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Hammer_Down

Pre Op
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  1. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Mtgirl in My VSG experience in Tijuana from start to finish!   
    I thought I would post up my entire experience with ALM in Tijuana while the details are still fresh in my mind. This will be a bit of a long read, but hopefully someone who is investigating the possibilities will find some useful information, answers to some questions and some reassurances! Here goes:
    I was introduced to the idea of bariatric surgery about 6 months ago during a conversation with a friend, who has been struggling for a few years with a significant (100lbs+) weight gain. I, too, had been gaining weight steadily since losing 100lbs four years ago. She said that if she couldn't lose the weight in the next year, she was "gonna get the gastric surgery" and be done of it. Of course, I had heard about gastric bypasses and lap bands, but I always associated it with Hollywood stars (ie, the very wealthy) or people who were much larger than 250lbs.
    I walked away from that conversation with a seed planted, and over the next few days I began doing some preliminary online research. This was one of the sites I came across at that time. I learned about the different procedures, and researched some of the worst case scenarios associated with each. I researched long term consequences, health outcomes, the effects on women of childbearing age who want to become pregnant, etc. I tried not to get bogged down by only reading positive stories or looking at #vsgbeforeandafter pictures and imagining my weight disappearing effortlessly overnight.
    I decided that this was something that really piqued my interest. I went to my provincial health authority's website (I live in Nova Scotia) and saw that the wait times here for an insurance covered procedure were more than 5 years, as there is only 1 bariatric surgeon in the province. Dismayed, I googled some bariatric centres close to where my above mentioned friend lives (Houston) and saw the procedures ranged from $12,000 USD up to $20,000 USD. There was simply no way I could afford that, even though I travelled to Houston on a weekly basis for work and could stay with my friend free of charge.
    I put the idea out of my head. I thought, "this really IS for rich folks, $28,000 (Canadian dollars) isn't feasible for a normal working person."
    But I kept coming back to pages like this, and others and on one of my google searches a sponsored ad result for ALM popped up at the top of the screen. "Affordable bariatric surgery at a top hospital in Tijuana, Mexico" or something to that effect.
    Intrigued, I clicked through the ad and read the entire content of the page. All the procedures were available, starting in the low $4000s (about $5500 CAD). I'm not naive (in fact, cynical would be a much more appropriate adjective), so I thought "what's the catch?"
    I took note of the doctor's names from ALM's website. I checked them on linked in, I read forums like this one, I entered search terms like "Dr So-So Tijuana deaths" and read well beyond the first page of Google results. I read about ALM, again entering morbid search terms, digging through online forums and basically trying to find that one piece of information where I would say "AHA! Gotcha! Of course that's a terrible idea!"
    I didn't find much. The company seemed legit, plenty of online posts dating back a few years to a few days about people who used their services and had successful operations with the surgeons they work with. This was around June.
    So I sent an email to a link on their page. I explained my personal experiences with weight loss and gain, my concerns about some members of my family and their onset health problems, and asking if I would be a candidate for the procedure at 5'8", fairly muscular and 250lbs. I don't wear plus sized clothing, but I'm at the point where if I gained another 15-20 lbs I would have to.
    I clicked send, and wondered if/when I would hear back and went on with my life. To my surprise, I heard back only an hour later. My coordinator, Crystal, answered my questions thoroughly (I was surprised it wasn't a generic "form" email, thank you for contacting us, don't call us - we'll call you blah blah blah). We opened a line of communication back and forth, and I felt pretty confident with the answers I was getting.
    So now I was getting excited. Possibilities. What seemed unattainable just a few weeks earlier was now suddenly in reach. It was time to discuss my findings with my wife. I chewed this over in my head, how to bring it up, was I ready to answer her questions, should I nerd out with all the info I had learned, or should I nonchalantly just throw it out there?
    I brought it up, and she was surprised but open minded. I explained all the options I had looked into, and what, exactly, a vertical sleeve gastrecromy is and isn't. She listened to my spiel, and said "Okay. Would I qualify for the procedure?".
