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Oak Park Lorena

Gastric Sleeve Patients
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About Oak Park Lorena

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    Guru in Training
  • Birthday 04/23/1965

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    Oak Park
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  1. Oak Park Lorena

    This is happening and I'm crying!!!

    Oh, no you can style your hair just the same way you always do, you just shouldn't pull really hard on the hair the way some stylist do when they do blow outs. I actually did some wig shopping, but they are very hot and like you, I could not imagine walking around with that on my head in the middle of a Chicago summer! And, I'm single, so I also imagined how awkward it could be to say, "let me slip into something more comfortable, oh, and take off my hair, too!"
  2. Oak Park Lorena

    This is happening and I'm crying!!!

    I had two different types of extensions, keratin bond extensions and what are called tape-in extensions. The keratin bond extensions are where they take a small bundle of hairs and attach it using a bond made of keratin to one strand of your hair right at the scalp. It takes a couple of hours to get them installed. I have long hair so I opted for longer extensions. It was about $1200 to have them put in and they lasted 5-6 months with no need to visit the stylist until the next set. Generally, you cannot re-use the keratin extensions, so you have to have a new set put in. I also tried the tape-in extensions. They are 1/2 wide bits of hair that they attach to your hair with special tape. It takes only about 20 minutes to get them installed. Those can stay in about 6-8 weeks and then they have to be removed and replaced. You can remove and replace the same set of extensions three times. The cost to put them in was $600 with going in at 6 week intervals and paying about $100 for her to remove them and put them back in. The cost of the two types of extensions are really the same because you'll need a full new set of tape-ins probably 3 times a year plus the upkeep. I never considered a weave. That is where they create a braid and then sew in extensions to the braid. I just don't have the right hair for it and I already had enough of my own hair that it wasn't necessary. I've also heard and read that the scalp under the braid can get very itchy! I also did not like the idea of the micro beads because you can feel them against your scalp and you cannot get your hair colored when you have them in (you can color your hair with the keratin and tape ins). Both types of extensions looked completely natural on me and no one ever knew I had them. Even hairdressers were surprised to see that wasn't all me! The tape ins I would say are a bit easier to wear and you can't feel them when you touch your hair (or someone else does!), the bonds, however, you can feel as little bumps if you touched that area. With any kind of extension, you cannot run your fingers through your hair from scalp to end. The tape in extensions are definitely "lighter" feeling than the keratin bonds and generally speaking, they probably do the least amount of damage to your natural hair. As far as taking care of them, you have to be gentle with brushing and have to avoid putting any conditioners or oils or slippery things on the bonds or tape that might loosen them. You have to be very careful when you're drying your hair or styling not to heat the bonds or tug too hard. You also have to keep out tangles and sleep in a braid or pony tail to avoid tangles. Finding a good stylist to put them in and to cut your hair so they blend in is key. Improperly placed extensions can pull on your hair and potentially cause hair loss. Also, it's not just knowing how to put them in, but take them out--whatever kind of extension is used, they must be gently removed so as to avoid pulling out or damaging your natural hair. I found my person on Yelp and she's terrific. I live in the Chicago area so there were many choices, I'm not sure about where you live, but extensions are become more and more popular, so more people are doing it. There are also many, many different companies making extensions and you'll want to make sure that you pick someone who uses a good product. You can also google the makers of the extensions and then see if they have a way to locate a stylist who uses their products near you. I used Great Lengths. Beware though, extensions look so great, it can be hard to give them up!
  3. Oak Park Lorena

    This is happening and I'm crying!!!

    Hello! First of all, there is nothing "vain" in being distressed when you start losing hair at such a fast rate, so give yourself a break there! I was sleeved in August 2013. I have very long, very thick hair and my surgeon warned me that it was going to thin and fall out, and sure enough, it did. I thought I was prepared for it, but when it happens, is upsetting and even though you're thrilled to see your constantly shrinking self in the mirror, that thin hair is tough to deal with. I have posted this before, but I will again here: I chose to get hair extensions. They are not inexpensive by any means, but it was an expense that I felt was worth it for me. After two years of a very healthy diet and treating my hair carefully (extensions can be damaging if you aren't very careful), I am happy to say that my hair has made an incredible comeback. It is thick, and shiny and healthy again and I no longer feel I need to augment it with extensions. While hair extensions are very expensive and not something everyone is willing to endure, there are a number of rather inexpensive and very attractive options out there like clip-in extensions and what are called halos. These are things you can easily put in yourself and just wear when you go out and they just give you a bit more hair. You can buy them online or at any beauty store like Ulta or Sephora. One of the things to which I attribute to my hair's comeback is definitely the addition and regular use of additional vitamins. Everyone seems to know about Biotin, but Vitamin C , which is an essential building block for the production of collagen, is the unsung hero of hair growth. I take a C supplement above what is in a multi-vitamin. I also take pretty large doses of Vitamin E. I take 15,000 mg of C and 1200 IU of a natural form of E everyday over three doses. These are large amounts, I don't necessarily recommend that for someone else without consulting your doctor. Good luck with everything! I'm sure you will find a way that works for you to make peace with your temporary "bad hair day"!
  4. Oak Park Lorena

