Question 1 I get most asked about my surgery is if I ever throw up and I used to say no. Then that changed to a handful of times. Now….maybe you don’t want to ask at all because the answer is a few times…A WEEK. Just to remind you, having to PB (productive burp) is not at all like throwing up. It’s also not at all like having acid reflux which burns the hell out of your throat. Just like it’s called, it’s having to burp up what is stuck in your band and can’t pass through to the lower stomach. There is neither rhyme nor reason to this. You can eat a hotdog on Monday and be fine, and eat a hotdog on Tuesday and get stuck.
Question 2 I get asked all the time is what it feels like to be stuck and to PB. Getting stuck feels like intense pressure behind your ribs, the place where you would take a fist and pound if you had indigestion or…you know…had to burp. It’s also usually accompanied by a sharp pain in the left shoulder, where the nerve is. Sometimes you get lucky and it goes down after walking around a while. And sometimes it’s going nowhere but up and out. So you keep making the burping, or hawking a loogie motion until the undigested food emerges in it’s slimy digestive mucus. And then you feel completely fine.
I thought my first public PB was bad at Steak-n-Shake a while back. I also thought it was bad to PB my Buffalo Wild Wings lunch during the teacher’s institute in the District Office bathroom yesterday. But I’m getting used to being out somewhere and quietly excusing myself to the bathroom, doing my duty, and coming back with no one the wiser. Tonight on the other hand was another story.
My husband got back from his business trip and my son had a soccer game so we went to the local Hot Dog joint for dinner. Last time I was there I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich and fork and knifed it, but tonight I thought, fuck it, this is basically a welcome home party so I order the gyro. Of course, it’s delicious and no I don’t pick it up and eat it in the pita (I’m not that stupid) but I dig right in forking and knifing it and dipping each bite into tziki. I also indulge in a whole THREE fresh cut fries dipped in cheese. I’m a few bites in and it hits me. WHAM!! I’m stuck.
I sit there for a while not eating and my husband gives me the “are you okay” look and I give him the “nope” look and then I excuse myself. I walk past the bathroom and try and turn the handle. Occupied. Occupado. But I can’t wait. So I go out the back door and look left and right. I see no one, I’m in a parking lot but it’s hot and quiet out and time is ticking. I look left and right. Fuck!! What am I going to do, PB on the damn sidewalk? But then I see it. A planter. A pot of fucking gold. So my dinner is now out back of the hot dog stand, in broad daylight, in a goddamned ceramic planter, and now I am feeling good.
Question 3 I get asked most often is….is it worth it?? Yes. Is it any different than medically supervised bulimia? I don’t know.
And I don’t care either.