- Username: aphephobicfriend
- Location: Gainesville, FL, USA
- Member Since: 2/9/2008
- BMI: 29.1
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: VSG (03/17/09)
- Surgeon: Atul Madan, M.D.
I'm Not In Any Photos Yet.
Before & After
There are currently no before and after photos for this member.See these instructions
if you wish to submit your own Before & After photos.
New life to go with the new body... on January 14, 2013 4:09 pm
Be the first to leave a comment.
One thing I am not a fan of about plastics is the healing process. man bariatric surgery is like a walk in the park compared to this stuff. I am almost 6 weeks out and I'm supposed to be wearing a compression garment for the next six weeks. (And, like anyone who has been through PS I am damn certainly gonna follow my surgeons requirements to the T. too much money spent to risk messing up my result in any way!) I hate the garment because I live in Florida, and even though its january I would really be wearing shorts right now if the leg parts didn't go most of the way down my thighs. I'm also not a fan of the pee hole- even though its convenient, its kinda gaping large, and it makes me feel like I'm super exposed in my most private area. That's really annoying.
My surgeon, impressive though he is in some regards, is not always so great in the precise-instruction department. I often am left wondering things, or calling the office back for clarification.
I got my drain removed on Christmas eve, which was nice for the holiday. On Christmas we noticed that I had two little stitches in a lipo area that they had apparently forgotten to take out at the doc's office. Luckily, my aunt is a doctor and she took em out for me, but talk about shake your confidence in your home surgeon.
anyway, I spent a lot of time in a car for the holidays. The day after christmas I came back to Gainesville. I'm a law student, and I was moving everything out of my apartment to do a semester internship in Houston, to see if I wanted to settle down there (as opposed to Florida, where I am now). Mostly the move was socially motivated- I had a hard time plugging in to a community here, and if I was going to make a fresh start, it seemed advantageous to do it in a city where I had connected easily, and where I already have friends and family.
That was the initial plan anyway. Things got hard because the Public defenders office doesnt hire out of law school. I also applied with the District attorneys office, and they hire out of law school, but I am way more slanted toward being a defense attorney. Also, I expected to hear in time to move all of my stuff out of my Gainesville apartment before surgery. That did not happen. Instead I was scrambling around the day after christmas, trying to get everything taken care of in a 2 day window including selling all my furniture and finding a subleasor.
Since my father had already been to gainesville once that month, I asked around with my friends to see if anyone was willing to move my stuff with me. obviously, being right over 3 weeks out, I wasnt allowed to lift anything much (not over 20 lbs). My best guy friend Don is always down for an adventure- and he rose to the calling. I promised him a spectacular road trip, feeding and drink expenses, and a flight back to gainesville.
We set off on August 29th for New Orleans. The morning was spent selling furniture and loading everything else I own in my car. there was zero space to spare. thankfully, don is an engineer grad student. that definitely helped. After the 8 hour long car trip, I was ready to hit up Bourbon street. I had only had maybe a glass of alcohol since before thanksgiving, so I was very ready to 'catch up'. Thankfully, Don and I have been friends for a year and a half, so I feel no inhibitions about having a good ole' time and getting back safely. He drinks a lot too, but also manages his alcohol better than me.
Things get weird when we get back to my mothers apartment. Don is a friend from church, and we've been friends so long that I honestly didn't think anything could really change that. Add to that a conversation that went about like this, back in November:
Don: Uh... where do you see our relationship going?
Me: (Proceed to word vomit all my thoughts).... Well, I'm not really attracted to you romantically. But that may be because you always treat me really platonically.... I mean, maybe it would change? I am willing to explore that so long as you can PROMISE me we could go back to being friends if we don't work out... I mean if I don't end up being attracted ....
Don: Wait. Actually, I'm not attracted to you either. I just want to be friends.
Me: (Wondering why the heck we had to have this discussion).... ooohhh. okay. yeah. well, that's simpler. and that's what we both want. cool.
