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CowgirlJane

Gastric Sleeve Patients
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  1. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from desertmom in Sleeve Stretching   
    I don't really know, I just know that although they removed the really stretchy part of the stomach, it is possible.
    I suspect that much of the regain is from people grazing, eating too often, eating the wrong foods, not being active, not following the sleever rules - not just from too much at one sitting. My doctor did say that you can stretch it enough to lose that feeling of good restriction pretty easily. I think you can also potentially cause esophagal dialation if you get over full too regularly.
    Sounds weird, but the smaller I make my portions, the less hunger, the less acid I feel. Yesterday I splurged a little and I don't feel as well today so I am back on track with tiny portions!
    I am sure you are aware, but those first weeks are so critical to avoid being over full while you are still healing to reduce risk of complications.
  2. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from SlevieNicks in Virtual Model -Fun   
    I looked alot worse at 308 then their model does...
  3. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from littlebits in 60 Day Blues...   
    A bit of advice, stop being so focused on the scale, on how you "compare" to what you PERCEIVE to be expected weight loss. Focus on the journey, new habits, following the rules. Focus on your new life that will becoming so real as the pounds come off.
    I personally went through a bit of a "malaise" when I was about 6-8 weeks out. I am not sure why... but maybe it was because I had gone through it all, i was still pretty dang fat, nobody could see the difference and I didn't like that food didn't taste good anymore. I was also SOOO tired.
    My advice on the exhaustion is to get plenty of sleep, be sure you are getting adequate fluids and try to do at least some gentle exercise because that will actually help your energy pick up. I would say that my energy wasn't really back to normal until I was two months out.
    You will find, that one day you are wearing clothes several sizes smaller, people are saying "wow, you look great" and you notice you can move and do things so much easier. It is like it just takes a while but it really does add up and in a few more months i promise you will feel better. Just keep on following the rules and keep the faith.
  4. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from SlevieNicks in Virtual Model -Fun   
    I looked alot worse at 308 then their model does...
  5. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from Glendaaus in Would You Do It Again?   
    YES!
    I have written a few long posts about how this has changed my life - in summary, I am living a life I want to live now. I started out 150 pounds overweight - it is pretty hard to emjoy a full life carrying that load.
    I have had no serious complications and LOVE being free of the overwhelming drive to eat.
  6. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from Jill279 in What A Difference Properly Fitting Clothes Make! No "w" On My Clothes!   
    I do high intensity Water aerobics most every Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, my swimsuit about fell off (I bought it in February when I was still about a 24W or thereabouts) so when I saw that Macys had clorine resistant suits for 50% off I had to snap one up. I was so excited to pick a black suit with hot pink trim including a zipper up the front! My inner thighs are gross so I wear these sorta bicycle short things under the suit. the total effect isn't too hideous. The suit I had before was a tankini worn with shorts which was great at first, but when it got too big, it was a little bit of a train wreck. It did cover my thighs, but I was in danger of stepping out of the pool and leaving the suit behind - something I DON'T want to have happen!
    Anyway, NSV #1 - I fit into and 18! Not an 18W, and actual honest to goodness 18! I started in the 26W range, and what a difference!
    NSV #2 - I had 3 people in my Water aerobics class come up and tell me how good I looked, how i must have lost weight suddenly and how much they liked the suit. I saw these same people on Tuesday, but wearing a dumpy looking too big suit just isn't flattering and they really noticed the difference.
    I am starting to feel so much closer to "normal" sized even though I still have a lot to lose.
  7. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from Jill279 in What A Difference Properly Fitting Clothes Make! No "w" On My Clothes!   
    I do high intensity Water aerobics most every Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, my swimsuit about fell off (I bought it in February when I was still about a 24W or thereabouts) so when I saw that Macys had clorine resistant suits for 50% off I had to snap one up. I was so excited to pick a black suit with hot pink trim including a zipper up the front! My inner thighs are gross so I wear these sorta bicycle short things under the suit. the total effect isn't too hideous. The suit I had before was a tankini worn with shorts which was great at first, but when it got too big, it was a little bit of a train wreck. It did cover my thighs, but I was in danger of stepping out of the pool and leaving the suit behind - something I DON'T want to have happen!
    Anyway, NSV #1 - I fit into and 18! Not an 18W, and actual honest to goodness 18! I started in the 26W range, and what a difference!
    NSV #2 - I had 3 people in my Water aerobics class come up and tell me how good I looked, how i must have lost weight suddenly and how much they liked the suit. I saw these same people on Tuesday, but wearing a dumpy looking too big suit just isn't flattering and they really noticed the difference.
    I am starting to feel so much closer to "normal" sized even though I still have a lot to lose.
  8. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from Jill279 in What A Difference Properly Fitting Clothes Make! No "w" On My Clothes!   
    I do high intensity Water aerobics most every Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, my swimsuit about fell off (I bought it in February when I was still about a 24W or thereabouts) so when I saw that Macys had clorine resistant suits for 50% off I had to snap one up. I was so excited to pick a black suit with hot pink trim including a zipper up the front! My inner thighs are gross so I wear these sorta bicycle short things under the suit. the total effect isn't too hideous. The suit I had before was a tankini worn with shorts which was great at first, but when it got too big, it was a little bit of a train wreck. It did cover my thighs, but I was in danger of stepping out of the pool and leaving the suit behind - something I DON'T want to have happen!
    Anyway, NSV #1 - I fit into and 18! Not an 18W, and actual honest to goodness 18! I started in the 26W range, and what a difference!
    NSV #2 - I had 3 people in my Water aerobics class come up and tell me how good I looked, how i must have lost weight suddenly and how much they liked the suit. I saw these same people on Tuesday, but wearing a dumpy looking too big suit just isn't flattering and they really noticed the difference.
    I am starting to feel so much closer to "normal" sized even though I still have a lot to lose.
  9. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from Glendaaus in Would You Do It Again?   
    YES!
    I have written a few long posts about how this has changed my life - in summary, I am living a life I want to live now. I started out 150 pounds overweight - it is pretty hard to emjoy a full life carrying that load.
    I have had no serious complications and LOVE being free of the overwhelming drive to eat.
  10. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from Jill279 in What A Difference Properly Fitting Clothes Make! No "w" On My Clothes!   
