Friday, January 30, 2009

the drama, continued


ugh, last thursday... what a day.. or couple of days. i was in so much pain weds night and thursday and i was FREAKING out that my band had slipped out of place (which would mean surgery asap to fix if even fixable, so the potential to lose my band was there). i called my surgeon and got in and he took out 6.5ccs of saline from my band - i had 7.5 ccs in there (it holds 9) which means he pretty much emptied the band to "help it relax" - meaning my stomach. he ordered me to go to the hospital for a gastrografin study (drinking special contrast in front of an xray machine.. it's gross stuff, though, yuck) right away to make sure everything looked ok on xray. they can tell by looking at the contrast xray whether my band slipped or not. the band isn't supposed to slip b/c it's sutured in place. they actually pull the stomach up around the band and secure it with stitches but there have been people who vomit so much or so hard they pull the stitches and the band can move. rare, but it happens. that's what i was so worried about.

they took tons of pictures w/ and w/o contrast and i got to see my band (which was really cool, actually). the radiologist and the resident both decided that my band looked like it was exactly where it should be, which is good. so the pain was probably a combination of my band being too tight and all the vomiting had caused muscle-pulling all over my abdomen. it was a rough couple of days. 

but i felt a lot better. by saturday i was still not 100% (the gastrografin had some, erm, side effects. they don't tell you to stay on or very near a toilet for about twelve hours after a gastrografin study. they should warn you). and all last weekend i was s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g. not sure if that's a good sign or not.  no fill = hunger and can eat more :(

i think i was too tight anyway, but this is a leeeeeetle open for my tastes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

anybody out there

do i have an audience?

my first major band-related scare - lots of tmi - part 1

wow has it been an eventful couple of days. i had my first major "oh shit i might actually lose my band" episode. i hope it is my last.

flashback to wednesday morning: orthodontist appointment at 8 to make sure the night guard thingy i wear is working out well. then i run over to the blood place to get my bloods drawn, as i am meeting my pcp next week for a checkup. he's very much into blood tests. i like him. he's thorough.


i'm at labcorp for over an hour waiting to be called ("your wait time is 8 minutes," says the computer - my ass!) and the smell - strike that - stench of bleach hangs heavily in the air. someone must have made a mess somewhere and they had to properly clean it up. i'm not complaining that they properly cleaned in a place where they use needles on me, but the smell was really something. having had to fast for this exam, i was in no state to be smelling bleach. have i mentioned, i have a really oversensitive sense of smell? one whiff of something chemical-y and i'm a wreck. nauseated, headaches, the works. this morning was no exception.

i finally get called and we go to the drawing room, where i promptly inform my nurse that i have to get a butterfly (baby) needle and it has to be from the top of my hand (not the crook of my arm) or else no blood will be found. she doesn't object (they never do, and why should they? i'm saving us all time and energy by being up-front about my shitty veins). she pokes, she prods, she tourniquets me, she thumps. she finds my vein. i'm getting uneasy just typing this. she finally gets it going and pops a tube on. then the blood flow stops. that never happens to me! my vein gave up so she had to go to the other hand. as she's pulling the needle out of my left hand, she bumps it and i gush blood all over. now i'm really queasy. she gets what she needs from my right hand but i leave bruised, bleeding, and with less dignity than i arrived.

it's now 9:15 am and i am on my way to work. but, i am starving. STARVING. and i just had a traumatic, 0n-a-fast medical experience. i want an egg mcmuffin and a hash brown. like, bad.

so i go to mcdonalds and order. in the car on my 10-minute drive to work, i eat half of the hash brown. and i am full. i am pleasantly surprised. "nice," i thought, "i'll save this egg mcmuffin and eat it for dinner!" it is a balmy 18 degrees out so i left it in my car. as soon as i get to work, i start sliming. like crazy. i go to the bathroom and vom a little hash brown and a little saliva blob. "ok," i think, "too early in the morning to eat. dummy."

i go back to my office and one of the partners is chatting with me about a case, when i get that feeling. oh shit. "i'll, erm.. berightback." i practically run to the bathroom and heave. nearly didn't make it. 

this continues for quite sometime over the course of an hour and a half. finally, the same partner comes into my office and sends me home. he doesn't know about the band. he thinks i have a stomach virus. he thinks he already has it. he thinks we got it from our secretary. "ok," i think, playing along in my mind, "it's a stomach virus, and not a medical implant in my stomach that is causing me to vom all morning." i go home.

i have stopped throwing up at this point and by the time i'm in my sweats and on my couch, i am feeling pretty good. an hour or so passes and i actually feel hungry. i wonder if i can eat some egg mcmuffin.

seriously, what the fuck is wrong with me?

i nuked it for 25 seconds and started nibbling at it. going down, going down, going down. success! i get about a third of the way through, when..



i vom some more, vom vom vom. i think it's all out of me. oh, wait, there's more. this continues for over two hours. by the time it's over i am exhausted. the rest of the day i drank iced tea (after not being able to even get that down). i eat a pita chip in the afternoon and promptly throw that up for twenty minutes. 

i had two classes that night. so, as shitty as i felt, i got up, got dressed, and headed off to school. i felt ehh-ok and was going to stop for a milkshake but the ice cream store was closed and it didn't really appeal to me all that much anyway. i was just looking for some comfort. 

i get to school, and i'm a little early. i sit in my car with the radio and heater on, and try to relax. then i get really nauseous and i just know i'm about to throw up. thank god i keep a grocery bag in the car (for garbage, but whatev). i grabbed it just in time. just a big blob of jello-like saliva that i'm used to (i jokingly call it "the afterbirth" in my head b/c it looks like a placenta). ugh. the bright side is that the afterbirth usually signifies the end of the voms. so i get out of the car and trek across campus to the law building. i run into my friend in the mailroom and we start chatting, until.... oh shit, not again! that feeling. i hastily excuse myself from my bewildered friend and practically jolt (with my 89-lb backpack on my back - ohsogracefully) to the ladies' room, which, thankfully, isn't that far away. i threw up so hard and so violently (not just pb, but vomited - tasting bile and stomach acid and all). i started getting really shaky and sweaty and thought i was toast. no way could i go to class. 

i trekked all the way back to my car and drove home, stopping at the grocery store to pick up some ice cream. something told me i'd need it. 

i turned out to be right.

to be continued...