In between that convo and New Orleans, we spent time together a lot (but we had before that too). He also came to Miami, and I did thanksgiving with his family (which he assured me wasnt too relationship-y, I was stuck in Florida and we were coming back from our miami trip, so it made sense).
Well, that night in New Orleans, things changed. I went downstairs to the bedroom he was sleeping in to retrieve my pajamas, and he threw me onto the bed and started touching me... and then a few seconds later, kissing me. It shocked the hell outta me because he had given me no indication previously that his feelings had changed whatsoever. So, when my brain catches up to my body, I tell him to stop. He's too close of a friend to be a drunken hook-up, I tell him. Not to mention I dont ever hook up with friends really. Then he admits that he's been thinking about doing that for awhile, and I remember our earlier conversation about trying... and so I just try. Clothes come off. sex almost happens.... thankfully, I happened to always keep condoms at my place, the entire contents of which was in my car. The next morning I wake up naked lying next to one of my best friends, in the downstairs bedroom of my mothers apartment which I was certainly not planning on sleeping in. Furthermore, in the light of day facts swiftly catch up to me. The boy next to me had way more to drink than I did. In fact, he's the first person I know to successfully consume 2 hand grenades. and he had more than that. Second fact: this boy has never before had any kind of intimacy with a girl. never. no kisses, no hand-holding, nothing. and I nearly took his virginity.
I wait for him to stir and try as calmly as possible to question him about the previous night. He smiles at me when he wakes.
Me: "Are you okay?"
Don: "Yeah, I'm good. Are you?"
Whew. next question, less sure. Me: "Do you... do you remember last night?"
Don: "Yes, of course. I knew what I was doing."
For the rest of our trip, I explored the physical side of my relationship with this man at night in the bedroom. We didn't touch much during the day at first, though that happened more as time went on. Eventually, I gave my virginity to him (and he gave me his) the last night that we were together. We were at my destination in Houston.
At the time I had sex with him, I didn't know what we were going to do after he left. He wanted to try to date long distance. I didn't. I guess I kinda thought it would be a special thing that we could share together, and that it would be worthy of being my first time, and I didn't need to figure out the relationship to decide that.
Sex didn't change things for me. Being intimate with him did change things some- it made me more attached to him. But actual sex as opposed to just being naked with him... no difference. At least for me.
After he left, everything got crazy. my internship was postponed, so I drove to gainesville to spend some more time with him, figure things out, and party my last week of vacation away. And take care of things I haddnt before. We ate dinner on my floor, on napkins because I no longer had my dishes with me, and we drank wine out of cups he was supposed to take to goodwill for me. It was fun. We had sex twice more, but he became very conflicted about it and the spiritual/intimacy implications of the decision to share that. So we stopped. I honestly don't care. I enjoyed the sex, but I know all the benefits to waiting, and I think its much more important that he feels comfortable, and maybe that we establish some other types of intimacy more before that gets re-introduced.
Eventually, I was confronted with the reality that he couldnt just shelf our relationship and try to date other people for five months while i was gone. I didn't want to have him committed while I wasn't, so we were looking at a long distance relationship. my first relationship- long distance. His first too. Finally, I realized that being in Houston didnt make any sense at all anymore, with my job possibilities and such, if Florida would still be a realistic desire of mine after the semester ended. It would be hard to look for jobs in Florida while in Houston, and it would be hard to really invest in being in Houston if part of me wanted to be back in Florida. So, I dropped the plans and came back here. No stuff- I didn't have time to go to Houston and get it. No furniture- I had sold it all. And a week late for classes.
My biggest holdback was that I was worried people would assume I moved halfway across the country for a boy. He definitely did tip the scales, but I know that I was almost here anyway. And I know that staying in Florida right now and giving this relationship a chance and also working in the system of law I already know is the best step for me right now.
