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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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About HeatherS.

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    Expert Member

About Me

  • Biography
    I've struggled with my weight since a childhood illness. I've lost all the weight twice only to put it all back on while my physical problems got worse. I hear there's a lot of me out there. This is the last resort. The big change. Next stop: health
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    I am a certified geek.
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    Los Angeles
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  1. Thank you! I'm all aboard for friending and cheerleading! The proportions are pretty good, and I feel lucky there, but like you, I carry a LOT in my arms, some of which may not go away (thanks, grandmas!), but I find that's by this point post-surgery, I'm not as bothered by what I now recognize as relatively minor and non-health-affecting things. My boob surgeon, unfortunately, didn't take anything off the side boob, so I'm still camouflaging that with tight tanks under my clothing to cut down on the chafe. hopefully, some day, there will be lipo in the cards for that area. My one regret, looks-wise, is trying to keep the appearance of fullness in my cheeks. When I don't, it ages me a good 10 years. Not a great look with neon blue hair. I admit I had to look up the term xiphoid process (thank you - I love new words), and that seems to be a common place for things to go pear shaped. (Or literally apple shaped, I don't know!) I have noticed though that's there's a pattern to rapid loss and a lot of people first lose the weight they'd put on last. I had to pass 250 for my stomach and thighs to start going crazy out of down side to my shape Is that its so easy to think, around 200 or so, that I've lost enough weight. But I'm still classed as higher risk then and I need to keep going. Hopefully, that will be easier with the smaller stomach and accompanying nausea I get eating the wrong things. (Just had two beef gyoza for early dinner, and they were delicious.)
  2. I think I speak for all of us when we say we're ready for that update.
  3. Sure thing. I'll get it for you, though I warn you it's more of a method than a recipe. It's Tia's way of cooking, pretty straightforward, but you need to prep in advance because there's a long soak involved. I also can recommend requeson if you live near any Hispanic markets, or ricotta, which is the closest you'd find in a regular grocer. (The requeson is more flavorful). Homemade REAL Mexican food is so handy in the soft/mushy stage.
  4. HeatherS.

    Which Foods Can’t You Eat Now?

