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About this blog

I want to use this blog as a place to vent, share, and journal everything. It may not all be related to my weight loss so just be prepared for ramblings.

Entries in this blog

 

To Bookmark: My reasons for VSG over RNY for my revision

The VSG was my 2nd, and final WLS. I could have easily had RNY, but I fought to have VSG as my revision from the band. Some factors I considered in deciding on VSG. The pouch that RNY offers is similar to the pouch with the band. Least to say, a pouch sucks, I love having a normal tummy, just less capacity and still fully functioning.   1) No blind stomach left behind that can be difficult to scope yet can still get ulcers and cancer. 2) 2 years max on calorie/carb/sugar malabsorption, but a lifetime of vitamin/nutrient malabsorption 3) I had a pouch with the band, and it sucked. I'm pretty fond of my pyloric valve and the sleeve let me keep it. I love having a normal functioning stomach, just smaller in capacity. 4) Regain stats and #of RNY patients seeking revision truly scared the poop out of me 5) I have too many friends in real life that struggle with vitamin deficiencies post-RNY, and most of them either never got to goal, or have gained back a significant amount of their weight. 6) The long term complications with RNY were too numerous for my comfort level. 7) I researched gastrectomies that had been performed for stomach cancer and ulcer patients, and found comfort in the long term results and minimal complications of patients that had lost most or all of their stomachs had dealt with over several years. 8) I was a volume eater, and knew a restrictive only procedure would work for me. That was my thought process when I got the band, and I thought I could beat the odds on complications. Sadly, the band only lasted 8 months before I had to revise. 9) I did not want to have food or medication restrictions. I chose WLS to have a "normal" life, and I think it's normal to eat a couple of cookies. With RNY, I wasn't willing to go through the possibility of dumping if I wanted to have a couple of cookies, or a slice of cake on occasion.   I lost all my weight with the exception of 7lbs with the sleeve. It's been a fabulous journey, and I'm easily maintaining with zero issues.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Sleeve research links, dietary guidelines etc

LapSF Two Year Study LapSF Five Year Study - abstract only LapSF Five Year Study - presentation (requires Windows to play) Literature review on the sleeve - requires $$ to get the full text unfortunately Sleeve best for over 50 crowd Video of a sleeve with lots of education discussion Video of a sleeve that is more about the operation Ghrelin levels after RnY and sleeve Ghrelin levels after band and sleeve Diabetes resolution in RnY vs. Sleeve Comparison of band to sleeve - literature review   http://www.iabsobesitysurgery.com/Media/Forms/SleeveDietGuide.pdf   http://www.cornellweightlosssurgery.org/pdf/dietary_guidelines_sleeve_gastrectomy.pdf   Some of this is outdated, but some of it is great information: http://www.sleeveguide.com/   http://www.ssat.com/cgi-bin/abstracts/08ddw/O4.cgi   http://www.hopkinsbayview.org/bin/c/a/nutrition_sleeve.pdf   Eglin surgeons use small bougies so this is just for informational purposes: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18098398?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel     http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/ASMBS/20937   http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2791490/vertical_sleeve_gastrectomy_pg2.html?cat=5     5 year post-op stats http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20094819?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=1   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20338286

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Questions to ask your surgeon

Pre Op /The Op If self pay - What does your fee involve? Is there some follow up care thrown in there, like labs at 3,6,9 and 12 months? Pre op diet � what to eat/drink and how long for? Do I get a nutritionist/psychologist? What size bougie is used? (This is the medical instrument which determines the size of your remaining stomach) Do you oversew the staple line? How many incisions do you make? Do you go in thru previous scars? How many nights in the hospital � is there facility for someone else to stay in my room as well? Do they need to be with me 24/ during my hospital stay? How many leak tests do you do? How many sleeves have you performed? Complication/leak stats? How many if any deaths? Who do I contact if I think I have a problem (most places give out an emergency number)? Is the hospital equipped an ICU and blood bank in case of complications? If complications do happen to occur, are these complications/additional surgery/days in hospital covered by the original quoted price of the surgery? Would you remove my gall bladder at the same time if needed? Can you give me some patient testimonials or do you have any before/after pictures of your patients that I could read/look at? Is it standard operation procedure, ie: no nail polish, no body jewellery? Do I need to stop taking any particular medication pre op? (Take a list of what you take and dosage)   Post Op How often are the post op check ups? Where are they? � is price included? What supplements/anti acid drug would I need to take and for how long? Do I need labs done post op? � Are these checked with you or my local doctor? DO I get a dvd of the operation? Post op diet? How much weight would I be expected loose? What if I loose too much, how to maintain? Do you use heparin? � Will I have to inject it myself? How soon after the op can I��drive, swim, work out, lift weights, lift my kids?

