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Everything posted by KarenLR75

  1. Looking preferably for someone in the DFW area, but will travel farther if I need to (i.e. Austin or Houston). Looking for surgery on upper arms, a breast lift Unsure if I want anything inserted into my breasts like implants but also not sure if a lift will look good without putting something back into the deflated balloons that are my chest now. My upper arms and chest (and all the loose skin that flows out from under my bra, from the sides of any bra I've tried, etc.) are the things that bother me the most. I've always thought I probably couldn't handle (pain-wise) getting my abdominal area done but obviously there is PLENTY of loose skin there and I wouldn't mind having my mons...looking better. I just need some names/referrals so I can start shopping and I don't know if my priorities might change based on costs and whichever doctor I end up selecting. I've tried just general Google searches but honestly I don't trust them and asking on local Facebook groups is not the same as talking with people who may have used doctors somewhere I can get to...and you have all been on the journey of losing a large amount of weight and the issues that came with that so I would prefer to have a surgeon who has a lot of experience with operating on people who have lost a great deal of weight which is the main reason behind their quest for surgery. Ugh..just got diagnosed with COVID so apologies in advance if I didn't string together coherent questions....
  2. Going on 3, maybe 4 yrs post-op. Wow, never thought there'd come a day when I didn't remember. For past 2 yrs I've endured right sided pain. At first I thought it was ovarian but got that checked (was fine) and was a bit high for ovarian. During scans of ovaries/abdomen, it was consistently noted my gallbladder was 'distended'. Sometimes I'd have attacks of pain that would last for hours. I was always stunned when scans would say no 'sludge, no stones, nada' so I thought great, another medical mystery. Finally when I ended up in ER over Christmas 'sludge' and stones were finally noted so they decided to remove it. I was in so much pain that even getting to ER is a blur (husband drove). I do know surgeon said that while gallbladder removal surgery was technically not a big surgery, the fact that I had gastric bypass did mean surgery may take a bit longer as they had less room to maneuver since abdominal area was 'segmented'. That I remember. I came to, according to my husband, hours later and I wondered wow, why did it take so long? Has anyone had gallbladder removal post weight loss surgery and experience same thing (procedure took longer, etc.) MAIN reason I'm back here after few yrs of absence is there are no other people I can go to that can give me at least comparative experiences (i.e. they've not had weight loss surgery so we are anatomically "different"). Honestly, my gastric bypass was a CAKEWALK compared to getting gallbladder out. Is this normal or have I become a weenie in 3 yrs? It literally still HURTS. I am now roughly 21 days post op and I still have right sided pain almost like my gallbladder was never removed. I mean, I know it has been but WHY does it feel like something is still just 'not right'? I figured I was just having a slow recovery and going to hospital/ER is never fun, especially during holidays. Maybe I should have gone back by now as no urgent care place will see me on this. Primary dr not available until tomorrow but what is he going to do besides refer me? Kind of kicking myself for not going back to ER but am always dreading that 'we don't see anything wrong' type conversations...although about 70% of the times I've gone to an ER, there has literally been a legit issue. My right side hurts...and honestly one area feels like it is burning/on fire. I have no fever. No yellowing of the eyes or skin...so I'm just sitting here in wait mode trying to decide what makes the most sense. Symptoms I am having besides ongoing pain and the burning sensation, is hot flashes/heat waves like NO TOMORROW! (is that from the anesthesia??)...clammy all the time...cold sweats throughout the day, nausea...sometimes brief chills..when I walk I'm having to do the same compression/pain compensation that I had after bypass surgery (although honestly I don't recall constantly feeling like I had to hold my abdomen after bypass surgery. I've done cold packs, heating pads, etc. trying to find some home remedies. I've used up the entire prescription of the muscle relaxer which was the one thing, more than the Tramadol which seemed to give some very very brief relief. Sometimes I feel like my insides are tying themselves in a knot. Only thing I can think of is I'm having abdominal spasming and that..it will abate at some point? I can't keep having this interfere with work which is another whole issue. When you tell your workplace you are having issues after gallbladder surgery...well, you know how you get that feeling especially from others who have had something like gallbladder removed where it truly was no big deal and they are wondering...why are you struggling? Some know I had gastric bypass surgery but I really don't want to have to spell it out for others..ya know? Curious to know if anyone else had similar struggles, did it go away...what did you do? Am I an idiot for not already going back to ER to get checked out instead of just continuing to be in pain or does it indeed just take us longer to recover. Interesting side note, if you ever get online access to your medical records from a hospital/doctor, sign up as I was able to read my freaking surgical notes!! Oooh, another sore point - they noted in my surgical notes my gallbladder or some part of it had grown into/adhered to something else it shouldn't have so they had to 'cut it away'...and they also noted a bile leakage they wanted to fix but could not do the preferred 'solution' as they could not maneuver so they went with a Plan 'B' (my wording). I mean...how about you tell me this stuff after the surgery so I don't have to read about it? My husband said I was gone for literal hours - longer than my bypass surgery by far. Any input even if you sailed through your gallbladder removal is welcome.
  3. KarenLR75