    Mine have been a total surprise so far and it's still a work in progress. I cant tolerate ginger anymore and it used to be one of my favorite foods. It went from being a fresh taste like mint to being a strong taste like garlic! I can tolerate my usual lactose free milk but it tastes too sweet right now. Hopefully that will fade. I have the same issue with a lot of soups tasting too sweet now. I used to love TJ's split pea, but now it's enough to gag me with its vegetative sweetness. Anderson's, on the other hand, was one of the best things I'd eaten in a month. I can't tolerate chemical sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame at all anymore. On the other hand, stevia is fine and tastes better than it used to. I cant handle whey protein at all anymore. It comes back up. And when I missed a piece of breaking on the emergency rations chicken tender I ate while out, I learned that fried breeding has gone from tolerable to absolutely disgusting. Yech. I'm fine with almost all proteins (including beef) except fish, which tastes so bad now, and lentils. Even tuna, which I used to actively like. Veggie burgers like Morningstar Prime, which I used to like a lot, now taste like crud. But Morningstar "chicken" is still tasty. Weird. Lentils are a struggle and for some reason my stomach tries to reject them even though beans go down super. I didn't see that one coming. I was just approved for salads and cooked veggies, so I can't say much there yet. Fruits go down no problem and I'm having a love affair with California strawberry season. Also no problem with spicy foods except that raw jalapeños have started to make me hiccup.
  5. I'm sorry to hear about your mom. My mom is now living only because of a pace maker and the 24/7 care she receives in a home, where she has no autonomous mobility, and she hates it. I don't want to end up where she did. I think if she'd been offered the sleeve, life would be very different for her now.
  6. This is the kind of PR mistake that only gets compounded by returning to comment as she has here. At this point, I wonder if she thinks Alex is paying us all to post or something. It wasn't a "big story" until she made it one by ignoring repeated polite (and then direct) requests from multiple people for her to confirm or deny and straighten out any errors.
  7. How long after surgery does this tend to start?
  8. The first month diet of soft foods has been smooth. Make sure you're following your doctor's plan, not my doctor's plan, because each plan is unique to our situations, including anything your doctor found or did during or before your surgery. It's also important to note that I am not diabetic and I do not have any signs of insulin resistance, before or after surgery, so my body has a healthy relationship with all of the food groups. Here's last night's family dinner, all made from scratch with my meal front and center and my wife's delectable tostada on the far right. I eat vicariously through others and cannot wait to be allowed something crunchy again. I miss crunch, but I know I'll be allowed to crunch again soon. Oh, how I pine for a sturdy lettuce leaf! Homemade refritos, a little bit of spiced ground beef, requeson, crema con sal (a type of sour cream), and two tomato salsas, one very mild and fresh and the other hot and cooked. SW: 275 CW: 244 So, a month out, I'm on "soft foods" which my doctor defines as foods that are soft BEFORE you put them in your mouth and that anything hard to digest like solid meats and veg needs to be taken down to more of an apple sauce/fine mince consistency. I've been on this regimen since my 10 day follow up and will continue until my 6 week follow up in two weeks. There was no intermittent "mushy" stage for me. I try to eat before I take my pills with very small sips of water. Pills taken on an empty stomach may come up. I'm eating 3-4 T at meals that go well for me (that is, no stress, which makes eating any more impossible and leaves me sick for an hour or two). I tend around 30-40g protein a day from a variety of sources: lactaid milk, yogurts, cheeses, finely ground beef, beans, meatballs cooked in soup, soft tofu, and egg. I do not avoid carbohydrates, as I feel better when I eat a balanced diet. I eat 5-6 very small meals a day (some as small as a tablespoon of yogurt or a small skim string cheese). I often add nutritional yeast to savory foods to increase protein and B-12. My carbohydrate intake tends to be slow-burning low glycemic index (oatmeal, berry, beans combined with high protein rice, fresh apple sauce with no additives, a bit of high protein pancake...) The exception is that I do occasionally eat some white rice, always combined with a protein, and I have had no crash and burn. I have also had ice cream and sorbet in very reasonable amounts that fit within my plan with no ill effects or delay in weight loss. With the restriction I've felt from my sleeve, I average 350 calories a day with my highest day just under 500 and my lowest day 0. I registered my greatest weight loss after the 500 calorie day and felt my best, so I'm working up to that as a second month goal. Here's what I won't be eating again for a while due to nausea and/or vomiting: Full fat dairy, lentils, ginger (go figure!), oral B vitamin, whey protein Here's what I won't be consuming again for a while ever due to migraine strong enough to punch through the botox*: Aspartame, sucralose Here's what I won't be eating again for a while due to changes in taste: Ginger, cheddar cheese, V8, melon (with the exception of watermelon) I haven't felt the kind of "hey, I'm kinda hungry" hunger I felt before surgery since then, but If I skip a meal or two, my stomach will gurgle, and if I've missed 3 or more meals, I tend to feel a bit dizzy, headachey, exhausted, and/or fuzzy-headed. Fair enough. If I don't eat a balanced diet (for me: too much protein or fat), I feel generally unwell, but I can power through. No dumping syndrome or anything related. Just lots and lots of water nausea that leaves me out of action for an hour or two when it hits. I've also had a couple of bouts of stress tummy which results in worse nausea, a fever, and, strangely, intolerance to light, so maybe migraine, too. It lasts about an hour. I've always had a stomach sensitive to stress, but the surgery has made that worse. Oh, and the best reason not to cheat? That's down to my doctor. who cheerfully told me all about some of his patients who had advanced too soon or cheated (fits through a straw on full liquid does NOT mean fits through a boba straw) and did rupture the staple line. It's fragile while it's healing the first month or so, especially. Will it happen to everyone? No. But it COULD happen to you. And then you spend a miserable (up to a) year in the hospital being operated on, in pain, possibly dying, and guaranteed not eating those tasty things you thought were ok just a little early and felt fine at the time. Was it tall tale hyperbole to keep me on the straight and narrow. Mmmmmmnnnnnnnpossibly. But I know he wasn't joking, and I'd rather not risk it. Would you? And last, but not least, here's a random picture of my dog discovering Bones Are A Thing That Exists In The World and elevating, on the spot, to a higher level of doggy existence: *I have incapacitating migraines that have been unsuccessfully controlled with medications. Botox was the next step, and it's working great as long as I avoid my worst triggers. (Bright sun, aspartame, sucralose, non-natural cleaning products) 10/10 would recommend.
  9. HeatherS.

