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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by Kindle

  1. It's always possible to lose weight, no matter how far out you are. The whole point of VSG is to provide a way to limit your stomach capacity. But as you learned very quickly it only works if you put good food into it. Your restriction will work with protein and veggies. You already know the secret to losing weight. You HAVE to cut out the carbs or your surgery will be a waste. Go back to basics ....high protein and plenty of water. Sadly, you are one of the examples of the Bariatric industry focusing too much on surgery and not enough on the psychological aspect of weight loss. In the end, obesity is the product of addiction, not stomach capacity. Surgery took less than an hour, but it takes a lifetime of mental health support to achieve and maintain weight loss. Your story is unfortunately all too common. For me, committing to changing my behaviors and developing new emotion coping stategies is the key to my success. I read dozens of self help and addiction books, joined an online addiction recovery program and saw a therapist for a year. Every day is still a struggle, but at 4 years out, 104% EWL and still within 10 pounds of my lowest weight, it has been worth it. I suggest reaching out to whatever mental health support programs you may have available. I will try and compile a list of the best resources I found.
  2. I had surgery on a Friday and was back to work the next Thursday. I am a vet tech so my work consists of 10+ hour days on my feet, bending, squatting, lifting, etc. I was up shopping and sightseeing days 1 and 2 postop, traveled via plane and car days 3 and 4 and was grocery shopping, getting my hair cut and plowing my driveway day 5. So if I was working from home I probably could have gone back within 1-2 days.
  3. Kindle

    I'm freezing lol

    I'm 4 years out and still freezing. living in the mountains in Idaho where we have snow from September-June sure doesn't help. I wear long underwear 9 months out of the year. I've worn shorts about 12 times in the last 4 years and half of those were when I was visiting my parents in Arizona. I bought a truck based solely on the fact it had heated seats and steering wheel. The best Christmas present I've ever received was a 20 pack of LL Bean Wicked Good hand and toe warmers. My waterbed is set to 95 degrees, so really the only time I'm ever warm is when I'm in bed.
  4. Kindle

    My work here is done

    So it's very obvious the new newbies want nothing to do with hearing what successful WLS patients have to say. The recent debate over the the eating bacon 1 week postop makes it perfectly clear that what they want is for someone to tell them it's OK to be stupid. They are not interested in listening to their surgeons or nuts or veterans. Self sabotage is the new fad and compliance is apparently out of style. I made the mistake of responding to the post when, as a veteran, I should have known better. Turns out I'm just a big meanie (no surprise there!) At this point it's 95% newbies posting on that thread who don't have a clue what the long term repercussions of eating off plan so soon will lead to. The blind leading the blind. Oh well. It will be interesting to see the stats of successful EWL go down over the next few years as more and more unprepared, uncommitted people continue to have WLS. In the meantime, I'm outa here. The newbies won. As hard as it is to tear my eyes away from the car wreck, I just can't take anymore people that do stupid shit and then whine about getting their feelings hurt. Someone PM me when the grown ups start joining again.
  5. Kindle

