love-hate relationship

Eight and a half hours later and the pain is still here. Who knew scrambled eggs, something so stinking mushy would wreak such havoc.


After dealing with this crap (sorry, I cannot come up with a better word…it is what it is) for over a year now, I am done. If Tricare doesn’t approve it, I am almost at the point to reach in and rip it out myself.

I am sure some of you are going “what?” “she’s lost her mind”.

Three and a half years ago in summer of 2008,I had weight loss surgery and got the lap band. It was a last ditch effort after battling my weight for my ENTIRE life. After my cancer diagnosis, something had to give. Weight watchers, Curves, swimming, Atkins, South Beach, starvation…nothing had worked. This was not a first choice, it was a last resort out of sheer desperation. The first two years were wonderful with only very minor issues. I quickly dropped 82 pounds and got down to within 6 pounds of goal (went from a  size 20 to a size 8), became a runner and then ran races, was finally comfortable enough in my skin to start yoga, learned to love exercise and just plain felt good.

Fast forward to spring of 2010. I gained about 8 pounds back with the stress and craziness of trying to plan a cross-country move all the while being a solo parent. That was okay though, I maintained there through the move and planned to get that back off once we got settled.

Funny how when you “plan” things, they never go right.

No sooner than we got here and I started having issues. We thought it was due to the altitude since I get “tight” when I fly too. Only this tightness didn’t go away. It got to the point that nothing would go down except protein shakes and ice cream. Soups were a no go, because if they were the least bit spicy or acidic I’d completely close off and couldn’t even get water down. I was attempting to follow all the band rules that I had followed the previous 2 years, including going back to liquids only for the rest of the day minimum after getting stuck. Nothing helped and the weight started piling on (ice cream is high in calories but when you are starving, you are desperate for anything). I fought with Tricare for almost 7 months before they finally found me a band doctor here in Vegas. Our first move was to completely unfill me and see if the issues went away.

Nope. Still having the same issues, so he ordered an upper GI to see if my band had slipped. Everything there looked fine and because I wasn’t actually vomiting, there wasn’t much else to do.

16 months later and I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent curled up into a ball or in downward facing dog trying to get the pain to go away. I absolutely HATE to throw up, but I have tried numerous times to force myself to in hopes of alleviating the pain. I am SO over it. ALL of my weight is back, I don’t have any clothes since I refused to keep any of my fat clothes as my weight went down, I hate trying to go out to eat with friends because there is no safe choice and I couldn’t run a mile now if my life depended on it.

But worst of all is the pain. It makes me tired (which I need no help with) and crabby and I feel so bad for Bryan and Jacey. They hate to see me that way but can’t do anything to fix it. Even the dog can sense the pain and comes to curl up next to me on the floor.

Today it was scrambled eggs.

Last night it was a hot dog weiner.

A few days ago it was a snow pea.

And before that bananas, applesauce, cottage cheese, tomatoes, chicken, tuna, peanut butter, sweet potatoes, etc.

At this point, I really don’t know what to do. The only option left is to remove it. They can’t make it any looser, since I am completely unfilled and have been since February. Even though the upper GI did not show that I am slipped, I think I am. About 10% of the time I can actually eat, the other 90%, I will usually get about 3 bites in and that is all she wrote. And no, it is not my gallbladder, that was removed two and a half years ago.

I just want to be able to eat good healthy food again without having to be petrified of the results.


12 Responses

  1. Oh man, I know what bad stomachaches are like! I used to have horrible ones that left me curled up in a ball for days. My college roommate used to get freaked out by them, but I had them for years so I figured it was normal. Nope- I had an endoscopy done and my first diagnosis was gastroparesis (paralysis of the stomach). A few years after that (and MANY stomachaches later), the real reason finally came out- hypothyroidism. Since getting on the meds for that, I’ve had one bad stomachache (during my first pregnancy).

    I hope you are feeling better soon. I know how much it sucks to only be able to eat a few “foods”… and I use quotes because it was mostly liquids for me, too. Milk was the best. And I hope your new band doctor is compassionate and listens! :)

    1. Thanks! I am glad they found out the cause of your stomach issues. It is absolutely miserable. My pain has been happening daily since my post. I am just waiting on my PCM to come back from vacation to get more referrals. I want it out, yesterday :(.

  2. It sounds awful, and I can see how you just want out of the whole situation – you have too many other issues to deal with. However just imagine the band’s removed, you feel so much better, at last you can eat what you want, etc. What would happen then? Even without knowing you at all I would say you’d be the same as the rest of us – the bad habits that eventually drove you to the band would reassert themselves in time, and in addition to the other problems you have to cope with you’d have low morale and poor self-image, which even your loving husband and daughter won’t be able to help you with. Instead why not badger your clinical team into finding out what’s really wrong? If you have no fill, there’s no way you should have any problems at all – there MUST be another reason. It would be cheaper to do this now than to have the band removed and in 5 years’ time realise you need it back again.

    1. Thanks Caroline! At this point short of exploratory surgery there is nothing more they can do but remove it (my doctor has seen not only the test results he has ordered, but all my other x-rays and ct scans my oncologist gets done). If I have to be opened up, it is coming out. Money isn’t an issue, my insurance covers 100% but with my leukemia, it will never happen again no matter what. And as for low morale and poor self-image, too late for that. Gaining all my weight back, pretty much did me in :(.

  3. Oh Lacey, I’m so sorry that you’re struggling. Is there any way that you can get back to your original band doc for evaluation? It sounds like there might be more going on than just a tight band. With that said, do you know Jacquie? She had her band removed and had a sleeve put in because she had a terrible reaction to the band…and she is doing amazingly well.

    1. Thanks Steph! I seriously think I am slipped, especially with the episode last night. My original band doc is in Florida, so seeing him is a no go. I have to get some more referrals from my PCM, but I am going to request it to just be removed. All other surgeries are out, since i have to be able to get super high amounts of nutrition once it comes time for chemo and/or bone marrow transplant.

  4. Thanks for explaining. I can see your dilemma… This morale thing is such a vicious circle – there might be a solution in your love of running, but I imagine you don’t feel up to that either. I hope from your stats you know how many people like to read what you have to say, and may not know you personally but support you from the ether.

    1. Thanks Caroline! I really want it to work, since I had such great success from it in the beginning. I just don’t feel like it is in the cards anymore.


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