Lap Band Patient Story: Segment 4
Guest: Beth Treado – Lap Band Patient
Host: Dr. Linda Austin - Psychiatry
Dr. Linda Austin: Welcome to an MUSC Health Podcast. In this series, we’re following the experience of a very special young woman, Beth Treado, as she undergoes Lap Band surgery as the cornerstone of a weight loss program.
I’m talking, now, with Beth Treado. Beth, it’s been a full week since your surgery last Tuesday. What has your recovery been like over the last week? Have you had any pain or discomfort?
Beth Treado: I’ve been doing great, no stomach pain whatsoever, of course a little tender at first.
Dr. Linda Austin: So, this first two weeks, you’re on an all liquid diet? How is that going?
Beth Treado: It’s killing me. I’m definitely to the point now where I would love to chew something. I’ve even contemplated just putting something in my mouth, chewing it for a minute, and spitting it out. You don’t realize how much of your life you chew until you can’t chew. Yesterday I struggled really hard with it. I was back at work for the first day and by the end of the afternoon, I was completely depleted and ready to eat.
Dr. Linda Austin: And so you still have another full week on liquids?
Beth Treado: Well, they’re recommending that I stay on liquids as long as possible, to enable the most amount of weight loss in a short amount of time, to just kind of jumpstart the whole program. I met with a dietician today, after my appointment, and she recommended that I start incorporating mooshy foods into my diet, such as refried beans, mashed potatoes, something that can be mooshed up with a fork.
Dr. Linda Austin: Now, I know your parents were here for the surgery and your Mom left on Thursday. Did it help to have her here after the surgery? How did she help?
Beth Treado: Definitely, yeah. Having Mom just grab me a cup of water if I wanted that, just so I wouldn’t have to get out of the recliner, things like that. It allowed me to be lazier than I probably would have been.
Dr. Linda Austin: I’ve heard of a Lap Band patient that moved in with her parents for entire month after the surgery so she could have their support and help with sticking to her new eating habits. I know that you live with your cousin and brother. Do you think that they will be a good support system for you?
Beth Treado: Yeah. They’re actually being very supportive. My brother has decided to try doing this liquid diet with me. He’s moved to protein shakes for breakfast and lunch and trying to eat soup at dinner with me, so I’m not sitting there by myself eating soup. So, it’s been very helpful, and I think through all of this, he’ll lose a little weight too.
Dr. Linda Austin: With that said, I know, you mentioned to me that your cousin was eating take out Mexican food in front of you, one of your favorites. Did that upset you, or was the temptation overwhelming?
Beth Treado: You know, it’s really been interesting. Coming home from the hospital and watching TV, that’s all you can do all day, you realize how much of the world is controlled by food. Everywhere I looked this past week, there was food, TV, something with melted cheese, somebody baking something with chocolate. But, it’s really been interesting, because, as I’m looking at it, or watching the Food Network, I realize, number one, I can’t have it, number two, I couldn’t get it down even if I wanted to. The liquids have really been filling me up and that’s due, probably, to swelling around my stomach. But, nevertheless, it’s there and, of course, I want to taste it. I guess I just want to chew it and then spit it out. But, yeah, I was about to gnaw my arm off when I saw the Mexican [food].
Dr. Linda Austin: I didn’t realize that you weren’t able to drive the last week, that the doctors told you to wait a week before you drive. Now that you have your freedom back, will you be meeting with friends more? Are you going to go out to restaurants with them, or is that something you’re going to try to avoid?
Beth Treado: This was a really hard week for me, mainly socially, because I’m not used to sitting at home. I’m always out. There’s never a night during the week that I’m not doing something after work. So, to be at home all week was pretty tough on me. I actually did go out to eat on Sunday. We went to Just Fresh. I had some broccoli cheddar soup, ate about a quarter of a cup of that. Just the joy of being out and seeing other people was really great.
Dr. Linda Austin: I know it might be premature to ask but have you lost any weight in the last week?
Beth Treado: I have. I’ve lost 13 pounds. I’m excited to see the scale finally go down instead of up. It’s very encouraging.
Dr. Linda Austin: Wow! Is that what you expected?
Beth Treado. No. I was expecting six pounds. I was hoping for six pounds. I’d made a goal for myself, in the two weeks I was on liquids, I really wanted to lose close to 15 and, look, I’m already there, basically.
Dr. Linda Austin: This morning, you met with Dr. Katherine Morgan, your surgeon. What was the purpose of that appointment?
Beth Treado: She wanted to check my incisions, make sure that everything is going okay, that there aren’t any infections. At this point everything looks great and she’s very happy with my progress.
Dr. Linda Austin: So, does everything look in order for you? When is your next scheduled appointment?
Beth Treado: August 7th. I’m going in for my first fill. They’re going to go in, numb the area where the port is, and fill the band with saline. She did inform me that some patients don’t need the fill because they’re sustaining their hunger just due to the band being in place. But she feels that I’m really going to need a fill because it was loose around my stomach when she put it in place.
Dr. Linda Austin: Along with new eating habits, do you plan to incorporate an exercise regimen?
Beth Treado: I do. Speaking with my parents while they were here last week, I was able to talk to my dad about helping out with my person trainer and the cost of that. So, hopefully, in the next few months, I’ll be working out with a trainer. I’m really going to try to get up early in the morning and do that. Let’s see if that happens. That might be a question you’ll ask me later, if I was actually able to get up to exercise.
Dr. Linda Austin: Well, Beth, it sounds like you’ve recovered well from surgery and you’re already doing a really good job adjusting. I’ll look forward to talking with you again in a few weeks and seeing how well you’re doing then. This is such an exciting time for you. Thanks so much, Beth. We’ll see you again in a few weeks.
Beth Treado: Thank you very much.
For more information about the MUSC Bariatric Surgery program, you can call our Medu-line at: 792-2200, or long distance: (800) 9922-5250. Please remember that these podcasts are just about the experience of one person and are not meant to replace a conversation you should have with your own physician.