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Everything posted by Dave_NW

  1. Dave_NW

    Help!! Can't Swallow Vitamins!

    I use "Bariatric Advantage" products. They have a variety of them, all tailored to the WLS the person has had. I like not having to take multiples of things to get the nutrition I need. And after a year of being banded, my labs were perfect. No deficiencies at all. So obviously the nutrition is working well. The price is a bit higher than you'll find at the local store for other brands, (averages about 45 cents a day for the multi vitamin), but these are intended for the specific needs of bandsters, and were recommended by my Surgeon. I highly recommend them as well. (And the Mixed berry flavor chewable multi Vitamin tastes fine, and goes down easily. No "vitaminy" taste.) http://www.bariatric...age.com/catalog Dave
  2. Check your math. 204 minus 40 pounds is 164, not 174. However: My surgeon's team said I should expect to only lose about about 50 pounds. I said Ok, but then proceeded to lose 125. In less than a year. And now those same team members are amazed at how great I look. They want me to come speak to potential new paitents, so they can get excited about having this surgery. I told them we'll see where I am in another year, after I've had plastic surgery to get rid of the excess skin that resulted from my weight loss. Don't let an arbitrary decision by a psychologist deter you. Their job is to decide whether you're a candidate for surgery. What you do AFTER surgery is completely up to you. If you want to see 128 again, it's entirely possible, if you work hard enough. Good luck! Dave
  3. Hey, welcome aboard! Your stats sound exactly like where I was, just a year ago. I peaked at 320, but ate like you, and had the same health issues as you. I had my surgery last December, and I'm now down 125 pounds since I started. I'm basically at my maintenance weight now, and life is EXCELLENT. sleep is normal, energy is great, and my daily activities are energized like never before. My labs are all perfect, blood pressure and cholesterol are in the normal range, and life couldn't be better. The band is NOT a magic bullet, as you'll hear a hundred times. It takes planning, work, and management to learn how your body works, and how best to respond to being banded. Your daily life has to change to let the band do its' job, but if you do as you need to, you can lose a LOT of weight with this little tool. I have zero regrets, other than that I waited so long to have my surgery. Now, a year after the fact, I have absolutely no intention of ever going back. This truly is life-changing. If you've made the commitment to alter your life to suit being banded, and you're willing to make the efforts to do it right, you're going to have a fantastic future. Best of luck in your journey. Dave
  4. HAHAHAHA! That was great! I was like, "Whaaat???" Hope you and yours have a great holiday as well. We're heading for a week's vacation in Hawaii. I can't wait! It'll be the first time I can safely lay on the beach without worrying about hunters with harpoons... Dave
  5. Dave_NW

    Tricare PS after WLS?

    I have Tricare Prime. As I understand it, Tricare won't pay for "cosmetic" plastic surgery. But if the surgery is "medically warranted," they WILL pay for it. So it seems to me (and my surgeon's PA that I see monthly) that we need to document and/all of the medical issues I'm experiencing since surgery. As I continue to lose weight, and my stomach area sags more, I'm having increasing issues with skin deterioration, trouble with rashes, irritation and such, and other things you'd expect to have after losing substantial amounts of weight. At my request, my PA is reporting this each visit, so it's in my record. My plan is to go another six months (at least 18 months after surgery) to make sure I'm done losing weight, and then take steps to have either a panniculectomy or abdominoplasty. The PA and I figure there will be enough documentation at that point that Tricare shouldn't have any problem paying for the surgery. Hope this helps. Dave
  6. Tomorrow is my one year anniversary, and I can't believe it's gone by so quickly. A year, and 125 pounds. Amazing! When I look in the mirror, I continue to be blown away by the dramatic changes in me, my life, and my health. Getting banded was the best decision I've ever made. I have no regrets at all. And for the record, may I also extend a heartfelt THANK YOU!!! to everyone at LBT, but especially to my fellow December 2010 Bandsters. You have all been SO supportive, you've helped me travel this path easily, and with very few missteps. I most sincerely appreciate every one of you! Dave
  7. Hi Everybody. I'm still around, too, hovering in the area of my goal, but not losing anything recently. I think I've reached that balancing point where my body has equalized my exercise and nutrition, so my weight has stabilized. I have no complaints - this last year has been awesome. 125 pounds is a fantastic weight loss, I look and feel great, and my doctor says everything on the inside is excellent. Had an Upper GI a few weeks ago, everything looks perfect - no slips, stretching, or problems. I continue to monitor my weight, watch what I eat, and work out daily. I feel amazing, and can't say enough good things about this entire experience. Wishing everyone good news, and easy success with their band! Dave
  8. Dave_NW

    Ooh Ooh Oooh!!

