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Gastric Bypass Patients
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Everything posted by Phranp

  1. Phranp

    Band to Bypass Fears

    I had lapband surgery in 2009. I had a terrible surgeon that lacked experience in the WLS field. He was NOT my first, second or third choice for a surgeon (but that's another story). I had my band removed in September 2013. I had been so miserable the last 6 months that I had the band that when it was removed I went crazy eating. I had lost 60 lbs with the band and gained back 30-35 between the time I had it removed and gastric bypass (April 2014). I now have the best surgery center on the planet! LOL I lost the 30 and another 30. I am not at my goal weight (I have other health problems that limit exercise), but I am truly happy with gastric bypass. On August 7, 2015 I had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. I was home from work and completely (although it did not have to be that way) sedentary for 8 weeks. Guess what? Two days before I returned to work I decided to try on the outfit that I was going to wear; after all, I had been "lounging" for 8 long weeks. My clothes fit perfectly!! I was thrilled! Going from band to gastric bypass was the best thing for me. All the best to you!
  2. Phranp

    Please Read - Help

    Hi Mini, Sorry to hear you didn't get exactly what you paid for ... or maybe you did and your doc isn't explaining it right. Are you in the U.S.? Do you have an article by Dr. Paul Burton. I ask because what you say he is suggesting doesn't sound like it's good for your esophagus. I have the Lapband, which creates a pouch but also puts pressure on my vagus nerve which inhibits the hormone grehlin (sp?), this tamps down the hunger. As everyone has said, there is nothing to stop head hunger but you, you learning the reasons for eating when not hungry and getting the tools to help you stop. All the best to you on your journey. You will find plenty of support on this site. ~Fran
  3. Thank you Zen and 123crod I truly appreciate your support and prayers. I am glad that I posted about this, I debated the merits of me doing so, wasn't sure it would make a difference. I am thrilled to say that it has made a BIG difference and I am feeling more and more positive about my situation. Thank you everyone! ~Fran
  4. Mind? Not at all, and thank you so much. I can use all the prayer warriors I can get. We both know: "No weapon ... " ~Fran
  5. Fat2flat: Take a breath ... you are relatively new to band life and still need to adjust. You say you don't want to lose quick, then the band is the right "tool" for you. You also say that you want to lose faster than you are currently losing ... but you don't say how much you've lost. It is likely that you have not yet reached your sweet spot, so more fills are needed along with diet and exercise. Are you consistently exercising? Have you made "lifestyle" changes where your food is concerned? The band is (for most, for a few the weight falls off like GB) a tool that works only as hard a you work. Please note that "hard" is a relative term, it doesn't have to be hard -- if you are willing and ready to change your life. The good news is that if you are not quite ready to jump into the deep end, but need to walk from the shallow to the deep -- you HAVE the band and it will be there when you get to the deep end. I have always been a slow loser, but I am still very happy with my progress. I had been banded a little over a year before I started exercising consistently. I have a number of health problems that prevent me from doing strenuous exercise, but i do absolutely everything I can -- because I want to reach my goal and I am WILLING to do what it takes. I have been in physical therapy for months building muscle to strengthen my spine which is riddled with a degenerative disease. My ortho says that the only way around this issue is building muscle to take on the work that my spine can no longer do. This is a win, win because you lose more weight when you have more muscle. I would first recommend that you let go of the frustration ... it will only distract you from achieving your goal (i.e., losing weight). As you are working your way to your sweet spot do little things to change your diet, things you can live with; so that when you get to your sweet spot you will have many lifestyle changes already in place. Pay attention to how foods effect you. Some people are very sensitive to carbs and have to stay away from them; others require a more balanced diet to lose weight. Find what works for you ... let this be your focus and before you know it you will be at your sweet spot with a great new lifestyle AND you will lose weight. YOU CAN DO THIS. Be kind to yourself and ... patient. This journey is individual and very personal. What works for one person may not work for another. mamastwo; hate to say this, but fills are really necessary. It took 7 or 8 fills before I was got to my sweet spot. If you don't have time to get your fills, you can't really expect the band to do it's part. Again, the good news is that you have the band and when you have time to get enough fills to get to your sweet spot, your band will do it's part to assist you with weight loss. Don't give up. Try to make yourself a priority in your life so you can work this band. Find the time for fills, exercise and consciously making time to prepare your meals. Don't let frustration overtake you .... that will only put you on a cycle to nowhere ... we've already done that and all we got for our troubles was weight gain. Move as slowly as you need to, but KEEP MOVING FORWARD. Be kind to YOU! All the best to you both on your journey. This is a great website, with great support. Make it happen in 2012!!! ~Fran
  6. Phranp

