Today I'm back on solid food for the first time in six weeks! Here's a run down on my lap-band experience and how it works:
Two weeks before surgery liquid only- protein shakes, V8, broth- no caffeine, no sugar, no carbonated drinks. I found afterwards that some doctors only require this diet for one day before surgery and I was like, what the hay! But then I was really glad that I was not giving up food for the first time while recovering from surgery. Ugh, that would have sucked.
Two weeks after surgery liquid only again.
Two weeks after that I graduated to mush food like mashed potatoes and refried beans.
But today I can have a piece of chicken, thank you Jesus!
So far I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the lap-band. I've lost 23 pounds since first starting the liquid diet and I don't feel remotely deprived.
Here's how the band works:
They put this plastic band around the top of your stomach then sew your stomach down over it, sort of. A thin tube runs from the band to the interior stomach wall (that sounds official doesn't it?) where it is sewn in, this is your port where saline will be periodically injected to tighten the band. As you lose weight your stomach shrinks causing the band to loosen, thus the saline injections, or fills as they are called by the medical people. Oh, and you can't see the port of feel it.
I have my first fill next week so my stomach will shrink even further, reducing how much I can eat in a setting.
I eat three small meals a day, no snacking, and I eat low calorie food. That's pretty much it. You can certainly cheat the band if you eat several times a day, or eat high calorie food such as ice cream.
The band stays in as long as you want and you periodically get fills until you reach your goal weight. Seems simple enough and so far it is.
Also the Cymbalta I started a few weeks ago has made huge improvements in my mental health, but more on that another time.
The only lap-band side-effect I've experienced is thunderous gas. Sam actually turned to me with a look of sheer terror on her face after I released the Cracken and said, "Whoa! Mom!" Oh, well, it's a small price for me to pay and I don't care what price it exacts from my family.