    I do high intensity Water aerobics most every Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, my swimsuit about fell off (I bought it in February when I was still about a 24W or thereabouts) so when I saw that Macys had clorine resistant suits for 50% off I had to snap one up. I was so excited to pick a black suit with hot pink trim including a zipper up the front! My inner thighs are gross so I wear these sorta bicycle short things under the suit. the total effect isn't too hideous. The suit I had before was a tankini worn with shorts which was great at first, but when it got too big, it was a little bit of a train wreck. It did cover my thighs, but I was in danger of stepping out of the pool and leaving the suit behind - something I DON'T want to have happen!
    Anyway, NSV #1 - I fit into and 18! Not an 18W, and actual honest to goodness 18! I started in the 26W range, and what a difference!
    NSV #2 - I had 3 people in my Water aerobics class come up and tell me how good I looked, how i must have lost weight suddenly and how much they liked the suit. I saw these same people on Tuesday, but wearing a dumpy looking too big suit just isn't flattering and they really noticed the difference.
    I am starting to feel so much closer to "normal" sized even though I still have a lot to lose.
  11. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from Jill279 in What A Difference Properly Fitting Clothes Make! No "w" On My Clothes!   
    I do high intensity Water aerobics most every Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, my swimsuit about fell off (I bought it in February when I was still about a 24W or thereabouts) so when I saw that Macys had clorine resistant suits for 50% off I had to snap one up. I was so excited to pick a black suit with hot pink trim including a zipper up the front! My inner thighs are gross so I wear these sorta bicycle short things under the suit. the total effect isn't too hideous. The suit I had before was a tankini worn with shorts which was great at first, but when it got too big, it was a little bit of a train wreck. It did cover my thighs, but I was in danger of stepping out of the pool and leaving the suit behind - something I DON'T want to have happen!
    Anyway, NSV #1 - I fit into and 18! Not an 18W, and actual honest to goodness 18! I started in the 26W range, and what a difference!
    NSV #2 - I had 3 people in my Water aerobics class come up and tell me how good I looked, how i must have lost weight suddenly and how much they liked the suit. I saw these same people on Tuesday, but wearing a dumpy looking too big suit just isn't flattering and they really noticed the difference.
    I am starting to feel so much closer to "normal" sized even though I still have a lot to lose.
  12. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from amytug in Warning<< Gastric Sleeve Surgery Failure Dr Rod   
    Other countries do have good medical care - including Mexico. I have never heard of this surgeon and maybe the take away for all of us is that our odds of a good result are better by going to a surgeon with a proven track record and happy patients - regardless of the country.
  13. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from Gettinhealthy in Surgery Failed Today!   
    So sorry to hear of this, i hope it turns out to be "nothing" and you can get rescheduled. i too would have been horribly disappointed {{hugs}}
    Good remarks in here about the preop diet. Mine was 2 weeks of lowcarb, under 40 total carbs a day. I was so paranoid that the second week I was staying under 20 total carbs a day. I about passed out I felt so horrible and weak, but doc reported no fatty liver so I was happy. Seems weird I only lost 8 pounds, but I wasn't necessarily eating low calorie. I don't really understand the docs that have people do the colon cleanse or whatever - to the best of my knowledge, liver shrinking which is done by low carbing is the purpose of the preop diet.
  14. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from Gettinhealthy in Surgery Failed Today!   
    So sorry to hear of this, i hope it turns out to be "nothing" and you can get rescheduled. i too would have been horribly disappointed {{hugs}}
    Good remarks in here about the preop diet. Mine was 2 weeks of lowcarb, under 40 total carbs a day. I was so paranoid that the second week I was staying under 20 total carbs a day. I about passed out I felt so horrible and weak, but doc reported no fatty liver so I was happy. Seems weird I only lost 8 pounds, but I wasn't necessarily eating low calorie. I don't really understand the docs that have people do the colon cleanse or whatever - to the best of my knowledge, liver shrinking which is done by low carbing is the purpose of the preop diet.
  15. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from danyelleb in Depressed   
    What do you mean by "eating normally"?
    Most of us have instructions to eat several small meals a day, to not have beverages with food, to chew slowly, to eat Protein first followed by healthy veggies... not really room for other stuff. I eat a variety of foods but i don't think most people would consider what I just described as "eating normally" - especially the no beverages with food.
    I am sorry you are depressed, it is easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others. It helped me alot to think in terms of percentage of excess weight. If you have 50 to lose, losing 25 is half way there. It isn't fair to compare yourself to someone who has 200 to lose for example.
    I have done great, am thrilled with my progress, 85 pounds in just over 5 months - couldn't be happier. However, if i get caught up in comparing, i read lots of people talking about how awful it is to be basically the same weight i am now! They are STARTING where I am at now and I feel like i have already scaled a mountain.
    Anyway, my point is really that this is an individual journey. We all lose at different rates. Some are steady, some seem to do it in sprints and then have a stall. If you are following doctors instructions, and avoiding snacking while following the "rules" the weight will come off.
    At about 6 weeks out, I upped my exercise intensity as I had been walking and wanted to kick it up a notch. That has worked great for me and I am loving a more intense routine.
  16. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from danyelleb in Depressed   
    What do you mean by "eating normally"?
    Most of us have instructions to eat several small meals a day, to not have beverages with food, to chew slowly, to eat Protein first followed by healthy veggies... not really room for other stuff. I eat a variety of foods but i don't think most people would consider what I just described as "eating normally" - especially the no beverages with food.
    I am sorry you are depressed, it is easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others. It helped me alot to think in terms of percentage of excess weight. If you have 50 to lose, losing 25 is half way there. It isn't fair to compare yourself to someone who has 200 to lose for example.
    I have done great, am thrilled with my progress, 85 pounds in just over 5 months - couldn't be happier. However, if i get caught up in comparing, i read lots of people talking about how awful it is to be basically the same weight i am now! They are STARTING where I am at now and I feel like i have already scaled a mountain.
    Anyway, my point is really that this is an individual journey. We all lose at different rates. Some are steady, some seem to do it in sprints and then have a stall. If you are following doctors instructions, and avoiding snacking while following the "rules" the weight will come off.
    At about 6 weeks out, I upped my exercise intensity as I had been walking and wanted to kick it up a notch. That has worked great for me and I am loving a more intense routine.
  17. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from lil lee in Compression Spanx   
    I didn't start wearing Spanx etc until after significant weight loss. It takes like a size off me!
  18. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from iwannabslim in Are We All Doing This Too Soon?   
    I read this the other day, but wanted to think a little before responding. I think the OP and the discussion raises some enormously important points.
