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About msmarymac

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  • Surgery Type
    Vertical Sleeve

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  1. msmarymac

    Heading to Haiti

    We stayed in Carries which is about an hour and a half from Port-au-Prince. We were bussed inland every morning to a village about 20 minutes away from where we stayed called Merrotte. A study in contrasts to be sure, from extreme beauty in some areas to the ugliness that seems to accompany extreme poverty. The people are amazing.
  2. msmarymac

    Heading to Haiti

    Thank you everyone! I am safely back home now, weary but as always inspired by the amazing people I encounter in Haiti. I'm sure to those living in the midst of it, it must seem like progress is ever so slow but to me who is only there every 2 or 3 years it is obvious. This time I saw increased construction, more homes had electricity, and I saw more animals (cattle, horses, goats, pigs, dogs and a few cats) plus the animals that I did see were not skeletal. And, I saw overweight people, surely a sign of decreasing poverty, at least of the starvation level it had previously been. Still, so much hypertension and diabetes in this population which is primarily genetic. Much of those conditions in the U.S. could be prevented and/or managed with diet and exercise but those are not the answer in a population that eats maybe once or twice a day and walks everywhere they go. Also lots of illnesses that are due to lack of clean water and sanitation. Not my typical day at work for sure lol. Here are just a few pictures to give you a flavor of what I experienced.
  3. msmarymac

    Heading to Haiti

    Yes, it would be a bit of an odd choice for a holiday @Aussie Bear, although there are parts that are absolutely beautiful. I think 3 to 5 years after my husbands death was when I really worked on my grief and being able to help my kids with theirs. But I still didn't really see myself as enjoying life or experiencing joy until after that experience, when it really hit me that I was really being quite selfish throwing away that possibility. Here's to health and to joy! @cinwa I will try to get some pictures that I can share. We are so busy in the medical clinic while we are there that I don't usually get too many. But we usually share pics and end up with a decent amount among all of us. It is quite an experience. We go into a pretty remote village that doesn't really have access to medical. We setup a makeshift clinic in a church that doesn't have electricity or running water so it really puts our basic skills to the challenge. We have to take all supplies and medicines with us and try to treat chronic conditions as best we can. We generally give enough medicine to last until the next visit which will be in 6 months. We also go into the school and give vitamins and de-worming meds to the children which is fun. I look forward to sharing more
  4. msmarymac

    Heading to Haiti

    I'm leaving for a medical mission in Haiti Saturday; this is the 3rd time I've gone. The first time I weighed almost 300 pounds and thought I was going to die in that heat. Plus I felt so conspicuous in a country that has so little to eat, not many obese persons there! That trip is actually what led me to the life-changing path of WLS. Not just the WLS but changes in general. I was a widow with 2 kids still at home and pretty much just marking time until I left the earth. My experiences in Haiti, with this joyful people who were joyful despite having nothing in terms of worldly goods, who certainly had experienced loss exceeding my own yet remained grateful for each small thing they did have. I came home with this overwhelming feeling that I had a responsibility to not squander the gifts that I had been given, including life and the possibility of joy. At age 50 I decided to find my way back to joy and it started with getting healthy. I had WLS 1 year later, worked through my grief, got healthy, downsized my home and my body. I went to Haiti again 1 year post-op and what a different experience it was! So much more energy! I was apprehensive because I wasn't sure I could get in all my fluids and protein but it all worked out great. Now I go back having realized that vision of reclaiming joy! I got married just over a year ago, and we built a house together. We are blending our families and lives and life is good. You never know what will spark that desire to change for good. But when it happens, it is beautiful
  5. msmarymac

    It's been a while, Hey Guys.

    The reason for controlling the sleep apnea isn't because of what happens during the surgery; its because of the chances of dying AFTER the surgery. Pain meds, plus sleep apnea equals death. Happens enough that they just aren't willing to take the chance. It seems as if this practice is not going to win any communication awards for sure! Unfortunately you are the one who has to bear the consequences of that, but I am so glad that you are finally getting all the right stuff done. It seems so strange to me because even as a sleeve I had all that stuff... sleep study to check for sleep apnea and subsequent CPAP, Pysch eval, 6 mos supervised weight loss, Dietician consult, EGD, etc. But it was all very clearly spelled out for me in the very beginning and I could call or email the office coordinator at any time with questions. Your practice seems very unorganized and I'm very sorry that has happened. I hope it all goes smoothly from here on out. Ask lots of questions, get a checklist and a timeline, and hang in there.
  6. msmarymac

    One year Dec 12/18

    You are just glowing!! Your happiness is written all over you and I am so glad for your journey!
  7. msmarymac

    Is there a relation between hypoglicemia and anemia?