    My work here is done

    Hey stranger. I was lying here, not able to sleep so thought I'd check out the latest on BP. I did post on here about a month ago. It was my three year surgiversary and I wanted to give an update..... http://www.bariatricpal.com/topic/384092-three-years-and-a-lifetime-later/ Things have been going fabulous for me over the last month or so, which is a complete turnaround from the past year and a half. The date I went on in November has evolved into a pretty serious relationship. Something I never expected or was even looking for. I gotta say, I don't miss the BP drama, But I may check back from time to time and just stay away from the craziness and stupidity. I do enjoy hearing how all the vets are doing. As well as some of the former newbies that are all "grown up" now Hope all is well with you.
  6. So yesterday was the 4 year anniversary of my brother's death (just one of many holidays ruined for me). I always find myself soul searching and reaching for hope around this time of year so here's today's random ponderings...... I saw a documentary about Gloria Vanderbilt a couple months ago. I only caught the last 1/2 hour of it, but found it very moving. Despite her amazing success in the business/fashion world, her personal life was really quite tragic. Her first husband physically beat her, her next two marriages ended in divorce and her fourth husband died during a heart bypass surgery. Her son committed suicide in front of her when he was just 23 years old by jumping from her 14th floor apartment. She was standing just a few feet away. Her youngest son is Anderson Cooper, a successful journalist for CNN. He was just two years younger than his brother and was interviewed as part of this documentary. There were two quotes from this show that really struck a chord with me. One was from Gloria...." It's only after you accept that life is a tragedy that you can start to live" and the other from Anderson...."You have to learn to live in the world without knowing the why"......That's the one I am personally working on now. Anyways, I know this isn't directly WLS related, but I find their strength and success in the face of loss and grief to be inspiring and thought I'd share.
  7. For anyone that missed it, my PCP tested my hormone levels awhile back and turns out I had low testosterone (normal is 20-80 and mine was 11) so I started testosterone replacement therapy. A few weeks after starting HRT, I was putting on my "fancy with the bling on the pockets, can't even wear underwear cause they're so tight" jeans to go to a Kentucky Derby party. Surprisingly, they weren't really that tight. And standing in front of the mirror, I noticed my collar bones were a little more prominent and my ribs were pokin out. So the next Monday at work I stepped on the scale and it read 135. The lowest number I've ever seen and that was after a weekend of consuming mass quantities of bourbon and sugar disguised as mint julips along with fried chicken, potatoes, and don't forget about all the cupcakes. Must be a fluke I thought. So for the next few weeks I stepped on the scale each Monday and turns out no, it wasn't a fluke. Apparently my normal weight range has dropped from 140-142 to 135-137. All I can think is its gotta be the testosterone because I'm not dong anything different than I have for the last year. As of last week, my testosterone level was up to 41, and there is a noticeable improvement in my mood and energy level. So between my endometrial ablation that resulted in cessation of menstruation, my complete loss of boobs and butt from WLS, and a boost in testosterone, I guess I've truly let loose my "inner man"..... And he's a much happier, skinnier version of the sad, exhausted woman I was just two months ago.
  8. ]For whatever reason, a doctor should treat a patient if they need it no matter what the circumstances. Their obligations should be to the best welfare of the patient, not their own self interests. The US surgeon who removed my gallbladder had nothing but bad things to say about the fact I went to Mexico for my VSG. Despite the fact I had a completely easy, pain free recovery with no complications and successful weight loss, he was clearly prejudiced against a non-US surgeon. Ironically, he created a hernia during my gallbladder surgery. I've already talked to a different surgeon about repairing that hernia. He doesn't care that he wasn't the one who caused the problem. Another friend had complications from a colonoscopy and a different gastroenterologist readily accepted her as a patient and took care of everything. I realize everyone makes mistakes, but when there are complications, why should someone be forced to go back to the doctor that caused the problem in the first place? I am a vet tech and we don't turn our patients away just because they were previously cared for by another vet. We give second opinions and treat animals with complications from other vets all the time.
  9. Your surgeon in Mexico should provide you with all the info you need about your postop care. My surgeon in Mexico provided me with a detailed diet plan, General excercise and nutritional info and postop care instructions. He and his nutritionist are always available for questions via phone and email. My PCP takes care of all of the bloodwork recommended by my surgeon. My OB/Gyn also offered to order whatever blood tests I need, too, so that may be another place to look if you don't have a PCP. Other than bloodwork, I didn't need any other followup care, but if I had had any complications, my PCP would have referred me to the appropriate specialist. If you find yourself in that situation and no bariatric surgeon will see you (which is common because so many are arrogant pricks that don't believe there is excellent health care available outside the US) you would end up going to the ER where they have to treat you.
  10. I was on liquids for 34 days so I know what you mean. I kept it interesting by experimenting with different Protein powders and Torani syrups to invent new Protein shake flavors. I also added unflavored protein to every broth and pureed/strained cream Soup I could find. I rarely had to eat the same thing more than a couple times unless I really liked to. In fact, even now I still have a protein shake nearly every day. But you'd be surprised, liquids may become your new best friend. I've been maintaining below goal for over 20 months and going back to full liquid Protein diet for a few days here and there is a great way to drop a couple pounds after eating off plan over holidays and vacations. Great tool to have.
  11. I travelled to and from Mexico alone. I planned on being there alone but my sister decided to come down' too. I met her in TJ day of my surgery. She was with me preop but went back to the hotel postop. she came back the next morning and we had a great time shopping and sightseeing for the next 2 days. I would have been fine by myself because the OCC and Marriot staff were there to accommodate all my needs, but since I only see my sister 1-2 times/year it was nice to have her there. The biggest thing traveling alone postop was having someone else lift my carryon bag on to the TSA belt and into the overhead bin for me. I had to unpack it before lifting it into my truck alone once I got to the parking lot.
  12. Kindle

    Anyone else alone for the holiday weekend?