    Why not give them a call and ask them what it means? That way you'd know for sure. Dave
  9. Hi John. Good to know the rest of things - thanks for clarifying. Sorry if I improperly read into it before. The band is a great tool, but you really have to get behind it and work it to get the best results. If you decide you're a good candidate for it, you can have awesome success with it. Be sure to ask if you come up with specific questions. This forum is filled with people who are eager to help. Good luck! Dave
  10. Dave_NW

    What my doc said today...

    I'm glad you're happy with your band, but after only three weeks, I'm surprised you have such a negative and judgmental attitude about things. Not everyone has that same experience. I've had a 14cc LapBand for nearly a year, and I've had zero complications. My doctor and his staff treat me with respect, they listen to me and answer my questions. I have never felt like a number, and I was at my sweet spot after just four fills. The additional three fine-tuning fills I've received were given only because I asked for them. I agree you have to take responsibility for your success, but not everyone needs to feel like they're being victimized. I certainly don't feel that way. And to be clear, most people don't have restriction immediately after surgery because they're swollen, and the band needs time to heal in place. Fills come later. The purpose of the small fill in the band at surgery time is so it can be stitched to the stomach wall, so it will heal properly. Lapbands come in varying sizes, depending on the size the patient needs, and the surgeon puts in what the person needs. They are not one-size-fits-all. Wishing you continued success with your journey. Dave
  11. Dave_NW

    Banded 6/8/2011

    Hi Stacie, You're doing great! Glad to have you here. Dave
  12. John, I don't know if you're in the right headspace for getting the band. Yes, you want to lose weight, but you say you don't think you have a weight problem, you love to eat, and you have a big sweet tooth. In my opinion, I think that's a recipe for frustration and failure with a band. The band is not a magic bullet that will somehow dissolve your excess weight -- it's a tool you can use to assist you in your weight loss efforts. But you have to commit to eating right, exercising, and making the most of the opportunity. If you aren't willing to commit to that process, you'll have marginal success. And if you give in to that sweet tooth, the weight will come right back. The band will limit the way you eat, but it will not stop you from overeating, or from making poor food choices. I'm not trying to discourage you. I'm just being honest. If you come to a different frame of mind, you'll likely have great success with the band. But you have to totally want it, or it isn't going to work very well. Keep doing that research, and turn the camera inward. Analyze how you REALLY feel about things. Denial is a powerful thing many obese people have a strong personal relationship with. I never felt like I had an out-of-control weight problem until I realized I weighed over 300 pounds, and I couldn't successfully lose any weight anymore. I'd lose and gain, lose and gain, over and over. I finally got disgusted with not being able to buckle an airplane seatbelt,, or fit into a restaurant booth, or find clothes that actually fit. It got worse and worse, and when I found I was unable to do my job properly, I decided to take action. I was banded last December, and I've lost 125 pounds since then. I'm feeling better than I have in years, I can fit in that restaurant seat and buckle that seatbelt, and I feel as though I've gotten my life back. It's amazing to feel as good as I did twenty years ago. Good luck with your research, and with whatever decision you come to. Dave
  13. Dave_NW

    100 Pound Milestone - and then some!

    Awesome! Roz kicks butt!!! Dave
  14. Dave_NW

    Be honest....

