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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by biginjapan

  1. I'm months away from my surgery but I can tell you that this is something that I can't wait to do! I live in Japan so I've always been stuck with the double-whammy of not being able to buy clothes here and the fact that Japanese homes and apartments have very little closet space. For the former it's bad because I have to save everything, unless it is literally falling apart, in case I lose weight (!), but it's made worse by the latter because since virtually all my closets are bursting with boxes and boxes of extra clothes. I can't wait to have free space again! That said, I'm not getting rid of anything until I've actually had the surgery and I can see the weight coming off. Like others have said, I'll probably get rid of things when I'm 2 sizes out. This is definitely a NSV I'm looking forward to.
  2. biginjapan

    Pre- and Post-Op Shopping/Activities in LA and SD

    Thanks everyone. I have no plans to buy clothes that fit me - I will be looking for smaller sizes. Japan is not the USA. It's not even like other countries in Asia (Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines) that have a strong presence of international brands. There are NO plus stores here. NONE. Even the few foreign brands here like The Gap and Eddie Bauer have special "Japan" sizes - so a 12 is not a 12, its a 12P (sounds like petite, but it's more than that - the cut is different) (and yes, a 12 is the highest size they have). Even if I could fit into clothes here, Japanese women and Western women tend to be shaped differently - we have broader shoulders, and our breasts, hips, thighs, and butts are significantly bigger or curvier than the majority of Japanese women. I've had very thin (non-Japanese) friends here not be able to buy clothes at all here because of these reasons. There is no Goodwill here, and and thrift stores will only have tiny clothes that won't fit for reasons posted above. I know I'm going to lose a lot of weight. My plan was to buy one or two things (t-shirts, skirts, underwear, etc) in descending (smaller) sizes (20 and under, since I will have some clothes I can wear in the 20-24 range), possibly skipping over every other size. You guys can go out any day of the week and buy something. I can't. I have to find it online, order it, and wait for it to arrive, which, if you are telling me that my weight loss will be so rapid, the clothes might be useless to me by the time it gets delivered anyway. If it doesn't fit, I'm usually out all of the money too, since returning it will not be worth the cost (international delivery + the loss of customs fees which won't get refunded) . I'm not replacing my wardrobe - I'm just looking for a few affordable things that I can actually wear in public while I'm going through my weight loss. I understand that I may not wear some of them. That would suck, but what would suck more is not having any clothes to wear at all, or having to do things like wrap some string around my pants to keep them up (which I've done before, since belts are also not available here in my size either). Shoes are another problem. Shoe sizes for women generally stop at a 7, and most are very narrow (something that was a problem for me even before I gained all my weight). It's impossible to find nice comfortable shoes here and I've learned the hard way that buying online is a huge mistake (duties on shoes are at least 100% of the cost of the shoes, plus the cost of shipping, which can also be as much as the cost of the shoes - thus, a $100 pair of shoes becomes $300). I do have some shoes here that I can no longer wear because my feet are too big, so I'm hoping that they will be okay once I start to lose weight. But as it is right now, I only have 2 pairs of shoes in total that I can wear - a pair of sandals and a pair of slip ons. I'm not sure if they'll even last until December - I will need something, even if I barely wear them, to help me through the transition. @@Djmohr - thank you. You're right. I have been over planning with the Protein and I know from reading here that tastes will change after surgery. So I will take that off the list. But I will still need other meds and health and beauty products (not related to weight loss, just stuff that suits my needs, since again, there's very little in Japan that works for me - makeup, hair care, etc). Even if there are some products here that are appropriate, everything is written in kanji, which I can't read, and I am reluctant to use products where I don't understand the labels. Most pain meds here are NSAIDS, which I can't take anyway, and most pain meds are very low dose (60mg of Japanese acetaminophen vs 250 or 500mg of the same with Tylenol or similar products from the west). A friend of mine had a C-section here when she had her baby and the only pain meds they gave her was baby aspirin. The medical care here is good, but the meds are not. Japanese (Asians in general?) are much more sensitive to all sorts of medications - from pain meds to the pill - which means they are of much lower dose here than normal since they don't need as much. I've heard a lot of horror (pain) stories and have gone through a few myself, so stocking up on meds whenever I go to a western country (Europe or North America) is a must when I travel. It's a PITA, but unfortunately a necessity of living here. Even my European gastroenterologist who practices here gets his pain meds when he goes back home since there are no good equivalents here in Japan. And he's a doctor in Japan! I do appreciate everyone's advice here so thank you. That said, I am still hoping someone from LA or SD will chime in with practical suggestions for me though.
  3. biginjapan

