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Everything posted by Tiffykins

  1. Tiffykins

    Amazing news ! ! !

    OMG ! ! ! He's gonna be here in less than 6 hours. He just called from Baltimore, and said half the team was offered to come home tonight instead of having an overnight layover ! ! ! He told them " put me on that plane, I'm ready to see my family." I am officially freaking the hell out. Everything on the list is done with the exception of shaving, and that will be done here in a little bit. I am so elated, and can't believe he will be home so soon. I just can't wait to see him again. Caysen yelled when I told him, and couldn't contain himself. It's practically over. As soon as I am back in his arms, it will all be a distant memory. . . Thank you all so very much for all of your support, prayers, well wishes, and love that y'all have given me over the last few months ! ! ! I may not be around for a couple of days, but I'll update as soon as I can with pictures.
  2. Thanks so very much ! ! ! You'll love the sleeve!
  3. Tiffykins

    Tricare Prime, anyone?

    Just want to quote it for future reference and easy for me to pull. You wrote it all out so eloquently and precise. Thanks for taking the time for those trying to get VSG.
  4. Tiffykins

    Sleeved 2 Years Out Plus

    I seriously have zero food restrictions. Early out chicken was the most difficult to eat, it needs to be moist, but by 5-6 months out, food was easy. The only foods that sit heavy in my stomach to this day is brown rice, pork chops and scrambled eggs. Steak, scallops, chicken, turkey, roast, all veggies work just fine. I eat lettuce wraps weekly, ya know meat with a romaine lettuce leaf wrapped around it. Nothing fancy. Food just works. There's no pouch/stomach, just a regular stomach that functions the same as before. Healing varies, and food tolerances vary for each patient, but most report zero food restrictions. I can eat those foods listed above, but they "sit" heavier than other foods.
  5. I'm 20 and a half weeks into my 2nd post VSG pregnancy and as of today, I'm 3 years post-VSG. If you get pregnant early out, nothing happens to your stomach staples. The standard recommendation is to wait 1 year after achieving goal. This recommendation has become more lax with some surgeons over the years because more and more women get pregnant before that time frame. Some surgeons say 6 months, some say to wait 2 years. It really varies on each individual patient. It's best to wait until you've at least achieved goal, and can consume enough food to support your body. The baby steals everything from you. Getting pregnant while still obese is just as dangerous to you and the baby, and can complicate the pregnancy. Plus, the hormone flux and rapid weight loss, heavier restriction during those first few months out make it more difficult for some women. Not to mention all the other pregnancy stuff, like morning or all day sickness, food aversions, cravings, increased hormones and other fun pregnancy stuff. I was personally cleared at 8 months post-VSG for TTC. I was below goal, able to consume enough calories to support my body and a developing baby plus my labs were great. It took us a year to conceive Tatum. I delivered her on October 30, 2011. The year of trying to conceive I endured 2 chemical pregnancies and had already been referred to a reproductive endocrinologist because we had not been successful without medical intervention. Then, BAM, a sticky baby. My pregnancy was uncomplicated due to VSG. I was high risk for other reasons, my age of 34, and the fact I have a rare clotting disorder. This pregnancy has not been complicated by VSG either. I am due October 17th with this baby boy.
  6. Tiffykins

