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About JustErica

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Rochester, MN


  • Surgeon
    Todd Kellogg, M.D.
  • Hospital
    Mayo Clinic - St. Mary's
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Gastric Bypass

Recent Profile Visitors

637 profile views
  1. Ear pain relief?

    don't take more than the recommended dose of tylenol in 24 hours. you can damage your liver. people think it's safe because it's OTC but it's actually really easy to hurt yourself by taking too much. My doc has given me tramadol before for my knee pain. I'm also a bypass patient so I can't have NSAIDs either, this is what I get in place of that. It is a controlled substance so I wouldn't necessarily call your doc and say "can i have tramadol" - just that the pain is so severe that tylenol isn't helping, is there something else I can take? and see what they offer. Try ice chips or sugar free popsicles for liquid. Dehydration is going to make the pain worse and add more symptoms on top of it.
  2. Not sure where to put this post.

    Before surgery, I always ate to "full." I had to learn the difference between full and satiated. And I had to learn the hard way - after surgery, full means pain or vomiting. I had to be trained by negative reinforcement. I can't say it's been pleasant, but it's been effective. It's been a year and it's been the hardest lesson of my surgery. My body tells me when I've had enough, so long as I listen to it, and the result is I either don't take in those extra, unneeded calories in the first place, or my body expels them. I know some people here weigh their food before they even eat, but that has not really worked for me because my stomach is very sensitive to different types of food - so amounts I can eat vary greatly depending on the density of the food I'm eating. I might only be able to eat 2 ounces of chicken breast, so my next meal might be 5 oz of greek yogurt, etc. to get my protein in. That's not to say that I couldn't still eat bad food and take in too many calories that way - you still have to make choices. But it addresses your question as far as piling up your plate because of the head games we play with ourselves. I have to make choices in quality, but the choice of quantity is made for me, and I could never self-monitor that before. I always ate too fast and too much.
  3. Weight loss medication?

    I think the "fen" part of fen-phen is what was banned. phentermine is a stimulant though so I won't be taking it lightly. i think more than anything it's just this idea that's been placed in my head that weight loss medication is "bad." My Endo seemed more concerned about the possible side effects from the topiramate than from the phentermine, but we had a long talk about them on Friday. I'd be tapering and watching for the side effects and then I'll add the phentermine in after that's done if all goes well.
  4. 6-Month Post-Op Sleep Issues

    This is going to sound counterintuitive if you've had apnea for a long time , but it could be worth asking whether or not you need the CPAP anymore. I've lost about the same amount of weight as you and I'm headed back to the sleep specialist next week. My doc said after as little as 40 pounds lost your apnea can be resolved, but the sleep specialist didn't want to redo my sleep study until I was a year out. I haven't worn my CPAP for a couple of months now, the pressure became too high even at the lowest setting.
  5. Dairy?

    You might become lactose intolerant but there's no telling until you try it. I practically lived off of dairy products during my pureed/soft food phases - I could not bring myself to eat pureed food so I stuck with mostly greek yogurt, cheese, and protein shakes. I did switch to Fairlife for milk because of the extra protein but I think it's also lactose free. If you become lactose intolerant that might be an option.
  6. Weight loss medication?

