Dees

VSG Newbies - Read This!

40 posts in this topic

Let's make a list!  Good things to know and remember as you start this process.  I'd love to get a comprehensive list going of some common fears and experiences.   As we go, I can modify the original post to include ideas and thoughts so it's all at the top of the list. 

 

I'll start with just a couple:

 

1.  Stalls suck, but everyone has them.  You will stall at some point, even while you're doing everything right.  The third week is a 'classic' stall that a lot of folks get.  Just remember to keep your protein and fluids high, and your carbs and sodium low.  The stall will eventually break.  They always do. :)

 

2.  The scale is a tool.  Some people weigh daily, some weekly, and some monthly.  It is not an object to be afraid of -- it's just another tool.  If you find yourself obsessing over the scale and you don't like how that makes you feel, then cut down on how much you're weighing.  Conversely, don't let anyone tell you that weighing daily is 'bad' for you.  Everyone is different--find the frequency that works for you.

 

 

I know we've got a bunch of great folks in here with lots of great ideas.  Post what you think is essential to know for VSG newbies, either pre-op or freshly post-op!

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PROTEIN PROTEIN PROTEIN - this is so vital to all of the WLS varieties but we have, sometimes, the smallest pouches!!!

 

I can't stress it enough. You have to get it in. It sucks. Someone people ((LIKE ME)) automatically get ketosis in their mouth after drinking it, FIND ANOTHER WAY TO GET IT IN.

 

You can put yourself in a stall if you don't get enough AND your muscles will atrophy so fast!!! 

 

They make flavorless and natural flavor protein powders now, so explore away! But do NOT forget it.

 

~*~*~

 

No matter what, even if you are nauseous and THINK you can't eat, DRINK YOUR WATER! They have flavor enhancers now with no calories or sugar and they are super awesome! But you have to keep drinking. Nausea sucks, WE ALL KNOW IT and we have all been there. You are not a special case. DRINK!!

 

~*~*~

 

Please don't starve yourself. You are not helping yourself that way. You have to eat. Seriously. Even if its just a few bites of SF pudding or applesauce every couple of hours or so, PLEASE get some intake! Even those popsicles help!

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It IS possible for sleeves to dump.  It is rare - but its possible.

 

Just because you don't have heartburn or reflux actually 'coming up' doesn't mean you are not having acid issues within the sleeve.  Take the antacids for the first couple months at least - acid can be mistaken for hunger.

Yes you can use a straw.  Majority of us do.  Straws are our friend.

The sleeve diet should be different then a bypass diet -  bypass diets can be more advanced then ours so keep that in mind when looking at posts where people are eating soft foods or chicken at just 2 weeks out....more often then not  those people are bypass folks and that is okay for them.  It is not okay for you, as sleeve.  The sleeve is a long slender tube the width of a fat marker - the first 2-4 weeks it is so swollen it is more the width of a pen -  we need to have the longer liquid/pureed phases to allow the sleeve to heal.   Imagine trying to stuff a marble down a straw -  that is your food vs sleeve the first couple weeks.  (yes we can get into debates where your sleeve diet allowed such things quickly and you had no troubles - that is fine -  but think of the image I mentioned here, it is not an exaggeration)

As a general guideline, not limited to: quantity kind of follows the week you are on:  (this is more for solid foods and not so much 'liquids')

0-2 weeks =  0-2 ounces

2-4 weeks = 2-4 ounces

4-6 weeks = 4-6 ounces

6-8 weeks and forever = 6-8 ounces
    You do not NEED to eat these amount -  they are just guidelines to stay within to prevent accidental over eating until the nerve connections are all working again and you know your new full feeling warning.  Progress as your sleeve allows -  you do not need to rush it.  If you can't eat more then 2oz on week 4 that is perfectly fine and normal....  progress as the sleeve allows.

Hunger:  please keep an open mind and allow your sleeve to heal.  The majority of the time you will find, once the sleeve is no longer swollen and angry and you are eating more normal foods again that you actually were not really hungry after all.  I know it is hard to imagine, but you will just have to hang through it and see what I mean once you are on the other side.  Its not impossible you are really truly hungry, but it is extremely unlikely through the 4-6 weeks of healing time the sleeve does.  Take antacids, drink lots of fluids....you will make it through.

