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LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by Wheetsin

  1. Wheetsin

    Down... a freak load

    Thanks all. Sleeved life has treated me very well. I don't find it "hard" but I do have a tendency to stall long term (I've been sleeved about 15 months and have had two 3+ month stalls, the one I just got past had been in effect since March.) I've never gotten sick or dumped (yes, we can dump... anyone technically can), my capacity has not changed that much since I was about 7 months out, and I can't even begin to describe the ways this is better than the LB. I'll post better pics soon, and I plan to share a "no holds barred" on the skin. I will be getting plastics (plan is for a lower body lift/extended thigh lift) and so far it looks lie insurance will cover it (I'm doing it either way) because of some skin infection issues I'm starting to have. If my skin doesn't look bad, well - let's just say that it must be a flattering pic!
  2. I don't post here too often anymore, but I know that sharing successes is an important step. I am down - a lot. Who knows exactly how much. I've had so many "starting weights" and "goal weights" I can't even keep them straight anymore. From my highest ever, I'm down around 180 lbs. Yes, I was really that huge. From my revision date, I'm down around 150 lbs. From size 30/32 (or higher) to a consistent L or XL top, 18 jeans (16 if I get Old Navy talls). My skin is a hot mess, as expected. I probably have 2 - 3 sizes' worth of extra skin already, and I'm not at goal yet. There are some problems at this reality, "good problems" that I wouldn't trade for how I used to be, but still problems. They don't go away. Their nature changes, but they're still around. Ah, goal. That changes too. The highest "normal" BMI for me is right around 175. My surgeon told me to aim for 210. My regular doc thinks 180 - 190, as long as I'm fit, is a good range for my frame. I haven't weighed in a few days but last time I did I was something like 208.4. Under 10 lbs from the 100s. I literally cannot remember the last time I was in the 100s. It was early college, but I have no clear memory of it. So for goal, I have somewhere between 0 and 30 lbs left to lose. I don't have a great "now" pic at the moment, but here's my before (before lapband in 2006) and my "now" from about 2 weeks ago. I've actually lost about 8 lbs since then... finally broke a miserable stall. People out there, especially "super sized people" - no, you don't have too much weight to lose, and yes, you can do it too.
  3. Wheetsin

    Any old timers still around?

    It has been a few years, just seeing who might still be around from the good ol' days.
  4. I meant to post this yesterday which would have been 8 months by date but I ran out of time. Quick overview - I had lapband for about 6 years, and I believe it was slipped for about 3 of those. I had revision surgery in March of this year. After my revision I stalled. Hard. Starting about 3 weeks post-op, and lasting until right around 3 or 3.5 months. I also haven't anything but swap the same numbers for the last 3 weeks. I've always been prone to stalls, but I do wonder what my loss would look like had I been able to 'capitalize' fully on my first few months post-op. Lapband highest: 348 Lapband lowest: 238 (a little lower, but that was due to pregnancy, not the band) Lapband removal day: 284 Sleeve surgery day: 348 Today: 228 8 months post-op and I'm down 120 lbs. My before pic was taken 3 days before surgery. It hurts my heart, a lot, to see where I was. I still have 40 - 55 lbs to lose (I'm about 5'10, so my "by the charts" goal weight is in the neighborhood of 175), depending on what "goal weight" I want to go by. My wads of loose skin are ridiculous - my body is _wrecked_. I'm pretty sure I'm already carrying about 2 sizes' worth of skin. But that was a known, and can be fixed. Highest ever sizes: 30/32 pant, 30/32 top Day of sleeve surgery: 28 pant, 26 top Today: 18 pant, XL top (sometimes junior XXL, sometimes misses L, just depends) I would've liked to have made 199 by 1 yr. I am not going to make it, but one of these days...
  5. Pic didn't attach, let's try again. I have to photograph myself in the fitting rooms now. I have no concept of my body's appearance unless I can see it as removed from myself. Hence the weird fitting room pic - I was trying on a new coat.
  6. Wheetsin


    Not bad. Most of my "for VSG" scars are barely noticeable, or at worst a medium pink color. Very thin, like lines drawn with a pen. A few are worse, but they were re-opened for multiple surgeries. The condition of YOUR scars may vary and will depend on things like HOW you scar. That in turn depends on a lot of different things. Please see this post I made a while back. It's easier to link it than recreate.
  7. Responded with all kinds of info, then caught that this was from 2009. Hate it when that happens.
  8. Wheetsin

    Days Off

    I took 4 weeks off. I have a desk job - very cerebral but not much activity. I went back to work on a Tuesday. I probably could have gone back the Thursday before, but I really couldn't comfortably make it through a day until then. Not due to pain, but rather the fatigue and the way it made me feel. So I guess I took 4 weeks, needed 3.5.
  9. That reminds me of when I'd first tell people about the lap-band, back when I had it. They put this adjustable band around you... automatically they're confused. They don't think of it as something that can open and close, they think of it like a rubber band that's a sealed ring. So they assume they cut through your esophagus, then reattach it with the band in place. The band is adjustable... how could it possibly be adjusted? Oh, so they have to cut you open everytime you need an adjustment? Fills are managed with a huber needle, to inject saline into a port under my skin... They stick the needle all the way into the band? Doesn't that hurt? Smart people asked these questions. I wish they could take the fat and put it in my boobs.
  10. Wheetsin

    Explain Your Name!

