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lbugher

Gastric Bypass Patients
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Everything posted by lbugher

  1. Band-to-bypass patient here. I think I may have perspective that will help you considering I've been through it myself. I never lost weight with the lap band because it didn't work for me. It never reduced my appetite and it merely felt like a road block between my esophagus and stomach. Food slid through the band pretty easily (if I chewed well enough and/or ate slider foods) and considering it was much easier and more comfortable to eat that way, that's what I did. The lap band does NOTHING to stop you from eating as much ice cream or cheesy mashed potatoes as you want. With the lap band, if it's adjusted properly, you get a hard "stop" when your pouch is full. You have to be careful with the bypass because "full" is a much more gradual feeling. Eat slowly, or else you could end up eating too much and that is painful. Restriction is there but it's a gradual feeling rather than the sudden feeling of "I can't eat anymore." Keep in mind other benefits the bypass has that the lap band doesn't: malabsorption, reduced/muted appetite, and prolonged satiety. I would get hungry pretty fast after drinking water with my lap band (I always waited the 60 minutes we were told to wait and even so, the food washed right through my pouch). With the bypass I'll stay full for several hours. I get hungry but not *famished* to the point where I'm shaky and desperate. You're just 1 month post-op but it will get better feel free to PM me if you want to chat. Having had a lap band before will make this experience different for you. I'd get so frustrated when people told me the lap band was "just a tool" but it felt like someone gave me a bent screwdriver when what I needed was a jackhammer. The bypass is a much more powerful tool. I lost 20 pounds in 6 months with my lap band and then stopped. I was so frustrated with feeling miserable that I just gave up and ate what I wanted. With the bypass I've lost 101 pounds in 5 months. It's night and day, truly. Even on days when I want to give up and eat what I want, I can't. And I really appreciate that. Try eating a couple cookies and see what happens 😂 actually, don't. For me it's really bad farts but for a lot of people it results in terrible dumping so it's just not worth it. Anyway, I hope I provided some comfort for you. It will get better and you'll lose weight!!! It's such a better tool than the lap band (or as I call it, crap band!)
  2. lbugher

    Disappointed Surgeons

    At 5 weeks you're still healing! 17 pounds down is excellent. Your surgeon shouldn't be so hard on you. Do you have a dietician you talk to? See if they have any suggestions. I drink bone broth for protein (I hate the shakes too but I force one down a day - I'm 5.5 months out so I can handle it but at first I had to find alternatives because like you I'd spit them out when I tried the first few weeks). You can also drink Fairlife skim milk. It's not sweet or thick and goes down easy. Protein water and Gatorade are good, too. I drink those on occasion when I fall short on protein. Hang in there! It'll get better.
  3. It's very normal to regret surgery early on - many people do, and it's easy to see why. You're in pain from gas and the incisions, your weight hasn't gone down (and may have even gone up!) due to all the fluid pumped into you during the surgery - as a side note, STAY AWAY from the scale for the first month!! And you may want to eat but cannot, you probably feel nausea and fatigue. Recovery SUCKS. Then ketosis symptoms set in. For me it was dry mouth, leg cramps when walking up a hill, brain fog, and general fatigue. I drank my 64 ounces of water a day and still had cotton mouth. It was crazy. That being said... being in ketosis means you're burning all your fat stores to stay alive so you just cope with it. My dietician said you could resolve the symptoms temporarily by drinking 24 ounces of juice for 3 days. But the thought of drinking something so sweet made me want to gag so I never did that. Anyway, IT DOES GET BETTER. When you step on the scale 4 weeks after surgery you'll see the number has dropped significantly. Your clothes will start feeling looser. The pain and nausea will subside. And you'll start to feel closer to normal. Every week it'll get a little better. Eventually your energy levels will normalize, and then they will increase as you get slimmer. It's fantastic. I'm 5.5 months out now and feel great. I can eat relatively normally (albeit much smaller portions than I used to) but nothing bothers my tummy. My appetite is back but it's not impossible to ignore like it used to be. I feel 20 years younger and am in really good shape. I love being able to take stairs without losing my breath, bend over and pick things up off the floor without my joints and back aching, chasing my kids around, walking fast, and crossing my legs It all is worth it in the end!! Hang in there!
  4. lbugher

