gamzap

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  • Content count

    240
  • Joined

  • Last visited

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About gamzap

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 12/07/1948

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Carlsbad, CA
  • Age
    66

Information

  • Surgeon
    Tanaka
  • Hospital
    Mercy, San Diego
  • Height (ft-in)
    5-05
  • Start Weight
    239
  • Current Weight
    152
  • Goal Weight
    139
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
    25.3
  • Surgery Date
    01/07/2015
  • Surgery Type
    Gastric Bypass
  • Surgeon
    Laurence Tanaka

Recent Profile Visitors

2,221 profile views
  1. Dear Friends, I have been doing pretty well. My weight is good and I have maintained it for about 9 months through some health complications that made exercise difficult, so I thought that I had "made my lifestyle changes". A few days ago my best friend's granddaughter was killed in a hit-and-run accident and because we were all so close for four decades, it is a real death in the family. My grief in unbelievable and, as usual over the years, in times of grief my appetite and craving to eat is insatiable. I find myself standing in front of the refrigerator, like I did years ago, just staring, when I kind of come to - almost like I have been in a trance. When I finish my meal, I immediately start thinking about what I could eat next. I know this is my old coping mechanism for dealing with emotions that are too strong to bear. I just need help not to give in so I don't come out of this destroying my own life. I am praying for relief from this, exercising, writing -- although I get distracted. I cannot meditate and trying to do yoga moves is making me crazy. The best I can do is some deep breathing, but the craving continues. Who wants to sit with their feelings when they are like this? Why did I think that was wise? Support and advice welcomed.
  2. Ended up they didn't recommend the baby aspirin. No heart problem......dehydration from not absorbing liquids. Back to the drawing board. Thanks for the information.
  3. So nice to see your name, Joyce. Sorry you are having issues as well. I was feeling so incredibly healthy, this is a disappointing setback. Hope all is well in Florida. Best, Patricia
  4. Hi, all I have been having some "symptoms" for a couple of months - first showing up in blood tests and now in physical symptoms, including loss of vitality, wooziness and occasional "faintiness". I've gone through a complete cardiology work-up and gotten a clean bill of health on that front All vitamin levels are good and other blood tests are excellent except for kidney function and hemocrit, etc. My PCP believes that I am chronically dehydrated [leading to the thick blood and bad BUN readings] and may be having other malabsorption issues beyond trouble absorbing liquid into my system. I have been maintaining what was my Dr.'s goal [but 10 pounds above my goal] weight for 6 months. I am getting my protein, drinking tons of water and some decaf/herbal tea, no caffeine, healthy foods, high-quality vitamins, etc. I do urinate frequently, but I have been doing that since menopause. Has anyone else had dehydration even when drinking over 100 oz. fluid per day? Has anyone else been diagnosed with symptoms association with malabsorbtion of fluids or nutrients that led to mental fuzziness or loss of energy? If so, please tell me what you did. I have a call in to the bariatric surgeon, but the reaction from the office seemed to be that my PCP should handle this. Any ideas or help would be so appreciated. Best, Patricia
  5. Hi all, Just had my one year "surgeriversary". My health has been great although my energy has flagged a bit over the past couple of months. I attributed it to getting less exercise in the colder/darker weather. I had all the blood tests for my appointment with the surgeon and he did not raise any concerns, however my PCP called and wants me to get to a Cardiologist as my red blood cell count, hemoglobin and hemocrit are all very elevated - indicating "thick blood" which can increase stroke risk. She recommended immediately stopping all iron supplementation [by the way, Premier Protein shakes have 25% in each], donating blood and starting a baby aspirin regimen. Another reason for the Cardiologist visit is that my resting heart rate has dropped from about 75 pre-surgery to about 55 and it dips to about 45 when sleeping. I actually thought this was a positive result of all my exercising , but I guess at my age it can also be a sign of problems. Questions: Has anybody else had their resting heart rate drop into the 40s? Developed a high red blood cell count ? From taking iron supplements? From something about the surgery itself or what we eat? Does anybody take baby aspirin for heart health? I see the Cardio in a week and I know she does not have a lot of experience with bariatric surgery patients, so if there are known issues, I'd like to be able to tell her so before she starts ordering tests. Thanks in advance for any insight or advice. Patricia
  6. Hi all, Just had my one year "surgeriversary". My health has been great although my energy has flagged a bit over the past couple of months. I attributed it to getting less exercise in the colder/darker weather. I had all the blood tests for my appointment with the surgeon and he did not raise any concerns, however my PCP called and wants me to get to a Cardiologist as my red blood cell count, hemoglobin and hemocrit are all very elevated - indicating "thick blood" which can increase stroke risk. She recommended immediately stopping all iron supplementation [by the way, Premier Protein shakes have 25% in each], donating blood and starting a baby aspirin regimen. Another reason for the Cardiologist visit is that my resting heart rate has dropped from about 75 pre-surgery to about 55 and it dips to about 45 when sleeping. I actually thought this was a positive result of all my exercising [I do have a great recovery rate], but I guess at my age it can also be a sign of problems. Questions: Has anybody else had their resting heart rate drop into the 40s? Developed a high red blood cell count [I was fine 6 months out - this just showed up one year post-op]? From taking iron supplements? From something about the surgery itself or what we eat? Does anybody take baby aspirin for heart health? I see the Cardio in a week and I know she does not have a lot of experience with bariatric surgery patients, so if there are known issues, I'd like to be able to tell her so before she starts ordering tests. Thanks in advance for any insight or advice. Patricia
