Friday, June 27, 2014

Like A Broken Record...

Called up a bit ago to talk to the people at the lap band clinic. Unfortunately they close at three on Fridays. So I just left a detailed message.

I am tired of this. I wake up every day wondering if this shit is going to hurt me. I wonder if it's causing irreparable damage to my insides. I tried to ride it out, tried to say that it was all in my head, that it was my stomach acting stupid, but in my heart, I know it's not. It's this fucking lap band.

You're probably wondering why I haven't had it removed yet. Good question. There's not a good answer. Surgeon was reluctant to remove it. Physician's Assistant insisted it was my fault. My head told me I didn't give it a chance and I should just keep pushing it and think of the medical bills because you know insurance won't cover removal so you should just fucking deal with it. This is not healthy. Not for me, not for my son, not for my husband.

I'm also scared of that one thing that happens to some people when you they have surgery. You know, the big thing called death. I've had four surgeries related to the band. Each time I woke up from them, my life felt a little bit less. Each time I came out of anesthesia, I felt a little bit worse.

I can't fucking go on like this anymore though. I can't keep living my life being scared that this thing is going to fuck me up to the point that I'll be left incapable of swallowing, without a stomach, hooked up to a feeding tube (all things that have happened to people who have had serious complications). I can't keep being afraid to be active because I might pull something, twist something, cause something to put me in pain. I try to eat healthy, but it's for nothing since I'm too scared to exercise much. I'm just waiting for the day that my body says, "You know what? You had your chance to keep us healthy and you blew it. Fuck you."

I don't know what's going to happen now. Just pray for me, I guess. Or send good thoughts that I'll be able to get what I need without going into debt or dying in the process.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Almost Two Months Later

When I last left off in my saga of bitching, I was suffering from terrible reflux and gas and abdominal pains.

Not much has changed.

Oh sure, I've had almost two months of being able to shove it to the side because of the holidays and of being back at work.  The cornucopia of anti-gas/acid medicines have even helped.  But even during the busy times, there was always a constant thread of "holy shit, why does that hurt/why is my side spasming/why does my back hurt?" running through my days.  I had been scheduled for an endoscopy on the 21st of December, but that had to be rescheduled to this month due to getting a cold.  That didn't make my anxiety any easier, especially now that my seasonal job is over, and I no longer have something to occupy my thoughts constantly.

As of right now, I'm feeling some pain, some gas, some burning.  I've had to stop all the meds in preparation for the endoscopy next week, because being on reducers would kind of defeat the point of the camera going down your throat.  My port site is twinging a bit, and this morning, the muscle that the port is attached to decided to have some very strong and slightly painful spasms.  Not fun.

I have my bouts of insomnia still, where I worry until the wee hours of the morning, going over the "what-ifs" again and again.  I wake up in a fog, get my kid to school, and then come home and sleep for a few hours, still unable to break the cycle of lethargy, always promising myself after I get up that I will not do that tomorrow, that I'll be productive, that I'll exercise more.  It never happens.

I've lost weight from this whole mess, and while that would usually delight me, I don't even care, because I know it wasn't lost in a healthy manner.

I'm scared of what the endoscopy could find, but even more scared that it won't find anything wrong.  Then what?  What is the solution if not lap band removal?  Because I have honestly never felt any sensations like this before the band.  I have never had my throat close up in such a manner that I could not eat, never felt the acid reflux and the burning in my stomach so much until this.  Yes, having it unfilled in November helped the choking sensation, but it didn't solve anything else, and kind of obviously points to the band as the culprit of all of these symptoms.

I'm just really tired of this.  I'm tired of waiting waiting waiting, especially when I know the end result, no matter what, will be removal of this piece of bullshit medical machinery.  I'm tired of feeling like an invalid, afraid to do anything wrong lest I make it worse.  The only consolation I have is that I'm not alone in this.  As of this blog post, the lap band failure group that I belong to is over 1100 members.  It's a horrible thing, especially because some of these patients have suffered far worse than I have, to the point where they were at death's door.  Yet it is comforting to know that they have survived and fought back and can give sound advice on how to get through this.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this.  I think I just needed to get it out.  There are a lot of heavy feelings that I'm carrying around, and writing usually releases them for a few hours.

So I'm going to go enjoy those hours while I can.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

All Day Fuckery


1. No sleep all night due to massive amounts of acid moving around in my stomach.  Get up in major pain and decide to hit the ER.  On way there, call lap band clinic to leave a message about what is happening.  They call back later and ask why I didn't go to the clinic instead of the ER.  Um, because you fuckers weren't open yet?  Duh?

2. Spend almost all day there.  Another Upper GI, some tests, and a little cup of Mylanta with lidocaine.  Lovely numb feeling that takes away the ass taste of the barium.  Nothing is decided, except that I need to have an endoscopy, because it might be ulcers or it might be my lap band eroding into my stomach.  Joy.

3. Try to call the gastroenterologist to schedule an appointment for an endoscopy.  No answer.  Walk over there (since it is close to the hospital), and ask to make an appointment.  Told to wait until the nurse comes out to collect other patients.  Thirty minutes later, I finally see her, only to be told that the insurance might not cover it because the HMO medical group didn't refer me there.  Lovely.

4. Feeling pissed off and annoyed and just tired of all of this bullshit, I went to have a bite to eat at the McDonald's next door to the gastro's office while I waited for my husband to come get me.  I hadn't eaten all day, and wasn't really hungry, but I knew I needed something in my stomach.  Right as I settled in with my chicken wrap, some fucking asshole knocked over this Sikh gentleman's tray and stole his laptop.  A bunch of people chased him, but the little fucker got away.  You have to be a shitty assed bastard to rob a Sikh.  I hope the dude got hit by a car on the interstate.