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Lapband Information -Just to bookmark this information

http://www.lapband.com/en/learn_about_lapband/safety_informa tion/ Patients can experience complications after surgery. Most complications are not serious but some may require hospitalization and/or re-operation. In the United States clinical study, with 3-year follow-up reported, 88% of the 299 patients had one or more adverse events, ranging from mild, moderate, to severe. Nausea and vomiting (51%), gastroesophageal reflux (regurgitation) (34%), band slippage/pouch dilatation (24%) and stoma obstruction (stomach-band outlet blockage) (14%) were the most common post-operative complications. In the study, 25% of the patients had their band systems removed, two-thirds of which were following adverse events. Esophageal dilatation or dysmotility (poor esophageal function) occurred in 11% of patients, the long-term effects of which are currently unknown. Constipation, diarrhea and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) occurred in 9% of the patients. In 9% of the patients, a second surgery was needed to fix a problem with the band or initial surgery. In 9% of the patients, there was an additional procedure to fix a leaking or twisted access port. The access port design has been improved. Four out of 299 patients (1.3%) had their bands erode into their stomachs. These bands needed to be removed in a second operation. Surgical techniques have evolved to reduce slippage. Surgeons with more laparoscopic experience and more experience with these procedures report fewer complications. Adverse events that were considered to be non-serious, and which occurred in less than 1% of the patients, included: esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus), gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), hiatal hernia (some stomach above the diaphragm), pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), abdominal pain, hernia, incisional hernia, infection, redundant skin, dehydration, diarrhea (frequent semi-solid bowel movements), abnormal stools, constipation, flatulence (gas), dyspepsia (upset stomach), eructation (belching), cardiospasm (an obstruction of passage of food through the bottom of the esophagus), hematemsis (vomiting of blood), asthenia (fatigue), fever, chest pain, incision pain, contact dermatitis (rash), abnormal healing, edema (swelling), paresthesia (abnormal sensation of burning, prickly, or tingling), dysmenorrhea (difficult periods), hypochromic anemia (low oxygen carrying part of blood), band system leak, cholecystitis (gall stones), esophageal ulcer (sore), port displacement, port site pain, spleen injury, and wound infection. Be sure to ask your surgeon about these possible complications and any of these medical terms that you dont understand. Back to Top What are the specific risks and possible complications?   Talk to your doctor about all of the following risks and complications:   Ulceration Gastritis (irritated stomach tissue) Gastroesophageal reflux (regurgitation) Heartburn Gas bloat Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) Dehydration Constipation Weight regain Death Laparoscopic surgery has its own set of possible problems. They include:   Spleen or liver damage (sometimes requiring spleen removal) Damage to major blood vessels Lung problems Thrombosis (blood clots) Rupture of the wound Perforation of the stomach or esophagus during surgery Laparoscopic surgery is not always possible. The surgeon may need to switch to an "open" method due to some of the reasons mentioned here. This happened in about 5% of the cases in the U.S. Clinical Study. There are also problems that can occur that are directly related to the LAP-BAND� System:   The band can spontaneously deflate because of leakage. That leakage can come from the band, the reservoir, or the tubing that connects them. The band can slip There can be stomach slippage The stomach pouch can enlarge The stoma (stomach outlet) can be blocked The band can erode into the stomach Obstruction of the stomach can be caused by:   Food Swelling Improper placement of the band The band being over-inflated Band or stomach slippage Stomach pouch twisting Stomach pouch enlargement There have been some reports that the esophagus has stretched or dilated in some patients. This could be caused by:   Improper placement of the band The band being tightened too much Stoma obstruction Binge eating Excessive vomiting Patients with a weaker esophagus may be more likely to have this problem. A weaker esophagus is one that is not good at pushing food through to your stomach. Tell your surgeon if you have difficulty swallowing. Then your surgeon can evaluate this. Weight loss with the LAP-BAND� System is typically slower and more gradual than with some other weight loss surgeries. Tightening the band too fast or too much to try to speed up weight loss should be avoided. The stomach pouch and/or esophagus can become enlarged as a result. You need to learn how to use your band as a tool that can help you reduce the amount you eat. Infection is possible. Also, the band can erode into the stomach. This can happen right after surgery or years later, although this rarely happens. Complications can cause reduced weight loss. They can also cause weight gain. Other complications can result that require more surgery to remove, reposition, or replace the band. Some patients have more nausea and vomiting than others. You should see your physician at once if vomiting persists. Rapid weight loss may lead to symptoms of:   Malnutrition Anemia Related complications It is possible you may not lose much weight or any weight at all. You could also have complications related to obesity. If any complications occur, you may need to stay in the hospital longer. You may also need to return to the hospital later. A number of less serious complications can also occur. These may have little effect on how long it takes you to recover from surgery. If you have existing problems, such as diabetes, a large hiatal hernia (part of the stomach in the chest cavity), Barretts esophagus (severe, chronic inflammation of the lower esophagus), or emotional or psychological problems, you may have more complications. Your surgeon will consider how bad your symptoms are, and if you are a good candidate for the LAP-BAND� System surgery. You also have more risk of complications if you've had a surgery before in the same area. If the procedure is not done laparoscopically by an experienced surgeon, you may have more risk of complications. Anti-inflammatory drugs that may irritate the stomach, such as aspirin and NSAIDs, should be used with caution. Some people need folate and vitamin B12 supplements to maintain normal homocycteine levels. Elevated homocycteine levels can increase risks to your heart and the risk of spinal birth defects. You can develop gallstones after a rapid weight loss. This can make it necessary to remove your gallbladder. There have been no reports of autoimmune disease with the use of the LAP-BAND� System. Autoimmune diseases and connective tissue disorders, though, have been reported after long-term implantation of other silicone devices. These problems can include systemic lupus erythematosus and scleroderma. At this time, there is no conclusive clinical evidence that supports a relationship between connective-tissue disorders and silicone implants. Long-term studies to further evaluate this possibility are still being done. You should know, though, that if autoimmune symptoms develop after the band is in place, you may need treatment. The band may also need to be removed. Talk with your surgeon about this possibility. Also, if you have symptoms of autoimmune disease now, the LAP-BAND� System may not be right for you. Back to Top Removing the LAP-BAND� System   If the LAP-BAND� System has been placed laparoscopically, it may be possible to remove it the same way. This is an advantage of the LAP-BAND� System. However, an "open" procedure may be necessary to remove a band. In the U.S. Clinical Study, 60% of the bands that were removed were done laparoscopically. Surgeons report that after the band is removed, the stomach returns to essentially a normal state. At this time, there are no known reasons to suggest that the band should be replaced or removed at some point unless a complication occurs or you do not lose weight. It is difficult, though, to say whether the band will stay in place for the rest of your life. It may need to be removed or replaced at some point. Removing the device requires a surgical procedure. That procedure will have all the related risks and possible complications that come with surgery. The risk of some complications, such as erosions and infection, increase with any added procedure.   LapSf Study that I swiped from MacMadame's profile LapSF Educational presentation to FACS - includes some 2 year results LapSF Two Year Study LapSF Five Year Study - abstract only LapSF Five Year Study - presentation (requires Windows to play) Literature review on the sleeve - requires $ to get the full text unfortunately Sleeve best for over 50 crowd Video of a sleeve with lots of education discussion Video of a sleeve that is more about the operation Ghrelin levels after RnY and sleeve Ghrelin levels after band and sleeve Diabetes resolution in RnY vs. Sleeve Comparison of band to sleeve - literature review