    Product: Kodiak Cakes

    I wasn't aware that there was some specific prohibition or restriction on carbs for people who have had a gastric sleeve. Could you please provide some basis for this assertion that people who have been sleeved cannot eat carbs or have to severely restrict their carb intake? My understanding is that there is a slow introduction of solid foods following the surgery in order to allow your stomach to recover. After that point, what you eat and don't eat is really up to you. Some people might choose a carb restricted diet because that is easier for them to lose weight or keep it off. The challenge of life post-sleeve is to find a healthier way of eating, never eating carbs again or replacing real food with frankenfood that has fewer calories is not necessarily a long-term or sustainable solution. I think that eating pancakes topped with some butter and real maple syrup would be a perfectly acceptable once in a while meal for anyone sleeved or otherwise.
  5. Oak Park Lorena

    Hunger has set in...

    Hey, @@pinkbunies! First of all, big kudos for losing over 100 pounds--that's amazing! And good for you for being so dedicated at the gym, it sounds like the lifting is paying off. I'm not even going to jump into the whole "sleeves stretch v. no they don't" debate. And I'm certainly going to second-guess your Protein intake requirements. I can say, though, that I too have hunger again. I am nearly three years out and about 6 months ago I suddenly started to experience hunger again or at least a growling tummy. It was weird, it was like someone threw a switch, one day no rumbling, next day rumbling. I noticed, funny enough, watching a food commercial on TV. For years, I had no hunger response to food stimuli, no tummy rumbling when I saw or smelled something appetizing. But, suddenly, while close ups of big gloppy plates of Pasta passed across my TV screen. . .grumble. It actually startled me because I hadn't experienced that sensation in so long. I still don't quite experience "hunger" the way I did pre-sleeve. I am doing a fast day and I don't actually feel hungry even when I don't eat for 24 hours, but if I see something that looks or smells good, I feel "hungry." I do still have pretty significant restriction as well. I do, however, respond again to visuals of food or good food smells again. There is evidence that the sleeve significantly reduces the body's production of ghrelin, the "hunger" hormone, but as I recall from the research I read at the time of my sleeve, they don't really understand why cutting away part of the stomach reduces or seemingly eliminates the body's ghrelin production. I am assuming that in my case, at least, my body is now producing this hormone again after a 2+ year hiatus. Building muscle definitely requires a large supply of good quality protein and muscle burns significantly more calories than fat, so it's possible that your newly muscled body does need both more protein and more calories. However, you may, like me and from what I see anecdotally from my perusals of articles on this subject on line for other sleevers, may be producing the hunger hormone in larger quantities than you were after the sleeve. I've come to accept this and accept that it doesn't necessarily mean weight gain, just makes it a bit harder. I don't know that I have any specific advice other than to say that you should be aware of this and come up with strategies to determine what your body actually needs in terms of fuel v. a renewed desire for food. I wish you the best of luck!
  6. Oak Park Lorena

    What’s Your Take on Summer Fruit?

    Watermelon pizza! That sounds absolutely delicious! When am I invited for dinner? I'm free tomorrow, not being pushy, or anything
  7. Oak Park Lorena

    What’s Your Take on Summer Fruit?

    I am here to sing the praises of watermelon! Yes, @@catwoman7, watermelon, like all fruits has fairly high sugar content, however, unlike some fruits, watermelon is very low in calories. In order to consume 500 calories of watermelon, you would have to eat over four pounds of it, even the biggest binger in the world could hardly manage that! The "water" part of the Water melon also makes it a great food for sleevers, all that water will make you feel very full and satisfied very quickly. I buy a whole watermelon and cut it up into small chunks and keep in the the fridge in ziplock bags. I have a piece as a snack, after a work out, and a few pieces for desert, even my dog loves it as a treat! I would say over the course of the day I might consume the equilvalent of a cup to a cup and a half of watermelon--for a whopping total of 46 to 69 calories! It's juicy, sweet and delicious and it is definitely something that makes me feel full, satisfied and not at all like I'm missing out on summer treats!
  8. Oak Park Lorena

    Blood clots anyone?