    Hi everyone - I'm almost a year out from my surgery. I'm down 150 pounds and still losing, although quite a bit slower than before. I had a pretty high starting weight though and I'm still obese. My Endo is a big fan of maximum results and has offered me a combination of topiramate and phentermine to keep me going. It comes as a combo drug but i'd be taking it separately to save money. Phentermine got such a bad rap years ago with the whole Fen-Phen thing. I don't even remember the details as I wasn't that old, but I remember it being all over the news. About 5 years ago I talked to my old doc in my hometown about possibly starting MediFast and about halfway through the appointment she stated she WOULD NOT prescribe any medication - even though I hadn't asked for any (MediFast is just a mail-order diet, if you haven't heard of it). But, this wouldn't be the first time my current healthcare was able to do something for me that I never could get back in my hometown. I have a *crazy* advantage in that I work and get my healthcare at a highly ranked medical facility. I even work in Endocrinology and my doc literally is like 50 feet away from me every day. I'm a medical secretary and I'm surrounded by medical providers. I've had nothing short of amazing care there and if something did go wrong, I'd be well taken care of. But I'm still a little nervous about it for some reason, so wondering if anyone else has taken this and if yes what has the experience been? There's also another doc currently running a study with another medication, and he said if I had side effects from this combo, that I might be able to enter the study, but he didn't tell me which medication that would be. If you've taken other prescription weight loss medication, I'm interested in that story too.
  7. Why is it so hard to drink 2oz every 15min?

    I hope the pain is better by now, but FYI I had a much easier time drinking anything *but* plain water for weeks afterwards. For some reason if it had some flavoring like Crystal Light or something in it, it went down way easier.
  8. I keep thinking of something my psychiatrist said....

    I know this post is a month old but I haven't been browsing lately. I did RNY. I was so fearful of dumping that I had practically no added sugar in anything for the first six months. Then my resolve cracked a little and now I do eat sweets occasionally. I've never dumped. I have no hunger pangs, ever. I get cravings for certain foods, and I get lightheaded if I go a long period of time without eating, but I still don't have any true hunger 10 months out. I have also found that when I do eat something sweet, I'm satisfied on far less of it. I'm done after 3 mini reese's - I simply don't want anymore and it stops tasting good. I have no taste for ice cream anymore - like it's too rich or something. These were weaknesses for me before - I could eat endless amounts of these foods before surgery. I ate part of a glazed donut yesterday - all I could taste was the sugar. I ate two bites and didn't want any more. Bread, pasta, chips - all either gives me a stomachache or makes me actually vomit. Other carby foods I can eat a very small amount, like an actual serving size of certain cereals (used to eat huge bowls) or a single packet of oatmeal. Fried food also gives me a stomachache - but no dumping. I have occasionally also vomited but only had liquid come up. I can't quite believe it's acid as I've also had no GERD since my surgery (and I had it pretty bad before). I think this is what people call "the foamies." So what I've found is that even though I don't have dumping (which I considered a benefit) my body is self-controlling. People talk about tastes change afterwards. I don't usually put much stock in health trends but my personal experience has made me curious about sugar addiction. The surgery basically forced me off of it cold turkey, my program has a full three months of actual dietary limitations before they advise trying any other normal foods. I feel like I detoxed and my body corrected itself to only want a more normal amount.
  9. Post op blood donation?

    I asked my Endo about this as I work at a big hospital that keeps a blood bank and their levels were down. He told me there hasn't been much solid research on it and he preferred I wait a year, unless I had a need for direct donation (like for a family member).
  10. Starbucks, A minor Rant

    The frappuccino mix has sugar in it before they add any kind of syrup, even the "light" version. So even if they use sugar free syrup for whatever flavor you choose, the drink isn't sugar free. I found this out one day when I was browsing their website to see if I could drink anything there. You can "build" your drink and get the nutrition info. The only thing I found I could drink there is plain coffee or a latte with sugar free syrup. I don't have any trouble with milk though, some do.
  11. Cleared for food... now what?!?

