It's not always about being funny.

I hate puking

I. Hate. Puking. Before I had lap band surgery, if I ever felt like I had to puke, I would swallow my gorge and do whatever it took to prevent myself from vomiting. I figured that it was mind over matter, and if I could calm the savage seas of my stomach until it calmed down, I’d be fine.

Now I don’t have that luxury. See, the lap band is essentially a small band that fits around the top of my stomach, creating a four ounce pouch at the top. Since the nerves that tell your brain that you are full reside in the top of the stomach, merely four ounces of food creates the mental sensation of being full, and that feeling lasts for 4-5 hours. If you eat more than four ounces of food, or don’t chew your food enough, it will get caught as it tries to pass through the band, and you will be forced to vomit. There’s no mind over matter. Nothing you can do to convince your body to settle down. The only way that food can leave your body is back through your mouth. And that fucking sucks. But, for the most part, if you chew slowly and avoid really stringy foods, and don’t overeat, you won’t have to vomit.

If only that was it. But no, there’s more! The band is filled with saline, and there is a line from the band through my body that ends in a port under my skin about a foot below my left nipple. You can’t see the port from the outside, but you can feel a small hardness under my skin. The band’s saline slowly dissipates over time, so once every two months or so, the surgeon must inject more saline to tighten the band and keep the pouch as close to four ounces as possible. Most people who fail using the lap band do so because they do not go in regularly for adjustments and over time, they are able to eat more and more food.

The downfall to the adjustments is that your stomach muscle undergoes some swelling for 24-48 hours after the adjustment. This means that even liquids can be hard to swallow, and you must take very small sips.

I had an adjustment done on Monday (I was also under 300 pounds for the first time in probably 10 years), and it took me all day on Monday to drink a milkshake (quick aside: because you can only drink liquids after an adjustment, it’s important to get calories – protein shakes, gatorade, juice, and yes, milkshakes). The swelling got worse by Monday evening, which is normal. It usually takes about 8-10 hours for it to start being affected. By Tuesday morning, I wasn’t in the mood to eat or drink anything. I tried to eat some soup at lunch, but it was too much effort, so I stopped off and bought Gatorade.

And here I sit, 7:30 on Tuesday night, having only been able to drink about half a cup of Gatorade. An hour ago, I puked nothing but foam up for five minutes solid for no other reason than the adjustment was tight enough and the swelling was enough that even liquids have problems passing through the band. And I try to sip small, tiny sips of Gatorade so that I can get some type of nutrients.

I know the swelling will go down and I’ll be able to eat and drink soon. But right now, I’m hating life. And hating puking, although I don’t fear it quite as much. So I guess that’s one good thing.

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129 Replies to “I hate puking”

  1. Sarcastic Mom

    Puking is near the top of my list of things I ABHOR. I also avoid it at all costs, always have. So many friends have told me, “Bah, just stick your finger down your throat, puke, and then you’ll feel better!” in the past. I punched every one of them in the throat just for suggesting I purposely puke.

    Wish you weren’t feeling pukey, my friend.

    But I saw something good in there – congrats on being under 300! That rocks.

  2. Julie @ Angry Julie Monday

    Congrats on under 300!!!

    Sliming and foaming, my least favorite things in the world to do…

    A tip from me, don’t ever think you can drink soda…I’ve learned that lesson lately. Dumb girl.

    Reminds me, need to make Dr. Appt. Haven’t been since the Spring…

    Signed…been there, done that…January 24, 2008.

  3. Kim

    Oh Adam I’m sorry, that sucks. I’m the same way about puking….I’m like the Seinfeld episode where Jerry hasn’t puked since ninety-something….I hope you feel better soon.

    But congrats on the weight loss anyway. : )

  4. floating princess

    I guess I’m weird, I don’t mind puking as much as a lot of people. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t like it and I don’t do it on purpose, but it usually serves a purpose and I will hopefully feel better afterward. I know that’s probably not the case for your situation, and I really hope you feel better soon.

    Congrats on the fabulous weigh-in!

  5. bluepaintred

    The only time I have ever minded throwing up is if I am in public or if it falls on a day I haven’t scrubbed the toilet. I often fantasize about bulimia as a way to control my weight, but since Ive heard so many horror stories I have yet to try it.

    I hope the swelling goes down very very soon Adam, and congrats on dropping below 300.

  6. Shane

    I just read all the background just now. I think I started reading your blog right after you posted that. Truly impressive story. Sorry to hear you’re having a rough time, but it sounds like overall you are kicking a whole bunch of ass.

  7. Amanda

    1. Wow, congrats on the under 300! Way to go.

    2. I don’t mind throwing up, especially if I’ve been drinking, but really, anytime. It doesn’t bother me.

    3. “swallow my gorge” almost made me throw up

    • Avitable

      @Lynn (Walking With Scissors), over time, your stomach will shrink enough that you can let the band stay very loose and eat normally – you just have to be careful about not getting back into bad habits. You can have it removed, as well, but that requires more surgery, which always has its inherent risks.

