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The Stuff They Don't Tell You



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IMSKINNY, it didn't really hurt, it felt more like pushing on a bruise. It took me about five or six pulls to get the whole thing out. The last little section really just glides out. Make sure that the end has a black tip. Otherwise, you'll need to call your surgeon.

I'm just glad I don't have to clip that thing to my nightgown any more! For four days, I felt like I had one ********. (I'm a girl, lol.)

ETA to say that apparently, you can't type t e s t i c l e on the board

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I have a question for you guys with stomach issues and how are they now.

I always thought it was IBS. I could eat and in very short time things were not happy. Quickly, like may not even take enough time to finish a meal. It didn't matter what I ate either so the immediate gall bladder thought was kinda ruled out. Dr says I have a "fast tract." Very annoying at times. Anyone have this before?? Did it get better??

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Lots of nausea post op. The doctor determined it was gastritis and upped my Prevacid to twice a day. I also have tums handy and take them in between doses of Prevacid. I also eat one or two saltine crackers to help the nausea. Zofran does not seem to help much.

Water does not taste good anymore. I have to have it REALLY, REALLY cold.

Not drinking during a meal is VERY HARD and waiting for 30 mins afterwards is torture.

constipation, huge problem for me. If it isn't coming out, then nothing goes in and I am miserable. I can literally feel food sitting just below my sternum. Then I get nauseated. Have recently added colace, 2 twice a day. Also take some milk of magnesia every 2 or 3 days now. Stopped my Iron supplement for now because the constipation was so bad.

Very cold all the time. I am probably anemic, I was pre op, so I really need to be on the Iron.< /p>

Hyperactive gag reflex. Certain smells especially nauseated me.

It is not all bad though. some days are just better than others. I am 7 weeks post op and finally feel like I have turned a corner. I do have a lot more energy and feel better. I don't regret my decision, I just wasn't prepared for some of the road blocks I have dealt with. It is forever life changing.

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What about burping alot!! Specially when I'm drinking Water, or the chest pains when u eat or drink :(

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Lots of nausea post op. The doctor determined it was gastritis and upped my Prevacid to twice a day. I also have tums handy and take them in between doses of Prevacid. I also eat one or two saltine crackers to help the nausea. Zofran does not seem to help much.

Water does not taste good anymore. I have to have it REALLY' date=' REALLY cold.

Not drinking during a meal is VERY HARD and waiting for 30 mins afterwards is torture.

constipation, huge problem for me. If it isn't coming out, then nothing goes in and I am miserable. I can literally feel food sitting just below my sternum. Then I get nauseated. Have recently added colace, 2 twice a day. Also take some milk of magnesia every 2 or 3 days now. Stopped my Iron supplement for now because the constipation was so bad.

Very cold all the time. I am probably anemic, I was pre op, so I really need to be on the Iron.< /p>

Hyperactive gag reflex. Certain smells especially nauseated me.

It is not all bad though. some days are just better than others. I am 7 weeks post op and finally feel like I have turned a corner. I do have a lot more energy and feel better. I don't regret my decision, I just wasn't prepared for some of the road blocks I have dealt with. It is forever life changing.

[/quote']

This sounds weird, but catnip helps with nausea. I buy it in a drop bottle. I put it in Water. Doesn't taste like much. It works for the flu and hangovers, too.

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A few things that I learned:

