This morning I got my first fill - and not a moment too soon. My surgeon won't do a first fill any sooner than six weeks after surgery and today was six weeks and two days for me. For those of you who've not yet had a fill, this is what happened:
Firstly, the nurse weighed me. Then I went in to see my surgeon. He asked whether the experience of being banded was better or worse than I had expected. I said that the pain immediately following was much worse but that was probably my fault for not asking for stronger pain killers; but the overall experience of having a band had been much better than expected. Then he asked how things were going on the eating front; I explained that I thought I already had some restriction because I definitely can't eat as much as I used to, I eat more slowly, and I also get a feeling of tightness in my chest when I eat certain things. At that point he asked if I felt whether I actually needed a fill. My first response was - eeeek! Second response was to take him by the throat and shake him and say 'OMG, of course I do!'. Third response, and the one that I actually acted on, was to say 'Oh, yes, definitely. Since I saw the dietician a week ago I've put on 0.8kg.' Being given the green light to eat 'normal' food for a week certainly went to my head - Chinese takeaway, Indian food, roast pork, cream cakes, sandwiches, crisps, you name it, I ate it. And ate it. And then I ate a little bit more. Safe in the knowledge (or so I thought) that I would be getting a fill and that would be the end of me and the overeating (hopefully.)
So, that was him convinced. He got me to hop up on the couch with a pillow in the small of my back so that my tummy was arched. He wiped the port area with an alcohol swab and got the needle ready. He explained that it was standard practice to put 4cc in the 10cc band for a first fill. As he put the needle in there was a bit of a scratch and then it felt like a bit of tugging inside - not painful, just a bit odd, like being at the dentist when you've had the anaesthetic and so can't feel any pain but can feel the sensation of your gums being pulled back. And that was it - all over in a matter of minutes. Although afterwards the 'wound' did bleed quite a bit and I was wearing a white patterned shirt - not a good move. So, note to self and a word of warning: don't wear a lovely white shirt when getting a fill, wear something old that you don't mind getting blood on!
The surgeon then made me sit in his room and drink a glass of water and tell him how it felt. No problems. Then I had to sit in the waiting room and drink two more glasses and wait 10 minutes or so to make sure everything was fine, and it was (except I was desparate for the loo by the end of the third glass.) And that was that, I was free to go.
My surgeon makes people wait a minimum of two weeks between fills so if I don't have restriction, or what I feel is enough restriction, it'll be another couple of weeks before I can get anymore ccs. I'm on purees for the weekend, then mushies/softies for a couple of days before going back to normal food (but hopefully not 'normal' portions!)
Did you notice I said I'd put on 0.8kg in a week?! Ouchy. Not that I'm going to count it. I don't know how you all count your weight losses/gains, but I've decided I'm only going to log my lowest weight. I know that weight goes up and down; it did pre-band, and it will with the band, but at least with the band I feel safe in the knowledge that any weight gain will be small and is unlikely (I hope!) to be permanent, so it's really not worth stressing over. Much better to concentrate on the losses and be positive.