Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I had forgotten...

For roughly the last five years, I have had to:
  • Work out consistently
  • Be prepared each week with healthy food
  • Focus on eating only when I'm hungry
Sometimes I had to be a little stricter than others, but it was doable. I found out during about a 6 month stretch in 2012/13, I couldn't just eat whatever, whenever without being prepared. That little experiment got me 20 pounds that I was never able to lose. But I did learn that I will always battle my weight, no matter what. But you know what? Many, many normal people out there have to work at it. I have accepted that and I'm actually cool with it.

Well, I was cool with it. Until a few weeks ago. In my last post, I expressed my happiness that the source of my headaches was found and sucessfully treated. I also mentioned my trepidation at what comes next. What I hadn't experienced yet, was what it really felt like to not have the assistance of my Lap Band anymore.

It took a few days for the swelling to subside. The cramping was gone, my headaches were gone. For a few days, I totally thought everything was roses. I had some acid reflux, but I was on over-the-counter PPIs, so I thought it would be fine. I had forgotten that I was on 80mg PPI (PER DAY!!) prior to being banded. It was one of the main reasons I had weight loss surgery. The weight loss itself was one too, but the acid reflux was a big deal.

I was lying in bed the other night trying to fall asleep when I started feeling something in my upper abdomen. For a minute I thought it had to do with my band. It was a familiar feeling, but I couldn't place it. It felt like there was a butterfly in my throat/stomach. It also at times felt like the butterfly's wings were on fire. It wasn't super painful, but it was unpleasant and there was no way I could fall asleep. I realized suddenly that it was the reflux. I had forgotten what that felt like!! I went from taking 1 pill per day to 4. FOUR pills a day and I can still feel it in the back of my throat every day. Not only is that no fun, it is dangerous.

The good news is that my pill popping is at least keeping the butterflies at bay. I have a scope scheduled for Thursday. Once I have my follow up about a week later, I will know what my options might be.

Once I got a handle on my reflux, I realized that I was still having an ache in my stomach. It was consistent in the mornings and got quite bad in the afternoons. I started really paying attention to the timing and realized that the ache went away after I ate. Holy crap, I was just hungry. I had forgotten what it was like being hungry without the assistance of my band.

I would argue that the first year after my weight loss surgery (possibly 18 months), I was less hungry than a "normal" person. But your body adjusts, and once my body adjusted to my band, I started getting hungry like anyone else. I could eat when I was hungry and be satisfied with a "normal" portion. I rarely finished what was on my plate, I lived on leftovers which was totally fine with me. Heck, it was cheaper too!

Boy...now I remember. Before I was banded, I used to joke when I was hungry that "I'm so hungry my stomach is eating itself." My friends and I will still say that to each other on occasion. But now I remember why it started.

It is a little disheartening, but honestly, I feel much better prepared to deal with these things now than I did 6 years ago. I'm stronger, I'm happier and I'm at peace. My two goals for the next two months is to work with my doctor to treat the reflux and to not gain weight.

Since the moment my sister-in-law and I walked into Olympic Park in London in 2012, I have been eagerly awaiting 2016. It is going to be an amazing year and I'm looking forward to Rio like you would not believe. I'm thankful I have this blog that I can put down a post like this and then get back to my amazing life that is not solely defined by these issues!



Lori said...

At least this time you have a better understanding of what is going on with your body and know how to deal with it. I will keep a good thought for you, that all turns out for the best, with NO regain!

Theresa said...

Oh man! I haven't visited your blog in a while. I'm so sorry you're having trouble. I'll be thinking about you, I hope you're feeling better soon.

MandaPanda said...

I'm sorry about your reflux woes. Hopefully the doc will you get you all sorted out. Life is definitely different without the band...both in good and bad ways. Good luck!

The Cozy (not crazy) Coconut said...

Beth - I'm going through almost exactly what you are right now. I just met with a surgeon last week who recommended my band be removed. It started with reflux issues. I have a hiatal hernia, I discovered after an endoscopy. But I had a barium swallow last week and my band is swollen closed, i believe at certain times of day. I have to go in next week for them to remove fluid from my band. I am very fearful of losing this tool. I've finally lost the weight I wanted to and am afraid of not having this wonderful tool that works so well for me. Please share more of your experience and I'll do the same. I'd love to learn from what you're going through while I'm dealing with very similar issues. -Rhonda