    Regain 4 Years out

  4. Ugh, I did some of my usual minimizing stuff. Dr running some blood tests as my liver enzymes were out of whack when they were checked the day of my surgery. I'm also very very constipated which I had taken meds to resolve. That will hopefully resolve tonight but I know..I just know that the pain I'm having has nothing to do with that. He did talk about getting me referred to a gastroenterologist quickly and getting some scans done but I was so out of it while I was there I didn't pin him down on are we doing this as an ASAP thing or ??? I hate when I don't stick to a plan. He did agree that I should not be feeling worse as the days go on....
  5. I have a follow up with my primary today but am fully ready to be sent to ER or go to ER if not directed to. Luckily I've been with this primary for more than a decade...heck...maybe almost 20 years and he knows 1) I am no pain weenie 2) I'm not a hypochondriac 3) I don't seek out pain meds and honestly most don't seem to be worth much HOWEVER when I'm in excruciating pain these days, I'm ready to try anything almost to get even a moment's relief The pain, as many stated, is almost like before removal. I can be in general discomfort, great discomfort or 'curl into a fetal position and try to breath thru it discomfort'. They don't warn you/inform you that having your gallbladder out is not a magic fix and also I wish I had known more about the downsides of not having a gallbladder, not that this would have changed me getting it removed or not but I sure would have been more mentally prepared. I have some of the 'follow up if you get these symptoms' type things going on but NOT the heavy hitter ones like jaundice (yellow eyes/skin) nor high fever. I've had blips of a few low grade temps, whatever they call it these days - 99.4, 99.2, 99.8. My daughters and I are odd as our normal body temps almost never show 98.6, we are all 3 about 95% of the time shown as 97.X. I don't know why and if that is even significant or just normal for many ppl. The discomfort/pain is 'alive' for sure over here (oof, and the bouts of nausea and 'flushing'/redness/clammy-soaked skin). Now I also have a continued burning sensation where..I guess my gallbladder used to be? My stomach gets very bloated/distended. I did a video the other night because I kid you not, I looked like I was 4 or 5 months pregnant. I was a bit taken a back as I'm used to seeing my saggy/deflated stomach and alarmed as I thought...OMG...how much weight have I gained over the holidays...!! (Answer - 8 pounds)...I do know in the past 2 days I've become very constipated so I just know that this is going to end up being a big focus if any scans are done. Yeah, I know...there is a lot of 'stuff' in there. The constipation is due to some unwise food choices and the fact that I'm not eating as much fiber as normal and I tend to have 'cycles' of constipation even when my diet is steady, predictable, relatively low in fat and high in fiber. I've taken stool softeners for past few days and just took a laxative. Anyone know if 2 to 4 years post surgery, can you have SO much constipation that you look VERY pregnant? For the ongoing pain/discomfort/burning I've tried: Not eating for most/90% of the day, drinking broth, doing a day of protein shakes, eating very little, eating a lot (not planned but it happened)..and none of this has impacted/alleviated the discomfort so I'm honestly..puzzled. Dang, I remember the bypass post op months when sometimes things didn't feel right - in hindsight I had some struggles with abdominal spasms and I'd get scanned and they'd be like 'nope, everything is ok'. I guess I should remember it is OK to go in and be seen and get verified that 'everything is ok' I guess that is why i honestly cringe at the thought of going to ER's, etc. Obviously I mentally know at this point that 'not going' is not a solution either. My appt with primary is in roughly 2 hours, I'll be mentally prepared to go wherever he feels is best if he does want me to go be 'seen/scanned', etc. TY to all who have taken time to comment. Hopefully for those who have not had their gallbladder removed you now know to do a bit more research/ask questions. Not saying this should change a recommendation to get a gallbladder removed but there are things you may need to do to make adjustments to your 'diet' post removal that did not get mentioned, nor was I fully aware of the gallbladder's role in our bodies and the fact that nothing else that I'm aware of 'leaps' in to take over that role. I SHOULD have done my homework. I've had 2 years of warning that my gallbladder was NOT Happy. I could have been better prepared. Blah.. Will let y'all know what I find out today and spread what my experience shows me/informs me/clarifies for me in the hope it may help someone else out down the road.
  6. Haven't been doing well the past 5 weeks..no weight loss. Letting calories sneak in during the day. COVID is driving me nuts especially with a spouse home 24/7 eating carbs and many trigger foods that they used to not eat in front of me. Getting back to business as I still have so much to lose. Down 175 lbs from highest weight ever but lost 60 lbs of that in 3 years doing keto off and on before surgery. My 1 year 'anniversary' was yesterday (7/25) so from the date of surgery I lost 115 lbs. If I had stayed on track, that # could easily have been 10 lbs more but that is not something I can stay hung up on.
  7. KarenLR75