    Anyone Lose 100+ & Not Need Plastics

    I lost 130+ pounds, and honestly before pregnancy, I had zero medical need for plastic surgery anywhere on my body. I had this little baby fat roll/excess skin on my lower abdomen that could have been removed, but there wasn't a true need for it. That first year of maintenance really showed great improvements to my skin. It rebounded nicely, and I had zero need for spanx or other compression garments. I wasn't having to shove excess skin into my size 2 jeans. At 19 months post-op, I got pregnant. Gained 35lbs in the pregnancy, and all my weight came back to my "trouble areas", my stomach mainly. My skin stretched out, way out, good thing though is that I didn't gain one additional stretchmark. I lost 25lbs within 4-5 weeks after delivery, and even though I was only 10lbs from my maintenance weight, I couldn't get back into my jeans. The skin was way too much, and I was having to wear 8/10s. Low and behold, just 2 months after delivery of my daughter on October 30th last year, I popped pregnant again. I wore small maternity clothes through my entire last pregnancy, and now that I'm at the halfway point of this pregnancy, I'm having to wear size medium to large maternity clothes because I've already "popped out" and I'm showing big time this time around. I did have some wound healing issues with my csection incision because the skin in that region is so fragile. I had a csection 14 years ago with my first son. I have 2 large stretch marks that go through that region and the skin is super thin and fragile that they had issues closing the incision. I've qualified for a tummy tuck, and will be having it done sometime next year. My son is due on 17 October of this year. I will wait a minimum of 9 months to do the tummy tuck because I know the skin needs time to rebound. Genetics, how long we've been obese, how long we've punished our skin, and age does play a role in how our skin rebounds. More than anything, time is your best friend in the skin department. I know people who are three years+ post-op and their skin is still tightening up and changing.
  7. I lost 137+ pounds in 10.5 months. I dropped 115lbs in 6.5 months which got me to goal, the rest came off slowly as I was trying to get into maintenance and get my losing to stop.
  8. Just so you know VSG won't complicate the pregnancy. I just delivered a healthy, full term daughter on 30 October. The key to pregnancy post ANY weight loss surgery is the ability to eat enough to support YOUR body and the developing baby. The baby will take from your body what it needs so it's a high priority that you can eat enough nutrients to protect your body, teeth, bones, hair and skin can all be effected by you being under-nourished in a pregnancy. There are several women on obesityhelp on the pregnancy forum who conceive earlier than recommended. Most have normal, healthy pregnancies and babies. I don't know how much weight you have to lose, but remember being pregnant while still obese and overweight can complicate your pregnancy further including pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and an entire slew of other complications for you and the baby. Of course, obese and overweight women give birth to healthy, happy babies every day, but if you are having to pay for IVF, or go through that process, I would hope you would be as close to a normal weight as you can possibly get to prevent as many complications as possible. Depending on your starting weight, goal weight, and 6 month post-op weight, the doctors will guide you with your calorie, Protein, carb intake. You can not under any circumstances remain in ketosis (low carb dieting) while pregnant due to the risk of fetal brain damage. So, one thing to consider is that most of all VSG patients need to eat protein first and have little room for carbs especially the first 6 months, you will have to eat more often to stay out of ketosis and your weight loss could be effected. I gained a total of 35lbs in the pregnancy. I was below goal by 20 pounds, and had been in maintenance for nearly a year. Today, Tatum is 16 weeks old, and I am 7 weeks pregnant again(no it wasn't planned, nor were we being irresponsible). I had lost 25lbs of the 35lbs gained, and had just started low carbing it again to lose the last of my weight. It's been proven that low carb dieting increases fertility. The calorie/carb/protein guideline will be based on your starting weight at the beginning of the pregnancy. You may not gain much at all if you still have weight to lose and your calorie requirements will not as high as say someone like me who was in a normal BMI range and had been in maintenance for a year. My maintenance calorie intake was 1400-1600 calories and for my pregnancy, I was advised to increase it to 1700-1800 calories. I can say without any hesitation that the body is amazing machine. During the last half of the second trimester and the entire 3rd trimester, my restriction went completely lax, I could eat way more food, and then within about 2 weeks of delivery, my restriction was back on full force so hitting those calorie goals were not difficult for me. Best wishes, and if you have specific questions, please feel free to shoot me a message.
  9. I have several friends with daughters who hit me up to get my GS cookie fix. This year, I wrote a nice little check for several boxes of cookies and told her to send them to the food pantry or donate them to another family ! ! ! It's a win win for me. I get to support my friend's daughter and don't have to have those sinful goodies in my house! ! !
  10. I must confess that I decided to go off the map from here for a couple of reasons, and didn't give any notice. Mainly, I was getting burned out. Plus, with Tatum's arrival, life has been hectic, and I haven't been up to my normal self. I definitely didn't feel like giving back much to anyone, and admittedly, I was just tired. I felt it better for me to leave & take a break than bring negativity to the forum. All is well, and I promise I will reply to all the messages and comments that have been in my inbox. Tatum is growing and thriving. She's 7 weeks old, I'm doing great and enjoying her completely. I'll share more on the pregnancy after VSG forum later. We're leaving for Texas in a couple of days, and we're busy packing, organizing and getting everything ready for our trip.
  11. My capacity for dense Proteins have remained the same since about 7-9 months post-op. Now sliders, breads, crackers, pretzels, junk foods, I can eat a lot more of those foods. Liquids go right on through, I can guzzle Water now, if I really gulp down a huge drink, I might burp afterward, or feel a little tightness but for the most part if I swallow liquids, they go in and out. For reference, I can eat; 1 slice of medium pizza of thin crust pizza 1 small fajita with Beans, a little rice, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and about 4 small strips of chicken or steak I can eat 3 inches of a meatball sub from Subway minus the top part of the bread, I can only eat the bottom part of their rolls. Steak 4-5oz depending type of steak and how it is prepared Chicken breast - about 1/2-3/4 depending on what I eat with it I can eat pretty much any type of chips, Cookies, pretzels, crackers without feeling much restriction at all. Chili type consistency stuff is about 3/4-1 cup Yogurt or anything extremely smooth like mashed potatoes give very little restriction as well If I stretch my meal out more than 35-45 minutes, I can eat more. If I eat Protein mixed with other foods, I can eat more. If I eat salad or starchy stuff with my meal, I can fit more in. If I follow the rules all the time, I still have phenomenal restriction at 29 months out. For most social settings, I eat just about the same amounts as my other skinny friends. Of course, social lunches and dinners can last 1.5-2 hours so I can eat quite a bit more.
  12. Tiffykins

