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Gastric Bypass Patients
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Everything posted by losing_the_band

  1. OMG! I found out last week that I was finally approved for my band-to-RNY revision, but I wasn't able to get my surgery date immediately. Well, I called a few minutes ago, and I'm going to have my RNY on Monday, August 24th! Holy crap! Now I'm officially freaking out, because I have to get all of my medical clearances done ASAP, and I have to buy my mom a plane ticket so she can come stay with me!
  2. losing_the_band

    Still being judged after death

    I don't see it as being particularly catty, either. She was being informed of the woman's death, and was basically stating that it wasn't a shock due to the woman's health. It would be like being informed of a mutual acquaintance's death from a heart attack and saying, "Well, heart conditions run in his family."
  3. I'm guessing that the confusion/upset over this is a generational thing. People that did not grow up with the internet don't understand that the internet in itself is basically a big free for all with zero privacy. This is a message board. The whole point of it is to have discourse with varying people, and you're relying on those people to be honest about themselves and trusting that they aren't distributing your photos and information around the world. I have seen people literally track down people offline based on the information that was provided on message boards and harass them at their workplace. This is why I do not post photos and try not to post anything more than the vaguest personal information, etc. You never know if the person you're talking with or arguing with online is a psycho. Bottom line: The internet isn't a therapist's office; there is zero expectation of privacy or confidentiality.
  4. I've still got some good quality jeans, sweaters, etc., from when I successfully lost 90 pounds with the lap-band, but I have to admit that I intentionally bought some smaller shirts yesterday, even though I can't fit into them yet (my revision to RNY is on August 24th). My justification is that I live in Miami, and it's always short-sleeve weather, but the stores don't realize that. They're going to start bringing in longer-sleeve shirts soon, so I needed to go ahead and get some shirts that I'll be able to wear later without dying of heat stroke. So, since they were on sale, I went ahead and picked up a few. Not many, since I still have some old stuff to pick through, but a few in each of the next couple of sizes down.
  5. Technical failure would be a slip, erosion, pouch dilation, etc., for the band. If you've got Cigna, that's the insurance I have, and I eventually won my appeals after my surgeon did a peer-to-peer with their medical director. Like I said, even though my insurance required a technical failure of the band, I was still able to get my revision approved without one. It just required more work to get it approved.
  6. First, you have to look at your insurance requirements, to see if there are any restrictions regarding a second WLS. Then, visit a surgeon (look for one that is highly experienced with revisions) to find out the status of your band, whether it has slipped, etc. Make a note of all possible complications that you've experienced. In my case, I had severe GERD because of the band and couldn't tolerate any Fluid in the band at all. I was also on my second band because my first one had slipped badly and had to be replaced. Make a note of any obesity-related comorbidities that you may still have or that have developed since having the lap-band. I'm not going to lie to you, it can be an uphill battle to get a revision, unless you're experiencing something urgent like a slip or erosion. Generally, even if your insurance allows it, you'll have to meet all of their requirements for WLS again, and even then, you might have a fight. I'm having my revision to RNY tomorrow, and it took almost 8 months for me to get approved by my insurance, since I had to meet all the requirements again AND fight them for 3 months for approval, since they were trying to deny me because there wasn't a "technical malfunction" of my band.
  7. losing_the_band

    That was slightly traumatic...