    Like James, I never feel alone because I always have myself. And I'm the coolest person I know. I've been single for almost 20 years and wouldn't have it any other way. I never have to compromise on what to do over holidays (or any other day for that matter). No Inlaws, no office parties, no going places I don't particularly want to go to, etc. I get to do whatever I want to do. Tomorrow I'm going kayaking and hanging out on the river with my dog, Sunday I'll go horseback riding, and Monday I may go to the parade and craft show or I may just hang out at home or I may go horseback riding again. Depends on what I Feel like when I wake up that morning. For me, being single means freedom, flexibility and lots of self indulgence . As for holidays in general, I don't have fond feelings for too many of them. My brother died on the 4th of July, his birthday was the day before Halloween, my first serious boyfriend broke up with me on Valentine's Day, my grandma died on New Years Eve, two good friends died just before Christmas, Easter was the last holiday I spent with my best friend before his suicide, and one of my dogs was killed on Labor Day. So for me, I don't really make a big deal out of any of the holidays.....there's not many left to Celebrate anyways.
  13. Kindle


    I couldn't tolerate artificial sweeteners at all postop. I just used real sugar, monk fruit, and honey. Also drank diluted fruit juices and regular sports drinks. Used regular Torani syrups to flavor plain Greek yogurt and protein shakes. None of this impeded my weight loss, but of course I wasn't going gangbusters on high calorie Starbucks drinks or fruit smoothies, either. Besides the real thing, I will use stevia when cooking, and some of my protein supplements do contain stevia and/or erythritol.
  14. Your PCP is an arrogant prick. Find a new one. The only followup I ever needed was bloodwork at 3, 6, and 12 months and then annually. My PCP has done all of that. My OB/Gyn even offered to do it, so you may check with yours. Perhaps they arent as ignorant as your PCP.
  15. Get more protein. Drink more water. Eat more calories. And most important, S.O.T.F.S !!!!!!
  16. You need to read your insurance policy carefully. Mine specifically states it will not cover any WLS including any complications from a WLS unless the procedure is a necessary, emergency life saving procedure. So to me that means being rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery cause you are bleeding out or dumping stomach contents into your abdomen. But it wouldn't cover CTs, X-rays, bloodwork, ultrasounds, scopes, stents, feeding tubes, antibiotics, Pic lines, hospital stays, etc. that are part of diagnosing and treating a leak or abcess. Fortunately I had an easy, complication free recovery and haven't needed any care other than followup bloodwork.....which insurance will not pay for. As for a separate complication insurance policy to cover stuff once you returned home say, up to six months postop, I couldn't find any decent policies. The medical tourism policies covered things like death, dismemberment, some coverage while still in the other country and shipping your body back to the states, etc. The coverage offered for actual medical expenses related to surgical complications once home was minimal....like $20,000 at most, which is a drop in the bucket for any serious complications. IMO the cost of the policy did not justify the minimal pay out if I needed it. This was over two years ago, so maybe things have changed, but like with any policy, make sure you read the fine print!
  17. Kindle


