Arrow, Yesterday.

A Bit Down In The Dumps

Dumping.

No, not by your boyfriend or girlfriend and especially not around V-Day! Heaven forbid!

No, a different kind of dumping.

The enemy of all Bariatric procedures, but what is it and how does it make you feel?

Yesterday when I interviewed K, the friend who had the same gastric sleeve procedure as I expect to have next month, she told me of a thing that a post Bariatric patient fears the most.

Dumping*.

I am very fortunate in being looked after by the crack NHS bariatric care team, who have such good organisation, the first time I was told about dumping was on my first ever visit to the OCDEM centre where I attended a kind of “Bariatric show and tell” with the lovely Advanced Nurse Practitioner Lisa Rickers – to give her the correct title 😉 At this first meeting she explained each procedure in detail and then all of the side effects that could come from any Bariatric treatment, so before I had even considered the possibility of any kind of surgery, I was already aware of the problems that could manifest themselves on occasion long after the weight loss has started.

K had no idea such a thing even existed such was the poor level of her aftercare and the fact that no one had explained anything of the possibility of such side effects prior to the surgery. The first time it happened, she honestly thought the world was going to end. It was so bad that she found herself calling the surgeon in sheer desperation thinking that something had gone wrong with the procedure she had undergone approximately six months before.

Sat in her living room watching TV with her niece, K was enjoying her evening when out of the blue, BAM! A pain in her lower chest as if a heavyweight boxer had literally punched her as hard they could. Immediately she felt tired, as if she had no energy at all. It was as much as she could do to stop her head from sagging and raising alarm in her niece. Then the palpitations started quickly followed by a complete insular feeling where all she wanted to do was pass out. She began to feel nauseous and started to sweat a cold clammy sweat over skin that now felt like wax. Finally, so as not to upset her niece, she was able to raise herself up, say good night and head off to bed.

After a laying down for a few minutes, things were still no better but rather than call an ambulance, K phoned the man who had saved her after the terrible aftercare experience, her surgeon Mr Bruno Sgromo. Unavailable. No!. She called again and again and finally left a message telling Bruno that she felt her life was ending. He called back almost immediately and without any doubt told K that she was experiencing the feted dumping syndrome. He had such a joviality in his voice that it put her at ease as soon as she heard him. Bruno then very kindly explained the facts on dumping and  that all of her symptoms were quite normal and would pass as quickly as they came.

Relieved K started to relax and sure enough as quickly as the symptoms had arrived, they left and she felt completely back to normal. No ringing in the ears, no palpitations no symptoms at all. How very odd it must have felt, to one minute feeling as though on death’s door and the next, ready to take on the world. She decided her best course of action that night was to stay in bed, just in case it started again.

It did not.

The next day she woke feeling rested and at ease with her symptoms completely abated. Since that time K reckons it to have happened about a total of 8 times in the three years since her operation and today it is almost a thing of the past. However, on one occasion she actually believed that she may be a thing of the past.

Waking one morning at a friends, the symptoms looked as though they may be back and with K unsure of how she felt, decided to head back home just in case they worsened. She got in her car and started to drive but the further she drove the worse the pain became. Deciding not to pull over due to the very real possibility of not being able to get out of the car once she had, K made a decision to head directly for the emergency room at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford as the journey back from London to home literally went past it’s door.

K described the event of pulling up outside the hospital as something you would see in a movie. Although not screeching to a halt (modern cars don’t really screech nowadays) the car stopped with enough force that it alerted staff outside to her predicament. They quickly came to the rescue and helped her from her car and into the hospital. In as much pain as K was in, she was able to relay the issue to the emergency team who surrounded her. She was dumping but it had been going on for nearly 3 hours and was only increasing in intensity and pain, hence the emergency pit stop. Details taken, she waited to see a Doctor as a priority case but once again as she sat quietly in her own little insulated world, the pain simply vanished. Piff Paff Poof! As the Great Soprendo would say. Gone.

Oh how very embarrassing. Making all that fuss then feeling as right as ninepence. That was when the real battle commenced. The staff of the Hospital didn’t want her to leave, they wanted to check she was okay; and K was okay, she was now better than okay. She was fine, a little red-faced but fine. She now had to convince them she was okay to leave which was easier said than done. There were forms to be filled in, releases to be signed and after some further explanation eventually K was back in her car and heading home.

Now three years on and several episodes wiser, K has learned to control the dumping through diet so the issue very seldom rears its ugly head and when if it does, she pretty much knows what has caused it and why.

So, that’s something else I have to look forward to… Which is nice :-/

‘Till tomorrow,

Stay out of the fridge.

* Description courtesy of Wikipedia

2 thoughts on “A Bit Down In The Dumps

  1. Osyth says:

    Poor K …. I can’t imagine how frightening it must have been to be experiencing these symptoms ignorant of their normality. Of course, it is the law of the sod to Blue Light yourself to the hospital only for the episode to evaporate.

    Liked by 1 person

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