    6 months post VSG and Pregnant

    Oh, and there's plenty of women who still have weight lose who lose weight until the end. It's NOT out of the ordinary to not gain weight in pregnancy especially after weight loss surgery. I have a very close, personal friend here in real life, she just had a baby, gained a whopping 12 pounds and delivered a healthy, thriving, full term 8lb baby. So, weight gain is NOT inevitable, and you might continue to lose a few pounds here and there. I didn't gain for months into my pregnancy, and here I am 3 days away from delivery with a 35lb gain which is what the doctors predicted and told me to shoot for.
  13. What's scarier; surgery, improved health, a little excess skin, OR ending up in a pine box 10 years earlier? That's all the rationalization I needed to make me get over all the little things that had me "worried". I'll gladly take my wrinkly, excess, flabbiness over back fat rolls and thighs that rub together all the time. Every one of your concerns about food intake/water/dehydration are all very temporary in the grand scheme of events. At over 2 years out, I guzzle Water, I eat normal bites, don't chew things to mush, and have had zero issues supporting my body and another developing human in my body through this pregnancy. I have zero issue consuming 1700-1800 calories a day. And, if I really want to do so, I can easily hit 2000 calories by eating more mushy/sliderish foods. Most days, I forget I only have 15% of the normal sized stomach, it's just life now. Fears are normal, but at the same time, my fear of dying early was far scarier!
  14. Tiffykins

    Feeling pretty low

    Yes, if you start putting the right foods in your body, your body will respond. Are you on acid reducer/PPI? If you have health insurance, look for a counselor and therapist to help with the food issues. I hate support groups so they aren't always the answer. I think they are more enabling than anything, and honestly, think that many people just go to be told that it's "okay" they're not gaining weight etc etc. Well, that's just not the case. My recommendation is to cut carbs, set a meal plan, and stick to it. Yes, I realize if it were that easy, you'd be doing it, but you have to start somewhere. Start tracking your foods on myfitnesspal.com and start being accountable for what you put in your mouth. hair loss is part of it, but getting in your Protein, Vitamins and nutrients will help regrowth.
  15. Tiffykins

    Seeing is Believing

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww you look amazing ! ! ! Many congrats ! ! !
  16. Tiffykins

