It happened. And when I started to write this blog I promised you the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God. Because of that I have to lay it out there. I have to tell you honestly about the good, the bad, and the ugly of having Lap-Band surgery. So here it is. And it’s gross. So if you really want to know the reality of this decision read on but if you are only following my blog to encourage me on my journey I give you a pass on this one.
It happened on Sunday, specifically. I was cranky and tired, aggravated with everyone in my path for no legitimate reason, and that all lead to a bad choice and I snuck my son’s leftover pizza crust. It wasn’t something I hadn’t eaten before so I took no precaution with a big bite and swallowed it. It wasn’t long before I felt the pain. I had tightness in my chest, almost like when you had to run the mile in gym class and felt like you were going to die afterwards. Oh, and also a shooting sharp pain in the left shoulder, a phantom pain, because apparently there are no real pain sensors where the actual esophagus is in trauma, so your brain then sends a pain to your shoulder. Weird science, I know.
This, my readers is what you call a “stuck episode” or “being stuck” in our community’s vernacular. I had felt this feeling only once or twice before in six months, but I didn’t’ realize what it was at the time. After walking around my house a few times while wind-milling my arms around, it had gone away, which meant the foreign object stuck in my stoma (the space created by the band between the two stomach pouches) had gone down or dissolved enough to become unstuck. This time was different; I started to feel a gagging in the back of my throat and excused myself into the bathroom. That’s when I started to burp out what was choking me, but I wasn’t really choking of course because I had plenty of air. You can talk and breathe and what have you but you are still goddamned choking. I kept burping and burping nothing until eventually I coughed up a golf-ball size slime ball. That’s it, very anti-climactic. A few more burps and up came a second one. And then I was done and felt completely normal again.
It was my first PB (“productive burp”) and something that is sure as shit for someone who is considering the lap-band procedure. We are taught about it but until it actually happens, you aren’t’ t sure what to expect. We are also taught to let the stomach rest after that because getting stuck again only makes matters worse, so for the rest of the day I ate sliders, like stuffed shells and potato salad.
I had my support group session tonight and we talked and laughed about it. It sucked for me, but it made me realize a few things. For starters I really have a band. Without the physical reminders it is too easy to slip into poor choices. Secondly, I realized that even if I have to hawk a loogie every couple of days, it sure as hell beats being fat. Lastly, I realized I got this. I can do this. And I am NOT going to be sneaking any more pizza crusts in the future.