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stateofzen

LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by stateofzen

  1. I had a gastric band placed in 2010 and turned to all of you for support and information a lot during the first 2 years or so of my journey. Since then I’ve been back to check in and occasionally offer thoughts on my own experience. Now, I’m here to ask for your help once again I am a clinical psychologist who splits my time between research, teaching, and private practice. As a psychologist, one of the things that has always interested me about the forums is reading discussions about the ways that families can play a role in the surgery and weight loss journey, in all sorts of ways. It made me wonder if there was any research about family eating and family health in relation to weight loss surgery. I did a lot of reading and, when all of my questions weren’t answered, I decided to conduct a study of my own. With the permission of Alex Brecher, the CEO of Bariatric Pal, I am posting this to ask you if you would participate in my research. My hope is that the results might contribute to the improvement of patient and family health after weight loss surgery. I am looking for participants 18 and older who have had weight loss surgery (of any type), or are considering having weight loss surgery in the future. I decided to turn to my surgery forum home to ask if you'd be willing to give up your time to participate. This is an online survey. Here is the link: http://www.surveymethods.com/EndUser.aspx?F2D6BAA3F5B6A2A2F9 If you know of other people who might be interested in participating, feel free to share the link on your personal blog or non-forum venue—I can use your help!
  2. stateofzen

    Eating with the Family- Help

    Thanks for helping-- I will definitely share results with the community.
  3. I had a gastric band placed in 2010 and turned to this forum (the earlier version) for information a lot during the first 2 years or so of my journey. Since then I’ve been back to check in and occasionally offer thoughts on my own experience. Now, I’m here to ask for your help once again I am a clinical psychologist who splits my time between research, teaching, and private practice. As a psychologist, one of the things that has always interested me about the forums is reading discussions about the ways that families can play a role in the surgery and weight loss journey, in all sorts of ways. It made me wonder if there was any research about family eating and family health in relation to weight loss surgery. I did a lot of reading and, when all of my questions weren’t answered, I decided to conduct a study of my own. With the permission of Alex Brecher, the CEO of Bariatric Pal, I am posting this to ask you if you would participate in my research. My hope is that the results might contribute to the improvement of patient and family health after weight loss surgery. I am looking for participants 18 and older who have had weight loss surgery (of any type), or are considering having weight loss surgery in the future. I decided to turn to my surgery forum home to ask if you'd be willing to give up your time to participate. This is an online survey. Here is the link: http://www.surveymethods.com/EndUser.aspx?F2D6BAA3F5B6A2A2F9 If you know of other people who might be interested in participating, feel free to share the link on your personal blog or non-forum venue—I can use your help!
  4. Let me start by saying-- I'm not complaining, just commenting and looking to see if other people have experienced this. Through a painful and expensive (to my insurance company) process, I have discovered that I've developed an intolerance to gluten or a gluten by-product (unclear). I don't have Celiac's, but products that are wheat based (bread, flour, etc.) give me an unusual amount of extreme gas bloating, pain, and constipation. I did not have this intolerance before I had my band and cut most wheat products out of my diet for almost two years while I followed my low-carb band diet. But I definitely have it now. I'm wondering if this is a coincidence, or if there is any anecdotal evidence that severely restricting wheat-based carbs for a couple of years could have triggered a digestion issue when I reintroduced them. Anyone else have problems? A little more info: I am 3 years post-band and I've lost and maintained a 100lb+ loss. I spent the first year pretty hard-core low carb via doctor instruction, and the second year I slowly added carbs and non-band friendly foods back in until I was eating pretty much anything, including bread and (drinking) beer for a good portion of year 3. Over the year, I put on 10 lbs. I also had a consistent and really painful issue with bloating and gas. When I went to see an urgent care specialist for chest pain, he sent me for a CT scan of my chest and abdomen to check my lungs (pain consistent with a pulmonary embolism) but it came back clean, including no band issues and it was chalked up to referred diaghram pain from surgical adhesions. About 4 months later, I was in Asia and had to go to the emergency room for chest pain and severe abdominal pain that came on in the middle of the night, and they diagnosed it as gas/reflux. I thought, "huh". And also, "good, no surgery in Asia required!". Then, back at home 3 months later and I've been dealing with this horrible constant bloating and piercing gas pain that isn't responding to any otc medication, so I go to my pcp. She did an x-ray to check for an obstruction, given the degree of pain and bloating. Her words: "I have never seen someone's entire digestive track extended like that without being able to see an obvious large obstruction." So, worried that I had a small obstruction that an X-ray wasn't picking up, she sent me for my second CT scan in a year. Which again came back clean. So basically, it came down to testing reactions to various foods. Started with lactose, and didn't seem to be an issue. Then, just by happenstance, I decided to get those 10 lbs I'd gained back off by going back to low-carb. I cut out all carbs for a week, then added in just low-glycemic fruits and veggies. . . and, symptoms disappeared. Completely. No pain, no bloating, no gas. So we started "testing". I seem to be able to sometimes tolerate low amounts of gluten, as long as I don't overdo it but it's a bit of a gamble. Bread is a definite no-go. I'm not allergic, but wheat-based carbs digest a lot differently now than they did in the 34 years I lived before the band. It is a relief to know what is going on because I can control it by diet, and heck, it's in my band's best interest to cut out the bread crap anyway So, yeah. That's my story. What do you think?
  5. Yes, dawalsh, all of them work with care credit and similar medical credit companies (but no internal payment plans). Two of the three actually charge more if you use credit though, on top of any interest you may pay to the credit company. I can't quite figure it out, though one of the "disclaimer" forms I had to sign promising not to default on any credit payments because I was dissatisfied with the results of the procedure may give a clue. I wonder how many times that happens.
  6. I have gotten three different consults for a TT and breast lift. They range in cost (if done together, there is a discount associated with anesthesiology) from a low of $11,000 to a high of $14,300. The highest cost procedure includes an overnight hospital stay, which substantially increases out-of-pocket costs. I am in a "cheaper" part of the U.S. (i.e. middle of the country).
  7. Thanks for your words, XiolaBlue-- can't wait to see your pics and I appreciate the opinion on the overnight stay. It feels sort of crazy but worth it for anxiety reduction and early pain management alone. I also have increased risk of blood clots, so being under observation/hospital care for the first 24 hours seems like a nice idea.
  8. I am currently consulting with surgeons about a tummy tuck and I'm curious what your experiences have been with the port. The very very very well ranked and reviewed surgeon I consulted with yesterday says he won't touch the port, so that limits a bit how much of the excess skin I have on my upper abdomen that he can get to (basically, he'll only work below it). This seems off to me. My port is located right about where my problem area starts, so I have this freaky horror image of a flat(ter) lower stomach with a bulge under my boobs. I have two more consults in the works. Any experiences you care to share? Just to share my story-- I had my lapband placed exactly 3 years ago, yesterday. I've lost over 100 lbs, though I'm up 10 over the last year from my lowest weight. I plan on a tt and a breast lift, but I plan to pay cash and I can only afford one at a time, so stomach goes first.
  9. stateofzen

