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Birdy18

LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by Birdy18

  1. I'm on day 1 (5 hours and 51 minutes of day 1, but who's counting?) of my 14 day pre-op diet before my surgery on Aug 20. I'm getting pretty nervous and anxious about how I'll feel after recovery and have been reading about everyone's experiences. What I'm interested in hearing about is if anyone was pleasantly surprised with how they felt after surgery or with their recovery? I've read so much about pain and complications, I'd love to hear about those that may have had a breeze! I know that everyone is different in terms of their recovery, but i think I'm psyching myself out and for some reason think that this may make me feel better about things (if that makes sense). I'm also having my surgery done as a single incision (just through my belly button) so wondering if that has made a difference. Thanks, all!
  2. Birdy18

    Feeling So Weak

    I was really afraid of this too and felt the exact same thing you're describing. I focused primarily on continuing to stay hydrated that first week to allow any swelling to diminish until my second week when I could drink normally. Then, when you are able to add in Protein - I love Shakeology - it made me feel like a new person again. Just give it time, and dont' worry too much. Once you get in more nutrients and after your stomach isn't as swelled, you will feel much better. I was so worried I'd be SO light headed and tired like I felt the first week, but now I'm only 16 days post op and feel almost normal again!
  3. Birdy18

    August Sleevers..what Is The Progress

    So I'm definitely hungry. At first - like the first week or so - I wasn't hungry at all and it was difficult just sipping but now I can drink with no problems. And I'm slowly introducing soft foods like soft babybel cheese, applesauce, etc. and while I'm going slowly I'm not really having any difficulties. I am eager to heal and feel normal again, but I'm almost concerned that I don't feel any significant pressure or fullness. Then again, I always stop before I think I can get there for fear of that feeling but every bite and day is such a learning process! It's just interesting that others sleeved around the same time as me is feeling zero hunger when I definitely do!
  4. Birdy18

    August Sleevers..what Is The Progress

    What about you and your progress??
  5. Birdy18

    August Sleevers..what Is The Progress

    Thank you! I'm battling head hunger but seeing the scale move has been the most encouraging thing. I was an idiot and was overly enthusiastic in being prepared - so I have tons of Isopure that I can't stand the aftertaste. I'm using almond milk because it has 50% more Calcium than normal milk and after chatting with my NUT and fears of growing lactose intolerant because of more dairy in the beginning, almond milk is good for that.
  6. Birdy18

    August Sleevers..what Is The Progress

    Hi there! I was sleeved Aug 20. 1. A typical day: 1 Shakeology chocolate shake with 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 babybel light cheese, half a bottle of Powerade Zero, 1 Max Protein vanilla powder shake with 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 oz unsweetened apple sauce. 2. Other than the acid reflux the first week, I haven't had much nausea. I found out I'm allergic to the steri strips they used so taking Benadryl but really not bad at all. My energy levels really improved a week post op and when I added the Shakeology mix in - it has more nutrients than just protein and is one of the few Protein shakes I can stomach and think tastes good! 3. I've lost about 29 lbs since my highest weight when I went into my first consult.
  7. Also, I loved your original post. It has encouraged me more than most posts I've read on here! I too travel a lot for business, though not as much as you, and it's a passion of mine. Being able to experience local cuisine (in moderation of course) is one of my favorite things in life. I wouldn't consider it life if I had to sneak Protein bars to survive while exploring a new city or country and I love your outlook on not making it the center of your universe, something I think is so easy to slip into. I'm going to Greece for my first time in early October and knowing you've travelled a ton, let me know if you have any great suggestions! I'll be about 6-7 weeks out. Thanks so much for the hope!
  8. Actually, there's a ton of protein options in authentic Chinese cuisine. Totally get where you're coming from though, yes you have a base of white rice, but contrary to the Americanized (overly greased, commonly fried) Chinese dishes in the states, my family's cuisine both here and in Beijing and Hong Kong consist largely of steamed fish in soy sauce (As you mentioned, yum!), lots of silken tofu (soft and great protein), chicken and shrimp stir fries, lots of great bbq plates (pull the skin off the roasted duck, great steamed salted or soy chicken), lobster, steamed dim sum (har gow, remove the skin) etc. I find it so interesting though - my family orders most of the steamed, healthier dishes that we commonly cook at home but when we've gone out you notice most people order the fried stuff. And I love, love LOVE Korean food but unfortunately for me my favorites are kalbi - the chewier the better. The spice and the chewiness of that cut of meat probably won't fare well with my new tummy. Let me know what you eat when you go there!!
  9. I went to my one week post op check up and turns out I am allergic to the glue from the steri strips used to tape up my incisions! I shake my fist at you!! My entire stomach is itchy and I have red bumps around my incision sites. Currently chugging children's Benadryl. Cheers!
  10. Birdy18

