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Everything posted by msmarymac

  1. Sleeved in 2014 and hiatal hernia repaired in May 2021; by far the pain from the hernia repair was worse so I feel for you. The shoulder pain was awful and I also had a flare up of an existing neck issue, I'm guessing from positioning on the operating table. Hopefully by now you have turned the corner and can see the light. Congratulations on beginning your journey to your new healthy life...it is fabulous!
  2. Happened for me every time I lost a significant amount of weight. My periods would shut down (maybe one or two really awful ones per year) when I got up around 300 pounds and when I lost weight, they would start up regular again. One mechanism is that fat cells store estrogen so as you lose weight you get sort of a surge of estrogen. I believe this is why my hot flashes went away for a while after my sleeve surgery; they came back when things stabilized of course. With PCOS, high testosterone is the contributing issue for shutting periods down; fat cells releasing estrogen will change that balance which probably is what allowed your period to return. PCOS is very complex, and with the high insulin levels and propensity for T2 Diabetes that it brings, you have made a very healthy decision for your future. Well done!
  3. Hi there, long time sleever here. You're further out now, how's that hunger going? I think in those very early weeks a lot of it is because you're missing chewing and tasting and textures and all the other things you miss out on when you're on liquids/soft foods. This first 8 to 12 months is the best in terms of decreased hunger so commit now to sticking with the plan to maximize your weight loss during this time. You have been given a gift; the gift of a wonderful tool to help you live your best life. I can say with absolute confidence it's the best decision I ever made for my health and it 100% changed my life. I had my sleeve in 2014 and I am currently about 8 pounds over where I was at my lowest (thanks to pandemic-related stress eating) but considering I had never been able to keep weight off for more than a few months previously I consider that a successful use of my tool. So congrats, and welcome to the club
  4. So far I am doing great after fixing the hiatal hernia. Off all acid-reducers...no nexium, no pepcid, no tums, nothing. I'm hopeful this did the trick and a revision won't be necessary. How are you doing with your revision?
  5. Hi fellow sleevers with reflux issues! My sleeve was in 2014 and I started having GERD about 3 years ago or so. Diagnosed with hiatal hernia and given option of repairing it or revising to bypass. Put it off for a couple of years but was getting worse so finally opted for the repair of the hiatal hernia which I had done May 21. Instant relief so I am hopeful that did the trick and I don't have recurring reflux issues down the line. I was reluctant for revision mostly because I have some vertebrae issues and occasionally need NSAIDS or even steroids with a flareup. I was really concerned about being able to manage that without those options. I am hopeful this will be the end of the GERD but of course I know the risk that it won't be. There are risks either way, and of course the biggest risk would have been remaining obese all these years. So thankful for the opportunity for WLS, even in it's imperfection. Best to you in your quest to keep stomach acid where it belongs
  6. I'm a sleever so a bit different, but over 6 years out and working off a frustrating gain. Frustrating because I broke my own rules of not letting a gain get past a certain range before taking action, frustrating because I stopped tracking, stopped drinking enough water, stopped eating protein first, started eating junk. Married my new love who, with his traveling job was at the time my "weekend husband" which was perfect...I ate 100% perfectly during the week while he was gone and relaxed a bit and included some bread or pasta with him on weekends. Enter Covid and remote work and my now 24/7 husband. Suddenly junk food found it's way into the pantry and I am oh so weak. I am in healthcare so I have been working ungodly crazy hours and not sleeping well, lots of stress. All in all not a good combo and now I am uncomfortable in my clothes and mad at myself. So, I completely feel your pain! I have done the 5dpt several times over the years and I don't even have a pouch lol. For me it really was about shocking my system, and more importantly my mind. However, I can't do clear liquids and work the kind of hours I'm working right now, it's just not enough to power through. So, I went a different route. I have Dr. Matthew Weiner's book, "A Pound Of Cure", but have never worked it. Turns out it works much better when you actually read the book and implement the plan. He is a bariatric surgeon, but unlike many, he really pushes veggies (a pound per day minimum, hence a pound of cure) and approaches it from a metabolic reset viewpoint. The first 2 weeks includes no dairy, no sugars or artificial sweeteners, no grains. 