teacupnosaucer

Hello from Alberta Canada!

9 posts in this topic

Hi! I'm Heather!

I started my journey at the end of 2015, weighing in at 227 pounds at 5'3" and 29 years old with a long family history of obesity and type 2 diabetes and having been tested with signs of insulin resistance myself. I decided once and for all that I am tired of fearing my future and my own body so I am taking control! I asked for a referral to the Weight Management clinic offered by Alberta Health Services, started swimming laps 3-5 times per week with my very supportive mom (slowly working my way up from 8 laps using flippers and a flutter board to 20 laps alternating front and backstroke 2-1--that's a KM!), got myself a fitness tracker and committed to using myfitnesspal again. I stopped buying pop and most junk food, started meal planning and put myself on a 2-times-per-week eating out limit, got myself into eating breakfast every day for the first time since childhood, and made it a family rule that we eat our meals at the table with no screen distractions! After eating every meal in front of the TV that alone made a huge change in our lives! 

After waitlisting myself here in Edmonton and taking several months of free weight management clinics through Alberta Health, I ultimately entered the Calgary Weight Management program in June of 2016 because even though it's a three hour drive, the waitlist was 2 months vs. 18. I went through the Calgary program, weighing in at 217lbs. Met with the clinic nurse, registered dietician, and psychologist, was diagnosed with ADHD, and basically was compliant the whole way through and took what I learned to heart as best I could.... with a few slipups of course! After making so many healthy changes both before joining the clinic and after I lost 20lbs--the first time I have lost weight since I was pregnant with my first daughter in 2010 and my PCOS kicked in! After getting signed off by my team met with the man I thought was going to be "my" surgeon, only to be told he didn't feel comfortable with the risk/benefit ratio of performing surgery on me at my current BMI of 36. I spent a couple days feeling sorry for myself, then bucked up and wrote a letter stating my case to the clinic, and got a second chance with a second opinion from Dr. Gill, who was only too happy to take me on as his patient! He was soooooo nice to me, talking to me about how I deserve this surgery as much as anyone else, that it has the opportunity to change my life, and that he fully believes because of my past successes I have what it takes to potentially live the rest of my life at a normal BMI! How pumped up was I to hear that!?

My husband, mother, and father are all supportive of me. My extended family... not so much. They're all obese themselves and especially since I've lost this twenty pounds they keep talking about how I'm "the skinniest one in the family" and that me getting surgery is like "an anorexic going to jenny craig"... which... get real I'm still 70-90lbs overweight for my height when you consider the normal BMI range for me! I hate conflict though so I just smile and nod when they try and talk me out of my choice. It's my body after all! 

I had possible sarcoidosis a few years back so Dr Gill is sending me to an internist to see whether it is likely I will ever come out of remission from that and need steroids again, and once he gets that info, I will be signing my consent with him next month! Depending on what the internist finds out about my condition, I may or may not have to decide between having Sleeve surgery or Bypass. I was always more keen on Sleeve since I am terribly afraid of dumping syndrome and of a long life fighting off vitamin deficiencies scared me, and I thought at my low starting BMI the Bypass wasn't a reasonable option... but Dr Gill actually thinks the bypass would be my best option due to the longer history of long term success and the chance of a greater weight loss... so now I'm having second thoughts! Still leaning toward the sleeve because it is the less invasive surgery with (I think?) the lower rate of complications and the fact that I'm still very scared of dumping syndrome. But I'm definitely not decided so have been reading all the conversations on this forum in the hopes of absorbing all the info I can so I can be confident in whatever decision I make. I figured after lurking here reading I ought to make an account, so here I am!

Hi! Non-weight related, I'm 31, a writer (used to write romance novels but am now mostly doing freelance work writing scripts for visual novel apps), married to an Irishman, and together we have two daughters: a five year old and a one year old! I'm a geek into sci-fi and fantasy who likes to play videogames and is currently really enjoying Marvel Agents of SHIELD and Shadowhunters (such a guilty pleasure... or maybe not so guilty LOL!)

Oh and the things I'm looking most forward to after surgery... a kate spade new york party dress and getting to join a team sport--I'm thinking soccer or rugby--and making new friends!

Edited by teacupnosaucer
Cheesehead likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome!  You have done a great job preparing yourself for surgery. 

I had a gastric bypass several years ago and I have never regretted this choice. I very rarely dump (maybe only once ever six to nine months), had little trouble reaching my goal weight (since I stuck to the post-op diet), have had no problems with vitamin deficiencies (since I take vitamins every day), and love life as a healthy, thin and active person. My surgery was life changing in so many positive ways. 