    I am a project manager, I make "risk based" decisions everyday. That means, weighing the possible outcomes, trying to judge the probabilty and impact of those outcomes - and making a decision. I basically did that when I got the sleeve, and it took me a long time. I am not a medical expert, but i listened to them. I read as much pros and cons as I could and threw some grains of salt into the glowing pros because early euphoria is not really what I was looking for - I want long term success at weight management with minimal risk of bad side effects or consequences. I had EXACTLY the same reservations that are expressed here.
    I was banded in 2001, right before it was FDA approved. I thought I had reseached it, but I was fooled by a group like this one, (it was a yahoo group called Bandsters). At that time, there was a lot of peer pressure - people who weren't having big success simply didn't reveal. There were a couple of dominant personalities in that group and basically, anybody who wasn't successful had "compliance" issues.
    I did okay at first, but I was never super successful with the band. Worse then that, the reflux was a nightmare. I can go on and on. Anyway, I had the Fluid out about 2003/early 2004 due to uncontrolled reflux and lived with the band until 2011. I didn't feel shame for being fat, I felt shame for FAILING at a WLS that I thought pretty much everybody else succeeded with. It made me very skeptical of all the claims about WLS, it made me skeptical of myself. I was convinced that I had a "compliance issue" and would surely fail with the gastric bypass or anything else too. In hindsight, I realize I was pretty hard on myself.
    I lost weight on weight watchers - kept that off for quite awhile, but then in recent years tried everything and couldn't keep weight off for more a few monhts... the regain was always so fast. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, I saw counselors to find and hopefully cure my "eating disorders". They kept asking me how I felt when I wanted to eat... they didn't think "hungry" was a legitimate answer.. I really didn't make progress on that front either.
    I was pushed hard by my sleep apnea doctor to get some weight off. The doctor that looked at my arthritic kneed and told me it needs replacing soon, practically begged me to get weight off. They were both compassionate, but very firm. I could always say "I am healthy" but in truth, I at 47 I was starting to have physical issues. They shared with me real stories of patients, and in the case of the surgeon, about his mother. They painted a picture of the road I was on... 300+ at 47; what is life going to be like at 57, 67... if I made it that long. They shook me up.
    The sleep doctor convinced me to meet with a surgeon that he knew. Great guy, great reputation but he felt strongly I would fail with a restrictive procedure (oh, the non compliance thing again) so steered me toward the gastric bypass. I started the process, but at some point decided that I was just too scared and would rather die young then do that procedure. This may not be rational, but it is where my head was at.
    I came across another place that advertised "weight management" services that required a two year commitment to their program and as I read about their program and thought... I need to try again. I got lucky and the director/founder of that business is who I talked to. She listened to my story and said... have you considered the gastric sleeve? I told her about me failing at the band etc etc and she said, please, before you do anything - talk to these guys and referred me to the surgeons they work with. (they have a weight management program that is non surgical but she identified that I was not a good candidate for that due to lifelong obesity and high BMI at the time. The stats don't lie - deck is stacked against people in that situation). She said something that stuck with me.... as much as the deck was stacked against me, a lifetime of obesity, one failed surgery she said I had going for me one very important thing - I never gave up. That little comment gave me some hope.
    I met Dr Billing and he spent the time to really talk to me about obesity and theories, research and surgeries. He spent such a long time with me, I am so grateful for that. He gave a sobering assessment too about risks of revisions - things can happen. He agreed that the revision to the gastric bypass was riskier and stongly recommended the sleeve. One of the docs in their practice has had the sleeve, and another one's wife has had it done - they really believe in this procedure. He also referred me to a bariatric doctor (non surgeon) to work with. She, combined with Dr Billing changed my view of the whole thing.
    There are physical reasons I am hungry all the freaking time!!!! I am not denying personal responsibility, i realize it is lifestyle and choices, but, I was swimming upstream trying to overcome the obesity cycle I had been deeply caught up in my whole life! He told me that it is possible to break free without surgery, but the odds aren't good.
    He also told me my band needed to come OUT as it had slipped, I had pouch dialiation - it needed to go. I was not mentally ready for it, but I went ahead with the band removal surgery... still deciding about the sleeve.
    About 2 days after the band came out, I was hungry hungry hungry even more! I couldn't believe it, even my failed band had been helping somewhat. My gosh, wonder if I would have weighed 400# if I hadn't had that crapband in there - maybe I should give it some credit.
    I went to the bariatric doc (not the surgeon) and followed her program which kept me from gaining 50# but I was becoming frantic and even depressed over what was happening. The drive to eat was out of control. I am not sure what clicked, but at some point, I could no longer deny that I needed a tool to help me. I could not deny that my life was being negatively impacted by my obesity. I could not deny that I was starting to not be able to do the things I love and that everything was such an effort. (I could still wipe my butt, but I know what she meant, everything just gets so hard when you are that heavy). And I was miserable always feeling like food was the most important thing in my life since I just had a drive to eat.
    I am reminded of the quote "I was going downhill faster then I could lower my standards"
    So, because i had one foot in the door on this whole deal, I had some of the presurgery things taken care of including insurance approval. Then, in November 2011, I found out my insurance was changing. The new insurance specifically excluded the Gastric Sleeve, but still covered the gastric bypass. I did some soul searching and then booked it for December before the new insurance kicked in. At the time, I didn't like that pressure, but in hindsight, it was the kick in the butt I needed after dallying with this whole subject for a year.
    I wound up with a different surgeon (who is also amazing) in the same practice because my doc was on vacation in December.
    It was a huge leap of faith. I still don't really know what problems, or weight regain I might have in 5 years, 10 years. I have risked being "fooled again" by the hype - I know that.
    For me, the risk was worth taking because I just could not keep gaining weight. I could not remain in that high BMI catagory - that wasn't me and wasn't the life I want.
    Anyway, I am only 5 months out, but my success has already surpassed anything I achieved with the band. It has also been easier so far, and so far, I don't experience hunger all the time. My whole relationship with food is changing. I am not claiming the war is over, but I have been winning many battles. I have heard it said on this forum "the sleeve is everything the band promised but didn't deliver" - I agree with that statement.
    My blood work is the envy of the medical and nutritionalist staff (like wow, fasting blood sugar of 77 for example and I was pre-diabetic, triglicerides all that are in the outstanding excellent catagory). I feel like a million bucks. I am doing stuff with my horses again and loving on it. I am so active, I have so many choices of what to do, where to go, where to shop - all that. I no longer feel like the morbidly obese person who has no business doing horse things. I no longer feel the constant drive to EAT. I feel more like ME. I still have lots of weight to lose (I am still obese even, but in a whole different weight class now), but I am so happy with how this is going I can't even express it adequately.