    Lap Band "sweet Spot" Frustrations...

    LOL!!! I thought you said dip and chips too! I guess it's been so long since I have had a "french dip" sandwich that it didn't even cross my mind as I misread your post. Too funny! As for the easy to eat food, hard to drink ... when I have a problem I have both. I have read that in the morning most people are a bit dehydrated. Since I take a blood pressure med with a diuretic in it, I have big issues with dehydration. When I am well hydrated I can drink and eat properly. When I am dehydrated it can be a vicious cycle of not being able to eat because I have not had enough fluids, but not being able to drink because I am too tight from dehydration. Ughhhh! It can be a hassle to have to focus so much on drinking liquids, but if I don't I can spend days going in circles. Good luck with this, I hope you find your solution soon. ~Fran
  7. Phranp


    That sounds crazy frustrating! Sorry you are going through this. Maybe your next move is to find a surgeon that will do the lapband for you ... maybe lapband with plication (check your insurance's website first to see if they will do the plication part), I understand that lapband w/plication is similar to the sleeve (I don't know that much about the sleeve so plz do not take my word as gospel) ... bottom line is you need a surgeon that will do the surgery that your insurance with pay for ... unless, of course you have the cash on hand for the sleeve. If you haven't already, do extensive research on the band and see if it is something you can live with. Best of luck to you. ~Fran
  8. Phranp

    November 60 Mile Walk Challenge

    Amanda, I had noooo idea what a God send this challenge was going to be when I signed up. My normal routine is to do 3 miles each morning before work and any miles I do on the weekend (before of after errands, chores and/or events) is just icing on the cake. Imagine my surprise when I find myslef struggling to get my miles in ... I am stunned! My life was turned upside down when I was on a project that had me working seriously crazy hours at work, but that's over now and I can't seem to get back on track. Thank goodness for this challenge! I am pretty good about fulfilling my promises so even when I have to roll myself out of bed, down the stairs and into my car to drive for the park ... I do it. Why? Because I am bound and determined to complete this challenge! Thank you soooo much! ~Fran
  9. Phranp

    November 60 Mile Walk Challenge

    Wow! This looks like something I can do. YAY! I think the hardest thing will be getting the "ticker" on my signature. I have 24 hours to get that done. Thanks! ~Fran
  10. Phranp

    Feeling like a failure

    Take heart vhayes, there is great hope for continued success. As others have said, you are NOT a failure. And there's more good news. I was banded in June 2009. I had back surgery (L3, L4, L5 fusion) in July 2004. I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis (arthritis of the spine) in hmmmm 2008 (I think). I also have arthritis in my knees and a few other places. I am currently in physical therapy once a week because I want to "kick up" my exercise routine. Yes, you heard me right "exercise routine". I don't know how extensive or restrictive your surgery is, but I hope that I can encourage you in the exercise area with my story. Even with the things I mentioned above, I power walk 3 miles virtually every morning before work, AND I have started walking in the evenings as well. I often get a mile or two on the weekends as well. I feel great! What my ortho said is, my spinal stenosis is not going to improve and that after back surgery I will never run again (which is only partialy true because they have a "G-Trainer" at my PT which can take up to 80% of your body weight off ... so I may run again yet ); and that strenuous exercise will likely inflame my spinal stenosis. BUT, he also said that if I build up the muscles around my spine I will be able to do much, much more because the muscle will support the spine - hence the physical therapy. I know my limitations and, sometimes I over step, but when I do I take a break for a day or two to let my spine recover, then I gently return to my routine. Exercise is an important part of weight loss for most of us. Talk to your ortho about re-introducing exercise into your life. Also research your surgery to see what you can and cannot do in the long run. I have trouble doing the weights because my spinal stenosis is mostly in my neck. My PT told me that the answer is to do my weights laying down. It will keep the pressure off my neck while still working my arms. I am thrilled. Remember, where there is will, there is a way. We are here to support you. Good luck and God bless!
  11. Phranp

    treated bad.....

