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Shells_Almost_There

Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by Shells_Almost_There

  1. So true. I used my chapstick, the phone charger, my toothbrush/paste, oh - and I brought my surgery bunny to hold against my belly when standing the first day. That's it. LOL
  2. Shells_Almost_There

    bypass revision ?

    My surgeon required 2 nights for all bypass patients (revision or not), and 1 night for sleeve.
  3. Shells_Almost_There

    Vitamin Patches

    I recently bought the 1-month multipack (multivitamin [looks like it's not "bariatric" though], D3, Iron, & B12) from Bariatric Pal, and I'm hoping to have a positive outcome on my next labs.
  4. Shells_Almost_There

    Has anyone kept it a secret?

    I kept my surgery a secret on the strong advice of the psychologist who I was required to see as part of my surgery approval. He mentioned that people can be really negative about WL surgery and how people post-op, those who know will start to police what you put in your mouth. Super annoying. I'm now 3 years out and only a total of 10 people know who aren't medical professionals. I'm a really private person anyway, so this worked with my personality. One other thing that helped me keep this as a "secret" is that I had previous weight loss successes that were in the 50-60 pound range, then a regain over a year or two (which is what led me to surgery) -- people close to me knew that I had lost larger amounts of weight previously so they didn't think anything of it when I started losing again. So for me, this was a smart move and I am happy that I made that decision and stuck to it -- secrecy gets awkward sometimes, but my privacy was completely worth it! Best of luck to you - you're in the very best part of the journey right now!
  5. Shells_Almost_There

    Considering a re-sleeve in the new year

    I can't decide if I'm embarrassed to write this post or not...So, I'm just going to go for it. I hit my 2-year mark without fanfare a few weeks back. I reminded no one, and didn't bother taking a picture. I'm completely bummed out and am grasping for...food (was going to say straws, but I might as well be honest). I've struggled - starting with a pretty darn high weight in the first place, having a stupid short honeymoon period, and ending up in November 2015 with so much extra stress in my life that I sometimes wonder how this all happened (this is the "woe is me" part, sorry)...so here I am today, weighing about 15 pounds more than my lowest weight at left (that I hit in May 2015) that I don't seem to be able to shake back off of me, and looking for support. I'm writing this post because first, I would like to hear from anyone who has actually been re-sleeved. FYI that I am not interested in converting to the bypass, because for probably the rest of my life, I must be able to take NSAIDs for arthritis (and after a bypass, medicating for that becomes tricky and appears to only involve cortisone shots. Yuck, ouch, and no). Second, I'm writing this as a reality check to myself -- I've written/deleted/rewritten/re-deleted this post a couple of times this morning because as I've typed, I've realized a few very important things I've changed in the past 5-7 months that I need to grab back onto - things that are now contributing to my weight gain and pushing my thoughts toward that 2nd surgery. With as much weight as I still have to lose (50 to 90 lbs), I had already been considering a 2nd surgery, because I felt like I would need one more big push toward goal (at more than 50 pounds away after 2 years). I checked into getting a bypass as a method towards that final push, but that's when I learned about the arthritis meds problem. My recent struggles are just causing the underlying reason for that surgery to change a bit-from a "push" to a "need" (at least in my head ). Hopefully that sentence makes sense. I'm looking for someone who can maybe shed light on what it's like to be re-sleeved (as a "re-do" rather than for actual medical complications, since I have read about those issues on this site), if there's anyone out there who has experienced it. I will be seeking a different surgeon to perform it, and if I end up going this route, I am hoping to do it in May or June 2016. I have faith that some will remind me of the 5-day pouch test, getting in my daily Protein and Water, and other great advice toward getting back on track (that's my plan for the coming week - doing menu planning after posting this). I appreciate this community for its experience and advice! Thanks! ETA 1: Thanks for the comments! But somehow I've possibly given the impression that I have just 15 pounds to lose. Ah, if only that were true!!! Clarification, my "first" goal weight is 199, and I'm currently 50+ away from that. My true goal is 180, and my reach goal is 160-165. The 15 lb reference is that I'm up 15 from my lowest "current weight" (listed at left in my profile info). In other words, I have more weight still left to lose than some people have when they walk in the door for their first WLS consultation. I've had a number of weight fluctuations in the past 6 or so months, but this is the first time I can't seem to adjust my diet and have that weight go away. ETA 2: I've had a Fit Bit almost 2 years, and have worked out for the past 15 or so months (per my doc's plan, which is very conservative and geared around losing fat not muscle) until recently 5 to 7 days per week. Where I'm off is on my food intake and choices, which is good to be aware of because I can effect change. The heart of my post is that yes, I can make better food choices and update my workouts (they are boring to me now so I'm less motivated) and could probably get back on track for another bit of weight loss. What I'm considering is whether to do a "drastic" step to get re-sleeved to assist with the large portion of weight still left to lose. And no, this is not a stall - I've stalled any number of times in the past year and a half - this is different. This is more of a meta moment of realization...and I appreciate everyone who is taking the time to read and respond!
  6. Shells_Almost_There

