My name is Sparkler and I have recently had a gastric band. I decided to keep a blog as a bit of diary and also because when I was researching my band it really helped to read other peoples blogs from the beginning about their experiences with the band, so that I could see what day to day life was really like living with the band. So if anyone reads this and finds it helpful then that's good too.
As you may guess, I haven't told anyone about my band apart from my husband, hence the 'nom de plume' (if that's how you spell it)!
Today is day 8 of living with my band and I'm starting to feel much more fit and well, but don't worry I'll try my best to fill in the back story in my next post.
I live in suburbia, in South Manchester with my husband and two young boys. I work part time in Manchester as a PA about 20 hours a week or so and my husband has his own business.
I was banded by Mr Franco Favretti at The Spire Hospital in Manchester on Saturday 30th January 2010 through Healthier Weight. I weighed about 15st 6lbs when I started my pre-op diet 5 days prior to my surgery and probably weighed about 15st 2 or 3lbs on the big day. I am including my weightloss ticker which will appear at the bottom of each page so you will be able to see how well or otherwise I am doing. Currently my goal weight is 10 stone. Sorry if this all sounds a bit dry, probably what will work best for me is to just start from now and then when things seem relevant I can expand on them as they come up, (eg. my reasons for having the band, the pre-op diet, the surgery itself ). I think this will keep my writing fresher and more readable than trying to fully update you right now.
As I mentioned today is day 8 post surgery for me and I'm feeling pretty good. I still have my dressings on and the main incision is somewhat uncomfortable, but otherwise I'm pretty much getting there.
The first couple of days out of hospital I was quite amazed how well I was considering. I kept myself dosed up on solpadene, but I could just about have managed without if I had to most of the time. I have had many very sharp wind pains, which I was prepared for, but they can be quite excrutiating. Luckily when I moved around they cleared fairly quickly, so were managable. I did have one lingering all evening last night though which in the middle of the night became quite painful and I had to get up and walk around, rubbing my side and moving my arms around. It felt just like a really bad stitch and hurt a lot when I breathed in, but it too subsided before too long. One thing I've been surprised at is how unworried I've been about most of the twinges I've had. I had imagined prior to surgery that I'd be sure that every bout of indisgestion was band slippage...but not so.
The first few days I found I got pretty nausious and tired if I tried to do anything that involved any thinking, like reading, using the computer or sorting out anything fiddly. So I would need to go and have a lie down for a bit. My main pain is with my main incision and I've tended to walk around slightly hunched over holding it like I'm pregnant!
For the first 5 days I felt pretty bloated and wasn't able to eat too much...which is good, but initially it took effort to make sure I was getting enough calories and protein to keep me going. I'm pretty sure that is why I was feeling nauseous.
I had to change my own dressings on Wednesday (day 4 post surgery) as my husband is too squimish to do it. It made me feel sick as I'm squimish when it comes to my own gorey things. I managed to accomplish it though dispite one of my dressings being badly stuck to my stitches. uugghh!
On Wednesday I was feeling pretty good, much more energetic. I could tell I was improving and I was looking forward to being a lot more active on Thursday (I'm on a weeks annual leave), but then...cue heavy music...dum, dum, dum!! During the night I woke up and got out of bed...and when I took a step with my left leg I was in agony! I felt like I had torn a muscle or had a hernia or something really revolting. The pain was an inch or two above and to the left of my tummy button. I hobbled to the bathroom and looked under my dressings but nothing to be seen. By this time I was sweating and thought I would be sick, then I started to feel very woosey and thought I was definately going to faint, so hobbled back to bed as quick as I could manage and lay still till I felt better. It was fine as long as I lay still, so I thought I'd wait till morning and see how I felt. I was still in a lot of pain in the morning when I stood up, but could walk easier and it did ease off as I moved around more. I really wasn't sure what to make of it and felt quite worried that I'd lifted something too heavy and caused some internal damage. To confess, I had lifted up my small dog and carried her outside for a wee just before I went to bed... I phoned the nurse a couple of times and when I eventually got a call back she seemed quite off hand about it and felt sure it was the muscle the port had been stitched into and absoulutely nothing to worry about, Ppphhhewww! Although part of me was worried that I'd damaged the port (in one of the blogs I follow 'Banded Girl' had a twisted port and needed to have port revision surgery...I'm sure they didn't put it in crooked, so was this going to happen to me!). I posted the details of my experience to a forum group I'm a member of (http://www.ukgastricband.co.uk/) to see if any others had experienced anything like this whilst I was waiting for the nurse to phone me back. When I logged on to update the thread following my discussion with the nurse I saw that several others had had very similar experiences and were fine. It was very comforting.
I dosed up on plenty of pain killers and hobbled around as best as I could at home, then low and behold by 4:00pm I felt fantastic. No pain at all, even from my incision. It was amazing. I had a really enjoyable evening pain free!
When I woke up Friday morning I was still free of the weird port pain, but my incision felt a bit sore and unstable. I felt as though I needed to be careful or my internal organs may pop out through my stitches eeerrr! But otherwise I was feeling fine. Since Friday I've even been able to walk upright without holding my stitches when I'm in company, a definate improvement.
The big event for Saturday was my first day back behind the wheel. I was advised not to drive for 5 days following surgery by the Healthier Weight dietician who came to see me before discharge at the hospital. I felt a little weird, particularly as I was in my husbands car which is a Discovery and I'm not really used to driving it. At first I felt as though it was too soon, but really I think it was fine, I was able to twist round to look out the rear window without any pain.
So now we're pretty much up to date on the timeline, but I will give more details in future posts about my surgery, my motivations, my provider and anything else I think other potential bandits may want to know.
At least I've made a start now. I've been wanting to start for ages, but really not sure how to begin. I finally thought, just begin, before you've forgotten everything!