    If you do, make sure you go to a place that uses hard wax that can be pulled off by itself instead of using the fabric strips. I've always had my arms waxed with the fabric strips, but the place I went to this time uses hard wax instead. It's much, much less painful. I'd imagine that it's the same with the bikini area. (And if you do go for the Brazilian, I recommend trying to trim to about 1/4 inch before you go. The longer the hair is, the more painful it is when it gets yanked off.)
  8. My band-to-bypass surgery is on Monday, so I decided to go and get my arms waxed. I'm a hair-monster naturally, so yeah. IV tape getting pulled off hurts. I had the bright idea to get a Brazilian wax at the same time. I've never even had a regular bikini wax before. It a little traumatic, but it was actually not as bad as I was expecting. I mean, it hurt, especially in the more "tender" areas, but I've had worse, and at least it was over fairly quickly. And in the future, it should hurt even less, since the hair will be shorter and more even (I've got a big chest, so between it and my belly, "upkeep" was rather difficult. I was really expecting it to be excruciating, especially since my sister in law told me horror stories about when she went to get a bikini wax. She's a wimp when it comes to pain, though, so I should have known not to go by what she said. I felt so sorry for the poor waxer, lol. Between my weight, lack of flexibility, and the previously mentioned hair situation, she earned a good tip!
  9. I got my approval via peer-to-peer a few days ago, and I'm hoping to have my surgery date by Tuesday. I'm so ready for my band to come out. I want to get back on the losers' bench, and I can't wait until I no longer have pain in my side from this stupid port.
  10. I've tried a lot of them, and I've really not been fond of very many. When I had my original band surgery in 2007, I got a bunch of the Syntrax samples, and I couldn't stand many of them. I'm really sensitive to the flavor of artificial sweeteners, though, so many of the ones that get a lot of recommendations on various WLS sites are disgusting to me. The nutritionist for the surgeon that did my band replacement in 2011 gave me a sample carton of Premier Protein, and it is basically the only one I've found that doesn't make me wince to get through it, and I love that all I have to do is shake the carton and open it. Quick and easy, and I can add extracts and flavors to them to give me some variation (I use baking flavors, not the horrid sugar-free syrups). I still don't like the aftertaste, but it's tolerable.
  11. losing_the_band

    Looking for preop friends :)

    My head is spinning! I feel like the process of getting approved took so long, but once the approval came in, time is flying! I've got less than a week now, and I'm still trying to get everything ready. I'm stocking up on my protein because it's on sale at Costco, and I still have to get some more fluids/jello/pudding for when I come back from the hispital. Plus, I need to clean badly because my mom will be staying with me for a few weeks.
  12. I'm having my band-to-bypass surgery on the 24th (woot!), and I still haven't decided whether or not to tell my coworker/friend about it. I wouldn't normally (and have no intention of telling anyone else at work, since I got burned where I worked when I had to have my band replaced in 2011 and told people), but we go out to eat occasionally. With the band, I basically ate like a normal person, but that's not going to be possible with the bypass. I'm going to be very limited in what I can eat, and the amount (which is even more noticeable). On one hand, I don't want her to know, because after having a couple of people I trusted spread my band replacement around work, I just don't trust people not to gossip. On the other hand, she is my friend, and I don't want to possibly hurt her feelings, since she's already got some issues and feels like she's been abandoned by other friends because of them. And on yet another hand, I kind-of feel like her issues are not my responsibility. Any advice?
  13. losing_the_band

    To tell my coworker/friend or not...

    That's exactly what I'm worried she'd do. She's obese herself, but she on a huge "natural and whole grain" thing, and struggling to lose weight (no thyroid, and I think she doesn't realize how many carbs and how little protein she eats). She also tends to be self-righteous at times. I think I'm going to avoid telling her anything. The more I think about it, it seems like the right thing to do for me.
  14. losing_the_band

    To tell my coworker/friend or not...

    She doesn't even know I have the band. Right now, I can eat a relatively normal amount, since I have no Fluid in my band, so it will be really obvious when I go from eating a cup or two of regular food to eating a couple of ounces of pureed/soft foods. I normally wouldn't even tell her anything, but like I said, we do go out to eat every so often, so it will be obvious when my eating habits change, unless I just start avoiding going out with her.
  15. @@WL WARRIOR, Premier Protein does contain whey protein concentrate. Here's the ingredient list for the 11 oz RTD chocolate shake:
  16. losing_the_band

    Need advice:

    I'm having my band-to-bypass revision on August 24th (1 more week!). I also had a choice between the bypass and the sleeve. Originally, I was leaning toward the sleeve, but I changed my mind after doing some heavy thinking and research. I have PCOS, and that, combined with the way I had to eat with the band, has really screwed up my metabolism. I need the malabsorbtion component of the bypass to jumpstart my metabolism, since it's already used to me eating very restricted amounts of food. The sleeve is just like the band in that it's a restrictive procedure with no malabsorbtion. I've done the restriction-only route already. It worked fine for the first year (once I had some heavy-duty restriction), but eventually your body gets used to it and you have to work really, really hard to keep the weight off and/or continue losing. One of the most common side effects of the sleeve is GERD. I already have severe GERD whenever I've got restriction from the band, so that leads me to believe that I would likely suffer severe GERD from the sleeve, as well. GERD isn't anything to fool around with. People say, "Oh, it's only some acid." Yeah, well, that acid wears away the enamel of your teeth, it damages your vocal chords, you can aspirate it at night if you aren't really careful (and sometimes even if you are), and it can cause damage that leads to esophageal cancer. It's miserable when it's uncontrollable. With the band, I was eventually sleeping on a high wedge with two other pillows behind me, and still waking up choking at night, and that was WITH the proton pump inhibitor that my first surgeon prescribed AND not eating within at least 5 hours of bedtime. The sleeve doesn't have that many long-term statistics available as a stand-alone procedure. Sure, it could be hugely successful. I got burned with the band, though. When I had my band surgery, it was being promoted as the next big thing, with projected long-term results that rivaled or exceeded those of the bypass. After a few years, though, the crappy results started pouring in. Sure, I could take a chance that the sleeve is going to be great. But I've had two band surgeries (the original and then a replacement when the original had a massive slip), and I don't want to do this again. The bypass has proven long-term results that are really good, and are still looking like they're 10-15% better than the sleeve. And that can be quite a bit of weight, when you think about it. Plus, there are more and more reports coming in of people having to revise from the sleeve to either the DS or the bypass, so in my view, it's following the same pattern that the band had.
  17. losing_the_band

    Psych eval - is this normal?

    I went with www.BariatricPsychEvaluations.com. Granted, it was for a revision, but it was quick and painless and only cost $100. I was on the phone with the psychologist for less than half an hour, and they sent everything to my doctor very quickly.
  18. I've bought a few hundred dollars worth of perfumes in the past couple of weeks, lol. I've relatively recently become a perfume addict, and I tend to like harder-to-find (at least, hard to find off-line) perfumes, so I snatched up some good finds when I found them for sale at a good price.
  19. losing_the_band

    Feeling Like a Failure Today..

    @, have you thought about using a ready-to-drink Protein shake, so that you don't have to worry about making them? I recommend the Premier Protein shakes that are available at costco and Sam's Club (Walmart, too, but they're more expensive). They're actually pretty decent, for protein. (Of course, I say that as someone that can't stand artificial sweeteners and hates the taste of almost all protein powders.) They're 30g protein per shake, with 160 calories and 4-5g total carbs (1-2g sugars) depending on flavor. My nutritionist makes me get a minimum of 80g protein every day, so I usually have two shakes and then get the rest of the protein from other sources. With the chocolate ones, I sometimes add extracts or baking flavors (not the nasty sugar free syrups) to give me a change. I really like the chocolate with almond extract or coconut flavor added, and I'm trying to find some fruit extracts of flavors online to add to the vanilla.
  20. losing_the_band

    ? About clearances

    I would not recommend trying to do the clearances yet, as most of them have to be done within a certain time period before surgery. You never know if you're going to have a fight with insurance, like I did. I had to go back and forth with appeals for 3.5 months before I was approved for my revision, so if I'd tried to do my clearances early, I would have just had to do them all over again, since they all had to be done within 30 days prior to having surgery. Now, once you get your date, I would try to get them done ASAP, because there might be follow-up things that you have to do that may require some waiting (a sleep study, in my case). I only had 3 weeks notice, and I wasn't going to be able to get in to see my PCP for a week and a half, so I had to go to a new doctor for my lab tests. Luckily, I was able to get everything done in about 1.5-2 weeks (delayed a few days because my pulmonologist required me to go for the sleep study before she would clear me), so now I'm just waiting for everything to be forwarded to my surgeon's office on Monday.
  21. losing_the_band