    You might like this: How Did You Choose Your Screen Name? My story is in that thread:
  11. Wheetsin

    Trouble Swallowing

    Rice is generally not considered a soft food. It's something that is on a lot of "no no" lists because of the problems people have eating it. I tried it around 4 months out and did fine but I would not be eating it 2.5 weeks out, personally, even if it was on my OK foods list. Tortilla is the same. Breads generally are not OK 2.5 weeks out. I really think the foods you're eating are causing your problems. Glutenous & starchy foods are really hard to get down when you're still pretty raw from surgery. Not everything "soft" is OK on a soft foods stage. Like a "soft taco" isn't a soft food. It's a bit of soft food (soft fish) wrapped in a bread. The cheese would be a soft food. If you have lettuce or cabbage on it, not a soft food. I'm not trying to tell you something you may already know, just trying to emphasize where the line is drawn. As for esophageal hernia (hiatal hernia) repair - hmm. Do you know if a fundoplication was done as part of your hernia repair?
  12. Wheetsin

    Trouble Swallowing

    Not a Doc, best guesses below... "Wake up with the feeling of something in my throat" sounds like reflux to me. Are you taking PPIs? "Feels painful to swallow and now I'm having trouble swallowing" sounds like a few things. TIny bites and chewing well will only get you so far. You also need to watch your time between bites (perhaps you do). What things are you eating? And when was your surgery? What does "leveled on August 13th" mean? (I don't understand leveled in that context). Please explain more about "trouble swallowing." Can you swallow, but you almost have to fight your body to make it happen? Does the food feel like it isn't going down? RIght now it sounds like restriction, in which case it will let up, or should. But with no idea when you had surgery, what you're eating, etc. it's hard to even guess. Will need to know more to make any other guesses.
  13. Wheetsin

    How Many Chips Can You Eat?

    I want to know what you did with the egg beaters. And totally thought you were going in this direction: There seems to be a bit of a conspiracy to try and rid fat people of all bad eating habits ever, forever. When in reality, we would all be much better served learning the things we clearly cannot master, like "portioning" and "good choices" and "how to not be neurotic." Really - think about it. The weightloss isn't going to be the hard part, or the scary part. The scary part to me is going to be hitting goal, and then having to maintain it. WTF do I do then? I'll be like the gal who retires, and then dies. Maintenance is my big failure. I've lost weight many times. I've never maintained. I've gone from actively losing to actively gaining. The longest I've ever maintained was about 3 mos, and it was forced (I was living in Europe and had to walk about 200 stairs to my apartment - after walking down them, and then walking everywhere I needed to go which was lots of places because they didn't have "one stop shop" stores). They give us "rules" that really are not applicable to vertical sleeve especially so much as turning you into the ultimate healthy eater!!! Like - no caffeine. Low carbs. No sliders. No juice. That's not realistic for most of us. But it is going to boost their stats (pure coincidence I'm sure...). What they should really be teaching us are things like the difference between "I'm full" and "I'm no longer hungry." How many pounds could we have avoided if any of us really, really GOT that message? Or balance. Have carbs. Your body needs them. You will poison yourself on just Protein. But make room for it. Don't just throw it in on top of everything else. </rant>
  14. Wheetsin

    Vanilla Latte ?