    Single Incision Question

    I was told there was a slightly higher incisional hernia risk with a single incision, but ultimately I wanted to do it. Doesn't really matter since they couldn't I suppose, but you weigh your options with this as you do any.
  11. Birdy18

    Single Incision Question

    My surgeon - the bariatric team at St Joe's hospital in Chicago does it so it was provided as an option. I know not all surgeons do it though. Here's some more info from a press release I found: SILS -- A New Houston Weight Loss Surgery -- Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery Posted on : 2010-02-01 | Author : PRWeb News Category : PressRelease In Houston, Texas, a new weight loss surgery technique known as SILS – single incision laparoscopic surgery – is now available for some bariatric operations (weight loss surgeries), including the Adjustable Gastric Band (AGB) and the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG). It involves performing the entire obesity-surgery through a single small incision... (PRWEB) February 1, 2010 -- A new weight loss surgery technique known as SILS – single incision laparoscopic surgery – is now available for some bariatric operations, including the Adjustable Gastric Band (AGB) and the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (LSG). It involves performing the entire procedure through a single small incision, ideally at the umbilicus (belly button). SILS is usually less painful than standard laparoscopic surgeries (4-6 small incisions), and the cosmetic effect is thought to be superior. Some obesity surgery cases still need a balance of diet and exercise after the surgery to maintain long term results. SILS weight loss surgery is done under general anesthesia with the patient completely asleep. A small incision is placed at the umbilicus and either 3 standard trochars (tubes through which the instruments are passed) or a single specialized SILS port is placed to gain access to the abdominal space. The space is then insufflated with carbon dioxide to create enough room to manipulate the instruments. SILS requires specialized instruments that are able to articulate (bend into angles), and a novel camera that can be turned to a variety of angles. The operation is done using the same methods as the regular laparoscopic surgery. For the AGB procedure a tunnel under the skin and fat layer is created to place the port for later band adjustment. This is required to move it away from the umbilicus. Postoperatively, the patient will only have one incision, usually with less pain than a weight loss surgery with 4 to 6 incisions. Also, as the scar heals and contracts it usually becomes less noticeable as it is partially hidden by the umbilicus. Most weight loss patients feel this has a better cosmetic result. Not all patients can have the SILS approach. It is best used in patients of lower weight (BMI of 35 to 45) and whose body habitus (the physical and constitutional characteristics of an individual) is favorable. This depends on the individual patient and their surgeon’s judgment. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. BMI-Body Mass Index formula is a specific calculation. For basic understanding of the BMI, here is a simple example. A person who is 5’5” to 6’0” with a weight of 225 to 300 pounds could be a possible SILS candidate. For each 7 to 8 pounds of body weight, they will get 1 point of BMI. So, if you divide 250 pounds by 7 you will have an estimated BMI of 36. If you are dealing with obesity or are interested in the SILS version of either the AGB or the LSG operations, please ask your Houston surgeon prior to starting the process to qualify for Houston weight loss surgery in Texas. There is also the option of a gastric bypass surgery for people with higher BMI. Houston Surgical Specialists Operating on a Personal Level (713) 993-7124 Houston, Texas
  12. Birdy18

    Single Incision Question

    I was sleeved August 20th and was supposed to be a single incision. When I woke up, I found out they had to do it just normal laparoscopically with the 5 small incisions because they said I was a little too "long" in the torso. I originally opted for the single incision because my doctor said the pain and recovery time was slightly less. Good luck!!
  13. Birdy18

    Soft Foods!