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Blogging in General

I've switched over to blogspot.com   It's not going to be focused completely on VSG, or my WL journey. It's life, and I believe I'm more than just a WLS patient.   If you care to follow me, feel free to do so and comment if you can.   Thanks ! ! !   http://unraveledapronstringsinmypinkstiletto.blogspot.com/

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Long time no blog

I have been really absent as of late on the blogging. I feel like I'm just kind of living now, and sometimes don't even realize I have the sleeve anymore. Eating small portions, drinking fluids, having a snack here and there is all so "normal". I guess that's what I can call it because it's just the same thing day in and day out. I don't really have a lot to report on the sleeve journey.   In other news, we are still trying to conceive. I will start the ovulation monitor thing again because my charting was off. This fertility crap is confusing. I remember when I was paranoid about getting pregnant, and avoiding it all costs. Now, that I actually want it, it's not happening. But, such is life, and I'm trying to be patient. It just isn't working out so well.   John was promoted to his next rank. It's a big jump in pay, and we won't see it until next year because of how the AF promotes people, but hey we'll at least get it. Plus, this opens many, many doors for him in his career. We're both ecstatic to see what the future holds.   I'm also considering going to school. The military will actually pay for me to get an associates or a certification in portal, high demand career. I've been looking at pharmacy tech, or radiology tech. I'm not a fan of school, and have zero desire to go 4 years to get a BA/BS when I know so many people with degrees that are working outside of their field due to the craptastic economy. At least with pharmacy or radiology tech, I will be able to find a job fairly easily as I've been researching different options, in different areas of the country. I have to think "future" because we never know where the AF will send us. Honestly, it's just a crapshoot away for us to end up in Minot, ND, and I pray daily that we do not get sent there. I just have to be prepared and know that I have to choose a career path that will benefit us now, and in future. John will retire at the age of 38-40 from the AF. We've talked about what the future will hold. I want him to take off a couple of years, and finish out his Masters degree. He can play Mister Mom while I go back to work. I could do insurance, or something else based on the certification I get. With his retirement pay, and me working full time, we would be sitting pretty. I'll be in my mid-40s when he retires, and could easily support our family. Caysen will be in college or out on his own by this time, and God-willing, we'll have at least one more baby in the house. Can you tell I'm a planner? I know that one of my "faults" is over-analyzing or trying to plan too much. With the military, the best laid plans will be ripped right out from under your feet, and you have to start all over. I've learned this in the last 4 years, but it doesn't keep me from being somewhat prepared.   I am working on getting a blog set up on blogspot.com and I'll share the link when it's ready and I start blogging over there. It's not going to be about just the sleeve. It'll be my recipes that I tweak, life happenings, and some of writings/poetry tossed in there for good measure.   Life is good. At a year out, I can honestly say a lot has changed. But, thus far, it's all changed for the better.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Military ball, swimsuits, swimming in the gulf, milestones

This last week was a whirlwind. We had the Security Forces ball on Friday, and it was awesome. I was complimented on my dress by a lot of strangers, and my husband's face just lit up every time someone told us what a great looking couple we were. I don't think I've ever felt so fabulous. It was my first ball, my first formal since my senior year prom. Least to say, it was emotional, and fun all rolled into one.   Saturday we headed out with some friends on their boat. We fished, swam, saw dolphins, and had a great time. I did buy a swimsuit, and felt amazing in it. I did buy a cover up, but it's just this lacy thing with sleeves. I felt confident walking into the shoppette on base just wearing that, and didn't think twice about anyone else seeing me. For the first time since 8th grade, that's 19yrs for those counting LOL, that I haven't been self conscious. Not to mention, this is the first time since 8th grade that I've owned a swimsuit. It was all new territory for me. But, I met the mental challenge head on, and conquered it. I couldn't believe that I wasn't worried about what people were thinking. I just let everything go, and I feel like a huge weight (no pun intended) has been lifted off of me. I am just living life for the first time, and you know what, it feels amazing.   We were busy all weekend. The husband got sunburnt and looks like a lobster, the kiddo told me how beautiful I looked in my gown, and I had an amazing time without all the worries, and self-doubt. That's huge milestone in my journey. I don't get many NSVs anymore, I'm just living, and that alone is the biggest NSV thus far. I had to realize that I was taking all the little things for granted. Like, not huffing and puffing after lugging groceries in from the truck, my knees not screaming at me after walking around the mall for 2-3 hours (sometimes more if I hit other stores when I'm in the shopping mood), all the things that made me miserable when I was fat are gone. Physically and mentally I'm stronger and healthier than I have ever been. That's not to say, that I don't have a bad day here and there, we all do, and I've learned that it's okay to have a bad day. I am still critical of myself, and my flaws. I want to not fret over the wrinkly skin, and for the most part, it doesn't bother me. Some days are just tougher than others, and I have to remind myself of where I came from, and look to the future.   The sleeve has given me a life I never had before, and I can't wait to live each day to the fullest.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Just when you think