    Body dysphoria

    I'm only 5 months out so everything is still pretty fresh... losing 100 pounds in that short of period of time has messed with my mind a lot so I get it. I put my pants on every morning and brace myself for them to be too tight when in reality this size is already getting a little loose on me (down from a 26 to 18, soon to be 16 I imagine within a month or so). When you've been obese your entire life (as most of us have) it takes some getting used to in order for our reflection to match what we see in our mind. In my mind I still picture my large arms, big tummy, double chin, and large thighs. So it's weird to look at myself and appear relatively slender. It looks like you're several years post-op. Have you considered therapy? It may benefit you to do it if not!
  5. No more sleep apnea!! I used to wake up 3-4 times a night to pee. Turns out that's a symptom of sleep apnea. I was so tired all the time, falling asleep at the wheel when driving and falling asleep at work. I thought I was having incontinence issues but nope, it was my body fat crushing my windpipe in my sleep. Now I sleep like a rock and it's great. I'm so much more well rested and have much more energy. No more falling asleep everywhere!!!
  6. I had the lap band before and it didn't work. It didn't do anything to stop my hunger, it didn't change my metabolism, it didn't stop me from absorbing everything I ate... all it did was put a little speed bump from my esophagus to my stomach. Sometimes that speed bump would get stopped up and cause me crazy pain, sliming, and barfing. Usually healthy foods did that to me (chicken breast, broccoli, carrots, celery, lean steak, etc.). Unhealthy foods went down like a breeze so I could eat greasy cheeseburgers, cakes, cookies, milkshakes, cheese fries, etc. without a problem. The lap band, essentially, trained me to eat junk food and avoid healthy food. Then I got it revised to RNY and it has been a TOTAL game changer. There are a number of reasons it's working way better for me. 1) My physical appetite is gone. And I mean, GONE. Even if I swim (I'm always starving after I swim) or walk all day or do heavy manual labor... I just never want to eat. 2) Sugar is repulsive now. I don't want anything to do with ice cream, cakes, or cookies. Those used to be my favorite. I tried to take a sip of regular orange juice (because I remember how refreshing I used to find it) and gagged because it was just way, way too sweet. 3) I crave nutritious foods, mostly seafood and vegetables. Which is weird because I was never much of a veggie lover before. I only ate them because I felt like I had to. 4) I only absorb 75% of the food I eat, and I don't eat much to begin with so I've been dropping weight like crazy. 5) I get full, quickly. 6) If I try to eat something I shouldn't (like something high in fat) I'm immediately punished with a wave of nausea and I won't try it again. All this factored together has made RNY a very powerful weight loss tool. If you are an emotional eater or food addict RNY would be torture. The head hunger definitely doesn't go away. While physically I don't want to eat, mentally I wish I still could. It's not because I eat to cope but because I just always loved food. I'm a foodie and I love cooking, baking, restaurants, trying new foods, etc. I can't have it anymore and it makes me a little sad but I've been killing myself from my "hobby" so it's time to let it go. But if you're someone who is determined to eat because you feel like you HAVE to (like an emotional or addictive issue) you'll want to get therapy before having surgery. For me, that pain from over-eating is NOT worth it at all. It's very unpleasant and I eat very slowly to avoid it. But for some folks, the pain is worth it to eat what they want, and that's where re-gain/failure comes in. That and mindless snacking on simple carbs. You've gotta say no to the chips, crackers, and popcorn.
  7. I've read it has something to do with where they cut the stomach that stops your brain from registering hunger. I'm 5 weeks post op and I don't feel hunger either. I'm totally fine with that!! But it is dangerous because, if I could, I'd just choose not to eat at all. Or take my vitamins and drink my protein shakes, gross. But I do what I'm supposed to do so I'm carrying on, Down 43 pounds so far!
  8. lbugher

    lap and surgery approved

    Elless, have you considered a revision? My story is the same as yours (lap band didn't help me lose weight at all, only lost 20 pounds in 6 months, regained it quickly and then gained extra weight) except I resorted to slider foods after I realized the lap band wasn't helping at all. I revised to RNY and I've lost 43 pounds in less than 2 months. It's a total game changer and I'd recommend it to anyone. Skinny3, if you have 100 or more pounds to lose I'd definitely look into gastric bypass!!! It's not what it used to me. About a decade ago (and before) it was an open surgery with more risks but now it's done laproscopically. Definitely recommend it.
  9. lbugher