    3 Weeks Post Op - BL & AL

    You look great!
  10. Update: I think I found my surgeon yesterday afternoon on my third consult. He clearly has more experience with bariatric patients and said he would definitely have to move the port because of where it is, and that it is no problem- he'll consult with my bariatric surgeon and he's done it plenty of times before. I was just so much more comfortable with his expertise with patients like me-- he felt more "reconstructive" than "medspa hollywood beauty surgeon", if you know what I mean. I think that he was more honest with me about expectations and he also didn't try to push me into having surgery when I had planned to have it between two trips we have booked (one in November, one in Januray, with barely 5 weeks between for recovery). He advised me to put it off for after our travel so I would be sure to enjoy the active tourist experience. The other two surgeons wanted to get me booked in that slot. Finally, he actually said he was going to submit me to insurance for a panni, which came as a surprise. I think we both know it is highly unlikely to get approved because I just don't have enough of an overhang, but I've had some minor skin issues and he said he'd submit and see what they said. I'm sure it will be no, but I appreciated that he was willing to put the time into trying to make it happen. Of course, he was the most expensive of the three-- mostly because he does the surgery in a hospital, not a spa surgery center, and he requires a one night stay. The cost of a night in a hospital is outrageous! $4500 for a bed overnight. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it is a major surgery and I have an increased risk of complications because of an unrelated medical issue. On the other hand, I didn't even stay overnight when I was banded! Then again, it would have been nice to stay overnight that night because I was in agony and the liquid percocet they prescribed made me throw up all night at home. So, it's tough. Thanks for the advice to keep looking.
  11. Thanks LisaCaron- I'll look at that
  12. stateofzen

    Need Myfitness Pal Buddies That Are Successful!