    Me too! But only when my hemoglobin is low, not when my ferritin is low. We are such strange creatures (Humans, not just you and I lol). When it's bad I buy Sonic ice by the bag and have considered buying my own sonic ice maker. Fortunately my levels usually rise before I can act on that impulse...
  8. msmarymac

    Is there a relation between hypoglicemia and anemia?

    First, what level are you referring to when you say "iron level"? Circulating iron (transferrin) or stored iron (ferritin)? Some even use "iron level" when they mean hemoglobin but you differentiated that already I can keep my hemoglobin and transferrin up to normal with "Gentle Iron" supplements, which are vegetarian in source and are much easier on the stomach. My ferritin stays low though, and I need it to be high normal for my Restless Legs Syndrome, so I've switched to a brand of Iron supplement called "Integra". It has both Ferrous Fumarate and Polysaccharide Iron Complex plus Vitamin C to help absorption. Also be sure you're not taking you're iron near any calcium or dairy consumption which will impede absorption. The Ferrous Fumarate helps with circulating iron (transferrin) and the Polysaccharide Complex Iron helps with ferritin (stored iron). I've only been on it a month and haven't had my ferritin rechecked so don't know if it's doing the job but still having RLS so I assume it's not up to 75 yet which is where they want it to be (last checked at 16). As to the abdominal pain, I doubt that is related. Sounds like if it continues you should have it investigated.
  9. Sorry, I wasn't very clear in my response... I quoted you because of the IV contrast vs Oral contrast but I really was responding (content-wise) to Kim's concern about getting down that much of the contrast. I'm not sure what they would be looking for either with your parts all removed, but as you say at least it's not transvag this time
  10. msmarymac

    Waving from Yorkshire UK

    Welcome! Isn't the healthy life just the best!
  11. msmarymac

    Ibs before gastric bypass

    I think you're asking about IBS-D or Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea?? Most of what I've read suggests that WLS generally improves IBS-D although there may be a temporary flair up in the immediate post-op period. Hoping for the best outcome for you!
  12. IV contrast is used to visualize organs and blood vessels. Usually stomach and intestines are visualized with oral contrast which typically uses barium in large quantities; the idea is to fill the stomach and intestines to then be able to scan them and see them in minute detail. Maybe it won't have to be quite such a large quantity since there isn't much stomach to fill??
  13. msmarymac

    Question for the ladies

    If you're considering IUD as several have suggested (and it's a reasonable suggestion), be sure and use one of the products with progesterone in them (Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla). The copper IUD doesn't really help periods so much or PMS.
  14. msmarymac

    What guidelines has everyone been given or do you follow?

    There's not much focus on calories usually because of the small quantities we're able to eat, but most of us are given protein and fluid guidelines as priorities. My directions long-term were pretty simple...protein first, then veggies to comfortably "full" with daily minimal protein goal of 60gm, preferably 80gm. At maintenance added in fruits, and whole grains, and limited "treats'. Fluid is important because we're not getting as much fluid from our food (because we're not eating as much) so it becomes very important to make sure you're getting at least 64 oz per day. My guidelines recommend breakfast, lunch and dinner with 2 snacks as needed. Four years out I eat pretty much what everyone else does, at least others who eat healthy. I try to stick to unprocessed foods whenever possible and spring for the highest quality I can. I try and savor each bite and make it more about quality than quantity. Life is glorious on the healthy side, good luck to you on this new path!!
  15. msmarymac

    Sleeve to Bypass weight loss

    Kim, I think probably your poor body thinks you're trying to starve it to death and is hanging on for dear life to every calorie just for healing and survival. You have been through a major surgery with a complicated recovery and your focus right now is healing. The weight loss will come, I believe, when you are able to fully follow plan with adequate protein, calories, fluid and some exercise. It will likely be slow because you don't have that much to lose and we all know that it slows at lower BMI. Take care, hope things improve for you!