DorkyCool

Thinking of WLS? Both of my nurse friends warned me not to do this

76 posts in this topic

Oh, and I'm in complete remission from Diabetes WITHOUT any medications!

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Wonderfully put! Excellent post!

DorkyCool and la.craig like this

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 Talk about the bad things I've seen in 30 years of Nursing related to Diabetes!!! I honestly, have only seen 1 complication from RNY and it was fixed with surgery. I can't even count how many tragic situations I have seen that were contributed to Diabetes. I'm still not sure what all the stigma is about.

 

This was EXACTLY why I was having the surgery!!!!  I worked with the "complications" from WLS as an infusion nurse.  I treated patients all the time with some malnutrition, infection and anemia issues.  But, those were all manageable.  What I NEVER saw was rotting feet, lost eye sight and other horror stories that are common for diabetes. 

 

That prediabetes HA1c was the final straw for me.  There was no way, no how I was taking Diabetes without putting up the biggest fight of my life and using the biggest weapon I had to use.  I had to do a pre-op pysch eval for my insurance and that was what I TOLD him.  I had been doing the proper diet and exercise for YEARS and I was losing the battle no matter how hard I fought.  I was one HA1c away from a diagnosis of diabetes, and I was not taking that without fighting.

 

Diabetes isn't even on the radar now.  Not even remotely close.  My cholesterol is PERFECT.  My blood pressure is PERFECT.  I had been on medication for blood pressure for six years and my doctor wanted me to stop them last fall.  I continued until this spring, having several hypotensive episodes, because I was scared of not treating HTN.  But, my blood pressure is always 110s over 70s now.  Every health marker I had surgery to fight I have won the battle and now I just have to keep on with a lifetime of sustained change.  I cannot imagine any nurse who wouldn't grasp how serious diabetes is.  It was the final brick that caused me to make the leap and I have never regretted it for even a second.

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Just to add more testimony to the pile here... Yes all my doctors recommended it: gp, opthalmologist, dermatologist, and endocrinologist (I see a lot of doctors). But these aren't people I *know*. I happen to have two very close friends from my high school days who grew up to be medical doctors. I am not a patient of either one, but I privately asked their opinions. Both of them unconditionally recommended the VSG procedure. One of them said she was even considering it for herself. These are two of the most brilliant people I have ever known and I absolutely trust their opinions. It was THEIR recommendation that finally resolved any doubt for me.

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This might be the best post on this board I have ever read!!!  :)

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I come here daily for pre-op motivation and this entire thread is AMAZING! Thank you all for posting. Thank you.

Jabsie and DorkyCool like this

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i know this is an old post, but relevant non the less. its posts like these that make me feel like i'm doing the right thing getting the surgery. thank you for sharing your story, it help confirm so many doubts I've been having. am i just giving up? i'm taking the easy way out. i'm such a loser for considering surgery. these are my fears and my own personal battles i wage. i'm done being who i am now! this weight loss tool is going to help me, help so many others with their journey.

Edited by Mr92Cadi
wrong pic
walkat103 and DorkyCool like this

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i know this is an old post, but relevant non the less. its posts like these that make me feel like i'm doing the right thing getting the surgery. thank you for sharing your story, it help confirm so many doubts I've been having. am i just giving up? i'm taking the easy way out. i'm such a loser for considering surgery. these are my fears and my own personal battles i wage. i'm done being who i am now! this weight loss tool is going to help me, help so many others with their journey.

 you're getting the surgery? That's not like giving up looks like. Giving up is when you stop fighting and using every tool at your disposal and accept that you were going to live in self imposed disability for the rest of your life. You're doing the opposite of giving up – you're fighting for your life.

 

And if you start to think that getting the surgery makes you weak, be comforted by the promise that losing weight after the surgery is hard as heck. It is not for the faint of heart. But after the surgery, it is finally possible.

Edited by DorkyCool
Typos

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Well said!  I am a nurse and I would never give anyone advice on what is right for them.  This is a personal choice and in the long term you have to make the right choices everyday to keep the weight off.  Trust me I am struggling at almost two years out.  But like you I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had to.  I was very fortunate that I did not have any complications. 

 

Congrats! 

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I really thought I only surrounded myself with people who supported me.  I am still genuinely STUNNED at the friends I thought were friends who became beyond nasty and ugly and accusatory because I have been successful.  I continue to remove those non-friends from my life, but this journey was never about anyone else, positive OR negative.  Its insane to me that there are those who take my journey VERY personally.  I have been called sick and a narcissist and other ugliness simply because I have fought for MY health and MY journey and I have talked about it. 

