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krilynn

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Hi Guys,

I wanted to write a topic related to people who have bands or are considering banding and live in a rural area. I live in a rural area about 2 hours from Perth and About 2 hours from Bunbury and Albany. I am getting a band done in August and am worried about challenges that we face living in area where there isnt help close if we have a problem. What if something gets stuck and we cant get it unstuck? Where do we go? How do you not panic? Infection post-op, pain post-op, recovery. It is a huge committment to make to get to appointments with no support locally. What do people do to get through all this other than hanging out on this site? Just would like to talk to others who have to deal with same issues.

Kristi

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I'm in the same boat. I'll be travelling to Perth which is about 400kms from me but I am happy to make the sacrifice even though it's going to prove rather difficult. I think incase of emergency there would always be someone to help you within your local hospital system.

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I have a little over 2 hours to my surgeon, so I too have thought what iF I get stuck? It seems that most people are ok and can get unstuck, but it is still a thought. I find the appointments annoying at the moment as there is so many an dI am spending more time in the car then at the appointments, but if I was in town it wouldn't be anything to worrya bout, not the whole day drama that it is at the moment!:o

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totally off topic here... but just thinking what a popular name Kristy (or Kristi) is on here at the moment :lol:

I am not rural, but I think if something got stuck badly, you could try dislodging it with coke (have heard it works) failing that, your gp or local hospital would be able to help you.

good luck with it all :D

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Hi kristi

I know how you feel. My closest help is 1800kms away. Sofar I haven't had any trouble but I am only 3 months post op. Each time I need an adjustment it's either a 2 day travel flying or a 4 day round trip in the car. It is a bit of a pain with the travel but hopefully be worth it in the long run. If I have any major issues my surgeon will guide the Ed staff at my local hospital over the phone and then I have to get to his office asap to get things looked at as I have no one in town who knows anything about the band. All I can say is make sure the surgeon you pick have great out of hours care, as some don't provide this and it might make it a little hard if something happens.

Good luck with everything.

:)

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Hi kristi

I know how you feel. My closest help is 1800kms away. Sofar I haven't had any trouble but I am only 3 months post op. Each time I need an adjustment it's either a 2 day travel flying or a 4 day round trip in the car. It is a bit of a pain with the travel but hopefully be worth it in the long run. If I have any major issues my surgeon will guide the Ed staff at my local hospital over the phone and then I have to get to his office asap to get things looked at as I havr ae no one in town who knows anything about the band. All I can say is make sure the surgeon you pick have great out of hours care, as some don't provide this and it might make it a little hard if something happens.

Good luck with everything.

:)

Oh, I never actually thought about asking about after hours care!!! Oh I think I may need to call them tomorrow!!

Yes I have never seen kristy/Kristi used so often!!!!!!!

Kristy

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Hi Kristi I live 2hrs from my surgeon. I live in country SA. I never really gave it much thought if I was in trouble I would guess the local Dr here would be able to help. Makes me wonder now if he actually could. I have also read that coke can shift food if it gets really stuck.

Im sure things will be ok for you.

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Thanks everyone. Just wondered how everyone deals with all of the dramas that come or may come with having a band. We have a little country hospital but doctors are not there only nurses, and they have to call the doctor for orders or advice. There is a larger hospital about 50k from here, but again doctors not there all the time so just thinking if something bad happend and needed doctor care what to do.

As far as the name Kristi, I never even heard my name here in Australia until about 1 year ago. Seems Kirsty is more popular here, but now how many of us are on this forum. HAHA. Take care all.

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I know what you mean regarding the name Kirsty.... I get that SO often, that I have stopped correcting people and just answer to it now ;)

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I live over 2 hours from my surgeon, but he has told me I could get my local GP to help me out if I ever had any problems or got "stuck". I have a public hospital I could go to aswell in my town.

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Hi Everyone

I'm three hours drive from my surgeon and none of the doctors in my little town understand the lapband.

My surgeon has given me a needle and a letter, if I get into a problem and can't get something unstuck or I have a tummy bug that is making me vomit (because that is not good either,)the hospital or a local GP can read his letter, call him and use the needle to remove some of the fill under his guidance. The needle is important, it's a special size, so consider asking your doctor for one. I return mine, if not use, every six months for a new one. I also take this overseas, as any other size needle will damage your port.

I also have medication to stop me being sick, if that doesn't work I'm off to the hospital.

I totally agree you need to speak to your doctor, make a plan, just in case. I can't drink soft drink anymore, so it is effective in moving food that is badly stuck.

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I spoke to my Surgeon on Tuesday bout what my GP saidabout unblocking the band. HE told me if need be go to the hospital for IV fluids if dehydrated then get to adelaide and he will fix it. (i'm only 2 hrs away) He told me not to let them touch my band.

kristy

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I just want to say that I think you guys are awesome. You've got a whole new bunch of challenges on top of the rest of us. I'll think twice before I moan about having to take a train and a bus to get to the surgeon in future!

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How sweet Shelli,

It is a bit scary being out here and thinking about what you do in an emergency. I had my first stuck episode yesterday and it wouldnt come up and the pain and anxiety i felt scared me. I thought, "Now what do I do?" Eventually it came out but it scared me. I would have to drive about 60kilometeres to a hospital where there is no doctor, they would ring a doctor at home to tell me there is nothing he could do but send me to Perth. The thought of being in that agony for 3-4hours is hard to stomach-no pun intended. There are so few resources out here, I even went to see a dietitian for some guidence related to the eating with a band and they couldnt tell me anything.

