Gastric Bypass & PCOS - my story

Roadrage
on 9/21/16 9:21 pm
RNY on 03/23/16

Hi everyone!  I had RXY 6 months ago, and I also have PCOS.  I posted this (very long) story to my Facebook page earlier, but thought I'd share for all of those with PCOS as well.  Hope this helps!

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So, here's the deal. I've lost 95lbs in about 6 months (tomorrow)! I still have about 20 more to go - but I'm almost there!

Many of you have sent me nice notes, and even a few posts of "How did I do it" or "What's my secret"!? So here we go...

For those of you who've known me since I was a kid, I've always been the chubby girl. I played sports like a freak, but I could also down a pizza like nobody's business. Don't worry - I made up for it with my super awesome personality, but a "petite little flower" I was not. More like a Redwood Cactus that would kill you in your sleep. Oh, I'm getting off the subject here - too much Dexter on Netflix this week.

When I was 19 I was diagnosed with a condition called "PCOS". You can google it, but it's something that about 10% of all women have (but only 5% are actually diagnosed). It does gives me super powers like the ability to lift up 250+ pound men in bars after a few drinks via crazy high testosterone levels (this surprises no one), but it also causes things like crazy weight gain that is very difficult to lose, awesome goatee level facial hair, insulin resistance, constant sugar cravings, difficulty having kids, depression, etc. This condition also puts me on the fast track to diabetes, sleep apnea, heart problems & a pre-disposition to many cancers at an early age. I hit the total genetic jackpot!! It was either this or my moms 5'11, willowy thin frame. Why take the easy route, right?!

After fighting PCOS for over 20 years, trying every diet possible, working out with little success only to give up and just eat cupcakes & nutty bars for a few months (I mean seriously - Nutty Bars are AMAZING), and then yo-yo back to anorexia where I would starve off the 10 - 20 pounds I'd recently gained - I decided I really wanted to get out of this cycle. I have a pre-teen daughter who I was setting a horrible example for, and I really didn't want her to follow in my weight issue footsteps. She's pretty, she's sporty.. She needs none of this crap!

So, I hopped on the inter-webs, and talked to my doctors - and came to the conclusion that the only long term tool that was going to help me with getting rid of the PCOS symptoms was to lose weight, permanently. Which is TOTAL CRAP, because the PCOS makes that nearly impossible. It's a total chicken & the egg scenario.

But after digging a bit deeper, I saw that a lot of PCOS patients who had done Gastric Bypass surgery, stuck with a strict low carb diet after surgery & did daily exercise had shown long term weight loss success. After a year of meeting with Doctors, PCOS Specialists & my Nutritionists - I decided this was the best decision for me.

But, I was also kind of terrified. There is a huge stigma about doing Weight Loss Surgery. Plus, I'm not a fan of things that involve "pain" (unless I'm the one doling it out). Cutting out my stomach, re-routing my innards, blood, knives, scalpels and things like that were surprisingly not on my bucket list. Upon further research however, I learned that these were all things that were non-negotiable. Bummer, dude. But, go big (already did that!!) or go home.

So, on March 23rd, 2016 - at 5am, I headed to UNMC to get gutted like a fish. I'm 5'8'', and started at 260lbs (remember - more I'm like a linebacker than a petite delicate flower). I stayed in the hospital for 2 nights, and got to take "long walks" around the hospital floor, and do 1oz shots of protein shake every hour. It wasn't as good vodka, but it would do. I was lucky to have 0 complications, very little pain, and lost over 20lbs that first month. I even went to Hyatt iLead in Atlanta for work 2 weeks later with no problems!

So why am I putting all of this on Facebook?? Well, I don't want people to think that I just woke up one day and started eating healthy and working out and stuck to it and the weight just fell off. I've tried that method MANY TIMES - and either it didn't work at all, or it was short term because I was eating 1 salad a day or less. Not healthy. Not good for the long term. Unfortunately - it was the only thing that seemed to work - at least in the short term, until the sugar cravings kicked back in like a heroin addiction and an ice cream cone happened to be in path!

Weight loss surgery has a huge stigma attached to it. Many people who do it, don't talk about it at all. It's for "older, sicker, or bigger" people than "me". If I have to resort to this, it means I'm a total failure (this was my daily self talk for months). That's definitely what I originally thought. Even after I decided to do it - I wasn't going to tell anyone. I was going to be a "Super Weight-Loss Success Story" who exercised and ate healthy and it just (finally after 30 years) fell off! But now that I've done it, I realize that it really doesn't help anyone to keep things quiet. So many people have problems with their weight, and feel guilty, depressed & isolated by it. Why add to that by making people think I have some ultra kick-ass will power that my "fat friends" must not have, instead of just being honest and just telling people my story?

I also want to add that Weight Loss Surgery is far from an "easy fix" or a "cheat" as many people say (like totally not to me directly, because they know I'll kick their asses).

First, WL Surgery is only a TOOL. I can screw this up at any time, and I am constantly terrified that I'm going to do just that. There are plenty of possible complications associated with this - vitamin deficiencies, obstructions, gall bladder problems, nutrition absorption issues, etc. - The fun is just starting!!

The surgery also doesn't fix your head & mental problems associated with food. I still want those damn nutty bars, and Godfather's Taco Pizza still smells amazing. Also, the surgery sadly doesn't include a mental implant to make working out any more "fun & exciting". (Although Netflix on the iPad definitely helps). You have to work through a lot of this stuff yourself to get your head in the game - otherwise you'll just be back to where you started, or worse.

