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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by leebick

  1. leebick

    Arthritis pain, bad knees

    I am 28 month post-sleeve. My surgeon laughed when I told her my fears about not being able to take Ibuprofen post-surgery. She said that it's one of those "old beliefs" that don't really hold up anymore... like not drinking from straws or chewing gum. All I know is, I've taken ibuprofen regularly when my back acts up and I've not had a problem with it
  2. leebick

    Non Scale Victories

    I just saw a picture of myself, posted on FB, that was taken a few days ago at our annual CousinsReunion. I don't hate myself, I don't look awful; I look like a normal human being. I'm in tears.
  3. The only things here I can agree with is that we are all different, and that the joy of being healthy is amazing. I really had no post-surgical pain AT ALL. I had some muscle tenderness the first day, but I've had worse abdominal pain from doing too many sit-ups.
  4. I actually eat quite a bit of cheese. I have problems with many meats, especially beef. Just doesn't sit well. I eat it, but BOY do I miss a good steak! My protein staples are fish, eggs, cheese, chicken, cottage cheese. I don't do the low fat cheese, either, but I can get a full lunch out of a Babybel cheese!
  5. Oh, mostly bad foods. Popcorn, ice cream, potato chips, mashed potatoes (especially with pan juices/sauce), beer, cookies, pie... all things that aren't part of a healthy lifestyle, but are a part of life. I have learned to dish out a very small portion and then put the rest away before I ever start eating. That way, I don't mindlessly keep noshing on something. As I said, I didn't have this surgery to be on a strict diet for the rest of my life, so I don't have a problem with having these treats occasionally- operative word being OCCASIONALLY. Rare treats, serious portion control, eating slowly and chewing completely (mindful eating), getting temptation out of the way are all practices I am still trying to make into habits for all my eating, but they are seriously important when it comes to the "easy" foods. "Easy" foods get ugly, too, because not only are they mostly empty calories, but by the time they flip my switch and I realize I'm done, I'm actually WAY done, WAY too over-full, and then I'm in for some ugly hours. Mostly I can keep this under control, but sometimes it gets out of hand, like when we are at the movies and my husband buys the popcorn and it's just there, I'm paying attention to the show and not to my hand going into the bag, into my mouth, into the bag... Even at two years post-surgery, even with the successes I've had, I STILL have to pay attention to this new eating style!
  6. I've been reading the boards today as it's the second anniversary of my surgery; I was sleeved 2 years ago today! I'm down 104 pounds, my surgical team is pleased, and I am so happy with myself now! Yes, I am still learning, every day, but it's a good learning. I've stayed on track, I've fallen off the cart and made my mistakes, but I feel like I am always moving forward. PLEASE... if you are anxious, scared, nervous about having the surgery, don't talk yourself out of it. Is my life perfect since surgery? No, but I am SO MUCH HAPPIER with myself and with who I am. Please have the confidence to know you can do this, know you can stick to your program even through the harder times around your surgery. Being sleeved was the best thing I've ever done for myself, and only wish I'd done it ten years earlier!!
  7. leebick

    Bruising like crazy!

    IF it's just in the tummy area, I wouldn't worry. I had some really impressive bruises while I was healing; fortunately they didn't hurt! If the bruises are all over the place, on your arms, legs, etc, call the doctor. (I wish I could find the picture of my belly-bruise. It covered about half of my lower/side belly!)
  8. I honestly had no pain from my surgery. I had laparoscopic surgery, so my incisions were only about an inch long. There were 4 of them and they were held together with "glue" and had a piece of tape over each. The only pain I had was some gas pain, up in my left armpit. As long as I didn't move a certain way, I was fine. It dissipated after a few hours.
  9. leebick

