Linda in MN

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About Linda in MN

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday November 13

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Age


  • Surgeon
    Howard McCollister, MD, FACS
  • Hospital
    Cuyuna Range Medical Center, Crosby, MN
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Surgery Date

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  1. Thanks! It looks like you're doing great yourself. Good for you
  2. Hi there! I used to spend a lot of time here before and after my surgery, October 7, 2008. What a wonderful support this forum was for me. I just thought I'd stop in and say hello. I know it's sometimes interesting to hear how others are doing in the long term. Here's my story (hopefully the short version) After my surgery, I quickly lost about 80 pounds and stayed in that area for quite a long time. I did the surgery because of my diabetes but, I quickly got off all my insulin and then oral meds! I began riding my bike for miles and miles and loved it so much. I didn't have a transfer addiction but, I did love how I felt when I got off my bike! That lasted through spring and summer when I developed an evil shoulder pain, which turned out to be a "frozen shoulder". (more common among diabetics, which I was) The pain was crippling! I was treated by my family doctor for pain until he became uncomfortable doing it and then I ended up in the care of first one pain clinic, then another. (that's another whole story! Getting proper treatment for chronic pain is a rough road....) Over the months and then years we did everything we knew to try to address the pain....physical therapy (torturous), saw several specialists, chiropractic, even acupuncture! The shoulder did somewhat improve but, it also spread across to the other shoulder and soon I had developed chronic pain in my whole upper back and neck. Then two years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The experience of having a bi-lateral mastectomy (while tolerant to pain meds!) only increased my pain issues. Today, my chronic pain still tries to rule my life every day. I have struggled with depression because of it. But, I'm not giving up! I fight back with depression meds and now counseling and also a strong faith in the Lord. I'm kind of disappointed that pain has made it harder to enjoy my new, slimmer life but, I believe this is only a season of life and I will eventually get better! I have struggled with anxiety since my mastectomy and that has recently greatly improved. I'm so thankful. It seems my total weight loss has come in two stages. Last winter, I was put on a different med for depression and it just killed my appetite. I had no interest in food and, of course, I still have my pouch, so I couldn't eat much when I did eat. Over the course of this year, I've dropped more than 50 pounds. I never met my goal weight before but, now I am under that. I weighed more than this in high school! It's not all good. I have been much too sedentary because of pain and I also look kind of puny. I am beginning to work on the elliptical machine and light weights! I'm chaperoning my son's choir trip to NYC in the spring and I must get stronger to be able to do this. It is a great motivation for me to get exercising! So I will be thrilled with my weight, if I can build some muscle. I could use plastic surgery in the stomach area but, my surgeon (who took me through the breast reconstruction) refuses to operate on me while I'm still so tolerant to pain meds. They had a very hard time managing my pain last time. It's not a big issue for me. It's just not very nice to look at that area but, I keep it covered! LOL! I hope my story might encourage some of you who aren't as far along in the journey and maybe still haven't met your goal. Sometimes it takes a while in coming. Don't be discouraged. Just keep at it a bit at a time and you will eventually get there. I used to feel like I didn't really succeed after my surgery because I didn't reach my goal weight but, my real goad was to get my diabetes under control so and that did happen. Unfortunately, my blood sugar wasn't perfect any more after I started with the chronic pain so I take an now oral med now but, I no longer take 5-6 shots of insulin a day and I think my health outlook is much improved! So my gastric bypass was worth it and if I had it to do over again, I would chose to do it. Nice to be back at Thinner Times. Hope you are all doing well. Blessings! Linda PS My cancer check-ups have all been good, I'm happy to report. I'm so thankful!
  3. Well, I had my scope test (EGJ) yesterday and my bariatric surgeon said there is no ulcer or stricture. The only abnormal thing they found was a staple sticking into my stomach from my gastric bypass but, he said that should have only caused me mild irritation. Hmmm... I woke up well from my test but, they give you something to eat when you wake up. I had muffins and shortly after I got nausea and started vomiting (well, I can't exactly vomit since my surgery but, you know...) This awful feeling continued after I went home for hours. In the evening, I thought I was better and had some Greek yogurt and banana. Whew! It seemed to be finished. In the morning, I woke up with the same sickness! And it was my day to go to the pain clinic which is a six hour round trip. (I'm in pain management) Only by God's grace did I make it down there. I got better as the day went on. By tonight, I could eat supper. If I wake up sick again tomorrow, I'm going to start getting nervous! (LOL! I'm almost positive I could NOT be pregnant. I'm OLD...48...and on Tamoxifen for breast cancer) It does seem strange, though, doesn't it? I have had so much trouble eating lately that I've dropped eight pounds in about a week. It reminds me of the early days after surgery when you didn't know what you could or couldn't eat. At least I know what it's not. I'm open to suggestions. I see my PCP next Wednesday. I can talk this over with her then. Thanks for those who have read and offered support.
  4. Our practice follows their patients forever, as far as I understand. If you don't make your annual check-up appointment, they call looking for you. My surgeon wants to see how you're doing, intervene and try to help if you are starting to regain your weight, check your vitamin levels, etc. I think it's an excellent program with great surgery prep and also follow-up care. I just had my appointment last week and he really surprised me by asking, "Now tell me, what can I do for you? Is there anything I can do to help?" I don't know if a doctor has ever asked me this. (I recommend him, if you didn't guess! LOL!)
  5. Thanks for the replies. I thought I'd report back in. I did go see my surgeon. (I love him!) I was past due for my three year check-up, anyway. Our bariatric practice follows patients every year forever. I like how they follow you and help if you're having problems. Anyway, he did not like the sounds of my symptoms and wants to look inside. (I thought this would happen....he likes to peek in there...LOL!) I'm going in for a scope (EGJ) tomorrow. He said we may find nothing but, it would be to risky to miss it if it is something. He suspects and ulcer beginning and he wants it treated before a perforation happens. That would be a lot harder, more expensive, and painful to deal with. So I'm thankful I went and I love how pro-active my surgeon is. If anyone is looking for a great gastric bypass surgeon in Minnesota, I highly recommend him. I'll report back what we find.
  6. Mamacita, thanks for your reply! My last cancer blood marker test was clear so I guess I've beaten it for now. I'm still struggling more than I think I should with the aftermath, especially for someone who didn't have to have chemo or radiation. I did have a bi-lateral mastectomy with reconstruction. I don't regret it at all and am so thankful there was a surgical solution for me but, it wasn't fun. I wonder when I'll feel like myself again....
  7. Nancy, I hope this isn't the case. I was blessed not to have chemo but, I am on Tamoxifen. I don't think that is doing it but, you never know. Thanks for your post.
  8. Well, I called and left a message for my surgeon and they called me back and ask me to come in to see him. So I'll get it checked out and hope it's nothing. I missed my three year check-up because I was in the middle of reconstructive surgeries/proceedures and just couldn't do one more doctor then. Our surgeon likes to see you once a year ongoing, after your weight loss surgery. He likes to see how you're doing and also intervene if your weight is starting to rise. I love him. I think he's great. I'll let you all know what he says on Tuesday.
  9. To be honest, after the year I've had, I hate going to the doctor!! On the other hand, something is telling me this shouldn't be ignored. Rats! (thanks for the reply)
  10. Hi all, I haven't been around the forums much, as I spent most of the last year dealing with breast cancer. I'm through all my treatments and cancer-free for now. (no chemo or radiation, only bi-lateral mastectomy with reconstruction) Anyway, my question is not related to that. I've had a low grade, almost gnawing stomach pain for about five or six days. Sometimes my stomach rumbles and rolls. Sometimes it doesn't. I'm wondering when I should get concerned enough to go to the doctor. I know this could be concerning because of my history of gastric bypass. Any thoughts on this? Thanks! Linda
  11. Sorry for your trials I will be praying for u take care god is a healer and provider