    Considering a re-sleeve in the new year

    @@winklie, interesting info! I bet surgeons are wary, because there have been those changes of outlook with the band (unfortunately to the negative) - although my surgeon still does the band according to their website. Where I live, very few surgeons were Centers of Excellence for the sleeve, so the list of surgeons covered by my insurance for the sleeve procedure was limited back in 2013. Since then, I think a nearby bariatric center has added the sleeve procedure, so it may have caught on a bit more. Back then, I knew that I didn't want the band, and I was really scared of the bypass. I had never even heard of the sleeve until a friend told me about it - so I ended up finding a surgeon and running with it. I think I would still recommend the sleeve to a friend considering surgery, but I would definitely tell them to join this site and read, read, read as part of their decision making process!
  7. It's smart to question such a huge decision, and a lot goes into deciding. Previous comments have mentioned much of what I would say, including that I waited an entire year to give myself that "last chance" to lose weight on my own. I think I ended up gaining weight in that 12 months - almost back to my highest weight ever! Looking back, I think that the gain was actually self-sabotage to finally give myself permission to have surgery...but at the time the struggle to try to win that battle was real and disheartening. Many say to remember this surgery is a "tool" and that is correct, but also experiences post-op vary so much that we can defy the stereotypes in many ways. I was telling someone the other day that the true weight loss result from my sleeve surgery was losing exactly 40 pounds. That's it. I lost 20 during pre-op. Then I lost that very crucial 40 pounds in the first 4 months post op. After that, my "honeymoon" was over and every single change with my body since that time has been from my own effort and decision making. Yes, I have the benefits of less hunger (only a slight change, as my hunger came back at 6 months), and that helps. But I have the enormous benefit that those 60 total pounds from pre/post op made me brave enough to have another knee surgery that I had been putting off for at least 7 years, and light enough that I could get back to the gym without injury and total embarrassment about how I look. But surgery overall? A 40 pound loss. Sounds strange, right? But it was a 40 pound loss that completely changed my life! I guess what I'm trying to say is that your experience will have all sorts of commonalities with the people on this site, but you will also have your very personal challenges and victories that are all for you. I believe that it's the day-to-day challenges after the weight stops falling off that really makes or breaks this experience. And without surgery, I know for 100% certain that I would have re-gained ALL my weight and then some by now - so there you go. I've lost 108 pounds from my highest recorded weight, finally hit 90 pounds lost since pre-op (yay!) and have about 50 to go for my first big goal. The surgical results for me personally are not what I would call "typical," but dang was it ever worth the ride!!!! And it still is -- I have this sleeve surgery to thank for everything that has happened since, and would do it over again with the same (sometimes frustrating) results in a heartbeat. I hope this makes sense, it's the first time I've written this down in any sort of comprehensive way
  8. Shells_Almost_There

    Yoga's harder than it looks!