    Nervous about long-term consequences

    The way I look at it is this: Yeah, right now you're basically healthy, other than weight. The reality is, though, that isn't going to last. Even if you just consider the weight in and of itself, our bones and joints simply weren't meant to be under that kind of stress long-term. Even if you don't see the effect now, there's damage being done, slowly but surely. Research has proven that once someone reaches morbid obesity, the likelihood that they will lose weight and keep it off long-term with just diet and exercise is less than 5%. I know we all like to think of ourselves as being exceptional, but we have to look at this with a bit of humility and admit the truth: in this, the vast majority of us are NOT exceptional, we simply are not going to be the exception to the rule. So basically, to put it bluntly, the only options are: stay morbidly obese and watch your body eventually start to fail attempt to be the exception to the rule and lose weight and keep it off long-term through diet and exercise, with a 95% chance of failure have WLS, not be diligent about taking care of your nutritional and physical needs, and causing major problems have WLS, monitor your health carefully, and be proactive about exercise and making sure that you're getting all the nutrients that your body needs to be healthy
  22. losing_the_band

    Looking for preop friends :)

    Finally, all of my pre-op stuff is done and forwarded to my PCP, who can then do his clearance and send it to the surgeon! The end is in sight! I've had to basically harass my pulmonologist today to get them to fax everything the PCP needs.
  23. losing_the_band

    Looking for preop friends :)

    Well, it turns out I do have very mild sleep apnea. Basically, 1-5 is so mild that insurance won't pay for treatment, and mine is an 8. They still want me to get a CPAP, though. I don't completely understand why, since even the doctor said I'd probably only be using it for a few weeks. Personally, I think it's a money grab for them, but whatever, I've already paid my insurance deductible, lol. It's not going to delay my surgery, though. The doctor said they'd send the clearance to my PCP so he can send all of the clearances to my surgeon.
  24. losing_the_band

    Looking for preop friends :)

    I feel like I'm driving all over creation today. I did my home sleep study today, so I had to drive to Fort Lauderdale (I live in Miami) to drop off the equipment. Then over to Margate, FL for my pre-op education class, then I drove home. Of course, I just got a call from the pulmonologist to come back to Fort Lauderdale to go over the results of the test. And some time today, I need to sleep because I work midnights. I need everyone's good thoughts, because I'm hoping there's nothing wrong with the sleep study results.
  25. My band-to-bypass surgery is on Monday, August 24th. I've been working on getting my clearances done. I've gotten my labs done, my cardiology clearance, and had my initial appointment with my PCP. Today, all that was left was my pulmonology clearance appointment this morning, and then meet with the PCP again tomorrow to get everything together and have him do the official medical clearance. And guess what? The pulmonologist decided she wants me to do a sleep study, even though I have zero symptoms of sleep apnea and she even said that she didn't think I had it. And of course, the place that does the sleep studies couldn't get me an appointment until the 20th. THE 20TH! The Thursday before my Monday Surgery, so they wouldn't even have the results until Friday! I was doing everything I could in the office not to cry, because I was completely convinced they'd just screwed up my surgery. So, I tried to calm down, went to lunch, then went home and reread my pre-op education booklet. And lo and behold, there's a statement that says that they require all clearances to be delivered to them 3-4 business days before the surgery, which wasn't going to happen if the pulmonologist wouldn't be able to make her report until the Friday before. So then I got to call up the pulmonologist's office and tell them that they're either going to have to talk the sleep study place into seeing me sooner, or waive the sleep test (since, again, I don't have sleep apnea!), because my surgeon's deadline for clearances is much sooner. I get to pick up the stuff for the study tomorrow, now. I'm actually going to have to take sick leave from work to do the study, since I work nights and break my sleep up during the day into two 4-5 hour blocks. I'm still a little grumpy about this, lol. I have absolutely no issues with sleep that aren't caused by either working nights and sleeping during the day or my cats waking me up, I don't snore, and I'm not drowsy during my "day." And the pulmonologist even said that she doesn't think I've got it. This is an absolutely unnecessary test for me, since my insurance doesn't require it and my surgeon doesn't require it.

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