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Everything posted by UXgrrl

  1. UXgrrl

    Anti-Inflamatory Med?

    Long-term NSAID therapy bring with it a host of stomach-related concerns, which can be ameliorated somewhat by concurrent use of a good PPI. I was self-medicating with way too much Alleve until my stomach started hurting, and then they moved me first to Disalcid (with prilosec) and then Mobic (with protonix). I wasn't allowed to take my NSAID until 4 weeks after surgery, and believe me I was effectively disabled until I could. If you are interested in trying a medication, this is something to discuss with your doctor, especially with the VSG aspect. Make sure you know what the warning signs are of a potential stomach reaction, as (I've heard) they can progress quickly once they start.
  2. UXgrrl

    Calcium Question

    I was told in the hospital that once I hit 12 weeks and was on a normal diet, I should switch from Tums (which I'd been chomping since surgery) to some form of Calcium citrate. Apparently -- and this is a hot topic in the nutrition world so don't be surprised if you hear the opposite -- if you have reduced stomach acid, like if you're taking a PPI or have had VSG, the citrate is better absorbed than calcium carbonate, which is what Tums and most other (cheaper) forms of calcium. I started taking the Celebrate brand calcium chewable wafers and they are a struggle. They are huge and I don't much care for the flavor or texture, and I have to take them 3x a day. I bought a 90 day supply... what was I thinking? :doh:
  3. UXgrrl

    Meat Just Ain't What It Used To Be

    I've been obsessed with shrimp cocktails lately. I've been buying the flash-frozen deveined shrimp from Trader Joes and taking 4 or 5 out at a time. Boil those a few minutes and then set them outside in a snowbank to chill for 20 minutes or so. Great with TJ's seafood sauce too. Tasty and fast! I think I burned out on chicken for awhile. That was my sole Protein source for several weeks and honestly there isn't a prep method that sounds appealling to me at the moment. Still love a good steak -- fortunately that doesn't bother me -- but maybe it's time to explore the seafood and fish arena. I've never been a big fish eater but lately salmon has been showing up more frequently.
  4. Uh oh... please keep us posted... crossing my fingers for you!
  5. UXgrrl


    Ibuprofin and other NSAIDs are allowable after VSG surgery. It's the main reason why I was approved for the procedure by my insurance; I have early onset osteoarthritis and take Mobic for joint pain. They gave it to me in the hospital but didn't want me taking it once I got home. This confused me, so when I talked to the PA at my first follow up appointment, she told me they only do that because you're under supervision anyway, so if something were to happen they could deal with it. Also, a couple of days of taking it wouldn't have a big negative impact, and it would help with my pain level. They gave me the go ahead to resume taking it at 4 weeks. I noticed a big decrease in my overall pain once I was able to start again -- there was no way I could go back to work until that point. The way the surgeon put it, once you hit 6 weeks, your stomach is pretty much healed. Definitely check with your surgeon. I've been on long-term NSAID treatment so my primary doc and other members of my regular care team know what to watch for. Someone who is taking OTC NSAIDs may not have the same supervision.
  6. UXgrrl


    Maybe you've been consuming more sodium lately?
  7. I also developed very early... I was a C cup by the time I got to high school. I've had back and shoulder problems my whole life. I've also been overweight my whole life, and the doctors always told me I had to get within X lbs of my ideal weight before insurance would approve a breast reduction. At the time that made me really angry but having lost a good chunk of weight I can now understand why. At the time of surgery I was a 42H. I'm still wearing my old bra but it really isn't doing much for me -- I'm procrastinating going bra shopping -- and they have definitely started sagging. In fact, I was looking at my pre-surgery and 7 week photos side by side and I thought to myself, "oh shoot, I didn't wear a bra the second time." I was careful to wear the same clothes and stand in the same position, etc. Then I looked at the same photos of myself undressed and realized that I didn't have bra marks on my shoulders. I wasn't wearing a bra either time! My upper stomach has shrunk to the point where my breasts are at least three inches lower than they used to be, and I still have a ways to go. I read on this board that when you have WLS, you might start with a 42DD but you end up with a 36 extra-long. I think I won't have trouble qualifying for a breast reduction this time around :biggrin5:
  8. UXgrrl