you think you've got everything figured out, low and behold, you learn something else about yourself.   Today was a good day. I took Buddy (the 80lb German Shep) to the vet. Come to find out, he's awfully protective of me as he lunged at the guard at the gate when he reached for my military id card. I knew he was protective, but not that protective. At the vet, I opted to muzzle him before I let the tech get his vitals. Good thing I did because he was not a happy camper. But, all in all, the visit went great. Tomorrow is Hank's(the goofy, everyone is my best friend, basset hound) so it should be much easier.   So, you may be wondering what I learned about myself today. While at the vet, an attractive guy winked, waved and asked "how you doin?" in that almost Joey (from Friends) tone. I actually giggled like a 16 yr old school girl. I politely told him I was doing well. It was innocent, but good lord did it make me feel good. I think it still shocks me to get hit on by really attractive men. I mean, don't get me wrong, I never dated "ugly" guys. I had my preferences, and I have always been attracted to super cocky, assertive men. Umm, hence marrying my husband. What I learned today is that I may have dated a lot, had a full "dance card" so to speak when I was fat, but I never felt this way when I got hit on. I'm not sure I can fully explain it, but it was kind of cool to giggle and get that "blushed" feeling again after so many years.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

YouTube videos

A member here, youknowit, let me know she had seen my before and some after pics of me in some youtube videos.   Least to say, I did not authorize this usage of my photos. I contacted the poster, and advised them that they were violating the TOS of youtube. I'm assuming they snagged my photos from this forum because my OH is completely private. So, I went in and made my photo album here available to only my friends.   I gave the poster 24 hours to reply. If I do not hear from them, I will report the privacy violation to Youtube.   If your album is public, go to your User CP, hit Privacy Options, and then make it available only to your friends.   I'm not completely upset by having my pictures out there. It's the principle that the poster did not ask for permission to use them.   I realize the internet is not private. I realize once it's out there, it's out there. That is NOT my concern so I don't need a lecture on posting pics on the internet. My point is that the pics were snagged, and used without any consideration or authorization. Even a common courtesy to say "hey I'm making some videos on youtube and would like to use your pics." would have been appreciated.   Also, the poster has a weight loss forum/community (not just for WLS patients) that he/she is trying to get people to join.   So, least to say, we'll see what happens.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Update - total vent

Not a lot to report to be honest.   I'm having a love/hate relationship with my body right now, and honestly there isn't anything I can do to "fix" it. I'm doing everything "right", I'm eating, I'm enjoying life, but now the scale is being down right evil. I'm not sure how much smaller I can get. Last night and today, I'm weighing in at 123.   Honestly, I'm pretty damn devastated over it. I'm trying so hard to just maintain, and not lose anymore yet my body will not cooperate.   Just when I think I've got it figured out, I step on the scale and BAM 2-3lbs gone. I've even quit weighing every day. I wish it was just water weight, or bloating, but this is actual weight.   I told my husband last night that if I hit 120 I'm going on weight gainer. Because I refuse to slip below 120. I'm hoping my new work out routine will help build some muscle mass, and that will help stop the loss and even add some pounds back to my frame. I'm only going to lift weights, and do ab/core exercises. No cardio, I may go swimming in my neighbor's pool, but nothing to burn the calories I get in every day.   Mentally, I am absolutely drained. Physically, I feel great.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

BOUGIE stuffI Just to bookmark this for myself since this asks often

If you haven't seen this, I found this on OH, and think it'll give you an idea of honestly how minimal difference in a 32 and 40 really is.     Just a visual to offer more pictures of how minimal the difference is between the sizes your concerned about.   Here is a fabulous link for bougies. It physically lists every size of bougies, with the millimeter measurements. Scroll to pages 3 and 5 to see the table of reference for bougie sizes. http://www.medovations.com/pdf/Esoph...Dilatation.pdf

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Roadtrippin'

I'll be leaving tomorrow for Texas. So, I may not be around as much as I'll be with friends and family. The Skin on my IPhone sucks for forums, and I hate trying to navigate the site via my phone.   I'll check in here and there. And, will be keeping everyone in my thoughts ! ! !   Take care everyone, and I'll update when I return next Sunday. I'll be posting updates on Facebook as well.   Pray for us or keep us in your thoughts for a safe trip, and that I don't throat punch my mother while there.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Maintenance

