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Gastric Sleeve Patients
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Everything posted by CrankyMagpie

  1. CrankyMagpie

    October 2018 Sleevers

    Hey, y'all! It seems like a lot of folks are doing really well here at the 3 month mark. ❤️ I had my 3-month follow-up, and I guess everything's fine, as far as the doc is concerned (they don't do labs until 6 months, so it was just a chatting appointment). I'm on Prilosec and Actigal until the 6 month mark. Usually getting in my protein, usually getting enough water, usually getting my vitamins, but still being human and living my life. I've lost a truly upsetting amount of hair, and I hope the losses stop soon. My daily vitamins have biotin in them, so I'm really hoping it all comes back in eventually.
  2. Still alive. Chugging along, losing slowly but fairly steadily, despite the stresses of the season. So... yeah, not much to report.

    Happy holidays to all of you!

    1. FluffyChix


      Where the hell have you been? Come back and play.

  3. CrankyMagpie


    I think they had me wait until 10 days after surgery to start ursodiol, and I was allowed to take it in capsule form at that time. They let me take prilosec as capsules immediately.
  4. Counterpoint: making a bunch of different kinds of cookies is a LOT of work, and maybe being off the hook for that duty will feel good.
  5. CrankyMagpie

    Can I still eat Halo Top?

    Arctic Zero would be a better choice, probably. Less sugar. A little protein. ... Actually, a really disappointing amount of protein, since I remember trying one well before surgery, and it just tasted like frozen protein shake to me. ☹️
  6. There are these chairs at work that someone should really just throw out. They have "arm rests" that are the wrong height (which is only a little offensive) , and those "arm rests" make them impossible for people of a certain girth to sit in (which is very offensive).

    I can now sit in them. ... I still very much think they should be thrown out, because they're exclusionary, but they no longer exclude me, which is a small victory.

    1. ProudGrammy


      no small victories - great NSV - congrats kathy

  7. CrankyMagpie

    October 2018 Sleevers

    No, I just used Google sheets. (Like Excel, but on Google Drive.) Excel or Numbers would work too.
  8. CrankyMagpie

    October 2018 Sleevers

    Hey, so, I'm just feeling really nice about my weight loss chart and thought I'd share it (with the y-axis, which shows actual numbers, cut off). That "expected" line was created by figuring out my excess weight (surgery weight minus ideal weight), multiplying that by .6 (on average, sleevers lose about 60% of their excess weight), and plopping that number down a year from my surgery date. That may end up being a bit off -- some people take 18 months to get there -- but it gives me a starting point. For sure, if the blue line ever crosses the red line, I'll move the 60%EWL number to 18 months and still have a motivating chart; but for right now, I could put it at one year out and didn't have to make that many spreadsheet rows. 😉 Anyway, I take my weight every Wednesday when I wake up, and that's how the blue line is plotted. Caveats: 60% is an average, and I'm not sure what the actual distribution of weight lost really looks like for gastric sleeve patients. So for my own case, yeah, I could end up doing better or worse, and I know that. Some of that is under my control -- I can follow the program and do the work to get the best possible results for my body -- but some of it will come down to age, genetics, etc. I'm at not quite 15% of my excess weight lost this week (week 8). (I was past 10% at week 6, so I guess JessaK's team would say I'm on track. My team seemed happy enough.)
  9. CrankyMagpie

    October 2018 Sleevers

    @Hrsnjs I'm real mad at that surgeon, who is not only an a*****e but wrong. We all lose at different rates. We all have different metabolisms. Some of us have more active thyroids than others. If you lost a lot of weight pre-op, maybe that slowed your metabolism down a little bit, compared to someone who didn't, you know? At my six week I was only down (checking my notes) 20, and I started at a higher weight than you and lost less weight pre-op. 30 pounds, given your starting weight, is a totally unreasonable goal -- not to say nobody ever manages it, but anyone who does should really count themselves lucky! I wonder if he screwed up and assumed you'd had RNY instead of sleeve. They do lose a little faster at the outset.
  10. CrankyMagpie

