One Year Surgi-versary! Some Regrets + Foe Toe Hoe N

Victorious_one
on 6/7/11 12:54 pm - South Central, PA
DS on 06/07/10 with
 
I can't believe that one year ago today, I freely volunteered to have a dude cut me open, take the majority of my stomach and other assorted organs, and re-arrange my guts!    That I was ready for, and OK with.  The rest of it...not so much.


Every single day since then I've thought, "What was I thinking?"  I recounted half my nightmare in my 6-month update post:  blood transfusion, a 7-day ICU stay, "extra" surgery, chronic vomiting, daily nausea, lethargy, flat-out starving, nutrition deficiency.  Since then, I've had to be on TPN nutrition support for several months (which helped a ton and saved my life).  As soon as I got off of TPN, I got a blood clot in my TPN vein, which now has to be treated and watched like a hawk for six months.  

For the whole year since my DS, I've been in some type of medical crisis.  Not. Fun.


If anyone had told me a year ago that I would go through all that, I would have run for the hills.  No amount of weight loss would have been worth it.  I would have just had to starve my way down 90 lbs, and keep starving forever to stay there.  I may have even tried out for the Biggest Loser!  


I would have never voluntarily signed up for all that trauma and drama.  And no, if I had to do it all again, I would NOT.


And yet...I am all on the DS train, drinking the DS Kool-Aid and evangelizing for new converts.  Why?  Because I still believe in this surgery, and what it can do for people who are (super) (morbidly) obese and fighting for their health and their lives.  It's the best surgical alternative, hands down.  It works just fine without trouble for 95-98% of people, and that's good news.  All of the troubles I had were treatable and curable.  And, there's no such thing as a free lunch:  if people can get ready for what may go wrong, they can get through the trials and come out on the other side.

Some things I realize:

1)  I realize that most of my problems (even the malnutrition crash) could have happened with any type of WL surgery, or any type of surgery, period.  

2)  In my focus on deciding what surgery to have, I realize that I MAY HAVE skimmed over the possible complications of all types of WLS.  I only read about the possible complications from the DS that people mentioned--it never occured to me that I may have experienced other side effects that are not in those descriptions, or that I may experience side effects from other WLS's.  My bad.  

3) Having odd side effects made me feel weird and lonely.  That made everything else I was going through feel worse, emotionally.

4) I wasn't ready for anything that came my way.  My ordinarily sunny disposition and outlook never had me thinking that anything could go wrong.  I felt like a truck hit me at every turn.  My bad, again.

5)  I accept that things could have been a heck of a lot worse!  A few people have suffered horribly after their WLS, and a small number have died.  Even though I was miserable and sick as a dog for months, I can say that I was never in physical pain, not for one second, not even after surgery.  (The one exception was the arm pain that I had when the clot formed). That freedom allowed me to speak and think relatively clearly (as clearly as you can being malnourished), and get the help that I needed.

6)  I've become part of a group of people who are totally smart, who speak their minds, and who give incredible amounts of support and information to others who are struggling.  That's very cool!  

7)  I'm alive--HALLELUJAH!--and I look darned good!  (Pics below)

So, the DS can't be all bad, right? 

The scripture reference in my signature says, "[a]nd we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."  I have to believe that all these things I've been through in the past five and a half years--including DS stuff, but others stuff as well--will work together for my good and for the good of others that I can help by sharing my story.


Thanks for listening and reading.  Ok, here are my stats:


Height = 5' 7.5", Age = 40-something
Starting Weight = 248 lbs (38.3 BMI / Obese) - Clothing Size 20/22
Goal Weight = 140 lbs  (21.6 BMI / Midpoint of Normal Weight Range)
Current Weight = 152 lbs (depending on the day--between 150 & 155 lbs) / 23.5 BMI
Current Clothing Sizes = 6/8 women's; 11/13 juniors; medium/large
89% Excess Weight Lost (that's on track to lose it all according to DSFacts.com!)

Pre-Op and Post-Op Pics:
    surgery day  Nicole headshot  2007



3.5 months post-op for me (down 35-40 lbs @ size 16)
7 months post-op for my DH

High Praise Nov 2010

5 months out @ size 12, when I still had a little bit of booty left!
(I'm in the red shirt/grey slacks in the front-ground)

Size 10 back

No more booty here!  Size 10


IMAG0142.jpg Fabulous skirt & sweater

January 2011, just before taking TPN.  
I was a size 8/10 and darned happy about it!



Me (in blue) & my beautiful sister, Mrs. Songbird (in black) from the RnY Board.  
May 2011.
 I have "neck bones!"

