post surgery life
Sunday, August 12, 2018
On Monday (6 days ago), I had my lap band removed. I had it for about four years - during those four years, I struggled with eating and had a lot of pain, reflux, and vomiting. After dealing with this almost every day for such a long time, I weighed only 18 pounds less than when I had the band put in. It was so not worth it. I went to a new provider and they found that my band had been over-filled - there was more fluid in it than my records showed, which was likely the cause of me not being able to keep anything down. They took out all the fluid and I could eat again! That was in May. After a barium scan, they found that the band had slipped, and less than two weeks of finding that out I was in the hospital getting it removed.
During my pre-op visit, the surgeon pointed out that I *will* gain weight after the removal. The encouraged me to have another weight loss operation. He said "I wish I could do a sleeve on you at the same time that we are taking out the band." A gastric sleeve is where they remove about 80% of your stomach and you are left with a tube-like "sleeve" for the rest of your life. He said he felt bad for me having such poor quality of life. This was without asking me anything about my quality of life.
The surgery was much more invasive than I was prepared for. Putting the band in, I had two small incisions, one in my belly button and one at the top of my abdomen. I woke up to 6 incisions on Monday. The same one in my belly button, four other small ones, and one rather large cut on the lower right side of my stomach. For the first couple of days I was too out of it from pain meds and the after-effects of anesthesia to think about it too much. But I would look at them, taking a picture every day so that I could gauge my healing progress. Then I started having really negative feelings about the incisions, and about my body. They are disgusting. Huge, red gashes across my torso, with black bruises 3 or 4 inches across. I felt like something from a haunted house. I hate looking at them. I hate the idea of the scars they will leave. Is this some kind of projection about my feelings regarding this whole lap band fiasco? Do I really hate them because they will leave a constant reminder that I let someone invade my body, that I was convinced that I "needed" to lose weight, that I've been duped by our societies standards of "health" and beauty?"
These thoughts keep swirling around inside my head. Why do I want to lose weight? Even in the hospital, they said I am a very healthy person. So why do I care so much about this? Because my BMI puts me in the "obese" category? But I feel fine (except the pain from the surgery now that I am out of meds). Yet for some reason, I have this goal, this idea that I need to lose weight. With no real answer to the question of "why?"