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I'm moving ahead with weight loss surgery


ktgrok
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there was a lot of discussion about it on a few other threads, and I didn't want to keep hijacking Joanne's thread, especially considering how well she's doing with her efforts right now! But, I'm not the type to hide things, and since I process lots of other things here, might as well with this topic too. 

 

My first step was going to the seminar at the hospital, where I learned a lot on top of what I already had researched on my won. I got to meet one of the sugeons as well. Then I went to a consultation last week with him, and we decided that there was no way to know which surgery was best for me yet, because of my reflux. We need to find out how bad it is, and what's causing it before deciding. If I'm only refluxing a little, and only up a short way, then he will do the gastric sleeve surgery, and do a Dor fundoplication at the same time to solve the reflux. If I have a hiatal hernia, he will fix the hernia and do the gastric sleeve surgery. But if my reflux is too severe, or the LES too weak, then the gastric bypass (Roux en Y) is the better option. I'm having a Upper GI Series (barium drink and fluoroscopy) on Wednesday, then Mannometry on the 14th, to evaluate the reflux issue. 

 

I'm also seeing the nutritionist on the 30th, and already had my psych consult a few days ago. We identified my problem areas (lack of planning/feeling too tired/stressed to cook) and came up with some options to keep me on track. I'll have some bloodwork done next week, and will be checked for H Pylori. At some point I'll also need a gall bladder ultrasound and EKG before sx can be scheduled. 

 

I'm excited to be on this path. I look forward to eating smaller portions and being satisfied. I look forward to being able to move around more comfortably, not having foot and knee pain, not getting out of breath all the time. 

 

I'm nervous about the cost. They will submit to the insurance company after the nutritionist appt, so I will have a better idea of my put of pocket costs then. But, I do currently have insurance coverage for this, and if I put it off and DH changes jobs (he anticipates doing that in another year or so) I may not. Many of the people I saw at the seminar did not have coverage. I'm lucky I do, even if it will still be expensive. 

 

My family is supportive, and my mom would come help out with the kids for a few days. And my teen can certainly do that as well. 

 

I'm happy to answer other questions, or what not. 

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Good luck!!

 

I'm also seeing the nutritionist on the 30th, and already had my psych consult a few days ago. We identified my problem areas (lack of planning/feeling too tired/stressed to cook) and came up with some options to keep me on track.

 

If you don't mind sharing, what options did s/he give you?  Those are 2 of my big issues as well.

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Good luck!!

 

 

If you don't mind sharing, what options did s/he give you?  Those are 2 of my big issues as well.

 

For me, it's about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. So, if I'm running late and don't have time to make a big dinner, rather than just suck it up and let people have some fruit and cheese, or a sandwhich and a can of soup, I'll pick up take out or hit the deli at the grocery store for fried chicken or subs.

 

So, one strategy is to keep easy/fast/nutritious food on hand for those times I'm too busy/tired/overwhelmd to make food. Cheese cubes or a block of cheese, apples, etc etc. I also need to get over the guilt of not serving a "real" meal on those occaisions. My kids are fine with a tuna sandwhich on whole wheat bread, and I can have it with some cucumber slices or whatever. No need to flip out and feel guilty, when honestly, it's not like ordering pizza is any better. 

 

So maybe, lowering my standards, lol? I like to cook, but tend to be a bit too elaborate I think. And I feel bad serving leftovers, even though no one cares. I need to get over that. I also need to not overestimate my own abilities and think I can get more done than I can, so I don't end up in those situations. 

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My other issue is wanting a "treat" at night after the kids are asleep and things are quiet. We talked about having somehting lower calorie, or just a cup of tea. Or treating myself to a book or a trashy tv show instead of a food item.

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Have you ever attempted the once a month cooking concept? It's not for everybody, but it works well here.

 

I've done modified versions. I was never happy with the texture of the reheated food. Somethings were okay, but not a lot of others. I do better cooking for a few days, like making a whole batch of chicken breasts, or roasting two chickens at once, making a larger roast in the crock pot, etc. 

