I’m now a bona-fide BANDIT!

8 Dec

Hi all…

OK… for those who couldn’t care less about hearing all of the gruesome details – don’t bother reading this post!!

But… for those who are interested in what the whole procedure entails – here is my run-down.  Also to note: this experience differs enormously from person to person – so it’s not so much of a this-is-how-it-is post… rather than a this-is-my-personal-experience post (if that makes sense).

On Monday the 6th December, I checked into the LIFE Hospital in Bedfordview to have my laproscopic gastric band (lapband) fitted.  I must admit that I really don’t have many positive things to write about that particular hospital or about their nursing staff (especially in comparison with the amazing Sandton Medi-Clinic)… but ja-well-no-fine.  My surgeon is based there – so that’s where I went.

I was in a ward with 5 other ladies.  I don’t think any of us uttered a word to one another for the entire 24 hour duration of our stay!  Too much awkward-moment-ness for me (I preferred to draw my little curtain and pretend I had some privacy).

Step 1: Got dressed into hospital nightie… blue see-through shower cap… and giant see-through surgery broekies.


Waiting impatiently for the surgery...

Step 2: Got given an injection directly into my stomach (which I needn’t have worried about because I didn’t feel the needle at all – only the after-burn).

Step 3: Had inflatable massaging thingies put around both of my calves (attached to a little machine).  Apparently, it’s an anti-clotting device.  Very pleasant experience actually – I wanted to take them home with me!  They massaged my calves for a solid 24 hours!

The Op:

After a long, impatient wait… I was wheeled into the theatre at around 4pm.  Great anesthetist!  She found my vein on the first try (when I had my wisdom teeth removed, they couldn’t find a vein in my  arms… hands… and eventually found one in my feet).  So… yay!  Quick-quick… the needle was in – and there was no fussing about, she started the anesthetic almost immediately.  I remember trying to keep my eyes open and wondering why my lungs felt so heavy and wondering what name you’d give the surgery-assistant (the guy who moves you from the bed to the operating table).

The Crap Bit:

OK… I really don’t deal well with anesthetic…. so… “coming out” of surgery was probably the worst part of this whole experience.  I felt dizzy (and I hate feeling dizzy!)… I felt nauseous (and I hate feeling nauseous!)… and I felt very sore!  They had given me pain medication, but at the time, I wanted more pain meds (and the nurses weren’t too keen to oblige).  But the nausea and the dizzyness were, for me, worse than the actual pain.  I puked (lovely!!!)… and I remember feeling very… very… VERY… hot.

My Nick (the very best husband in the world) was there through it all.  Wiping me down with an ice-pack…. asking the nurses for vomit-catching bowls…. cleaning me up…. just “being there”.  I don’t think it’s possible for me to be more in love with a human being than I am with my Nick.  He has been A-M-A-Z-I-N-G through all of this… I couldn’t even begin to write here how much he means.

The op left me with 5 small cuts in various places around my stomach.  I already had a laproscopic procedure (5 years ago when Morgan was born) to remove my gallbladder.  So now I have a total of 10 little scars on my stomach – plus 1 larger C-section scar.  The scars from my previous op have faded (hard to pin-point some of them) – so I’m confident that these new scars will fade to almost-invisibility too!


After the op.... 5 little holes and 1 Gastric Band!

The night after the surgery was very uncomfortable… not so much the wounds, but my back was really sore from lying in an awkward position.  I couldn’t toss and turn as much as I usually do… and so got very little sleep.  I had to get up twice to go to the loo… and it was always a big hoo-ha… trying to negotiate the drips… and have me detached from the leg massaging machine… trying to sit up from a lying down position… blah-blah…

The following morning, after a visit from the surgeon… I was sent off for the standard X-ray.  I had to swallow a very bitter, very vile tasting liquid while the radiologist took pictures of my new band.  The X-ray results were fine… the band was perfectly in place… no problems…  so, I was discharged from hospital.

I went home… still feeling a bit woozy from the remnants of anesthetic and medication and slept for most of yesterday afternoon.

I haven’t eaten in 2 solid days – and no, I’m not feeling hungry.  I manage small sips of water (as often as possible)… and “meals” consist of a few sips of drinking yoghurt or juice.  For the first week after surgery, I have to continue with the liquids only diet… then I can start to wean myself on to mushy foods… and then take it from there.

I am already delighted at the fact that a miniscule portion of yogi-sip has me feeling “full”.  This is the beginning of a whole new journey!  Thanks again – for all the well-wishes and support! x


One Response to “I’m now a bona-fide BANDIT!”

  1. Sheryl Templeton December 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    How awesome Heather that you have done it now. Congratulations for going through with it. The worst is over. You wont know yourself, you will see how the weight will just fall off now. I’m envious. Could do with that now. God Bless Sheryl

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