    She is not fat, but has lost and gained 60lbs in the past few years and has an obese parent with diabetes. Her BMI was 32 when we had this conversation, and she wears size 12 jeans.
    We emailed Crystal with her concerns and questions, and again, she got right back to us. She emailed us forms and questionnaires for the doctor's review and we set to filling them out.
    We were on holidays for most of July, and when we returned we set a date, Oct 27 and paid our $500 each deposit to hold that date.
    In early August, it seemed like an eternity but since we both travel for work and work 70 hours a week, we knew the time would surely pass. We talked about little else but how excited we were. How we were going to do everything right, get back to the gym, change our lives and how this would help us when we start our family in a few years. We booked plane tickets. We changed companies in September, which was a welcome distraction from all the VSG this and VSG that.
    Starting about 3 weeks prior to our travel dates, we started receiving emails from Cindy Rios, an RN who works with (for?) ALM regarding diet, lifestyle changes, phases of the surgery recovery and suggestions for streamlining and making the most of our pending surgeries.
    We had quit caffeine and carbonated drinks in August, in a bid to make it easier down the road. We went to costco and loaded up on Premier Protein (like a shopping cart full) because we are on the road with work and didn't want to be short on supplies and maybe tempted to cheat. We didn't do "food funerals" in the same way I wouldn't attend the funeral of a nemesis or adversary who had stolen some of my life and made me unhappy with who I was. We bought enough salad to get us through the work week when we were home each week.
    The pre-op diet was easy, for the most part. Not wanting to risk enlarging our livers with excess carbs and losing our hard earned money if the surgery couldn't be completed made it easier. We had a supply of Keto-strips from previous ketogenic dieting and made sure we were staying in ketosis throughout the entire time.
    We flew out of Nova Scotia at 5am on the 26th. We arrived at the San Diego airport before noon (4 hour time difference) after changing planes in Toronto.
    We had a text message waiting for us when we landed from our driver, asking what our schedule looked like. We told him we were on the ground, and just waiting to deplane and on our way. We received a call immediately saying they would pick us up at the cab stand at Terminal 1 in about an hour. We carried on our luggage (not wanting to risk the airline losing our luggage with multiple connections) so we strolled from Terminal 2 down to Terminal 1. We received a text message with a picture of the driver's license, Rafael and his personal information.
    When an hour came and went, I sent a text asking where he was and got a call right back. He was stuck in traffic at the border, but wouldn't be much longer. We got a description of the van he was driving so we knew who to watch for.
    He arrived not much longer, and we picked up 2 other people on the way. We made our introductions and were off on I5 towards Mexico.
    Rafael informed us that because we had landed quite early, we would head straight to Mi Doctor Hospital and do our preoperarion check ups instead of waiting for surgery day.
    The hospital is literally 5 mins from the border. Rafael took us from place to place in the hospital, and stayed with us the entire time.
    First we had blood taken for a full work up. Next, we went for an EKG to monitor heart function. I then met with Dr Elias Ortiz in his office, as I was the first surgery of the day the next morning. My wife filled out paperwork upstairs, and after my meeting with Dr Ortiz, I filled out the same paperwork. All the paperwork is in English and Spanish, so you'll sign everything twice. I was the only patient to meet Dr Ortiz that afternoon, as he would meet with the others during the day between surgeries.
    I asked him to visually inspect my gallbladder, as I have a family history of gall bladder disease and he said he couldn't see if there stones, but the general health would be evident. I asked him about taking Advil (i take a HUGE dose of Advil once a month for period cramps) and he assured me that NSAIDs would not be an issue once the sleeve was healed. I have an alternative medication, but I don't take it because it causes drowsiness and he assured me that it was fine until I can handle NSAIDs again.
    He was friendly, knowledgable, and overall seemed like a really friendly fellow. I felt like I was in good hands.