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I completely agree. I prep the food all at once, but don't cook it. I'm just gonna copy and paste this. ;)

 

 

Our menu plan is based on the purchase of meat because it is the most expensive and we purchase it in bulk at discount pricing, usually from New Seasons and Costco.

 

DAY ONE

1. Decide on meat purchase.

2. Find recipes, usually a combination of old favorites and new ones I found on Pinterest.

3. Decide on menu plan. We plan 4 meals a week that I cook, one of which is vegetarian, and live on leftovers the rest of the week. We always have taco soup and burgers on standby. We do not eat this on Monday, this on Tuesday, and this on Wedsneasday, we eat this, then this, then this. The food runs out when it runs out.

4. Create the shopping list. Buy EVERYTHING except for fresh fruits and veggies. We go to Costco once a month and get apples, oranges, salad stuff, carrots etc. To make the shopping list I have 2 pieces of paper, one for Winco and one for Costco, divided by a giant cross. The 4 areas represent the 4 areas of the store. Add things by recipe so you buy as much in bulk as possible.

DAY TWO

5. Go shopping. Wear yoga pants.

6. Prepare food. I do not cook anything except for casseroles I plan to freeze, and meat for certain soups. All of my meat, veggies, soup etc. goes in freezer bags or Pyrex dishes uncooked so that it is as freshly made as possible. Everything that is reserved for a recipe, but was not opened gets a sticker on it to show that it's off limits. If we bought an 8 pack of cream of mushroom soup but only need six than only six get stickers and the other two are available for days when my husband wants to do something creative. This way we always have what we need.

 

 

It's easier than most people make it. You don't have to cook everything twice, you don't have to go to 7 different stores and you don't have to have it all down to a science. We've made mistakes and had chicken for 2 weeks. Matt's had to stop at the store for a can of tomato paste. It's OK. It's still a much better lifestyle than cooking everyday, unless you love cooking. We eat better and cheaper than most. With less effort!!

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I completely agree. I prep the food all at once, but don't cook it. I'm just gonna copy and paste this. ;)

 

 

 

It's easier than most people make it. You don't have to cook everything twice, you don't have to go to 7 different stores and you don't have to have it all down to a science. We've made mistakes and had chicken for 2 weeks. Matt's had to stop at the store for a can of tomato paste. It's OK. It's still a much better lifestyle than cooking everyday, unless you love cooking. We eat better and cheaper than most. With less effort!!

 

 

That's kind of the thing, I DO enjoy cooking. A lot. But I need to have it all ready to go, and simplified. Part of my issue is I got caught up in the idea of keeping as stocked pantry rather than meal planning. But I suck at that. So I end up with odds and ends. I was doing far better the weeks I planned out meals (usually 5 plus one breakfast for dinner night) and just bought stuff for those meals, plus sandwich makings and cereal. When I go outside that I get overwhelmed, have too much food, can't find anything, and give up and order pizza, lol.

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For me, it's about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. So, if I'm running late and don't have time to make a big dinner, rather than just suck it up and let people have some fruit and cheese, or a sandwhich and a can of soup, I'll pick up take out or hit the deli at the grocery store for fried chicken or subs.

 

So, one strategy is to keep easy/fast/nutritious food on hand for those times I'm too busy/tired/overwhelmd to make food. Cheese cubes or a block of cheese, apples, etc etc. I also need to get over the guilt of not serving a "real" meal on those occaisions. My kids are fine with a tuna sandwhich on whole wheat bread, and I can have it with some cucumber slices or whatever. No need to flip out and feel guilty, when honestly, it's not like ordering pizza is any better. 

 

So maybe, lowering my standards, lol? I like to cook, but tend to be a bit too elaborate I think. And I feel bad serving leftovers, even though no one cares. I need to get over that. I also need to not overestimate my own abilities and think I can get more done than I can, so I don't end up in those situations. 

