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Gastric Bypass Patients
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Everything posted by Mello1

  1. I meant to post back in March but been busy with life. I hope all of you are doing well and staying safe. For those who got sick with the virus or lost loved ones, I offer my deepest thoughts and sympathies. I was part of the group who got the by-pass done just before everything went on lockdown last year. It's been quite the journey. I've been fortunate to have been able to work from home all of this time, although I do expect to return to the office sometime later this year. To date, I have lost 92 lbs. since the start of my bariatric journey and 104 lbs. from my highest weight. I had the surgery at 62 years of age and I was pre-diabetic, with high blood pressure and a BMI of over 44 and Stage 2 kidney disease. My highest dress size was 24 and I had severe acid reflux, back, knee and feet problems. At present, I can likely get into a size 18 and my bust size has gone from DDD to DD. I absolutely have no regrets getting the surgery -- it likely saved my life in many ways. Pre surgery I did a lot of reading on here as I wanted to know as much as I could about what to expect and I appreciated those who were 6-12 months out from surgery coming back to talk about their experiences, so I wanted to pay it forward. I will begin by breaking this into 4 sections: How I feel, What I think about myself, What I appreciate about myself now, and My work in progress. How I Feel: Physically I feel great and I consider that a blessing. I still have problems with my feet but that is mainly due my falling arches more than anything (although I did strain my ankle a few weeks ago attempting to do HIIT exercises -- don't ask). I've been most frustrated not being able to go to the gym to workout so my main exercise is walking long distances and doing online sculpturing classes. I do plan to return to the gym soon to step up the weight training. Walking up a flight of stairs without gasping for air is just simply divine! Having blood pressure that avg. 117/75? Lovely! I do still have to sleep somewhat elevated as I do have occasional bouts of reflux but nothing like before the surgery and I can't sleep on my right side for too long. But I can now sleep on my back without having severe back pain (the draw back is that my mouth is always open when I do). My blood work for the most part shows most areas in the normal ranges and my kidneys are functioning well. What I think about myself: When I was still in my 20s, I managed to lose 80 pounds and I gained it all back and then some. What is different about me now vs. then is that I still saw myself as fat, even though at that time, I was 16 pounds away from my goal weight. When I look at the pictures of me then, I couldn't see what I see of myself now. Even if I never lose another pound, I am so very cool with me being at this size right now. We are all different, especially us women, but yet we compare our bodies to an image that is not necessarily natural or realistic for most of us. Now I look in the mirror and I 'see' skinny and that's only because I'm tall and can carry more weight without 'looking' fat. That's also why the bottom line for me will always be the numbers on the scale, the volume of food I eat and the calories I ingest because the numbers don't lie. But poor body imagery can screw your mind up every time. What I appreciate about myself now: I think that it's so important to note the things that most folk who are thinner often take for granted. I try to keep a mental list of the things I can do now vs. before: Crossing my legs! I so love doing this! I can cross my legs without needing to hold my leg in place with my hand. I can keep my legs crossed for long periods of time without leg cramps; I can get a 4.5 mile walk in within 1 hr, 15 min vs. the 1 hr. 45 mins. in the past. I was able to work up to 10 miles in one session last year; Love having a resting heart rate in the 50s-60s; I can actually go to Costcos and buy some clothes! I haven't yet done so, but I will be able to start shopping for clothes in the non plus size section (that will still feel weird though); I like the fact that it can take me 2-3 days to finish a meal that I would normally eat in one meal. Volume control is a major game changer for me. I can't believe that I don't miss ice cream! My Work in Progress: The weight loss is slooooooooooooooooooooow now. I'm so close to that major milestone of onederland that I can taste it! Drinking enough water is still a struggle; Yes, sometimes I do overeat (and yeah, I pay for that!) Some foods that I like I can't really eat that much of anymore. I have to remind myself to make sure I get in enough protein. The protein drinks really helps even now. I still feel somewhat guilty when I have to throw food away because I'm full. I still snack a lot and I will on occasion, have that one sweet item that I want. I don't crave sweets and I'm so very grateful about that. Interesting that I want more savory things now. Being consistent is what I have to constantly work on. So ask me anything and I will check in from time to time to answer your questions. I would love to hear from others who had the surgery just prior to the great shutdown of 2020. Whatever you do, stay true and focus on your journey. It doesn't matter when you get there, only that you do in your time.
  2. Hi Losing! Yes constipation pre surgery was an issue for me as well. Luckily I have standing colonics and that did help. What I do now is take a daily pre-biotic/probiotic. Also Cascara Sagrada may help and thanks!
  3. Foods that don't like me no mo: Cooked kale greens, although I may give them another try this fall; chicken breast (too dry), chicken thighs on occasion, bread (not that I eat a lot anyway), paleo/keto pancakes -- basically complex carbs…. And thanks!