THE PRICES WE PAY! Oh well, it is our choice to do it so just have to have a contingency plan. Thanks for your concern. Kristi

I just want to say that I think you guys are awesome. You've got a whole new bunch of challenges on top of the rest of us. I'll think twice before I moan about having to take a train and a bus to get to the surgeon in future!

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I am in a similar situation. I wasn't too concerned about getting stuck, until I read all your posts. I only had my op 2 days ago and am still in Perth. We are going home tomorrow, approx 350kms from Perth, 60 kms from closest hospital, which usually doesn't have any doctor. We do have a silverchain, but we struggle to keep a nurse there for more than a couple of weeks.

It does make it a bit scary. My surgeon hasn't been overly helpful either. Only saw him once before my op, and once after, and all he tells me is to read my book whenever i have questions for him.

Oh well, hopefully all gets better from here, and hopefully no stuck episodes, will just have to be extra careful.

Goodluck all.

Belinda

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Hi all,

I live 5 1/2 hrs from my surgeon also. I was worried about this also. My surgeon has also given me a needle just in case something goes wrong and I need to have fluid removed at my local GP or hospital. My GP is very interested and understanding with the procedure and I am comfortable with her.

I have just had 2ml put into my band last week and so far so good. I have been very careful and making sure that I chew my food well. I haven't tried red meat or bread.

It does make it hard for us when we live so far away but I am nearly 6 weeks post op and I am feeling great.

Best of luck to everyone.

Mel

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Has anyone else had the experience that your Doctor doesn't understand you have to drive for hours to get to him ;)

I had a really bad blockage recently, it went on for 10 days, five of which I could eat nothing, I could only get water in, no opti would go in.

For me to go to the doctor, I need to take a full day off work, we get up at 5am and hope that the Kangaroos will be kind, travel 3 hours, see the doctor, travel another 3 hours to get home. It's a long day, when you feel like crap.

I had to go back two weeks later for a check up and then he says, I'll see you in a couple of weeks so we can build your fill up, or if you get home and you think it's not enough pop back this week!

Poor man, I had to say to him "you do realise it takes six hours driving, a day off work, and that I DO work":D

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I also have a similar problem and am not sure if I am doing the right thing but I have to do this, for my sanity, so I will just have to deal with problems as they arise.

I am 3 hours away from the GP who has been trained by the surgeon I am seeing.The surgeon is another 8 hours drive further on.

Funnily enough I am a Kirsty that just gets fed up of being called Kristy and just answers to it. Go figure!

Thanks for all the advice on here though. I feel better just knowing that others are here to help and have overcome the problems I anticipate.

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I think if I lived in an isolated area I'd be a bit proactive in saying to my local GP or district nurse, look, I've got this lapband, things can go wrong, do you reckon you could read up on it a bit?

I'd also ask my surgeon for some useful material for me to keep that talks about the port, the fill mechanism, about how to remove fill, about things getting stuck or whatever else. Then at least you have some back up information when you're talking to whoever you end up talking to in the middle of the night.........

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Im a 3 hour flight from my surgeon, but because of our limited flights, I'd need 2 days off work to see my surgeon. Im lucky though that my local GP has been trained to do fills. I had no idea about this until I made an appointment with my surgeon. I put off being banded for a year because I was scared of being so far from my surgeon.

I think the key is just to go slowly with the fills. Worst case scenario, a nurse should be able to remove some fill.

Having a fill needle and tablets that stop vomiting is a great idea. I've been lucky in that I've never PB'ed or vomited since being banded.

I dont see being isolated as that big of a deal, it's kind of like when you go on holidays, what would you do then?

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My friend in Albany that is on the public waiting list, was booked in but got pregnant :) so it had to be put back and is still waiting again, anyway her surgeon/Dr at Charlies told her that once she had it in he would ring her Dr in Albany and send down the info so in future her Dr could add and remove from the port, rather than having to come to Perth everytime.

Maybe your could do the same with one of the Dr in Katanning or Albany/Mt Barker or wherever your normal Dr works from.

Good luck with it all :)

PS My niece lives just out of Kojonup.

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Hi Janine,

My local GP does do the fills, and I have had him do three now, but I guess I was worried about after hours, something getting stuck and he is no where around. As my band and I get to know each other, I feel less worried since if I follow the rules and guidelines, things are fine.

Surprised your friend on the list at Charlies hasnt had her surgery cancelled. Word is that all funding for public bands has been cancelled. Hopefully she will get it done soon. Kristi

My friend in Albany that is on the public waiting list, was booked in but got pregnant :) so it had to be put back and is still waiting again, anyway her surgeon/Dr at Charlies told her that once she had it in he would ring her Dr in Albany and send down the info so in future her Dr could add and remove from the port, rather than having to come to Perth everytime.

Maybe your could do the same with one of the Dr in Katanning or Albany/Mt Barker or wherever your normal Dr works from.

Good luck with it all :)

PS My niece lives just out of Kojonup.

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My friend got a letter today saying that she is booked in for the 9th Sept with Dr Jeremy Tan at Charlies. I thought it was only Dolan that had his funding cut but i could be wrong.

Jeremy does it as a training thing so they do the whole follow through even to removing excess skin if need with having to pay for it.

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I live a couple hours away from my surgeon also, and am very glad I came across this thread, as I hadn't even thought about post-op stuck issues (still learning about what that actually IS) I was so tired after my initial appt...it felt like a marathon run, since we only travel within our locale of a few kms. Our regional Hospital is good, but one of the reasons I'm travelling so far is that our Hospital doesnt do banding. Might pay me to mention the above concerns to my surgeon next visit and see what advice he can give me for this area too.:unsure:

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