Back after a leak repair

Jul 06, 2010

I’ve been away from OH at least 15 or 16 months.  It is not easy to come back, but I think that it would be good for me.  I had the band installed in November 2008 and felt like I was a failure with the band.


I left because of a partially misplaced shame.  My band has never been right.  It never held saline.  A needle puncture in the tube close to the port, the day after initial surgery produced a leak that only was confirmed in January.  I didn’t want to get it fixed because my experience with the band was not a good one.  I could mostly eat whatever I wanted to eat if I did so slowly enough.  My weight had been down to 235, but it climbed back up to 270.  Occasionally I would get stuck if I didn’t chew well or ate a bit too much, but for the most part I had zero restriction.


After prodding by my PC and wife, I decided to get the port repaired and did so on June 16.  The surgery was uneventful.  I began to eat soft food the next day.  Dr. Boorse put in 10cc of saline.  My experience is 100% different than it had been.  Initially I thought that I had too much restriction (imagine that).  Cold drinks go down very slowly and about half a cup of food is all that I can eat.  But the remarkable thing which I never experienced before is that eating small amounts of food is satisfying!!   In the 20 days since the repair, I’ve lost 20 lbs.  Now for the first time in 20 months I feel as though I have the band experience.  After hating it, now I really like it.  Go figure … Am I fickle or what!


So moral of the story for me is,   I go the band because I have limited control over my ability to control how much I eat.  Now that the band is working, I have no choice but to have control and it is working. 


Don’t be discourage if you don’t have full restriction, and don’t let the decades of shame about weight rule your life, as it has mine.


Regression, but no regret, yet

Apr 12, 2009

I found myself starting to eat things that I should not and crave things I should not.  I decided to give myself a few days off strict dieting.  I ate some cake someone had in at the office, a whoopee pie on the way home from shopping, and we went out to a wonderful Indian restaurant and I had a rather rich entree.

Today I get back on track.  I've put on three or four pounds and for some reason don't feel bad about it.  My new clothes still fit fine. I feel good and can do things I couldn't do before.  I sort of like being at this weight.  I know that the docs want me to lose another forty  pounds at least, if not 55-60 and I'm going to try, but I just needed to relax and be.

I'm setting a new goal for myself.  Rather than avoiding all bad foods, I'm going to try to avoid eating compulsively and have all or most of my eating be mindful and purposeful and relaxed.  I think that may be the key for me.

Horrible Day disgusting be warned before reading.

Mar 28, 2009

I had my second fill on Tuesday, now with 4cc in my band.  I did fluids as advised and soft foods the next day.  By Thursday I was ravenous and to my dismay found that I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted with no restriction.  This continued through Friday and I was definitely over eating, lots.  Friday evening I awoke hungry and went to the kitchen and had a small piece of turkey, somewhat dry.  I got stuck, but it resolved itself, relatively quickly.  This morning I made breakfast, two eggs and an ounce or two of chopped up turkey.  I got stuck almost immediately.  I walked the dogs, spitting saliva around the neighborhood.  I went to work and it got worse.  I was vomiting and foaming and Lord knows what else.  Pain.  Unable to focus or concentrate.  Cancelled all my clients, drove home, spitting into a coffee cup, almost home and I wretched up a mouth full of egg and turkey.  I was clear.  I was exhausted, went to bed, slept for two hours.  When I awoke, I tried drinking some warm tea with milk.  Yikes, it went down, but with difficulty and was not going through the way liquids do. It was like right after surgery.


I called Dr. Boorse who returned my call quickly.  He suggested that we try not taking out saline, and just do cool liquids for a day or two to reduce the inflammation.  I was able to drink some ice water, then some Iso protein over ice.  I’m doing it like right after surgery.  Tomorrow I’ll allow myself some full liquids.  I did have one very small bit of diet chocolate pudding, and it felt great.


Now I have to call my clients and reschedule.


Back to the Villanova Pitt game.

1 comment

Back on track

Mar 05, 2009

I've been away from OH for several months.  Frustrated with myself and the band and life.  No weight loss for several months.  Eating too much and slider foods and hungry all the damn time.  No structrue or accountablity. 

I have only had one fill, 3cc in an 11 cc band.  I have only started to get some restriction in the past few weeks.