    Shapewear Benefits

    I've been eyeing shapewear for awhile now but hesitated buying anything because I found them so uncomfortable. After reading this thread I started doing some research and decided that part of my problem was that I was trying to wear the "high waist brief" style and it was forever rolling down in the back. The back fat and the upper stomach are the two main points I wanted to cover. After debating about installing hook-and-eye closures to connect the top of the brief to the bottom of my bra band, I discovered the "torsette" which I swear was a *^$ing revelation to me. I spotted the Sweet Nothings Wear Your Own Bra torsette at the local Wal-Mart for about $20 and figured it was worth a try. I didn't even know what size to get. To my shock, it fit perfectly! and it worked! I was able to wear a pair of pants that were just a tad too tight to be comfortable and a shirt which was much more fitted then I was used to, and I got compliments all day long. It made me feel secure and confident, and it stayed in place all day. It was was only a minor inconvenience in the bathroom. Certainly $20 well spent and now I know what style to get when I invest in my next one. I've never been a fan of shapewear and always thought they were sort of self-inflicted torture (sort of like pantyhose) but I admit I can see the benefits now. As I lose more weight, I'm discovering that in order to fit into clothes that are properly sized I'm needing a little "assistance" in some areas.
  9. I've been shaving in the shower for years and years too, I think since high school. I'm naturally hairy everywhere (at least it's blonde). Long ago I saw some kind of daytime talk show that some some big time model (name escapes me) who said, point blank, that she's been shaving her face for years and lots of models do it, and she didn't look at all apologetic about it. That's the point at which I said enough is enough. I have very dry, senstive skin and waxes, creams, etc. cause all sorts of problems, so I've been using the Shick Intuition razor ever since it came out. They are pricey, but you don't have to buy a separate shave cream so I figure it evens out. I do use the same razor for my legs but I don't shave them all that often, mostly because A) I'm lazy and it's winter, and it really dulls the razor quickly. I don't use a mirror in the shower because I can just do it by touch, but it would probably be handy. I do get razor burn consistently on one side of my neck. I don't know why, it could be part of the sensitive skin thing. Dabbing a little antibacterial ointment on it makes the red bumps go away overnight (I usually shower in the evening).
  10. First of all, Congratulations on the 120 lb loss! That's absolutely amazing! You must have already noticed a big difference with being over halfway to your goal. With regards to your stall, you sound like you're doing everything right, so I guess the next thing is to check with your nutritionist or a dietician and see what s/he has to say. Have you gotten your body fat % checked? Is that going down? Any other non-scale measurements changing? Maybe your body is at a resting point for the time being. I don't know about other people, but I'm finding as I go down, my body wants to "stick" at points that I've spent a lot of time at in the past. Maybe this is something you really just have to wait out. I know other people have written about stalling for months and months at a time. Please don't take offense, but Is revising the sleeve to another kind of WLS an option for you or something you'd be willing to consider? Maybe you need a little bit more help to get through the second half of your WLS journey.
  11. UXgrrl

    My Nails Won't Grow?!?

    BigToeVSG is correct about the Protein... also, take another look at your Vitamin intake. Are you getting enough? I know that when I was on prenatal Vitamins both times I had my kids, my nails grew like crazy. Some of that could be pregnancy hormones but my kids' nails also grow like crazy, and they take special chewable children's vitamins with Omega-3, Probiotics, etc etc. My nails also have been growing a little more postop but I tend to bite them off. Bad habit.
  12. UXgrrl

    Im Soo Sleepy

    I was having a problem with fatigue and general achiness so I decided to go back to my vit D drops. I hadn't been taking it since surgery since I was on so much other stuff, and I didn't want to give myself an overdose... Then the other day I was looking at my old blood tests and realized that my D has been chronically low for awhile, even when I was taking my normal Multivitamin preop, so I decided it couldn't hurt. I've been adding 4 or 5 1,000 IU drops to my shake each morning for a week and I've been noticing my energy & general well-being has improved noticably. I also finally kicked the chest crud that was hanging around since surgery.
  13. My partner and I have a tradition of going out for sushi on my birthday every year. This is coming up in mid February, and by then I'll be 10 1/2 weeks post op. My surgeon's diet plan has me transitioning to a normal diet at 6 weeks. I absolutely adore sushi. It's right up there with chocolate for me. My favorite parts are the nori (seaweed) and the rice, but not so much the raw fish or roe. That being said, what are people's recommendations for making sushi sleeve-friendly?
  14. I can relate because I'm struggling with the same issue. I'm just not seeing it yet either. The weight that I'm at now doesn't feel like a big deal because I've been there before in recent memory. I've lost big chunks of weight in the past, it's the keeping it off that's always been the problem. Part of me is sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop and for this whole process to quit working, like it's always done before. I think once I get into "onderland" I will finally believe that it's really true. I've heard from others on this board that it can take quite awhile for your mental self-image to catch up with what other people see, or even what you see in the mirror.
  15. UXgrrl

    Its Your Period Dummy!

