Monday, January 9, 2012

What Would You Do?

I just want to throw this out into blogland to see what others think or maybe to pose to your doctor. There must be statistics somewhere.

One of our bloggers, Big Daddy, mentioned last year that his doctor recommended being defilled every couple of years to give the band and/or stomach a rest. My doctor doesn’t make any recommendation but…

My experience over the last couple of years is this fill-unfill-refill-defill rollercoaster I've been on. My clinic is not aggressive at all with fills. I get 0.1 cc fills. I know that sounds small but it seems to be what works for me. And I can feel a difference with that tiny amount. I have free fills at the clinic where I had my surgery but I pay $50 here at home with a doctor who works with them. I guess I've seen him about 8 times ($400) and about 5 at the clinic.

I also have big problems when I fly so they take out some fluid. My last defill (down to 3 cc from 4.5 cc) was last September 29th just before BOOBS. It was the strangest feeling. I didn't feel like eating at all, although I had less fluid. That did change and I was able to eat anything and everything but after about 1 cup of food, I'd get this dull ache in my right shoulder, something I've experienced my entire band life. My trip to Europe was wonderful. Full of walking and Goulash Soup but with no problems eating. I gained 1 pound.

My weight stayed the same through the fall. On November 11th I returned to the clinic to be refilled. I also told them that I thought everyone should have an unfill/defill every once in a while. Things just felt different. I think not being too tight helped my stomach relax and readjust to the band again. The nurse said others had told her the same thing. She only gave me a pittance of what had been taken out 0.5 cc/1.5cc. Two weeks later another 0.4 cc was added.

And now I'm hungry. ALL THE TIME. I can blame Christmas. I can blame travelling. I can blame the winter. I'm up 2 pounds since BOOBS. It has to come off.

But I have to wait until after my gallbladder surgery on January 24th. I'm in Bandster Hell! Knowing that getting a fill will help take the hungries away but knowing I have to show my own self-control until then. I've booked a fill appointment on February 1st. I may only get a sparrow's fart of a fillmeaning 0.1 cc but know deep in my heart that this is the only way I can survive with the band. Little fills at a time. When I get too much of a fill, I am plagued by PB'ing, heartburn, throwing up and unable to eat more than a tablespoon of food. Twice I've been so sick, not being able to swallow my spit and don't want to revisit those times EVER again.

I think having an unfill respite for the last 4 months has made an enormous difference in living with the band. I just know that I still need the band and its restriction to do that. So I'll relive "Hell" for a few more weeks. And then really get down to business and make this investment pay off big time.

Throwing out this question: Do you think it wise to give the band/stomach a rest every once in a while by having an unfill/defill?

12 comments:

Perry Joyce said...

It's the bodies job to adapt. I wholeheartedly believe that our stomachs will adapt to the restriction we've given it and the effectiveness of the band will be altered. So it makes sense to change it up from time to time.

Robin said...

I don't know Sandy. My gut (hardy-har-har-har) says no. I've never been de-filled. Yes, I've had a recent fill removed, but never a de-fill past where I had been. Now granted, I'm in a different sitch where a fill costs me over $500 (with travel and lost wages) so I'd be hesitant to go to Denver for a de-fill when they are so costly to me. Neither my surgeon nor my new doc have ever mentioned being unfilled as a matter of course.

Read said...

Sounds like a brilliant idea. It makes sense on a lot of levels.. I know giving the body time to relax and rest in other ways is helpful -why not here too???

Dinnerland said...

Hi-- I don't know the right answer, but I think you can go with how things happen behaviorally and take one step at a time. For now, you've got to get past that Gallbladder surgery-- and then you'll go the next step with the band. I feel for you b/c it is so hard to get yourself adjusted 'just right.'
Another thought: have you considered asking your surgeon's office if you could get a difference opinion from, another surgeon? Whatever, hang in there, do the best you can do while not adjusted effectively and then move ahead once you can. I'll be there right there with you all the way xoxox

Darlin1 said...

Maybe a defill is for those that feel they need it? If everything is good why change it!

I have another little concern on your part.. don't you think your next fill is too close to your gallbladder surgery? You will still be swollen and tender...wait until you are back to normal..I say XO

Tina said...

I think defill is a tad harsh. At my last appointment I went in and the nurse practitioner acted totally surprised that I might need even an little unfill tweak. My surgeon on the other hand said that I might develop scar tissue over time and need one. I did need the tweak but a total unfill screams a big no to me. I fear I would fall flat on my face.

I do think however that I got a little complacent in what, when and how I ate before the little unfill and since having a little .2 ccs out I have drastically improved my diet and am working on getting back down to goal.

so...no...I think :) but im not sure.

xxxooo

Tina said...

I think defill is a tad harsh. At my last appointment I went in and the nurse practitioner acted totally surprised that I might need even an little unfill tweak. My surgeon on the other hand said that I might develop scar tissue over time and need one. I did need the tweak but a total unfill screams a big no to me. I fear I would fall flat on my face.

I do think however that I got a little complacent in what, when and how I ate before the little unfill and since having a little .2 ccs out I have drastically improved my diet and am working on getting back down to goal.

so...no...I think :) but im not sure.

xxxooo

Debi said...

I think that it is a really interesting idea! If I were actually talking with my Surgeon's office, I would ask them this...

And I want to apologize up front about this....but "I Tagged You"!

MandaPanda said...

Hmmm...I have no idea! LOL. Not helpful, huh? My instinct says why mess with it if isn't broken? I think if you're struggling or having issues with restriction or going through too full, not enough, too full, not enough. But if everything's OK, I'd be hesitant to mess with my fill level.

Jen said...

I wish I knew. I also wish they would give all the doctors the same information about the band. As a patient, I find it immensly frustrating that even doctors don't have it figured out. Is it because there are two brands of band or just because some have more education? This post reminds me to start the search for a new Dr. Ugh.

Beth Ann said...

It is a very good question and is something to think about. I got 2 cc defill for my tonsilectomy and it was like there wasn't anything in there at all. It was a nice break and like you mentioned, reminded me why i need it.

Ronnie said...

I feel like I've hit my sweet spot and I'd be loathe to give that up!

So a no from me.

But I'd be interested in seeing who would want to do this...

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