    What Led To Revision

    Another failed lap band here! I am getting revision to RNY tomorrow morning. I am so excited to get this awful thing out of my body. It did NOTHING to curb my hunger or appetite. All it did was make eating healthy food hard, and make eating slider food rewarding. Couldn't get a chicken breast and a cup of broccoli down because it would get stuck in the band but I could eat a greasy cheeseburger and a milkshake with zero issues. I wish the lap band procedure would be banned all together. It's useless at best, and potentially fatal if it's left alone to cause issues.
  10. I'm doing the band to bypass too. I had my band placed in 2016 and it didn't really help me at all 😕 I lost like, 20 pounds at first but then stopped losing. Could never find my sweet spot. I'm on Facebook groups that are band to bypass and have seen a lot of other folks have better success with the bypass. I'm terrified they're gonna open me up and see a ton of damage from the band and not be able to do it... there are plenty of stories about that happening. Lap bands should be completely banned, they're the worst!!!
  11. The lap band prevents me from eating healthy foods like fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. It does NOTHING to stop me from eating slider foods, though, so I've actually gained weight with the lap band. I regret not doing bypass in the first place but I thought the lap band would be a safer choice since nothing was cut or removed. I was wrong. People have complications/issues with the band WAY more than with any other WLS, and far less success. I know some folks on here have had success with it but they're in the minority. Most doctors aren't even doing lap bands anymore. My doctor said he takes out way more bands now than ever before because they were popular 10 years ago but are failing. I'm converting to bypass soon... can't wait to get my surgery date!
  12. I've had my lap band since 2015, and I HATE it. It does what it should do, stops food from going into my stomach. But I get stuck a lot and it hurts, I end up vomiting it up, and anything unhealthy slips right through the band without a problem. I can eat gobs of cake, Cookies, chocolates, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, casseroles, the works but it is painful to eat fruits, lean Proteins, vegetables, etc. due to them getting stuck. It's like it's doing the opposite of what I want. When the food stays in the pouch, all I need to do is burp a couple times and boom, pouch is emptied. In short, It. Just. Does. Not. Work. I want a revision but I'm not sure what to do. I need to talk to a doctor, I realize, but I'm nervous. I thought the lap band would be the ticket out of fatness but it's absolutely not. I'm scared if I try something else, that won't work either. I love to eat and I can't stop. I've tried all kinds of diets. It just sucks, my appetite is insatiable and I need to do something about it. I'd love to hear from people who have had revisions and share what's different about their new procedure (whether sleeve or bypass). Sleeve makes me nervous because I've heard a lot about GERD. My spouse's grandfather died of esophageal cancer, due to years of GERD. But bypass makes me nervous because it seems like such a severe surgery... and I don't want to look like a skeleton in a bag of skin 😕 Any shared experiences would be appreciated!
  13. I would always wait at least a half hour to drink water when I was done eating but it still washed the food through. I drink a TON of water, and I thought you were supposed to drink a lot of water with WLS, too. If it washes the food through, how on earth do you stay full? Do you just deal with being hungry all the time?
  14. So my primary issue with my lap band was that my pouch would never stay full for long. One burp or drink of water would empty the pouch and I would be hungry again. My stomach is like an hourglass with a small pouch on top, the band restricting, and then the rest of my stomach below. You eat and the food rests in the top pouch and, ideally, filters through like sand in an hourglass over a long period of time. Water dilutes the food and boom, it all slides through within 15 minutes of drinking anything. Or a burp creates a good slide where it all spills down from the air bubble making room. Hunger returns and I eat. Worse, the foods that are healthiest get stuck (like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins). I avoid them now. Strawberries were once one of my favorite foods and now I can't really eat them, even with my band empty. Also, my band is tight in the morning so breakfast (the most important meal of the day) is difficult to eat. My band is magically nice and loose at night so I can eat as much as I want. It sucks. Anyway, my point is, I'm wondering if this sort of crap happens with bypass. Can you clear your pouch out that easily and push everything into your intestines by drinking water? If I can eat a few bites of food, drink some water, and empty the pouch, this is not going to work for me. I need something that's going to slow me down. I keep asking folks to explain what eating feels like after bypass but I can't seem to get a straight answer 😕 Thank you!!
  15. How are your general pain levels? I ask because I'm about 150 pounds overweight and I have a lot of aches and pains. My knees, hips, back, etc. hurt almost constantly but especially when I'm moving, which deters me from moving and makes me not want to hit the gym which is the opposite of what I should be doing because movement is very healthy. I'm wondering if the weight lost from RNY will help me get back to the gym and get rid of the pain. I tried physical therapy but most of my treatments were temporary fixes (like traction for my back, needling my tight muscles, massage). It made me feel better but the pain returns. Do you feel less pain now that you're lighter? Or is the damage pretty much already done? I want to run and jump and hike again so badly!
  16. Lap band failure/no weight loss. I never found my "sweet spot." I am either hungry all the time or can't swallow water.
  17. Thanks everyone! This is very helpful. It sounds like significant weight loss has helped a lot of folks with their chronic pain. I'm hoping the same will be for me, too. I thought most of my pain was postpartum related but my twins are nearly 1 now so it seems like that would've healed by now, or maybe my healing has slowed/stopped due to my weight. In any case, I have hope now! I was immobilized during my pregnancy and it was awful. I want to get back to moving again!
  18. lbugher