    I've never been a fan of yoga so I haven't given it much of a shot in the past. On the spur of the moment the other day I bought a yoga workout DVD - I'm hoping to get into it. Although I've lost weight and have gained strength from my regular workouts, I still don't feel like I have a lot of core strength. I'm hoping this will help!
  9. Shells_Almost_There

    Your Favorite things- fitness/ exercise related

    I have come to really love my gym. It's one of those 24-hour keycard places - so I just go in at 4:30 a.m. when there are few people around (and those who are there are just as crazy as me!) and just do my thing. I'm almost always the largest person there, so it took a while to get over the chip on my shoulder about the wiggle-n-jiggle, but I think no one really cares about that but me. I bought a couple of training sessions to keep my workouts fresh (and to keep them challenging!) - totally worth the money. I am a slow loser, but I am completely inspired by the way my body composition has been changing since I got serious about my workouts in August. I can't keep up with the clothing costs at this point, so I look a little "baggy" a lot of the time. Not a bad problem to have! Other things that have really helped me: I got a Fitbit for Christmas a year ago, and it has helped me with tracking exercise and inspiring me to hit at least 10,000 steps per day. I'm still enjoying it, but I'm tempted to get a newer device (thinking Vivofit) for this year. I have also invested in nicer gym clothes, a new iPod and some wireless over-the-ear headphones. Essentially for the past year, for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions, I've asked for gift cards so that I could purchase fitness equipment and even a 1-year gym membership. It has been a really good year, and I'm looking forward to even better in 2015!
  10. For me, it's too easy to NOT do anything if I stay home. I will sit on the couch and think about exercising but never actually do it. I started using my treadmill to hang dry my clothes instead of using it to work out. So, a monetary commitment was what I needed to stay motivated at first. Now, I have habits and it's great. To meet my hectic schedule, I get up at 4:00 a.m. and arrive at the gym by 4:30. Weekdays this is the only schedule that works so that I get to my office on time. It was painful at first, but the 4:30 a.m. group at the gym are a bunch of great people (who sadly only see me when I look like crap LOL) - and they help motivate me everyday. This is a personal, decision, of course, and I truly think that you can make it work at home - I just learned that I can't. Plus the gym has neat machines and personal trainers to help out when I need it. Good luck with your decision!
  11. Shells_Almost_There

    Is it me, or is it them?

    You are undoubtedly more confident and that is probably showing in ways that you don't realize. I have funny little things that are showing up that I've had to have pointed out to me because I hadn't noticed. For example, I walk really fast now. Once I had my knee surgery (5 months after my sleeve), 7 years of knee pain has disappeared. I'm unstoppable! I even hiked 5 miles this weekend. Not something I would have done pre-sleeve, due to my weight and my bad knee. I will say though, I work with someone who I've had to ask to stop greeting me by saying "Good morning, Skinny!" She did it again last week and it really ticked me off. I weigh 260 pounds, and am in no way "skinny." Plus it makes me really uncomfortable. I mean, I walk into my surgeon's office and I'm sure the people in the waiting room assume I'm pre-op because I'm so big. It's just that my weight loss is super noticeable to those I've known for a while, and she can't seem to help herself. She thinks it's a compliment. I've explained to her that it makes me feel uncomfortable, but she just seems to have verbal diarrhea and says it anyway. I should probably clarify that almost no one at work knows about my surgery, so my change is probably a mystery to them (and I really hope to keep it that way!) Anyway, I just go with it and try to control what I can, but I realize I can't control everything. Just another part of this crazy journey!
  12. I wouldn't go as far to say "anything I want," but I can eat many many things at once. Georgia above mentions "lots of restriction." I don't have that any longer (and I wish I did!) -- I used to be able to be completely full after a few bites and not be hungry for hours. Now I can eat quite a bit, and only sometimes feel sick or like I'm going to throw up (by the way, I've never puked or had the slimes since surgery). My hunger has returned. It's so much different than month 1 or 2. Anyway, as I said above, I still would have surgery, I still would spend the money, etc - I just am not having a very restricted experience and therefore can eat a lot of calories in a sitting and in a day if I'm not super careful. I try very hard to stick with my doctor's guidelines, but it is too easy to slip. I exercise a lot now and I'm happy to have lost the weight that I did in the first 4 months post op (and I had knee surgery a few months back once I felt ready for a 2nd operation) - so I feel more like the old me, but I still want to lose at least 60 if not 80 pounds. Now, it's all up to me - not the sleeve - to get that done. I hope this helps!
  13. Shells_Almost_There

    Grocery Bill . . .