    October 2018 Sleevers

    To be fair, when most nutritionists say "no carbs" they don't mean "no egg yolks" or even (usually) "no plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese." (The carbohydrate in an egg yolk is so very small. It's a little higher in dairy foods, but it's still not that high. Reasonable people classify eggs, plain Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese as sources of protein.) Most don't even mean "no vegetables," because one of the few areas where there's scientific consensus about nutrition is the statement "vegetables are good." They probably mean "don't eat bread, pasta, rice, etc.," or phrased another way, "don't eat foods that are primarily composed of carbohydrates." They might also want you to leave out beans and fruit, but only if they are monsters. (OK, now you know where I stand.) By most anti-carb nutritionists' rules, broccoli and cauliflower are borderline (OK in moderation), and tomatoes and any kind of potatoes are right out, but kale and other lower-carbohydrate vegetables (zucchini, cucumber, ... eh, there are lists) are OK. ... I mean, obviously, check with your team, but I'm pretty sure they didn't mean that extreme a rule, at least not for long-term. For now, maybe they really do only want you to eat high-protein foods; mine sure prefer that I focus there, though I'm allowed to have a little fruit in my cottage cheese and a couple of crackers with my tuna salad, you know? At least when I talk to the nice nutritionist; there's a hardliner at my surgeon's office who I avoid, and she might not allow those things. Also, for dairy with a bit more protein and less sugar, I really like Fairlife milk. I usually prefer 1% when I'm drinking normal milk, and I'm really happy with their skim. My spouse, whose preferences are even stronger than mine, is also happy with their skim.
  11. I have a question for sleevers who are at least a year post-op. I'm at about two months post-op, allowed to (and able to) eat pretty much anything. (I haven't risked rice or pasta, and I won't until ... what? 6 months? That's a question to ask at my 3-month follow up, I guess. And, I mean, there are definitely other things I haven't tried! But I have enough range, now, that I don't feel limited at all.) I need some fiber in my life, but every ounce of protein I replace with something fibrous is yet more protein shake I'm stuck drinking; even swapping in beans means decreasing my protein count from what it could be, for that meal. Honestly, I have to have a shake most days. And I guess adding in 1-2 prunes per day, between the three meals I'm allowed, is probably not a huge deal, calorie-wise, but I still feel weird about it? (The alternative is pretty painful and bad, though. I'm honestly having a lot of trouble finding the right balance for my lower digestive tract, and "1-2 prunes, combined with a fiber supplement," is mostly just a best guess, right now. That balance will shift over time, too, I'm sure.) Anyway, I'm curious about when people move out of the initial stages of all this. For instance, at what point were you able to stop with the protein shakes? And at what point did you start to kind of hit your stride, with long-term eating habits? Because I know this protein-only lifestyle comes to an end; at some point, getting to 60+ grams gets easy, and you need to shift focus toward choosing nutrient-rich foods to supplement your serving of protein at each meal. And I'm really interested in when that is. Like... I'm not trying to rush the process, but I also don't feel like I'm building those lifetime eating habits, yet. "Don't entertain yourself with food," sure, and "get enough fluids," yeah. "Take your vitamins," yeah. (All still works in progress, to be honest.) But I'm still pretty interested in finding out when it'll be time to start building the habit of eating fruit- and vegetable-based meals with healthy proteins.
  12. I am not a doctor. I have taken the equivalent of a single college class on herbalism (which is more than most people on here, but not enough that you should do anything I say without first doing some research on reliable sources (so, trusted herbalists--I can get you a list--and medical journals, not the Happy Hippie Housewife Homesteader Blog, OK?) and also not without a discussion with your doctor), but when an herbalist wants to help someone with reflux, they start by improving the strength of the esophageal sphincter. Meadowsweet and Solomon's seal are good herbs for that. Um... there really isn't exactly such a thing as bariatric herbalism, though, and a lot of what you find online is going to be way off base. Herbalists who are told you have reflux issues may assume that you have too little stomach acid (for good reason; that's often what's happening with other populations and why food hangs out in the stomach long enough to come back up the esophagus), and they will tell you the wrong things. I am not convinced, for instance, that bitters (which stimulate digestive secretions) would help us, but every herbalist will tell you to try them. I am convinced that fiber's going to be good and helpful, in general, but maybe not especially so for stomach acid. You could try chamomile, which is a very gentle digestive herb for anyone who isn't allergic to it. Ginger and its cousin turmeric are both used for chronic digestive issues, but they are less gentle and could end up exacerbating your problem; I'd start slow and use them with caution. The main thing, if you want to go off PPIs, is that you'll have to avoid any foods you know are problematic for you (real heavy foods, fried foods, spices that don't agree with you, stuff like that). And you cannot have any peppermint. None. It's great for nausea, sure, but it causes reflux for a lot of people. I hope this all helps with your decision, even if the only thing I've conveyed is "this is going to be a lot harder than just finding a couple of herbs."
  13. CrankyMagpie