  8. Stone Fox

    puking? ain’t no thang. go you on getting under the 300 lb mark.

    i know *nothing* about lap band surgery and/or adjustments, but are you sure that you should still be yakking foam and slime? like, the 48 hrs is almost up, does it get better slowly or all of a sudden? just asking, just concerned, is all.

  9. Karen

    I do know some of what you are talking about. I had a full gastric bypass 3 years ago (though I wish the Lap band was an option then becuase I have a bunch of problems now) and I still puke all the time. But I cannot really take in any dairy and sugar combination becuase I get terrible “dumping”. So for me, things like milk shakes, pudding, ice cream, and most yogurts are a death wish.

    Congrats on your progress!

  10. sam {temptingmama}

    Oh Adam. I’m sorry it’s been so rough lately. I’d rather have explosive diarrhea all day than puking.

    When I was pregnant with Hudson I was barfing constantly, AND! not only was I barfing I was peeing my pants because I would be retching so badly.

    Pretty picture, right?

    Thinking about you friend. I hope it gets easier. *hugs*

  11. lceel

    I have to say thank you for the insights into what people who do the lapband surgery have to go through. I had no idea. And what you’re telling me (us, sorry) sucks. However, being under 300 has to be major, for you. Congratulations. And somehow, I don’t think it’s necessary to tell you to hang in there. Somehow, I’m sure you will.

  12. radioactive tori

    Congratulations on being under 300! What an accomplishment!

    I’m sorry about the puking. My son has as stomach disorder that makes him puke and I see how uncomfortable he is. He used to puke literally hundreds of times a day until we got him on the right medicine. I feel for you and hope it settles down soon so you can get some nutrients in and not puke.

  13. B.E. Earl

    Gia’s sister was just up here last week to get an adjustment on her lap band. Not a fill, but actual surgery. Her band “pro-lapsed” is what I think they call it. It had slipped and it wasn’t in the correct position. So they took all the saline out of the band and waited to see if it went back to the proper position. It didn’t. So the cutters had to go back in and reset it.

    Gia had bigger problems with her band, but that was back in the primitive days of lap banding. What happened to her pretty much never happens anymore.

    Congrats on the puking and the losing of weight!!!

      • B.E. Earl

        @Avitable, She was really into it and getting super-regular adjustments. It was on the last one that the doctor noticed the slippage. Or she did when she still couldn’t keep anything down after a few days. I forget which. So they loosened it and asked her to leave it alone for a few months before doing anything. Which is what she did. Got it fixed last week. She’s doing great now.

  14. Kris

    I always said I’d make a shitty bulimic. (Well, ok, I could do the binge part easily enough if chocolate and vodka were involved.) I simply cannot stand to puke. I’m in the realm of praying for death, retching until I have petechiae in my face and cheeks (you know – those little broken blood vessels), and to top it out I’m a LOUD puker, so of course the entire neighborhood hears me both barfing and crying for my mommy.

    I’m hoping things regulate for you soon. Puking blows chunks!

  15. hello haha narf

    considering the amount of alcohol i have consumed in my life, i’m no stranger to hurling. also? i get car sick. oh yeah…no stranger to puking. guess i am trying to say it isn’t the worst thing in the world. hanging one’s head in a toilet bowl pretty much is, though. blech!

    but back to you! yaaaaaaay, you for being under 300!! sorry that it comes along with such icky times. other than adjustment periods, how do you feel physically? all in all, you are glad you did the surgery, right?

  16. Grant

    I feel you, which I mean in an anal sex plus a reacharound kind of way. :p Actually, I know what it’s like to have to readjust your life to deal with a medical condition. I think I finally have the shart attacks under control, but I have to be mindful of my diet and physical activity every day.

  17. muskrat

    I admire your tenacity and courage to go through this…it doesn’t sound fun. I have a family member who’s considering it, and I talked about “my friend Adam” who’s doing it. I would direct her to your blog posts like this, if only they weren’t so foul (to be fair, I don’t direct any family members to my blog, either).

  18. NYCWD

    Unlike on The Office, I don’t mind watching other people puke.

    There’s just something about seeing them feebly pray to the porcelain god in complete and utter weakness (usually from their own indulgences) that make me feel sympathetic to them.

    Until they get it on my boots. Then it’s fucking on like Donkey Kong.

    But none of that is neither here nor there… because I tend to think the fact your under 300 lbs (and therefore lighter than I am) makes it worth it.

  19. DanjerusKurves

    Somebody may have pointed this out already, but sometimes the doctor has to take out a little of the “top up” saline. I know this because a co-worker in my last job had the same surgery so we talked about her experiences every day for over a year. Sometimes she had to sleep upright in a chair for a couple of nights just to get through.