    Forced to do Bypass

    My wife's grandfather died from esophageal cancer and it was heartbreaking. Get the bypass. It's much, much better than cancer. I won't do VSG after hearing the GERD horror stories and bypass has been done for decades now. It's plenty safe, much more so than a cancer diagnosis. Plus I'm sure it will make you feel better immediately! That has to be worth something too!
  19. lbugher

    Lap Band Removal and Revision Suggestions Needed

    @soccermonster31 - Yeah, growing up in the 80's/90's there was a LOT of misinformation about weight loss and management. Eggs were terrible for you, white carbs were optimal for fat burning (lol), coffee was the devil, and margarine was soooo much healthier than butter! I'm not angry with my mom. I know she did the best she thought she could and probably thought she was saving me from obesity. I'd love to be support buddies! When do you plan on revising? It'll be a while for me - we're going to move in the next few months and I want to be settled in our new house before undergoing a surgery. For now I'm gathering information and planning to do a consult with a bariatric center in Indianapolis. Fun story: I got my lap band in December 2015 and the surgeon, without warning, shut down his practice in January 2016. I had to go to a bariatric center 50 miles away for my fills and counseling when I'd anticipated he'd be right there down the street whenever I needed something. My lap band did not have a great start, and I wasn't super impressed with the bariatric center I was referred to. Luckily I have some choices!
  20. lbugher

    Lap Band Removal and Revision Suggestions Needed

    I'm another lap band failure story - heyo! Mine never worked to begin with, never found my sweet spot so I only ended up losing 40 pounds max (I need to lose 150 to fall in the healthy range for BMI) and ended up gaining it back plus more after having twins. I struggle with the same thoughts as you - being a mom to 3 young kids I'm afraid of having more surgery that could cause complications and put my life at risk. That being said, I'm putting my life at risk by staying morbidly obese 😕 I'm 37 and I already don't feel good. I have a hard time walking long distances and standing for long periods of time. I want to be able to hike, ride bikes, play sports, and keep up with my kids. I love being active but I am unable to do much with the joint pain and I lose my breath so easily. After doing some research I've decided on RNY I think. It's the "gold standard" and it's been done for decades. The sleeve is pretty recent, and I'm scared it will go the way with the band. RNY made me nervous at first because I thought the "bypassed" organs shriveled up and died inside you but they're actually still functioning like normal. They just don't receive the nutrients and the food travels through faster so you don't absorb as many calories. Kind of a win-win with restriction + malabsorption. Another consideration for me is setting an example for my kids. I really want to strive to make food a non-issue. It was a HUGE issue for me growing up. My mom influenced me and she had a very negative attitude towards her body and was yo-yo dieting my entire life. I remember she'd make weird food while the rest of us ate normal dinner, she had a new eating philosophy ever year, had a new exercise regimen she'd swear would make her skinny... she put me on Weight Watchers when I was 10, and let me use diet pills (ephedrine) when I was 16. I will fight tooth and nail to stop my daughter from starting this cycle. And I think that has to start with me. She's going to be watching me and I have to be careful to make sure she sees me eat normal, healthy food and I have to keep negative body talk out of my conversations. I think having bypass may help me with that too. Whatever you decide, good luck!
  21. lbugher