    Rafael was waiting for us when everything was signed, and we piled into the van to head to the hotel.
    We stayed at the Grand Hotel Tijuana, which was about 10 mins by van from the hospital. Rafael ushered us through the lobby and into the elevators to the 11th floor. He collected our IDs and did the check in process on the medical floor while we lounged and admired the view. Rafael told us what time we would each be picked up the next morning, 5:40am for my wife and I. One by one, we got our rooms and he passed us off the concierges to take us to our rooms.
    The medical rooms were nice - spacious bathroom and shower, we had a king size bed and several pillows each. ALM provides each patient with 3 room service orders of broth, - sugar free popsicle and a glass of apple juice. We ordered twice and it arrived promptly. I skipped the juice, because I had worked so hard at cutting all the sugar out of my diet and I wasn't going to reindulge the night before the surgery. We were pretty tired from the flying, and even though it was only 6pm in Tijuana, it was 10pm at home and we had been at the airport for 3am. So we enjoyed our broth, watched some Netflix on the iPad and went to sleep.
    We had to bring our luggage to the hospital the next morning, as we weren't returning to the same room after the procedure and would be staying 2 nights at Mi Doctor.
    We got up at 4, had a shower and packed up our things. We met Rafael downstairs in the lobby and headed over to the hospital. We were greeted there by a nurse who gave us compression socks and gowns and told us to change into them. We changed, and the nurse came back in to put in the IV. She said it would be a little while before doctors were ready for us, so we puttered around the room and waited.
    A series of doctors from the surgical team came in, we shook hands, saw pictures of their kids and talked a little about how the day would progress. I was first up, and my wife was second on the lineup. They explained that after surgery, I would be wheeled into a recovery room right beside the OR and would be waking up just as my wife was coming out of her surgery before we were both moved into our room upstairs.
    After what seemed like eternity (maybe 4 hours, from the time we arrived) a knock came at the door. A nurse sat me in a wheelchair and I was brought upstairs to the OR. My wife was lead shortly after I left to our room upstairs. While in the room, nurses were in and out to hang some signs over our hospital beds and get it ready for us. They moved our luggage in for us, and she waited for her knock on the door.
    When I was wheeled into the OR, I was given a hairnet and booties and told to untie my gown from the back and hop up on the OR table. I was wearing underwear, but no bra and nothing was said (many people seem to have concerns about this). I was never asked to remove them or asked if I was on my period.
    The doctors I had met that morning were all there in their scrubs, and we had a grand chat about my work, including lots of questions from them. The anesthesiologist was busy hooking this and that up, and he said I would feel a bit woozy as he injected something into my IV. I felt elated, ecstatic and silly all at the same time. I was still chatting animatedly with all the guys when the anesthesiologist put a mask over my mouth and nose. I do not remember anything after that point.
    I awoke in the room outside the OR (although I didn't know that at the time) and immediately tried to sit up. I had some pains under my collar bones, and looking down I could see the row of incisions on my belly. I remember asking for wife, was she ok? Yes, they said, she is fine and right beside me. I looked over at her, and then asked "did you do the surgery?" (As if the incisions weren't proof enough) and they said "yes, you did great and your wife too!" Then I went back to sleep.
    When I was brought out of the OR and still under, my wife was summoned from our room to the OR. She sat with Dr Ortiz who informed her that my surgery had gone just fine, and that I was still in the OR preparing to be moved to recovery. They chatted about what would happen after her surgery, and she was brought into the other OR to be anesthetitized. While laying on the table, the anesethesiologist said "you look nervous, I'm going to give you something to relax and then we'll chat about what comes next." That's the last thing she remembers.
    I vaguely remember being bumped around off one bed and on to another. This was in our room. It was still light outside, and I immediately went to sleep. I awoke shortly after when they brought my wife to our room, and I was very relieved to see her sleeping soundly in the next bed. We both slept for what I can only assume is a few hours.