I also want to point out that by doing this, I have DEFINITELY cheated. I've cheated McDonalds & Taco Bell out of a lot of potential future revenue. I've cheated the hospital out of potential heart surgeries, knee & hip replacements and I'm not going to be buying that sleep apnea machine now. A few pharmaceutical companies aren't going to make money on me via insulin & diabetic supplies, and I'm hoping to push the potential cancer treatments that could have been around the corner in to my 80's (let's hope). Nutty bar sales have plummeted (seriously, if you own stock in Little Debbie - sell now before they find out I did this). Torrid & Lane Bryant have lost a size 22 super-model who worked for free, and my poor kids are probably going to be stuck with me for a much longer time. And Joel is going to have to pay a lot of $$$ if he wants to upgrade to that new trophy wife (and again - I will so kick his ass).

My day now consists of about 800-900 calories (it's all I can usually choke down). Protein is always first - shakes, meat, cheese, eggs & nuts. No carbs like bread, rice, sugar or anything that really tastes good like junk food because after a couple of bites it tends to make me sick. No soda because carbonation & caffeine causes ulcers, and no alcohol for a year for the same reason. NO ALCOHOL PEOPLE! OMG. I try to stuff in a few veggies for the nutrients, and the occasional fruit if I have space. Water is a staple, and if I'm feeling fancy, I may add some Crystal Lite drops. Eating with me is liking dining with your Aunt Pearl at the Old Folks Home. It's not horrible, but the food is really bland, there is usually sugar free jello involved and it takes a while to choke everything down. I'll try not to pinch your cheeks or knit you a sweater.

I've had no pain at all, thankfully - but at 6 months out, I'm still constantly tired. When you can't eat much, don't eat carbs and can't have caffeine - you don't have much energy - and that starts to take its toll. Hoping this improves over time! ?

Stats:
Starting Weight in March '16 - 260 / size 22
Current Weight Sept '16 - 164 / size 10
Goal Weight - 150 / size 8

Weight loss surgery is most definitely NOT an easy fix, and not a solution for everyone who wants to lose weight. But, it has (so far) been a very good decision for me, and I don't regret it. Joel has been a great supporter & I'm so grateful to have had him through this! ?? you babe! The very few friends who knew I was going to do this - they were my rocks, and are still helping me daily.

If you have questions about WLS - I'm happy to answer them! If you have a negative opinion about it - I don't want to hear it, and I will cut you. ð?"ª?????.

Erin - 5'8''

HW: 260; SW: 237

CW: 164; GW: 145 

RXY Surgery Date: 03.23.16

JennyLou1212
on 10/10/16 11:51 am
RNY on 04/26/16

I love this post.  Your story sounds a lot like my story.  PCOS had ruled my life since I was 16 years old...finally I'm getting rid of it!  Congratulations and good luck to you.  

~Jenny

linison
on 11/27/16 6:31 pm
VSG on 10/13/14 with

Have you seen any reduction in your PCOS symptoms?  I had WLS two plus years ago and it HAS helped me lose weight but it has NOT fixed my PCOS symptoms otherwise - I think I may be in the minority though. Hoping for the best for you, and congrats on your success!

Radgirl1
on 12/30/16 12:44 am

Thank you for this post. Love your sassy vibe! I just stared my required 6 month medically supervised diet, so I am newer than a newbie.  Our stories are so much alike and you perfectly described why I decided to get wls and even my previous reservations about it. I got diagnosed with sleep apnea 2 months ago. It's a scary condition and also unpleasant treatment to have a hose attached to your face every night with air shooting up your nose. Congrats on avoiding it and worse! I wish I had started this process years ago.

rachel_lynn
on 2/10/17 10:20 am

This is the exact thing that I needed to hear! After finding out about 6 years ago that I had PCOS, it made all of my 'physical problems' crystal clear as to why they were happening. I had tried dieting, resorted to weight loss pills, and even went to the extreme of barely eating for days in order to lose weight - - - all for it to come back, and usually double in number. I'm happy to hear that once you had the surgery that it seemed to lessen the PCOS problems as well. I've been told (and researched) that once you have WLS it will put your diabetes into remission, but I was curious about the PCOS symptoms  - - things like the facial hair growth, will that become less of a problem as well once weight is lost?

 

Thank you so much for sharing this!!

Sunshine16
on 8/29/17 12:01 am

Hi!

Thank you for sharing your lovely story. Sometimes I'm in denial, but I was diagnosed with PCOS. And even without the diagnose I can tell I am extremely sensitive to sugar. Like currently my body equilibrium is off, and I'm craving Now and Laters again. Yes I said, Now and Laters...and you know that is a bunch of sugar. Something got of whack, because a few weeks, my mental was like that is just too much sugar.

I had the DS so my stomach is not as sensitive to soda, but I need to stop, COKE zero, now that gives me a bunch of energy. However, my face acne can not stand it. ...

But you said your energy is off, which that is a terrible feeling. I wanted to ask how your iron? Because I am slightly anemic, and take a bunch of vitamins and supplements. I take this particular iron that does not constipate and gives me a bunch of energy in the morning. Plus I take (1) 500 mg of dissolvable B-12, and Vitex 2-3 times a day. Since you have PCOS, you may need something to help balance you. Its more or so like a female balance, and that helps with energy. When I'm tired, because I have PCOS, I know something is off and my body is complaining about something. PCOS will make tired, and a feeling of depression.....and taking a female balance helps. I use to take straight Female balance, but it was making me irritable after awhile. Plus I take something else to help with my painful menstrual cycle. But listen to your body, because it will tell you... But my point is you probably need something...your eat style is good. But like I said with PCOS, you may need a little more help. The Vitex is helpful, and B-12. I tend to always go on AMAZON...and diagnosing myself, and by doing a lot of research and reading.

Eating a lot of sugar makes me tired, depress and turning into bed early as well.

Perhaps this was helpful, or just a little FYI

SW / CW / GW       292 / 181 / 174 - Height 5'7, Size 10

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