    Editing MY SURGERY section

    It's on the mobile menu under "patients" and then "my surgery". Hope this helps.
  10. Most doctors. My doc is the head of the dept for a huge health organization, and he'll be the first to admit he's a fantastic surgeon with a ton of experience, but he knows better than to make egotistical unverifiable claims like that. (Unless, possibly, while joking. He's a card.)
  11. Because there are some very good and experienced surgeons down there who perform the same surgery for a fraction of the price. Not everyone in the US has medical insurance, and many insurance companies eliminate coverage for bariatric procedures because they can get away with it. Medical tourism, just like domestic medical, involves doing your homework about the organization and surgeon and making sure you're scrupulous about aftercare. And just like domestic surgery, there will be some great businesses, some who give the bare minimum, and some who need to be shut down. There's really no reason to come on the SURGERY IN MEXICO forum just to say you, personally, don't believe in medical tourism at all. Why would anyone completely change their plan because one random person on the internet has the opinion that an entire country's population is substandard?
  12. You joined March 13. And your IP address does not indicate you're from Wisconsin. You ONLY emerged to post your first and only posts to this thread, as if you were waiting for it. You refused to contact the person who could, and as she says, would willingly, answer the question if you contacted her privately. And, strangely, when questioned, you suddenly stopped posting for a while and Sandy appeared. I find coincidences rather difficult to believe in.
  13. By dodging the question repeatedly, you make yourself and your company look bad. You said you were transparent, but you're not being transparent. You're obfuscating in a semi-hostile way. We KNOW there is a risk of death with surgery. What raises big red flags is when a medical professional repeatedly dodges the question of whether or not a specific death occurred when questioned. You have told us you do not like the owner of this site, but it is we, the many patients who USE this site (most of whom have no connection with any of your competition) who are asking you to verify whether a woman died during surgery with ALM in March. Ive never seen a reputable medical professional dodge and obfuscate so defensively right out of the gate as you have been doing here in spite of those of use who have given you repeated chances to simply answer the question. THAT is what harms your reputation. Your behavior in this thread makes you, personally, someone I would not want to deal with when it comes to major surgery. If you had handled this professionally and directly, I would have come away with a positive impression of both you and ALM.
  14. HeatherS.


    Make sure you're getting enough water and exercise. Waste products created as the body metabolizes its tissues are hydrophilic, which means you tend to retain more water as your body is working to eliminate the waste products. The second thing is to make sure you're eating quality food and not too little of it. Lots of people find increasing calories by 200 breaks their stall. Likely because your body is producing fewer metabolic waste products when you up your fuel intake. It lets you get caught up and then the water weight goes away.
  15. I'm in LA, and LA County Kaiser is part of Kaiser So. Cal just like OC. (In fact, I had my breast reduction scheduled in Irvine initially). You will need to complete Options, the pre-approval class and demonstrate consistent weight loss during that time. Don't take everything your Options guide says as gospel, though, since it's ultimately up to your surgeon, and mine changed some pretty significant elements (biggest being the timeline of foods and what's allowed at each stage. After Options approval, you set up an appt with the surgeon. If the surgeon agrees you're a fit candidate, he or she schedules your surgery date and pre-op. Pre-op gives you the details for surgical prep (mine was 48 hrs of clear liquids only before surgery and a scrupulously clean belly button. ) Then surgery and (standard) one night in the hospital, making sure you're consuming liquids, walking, and peeing. (Bring your own pajamas, robe, and pillow!) Follow up around 10 days later. If you want more details, I wrote a much more detailed version on my BariatricPal blog. First entry. I I recommend asking if you can have the surgery in South Bay with Dr. Zane. He's one of the developers of Kaiser's Bariatric program and incredibly experienced and skilled. I didn't even have bruising around the bigger incision and next to no gas pain thanks to his methods. Congratulations for making this step!

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