Also just cause you had Sleeve doesn't mean you will never feel hunger again.  Maybe you'll get it after 6 months or a year or 5 years.  There is no guessing or assuming or if it will or will not happen.  It is more common for Sleeves not to feel hunger but is by no means out of the realm of possibility.  (also see the next point below about full/hunger sensations changing)

Full feelings really do not feel the same after the sleeve.  It is hard to even explain -  just keep an open mind and start paying attention to your body.  It takes some time, it really does, but you will find the 'signal'.  Often it is 'buldge' or tight feeling in the chest, hiccups, sneezing or some sort of "feeling" you get.  Hungry can be represented to people afterwards different as well (but not so commonly as Full changing). 

Measure your food.  Log your food. Measuring is key in the beginning when you don't really have much sensation in there - it is easy to accidently overeat (which means you are going to hurl) if you are not conscious of how much you are intaking. 

GERD is the most common issue after Sleeve.  I took antacids for a good 5 months after because of it.  By 9 months I was rarely taking any.  At 12 months I maybe have to take Tums once a month.  Its possible to "grow out of it".  Some will not "grow out of it".  Some gets worse as time goes on. Some never even have issues with it at all. 

Do not be surprised when the scale GOES UP.  It is shocking - it is infuriating - it seems utterly and completely impossible.  And yet it does.  You can see in my stats how much weight I have lost and I tell you with damn near ever loss I had, I bounced up a little the next day.  In the end all those losses add up though and that is all that matters.   Also for the ladies -  "that time of the month" is a notorious time to suddenly put on a bunch over night.  I often gain 3-5lbs literally overnight when that hits. 

Surgery doesn't fix how you think about food.  All the surgery does is give you the benefit of forcing you to intake small amounts at a time.   That is it.  You decide what you are putting in it still.  No one - not even the sleeve - is going to dictate the types of food you put in it.  You have to make the effort to eat properly to lose the weight and keep it off.

Do not worry about calories for the first few months at least.  Protein and fluids.  Protein and fluids.  Those are your only real concerns in the beginning.

What you can eat and what the sleeve will tolerate are two different stories.  If your plan says you can have eggs starting "this" week and you eat eggs....and get sick....  your sleeve is not ready for eggs.  Doesn't mean you can never eat eggs again, just means you need to wait a bit longer on that particular thing.

A grand lot of us loose hair - and often starting about 4 months.  It is luck of the draw.  Either it is in your cards to lose it, or it isn't.  And maybe what you loose won't be that much or maybe it will be a lot  (no one has ever gone bald though).  Protein is your number one defense and you can take supplements like silica and/or biotin to help your body along - but nothing can prevent it if your body decides that is how it is going to deal with all this.  You have to just ride it out.  It WILL stop.  It WILL grow back.

Your sleeve talks all the time.  Gurgles/growls/grumbling .... while eating, while drinking, when its empty, when its full, when you are sleeping - whenever, wherever.  Its a vocal thing which does improve over time but never fully goes away (at least in my experience).   Don't be quick to assume 'my stomach growled!  I must be hungry!'  

Really really really try hard not to compare yourself to others.  None of us are going to lose the same.  We all lose at different rates.  Some ramp up quickly, some ramp up slowly, some are slow and steady, some lose/stall lose/stall lose/stall.  Stick to the program and trust the process.  Even if you are losing slowly, you are still losing.

Ibuprofen - Follow your doctors advise.  There is some debate whether it should be a "no" for sleeve also (cause its a nono for bypass) so your best bet is just to follow what your doctor says.  Mine as an example is okay with you using it on rare occasion.

Ok I think I'm tapped out of stuff .... for now.

Edited by Jolls

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And don't forget to MOVE!

 

No matter how little, how awkward, whether you sweat or don't sweat~ find something you like to get you MOVING!!

