Topic: RE: So...life after DS???
I'm 2 1/2 years out from my DS. I'll do my best to answer your questions.
1. Most people return at about 4-6 weeks. I took off 8 weeks, but mostly because I had great short term disability insurance so didntt feel rushed to return. I probably could have gone back around 5-6 weeks, but not much before that.
2. Expect to take a lot, and then consider yourself lucky if you dont. I take about 18-20 pills a day. I would rather take vitamins than my old hypertension medication, etc. so it's not a big deal to me.
3. I assume you're asking about how do you know what vitamins you'll need? Good question. Most surgeons dont recommend nearly enough. Best advice is to start with what we call the Vitalday plan (Vitalady specializes in bariatrics, and really knows her stuff). You will have to have labs to check your levels, and know how to adjust. There is a lot of support online to help you.
4. You'll have to have your labs done more frequently during the first year, at least every 6 months, if not every 3. After that you can move to every 6 months. My surgeon orders my labs. I had to educate my PCP with drawings and diagrams. I also had him talk to my surgeon, which helped.
5. The frequent poop, and associated problems are grossly exaggerated. Yes, you will go more often, and yes, it will smell worse. But it can be largely controlled by what you eat. Different people are bothered by different things. For me, I can tolerate everything but white rice. No one should nottice a thing. The vast majority of DS'ers go to the bathroom once, maybe twice every mornintg. I know almost as many that are constipated. I dont even go every day.
6. I wouldnt go as far as to say that high fat is a requriement - at least not as in what you might be assuming. I noticed in the otther thread that someone advised you against hte DS if you dont like to eat high fat food. Just because we malabsorb fat, it doesnt mean that we're required to eat a ton of fat. I just eat "to taste". Meaning I go ahead and use cream in my coffee. I use a lot of butter. I use full fat / regular cheese and salad dressing. But I dont gorge on fat, or sit there eating fatty things. You will need a certain amount to stay regular, but that's all I do. If that isn't enough, things like peanut butter on a spoon, an avocado, or even olive oill drizzled on something is just fine.
7. My insurance covers my labs, you just have to make sure the lab uses the right codes. It does not cover vitamins. My vitamins are about $60 a month. But I dont have many of the Rx's I had from before surgery (like high blood pressure medication). I'm not a good value shopper, I bet I could cut some of that money out if I was smarter about it.
Have you been to www.dsfacts.com?
Also, I dont know if you're aware, but most of th DS'ers have left this board to join another one. We're not allowed to post the link to it here, but it shouldn't be too hard to find. I rarely post here anymore myself but popped in tonight and thought your questions were good ones and I wanted to help. Please feel free to PM me, as well. if you would like I dont come here very often any longer.