    Muffin, I am so sorry you were treated so badly. I understand that many of us have a hard time standing up for ourselves after being psychologically battered by socieity for years because of our weight. But I have a news flash for you, we are both 55 years old and let me tell you that even though menopause has a lot of negative side effects, it also has a few good ones. For me, "the pause" as I like to call it, has made me a take-no-prisoners kind of person. I don't take crap off of ANYONE. Not my doctors, not my bosses, not my friends, not my children, or the men I date. I suggest you take advantage of your age ... there's more to being 55 than AARP eligibility! LOL If you are not a confrontational person I would write a letter to the doctor about the NP -- and don't mince words! I have a 10 cc band and I am at least at 7.5. It is different for each person. This NP does not have a clue! I agree with the person that says you should refuse to see this particular NP ever again. Also, the band is not in place to NOT serve a purpose. If you do not have restriction (there are those that do not believe in "restriction" but I KNOW I have it, BIG TIME) OR a decrease in appetite then what on earth is the point of having the band? YOU ARE NOT FAILING YOUR BAND. Plzzzzz do not listen to anyone that tells you that, it will only serve to depress you and continue a downward spiral. Getting more Fluid in your 10 cc band WILL NOT IN AND OF ITSELF cause slippage. Seriously?? That's absurd. Read more posts and you will find people with 8+ in their 10cc bands. Muffin, you are going to have to be the advocate for your health. No one is going to take care of you, but you! Take charge of your life, your eating habits and your exercise. Better eating habits will improve your blood pressure AND your diabetes. I was off diabetes meds within months of getting my band and went from taking 3 BP meds to only taking one (which I don't want to give up because it has a diurectic which helps with any Water retention I may have). Do your own research on diabetes and how to lower your BG levels. There is a great forum: "diabetesforum.com", the people there are very knowlegeable and helpful. When you return for your next lapband appointment be armed with knowledge. And, if anyone yells at you ... wait until they are done and then calmly (if possible) LET THEM HAVE IT! You have support here on this forum. Keep reading, we are here for you. Ultimately, you may need to look into changing docs, but that should be a last resort because I hear it is a difficult task. All the best to you on your journey. ~Fran
  12. Phranp

    Cancer Scare

    Thanks so much Stateofzen. You are an inspiration to me also.
  13. Phranp

    Disgusted with Myself

    The first thing I did was let go of the thing that I could do nothing about: THE PAST! You messed up, it's done. YOU WENT BACK TO THE GYM! AND YOU STILL LOST WEIGHT!!! YAY FEFE!!!! Are you kidding??? The way you talked about all you had eaten I just KNEW you had GAINED weight -- but you didn't. Does it make you feel good to beat yourself up about something that you cannot change (i.e., past behavior)? I doubt it. There are enough people out there that LOVE to step on us overweight folks. Don't join them and do it to yourself ... plzzzzz. The reality for me is that if I want to lose weight I have to do what it takes, WHATEVER that is -- it means getting up at 5 a.m. to go to the park and power walk 3 miles before going to work, it means cutting carbs, not eating a lot of sweets. I WANT to lose the weight so ... I do what it takes. For the past 3 weeks I have been going from specialist to specialst. One week I'm told I possibly have brain damage, the next week I'm told I have a mass on my thyroid, the next week I am told I have "many" masses on my thyroid and I have a biopsy done with NO anesthetic! Then I have to wait a week to find out if I have cancer. WTF???!!!!! Yes, I tried to eat over it cuz I'm an emotional eater, but, my band gets tighter when I am stressed so no binging for ME! Dang it!!! Yesterday the doc called me as I was driving home from work. The news was good, the mass(es) are benign! I didn't go home, I went to a walking path and power walked 3.6 miles! Don't let life's stresses destroy you. "Doing what doesn't work --- doesn't work." We KNOW how to get fat(ter). With the band we can help ourselves stop the madness. GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT for the GOOD you did for yourself: YOU WENT BACK TO THE GYM. Smile at yourself and pat yourself on the back because we both know that there was a time with neither of us would have consider doing something healthy instead of our usual "eating over ANYTHING" pattern. YOU CAN DO THIS. I am proud of you ... please be proud of yourself. YAY FE FE!!!! We are here to support you. ~Fran
  14. Phranp