 

(the Sleeve is ONE TOOL, Exercise is another one)

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I needed this! I'm 8 weeks post-op and have hit a stall for over a week now. I need to watch my carbs and make sure I'm getting my protein in. Ya'll are the kick in the butt I need!

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Lol...I was going to say don't compare your weight loss to anyone else's. I'm guilty of doing it, and I stopped that right away. I wasn't created the same way as anyone else, I shouldn't expect my weight loss to happen like every one else's.

Stalls are stupid...but doggone it, they do happen. The weight loss isn't a straight line down, it looks like a set of stairs, and sure enough...when I look at a graph, it really is a set of stairs.

For me separating the liquids from the food is so important. I read posts every now and then where people are talking about the fact that eating is so difficult for them, and they admit that they can't 'kick the habit' of drinking while eating. One time I took a sip way too soon and boy did I feel it. They really DO know what they are talking about.

:)

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newbie to this whole site/forum etc, Have never done this and find it so helpful with aiding some of my concerns, Havinf the sleeve surgery in October, and getting nervous about how I will know if I am dehydrated etc in the beginning...Also will I ever be able to have a glass of wine or cup of coffe in my life !i am 216 lbs and would like to get to 135..wishful thinking???? thanks everyone   love being able to talk about this!

Ficklemom and 1chancla like this

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newbie to this whole site/forum etc, Have never done this and find it so helpful with aiding some of my concerns, Havinf the sleeve surgery in October, and getting nervous about how I will know if I am dehydrated etc in the beginning...Also will I ever be able to have a glass of wine or cup of coffe in my life !i am 216 lbs and would like to get to 135..wishful thinking???? thanks everyone   love being able to talk about this!

Hi ptpatty....

You will learn all about the signs of dehydration at your meetings with your surgeons office. It will be hard to get the fluids in immediately following the surgery, but you'll get to where it's not a problem.

Also, yes, you can have wine and coffee...down the road. They will encourage you (probably) to stay away from caffeine, and you may find that you can't have as much wine as you were able to prior to the surgery, but you'll have to wait a bit on that as well.

I am coming up on 9 months out from surgery. It is, by far the best thing I have EVER done for myself. I have lost 107.5 pounds from my highest, and I'm currently 42 pounds away from my goal of 140 (that's my goal, not my surgeons goal). I have a cup of decaf every morning, and occasionally I have a glass of wine.

Make sure you get as much information as you can from your surgeons office as well...they will give you the best recommendations for you!

Good luck on your journey!

1chancla, CeCeJD, Ficklemom and 1 other like this

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I keep coming back to this thread. Dr. LALOR says to stop reading books by doctors and talk to post op patients instead! So happy about the straws.

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when you can recover enough........start moving. Went on a fishing trip. Spent 5 hour casting a rod and reel. fastest one day weight loss ever! Drink and move!

shar8676 and Caseys like this

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Fabulous thread! Thank you to all who have contributed so far. I am learning so much from you all in the short 24 hours since I found this board. It makes mourning the loss of my real life support group so much easy to handle so soon after my surgery.

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I was sleeved 11/6 and I find this thread very helpful!

Smallbites2015 likes this

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You may not lose much at first.....and it's ok...your body will catch up

Edited by CherokeeGirl
Smallbites2015 likes this

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There are a lot variables when it comes to weight loss.  Age, gender, fitness level, the amount of weight you need to lose, etc.  You may be losing inches even though the scale shows you haven't lost a pound.  

Ficklemom and chris777 like this

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My old diet routine was very familiar with stalls. How could I be eating so little, and walking 10,000 steps a day, and not lose, even gain? I was being measured at Curves, and I was losing inches but gaining weight? So I am prepared for the same mystery after I am sleeved. I put heart stickers all over my scale and tried to stay off the darn thing.

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Great thread!!!! Sleeved 11/10- have had 2 days so far with no loss- encouraged me that this third week can be like that- I have PCOS and have eaten right and not lost - I was scared I was the one person who would follow the rules and still not lose- trying to be calm!

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It IS possible for sleeves to dump.  It is rare - but its possible.