    Studies and Reports

    LapSF Two Year Study LapSF Five Year Study - abstract only LapSF Five Year Study - presentation (requires Windows to play) Literature review on the sleeve - requires $$ to get the full text unfortunately Sleeve best for over 50 crowd Video of a sleeve with lots of education discussion Video of a sleeve that is more about the operation Ghrelin levels after RnY and sleeve Ghrelin levels after band and sleeve Diabetes resolution in RnY vs. Sleeve Comparison of band to sleeve - literature review http://www.iabsobesi...veDietGuide.pdf http://www.cornellwe...gastrectomy.pdf Some of this is outdated, but some of it is great information: http://www.sleeveguide.com/ http://www.ssat.com/...ts/08ddw/O4.cgi http://www.hopkinsba...tion_sleeve.pdf Eglin surgeons use small bougies so this is just for informational purposes: http://www.ncbi.nlm....aultReportPanel http://www.medpageto...age/ASMBS/20937 http://www.associate..._pg2.html?cat=5 5 year post-op stats http://www.ncbi.nlm....um&ordinalpos=1 http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/20338286 Sorry for the craptastic formatting, but I'm too lazy to take out all the little funky "Font" thingies. Pre Op /The Op If self pay - What does your fee involve? Is there some follow up care thrown in there, like labs at 3,6,9 and 12 months? Pre op diet � what to eat/drink and how long for? Do I get a nutritionist/psychologist? What size bougie is used? (This is the medical instrument which determines the size of your remaining stomach) Do you oversew the staple line? How many incisions do you make? Do you go in thru previous scars? How many nights in the hospital � is there facility for someone else to stay in my room as well? Do they need to be with me 24/ during my hospital stay? How many leak tests do you do? How many sleeves have you performed? Complication/leak stats? How many if any deaths? Who do I contact if I think I have a problem (most places give out an emergency number)? Is the hospital equipped an ICU and blood bank in case of complications? If complications do happen to occur, are these complications/additional surgery/days in hospital covered by the original quoted price of the surgery? Would you remove my gall bladder at the same time if needed? Can you give me some patient testimonials or do you have any before/after pictures of your patients that I could read/look at? Is it standard operation procedure, ie: no nail polish, no body jewellery? Do I need to stop taking any particular medication pre op? (Take a list of what you take and dosage) Post Op How often are the post op check ups? Where are they? � is price included? What supplements/anti acid drug would I need to take and for how long? Do I need labs done post op? � Are these checked with you or my local doctor? DO I get a dvd of the operation? Post op diet? How much weight would I be expected loose? What if I loose too much, how to maintain? Do you use heparin? � Will I have to inject it myself? How soon after the op can I��drive, swim, work out, lift weights, lift my kids?
  17. Tiffykins

    Women Only Question

    I went from a solid, perky, happy 40/42 D/DD (depending on the bra cut) to a TINY 32B. The trend I've noticed since being around and watching other women's progress is those who were well-endowed before weight gain set in, they were able to keep a lot of their volume. For those of us who only had big boobs because we were fat, lose them to a much more drastic degree. I remember being a b/c cup in middle and high school before I got fat so I'm pretty sure I just wasn't meant to have big boobs at a normal weight.
  18. Tiffykins

    Carb Debate (Friendly)

    Some carbs are fine. I choose to NOT eat carbs, and stay below 30-40gr per day. NO biggie, I didn't need them for energy when I had over a 50% body fat measurement. Glycogen burning a lovely process for energy. Some people are carb sensitive, some people have medical issues that make them NOT lose weight with carbs. At least for me, during my losing stage, when I was focusing on hitting my Protein goal per day, and beating my own eating habits that got me fat, I simply did not have room for carbs so it's not a difficult process. I'm all for people doing what they need to do, but doing low carb isn't a horrible thing for a lot of people. I look at like this "no one can deny my success doing it how I did it". I'm not telling everyone to do it this way, but it worked for me and hundreds of others. It helped beat some food demons as well. There is a lot more that goes into the equation of losing weight, keeping off, and being able to make some lifelong changes that will give a patient long term success other than just saying "don't worry about carbs". It's easy to not worry about carbs when restriction is at a max, when foods don't taste good, when life isn't happening, throw a combination of life happening, death, divorce, job loss, then toss in the fact that restriction and slider foods are easier to consume, and heaven forbid some hunger comes back, NOT worrying about carbs can lead to regain. There's several posts around that prove that point with topics of 40-60lbs of regain. Not arguing, I eat carbs, I also know myself and my food issues, my eating Funyuns over a cheese stick, but I'm also well-aware of what happens when we just don't worry about stuff with my own regain story from last year's holiday season. No debating here. It's futile at this point.
  19. HA (made ya look) 34week baby bump, it's kind of hard to see because I took this with iPhone camera, but there are a couple of protrusions from my belly and those little bumps would be her FEET ! ! ! This was taken about 10-14 days ago. . . She's dropped a tiny bit, and rounded out in front, I'm really basketball shaped from the front, and no one can tell from the back that I'm pregnant. 31 days until her arrival ! ! !
  20. Tiffykins


    Smoking impedes healing, increases the risk for ulcers, pulmonary embolisms, DVTs/blood clots and anesthesia complications due to decreased O2 saturation levels.
  21. Tiffykins

    No coffee?! No booze?