5. Go to Walgreens to pick up maximum strength Mylanta and Pepcid and a prescription of Nexium.  The insurance won't pay for the Nexium, so I have to go with Prevacid.  Just want to beat my head against the wall.

So yeah.  Still no idea what is going on with my body.  Still want the band out.  Still want answers.  Still want this damned burning to stop.

FUCK.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Lap Band, Episode Whatever: The Fight For Removal

I have come to a decision.

I am having my lap band removed.

It sounds so easy on paper (computer), but I know it is going to be a big battle with my surgeon and his assistant.

But I can't do this anymore.  For the past three days, I have been in a constant state of fear and panic, Googling every bit of information I could about the long term risks of a lap band.  What I found was not pretty at all.  I joined a lap band failure group and the personal stories are terrifying, but they further my resolve to have this thing taken out.

I know I'm in for a battle.  Several battles, actually.  The first will be getting the surgeon to remove it and dealing with the physician's assistant.  I'm gearing up for battle and just repeating to myself: "This is MY body, MY health, MY peace of mind, so someone is going to remove this thing."  I'm not going to let two people who have already made quite a bit of money on all of the revisions they've had to do talk me out of it.

The other battle will be with paying for it.  Since we are in between insurances right now, and one does not cover bariatric anything, I may wind up paying for this out of pocket.  The different prices I've found for removal run as high as $20,000.  This is a terrible burden to put on my family, but it is an even worse burden to have a wife and mother not be there mentally because of all the stress about her health.

I'm not going into this decision lightly.  I'm essentially gambling with my health no matter which way I go.  Keep it, and I'm driving myself insane.  Take it out and I'll probably regain the weight.  At this point, the latter is more appealing.

I wish I had known the failure rate when I had this thing placed.  I wish I had researched it more.  I wish I had the willpower to do it on my own so I wouldn't be having to deal with this now.  Yet here I am.

All I can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Decisions

Yes, I'm still up.  I'm suffering from insomnia, side aches, and a feeling of something stuck in my throat.  The latter two are, I suspect, my Lap Band.

This is not a good feeling.  I have things to do, a life to live, and here I am, without sleep, in mild (but ongoing and really fucking annoying) discomfort, mired in worry.

The side ache, which is near the Lap Band port, has been ongoing for the past 20 hours.  The stuck sensation in my throat is new, and it is causing me to panic and worry and fret about what it could be.  None of this is helping my anxiety.

I won't lie.  I'm scared.  But I've also reached the point where I just want the Lap Band out.

After reading a lot of different things today, I've found that the Lap Band has a huge failure rate.  That it causes problems in about half the patients.  That I can possibly have slippage, or worse, erosion.  That the port can get infected, that things can burst, that I can die from this if something is wrong and no one does anything.

All of the "what-ifs" are scary.  Surgery (again!) is scary.  But I feel I don't have any other options.

I'm scared of gaining back what I lost.  I'm scared of confronting my surgeon and his assistant (I am non-confrontational by nature and these two are quite formidable in their opinions). But I cannot go on like this.  I truly think the problems presented themselves in October, and they obviously haven't gotten better.  I hate waking up every day, wondering if the reflux is going to start again, wondering if my stomach will bloat up, wondering what the hell is going on in my body.  I hate being scared of sleep, for fear that something will happen.  I hate feeling like shit all of the time.

Yes, I know that I will probably, almost certainly, gain back what I've lost.  I'm not looking forward to it.  I can only hope that I can rally myself to fight for my health and not let obesity get the best of me.

But, oh gods, how scared I am.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloweenie!

Night is almost over, but it was fun.  A bit wet, thanks to the fuck awful storm hovering over our part of the country, but the kiddo got to go out and collect candy without getting too wet (storm hit right as we finished).  I saw many a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup with my name on it.  What?  He hates anything that has nuts in it.  So mine.

This was his costume this year.  He wanted to be Freddie Mercury, but figured that most people wouldn't know who the fuck he was.  Which is sad.  So, this:



I dressed up for a quick second, because I wasn't about to wear my costume outdoors with the weather so shitty.  If you haven't watched "Archer", disregard this picture:


Yep.  Pam.  Who is fucking boss.

This post concludes my month of half-assed blogging.  I really want to try and get in more writing, but doubt it will happen because things are going to be busy in November.  I am now going to stagger off to bed because insomnia and the new blood pressure medicine are kicking my ample ass.

Ciao!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Eh, Part II

Day was boring.  More insomnia, another doctor appointment with more in the future.  Blood pressure medicine has been changed in anticipation of being put on Spironolactone for my beard (okay, it's not a full beard, but I still fucking hate it).  So now I have to make an appointment with my dermatologist so she can prescribe it.

I was considering laser treatments, but that shit is just too damned expensive right now.  I wish I could afford it, but most places are well over  two grand for the huge amount of treatments I would need, and I certainly don't have that money lying around to soothe my vanity.  So more drugs it is.

Other than that, the day has been uneventful.  Really thinking about taking a painkiller or muscle relaxer or a melatonin to get some fucking sleep tonight, though.  I hate this insomnia bullshit.

I must away now.  The ratdog needs to go out, and I'm sure he's going to bitch because it is pouring outside.  It is supposed to rain tomorrow as well, which is going to fucking suck for the kiddo.  And for me, because I love free Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.