    Pre- and Post-Op Shopping/Activities in LA and SD

    Thanks for the advice guys! @@ojibway, you are right, it does ship internationally, and I have found some other sources. That said, other than Protein supplements, a lot of other things on my list may be problematic. The problem with shipping clothes or shoes is the duty I have to pay, which never happens when I bring stuff back in my suitcase. @@James Marusek, I enjoyed reading your write-up. Your chili looks very similar to what my mom makes. While in Tijuana I will be in recovery all the time and will not go out at night, so whatever perceived dangers are there are not even a worry for me. As for the shopping and everything else, I may see if I can come earlier and do everything I want to do before the surgery, and just relax in a place with hopefully a nice view and a good place to go for short walks for the post-op period afterwards and not worry about anything else. Of course I know that SD and LA have shopping malls, but does every single mall have good shops for plus-sized women (clothes and shoes)? I don't want to waste my time in places that have limited options (this is based on years of experience of chasing down shops in multiple cities around the world. What seems promising online may not be so in real life). I realise you might not be the best person to answer this, so I'm hoping someone local from either one of those cities will suggest some favourite places that they like to shop - the kind of advice I'm looking for is not necessarily easily found in guidebooks or on the internet.
  4. biginjapan

    Fitbit goals!

    I love my fitbit! I'm on my fourth one (!) - I lost the last one and it was amazing how lost I was without it. I find the little green bars are a great motivator to stay over 10,000 steps every day. It also makes me much more aware of how little I move when I stay at home on the weekends, so I definitely get out more. I also have the Aria scale and I love and hate the fact that there's no fudging the facts when it comes to recording weight!
  5. biginjapan

    Plastics in Bangkok

    I'm really interested in knowing how this turns out for you as Bangkok may be a place I have to go for surgery in the far off future...
  6. This is something I look forward to too. Living abroad means I fly internationally at least twice a year, although luckily most times travelling in Asia means I'll be next to some tiny person, so even when I "spill" over, they still have room. I love to travel, but the anxiety over whether I'll fit in the seats (seats that have hard dividers between them are a nightmare and I can no longer fit into them) is really starting to get to me and I too look very hard at seat sizes to choose my airlines, and possibly buying two seats on trains to stay comfortable. Similarly, I have come to realise that I am postponing long-awaited trips and activities because of my weight. Even though I've always been overweight (and more recently obese), I've always, until recently, been able to do things like go on multi-day kayaking trips and hike up mountains. But now even a simple to moderate day hike worries me due to back, knee, and feet issues. So I'm looking forward to: Being able to fly comfortably and not be a nuisance to others Being able to plan travel the way I want, with the only limitations being time and/or money, not my body or health issues Crossing my legs Going back to my regular shoe size Wearing heels with a dress Being able to buy off the rack in a normal store Not having to worry about "chub rub" ruining a pair of pants within weeks, if not days, of wearing them Not having to wear leggings, stockings, or other body-hugging items, also to deal with chub rub Being able to walk around my students' desks without them always have to "tuck in" so I can pass by without squishing them Being able to sit on the floor for somewhat extended periods of time (unfortunately something I can't do in Japan, which limits some places I can go to/experience) I'd like to say I'd like to be able to experience an onsen again (hot spring bath) but I imagine that if and when I do lose the weight, the loose skin will be even more embarrassing for me, and if I get plastic surgery to deal with that, the scars would also keep me out, and if I got tattoos to cover the scars, well, they just won't let me in anyway. To be fair, I prefer bathing in the privacy of my own home, but it's such a part of Japanese culture it's awkward being the only one not participating at times. I'm also looking forward to the day when men don't look at me in horror (or go out of their way to ignore me, or run from me) when I smile at them or just say hi to them (just being friendly, but they seem to think that if they show the slightest courtesy to me I'll be stalking them forever).
  7. biginjapan

    Anyone in Japan?

