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Kristina J.

Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by Kristina J.

  1. I was originally banded in 2003 at just 18. I was 250, got down to 170, had a slip, erosion and removal. When my band was replaced a year later, I had gained everything back, plus some and was at 270. I lost about 60 with my second band and started the roller coaster cycle that continued for 7 more years. Up 40, down 20, up 20, down 10, up 60, down 20... And after having my kids and looking at turning 30 in the worst shape of my life, I decided to revise to a sleeve. The day I decided to revise is my before picture. Thanksgiving 2012. I was 270lbs at 5'1. I busted my butt and was at 230 the day of surgery, May 11, 2013. Today, 14 months out, I'm at 125 and couldn't be happier. Maintenance is hard of course, but so far, it's actually easier than I thought it would be. So much easier than it was with my Lapband. I don't post much anymore because life has gotten so busy now that I have so much more energy. But I always loved before and afters, especially of revisions, when I was pre-op. I was told and feared that I wouldn't be as successful because I was a revision, but it just wasn't true. Bust your butt, use your sleeve and follow the rules, and revisions have just as much chance at success as "virgin sleevers." So here it is: HW: 270 SW: 230 Surgeon's Goal: 150 My Goal: 135 CW: 125
  2. Kristina J.

    I Want To See Before & After Pics! (Cont'd)

    14 months post op, band to sleeve revision! HW: 270 SW: 230 CW: 125!!
  3. Kristina J.

    May sleevers 2013

    I'm down 60 since surgery, so with my 40 pre-op, I'm officially down 100lbs now!!!!!
  4. Kristina J.

    Band to sleeve success question....

    I had pretty much the exact thing you're asking about! Lol I was banded in '03 and lost 100lbs. I was within 20lbs of goal. Weight was creeping back on and we discovered a slip in '05. I had to have my band removed at that time because of erosions. I was actually rebanded a year later after gaining back all the 100 I had lost, plus another 20!! With the second band, I was like most revisions, where I just never had much success. I lost 60, gained 20. Lost 40, gained 30. I went on like that for 7 years before finally getting a revision to sleeve in May this year. I've been really successful, and as of today, I've lost 100lbs and am just 20 from goal again!! And if I can do it, anyone can! I work hard, but weight loss has always been a struggle for me. Feel free to inbox me if you have more questions, since I think I'm kinda the exact situation you were looking for! Lol
  5. Kristina J.

    I Want To See Before & After Pics!

    5 months out, down 99lbs, including pre-op! HW: 270 SW: 230 CW: 171
  6. Kristina J.

    5 Month Progress Pictures

    Thanks so much everyone!!!
  7. Friday will be 5 months since surgery! I haven't posed much lately since my new less fat butt is out and about way more these days, but here are some progress pictures! They were always my favorite thing to see when I was pre-op!! It's amazing to finally feel "normal" again. I lost 40 in the 4-5 months pre op, and another 57 since surgery, putting me at a loss of 97lbs. I feel like a whole new person. I'm a better mom, wife, friend and just a better, happier, person all around!!
  8. Kristina J.

    5 Month Progress Pictures

    Wow! Thank you all SO much. I am so thankful for my new life. The husband has lost 43lbs just from changing his eating habits along side mine. Why the hell is it so much easier for him?!? Haha I am so lucky to have his support, and all the support I've found here!! I seriously can't believe that I'M now one of the people posting these pictures. I would stay up late at night, pre-op, looking at people's progress pictures, just praying that I would have even a fraction of their success. It's amazing what we're capable of with the right help!! Xoxoxo Thanks again so much everyone!!!
  9. Kristina J.

    May sleevers! How much have you lost so far?

    Surgery date, May 11, 2013 with Dr. Garcia in Mexico! HW (January/February of 2013): 270 SW: 230 CW: 173 Goal: 150 I set my goal kinda high for my height (only 5'1), but if I'm still losing, I would mind settling around 130-140!
  10. Kristina J.

    Alternative to Noodles?

