I think it’s a well-known fact that the older we get the more we start to appreciate our parents. I don’t believe I truly began to really appreciate my mothers’ love and the sacrifices she made (‘it’s ok honey…you have the last butter tart, really I’m STUFFED’…a dad never does that!) until I had my first child; it was only then that I truly knew what that all-consuming ‘I would do anything for you’ love is all about.
Same goes for their wisdom. And why I titled this blog ‘Lies my Mother Never Told Me’ is because she just never told lies. Still doesn’t…ever. I don’t even think she tells those little white ones. Something that was always POUNDED into us as children (perhaps a bad choice of words no we weren’t physically abused!) was ‘thou shalt not lie’. We were always told ‘you will get into more trouble if you tell a lie than if you own up to what you did’. And it was true! When my sister broke the church window with a snowball trying to get me an icicle all she had to do was apologize to Father Harrison…go figure they were tellin’ the truth! :).
HOWEVER it seems as though a few…in fact maybe more than a handful…of my patients… lie to me. One just fessed up yesterday. Here’s the story:
‘Nora’ (that’s what my rotten children call me ever since I put on a pair of jeans they deemed to be ‘mom jeans’…the ultimate embarrassment apparently) forced me to come in on a long weekend to do a defill…FYI something us Lap-band nurses don’t take too kindly to. Seems her band had been perfect but then suddenly something got caught and bam she couldn’t even get water down. (Oh reeeeally? As my Dad used to say ‘I may have been born at night but it wasn’t last night’). Ok, so that can happen. I know that you can be sailing along with no issues and the band can tighten and sometimes we can’t figure out why. But in Nora’s case, and in most cases I knew that this wasn’t true. She had been denying any signs of being too tight, denied looking for ‘restriction’ from her band, and had been quite insistent on regular small adjustments, despite our worrying and warning that she may have been getting into the red zone.
And she had been lying to us about the symptoms and issues she had been having all along!
Nora however did not fess up right away. We ended up doing nearly a complete defill due to her inability to tolerate even sips of water. As of yesterday it has been around 6 weeks of first waiting for the esophageal swelling to subside and now sloooowly starting to re-fill her band while she struggles with hunger without having the assistance of a properly adjusted band to help her.
So yesterday ‘Naughty Nora’ sheepishly came clean (I’m only trying to make you smile…I really like ‘Nora’ and of course have great respect for her despite her recalcitrant ways…I told her she is simply in her ‘teenage years’ and is pushing my limits ;)) Turns out:
- yes she had been noticing more and more heartburn
- yes she was having difficulty tolerating more and more of the solid foods she used to enjoy
- yes she had been starting to go for the softer, easier, mushier food
- and yes occasionally she did wake with fluid in her throat at night
So WHY DID SHE LIE TO ME???!!! I’m feigning ignorance because I know exactly why. Same reason we all lied to our parents (sorry mom!): Nora was afraid. She was afraid to have fluid taken out of her band. She was afraid ‘fluid removal’ spelled ‘weight gain’. She was afraid of going backwards, losing the gains she had made in her weight loss journey and going back to the old days from which she had moved so far away. She was afraid of failing at yet another weight loss attempt and that fear is HUGE and REAL I think for every banded individual.
But believe me, I have a fair bit of knowledge and experience here both as a parent and as a seasoned ‘Lap-band nurse’…YOU WILL GET INTO MORE TROUBLE IF YOU LIE ABOUT YOUR ISSUES THAN IF YOU TELL THE TRUTH.
Being too tight, or on the cusp of being too tight may assist you to lose weight initially but eventually it always, always, always backfires, either in the manifestation of the unpleasant side effects of tightness that are listed above or in the more sinister form of pouch dilatation. TOO TIGHT IS NOT RIGHT. The best adjusted band is the one that has the least amount of fluid in it that is adequately controlling your hunger. The best adjusted band is the one that has the least amount of fluid in it that is adequately controlling your hunger (no that wasn’t a mistake I meant to repeat that because I want y’all to listen).
Realize if you are with a good clinic that, like a loving parent, your nurses only have your best interests at heart. And we DO get p’o’ed when you lie to us because we KNOW that in the end you are only going to end up hurting yourself!
So for those of you who may have been tellin’ a few fibs…fess up. You won’t get spanked or grounded or even yelled at instead you’ll get taken care of :). Don’t be afraid. You are NOT going to go back to the ‘old days’, you’ve got this wonderful tool for the rest of your life.
I hope everyone has been as fortunate as I have, to have been raised by a loving mom who did her best to instill good values, taught her kids the importance of telling the truth, and always forfeited the last butter tart. Love you mom 🙂
Yours in Health and Happiness,