    Honestly, it is not the best place to go for surgery. I had a friend go for surgery and she got a bad infection. You would probably just have to bite the bullet and have surgery either in your country, America or the UK. Sent from my SM-G360T1 using the BariatricPal App Seriously? First of all, I know how to do my research and that kind of attitude is not welcome. Thousands of people go to Mexico every year for surgery and don't have any problems. People get infections in the US too. Secondly, don't assume that everyone is from the UK or the US here, or are covered by insurance.
  8. biginjapan

    Anyone in Japan?

    I've been for over a decade! (where does the time go?) I'm already planning a surgery in Mexico - the UK or the US would be way too expensive for me (might as well get it done in Japan). I did look at some other options in Europe, but they are still about $1000+ more expensive than Mexico...I could wait and see if the euro depreciates, but would rather get on with it. Cheers.
  9. biginjapan

    Checking in alone?

    Agreed. I haven't had WLS yet but I've had other surgeries and medical procedures done, and being single in cities where I have no family and few friends means I've had to deal with everything by myself. Of course, you should talk to the hospital about their regulations, but I imagine if you take a taxi (or public transportation) home you'll be fine. Often the big issue is not the fact that you are alone, but that you will be behind the wheel post-surgery.
  10. biginjapan

    Emotional Turmoil /Depression

    Tiffany, I'm so sad to hear about your news. Of course you will need time to grieve for your loss. However, as you have already said, you should also try to focus on the positive things in your life. You've lost an amazing amount of weight, are much healthier than you were before, and you still have other options available to you. I haven't gone through what you are currently experiencing, but I've already had to come to grips that I would never have children - being morbidly obese doesn't stack the odds in my favour of finding somebody to share a life with (especially in Japan where most women are stick thin), and even if I did have someone, getting pregnant at this weight, and now age (I'm a bit older than you), would be very difficult and problematic. But that's okay. It's not what I thought my life would be like, but then again, being obese is not something I dreamed of either when I was younger. :-) I suffer from clinical depression and when I go through tough times my mantra is "think of the solution, not the problem." I think sometimes we (or at least I) get upset and depressed when I feel I lost control of a situation. Maybe you feel the same way too? If so, doing something, anything, might help you feel better. Are you really meant to be a mother? If so, even if surrogacy is not option, adoption and fostering are. So is spending more time with your nieces and nephews. It may not be your first choice, but you still have choices out there. Is your biggest fear re-gaining weight after the surgery? Do some research, talk to your doctor about finding tools (including support groups) and strategies to help you deal with what's ahead. I don't know if any of this helps, but I hope you can get through this.
  11. biginjapan

    Things that make me fart.

    I haven't had surgery yet (in fact, am looking for a surgeon now), but as someone who suffers from ulcerative colitis, none of these things are new for me (including the "never trust a fart" gem). Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and I imagine any other cruciferous vegetables will definitely make me fart. Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more I eat, the more I toot. Chickpeas, onions, asparagus always give me gas. Carbonated drinks (including beer) are problematic, but I've given up all carbonation and alcohol so that's one less thing to worry about. eggs can be an issue, but it depends on the way that I eat them. Hard-boiled is usually best. Sometimes the gas is controllable, that is, I can hold it until I can get in the "clear" - as a teacher this means leaving the classroom briefly. Sometimes it comes out in rapid, tiny bursts, and there's nothing I can do about it except hope that I'm sitting down and that there's no sound or smell. Can you take something like Beano after surgery? If I know I'm going to eat something particularly problematic, I'll take Beano beforehand (3 pills are better than 2), and Gas-X after I eat, before the gas starts. That seems to help the best.
  12. Wow - I just watched this from start to finished - all I can say is, I want my VGS done tomorrow! The alien baby excised stomach was disturbingly fascinating to look at.
  13. biginjapan

    Who Are You?

    Hi everyone, I'm new here, but I've been on it every day for weeks now, ever since one morning I woke up and decided to research gastric sleeve surgery. I live in Japan, and a couple of years ago another member here wrote about his experiences of getting the sleeve done in Japan. He didn't pay much, but that's not an option for me now, because I'd have to pay full price, which is similar, if not more, than what it is the States. So right now I'm researching doctors in Tijuana, as that's probably where I'll get it done once I save enough money and am on break from work. This is an amazing site and I'm so glad to have found it!
  14. biginjapan


    I am! Just joined but I've been reading the forums for a while. Trying to decide where to have a VSG.