  • I was told the surgery doesn't hurt. Whoever told me that lied! A lot of people feel great, I was not so lucky. I had a lot of pain (possibly from the gas) and dry heaved most of the night. By the next afternoon I was feel better, but, boy, it sucked!
  • The barium swallow/leak test is HORRIBLE! It tastes horrible, makes you sick and can give you the runs! Where I had mine done, you got a sugar free popsicle afterward...it will be the best popsicle you have ever had.
  • Your stomach will make noises you never knew it could
  • You will belch like a man (especially when you eat a little too much)...I could out burp anyone!
  • I never had trouble EVER with constipation before surgery, now it is a battle even almost 2 years out. Not sugar coating it, it can be very painful and I had an episode that I would say was almost worse then the night after my surgery.
  • Chewing gum can cause pain...I never even thought of this. I can chew gum now, but a few months out, the air that I swallowed while chewing really hurt. I had to spit my gum out the first time I tried and didn't chew it again for a long time.
  • Head Hunger is a b***h...the sleeve is not a magic cure and the further out you get, the more difficult it can get. Make sure that you make the changes early on so they are habit later on. By the time you will be able to eat more and tolerate more, you will have a good base of habits to lean on.
  • A lot of people's tastes change, but don't be surprised if they don't. chocolate still tastes just as good to me now as it did before.
  • I forgot to ad this earlier...like someone else said, Water doesn't taste good or sit good with me. I have no idea why, it just doesn't. For the most part, I drink sugar free drinks. I know they are not as good as just drinking water, but I still get in all my fluids.
  • You CAN still have hunger, especially the further out you get. But let me reassure you that it is NOT the same as before surgery...it is not as intense, and for me, anyway, it takes many hours of not eating to even start to feel hungry (and don't get actual physical hunger confused with head hunger/cravings/emotional eating...they are not the same...learn the difference)
  • You will become more obsessed with the scale then you ever have been in your life. Try not to let it rule you, you will have stalls, your weight will fluctuate.
  • As a woman, I have noticed things about my body and weight that I never paid attention to when I was heavier...because who notices 1-2 lbs when you are 260lbs. When I ovulate, I gain 2-4lbs and bloat. When I have my period (sorry guys) I also bloat and gain weight. And I really notice it, my belly feels bigger.
  • Your brain might have trouble keeping up with your weight loss...it is sometimes difficult to see the changes yourself, but others will notice. So many people say "I really can't see the change", but, trust me, your getting skinnier!!
  • Everyone loses at different rates, try not to compare
  • Set realistic goals...if you set goals that are virtually unattainable, you will never be happy. Try to go by the clothes you wear and how you feel, not the number on the scale.

I know my list is long and a lot of different things, but they are all things that I have either learned along the way, or have struggled with and still do some days! Oh, one last thing, it is most likely going to be the best thing you have ever done for yourself, you will not regret it, and you will be happier than ever...pretty good outcome and worth the ride!

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I'm not going to read through every response so forgive any of these that are duplicates.

The things I didn't know about before are fairly personal - not as in "won't share" but as in "specific to my situation". I was a revision, and so the only things that have surprised me are relative to my previous WLS, or the things you have to be living it to know whether or not they even apply to you. But I'm a researcher, and started looking into VSG about 5 years ago. Not a lot will escape those two conditions. :)

However, I see a lot of new people "shocked" to learn lots of things, so here are some that I see come up a lot:

  • You will probably lose a good amount of your hair (I'd estimate 20% - 40%) starting about 2 or 3 months after surgery.
  • It's possible to dump with the sleeve. Most people seem surprised to learn this. In fact, there's already been a thread on it today.
  • It's possible to develop intolerances to foods with the sleeve. Not "sleeve doesn't like it" but actual intolerances.
  • Reflux is a fairly common side effect.
    • Reflux over time can lead to additional issues such as Barret's.
    • Reflux can be helped (I won't say controlled) by medications - PPIs and the like.
    • PPIs are currently under a lot of scrutiny for their long-term effects, i.e. bone density.

    [*]Your tastes can change with this surgery. So can the foods that work for you. These aren't necessarily slow changes. You'll probably be eating low-carb, at least for a while, and that can bring its own complications:

    • "Ketosis" breath
    • Low potassium may result in muscular cramps particularly in the legs/feet
    • Pooping might totally change. In too many ways than I can list here, but let's just say there aren't really any good ways.
    • Etc.

    [*]You may have to take Fiber supplements and/or laxatives for quite some time, maybe permanently. But maybe you'll never need one. Just gotta wait and see.

    [*]Since this is not a malabsorptive procedure, it's still possible to gain weight. You're still accountable for the things you eat. I'm surprised to see others surprised by this.