  7. I hope your PCP will have some answers for you. I actually had a little bout of tinnitus almost immediately after surgery, but did not connect it to surgery. I'm sure you know that sleep disturbance can really drag down your spirits and overall health. Withdrawal from former interests can be a sign of depression......or a sign of maturing; growing into a new awareness of who we really are and how we choose to spend our precious time. When we start taking care of ourselves, being more introspective and happy with ourselves, things change. Often our ideas of what is important, interesting or exciting change dramatically. Many people on this site share that they no longer interact with the world as they did before the surgery. This is not just because we look differently on the outside. Best on your journey.
  8. Almost everyone who gets to the point of having bariatric surgery has some very deep issues with eating. Some of us have actual defined eating disorders. Others of us have simply lost control in various ways and for various reasons. Surgery does not fix these issues. Surgery gives you a precious few months, while you are not under the spell of your old eating compulsions and habits, to find an approach that works for you to manage your eating from now on. Don't waste a moment of this precious time! Some people go into individual or group therapy with a traditional counselor. Some people find help through one of the recovery self-help programs, like Overeaters Anonymous or Food Addicts Anonymous. Some people use the tools of SmartRecovery, a ratonal behavior/emtotion management program designed for anyone with any addiction such as alcohol, substance abuse, gambling, eating, etc. Most of these approaches include introspection, peer support, accountability, some form of mindfulness work and behavior monitoring. You are wise to be worried about your thinking about experimenting now that you can eat more. Reach out for support. Best Patricia
  9. Hi, Wendy, So sorry you are having a rough week, especially right at the holidays. You've gotten lots of good feedback on your son, so I'll just add my encouragement to "accept all help and resist all labeling" on that front. Regarding your job, I'd like to offer a different perspective to consider. I know it is painful to receive a poor performance review, tempting to push away the feedback without reflection and reach for something new in reaction to the pain. If you have been dissatisfied with your current situation for some time, that is one thing; but if the company and position are an overall good fit, there is a lot to to be said in favor of maintaining employment stability in the first couple of years of adjusting to your new body and lifestyle, especially with other family issues to be dealt with. I like to think I am superwoman, but honestly, if I had been working full-time plus raising a young family while preparing for, undergoing and recovering from bariatric surgery, with all the attendant disciplines, distraction, fatigue, hormonal shifts, discomfort, elation................I'm sure my job performance would have slipped.....and even the changes in my personality would have been jarring to my colleagues. If this current issue is directly related to these last crazy six-nine months of your life, you may want to allow yourself the time and effort it takes to heal the current situation........ and then make a measured decision about staying or moving on. There is always more power in responding than in reacting. I wish you the best and happiest holidays and new year. Patricia
  10. I am so sorry that you are broken-hearted about your situation. I spent the last 15 years before my surgery being broken-hearted, also stuck at the same horrible weight. I would rigorously follow diets, exercise religiously and still not budge the scale; while others seemed to melt away with ease. One of the biggest aspects of my broken-heartedness was the injustice. How could I eat the same/exercise the same as others and they got to lose weight/be thin and I made all these sacrifices and still had to be obese? Adding insult to injury was when others would say – “well, just be grateful you are not gaining…..or just make the best of being fat…….or consider that all your work is probably improving your health in some invisible way.” Great, thanks for sharing. The other major heart-break was the normal reaction from “the world " when I tried to explain what was happening - “You are lying about this - to me or to yourself - calories in/calories out - blah, blah, blah" It was the biggest relief of my life when I saw a bariatric specialist [about being in a drug test that I ended up not qualifying for] and he said, "I know you are telling the truth. I know you are doing what you say you are doing. People’s bodies are complicated, obesity is a complicated process and it works differently in different people and we still don't know so many things." He told me that his research suggested I could probably never have gotten as fat as I did if I hadn’t done so many diets. That I had probably wrecked my metabolism with all my “sacrificing.” He didn't even have a solution for me......but just being heard and believed meant EVERYTHING to me. So, for what it is worth, I hear you and I believe you. Knowing my history, I went into surgery knowing that it was likely that things would still not be fair -- I would not be a fast loser – and I wasn’t. That I would probably still be needing to lose weight when the “honeymoon” was over -- and that I would probably need to do twice as much to get half the results – that I would have to put in the very hard work to discipline my emotional/habitual indulgent nature and cravings.......and that is how it has been. I exercised an average of 2 hours per day [I exercised at least as many calories as I ate every day] from month 2 to month 9. I’ve taken a little break from the exercise [now average 45 minutes per day] for the last two months and added back in some foods and my weight loss has stopped. Only extreme adherence works for me and I am willing for this new life I have. I am not an average patient and no kind of surgery that I know of will make me an average patient. I will probably never be able to eat “my fair share” – I will always have to eat less. I will probably never eat flour or sugar, my old best friends…. Or drink alcohol. I can’t afford the little indulgences that many other patients seem to be able to enjoy. Does this make me pout? Yes. Does it make me way less unhappy that being overweight? Yes. If you relate to my “metabolic/hormone/gene/unknown factors” situation, and it sounds like you do from your post, I think it would be really valuable for you to take some time to sit with this knowledge and really let it sink in. It isn’t fair, it isn’t right, it isn’t pretty, but it sounds like it just IS. Once you get a grip on this reality, and take some time to grieve it, because it is an injustice……then you can make some decisions. Right now you are trying to act on the basis of denial because it is so hard to accept the fact that you may either have to choose to live your life being obese, accepting and making the very best of the many wonderful things about you as you are …….or you are going to have to go to extreme lengths that most people are not asked to go to change your body size [and your health]. Journaling can be so helpful. If you are like me, the pain from the judgment that people don’t believe you and the pain from the comparison to others who seemed to achieve their dreams while yours were denied…….is the biggest obstacle to seeing your situation clearly. It would be for me. Letting that go is the path to clearly deciding on the next step. Some people are better able to cope with obesity than I was. I felt shame and anger and self-loathing every day of it and no amount of self-talk or therapy or prayer ever really moved the dial on that for me very much. So my choice was to accept the challenge and in many ways become an extreme advocate for my body. I study the most effective ways to do this, staying up on the latest breakthroughs in nutrition and neuroscience ……..not because it comes naturally………..but because that is all that works to move the dial on the scale for me and being a normal weight was and is my heart’s desire. From what I have learned from my studies and from my own experience, if you choose to join me on this path: You might have to change jobs or careers and/or work hours ……because the stress may retard your body’s ability to lose weight. You might have to take time to slowly eat small, healthy sit-down meals at regular times throughout the day, even if you are not hungry or think the world can’t survive without you for ½ hour [they can]. You might need to -0- out on snacks, especially in the evening, and stop eating 4 hours before bed. You probably need to -0- out alcohol for the foreseeable future. You probably need to write down every bite of food that goes in your mouth, put it in Fitness Pal and let your friends on this page have access to see it to help you with accountability. You may need to change your life to get 7-8 hours of good sleep per night [even though you know you are an exception that doesn’t need that much]. You may need to do both strength training to build muscle and vigorous aerobic exercise virtually every day of your life. You may need to find a way to do lots of it outside for the benefits that the sun and nature mysteriously add to the venture. If your obesity is a big part of why you are depressed, you may need to advocate for yourself to get medications and explore other treatment modalities that don’t tend to cause weight gain or retard weight loss. You need all the spiritual and emotional support you can get, however that works for you. You need to find a type of meditation practice and breathing exercises that will help you literally change your brain around food and eating issues and your general equanimity. Getting over the hurt and pain of being disbelieved and disappointed, you are going to have to find a way to find trust and confidence to ask for and get the help you need to move forward, with both professionals and others on the path. None of us can do this alone. If you are still with me after all this………please PM me anytime if you want to talk about anything I’ve said or for support. Please know I am writing this with love and compassion in my heart for you, as I would have wanted someone to reach out to me when I was hurting so terribly in the same way. Best, Patricia That being said, large portions, fasting all day and then eating large meals at night and drinking alcohol, especially while taking medications, are all things known to stop weight loss in everybody.
  11. Congratulations. I am coming up right behind you and also feeling happy and grateful.
  12. I buy used, but purchasing attractive clothes that fit well were/are the biggest reinforcement and motivator to help me adopt a way of life that will sustain a healthy weight. I had at least 2 pair of pants during each size that were flattering. I bought a few more tops as they tend to fit through a couple of sizes. I also invested in some new accessories that I can continue to wear. That helped me develop a new sense of style for a slimmer body. I don't advocate transferring addictions, but if you have a history of eating to celebrate or treat yourself or to get over a down day.......picking out something that you couldn't wear before and enjoying the pleasure of slipping it on.........is an easy way to move out of the food treat mentality. Expressing yourself with clothing can be very creative and enjoyable. Try giving yourself to the process and see if your shopping enjoyment grows. Best, Patricia
  13. Hi, How is everything going with you and your husband? I hope you are well and thriving. Best to you.
  14. Hi, How have you been doing these past few months? I hope thriving! Best, Patricia
  15. Sorry this is a rough time for you. There are some wonderful tools for managing emotions and keeping focused and clear on SMARTRECOVERY.ORG. I find writing things out either in a journal on on their worksheets, helps me a lot. Sending warmth and support always.