    I'm in maintenance, but would love the company on myfitnesspal-- stateofzen
  13. I have decided I'm definitely getting a breast lift and a TT. I did the first consult last summer to get an idea of the cost ($11,000 if I do them both at the same time, or $6000 each if I do them at different times- I'm in Alabama, so things are apparently cheaper here). At the time, I was sure I wasn't done losing weight, but I have been at 158 for a solid year now, so my dreams of losing 20 more are pretty much dead in the Water and that is no longer a reason to put it off. My husband and I originally agreed that the best time for this would be at the end of next summer. First, it will take me until then to save the full amount in cash and second and probably more important, I will hopefully be on sabbatical next fall (I'm a professor) so I'll have plenty of recovery time without having to give up my usual summer beach/pool routine. Here's my dilemma-- I really, REALLY hate my breasts. My husband says I am obsessed with them (I am not- I just don't want to see them uncovered- ha!), and has actually suggested that I go ahead and get them done this summer. This is pretty major, because my husband is kind of a cheapskate and he's never been super excited about either surgery given the cost. The problem is, I've already scheduled my summer pretty tightly and the only time I have available for the breast lift is the second week of August. This leaves me only 2 weeks recovery before I have to go back to work. Given my academic schedule, I really can't take time off for something that is elective, so it's not really an option to extend it. And I can't go earlier because we've rented (and paid for) a beach house for ourselves, our family, and some friends the first week of August and I can't justify cancelling everyone's vacation and eating the money for an elective surgery. I really can't afford both this year, so I would have to split them up into two surgeries, which means two recovery times. Also, I have a genetic disorder that makes anesthetic more risky for me than the average person-- so that's double the risk if I split them. Rationally, as I read this, I'm saying-- duh, it's obvious, wait another year. But man, I hate my breasts and I'm so impatient. What would you do? Breast Lift now, knowing all of the cons (limited recovery time, extra cost to split up the surgeries, extra risk of anasthesia, going through recovery twice) or be patient for another year and do the Lift and the TT together next summer/fall? I would really like to hear from people who've done a lift and can speak to the recovery time/back to work, in addition to anyone else who has an opinion.
  14. stateofzen

    3 Days Post Op

    I'm very happy for you Cazzy. Here's to the easiest recovery possible.
  15. Thank you all-- you're right, I want to wait. To be clear, my husband is fine with my body-- but he knows how much it is bothering me. He's sweet like that.
  16. stateofzen

    It Lurks Where You Least Expect It

    This is very good. I'd add this: Don't be lazy and assume that every health-related problem I have must be attributable to my obesity. I had a painful repeated miscarriage history that I was told was because I was obese. It motivated me to have surgery, which I have been successful with, so there was a blessing there. But ultimately, my miscarriages had nothing to do with being fat and couldn't be treated with lapband surgery-- something my doctor would have known through looking more carefully at my genetic tests rather than just assuming it could be laid at the feet of my weight.
  17. stateofzen

    Alternate To Tummy Tuck

    I wear a "control" tank under my shirt every single day. Now I feel uncomfortable without one, like I'm flopping around (much like what I feel like without a bra).
  18. stateofzen

    When Is The Time Right?

    I did a consult and when I told him I wanted to lose 30 more lbs (at the time of the consult, I'm halfway there), he told me to wait until I lost the weight. If they do it before you're done losing, they can't guarantee what will happen afterwards-- I think some people end up with unevenness or develop bulges/flaps if they lose a significant amount AFTER surgery. This is a bigger problem with breasts than stomach though.
  19. I do Benefiber in my coffee every morning, plus take a probiotic daily. It seems to do the trick
  20. stateofzen

    Encouraging Words, Please

    I'm sorry you're dealing with a weight gain, but try not let it get you down. Your priority now needs to be to figure out how to save the $150 for a fill, even if it means nickle and diming it for a while-- you have a band for a reason and if it's not working for you because it's empty, of course you're likely to regain! I think if you put a plan in place for the "in the meantime", you will have a greater sense of control and accomplishment and something to work toward. If my band was empty, I'd be gaining too-- not because I'm a bad person or a failure, but because without the band I'm incredibly hungry and I eat larger portions. That's why I had to have the dang thing in the first place, and it didn't magically change me (or you!). You can do this!
  21. stateofzen

    Weight Watchers And Lapband

    Lettuce and non-starchy vegetables are "free" (i.e. 0 points). Also, fruit is is 0 points.
  22. Maybe for a half day. I had my surgery on Friday and went back to work on Tuesday for, yes, a half-day. If you can take even one extra day (Monday), it might help.
  23. stateofzen

    I Think The Last 20 Are Going To Be Hard!

    Yes, I'm right there with you. I've been stuck at 158-160 since September and I really want to maintain at 145. It's so close, but so far away. I've rededicated myself with a few "renewal" rules and I'm trying to (finally) start an exercise program, but it's a whole different ballgame in this BMI range AND it's really easy to feel satisfied right here after weighing so much more for so long!
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