 

Yes, I hope you can let go of the guilt of not providing what may seem like a full meal. There really is nothing wrong with soup and a sandwich. Add a side salad if you want. I haven't done this in a while, but back when I was eating more salad, I'd prep it all ahead of time. I used small containers to hold all the cut up veggies because I didn't want to have a full prepared salad just sitting in the fridge. I mean, what if I'm not in the mood for cucumbers or bell peppers? Then when I wanted a salad, all I did was open containers and add in portions. As for leftovers, you could change them up a little depending on what you have. If you have a meat, try adding a different side, something that won't take long to prepare. Or keep different deli meats on hand, something different each week. Once upon a time I tried a meal plan. I planned simple meals, but didn't stick with that idea. I didn't like being tied to a schedule of food.

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I wish you tons of luck.

 

Not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good and being okay with cold dinner a few nights a week, especially as a working mom--homeschooling being a full time job--is critical.

 

Some nights we just have PB&J. :)

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That's kind of the thing, I DO enjoy cooking. A lot. But I need to have it all ready to go, and simplified. Part of my issue is I got caught up in the idea of keeping as stocked pantry rather than meal planning. But I suck at that. So I end up with odds and ends. I was doing far better the weeks I planned out meals (usually 5 plus one breakfast for dinner night) and just bought stuff for those meals, plus sandwich makings and cereal. When I go outside that I get overwhelmed, have too much food, can't find anything, and give up and order pizza, lol.

 

I totally get it. The simplicity is partially what I like about my method. Grab a bag and toss it in. Any other method and we just throw so much food away. I do wish I liked cooking though. Or cleaning. Or laundry.

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Good for you! I have the opposite problem (need to gain weight) but my mother in law was at the do or die stage when she had it done last August. She is now down 85 lbs and has dramatically reduced her medications. I see her in a few weeks and I don't know I will recognize her! We haven't seen her in about 18 months.

 

Good luck!

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Good luck.

 

For your immediate post op....I don't know if they still do this, but in the olden days, some of the protein powder companies would send free samples to Bariatric surgery patients.  Unjury, SynTrax, and others too.  I know there are people who will sell you trial packs too.  Personally, I hate all protein powder though. :)

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Good luck.

 

For your immediate post op....I don't know if they still do this, but in the olden days, some of the protein powder companies would send free samples to Bariatric surgery patients.  Unjury, SynTrax, and others too.  I know there are people who will sell you trial packs too.  Personally, I hate all protein powder though. :)

 

yes, I hear at the support group meetings they hand out samples that the companies have sent. And I was able to request yesterday some samples of bariatric vitamins. I actually like protien powders well enough, but will be trying a few different ones to see what I like. I've also been reading some tricks, we tried one tonight. I mixed a spoonful of sugar free pistachio pudding into a vanilla protein smoothie with lots of ice. It was like a pistachio milkshake. Not something I'd do all the time, but nice for a change of pace. 

 

I've also seen I can buy a sample pack of the Syntrax, so will probably do that when it gets closer. 

 

Thanks!

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Thanks all! I'm kind of looking forward to the GI Series this week. The biology geek in me finds it really cool to watch your insides in real time. I hope they have it so I can see the screen at least part of the time. I had one done many many years ago and got to watch. I'm less excited about the manometry. i hear that is somewhere between not that bad and waterboarding, so yikes.

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Hi,

 

I think I missed the previous thread, but I thought I'd post about my experience.  I had a roux-en-y last June, so I'm 9 months post op.  I have lost almost 100 pounds and have had a great experience.  I started at around 265 pounds and I currently weight 166.  My goal is 150 so I'm confident I will hit that weight.  I have a host of other medical issues (lupus & ra).  While those conditions haven't improved, (They have remained about the same.) I'm off all medications I was on for blood pressure and I'm no longer pre-diabetic.  My blood pressure is completely normal.  Exercise is so much more pleasurable now that I'm not overweight.

 

The only issues I have had are with hypoglycemia.  This started recently and is usually associated with me not eating breakfast.  Not eating breakfast has always been an issue for me.  I'm being more intentional about making sure I eat in the morning and it hasn't been as much of an issue.  I do have to be careful though as my A1C is actually pretty low and when my blood sugar was checked recently it was 41, which is way too low.  I know this is a common problem from other people that I have talked to so I just wanted to put that out there for you.