3 servings of protein/day for women and 1 is to be plant based. Unlimited veggies, but at least a pound per day (sounds like a lot but isn't really), and fruit for sweet cravings (fresh or frozen only). This 2 weeks functions like a cleanse from junk/carbs and serves to decrease cravings, which actually has been true for me. I tell you this not to encourage you to adopt this particular plan, or to convince you or anyone else it's "best", but to encourage you to find one that works for you and your life situation. I also just want to offer you encouragement and support as someone who is going through a similar frustration. We can do this. It is never as easy as that first year "honeymoon" period is, but we still have our tool, we just have to recommit to doing what we know works. My gain is coming off slow and steady, yours will too. Suggestions for "on the road" snack attacks...sunflower seeds, chomping on ice, raw veggies. Or, try singing at the top of your lungs to your favorite tunes...hard to sing with your mouth full
  7. Hi there! I am kind of getting back on track as far as food goes. I feel like I have the carb thing back under control, probably helps that my husband starting traveling for work again so I was able to get the junk out (the food, not the hubby lol) and I have time to myself when I am home. It also helps that things are (fingers crossed) a bit more sane at work and I have a little more time to eat better. I haven't tried to really exercise yet, except to walk the dog occasionally. Likely will be able to do that more with the time change and increasing daylight. Thanks for checking, it helps!
  8. Starting to feel hopeful for the beginning of the end of this nightmare. I am fully vaccinated (healthcare), my husband just got his second dose and my mother gets her second dose this week. I volunteer in the county mass vaccination clinic and the overall feeling from people I vaccinate is just joy...they are happy to have the chance to be vaccinated, and happy to think this might bring the beginning of the end of the beast. Of course it is too soon to say that is a certainty, with the variants developing and bringing unknowns, but it sure feels good to be taking action towards that goal. Continue being careful and safe my friends, and we'll kick this beast to the curb!
  9. Kansas has seen no more than 5 or 6 inches of snow at a time which is pretty typical for us in the Eastern part of the state, I know there has been more in the north and west parts. Mostly though the sub zero temps have been the newsmakers, with almost a week below zero with wind chills in the -20 to -40 degrees F. While we get those kind of temps occasionally, they never last this long, so to have it be in the mid 20's today feels like Spring! We had rolling blackouts throughout the week, with our electricity going off randomly for 1 to 3 hours to conserve power in the grid so there was enough for vital services. Our home is only 3 years old so it's well-insulated with good windows so even with the power off for 3 hours the temp didn't drop below 60. Many people were in far worse shape, with interior temps in the 40's and 50's. Still, nothing even close to what Texas was experiencing because we knew it was temporary. You can make through a couple of hours of almost anything. Hearing from family in the Austin area during that same time was just heart breaking. No power for 27 hours, then it came on for 4 hours only to go off for another long stretch. Lost water on the 4th day. They at least had a wood burning fireplace and plenty of firewood so could keep one room a survivable temp. Still, it remains to be seen what the damage will be. So many sad stories out of Texas, my heart and prayers go to all who are struggling there. I tend to bake a lot when it's cold. With the random power outages I didn't do much of that because you never knew when it was going to be "your turn" again, and I didn't want my oven going off in the middle of a batch of something. So, not so many goodies around for temptation so I suppose that was a benefit of the power outages lol.
  10. When they remove the excess skin and stretch the edges together to create the incision, to stretch it to where it will look good when all healed actually creates quite a lot of tension on the incision when standing or lying straight. Tension=pain and the potential for separation of the incision in the extreme. Gradually as the incision heals you are able to stand straighter, probably by 2 weeks I'd say I was standing straight.
  11. Honestly, I don't either and I'm in the biz. Six hours under general anesthesia, a little over an hour in recovery and out the door. I couldn't even get out the door on my own power; they let us borrow a wheelchair since we had a followup appointment the next morning. I had an incision almost all the way around, plus up the middle of each thigh. I live about 2 hours away from the city my surgeon was in, so had to stay in a hotel. It was a miserable night. I really think part of it is that many of the plastic surgeons have their own surgical suites and aren't really set up for round-the-clock care. They can admit to local hospitals if needed, but since it is rarely paid by insurance it is probably also a cost issue I suppose.