 

At the same time, this journey to fight for myself, and to accept ALL of myself the way I am has been incredible for me.  So much so that I am able to see those who flip out and get hostile and anger its completely about them and not me at all.  And the friends who have been safe and supportive have been a lifeline for me in this journey.  I couldn't change those friendships for anything in the world.  The others created a perfect opportunity to weed toxic people out of my life and move onward.

Ditto, ditto, ditto--and some family too. 

On the other hand, not only has my doc declared me in complete remission from my long-term, 2-kinds-of insulin-plus-meds-diabetes, but also from high BP, high lipids (also both medicated w/ 2 kinds of meds). AND!!! My PCP/internist is so impressed with my results that she's decided to go for WLS herself! No better validity than that, huh???

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Wonderful post  

When I was just about to be put under on my day of surgery two years ago, my operating room nurse at Mass General Hospital in Boston came up to me and told me that I was doing the right thing.  She then told me that she had WLS a few years ago and that it really changed her life for the better.  She then showed me her two nurse badges - each one had a photo on it.  The older badge showed a very large woman and the new one showed her as she was that day with me, a slim healthy looking woman.  She gave me kind words and hope when I needed it most, and I have not forgot it (although I never got a chance to thank her).

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I really needed this today :rolleyes: my surgery is monday and yesterday I signed the consents for surgery.. With every potential complication listed and it made me scared. I was just excited no fear until then... 

You reminded me why I pursued this in the first place.

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Ditto, ditto, ditto--and some family too. 

On the other hand, not only has my doc declared me in complete remission from my long-term, 2-kinds-of insulin-plus-meds-diabetes, but also from high BP, high lipids (also both medicated w/ 2 kinds of meds). AND!!! My PCP/internist is so impressed with my results that she's decided to go for WLS herself! No better validity than that, huh???

I have seven siblings.  All but two of those siblings are adopted.  The two full biological siblings have stopped talking to me entirely in this journey, and frankly, I simply said Bye Felecia.  Its the same response I had to the friends who acted like personally offended spoiled little brats.

This choice is NOT the easy path.  This is NOT giving up!  I get up at 5am every single weekday, and I am NOT a morning person.  I do so because I exercise before I wake my children for school at 6am.  I get a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise at least 5 days per week, and frankly I get a LOT more than that most of the time but 300minutes/week is my absolute minimum unless I am sick.  I will allow myself 150-200 in a week that I am genuinely sick only.

For breakfast every day, I either drink a protein smoothie, which I make myself, or I eat a greek yogurt.  The rest of my day is meat and veggies, occasionally some fruit thrown in there.  If I must have a snack, I eat cheese slices or I have small snack bags of Cheez-its or Chex Mix, both of which have protein in the trade off for the small carb snack.  I drink water and coffee and nothing else.  1.5 years out, I still cannot drink plain water so I use stevia based flavor packets, only I put a packet that is meant for 16oz into a liter.  I drink 2-3 liters of water a day.

 

I work my rear OFF.  If I eat out, I pack at least half of my meal and bring it home.  Its great bribes to get my teen sons to do things, and there is no telling how much food mom brought home when Dad takes her on a date because I cannot eat much.  I do Zumba, I lift weights and I run 5Ks.  There is nothing EASY about any of the work I put into this journey.  And least anyone be confused, I consume approximately 1400-1600 calories per day now...which is exactly what I was consuming prior to surgery tyvm.  And while I have ramped up my exercise, I was walking 2.5 miles per day prior to surgery in spite of the pain and the asthma struggles.  I have an insanely high metabolism.  Without the metabolic reset, my body wasn't going to let go of a single pound, no matter what I did.  This wasn't giving up.  It wasn't the easy way out.  This was a TOOL.  I could have engaged the tool and not worked my butt off and seen lesser results.  I could have not engaged this tool and worked my butt off and kept the same results I had been seeing in years of that process.  I opted to engage the biggest tool I had to reclaim my health AND work my butt off....literally.

This is NOT the easy path.  No one who has walked this path would ever call it the easy path.  I allowed a surgeon to permanently alter my body because it was the best weapon I had when all other weapons had failed.  There was nothing easy about that, and nothing easy about what I have had to do since that point to be successful at this journey.