    Im exhausted 11 days post-op need advice

    I don't know what you are drinking for protein shakes but it sounds like you could only be getting about 400 calories a day. No wonder you are exhausted! Talk to your doctor; make sure you are getting enough protein and calories.
  10. I had VGS surgery on 9/15/16; this was almost 18 months from my introductory class for the program. I put off the decision to have surgery almost 6 months, and then due to scheduling issues rescheduled a couple of times before finally having the surgery. My high weight once I decided to start the program was 287- so I have lost 104 pounds as of this morning. I was pretty dutiful in following the eating plan, both pre- and post- surgery until I was about 9 months post-op. By that time, I'd bypassed my surgeon's weight goal for me by about 7 pounds. At that point, I did some serious thinking about what I wanted out of this surgery, and made the following decisions: First, I didn't have this surgery, this elective mutilation, to NOT be successful. There is no way on this Earth that I am going to backslide and let my weight creep up. Second, I also decided that I don't want to be "on a diet" for the rest of my life. I have ALWAYS been on a diet, for as long as I can remember. I didn't have this surgery so I'd have to continue to always be on a diet. Third, I have to be happy with my life. SO... I decided that I was going to have to balance these things, figure out how to make eating "normal" food work without gaining weight. I've tested things out, learned my limits, learned how to eat and drink that work with my insides and my head. OCCASIONALLY I will eat pizza, nachos, drink beer, have ice cream or pie, etc., but NOT all the time, and NOT in large quantity. Fortunately my sleeve restriction is still snug; I can eat about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of food at a sitting, depending on the food. What does this mean for something like pizza? I take one piece, I eat a couple of bites of the edge and also the toppings. I don't eat any of the crust, except those 2 bites of the edge. Believe me, it's enough for me, and if it's not, I"ll eat the topping only from part of another piece. I've tested out all my favorite foods, and yes, sadly, there are some things that I just don't eat because I can't, because they make me feel gross (haven't given up on 'good' bread yet, but rice and pasta are things of my past). I've learned that some things go down way too easily, and so I know where to be careful, what to avoid. I've also learned (take a deep breath, hard to admit) that I'm probably never going to weigh 135 pounds again, and that, regardless of my weight, I'll always feel like I need to lose 10 or 20 pounds. I don't think that's the after effect of being fat... I think it's the association of being a woman in the USA. It's OK... I can accept these things, because I have come so far and been so successful- in my doctor's eyes, in my husband's and daughter's eyes, and mostly, IN MY OWN OPINION. There are still things I can't do (eat and drink at the same time) or things I forget to do (eat slowly/chew lots) and I pay the price. HOWEVER... It's all been worth it. I am HAPPY. I don't wake up in the morning and hate myself for being weak, for being fat, for eating and drinking when I swore I wasn't going to. I went to Disney World with my daughter this summer and for the first time EVER (we've been going annually for 20 years), I happily posed for photos. She and I haven't had a photo in front of the castle since she was 6 (and she'll be 25 next week). I don't hate shopping for clothes anymore. I went to the pool in a bathing suit IN PUBLIC this summer and wasn't embarrassed. Most importantly, I look in the mirror and LIKE what I see there. Sometimes I even think, "Wow, you look cute!" I realize how much of my life I let go by because I felt fat, miserable, unsuccessful, unlovable, and I wish I'd done this surgery 10 years ago. I don't hate myself and my life anymore, and that is worth SO MUCH MORE than anything I could ever eat, in any quantity, at any restaurant. You know how they say, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels?" That's sort-of true, but being skinny (and I'm not) doesn't hold a candle to not hating yourself all the time. I am just so damned happy now!
  11. A 2 month old horse and 4 guinea pigs!
  12. My two-year was yesterday. I've not lost any weight in almost a year, but I also have not gained any; can't remember the last time that happened! Overall I am pleased; I know I could lose that last 20 pounds (for MY goal, not my surgeons- I hit that within 6 months) if I'd get back into the gym, cut back on the carbs, cut out the beer. All in all I am happy, though. I had no co-morbidities going in, but now my knees and back feel so much better, my blood pressure is down, my blood sugar is great! I am living my life again, enjoying food but in SUCH moderation, hanging out with friends, and just enjoying my life! Best of all, I can look in the mirror and smile; I often think I look cute, or good... nothing that has ever happened in my adult life before having this surgery!
  13. leebick

    Home stretch

    One of the things I have to be careful of when I have anesthesia is a form of vertigo. It seems to be associated with they way they have to position my head during intubation and the length of time I'm held in that position. When I had my surgery I had six forms of anti-nausea medication and they finally had to give me Zofran in my IV to calm things down (but we anticipated this). Although you don't seem to be having anesthesia-induced nausea, you still need to get a handle on it somehow. Call your doctor and tell them you are suffering from nausea to the point where you cannot sit up or drink anything. See if they will prescribe a scopolamine patch to help with the nausea/dizziness, or ask if you can try taking Bonine (they are chewable... you could smush up 2 with a minimal amount of water and try to get them down- IF your doctor says I's OK- you are barely post-surgical so don't do this on my suggestion!!!). If you can beat the nausea, you'll be able to drink. Concentrate on just getting some fluid down; dehydration is a much bigger problem than lack of protein. Good luck- being nauseous can make this all a whole lot more difficult than it needs to be.
  14. leebick

    How old were you when?