    1 year post op- not at goal

    Only thing that I can say for myself with a VERY very resistant/challenged metabolism is that outside of weight loss absolutely slowing down as I approach a year ( was warned this would happen) is that my dr still has me on 800 calories a day. We do not move to 1000 calories until after a year has pass (am 1.2 months away from a 'year'). I also do not exercise enough so I am leery of increasing my calories until I 'fix' this. So many ppl outside of those of us 'living it'...think WLS is the easy answer. It definitely helps, but until I started hanging out here years ago, I did not realize the amount of work and constant diligence that is still required.
  8. While I was much bigger at 390...I'm still rather LARGE+++ at 250 lbs (ok, scale said 253.2 today..sigh). It seems that most of the people I've followed when I've had time were already at their goal weight before finding dr's and talking procedures/options. I can see that this probably is required as it would be hard for a doctor to correctly advise/tell what I'm going to have leftover at 170 vs. 253.2. 170 is my first goal - obviously the 'charts' want me at 140-150..sigh. I guess the ONE thing that I can do is start saving money...a whole LOTTA money! I wish I could tell 'now' what procedures I'd want done and in what order. I KNOW I want my arms done - they have always been bad even when I was a 135 teenager and on the swim team for years. Getting up to 390 and I have arm flab the size of small cities. The 'girls' are deflated balloons that breastfeeding 2 kids..or attempting to...did nothing to help. Just had mammogram and it was 'clear' but it hurt like a you know what. My last one was done when I was 390 7 years ago. They are now so totally deflated it felt like the tech was trying to roll out pizza or bread dough with the machine. They don't class me as high risk yet as my Mom diagnosed with breast cancer in 60's. My maternal cousin, however, was diagnosed at 49..and hard partial breast removal. Honestly, I figure mine are going to turn on me some day and I'd like to beat them to it. Just wondering what I should simply leave alone until I'm down to 140-170....
  9. Some of you may know that in the 11th hour, finally listening to my gut about my original surgeon and his anesthesia team, that I made a switch in doctors. After having gone so far down this road to where I was scheduled for surgery this coming Monday (7/1) with a doctor that had good reviews and a recommendation from someone I respect, I no longer trust myself as much as I did. Dr. Chad Carlton has great reviews as well and they go back for a much longer period of time which is 1 thing I like. However, I am so....well, to be honest I feel quite shaken up about the whole thing even though I feel I did the right thing. Does that even make sense?? While I found that I was relieved initially and my whole family is glad that I changed....my emotions are all over the board since last night. Maybe it's the change of 'I was going to have surgery on 7/1 and now the date is back up in the air..but I'm into week 2 of the liver shrink diet and I was to start bridging to Lovenox (blood thinner) today'...and I know Dr. Carlton was a bit taken aback at the amount I was prescribed. Oh, and switching from sleeve to bypass. Original Dr felt I was too high a risk to do bypass due to clotting history & said we'd do a bypass instead 1-2 yrs down the road (however with Cigna, you only get 1 type of operation for entire LIFE)...original dr said to 'save my pennies'. Dr. Carlton said while yes, my clotting history is a risk (I have a permanent filter) but I come with no other co-morbidities like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. that also introduce 'risk'. He said he has done over 6,000 procedures and does mostly revisions to bypass or straight up bypass (he also is 1 of the few in area that has a lot of experience with gastric bypass with duodenal switch?). I have 150-175 lbs to lose and he said that he did have some sleeve patients that were super diligent and were able to lose that kind of weight with just a sleeve...but I know that for many with this much to lose, a bypass is..what...still the "gold std"?? If anyone has any experience with this doctor, could you please let me know. While his reviews are really good, so were the reviews on my other doctor. I don't want to leave ANYTHING to chance. I'm at that point where it's "trust, but verify".
  10. Yep, took it before and still continue to. Both my dr and my surgeon discussed. Haven't noticed any negative changes.
  11. @Brent701 - you just nailed something I've been trying to identify as 'off' with me the past 2 weeks...I know one huge area if physical activity and previously I was actually getting kind of a 'healthy high' as I'd like on beginner trails. Don't know if it is the tons of extra hours I"m working...but I feeling the dread stirrings of complacency..and I'm too far away to have this settle in. I'm been so happy running around with new clothes that I think i'm starting to lose my focus on the prize...I simply cannot give into to patterns of behavior which will, for me, deter me from my goal in the end.
  12. KarenLR75

    Onederland! What a great feeling!