I suggest that you spend a lot of time reading postings on the many boards of this on line forum, and then let us know if you still have any questions. 

We are here to support you on your weight loss surgery journey. 

Dutch Dreamer and Cheesehead like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much! That's what I've heard from most bypass veterans, that dumping isn't nearly as often as I fear. A part of me just worries that I'll end up never getting to eat a bite of cake or a Christmas cookie ever again! I know my penchant for sweets is partially to blame for getting here, but I don't want to 100% give them up for the rest of my life, either. A lot of people say they only dump when they eat TOO MUCH, which I could deal with. Having to stop eating cheesecake after two delicious bites is an outcome I'd be completely happy with, but if I couldn't even have a taste without getting sick I think I'd be very sad. When it comes to stuff like giving up carbonated soda forever I tell myself that "well if I don't do this I will have to give up ___ forever instead" (ie my dreams of playing a team sport and being able to keep up with my teammates, or getting to wear my dream dress, or living a life free of type 2 diabetes, etc), but that's one pleasure to be giving up, not all sweets ever! And I hear of so many people who go completely off carbs and processed sugar and while I am so glad that works for them and they are happy it's not what I want from myself.

I'm going to talk with my surgeon about these specific concerns at our next meeting and see what he says. Maybe the level of avoidance I'm imagining is only something people do voluntarily versus something they're forced into by their bodies.

Gabby likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, teacupnosaucer said:

Thank you so much! That's what I've heard from most bypass veterans, that dumping isn't nearly as often as I fear. A part of me just worries that I'll end up never getting to eat a bite of cake or a Christmas cookie ever again! I know my penchant for sweets is partially to blame for getting here, but I don't want to 100% give them up for the rest of my life, either. A lot of people say they only dump when they eat TOO MUCH, which I could deal with. Having to stop eating cheesecake after two delicious bites is an outcome I'd be completely happy with, but if I couldn't even have a taste without getting sick I think I'd be very sad. When it comes to stuff like giving up carbonated soda forever I tell myself that "well if I don't do this I will have to give up ___ forever instead" (ie my dreams of playing a team sport and being able to keep up with my teammates, or getting to wear my dream dress, or living a life free of type 2 diabetes, etc), but that's one pleasure to be giving up, not all sweets ever! And I hear of so many people who go completely off carbs and processed sugar and while I am so glad that works for them and they are happy it's not what I want from myself.

I'm going to talk with my surgeon about these specific concerns at our next meeting and see what he says. Maybe the level of avoidance I'm imagining is only something people do voluntarily versus something they're forced into by their bodies.

Everyone is a bit different, but for me a day without a little chocolate is simply unacceptable.  :rolleyes: 

Especially since I reached my goal weight, I eat sweets occasionally and in strict moderation.  I have not found anything that I cannot eat or drink, but other people on this board have certain things that they cannot eat or drink.  I only dump if I eat a lot of ice cream, but a bite or two is fine.  Dense meat usually does not sit well in my stomach, so I usually avoid steak and roast beef, but beef stew, ground beef, chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs are all fine.  I do not drink carbonated drinks as they make me feel gassy and I worry that the gas may stretch my stomach.  Even though I was a total Diet Pepsi addict before my surgery, I do not miss carbonated drinks at all. 

Remember, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

teacupnosaucer likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Res Ipsa said:

Everyone is a bit different, but for me a day without a little chocolate is simply unacceptable.  :rolleyes: 

Especially since I reached my goal weight, I eat sweets occasionally and in strict moderation. 

This is literally all I would want out of my surgery tbh!

Giving up pop has been going a lot better than I ever thought it would. Down from two or three cans of diet pepsi a day to last night my husband offered me a mouthful and I didn't even want more than that... didn't even care whether I had the mouthful in the first place! Flavoured unsweetened iced teas from David's Tea have really helped on that front for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Heather, my name is Debbie and I too had a BMI of 36 when I had surgery. I am 4 weeks post-op and doing fantastic. I had the gastric bypass because it was the best option for treating diabetes. it is reversible and the sleeve is not. both will give you dumping syndrome, but as my dr advised me "if you follow the rules you should have no problems". I read all the horror stories of dumping syndrome and vit deficiencies.  my doc made me sign an agreement to take bariatric vits the rest of my life. as long as I get the protein and vits in everyday I should have no problems. immediate postop I had no nausea or vomiting or diarrhea. I have the opposite...constipation. but other than that no problems. I am very glad that I chose the bypass. for the most part the rules are not hard to follow.