    As already mentioned, food bill way down but clothing bill way up. I like having this issue!
  14. Shells_Almost_There

    If you are asking for advice...

    Excellent post! I actually left the site and took a nice long break because so many of the recent arrivals were being really nasty when provided with answers they didn't want to hear, and so many vets who I really liked had left out of frustration. I recently decided to give the site another chance, since it was so helpful for me pre-op and during my first couple of months post op. I find myself needing a community of support again, and am happy to see that a number of the users who were being vicious back then seem to be gone Thanks to all those uber-patient vets who are still here, handing out solid advice and reason!!! (I'm specifically looking at you, @RJ'S/beginning !)
  15. Shells_Almost_There

    Super stalls around 7th month post op?

    I too have been struggling. I'm at 9 months tomorrow and have been stuck for 10 weeks. It has been total hell, and like Gomekast says, an absolute mind game. Ritz crackers and my favorite Chex Mix just seemed to jump into my shopping cart week after week. So, I met with my surgeon this week and she really nailed me on everything - it was harsh, painful, and really embarrassing. Once I got over how horrible she made me feel, I realized I needed to take back control of this journey. So I'm on track- at least for the last few days - and have even managed to lose a couple of pounds. Plan your work, and work your plan, friends! We can do this!
  16. Shells_Almost_There

    Side effect of postop meds

    Hydrocodone freaks me out - I feel like I'm floating on the ceiling and then I have crazy dreams for a couple of hours. I swear, that is not a pain med for me, it's a psychedelic!
  17. Shells_Almost_There

    9months out help

    I thought I'd follow up to say that my surgeon basically kicked my butt during my appointment. Listing off all the things I'm obviously doing wrong, etc etc. It was painful. But once I got over my hurt feelings and had a little pity party of one, I got back on track on Friday and today. Tracked my stats closely and added exercise, and my weight is down in just 2 days. This was just the shot in the arm that I needed to break out of the doldrums and start working my plan once again, with purpose. The last thing I want to do is waste this awesome opportunity!
  18. Shells_Almost_There

    Anesthesiologist PAT test?

    For my sleeve surgery, there was nothing but a consult with the anesthesiologist about 40 minutes prior to surgery. More recently, for a simple out-patient procedure, the anesthesiologist checked the size of my mouth/throat a few days before the procedure, but then rescheduled me & sent me to the hospital because it turns out that I'm hard to intubate - she said it wouldn't be appropriate for me to have surgery at a small surgery center that didn't have a full anesthesia department. This was the first time I'd ever heard about being difficult to intubate (4 prior surgeries!) but I'm glad I found out before there were troubles during a simple knee procedure, you know? Anyway, I hope this is helpful!
  19. Shells_Almost_There

    Finally 100 lbs lost!

    Major congratulations! Awesome work
  20. Shells_Almost_There

    Just wanted to post some pics :)

    Awesome! You look amazing.
  21. Shells_Almost_There

    17 Months Out Progress

    Amazing! Congrats!
  22. Shells_Almost_There

    100 pounds down in 8 3/4 months!

    Wow! Huge congratulations!
  23. Shells_Almost_There

    Hard to celebrate Onederland

    I always say that we should take our victories where we find them! Major congrats on the milestone (and sorry you were sick) -- Enjoy your victory!
  24. Shells_Almost_There

    My 32 Week / Monthly Weight Loss Chart

    I love your chart, as it's very realistic - the slow down is real, BUT we keep losing! It can be so easy to stall out and lose motivation. Thanks for sharing!
  25. Shells_Almost_There

    Dr. Illan

    Wow, amazing progress - congrats on your journey!

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