    Cancer Scare

    Thanks much, Cindy!
  15. Phranp

    Angry, Frustrated, Hungry

    You're right ... being hungry can certainly make you irritable, and not having a lot of food choices can be frustrating. This is a good place to vent, but if you want to stop experiencing "A, F, H" I'd like to give you a few things to think about. Use what you can and throw the rest away (or all if you so desire). I'm not telling you what to do, just trying to help you through a place I have already been. The thing is, this is all temporary -- the post-op diet. None of us escapes it, we all have to heal. You get to choose what your experience is going to be, one that is frustrating and irritating, or one that is spent learning how to change your life and your thinking so that your journey to your weightloss goal is smooth and successful. Life is all about choices, and it is obvious by our need for weightloss surgery that we have all spent some portion of our lives doing/eating whatever our heart's desired. With the band you will have the opportunity to change that, but since the band is not around the head/brain it will require you to be willing to change your thinking in order to work with your band. The first step in changing your thinking might be to find ways to become satiated by getting enough protein to stop the "hungries" and by finding new and different things to eat -- stepping out of the comfort zone, so to speak. The only thing you have to lose is being angry, frustrated and hungry. Your choice. Keep reading this forum, it is full of information and suggestions. There is even a topic area called "fitness and nutrition" (that may not be the exact title, but close enough for you to find it), with loads of info on things to eat and how to stay satisfied. You may be more comfortable with taking the "kicking and screaming" journey all the way to goal, but I doubt that is what you have in mind. For some of us the first few weeks are difficult (read this forum, you'll see lots of stories), but people get through it and there is plenty of support here for you. You are not alone. It will get easier, one day at a time. All the best to you on your journey. ~Fran
  16. Phranp

    Another NSV

    YAY! Cindy! Isn't that one of the best feelings in the world?!?! Congratulations! ~Fran
  17. Phranp

    Where to start?

    Take a deep breath MLR. Newbies frequently feel overwhelmed and a little scared. When you say "I really want this to work out for me and I'm terrified that it's not going to despite my husband's encouragement. " You need to next ask yourself "how does it serve me to be "terrified" BEFORE I have even begun?" Start by turning your thinking around. You have the encouragement of your wonderful husband. Why be terrified? Take it one step at a time and, just as Debora says don't over do it, you are still healing. Don't set yourself up for failure by expecting too much too soon. While you're at it you should be reading about how this band really works right here on this forum. Learn about the dreaded "bandster hell" BEFORE it happens so you won't be "terrified". Learn everything you can so you can pace yourself and develop patience. Stop looking at the other people at the gym and envision "the new you". You are going to do GREAT! Don't let FEAR take away your success. Keep a positive thought. You can do this and we are all here to help you! Be proud of yourself for taking this monumental step while you are young. You have a fantastic future ahead of you ... don't let your "head" talk you out of it. Geeezzz, way too many puns ... and bad ones at that. Remember, educate yourself, pace yourself and stay positive! All the best to you on your journey! ~Fran
  18. Phranp