 

Just because you don't have heartburn or reflux actually 'coming up' doesn't mean you are not having acid issues within the sleeve.  Take the antacids for the first couple months at least - acid can be mistaken for hunger.

 

Yes you can use a straw.  Majority of us do.  Straws are our friend.

 

The sleeve diet should be different then a bypass diet -  bypass diets can be more advanced then ours so keep that in mind when looking at posts where people are eating soft foods or chicken at just 2 weeks out....more often then not  those people are bypass folks and that is okay for them.  It is not okay for you, as sleeve.  The sleeve is a long slender tube the width of a fat marker - the first 2-4 weeks it is so swollen it is more the width of a pen -  we need to have the longer liquid/pureed phases to allow the sleeve to heal.   Imagine trying to stuff a marble down a straw -  that is your food vs sleeve the first couple weeks.  (yes we can get into debates where your sleeve diet allowed such things quickly and you had no troubles - that is fine -  but think of the image I mentioned here, it is not an exaggeration)

 

As a general guideline, not limited to: quantity kind of follows the week you are on:  (this is more for solid foods and not so much 'liquids')

0-2 weeks =  0-2 ounces

2-4 weeks = 2-4 ounces

4-6 weeks = 4-6 ounces

6-8 weeks and forever = 6-8 ounces

 

 

Hunger:  please keep an open mind and allow your sleeve to heal.  The majority of the time you will find, once the sleeve is no longer swollen and angry and you are eating more normal foods again that you actually were not really hungry after all.  I know it is hard to imagine, but you will just have to hang through it and see what I mean once you are on the other side.  Its not impossible you are really truly hungry, but it is extremely unlikely through the 4-6 weeks of healing time the sleeve does.  Take antacids, drink lots of fluids....you will make it through.

 

Also just cause you had Sleeve doesn't mean you will never feel hunger again.  Maybe you'll get it after 6 months or a year or 5 years.  There is no guessing or assuming or if it will or will not happen.  It is more common for Sleeves not to feel hunger but is by no means out of the realm of possibility.  (also see the next point below about full/hunger sensations changing)

 

Full feelings really do not feel the same after the sleeve.  It is hard to even explain -  just keep an open mind and start paying attention to your body.  It takes some time, it really does, but you will find the 'signal'.  Often it is 'buldge' or tight feeling in the chest, hiccups, sneezing or some sort of "feeling" you get.  Hungry can be represented to people afterwards different as well (but not so commonly as Full changing). 

 

Measure your food.  Log your food. Measuring is key in the beginning when you don't really have much sensation in there - it is easy to accidently overeat (which means you are going to hurl) if you are not conscious of how much you are intaking. 

 

GERD is the most common issue after Sleeve.  I took antacids for a good 5 months after because of it.  By 9 months I was rarely taking any.  At 12 months I maybe have to take Tums once a month.  Its possible to "grow out of it".  Some will not "grow out of it".  Some gets worse as time goes on. Some never even have issues with it at all. 

 

Do not be surprised when the scale GOES UP.  It is shocking - it is infuriating - it seems utterly and completely impossible.  And yet it does.  You can see in my stats how much weight I have lost and I tell you with damn near ever loss I had, I bounced up a little the next day.  In the end all those losses add up though and that is all that matters.   Also for the ladies -  "that time of the month" is a notorious time to suddenly put on a bunch over night.  I often gain 3-5lbs literally overnight when that hits. 

 

Surgery doesn't fix how you think about food.  All the surgery does is give you the benefit of forcing you to intake small amounts at a time.   That is it.  You decide what you are putting in it still.  No one - not even the sleeve - is going to dictate the types of food you put in it.  You have to make the effort to eat properly to lose the weight and keep it off.

 

Do not worry about calories for the first few months at least.  Protein and fluids.  Protein and fluids.  Those are your only real concerns in the beginning.

 

What you can eat and what the sleeve will tolerate are two different stories.  If your plan says you can have eggs starting "this" week and you eat eggs....and get sick....  your sleeve is not ready for eggs.  Doesn't mean you can never eat eggs again, just means you need to wait a bit longer on that particular thing.

