Curlymum

Hi. New here.

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Hi I'm scheduled for gastric sleeve surgery on 23rd January....looking some help and advice ...very nervous already.  

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Hi Curly, had my sleeve in March. Had no significant issues along the way and my BMI is now < 27 (had been > 38, maybe 39). Hypertension gone, sleep apnea gone, diabetes indices totally normal, and my prior severe back pain is 95% better. Best thing I've ever done. 

The surgery is safer than having your gall bladder out electively. Why are you nervous? Would this be your first surgery? Your risks from obesity are likely far, far higher ... Not knowing your circumstances, will offer you this comparison: my "predicted" lifespan (at age 62) was to 75 given my prior status. Now it's 91. I more than doubled my expected lifespan by having the surgery. People here can offer their experiences which may help to reduce anxiety. Everyone is nervous, but this is a time to use your head, not let your emotions rule what you do. 

Do post more about your circumstances, like why you are having the surgery, what your goals are... and people will offer help and advice that is most useful to you!

 

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Welcome to Thinner Times Curlymum!

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Welcome, @Curlymum. I hope that reading around here on the forum will help you to be less nervous. 

You're about two months away from surgery now - so you have lots of time to prepare yourself physically and mentally. One thing you might do is to give your future diet a "test drive" by eating low carb, high protein, low calorie. This will help you get used to how you'll be eating afterwards, and you'll find kinds of things that work for you and your tastes. This will also help you physically since it will help you to lose some weight before surgery, which will make it safer for you. 

Best of luck :) 

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Welcome, @Curlymum :) we are here to answer questions, offer support, and to cheer you on!!

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Thank you all.....I'm self funding this operation myself after being turned down by my nhs.   I live in U.K....I'm 42.  3 children , great husband but feel like my weight (330lbs) is holding me back....I want to be healthier for my family.    I've never had an op before so first anaesthetic....scared I won't wake up.  Scared of afterwards and how this will change my family dynamic( we are big eaters)...just a lot of fears really.   Really need info on foods afterwards, vitamins etc.   Im enjoying reading all these posts.  Thanks

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Just curious as to why you were turned down?  Not real familiar with the process and requirements elsewhere and like to learn new things :)

I can remember feeling that fear I might not wake up.  I had to talk myself down a couple of times by looking at the facts; if I remained obese I would be facing certain early death.  And although some unexpected complications can occur from surgery, they are pretty rare so overall you are far safer getting rid of the obesity than not.

Now, having said that let me just add that your new life as a normal weight person will be glorious!  Focus on that.  Yes, your family dynamic may change but perhaps it will change for the better.  There is so much to do together besides eat.  (I know, who knew lol). 

As to the aftercare and what to eat, etc., does your surgeon/program have a protocol they follow?  There are many different approaches here so I hate to guide you away from what your surgeon is telling you.  In general, most programs in the U.S. have their patients follow some sort of pre-op diet; some liquids only and others focus on lean protein and veggies.  This helps shrink your liver so they can get it out of the way during surgery. Post op the primary focus is fluids in the immediate period, sipping frequently helps as does experimenting with different temperatures of the fluids.  Next focus is on protein, although it is fairly uncommon to meet those goals early on.  Most programs have you on clear liquids (mine was for the first week), then full liquids (can add milk-based products) then soft or pureed, then eventually adding in "regular" food, continuing to focus on protein and veggies.  The other habit that is really important is not drinking before, during, or after your meals as it either 1.  fills you up so that you don't get your nutrition or 2. makes your new little sleeve/pouch empty faster so that you don't feel full as long. 

Read, read, read and get as much information ahead of time as you can, it really helps.  Also, it's important to work on why you overeat (comfort, boredom, etc) as most of us don't eat from true physical hunger and surgery only happens on the stomach, not the head :)

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask questions!

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3 hours ago, Curlymum said:

Thank you all.....I'm self funding this operation myself after being turned down by my nhs.   I live in U.K....I'm 42.  3 children , great husband but feel like my weight (330lbs) is holding me back....I want to be healthier for my family.    I've never had an op before so first anaesthetic....scared I won't wake up.  Scared of afterwards and how this will change my family dynamic( we are big eaters)...just a lot of fears really.   Really need info on foods afterwards, vitamins etc.   Im enjoying reading all these posts.  Thanks

Like MsMaryMac said above, I highly encourage you to spend as much time in the forum reading, you will learn so much.

