involuntary tears leaking out the corners of my eyes.  That's a large gauge needle and I certainly felt it pierce my skin and connect with the lap band port.  I didn't flinch and the nurse asked if had a high tolerance for pain.  Ma'am, flattery will get you a compliant patient.  The sensation of the actual fill was startling; a strange, electrical shock-y feeling as the saline is put in and drawn back and put back again.  Not horrible, but not nothing, either.

The reccomendation is to eat a full liquid diet for the next 48 hours after every band fill.  I continue to struggle with this reccommendation as I did the first two weeks after the surgery.  Shhhhh.

The experience of eating, getting full with a small quantity of food, and staying satisfied longer with that small quantity has been interesting.  More to tell later.

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