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pinkpeonies added a topic in April 2012Who's Getting Wls In April?Am I the first one?
I got put on the schedule today--April 23rd--for the Vertical Sleeve. I thought there was going to be an insurance application, denial, and appeal (x however many times it took) but both my surgeon and the scheduling nurse told me BCBS of Massachusetts has been approving sleeves since Jan 1. I have not confirmed this with them myself but feel like jumping for joy anyway.
The nurse she'd call if she could get me in sooner but this is the first date she could make a definite for me.
It seems a looooong way away but it gives me plenty of time to prepare for the week off work (thinking positive and quick recovery, lol).
Hope someone else comes to hang out with me soon!
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pinkpeonies added a post in a topic Question About Reduced Food Intake Before & After Sleeve
pinkpeonies added a topic in Ask Dr. CalleryPrior Abdominal Surgery A Factor With Sleeve Vs. Rny?Hi Dr. Callery,
I am pre-op with a BMI of 45.2(ish), a history of gestational diabetes and grade IV arthritis (or chondromalacia--my doctor has mentioned both) in both patellas. Current overall cholesterol numbers are good although "bad" cholesterol is elevated. Not sure of current blood sugar levels but they have been in the pre-diabetic range in the past. I've had two c-sections, a laparoscopy to remove an enlarged ovarian cyst that ended up being infected, and two additional open abdominal surgeries: TAH/LSO through bikini incision in January 2005 and RSO/appy through vertical incision in July 2006 due to persistent ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and adenomyosis. The surgeon for the TAH/LSO and RSO/appy is a gynecological oncologist--went to her for a 2nd opinion when my regular ob/gyn couldn't give me a straight answer about why I was having persistent pain and low-grade fevers. He never told me that I had endometriosis. The gyn/onc specializes in open surgeries and felt that was called for in my case due to the endo and my previous c-sections. She worried about scar tissue, hernias (apparently the 3rd bikini incision had a hernia that she repaired during the vertical incision surgery) working so close to the intestines.
I saw her surgical photos. There's lots of scar tissue in there. There were adhesions too. This is one of the reasons I'm leaning so strongly toward the vertical sleeve--the surgery can take place higher up and not mess with the remains of a "battle zone."
At the same time, I can't help but wonder if the RNY still might not be a better option for me. I have trouble losing weight when I do nothing but restrict calories. I have to add a LOT of exercise to really see results. But now because of pain from the arthritis/chondromalacia, the forms of exercise I can do regularly are limited. I also take NSAIDS every day to help with the pain. I know those aren't allowed after the RNY; not so sure about after the sleeve...but if reflux is a potential issue with the sleeve, I can't imagine NSAIDS being okay for that either.
I have not had a chance to discuss this in depth with my surgeon (although I have an appointment coming up on February 15th) and would greatly appreciate your thoughts, please.
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pinkpeonies added a topic in General QuestionsFavorite Shakes?Hey all,
I'm pre-op and have been strongly leaning toward the Sleeve. Regardless of my decision, I've made some big changes this year as I wait for my 2nd appt with the surgeon. I'm eating way healthier foods, exercising more, and tracking both food and exercise. I've started taking vitamins and adding protein shakes as meals. Because it was inexpensive and right there in front of me, I picked up a bottle of Body Fortress shake mix from Walmart. It's not great. It's rather chalky and leaves a weird, dry-ish aftertaste. I love the vanilla shake from HMR (medically supervised weight loss program) and may end up with that, but my surgeon recommends three shake brands that are specifically formulated for weight loss surgery. I'd like to try them and am hoping to get some opinions as to taste, texture, etc. The brands are: Metagenics BariatrX Essentials, Fusion, and Bariatric Advantage.
Has anyone tried these? What did you like/dislike about them?
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pinkpeonies added a topic in Pre-Op Vertical Sleeve GastrectomyQuestion About Reduced Food Intake Before & After SleeveI've been researching the sleeve for a while now and am convinced it is the right surgery for me. On another online forum, however, I came across a few posts that alluded to something I have noticed in myself: it seems that reducing the amount of food I eat is not enough to produce significant weight loss. I need to add a lot of purposeful exercise (beyond what I get just walking around and doing stairs every day) to kick things into gear. This has been the case with every "diet" I've tried over the years and seems to be proving true since January 5th, when I started a restrictive diet featuring really healthy foods and as much exercise as I can fit into my crazy busy life. I lost 4 lbs. the first week and have been stalled ever since even though I've been increasing my daily steps. I have trouble getting to the gym so have been walking at night and plan to research a workout plan I can do at home for the days when I can't get to the gym. Just haven't got that far yet.