    I'd nix the blueberries and add at least 20g protein.
  18. Very few VSG patients have dumping syndrome, so more than likely yes, you will still crave sugar and be able to tolerate it. Unless you stop eating it. The brain reacts to sugar much like it reacts to cocaine. And if you have a little, that just triggers your brain to want more and then more. Try going cold turkey no sugar for a week and see what happens to your cravings. No cheating or the experiment is worthless. Like most addicts, you may need to seek professional help to truly stay clean long term. Find a therapist, preferably one that deals with eating disorders and see if you can make any progress with them before surgery. You may luck out and be one of the few VSGers that dump or become intolerant to sugar, but more than likely this will likely be a lifelong struggle with or without surgery. You may also check out www.smartrecovery.org it is an addiction recovery program alternative to the traditional 12-step based programs like AA and OA.
  19. Add unflavored Protein powder to your broths, I also pureed and strained every kind of cream soup I could find and added protein to them....dozens of options there. freeze protein shakes for popscicles. What kind of protein shakes are you using? Syntrax nectars are more koolaid-type if you are sick of the same old chocolate/vanilla/strawberry options. I also added Torani syrups to the shakes to change up the flavors. chocolate hazelnut, vanilla raspberry, strawberry banana, Irish cream, mocha, vanilla latte, pumpkin pie, etc. BTW, between pre and postop I was on liquids for 34 days and I continued to do shakes through all my stages up through maintenance even 2 1/2 years out. It's the only way I've gotten 60-80g every day since day 5.
  20. Kindle

    Meal replacement shakes

    I just checked out the advocare Meal Replacements and they have WAY to much sugar for me. A 1:1 ratio of carb to Protein is not a good profile IMO. Unless you're working out heavily or training for a marathon and need the carbs, that 12g of sugar in the advocare is a waste of useless calories you don't need. Plus the Calcium casseinate they use is not nearly as absorbable as whey. I use Syntrax nectar, Premier, Quest, Bodytech, and unjury. All of them have 20-30g protein and just 0-5g carbs
  21. Kindle

    Gallbladder questions!

    I had my first gallbladder attack at 8 months postop. For about 10 minutes it felt like severe heartburn...pain up under the center of my ribcage. Then it progressed to debilitating pain radiating around to my back that nothing could alleviate. Spent 1 1/2 hours curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor, trying to breath. I've broken my back and had two vertebrae in my neck fused and this was by far the Worst pain I have ever experienced. Suffered through 3 more attacks over the next 14 months before finally having my gallbladder removed. By then I had 15 stones packed in there. I've known so many people that have had digestive issues after having their gall bladders removed that I wanted to be absolutely positive I really had to do it. Surgery was 23 months after my VSG and fortunately I have had zero problems since.
  22. What they said. Like Ann, I was SO ready for this. I even started my preop diet early cause I was so excited. Going into this new life with a good attitude, ready to embrace all that comes with it, not getting bogged down in the little stuff, and enjoying the ride will translate into a much easier recovery, transition and long term success. For me, I simply underestimated the role that food played in my emotional wellbeing until I was put to the test. Just be ready to roll with the punches and know you may need a Plan B.
  23. For this, you can thank your congressperson. Actually, all 4 of my my congressmen voted against the ACA and voted Yes to repeal it.
  24. Actually, no. The WLS coverage is a state thing but the drastic increase in premiums and higher deductible (because that's what I can afford) is a direct result of the implementation of the ACA and is the same in every state. Who do you think is paying for all those people that are getting free health insurance now? That would be those of us that own a small business or are self employed and work 60+ hrs/week with no PTO. I make just barely enough to not qualify for assistance and 20% of my gross income goes towards my medical expenses at this point. I have to fight and appeal for every single thing and now one of my meds is no longer covered. I have had the same insurance (Blue Shield) for the last 12 years and never had any problems with my coverage or ever got denied for any procedure prior to the ACA. And yes, I looked at other companies and their premiums are even higher. I was much better off before health insurance became so "affordable".
  25. I wouldn't have done anything different. What I did worked just right for me.....avoided those no-no foods, exceeded Protein and Fluid goals, learned to eat just until satisfied, not full, established new eating habits and a regular Vitamin schedule. I never did measure or track my food (besides protein and water) because I knew I would never keep it up. No sense trying to implement a plan I would not stick to. Instead, I just taught myself to eyeball my portions and learned the limits of what would let me lose vs maintain vs gain. That turned into a new lifestyle I can easily maintain. Likewise, I knew I would not keep up with an excercise program so I never bothered with that either. Basically, I would start doing now whatever you think you will be able to do forever and be very mindful of what foods you need to consume to lose weight vs foods that could cause weight stalls/gains in the future. Also make sure you have a plan in place for dealing with stressful events in your life. Those seem to be the trigger point for when many people start to regain weight. For me, seeing a therapist and getting on antidepressants was what I needed to help me cope since I refused to use food and alcohol as a crutch like I'd always done in the past.

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