Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hot weather and the band

I took Numba Two and Numba Three of the triplets on a 5 mile hike a few weeks ago. (only 2/3 are in boy scouts.... Numba One isn't interested) We actually only ended up hiking for 2.1 miles, mostly because it was really hot, really humid, and there were 15 of us, and 3 of the boys were struggling to keep up. (Numba Three being of the lag-behinds)

We stopped for a 10 minute break to re-hydrate, and eat something. I had brought along an Atkins Shake (Mocha Latte...... my favorite) because I figured it would be the smartest bet for me. I could chug it down if I was thirsty/starving, and not worry about getting stuck/sliming episodes.

WRONG....... so very, VERY WRONG.

I drank about 2-3 mouthfuls of nice, cool, protein shake, and then I had "that feeling." All bandsters have a different "that feeling," but it's unmistakable, and undeniable. Seconds later, the slime started. So, I did what ANY super mom, that was out hiking with the boy scouts would do. I swallowed.... many MANY times. The slime continued even though I was silently screaming "stop already, it's a goddamn SHAKE ferchrissakes!)

MY slime is something that happens at the back of my throat and at the very top of the roof of my mouth, as far back as you can go without touching the uvula. Right there is where my slime is noticeable. I can, if I choose, bring the slime to the front of my mouth, and blow bubbles with it, like gum. (not that I would DO that or anything..... not ME! No sir!) (alright.... only when I'm bored with being stuck :)

So..... then "that other feeling" started..... all bandsters have this as well.

Perhaps we need to have a DEFON chart for bandsters? I know what mine would be:

Level 1  "That Feeling" : Sudden feeling in stomach area, like something isn't sitting right. It's like a furball at the bottom of my stomach, or an itch that I can't scratch, at the bottom of my stomach. Slime begins at back of throat.

Level 2 "That Other Feeling" : In addition to Level 1, spit spigot turns on. It's like a faucet in my mouth, and this time, it's at the front, under my tongue. I feel a rush of regular spit filling my mouth. Not unlike that time I was doing tequila shots, and someone decided to be funny, and give me Wild Turkey instead.... that certainly turned the spit spigot on that time too......

Level 3 "The Squeeze" : It's generally at this time, when I decide to go to the bathroom (or kitchen.... or whatever's got a sink at this point) and let slime and spit run into the sink, instead of swallowing it, since whatever's STUCK in that band, does NOT like all the weight of the slime/spit pushing on it. Then the pain starts. Wherever said item is "stuck" the esophageal spasms start there. Ground zero, so to speak. The first few times, it's like a gentle squeeze, like the esophagus saying something like "please move it along, thank you"

Level 4 "Squeeze it like you mean it" : I should mention at this time that I do NOT have PB episodes. Due to my secondary fundoplication procedure with my band (essentially, the top of my stomach, the fundus, is wrapped around my esophagus, and sewn there, the band is ON TOP of this. This helps with the significant GERD that I was having problems with) Some people who have had fundoplication, cannot vomit. EVER. I am one of those some. I've had stomach flu, thanks to Numbas One, Two and Three, and although I can HEAR stuff sloshing around in there, and I heave like a mofo, nothing comes up. No worries, my friends..... the nausea wave goes away until the next round of dry heaves..... and all the contents of my stomach take the express route out the OTHER way. No one would ever believe how MUCH poop can come out of someone, until this happens. ANYWAY.......

If the first few gentle squeezes don't take care of the stuckies..... a full assault the comes. Slime and spit are doubled, and the squeezing starts rhythmically, not unlike uterine contractions. They gain intensity and length of time, and start happening closer and closer together. This WILL clear the pipes so to speak, but the length of time that this happens can vary. It's not pretty...... I had Rack of Lamb stuck in there for 1-1/2 hours, and went to Level 4 pretty quickly. If I stay in Level 4 for more than an hour, a nap is almost always required. As well as liquids for a few days.

The squeezing hurts...... some people have said it feels like a heart attack. I won't disagree. It's definitely not nice, and I've been known to try to beg my way out of Level 4. Like a big baby.

ANYWAY...... back to the hike in the woods with Numbas Two and Three....

I got to Level 2 on that stupid shake! So. Not. Warranted.

All I can think is that strenuous activity tightens my band....... the HEAT tightens my band..... or more likely, any level of dehydration tightens my band. I was hydrating well, though, and drinking plenty of water.

But I can tell you now, that it's currently 90° outside, so it's probably 88° in my office right now (Momma does NOT put the air on in June.......) and I'm stuck on my Mocha Latte shake right now. Level 1. Just sitting here.

Could it be the heat? WTF am I going to EAT? (hey.... that rhymed!)

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