This is going to be my last post about maintenance because every time I get excited about being able to maintain, I lose weight.   Maybe I'll gain it back. But, I've been tracking, yesterday, I managed to get in 1500 calories with the assistance of a late night snack(damn insomnia) and a glass of wine at lunch. Every other day I've been topping out at 1200-1300 calories per day with 60-80 grams of carbs, and 60-70 grams of protein. I'm eating a really balanced diet, and eating up to 6 fricken times a day. Eating cheesy poofs, and plenty of other no no foods occasionally.   Well, Sunday, I weighed 132 solid. Been holding between 130-132 for about a month now, and today, I hop on the scale and I'm at 128.5lbs. SERIOUSLY ! ! !   I've cut cardio, been walking a little more. Lifting light weights, and just doing crunches, haven't even been bothering doing my butt/thigh stuff.   I'm so frustrated, and truthfully just mentally drained over it. I can not eat anymore than I have been. I'm essentially grazing throughout the day to just sneak in 30-50 more calories per day. It's so exhausting.   I know many people would love to have this problem. I know I probably shouldn't be upset, and I hope none of y'all have to deal with difficulties maintaining. Losing was by far easier than maintaining. I feel like I'm force-feeding myself. I'm carrying snacks in my vehicle and purse to make sure I eat enough especially when I'm out and about.   I just want my body to settle into a comfortable weight. I am not going to drink weight gainer, or just sucking down milkshakes, but I have got to figure this crap out.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

I've lost that lovin' feeling

I have noticed over the last couple of weeks that the scale has become more of an afterthought. Maybe it's because I'm maintaining now, or I'm finally happy with where I'm at weight/size/shape wise. But, to be honest, I'm kind of mourning the loss of weighing all the time. I miss the high of jumping on the scale and seeing the numbers drop. I miss seeing the scale go down every day, and wondering what I can do to fill that void.   I've shopped until my little heart is content. I've decided to get some of my clothes altered because I didn't wear them that long, and I really love certain pieces.   I guess this is just a different phase of this journey that didn't really prepare myself for mentally or emotionally. I never denied being addicted to the scale, but I'm realizing that I am/was addicted to see those numbers drop every day. Now, it just says the same thing day in and day out.   I know I should be elated. I realize that I should be stoked about my results. But, from one addiction to another is a weird transition. And, now I'm left with nothing to find as exhilarating as the numbers on the scale going down every day.   Thought I would share my newest revelation. I need to find something to excite me and give me that "umph" of joy that I had during my losing stage.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Huge falling out with my mom

After 2.5 years of trying to get a normal relationship with my mom, it has all hit the fan again.   I can't even express my hurt, and true anger. I don't know if we'll ever get passed all of this, and if we do it isn't going to happen anytime soon.   Why does life have to be so difficult? Why can't we just get a long? When will I learn that it will never change?   Happily, I'm not seeking comfort in food. But, I am tired of allowing her to hurt me. I'm tired of trying to have a normal relationship and getting backhanded comments, and mean-spirited things said to me.   I tried to talk to her about it tonight, and it turned into a huge clusterf*ck. Now, I'm stuck going to Texas without John because he can't get leave, and nowhere to really stay because I don't want to stay with her after this episode. It's so complicated, and I'm so hurt. I don't think I'll ever be able to have a normal, healthy relationship with my mom. I've already lost the relationship with my father. I just want normalcy, and will admit that I am so jealous of other girls that have great relationships with their mothers.   I am so confused, and hurt. . .

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Rum and coke, Goldschlagger shots, and lots of carbs

WHEW, what a weekend I had. I traveled to Virginia to visit my best friend. Well, least to say, we partied down on Saturday night for the St. Patty's day celebration. I drank like a fish, rum and cokes, several shots of Goldschlagger, and then the eating was out of control, but only by the choices I made, not quantities.   I had an amazing time on vacation. It was by far the best 4 days I've had in a long, long time. I partied, got hit on, danced, got hit on some more, was told by SOBER men that I was "damn sexy". My best friend told me I look much smaller in person which was kind of creepy, but she said that I didn't even remotely look sick or malnourished. Of course, I had to shop, and she took me to colonial Williamsburg.   Overall, it was an awesome trip. Well needed, and I promise it was a blast. I didn't gain 1 pound while gone either. So, that rocks.   Now, I truly feel normal. I did drink way, way, way too much, but no hangover, no headache. And, when I say way too much, I mean, we ran through over $120 bucks in 5 hours between just the 2 of us, and that doesn't include all the drinks that were bought for us. I haven't drank like that in over 3 years. I'm not bragging, but I am admitting that I'm living a normal life. I wasn't binge drinking, just partying, having a good time, and got a good party night out of my system. If I only do it every 3 years or so, how can that be horrible?   Ehhhhh, it was great. Zero regrets, no issues, I didn't have one low blood pressure episode while traveling. Not once did I feel faint or dizzy. The fluids, and salt have definitely helped.   Anyways, so for those out there that wonder about drinking. Well, I didn't get super drunk quickly. I maintained a good buzz until about 1am, then everything, all the little details are a little fuzzy, okay a lot fuzzy ha ha ha.   I'll upload some pictures later on tomorrow or Wednesday.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Gained 2lbs, and guess what I'm okay with it