Anyway, these posts made it sound like if that is the case for you ("you" in general) then the sleeve probably isn't the best option for you, especially if you have a lot of excess weight.
Has anyone else heard this? Has anyone else experienced this? Thoughts?
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pinkpeonies added a topic in Introduce YourselfNewbie In Greater Boston :)Hi everyone! I've been lurking a bit and am really excited to be part of this group. Another support site I've been lurking on seems to be imploding and completely lacks the warmth of the atmosphere here. I hope to make this my new "home."
I've been considering WLS for four years now. Four years ago, I found a surgeon I liked and went through all the pre-op testing required while my marriage slowly fell apart. Because my mind and heart were truly elsewhere, I wasn't able to lose weight between my first appt with the surgeon and the after-testing appt...or the month after that. We were getting divorced, having to sell our house, and I realized it would be foolish to embark on this journey from such an unbalanced position. A lot has happened between then and now and I'm in a much better place. The ex and I have a great relationship. The kids are doing well. They live with me and we live with my mother. I have a great full-time job. Mom helps me with the kids and I pay the bills and take care of the house. It evens out in the end. After many years of taking care of everyone else, it's time to take care of me.
Saw my surgeon on 11/21, went through all the required testing again (saw the pulmonologist almost exactly 4 years after my last appt with him and weigh the same now as I did then, lol...I guess it's good I haven't gained at least). I see the nutritionist again on 2/8 and the surgeon on 2/15. I will be applying to my insurance company for the sleeve. They do not currently cover the sleeve but the surgeon said he's done four sleeves for patients with the same insurance I have, so it's not impossible to get approved. I think I have a pretty good case--five prior gyn surgeries (2 c-sections, 1 laproscopy, and 2 open abdominal gyn surgeries related to complications from severe endometriosis and adenomyosis). I have no reproductive organs left but I saw the pictures and know that there's plenty of scar tissue down there. Probably some adhesions too. To my thinking, it would be best to avoid a surgery that messes with anything in that general vicinity. And based on all that scar tissue I worry about having a lap band installed--with my luck I'd be the patient whose stomach grows to engulf the band. Also, I have grade 4 arthritis in both patellas and take NSAIDS every day to help control the pain. I'd like to keep taking those NSAIDS, which also rules out the lap band and RNY.
I was hoping my gyn surgeon would write a letter about my previous surgeries and the scar tissue and propose the sleeve as a better option for me but she doesn't know anything about the RNY or sleeve and is not comfortable writing anything more than a letter saying she fully supports the idea of WLS for me and that I would benefit greatly from it. Hopefully my orthopedic doctor will write the letter about using NSAIDS. I called and asked on Monday; they're supposed to let me know this week. I figured it wouldn't hurt to take some pre-emptive action in that department.
It's tough waiting but I need the time--I gained 5 lbs over the holidays and need to weigh LESS on 2/15 than I did on 11/21. So far I've lost 4 of the 5, giving me 3 weeks to lose the last 1 lb and then as much more as possible. I think even 1 or 2 lbs. would be enough, although another 5 would be better. Not sure that's do-able but worth a try. If I explain the gain (and the pulmonologist AND nutritionist weighed me at that 5 lb gain) and subsequent loss, hopefully that will suffice.
My favorite tools right now are my new Fitbit and MyFitnessPal.com. The two sites link and communicate with each other. I've never been so excited or positive-feeling about getting more steps and exercise in each day and with eating healthier. I started on January 5th and lost 4 lbs. in the first week. Been stalled since then but man, I feel so much better just from the changes I've made. Maybe it's the prescription vitamin D the surgeon put me on too. I've got more energy, it feels like I'm walking lighter, my clothes seem to fit a little looser, and overall I'm feeling really positive and charged up and READY.
Mom supports me. The ex supports me. The kids (boys, ages 12 and 8) don't know anything yet but I will tell them when it's closer to being a reality and they'll be okay. Work...I may not tell them anything. One person knows my plans. Several others know about the Fitbit and my work toward getting healthier and losing weight. I may have to spill the beans at some point and should probably tell my boss what I'll be doing on my vacation (ha-some vacation) week but I don't know yet. I'm hoping to take just a week off. Since I'm an executive assistant, most of my job involves sitting at a computer all day. The surgeon didn't have a problem with that when I mentioned it.
Sorry for all the babbling. I'm excited and nervous and having trouble being patient. Overall, just very glad to have found this site and forum and can't wait to be a real loser here!
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