    I awoke suddenly and was incredibly nauseated. I tried to take a deep breath, but my shoulders were hurting and I couldn't breathe deeply. I vomited in my mouth, and threw myself out of bed to the bathroom and spit it in the toilet. It was dark coloured blood, which would have been alarming if I hadn't been so medicated. Feeling better, I went back to bed.
    A nurse woke us up to check our vitals, and change the IV bags of medication. I asked about the bloody vomit and was told it's completely normal. They gave us an IV shot for nausea and we drifted off to sleep again.
    This process was repeated every few hours (not the vomiting) until the next day. They brought some warm bags to place on my shoulders, the left of which was developing a very sharp pain.
    I had some pain in my stomache, like a hunger pain right before your stomache rumbles when it's empty, except it would not rumble. Just a twisting, painful sensation.
    I didn't have my watch or phone and had no idea what time of the day or night it was. The time difference made it impossible to guess, but I was feeling wide awake. I could sit up in bed, albeit with some pain, and took stock of my surroundings.
    It was a good sized room, there was some free space to walk around the side of the bed and to foot with a private bathroom and shower in the room. A nurse came in and told us to take a shower, and they would change the dressing on our incisions and we would get dressed in our own clothes.
    For the rest of that day (day 2), we walked a little inside the hospital, took a few walks outside and wandered around the parking lot (dragging an IV tree) and I tried to walk off the pain in my shoulder. The other shoulder felt fine, but the pain on the left side was making it difficult to draw breaths.
    We relaxed in our room, played on our phones and chatted. Shoulder pain aside, we were feeling pretty good and mobile. My IV stopped working (unfortunately after they injected a nauseau shot into it, which swelled my hand up a bit). They switched hands for the IV, but my blood kept clotting inside the port and they had to keep cleaning it out to get the IV working. Finally, they asked me if I was feeling ok and just took the IV out, so I was pain med free.
    The doctor came in to remove the drains the night before we were to be discharged. It was mildly uncomfortable coming out, but my shoulder pain disappeared immediately. We were bandaged up, and told that we would meet at 7:30am the next day to meet for aftercare instructions. We were both brought downstairs for an X-ray leak test with the radiologist, which both showed no leaks.
    Dr Ortiz came in and told us that our organs looked great and healthy when he did the surgery, and that we had obviously followed the preop diet closely and that he appreciated it, as it makes his job easier. We thanked him and shook hands, and did not see him again.
    About 20 mins after, I noticed a bloodstain on my inner left arm, but I was wearing a dark coloured t-shirt and could not see that my drain wound had bled through the bandages. A nurse came in right then, and I lifted up my shirt to look for the bleeding. She immediately changed the bandages, but about 5 minutes later it bled through again.
    This happened 5 times, using a variety of pressure banding and trying to close the drain with bandages before a call was made to a doctor.
    A doctor in scrubs appeared shortly after, and she lifted off the bandages to check me out. She was surprised that the drain hole was still bleeding and decided to stitch it up. She put in 3 stitches, which immediately stopped the bleeding and bandaged me back up. I told her that I suspected the drain wasn't working properly, since the drain balloon was full of large clots and my IV had been clotting, and told her about the intense pain in my shoulder that had dissipated as soon as the drain was removed. She agreed that it had probably gotten blocked and caused some buildup and pressure, but there was nothing to worry about.
    We walked, talked, napped through the night and arose at 6:30 for our morning meeting. We showered, had our bandages changed and packed our bags to head downstairs.
    During the meeting, we all received a little purple reusable shopping bag with some medications, copies of our blood work and leak test paperwork, as well as some ALM goodies, like a tshirt, button, pen and bumper sticker.
    We were all shuttled over the Grand, and has a debrief while waiting for our new room assignments. It was about 9am, and we had a tour of TJ lined up at noon. We weren't sure if we would go, as the time change was really messing with our sleep schedule and we had been up most of the night. We got to our room, and decided we'd set the alarm for 2 hours and if we felt well, we'd go. Sure enough, a 2 hour solid nap did the trick and we headed out for the tour.