So, many of you know I've been trying to maintain my current loss.   Well, this week I've actually gained 2 pounds, and I'm not the least bit upset about it. Grant it, I won't allow myself to gain more than 3 more pounds as I am very happy with myself at 130-135.   But, I thought it was cool to not get upset over a 2lb gain. I've been eating anything and everything. Literally, and I'm feeling better and better every day.   My low blood pressure issues seem to be resolving with the fluid increase, and activity increase. It could just be water weight as I'm drinking more and definitely having more carbs.   But, I'm not worrying over 2 pounds. I know I could lose it overnight if I wanted to do so, and for the time being, I'm just going to enjoy living this normal little life I have now.   A size 6 feels pretty damn good to be honest, and I don't want to get back into 8's, but I know that I'm in control, and I can lose it if I feel like I'm playing with fire.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Leaving on a jet plane

On Friday, I'm catching a flight to Virginia to see my bestest friend in the entire world, and to meet my godson. Her priest allowed her sister to stand in my place during his christening. Anyways, I love to fly, but hated it because I was so fat before. Now, I'm actually looking forward to flying and being comfortable for the entire flight. I won't have to worry about squishing my neighbor, or the seatbelt not fitting properly.   I haven't seen Meghan in 2 years, and honestly she is my soulmate. I don't believe your spouse has to be your soulmate. I also believe you can have more than one soulmate. She has been a huge support for me through the last 4 years. She and I share a weird connection. Seriously, the last time we saw each other(2 yrs ago), and said our good-byes, both of our hearts hurt. I have never had a female friend that I could count on. She is simply amazing, and I honestly don't know what I would do without her in my life. She is one of the strongest women I know, and we've grown so much through our friendship.   I'll be gone over the weekend, and highly doubt that I'll have time to log onto VST with the exception of Friday afternoon sometime. We are going to the St. Patty's day parade on Saturday, and then bar hopping on Saturday night. I come home Monday evening, and will try to check in with everyone at that point.   Luckily, I have appointments, lunches, and bowling tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday I have a follow up with my PCP regarding the low blood pressure issues. So, hopefully my week doesn't drag on.   I'm so ready to go away for a much needed break. I love my family as you all know, but honestly I need to get away from everything here.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Life after WLS (cross posted from my Facebook note page)As I approach my 9 month post

As I approach my 9 month post-op mark, I am trying to maintain my current loss. I won't deny having trouble maintaining, but I am doing my very best to quit losing as I am in the normal BMI range, and I feel great at my current weight. I'm technically 20 pounds below my goal weight, but my ideal weight for my height and frame is anywhere between 114-129 pounds. Living life post weight loss surgery has changed me more than just the physical stuff. Mentally, I feel better, emotionally, well that's debatable because of the hormone flux that we endure when we lose large amounts of weight, but for the good news, I no longer seek comfort in food. I literally eat to live instead of living to eat.   I eat anything and everything I want just in moderation. I still eat Pringles and Snickers, but instead of eating the entire tube of Pringles, 5 satisfy me, instead of a King-size Frozen Snickers, 1 little Fun size bar cures my chocolate fix. It's really pretty fabulous. With the surgery I had, they removed about 75% of my stomach and with removing the stretchy part of the stomach (fundus) the hormone that causes hunger called Ghrelin is removed as well . I eat about 1 cup of solid food per meal, and I eat 4 times a day, with some snacks on some days. I honestly eat between 1100-1200 calories, about 65grams of carbs, and over 80 grams of protein per day without the use of protein supplements. So, by no means am I malnourished, or starving myself. My post-op lab work has been perfect, my resting heart rate has now dropped to normal levels, and I am more active. If I wasn't "healthy" or if I were "so sick", I believe my labs, and energy levels would reflect that. I've had several comments of what I would like to believe is genuine concern such as "I've never seen your face so thin" "you look sick". Well, no one has ever seen me under 200 pounds for the last 12 years. However, I recall so many comments from family and friends such as " you're such a beautiful girl, now if you could just lose that extra weight you'd be gorgeous." or "she's got such a pretty face" or " it's not too hard to just work out, and push yourself away from the table." "no one is going to marry you with as fat as you are" (boy were they wrong on that one, I married an amazing man), so what gives? Either you love me fat, or skinny, or keep the insensitive comments to yourself. Some of you may wonder why I'm posting this, honestly I'm just tired of the comments from people that are supposed to love me the most. Not to mention, the fact that they seem to forget that they made just the opposite of their comments to me for many years. Literally, I was 185 when I graduated high school, 237 pounds the day I delivered Caysen in June 1998, so of course, I'm not going to look the same 15 years later, and 140 pounds smaller from my heaviest weight.   I started the weight loss surgery journey at 270 pounds, and today I'm weighing 130 pounds. I've literally lost another human being or a little more than half of my former self. I'm not bragging or gloating by any means. I am damn proud of my success, and I am not ashamed of my choice to have weight loss surgery to use as a tool to get me to my goal weight, and help me maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. No one can honestly know the struggles of obesity until they have been there. No one can tell me that I made the wrong choice, and no one will bring me down. I haven't ever felt this amazing in my life. I can run around the backyard with Lil C, I can work out for over an hour without my entire body aching, I can walk through the mall for hours without getting winded, I can wear normal size clothing, I can fit into a doctor's office chair without worrying about if I'm going to have trouble getting out of it. I can fit into a booth at a restaraunt without having to scoot the table over closer to John and Caysen. So, whether you like that I'm not fat anymore, or you're concerned about my health, I wish you would of cared about my health when I was morbidly obese instead of worrying about my pretty face.   If you have a friend or family member struggling with obesity, don't tell them it's easy to just workout and eat less, don't tell them they have a pretty face, tell them that you love them, and you want them to get healthy so you can have them in your life for as long as possible. Encourage them, educate them on good nutrition, be an example not an enabler, and above all support them if they choose to make the very life-changing decision to have weight loss surgery. When they lose weight, celebrate with them, when they struggle because believe me it's still a struggle even with surgery, encourage them, and reassure them that they can successful.   Just my thoughts for the day.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