  4. Hi everyone! I hope that you all are staying safe and doing well. Since I'm taking some days off, I thought that I would catch up and touch base. I think I was among the last of the people whose surgery went as scheduled before everything shut down due the Coronavirus. What a different world we live in today. I do hope that those individuals who were scheduled in late March and in April had their surgeries re-scheduled -- don't give up! I'm here to tell you that it IS worth it in the end! I'm well on my journey to a transformed life and I would like to share my experiences to date. So far, I'm down 63 lbs. from when I started this journey and 70 lbs. from my highest weight. When I look in the mirror, sometimes I can hardly believe that I'm even doing this, but I am! My blood pressure has improved to near normal most days and my BMI has gone from 43 to 35. Also, I'm coming up on the halfway point of my journey! Because I see these questions asked often (and believe me, I had many of same questions myself), I will give my account from my personal experience. Pre-Op Following the instructions of your doctor does make a difference. I managed to lose about 20 pounds from October 2019 - March 2020 -- the more you lose, the better for your surgery. Strictly adhere to your 2 week liquid phrase and drink your water! Surgery My surgery was scheduled for March 17th and then it got pushed back to March 18th (I think my surgeon had scheduled a long weekend because he does his surgeries on Tuesdays). However because elective surgeries was due to be shut down during that week due to COVID-19, it was returned to the original date and my surgery was the first of the day. In addition to the by-pass, I had a hiatal hernia repair. The surgery took longer than normal because I was a bleeder (whatever that means) and scar tissue from when I had my gallbladder removed many years ago. But the Dr. and his team did their thing and it was a success. Post-ops was a bit disorientating and I was in a bit of discomfort, but by the time I was wheeled to my room, I was fully alert. What I didn't like: Not having anything to drink for 24 hours! That sucked. When I was able to drink, I could only have a few sips at a time. I had to do breathing exercises (in a little breathing tube thingy which was not a bad idea given COVID-19 was starting to get out there) and hours later, I got myself up and walked. I was determined to get up and walk! What you must do: You must get out of the bed and WALK! I stress that because when I had my gallbladder surgery, I stayed in the bed (it was done the old fashioned way where they hack you in 2 to get it out and I was in the hospital for a week) and did not get up until it was time for me to go home. Talk about the gas and the pain! Whew! I was not trying to feel all that again, so I got up and walked. Basically, post-op, I was fine and did well. 2 Weeks Post-op (Liquid/Strained food Phase) I didn't have much of an appetite and I did struggle getting in the protein. I mostly tried to get in the fluids first and foremost. My sis made me a LOT of ginger tea and that helped and I walked around the apartment and did a little walk outside. Soft Food Phase So for me, once I started eating food again -- my appetite came ROARING BACK! I mean roaring back and that caused some problems when I got into the regular food phase. I'm not a dairy person, so it was a struggle for me to eat eggs, cheese -- I just couldn't do the plain yogurt (yuck). I did manage to have some chili and beans, but I don't like beans either! Somehow, I got thru it though. Regular Food Phase You want to test drive your pouch? So here is what NOT to do: DO.NOT.OVEREAT. Because I wasn't one of those people who had to force themselves to eat due to a lack of appetite, I had to do a LOT of trial and error before my brain clicked. What I wish I had done: I asked my bari-nutritionist if I should get any special tools and she said no -- yet if I had to do it all over again, I would have purchased the bariatric plates and flatware. Even though I was using small plates, the servings were still not small enough -- typically out of prior habits -- and I would go to eat, then suddenly I felt food stuck in my throat and I wanted to throw up (but I couldn't). After that happened more than a few times, my brain finally got itself together and realized what was going on. I also was not used to leaving food on my plate -- like EVER. I was forcing myself to finish eating even though my body was giving me clear signals that I was DONE. Also, you learn very quickly which foods you can eat fine and others that you can't (Of course it's all of things that I like to eat...); those foods you have to eat in little portions. Suddenly I found myself (GASP!) throwing food in the trash! Who knew! Me! Being full and leaving fricking food on the plate and throwing it away! What!?!?!?! Yep, that's what Bari-by pass will do to you! Now I make smaller portions up front and I make sure that I eat the protein before I get full. I tend to eat only when I get hungry and when I'm full, I'm DONE. That is a big change from before when I kept right on eating and eating and eating and -- well, you get the drift. Continuing Challenge: Getting the water in. At best, I get 1 liter in/day. Between my heavy work load and knowing that I can't eat and drink at the same time anymore and I can only drink so much at one time! -- I have to choose on most days whether I'm concentrating on getting the water in or getting the protein in. That is a work in progress. I finally was able to get in a long walk today - 5 mi. I just have to go early in the morning to avoid the folk who don't wear masks, but it was great and I hope to re-start my walking routine (it will be a long moment before I return to a gym). So, if you have any questions, ask away!
  5. Mello1

