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5 1/2 Years Post Op Observations

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Posted (edited)

I haven't been here in five years, but I thought I should share what I've learned on this journey...

1. My sleeve was a very minor surgery. Less than 30 minutes passed between being knocked out and the recovery room. Quite frankly, I think this option should be more widely available for marginally obese people. Unlike the other bariatric surgeries - which change your plumbing, this is simply the removal of the stretchy part of the stomach.

2. Think long and hard about who you tell. I told a handful of family members and I think that was a mistake. I suggest you either tell everyone, or just the absolute minimum (spouse or care giver). Within the first year I was sure everyone knew and I felt I was being dishonest.

3. The honeymoon is real. For 18 months it's virtually impossible to gain weight, but after that, you most certainly can. My smaller stomach can hold 8-10 ounces of food and get refilled after about an hour. If you fill it with sugar or fat and keep refilling it, you can certainly get back all your weight. I initially lost about 90 pounds and that was too much. People kept asking me if I had cancer. I've since put 25 pounds back on and while I wish it was 15, it's fine. My weight is what it was when I was an athlete in college. I have used my reduced weight and energy to excercise and I think that has helped. I generally do 100,000 steps a week. Again, eating/drinking the wrong stuff and not exercising would surely lead to more weight gain.

4. I no longer count calories, but I do have a few tricks to keep things in check. I have designed a menu with a lot of 200-500 calorie meals and I have 3-4 of these every day. I burn enough EXTRA calories a day exercising to offset the calories I drink (I only drink 100 calorie cocktails - nothing sugary).

5. There's a lot of good and bad information on alcohol on this site. I waited 6 weeks (the European guideline) and the eased in with weak cocktails and wine. I don't think it hits me harder, but since I'm likely to have less food in my stomach, the effect is to be hit harder. I can see no reason to wait 6 months or a year other than minimizing caloric intake. The Sleeve is a timeout from your bad lifestyle, but it's not a permanent timeout. At some point you'll create a new lifestyle that will include birthday cakes, pizza, French fries and booze. You need to manage around all of these risky consumables. You should think about it ll as you enter your journey, never stop reevaluating, and constantly adjust.

I hope this helps someone...

Edited by Cape Crooner

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1 hour ago, Cape Crooner said:

I hope this helps someone...

Yes. Thank you.

I'm having a revision from band to sleeve and I agree about the part who you tell. The judgement is real from certain people, and not always who you think it will be from. And when I put on the weight again after my band didn't work for me anymore, it was heartbreaking to me--I was grateful for my privacy.

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Well, I am only 1.5 years out... but I concur with just about everything you said!

Sleeve was definitely quick... but I think I was in the OR just a little bit longer... but not by much. And I concur... they should offer this as an option to lower BMI people more often. Benefits far outweigh the risks in my opinions.

About telling people... yes yes yes! Before surgery especially! Before surgery I waited until mid-way through my pre-op appointments before even telling hubby, knowing he wouldn't like it. Good choice because it meant he had less time to talk me out of it. And by the time he knew my mind was made up. Told daughter a few days before because she lived with me and would know I didn't come home for a night and didn't go to work for several weeks lol. Beyond that... I had a COUPLE people at work who knew. After? I told my boys several weeks afterwards... just before one was coming home for a visit from college. I never did tell anyone else in my family. But when I returned to work I slowly started telling other people until my entire office knew. I like the way I did it. Still have no intention of EVER telling the rest of my family lol.

Honeymoon phase... I believe this is true - though I am not as far out as you since I just had my 18 month appointment 2 weeks ago. I just recently started gaining weight in the last couple of months and am currently trying to nip it in the bud. I like my weight the way it had been for nearly a year, so I plan to try harder to maintain.

Unsure about counting calories. Right now I am going back to it to make sure I get back on track... but I think once I remind myself what portion sizes look like at the right calories... then I will probably go back to measuring a bit better. I do avoid drinks with sugars at all costs.

Alcohol... that is the only that I don't have much experience with. I haven't had more than a couple sips on rare occasions. Just don't feel I want or need it... but not going out of my way to avoid it on purpose.

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