    I've drank coffee since being about 6 weeks post-op. As long as you can get in 64oz of clear fluids (which is ANYTHING that is decaf and sugar free), then coffee was not an issue for my program. Outside of pregnancy, I probably consume 20-30oz of coffee a day, and in pregnancy I have 1-2 cups per day in my 3rd trimester. As for alcohol, Here's my standard reply when anyone asks about alcohol post-op: 1) You have a healing staple line for 6-8 weeks, alcohol = harsh not conducive to healing 2) Empty calories = impeded weight loss 3) Transfer addiction (take away a fat girl's ability to cope with food, and it makes it easy to turn into using alcohol to cope) 4) This is the big one for me; Our livers are working double time during the rapid weight loss phase, right?? Why toss more crap in there for the liver to have to breakdown, process and clear out of the body. I was restricted for 3 months on alcohol consumption. I refrained until I was at goal (6 months post-op), and my first glass of wine hit me hard and fast, then I sobered up fast. Over the coming months to first year, my tolerance returned to normal. I'm a very social drinker (not in pregnancy obviously), but enjoy a couple of drinks weekly. People do it all the time. I don't tell anyone to NOT do it, but I don't think it's the best option regardless of how many calories you have left for the day, or how many others think it's perfectly fine to drink through the losing stage. Get to maintenance and worry about boozing. Believe me, I'm a party girl at heart, I have pics to prove it so I am not condemning drinking/partying/having a few, I am saying it's not conducive to losing phase.
  22. And, I've replied. There is no chastising in my reply. Simple questions, and asking for more details. My biggest issue is that you are promoting a specific surgeon instead of sharing details on the approval process. You want to help, then promote the process not the surgeon for his way around the system. Insurance fraud has big consequences, and cheating the system has huge ramifications for all involved especially dependents. I have zero desire to pursue the "why/hows" behind this specific surgeon's tactics on getting it approved, BUT it's not fair to promote a specific surgeon without sharing details. If you don't want to be questioned on a public forum, I suggest you pull the cloak and dagger thing behind closed/private messages.
  23. I take Celebrate vitamins. My regimen is : Celebrate Multi Complete (it has iron) and is a chewable - 2 chewables daily Celebrate Calcium Citrate 500 Plus - 2 Chewable per day (In my losing stage, I struggled with Calcium because I needed 1200-1500mg per day, and it's before I found Celebrates 500mg chewable so I fell short on Calcium a lot of the time) sublingual B12 2500mcg (in maintenance I take 1 sublingual every 2-3 days, in the pregnancy, I take 1 per day) Before I found the Celebrate Vitamins( I actually won a Facebook giveaway of 30 day supplies of the vitamins above), I took GNC Solotron with Iron chewables, and tried various other calcium citrate products. There is no medical reason that I have to continue chewables, I just like them. There are plenty of complete vitamins out there that are not chewable. The key to vitamins is to make sure they give you 100% of the Daily Recommended Values of ALL the major vitamins and other minerals that we simply can not consume enough of from food. And, I read labels for a lot of OTC brands. When I see a label with a bunch of vitamins listed, it doesn't always mean it's complete. When they throw calcium carbonate in the formulation, plus iron, those 2 counteract each other. So, reading labels, and with a lot of direction, advice, and reading on other bariatric patients who have struggled with Vitamin levels, I chose to go with a bariatric formulated vitamin. For me the cost, outweighs the consequences of getting deficient in anything. I'd rather pay for higher quality, better formulation now then try to play catch up and have more prescriptions or buy more supplements to fight to bring my numbers up.
  24. For our program, we are tested twice a year until the 3 year mark then it drops to annual testing. Luckily, I've never been deficient in anything so I haven't had to have any further testing.
  25. It is possible to do, HOWEVER, your PCM will have to put in the referral specifically to that MTF. I have a civilian PCM, and I get kicked to civilians for everything. I have 2 friends who see the same PCM, we all got referrals to Eglin AFB without issue. So, your PCM has to put it in correctly. Grant it, we aren't dealing with the distance issue since Eglin is a neighboring base for us here, but I know several people who get referrals for distant MTF for the VSG. BUT, it is at the discretion of that MTF to take you as a patient, they do NOT have to take you, they can say that you will not be able to have the required follow up. HOWEVER, your closest MTF and PCM can do your labs, and handle any aftercare. You just have to have your PCM on board.

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