    Hunger Question

    I'm struggling with this as well. I'm 3 weeks out post op tomorrow, and I seem to be hungry all of the time. I mainly have to deal with it because on top of that, I struggle to get down the water and the protein now. It would help if I could use the protein shakes, but now they make me sick. Just started back to work today and I'm trying to establish a routine, but it's a struggle.
  6. I didn't see an official thread so I started one! I finally got my date in March on St. Patrick's Day just before my birthday. I'm excited and anxious all at once. It could have been scheduled in late Jan/Feb but the bari center didn't get the Doctor's clearance that they were looking for and I had to wait until she got off of her winter break to get her to redo it, and then it took a couple of weeks for me to finally call them. They had called but either didn't leave a message or didn't leave the right number (because they are associated with the hospital) so it took a while, plus I'm too busy at work right now to take off anyway. Now that it's all set up, I have to spend the next month or so preparing the house, starting with the kitchen. Everything that I can't eat anymore is gonna get tossed. Starting Tuesday, I will be going to the bari classes so that I can get my head totally into this. The waiting has been annoying, but it's all falling into place. Sometimes I can't believe I'm really doing this!
  7. Yeah, I wouldn't weigh but once a week. The weight will come off over time. Once I get more energy, I'm going to start to look into exercise tapes on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
  8. Hey all. Day 8 post op. Been so hungry and been difficult to get all of the liquid protein in, but getting the water in. Finally can sleep on my sides-somewhat; helps to sleep better due to back issues. First day of taking vitamins and will have some full liquids later today. Will bubble wrap myself and attempt a short walk (probably just around the parking lot).
  9. Mello1

    I want to eat

    Good to know because I’m very hungry now and I have another week on liquids.
  10. Mello1

    I’m hungry 😞

    Just 5 days out and the abdominal pain on right side is annoying as hell. I can’t get a good night’s sleep because I cannot sleep on my sides and it’s hard sleeping on my back due to back issues. Ugh....
  11. Mello1

    I’m hungry 😞

    Me too. I’m thinking it will be different once I return to solid foods.
  12. Be kind to one another.
  13. Let me tell ya, I’m 5 days post op and yesterday, I drank one protein shake. Mistake — I felt like something was stuck in the middle of my chest; just now subsiding today. I’m sticking to clear liquids for the full 7 days and then I will see if I can tolerate full liquids. My instructions are 2 weeks liquids pre and post ops.
  14. Congratulations! Make sure your medical staff has on new gloves and masks until you are discharged.
  15. Just followed you on Instagram. You are gorgeous!
  16. You probably want to get in touch with your doctor's office. There is quite the variation in pre-ops diets. For me, it was 14 day liquid fast, for others only 7 days and some fewer than that. And then others were allow to eat a soft diet with protein shakes. Since your date is next week, I would get in contact with them to see how you are to prepare. Congratulations on your date, because so many have been cancelled for the latter part of March/early April.
  17. And the folk at the Surgeon's office said that I really didn't need it... uh huh. I'm using a back brace that I have...
  18. Hi! Thanks for asking -- I'm getting along well. When I start to feel a bit of discomfort, I take the liquid Tylenol. I'm glad that we can be a support to you.
  19. Gosh I’m so sorry to hear that. You seem to be a very strong person.
  20. Thanks for the advice! I have to see what I can use to hold my stomach in.
  21. Thanks to all of the well wishers! I'm back home now, so it's Day 1 Post - Op. Got a chance to walk around twice before I left and progressed better than I expected so far. So to give others an idea of the experience -- those who are still waiting -- I want to share the following: My surgery was around 8:30 am -- I was the first of the day. Even though I had taken a few things with me, I didn't use any of it. I had to wash my belly with this towel with special solution on it and I was given a shot to prevent blood clots. I was rolled in the OR where it was very bright and cold as a refrigerator! They gave me lanocane? before they gave me the profocol to put me to sleep. My surgery took a little longer because the surgeon had to remove old scar tissue from when I had my gallbladder removed and apparently I was a bleeder, but they didn't have to give me a transfusion. In addition to the RNY, the surgeon repaired the hiatal hernia. The hardest part after surgery was no drinking of anything for 24 hours. They wouldn't let me use this dry mouth spray that I had. They did give me liquid Tylenol for the pain and injection shots to combat nausea. My legs were also wrapped with this device to promote circulation and no blood clots. I didn't give a lot of sleep last night because I was uncomfortable in that bed -- not made for tall people for sure. I walked around the corridor twice yesterday and my sister patted my back to make sure the gas broke up. They made 8 incisions into me because of the issues I described above, and the worst pain is my lower right abdomen. It feels like muscle pain mostly. I do have some pain in my shoulders (the surgeon told me to expect that) and so now I'm trying to get all of the liquids in. I feel like I want to clug a lug, but! I know better than to do that. So now it's on to Day 1 post op liquids, practicing my breath and walking around the apartment,
  22. Thanks for all of the well wishes. Had my surgery this morning and all is well and recovering. Been up and walking already. Moderate pain due to incisions and hernia repair, but I feel blessed. Thanks again and I’m sorry for all the other March cancellations. I got in under the wire let me tell you. Hospital now on lockdown.
  23. I’m going in the morning. I’ll be back to posting by this weekend. Hold thoughts for me!

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