Cheesehead likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, MADJ said:

Hi Heather, my name is Debbie and I too had a BMI of 36 when I had surgery. I am 4 weeks post-op and doing fantastic. I had the gastric bypass because it was the best option for treating diabetes. it is reversible and the sleeve is not. both will give you dumping syndrome, but as my dr advised me "if you follow the rules you should have no problems". I read all the horror stories of dumping syndrome and vit deficiencies.  my doc made me sign an agreement to take bariatric vits the rest of my life. as long as I get the protein and vits in everyday I should have no problems. immediate postop I had no nausea or vomiting or diarrhea. I have the opposite...constipation. but other than that no problems. I am very glad that I chose the bypass. for the most part the rules are not hard to follow.

Nice to meet you Debbie! Looks like we are very similar in starting weight/height! I love meeting people who started around the same place as me but are further along in their journey! Glad you are doing so well! My surgery will tentatively be somewhere in April so I'll be joining you soon!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome!  I'm almost 4 years out.  I was on 18 pills a day.  Now I take only a thyroid along with my vitamins and calcium.  All my labs are great.  My b12 and vitamin d are off the charts!  My a1c is normal, after battling that for 18 years!  My blood pressure is normal.

i only dump if I eat too many sweets but a couple of bites don't hurt me.  (Pre op I was terrorized that I'd never be able to have a bite of my daughters wedding cake or grandchildren birthday cake-but that was over exaggerated for me). I do get sick on alcohol.  It's not a pretty site!  But to wear a size 2 or 4 I'll gladly give up the alcohol.  It's just empty calories anyways.. Do I miss a good margarita or Bloody Mary, yes, once in a while.. but I don't like being sick!  And fried foods also make me sick.  Haven't had fried in 4 years.  I actually have to ask for my food not to have added grease or oil when I eat out (I've been in the restaurant business and know fat or oil means flavor and moistness and know some places douse their food it fats).  I forgot to ask them to hold it once when I ordered fajitas and saw it was glistening when it came and thought I'd try to eat it.  Wrong!  I had to leave and was sick before I got home.  

I had a 2-2 liter bottle a day of Diet Pepsi.  I've tried a small sip of it a couple of times but it tastes horrible!  

The first 6 months will be a learning time, what you can eat, what you can't.  What tastes have changed.  But life on this side is so worth it!  Im planning on sledding with our grandson this weekend.  I never could do it with my kids!!

no matter which surgery you have; follow the plan your doctor gives you, including vitamins, protein and liquids..  good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Cheesehead said:

Welcome!  I'm almost 4 years out.  I was on 18 pills a day.  Now I take only a thyroid along with my vitamins and calcium.  All my labs are great.  My b12 and vitamin d are off the charts!  My a1c is normal, after battling that for 18 years!  My blood pressure is normal.

i only dump if I eat too many sweets but a couple of bites don't hurt me.  (Pre op I was terrorized that I'd never be able to have a bite of my daughters wedding cake or grandchildren birthday cake-but that was over exaggerated for me). I do get sick on alcohol.  It's not a pretty site!  But to wear a size 2 or 4 I'll gladly give up the alcohol.  It's just empty calories anyways.. Do I miss a good margarita or Bloody Mary, yes, once in a while.. but I don't like being sick!  And fried foods also make me sick.  Haven't had fried in 4 years.  I actually have to ask for my food not to have added grease or oil when I eat out (I've been in the restaurant business and know fat or oil means flavor and moistness and know some places douse their food it fats).  I forgot to ask them to hold it once when I ordered fajitas and saw it was glistening when it came and thought I'd try to eat it.  Wrong!  I had to leave and was sick before I got home.  

I had a 2-2 liter bottle a day of Diet Pepsi.  I've tried a small sip of it a couple of times but it tastes horrible!  

The first 6 months will be a learning time, what you can eat, what you can't.  What tastes have changed.  But life on this side is so worth it!  Im planning on sledding with our grandson this weekend.  I never could do it with my kids!!

no matter which surgery you have; follow the plan your doctor gives you, including vitamins, protein and liquids..  good luck!

 

That's exactly my fear, that I can't ever enjoy a treat again! I think enjoying sweets once and awhile is a part of a happy, full life. I know other people don't feel the same way, but that's okay, they just have different priorities! I wish I could be like a naturally skinny person and just eat what I like without guilt, but I'll take careful, thoughtful moderation! 

Alcohol honestly won't be the worst for me to give up. Whenever I'm pregnant I find I really don't miss it at all... the only time I did was when I was pregnant and my husband and I went to Vegas, which was a trip we'd planned before I actually conceived, so obviously I felt a little cheated LOL!

Definitely gonna do my absolute best to follow all of doctor's orders! probably the most powerful tool I have to make sure everything goes right and I recover well so I can stick with my kids for a long long time!

Cheesehead likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now