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Things You Wish You Knew/did/didn't Do Before Your Procedure....

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~*~ Melissa ~*~


Hey everyone!


Thanks for taking time to read my mini blog this evening. I am 27 days away from my procedure and absolutely can't wait to begin this new journey! One of the things I am looking forward to most is completing a Zumba class-- doing all the lunges, jumping jacks, etc. that I was unable to do before because of two factors: 1. My knees; 2. Embarrassment of watching my fat jiggle and jump up and down around stick thin people.


For those who have gone through the surgery, do you have any advice on things you wish you knew/did/didn't do before your procedure? I keep hearing stories of people who ate everything and anything they could think of prior to the liquid diet, setting them roughly 20 pounds back. Ouch!


Also, has anyone had any issues with hair falling out? What are you doing to prevent this??


Many Thanks!



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I started biotin a little bit before surgery. A week before surgery I had to go off all vitamins & minerals. I started the biotin as soon as I thought I could swallow the pill at home.

If you drink any pop (diet or regular) or coffee quit now! Quit before you have to go on the pre-op diet.

I can only tell you things that made things easier on me. I brought one of those soft cuddly comfy throw blankets from Target (mine was brown, one side was soft and comfy and the other side was fluffy). I had it freshly washed and it smelled like home (Downy). It was my comfort in the hospital, I cuddled with it in the chair and it made me happy.

I went into the surgery smiling and humming. Made my nurses hum, even hummed my favorite little theme song to my doctor and anesthesiologists and nurses. It made everyone smile and lighten up and I was told I was one of the most positive people going into surgery and I woke up positive.

I found a decaff tea that was refreshing to bring to the hospital plus I bought my own artificial sweetener (truvia). I tried several decaff teas (after quitting coffee). Bigelow Peppermint Tea fit the bill with truvia. It literally calmed my tummy and felt better than water at first and even though it went from warm to cold, it tasted good cold. Hospitals normally serve hot tea with generic artificial sweetener in a coffee cup. It's not appetizing it smells like coffee though it's hot water. I probably have mentioned this 100 times since surgery in posts. This was my saving grace.

Bring Cottonelle or Charmaigne Box of wet wipes. After surgery your privates feel nasty (after getting the catheter out). It's a little harder to urinate on your own. Wiping yourself is a little hard because your tummy is swollen, but getting some of the orange stuff off you makes you feel cleaner. I also kept a brush on my table, because it was such a comfort to brush my hair because it became a birds nest.

When you go for your walk around the ward, bring along one of those mouth stick wipes because if you talk while you walk, your mouth will dry up on you so fast, especially if you are given the anti-nausea patch and anti-nausea shots.

You will be most likely be receiving shots in your belly every so often for blood clots. I wasn't prepared for this, nor was I prepared for a drain. Ask the doctor if you are getting one. The ted hose they use and compression thing I was afraid of but it actually didn't hurt and was comforting, I was nervous about those. If the ted hose starts rolling down and hurting, makes sure you get someone to fix it.

I made sure I kept my mouth sticks, water and peppermint tea and spirometer and I brought my own Kleenex (Vicks) type to the hospital. Those I made sure were close to me. When I would wake up during the night I would make sure I used the spirometer. I am prone to pneumonia and I used it OFTEN. I would take my big brown blanket and ball it up with a pillow and then cough. I still use it and it's 19 days out.

My hardest part of surgery (I was in the hospital 5 days) was the leak test. I had an allergic reaction to the Gastrique used and it was really hard on me. My face, neck and chest turned a bright red and I got dizzy and sick. Most people just feel sick from their first drink being something like that.

Things I did not use. I didn't use my kindle, didn't change clothes once (all the iv's getting any real pj's on there is no way.) I did have a pair crocs that I used to walk in, which was more stable to me than wearing their socks.

When I came home getting in and out of bed was not easy for me, and I spent a lot of time sleeping in the lazy boy. I walked as much as I could and I started spacing it out 20 minutes walking through the kitchen, living room and dining room 3 times a day.

I had the drain for 9 days and the last few days it started bugging me. Getting it out, was not comfortable but there was HUGE relief getting it out. I could finally actually breathe again.

Realize that no two people heal alike. There are people that sound as though they have surgery and go home and are out walking miles in the first week. You may have had previous abdominal surgeries and have more scar tissue, you may have never had one and aren't used to it and take it harder. Everyone recovers differently and don't compare your experience to others because it's unneeded frustration. Try to remain positive, even when the going gets tough. I had only questioned my decision when I had the reaction to the gastrique, and then when my drain got infected (I have lupus), they were fleeting.