    Lap band to gastric bypass

    @momotrips3 Triplets!!! Goodness, that must've been hard on you. The pregnancy itself was the worst part IMO, after having had one already. The weight of them, the unbearable thirst, restless legs, relentless brain fog, falling asleep everywhere, cravings while battling gestational diabetes, the hip and pelvic pain, back pain, ugh... I could go on and on. Raising twins is a cakewalk in comparison 😅 the birth and pregnancy left me in terrible shape. I walk with a bad limp and my back, hips, and pelvis still hurt a lot. I did PT for my pelvic floor and that helped my inner thigh pain but I think dropping a bunch of weight will help with the rest. I'm with you, I like the idea of not being able to absorb all the calories I eat and even the dumping syndrome sounds nice... I'd love to hate eating sugar. I probably won't do a surgery for a while since I have a lot going on right now (planning to sell our house, change jobs, and move to a city 1.5 hours away from where we are now). I'd like to see a surgeon to get a timeline though. I don't know what pre-op things I'd need to do before getting approval if I've already got a lap band. Good luck to you! I'll be interested to follow your journey!
  22. lbugher

    Complete lap band failure

    That stuck feeling is the worst! It's funny because I still feel restriction with it completely unfilled. It slows me down so at least I'm not GAINING weight. But I'm right where I was when I got it in the first place so it still feels pretty useless. Oh well, I don't plan on having surgery again for maybe another 8-10 months (we're planning to move in March and I want to get settled in a new home before pursing surgery with recovery and whatnot). I'm just trying to do more thorough research now, and find out what I should be doing (if anything) to prepare for surgery. I appreciate your responses! Congrats on the weight loss
  23. lbugher

    Complete lap band failure

    Thank you, @Lady VS. So I had my band placed in December 2015 and I was gung-ho and super excited and followed the plan to the letter. Didn't have restriction so I went in for a fill. Repeated a few times until I went in my last time (probably a year before I conceived my twins) and I told the doctor I was still hungry and when I burped I cleared my pouch. The doctor gave me a little more fluid to get restriction and when I drank water it made a gurgling sound in my esophagus so it was too tight and he took out the fluid. He said I was at my max restriction and shouldn't tighten it anymore. It's very discouraging. I haven't made up my mind 100% as I haven't seen a surgeon yet but after I had my twins I went back in and my current doctor suggested revision rather than refilling the band. Said for 50% of patients, the band does not work at all so he wasn't entirely surprised and it's falling out of favor. I don't want to do a bypass, though, if I'm still able to burp and slide whatever I eat right through my pouch I know that sounds kind of stupid because it's an entirely different setup and the stomach is literally bypassed but that was my issue before. I so wish I could find someone else who experienced this because it seems like I'm abnormal! It's like if you had a clogged drain, and then you pushed the clog aside for a second, the water would drain due to the air bubble in the clog. That's what burping did for me. I couldn't control it either, it's not like I swallowed air intentionally. But as soon as I burped the satisfied feeling left immediately. I gave up because of that. Anyway, definitely want to talk to a surgeon about this. I want a second opinion and I want to know what would be different if I DID do a revision.
  24. lbugher

    What if it doesn't work?

    @Fatboyslim1 I wish I could "try on" the surgery before committing but that is physically impossible lol... I just had expectations of the lap band (satiety that started sooner and lasted longer) but it didn't happen. It's like I was in a room with a bunch of people with music playing and they're like "just listen to the music and dance to the rhythm, it's not that hard" but I can't hear a damn thing so I can't move correctly. Then I ask the doctor to adjust the volume a little and it's suddenly deafening noise that I can't bear (a minor adjustment caused me to be unable to drink water which, obviously, I would not survive). So I guess there's a terror I'll be that one person who gets a bypass and feels no restriction and hangs on to every calorie they eat. I swear I'm biologically adapted to survive the worst famine in history but here I am in 2020 when you can click a couple buttons on a phone and have any cuisine imaginable delivered to your door without even having to talk to one human being 😂😩
  25. lbugher

    What if it doesn't work?

    This is my biggest fear too I had lap band surgery and it didn't help my hunger at all. Everyone said it would, and I followed the plan just as the doctor told me to. Went in for my fills and check-ups. I lost a little weight (about 30 pounds) but I was really disappointed in the results. All it would take to clear my pouch and cause hunger was a burp and the food I'd eaten would slide down to my stomach so my pouch would be emptied. I'm scared something like that would happen with bypass.

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