    Rafael drove the bus with about a dozen patients and friends of patients. We went to a place with tasty ice cream (I was a bit nervous, since ice cream isn't exactly "clear liquids", but I ate a few mouthfuls anyway). I ordered the tiniest child size and couldn't get through half of it.
    Next they took us to a pharmacy where the pharmacist gave a very entertaining presentation of all the medications they recommend for bariatric patients. B12 shots, pain killers, half a dozen kinds of antibiotics, anti diarreah, medicine for nauseau, and a whole host of others. He wrote prescriptions for whichever medecines you were choosing, so as to not cause problems crossing the border back into the USA. Everyone was filling up baskets, and even getting some of their medications from home unrelated to the surgery like Ritalin, Valium and Viagara.
    We then went to the "main drag", where lots of tourists buy trinkets, get pictures with brightly coloured backgrounds set up and eat tacos (if they haven't just had surgery, of course). We were supposed to go to a restaurant that serves excellent broth afterwards, but there was a mixup with times and they were closed so we went back to the hotel. We were pretty tired, and basically just lounged around the room and had some broth and went to bed.
    The next day, we had nothing lined up through ALM so we found our own action. We got dressed, changed our bandages and headed out into the sunshine. There is a restaurant across th street, Fonda Argentine that we had read online serves excellent broth. The door was open, and we stood inside at the maitre'd stand for about 10 minutes. Employees were sitting at a table, looked at us and turned their backs and refused to acknowledge us so we left.
    All together, we walked about 2 miles around the neighbourhood, checked out the little ice cream stand again, and stopped by a little grocery store on the way to the hotel. We purchased a few of those "3 minute lunch" cups, where you just add Water to ramen noodles. We got some spicy beef and chicken ones, and microwaved them at the hotel in the medical floor lobby. We strained the broth out, and it was a welcome and delicious change from the bland chicken broth at the hotel.
    The next day was our travel day, and we met Jack at 11am in front the Grand. There were 2 others who were there with their daughter heading to San Diego with us. Their flight was at 3pm, ours was at 6pm. It took about an hour and a half to get to the airport, which was much faster than we had expected.
    We printed our boarding passes for the 3 flights home, and left the airport to take a trolley tour of San Diego. It was about $40 each, and took 2 hours. You could hop on and off at any of the stops, but we were anxious to get back in time in case security was busy.
    There is an excellent little restaurant past security at terminal 2 called Saffron that sells delicious chicken broth. We got a cup of broth to go each, and boarded our first flight home. LAX had absolutely nothing that could pass as "clear liquids", it was all burger joints and pubs and none even had Soup on the menu, so we just walked the entire 2 hour layover. We did stop and have a glass of cranberry juice. We clocked about 3 miles of walking that day, and that included carrying our backpacks everywhere (remember, we carried on our luggage) and we were feeling great.
    We had the same problem with lack of hot food options in Newark, the only place that serves soup didn't have any soup ready at 7:30am. So we wandered around the tiny terminal, just getting some walking in.
    On our way home from the airport yesterday, we ran errands in a few stores, stocking up on broths and Soups we can strain for the next phase of our diet, starting tomorrow. I was in the kitchen all afternoon making a huge pot of butternut squash soup and a spinach dip with soup like consistency to portion up for work later this week.
    Tomorrow we are back to our regular schedule!
    If you're still with me, I hope this will help someone who is thirsty for the details on how this all works! Ask me anything, I'll do my best to answer it!
  2. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Odie in BariatricPal Policy Reminders – Everyone Please Read!   
    Please delete my account. I have implored you by post, by PM and now for the third time - please delete my account and cease sending me emails about the store.
    I have no interest in being censored or being "allowed" to read only what you decide I am allowed to read.
  3. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Odie in BariatricPal Policy Reminders – Everyone Please Read!   