    I was 60 when I had my sleeve surgery- two years ago TODAY. I was just tired of waking up every day and thinking about my weight, how awful I looked, how tired I was, how much of a loser I was to let myself get that big. I was jut tired of hating myself every day, so I did it. Wish I'd done it 10 years earlier!
  15. leebick

    Post op pain - be honest

    Pain? I didn't have any. HOWEVER... nobody here is saying whether they had laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery, open surgery. The pain levels from each will differ. My surgery was laparoscopic and done robotically, and I really had no pain at all. I had a couple of sharp gas pains high under my left armpit on the first night, but as long as I didn't move in a certain way, I was fine. No incisional pain, no internal pain at all. I had a terrible time with nausea from the anesthesia on the first night, though. It was expected; I had been through this when I had my gall bladder out 23 years ago. The tanked me up on all kinds of anti-nauseants, and I was fine in the recovery room until they wheeled me down the hall and into the elevator. Then I was MISERABLE. The nurse finally got them to put something in my IV (zofran maybe? Don't really remember) which was the 7th anti-nausea medication. It kicked in and I was fine after that. I was up and walking within 6 hours of my surgery, pushing my IV pole with me, and went home on the morning of day 3. (Day 1 being day-of surgery). For the record, I stayed home from work way longer than necessary, but I had a ton of "use 'em or lose 'em" sick days. I could have gone back after a week, although I was pretty tired and still trying to juggle the eating/exercising thing. I definitely should have gone back at the end of 2 weeks, but it was a glorious fall and I had sick days begging to be used, so I stayed out another week- totally unnecessary, but I felt like treating myself to a post-surgical vacation.
  16. I found that I like the powdered protein shake mix MUCH better than the ready to drink kind. I used Syntrax nectars, mixed with unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I like the Almond Breeze or Walmart/store brands better than Silk). I know it'll take time to order it, but you are probably looking at 4 weeks of liquid diet (2 pre-op, 2 post-op) so you will need to find something you like- or at least don't actively hate. I bought a shaker bottle at Walmart, the kind with the metal-coil ball in the bottom, and everything mixes pretty well. For a savory option, I made my own chicken and beef broth. Roast the beef bones on 375 for about an hour, then simmer them in bouillon broth (I got mine at the Dollar Tree) with onion, garlic, carrot (can't remember if I used celery or not). Drain out all the solids and keep the broth (you'll probably need to remove the fat layer after the first chilling). You make the chicken the same way, except I used the carcass from a grocery store rotisserie chicken (I always freeze the carcasses when we are finished with the chicken- but you could buy one, pick the meat and freeze it- some day in the not-too-distant future you'll be able to use it in soup, stew, chicken salad, etc.)
  17. leebick

    Non Scale Victories

    I haven't read the entire thread but here are some of my NSVs: Biggest one for me is that I SMILE when I see myself in the mirror. I actually look, smile, think "Gee that looks cute" or something along those lines. I have NEVER liked the way I look... until now. This makes me so happy that sometimes I cry. I have collarbones! And shoulder bones, hip bones... I really DO have a skeleton! No need for a seatbelt extender on the plane, or hoping that nobody sits next to me so I don't "overlap" on them. Overlap is also gone from movie theater seats, amusement rides, etc. Many thanks to my good friends who tolerated my "flopping" on them through all those many shows of Nutcracker (our daughters are ballerinas). I can wear regular shoes again. Yes, I still love my crocs, but now there are actual options- even heels! I fit through the turnstiles at some of the rides at Disney World this summer... and I wore a bathing suit to the pool!
  18. leebick

    Damage Done?