Clickin, Aussie H, Raeme and 3 others like this

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Yea, certain kinds of medical professions, and I would imagine pain management folks are right in the middle, are going to see all of the wrecks and not many of the successes. When all you see are the small percentage of cases that have bad outcomes it's hard to be objective. That's one of the reasons I chose VSG--just because of the lower statistical risk of complications. You can't always trust statistics, but it's better to get objective data than subjective opinions!

The original article is excellent--you're a great writer, DorkyCool!

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I'm interested in hearing more about your diabetes being remission.  I heard about this possibly happening during the info-meeting I attended at my hospital and simply drool over the idea of experiencing this too if I get the surgery and lose the weight.  I mentioned this on another web site forum for diabetics and they jumped all over me about the idea of remission for diabetes.

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I was diagnosed with diabetes based on my physical wity my PCP a month before meeting with the bariatric practice (A1c of 6.7%). My repeat labs that I got yesterday (four months post-op) put it at 5.5%. All I ever took was low dose metformin, but that was discontinued upon surgery. I didn't go into remission instantly. My sugars came down over time, but now my diabetes is in remission.

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I'm interested in hearing more about your diabetes being remission.  I heard about this possibly happening during the info-meeting I attended at my hospital and simply drool over the idea of experiencing this too if I get the surgery and lose the weight.  I mentioned this on another web site forum for diabetics and they jumped all over me about the idea of remission for diabetes.

Just to clarify. Type 2 can and often does go into remission with weight loss, diet, and sometime exercise but type 1 is a completely different ballgame.  

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Thank you.  I've just decided to have the Vertical Sleeve surgery and could hear all those voices in my head telling me not to put myself at risk.  This was exactly what I needed to hear.

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Every surgery has risk's and let's face it if Morbidly obese people just continue we will die of our co-mobilities  and life is painful and miserable when you are so big !

Back pain , leg and joint pain , breathlessness , heart failure , diabetes , The list is endless ... When I had my surgery I was 37 and my body was failing me and after I lost all my weight I became so much healthier ! Now Im 45 and having gained 50 pounds recently due to band complication .. I SURE FEEL IT especially on my legs and knees and short of breath .. So my advise is When your a teen early 20's you dont feel it so bad but boy as we get older being obese plays havoc with our health and well being ... So if your young and your reading this .. DONT WAIT ! until your so big and so ill .. My only regret I NEVER HAD WLS SOONER ! 

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What a great post.  I have only told 6 family members and / or friends who were all supportive.  I am a former bander and when it was removed last June.  I finally brought it up with my mother a couple of months ago; she was very tight lipped and said she didn't know anything about the surgery (in a non encouraging tone of voice).  I told her I'd send her info on the surgery etc. which I did but she never brought the subject up again which told me she was not in favor.  So, I went ahead and had sleeve surgery last week - without her blessing.  I do not plan to volunteer the info but no doubt the next time she sees me (we don't see each other often) she'll be shocked and will know.  Whatever.  Support certainly helps, but I'd say one just has to trust one's instincts.  The tee shirt idea is a great one.  So many people qualify for this surgery and it makes such an enormous difference in quality of life.  Yah !

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Thanks for posting this. My surgery is Jan 26th (less than 48 hours away). Something that made me feel more comfortable about having the R-Y surgery is that the recovery nurses have all had WLS.  Also, when I asked my ARNP about  the surgery back in October, she told me she had WLS surgery 9 months earlier.  Family and the few friends I have told have been supportive.  Somehow going under general anesthesia, having my digestive system reformed and rerouted is definitely not the easy way out. It's just great to read how many here have been helped with WLS surgery. 

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On 8/17/2015 at 10:52 AM, DorkyCool said:

I didn't tell many people before I got my sleeve.  I've told just about everyone after the fact, with a predictable range of reactions, but I'd done my research, made my decision, and didn't want to be deterred.  But I have two friends, both very skilled and experienced nurses, who I turn to for med advice, so I talked to them.

 

They both got very serious and warned me that it is a terrible idea.  They've seen "so many" bad outcomes.

 

One works in peds and one in a pain office.  While their general knowledge is very good, neither has any experience with bariatrics, endicrinology, cardiology, etc.  So after a few frightening moments I had to realize that the outcomes they've seen are the same as the outcomes all of my negative relatives have seen -- they know somebody, or a few somebodies, who had the surgery.   No doubt a lot of people suffer badly after the surgery -- years of obesity takes a horrible toll, and we humans are more inclined to whine about our suffering than bleat about our triumphs.

