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I have had numerous restriction levels during the 3.5 years I've had my band. I still remember the day I experienced what restriction felt like for the first time! I had just been to see my surgeon for the second time since the operation and I had gone from 2mls to 4mls. That evening I made a chicken and cheese toasted sandwich, which at 2mls wouldn't have been a problem whatsoever. I took a bite, not even thinking, chewed and swallowed and gulp... What was happening... When people ask me what I mean when I say 'it won't work' or 'it didn't work' or 'my band didn't like it', I find it really hard to explain to them what it actually feels like. For me, I have 4 different feels when I eat something. 1. No problem, goes down with absolutely zero problem, like I don't even have a band. 2. Feels momentarily uncomfortable: but I know within 30seconds to 1minute it will pass through the band. 3. Uncomfortable verging on a little painful: this will take anywhere between 5-20minutes to pass the band and I know I have to give up. 4. Stuck. Extremely painful, will 100% need to bring the food back up, excessive saliva. So that day, that I had taken a bite of the sandwich, I was probable at a level 2. But I gave up straight away because that feeling scared me. Over the years I became more brave/stupid, about pushing limits with my band and what I could eat. It's not uncommon for me, now, to eat something and straight away know it's a number 3, but persevere for up to 2-3 hours to eat, just half of whatever it is. This is when I might have a bite and it takes up to 20 minutes for the discomfort to not actually dissapate, but just decrease in intensity, for me to take another bite. This leads to a couple of hours of feeling uncomfortable and slightly in pain, all for a few mouthfuls of food. That, is SO, stupid. What I'm doing here is letting my mind win. And simultaneously traumatising my band. It also ruins the rest of my day because I have pushed my limits so far, that any time later that day I try to eat/drink something, it 'doesn't work'. How do I get my 'newly banded' mindset back where I was so careful of everything I put in my mouth and I was so worried about feeling number 2 that I rarely every experienced number 3 or 4? Does anyone else have a similar experience, or a 'levels of restriction' scale they acknowledge?
Had a few disappointments this week, which have really taken the shine off having the band. First up i had my 1st pre-op appointment on tuesday. The actual appointment when really well, my nurse was great and really supportive and said i was doing fantastically. It was one week post-op and she said that if i was feeling hungry on the fluids and was ok with starting pureed i could go ahead. We discussed what i should and shouldn't be having and i left on such a high knowing that i had recovered very well and that i was progressing better than expected. It went down hill from there. On my way home i stopped off at the shops and bought avocado, dip and some light cruskits (i figured chewing them well with dip they would break down fine). I thought i might like to try some fish as well, so i called up the clinic to see whether that would be ok. The nurse wasn't there, but the practice manager was, and when i told her my query she immediately shot me down, saying i should be still on fluids and definitely not even thinking about anything more solid for another week. When i told her how hungry i was and how i was having quite alot of fluids, she suggested i have an extra optifast and that should fill me up. When i said that i wasn't having any optifast at all - i was following the advice in the book they recommended which had a bunch of pureed soups in the liquid phase and my multivitamins - she was very agitated with me and told me i should follow the dieticians advice to avoid damaging my band. I was unsure whose advice to take and she said she would call the surgeon and tell me what he said. By this time i was home with what i had bought and thought i would try it anyway. I had two cruskits with avocado and lemon, chewed very well and paused between each bite (that slow eating app is great!) Not a problem. No pain, no discomfort and i felt pleasantly full but not stuffed. Then the manager rang back and said that the surgeon confirmed what she had told me, and i was to go back on fluids for another week. At this point i was pretty upset. I had been on such a high before, was obviously capable of eating mushy food, but now i had lost my confidence in anything the nurse had told me, and felt like i had been a failure because i might have damaged my band. I came on here and everyone has differing stories, one surgeons team says 1 week liquid, 1 week pureed then solids, but mine says two weeks of each. Plus i re-read my dieticians notes about the fluid diet and i discovered that what he constituted as pureed was alot of what i had been drinking in the liquid phase - drinking yogurt, very runny soups ect. Despite the fact that i was using a book my surgeons office had told me to get! So by midday thursday i was a mess. I felt like i had done everything wrong and i might have "broken" my band and stuffed everything! So i wrote my dietician a long email explaining what had happened and asking his advice - and he hasn't gotten back to me. Not only that but my last email to him, which was almost a week ago now, he still hasn't replied to either. All up i'm feeling really let down by my team, upset because i feel like i should have gone with someone else, and angry because what i was so excited about, is now making me anxious and worried everyday. To top it all off this afternoon a was looking at one of my laparoscopy scars, which are healing nicely, and found that one of them has a stitch poking out - the one right under my bra strap. I was told i didn't have any stitches at all, so WTF is it doing there? And its not a dissolvable stitch because 11 days out with everything else healed over, it should have been gone by now. I'm not very impressed with the whole experience thus far, dealing with my team after the surgery. My first appointment with the surgeon is in two weeks, but i think ill be getting on the phone monday and making an appointment sooner. Hopefully i can sit down with him and discuss these issues, and he can sort things out for me. Im 7.5 kgs down, so at least thats still going well. For now i'm having avocado and thin soups, and i've put a bandaid over my stitch to stop it rubbing on my bra. Fingers crossed things get better from now on. Will let you know how it goes, Jess