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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by HeatherS.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. I think I speak for all of us when we say we're ready for that update.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. How long after surgery does this tend to start?
  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!
  16. My doctor joked about making me walk home from the hospital until we told him we live almost 40 miles away. Then, he dialed it back to walking the last block. He's a real comedian. Ive been walking probably a cumulative 30 min a day on better days but some days I'm so exhausted, I fall asleep for the night before my evening walk. So how much did you all manage to walk that first week? When did the surgical fatigue start to lift?
  17. The one thing you haven't denied or confirmed is whether the patient death in question happened or not. I'm just an interested bystander, but when you started bringing up irrelevant things and ignoring that question, you became suspect. I'm only asking again to give you the chance to respond with the clarity you claim to operate under. After all, as you point out, patients do sometimes die on the table, especially very high BMI patients with multiple comorbidities. But even knowing this, you've continued to ignore the question. Respectfully, doing that makes you come across as shady, which I assume you don't want.
  18. @Sandy Johnson I hate to ask, but is it true that there was a death during surgery at ALM or with the mentioned doctor around a month ago? This thread has many people talking at each other, and is very confusing. Thank you in advance for your reply.
  19. @fruitandveggies I stopped drinking them years ago and my health has been so much better. And then my pre-surgery class insisted on them as part of the prep, and UGH. I decided I wasn't going to keep forcing them on myself two weeks out, and it's been much better since. On another note, my mom drank Diet Coke every day from 1980 or so until she had to live in assisted living a couple of years ago, and part of her problem is some kind of non-specified dementia that comes and goes. You really can't help but wonder.
  20. HeatherS.

    Aging process and Sleeve

    While shuffling down a longevity rabbit hole on PubMed, I found a fascinating study in the calorie restriction "genre" This one found, amongst other things, that low protein, high carbohydrate (20% fat) was associated with the greatest longevity and best overall metabolic health in spite of a tendency to weight gain as fat. The improvement was equal to caloric restriction alone, and combining the two had no additional metabolic benefits (LPHC also tended to expend the most energy) The version of the experiment where LPHC was combined with CR had the same longevity, but also avoided the increase in body mass from the high carbohydrate Intake. They also had the best immune systems The low carbohydrate, high protein group were found to have reduced longevity and poorer cardiovascular and metabolic health, though again, LCHP group with CR fared better than those allowed to eat freely. The area where LCHP created an advantage was in reproduction. Not in fertility, but in the actual process of reproduction, which makes complete sense. You can read the whole report here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4472496/ It should be mentioned this study is still one part of decades of research on Calorie Restriction and dietary composition. From the strong evidence in favor of dietary restriction, we should all be seeing increased life spans (depending on age of intervention, some will be more modest than others). But I wonder how the evidence building up for HCLP can be applied to us. HCLP emphasizes low glycemic index carb sources and 5-15% protein intake, but at our level of consumption 600-1000 calories a day in maintenance depending on your needs), that would only be 12.5-37.5g protein which seems like it would result in a deficiency. The famous Okinawan Ratio is on the low end of that, though people studied consumed about twice the calories (if I remember right, and I might not) which is still only 25g protein/day. And yet, I'm not seeing any of these deficiencies in the literature. No deficiencies in the Okinawans either. Curiouser and curiouser.
  21. From the album: Before, during, after VSG, 40F no kids

    2.5 weeks post op and 4.5 inches off my waist since pre-op! 25lbs down from pre-op weight, and my Dr. Is pleased.
  22. HeatherS.

    Ice cream

    It's been my experience that people who begin with "I'm sorry, but -" or similar aren't sorry at all. . What is a problem food for one may not be a problem food for others, so I choose to answer the question asked without making further assumptions as there are more reasons to consume various forms of frozen dairy than the presumed (condescending, insulting) desire to pig out on sweets, which I assume is not OP's intent, having just gone through a major operation to restrict caloric intakes in order to reclaim health. . We don't know why OP asked the question. And we don't know if they're thinking of Haagen Daaz or low fat sugar free fro-yo (which is actually good for many of our meal plans) or even Eggface's high protein ice cream which looks like a valid alternative to shakes. (A very attractive alternative if they, like me, are prone to sore throats in the spring due to allergies) . But we can assume all of us here know that diving into a pint of Ben & Jerry's is both destructive and counter productive.
  23. Weight-bearing exercise, in particular, is important for strong bones and muscles. Muscle burns more than fat, which means you want more muscle. That's pretty straightforward. As MarinaGirl says though, studies on exercise as the primary method of weight loss have found that it's not terribly effective. For quality of life, yes. Weight loss, no.
  24. HeatherS.

    Aging process and Sleeve

    I think you're right, especially those who don't follow up on the bloodwork with their GPs. Blood work is what wasn't mentioned by my surgical team. Also, a lot of people think that because VSG isn't malabsorptive, vitamin deficiencies aren't an issue while forgetting that some vitamins need to spend time in the stomach to start breaking down with the stomach acids, which affects how much your body can actually extract (calcium is one of those, I think?) Its too easy to forget that less food = fewer nutrients. And lots of people going the ketogenic route are virtually eliminating whole categories of nutrient-bearing foods.
  25. Stewing, braising, and lengthy simmering, with a sauce or gravy and always lots of chewing. I only manage a teaspoon or so.

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