    Sure, diet and exercise are easier. I've done it for years, and I've lost the same 20 pounds about a dozen times! Losing the weight is not the issue. It's keeping the weight off that is so hard. For me, banding was the end result of years of weight struggles, failing on every diet I ever tried, and realizing the clock was ticking. I'm not a young man, and how many more years of life would I have before chronic gross obesity finally killed me? Bandng was a fantastic option for me, and allowed me to finally get my weight under control. I will never look back, nor will I go back to being obese. Now, nearly a year after surgery, I've lost 125 pounds. I have had ZERO reflux, slippage, vomiting, hair loss, not enjoying alcohol, water not going down, or pills not going down. I've been stuck a few times, and each time it was because I ate wrong. If I pay attention and eat as a bandster should, I do not get stuck, and I can eat anything I want. I've had seven fills, the last three of which were very small, to tweak my "green zone" so my band works properly. Fills are no worse than getting a shot. It's a non-issue. Constipation is related to what I'm eating, and how much Fiber I'm taking in. My digestion has slowed down because of my diet, but it's another non-issue. I take fiber as part of my daily diet, and when it's time to visit the bathroom, there are no issues on that score. It's a small price to pay for being over a hundred pounds lighter. The decision you need to make is how many more years (and times) are you going to "get serious about diet?" If you could do it that way, you wouldn't be obese now, right? My honest advice is that if you have any doubts of being able to "get serious about diet," then have the surgery. If it doesn't work for you, then have it removed, and go back to chronic dieting. You have nothing to lose but your excess weight, right? Good luck! Dave
  15. Put it down to their ignorance. My experience has been that most people lump all weight loss surgeries into one group, and they think of bypass before anything else. You say "I'm having surgery" and they immediately think "bypass," and they stop listening. They've heard the horror stories about people who have had serious side effects, and maybe even died due to complications from surgery. And everyone knows somebody who knows somebody who heard about someone else who had a problem. One of the reasons I'm so up front about my surgery with anyone who asks is so they can put a positive-results face on things. I've had no problems, and have been pretty successful at this whole banding thing. But few people know anyone face-to-face who has been successful. In my case, those early naysayers are now very positive advocates of this surgery, for those who need it. Dave
  16. Dave_NW


    You're welcome. Dave
  17. Dave_NW


    Cheri, you're way too smart to fall for that kind of crazy talk. Those people are either highly under educated, or just plain stupid. And I agree -- no way can they be eating healthy on such a diet. But then, maybe they're the "bandorexic" type. (Did I just make up that word?) Having a band that restricts eating doesn't mean they don't also have an eating disorder. I learned awhile ago that I'll never be the weight I was when I was younger, so I don't even try. It's about healthy, and feeling good about how I look. I'm at a weight now that I can live with, if forced to be this size for the rest of my life. Sure, I'd like to be thinner, but as a guy, having a 34" waist at 58 years of age isn't bad. Especially since I'm more than 12 inches smaller than I was a year ago... Dave
  18. Congratulations, Peg! I'm a Tricare Prime person too, and I was banded last December. Hope you're in as great a place as I am by this time next year. Good luck with your journey! Dave
  19. My goals after I'm totally done losing is to continue to tone and maintain muscle mass, so I remain healthy. I don't plan to remove the band or reduce the fill level, since I'm currently at a very "liveable" restriction. If I get stuck, it's ALWAYS due to something I did: I ate too fast, took too large a bite, didn't chew properly, or whatever. I don't eat plain bread now, so won't be eating it later. But toasted bread IS doable, so I have some toast once in awhile. My long term plans with my diet are to continue to manage my nutrition, because I know that if I stop managing my diet and exercise level, I no doubt WILL gain back the weight. And I will NEVER go there again. So I'm committed to staying the course, and living life to the fullest -- until they carry me out horizontally. Thanks for asking. Good luck wth your journey! Dave
  20. Something to consider if deciding which type of surgery is best for you: You may lose faster initially with the sleeve or bypass, but over time bandsters tend catch up to bypass and sleevers, and generally have fewer complications. Depending on how much weight you have to lose, one of those other surgeries may be a good choice for you. However, after a few years, once you've lost the weight and are maintaining, does it really matter HOW you lost the weight? If the goal is to be thinner and healthier, wouldn't you want to follow a program that is (sort of) reversible, where nothing was cut up or out, just in case there is a problem? When I was exploring my surgery options I was told bandsters usually lose only about 50% of their excess weight. That wasn't a good enough answer for me, and I really worked hard to lose as much of my excess weight as I could. And I was within about ten pounds of my goal weight within about 9 months. Now, just a few weeks shy of my one-year bandiversary, I'm basically at my maintenance weight, I look great, feel fantastic, and I'm having zero side effects or issues. Given the ongoing medical issues associated with the other surgery choices, I'm glad I chose this route. Good luck with whichever way you decide to go. Dave
  21. Welcome to LBT, Bob! Have a seat and join in. You're in the right place. I see you're on your way to being half the man you used to be. If you check under my avatar you'll see I have the same goal. Dave
  22. I've been wearing a Bodymedia FIT since January. It's part of my daily program, and I swear by it. (And occasionally I swear AT it... ) It's totally worth it. Shelley, tell your Santa the $169.99 one they sell at Costco.com is not only cheaper than any I've found selling elsewhere, (including on the Bodymedia.com website), but it also includes a 12-month subscription to the Bodymedia montioring service, which is about $7 a month. That's an additional savings of almost $84. Win-win. Go for it! Dave
  23. I'm coming up on 11 months since my surgery, and I've had great success. I'm feeling SO much better than I used to, in all areas of my life, but especially at work. I work in IT computer support at a busy hospital, and my crazy job keeps me on the go all day long, hauling computers around, installing equipment, solving network user issues, and whatever. I now have the energy to make it through my day, my attitude is better, and everyone I deal with comments on how good I look, and how happy they are for my weight loss. It's awesome to feel this good. (For those of you just starting out on your journey, stick with it, figure out resolutions to any issues, and hang in there -- the results are TOTALLY worth the effort!) I interact with dozens of people every day, and I wanted to share an observation I've made about some of my obese coworkers: A lot of them have asked me for very specific details about what I did, how it went, and what they'd have to do to have surgery. They all say how envious they are of what I've done, and how they can't wait to do the same for themselves. I share as much as I feel is appropriate with anyone who asks, since I know it's hard to bring this topic into perspective if all you hear is the horror stories and failure tales. Knowing someone in person who is successful is a lot less talked about. So it's another of those "pay it forward" things I try to do in my life. Most of the people who were the most verbal at first have shown themselves to be "all talk and no walk" as things have gone along. One woman especially, was asking me everything about the ins and outs of me preparing for my surgery last year, and said she was totally committed to getting surgery. She wanted to know everything in minute detail, but she has done absolutely nothing about it. If anything, she's heavier now than she was before. It seems every time I see her she's eating some kind of junk food, or drinking a high-calorie designer coffee drink. She always says "Hey Skinny!" when she sees me, which has long since gone past being amusing. I smile and treat her nicely, but I know she's someone who won't make any changes till she has something dramatic happen in her life. And even then she'll probably approach it from the "victim's" angle. But some other people have completely surprised me. Two women (one in her 60's and one in her 20's) who asked me a question now and then, saying they were curious about what I did and whether it would work for them, have both started the process of getting ready for surgery. They've both come back to me for more specifics, and I've really tried to support them in their surgery choices. One is having RNY Bypass, and the other isn't sure yet which surgery she'll have. She was very surprised to learn I'd been banded -- she thought based on my weight loss that I'd had bypass. I'm very supportive of them both, and hope they do well. They both have said how afraid they were to start the process, but that my example gave them courage to move ahead with things. I'm very pleased to be able to help others to get their lives and health back under control. My point in posting this is to share with everyone that people ARE watching you, and how you're doing. Even if they aren't in your face about it, people who know you are interested in your journey. How you handle yourself will possibly bring others along the path you've walked, even those you aren't expecting. You have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others, while making a great difference in your own life. Wishing everyone great success with their journey! Dave
  24. Dave_NW

