November 1, 2009
The Return of Hunger
Those who don't really know me probably don't know I had a lapband put in five years ago. It took me about a 1.5 yeas or so to lose 100 pounds. Then my weight stabilized. I should lose another 50-60 pounds but, really, I have not made an effort to do so. I neither lost nor gained weight.
In late August 2009, I started having reflux issues. These issues would have me coughing at night until I threw up. First it was once a week. Then it was 2-3 times. By the time I end to the doctor in October 2009, the coughing was a regular nightly occurrence with the vomiting 2-3 times a week. I was afraid my band slipped. I really was.
I went to see my doctor and he noted that it had been years since I had seen him. (Combination lack of insurance for a time and then laziness.) He took at look at my band through the fluoroscope and diagnosed the problem immediately as a too tight band that had been too tight for years. It was causing all of my problems.
The cure was to have a complete unfill and to leave myself unfilled for 2-3 weeks while the irritation and swelling healed. He said, "You're going to feel a lot of relief and you're probably going to feel a lot more hunger now. Be diligent and don't regain the weight between now and the refill." I had no idea just how right he was. The relief was immediate. After five years of restriction, it was a gorgeous thing to have a complete unfill and have no restriction, no difficulty eating anything at all.
I mean… anything.
The first thing I went to eat was a sandwich from Arby's. I knew I shouldn't but I did it anyway. I gobbled that sucker down. I was hungry. Then I was sated. Actually, 'sated' is the wrong word. I was beyond satisfied. My tummy was full and my head was buzzing. I felt high. It felt so damn good. So good, I could not believe it. It was enticing and intoxicating. That night, I had a medium rare steak. The same sensations came back. That's when I started getting concerned. I realized this euphoric feeling was the whole reason I became morbidly obese in the first place. I did not want that to happen again. Not after everything I had gone through.
Then the hunger came back. It is with me all of the time. I want to eat all the time. I haven't felt hunger like this in years. I've been hungry on the band but it's been a distant nagging reminder--like your mother calling from downstairs for you to remember to complete a chore. Not this hunger. This hunger is in my face and screams at me to be fed. I wake up hungry. I walk around hungry. I think about food all the bloody time and it is driving me crazy. I have been so spoiled by the band.
I'm going to tell you all right now that I have thought of having the band removed more than once over the last couple of years. I had no idea I was too tight. I just knew that I was having more problems that I thought it was worth.
Not anymore. I cannot wait to go back to the doctor's office and get a fill again. Not as tight as before. We'll probably start at 1/3 or 1/2 half the CC's of liquid that I once had and work to find that sweet spot that I once thought I had but apparently never did.
I'm glad I've been given this reminder of what I used to go through all of the time. I'm glad I'm going to be able to go back to a more normal life in November. I'm thankful all I have to do is get a fill again to be able to use this tool to help me. I'm praying for the strength to face this hunger in the meantime. I'm thankful that I have this opportunity to remind me just how fortunate I've been for the last five years. It has given me the motivation I needed to start actively using the band again the way it was meant to be used.