    Worried about Mental Health

    I'll be real: major life changes can be hard on those of us with depression, and post-op life is a pretty serious change. I've had a few pretty bad things happen to me since surgery--unrelated, just bad timing--and haven't bounced back from them quite the same as I might have (or might not, it's always hard to predict) if I weren't also healing from surgery and probably getting some extra hormones flooding my system as the fat burns off. Make sure you're set up with a therapist you like and trust. Make sure you've got coping mechanisms in place that aren't food-related. Short-term, the road is a little bumpy. I can't speak to the long term from experience, but I kind of expect that I'll still be someone with anxiety and depression, just also thinner and hopefully with less arthritis pain.
  14. The price varies a lot. Insurance didn't cover mine, and I got mine done at a Center of Excellence for somewhere in the ballpark of $11,500-15,000. (There was a huge billing error, so I still don't know exactly how much it will end up being. Yeah, almost two months later. I'm pissed, believe me.) Those scary-high prices you're seeing that they billed someone's insurance? Yeah, those showed up on my statement, too, but there are often discounts for people who are doing self-pay, where they cut those numbers in half, or even much lower. Also, if you're willing to travel, apparently there are much cheaper surgeries available in Las Vegas and in Mexico.
  15. CrankyMagpie

    I feel like I blew it

    Sleeves don't stretch, so you're fine there. 6 months is the point at which my team allows alcohol--some other teams want you to wait a full year--so you're probably fine there. I mean, yeah, 3 glasses is a lot, and all the extra water tomorrow to compensate is a good idea. But in the scheme of things, it's no biggie. A sliver of pie one day a year is not how any of us got fat to begin with, and it's not enough to ruin all of your hard work thus far. Go back to your proteins and veggies like nothing happened, and it'll be fine. You don't have to punish yourself with a liquid-only day; just keep doing the work you've been doing thus far, and treat this like what it was: a single day when you indulged more than you meant to--and still way less than you would have before surgery--but just one day out of over 6 months of eating to nourish your body and an upcoming lifetime of doing the same.
  16. CrankyMagpie


    Waking this thread back up, looking especially for suggestions for that 2-6 month range, where there's not really room to be eating much besides protein sources, but a couple of days' worth of inattention can wreck up the system, apparently.
  17. I'm interested to hear from people who have changed up their date nights/get-togethers with pals/whatever away from food-based socializing: what do you do to hang out, now? I'm a boring person, and so is my spouse--or, to be kinder to both of us, he's a homebody, and I've been in enough pain, the past few years, that I've leaned that way, too. We used to enjoy ordering pizza (or sometimes healthier things) and watching Netflix to wind down from the week on Friday nights. I really looked forward to it! Obviously, that tradition has got to change. It's a silly thing for me to latch on to, but I find myself really, really sad about letting it go.* So I really want to have something different that I can look forward to, instead of just mourning that tradition. And just generally... I know that meeting friends in restaurants will be a thing I can do again, but I really want food to take a back seat in my life. Most of my friends are perfectly happy to meet up at a tea or coffee shop, anyway, so I'm not as stressed about that. Several of them enjoy board games or crafts, and I'm planning both kinds of get-togethers. I could probably drag some of them out to walk in local parks with me, too. But I'm open to more ideas! What non-food things do you all do for date nights, or for nights with friends? *This seems soon for the mood swings, but folks, I think the mood swings are upon me. Letting go of this one little tradition--that I definitely didn't participate in the week before surgery, either--is bringing tears to my eyes.
  18. CrankyMagpie

    October 2018 Sleevers

    @JulieL123 thanks for the link to the video! All: Dr. V is a pretty controversial figure around here, and not just because he curses. (I love cursing, to be clear. But I know that's a minority view.) Alex B, who runs this site, doesn't have a high opinion of him, for instance. As much as I like his style, yeah, I usually take what he says with a grain of salt. But in this case, he's probably not wrong: the numbers I've heard in the past are that weight loss is 80% diet, 20% exercise; that's the old wisdom, anyway. There are studies that show people don't lose weight in the gym--in part because exercise makes you hungrier. (And the machines all over-estimate how many calories you're burning.) My own thoughts, based on extensive reading and my own experience: Going to the gym because you "should" is not going to work in the long term. Going to the gym in order to meet a goal -- to finish a 5k, to be able to lift [some arbitrary amount], to build up to that bike vacation or long hike -- is a lot more likely to happen. Going to the gym because you crave the endorphins: also a recipe for success. Going to the gym because you effing love Zumba, water aerobics, spin class, or whatever: YES, you'll keep doing that. (Like me, enjoying the elliptical because I got to play Zombies, Run!--I was really good about going to the gym while I could do that.) So... going to the gym for a few weeks, to see if you can build that endorphin craving, or find the activity that brings you joy? Sure, yes, a great plan. But maybe going to the gym while you're still healing from surgery and can't go hard enough to actually generate those endorphins, or keep up with Zumba? Eh, I see there's an argument against that.
  19. CrankyMagpie