  12. Just thought I would post a little update about me and my breast cancer diagnosis. I had a lumpectomy a few weeks ago and we thought that would be all the surgery required. We thought I would need radiation and possibly chemo but, not too much chance of that really. What they found in the lumpectomy tissue changed all that. They found that I have two kinds of breast cancer, instead of one (both invasive lobular carcinoma and ductal carcinoma in situ) None of the six tests I had before the lumpectomy indicated the DCIS. They feel there is more cancer there than they thought before and the doctors are recommending that I have a mastectomy. We are actually considering a bi-lateral mastectomy for many reasons but, I haven't been able to bring myself to a decision yet. Whichever I choose, I plan to start reconstruction immediately. I'm meeting with both the plastic surgeon and general surgeon next week. It's been quite an experience! I have some really bad moments about it but, I'm doing better. My husband has been a rock for me and an absolute sweetheart. What would I do without him? Family, friends, etc. have all been wonderful, too. It's a terrible, horrible thing to go through but, I feel completely surrounded by love and support. It's seems a long time ago that I was free of (most of) the weight and feeling so strong and healthy. I'm determined, with God's help to get back there again. I'm just taking a big detour I didn't want or intend to take. That what's up with me.
  13. Thanks to you all for your kind words of comfort and encouragement. My surgery is scheduled for next week and then I will have some decisions to make. I need to look into any special challenge GB patients may have with chemo. I'm seriously considering not doing it, depending on what we find in the lymph nodes. (long story) Does anyone know where I can find information about chemo in GB patients?
  14. My surgeon ended up putting me on antacid medicine for a while and doing an EGD and an ultrasound of my gall bladder. Everything looked good. I did have that medicine for a week and I feel quite a bit better after that. I guess I needed it but, we don't really know what happened. A number of weeks later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and now I'm talking with the same surgeon about my breast cancer surgery.