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Everything posted by lotusflwr80

  1. Anyone have any experience with how fast that awful dark, velvety weird skin under the arms and around the neck (and all sorts of other places!) will go away? It will go away, I hope! I've had problems with this since puberty at least, and I'm hoping that it'll eventually reverse as my PCOS and insulin resistance goes away. Just sort of wondering if it gradually fades and if it happens sooner or later, in general. I know everyone is different, but some hope would be nice :thumbup:
  2. Hello everyone. I've been overweight my whole life and recently have started seriously considering starting the process to see if I can be banded. I've definitely got both the BMI and co-morbidities to make me a good candidate for the surgery. However, when I was first diagnosed with PCOS & insulin resistance about 7 years ago, I was also diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), which is a fancy way of saying my body is currently allergic to my platelets and destroys them for no known reason. It's an autoimmune disorder and there is no "cure". It can supposedly come and go at a whim, but in my case I've persistently had low to very low platelet counts since my diagnosis. Has anyone been able to undergo the surgery despite having a low platelet count or specifically ITP? It is the only thing I can foresee keeping me from being able to get banded. Before I go in even for a consult, I was curious to know if anyone else had a similar issue and whether or not it could be dealt with and how. When I had to have oral surgery to get my wisdom teeth out (all 4 impacted, yay...) my dentist literally would not touch me, he only took x-rays and referred me to an oral surgeon. We all consulted together along with my hematologist to figure out if and how I could get my wisdom teeth out. My hematologist was prepared to put me on steroids to try to boost my platelet count in case the oral surgeon was uncomfortable with the risk of performing the extractions when my platelets were so low, but fortunately it did not come to that. Obviously I survived the ordeal without bleeding out (it was horrendously painful for other reasons, but at least my platelets weren't the issue!) My ITP hasn't caused any life-threatening problems so far and my hematologist has never seen any reason to try to treat it. Other than having a persistently low platelet count, bruising easily and bleeding a bit longer from wounds than is normal, I've not had any major health problems or life-threatening occurrences because of it yet. I'm sure I could get my hematologist's cooperation to try to raise my platelet count with steroids or whatever else might work so I could undergo surgery, but my concern is that a surgeon might not even want to consider me as a candidate in the first place or that insurance might deny approval for the surgery citing the ITP as a contraindication for treatment. If anyone has had any experience either way, I'd be grateful to hear about it. I just want to be prepared, whether to advocate strongly for myself in case I run into some resistance or prepare for disappointment if my ITP is too big of a red flag. Thanks.
  3. lotusflwr80

    swimsuits that cover loose skin?

    Glad to see I'm not the only one trying to figure out how to go swimming without being mistaken for a partially-deflated beach ball. My inner thighs are so droopy that my old, skirted swimsuit can't hide it, plus it's a bit loose on me overall now. Thanks for the suggestions!
  4. lotusflwr80

    Where to buy Pure protein bars

    I have also seen most of the flavors at Target, including the new soft baked ones, over by the pharmacy. I have typically bought mine from Amazon.com though (subscribe & save)
  5. lotusflwr80

    Myfitnesspal Friends

    I'm on MFP as well! Username: lotusflwr
  6. lotusflwr80

    Favorite Protein Bars

    I echo the props for Pure Protein bars (the new soft baked ones are even better!) and Power Crunch bars (taste so good they seem more like candy.) I recently ran across a new-to-me brand called Think Thin bars, and they were also pretty good, though I thought the Cookies and cream one was disappointing. I will be looking for more of the other flavors though.
  7. lotusflwr80

    skim vs 1%

    As far as I am aware, there is still only limited evidence linking soy milk to both male and female fertility issues. For women, there are also unconfirmed concerns are about breast cancer, but given that estrogen hormone replacement therapy is still used for menopausal women, 8 oz of light soy milk every day doesn't seem to be in the same risk catagory as drinking unnecessary milkfat, but each of us has to weigh various risk factors and decide what makes the most sense for us as individuals. Personally, I try to avoid any cow's milk that is not labelled as being rBST-free for similar fertility concerns. I swear on grocery shopping day, I feel like I've read a novel's-worth of nutrition labels and packaging labels before I finally leave the store!
  8. lotusflwr80

    NSAIDs does anyone take any?

