It’s now 3 weeks since my child’s gastric sleeve surgery. I’d love to announce she has had an easy road, but that is far from the truth. She has struggled with significant nausea and keeping anything down except small amounts of water. Friday, we ended up in an ER on vacation to get her IV fluids and nutrients. Guess what they gave her? That’s right… they gave her a banana bag. Frustrated and feeling defeated that she hasn’t made the progress expected at this point, she was continuing to struggle physically and emotionally.

The Typical Progression

By 3 weeks, most sleeve patients have progressed from liquids through puree and onto soft foods. That is the typical progression post surgery. Our doctor warned us that my daughter may not progress as fast because of her slow start, but she should be further along. She struggled to keep down anything but water. Vitamins and protein shakes were causing her to dry heave. This means that she’s not getting enough fluids or nutrients. To ANY weight loss surgery patient, vitamins and protein shakes are the lifeline in maintaining proper sustenance for major organ function let alone a thriving existence.

Back to the Emergency Room

A trip to a tiny hospital ER while on vacation is NOT the way we had hoped to spend our family vacation. Samantha had been pushing herself to be active, to get out in the sun and even swim with all her cousins. Unfortunately, the extra activity pushed her further from her goal as it depleted what little fluids she was able to get in. Fortunately this little gem of a hospital stepped up to the plate. Our surgeon called our cellphone to find out what was happening and spoke with the ER doctor personally. They worked out a plan and our fears subsided. WHAT DOCTOR DOES THAT?! Ours does! Our doctor explained that she needed a banana bag. This hospital was not versed in bariatric patients, but the pharmacy obliged and made one for her.

What’s a Banana Bag?

A Banana Bag is the slang term given to a bag of saline that is filled with vitamins and minerals. It got it’s name from the bright yellow color. These bags typically contain Thiamine, Folic Acid, Magnesium Sulfate and an adult multivitamin for infusion (MVI) which is a liquid multivitamin. They are used for many types of nutritional deficiencies and chemical imbalances, but are perfect for post surgical bariatric patients because it can quickly re-hydrate and nourish without having to go through the stomach.

Back on Track

After a bag of saline and a banana bag, my daughter’s color returned and she started feeling like herself again. The following day she was able to start getting in small amounts of soft food starting with one ounce and then two. While that doesn’t seem like much to most of us, that was a HUGE DEAL to her. Since then, she continues to progress everyday. EACH day she gets in a little more food, more fluids and even her vitamins. I finally feel like she is BACK ON TRACK. NOT a moment too soon. We are supposed to move her back into her college dorm on Sunday. NEVER wait too long to call your doctor. A banana bag may be the quickest way to avoid serious complications.

Learn more and follow our family journey: The Loser’s Bench is Lonely

 

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