    I was sleeved Aug 20 too! I also had my first very soft scrambled egg today. I shaved a bit of sharp white cheddar on top with a tiny bit of sea salt. I ate it really slowly and finished about 3/4 of it which took me about 15 minutes to eat. I didn't necessarily feel "Full" the way I knew full before but I could definitely feel it in my tummy and started to burp so I thought it best to stop. It is absolutely insane that I'm talking about almost finishing one egg when a 4 egg-stuffed omelet with 3 sides would have been normal for me before. Cheers!
  14. Birdy18

    Food Mourning

    Today marks 10 days post op. Other than the acid reflux and slight weakness, I've had a relatively easy recovery which I'm truly thankful for. For the first week or so post op, there was no way I could even think of food. It's been a struggle to just get in the fluids I need, much less the protein. I haven't hit those goals yet but it does get better and better every day. While I'm really thankful for the by-the-book recovery so far, the past few days I've experienced a combination of actual and head hunger. While I know very little actual food would make me full quickly, I am really struggling with missing my friend, food. It's a mix of an unhealthy emotional reliance, an actual love for food and cooking (I will always be a foodie), and feeling a bit sorry for myself on what I'm missing out on - I'm Chinese and from a big family. As part of my recovery, I've been home with my parents and grandparents and food is so central to my culture. It's hard not taking part in my big family dinners where my aunts and uncles and cousins come, and it tests my every ounce of strength to help cook and not partake. I know this won't always be that way, and I've forced myself to confront these thoughts during my pre op emotional readiness, but the truth is - my all time favorite foods are shared with my family and sweet or carb based: claypot chicken rice, chewy korean spare ribs, chow fun, I could go on. I'm at a point now where I'm really sad and missing these foods. I want to be at a place where I can healthily balance a majority of protein but also be able to enjoy in a moderate balance the things I love - much of which include rice and noodles. I also feel cheated because I didn't indulge in a "last meal". My surgeon's team advised against it and other than a few healthy cheat bites during my 14-day pre op, have been very by the book as far as my doctor's instructions have been. And while I love, love, LOVE the 25 lbs I've lost since my pre op began, a part of me (ok a larger part because I'm craving my favorites right now) regrets not indulging in my favorite foods that I won't be able to have for a while now.. until my stomach has healed in full and when I'm further along in my weight loss progress. I've since TORTURED myself. I say it's a testament of my strength, but I am going through my favorite food blogs because all I'm craving are my favorite Asian comfort foods. I work in social media and Pinterest is like my hell right now because of the amazing food photography. I may or may not have actually DROOLED thinking about curry fried rice with roast pork or crispy peking duck on pillowy baos. I'm almost ashamed at how difficult of a time I'm having with actual comfort food withdrawal. I suppose it goes with the territory. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't a full on food addict. I guess this all boils down to me really questioning whether I did the right thing. I know, deep down, that I did. And I know that as more weight comes off and the harder I work and the further out I get that I will fully feel that this is the right decision. But frankly, right now, I feel weak. I miss my favorite foods. I am tired, weak, full of head hunger and have found myself wondering if this was the wrong decision - even cried about it. I read posts from vets on this forum who are 1, 2, 3 years out and am filled with such jealousy that they've found the happy medium of being able to have the foods they love but in moderation. I feel like that's so far away for me and I'm in a dark place right now that I know I'll be able to pull myself out of eventually but right now.. I just don't know how to think about it and every day is a struggle!
  15. Birdy18

    Food Mourning

    Thanks so much for all the positive comments and encouragement! You all are right - just knowing that eventuallllyyy I'll be able to enjoy them again is helpful.
  16. Birdy18