    My doctor never prohibited NSAID use, and only recommended using caution and reintroducing tablets/caplets as tolerated during the first 6 months. I have taken tons of NSAIDs since then, and other medicines for that matter, and have not had any problems with it and my sleeve in the 3 years since my surgery. I avoid aspirin due to other medicial conditions, but at times I take up to 4 ibuprofen several times a day if I have a migraine. Naproxen (Aleeve) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) have been fine too.
  9. lotusflwr80

    Resetting the system

    I am resetting, too, and I had the same fears about not being able to get back into the "losing game." However, it has been 2 weeks and 6 lbs, and I am actually finding that it is working just as well as it ever did. The first few days were hard because my blood sugar was demanding foods that I should not have in quantities that led me into this rut, but I stuck to 1) tracking my food intake (using MyFitnessPal), 2) sticking to my surgeons no-drinking-with-meals guidelines, and 3) working towards moving and exercising more. The tracking is helping a lot, and now that I've broken my bad sleeve-circumventing habits, I stay full longer, crave less garbage, and have a much easier time making smart decisions about what to eat and how much. They kept repeating in my pre-surgery sessions that you might stop using your new tool, but that you can't really break it, and they were right. It will continue to work as long as you use it properly. I had a number of external factors that led me to stalling out halfway from goal for the past 2 years, but now that I've dealt with them and resolved to return weight loss to the top of my priorities, the good news is that it never is too late to get back on track!
  10. lotusflwr80

    skim vs 1%

    Target carries an organic skim milk by Archer Farms that is insanely delicious and rich, so much so that to me it tastes like 1 or 2%! If anyone wants to switch to skim but is not a fan of the taste, I'd enthusiastically recommend trying that brand if your local Target has a grocery section, or to try organic skim milks until you find one that you like. Also, if you want to lower your milk intake, try making Protein shakes with Silk Light Soymilk or Light Vanilla Soymilk -- I think it tastes even better than shakes made with milk (and it doesn't upset my sleeve the way milk on an empty stomach sometimes does.) Plus there's a lot of extra protein with the soymilk too!
  11. lotusflwr80


  12. lotusflwr80

    Yaz and other BC Pills for PCOS

    I've been on NuvaRing since November now, but it isn't doing as well for my migraines or acne as I think the Yasmin did. Also, the past 2 months, my period has started almost a week early. I'm going to give it another few months since I still have 3 rings left, but I might have to switch back. I have been on Metformin this entire time and now that I'm down almost to the weight where my PCOS symptoms first started appearing, I am hoping to see some changes — so far nothing though. Everyone is different, however, just gotta keep trying until something works! At least I feel much better having dropped almost 100 lbs, so that is something! Any progress is still progress.
  13. Hi all! Just wanted to drop in and share my good news -- I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2006, when I weighed about 270 lbs. My pressure was pretty low, 4cm/H2O, but adjusting to using a machine and a mask every night was not great. I was only 26 years old then, and the idea of using a mask every time I slept for the rest of my life was just depressing and sad to me. By the time I was trying to meet my insurance requirements for surgery, I was up at 300 lbs and I had to get retitrated and my pressure went up to 10cm/H2O! Fast forward to a few weeks ago, about 7 months after from my surgery date, when my mask broke and I found out I couldn't get a replacement without a prescription -- so I had to go back to my sleep doctor. He congratulated me on my weight loss and put me in for a split-night study, where I'd be woken up and have a mask put on me if I still was having apneas. Sure enough, they never had me put a mask on during my sleep study and my technician told me in the morning that she didn't see anything eventful, but that it would be up to the doctor what that meant. I went in today and he told me "No apneas, very minimal snoring... everything looks good. You cured yourself with the weight loss. You don't need me anymore!" I am just super-happy about that! It means one less doctor, one less thing to worry about when traveling or visiting people, one less risk factor for heart disease, stroke, etc. and one less "life-long" ailment... and one less piece of headgear and hose keeping me from cuddling with my husband at night! Just one more check in the 'pro' column for VSG. I had been stepping my pressure down on my own as I lost weight (I learned how to change the settings on my CPAP and after using it for years, I could tell when I needed to adjust downwards) but I never thought I'd be rid of my CPAP, or at least not this soon! I was going to wait until I was under 200 to go back to see if I was 'cured' yet, but I am glad my mask broke when it did! If you do have sleep apnea, just know that things can get better as you lose the weight. Definitely check in with your sleep doctor regularly so you can be re-titrated as you lose weight (too high a pressure can cause apneas too) and you might be able to lose the CPAP altogether sooner than you might think! Hope everyone is doing well, staying healthy and staying positive!
  14. I have been trying hard to keep up with my exercising. A gym is out of the picture for me right now, so I went searching for some alternatives, especially for strength training. Walking on a treadmill is pretty easy but figuring out what exercises to do to tone up is a bit hard for me without someone to tell me what to do, how many and the proper form, etc. Anyway, I decided to check what Netflix had in exercise videos, especially anything that was "Watch It Now" that I could stream instantly to the xbox, wii or computer. Lo and behold, they have quite a few! The whole list is here. I'm using the 10 Minute Solution: Target Toning for Beginners, which really is truly a beginner's workout. I can get through one or two of 10 minute segments but really feel it the next day. The thigh one actually put me out of commission for about 5 days (I'm just now able to really get around again today, hah!) Plus since I'm still so hefty, I actually get my heart rate up and start sweating. There's lots of other types of workouts too, so I thought I'd share in case anyone here has Netflix but didn't know there were exercise DVDs available to watch online whenever. I'm sure it'd be great to do on a rainy day or if you feel bored or can't get to a gym. Variety is always nice!
  15. Gas-X, heating pad on the stomach, walking & time!
  16. lotusflwr80

