Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bitching About The Band

I honestly don't think I will ever understand how to live life happily with a lap band. I read so many blogs by people who have had a lap band and seem to be just killing it with weight loss and healthy lifestyles. I just don't know if I will ever get to a place with my band where I feel satisfied by small meals and don't obsess over food and at the same time that eating out isn't a complete nightmare.

I have just had almost 3 weeks of my band being so tight that even liquids were difficult to get down (no, I didn't lose any weight). There were many days where I just wanted to cry and scream with frustration and rip the stupid band out of my body. I knew the tightness was brought about by some crazy stress I was having and would only be temporary so there just wasn't anything I could do. I probably should have tried to get fluid removed, but trying to get an appointment and time off work to get to the clinic is near impossible for me. Now my band seems to have loosened up and I want to eat crazy amounts of food. I am so incredibly hungry all day and night that I am eating pretty much non-stop.

This has pretty much been the story of my lap band, either too tight to get normal food down or I am hungry and obsessing over food. Even when the band is being 'normal' eating out is very difficult and there is always the chance the band will decide to close up and I'll waste $30 on food I can't eat. Not to mention how uncomfortable it can make your dining companions when you take 6 times longer to eat your meal than them or need to leave the table if food gets stuck or you just can't eat at all.

I did manage to lose a lot of weight in first 12-18 months after having my band but that was primarily due to motivation. I can tell you that I still counted down every minute before my next meal, went to bed hungry, thought about food as soon as I woke up and spent many hours tormenting myself over food I wasn't 'allowed' to eat. Doing this and going to the gym a minimum of 4 times a week helped me lose a stack of weight. As anyone knows, motivation is fleeting and I just can't be bothered being hungry all the time anymore.

I have been to the lap band clinic many, many, many times but none of the doctors ever really help. They tell me the same stock standard advice that they tell everyone, but I don't think they really understand that people have different problems with food and eating and it isn't just about trying to address the hunger. They look at my notes and tell me what I said last time, which is normally a direct contradiction of what I am saying this time, and give me skeptical looks like I am lying or making excuses.

ME: I think I need some fluid out of my band because I am too tight
DR: You said last time you wanted fluid put in the band because you were hungry all the time and always looking for more food
ME: Yes, but now I find eating normal foods too difficult so I think I might need a bit less fluid because I can't eat vegetables or lean meats
DR: But you have gained 2 kilos since you last came in, do you think having fluid removed will help?
ME: (desperately wanting to tell him to fuck off) I don't know, but right now I am finding eating difficult and I would like to be able to eat
DR: *audible sigh* OK, how much do you want removed?

I often wonder if I made a big mistake getting the lap band and I should have looked into getting the Vertical Sleeve instead. I think the band is perfect for some people, but it is difficult for those of us who have struggled with eating disorders our entire lives. The band relies on your brain cooperating and not actively self-sabotaging you every step of the way and I just seem to be making this much harder than it should be.


  1. The vertical sleeve may be just the answer for you. You sound like a perfect candidate. I'm sorry you're having such trouble with your band, it sounds miserable.

  2. I'm so sorry you're having a hard time, Tully. I know sometimes it is hard to write a blog where things aren't all rosy. It sounds like you're having some pretty aggravating complications right now. I don't blame you for being frustrated.

    One of the reasons that I selected the Lap-band was that it was reversible. I know people who have had RnY and re-gained most of the excess weight after several years. There isn't much they can do surgically except have another surgery which will likely affect their quality of life pretty dramatically since it will mean losing more of their stomach. Although VSG is more recent, it is much more invasive than the band and someone who wasn't successful with VSG would have fewer options as well. The point is that if the less-invasive procedure (the Band) isn't working for you, there are other options to consider. I don't consider that to be a failure necessarily. You tried the less-invasive option and it may not be right for you.

  3. Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with your band - hope you manage to find a solution.

    Love, hugs and positive energy.

  4. Sounds like I am going through a lot of what you are. I still obsess about food, am tight in the morning and loose at night...depending on the day I can eat or not. Eating out is really difficult. And I'm not losing weight. It's very frustrating and I feel your pain. I'm not sure I'd go through this again; it's not really what I thought it would be.

  5. Oh Tully, I know what the food obsessiona and gnawing hunger is like, and I'm sorry that you're having to go through it. But if you had your band removed, you'd go mental and eat everything that you shouldn't/ Been there. Done that. Learn from my fat arse!

    I don't like the deal with the vertical sleeve. Most people don't realise that your stomach is divided up into different parts that have different roles in digestion. One part does the mechanical grining, another part secretes the acids, andother secretes enzymes etc. All regions of your stomach are very important.

  6. I've had that exact same conversation with my doctor!

  7. i hate the torment of constantly thinking about food. i so desperately want to have that constant desire gone. it completely monopolises my thoughts. i had hypnotism and it worked for a while - it was utter bliss. i completely forgot about food. but when it came back, that desire came back with vengeance and i put on the forty kg i had lost. it's dreadful. i don't know how to fix it. i'm sorry you are having trouble. i don't know how to help x

  8. I am sorry you are having such a hard time with your band and I wish I had some pearls of wisdom for you. All I can sayid that I hope you can find a way to work with your band, and if not you can look at other alternatives.

  9. I have been following your blog for a long time but never commented bc I guess I am shy... lol. It sounds like you are having a tough time. That Dr. sounds ridiculous... you can gain weight when you are overfilled because you resort to eating "slider"foods... things that you know will go down but not necessarily keep you full or be great for you. I wish you luck in your battle... it is a tough one and very frustrating for everyone in their own way. <3

  10. OMG I think I found my twin joking aside I have found the exact same thing for me. My band has been full let out full let out and now I am just plain over it!!! Now I am looking inot having the full gastric bypass as after almost 3 yrs lost 25 kg now back up 20 kg and I do go to the gym and eat healthy foods I do sometimes have the odd naughty but its not a regular thing. I have felt so frustrated with it that I wanted to just cut it out of my guts and be done with it!! I hope you and all of us having struggled with the band get some relief soon :)

  11. Hi I have just found my band twin OMG you sound like you live in my body weird but true everything is exactly the same as me :( I am soo over it I want to have the bypass done. I go to the gym I eat healthy foods s sometimes I have a treat but Gosh whats going on I went from 107 kg to 82, them BAM!!! all back on 3 yrs down the road and its just been a waste of time and my emotional sate is quite fragile to say the least. Unfortunately for me I got my band under the government funded scheme and the bypass isnt :( I hope we can all find good solutions soon.


Awww thanks so much for the comment!