    very disapointed

    firehawk, Don't be angry or disappointed ... be an inspiration. You may be the one that helps your sis get passed her fears. As you begin to lose weight your sis will see what is possible with the band. She will see how it changes your life, and how it can change her life as well. Don't "tell" her, "show" her. Let her see that while lapband is not "magic", it is a useful "tool"(yes I said it, LOL) in the weight loss battle. Show your sis compassion and understanding, let her know that regardless of her decision you are there for her. She is only 20 ... it took you till you were 30 to do this ... she is barely an adult ... imagine what she went through as a teen ... you're a man, you know how teenage boys are, so you know it must not have been easy for her. She needs time -- and her big brother's understanding and guidance. Teach her all you learn about working the "band" and she'll be "on the wagon" (I know, corny LOL) before you know it. When you start working out perhaps you can invite her to join you ... get the ball rolling, you know? So, don't be angry or disappointed ... be your little sister's hero. You can BOTH do this! You are already a great brother just because you care enough to be angry. She is lucky to have you. :-) All the best to you on your journey. ~Fran
  19. Phranp

    My Pre-Op Shopping List

    I would like to suggest that before you actually "stock up" on one particular Protein drink/powder, you sample a few different brands to find out which one you like best. I have read posts about people stocking up on a certain drink that was recommended to them by their doc/nut/or someone else and they couldn't drink it because they hated the taste. ~Fran
  20. Phranp


    You haven't had a BM in a month AND you have severe heart burn, and you haven't seen a doctor??? You must have an incredibly HIGH tolerance for pain. I am sorry you are going through this, please see your doctor asap.
  21. Phranp

    I'm an emotional eater

    I definitely am an emotional eater -- well, not as much as I was before lapband and therapy -- but I still get "caught up" from time to time. I can say that even as an emotional eater I have been able to lose weight with the help of my band. ~Fran
  22. Phranp


    "Always keep your goal in mind. Not the one the doctor has set for you but the one you have for yourself. None of us went under the knife just to have something to do. Remember your commitment to getting to a healthier and thinner lifestyle. Revel in the sense of accomplishment you feel when you see the inches and weight come off. Bask in the compliments from friends and family as they see the changes in you. And don't allow anyone to sabatoge you with negativity and doubt. And when you have a bad eating day, brush it off and start over the next day. There is no magical eating formula for the band. You just have to find what works for you and stick with it." Wow! dlynn said a mouthful, and all of it true. LOL on the "None of us went under the knife just to have something to do." Tooo funny. Kelli, if you are in fact a food addict (as many of us are -- that would be me) you might consider therapy as others have, myself included. I started seeing an obesity specialist 8 months before my surgery. It helped a lot ... I still see her, but mostly to keep the other stresses in my life from taking me back down "the road to 'food is the solution to all my problems'. There are other avenues as well if therapy is not for you. Perhaps OA, or self help books, tapes, etc. Whatever you need to get you through this because YOU CAN DO THIS ... really you can. It is my fevent belief that you will lose the weight when you are willing to do WHATEVER it takes. But, it must a program (whether it's your food plan or your exercise plan) that fits your life. Doctors can hand out a diet to all 50 or 100 of his patients ... but are they all alike? Absolutely NOT. So, it is up to you to take from him what will work in your life and modify the parts that don't fit quite as well. We are banded now and we have real chance at changing our lives for the better and forever more. But it means taking that first step, then the second, then the third, etc. Remember, you are not in a race with anyone to lose weight. You can take as long as you want to lose it, or you can sit down, make a plan, and lose it in "x" months. This is all up to you. It is your journey. All the best to you. YOU CAN DO THIS! ~Fran
  23. Phranp