  12. Hi Robin, You have been through a lot, no wonder you're having trouble concentrating, and experiencing depression and anxiety. There are a lot of things in your life right now that you don't have any control over, and that is so scary. However, there are some things you can control and sometimes if you can manage even one or two of those successfully it can brighten your entire outlook and make that spinning out of control feeling seem not quite as wild. For example, from your writing it seems like you are really missing your connections with your church and really even with God. I've been there with the wandering thoughts, and have even found myself apologizing to God for getting distracted. I think I must really be a hoot sometimes lol, especially those middle of the night sessions. I started writing down my prayers when I was having trouble concentrating; I'd get a big notebook and just pour out my heart. It is much easier to stay on task when you're writing, plus I have always found writing to be cathartic. Does your church have any live stream options so you can connect online? It's not the same of course, but it is better than no connection at all. I have "visited" several churches during the past year; I've actually enjoyed the opportunity to branch out a little. Most have them not only live-streamed but available later on you-tube so you can view anytime, not just Sunday morning. Your nutritional needs are going to be complicated; you'll need increased protein to heal but will need to stay away from many of the protein shakes as they are milk based. I hope you have access to a dietician with experience in post-WLS needs as well as all your other complicating issues. You are going to need a good team to help keep on top of everything. With your memory and brain fog issues, it may help to start keeping notes. The more notes the better. You must feel so overwhelmed right now; sometimes when I've been in situations where I'm feeling that way I get almost paralyzed into complete inaction when trying to fix it all at once. It's just too much, so you shut down. I have found I do much better if I break it into smaller pieces, and tackle one chunk at a time. I am a champion list-maker, which helps me stay organized and on task. I don't always complete the tasks on my lists, but I somehow feel better keeping track of all my crap I wish you the best, keep us posted on your progress.
  13. My surgeon grouped several procedures so that I could get everything done that I wanted done in a total of 2 surgeries. I was told that the limiting factor is the amount of time under anesthesia; about 6 hours is the outer limit for safety. My first surgery I had lower body lift with abdominoplasty, liposuction here and there, and fat transfer to buttocks. Second one,, which was by far the easier one, included brachioplasty, breast lift and small implant. After the first surgery I developed a blood clot in my leg, which i think was partly because i had traveled and had a fairly long flight just before the surgery. Remember when we could travel for fun The first week was rough, like really rough, you can't even stand up straight, you have drains, there are dressing changes, you're wearing compression garments...it's kind of miserable honestly. I think I went back half days the second week, it's been 4 years so it's a little hazy. I know I went back half days at first, just can't remember if it was after 1 or 2 weeks at home. Probably 2 weeks with the blood clot complication. All completely and totally worth it! I never felt "normal" until after having these surgeries, even though I looked pretty normal fully clothed. I was always buying clothing to disguise all the extra skin, and every single time I went through the scanner at airports I was flagged for pat-downs because it looked like I had something stuffed under my clothes. Nope, just my mortifying extra floppy skin. It was always embarrassing and made me feel like grabbing a cheeseburger. I didn't but it took me to that head space. So, congrats and good luck to you!
  14. Hello and welcome! I'm 6 years out from my sleeve and the only regret I've ever had is that I didn't do it sooner as it completely changed my life! In the last 2 years I have developed a hiatal hernia which is causing GERD at night. I am reluctant to have another surgery and now with Covid I am just too busy (healthcare) so I have managed to manage symptoms with Nexium and elevating the head of the bed (luckily have an adjustable base). My surgeon insists on an EGD periodically (just had one on Monday) to make sure I am not experiencing any erosion or excessive irritation/inflammation. In the US, patients with diabetes are almost always steered towards bypass, although sleevers do quite well also, just not as quickly perhaps. One thing I've learned from reading on this forum is that whichever surgery people choose, they very rarely regret it (except lapband, which isn't really done much in the US anymore). There can be post-op and long-term complications with either surgery, although thankfully serious ones are rare. Read a lot, ask lots of questions; ultimately the decision is up to you and your surgeon. Best of luck!