    But everyone's different. Two year out (TODAY! 2nd anniversary of my surgery) and I have somewhat of a handle on my eating. I do best with cheese, eggs, cottage cheese, fish, dark chicken. Not so great with beef ( I love steak ), and pork depends on how it's cooked (in some kind of sauce or jus, even if I don't eat the sauce... "plain" pork won't go down). I struggle with leafy veggies- who would ever have thought I'd crave a salad?- but I do, because after about 4 bites of salad, I am too full. I'm good with cooked vegetables, but raw? Not so much, once again I fill up too quickly, and that's pretty much the same with fruit. I can eat some berries, maybe a 2" piece of banana, but anything with too much substance (apples, peaches, watermelon) and I'm done after a couple of bites- and that's not "done" with the fruit or veg, that's "done" as in "too full." I am OK with crackers (usually whole grain, low fat) and often have 3 or 4 with a slice of cheese or about 2T tuna or chicken salad for lunch (but the mayo doesn't always work for me). I'm still drinking protein shakes (Syntrex, made with unsweetened almond milk) for breakfast at least 3 days a week. For some reason, I can drink an entire 8-12oz of liquid but can only handle about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of solid food at a time, and the texture and type of food limit what I can hold. I lost my weight in the first 9 months; since that time, I've yo-yo'd with 3 pounds. I don't think there's any association with what I eat; it's just fluctuation, not effected by my consumption. I'd like to lose another 10-20 pounds, so I'm thinking of doing a one or two week shake regimen. It'll be high protein and I'll take my vitamins, so I should be OK. I'm hoping that'll shake up my system enough that I start losing again.
  19. leebick

    Scared about the unknown

    I am 62 and today is the second anniversary of my surgery. Yes, I was 60 when I had the surgery two years ago. I would do it again in a heartbeat, and wish I'd done it 10 years sooner. I am SO MUCH HEALTHIER! No, I wasn't pre-diabetic, no autoimmune issues, etc., just getting heavier and heavier every year, and watching my blood pressure become worrisome. We've all been there, tried every diet known to mankind (some several times), goaded ourselves into exercise programs, gyms, fitness routines, etc., only to continue to gain about 6-10 pounds a year. Six pounds? Not bad... until after 10 years it's 60 pounds, after 20 years it's 120 pounds. SIXTY IS NOT TOO OLD FOR THIS SURGERY!! I was anxious, I was nervous, but I kept reminding myself: Eyes on the prize! I will tell you... no more back pain, my knees are much better, my BMI is down, my blood pressure is normal. I look in the mirror and actually smile at what I see there. How long has it been since THAT's happened? I go clothes shopping and don't hate every second, and this summer I went to the swimming pool with my daughter- in a bathing suit, in public! I feel like I am living like a "normal" person again... not someone who is always pulling and tugging on her clothes, wearing things that don't fit well, don't look good, don't make me feel good, worrying about "will I fit" in the theater seat, on the airplane, in the amusement park ride seat. I am pretty sure, even if it doesn't "cure" your arthritis issues (I know, not the correct term but you know what I mean), you will feel so much better about yourself, it'll be worth it! I won't lie... there are things I miss, things I can't now do, but I am talking about the things that got me into the weight loss mess in the first place. I won't ever again sit down and eat unlimited amounts of food: Not gonna eat a whole pizza, not gonna load my plate with seconds at Thanksgiving (and then have multiple desserts), not gonna do a whole lot of things that I used to love. But you know what? IT'S OK. I'm still learning to live with my new anatomy, my new physiology, but I'm working with it. Here's a story, a story makes me feel happy. My daughter and I are big fans of going to Disney World, and our vacations have morphed as she's grown (she'll be 25 next week). As adults, one of our favorite pastimes on vacation (not just at Disney) is enjoying good food and drink. My daughter and I went to Disney this summer, for the first time since my surgery. I was pretty concerned, especially as one of my favorite restaurants anywhere is at Disney. It's called Boma, and it's a buffet of African-inspired dishes (along with more "americanized" options). I LOVE THEIR FOOD. Authentic African dishes, multiple hand-carved roasts, 5 soup options, 10 salad options, and a dessert buffet that extends to the moon! Ahh... Boma... never gonna be the same again, and I knew that going in. But guess what? I had a WONDERFUL time! I was just careful. I tried 3 of the soups (about 2T of each, enough to taste and enjoy) and had small slices of each of the meats. I had little tastes of each of my daughter's desserts, and yes, I HAD A GLASS OF WINE. Was I well within my eating regimen? No way... I know I ate more than normal, but I wasn't stuffed, wasn't sick, and most of all, I was satisfied. It reinforced that with thinking and planning, I can STILL enjoy the aspects of a good meal, just in moderation. I was MORE than satisfied, I was EXCITED that this new "stomach" of mine isn't going to limit my enjoyment- but now I am going to limit my consumption. I felt like it was such a positive, successful evening, and I left Boma floating on air! HAVE THE SURGERY. Do it for more than just the autoimmune benefits. Do it for the excitement of feeling good about yourself for the rest of your days! Stick to the plan, follow the rules, don't play loose and fast at the beginning. It's normal to be anxious, to worry about "what if" but here's a little secret: You already know what's going to happen IF you don't have the surgery... because it's how we all lived, all these years. Another diet, another exercise program... what's gonna happen with that. HAVE THE SURGERY. Don't look back, eyes on the prize!! YOU CAN DO THIS!!
  20. leebick