    i'm still having trouble with meat so i'm eating a lot of cheese, eggs, greek yogurt, and nuts. if it's REALLY finely ground, like in chili, it doesn't bother me but that's about it so far for meat. i don't care for protein shakes but i don't have any trouble digesting milk, so if i'm short on my protein for the day I drink a glass of that. my doc also wants me eating my protein versus drinking it so I try and get what I can with solid food and wait until the end of the day to see if i need to supplement. i'm hoping to eventually tolerate meat better because that would be SO much easier. I couldn't tolerate eggs at first either, just was able to start eating them about 2-3 weeks ago. I've tried all kinds of protein bars but haven't really liked them either. I usually think of chili as a winter food too, but the chili they serve in the cafeteria at work gets me more protein than I can get eating anything else that my stomach will tolerate. I suck it up at least once a week
  12. My BMI was over 60. My facility does all three surgeries (sleeve, RNY, and DS). DS felt like too far, sleeve felt like not far enough. I was afraid that after I healed up that it would be too easy for me to eat around a sleeve. I felt the malabsorption and risk of dumping would make it more likely I'd be successful in the long-term. My father had lap-band and did great at first, and now a few years later he has gained it all back. He told me he just started testing the "rules" and when nothing bad happened, he went back to his old habits. I felt it would be harder for me to do the same with RNY. I also had GERD and was warned it could be worse with the sleeve, and since I was already on daily medication for it, I worried it would become intolerable. I also have osteoarthritis and was warned I would not be able to take NSAIDs afterwards. I felt my pain would improve as I lost weight, whereas the GERD probably would not. It's just what felt right for me.
  13. Anyone get a Tramadol Rx?

    I think that information patients receive regarding drugs like this very much depends on your doctor. I can't say that I would put too much stock in a blog post. I don't say that to be critical of you, just that it is important to know where you get your information from. Even medical research studies don't really account for much until the results have been duplicated and peer reviewed, so I always take these kinds of articles with a grain of salt. I am surprised to learn that some people had doctors tell them it wasn't an opioid, but then I am also surprised by the number of people who don't ever look up any info on the medication they are taking. It's one of the first things on the wikipedia page. I have a prescription for this for my knee pain, as Tylenol doesn't help and I had RNY so no NSAIDs, which is what I used for my knee pain before surgery. The tramadol does make me sleepy, like it does to you, so I generally only take it in the evening and only when I need it, not daily. I was also advised not to take it if I take my sleep medication. I suspect that as my weight continues to go down, my knee pain will decrease, but I might keep some on hand for menstrual cramps if they will let me. My personal feeling is that even with it being an opioid, if I use it responsibly, it probably still has fewer side effects than what I was doing when I was pumping the NSAIDs into my body all day long before I had the surgery because of my pain. No one ever offered an alternative before and I was always worried someday I was going to get an ulcer. I'm surprised I didn't. I did have terrible reflux though, but no hernia so I suspect it could have played a role. That's gone now too, and it feels pretty liberating to not HAVE to take something for pain every day (even though I still feel like a bit of a pill popper with all the vitamins and such ) But in the end it's a trade off. Some people don't like taking medication at all - so if Tylenol doesn't work and reading this stuff about the tramadol freaks you out, of course you can just choose not to take it. My doc was pretty casual about it too, actually offered it without my asking. He just asked if my knee pain had improved and I said it felt about the same but I thought that was an improvement because I was on daily NSAIDs before. But I think that varies per patient as I actually also work in a doctor's office and it isn't always handed out so easily.
  14. I'm 3.5 months out from surgery. When I vomit it's either because I tried something I wasn't ready for, ate too fast, or ate too much. I'm supposed to be able to try normal foods at this point but my body is just not ready for some of them. I tried some lettuce last week, that came back up. The last time I tried egg, that came up. We are all so different, I think the guidelines from our doctors keep us from hurting ourselves while we heal, but they can't predict how or when we'll be able to tolerate certain foods. I feel like it's all trial and error for me at this point. Vomiting is different than before. Someone told me it sounded like morning sickness to them. Not to be gross, but if I feel like I need to vomit I can do it and still go on with my day - if I'm at work, I go right back to work and I don't need to lay down or anything . Vomiting before surgery was a lot more exhausting.
  15. What kind of calcium do you take?

    It's not my tummy that doesn't like them, it's my throat/esophagus. It's weird, I never had problems taking pills before. I think if they were coated it might be easier.