    My life is becoming a life I want to live.
    So, back to the original point. Yeah, I am skeptical. I still wonder sometimes when the shoe will drop and I suddenly have "mental issues" with food. There is a part of me that still believes this whole situation is a character flaw on my part, even though I fight that. Seems to me that my issues with food have pretty much gone away since I am not starving 24/7, but time will tell. My docs openly disclosed the limited data on long term results of this exact procedure, based on the stomach size they are currently using. I just couldn't wait another 10 years to see how the studies turned out, so for me the risks as I understand them now, are totally worth the benefits, as I understand them now.
    Here's to a great next 10 years - I am determined to be one of the good statistics!
    (my signature shows I still have 66# to lose, but I have lost over 80# in the 5 months and am much closer to normal sized person now)
  19. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from iwannabslim in Are We All Doing This Too Soon?   
    I read this the other day, but wanted to think a little before responding. I think the OP and the discussion raises some enormously important points.
    I am a project manager, I make "risk based" decisions everyday. That means, weighing the possible outcomes, trying to judge the probabilty and impact of those outcomes - and making a decision. I basically did that when I got the sleeve, and it took me a long time. I am not a medical expert, but i listened to them. I read as much pros and cons as I could and threw some grains of salt into the glowing pros because early euphoria is not really what I was looking for - I want long term success at weight management with minimal risk of bad side effects or consequences. I had EXACTLY the same reservations that are expressed here.
    I was banded in 2001, right before it was FDA approved. I thought I had reseached it, but I was fooled by a group like this one, (it was a yahoo group called Bandsters). At that time, there was a lot of peer pressure - people who weren't having big success simply didn't reveal. There were a couple of dominant personalities in that group and basically, anybody who wasn't successful had "compliance" issues.
    I did okay at first, but I was never super successful with the band. Worse then that, the reflux was a nightmare. I can go on and on. Anyway, I had the Fluid out about 2003/early 2004 due to uncontrolled reflux and lived with the band until 2011. I didn't feel shame for being fat, I felt shame for FAILING at a WLS that I thought pretty much everybody else succeeded with. It made me very skeptical of all the claims about WLS, it made me skeptical of myself. I was convinced that I had a "compliance issue" and would surely fail with the gastric bypass or anything else too. In hindsight, I realize I was pretty hard on myself.
    I lost weight on weight watchers - kept that off for quite awhile, but then in recent years tried everything and couldn't keep weight off for more a few monhts... the regain was always so fast. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, I saw counselors to find and hopefully cure my "eating disorders". They kept asking me how I felt when I wanted to eat... they didn't think "hungry" was a legitimate answer.. I really didn't make progress on that front either.
    I was pushed hard by my sleep apnea doctor to get some weight off. The doctor that looked at my arthritic kneed and told me it needs replacing soon, practically begged me to get weight off. They were both compassionate, but very firm. I could always say "I am healthy" but in truth, I at 47 I was starting to have physical issues. They shared with me real stories of patients, and in the case of the surgeon, about his mother. They painted a picture of the road I was on... 300+ at 47; what is life going to be like at 57, 67... if I made it that long. They shook me up.
    The sleep doctor convinced me to meet with a surgeon that he knew. Great guy, great reputation but he felt strongly I would fail with a restrictive procedure (oh, the non compliance thing again) so steered me toward the gastric bypass. I started the process, but at some point decided that I was just too scared and would rather die young then do that procedure. This may not be rational, but it is where my head was at.
    I came across another place that advertised "weight management" services that required a two year commitment to their program and as I read about their program and thought... I need to try again. I got lucky and the director/founder of that business is who I talked to. She listened to my story and said... have you considered the gastric sleeve? I told her about me failing at the band etc etc and she said, please, before you do anything - talk to these guys and referred me to the surgeons they work with. (they have a weight management program that is non surgical but she identified that I was not a good candidate for that due to lifelong obesity and high BMI at the time. The stats don't lie - deck is stacked against people in that situation). She said something that stuck with me.... as much as the deck was stacked against me, a lifetime of obesity, one failed surgery she said I had going for me one very important thing - I never gave up. That little comment gave me some hope.
    I met Dr Billing and he spent the time to really talk to me about obesity and theories, research and surgeries. He spent such a long time with me, I am so grateful for that. He gave a sobering assessment too about risks of revisions - things can happen. He agreed that the revision to the gastric bypass was riskier and stongly recommended the sleeve. One of the docs in their practice has had the sleeve, and another one's wife has had it done - they really believe in this procedure. He also referred me to a bariatric doctor (non surgeon) to work with. She, combined with Dr Billing changed my view of the whole thing.
    There are physical reasons I am hungry all the freaking time!!!! I am not denying personal responsibility, i realize it is lifestyle and choices, but, I was swimming upstream trying to overcome the obesity cycle I had been deeply caught up in my whole life! He told me that it is possible to break free without surgery, but the odds aren't good.
    He also told me my band needed to come OUT as it had slipped, I had pouch dialiation - it needed to go. I was not mentally ready for it, but I went ahead with the band removal surgery... still deciding about the sleeve.
    About 2 days after the band came out, I was hungry hungry hungry even more! I couldn't believe it, even my failed band had been helping somewhat. My gosh, wonder if I would have weighed 400# if I hadn't had that crapband in there - maybe I should give it some credit.
    I went to the bariatric doc (not the surgeon) and followed her program which kept me from gaining 50# but I was becoming frantic and even depressed over what was happening. The drive to eat was out of control. I am not sure what clicked, but at some point, I could no longer deny that I needed a tool to help me. I could not deny that my life was being negatively impacted by my obesity. I could not deny that I was starting to not be able to do the things I love and that everything was such an effort. (I could still wipe my butt, but I know what she meant, everything just gets so hard when you are that heavy). And I was miserable always feeling like food was the most important thing in my life since I just had a drive to eat.
    I am reminded of the quote "I was going downhill faster then I could lower my standards"
    So, because i had one foot in the door on this whole deal, I had some of the presurgery things taken care of including insurance approval. Then, in November 2011, I found out my insurance was changing. The new insurance specifically excluded the Gastric Sleeve, but still covered the gastric bypass. I did some soul searching and then booked it for December before the new insurance kicked in. At the time, I didn't like that pressure, but in hindsight, it was the kick in the butt I needed after dallying with this whole subject for a year.
    I wound up with a different surgeon (who is also amazing) in the same practice because my doc was on vacation in December.