    People Are Watching Your WL Journey

    Interesting ideas, Cheri. I think handing out business cards without being asked is just plain tacky. It's one thing if someone asks if you have a card for your doctor, but to give it to someone you don't know just because you THINK they could use weight loss surgery? What if they've already HAD surgery, and are not far along in the journey, or are having complications? What a terrible thing to do! I would never do that. In my case, I've just gone about my business. People are asking ME what I did, and I know they're talking about me behind my back. Everyone tells me how much better I look, and I'll tell them about my surgery if they ask, but I'd never push the information on them. It's like trying to force someone to stop smoking - no amount of pushing will get someone to quit. They have to want it for themselves. And they won't quit until they're ready. (I speak from lots of experience, after smoking for over 30 years, and I finally quit for good 12 years ago. It happened only after I made the mental switch from thinking I had a "smoking habit" to accepting that I was a "nicotine addict." That distinction was all I needed to quit once and for all.) As for lying about having surgery, I think some people are uncomfortable being judged by others. The woman you know who said she just cut back on things and whatever is probably telling everyone that because she's not comfortable being "out" about having surgery. So you got the story she's probably telling everyone. I'm well known at my job, and everyone knew I was fighting my weight. My manager told everyone in my department (almost 40 people) in a group meeting that I was having surgery right before I did it, so my secret was out without my consent. But by then, it was a done deal anyway, and I decided not to try and hide it. There are plenty of obese people where I work, so I thought maybe I'd be able to help others if they asked. And many of them have. Even those who aren't obese are asking me things, because they have a family member or friend who wants to have surgery. So I'm trying to put a face on this kind of surgery. If my story can help others, either first or second hand, then it's worth sharing the details. Dave
  25. Definitely a compliment, but of the backhanded variety. Considering who said it, it was meant as a good thing. Dave