    @@christiR This forum is a great place to get general information and suppot from fellow sleevers, but it is NOT where you should turn for specific medical advice! Blood clots are potentially life-threatening post-surgical complications. I had a DVT that turned into a pulmonary embolism following knee surgery some years ago. The symptoms of a DVT ("blood clot") can be vague. No, @@Lindsey Skinner Abbott, there is not necessarily any pain associated with either the DVT or a PVT (and clot in a portal) or even once the clot has broken off and become an embolism. If you have ANY concern that you might have a blood clot, PLEASE contact your surgical team immediately. You will not be bothering them, they want you to have a complication-free recover as much as you do!
  9. Oak Park Lorena

    Day two in hospital post op

    Congratulations and good for you! I'm impressed that you have the heart to post at this point. If I'd posted on the day after my surgery it would have looked like this: BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! Happy healing!
  10. Oak Park Lorena


    Beer! One of my favorite topics! I'm a huge fan of craft beer and I'm a homebrewer. I had very specific and lengthy discussions with my surgeon about drinking beer with a sleeve. I told him point blank that if I couldn't drink beer ever again, no sleeve for me. He said that that carbonated beverages can cause stomach distress (duh, because it's gassy!), but that beer has significantly less carb than soda (this is true!) and so if I could tolerate the pressure the carb might cause, I could certainly enjoy beer in moderation without fears of "stretching," "explosions" or liver damage. I started adding beer to my diet around month 4 and it was okay! I was downed with a bum foot and had to have surgery earlier this year, so I was on my behind on the sofa for a few months and had not really been able to do much cardio before that, so that inactivity + a house full of high calories BA RIS's (if you're a beer dork, you're following my abbreviations, if you're not you don't care anyway!) =a fatter me. So, my only caution with the beer, is look out for the calories, so many craft beers these days pack a whallop in ways other than ABV! I'm a big fan of the shower beer AFTER a run or work out! Cheers and remember: beer is proof that god loves us
  11. Oak Park Lorena

    Anyone else alone for the holiday weekend?

    @@waterwoman thanks! I've noticed that typing lots of posts makes it harder to eat!
  12. Oak Park Lorena

    How severe was your hair loss?

    @@AchieveGoals yes, there is a better than even chance that you'll experience some hair loss regardless of what you might do to prevent it. I experienced rather dramatic hair loss around months 3-6. The important thing is to remember that the loss is temporary! Don't focus on worrying about it happening or trying to prevent it, think about strategies for dealing with the period where it might be thin and focus on making sure you give your body what it needs to grow new, healthy hair. Biotin is great for reducing the loss of hair, but, in my anectodal experience, taking Vitamins C and E and eating a diet rich in Omega 3s really helped my hair grown back thick and shiny. Moreoever, I'm not embarassed to say, I got extensions to help me get over the thin- hair hump. That may not be a good choice for you if you already have thin hair, but there are many things out there you could use temporarily to ease you through.
  13. Oak Park Lorena

    Anyone else alone for the holiday weekend?

    @@AvaFern Good for you, congrats on the admissions! I loved every minute of law school, would be happy to be a student forever if that actually paid something! I think there is a big difference between be "alone" and being "lonely." I was married at one point in my life and though I was rarely "alone," I was often lonely. I've also been completely alone in the middle of the desert in the middle of the night and didn't feel lonely at all. I think it is all just where we are in our lives and what it is that we have v. what we want.
  14. Oak Park Lorena

    What's your favourite...

    Adam and Eve are sitting in the Garden of Eden, holding hands and watching a beautiful sunset. As a soft breeze gently sweeps over them, Eve tenderly turns to Adam and asks: "But, do you really love me?" To which Adam replies, "There's no one but you, babe!"
  15. Oak Park Lorena

    Keeping surgery a secret?

    First, kudos to you for being so self-aware. Not everyone who embarks on this crazy WLS journey is, so you've already got a leg up there! Second, sometimes our biological families drop the ball in the support department and we have to lean on our chosen families, and that's okay. I don't know that you have to keep it entirely secret from your family, maybe just let them know very close to your surgical date that you're having surgery, but make it clear that it's an FYI only, not that you're asking for them to come to your bedside. Mind you, I don't think you "owe" them that, just think you might feel more comfortable letting them know and not feeling the burden of having to keep a secret. Good luck with whatever you decide!

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