Fill or not to fill??

Me 6th September 2010. 4 weeks post-op

Before I begin this weeks ramble I just want to say that I am feeling really well at the moment.

I can`t begin to tell you the difference in how I am feeling within myself. I feel energised and so much happier already… Just 3 months ago I was so miserable…I couldn’t walk the length of myself without getting breathless and felt constantly tired with little enthusiasm to do anything apart from work.

I took Michael over to Millport on the ferry on Sunday and we had a great wee day. Instead of getting the bus from the ferry into town we walked the 3.5 miles there and back. I reckon we did about 10 miles in total that day…a huge step as not long ago I wouldn’t have walked to the shops!

heading over to Millport on the ferry

I haven’t been to Millport in years and it was another wee trip down memory lane for me. As a child I happily spent 2 weeks there every summer with my family and although that was over 30 years ago the place hasn’t changed a bit…even managed to get a few snaps of me and number one son on the crocodile rock hehe!

posing on the crocadile rock... hehe!

Made a pact that we will go back again in a week or two and cycle round the island as well as walking to and from the ferry. That would be a 7 miles walk and 11 miles cycle…a mini biathlon!!

…Even though I am a work in progress (haha) and have loads more weight to lose I feel like a different person in my head. It`s like night and day really. In the past 7 days I have walked over 25 miles and worked out in the house with Davina and pals 3 times. My calorie intake has not been in excess of 1000 per day and I am making good choices with what I am eating.

Unfortunately, however, I have only lost 1lb this week folks (boo!)…I am a bit frustrated by that because I feel my clothes are getting looser and I feel so much fitter already.

I am trying not to get too hung up on the numbers but it`s frustrating when those pesky scales let you down.

As anyone who has dieted knows, some weeks even when you have been really good and stuck with the programme the pounds don’t show up on the scales.  I know that I am doing all the right things so I shouldn’t let it get to me….aggh!

On Friday I was booked in at the Nuffield for my first x-ray fill (band adjustment).

As many of you lovely people will probably already know a gastric band is fully adjustable and can be tightened or relaxed to fine-tune the level of restriction you feel. The band has an internal chamber which is filled with saline. Basically the more saline the tighter the band.

 It is pumped up by injecting saline though a small port which is attached under the skin onto the internal abdominal wall…mine is about 3 inches above my belly button. You wouldn’t know it was there by looking but I can feel it easily when I poke my stomach.

It`s important to get this right as too a too tight band can result in discomfort and vomiting. Ultimately if a band is too tight even liquids can`t get through. At the other end of the scale if the band is too loose then potentially one can overeat and put on weight again.

Banders in the know refer to perfect restriction as the `sweet spot`. This is where the band is tight enough to allow you to eat small, normal meals and lose weight but not so tight as to cause problems.

A first fill is generally carried out under x-ray conditions about 4-6 weeks following surgery. The x-ray part involves swallowing a barium drink while the Doctor looks at how the liquid moves down the oesophagus (food pipe) and into the stomach under x-ray.

barium swallow showing restriction (not me!)

When I looked at the screen which showed my x-rayed innards I could see that immediately after swallowing the barium had pooled nicely in the pouch above my band. I could then see a very fine line of barium trickling, slowly into my lower stomach.

The Doctor said this was good and what we were aiming for….because of that I didn`t actually need a fill…apparently I have perfect restriction at the moment which is great news!

…I was a bit worried about getting a fill to tell you the truth because I have been feeling considerable restriction from my band as things are. The last thing I was wanting was to be left with an overly tight band when I have been doing so well.

It was really interesting to actually see this for myself and rather than going away feeling cheated I felt really very happy all was well and the band was working fine on its own for now.

I have an appointment to see Mr Galloway next week to discuss my progress and will more than likely need a fill within the coming months but for now everything is as it should be….happy days!

Bye for now,



You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.”

David Viscott


About Lorna Pitt

Hi everyone... I am on the cusp of a new life.....hopefully a happier, healthier, fitter new life. Come with me and follow my journey as I take my life pound at a time! ps....its happening!!! xx xx
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