    YES, I hadn't had a normal period in 3 years before surgery. Then BOOM right away I get a flow from hell, and then another one 3 weeks later. I visited the tampon asle at the store for the first time in years and discovered they made "ultra" absorbancy tampons now (one step above "super plus"). Let me tell you, they may seem like a good idea at first, but they swell up to the size of a baseball which makes getting them back out kind of tough. Ahem... sorry, TMI. :biggrin2: ETA: I think the period that came right after surgery was heavy because of the blood thinners I was on... I had the same thing happen after I had hip surgery before... but that doesn't explain Auntie Flo #2....
  16. Okay, it's lunchtime and I'm up for some mental gymnastics... I read somewhere that it takes a 3,400 calorie deficit to lose a pound of body fat. One gram of fat, when consumed, is 9 calories (according to the equation for figuring out hidden carb grams in a given food; carbs and Protein are both 4 each.) There are 459.59 grams in a pound. So logically, it would mean that you'd have to burn through 4,082 calories to burn off a pound of fat from your body. There's a 682 calorie deficit unaccounted for somewhere. Now, I recognize that there's probably weight of blood, muscle tissue, etc. etc. factored in along the way, but nearly 700 calories seems like a big oversight. That's about the number of calories I eat in a WHOLE DAY. Interestingly enough, I'm averaging about 4.4 lbs a week weight loss in the 9 wks since surgery. That's a deficit of 14,960 calories a week, or 2,137 calories a day (assuming the 3,400 calories/lb value). I'm averaging about 600-700 calories at day in food intake. That means it takes 2,700 to 2,800 calories a day just to MAINTAIN my weight at my current activity level (which is pretty minimal). I'm not quite sure what to make of this. I'm fairly certain that if I ate that much pre-op, I'd gain 10 lbs in a month, easily. Judging by how cold I am, I'm fairly certain my metabolism has gone DOWN, not UP. Thoughts, anyone?
  17. UXgrrl

    Check My Math...

    Duh! I knew I was tripping up with the numbers somewhere. I've never claimed to be good at math! This has been a fascinating discussion, especially Circa's point.... ...which actually makes a lot of sense to me. Thanks for contributing everyone!
  18. UXgrrl

    I'm So Scared Of Being Hungry!

    I still feel hungry after surgery, but it's nowhere near the insane, half-crazed "I'M STARVING" signals my body was giving off beforehand. I know a lot of it had to do with low blood sugar and dehydration, because I had a really bad habit of getting so involved in something that I'd forget to eat until I literally couldn't ignore it anymore and swallowed anything that was nearby, in huge quantities. Of course then I would be feeling sick, and go into a carb coma, leading to an insulin spike, then low blood sugar... ad nauseum. One of the blessings of this surgery for me has been being forced to re-learn how to eat... in smaller quantites, at regular intervals, and be more diligent about fluids and Vitamins. It's been hard, and there's been MANY times when I got mad at myself/my stomach/the world because I was tired of doing the work and I wanted a break for awhile, where I could eat what & whenever I wanted and in whatever quantity I wanted. I wanted to eat mindlessly again, which was obviously soothing for some reason. It's been hard finding an alternative comfort mechanism. I'm still interested in food, and I still taste things normally (things were a bit off for the first month, like bleu cheese dressing turned my stomach), but on more of an abstract level. I've always enjoyed cooking, but now I cook in smaller quantities, and use smaller pots and pans.
  19. UXgrrl

    Bougie? (Mispelled)

    Huh! Interesting, thanks for that info. I measured that length with a piece of paper and rolled it into a tube and almost fainted. That's f*&^#ing small!
  20. UXgrrl

