Finished the pre-op workup a couple days ago. They took blood samples, chest X-rays, measured and weighed, and then they stuck me in this weird imaging machine. As they took X-ray videos, I would take a sip of a barium drink, and they would be able to "see" how my mouth and esophagus worked from various angles...as fat as I am, I would have thought they could safely assume that my swallowing and consuming mechanisms were in excellent condition, but I guess they wanted to be sure. They made me drink the stuff standing up, from about 3 different angles, then they laid the table down flat, and took videos of me drinking flat on my back, one each side, and face down. Usually if I'm face down, I am done drinking for the night, but I didn't tell them that...
The girl who took my blood had the Gastric Sleeve procedure done a few months ago. She said it was working just great, she has lost about 70 pounds so far, and her biggest problem is that she frequently forgets to eat - a nice problem to have if you are 140 pounds overweight.
By the way, everyone who has ever had one will tell you that barium milkshakes are absolutely dreadful, awful, horrible, OMG they're terrible! Personally, I thought it was no big deal, just like drinking some chalk. If you can chew a couple of Walmart brand antacid tablets, you can handle a barium milkshake, no problem. A barium enema is a whole different bucket of guts, butt that's for someone else's blog.
UPDATE; consuming barium in any form will almost certainly give you a nasty bout of ugly tummy and a rather painful, gut-cramp potty session, like being constipated and having the runs at the same time. Sounds fun, huh?
here's a pic (shamelessly swiped from Google images) of someone's esophagus during a barium imaging series;
You can see the patient's esophagus clearly. You think it would be a straight and smooth tube, but it isn't. Ain't medicine fun? I'm totally ready to get this over with, and start living again...my first goal is to go wade fishing for an hour or so. It's been damn near 10 years since I caught a speckled trout. That's way too long.