    [*]When food doesn't "sit well" it can be surprisingly painful, and can hurt in places that initially won't make sense (referred pains).

    [*]You may or ay not have problems with nausea. I've had no nausea, and no vomiting -- but I've had my share of discomfort.

    [*]Your body will probably start to make new noises. Gurgles, burps that aren't burps (I call them nurps), etc. They may or may not go away.

    [*]Your hunger may significantly diminish, or go away completely. But it might also remain consistent. Our fundus is the primary place where Ghrelin is produced, but it's not the only place. Think this is only a good thing?

    • Lots of studies right now are pretty consistently linking Ghrelin to things like memory and cognitive function, is in - not enough Ghrelin, so in 50 years you may be skinny & have no idea why.

    [*]Lots of aspects of general weightloss tend to be forgotten or overlooked: things like your feet get smaller, your fingers, etc.

    • Medication dosages may also need to be recalibrated
    • You will need to actively adjust your caloric intake (you won't have much say in it for a while, tho) to adjust for your shrinking body - needs can change by 1000 calories, easily. Don't get in a "rut" and assume things will be forever this way, or that.

There's more, but that's all I can think of off the top of my Ghrelin-starved brain.

I couldn't decide where to put this one so I figured that most of it's gonna come after surgery so I put it in post op. Feel free to move it if necessary.

I was reading another thread and someone said these words and it made me think about what I have learned reading this board and was amazed at the responses I saw stating that they were not told such and such before hand. What are some things that you have learned after the fact?? The things you didn't find out until you were elbow deep into this journey...

Let's hear them, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I know that I am not the only one to wander this and I know that others looking are curious as well. The only way to learn is to talk to others that have been through the experience. Thanks, Dave.

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All of these sound like sound advice from experience.

Keep this stuff coming. I love to hear the real stuff and see your info. I have read them all and appreciate it, the little stuff not mentioned by Drs.

I know a lot of others are reading along as well....

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I was never a coffee drinker or a tomatoe lover but now, I want coffee really bad! (I wont do it because I haven't since surgery and I am afraid of the never trust a fart thing..lol) and I love love love tomatoe. One other thing I just found out.... My stomach has cycles. Once a month for about a week, I get super hungry!!! Crave carbs and junk. The other weeks I feel like I ate thanksgiving dinner 3 times after I eat something. These are in addition to other comments on here, they are all true

Michelle xo

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I have a question for you guys with stomach issues and how are they now.

I always thought it was IBS. I could eat and in very short time things were not happy. Quickly' date=' like may not even take enough time to finish a meal. It didn't matter what I ate either so the immediate gall bladder thought was kinda ruled out. Dr says I have a "fast tract." Very annoying at times. Anyone have this before?? Did it get better??[/quote']

YES! That is me. And a short time for me is like 10-20 minutes. I have a super faster track. Plus it doesn't help that I'm lactose intolerant and I have a gluten sensitivity. It's brutal. It doesn't matter where I am...if I don't have super control over what I eat...forget it. My stomach lets me know who is in charge. I am concerned about that for when I do get sleeved. And eating out...forget that too. If I say no butter and keep the olive oil to a minimum...nix that. I can ALWAYS tell when those are used. It's embarrassing. I too would LOVE to know if it gets better.

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I was never a coffee drinker or a tomatoe lover but now, I want coffee really bad! (I wont do it because I haven't since surgery and I am afraid of the never trust a fart thing..lol) and I love love love tomatoe. One other thing I just found out.... My stomach has cycles. Once a month for about a week, I get super hungry!!! Crave carbs and junk. The other weeks I feel like I ate thanksgiving dinner 3 times after I eat something. These are in addition to other comments on here, they are all true

Michelle xo

I've noticed that too, I thought it was just me being "weak-willed" or something but there are days when I am a rock, you could eat a 7 course meal of my favorite foods in front of me and I wouldn't touch them; and there are days when anything that can't run away under it's own power stands a good chance of being eaten!