Nicole  Lab rata data link- One-half of a DS couple!  - I'M BELOW GOAL!
 http://bit.ly/DSExp  After a very rough start it's official--I my DS!  Romans 8:28 
Looking for DS information? Start at 
 http://bit.ly/newDS and DSFacts.com 
LilySlim - Personal pictureLilySlim Weight loss tickers         
strawberry28
on 6/7/11 1:00 pm - somewhere, MD
You have done an awesome job!  Congrats!  You look beautiful!!


SW= 268     
CW= 145  ***GOAL REACHED on Christmas Day 2010****             
GW=145
5'6"       BMI= 23
 LapBand 3/2006 to Revision DS 12/2009
Get the FACTS about the Duodenal Switch at www.DSFACTS.com or http://www.duodenalswitch.com/

 Extended Tummy Tuck, BL/BA scheduled for 11/18/11 Dr. Larry Lickstein          
        
Victorious_one
on 6/8/11 4:21 am - South Central, PA
DS on 06/07/10 with
 
Thanks so much!!
Nicole  Lab rata data link- One-half of a DS couple!  - I'M BELOW GOAL!
 http://bit.ly/DSExp  After a very rough start it's official--I my DS!  Romans 8:28 
Looking for DS information? Start at 
 http://bit.ly/newDS and DSFacts.com 
LilySlim - Personal pictureLilySlim Weight loss tickers         
madavis1405
on 6/7/11 1:07 pm
I am sooo happy everything worked out for you..Even though you had a rough time..It was not your time to go..GOD is good. Congrats on all your success. You are beautiful!
        
Victorious_one
on 6/8/11 4:17 am - South Central, PA
DS on 06/07/10 with
 Yes, He is good all the time!  Thanks for the compliment.
Nicole  Lab rata data link- One-half of a DS couple!  - I'M BELOW GOAL!
 http://bit.ly/DSExp  After a very rough start it's official--I my DS!  Romans 8:28 
Looking for DS information? Start at 
 http://bit.ly/newDS and DSFacts.com 
LilySlim - Personal pictureLilySlim Weight loss tickers         
(deactivated member)
on 6/7/11 1:10 pm - Bayonne, NJ
Revision on 12/21/09 with
You've been through hell, but damn, you did well! You look healthy!

Wishing you continued health and happiness, you definitely deserve it!!!!
Victorious_one
on 6/8/11 4:22 am - South Central, PA
DS on 06/07/10 with
 
Thanks, Bailey!  And Dr. Greenbaum has been a dream helping me deal with the malnutrition.  I'm so proud to call him my surgeon.
Nicole  Lab rata data link- One-half of a DS couple!  - I'M BELOW GOAL!
 http://bit.ly/DSExp  After a very rough start it's official--I my DS!  Romans 8:28 
Looking for DS information? Start at 
 http://bit.ly/newDS and DSFacts.com 
LilySlim - Personal pictureLilySlim Weight loss tickers         
Chad M.
on 6/7/11 1:20 pm - Indianapolis, IN
I'm sorry it's been such a rough road for you. I can identify with some of it. I also never really considered seriously that I would have complications. I was sure I would sail through recovery. And I understand the feeling that there must be something "wrong" wth you or with your DS because every else's is working fine and yours gave you so much trouble.

You had so much to endure, but you came through it all! Now that you are off TPN, are you able to keep things down and eat/drink more normally? Your weight loss speaks for itself but I know that becomes a secondary concern when you are dealing with all of the other things you had.
Victorious_one
on 6/8/11 4:20 am, edited 6/8/11 4:22 am - South Central, PA
DS on 06/07/10 with
 Hey there, Chad.  I'm eating fine and dandy now.  I can drink protein shakes when I couldn't before, so that's an easy 100-150g of protein a day that I get on top of food. Chicken, fish, lobster and ribs are my favorite proteins (I need a budget, stat!).  I'm actually hungry (like real body hunger vs head hunger--foreign concept!) a lot of the time.  Nausea is a rarity.  I puked twice since January, which is  great considering that I was puking 2-3 times a week before.  Thanks for checking in!

(eta food choices)
Nicole  Lab rata data link- One-half of a DS couple!  - I'M BELOW GOAL!
 http://bit.ly/DSExp  After a very rough start it's official--I my DS!  Romans 8:28 
Looking for DS information? Start at 
 http://bit.ly/newDS and DSFacts.com 
LilySlim - Personal pictureLilySlim Weight loss tickers         
Nicolle
on 6/7/11 1:44 pm, edited 6/7/11 1:45 am
I'm sorry your DS ride has been very bumpy. I am glad you are still here, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly of potential DS life.

Congrats on making it to the 1-year mark. You look beautiful and healthy!

Nicolle

I had the kick-butt duodenal switch (DS)!

HW: 344 lbs      CW: 150 lbs

Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea GONE!