    It was a huge leap of faith. I still don't really know what problems, or weight regain I might have in 5 years, 10 years. I have risked being "fooled again" by the hype - I know that.
    For me, the risk was worth taking because I just could not keep gaining weight. I could not remain in that high BMI catagory - that wasn't me and wasn't the life I want.
    Anyway, I am only 5 months out, but my success has already surpassed anything I achieved with the band. It has also been easier so far, and so far, I don't experience hunger all the time. My whole relationship with food is changing. I am not claiming the war is over, but I have been winning many battles. I have heard it said on this forum "the sleeve is everything the band promised but didn't deliver" - I agree with that statement.
    My blood work is the envy of the medical and nutritionalist staff (like wow, fasting blood sugar of 77 for example and I was pre-diabetic, triglicerides all that are in the outstanding excellent catagory). I feel like a million bucks. I am doing stuff with my horses again and loving on it. I am so active, I have so many choices of what to do, where to go, where to shop - all that. I no longer feel like the morbidly obese person who has no business doing horse things. I no longer feel the constant drive to EAT. I feel more like ME. I still have lots of weight to lose (I am still obese even, but in a whole different weight class now), but I am so happy with how this is going I can't even express it adequately.
    My life is becoming a life I want to live.
    So, back to the original point. Yeah, I am skeptical. I still wonder sometimes when the shoe will drop and I suddenly have "mental issues" with food. There is a part of me that still believes this whole situation is a character flaw on my part, even though I fight that. Seems to me that my issues with food have pretty much gone away since I am not starving 24/7, but time will tell. My docs openly disclosed the limited data on long term results of this exact procedure, based on the stomach size they are currently using. I just couldn't wait another 10 years to see how the studies turned out, so for me the risks as I understand them now, are totally worth the benefits, as I understand them now.
    Here's to a great next 10 years - I am determined to be one of the good statistics!
    (my signature shows I still have 66# to lose, but I have lost over 80# in the 5 months and am much closer to normal sized person now)
  20. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from BeanieandRosie'smom in So, So Happy Since The Band Removal And Sleeve   
    woo hoo! The sleeve is alot better!
  21. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from BeanieandRosie'smom in So, So Happy Since The Band Removal And Sleeve   
    I know exactly what you mean. I typed out my whole story of my journey from a band to sleeve, post #34 on this thread,
    http://www.verticalsleevetalk.com/topic/38798-are-we-all-doing-this-too-soon/page__st__20
    In summary, sleeve works, band not so much.
  22. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from BeanieandRosie'smom in Band 2 Sleeve Weight Loss   
    First month - my weight loss was comparable. I lost 28-30 pounds month one after both procedures.
    What was different is what has happened month 2 and beyond. With the band, I lost my initial approx 30# and then took about 11 months to lose another 40 - for a grand total of 70#
    I have been sleeved 5 months and have lost over 80 pounds and so far it has been much easier.
    I can handle veggies, i can handle meat. Spicy food is a bit of a problem, but other then that i really have no food restrictions. I eat very small quantities and actually feel satisfied afterwards. That was not my experience with the band.
  23. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from iwannabslim in Are We All Doing This Too Soon?   
    I read this the other day, but wanted to think a little before responding. I think the OP and the discussion raises some enormously important points.
    I am a project manager, I make "risk based" decisions everyday. That means, weighing the possible outcomes, trying to judge the probabilty and impact of those outcomes - and making a decision. I basically did that when I got the sleeve, and it took me a long time. I am not a medical expert, but i listened to them. I read as much pros and cons as I could and threw some grains of salt into the glowing pros because early euphoria is not really what I was looking for - I want long term success at weight management with minimal risk of bad side effects or consequences. I had EXACTLY the same reservations that are expressed here.
    I was banded in 2001, right before it was FDA approved. I thought I had reseached it, but I was fooled by a group like this one, (it was a yahoo group called Bandsters). At that time, there was a lot of peer pressure - people who weren't having big success simply didn't reveal. There were a couple of dominant personalities in that group and basically, anybody who wasn't successful had "compliance" issues.
    I did okay at first, but I was never super successful with the band. Worse then that, the reflux was a nightmare. I can go on and on. Anyway, I had the Fluid out about 2003/early 2004 due to uncontrolled reflux and lived with the band until 2011. I didn't feel shame for being fat, I felt shame for FAILING at a WLS that I thought pretty much everybody else succeeded with. It made me very skeptical of all the claims about WLS, it made me skeptical of myself. I was convinced that I had a "compliance issue" and would surely fail with the gastric bypass or anything else too. In hindsight, I realize I was pretty hard on myself.
    I lost weight on weight watchers - kept that off for quite awhile, but then in recent years tried everything and couldn't keep weight off for more a few monhts... the regain was always so fast. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, I saw counselors to find and hopefully cure my "eating disorders". They kept asking me how I felt when I wanted to eat... they didn't think "hungry" was a legitimate answer.. I really didn't make progress on that front either.
    I was pushed hard by my sleep apnea doctor to get some weight off. The doctor that looked at my arthritic kneed and told me it needs replacing soon, practically begged me to get weight off. They were both compassionate, but very firm. I could always say "I am healthy" but in truth, I at 47 I was starting to have physical issues. They shared with me real stories of patients, and in the case of the surgeon, about his mother. They painted a picture of the road I was on... 300+ at 47; what is life going to be like at 57, 67... if I made it that long. They shook me up.
    The sleep doctor convinced me to meet with a surgeon that he knew. Great guy, great reputation but he felt strongly I would fail with a restrictive procedure (oh, the non compliance thing again) so steered me toward the gastric bypass. I started the process, but at some point decided that I was just too scared and would rather die young then do that procedure. This may not be rational, but it is where my head was at.
    I came across another place that advertised "weight management" services that required a two year commitment to their program and as I read about their program and thought... I need to try again. I got lucky and the director/founder of that business is who I talked to. She listened to my story and said... have you considered the gastric sleeve? I told her about me failing at the band etc etc and she said, please, before you do anything - talk to these guys and referred me to the surgeons they work with. (they have a weight management program that is non surgical but she identified that I was not a good candidate for that due to lifelong obesity and high BMI at the time. The stats don't lie - deck is stacked against people in that situation). She said something that stuck with me.... as much as the deck was stacked against me, a lifetime of obesity, one failed surgery she said I had going for me one very important thing - I never gave up. That little comment gave me some hope.