    I am sorry that you have been made to feel like an island by family and friends. Sometimes you have to take what you can get, where you can get it. This forum provides a lot of support, a well spring of information, and it is a great place to vent. That said, I have to say that as an African-American my experience has been just the opposite. Most of the people I know that have had WLS (mostly gastric bypass) are A-A and there's been no stigma attached to any of us. As for myself, my family and friends are super supportive. (With the exception of a former sis-in-law, but that's a story for another time) I was telling my best friend that my sister was my "biggest fan" and so proud of my weight loss and she said "hey, I'm your biggest fan". I was like "yes, you too, you are both my biggest fans" LOL My brother and his wife are full of compliments when they see me and make every attempt to accommodate my food needs when I go to their house for dinner. Even though I tell them just to cook as they normally do. Another friend that had gastric bypass about 9 years ago was absolutely thrilled when I had lapband surgery and her mom called me a few weeks ago to ask about the band because she is considering the surgery. Her granddaughter is considering it too and came to me for information. I always send them to this forum. I guess my point is that from my perspective the A-A community is very accepting of lapband surgery. Heck I know A-As that have had breast enhancements, tummy tucks and even a nose job (that was due to a medical sugery that resulted in damage to her nose so ...). At the same time, I have no doubt that your (and the Noturningback's) experience is real and that in your circle this is the way lapband is viewed. I just would not view my experience (or yours) as the norm of the entire A-A community. We are a diverse group. As it happens I live in L.A. which may (or may not) be the reason that WLS surgery is accepted in the A-A community. But most of all I would hope that knowing that our community is so diverse, you will not feel so much like an island. Thanks to the internet and forums like this you will find many A-As that have a lot in common with you. You will also learn how much you have in common with other cultures, especially when it comes to the lapband. This is a good thing. We are all in this together and can help and support each other. All the best to you on your journey. ~Fran
  24. Phranp

    somebody is a lier!

    I totally get that you feel like you are being jerked around. And, maybe you are ... but maybe ... not so much. Here's the thing, if your docs office does primarily WLS, perhaps they haven't sent your paperwork because it is there practice to gather absolutely everything BEFORE submitting. But, here's the thing, while I truly understand your anger and frustration, that's not what will get you your lap band. So, my suggestion is this ... just like you called your insurance company and rreceived the info that led you to the the conclusion that your docs office is lying to you, you should call your docs off and get all the prerequisites that theyrequire for lapband. You can usually find it on your insurance company's website and your insurance company can help you find exactly where that is. Once you have the information make a check list of all the things you have given to your doctor's office. IF you find that you have submitted everything required, make an appointment with your doc and bring the prerequsites supplied by your insurance and your check list. Calmly discuss it with your doctor. If you do no like his/her answer, send a request - in writing- for your medical records and find another doc. Now, if when you get the prerequisites from your insurance you find that you do not have everything you need, complete the remainder before your doc even asks for it. Submit it and THEN make the appointment with you check list, etc. The bottom line is that more and more our medical health (as well as other areas of our life) is completely our responsibility. I know there was a time when professionals cared about "doing the right thing" and doctors were truly "caregivers", but that time is just about gone. WE have to take our medical care in our own hands and do the research necessary to get what we need. I know it's not always easy, and from you name "meanmom" you have kids and THAT in itself makes everything more challenging because you are not only responsible for yourself but your entire family -- including hubby. LOL But, just take a deep breath, and after the kids are asleep sit down with pen and paper and make a list of things you need to do to get to where you want to be -- in the surgery room getting your lap band. Many of us bandsters have had challenges on the way to getting our bands (myself included), and some of us have had challenges AFTER getting our bands, be it insurance or the doc. Trust me, I know you are anxious, I was too. It's good to have a place to vent and this forum is definitely the right place because so many of us understand your frustrations. You WILL have your surgery, patience was never one of my virtues - still isn't - but I'm afraid you, like myself, will need it to reach our goals (be it getting the surgery or getting the weight off after the surgery). Good luck and God bless. ~Fran
  25. Phranp


    Therapists only delve into things you are willing to talk about. This therapist is not my first. On a side note, all therapist are not good therapist, so don't give it a thought if you are not a good match with the first one you choose. Just move to the next one, you'll find the right one for you. I trust my therapist, but I will honestly say that she does not know absolutely EVERYTHING about my past. And, the truth is, she doesn't have to in order to help me with my food issues. That's because the things I have done in my life that I might be most ashamed of, are related to the simple things that I have done that effect my relationship with food. When she helps me connect the dots on the simple things, I can recognize for myself how the dots connected with the things that I feel shame over. Maybe one day she and I will talk about those things, maybe we won't... doesn't matter as long as "I" come to grips with the "secret" to my overeating. ~Fran

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