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Dilated Esophagus?

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It’s been 6 years since I’ve logged on to this forum which used to be my go to for information! I guess it’s true when things are going good you tend to stay away. Initially, I weighed 238, my lowest with the lap band was 138. 100 lbs! But, i’ve been struggling for the last 3 years, my 19 year old daughter died in a car accident and I guess I just didn’t care anymore. I have put on 50 lbs. it’s not that I’m eating more because I physically can’t. My primary care says it’s hormonal (pre-menopause). I finally after a year went to the doctor and when they checked the band my esophagus is twice it’s normal size and I’m restricted so nothing was done. Basically, I was told to get back to the basics, small bites, chew thoroughly, etc. I guess you forget about that after 6 years!i also have a lot of reflux but the good news is my band is still perfectly placed. Any suggestions? I’ve been doing liquids but at this point, I’m afraid to even eat solids!

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Hi, I am 11 years out with my band and I recently dealt with this issue. In January I was suffering with stomach pains right under my band and was having a lot of stuck issues with even mushy foods so I went in to get some tests because I thought I had to get rid of my band. Well it turns out that i had a small hernia and a dilated esophagus. The none surgical fix was to empty my band. My band was empty for 7 months. In the mean time I did gain back 28 lbs but most of that was due to not being able to be physical (I had surgery a month later and had an ovary removed.)and snacking all day from boredom. I had another swallow test on July 30th and everything is back to normal so I got my first fill that day.

Did your doctor say how long to be on liquids? Mine actually told me that I had a choice empty my band and allow my body to heal or consider a revision. I chose time to heal. My I chose my band over everything else because it was the least invasive and not a final decision. So I am back at it again. Slowly getting fills chewing until my jaw hurts and counting my Protein intake. Maybe getting a timeline for your reset may help. I know my pains did not stop for about 3 months. It took a long time for the swelling to go down and no time at all for all my bad food habits to come back.

When you eat do you feel your esophagus move in like a wave motion? I had that going on. When I had my swallow test the radiologist said he never seen this happen before. I was so scared thinking I messed myself up and was going to loose my band. But in the end I just needed time to heal.

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I am still struggling. My small fill really has not made much of a diffrence. Hopefully soon I can get another small fill to get me back on track.

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Hi Justathing,

I've just (re)joined bariatricpal to get some support myself. I am 9 years out. I got all the way down to 132 (120 lb loss). Than I started to gain, slowly but surely and am now sitting at 165. I am pretty certain I have a leak going on.

Anyway, I too contribute excess stress to my weight gain (divorce, career change, ft work, blah blah). Certainly nothing compared to losing a child, which I am terribly sorry to hear about your loss.

The reason I wanted to reach out to you is because you mentioned "forgetting" the basics. I suffer from the same problem. It's been so long that my life pre band seems like another lifetime and I'm not hyperfocused on the band/rules. After all the stressful times I went through, my brain thought stress before band issues. How bizarre is that? After spending years focusing on the band and being in the green, I'm now needing to relearn these basics and practicing them. I also need to get back to green (which may mean a placement of a 2nd band to get me restarted).

I think this is a common phenomenon for us 'old banders' and its one of the primary reasons Im back on the site. I need to think, breath, and be the band again so I can stay accountable and get better management of my weight again.

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    • MrsGamgee

      Well, long time no see. 
      It's been a rough couple of weeks. I should have been expecting the other shoe to drop after having it so easy for the first three weeks post op. I was getting my water and protein easily, had no pain, nausea, or vomiting.
      But as soon as the soft foods really started in earnest I started having problems. Pain, foamies, slimeys, vomiting galore. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to it. Something that I ate easily yesterday causes pain and vomiting after the first bite today. Sometimes it's my pills, other times they go down easy. I just don't get it. 
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      · 7 replies
      1. ms.sss

        hope things get better with the slowing down and the water-prioritizing. keep us posted :1007_hearts:

        small tip: I used the timer on my watch religiously between bites in the early days (actually I still do, but I'm a lot less rigid about it now), it really helped keep the foamies/slimies/pain/barfing at bay by helping me slow down.

      2. FluffyChix

        Oh wow. Just read of your struggles! So sorry to hear it hon! ((hugs)) It's no fun when the stalls hit, makes bearing other parts of this journey really tough. Added to the fact that most of us experience mood swings/sadness that is usually transitory for most of us. But it still just makes it that much harder.

        I promise the stall will break. If that helps? ((hugs))

        Also, maybe concentrate on upping your water and hitting it consistently? The reason I say that is cuz it will make eating that much easier/pleasant. And the up side to that is with every real meal you have, you're training your tool to accept solid foods again. And being well hydrated makes your pouch less "tricky" and finicky. You know?

        Try varying the temperature of the fluids you drink. I remember cold water was not my friend. I did better on room temp or warm liquids.

        Also, the protein drinks may be contributing a little to your stall. I know I lost better after I really reduced them to very little. I'm very IR, and whey protein isolate is very insulinogenic.

        Hang in there. I promise, in 2-3 weeks, things will feel so much better!!

      3. MrsGamgee

        Thanks @FluffyChix! I know the stall will break, it has to eventually given I'm only consuming 700ish calories a day and I am trying to be active every day. I confess it's hard to be motivated to go for a walk though when I feel like crap.

        Cold water seems to be better for me right now... icy anything makes my tummy happy. It's when my water gets to room temp that it is harder to get down. But I am committed to getting my water in. It's so funny, before surgery I never had a problem with water. Today I decided that I won't count my 'other fluids' as part of my water total... they have to be over and above my target.

        I'm looking forward to lowering my reliance on the shakes. I really don't like them. I got clearance with my RD to cut back on them, provided I can hit at least 80g of protein without them. But I haven't been able to manage that just yet. I'm hoping in the next few weeks, provided I can get real foods to go down and stay down.

        Thanks for the encouragement!

      4. FluffyChix

        80 grams without protein shakes at your stage feels very ambitious IMHO? Are you sure she didn't mean 80g including protein drinks and food sources?

        We all heal so uniquely! :( Don't rush advancing. I know it's hard not to, but your tum will heal easier if you just listen to it and what it will and won't allow for the day.

        Gosh I so get the motivation of the scale!!! ((hugs)) With one reading I can determine my mood for the day. LOL. Then I wait a bit and have a nice poop. ;) haha Mood restored. ;) I'm ever just one solid poop away from a good mood. hehe

      5. MrsGamgee

        She was pretty clear... I asked about cutting back on them last week and I'm guessing she wanted to encourage me to continue with the protein shakes without actually saying so. Making it my decision. I have 2 shakes a day, plus some protein powder in my breakfast, so I'm hoping to maybe drop one shake a day in a couple of weeks. I'm really not into the lack of satisfaction they provide for the calories they take up in my daily totals.

        I *know* that this is just a step on the road. I need to put on my big girl undies and deal with it. And I need to really learn to listen to my body and not push too far too fast.

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    • dmadms  »  ARMoma45

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      · 1 reply
      1. ARMoma45

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