  15. Yay! Congratulations on making the best decision for your new healthy future! In a leadership movement I've been part of "recently" (pre-Covid), we talk about why change is so difficult. People don't fear change, they fear what they might lose because of the changes. In order to get people to embrace change you must first speak to loss. Perhaps your sisters fear they will lose the things you do together (many of our social activities revolve around food); sometimes spouses or significant others fear they'll lose you, either literally or emotionally. Right now, they are likely needing some time to process their own feelings and just aren't the right people to process your own feelings with. They will get there; they love you and want the best for you. We are a bit obnoxious when we first get the WLS fever lol. It can consume every thought, every conversation; kind of reminds me of a new convert to anything (religion, fitness, Mary Kay lol), you just want them to shut up already. This is the best place to get all that out of your system, we LOVE to discuss everything WLS! From pre-op diets, to constipation, to relationships...it gets pretty real here. Glad you found us!
  16. Congratulations on reaching this first goal! You are working hard to make changes that will save your life, and vastly improve your quality of life and that should be celebrated! It's likely your kids aren't really worried about the beds collapsing; it probably is a much deeper fear. Maybe a fear that you won't make it through surgery, maybe a subconscious fear of losing the Mom they know (I mean, who IS skinny Mom, anyway lol), but it is far easier to make it about the bed. All you can do is keep providing factual information and reassurance, and keep moving towards your goals. I predict that in the end your kids are going to be absolutely amazed and inspired by the example you are setting. Well done.
  17. HELLO!!! I don't even know how long it's been since I've checked in here; I hope all have stayed healthy. Covid has kept me hopping, and time has lost all meaning. We just get through each day as best we can and get ready for the next. I am so excited to be scheduled for vaccination this week; this is a light of hope that we've been waiting so anxiously for. Unfortunately, the stress of this and the erratic schedule has played havoc on my health. I am up about 20 pounds; I don't exercise or do any type of self care other than try to get a bit of sleep. My blood pressure is creeping up, I've started having headaches again, I'm kind of a mess. A couple of days off (finally) over the holidays has given me the opportunity to take stock and really honestly confront what's going on. All the cute meme's about "quarantine weight" or "Covid gain" really aren't cute for someone locked in a lifelong battle with obesity...it's quite scary. So, I have resolved to getting back to basics; I can't continue to care for others if I am unwell. So, I will return to taking my own food and staying away from the stuff in the breakroom. I don't know that I can fit much exercise in just yet, when working 12-14 hours a day then being on call I am lucky to get sleep. However, I have to take time for some de-stressing, and am committing to a short guided meditation I have done before. I'm taking these small steps and hanging onto the hope of the beginning of the end of this national nightmare, perhaps by summer we will begin to see some sort of normal-ish life return. And, I will return here to keep me in touch with reality, my other reality...I always have to take care of my health and eat healthy. I cannot revert to old habits. I did not do this 6 years ago to let a little thing like a pandemic undo my years of success. Thank you all for being here and helping and old-timer get back on track.
  18. You need protein to build muscle. You may be better off to increase your lean protein intake instead of the supplements. The supplement industry is a lot like the "diet" industry; over-promising on what can be accomplished with their over-priced potions. Bottom line is, you're doing great! Don't let a breakup influence/drive the decisions you make regarding your health; do this for you, you're worth it!
  19. That's exciting, congratulations! I never imagined how much different I would feel once that hanging skin was gone. It allowed me to feel normal and for clothes to fit better. And the X-Ray scanner at the airport quit flagging my for having something tucked under my clothes which was mortifying. Nope, just my leftover skin... Hoping the time flies by and all goes smoothly.
  20. I too experienced some Covid weight gain. I think most of America did. Stuck at home 24/7, working remotely, so not even up and moving at work like usual, more time to go search for snacks, and more of the things that make you (well me anyway) want to mindlessly graze...boredom, stress, ordering groceries online, trying new recipes. I had an added new challenge...my husband who travels for work, suddenly wasn't and his sweet tooth meant more trigger foods in the house. Which meant dessert every evening. I've kind of snapped out of it lol. Walking more which helps the stress, increased work in the clinic to 2 days/week instead of 1, husband back on the road (that's a whole new stress), more veggies, stopped that dreadful dessert habit. I'm trying to give myself some grace and just be thankful I nipped it in the bud before it was too far out of control. My little garden has gifted me some lovely zucchini and some tomatoes plus some outdoor time all of which has helped me get it together. I do sometimes long for those early months after surgery where a few tiny bites were enough. That's not the current reality though, so I work with what I've got. Honestly most of my issue is usually more about my head than my stomach. No surgery for that...