I had the same fear about the anesthesia. I think a lot of parents probably do. I can only tell you my experience, which was the nice man saying "here's a mask with some nice stuff for you to breathe that will help you relax" and that's it. Then I woke up. Literally :-)

Your relationships with family and other people WILL change. Weight loss brings out in other people pettiness, jealousy, insecurity, and a whole host of other negatives. It also reveals your true friends. I have chosen not to tell almost anyone in my life about my surgery. 

Give some thought to how your family dynamic will change at mealtimes, since you mention your family are big eaters. The surgery is only a tool, and will do the work for you that you put into it. If you immediately go back to old eating habits, your weight loss results will be minimal. Hopefully some of the other members here that were in similar situations can give you some thoughts on how to deal with it post-op.

It's easily doable though! I have 5 children ages 3 -13, and I'm not eating the same things they are, but I'm making it work and am quite happy!

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Thank you guys.   I was turned down by the NHS.  They don't fund it in my part of the uk.   We don't have private insurance here.   My surgery is taking place abroad so i will not meet my surgeon till the morning of surgery.   They sent me preop diet to follow 2 weeks prior to surgery.   Not much follow up care but am hoping my gp will help me with that.. good to hear about the waking up part.   I will read away here to gain much needed knowledge.  Btw.  This is the first time I have ever written down and shared my weight with others.  So big step right there.   

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14 minutes ago, Curlymum said:

This is the first time I have ever written down and shared my weight with others.  So big step right there.   

I'm confident in saying that you are surrounded here by people who can sympathize with just about every aspect of your life. We've all been there to some extent.

IF your surgeon doesn't provide much in the way of post-op support or guidance, then I strongly encourage you to ask a lot of questions here! Your new life will really require the guidance of someone who KNOWS life after bariatric surgery, and much of the time a GP or a nutritionist is not equipped to offer you the kind of nutritional advice that will make you and keep you successful. It's just the way it is.

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Thank u

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Welcome @Curlymum! I had my sleeve surgery two weeks ago and am doing really well. It was also my first surgery and anesthesia experience. I won’t say it was pleasant exactly, but it was certainly not nearly as scary or bad as I thought it would be. 

I’m glad you’ve found TT. I have learned so much here and received a great deal of encouragement and support. We’re here to help if you need us!

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Welcome to TTF @Curlymum! I totally understand your fears and I think it would be more strange if you didn't have any. I can tell you that I don't know what I would have done without the awesome people on this forum with their knowledge and support. It's nice bouncing things off people that know how you feel and where you're at. It really helped me feel less alone and not as unique as I thought I was. The more you put into this, the more you're going to get out of it. There truly isn't a stupid question so don't hesitate to ask.

I've had more surgeries than I care to admit and have never had an issue with anesthesia. That's not to say that it isn't something to be aware of because it is usually the most dangerous part of all surgeries. I was definitely more nervous right before I went under for this surgery than I had ever been before. I just focused on why I was doing it and how important it was to me and that God was in control. You're going to do great!

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Thank you everyone ..just one more wee question.   Did any of u get your gall bladder removed at time of wls surgery.   I'm reading that it becomes a problem afterwards

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3 hours ago, Curlymum said:

 Did any of u get your gall bladder removed at time of wls surgery.   I'm reading that it becomes a problem afterwards

I didn’t, but my surgeon prescribed me a medication called actigall that I take twice a day during my first year post-op to prevent gallstones.

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Welcome @Curlymum. Great to see you looking for support that you clearly won't get at home. It really is important to have someone to turn to at times that has been where you are. I did have my gallbladder removed with my first weightloss surgery which was back in the 1980s. Part of my pre-op testing back then was an abdominal ultrasound. That showed up a huge gallstone, so it was a no brainer that the gall bladder had to come out. My surgeon this year that did my revisional surgery asked straight out if my gall bladder was removed the first time because he would have taken it out if I still had one. Mine was publically funded surgery though where waiting list can be very long. He often takes the gall bladder with RNY bypass because so often the rapid weightloss causes gallstones to form and he doesn't want his patients to suffer on long waiting lists for removal when in most cases they've already waited 5 years for their weightloss surgery.