    Please delete my account. I have implored you by post, by PM and now for the third time - please delete my account and cease sending me emails about the store.
    I have no interest in being censored or being "allowed" to read only what you decide I am allowed to read.
  4. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Odie in BariatricPal Policy Reminders – Everyone Please Read!   
    Please delete my account. I have implored you by post, by PM and now for the third time - please delete my account and cease sending me emails about the store.
    I have no interest in being censored or being "allowed" to read only what you decide I am allowed to read.
  5. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Odie in BariatricPal Policy Reminders – Everyone Please Read!   
    Please delete my account. I have implored you by post, by PM and now for the third time - please delete my account and cease sending me emails about the store.
    I have no interest in being censored or being "allowed" to read only what you decide I am allowed to read.
  6. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Odie in BariatricPal Policy Reminders – Everyone Please Read!   
    Please delete my account. I have implored you by post, by PM and now for the third time - please delete my account and cease sending me emails about the store.
    I have no interest in being censored or being "allowed" to read only what you decide I am allowed to read.
  7. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Odie in BariatricPal Policy Reminders – Everyone Please Read!   
    Please delete my account. I have implored you by post, by PM and now for the third time - please delete my account and cease sending me emails about the store.
    I have no interest in being censored or being "allowed" to read only what you decide I am allowed to read.
  8. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Odie in Overly sensitive/militant people!   
    2 things:
    Animals are provoked. They lack the cognitive faculties to weigh their decisions against the consequences of their actions. People's actions should never be justified by turning the tables around on their "provoker". We ARE all adults, and if someone picks a fight - it's on us to walk away. It's no one else's fault if you got mad and lost control.
    Second - It doesn't necessarily follow that the only adult thing to do is to message someone to discuss their grievances. Would I start a thread about it? No. But they're not mutually exclusive options, either.
    I'm not interested in having a private conversation with every person with whom I have disagreed with. If someone wants to bring it up on a thread dedicated to me, as long as they aren't name calling and being ridiculous I don't have an issue with it.
  9. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Odie in Overly sensitive/militant people!   
    2 things:
    Animals are provoked. They lack the cognitive faculties to weigh their decisions against the consequences of their actions. People's actions should never be justified by turning the tables around on their "provoker". We ARE all adults, and if someone picks a fight - it's on us to walk away. It's no one else's fault if you got mad and lost control.
    Second - It doesn't necessarily follow that the only adult thing to do is to message someone to discuss their grievances. Would I start a thread about it? No. But they're not mutually exclusive options, either.
    I'm not interested in having a private conversation with every person with whom I have disagreed with. If someone wants to bring it up on a thread dedicated to me, as long as they aren't name calling and being ridiculous I don't have an issue with it.
  10. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Odie in Overly sensitive/militant people!   
    2 things:
    Animals are provoked. They lack the cognitive faculties to weigh their decisions against the consequences of their actions. People's actions should never be justified by turning the tables around on their "provoker". We ARE all adults, and if someone picks a fight - it's on us to walk away. It's no one else's fault if you got mad and lost control.
    Second - It doesn't necessarily follow that the only adult thing to do is to message someone to discuss their grievances. Would I start a thread about it? No. But they're not mutually exclusive options, either.
    I'm not interested in having a private conversation with every person with whom I have disagreed with. If someone wants to bring it up on a thread dedicated to me, as long as they aren't name calling and being ridiculous I don't have an issue with it.
  11. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Odie in Overly sensitive/militant people!   
    2 things:
    Animals are provoked. They lack the cognitive faculties to weigh their decisions against the consequences of their actions. People's actions should never be justified by turning the tables around on their "provoker". We ARE all adults, and if someone picks a fight - it's on us to walk away. It's no one else's fault if you got mad and lost control.
    Second - It doesn't necessarily follow that the only adult thing to do is to message someone to discuss their grievances. Would I start a thread about it? No. But they're not mutually exclusive options, either.
