Sunday MopUp 04/27/08
It's a rainy, windy, and cool day here in Central Texas, so I have windows and doors open, I am laundering a week's worth of socks, shirts, sheets, towels, and grundersnorts in preparation for another week of Corporate Enslavement while I ingest massive quantities of Starbuck's coffee (Pike's Place beans this week, by the way), and compose run-on sentences like this one.
I call it my Sunday MopUp. If you notice any bio hazard sitting around that I might be overlooking, feel free to pitch it in the trash over there. Thanks!
The "Productive Belch"
I mentioned last week that I have now experienced the phenomena of regurgitating food due to my half-assed, only partially inflated, lap band. I promised to tell you more about it, which is sure to disgust most, if not all, of you (well, except for Sue, who apparently digs this kinda information). So, feel free to skip this part if you are prone to squeamishness about bodily functions. The good news is that this will have nothing to do with Butt Sex or homosexual frottage. I hope that is a comfort, at least.
Okay, so the whole point of the lap-band is to constrict the stomach just below the esophagus, creating a little pouch that holds about a half cup of food at any one time. You fill this pouch, get the "full" sensation, which reminds you to stop eating, and you spend several hours after eating waiting for the food to pass through the passageway that the band has created. If you overeat and fill the pouch too full, you will puke up whatever the pouch cannot hold. This vomiting is referred to as a "productive belch", which makes me laugh every time someone uses the term. Putting lipstick on a pig, if ya ask me. Ya hurl. Upchuck. Spew. Simple enough concept.
Another reason to retch is due to the fact that you have not chewed the food you are eating to the point that it can pass the band, and it gets stuck in the pouch, creating blockage. Food trapped in the pouch which cannot pass into the lower stomach can be expected to come back up. This is why, although my band isn't filled enough to really give me the pouch yet, I have to practice how I chew and eat now. I have a little time to get used to how THOROUGHLY I must now chew when I eat. And, after nearly fifty years of inhaling and barely tasting food as I stuff it down my gullet, this is proving to be a bit of a challenge.
The Monday after my first fill, I was back at work, and went out with my co-workers to lunch. They wanted to do a buffet, which annoys me, but they chose a buffet that had a pretty big salad bar, so I agreed to go. I piled a huge mound of salady stuff on my plate: lettuce, spinach, chopped egg, red onion, mushrooms, cucumber, shaved carrot, a little cauliflower, some bell pepper...that kinda stuff. Low fat dressing topped it. I then went to the grill area and got myself a piece of chicken. Skinless breast. Hot off the grill. Yay, me!
As I was eating the salad, I was careful to chew well, and focus on what I was doing. Everything was going smoothly. After all, I don't have an actual pouch yet, I don't have much to worry about. This is PRACTICE, right?
Well, as I'm eating and building up steam and relaxing about the process, I decide to try some of the chicken. I cut into the breast and pop a big forkful into my mouth. When it hit my tongue, I realized that the meat was, indeed, hot off the grill. I chewed a few times, but suddenly was worried that I was burning the inside of my mouth. Without thinking, I just swallowed.
I knew it was a mistake the moment AFTER I did it.
It went down into my stomach easily enough. But once there, it just stayed there. Was it big enough to block a passage that isn't even small enough to create a pouch yet? Well, if it WAS blocking, then I DID have a pouch, at this particular minute, didn't I?
I panicked a bit and drank some water, which filled the pouch, but didn't push the chicken down. It only made things worse. I stood up from the table and raised my arms high, lacing my hands behind my head, in a kind of stretching motion. Didn't help.
By the way, I'd like to address this concept of "feeling full", which is what this band is supposed to make you feel. Now, up to this point, I had not experienced what "feeling full" meant, because everything I ate was falling into my lower stomach. Well, I certainly was feeling it now, and it isn't anything like the full feeling a normal person gets when eating a satisfying meal.
See, for YOU folks, "feeling full" can be a pleasant, satisfying feeling in the lower stomach. You have a full belly: it might make you sleepy, it might make you a little inflexible, but beyond a little "bloated", it isn't that big of a deal. Right?
Well, "feeling full" to a person with a lap-band is different. To begin with, the feeling occurs UP HIGH, like just under your solar plexus, and it is a very UNcomfortable feeling. Like heartburn, or nausea.
At this point, the "feel feeling" was a warning to me that I was going to be sick. I went to the men's room and positioned myself over the toilet. Thank God it was a clean restroom. Nothing worse that having to puke into...nevermind...
I puked. Well, I "productively belched".
Here's the thing. When a regular person pukes, they are bringing up acids from the lower part of the stomach. It stinks, it burns, it HURTS to get that stuff up from way down there. When a lap band patient pukes, only the pouch retches, NOT the whole stomach, and you only bring up whatever the problem was. If you overate by a few bites, you will only puke those extra bites up. If you are puking because something is stuck, once the blockage is expelled, you are fine.
And that's what I did. I puked up a chunk of chicken.
And then I was all better. But, boy, I was done with lunch, let me tell you!
It has happened to me twice now. Once at the buffet, and once at home, when I wasn't paying close attention to how well I was chewing. I suspect that when I go back to the doctor to get my second fill, on May 15th, I may have enough of a pouch effect that I will need to pay VERY strict attention to how I eat.
* Went to the local leather bar last night. Received attention from three different guys and I am simply amazed. Really motivates me to keep losing. Met one guy who kept calling me "sir". Not a turn-on for me. But he WAS all over my nipples, which I didn't mind at all.
* Saw the drag queen again last week. Told him that we needed to slow down, that his lifestyle is an issue for me, and that I was conflicted about what to do about it. He said he understood, and then we had sex. Good grief!
* I have begun watching the Oprah and Eckhart Tolle podcasts of the webinar for "A New Earth" on iTunes and I am enjoying them. Lots of this stuff is Psychology 101 and not new, but I am appreciating Oprah's intent on reaching out to her following. I completely believe in the concepts being discussed and, although I have adopted many of them already in my life through the years, it's great to consider stepping the process up and strive to be more Spiritual in everyday life.
There are 8 episodes so far. There will be 15 in total. I'm just on Episode 3, and it will take a few weeks to catch up. Anybody else out there watching this?