An overwhelmingly emotional day

Just a little backstory.   Harley our cat has been in my life for the last 11 years. My son and him have grown up together, and he was like a second child to me.   This weekend, we noticed some behavioral changes, listlessness, just not himself and then some labored breathing. Scheduled an appt with the vet, but today he declined severely and rapidly. I took him in this afternoon. And, after an x-ray and other diagnostics, it was determined that his prognosis was extremely grave. His symptoms came on extremely quickly, and today he had peripheal edema all over his body. His final diagnosis was some sort of neoplasia (cancer) with secondary kidney failure. There was nothing they could honestly give him that would give him the quality of life that I think pets deserve. I could chosen to give him lasix for a few days, but honestly it would not have given him anything more than a couple of days, and then he would decline again. We came to the heartbreaking decision to let him go. I bawled for 2 hours at the vet waiting for my husband to get off duty on base, and get to the vet. My son is heartbroken as this is his first loss of a pet. I was a vet tech for 12 years, and regardless of how many times I had to comfort 1000's of pet owners through this process, nothing prepared me for how I would feel at this very moment.   I was a single mom for 8 years before meeting my husband, and Harley was my best friend and like a second kiddo. He lived a fabulous life with us as more than just a pet. He slept with me every night, making biscuits on my belly, and would greet me at the door when coming home. This was our day in and day out routine. I definitely was not emotionally prepared for this, and watching my son say his final "good-bye" was absolutely heart-wrenching.   My husband and I stayed with Harley during the procedure as I don't believe in having strangers comfort our loved ones in their last moments. I chose to have him privately cremated, and his ashes will be returned to me in a little cedar box. I couldn't bring myself to bury him in Florida knowing that we'll get orders and move from here.   It was difficult laying in bed tonight and not have him there with me. I can only imagine how difficult the next few days, weeks and months will be as I will truly mourn this loss as I would any other loss of a family member. Harley was more than just a housecat, he was my comforter through all my complications post-op this past summer, he kept me company when John is deployed or away at training, he chased the 46lb basset hound around the house, kickin his ass and taking names. While I know we made the right decision, I almost can not forgive myself for letting him go. I made my husband promise me that he would not bring another cat home until I let him know that I was ready. John made it home a few minutes before myself and my son, he got his cat box, food and water bowls put away so I wouldn't have to deal with all that. Truly, my husband is my rock in situations like this, and I'm so grateful he was able to be there with me today.   If you pray, please keep my family in your prayers. I was outside tonight on my porch. star gazing, and I saw this beautiful falling star and all I could think to wish for was comfort and peace for my son. He understands that it had to be done, but it doesn't make it any easier on him. They were literally the best of buds for the last 11 years, and my son is only 11.5 years old. My heart is full of memories of Harley and his shenanigans, and I will cherish those memories forever.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Follow up appointment results

Today, I had my follow up with Dr. R.   He's elated with my progress, and told me that I am doing fabulous. He's asked me to come in and give a testimonial, and "set an example" as I am their most successful sleeve patient. Boy, that was pretty awesome.   I have excellent news. Before losing weight, my resting heart rate stayed between 115-125. But, my cardiac work up was normal. So, they just attributed it to my smoking and obesity. Today, my resting heart rate was 80 which is considered NORMAL. Unfortunately, I am having low blood pressure episodes, and he isn't sure what is causing this issue. He recommend that I return to my PCP for weekly blood pressure monitoring if it continues. I noticed the last 3 days when I would walk around the house, I would get dizzy, and even though my eyes were fully open, my eyesight would go black except for just little slits of light shining through. It was definitely un-nerving, and I'm not sure what is going on. I've never had blood pressure issues, high or low so this is an entirely new problem for me.   Other than that, my appointment went great. I broke down and went shopping again today, BUT I got a pair of leopard print flats, SUPER ADORABLE for 75% off at the military mall. I'm such a clearance whore, it's pathetic. I had put myself on a shopping ban for at least 2 weeks, but how can I pass up a pair of leopard print flats to wear with my skinny jeans for $8.50 ! ! !   Have a great week everyone. . .

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

I'm NORMAL

It's been a long time coming, but I finally have a normal BMI. Not that I allow that to determine my overall health, but it's pretty awesome, right?   I am still on restricted activity for another 4 weeks which is driving me crazy, and I honestly think that is contributing to me still losing. I can't work out, and I'm going crazy. If I could build some muscle mass, I could still burn the fat, but not lose the pounds.   I'm feeling good, and enjoying food again after gb removal, but it took nearly 10 days for me to be able to eat normally.   Other than that, not a lot is going on. I've been shopping way too much, and really need to cut back. I got my wok in this week and can't wait until I get to use it. I'm so stoked for some homemade fried rice and mongolian noodles.   Cheers, and I hope everyone is doing well.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Not a lot to report