Victorious_one
on 6/8/11 4:25 am - South Central, PA
DS on 06/07/10 with
 
Looking forward to more good and less bad and ugly!  Thanks, Nicolle!
Nicole  Lab rata data link- One-half of a DS couple!  - I'M BELOW GOAL!
 http://bit.ly/DSExp  After a very rough start it's official--I my DS!  Romans 8:28 
Looking for DS information? Start at 
 http://bit.ly/newDS and DSFacts.com 
LilySlim - Personal pictureLilySlim Weight loss tickers         
teachmid
on 6/7/11 2:36 pm - OKC, OK
Congratulations on making one year with all the obstacles! You were beautiful before and absolutely gorgeous now.
     -Gail-
SW  257    CW  169  GW  165
  
Victorious_one
on 6/8/11 4:25 am - South Central, PA
DS on 06/07/10 with
 Aw shucks, thanks!   
Nicole  Lab rata data link- One-half of a DS couple!  - I'M BELOW GOAL!
 http://bit.ly/DSExp  After a very rough start it's official--I my DS!  Romans 8:28 
Looking for DS information? Start at 
 http://bit.ly/newDS and DSFacts.com 
LilySlim - Personal pictureLilySlim Weight loss tickers         
Jersey Girl
on 6/7/11 3:29 pm
Revision on 03/07/11 with
Congratulations!  I know you're journey has been a rough one and it's great that you're sharing.  It's important for people to know the severity of  the decision to have wls. 
A l y s i a  (pronounced like A l i c i a)
Total weight loss since HW of 475:
  
Pounds lost since band revision to DS            
Victorious_one
on 6/8/11 4:27 am - South Central, PA
DS on 06/07/10 with
 
Jersey!!!    Yes, I'm trying to keep it real for folks.  Most will have a cake walk, but don't be surprised if there are egg shells in that sucka sometimes!  

Nicole  Lab rata data link- One-half of a DS couple!  - I'M BELOW GOAL!
 http://bit.ly/DSExp  After a very rough start it's official--I my DS!  Romans 8:28 
Looking for DS information? Start at 
 http://bit.ly/newDS and DSFacts.com 
LilySlim - Personal pictureLilySlim Weight loss tickers         
Blank Out
on 6/7/11 3:47 pm
DS on 05/24/10 with
 I am very sorry about all that you went through!  That is really tough stuff.  But honey, you look AMAZING!  I hope and pray from this day forward, it's all smooth sailing for you!  May year number two be the best ever!!!  Looking forward to your 2nd surgiversary post and a good report!
     
HW/ 302  SW/287  CW/140  GW/135

Ann M.
on 6/7/11 3:52 pm - GA
DS on 06/21/11 with
You've done an awesome job with your surgery and the complications. I hope that the further out you get the more these memories will fade and you will enjoy your DS.

 

-Band to DS revision on 06/21/2011!
Highest known Wt/ Lowest Wt (Banded)/ Regain-Starting Wt/ Current Wt/ Goal Wt
379.6/ 272/ 342/ 169/ South of 200

 

NoreenRT
on 6/7/11 4:18 pm - Philly, PA
DS on 07/01/09 with
so sorry your ds journey has been a rocky and bumpy road.  so glad your faith helped you through it all. 
you have performed a very valuable lesson here today. you have posted a wonderful, informative message that hopefully newbies and those considering wls will read.  it's not always sunshine and buttercups on the recovery road.
thanks again for being so brave to post about your journey.  glad you are feeling better.  you certainly look like a million bucks!

 

 

Noreen  HW 352 / SW 324 / CW 162/ LW/ 148 / GW 150   (achieved Aug 14 '11)

 

 

Victorious_one
on 6/8/11 4:31 am - South Central, PA
DS on 06/07/10 with
 
Noreen, thank you for picking up on the fact that I was a bit reluctant to post anything contrary to the official rainbows and unicorns DS story!  I never want to do or say anything that would discourage someone from considering or having a DS--too many doctors and too many randoms with too much MISinformation do that all that time.   At the same time, people need to know that this stuff is real--any WLS can be a bear.  I do love my DS, and it loves me back now, but it took us a while to warm up to one another.  Thanks for the compliment!
Nicole  Lab rata data link- One-half of a DS couple!  - I'M BELOW GOAL!
 http://bit.ly/DSExp  After a very rough start it's official--I my DS!  Romans 8:28 
Looking for DS information? Start at 
 http://bit.ly/newDS and DSFacts.com 
LilySlim - Personal pictureLilySlim Weight loss tickers         
walter A.
on 6/7/11 4:29 pm - lafayette, NJ
DS on 11/12/10 with
our stats are about the same, except the misery, ive had nothing but a cake walk,  this is a dream come true, no grief what ever,