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Welcome welcome! I had the same fears. Not as much about the actual surgery but for sure the dynamics of my life being altered. I was (And still am) a big entertainer. I love to cook and feed people and have drinks and I thought having this surgery would take all of that from me. It hasn't. It does make me center things less around food, but there is still always something cooking at my house. There are always people coming over to visit. I just take much better care of myself and it shows in my physical and emotional health. I have never been happier and the same will be true for you!

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Thank you all

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On 11/28/2017 at 1:14 AM, Curlymum said:

Thank you everyone ..just one more wee question.   Did any of u get your gall bladder removed at time of wls surgery.   I'm reading that it becomes a problem afterwards

I didn't but as one who had issues post-WLS, I wish I had.  Mine came out 13 months post WLS.

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On 11/27/2017 at 12:21 PM, Curlymum said:

Thank you all.....I'm self funding this operation myself after being turned down by my nhs.   I live in U.K....I'm 42.  3 children , great husband but feel like my weight (330lbs) is holding me back....I want to be healthier for my family.    I've never had an op before so first anaesthetic....scared I won't wake up.  Scared of afterwards and how this will change my family dynamic( we are big eaters)...just a lot of fears really.   Really need info on foods afterwards, vitamins etc.   Im enjoying reading all these posts.  Thanks

Ohhh, I can relate to your feelings. I live in the US and my insurer rejected my request for WLS. My husband and I traveled to Mexico in April so that I could have RNY surgery. I was scared. I was 43 and a new mom. While I was excited to begin my journey, I got *very* scared at the eleventh hour. I was terrified and did not know what to expect. Well, what I got was a blessing in the form of remission of diabetes, elimination of my crap machine, lowered blood pressure and elimination of all of my diabetes medication. 

I recovered at my parents home in Los Angeles, 3,000 miles from my home and husband. I’m not going to lie, the first six weeks were incredibly difficult. I was fatigued and convinced that the surgery hadn’t worked. Looking back, I had nothing to worry about. I am almost nine months out of surgery and have lost approximately 80 lbs. I am happier than I have been in years and I have added energy to my life. More importantly, my daughter will never know me as a woman who was constantly bedridden. 

Your feelings are completely  natural. Come to the Forum and express your worries, concerns and excitement. I’m excited for your new life to begin!

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On 11/27/2017 at 5:14 PM, Curlymum said:

Thank you guys.   I was turned down by the NHS.  They don't fund it in my part of the uk.   We don't have private insurance here.   My surgery is taking place abroad so i will not meet my surgeon till the morning of surgery.   They sent me preop diet to follow 2 weeks prior to surgery.   Not much follow up care but am hoping my gp will help me with that.. good to hear about the waking up part.   I will read away here to gain much needed knowledge.  Btw.  This is the first time I have ever written down and shared my weight with others.  So big step right there.   

@Curlymum

There is a guide for surgery and the diets before and after that originated at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. I am requesting that @Res Ipsa send you the URL / link for it (I'm posting from an airport with terrible wifi) as I think it is very helpful. Alternately you could search Res Ipsa's post for "Tufts" and you should find it. 

(If you use the @ symbol and then put a person's avatar name, like I did at the beginning of my post, the person gets a notification that they have been mentioned. Res_Ipsa should see this next time he logs on). 

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On 11/28/2017 at 4:14 AM, Curlymum said:

Thank you everyone ..just one more wee question.   Did any of u get your gall bladder removed at time of wls surgery.   I'm reading that it becomes a problem afterwards

I did not have my gall bladder removed during my surgery and have had no problems with my gall bladder (or any other complications) since my surgery. 

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6 minutes ago, BurgundyBoy said:

@Curlymum

There is a guide for surgery and the diets before and after that originated at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. I am requesting that @Res Ipsa send you the URL / link for it (I'm posting from an airport with terrible wifi) as I think it is very helpful. Alternately you could search Res Ipsa's post for "Tufts" and you should find it. 

(If you use the @ symbol and then put a person's avatar name, like I did at the beginning of my post, the person gets a notification that they have been mentioned. Res_Ipsa should see this next time he logs on). 

Here is a link to the Tufts guide:

GBP%20Diet%20Manual12611.ashx

 

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