    Vanity Sizing

    "Vanity sizing" is exactly what you all think it is... smaller numbers appeal to (generally women's) sense of vanity. Wikipedia has a good article on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanity_sizing I first learned about it when I was doing period costuming in high school and early college... it's really absolutely ridiculous and makes it so hard for shoppers that they have proven it leads to higher levels of brand loyalty, because you can't figure out what size you're supposed to try on. Vanity sizing even extends to toddler girl sizes...my 3 year old daugher's clothes are about the same size as an 18 month old boy's clothes, and she's not a petite girl. Conversely she's still wearing some of her size 18 month knit pants. So does that mean that vanity sizing goes in reverse with very young children? Because it's somehow better for little babies to be "big" for their age? Long ago, when the numbers really bothered me, I used to cut them out of my clothes. I also made a lot of my clothes, and by the time I finished altering the patterns they weren't a off-the-rack dress size anyway, but a frankenstein of three or four different sizes. I guess the rule of thumb is to TRY EVERYTHING ON!
  21. UXgrrl

    Bougie? (Mispelled)

    I asked my surgeon what size bougie he used and he didn't even let me finish asking the question before he started to answer. Clearly he got that question a lot. Anyway, he didn't use a bougie, he used a flexible endoscope as a guide; the logic being that he could look inside the stomach at the staple line as he withdrew it to check for seam integrity. They didn't do a leak test on me before allowing liquids or purees in the hospital before I was discharged. Sometimes I wonder what size bougie the endoscope would translate to, but we all have such variations in the LENGTH of our stomachs, that I think the millimeter differences between different bougie sizes is pretty inconsequential. I do felt left out of the the "mine's smaller than yours" comparisons though
  22. Oh dear, you should be looking at the lactose-free dairy products. I've been lactose-intolerant since childhood so post-op I didn't even chance it and went right to Lactaid. There's also so many non-dairy options out there (soy, rice, almond milks). Check your store's organic section. Don't let yourself keep suffering!
  23. Sounds like exactly what I went through. It was even in the same place that you describe, and when they discharged me from the hospital it looked fine... and then the scab fell off and left a scary-looking crater in my skin. I put Neosporin on it and covered it with a bandaid. I did this for about four days and it kept oozing thick green/yellow goop and seemed like it was getting bigger and redder, so I went to have it looked at. I also made the mistake of googling MRSA and scared myself to death. I don't recommend it. Anyway, the NP looked very carefully at it with the thing they stick in your ear and said it looked ok; it was full of "granulated tissue" which is a normal stage in healing. She thought I was allergic to the Neosporin (!) and prescribed some Bactracin to use instead, and told me to cover it with gauze and tape so air could get at it. My skin reacted very badly to the tape I was using (I tried three different kinds because I couldn't get it to stick, so it started to get raw and bleed). Also, one night after my shower I was looking at it and noticed a stitch poking out of it. It looked like a piece of very thin fishing line. I pulled and it zipped halfway down the wound. I clipped off almost a half inch of suture material with a nail clipper. Miraculously, the sore immediately started getting better and was completely covered over about a week later. At my 6 week followup at the surgeon's office I asked about it; the PA said that it sounded like I had an allergic reaction to the sutures. I've had surgery before and didn't have this trouble, but I've heard that you can develop allergies at any time to anything without warning. So whether it was the sutures or the ointment or both, I don't know. Definitely get yours checked out, but it's probably fine.
  24. UXgrrl

    Sweet Potato Bake

    Bet you could put some unflavored or vanilla flavored Protein powder to amp the protein up a bit... And at the mushy stage I couldn't eat 1/2 c. of anything at one sitting, so higher protein would be advantageous at that point.
  25. It sounds like you're doing everything right, so its time to start looking into other potential sources of your exhaustion. I went through something similar and was tired all the time, and my doctor ordered the full workup, blood tests, you name it. Eventually I ended up getting a polysomnograph, or a overnight sleep study. They were pretty sure that I had sleep apnea, because of my obesity, and even pre-fit a CPAP device before I went to bed in case they needed to come in midway through and put it on me, but it turned out I had a sleep phase disorder instead, as well as Periodic Limb Movement disorder. I already was pretty sure I had Restless Leg Syndrome, so this came as no real surprise. My paticular sleep phase disorder takes the form of being an incurable night owl, another thing I already was struggling with. I was chronically short changed on sleep, and on the weekends or on vacation I'd revert back to my normal sleep patterns (ideally 3am - noon) which made the workweek miserable. What worked best for me was melatonin and Mirapex for the RLS. You may be a different story. It's possible that something is happening during sleep which is preventing you from sleeping deeply enough; if so, the sleep study will help identify that. Good luck!

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