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Hello, everyone! My name is Dave.



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Hi, everybody... I found this site and decided to start a thread to introduce myself.

I'm Dave. Age 66. Five feet, eleven inches and about 250 pounds. I'm in the Houston area.

I'm an amateur singer, and I have an ENT doc who treats my voice. He has treated my reflux with proton pump meds for over 20 years. The last time I saw him, I mentioned that I would like to get off those meds. He told me that there is a surgery for reflux (Nissen fundoplication), but that at my weight (about 270 at that time), the surgeon would also want to do weight loss surgery. Then he asked me if I had ever considered weight loss surgery.

To be honest, I had never considered it, because when I set my mind to it, I can always lose weight. But I decided to talk to a weight loss surgeon anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? My voice coach recommended a surgeon by the name of Patrick Reardon, who practices in the Houston Medical Center. When I called his office just before Christmas, they were closed, so I went to their web site to request an appointment.

A couple days later, I got an email from them suggesting an appointment on the first of April. That seemed good to me. I could get past the annual season of gluttony and try to kick my weight loss program back into action. Due to the global pandemic, though, I didn't get in to see Dr. Reardon until last week. I was pretty satisfied that I had lost 20 pounds, and I honestly thought he would tell me to keep it up for another 6 or 8 months before we talk again.

Well, Dr. Reardon wasn't impressed. He said, "How many times has your weight gone up and down, and how many more times do you want to do that?" He also said that the Roux-En-Y bypass, by its very nature, treats reflux, so no Nissen would be necessary. "So let's go," basically.

Then he sent in his assistant, Carl, to talk about the logistics, which I'm sure you folks all know: psych consult, dietitian consult, meet with the anesthesia doc, etc. etc.

Carl gave me his business card, a printout of the referral for the psych and dietitian appointments, and a 50 page booklet describing what they were going to do to me, and sent me on my way, telling me that if I hurried, we could be doing the surgery by the first week of June.

The first half of the book was pretty interesting. I'm an engineer, so I enjoyed all the pretty pictures saying they would snip this way and staple that way, and in the end my innards would look like such and such.

Then I got to page 22, where I saw the words "NO SWEETS!" Bold and in all caps, just the way I typed them here. I swear, if they had said "NO SWEETS" on page 2, they wouldn't be selling a lot of surgeries. I think pecan pie is my favorite thing to eat in the whole world, followed by ice cream. And especially pecan pie with ice cream.

The brochure also said I would be eating three meals a day with NO SNACKS, and that a meal would fit in the palm of my hand. And, as I'm sure you all recall, it included some graphic details about how my body would rebel against me if I broke the new rules.

In spite of all that, I'm seriously considering it. It would be nice not to feel so self-conscious, and to meet long-lost relatives and not have them say, "My... what a big boy you've become."

One of my big concerns, though, is whether I would be able to drink enough Water to stay properly hydrated for singing. These days, I drink a quart of water with every meal, and more in between. On a long singing day, I drink two gallons of water. I know I wouldn't be able to do that any more. The brochure tells me that 60 ounces per day is recommended, but sometimes people find that much very difficult.

Sorry for running on so long, but I like words. Anyway, where I'm at right now is that I'm kind of assuming I will decide to proceed, but the psych folks haven't called me yet and I haven't made the effort to call them either.

Any words of wisdom or encouragement would be most welcome.

Best regards,

Dave

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Hello and Welcome!!

1) I've had GERD since 2004, and it has completely gone away since my surgery. I don't need so much as a tums, no heartburn, no reflux, etc. It's been amazing!!

2) SWEETS - Believe it or not, your tastebuds will change. You won't crave sweets anymore. Now it's just savory stuff that I like. A bite of pecan pie at some point won't kill you, but I bet it will taste too sweet!

3) Water - You will eventually be able to drink that much water, HOWEVER, you will not drink it within 30 minutes of eating. That was tough for me at first, but now I'm used to it. The reason is that the liquid can lubricate the food you just ate, making it pass through the pouch too quick, so you are able to eat more. Kind of like washing down a plate of Cookies with a big glass of milk.

Best of luck to you, and welcome to the journey!!

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No GERD!!! Wow sounds wonderful to me. I take medication for it, which I really hate. But I’m not a candidate for surgery.

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Hi Dave,

I also am a singer, and I've lost 56 pounds so far. It's amazing how much easier it is to sing and how much better your breath control is with less fat pressing on your diaphragm.

After your surgery it might take a while to drink what you are used to, but eventually you will be able to drink easily. And the amount of food you get in a meal sounds shockingly low, but if you eat it slowly it WILL fill you up so you won't feel like you are starving yourself.

Good luck to you!

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Thanks, Mom and ChubRub for the comments. My next big singing event in late August was just canceled due to Covid, and the one a week later is in doubt, too.