I went up and met with the nutritionist and clinical social worker on Monday.  For reasons which I can not explain I feel like a different person regarding this whole process.  I've been doing much better this week, eating a great deal less, respecting my restriction and not being very hungry.  I realize that there are some problems still, but I can work on them and I've decided to show up here from time to time.

Having a rough time

Dec 19, 2008

I was doing ok, but now I am just hungry much of the time.

Learning to live with the band is somewhat complicated.  I've realized that I will do better if I sit down, eat a meal slowly etc.
Frequently I don't do that.  I eat on the run, take bites that are too big and I get stuck, not seriously, but enough to be a problem for a while.

I just want to eat all of the time. 

I had been losing weight fairly well, but I seem to be stuck between 240 and 245.  Maybe this is because this is the weight range which I identify myself with for much of my adult life.  Who knows.

I was exhausted today and didn't work out in the morning, as a partial result my blood sugars were too high.  I took some Amaryl and they are back under control for now.


A report after six days post surgery

Nov 24, 2008


For the most part I’m doing well.  I’ve been walking on the treadmill every day.  I did 50 minutes yesterday, but was rather tired in the afternoon, so I cut back today since I want to go out and take care of some errands and business.  My belly is far less swollen from gas, but it is still rather tender.  The hematoma is getting smaller, but as the blood moves out and is absorbed, it causes the entire lower portion of my belly to be purple/red.  I’m trying to go without Tylenol today, but I’m not sure if that is a good idea or not.   

Blood sugars are creeping up a bit, but not dangerous, as I’m having a few more carbs than when on the pure Atkins.  I’m no longer taking glimepride (Amaryl) so that is making some difference.   I’m on full liquids and I discovered that my banded belly does not like cold things.  Some cold yogurt yesterday was hard to get down.  Warm broth and warm creamed soups feel very good and taste great.  This morning I thought I’d make some thinned out cream of rice cereal for breakfast.  It tasted great and went down well, but then just sat there like a mildly painful lump for the longest time.  Rather uncomfortable.  I don’t need the carbs either, so I may go back to yogurt for breakfast. 

My weight has come down 5 lbs since surgery. That feels good.  Because of swelling that is still there, my pants are not yet loose.  But I did go out yesterday and buy a new pair of sweat pants and got a size smaller than usual.  They fit fine.   

I remember well before surgery looking at how little food people posted that they were eating.  I could never imagine being able to do that.   This morning, a full half cup of cereal was too much for me.  Damn this thing may work!! 

I start back to work Saturday the 29th. 

I go back to Dr. Boorse on Monday December 1 and then have a full week of work.

Saga of the surgery and complications

Nov 21, 2008

Sandy and I left for Lehigh Valley at 4 AM Wednesday morning.  They have a wonderful system there.  Everyone checks in at the same room where the family waits.  They give you a small electronic device which gets clipped on to your bracelet so that they can determine where you are.  I was taken back to be “prepped” while she waited.    I learned that they were not going to shave my hairy belly, but rather “clip” it.  Less chance of infection and it won’t itch as much when it grows back.  I was in the operating room by 7 AM and don’t remember anything else until waking up and having a male nurse ask me if I wanted more pain medications.  A resounding, “yes,” brought immediate relief.  Sandy came in shortly with my glasses.  She told me that she had seen Dr. Boorse and he said surgery went very well.  They repaired my hiatal hernia and installed the lap band.   We were up in my room by 11 AM.  We had two nurses while I was in the hospital and they both were wonderful and good spirited, as were all of the techs and supportive staff.  My room mate was a young man from the Dominican Republic who had a bowel obstruction. Apparently he had been a liver donor for his uncle (who doted upon him) and the scarring from that operation caused the problem. He had a large family and they spoke loudly in Spanish.  This really bothered me the first day (when I was tired and irritable) and pleased me the second day.


Sandy had me out walking laps of the floor.  The first evening I noticed that a baseball had appeared under my skin at one of the incisions.  Apparently a hematoma had formed at the site of the port.  One after the other, residents appeared to poke at it.  Eventually they drew a line around it to mark its size.  They gave me a sandbag to put on it to press the fluid out.  No fluids to drink the first day, only a sponge on a stick to clean out my mouth.  Sandy wanted to stay overnight, but the nurse made here leave, which was fine with me, I was worried about her sleeping in a chair and getting totally exhausted.  I didn’t sleep very well, but morning came soon enough.