I have tried to stay positive otherwise and it's done me well. I have a brain tumor, and I suffer from Lupus, I had diabetes and sleep apnea, and I suffer from raynauds and severe migraines and I have a lot of things that could contribute to me not staying positive. I had complications during my surgery which were pretty severe and still I would do it all over again. I will be 49 in August, which is how old my Great Grandmother Died due to obesity, and I am built just like her.

Good Luck to you and stay positive, keep a fun song in your head that day, be it a theme song - like Brick House, or whatever current music you like. Mine was the Theme from Sanford & Son and old TV show that I loved as a little girl. The music is happy & funky and to remember the look on my surgeons face or remember the nurses trying to hum it or my husband and son humming it as I was being wheeled out still makes me giggle :)

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hi Melissa

congratulations on your pending sleeve - we're all excited before being sleeved.

I was one of those horrible people that did go on a food "funeral" eating way too much - like i was never going to eat them again. its not true that you can't have whatever you want later after surgery, just in small portions.

i'm 6 months post op - never never eaten a sweet, cuz that is my BIG downfall. i don't want to eat a "little" bit, thats like teasing myself.

My advice pre-op concerning the food, you can eat a little more before your WLS, but don't overdue. i regret pigging out too much. whats done is done.

6 months post up im down 75 lbs - 20 left - so i've done pretty well.

some people do lose some hair. i was one the lucky ones - that didn't have any problems with hair loss.

the subject has been spoken of the board - so write a question.

my other regret is that i never did i BLOG. you've obviously got that covered -good for you

best wishes

good luck


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Hey there. My nutritionist wasn't too concerned with hair loss for the sleeve, mainly the bypass procedure.

My regret is I wish I would have tried more protein drinks and been more familiar with how much liquid I need to drink. I passed out from only drinking a small amount of fluid after day 3 because I felt full when I took a sip. I didn't know that the water and drink would flow right through and that I should be drinking all day long.

In terms of trying protein drinks, I just bought one kind of powder and didnt care for it after surgery. it seemed way too sweet. I have since tried several different powders and Isopure drink flavors and have been able to mix up my "protein meals".

I am very glad I had the sleeve, but this feeling of appreciation is new. I am about 4.5 weeks out from surgery and within the past week (after getting off of the liquid phase) I am finally losing weight (8 pounds in about 10 days). Do not be too hard on yourself when in the first 3 weeks you arent losing anything. Once you start incorporating the mushy foods and regular meals, you will see a difference!

Good luck!

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Thanks for the helpful information, ladies!

@MinaT: SOOOO many helpful tips and suggestions... WOW! I was never big into coffee but pop/soda is a habit that needs to be broken. I usually drink up to 20 ounces per day - eek! After reading your post this morning, I decided to take my remaining cans and donate them by placing in the breakroom at work. Instead, I grabbed a crystal light lemonade packet and sipped on that throughout the afternoon. Who knew how good 5 calories and 0 grams of sugar could taste!?

@Kathy: Thanks for the advice and support! Congrats on all your hard work over the last 6 months. You're almost there!!

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I wanted to tell you about when I woke up from surgery.. I thought I was going to die for about 24 hours.

I had a nausea patch behind my ear. I touched it and touched my eyes (do not recall when. how or why) but this caused my pupils to dilate for about 4 days. I couldnt read close up and everything was a tad blurry.

I was VERY nauseous and needed my pain medicine, just in the hospital, as soon as I was allowed to have it.. every 4 hours I think.

Because the IV was wide open, I had to PEE literally every hour. My doc wanted me moving as soon as possible, so I did not have a catheter . . so every hour... on the dot.. even through out the night, I had to yell for my husband to unhook my legs from the massager thing, my IV from the wall, and help me to the toilet.

THANK GOD for the On-Q pain pump! (ASK FOR THIS at your last pre op appointment with your doctor.. you will need it). The on-q pain pump is kind of like a small hose with holes in it (very small) that goes under your skin during surgery and releases a little bit of numbing medicine for about 3-5 days (mine lasted 5). This is the only way I made it to the bathroom or was even able to move. Once it was time for it to come out, I was really sore and could only imagine what pain i would have been in if I didnt have that thing.

The nurse had me swallow some pill that was ground into powder with a little bit of water. . 2 minutes later my friend stopped by to visit me.. i was gagging to throw up as I was talking to her, so do yourself a favor and save visits for family who are ok seeing you look like death and won't bother you. you really just need to concentrate on walking, breathing normal, swallowing water, and resting! I was really glad after that my mom had my friends wait a couple of days. By day 3 I took a shower, got my nappy hair into a pony tail, and had a splash of make up on.