    Hospital Gowns

    My surgeon puts one in after you're under and removes it before you wake up. I didn't feel a thing. Some surgeon's leave it in for a while, just depends on your surgeon. It's a good question to ask so you don't have any surprises when you wake up.
  17. lotusflwr80

    Talk me down!

    The 5 Day Pouch Test is a 5-day eating plan that gets you back on track if you feel like your stomach is letting you down (or you are letting it down.) It's basically like your post-op diet but crammed into 5 days. The link to the site that explains it is Surgical Weight Loss 5 Day Pouch Test Basically it's 2 days of liquids (Protein drinks, Soup, etc.), then a day of mushies (tuna salad, chicken salad, eggs, fish), then a day of firm protein (seafood, ground meat) then a day of solid protein (chicken, steak, pork, lamb.) The guidelines are pretty simple and laid out on the site. It really helped get my blood sugar back in order after 6 days of IV medicines and carb'y hospital food pumped me full of sugars. It also helped me restart weight loss, although losing weight isn't really the goal -- feeling the tightness of your stomach pouch is the goal.
  18. lotusflwr80

    Talk me down!

    I find that I can eat faster and more than I expected, especially with those slider foods or if I had something to drink too soon before (or during or after... shame on me.) However, I know that it's my fault for not eating slower, eating too much and drinking too near mealtimes. I've been trying hard to recognize when I'm not taking care of my sleeve; still getting used to it. I'm sure your chili wolfing was more about the circumstances than you having a stretched sleeve. If you're worried about it, you can always do the 5-day pouch test thing and you'll be feeling the tightness by day 3 or 4... I did it a few weeks ago after a fluke infection landed me in the hospital for a week and I got all out of whack on awful hospital food. It worked really well, I was surprised!
  19. lotusflwr80

    Hospital Gowns

    My hospital had an entire bariatric surgery wing complete with bariatric sized wheelchairs, beds, gowns, socks, etc. Mine were comfy and plenty roomy. The only clothes I brought were what I wore in and I wore the same things back home.
  20. sleep apnea and obesity go hand in hand. I had to bring my CPAP to the hospital and the anesthesiologist asked me my pressure setting and set up the oxygen mask to the same pressure during my surgery. It didn't make my surgery more risky, just one more thing for the medical team to be aware of so it can be accounted for properly. Bariatric surgeons are very familiar with sleep apnea since many of their patients have it. It won't mess up your surgery -- in fact, it's one of the many compelling reasons to have WLS. Sleep apnea is very damaging to your health if untreated, and quite a hassle to manage even if you're treating it with CPAP therapy. I'm sure the surgeon just wants to clarify stuff or find out if the sleep apnea is a recent diagnosis or an ongoing thing so he knows the history. No reason to be nervous.
  21. A spinal block only numbs you from the waist down, I thought. For an involved surgery like this, I would think general anesthesia is pretty much the only way to go?!
  22. lotusflwr80

    Incision question?? -

    I had one stitch sticking out like that for the longest time (at least a month out) on my lower right incision. I finally took some fingernail clippers to it and clipped it flush with my skin, because it was freaking me out how it was catching on my hand or shirt whenever I touched it. After that I forgot about it and noticed that it healed over at some point. My surgeon noticed it at both my 2 week and 1 month appointment and wasn't concerned in the slightest. He said it'd go away eventually and not to worry about it. I just clipped it so it wouldn't bother me anymore!
  23. lotusflwr80

    is it unusual?

    My surgeon doesn't do drains for VSG, but he does use them sometimes for RNY. Like most things WLS-surgery, it really depends on the surgeon, how he was trained, whether it's a rainy Thursday in November, etc. etc.
  24. lotusflwr80

    helium... don't do it!!!

    I would never have thought of that! My husband actually offered me some helium out of one of my "get well" balloons that I got after my surgery -- I am soooo glad I turned him down.