    October 2018 Sleevers

    If you have a smartphone, there are games you can play on elliptical and treadmill. I don't even like zombies, that much, but I was super into Zombies, Run! in the past. I haven't played their other game, but it's also really highly rated (and does not have zombies in it): https://www.thewalkgame.com/ As others have mentioned, disabilities make it hard for some of us to get into the gym as much as we'd like. Arthritis and my propensity to overdo things combined such that I borked my ankle, so now I'm trying to wait for it to heal. Once it does, I'll be back on the elliptical, playing Zombies, Run!, though! It's pretty fun.
  20. CrankyMagpie

    October 2018 Sleevers

    When in your life have you ever lost 11 pounds in less than a month? That's really good! Your body is healing, and there are going to be some slow periods in your loss while it adjusts. Just keep following your plan, and the weight will come off. Take your scale to a friend or family member's house if it's making you anxious. Don't look at it every day. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and stressing yourself out will actually slow your weight loss.
  21. I never buy quick oats, so I'm tempted to try this with standard rolled oats. I'll report back if I do 👍
  22. CrankyMagpie

    soft food 2 weeks after surgery?

    Yeah, I was cleared to start on soft foods 10 days after my surgery. I started with easier stuff like yogurt and cottage cheese and refried beans -- chicken wasn't for a couple of weeks, for me, and I started with chicken cooked in a crockpot with barbecue sauce, pulled apart with a fork like pulled pork -- but it was fine. I tried a new food almost every day and worked my way through the list without much trouble. I was on that until almost the 6 week mark (so, 4.5 weeks on soft foods), and now I'm allowed to try anything I want (except for rice, pasta, or alcohol, anyway). I haven't tried any raw veggies (besides a little lettuce) or steak or anything I know is super hard. But I've had grilled chicken and hamburger patties without problems, and I'm not 7 weeks out yet. The other thing they told me was, if something does settle wrong, and you throw up: give yourself a day of only liquids, to rest your stomach.
  23. CrankyMagpie

    October 2018 Sleevers

    I was taking high-dose ibuprofen, and I went off it before I had to (because I suspected it was doing stomach damage, and the upper endoscopy confirmed that). I've taken Tylenol since surgery, which is less effective for arthritis than an NSAID. After six months (I think), NSAIDs will be allowed again, but possibly only in small doses, as opposed to what I was doing before. I've taken Celebrex in the past, so I know it's a little different than the old-school ones like ibuprofen. Maybe your surgeon will be OK with it sooner after surgery than the typical NSAID. It's a totally reasonable question to ask them.
  24. CrankyMagpie

    October 2018 Sleevers

    My doc wanted me off NSAIDs like Celebrex for two weeks before surgery. He wanted me off of methotrexate for longer, but then he had to duke it out with rheumatology, who disagreed; they ended up all agreeing to two weeks for that, as well. I'd call, with a list of your meds handy, and ask which ones you need to stop when. There are several they'll let you take until the day before, and a few they'll have you take with a sip of water the morning of. But there are also probably some they'd like you to avoid for more than two weeks.
  25. CrankyMagpie

    High Protein Homemade shakes? Help

    This is possibly going to sound crazy, but could you try freezing some of the milk into cubes, if it isn't icy enough? You could drop the amount of milk, and if that gives you too little to drink, maybe you could replace some of the milk's "bulk" with yogurt? A lot of people add a banana (and that might make it so you don't have to add the maple syrup if you don't want)--but I'm a little bit allergic to bananas, so I wouldn't do that, personally. As for the clumping, do you have another kind of blender? I love my Magic Bullet blender. Or can you work harder to blend near the top of the mix? Cocoa powder is super hard to blend into cold milk, just as a general rule, and I wouldn't trust an immersion blender to do it.