I got really annoyed with people asking me how much weight I had lost... I mean.. come on.. this started day 2.. I was not up to stepping on a scale because I knew I was pumped full of fluids and swollen and it was pointless. . dont weigh yourself until your first doctors visit.

I think that is everything I wish I knew or had heard to kind of prepare myself! Good luck!

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Don't freak out if you gain weight while in hospital. I brought home an extra 10 lbs! And then found out most people do. It came off the first week, but still, if you're not prepared it can freak you out. Also, I loved my heating pad in the hospital and after.

It felt so good on my tummy, very soothing. Good luck.

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Indeed Joni!!!! I went into surgery 229 - I came home and on Saturday I weighed 235!!! I'm 18 days out and I weigh 213 pounds.

Sami made a great point about going to the bathroom....if you have nobody there and you are in bed, after you get the catheter out, it's weird going to the bathroom for a while. If you feel like you have to go press your buzzer, because it takes a little bit for the nurse or na to show up, then they have to unhook you from the leg compressor things, unhook your iv and pain pump from the wall, move your bed into a better position so you can find a way to fidget getting in and out of bed. I got some of my best sleep, sitting on the stupid toilet. I refused to go back to bed until I went. There was times I would have to stand, sit, turn the water on, and I knew I had to go, but it does take a while for your kidneys to start working again normal. It also takes a while for your bowels & intestines to start working. Don't hesitate to sit in there or go for a walk because I know I had a few times I woke up realizing I had to go and felt trapped in bed. I also had a few times I felt trapped in bed (because the sides were up) and I rushed and had to sit and just wait for the piddle to happen).

Oh and press your pain pump if you need it. I had to be told by my nurses to press it, I always forgot about it, or couldn't find it. I think I should have used it more, to make the experience a little better, but all in all. I was a champ.

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If you have a drainage tube, bring a safety pin to clip it to your clothes so it isn't dragging on your tummy when you walk around. Also, if you have a lanyard, it is awesome to clip the tube to that when you take a shower. I heard that advise from someone on here and wished I had known about that before my first shower!

And to whoever said that the hot water used for tea in the hospital smells like coffee, you are spot on! I thought I was weird for thinking that.

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Not sure what else i could add since all those before me had really great advice, all of which I wish I had before I had my sleeve done. If you do need help getting up and going to the bathroom while in the hospital definitely press that nurse's button. I used to lay there and wait until one came by (when checking my vitals, etc.) and then I asked if they could help me get up, disconnect me, etc. I don't know why I did that, but i guess I almost felt like I was inconveniencing them, strange I know. Best of luck to you!

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@ Kamrie it does, so I asked the nurses to bring me a large styrofoam cup of hot water to make my own tea. I brought my Peppermint Tea and Truvia to the hospital. If you like splenda bring it - because it's just generic crap at the hospital.

The hospital provided a safety pin for the drainage tube, but when I came home, I think the lanyard would have been awesome. I always safety pinned it to my shower curtain after I got the water to the right temperature but I would have to stand a little weird.

At Emy I felt the same thing. I actually dropped the buzzered thing and I sat there in tears one night waiting for someone to show up.

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Oh my goodness! Thank you SO much for all of the wonderful advice. I can't thank you all enough for taking time to answer my blog. I spent the evening writing and organizing everything in a notebook so I can review and have with me during the recovery process.

Thanks again. I owe you all the world and more <3

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If you don't have a lanyard, use a piece of yarn or string to hang your drain around your neck while you shower. It was easy to adjust it to just the right length.

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I did not have a catheter or a drain for my surgery. I used the pain pump to the minute I left the hospital. I left the hospital about 30 hours after the surgery. The hospital gave me a pillow after surgery to hug when I coughed or laughed. They let me take it home. It was helpful for the first 3 days of recovery. I did not have nausea after surgery so no patch for me. People visited me as soon as I got out of recovery. My visitors made me laugh and kept things positive. I had those leg bags that were inflated, annoying but helpful for bloodclots. I, too, tried not to call the nurse to go to the bathroom. But they were so helpful and kind...

I was allowed to eat what I wanted before surgery, in normal portions, so I could eat favorite foods and kind of morn my pre-surgery life. I gained 5 lbs but the doctor didn't seem upset. I really don't miss those foods now. I am 20 weeks out and I do not regret my decision one bit. I am happy with small portions because that is all I can eat. I have problems with getting in all my fluids, 64 ounces. I just do the best I can. The weight is coming off. I and the doctor are happy. Hope this helps as a balance to some of the other experiences.

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