 

If you tell people before your surgery, you may get the same -- the dire warnings, the pleadings not to do this.  Although some people are invested in you not changing, most people are sincere in their concern.  Advice is cheap, but when smart people you trust are staging an intervention, you should always stop and listen.

 

You should also trust your doctor(s), and yourself.  This is your health, and your life.  You have to make your decision based on the most reliable, tested information available.

 

If you're considering WLS, you already know the information:  People who struggle with obesity can sometimes lose weight, but they will probably regain it.  People who have WLS will lose, and will almost certainly keep at least part of that weight off.  If they stay engaged with the process, they will almost certainly reach and stay at a healthy weight.  People who stay obese suffer co-morbidities -- diabetes, heart disease, cancer, sleep apnea, loss of mobility, etc, and, as a result, and shortened life-span.  People who have WLS may already have some of those conditions, which increases the risks of the surgery and the complications afterward.

 

No matter how many individual cases are put before you, how anxious your daughters are, or how anxious you are, the simplified version of those facts is:  If you are obese, you are in danger.   Assuming you meet the criteria, WLS can save your life.

 

It's like chemo.  If you have a potentially deadly but treatable cancer, do you take the treatment?  The chemo is poison, basically.  You'll feel sick.  There are scary risks.  You may have pain, be on an emotional roller coaster, struggle with changes in your appearance.  But you swallow hard and give the nice nurse your vein, because you want to get to the other side and live.

 

Obesity is a life-threatening medical condition.  Seriously, dude, this isn't about fitting into the cute clothes or showing up your sister.  This is about saving your life.  And transforming your life -- being able to do some of the other things the normals have been doing all along, savoring the textures of our all-too-short time here.

 

So, speaking as a woman who is about 6 weeks out, struggling with body issues, nauseated about 20/7, can't figure out what the heck to eat (almost to the point of tears and I don't cry), can barely swallow even small pills so gags every morning, still has some pain, and sleep-walked through my first weeks back to work:

 

I would do it again.  I mean literally, if they said that I had to go back and do it again tomorrow to keep what I've got, I'd go without hesitation.

 

 

You aren't choosing between getting the surgery, with all that means, or not getting the surgery, and avoiding that pain.  You're choosing to live.

 

Live.

I work in an Endocrinology office and there are literally scored of people that come there with Type 2 diabetes. All due to being obese or morbidly obese, people who will eat whatever they want knowing they can cover with insulin. One patient had RNY and no longer needs any diabetes meds, however she still had to make that life change.  I saw it's safer than ruining your kidneys and liver

with all that increase in blood sugar.

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I am glad to hear your message.  I too am 6 weeks out and after waking up this morning and struggling with nausea again, i was having a pretty down moment.  It's  been very hard for me, i had great support and lots of people telling me to do it.  But the first week out i pulled a stich in the main incision and hurt bad for 4 days,  the third week i got the flu and had to miss more work , got severely dehidrated and wound up in er.  Fast foreward to week four and i started having severe nausea and costipation dehydration and dry heaving.  My gastric doc blew me off. So my primary saw me and said it was gerds.  New meds and more rest, and another week off of work,  next came the kidney stone, not related, but horibbly painfull, i finally got a full work week in, first time in 6 weeks, and yesterday i started getting dizzy when i stood up and almost blacking out.  Another full day in bed,  now today with the stomach aches, nausea, and a wierd severe pain under my right arm.  Im scared and confused, this was supposed to make me feel better, can't  eat or drink, nothing tastes good.  And to top ut all off ive had multiple people tell me i cheated and did it the easy way.  If someone could explain to me how this is the eady way, i would sure like to know!  I did this cause my doctors recommended it to help with the pain i was having in knees and back.  Now im 50 lbs lighter, and still in pain and with all these new symptoms and propblems.  I keep wondering if this is worth it.  But your post gives me hope. I want this to work, i want to tell my other friends its worth it , and i wanted to be a success story so other would do it.  I hope i still can.

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Downtradden, you seem to have had quite a rough start. Hang in there. It really does get better. 

And yes, some people think that surgery is the easy way out. They just don't know. Prepare a comeback, something along the lines of, "yes, surgery provides a tool that helps, but it's still up to me to do all the work" is non-confrontational. It acknowledges their position and gives you the opportunity to clarify without correcting. Some may reconsider; some may not.

But seriously, it does get better.

LeeC and Nutin2it like this

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Great post!

Want to add, although I'm still sometimes a mental and/or emotional nut case, the loss of weight and inches is worth it. 

My belts have more new holes punched in them than the US border.

Edited by JRH
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