    I met Dr Billing and he spent the time to really talk to me about obesity and theories, research and surgeries. He spent such a long time with me, I am so grateful for that. He gave a sobering assessment too about risks of revisions - things can happen. He agreed that the revision to the gastric bypass was riskier and stongly recommended the sleeve. One of the docs in their practice has had the sleeve, and another one's wife has had it done - they really believe in this procedure. He also referred me to a bariatric doctor (non surgeon) to work with. She, combined with Dr Billing changed my view of the whole thing.
    There are physical reasons I am hungry all the freaking time!!!! I am not denying personal responsibility, i realize it is lifestyle and choices, but, I was swimming upstream trying to overcome the obesity cycle I had been deeply caught up in my whole life! He told me that it is possible to break free without surgery, but the odds aren't good.
    He also told me my band needed to come OUT as it had slipped, I had pouch dialiation - it needed to go. I was not mentally ready for it, but I went ahead with the band removal surgery... still deciding about the sleeve.
    About 2 days after the band came out, I was hungry hungry hungry even more! I couldn't believe it, even my failed band had been helping somewhat. My gosh, wonder if I would have weighed 400# if I hadn't had that crapband in there - maybe I should give it some credit.
    I went to the bariatric doc (not the surgeon) and followed her program which kept me from gaining 50# but I was becoming frantic and even depressed over what was happening. The drive to eat was out of control. I am not sure what clicked, but at some point, I could no longer deny that I needed a tool to help me. I could not deny that my life was being negatively impacted by my obesity. I could not deny that I was starting to not be able to do the things I love and that everything was such an effort. (I could still wipe my butt, but I know what she meant, everything just gets so hard when you are that heavy). And I was miserable always feeling like food was the most important thing in my life since I just had a drive to eat.
    I am reminded of the quote "I was going downhill faster then I could lower my standards"
    So, because i had one foot in the door on this whole deal, I had some of the presurgery things taken care of including insurance approval. Then, in November 2011, I found out my insurance was changing. The new insurance specifically excluded the Gastric Sleeve, but still covered the gastric bypass. I did some soul searching and then booked it for December before the new insurance kicked in. At the time, I didn't like that pressure, but in hindsight, it was the kick in the butt I needed after dallying with this whole subject for a year.
    I wound up with a different surgeon (who is also amazing) in the same practice because my doc was on vacation in December.
    It was a huge leap of faith. I still don't really know what problems, or weight regain I might have in 5 years, 10 years. I have risked being "fooled again" by the hype - I know that.
    For me, the risk was worth taking because I just could not keep gaining weight. I could not remain in that high BMI catagory - that wasn't me and wasn't the life I want.
    Anyway, I am only 5 months out, but my success has already surpassed anything I achieved with the band. It has also been easier so far, and so far, I don't experience hunger all the time. My whole relationship with food is changing. I am not claiming the war is over, but I have been winning many battles. I have heard it said on this forum "the sleeve is everything the band promised but didn't deliver" - I agree with that statement.
    My blood work is the envy of the medical and nutritionalist staff (like wow, fasting blood sugar of 77 for example and I was pre-diabetic, triglicerides all that are in the outstanding excellent catagory). I feel like a million bucks. I am doing stuff with my horses again and loving on it. I am so active, I have so many choices of what to do, where to go, where to shop - all that. I no longer feel like the morbidly obese person who has no business doing horse things. I no longer feel the constant drive to EAT. I feel more like ME. I still have lots of weight to lose (I am still obese even, but in a whole different weight class now), but I am so happy with how this is going I can't even express it adequately.
    My life is becoming a life I want to live.
    So, back to the original point. Yeah, I am skeptical. I still wonder sometimes when the shoe will drop and I suddenly have "mental issues" with food. There is a part of me that still believes this whole situation is a character flaw on my part, even though I fight that. Seems to me that my issues with food have pretty much gone away since I am not starving 24/7, but time will tell. My docs openly disclosed the limited data on long term results of this exact procedure, based on the stomach size they are currently using. I just couldn't wait another 10 years to see how the studies turned out, so for me the risks as I understand them now, are totally worth the benefits, as I understand them now.
    Here's to a great next 10 years - I am determined to be one of the good statistics!
    (my signature shows I still have 66# to lose, but I have lost over 80# in the 5 months and am much closer to normal sized person now)
  24. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from iwannabslim in Are We All Doing This Too Soon?   
    I read this the other day, but wanted to think a little before responding. I think the OP and the discussion raises some enormously important points.
    I am a project manager, I make "risk based" decisions everyday. That means, weighing the possible outcomes, trying to judge the probabilty and impact of those outcomes - and making a decision. I basically did that when I got the sleeve, and it took me a long time. I am not a medical expert, but i listened to them. I read as much pros and cons as I could and threw some grains of salt into the glowing pros because early euphoria is not really what I was looking for - I want long term success at weight management with minimal risk of bad side effects or consequences. I had EXACTLY the same reservations that are expressed here.
    I was banded in 2001, right before it was FDA approved. I thought I had reseached it, but I was fooled by a group like this one, (it was a yahoo group called Bandsters). At that time, there was a lot of peer pressure - people who weren't having big success simply didn't reveal. There were a couple of dominant personalities in that group and basically, anybody who wasn't successful had "compliance" issues.
    I did okay at first, but I was never super successful with the band. Worse then that, the reflux was a nightmare. I can go on and on. Anyway, I had the Fluid out about 2003/early 2004 due to uncontrolled reflux and lived with the band until 2011. I didn't feel shame for being fat, I felt shame for FAILING at a WLS that I thought pretty much everybody else succeeded with. It made me very skeptical of all the claims about WLS, it made me skeptical of myself. I was convinced that I had a "compliance issue" and would surely fail with the gastric bypass or anything else too. In hindsight, I realize I was pretty hard on myself.
    I lost weight on weight watchers - kept that off for quite awhile, but then in recent years tried everything and couldn't keep weight off for more a few monhts... the regain was always so fast. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, I saw counselors to find and hopefully cure my "eating disorders". They kept asking me how I felt when I wanted to eat... they didn't think "hungry" was a legitimate answer.. I really didn't make progress on that front either.
    I was pushed hard by my sleep apnea doctor to get some weight off. The doctor that looked at my arthritic kneed and told me it needs replacing soon, practically begged me to get weight off. They were both compassionate, but very firm. I could always say "I am healthy" but in truth, I at 47 I was starting to have physical issues. They shared with me real stories of patients, and in the case of the surgeon, about his mother. They painted a picture of the road I was on... 300+ at 47; what is life going to be like at 57, 67... if I made it that long. They shook me up.