    The caffeine is kind of a health thing, like the rules to eat low carbs, but not so much a sleeve thing. The acids/tannins in things like tea and coffee can be irritants to the staple line and to extra sensitive stomachs, and can sometimes irritate the reflux/heartburn issues that tend to come with the procedure.
  15. That's really ambitious. Even if your pain level isn't that bad, most people find that right around the start of week 2 they're hit with some pretty intense fatigue. Fatigue that leaves them wondering if they will ever feel normal again. I was, and this wasn't my first WLS but it was the first time I had this strike. I couldn't even take a shower without feeling like I needed to sit down and rest. I was off 4 weeks, and returned to work on a Tuesday. It wasn't until the Thursday before that I actually started to feel OK with a full day's worth of (limited) activity. It was miserable. FMLA paperwork IME isn't _that_ bad -- you might want to go ahead and do it, then not use it if you don't need it. Esp. if you have STD benefits. Like a condom - better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Just some unsolicited advice.
  16. If you follow the guidelines for your recovery, it will not be easy at all. "Moving wrong" - there really isn't such a thing. No movement is really wrong, but some movements will be more painful than others. For example, bending didn't hurt me that much but twisting did. If it hurts, don't do it. That's pretty much all there is to it. Movements with force (e.g. not "bending" but "bending with a 50 lb load" are a slightly different story, but you will be given information on these restrictions.) Movements aren't going to pull your staple line open any more than they could have ripped your virgin stomach open pre-op. You will be fine. Just be smart about your limits. If a staple line leaks, it's usually because it wasn't sealed right to begin with. Don't over expand it (I think this would be very hard to do unless you put a lot of concentrated effort into it, and were quite good at ignoring pain). When I was fairly new out of surgery, and definitely on my lifting restrictions (I think my limit was something like 5 lbs), DH was using the restroom and forgot to put away a step stool he had been using to put up some new lights in DD's bathroom. DD managed to climb the step stool and get on top of her bathroom counter. I freaked and lifted her down. I did it as carefully as I could (held her tightly against me, as close to my natural center of gravity as I could) and more slid her down my body than lifted her down. It hurt. It tweaked for a few days. But no harm done. I'm not saying "lift 40 lbs and you'll still be fine" but I'm saying that things aren't nearly as delicate as you may think they are.
  17. Wheetsin

    Vanilla Latte ?

    Whenever coffee is OK to add back in per your plan. Other than that, up to you.
  18. At 2 weeks my intake was still measured in tablespoons. 2 - 3. Sometimes less. I'm about 5 months out now and what I'm finding is that I don't really have a hard stop on volume. I think it's because I eat so slowly. By the time I might normally hit a stop signal, stuff's already moving out of my stomach. I'm going to guess I'm generally around 1/4 C. Typical Breakfast is an egg and 2 or 3 pieces of turkey bacon. Sometimes I eat it all with some strawberries too, and sometimes I can't finish just the egg. Typical lunch is some sashimi (seems I can eat more of this than anything else) - maybe 3 or 4 oz. Or I may have 1 - 3 oz beef Jerky, or 1/4C chicken salad and half a cheese stick. I don't typically eat dinner. Typical Snacks - handful of almonds (no more than 1/4C, possibly less), Protein Bar (I can finish the whole thing, I don't know what volume it has), slice of deli cheese (about 1 oz), pepperoni chips (these really shrink when I cook them, and crunch up a lot, so the end volume is not much - I'll eat 15 - 20 chips with no problem).
  19. sorry for typos, tiny ipAd keyboard and autocorrect.
  20. When I first woke up I rated my pain a 6. This was my 4th abdominal lap procedure and 2nd Wls and I had never previously rated my pain above a 3. The procedure itself did not cause that much pain. I was a revision and my surgeon had to work some scar tissue magic. I was also given morphine instead I'd diluted. Morphine doesn't do much for me. And most of the pain came from the infamous access incision.
  21. Wheetsin

    Band To Sleeve - Thoughts?

    The only things the sleeve shares with the band, really, is that they're both categorized as restrictive procedures. Some (many) of the sensations are the same, for me. Many are not. There is nothing about the sleeve that indicates failure if the lap and failed. If a person fails to be accountable for what they eat, then a restrictive procedure may fail. But a band slipping or eroding or whatever means nothing for the sleeve. Lapbamd in 2006 Sleeve in 2012.
  22. I'm on this ridiculous iPad keyboard so forgive typing errors. I had hot & sour Soup the first week or two. That's restaurant style that I add vinegar and sriracha to. I had jalapeños as soon as OKed by my nut - she let me add them in the well-cooked veggie stage. lots of pl have problems with reflux and reflux issues. they can be exacerbated by spicy foods. So you may want to wait until you're comfortable with your PPI routine first.
  23. Wheetsin

    The Stuff They Don't Tell You

    I use Miralax and Target brand soluble fiber - dissolves completely in anything and has no taste. Miralax is an osmotic laxative, so it works by pulling fluid in from other parts of the body. So just be sure to add extra fluids (that in itself may help fix the problem too). Extra fluids wth fiber bulk is a must. The fiber will bulk things up regardless. But picture a bowl of pancake batter, and then throw a few cups of sawdust n it. What happens to the batter? The same thing that will happen to your poop if you don't have enough fluids. Saw this in an ER once. They guy literally backed up through his entire system. Just like a clogged toilet.
  24. Wheetsin

    The Stuff They Don't Tell You

    My lawn mower guy is $35 a week. My Protein costs more than that. We must have priorities! But getting the lawnmower guy officially relieved DH of the sole remaining job that was actually HIS, so what did I really accomplish? Tang?