Here I am again with the last of my three articles on the downside of having a gastric band (click here to go back to part one).
Of course it’s not all bad, there are so many benefits to being fitted with a gastric band, not the least of which is the recovery of one’s self-esteem, and on a certain level a return to the person we used to be. To obese people that’s beyond a wildest dream, the rest should be a mere detail.
But still you should go into it with your eyes wide open. Such benefits can only accrue when big changes are made in one’s own life. The band forces you to make most of them, but there are still some you must make for yourself.
As I see it, these are the issues you need to come to terms with if you are with it for the long term:
(12) The sensations caused by the first few mouthfuls of food, which are not always pleasant unless you do it right. I have to admit I invariably get a bit stuck, and hiccups signal the end to the discomfort. By which time a while has gone by and the food is no longer hot…
(13) The greatest restriction is generally felt in the mornings, and must be approached with caution. Big breakfasts are a thing of the past, unless you have them at noon.
(14) Putting weight back on. It tends to happen after the first flush of successful weight loss, when you feel invincible. But it’s the same old you, with the same bad habits, who now discovers she/he can have a little bit of what she/he fancies, and which does you no good. Time for a re-think. Why are you on this journey, what do you hope to get from it, was it worth spending all this money to blow it on the wrong foods? Course not. Get your act together. Read a few bandit blogs to get inspired. And if you find yourself taking a sabbatical, don’t beat yourself up about it. At least don’t sabotage it, just stay level for a while till you feel strong enough.
(15) Scar tissue. Most people get it in the area of the main wound, it feels like a lump under the skin and causes problems when you go for a fill/unfill. Be sure to discuss with the clinical practitioner so they can ask you the right questions, because you need to be sure it’s not getting in the way of anything it shouldn’t.
(16) Taking pills for other conditions. Sigh, pills can be so uncomfortable to swallow for some reason. Try to choose the slippery type, i.e. shiny ones, and as small as possible. It’s better to take 2 x small 20mg pills, for example, than 1 x 40mg pill which is bigger. If all else fails, get yourself one of those little mechanisms that either cuts them in half, or crushes them for you, and you can then mix with honey and eat that way. Not ideal, but doable.
(17) The final indignity: saggy skin. After your heroic journey, you’ve reached your target, but once you’ve been there for a while you cease to be impressed by your new slim body that fits into such tiny clothes; what you see in the mirror (with disgust) is the saggy skin that got left behind. The apron on your belly, the batwings on your upper arms. If you were very obese and over 35 years old you probably won’t have the necessary elasticity to lose it, no matter how many sit-ups you do. Tackle it head on. Seek advice from a plastic surgeon about having it removed, and remember to ask about problems 6-months on after the op – scar tissue, possibilities of more operations to remove it, and so on. And of course, whether you can afford it. And if you can’t, well, join the club of happy, slim, saggy ladies who learn how to disguise it with the right (lovely new) clothes and accept that bikinis were never an option anyway. It’s still better than being obese.
The world is full of imperfect looking people, but don’t forget – ever – that it is/it will be wonderful to feel normal size, and that these so-called downsides are merely obstacles along the way. It will also be wonderful to turn your attention to other aspects of your life.
Lonicera The Bandit
– Analysis & Cost of Lap Band Surgery (Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band) & Whether It’s Right for You
– Lap Band Problems & Lap Band Complications
– Lap Band Surgery Failure – 2 Types & How to Avoid Them
– Life After Weight Loss Surgery