    The sleep doctor convinced me to meet with a surgeon that he knew. Great guy, great reputation but he felt strongly I would fail with a restrictive procedure (oh, the non compliance thing again) so steered me toward the gastric bypass. I started the process, but at some point decided that I was just too scared and would rather die young then do that procedure. This may not be rational, but it is where my head was at.
    I came across another place that advertised "weight management" services that required a two year commitment to their program and as I read about their program and thought... I need to try again. I got lucky and the director/founder of that business is who I talked to. She listened to my story and said... have you considered the gastric sleeve? I told her about me failing at the band etc etc and she said, please, before you do anything - talk to these guys and referred me to the surgeons they work with. (they have a weight management program that is non surgical but she identified that I was not a good candidate for that due to lifelong obesity and high BMI at the time. The stats don't lie - deck is stacked against people in that situation). She said something that stuck with me.... as much as the deck was stacked against me, a lifetime of obesity, one failed surgery she said I had going for me one very important thing - I never gave up. That little comment gave me some hope.
    I met Dr Billing and he spent the time to really talk to me about obesity and theories, research and surgeries. He spent such a long time with me, I am so grateful for that. He gave a sobering assessment too about risks of revisions - things can happen. He agreed that the revision to the gastric bypass was riskier and stongly recommended the sleeve. One of the docs in their practice has had the sleeve, and another one's wife has had it done - they really believe in this procedure. He also referred me to a bariatric doctor (non surgeon) to work with. She, combined with Dr Billing changed my view of the whole thing.
    There are physical reasons I am hungry all the freaking time!!!! I am not denying personal responsibility, i realize it is lifestyle and choices, but, I was swimming upstream trying to overcome the obesity cycle I had been deeply caught up in my whole life! He told me that it is possible to break free without surgery, but the odds aren't good.
    He also told me my band needed to come OUT as it had slipped, I had pouch dialiation - it needed to go. I was not mentally ready for it, but I went ahead with the band removal surgery... still deciding about the sleeve.
    About 2 days after the band came out, I was hungry hungry hungry even more! I couldn't believe it, even my failed band had been helping somewhat. My gosh, wonder if I would have weighed 400# if I hadn't had that crapband in there - maybe I should give it some credit.
    I went to the bariatric doc (not the surgeon) and followed her program which kept me from gaining 50# but I was becoming frantic and even depressed over what was happening. The drive to eat was out of control. I am not sure what clicked, but at some point, I could no longer deny that I needed a tool to help me. I could not deny that my life was being negatively impacted by my obesity. I could not deny that I was starting to not be able to do the things I love and that everything was such an effort. (I could still wipe my butt, but I know what she meant, everything just gets so hard when you are that heavy). And I was miserable always feeling like food was the most important thing in my life since I just had a drive to eat.
    I am reminded of the quote "I was going downhill faster then I could lower my standards"
    So, because i had one foot in the door on this whole deal, I had some of the presurgery things taken care of including insurance approval. Then, in November 2011, I found out my insurance was changing. The new insurance specifically excluded the Gastric Sleeve, but still covered the gastric bypass. I did some soul searching and then booked it for December before the new insurance kicked in. At the time, I didn't like that pressure, but in hindsight, it was the kick in the butt I needed after dallying with this whole subject for a year.
    I wound up with a different surgeon (who is also amazing) in the same practice because my doc was on vacation in December.
    It was a huge leap of faith. I still don't really know what problems, or weight regain I might have in 5 years, 10 years. I have risked being "fooled again" by the hype - I know that.
    For me, the risk was worth taking because I just could not keep gaining weight. I could not remain in that high BMI catagory - that wasn't me and wasn't the life I want.
    Anyway, I am only 5 months out, but my success has already surpassed anything I achieved with the band. It has also been easier so far, and so far, I don't experience hunger all the time. My whole relationship with food is changing. I am not claiming the war is over, but I have been winning many battles. I have heard it said on this forum "the sleeve is everything the band promised but didn't deliver" - I agree with that statement.
    My blood work is the envy of the medical and nutritionalist staff (like wow, fasting blood sugar of 77 for example and I was pre-diabetic, triglicerides all that are in the outstanding excellent catagory). I feel like a million bucks. I am doing stuff with my horses again and loving on it. I am so active, I have so many choices of what to do, where to go, where to shop - all that. I no longer feel like the morbidly obese person who has no business doing horse things. I no longer feel the constant drive to EAT. I feel more like ME. I still have lots of weight to lose (I am still obese even, but in a whole different weight class now), but I am so happy with how this is going I can't even express it adequately.
    My life is becoming a life I want to live.
    So, back to the original point. Yeah, I am skeptical. I still wonder sometimes when the shoe will drop and I suddenly have "mental issues" with food. There is a part of me that still believes this whole situation is a character flaw on my part, even though I fight that. Seems to me that my issues with food have pretty much gone away since I am not starving 24/7, but time will tell. My docs openly disclosed the limited data on long term results of this exact procedure, based on the stomach size they are currently using. I just couldn't wait another 10 years to see how the studies turned out, so for me the risks as I understand them now, are totally worth the benefits, as I understand them now.
    Here's to a great next 10 years - I am determined to be one of the good statistics!
    (my signature shows I still have 66# to lose, but I have lost over 80# in the 5 months and am much closer to normal sized person now)
  25. Like
    CowgirlJane got a reaction from iwannabslim in Are We All Doing This Too Soon?   
    I read this the other day, but wanted to think a little before responding. I think the OP and the discussion raises some enormously important points.
    I am a project manager, I make "risk based" decisions everyday. That means, weighing the possible outcomes, trying to judge the probabilty and impact of those outcomes - and making a decision. I basically did that when I got the sleeve, and it took me a long time. I am not a medical expert, but i listened to them. I read as much pros and cons as I could and threw some grains of salt into the glowing pros because early euphoria is not really what I was looking for - I want long term success at weight management with minimal risk of bad side effects or consequences. I had EXACTLY the same reservations that are expressed here.
    I was banded in 2001, right before it was FDA approved. I thought I had reseached it, but I was fooled by a group like this one, (it was a yahoo group called Bandsters). At that time, there was a lot of peer pressure - people who weren't having big success simply didn't reveal. There were a couple of dominant personalities in that group and basically, anybody who wasn't successful had "compliance" issues.
