It is a little over a year since i had lap band surgery, and lost 17 kilos. i have been really pleased i did it. i can reach for my seat belt, and walk up hills, and run, and wear ordinary clothing. For a while i thought maybe my arms had somehow grown in length because i no longer needed to roll sleeves up over and over, but then it dawned on me that my new clothes actually had shorter sleeves (doh!). So i have been a happy camper.
About three weeks ago i started to become uncomfortable. i could no longer manage food in the mornings; it would get stuck in the band and i would regurgitate it. After a while i could manage food only in the evenings and the only thing i could reliably eat was ice cream. Then i became unable to drink. i lost energy. i was uncomfortable all the time. i was becoming dehydrated. i was not even thinking particularly well. This morning i drank about 50 mls of water and a couple of hours later at work i was vomiting blood.
i saw the surgeon and he was unympathetic. He said - did you actually think this would get better. Why weren't you here three weeks ago. i couldn't answer him. i suppose i thought it would get better, or i would have seen him earlier. But really i was figuring i ought to staunch it out. Well, i would have drunk my harden-the-fuck-up juice, but i couldn't get it down.
Anyway the surgeon thought the band had slipped, and took the whole 5 mls of fluid out of it, and recovery was instant. i drank some water. i drank some more water. i went to the Beat Street Cafe, home of the radical Womyn of Occupy, and had the world's best coffee. It was so good i could not even read my book*. It was textured and smooth and bitter and sweet and strong and everything. Then i ate most of a croissant. Oh God the spinach! And if that was not enough, the tomato! i ate slowly and with real mindfulness possibly for the first time ever. i probably looked a bit strange but i was so focused. Can you trip out on croissants? It felt like the first time i had ever eaten one. i figured the second one i have will never be quite as good. i will spend the rest of my life trying to recapture that first rush, consuming croissants the size of houses, found dead one day alone in my tiny flat, with that light buttery flaky bread all around my mouth and brie cheese wedged in my cleavage.
The Archduke's spag bol was not half bad either.
So 5 mls lighter and i am a free woman. i will continue to eat as i need to - side plate sized portions, and no more ice cream i think because now i will run screaming from the room at the sight of a Magnum. In two weeks the band will be reinflated and i will be back to normal.
* The Quest for Meaning: Developing a Philosophy of Pluralism, by Tariq Ramadan. This very humane author is Oxford don and traditional Islamic scholar both.