The next morning I walked on my own, dragging my IV pole as I did several circles around the ward..  Around 8 AM I was taken down for X-Ray to see if everything was working.  They made me drink contrast fluid which went down with a bit of pain, and then I had to chase that with some water.  I came back to the room and when they discovered that I had passed the test, I was given some juice and jello.  I drank about 2 ounces of juice and started on the orange jello when the “fun” began.  Pain beyond belief, retching, foaming, sliming, you name it.  I thought I was going to die. Unbelievable pain behind my breast bone.   Residents came in and didn’t know what to do.  Finally the PA from Dr. Boorse’s office came in and she said she was pretty sure that some saline had to be taken out of the band, but she couldn’t do it because of the big hematoma where the port was located.  I spent the rest of the day in agony.  7 hours of grief that I shall never ever forget.  I truly believed that I was going to die.  I wanted them to go in right then and there and take the band out.  I was desperate.  Sandy was wonderful!! She was calm, kept emptying my spit tray, offering me tissues etc.   Around 6:30 Dr Boorse showed up with two residents.  He turned the room into a mini operating room and proceeded to poke into the hematoma, while I braced my muscles to give him a better view.  He finally took out 2.5 cc of saline that were used to prime the band and I felt instant relief.  It was like magic.  He handed me a cup of ice water and told me to drink it.  I was terrified to do so after my earlier experiences.  I drank it and it went down.  He made me drink a second one.  It went down.  He told me to go home!  Damned Magic is what it felt like.  He did suggest that we hang around for an hour or so just to make sure.  It took that long to get discharge papers ready etc.  I slept part of the way home.  It was beautiful with a dusting of snow everywhere.  We stopped at CVS to get the pain meds and antibiotic.  I can’t tell you how good it was to get home and sleep in my own bed.


Now it is Friday and I’ve been up and poking around doing things.  I walked on the treadmill for ten minutes, started some laundry.  Sandy is zonked out on the couch exhausted after her role in the ordeal.  In the morning I drank some chicken broth and it was damn wonderful.  I’ve been sipping some G2 and Iso mixture.  Tomorrow I go on full liquids, but I plan to take it very very very slowly.

Thanks to everyone for their support!

Leaving very early in the morning

Nov 18, 2008

I got the call from Lehigh Valley Hospital.  i have to be there at 5 AM.  That means that I need to leave home at 4 AM.  That means I'll be getting up around 3 AM.  Yikes!!

Sandy (my wife) says she is going to try to sleep in my room and stay with me.  I hope she'll go home and get a better rest.  We'll see.

The dogs are going to go with Miss Poop the dog boarder for two nights.

I'll be back on line on Thursday afternoon, God willing and the surgeon's laproscope don't slip!

Pre Op testing

Nov 17, 2008

I just got back from pre op testing.  It was weird.  They told me it would take two hours.  i was out in one hour.  The nurse who started with me rushed me through blood testing, EKG and vital signs.  The anesthesiology nurse was slow and tedious.  The weird part was being interviewed by the resident.  He was a first year resident (6months out of medical school) and looked disoriented.  He started to relax when I asked him some questions about himself.  He was well enough informed, but . ...    I guess these are the benefits and down sides of a teaching hospital.

It was only slightly disconcerting that the resident was younger than both of our boys.  I asked him if he would be in the surgery, and he said no, he only got to be part of minor surgeries at this point, mostly hernia repairs.  Oh well.

Both the nurse and the resident seemed surprised that I was having WLS.  i had to explain to them why I was doing it.  Just seemed wrong to me.  They were very polite and supportive, but  ...

I was surprised that i was told to take some of my meds the morning of the surgery.  Now I'm really starting with the anxiety.

Two days to go and a victory

Nov 16, 2008

Weight is going down again on the Atkins diet.  I'm not very hungry and best of all, my sugars are under control without insulin.  This morning my sugar was 93!  I almost fell out of my chair.  Of course I'm still taking four meds, but ....  One of those goes away on Wednesday, so I'll be down to three for diabetes.

Lots of wonderful support from people I've met here on OH and from friends and family.  I have a very busy work day on Tuesday, so that is good to keep me from obsessing too much.

About Me
Pottstown, PA
Surgery Date
May 20, 2008
Member Since

Friends 29

Latest Blog 36
A report after six days post surgery
Saga of the surgery and complications
Leaving very early in the morning
Pre Op testing
Two days to go and a victory