 

I won't lie, this has been hard.  Transfer addiction is very common.  Food is very emotional for many people, me included.  I didn't realize how much I would eat/snack when I was happy or sad or bored, etc.  I discovered just how much of an issue that was for me after the surgery.  I just never thought it was an issue to eat what I wanted because I cooked from scratch, didn't keep processed stuff around, etc.  I keep healthy stuff around, but I like to bake.  I don't bake much anymore because it just doesn't bring me joy like it used to and neither does going out to eat.  I just don't want to go out to eat because it isn't fun anymore for me.  The good thing is you won't be hungry initially so it won't bother.  At around 6 months post-op cravings start to come back and you will start to feel hungry again.  I ended up finding a therapist to help me work through some of my food issues (and other issues, too).  It really has made all the difference.  I just thought I'd mention it because I didn't know just how emotional this journey would be.  I found out after the surgery and sadly I have shed many a tears over this.  It is so embarrassing to admit that.  I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.  It is not an easy road, but I would do it over in a heart beat.  The confidence I have, the improvement in my health, and the ability to exercise/ do physical things has been so.....so....so worth it.

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Before https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201232855325463&set=t.525633206&type=3&theater(Purple dress is me.  This was taken before surgery.  I was actually about about 20 pounds heavier than when this picture was taken.)

 

After (9 months out) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152735111208207&set=t.525633206&type=3&theater 

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Before https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201232855325463&set=t.525633206&type=3&theater(Purple dress is me.  This was taken before surgery.  I was actually about about 20 pounds heavier than when this picture was taken.)

 

After (9 months out) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152735111208207&set=t.525633206&type=3&theater 

 

First, thank you so much for the tips and advice. I do have acess to a psychologist after surgery (already met once with her) so will keep that option open. I also will be attending support groups several times a month. 

 

Secondly, you are beautiful, in both pictures. But I bet life is a lot more fun with the weight off :)

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Thanks all. One of the things I look forward to is being able to exercise more easily. I adore yoga, but at this weight my feet cramp up early on, not to mention how hard it is to work around my belly. It's so frustrating when I know I could do a pose before, but now it just hurts to stand. I also love zumba, but same issue with the feet. Now may plantar fasciitis is coming back too, which I'm being proactive about, but Zumba is out for now. I'm sticking with water aerobics right now. 

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Thanks all! I'm kind of looking forward to the GI Series this week. The biology geek in me finds it really cool to watch your insides in real time. I hope they have it so I can see the screen at least part of the time. I had one done many many years ago and got to watch. I'm less excited about the manometry. i hear that is somewhere between not that bad and waterboarding, so yikes.

I hope you enjoy your GI Series...never thought I'd write that to someone :lol:

 

Good luck with everything. :grouphug:

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My other issue is wanting a "treat" at night after the kids are asleep and things are quiet. We talked about having somehting lower calorie, or just a cup of tea. Or treating myself to a book or a trashy tv show instead of a food item.

I can really identify with this. I realized that on the rare occasions I was out without any kids I would buy a candy bar, just because. But really, it wasn't too "rare" any more. Even knowing that I do this and I don't want to, it is not easy to stop.

 

Best of luck to you.

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I can really identify with this. I realized that on the rare occasions I was out without any kids I would buy a candy bar, just because. But really, it wasn't too "rare" any more. Even knowing that I do this and I don't want to, it is not easy to stop.

 

Best of luck to you.

 

Exactly! I used to do that too. Now I get a coffee or a individual sized bottle of Coke zero. (I don't keep diet soda in the house anymore.) But, that will have to go too, as no carbonation is allowed after surgery. 

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My other issue is wanting a "treat" at night after the kids are asleep and things are quiet. We talked about having somehting lower calorie, or just a cup of tea. Or treating myself to a book or a trashy tv show instead of a food item.

 

I find that I crave sweets at night, but I have to limit sugar due to severe reactive hypoglycemia.  I make myself a sort of steamer.  I put a few squirts of sugar-free syrup (like Torani) in a cup to a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and microwave it for a minute and a half to two minutes. It's sweet and creamy and REALLY helps with the cravings. 