Maybe I'll be done with surgery and back to drinking the right amount by the one in November, if that one's not cancelled. It's hard to imagine a more problematic event than 120 singers getting together for hours and hours of singing.

I think I'll be able to manage the diet changes, even though sweets are my downfall. I imagine we just won't have any sweets in the house.

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Everyone is different I had a bit of it post op but no other issues/ However I can say you will be healthier and as for sweets its only a taste. would it not be better to be much healthier then a cup cake?

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A question for JRT Mom: After your surgery, how long was it until you started singing, and how long until you felt that you were singing well?

BTW, I'm planning to do voice lesson this morning using Skype. It will be my first lesson since I started self-quarantine. I'm lucky to have a vocal coach who is really focused on anatomy and vocal health, but I don't imagine she will see as much regarding anatomy issues as she would in a face-to-face lesson.

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2 hours ago, WInston223322 said:

Everyone is different I had a bit of it post op but no other issues/ However I can say you will be healthier and as for sweets its only a taste. would it not be better to be much healthier then a cup cake?

Dave replied:

A wise man once told me "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." I'm pretty sure he's right.

And I have several issues, not just the reflux, which I expect to improve by losing 80 or 90 pounds. Blood pressure and sleep apnea most notably, as well as some knee and hip issues. I'm getting adjusted to the idea and beginning to look forward to it.

2 hours ago, WInston223322 said:

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By the way, friends, last night I ate ice cream straight from the carton in the middle of the night. My rationalization was that after surgery I won't be able to do that any longer.

However, when I got up this morning, I found that I'd left the half-full carton sitting on the counter. A bit of irony there, but I have made stupider mistakes.

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Your blood pressure will definitely improve and You will sleep better, I noticed a huge change at just 25 pounds let alone when I hit 100 lost. I slammed the weight off like a few others here. Look up Jake he slammed it off also

As for the ice cream enjoy I went Hog freakin wild the weeks before I decided to get Cut!

You wont miss the food that addiction will be replaced with the Happier Healthier life addiction. Even though is still cook for friends and family, and I do not eat but a few nibbles I enjoy it, but not addicted or obsessed with carbs and sweets

Aj

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15 hours ago, Dave In Houston said:

Then I got to page 22, where I saw the words "NO SWEETS!" Bold and in all caps, just the way I typed them here. I swear, if they had said "NO SWEETS" on page 2, they wouldn't be selling a lot of surgeries. I think pecan pie is my favorite thing to eat in the whole world, followed by ice cream. And especially pecan pie with ice cream.

The brochure also said I would be eating three meals a day with NO SNACKS, and that a meal would fit in the palm of my hand. And, as I'm sure you all recall, it included some graphic details about how my body would rebel against me if I broke the new rules.

One of my big concerns, though, is whether I would be able to drink enough Water to stay properly hydrated for singing. These days, I drink a quart of Water with every meal, and more in between. On a long singing day, I drink two gallons of water. I know I wouldn't be able to do that any more. The brochure tells me that 60 ounces per day is recommended, but sometimes people find that much very difficult.

1) I didn't eat sweets while I was in weight-loss mode, but I occasionally do now that I'm in maintenance. They don't bother me - but they cause about 30% of RNY'ers to "dump" (or at least if these folks eat enough of them, that is). It has to do with all the sugar hitting your small intestine at once - your system goes into overdrive to deal with it. If you're one who "dumps", the trick is to avoid or limit sweets (which we should be avoiding or limiting ANYWAY). But again, that first year or so, I didn't have any (except maybe a couple tablespoons of ice cream on my birthday). But yes - I do occasionally eat them now.

2) Snacks depend on your surgeon's program. I was allowed snacks as long as they fit into my overall plan. I still eat snacks now that I'm in maintenance. I mostly just count calories now to keep my weight stable, so I just add the snack calories into my total for the day. If the calories work out, then the snacks are fine. What they DON'T want you doing (even those surgeons who allow snacks) are to "graze" - i.e., snack off & on all day. That can lead to weight gain. But some surgeons do allow a planned snack or two a day.

3) you'll be able to drink a ton of water after the first few weeks. I probably drink a gallon of it some days. You're just not supposed to drink while eating or from 30 minutes afterward (my surgeon says 60 minutes, but most say 30 minutes). It's hard to get all those fluids in the first few weeks after surgery, but after that no - it's really not.

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I read about the dumping. The way describe it in their brochure makes it seem very unpleasant. So I probably will eat a few slices of pecan pie with Texas' own Blue Bell Homemade vanilla on top.

I did make some progress today. I got the dietitian and psych consults scheduled for 5/27 and 5/28. I also verified that Medicare, along with my Plan G supplement, will pay for 100% of the cost.

I think it's going to be a very positive life change.

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