Thanks to Lori for her informative blog (Love My Lapband) and the link to the PBS special, FAT: What No One Is Telling You. I watched it tonight (click on the link) and most of the science presented is not new, but the stories provide great perspective on the complexity of the issue, and how being fat affects our lives. I really enjoyed it, and hope you do too. Lori is a filmmaker, and her blog compiles a lot of current information she finds about obesity and weight loss surgery (lap band in particular) in one handy place. She's interviewing bandsters and putting the interviews on her blog. It's a great resource, so go check it out.
Today I studied for my exam, then drove to Idaho for my fill, with my new surgeon's PA, a big, bald, bearded, tattooed man named Brian. He's very nice, very shoot-from-the-hip; he used to be a respiratory therapist before going to PA school, so he's "down" (as the kids used to say). He saw that my surgery was done elsewhere, so he started giving me the spiel about how the band only does part of the work and we have to make diet changes and exercise and all that, but eventually he backed off that when he realized that I'm doing all that stuff, and my original surgeon really did tell me all that stuff, and I do actually need a fill. Once again, he accessed my band, like Dr Pennings did last time, and pulled out only 2.0 ccs of fluid. That's what Pennings pulled out 6 weeks ago (I was supposed to be at 3.2cc from my surgeon in January), and he put a 0.5cc fill in. So we repeated the process, 2.0 there, add 0.5cc. We talked about where the fill went--I've been banded for a while, and researching for a while before that, and I've been online on all the forums with other bandsters, and no one has ever been able to explain where fluid goes from the band. Is there a leak, or does the water move osmotically across the silicone membrane of the band itself, or what exactly? Everyone gives a different answer, but I think the answer is actually "we don't know." It makes sense that if there was actually a leak, since the band is under pressure, it would be EMPTY by the time it gets checked again, even if the leak was tiny. So it's hard to imagine that it's an actual leak if I still have 2ccs in there after 6 weeks. But where does it go? It's a mystery. If I go back for another fill, and it's 2 ccs again, I might ask for a hair more fluid next time. I do NOT want to be tight, but I would like to hang on to the extra "help" from the band a little bit longer.
I have a weird relationship with fills, though. I am of the opinion, through watching others' experiences with bands, that I should work with as little fill as I can and still lose weight, if I want to keep my band forever. I don't want any complications and I don't want more band surgery. It makes sense that the stomach doesn't like any more pressure on it than necessary, so I don't want to clamp the thing down and make it swell and have problems, which is the most common precursor to complications like slips and erosions, from what I've read. A lot of people really rely on "restriction" to keep them eating tiny, tiny amounts and even rely on barfing and "PB"s to force them to stop eating. I think that is asking for trouble, personally. I'd rather have to do a little more work on my end to eat less and keep my stomach healthy. That's my personal belief, though.
Anyway, I went on my run this evening, which looked like it would be rainy but ended up being very nice. I found a cool Google-based site for figuring out the mileage of a route, called (not so creatively) Gmaps-pedometer. Really, they could have come up with something better. But I like the site. It's simple and accurate (based on satellite mapping and all). I got the url off that running wiki that I posted a few weeks ago, which again I say is a great resource for people just starting out like me. I ran/walked 4.5 miles today! W00T! My legs are pleasantly achey now, in a good way. There was also another good site mentioned on the wiki (there are several there for figuring out miles ran) that is widely used and has many posted running routes for Spokane in it, so I'm looking forward to trying some of them out. It's called MapMyRun.com. Didn't seem quite as easy to use, although I didn't spend a lot of time messing with it, but it had more saved routes in my area than Gmaps seems to.
Ugh, the thing I hate about fills: liquids! Both surgeons' offices I have worked with have required 24 hours of liquids after a fill to keep from irritating the stomach and causing swelling. Emma's office also would say to "take it easy" after that, meaning not go eat car parts or chicken bones, I guess, and slowly work back up to regular foods. Brian and Pennings just say the 24 hours of liquids. I am hungry, having only had soup tonight. I don't want to "eat" more, since I'm going to bed soon, but I am hungry still. How did I ever make it through bandster hell? I hate being hungry! But fortunately, it's only until tomorrow afternoon. I may have to have some more soup before going to sleep. Grr.