    I use spaghetti squash a lot too!! There are tons of how to's online, but when I put sauce on it, I don't notice much difference!! The quinoa Pasta sounds good, but I'm still pretty lazy to think about making my own pasta! Hahahaha That zucchini spiral slicer is awesome too. I found one on Amazon for a great price!!
  11. Glad to hear it was waived. Prolapse was a big issue for me and the issue that led to my revision. Once you've prolapsed once, it tends to happen again and again! Trust me, I would know! lol Congratulations on your approval!!
  12. Kristina J.

    band to sleeve

    I revised in May and couldn't be happier. It was terrifying but has 100% saved my life and I no longer have to puke everyday or worry about whether or not I can get water down some days. I feel normal for the first time in my life, and while I had success with my band, up until it slipped, this has been like starting all over. I've lost almost 100lbs total and couldn't be happier with my results and don't have to worry about complications that would make me empty/remove my band and go back to where I was before. This is permanent and it feels permanent. The fear is gone and I can enjoy the new me!!
  13. I stuck to my lifting limits as much as possible for the first 6 weeks. I recruited help and used it!! But with my kids 2 & 3 when I revised, I knew that any temporary inconvenience would be far outweighed by the untold number of extra years I will now get with them. I am a better mom now. I am a more active mom and the kid of mom they deserve. My weight no longer holds my kids back, and that has, by far, been the best reward in their whole journey!!!
  14. Kristina J.

    Bands to Sleeves less successful

    I heard that through word of mouth (not my doctors) before my revision. It did scare me, but for me, having struggled with the band for 10 years and not being able to eat the healthy foods, I have found the sleeve to be everything the band promised to be without the constant vomiting and pain leading me to sliders. When I did actually ask my surgeon about it, his response was that you can take any group of WLS patients and find those that didn't have success. He said that for banders, that percentage is very high, but generally more from complications, where as with sleevers (revision or "virgin") that failure tends to come more from not being willing to make the major lifestyle changes. Attitudes like, "I eat the same, just less of it." Or, "I am losing so obviously it's working even though I eat bad foods sometimes still." I think a couple of people hit the nail on the head saying that banders generally learn to eat around their band, a lot of the time out of necessity. But like ANY sleever, the best way to set yourself for success is to decide that this is the tool that will help you change your life and become the healthy person you always wanted to be. I'm no angel, and I do cheat a little sometimes, but never with a justification that "I didn't do this to live on a diet." I cheat a little here and there to keep from going off the deep end and living on slider foods, like I know I could do. So while I don't know for sure if there's any truth to the idea that revisions don't lose as much, I do know that this surgery can be a life saving move, when coupled with hard work and life changes. And for me? I'm almost 5 months out and down a total of 97lbs since I scheduled (I had a very experienced revision surgeon and zero complications). So if my hard work and determination makes me an exception to the "lose less" rule, I'll take it. I did enough research pre-op to know that the success stories for revisions AND virgin sleeves were the people that changes their lives completely and not just their stomachs!!
  15. Kristina J.


    From the album: Kristina J.

  16. Kristina J.

    Kristina J.

  17. Kristina J.

    Worst Case Scenarios

    It's a great list for surgeries that go well, which is most of them! But, in cases where it goes wrong, not only is there the whole "risk of death" thing, but there are a bunch of other possible complications. Not that it's something to focus on pre-op, but if you really want to know what you could be getting into, best to cruise the complications forum. A leak could mean months in the hospital. A stricture could mean multiple procedures to dilate. Complications could lead to revision to another surgery. Just something to keep in mind when going over "worst case scenarios."
  18. Kristina J.


    A lapband isn't the answer. Just take a look in the "band to sleeve" forum here. The band is a world of problems that will only make things harder. You need to do what you and your surgeon decide is best, but please be aware of the multitude of complications that come with the band alone. I can't imagine those get any better when banding a sleeve. :-/
  19. Well when I had dilation and prolapse, my band was emptied for 3 months to heal. After 3 months it looked much better and we started re-filling again. So it made sense to me that if I emptied it again before my revision, that it would be in better condition, therefore making my surgery easier. I emptied 2 months pre-op, and had a great single surgery revision. Almost 3 months out now from my single surgery revision. Surgery itself was a breeze (50 minutes) and my recovery after has been pretty easy the whole time. That being said though, there are doctors that just don't believe a single surgery revision is ever safe and won't do them. I was self pay, so the possibility for a safe single surgery was very important to me. In your case, it's frustrating, but best to just listen to your surgeon. Patience is a necessary evil all the way through this journey. Consider it some extra practice Best of luck!!!!
  20. Kristina J.


    Kejohnson83 It's mostly pictures of my kids lol but some progress pics too! Haha
  21. Kristina J.

    Almost 3 months Out.. PICS!

    So proud of you Lawrence!!! You are always such a source of inspiration for me, both physically and mentally!! Nice work friend!!! You look so handsome!!!! :-)
  22. Kristina J.

    New commercial!

    Holy hell that's a longer post than I realized! Haha And I typed it on my phone!! lol I wonder how long I've been typing?!? HAHAHAHA And as far as Chris Christie... It doesn't really seem like he's lost much, however, most banders don't start losing until they've had a series of fills. Though, I imagine he's far enough out to be at that point by now. Not looking good for the whole "walking billboard thing" they seem to have been going for...
  23. Kristina J.

