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About Polyphemus

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    WA, USA


  • Surgeon
    Thien Nguyen, MD
  • Hospital
    Overlake Hospital Medical Center
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Gastric Bypass

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  1. I'm struggling with this right now, as well. My "goal weight" was somewhere in the range of 130-150 lbs (I would have been happy anywhere in there). I ended up at 125 lbs, and maintained that weight for months. Then about two months ago, I suddenly started dropped weight again. I've increased my food intake, I've started adding in freaking fast food (high calories per volume), I've added carbs, sugars - nothing seems to be working. My weight is now down to 110 lbs, and the weight loss shows no signs of stopping. I've also recently had the onset of autoimmune symptoms/rheumatoid issues, and am under the care of a rheumatologist who is trying to pin down exactly what is wrong with me, so it's very possible that the sudden weight loss is tied to RA or whatever other inflammatory arthritis condition I apparently have. But it's still very frustrating and upsetting. I'm 5'4", 110 lbs is not a healthy weight!
  2. I used saved up vacation time, not sick leave, and did not put in for FMLA. My HR department is not aware that I had surgery - and I'm keeping it that way. My HR department has a history of being overly invasive with employees in our organization regarding medical issues (myself, and other employees), and has violated the ADA and HIPAA (they store medical records in HR, so they have to comply with HIPAA, but they ignore it). As a result, I no longer inform my employer of any medical procedures, illness, etc, and intend to continue to follow this personal policy unless I need to file an L&I claim. I am not the only person at my work that feels this way. I told two of my coworkers that I had surgery (my partners on my shift - we work by ourselves) a couple days after I came back and they noticed that I had lost weight in the three weeks that I was away. (Which is funny, because I actually lost more in the months leading up to the surgery, but they hadn't seen me in three weeks, so I guess that significantly smaller drop seemed much more dramatic.) Anyone else who has asked, I simply have said, "I've been dieting, and I've also consulted a dietician. I'm doing high protein, low carb, little to no sugar, and have changed my eating patterns a lot. I do many small meals throughout the day rather than a couple large meals. I've lost X pounds since February of 2015." (It helps that I give my weight loss since when I started losing weight pre-op, not since when I went on vacation for the surgery. Clearly, I didn't have surgery in February of 2015, so I think giving that date as the time when I started losing weight throws them off of the idea of my vacation being connected to my weight loss.) I don't mind my coworkers knowing, so much, but I feel VERY strongly about my HR department knowing. Thus, my coworkers don't get to know.
  3. On February 20, 2015, my insurance company and medical provider determined that I qualified for bariatric surgery based on BMI. At 237 lbs and 5' 4", my BMI was over the required 40 (40.7). While I had (pre-surgery) or still have a number of obesity-related conditions (PCOS, pre-diabetic, plantar fasciitis, etc), none of them were considered qualifying comorbidities under my insurance plan. However, my plan allows qualification based on BMI alone, and thus I began the testing process to begin my actual approval for surgery. My testing took some time due to the usual medical bureaucracy, but went largely without incident, and on November 23rd, 2015, I consulted with my surgeon and my dietitian, and was approved for an RNY gastric bypass, which the surgeon and I both agreed best suited my situation. The surgery was scheduled for December 14th, 2015. The day of the surgery, I arrived at the medical center just over half an hour earlier than the required check-in time, and after waiting for some time, found that my surgery time had been delayed. This wasn't surprising - surgeries often run over. My surgery had been scheduled for 1:30 in the afternoon, and expected to last 3-4 hours, but ended up starting around 3:45. I was out of surgery before 6:00 PM. My surgeon told the people who accompanied me to the surgery center that the surgery was able to be completed so quickly because I had "a delightfully small liver." My in-hospital recovery (discharged around noon after two nights, so I stayed in the hospital for one full day and one half day) was uneventful, aside from a few minor hiccups with my allergies. (I was, at one point, given a medication to which I am allergic - thankfully it only causes nausea, and I noticed the problem before I took the second dose, and I was on anti-nausea medication at the time, so the effects were not serious. I was also twice served food to which I am allergic, which I refused to eat, and the dietary services staff chastised me for "not telling my allergies to the kitchen when I called in my meal," which I explained that I had not done, since I was on the clear liquids meal plan, and that my allergies were all on record with the hospital and my nurse.) My surgeon saw me briefly post-op, but after surgery he delegated all of the check-ups and exams to his ARNP. I would say that he is a very, very good surgeon, but that his follow-up leaves something to be desired. I was off my narcotic pain medication within 2 days of my return home from the hospital, and off of the liquid Acetaminophen another 1.5 days after that. One of the suture sites was not closed quite right (the glue was inside the top 1/4" or so of the incision, holding it open, rather than over the incision pulling it closed), so it was not healing. I eventually figured out what was going on when that site still had not healed at 6 weeks after all of the other sites had healed, and I removed the glue, cleaned the site, and used medical tape to pull the top of the incision closed. It healed quickly, taking less than a week to close, but it is not as neat as the other sites, due to having been held open by the glue for so long.
  4. I also have PCOS, and also had high WBC at my last labs before my RNY. None of the medical team even batted an eyelid.
  5. My period started the day before I had my surgery. Usually, I have extremely light, irregular periods. Thanks to the blood thinners that they put you on after surgery to prevent clots, I ended up having a very heavy period that lasted over two weeks. Not fun. But other than that, it wasn't terribly inconvenient. It was funny that the nurses couldn't seem to manage to pass on, from one shift to the next, that I was menstruating, and every time I went to the bathroom, I would get asked, "Did you know you have blood in your urine?" I have to admit, by the end of it, I got a little testy with them, saying, "Yeah, I do, thanks. I'm on my period. I have been for several days now."
  6. I also work graveyard shift, so I feel your pain there. Daytime appointments are a pain in the rear end! For my pre-surgery diet, I had to do the following: 3 protein shakes per day with less than 200 calories, no more than 5g sugar per shake (I used Premier Protein shakes, prefer the chocolate flavor, they're cheapest on Amazon, and are 160 calories and only 1g sugar). 1 Weight Watchers or Lean Cuisine frozen meal per day (my choice of what the meal was, I used Lean Cuisine, varied which meals I selected so I wasn't eating the same thing every day). 1 serving of non-starchy raw or steamed vegetables per day (they gave me a list of vegetables that qualified as "non-starchy," but this can be easily looked up online - I mostly ate carrots, jicama, and broccoli). I had to do this diet for 2 weeks, to help ensure my liver was small. I ended up losing over 10lbs in that 2 weeks. It wasn't a FUN diet (I LIVED for the moments when I got to eat those Lean Cuisine meals) but it was far from the worst diet I've ever been on, and hoo boy, did it work! You might try this for getting your weight down before your own pre-surgery clear liquids diet.