    I'm not interested in having a private conversation with every person with whom I have disagreed with. If someone wants to bring it up on a thread dedicated to me, as long as they aren't name calling and being ridiculous I don't have an issue with it.
  12. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Bon Appetit in Blocking   
    I guess this all boils down to why we are using this site.
    I choose not to treat random strangers as a support group. I have my spouse, my family, my friends and my pets to listen to me vent, rant, whine and complain,
    I choose to use this as an informative tool, and as such, I look for (and try to provide) the best information possible. Even if it's unpopular. Even if it's blunt.
    I draw the line at ad hominem attacks, since I'm just not emotionally wrapped up in the site to lose my temper and name call.
    I don't bother reading posts anymore for people looking for vindication or justification or moral support or medical advice from total strangers. I'm mining for information and experiences, not fuzzy wuzzy feel good moments.
  13. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from mrsNilla in Shrimp gate   
    Enabling is really the most troublesome behaviour I see.
    Rather than simply comforting someone who has made a mistake, it lends the impressions that those mistakes are just fine. I read on this site for 6 months before my surgery and only joined after, once I figured I had something to contribute.
    I am a discerning reader (cynical, really) so I never took it seriously when people fudged their plans and came looking for sympathy.
    My mother in law is considering the surgery next fall, and I'm reluctant to recommend this forum to her because I don't want to be putting out fires all the time.
    "So-and-so said she heard from her aunt whose neighbour's cousin's friend knew a lady whose daughter's boyfriend's mother had such-and-such a problem"
    Or
    "Can I eat ______ at 1 week? So and so did!"
  14. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from mrsNilla in Shrimp gate   
    @@LipstickLady
    Alas, I'm afraid so. But don't distress - you're on my short list if it all goes south!
  15. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from JupiterinVirgo in Normal-Fat: is it dangerous to stop being invisible?   
    You're definitely not the only person who has experienced this.
    Our society attaches moral values to appearance. We want to believe that thin, attractive people must be good people. We believe overweight people have moral failings, like gluttony and sloth.
    Thin people are much more likely to be hired than fat people with identical credentials because of the baggage we attach to body profile. The effect is much more pronounced in women than men.
    For men, height can be a deal breaker for finding work when competing against taller but equally qualified candidates.
    I lost 100lbs several years ago, and the attention I received from men was brutal (I'm a lesbian). I suddenly had men trying to invite themselves into my relationship with my wife, and had 1 stalker who took it upon himself to become my new "protector." I am generally a warm and friendly person, but I quickly realized that being friendly with men when you are attractive is always perceived as flirting and I opened myself to heaps of abuse from them when they found out I was just being nice (and not in any way, shape or form interested in them.)
  16. Like
    Hammer_Down reacted to 4MRB4PHOTO in 1st actual meal 23 days POSt Op   
    I thought their slogan was "Come see what's fresh today". Their new slogan of "Trash peasant food" doesn't sound very good for their business.
  17. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Mimiof3 in Coffee   
    If you've been off coffee so long, why would you re-addict yourself to it?
    I have wanted a cup of coffee a few times since I was sleeved in Oct, but I've been on Decaf since I paid for my surgery in August. I was a big Diet Coke drinker and also consumed between 50-64oz of thick truck stop coffee before that.
    After the headaches and withdrawals were gone, I vowed never again.
    And every time I've planned order a coffee, I end up with tea instead. I was never a tea drinker really, but it's really grown on me (and yes, it's decaf tea whenever possible)
  18. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Mimiof3 in Coffee   
    If you've been off coffee so long, why would you re-addict yourself to it?
    I have wanted a cup of coffee a few times since I was sleeved in Oct, but I've been on Decaf since I paid for my surgery in August. I was a big Diet Coke drinker and also consumed between 50-64oz of thick truck stop coffee before that.
    After the headaches and withdrawals were gone, I vowed never again.