    New commercial!

    Here's my "band vet" take on LapBands! lol Bands can work well if you find your "sweet spot" with fills. I did with my first band and lost 80 of the 100 I wanted to lose. But like a lot of people, despite my success, I ended up with complications in time (2.5 years out for me). I had a removal because my erosions from my slip were so bad. Over the year I was without the band, I gained back all 80 I had lost, plus another 20. I never put in the real effort to change my eating habits or deal with my head, so once restriction was gone, so was all of my success! When I was rebanded in 2006 (unfortunately for me, still a pre-sleeve popularity time), I had a different size and brand of LapBand. It was supposed to be "better" or "more effective" and "safer." I didn't have complications with that one for almost 5 years, but never came close to finding my "sweet spot" either. I would either throw up everything regularly, or have what felt like zero restriction, no matter how many adjustments I got. It was insanely frustrating. Eventually my over eating/tight band, led to chronic prolapse and dilation. I emptied healed (3 months) and slowly refilled 3 times. But after all of that, almost a year later and at my highest weight (probably ever), I decided that I wanted my band out! I didn't even realize I could revise at the time, but through researching a self pay doctor to remove my band, I learned about the sleeve. I know you and I have talked about this before nursebarbie, but I do believe that part of the failure of my 2nd band was my fault, as well as the regain in between. Yes, it is absolutely a flawed system that fails more people than it helps. And yes, my band likely would have failed to some degree no matter what I did. BUT, I was 18 when my band was placed. I wasn't educated about WLS the way I should have been, and didn't understand the many aspects that need to come together for its success. I expected it to be the magic solution that a lot of people (wrongly) assume all WLS is. I didn't make the changes I should have. I didn't change my lifestyle. I did the same things and even ate the same things, just less of them. I didn't add exercise or learn about nutrition or the way our body processes different foods. I never tracked food (or even thought of it). I kept the junk food in my life which meant that when I needed/wanted that fix, I loaded up on slider foods. And when I couldn't get that sweet spot, and all I could eat were sliders, I didn't go back to my doctor and try and really address my issues the way I should have. I was naive and scared that I would be adjusted down even more, and that less restriction would make things even worse. Even though the reality is that with a lapband, sometimes people actually need less restriction to avoid major complications and even just to be more successful. I always wonder how my path would have been different if I hadn't been so fearful of losing some of that (too tight) restriction. I believe it still wouldn't have been what I needed, but looking back, I'm still curious what might have been different had I not had that fear and just fully trusted in what my surgeon suggested. Instead, I stayed too tight. I found myself borderline bulimic. I was eating awful foods and justifying eating more, because I was getting stuck and throwing up half of my meal so often. And even worse, it WORKED! I would go with this awful mentality for a few months and drop weight eating crap foods as I wished and "lucking out" because I got stuck and puked so often. Eventually the slider foods would lead me to gain it all back of course, but I followed a yo-yo weight pattern the entire time I had that second band. Again, I share plenty of blame with the band itself. That evil little thing made truly healthy eating, darn near impossible!! Lean dense Protein? F that. I might as well have just throw it in the toilet and saved myself from playing middle man. Fruits and veggies?! Nope!! No way. Maybe if I cooked the hell out of the veggies and put enough butter on them that they'd slide down, sure. But raw veggies? Fruits in anything other than cooked form like jams, cobblers and pies?! All instantly stuck. But when it came down to it, I relied purely on that flawed system to be some magic cure. I wasn't proactive and didn't make life changes along with it. So I really do believe that it's a shared failure!! While I would NEVER recommend the band to anyone, I also don't regret my time with it. It showed me my own flaws and helped me to know what I was really going to need to do to make my sleeve work for me. It kept me from jumping into another WLS uneducated, with rose colored glasses on. This sleeve can be easy sometimes and other times, its hard as hell. I pushed myself to implement those life changes BEFORE my revision. After my band was emptied, I lost half of my total (63lbs), before I even had my revision surgery. I changed my diet to the foods I had avoided for fear or being "stuck" for the last 10 years. I felt like a new person just without Fluid in my band. I know that long term, I would still have faced problems with volume eating (my real base problem), but I was able to stay motivated, knowing "help was on the way." The sleeve has helped me take that new lifestyle and be successful in reaching over halfway to my goal. And there are still days, post revision, when I want to load up on carbs and crap, and I very easily could, justifying that its ok, because I'll eat so much less of it. But I don't. And part of why I don't, is because of my experience with my band, and learning the hard way that restriction really is just part of a successful equation!!!