 

Best of luck to you with your surgery. :grouphug:

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Well, more incentive arrived today. We had applied to increase the life insurance coverage on me. I got a denial today, because of my "build" aka my weight. They explained that I'm too likely to die to make it financially a good idea for them to provide a higher level of coverage. Yeah. That's a slap of reality.

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This will seem "crazy", if you have not seen this on TV, as I have, approximately 10 times. There is a Hypnotist, Marc Carlin, who does a virtual Gastric Band surgery. The 2 or 3 patients shown on the "Extra" (overseas viewers see "Extras" when U.S. viewers are shown commercials) make it interesting. When that "Extra" was filmed, he charged $1500 for 4 sessions. I have no idea where he is located.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/07/02/losing-weight-through-hypnosis/

 

I know, personally, at least 2 patients who've had Gastric Band surgery during the past 10 years. To be successful, a patient must completely change their lifestyle, with regard to diet and exercise.  Both are women. One of them lives about one block from us.

 

My late best friend was extremely obese and we had discussed the idea, but he had Diabetes and I was afraid to encourage him about the surgery, because Diabetes complicates everything.

 

I wish you much good luck with your surgery!

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Well, more incentive arrived today. We had applied to increase the life insurance coverage on me. I got a denial today, because of my "build" aka my weight. They explained that I'm too likely to die to make it financially a good idea for them to provide a higher level of coverage. Yeah. That's a slap of reality.

I'm sorry :(. I've been denied for insurance before, too. It really stings :(

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Mini update: Had my upper GI series today to evaluate the reflux. They didn't see any at all! Now, it does come and go, but that was good news. It seems that me giving up (mostly) soda and most caffeine is helping. I DO have a hiatal hernia now, and the surgeon can/will fix that at the time of the other surgery,which may fix any remaining reflux, and can do a Dor Fundoplication to also help with reflux. So, as long as the manometry test comes back okay, I can do the gastric sleeve rather than the gastric bypass. I would prefer that, as it gives me the option to use NSAIDs in the future. The bypass means no more NSAIDs.

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That's great news! Good on you for giving up the acidic and caffeinated drinks (I'm clinging to those for dear life but my medical issues might necessitate me giving them up, too).

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That's great news! Good on you for giving up the acidic and caffeinated drinks (I'm clinging to those for dear life but my medical issues might necessitate me giving them up, too).

 

what's funny, is I'm drinking a lot of "lemondade" and citrus flavored drinks. Not real lemonade, but the crystal lite and such, the kind that comes in a little squeeze bottle that you just add to your cup of water. I have a blackberry lemonade, a pink lemonade, and one sweetened with stevia that is grapfruit citrus. No issues it seems. Previously, if giving up diet soda I would drink a lot of iced tea, and iced tea makes my heartburn worse than even soda. I've also cut back to no more than 2 cups of coffee, usually more like 1 and 1/2. I am going to try going off my nexium for a week, given the results of the test, avoid soda, and see what happens. 

 

the only other difference is I'm taking vitamins now. I suppose maybe that could effect something?

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I have GERD, and have been told by my specialist that losing a certain amount of weight often gets rid of it for people.  He said that I don't necessarily have to get into the normal weight range, that many people with this tendency have a 'cliff' weight below which it seems to go away.  That is consistent with my experience.

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what's funny, is I'm drinking a lot of "lemondade" and citrus flavored drinks. Not real lemonade, but the crystal lite and such, the kind that comes in a little squeeze bottle that you just add to your cup of water. I have a blackberry lemonade, a pink lemonade, and one sweetened with stevia that is grapfruit citrus. No issues it seems. Previously, if giving up diet soda I would drink a lot of iced tea, and iced tea makes my heartburn worse than even soda. I've also cut back to no more than 2 cups of coffee, usually more like 1 and 1/2. I am going to try going off my nexium for a week, given the results of the test, avoid soda, and see what happens.

 

the only other difference is I'm taking vitamins now. I suppose maybe that could effect something?

Huh. That's a weird correlation. Maybe the caffeine is the issue? At least you have something flavored you tolerate. That helps a lot mentally, to feel like a treat.

 

When I ger sick of water things like crystal lite are so helpful.

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