    Pannulectomy at 65

    I attended a webinar yesterday and one of the questions I asked was if age was a limiting factor in having this surgery The surgeon said no, your overall health and having reached a weight-loss goal/plateau were much more important than my age... which is 62! This is a surgeon I trust, whose work I am familiar with; he basically reconstructed my husband's leg and saved it after knee surgery went horribly wrong and became life-threateningly infected.
  21. leebick

    Pizza that is the ?

    I am now 14 months post-surgery. I LOVE pizza, but have to be very careful with it. If it's a thin-crust pizza, I can eat about 4 bites with crust and then have the rest of the toppings. If it's thick crust, I just eat the toppings. My favorite part, the thick, chewy crust around the edge, it always a problem. I save it for the end, and hopefully am too full to taste it. However, sometimes I am tempted and will eat a bite or two, just for the "chew" and nice, yeasty flavor. I am not tempted to eat it all- I save it for the end so I'm too full to eat it all!
  22. leebick

    6 month stall 2 lbs up 2lbs down

    I've been stalled for 6 months but a lot of it is my own fault. I "took the summer off" as I was traveling a LOT (gone 5 of 11 weeks, and then 5 consecutive weekends after Labor Day), so it was hard to keep up with my exercise routine (an hour of stationary biking a day). I was also grossly tempted by food and drink- a week in New Orleans? HAHAHA, but it was OK. I learned what I can and cannot tolerate. All in all it was a wonderful summer and I didn't gain any weight, but I also didn't lose weight. I know why- not measuring portions, not exercising regularly, having an adult beverage several times a week. I think if you examine your eating habits and lifestyle activities, you'll be able to find some places where you need to "realign" yourself; I sure know I can! Don't worry about a goal weight. Instead, focus on healthy and strong. My surgeon never set a goal, although they gave me a weight range within which I could reasonably expect to be a year post-surgery. I AM THERE... now I want to lose another 15-20 pounds and keep it off. I am 61 and I know that age brings on the creeping weight gain- a pound here, a pound there... and I never want to have my eating and body out of control again! Know that I am with you on this journey, and I'm starting off anew with measuring portions, cutting carbs (although I don't eat many, I have let the occasional french fry or chocolate chip cookie back into my life), making healthy choices, and working my muscles and body. I know we can both get there!!
  23. leebick

    Pizza that is the ?

    I'm 13 months post-surgery. I lost weight steadily for 6 months and then have been basically stalled, but I'm working on that (MUST get back to regular exercise). Anyhow... I am a pizza-holic, or I was before surgery. Now I find I can eat the toppings but the crust over-fills me and makes me feel awful. Usually I eat the toppings from 2 pieces of a small pizza, but Sunday we were at a friend's home. He'd made pizza, it was very saucy, so I ate 2 pieces. They were small squares- maybe 2"x2"- with a very thin, soft crust, but BOY did I regret that choice! I have to stay away from the crust... even just a couple of bites of that lovely, thick edge... But that's OK, I've lost a ton of weight and am happy!
  24. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140912141933-209684125-the-science-behind-transdermal-nutrient-delivery-system A lot of research has gone into transdermal drug delivery, and it seems safe and effective. I am not sure that all our vitamin needs have been studied, though. My biggest issue is the cost of patch vs. chewables. My nutritionist is fine with either- just no gummy vitamins!
  25. Vitamins- I've done Flintstones, Target brand, Walmart brand. They all taste icky- no wonder my daughter used to hide them when I'd give them to her! I try to chew them with my front teeth only, then swallow with water. It minimizes the taste and they don't get stuck in my teeth as much. Calcium- TAKE IT! You probably already don't get enough, and with the reduced amount of food you'll eat, there's no way you'll get enough calcium/D. Get the store brand of Viactiv (I get mine at Target) and take it NOT when you take your regular vitamins. I actually look forward to my two chocolate chews in the evening- note I said CHOCOLATE! It's like a treat in the evening, a replacement for dessert, something that tastes pretty good while being good for me (required, even)!