  21. My sleeve surgery has been absolutely life changing for me in ways I hadn't even considered. However, it's not a "cure" for what is causing you to be overweight or obese. It is one tool to help successfully manage what most understand to be a chronic issue (obesity). You have to commit to changing eating and activity habits. And, how you cope with stress sound like it would be a huge one for you. Many of us spend years with food as our best friend, our quick fix to feel better. Life continues to throw things at us that are tough to manage so unless we develop replacement ways to deal with them, there's a real risk of turning back to our old friend food for comfort and regaining it all. Or, some have an issue with addiction transfer and turn to alcohol or other substances for their source of comfort when the food isn't there anymore. Good luck with your decision, it sounds like you have a lot to think about.
  22. So sorry to hear of your loss. The stories of people losing loved ones and not being able to be with them to say goodbye are the heartbreakers, and you're living it. Praying for comfort and peace for you and your family.
  23. Hope all continue to be healthy and safe in your homes. It is the strangest time. In the center of the country, things are just getting bad. The meat packing industry is getting hit hard and the plant in my town is one that is hurting. My husband normally travels for work, and is home on weekends, but has now been working from home for 3 weeks. With his newly diagnosed heart problems (February) this is a relief for me to have him stop that. Although on his last flight home he was the only person in first class so all in all it may have been relatively safe lol. We have been married 2 1/2 years now and this is the longest we have spent together. I remind him I did not sign up for a full-time husband...just a weekend one. I have transitioned to working partially at home and partially in the clinic so we really are together. So far, all in our circle have stayed healthy. My almost 80 year old mother is busy sewing masks; she lives on 80 acres in the middle of nowhere so the social distancing thing comes naturally to her. As long as I make an occasional swing by and swap her some groceries for masks, she's good. We have missed seeing grandkids of course, like everyone else. The youngest has learned to walk since we last got to hold him, and now will say hello and bye when we face-time. We have another grandson due September 3 and missed helping this family move into their new home. But all these things and more are OK, because we will get through this and have a grand celebration on the other side of this beast. Be well everyone!
  24. Hi Celine, Sleever here 5+ years out very happy with sleeve, maintaining weight loss. I did have to start taking a ppi (Nexium)at bedtime to control GERD about 2 years ago. Had an EGD and discovered a hiatal hernia I didn't have at the time of my sleeve. So, I could have it repaired surgically, which would probably fix the GERD. What if it didn't and I someday had to have a 3rd surgery and convert to bypass? Can't decide so since it's controlled with meds, I'm doing none of the above. I am leery of converting to bypass because I'm not sure I can handle a future without NSAIDS. I have some disk issues in my neck that sometimes just need ibuprofen. Once in awhile it flares up enough to need steroids. Sure can't do that with bypass. Since I didn't have any erosion of the esophagus , surgeon felt comfortable with conservative approach.
  25. Hi there, It's discouraging to start gaining weight, but you're doing the right thing, which is to take control and get back on track. I've used the 5 day pouch test as a "reset" before. You can google the plan. The first 2 days are pretty rough; it's just liquids. By the 5th day though, your carb cravings are gone and more importantly your mind is reset. At least that has been my experience. Then it's back to eating what I was successful on in the beginning. Lean protein and veggies. Fruit for a sweet tooth, some dairy like greek yogurt and string cheese for snacks. Limit carbs like bread and pasta until you have lost the weight you want to. That's usually a smarter approach than following someone else's plan. We tried that for years, remember? All those diets that worked while you followed them only to gain back all the weight when you stopped? You need to decide what you are going to eat so that you will stick to it and like it. This can't be another diet or it will fail. As far as exercise goes, there is nothing better for your overall health (physical and emotional) than walking, preferably outside. You can start slow and work your way up, and it really helps with maintenance. You can do this! Come here often to check in; lots of good support here from people who have been right where you're at.
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