    Way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. I have been on point with taking the following: Bariatric Multivitamin 1 x's a day Biotin supplement - found the recommended fairly high dose to take in either Dr. Weiner's videos or that other dr who is hysterically funny and several here follow him Have Celebrate's hair, skin and nails multivitamin (I alternate with the sublingual biotin as I was worried about what happens if you take TOO much biotin) Eating at least 64 grams of protein a day. Dr has me going as high as 80 - I usually end up between 64 and 80 day. Maybe 3 days in past 6 wks where I got less than 64 gms My surgeons started me on the bariatric vitamins when I was pre-op and doing the liquid diet. He knows I added the biotin/skin, hair, nails supplement at same time I also started using Essie nail strengthener on my nails at the same time. My nails started growing so fast, just like when I was pregnant!!! Fast forward to the past 3 weeks, I am about 4 months post-op and my nails are more brittle than I've ever seen them, they tear off so much that the nail beds are shorter than my fingers...they look like a kid's fingers who chewed all their nails off. The ONLY thing I have not been consistent about getting in is the calcium citrate 3 x's per day. Could a calcium deficiency be the reason for this SUDDEN and drastic change?
  14. Just to clarify, my experience is with FSA, not sure what the differences are if you have an HSA (health savings account).
  15. Yep, they should be able to process that payment like lightning. Just like regular debit. Only thing I've encountered is occasionally having the company that is the 'owner' of my flex card, they must get audited like crazy because like twice a year despite the charge being OBVIOUSLY from a doctor like 'cardiologist', they will send me a letter, I simply grab a copy of my EOB for whatever 'charge' they are asking about and send it to them. Ironically they did not audit my large hospital/surgery charge...lol...the audited a $100 or less visit to my cardiologist..lol..I'm beginning to think it is some sort of random audit. Again, I have NEVER had any issue even when the card issuer has sent me a request for information on having my 'charges' denied because I stick to known medical costs that qualify for using the FSA card and surgery/hospitals, etc are definitely legit expenses that are covered under FSA (examples of ones that are not - buy sudafed or cough medicine at the drug store...those are NOT 'FSA' eligible but my true prescriptions ARE legitimately covered under FSA).
  16. KarenLR75

    86 lbs down

    Beautiful in both pics, but BOTH are pics of a stunning woman! You have a gorgeously shaped face which will continue to look stunning even if your face gets a bit smaller. I'd legit consider hurting someone to get your cheekbones! LOL
  17. I used my FSA (flex spending account) card to pay the hospital and the doctor for my portion. It's a legit expense.
  18. KarenLR75