  20. ali

    I am well-versed in that mind-over-matter thing. I do whatever it takes to NOT vomit at aLL COSTS. I could medal in breathing exercises.

    I am SO sorry. this is such a shitty side-effect. thinking of you.

  21. MariaV

    Congrats on achieving the under 300. I’m sorry you have to suffer through this side effect though.

    I don’t mind puking because I usually start to feel better afterward.

  22. MFA Mama

    Eeeeek! I refuse to throw up. Last time was three years ago and before that it was like, seven years or something. I’d rather have a cut that needs stitches. I’ll FEEL better? SCREW YOU. I’d feel better not puking, thanks. This is most of why I don’t drink to inebriation.

  23. Becca

    I’m so sorry, I hate puking too. My partner has actually only thrown up once in the 3 and a half years I’ve known her because of her ability to use mind over matter. Good luck with everything! πŸ™‚

  24. Clown

    Waaaaaaahh. Boo freakin’ hoo.
    You’ve been puking. I feel so fucking bad for you.

    You know what I had to do today? I had to force a delicious red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing down. It was so tasty I could not stand it. You talk about hating to puke, I hate eating delicious things! I think I’m going to go make some bacon and try to deal with how wonderfully crunchy and awesome it is. I’m the one really suffering!

  25. Alyssa

    Wow…I’m proud of you for being so diligent about getting the band tightened, despite how heinous it is. Now I feel like a loser for crying about my lack of wine, bread & caffeine. πŸ™‚

  26. Twenty Four At Heart

    Wow – congrats on the weight loss. That’s fantastic. The puking? Sucks. I’m really sorry you have to deal with that. My BIL is going thru a similar thing right now. He is really looking terrific though and his confidence is soaring as his weight decreases. It’s awesome how empowered he’s become. I am sorry you feel awful, but I think it’s wonderful what you’re accomplishing!

  27. Stacy

    I had the full bypass two weeks ago, and I totally feel your pain with the puking. It is uncontrollable, and with the small amount I am allowed and able to put into my body I do alot of foaming too. It sucks, and I am glad it passes for you quickly πŸ™‚

  28. Dave2

    I don’t mind puking because it’s often a result of drinking too much and I’ll end up feeling a lot better after.

    The Lap Band sounds like crap! You should have taken my advice and gone on the Chocolate Pudding and Crack Cocaine diet!

  29. grumble girl

    Dude, you’re under 300 now? That is wicked-awesome. Good for you!! So sorry for the case of the pukes though… I just HATE puking, (but in my case, that’s usually from imbibing too much hooch AND smoke at the same time – I’m an asshole that way sometimes) but I hope you feel better now… I’m so stoked for you. Go Adam, go, Go, GO!!!

  30. Carolyn

    Congratulations on your weight loss! It sounds like such a high price to pay though…physically. I know you would have done your research and that this was the best intervention for you, but do you have to endure this the rest of your life?

    I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  31. Sheila (Charm School Reject)

    I don’t *like* to puke, d’uh, that’d be cah-razy and even I’m not that fucked up.

    BUT I will say that after a while, you get used to it and can puke anywhere. I only know this because of pregnancy puking – I was a constant vomit spewer the entire time, both times.

    and yes, that does rot your teeth.

    Oh! And, ya know, congrats on being a light weight πŸ™‚

  32. Nenette

    Oh, my dear, I’m sorry you felt so pukey. Are you feeling better today?
    I try to avoid throwing up too. It’s just so exhausting. More exhausting than the illness I’m suffering through. Except when it’s alcohol related.

    So happy that you’ve moved below 300. Very happy. Congrats. πŸ™‚

  33. Nat

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. There is something to be said about the reality of this surgery — to be one THOSE commenters — it’s probably helped people to see the reality of what lapband surgery is… (not a magic solution.)

    Will they keep doing that forever? Or will they it loosen once you hit a target weight?

  34. lin

    I’m really late on commenting. I had no idea you had lapband. I have not known anyone that overweight having lapband and being so successful. I’m very impressed — but then again, you’re a very determined guy. I’m sorry you are having the puking problem!! I had gastric by-pass three years ago. Totally different on some levels,but weight-loss surgery nonetheless. I was impressed to see that you have NO scars. I know it was laproscopic, but still. Mine was as well, but then again, different surgery. Good luck, Adam.

  35. whall

    I’m commenter 127. Doesn’t that mean I win your lap band when you’re done with it? I don’t want to pay for a new one, so I figured if I won this here blog contest, I get yours.

    PS: I didn’t read any of the previous comments, like your blog rules state.

  36. Lynda

    I’ve been wondering how the whole lap band thing works. I can understand it a lot better now. And Gatorade. Poor guy.

    Congrats on being in the 200 club! I was a member for many years. You will be in the 1’s before you know it!

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