 

A grand lot of us loose hair - and often starting about 4 months.  It is luck of the draw.  Either it is in your cards to lose it, or it isn't.  And maybe what you loose won't be that much or maybe it will be a lot  (no one has ever gone bald though).  Protein is your number one defense and you can take supplements like silica and/or biotin to help your body along - but nothing can prevent it if your body decides that is how it is going to deal with all this.  You have to just ride it out.  It WILL stop.  It WILL grow back.

 

Your sleeve talks all the time.  Gurgles/growls/grumbling .... while eating, while drinking, when its empty, when its full, when you are sleeping - whenever, wherever.  Its a vocal thing which does improve over time but never fully goes away (at least in my experience).   Don't be quick to assume 'my stomach growled!  I must be hungry!'  

 

Really really really try hard not to compare yourself to others.  None of us are going to lose the same.  We all lose at different rates.  Some ramp up quickly, some ramp up slowly, some are slow and steady, some lose/stall lose/stall lose/stall.  Stick to the program and trust the process.  Even if you are losing slowly, you are still losing.

 

Ibuprofen - Follow your doctors advise.  There is some debate whether it should be a "no" for sleeve also (cause its a nono for bypass) so your best bet is just to follow what your doctor says.  Mine as an example is okay with you using it on rare occasion.

 

 

 

Ok I think I'm tapped out of stuff .... for now.

 

 

Terrific info, Jols.

Ficklemom likes this

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I needed this! I'm 8 weeks post-op and have hit a stall for over a week now. I need to watch my carbs and make sure I'm getting my protein in. Ya'll are the kick in the butt I need!

 

 

Wow.  That is a long eight weeks from your surgery date!   :P

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I needed this! I'm 8 weeks post-op and have hit a stall for over a week now. I need to watch my carbs and make sure I'm getting my protein in. Ya'll are the kick in the butt I need!

 

 

OK, I'm an idiot.  Just saw the original posting date.  Sorry.

chris777 likes this

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Wow, This is just a great thread!!! Thank you to all who are posting here! This is so helpful.

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You all are such an inspiration to me. I am grateful that I can let my hair down and ask questions I can't ask my friends. Thanks for keeping it real.

Forward to Health likes this

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My two cents - 

 

We all had the same surgery but the experience is completely individual.  Some people have trouble meeting protein and water goals are only able to eat a few bites while others in the same phase have no problem meeting goals and are able to eat the maximum recommended by their doctor.  Don't compare yourself to others too much it will just cause worry.

 

At some point after surgery you're going to be faced with the simple truth - surgery is only a tool.  How you use it is up to you.  The surgery won't stop you from making poor choices. 

Jolls, Dahlia, Julelol and 3 others like this

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Here's my tip - if you are eating a meal and you starting hiccuping, stop eating! Hiccuping means you are close to full. It doesn't happen every meal, but it's a handy barometer for how full you are in the early days when you are still learning. I'm 9 weeks out and I'm still learning!

 

If you can't stomach your vitamins, try a different kind. I can't do chewables, Flinstones vitamins (recommended by my dietician) taste like eating gravel, and I take so many pills for my other health problems that I just couldn't add another one, but I went to the drugstore and scoured the vitamin session, and found a strawberry flavored chewy (but not gummy) vitamin that I can tolerate. I just take two instead of one (per my dietician), and after 7 weeks of no vitamins (okayed by my NP), I'm finally back on track.

 

Sick of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry protein shakes? Sick of the texture of standard protein shakes? Try Isopure ready to drink protein drinks! They are clear, with the same texture as plain water, with 40g of protein per bottle. They come in fruit flavors and have recently introduced coconut water and green and black tea flavors. My favorite flavors are Alpine Punch and Blue Raspberry. I have an aversion to powdered protein shakes and most ready to drink shakes (long story), but the Isopure drinks finally have me getting enough protein. They aren't cheap, but you can buy them in bulk from The Vitamin Shoppe, and the money is worth it to get enough protein.

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Great info to know. Im still pre op.

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Thank you for all the great information. I'm 1 week post op.

chris777 likes this

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