    Food Mourning

    Thanks, Emy! It definitely helps knowing it will get better. What were some of your favorites that you tried first and didn't taste as good as you remembered? I'm just struggling through the intense cravings from my old eating habits! Also, I'm still on liquids and have another two weeks of full liquids before I can hit purees, so I'm hoping that will help the empty feeling in my stomach!
  17. Birdy18

    It's Official... I'm Neurotic

    So is it weird that I scheduled my surgery date (Aug 20 which is permanently etched into my brain, lest I forget) before I've had insurance approval? For a whole slew of life reasons, I actually need to have this surgery as quickly as possible. First, I've moved from deciding on the band to the sleeve. Initial PCP appointment? Check. Psychiatric? Check. Nutritionist? Check. I have to go in to see my surgeon tomorrow morning so it can officially be noted that I've seen him for the sleeve instead of the band. THEN, in go the insurance forms. In addition to everything going through my head - first surgery ever, weeks of liquid diets, fears of will this work - I'm now one thousand percent terrified that my insurance company won't approve me. I can't really afford the actual time to delay the surgery during an appeal so this has taken over my all-consuming thoughts. I have BCBS Illinois/PPO, and from the looks of things it looks like that's a good thing. I had the least amount of prereq's - no requirements for 9 month long medically supervised weight loss attempts (hi, welcome to 28 years of my life kthxbye) - but aside from having a BMI over 40, I'm 28 and don't have any other health issues or co morbidities: no sleep apnea, normal blood pressure, no joint pain, etc. I know NOTHING about insurance approvals, but I'm wondering if not having any of those issues will actually hurt my approval or not? I just need to know soon - put me out of my misery!! Anyone have any good luck with a BCBS of IL PPO? Would love to hear the positive insurance approvals at this point. Yours in all my neurotic glory, Birdy
  18. Birdy18

    Anyone Experience Reflux?

    Thank god. I've been pretty down this past week (granted I've only been sleeved a week), but was terrified the reflux and pain every hour would be permanent.
  19. Birdy18

    Anyone Experience Reflux?

    Thanks! Did yours go away with time just getting used to being sleeved and your stomach adjusting to food and drinks, or was it medication?
  20. Birdy18

    Anyone Experience Reflux?

    Good to know you can take things to make this go away. What's breakthrough reflux??
  21. Birdy18

    Examples Of Slider Foods

    Good to know - I'd have to be careful with that because that has always been a favorite! I read somewhere that you had to be careful eating popcorn because of all the hard pieces (I was sleeved a week ago). How soon were you able to eat popcorn?
  22. Birdy18

    Anyone Experience Reflux?

    I forgot to ask - did your doctor prescribe a PPI for you? That has helped some (not all), but better than nothing.
  23. Birdy18

    Anyone Experience Reflux?

    I was sleeved August 20, 2012 and have experienced the same thing too. I've never had reflux or heartburn before the surgery and now I have everything from small little burps to really painful acid reflux several times a day. It's horrible! I'm on a PPI - a dissolvable pepcid tablet that I'm supposed to take every morning. I'm only supposed to take one a day but it rarely lasts long enough! I'm hoping this is something that only happens in the beginning and that it won't be with me for the rest of my life. Burping 5 times to drink a few sips isn't my favorite!! Or, when I can swallow pills and I'm out of the liquid phase, I'm hoping that would help too!!
  24. You look incredible!! Huge congrats and can I say, I applaud your reward purchase!! I'm obsessed with handbags. Thanks for being my inspiration.. coming from someone 1 week post op today. Can I ask - any issues with loose skin? It doesn't look like it!!
  25. I'm only 3 days post op but can agree the acid reflux is the most painful thing. I can deal with the constant struggle to get my liquids in and the general soreness, but my biggest fear is that this terrible acid will occur with every bite and sip! Its paralyzing! I am trying to be patient, but was in near tears today. :'( Since I can't swallow pills yet, I'm on a dissolving PPI which has helped a bit but not solved it completely. Please tell me this ges better and the PPI thing isn't another permanent pill I'll have to take for the rest of my life!
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