    I did okay at first, but I was never super successful with the band. Worse then that, the reflux was a nightmare. I can go on and on. Anyway, I had the Fluid out about 2003/early 2004 due to uncontrolled reflux and lived with the band until 2011. I didn't feel shame for being fat, I felt shame for FAILING at a WLS that I thought pretty much everybody else succeeded with. It made me very skeptical of all the claims about WLS, it made me skeptical of myself. I was convinced that I had a "compliance issue" and would surely fail with the gastric bypass or anything else too. In hindsight, I realize I was pretty hard on myself.
    I lost weight on weight watchers - kept that off for quite awhile, but then in recent years tried everything and couldn't keep weight off for more a few monhts... the regain was always so fast. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, I saw counselors to find and hopefully cure my "eating disorders". They kept asking me how I felt when I wanted to eat... they didn't think "hungry" was a legitimate answer.. I really didn't make progress on that front either.
    I was pushed hard by my sleep apnea doctor to get some weight off. The doctor that looked at my arthritic kneed and told me it needs replacing soon, practically begged me to get weight off. They were both compassionate, but very firm. I could always say "I am healthy" but in truth, I at 47 I was starting to have physical issues. They shared with me real stories of patients, and in the case of the surgeon, about his mother. They painted a picture of the road I was on... 300+ at 47; what is life going to be like at 57, 67... if I made it that long. They shook me up.
    The sleep doctor convinced me to meet with a surgeon that he knew. Great guy, great reputation but he felt strongly I would fail with a restrictive procedure (oh, the non compliance thing again) so steered me toward the gastric bypass. I started the process, but at some point decided that I was just too scared and would rather die young then do that procedure. This may not be rational, but it is where my head was at.
    I came across another place that advertised "weight management" services that required a two year commitment to their program and as I read about their program and thought... I need to try again. I got lucky and the director/founder of that business is who I talked to. She listened to my story and said... have you considered the gastric sleeve? I told her about me failing at the band etc etc and she said, please, before you do anything - talk to these guys and referred me to the surgeons they work with. (they have a weight management program that is non surgical but she identified that I was not a good candidate for that due to lifelong obesity and high BMI at the time. The stats don't lie - deck is stacked against people in that situation). She said something that stuck with me.... as much as the deck was stacked against me, a lifetime of obesity, one failed surgery she said I had going for me one very important thing - I never gave up. That little comment gave me some hope.
    I met Dr Billing and he spent the time to really talk to me about obesity and theories, research and surgeries. He spent such a long time with me, I am so grateful for that. He gave a sobering assessment too about risks of revisions - things can happen. He agreed that the revision to the gastric bypass was riskier and stongly recommended the sleeve. One of the docs in their practice has had the sleeve, and another one's wife has had it done - they really believe in this procedure. He also referred me to a bariatric doctor (non surgeon) to work with. She, combined with Dr Billing changed my view of the whole thing.
    There are physical reasons I am hungry all the freaking time!!!! I am not denying personal responsibility, i realize it is lifestyle and choices, but, I was swimming upstream trying to overcome the obesity cycle I had been deeply caught up in my whole life! He told me that it is possible to break free without surgery, but the odds aren't good.
    He also told me my band needed to come OUT as it had slipped, I had pouch dialiation - it needed to go. I was not mentally ready for it, but I went ahead with the band removal surgery... still deciding about the sleeve.
    About 2 days after the band came out, I was hungry hungry hungry even more! I couldn't believe it, even my failed band had been helping somewhat. My gosh, wonder if I would have weighed 400# if I hadn't had that crapband in there - maybe I should give it some credit.
    I went to the bariatric doc (not the surgeon) and followed her program which kept me from gaining 50# but I was becoming frantic and even depressed over what was happening. The drive to eat was out of control. I am not sure what clicked, but at some point, I could no longer deny that I needed a tool to help me. I could not deny that my life was being negatively impacted by my obesity. I could not deny that I was starting to not be able to do the things I love and that everything was such an effort. (I could still wipe my butt, but I know what she meant, everything just gets so hard when you are that heavy). And I was miserable always feeling like food was the most important thing in my life since I just had a drive to eat.
    I am reminded of the quote "I was going downhill faster then I could lower my standards"
    So, because i had one foot in the door on this whole deal, I had some of the presurgery things taken care of including insurance approval. Then, in November 2011, I found out my insurance was changing. The new insurance specifically excluded the Gastric Sleeve, but still covered the gastric bypass. I did some soul searching and then booked it for December before the new insurance kicked in. At the time, I didn't like that pressure, but in hindsight, it was the kick in the butt I needed after dallying with this whole subject for a year.
    I wound up with a different surgeon (who is also amazing) in the same practice because my doc was on vacation in December.
    It was a huge leap of faith. I still don't really know what problems, or weight regain I might have in 5 years, 10 years. I have risked being "fooled again" by the hype - I know that.
    For me, the risk was worth taking because I just could not keep gaining weight. I could not remain in that high BMI catagory - that wasn't me and wasn't the life I want.
    Anyway, I am only 5 months out, but my success has already surpassed anything I achieved with the band. It has also been easier so far, and so far, I don't experience hunger all the time. My whole relationship with food is changing. I am not claiming the war is over, but I have been winning many battles. I have heard it said on this forum "the sleeve is everything the band promised but didn't deliver" - I agree with that statement.
    My blood work is the envy of the medical and nutritionalist staff (like wow, fasting blood sugar of 77 for example and I was pre-diabetic, triglicerides all that are in the outstanding excellent catagory). I feel like a million bucks. I am doing stuff with my horses again and loving on it. I am so active, I have so many choices of what to do, where to go, where to shop - all that. I no longer feel like the morbidly obese person who has no business doing horse things. I no longer feel the constant drive to EAT. I feel more like ME. I still have lots of weight to lose (I am still obese even, but in a whole different weight class now), but I am so happy with how this is going I can't even express it adequately.
    My life is becoming a life I want to live.
    So, back to the original point. Yeah, I am skeptical. I still wonder sometimes when the shoe will drop and I suddenly have "mental issues" with food. There is a part of me that still believes this whole situation is a character flaw on my part, even though I fight that. Seems to me that my issues with food have pretty much gone away since I am not starving 24/7, but time will tell. My docs openly disclosed the limited data on long term results of this exact procedure, based on the stomach size they are currently using. I just couldn't wait another 10 years to see how the studies turned out, so for me the risks as I understand them now, are totally worth the benefits, as I understand them now.
    Here's to a great next 10 years - I am determined to be one of the good statistics!
    (my signature shows I still have 66# to lose, but I have lost over 80# in the 5 months and am much closer to normal sized person now)

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