    I understand the temptation and actually feeling that way..let's see you are 16 days out from surgery, is that correct? I was...a bit stunned during my first month that barely anything happened (my DEFINITE interpretation at the time and the first 2 weeks weight loss was from all I had been given to understand and yes..comparing myself against others....was so so little. I called my surgeon's office and talked to him and the nutritionist. They told me repeatedly something I had not seen here before (not that it might not have been said many times by others) but they told me DESPITE what I have found on many forums, they have done this for well more than a decade and that directly post-op, whether you were on IV fluids for 1 day, 2 days or more..or even NONE, that MANY people do not start hitting their body's full potential for weight loss until after they have HEALED which would be 6 weeks for RNY - unsure what it is for sleeve..maybe the same. I, however, felt after haunting WLS forums for 3 years PRIOR to surgery, that while I knew my doctor was very good, they simply HAD TO BE WRONG....I mean...I read how many hundreds of post of all of these people losing at LEAST 10 lbs a month. I thought I was 'oh so careful' to only compare my weight loss against other women...around the same age...and who had additional metabolic challenges (whether it be from medications, illnesses, PCOS, thyroid, etc.).....so I thought sensibly...I'm not comparing myself against a 'young man' or even a young woman. I finally quit looking at some of the posts, I sought out my surgery siblings more..the ones who had a slightly slower weight loss...I read some of the threads from the vets and basically white-knuckled my way thru month 1, month 2. Flash forward to now...6 months out as of 3 days ago and I started posting on this thread. In working with some of the vets when I posted here, we have looked at my total weight loss since surgery and then averaged it out and my monthly weight loss at SIX MONTHS is 12.6 lbs a month! If you had told me in Months 1 or 2...like my poor doctor tried to tell me...that things would WORK THEMSELVES out if I just stuck to it, I'd be leery...and that indeed was what I was told. Ironically in week 8, 2 weeks after 'you are healed by now' date, my weight loss kicked up higher. Some of my fellow siblings or ppl who had surgery in the late summer, early fall...the ones who lost a lot in month 1, oh how i remember that month, are starting to slow down a bit (nothing to be worried about)...some are now hitting 10 lbs a month consistently (and hey, I literally AM losing roughly 12 lbs a month and that is NOT with just averaging). Please hang in there...be kind to yourself and your body...it is literally still healing. The surgery is a big one and your body has been shaken up. You are a rockstar with the working out! I truly admire that. If you hang in there, the weight will come off and it won't remain in single digits. If it helps, even though you are on liquids, post what you are drinking, overall calories, etc. but again, the first month after surgery is really really rough on your body even if you feel 'ok'. My calories for the first month were 450 or less..some days 100, some days 200-250. Your body has to settle itself out so some of us do not see that gigantic loss in the first month and we think it is for nothing. It WILL COME OFF. With your level of exercise, and knowing what month 1 is like...I promise it WILL COME OFF if you are working your plan.
  19. KarenLR75


    Have you talked to your nutritionist/surgeon? Also, I think 50 lbs is AMAZING but I definitely 'get' it when you feel like you should have lost more. In working with the vets on here, they helped me figure out where my weight loss was really falling. If you post information like what your eating plan (i.e. calories, macros like how many grams of carbs, protein, fat, etc. your dr/nutritionist has given you as a goal) and what you are doing for exercise/activity, you will likely get some input..and if you are having issues sticking to the plan/or anything else you feel may or may not be contributing (in a good way or a bad way) to where you are at right now. Again, 50 lbs is a nice number..but to give more input it would be helpful to have a bit more info, but I also understand if you were just needing to vent.
  20. KarenLR75


    I do love it...and YAY for no traffic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  21. KarenLR75


    Had exact same thought...ended up quickly feeling...hard to put into words.. but like I somehow was 'familiar' with everyone...not the 'new' feeling I usually get...maybe it is the shared journey that made it feel comfortable?
  22. KarenLR75

    HUGE hospital bill

    True, true! I don't know how it is in the UK, Canada, or Australia but also trying to get in even for non-severe mental/emotional issues is....CRAZY. I remember primary referring family member to get a little more help with SITUATIONAL depression..although it was a severe case..and they were told left and right...6 months minimum..um...excuse me? I will say we have come a long way with like coverage and access (as well as free for those who need it) to things like mammograms..now if they could just do that with all the other things we need access to more quickly. My pet peeve, especially with specialists is seeing that my plan only has like..let's say 10 docs in my area that cover that specialty...but 99% are no longer taking new patients...um...so there is only 1? And dang if it is not going to be the one furthest away or the one with the worst reviews..lol. Sometimes healthcare..and we all know it from insurance hoops to get surgery if not self-pay..is like trying to plan a military campaign.. You last sentence made me laugh though...the irony of it
  23. KarenLR75

    HUGE hospital bill

    There are sometimes way for ppl who don't have insurance through work or the "Marketplace" to get insurance...but yes, we have some who encounter high bills. Some of my friends in the UK, where they are covered by national medicine..and friends in Canada have pointed out though that in the US we often have quicker access depending on what your situation is. I have a tendency to throw blood clots and I have read in horror as friends in the UK fight to get appts faster..and some of the things they have to go through to get specialists, meds, etc....I'm hoping they have been rare exceptions. We also have ppl who can afford it...come to the US for quicker access from Canada AND the UK...sigh...wish there could be a balance between affordability AND availability for everyone.
  24. KarenLR75


    Was hoping it was confusion CUZ I LOVE your name! Very upbeat ....plus my bday is in Nov...your surgery is in Nov..November ppl rock!
  25. KarenLR75

    Six months post-op+ : The Sophomores Thread

    Oh my gosh in 2 days I can LEGIT post to this thread (um....you don't see me right now....just pre-announcing my upcoming membership...LOL). Will be 6 months on 1/25/20!! Think I'll be moving over from another thread...I wish more of the folks on there were further out so I could invite them along..but I think many are 3 months and less. Will go back and see..

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