    And every time I've planned order a coffee, I end up with tea instead. I was never a tea drinker really, but it's really grown on me (and yes, it's decaf tea whenever possible)
  19. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from leslaine in 1st actual meal 23 days POSt Op   
    Good observation!
    I was thinking to myself while reading this: "If I wanted to get a good chuckle, and role up all my pals at BP, how could I do that?"
    I can't help but feel that if anyone really did eat pizza, fried chicken, a shrimp and Pasta extravaganza chased with some cocktails 3 weeks after a stomachs surgery, they probably wouldn't be bragging about it on a surgery forum to people who actually take it seriously. Someone's yanking our chains here.
  20. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from jerz_gurl15 in Is This Thing Working?   
    Bear in mind how long it took to gain the weight you are trying to lose. You didn't gain 20, 30, 40lbs in 1-2 months and the weight will come off in fits and starts.
    I was really successful with Keto a few years ago and lost 100lbs by eating a diet of baically all red meat and some salad.
    I did a keto adapted preop plan and modified my post op plan for keto (I still only ate approved foods for each stage, but I cut out all carbs from the approved foods list). Now I am doing a full keto, and some intermittent fasting days. I don't plan my fasting days, but organic. I do not force myself to eat and just concentrate on drinking lots of Water.
  21. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from Sai in CAN you eat vs SHOULD you eat   
    I was self pay in Mexico.
    I read on here and dozens of publicly accessible medical journals through NIH, NHS and Health Canada before even making contact with the surgeon in Mexico. I started receiving preop emails around the time I was to begin and have received weekly post op care emails each week since surgery.
    I also fortunately had a long history (of success) with low carb and ketogenic diets, and unfortunately also with drug and alcohol addiction and other self destructive behaviours. The latter contributed to my weight gain, and I made a decision to get totally clean and chart a new path for my health and sanity.
    Perhaps that's why I don't mind straight advice. I can't get down with Jesus or higher power BS and thus 12 step programs were never on my radar. I indulged myself in information and tried to educate myself as well as possible about any and all possible outcomes.
    This has always been my approach, and I totally accept that it's not for everyone. Some people want information presented to them personally on a silver platter and some of us need to be muckrakers and find it ourselves to believe it.
    What I can't accept is anti-informational people. People who don't want the truth and are happy subsisting in an echo chamber of what they want to be true instead of what is true. People who want sympathy instead of empathy.
  22. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from mrsNilla in Shrimp gate   
    @@LipstickLady
    Alas, I'm afraid so. But don't distress - you're on my short list if it all goes south!
  23. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from mrsNilla in Shrimp gate   
    I've been called much worse. I'll wear "snarky" as a badge of honour.
  24. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from mrsNilla in Shrimp gate   
    Enabling is really the most troublesome behaviour I see.
    Rather than simply comforting someone who has made a mistake, it lends the impressions that those mistakes are just fine. I read on this site for 6 months before my surgery and only joined after, once I figured I had something to contribute.
    I am a discerning reader (cynical, really) so I never took it seriously when people fudged their plans and came looking for sympathy.
    My mother in law is considering the surgery next fall, and I'm reluctant to recommend this forum to her because I don't want to be putting out fires all the time.
    "So-and-so said she heard from her aunt whose neighbour's cousin's friend knew a lady whose daughter's boyfriend's mother had such-and-such a problem"
    Or
    "Can I eat ______ at 1 week? So and so did!"
  25. Like
    Hammer_Down got a reaction from mrsNilla in Relatively low BMI results   
    I was BMI 36 staring preop and 33 the day of surgery.
    My wife was 32 preop and 30 the day of surgery.
    I am down nearly 60 pounds, and 6.5 points on the BMI scale in 9 weeks.
    She is down 31 lbs and I have no idea what her BMI is now. She has about 20 lbs to goal left, I am closer to 50 to go.
    I expected to lose much slower and have long stalls due to our relatively smaller size. We eat a strict ketogenic diet, which I believe is responsibility for the accelerated weight loss.
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