It has been two years since I’ve written a blog concerning my Gastric Band journey. There hasn’t really been much to report apart from a few years of painful stomach aches, acid reflux and generally not being able to eat much- despite my band being fully loosened 2 years ago, when I find out it had slipped.
I was advised to have the band removed back then, but life gets in the way, the old fear of putting on weight creeps in, so I kept putting it off, then Covid hit and that was the perfect excuse not to go into hospital for an operation…Until on January the 6th I began to have severe stomach pain and vomited blood. I was advised to go to Derby Hospital, to the specialist Bariatric unit to have it checked over.
The first few days I was there I had a C.T scan which apparently, according to the non-specialist surgeon, showed that my band hadn’t slipped and was in the correct place. Subsequently I saw the actual band specialist who confirmed what I already knew, which was that my band had inverted back into my stomach with chance or erosion and part of my stomach falling off. Thankfully blood work showed no signs that the blood supply was lost to my stomach, so my band removal was scheduled for a few days later on Monday.
These next few paragraphs are my ramblings, 2 hours post op…pretty high on pain relief but lucid nonetheless.
I’ve been told the kitchen cannot provide soup, only sandwiches, which I cannot consume as I am only allowed mushy food or liquid. I take myself downstairs to buy some soup, it is then that my mind takes me to a place that it hasn’t wondered for years. “Now Tamzyn, you don’t want to be putting on weight already- do you need to eat?” Never mind the fact that over the course of a week I have only eaten half a cheese sandwich, a few mouthfuls of fish pie and a bagel. I am acutely aware that I am now scared that I will gain weight easily, now I have had the band removed, so those old, intrusive, weight based thoughts begin to spiral.
“Will my new partner find me attractive if I get fatter?”
“Will my family think I’m a failure?”
“What an idiot I am to spend 16 thousand pounds on multiple surgeries, only to go back to a big disgusting mess that society would see me as?”
Consequently I didn’t buy the soup, even though I was desperately in need of the nutrients, I had a cigarette instead, to satiate that emptiness, the hunger, as if smoking was somehow the healthier option.
Now as I lie on the Hospital bed writing this, hooked up to drips, high on morphine and perplexed emotionally, it is vastly clear that the fat phobic mentality that I thought I had worked on and escaped, was always there, lurking in the shadows, poised and ready to pounce at the first sign of weakness, or weight gain… Will it be able to draw me back into the claws of diet culture? Will I be enticed into that spiders web of trying to meet the media’s standards of ‘the perfect body.’ Will I succumb once again to a life filled with obsession over food, calorie counting, diet shakes, bulimic tendencies. Will I once again live a life where I worry about which clothes are acceptable on my body shape and ultimately the fear, the absolute all encompassing, anxiety educing fear that if I gain weight I will once again and without a doubt be sneered at, looked down on by society, abused by social media trolls, detailed as a “fat bitch” by strangers in the street, deemed as unsafe and and anti role model by those I hold dearest, all of which, leading to a feeling of unworthiness every day, for the rest of my fat, gluttonous life?