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A few things that I learned:

[*]I was told the surgery doesn't hurt. Whoever told me that lied! A lot of people feel great' date=' I was not so lucky. I had a lot of pain (possibly from the gas) and dry heaved most of the night. By the next afternoon I was feel better, but, boy, it sucked!

[*']The barium swallow/leak test is HORRIBLE! It tastes horrible, makes you sick and can give you the runs! Where I had mine done, you got a sugar free popsicle afterward...it will be the best popsicle you have ever had.

[*]Your stomach will make noises you never knew it could

[*]You will belch like a man (especially when you eat a little too much)...I could out burp anyone!

[*]I never had trouble EVER with constipation before surgery, now it is a battle even almost 2 years out. Not sugar coating it, it can be very painful and I had an episode that I would say was almost worse then the night after my surgery.

[*]Chewing gum can cause pain...I never even thought of this. I can chew gum now, but a few months out, the air that I swallowed while chewing really hurt. I had to spit my gum out the first time I tried and didn't chew it again for a long time.

[*]Head Hunger is a b***h...the sleeve is not a magic cure and the further out you get, the more difficult it can get. Make sure that you make the changes early on so they are habit later on. By the time you will be able to eat more and tolerate more, you will have a good base of habits to lean on.

[*]A lot of people's tastes change, but don't be surprised if they don't. chocolate still tastes just as good to me now as it did before.

[*]I forgot to ad this earlier...like someone else said, Water doesn't taste good or sit good with me. I have no idea why, it just doesn't. For the most part, I drink sugar free drinks. I know they are not as good as just drinking Water, but I still get in all my fluids.

[*]You CAN still have hunger, especially the further out you get. But let me reassure you that it is NOT the same as before surgery...it is not as intense, and for me, anyway, it takes many hours of not eating to even start to feel hungry (and don't get actual physical hunger confused with head hunger/cravings/emotional eating...they are not the same...learn the difference)

[*]You will become more obsessed with the scale then you ever have been in your life. Try not to let it rule you, you will have stalls, your weight will fluctuate.

[*]As a woman, I have noticed things about my body and weight that I never paid attention to when I was heavier...because who notices 1-2 lbs when you are 260lbs. When I ovulate, I gain 2-4lbs and bloat. When I have my period (sorry guys) I also bloat and gain weight. And I really notice it, my belly feels bigger.

[*]Your brain might have trouble keeping up with your weight loss...it is sometimes difficult to see the changes yourself, but others will notice. So many people say "I really can't see the change", but, trust me, your getting skinnier!!

[*]Everyone loses at different rates, try not to compare

[*]Set realistic goals...if you set goals that are virtually unattainable, you will never be happy. Try to go by the clothes you wear and how you feel, not the number on the scale.< /p>

I know my list is long and a lot of different things, but they are all things that I have either learned along the way, or have struggled with and still do some days! Oh, one last thing, it is most likely going to be the best thing you have ever done for yourself, you will not regret it, and you will be happier than ever...pretty good outcome and worth the ride!

Thanks so much for your info. Especially about the head hunger and learning to controll b4 surgery. I am trying this now and it is so hard. Just keep thinking will b easier with smaller stomach.

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I was never a coffee drinker or a tomatoe lover but now, I want coffee really bad! (I wont do it because I haven't since surgery and I am afraid of the never trust a fart thing..lol) and I love love love tomatoe. One other thing I just found out.... My stomach has cycles. Once a month for about a week, I get super hungry!!! Crave carbs and junk. The other weeks I feel like I ate thanksgiving dinner 3 times after I eat something. These are in addition to other comments on here, they are all true

Michelle xo

I am thinking its your hormones, not your stomach. When I ovulate, I crave food like there is no tomorrow, especially carbs. There is actually studies done that women not on birth control eat more during and right after ovulation (women on hormonal birth control do not change).

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What about your sense of smell? After getting home I had to unplug my scentsy warmers. 22 days out and I still can't stomach strong smells!

Ha, ha, so true. I turned off my scentsy warmer because the smell was off. The cinnamon spices all smelled terrible. And I LOVE cinnamon. Took about 4 months before I turned it back on again. Hang in there, it will get better.

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