I think I've hit that wall in my journey where a patient just kind of starts living, and forgets about surgery all together.   It's been 8 days since I had my gallbladder removed and finally today I weighed in at 141. They pumped me full of fluids for the surgery because eating and drinking was still painful immediately post-op. I gained 7lbs with the surgery. I hadn't been eating all that great since surgery until the last couple of days, and I'm fairly sure that's why my body was holding onto the water weight.   John caught a chest cold, and then passed it onto me. I've been sick all week, and downright miserable. Coughing is a chore, and definitely causes the incisions from GB surgery to hurt. I am still bloated, but finally feeling somewhat normal. I started taking a prescription cough syrup with codeine that I had leftover from last summer just to get relief, and luckily it's helping.   I've been cooped up in the house all week with the exception of lunch out of Tuesday. Once I got home, I felt horrible, spiked a fever and was hacking up a lung. I plan on starting the Wellbutrin again next week in hopes to be smoke free by March 1st.   We are no longer preventing pregnancy. We decided if it happens it happens. I'm still charting, and watching my cycle, but we're not trying to prevent pregnancy. The main reason for this change in our April plan is that I'm comfortable with trying, and John maybe making a change in career paths with the Air Force that will have him gone for 6+months for training. I'm ready to have a baby now. I really want to have a baby before I'm 34. My December birthday is creeping up on me, and I'm definitely feeling the crunch time.   Other than that, there really isn't a lot going on. I think I'm recovered from GB surgery, and have a f/u on February 22nd. I am pissed that my surgeon has restricted the majority of my working out, and weight training for an entire 6 weeks. I'll just have to wait it out, and try to deal with it. Mentally, I feel defeated, but I know it's only temporary. I really want to lose this stomach fat roll. It's keeping me out of smaller sizes. I am happy in a junior 9, and some 10's. But, when I hear about others being the same weight or even weighing a few pounds more than me being in a size 6, it just frustrates the snot out of me. I want to be in a smaller size, but my tummy fat won't allow it. No matter how "small" I get, I feel I'll always have this pouch/flap on my lower abdomen. I know that I can shrink it, and there is no sense in getting upset since I'm going to be pregnant. One day, I'll get it removed, or I'll work hard enough for it to not bother me.   Sorry for the rant. It's just one of those days.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Long term sleeve experiences and research links for VSG

I posted this on the forum, but wanted to a place to keep these links for people who need them.   List compiled by Mac on her OH profile.   Long-term Sleeve Experiences - 2 Years on January 15, 2010 9:11 pm   Diligence-is-always-required   Stalls-Happen   Update-from-a-2-Year-Post-Op-VSGer   2-year-surgiversary-and-feeling   Two-and-one-half-years-post-op   TWO-YEARS-YALL   Just-Passed-My-2-Year-Surgiversary   questions-for-post-ops-2-years-out-or-more   2-years-out-food-amount-info   anyone-2-years-out   Happy-2-year-anniversary-to-me   2-years-post-op-TODAY   2-5-Years-After-a-VSG   Everday-life-at-2-5-years-out   2-1-2-year-update   Has-it-really-been-2-years   2-1-2-year-update   Two-Year-Surgiversary   2-year-update-portrait-of-a-heavyweight-a-bit-late   Two-year-surgiversary 2-and-1-2-years-later 2-years-since-my-surgery-any-advice-on-face-lift   2-year-post-op-pics   Two-Years-Before-amp-After-Pic 2-year-update-portrait-of-a-heavyweight-a-bit-late Thought-you-might-enjoy-an-update-with-a-few-pics Busybusymom-is-back-2-years-post-op TWO-YEARS-BABY   Any-old-timers-still-lurking-the-boards   Long-term Sleeve Experiences - 3 Years on June 8, 2009 10:43 pm Three years out   Three and a half years after Vertical Gastrectomy My Story   A quick 2 year and 3 year VSG update   Third Year Surgiversay   Not always easy but always worth it   Very Discouraged 3 years out       Links for researching the VSG on March 15, 2009 11:18 pm Here are some links I've collected when I was researching the sleeve. ASMBS position paper on sleeve - includes reports of early studies LapSF Educational presentation to FACS - includes some 2 year results LapSF Two Year Study LapSF Five Year Study - abstract only LapSF Five Year Study - presentation (requires Windows to play) Literature review on the sleeve - requires $$ to get the full text unfortunately Sleeve best for over 50 crowd Video of a sleeve with lots of education discussion Video of a sleeve that is more about the operation Ghrelin levels after RnY and sleeve Ghrelin levels after band and sleeve Diabetes resolution in RnY vs. Sleeve Comparison of band to sleeve - literature review  

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

 

Gallstones it is. . .

I had a sinking feeling that my gallbladder was the culprit in all of this. I was hoping it was something simple like the Wellbutrin, but of course not, it requires that I have another surgery.   I went to the ER on Thursday night. Got a bag of fluids, 2 percocets, and a diagnosis of a UTI. The idiot doctor didn't even do an abdominal exam.   Anyways, on Friday, I called my bariatric nurse, and he got me in for a GB ultrasound, and abdominal CT. The u/s revealed a gallbladder full of stones. I was told that the surgeon would be informed, and hopefully they will get me in soon for surgery.   I left feeling pretty defeated. I'm back on a liquid diet, bland as it can be. Every sip, swallow, hurts.   My surgeon, bless his heart, called me this morning (Saturday) and told me to come in on Tuesday at 10am. He's hoping to get me on the OR roster sometime this week. As much as I don't want to endure another surgery, I can't handle hurting like this constantly. Not to mention the horrendous gas that has started since all of this.   Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts.   I'll try to keep everyone posted.

Tiffykins

Tiffykins

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