Thursday, October 28, 2010

I've Got a Theory and Skittles Galore

I mentioned the other day that I was having some "stuck" episodes which also included "sliming" and "vomiting" every couple of days. Non-fun times.

And it hurts. Big time. I was considering an un-fill but worried because my weight has plateaued for the last two month and I didn’t want to gain any weight. I know the plateau has nothing to do with all the junk food, eating out and booze I have been inhaling. (JK—I know that is the biggest reason). Jennifer blogged today about a similar sliming situation (not for the faint at heart). It almost made me pee my pants as I could relate completely to the whole situation. She had me in tears laughing so you need to read her account to truly understand that in the whole scheme of things, at least we can laugh.

But not being able to eat much before getting stuck made me rethink how I ate. This started the pre-eating suggestion or more accurately “priming the band”. Jen has blogged that it is also called First Bite Syndrome. I just eat a few bites of my food, wait 20-30 minutes and then eat the rest. Here is a sample day of eating.

Breakfast: Glass of milk, coffee. 30 minutes later: scrambled eggs and ham.
Lunch: Puréed squash soup. 30 minutes later: ham and cheese in a pita.
Dinner: V8 juice. 30 minutes later: 3 oz salmon with mango salsa.
(do I admit to the pumpkin sugar cookies I ate later in the day?)

And it seems to be working. It’s been 5 days since I was last stuck and I’m eating solids for the first time in weeks. Until today, which leads me to my second theory. Today I forgot to drink my milk and just had coffee. I started to eat some mini pitas stuffed with ham. Two bites and I was done—I could feel a bit stuck. 2 hours later I had a scone which took me 2 hours to eat. Still not feeling super great but no pain, sliming or vomiting.

But wait! (play Jeopardy song while thinking)…
(Drazil—skip this part in blue as it will disturb you)

I said, "Self, when was the last time you pooped". It’s been 4 days! Egads. Don’t worry, I found the bathroom and now I can eat again.

So my theory is that when you are constipated or you are filled to the brim, the large intestine pushes against the stomach which pushes against the band and it is hard to get food down. I’ve included a picture for those that didn’t care too much for biology. Being a nurse I am very relaxed about bodily functions.
So now I have two theories to keep from getting stuck. First, prime the band and make sure you have had a good s&!# (did you guess the word?) .
 
I sent an e-mail to the clinic nurse telling her about the problems I was having and asking if I should actually have a small fill. She replied that I probably had first bite syndrome (Jen: shall we organize a First Bite Group?). She suggested I cut up my food really small and eat slow. Well I do that already, in fact most of my food is mushie like. So I will try the band priming for now and wait a couple of weeks to see if I can get my eating regulated to eat solid protein. I have been defaulting too much to soft and pureed foods. OK, that and chocolate and ice cream. And those darn Halloween candies. I'll get you, my pretty.

And to finish this post, I just saw a commercial on TV about a guy who turns everything into Skittles. Co-incidence. I think not. Now we know that Drazil can probably do the same thing. Because of course, everything we see on TV is true!

13 comments:

Maree said...

So pleased you've found a way to avoid the dreaded sliming and PBing. I think "priming the band" is a great idea - going to try that when I'm a bit tight.

Bonnie said...

So far I've been lucky with minimal PBing - only 3 to date and very easy. I have a fill on Monday and am hoping I'll get more restriction, but none of the sliming. If I do, I'll at least have some ideas on how to combat. Thanks!

Pie said...

You know, my surgeon very specifically told me to be wary of bread and bread-like foods. I think no matter how hard you chew, it's still gonna swell a bit once you swallow and I know for me personally I'm always doomed when that happens. So when I read about the mini-pita and the scone, I had to wonder if that might be part of the problem. I know when I sit down to eat, I avoid the bread now simply because I want to be able to eat more. If I eat something bread based, three bites and I'm done. Just a thought.

Blossom said...

I totally think I get first bite, too. It's something my clinic has told me about also, it's a real thing! Even when I think I've chewed enough. So far I've learned I can't eat tortillas and a lot ob bread-y foods, which makes me sad. I'm glad you're getting back to eating a bit more solids.

Gen said...

I experienced first bite syndrome last night...With very soft meatballs. I waited a while after the first bite and it was smooth sailing!

Great theories! I think you are right.

BTW right now I can eat bread...which probably means I need a fill....

Drazil said...

That guy who turns everything into Skittles - is me - except I don't have a penis. LOVE it and LOVE you my iMom.

Bianca J said...

Glad that priming the band helps. I used to get stuck or feel it coming on after a bit or two because I was trying to eat the way I did pre-band. I have now gotten into the habit of chewing the first two bites for at least 30 seconds. I then wait about a minute or so so before continuing. It has really helped me get through meals without the dreaded pbs or sliming.

Read said...

You know.... This makes perfect sense to me. I've notices this, but only by total accident. Where I'd take a bite or two and it would hurt a bit and feel like I was going to get stuck and so I'd stop eating and do something else - deal with the kids or something - and then go back and give it another try and it seems to be totally fine then. I thought it was just a totally odd thing, but this makes total sense. Thanks for that!!

And yes - I'm all over switching doctors with you - I don't suppose you're anywhere near MD.

~Lisa~ (Mrs C) said...

I can't comment on what you're going through - I'm not quite there yet. But know that I thank you for educating me! I'm soaking it all up like a sponge!!

Mo said...

OK being new to this I havent had the pleasure yet (oh something to look forward too yay). But my Dr gave this advise in my written stuff.

"It is beneficial to consume a glass of water 5-10 minutes prior to eating to loosen the thick sputum plug that forms around the rim of the band (and thereby preventing this from causing regurgitation) to lubricate the gullet and provide temporary satiety"

no sure if it would help or not, for now I am just having a few big sips not a whole glass but I am still on softish foods (well apart from the chicken I had last night)

DB said...

This is a great theory. I am going to try this too. I suffering as well - not fun!

Joey said...

Gross.

I prime the band too - it usually helps.

I'm going to come to Canada to pinch your cheeks.

Pamela E. Williams said...

After Reading Jenn's post I had to come and read this. I missed it the first time. I will definitely be trying these helpful hints. Thanks Sandy Lee!!

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