Jump to content
Are you looking for the BariatricPal Store? Go now!


Pre Op
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by shanfries

  1. I don't post here much, though I do check in quite a bit to see what others are and have experienced during their journey. Lately I have seen a number of people "on the fence" about whether or not to go through with WLS, so I thought I would share my story in hopes it will help make the decision easier and / or more informed. This is a personal decision and the journey is different for everyone.

    I am a 5'4" 43 year old female and underwent the Gastric Sleeve surgery back in January 2021. I have struggled with my weight all if my life. I was always the "curvy" girl throughout my adolescent years. After having 2 kids, I weighed around 200 pounds. I went on every yo-yo diet you could think up. I had some successes, and lost and gained hundreds of pounds over the past 20 years. Each time I gained it back, I weighed more than when I started. Eventually I kind of gave up and "accepted" that I was never going to be at a healthy weight. I was tired, and sick and tired of the constant battle. I started having numerous health condition and was put on multiple medications. About a year and a half ago, I weighed around 240 pounds and was climbing. My doctors told me I needed to do something. In addition to the health issues, I was so depressed, that I was missing out on everything in life. I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything, partially because I physically felt awful, partially because I didn't want anyone to see me.. Finally someone recommended WLS. I was shocked. I didn't even know it was an option for me. After doing a lot of homework, and meeting with several doctors I decided to do it. It was time to take my life back. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered my insurance would not cover it. Long story short, I was able to work it out so that I could still do the surgery as a "self pay". I knew it would be a small price to pay for a better quality of life. Because I wasn't going through insurance I didn't have all of the hoops to jump through. So I was scheduled fairly quickly. And due to Covid I was cancelled. And then cancelled again. Finally in January I had the procedure done. Other than having to have a hernia repaired, I had zero complications. Six months later I am down to a much healthier 140 pounds. I have never been happier and healthier.

    Yes, it has been a rough road. This is not an easy or "magic" fix. The recovery was painful. I dont eat sugar, or bread or Pasta or a number of other foods I love. I can't "chug" Water like I used to. My portion sizes are quite small. I am very uncomfortable if I "over eat" or drink. I had multiple stalls and got discouraged. I don't go out to restaurant's much. My hair fell out for about 3 months. I have to take Vitamins every day. I had several "what have I done" moments along the way.

    But I know now that it was the best decision I have ever made. I don't have to take ANY medications anymore. I have so much energy, and I live a full and happy life. Oh and I got to buy an amazing new size 6 wardrobe! My husband tells me I am a completely different person, physically, and emotionally. My only regret is not doing this years ago. Someone asked me the other day "how long do you have to do this for?" and my answer was "forever". This is not something I am "doing", this is a life long commitment. I am never going back to where I was. If you go into it with a mindset that this is temporary then not only are you going to be disappointed, but you will likely be one of those people that gains it all back in a few years.

    I am posting a couple of pictures as inspiration of what is possible. I know I scoured the internet for before and after shots every time I felt discouraged or needed some extra motivation. If anyone has questions they want to ask feel free to message me! I don't know it all or have all the answers I can only tell you about my personal experiences. IMG_20210624_035100.jpg 20210708_053013.jpg .pending-1627736299-IMG_20210624_035100~2.jpg Snapchat-1811039390.jpg

    Sent from my SM-N976U using BariatricPal mobile app

  2. I ran into the same issue with Aetna. My BMI is 37 and I have no comorbidities. I was worried I wouldn't be able to have the surgery. I decided to look into paying for the surgery out of pocket and bypass insurance. Guess what?! No one cares if you have comorbidities if you pay cash. Very few hoops to jump through. I started the process 6 weeks ago and my surgery is in a week. It would have been sooner if not for Covid. Not sure if you are in a position to pay out of pocket.. it may be less than you think. Just wanted to offer another option if insurance turns you down. Don't give up!

    Sent from my SM-T500 using BariatricPal mobile app

  3. I'm 3 weeks post op and this is what worked for me.

    If the hospital doesn't give you one, make sure to have an abdominal binder! I never had surgery before and I lived in my binder for the first week. Having that extra support helps with walking.

    Also get good reusable ice packs on Amazon. I got ones that covered my whole stomach and they were life savers!

    Make sure you have a good amount of pillows to prop yourself up at night. It just feels better to be on an incline than to lay flat (at least for me it was). I got a big u-shaped maternity pillow that helped keep me on my back because I'm a side sleeper. Also the first two nights I sleep on our recliner.

    Don't wait to take your pain meds. This goes for in the hospital as well as at home.

    Everyone says this but walk, walk, walk. It helps break up the monotony of being in the hospital. At the same time, don't feel bad about sleeping. I had constantly read how people walked seemingly all the time post-op. I think I did 3-4 loops over a few hours and then tucked in for the night. When you're not walking always make sure you have your calf pumps on to keep the blood moving.

    Sip sip sip! Glue your water bottle to you! I went in for fluids about 13 days after because I was very dehydrated. I walked a lot when drinking on the beginning because it felt better and seemed to go down faster.

    Have a pillow to put over your stomach for the car ride home. I constantly had my pillow over my stomach for 2 weeks because it was a comfort and also so I could text easier since I rest my arms on my stomach when texting.

    Lotion and lip balm are life!

    Most importantly, know that you will experience a lot of different emotions during recovery. I scoffed at this but sometimes I feel like a teen with my mood swings. [emoji23]

    Finally, give yourself grace and try to stay as positive as possible. It will be tough, but every day you'll wake up feeling a little better than yesterday and with more energy!

    Try not to play the comparison game too much. I got myself all worked up in the beginning because I wasn't where others were. I recover slower than others and that's okay. It's not a race. Listen to your body.

    I wish you the best of luck and a fantastic surgery and recovery! Seeing the weight loss every day is such a motivator and helped me get through the tough days. You got this!

    Sent from my SM-G988U1 using BariatricPal mobile app

    What a great post. Thank you so much for the advice. I have heard the no one is really as ready as they think they are. I want to be as prepared and successful as possible! Congrats on your own surgery! May you have great success as well!

    Sent from my SM-T500 using BariatricPal mobile app

PatchAid Vitamin Patches