I have a new compression garment that I mentioned earlier. I am still really lethargic still from surgery. I have no furniture. BUT I have a new body, a new boy, and a bunch of new beginnings. so I'm having fun. I bought my first 2 piece swimsuit, and I am very glad I will be in florida to rock it on a beach soon.
whew. what a long post. I guess heart matters warrant more detail. at least in my mind. I'm hoping I keep shrinking- I still fit into all my old clothes, which is a little sad. I like how my stomach looks though, for the most part.
I hate drains on December 20, 2012 11:15 pm
Be the first to leave a comment.
I'm at 2 weeks. should have gotten the drains out but I'm still oozing too much liquid, so the doc is making me keep it till monday. boo. I'm so over it. I'm going out of town this weekend and was looking forward to a new compression garmet, a go-ahead to have alcohol, and a chance to show some old friends my new figure. now I'm gonna be a lumpy sober mess. oh well, its better than getting fluid buildup and having to be drained via needles. been there.
5 days post-op (again) on December 11, 2012 4:37 am
Be the first to leave a comment.
I say, I am somewhat shocked that I (and my parents) could willfully go through another elective surgery, but here we are again. December 6, 2012, I had a tummy tuck + lipo + muscle tightening. I've noticed since from the other surgeries that my pain tolerance didn't recover- I still start making noise and remarks when things hurt rather than shutting up about them. It's almost like I can't be silent anymore, I get too afraid.
I didn't manage to lose much weight pre-surgery like I would have wanted to. In fact, I clocked in at about 186 on the day of surgery, which is much more like my usual weight than the result of any ambitious diets. It was a crazy semester, and I didn't get to exercise nearly as much as I would have liked to. The surgery also came right in the middle of craziness happening with life and school- at the time that I'm writing this now, I still don't know if I will be living in Houston or in Gainesville next month. But that's a long story.
My surgeon put me on a liquid diet two days before the procedure- which I was none too happy about. After all the weeks of liquids with my stomach surgeries, I hate liquid diets now. What was even stranger was that he made me take this liquid that flushes out your system two nights before surgery- after doing a full day of clear liquids. I think- one or the other man! So I was a bit of a bear those two days.
The people at the surgery center were infinitely nicer than all the nurses I've dealt with at all the hospitals I stayed at. That was a pleasant surprise. They got an IV started, my doctor marked me up, they shaved my pubic area a bit, and I was in surgery around 8 AM. Waking up was hard. I noticed almost immediately that my abdominal muscles were having spasms, and man they HURT. Furthermore, even though my doctor said he usually over hydrates his patients to force them to get up and go to the bathroom, I could not pee before I left the surgery center. that led them to catheterize me, which I was NOT thrilled about, and I had to take it home. When they did hook me up I had almost nothing in my bladder, and the liquid was dark yellow- I was so mad, I TOLD them I didn't have to pee! Having the foley though proved to be a wonderful thing for me- my mouth was super dry from the medicines I had been given, and I was able to drink as much water as I wanted without having to get up once. I actually didn't get up once, though my parents tried to encourage me to. The muscle spasms were really intense, and I was terrified to move.
The next day, I had to walk to the car and then walk from the car to my surgeons office. It hurt, a lot. My body was so weak that my legs were shaking like jello. I moved like a slug. not my finest moment. My pain was barely at my tolerance point as it was, so walking even a few hundred feet had me teary and exhausted when I made it to the exam room. The nurses removed the catheter and they asked me if I wanted to see my new stomach. I honestly didn't want to. I was scared about how it would feel when they took the abdominal binder off of me, and I didn't feel like doing much of anything at that point. When my doctor came, he was all smiles and said it looked very good- he told me I seemed "underwhelmed" at my stomach. I told him I was just in a lot of pain and I would be very excited soon.
I had been going going going so much lately that I never really stopped to look at pictures, or see (more recently) what I could expect from this abdominoplasty. I have a new bellybutton that is high up and (in my minds eye) weird looking. I also have a big patch of dimply/not smooth skin on my right side. My doctor did fuss at me about the peritonitis (Sp.?) I had after my emergency surgery- he said there was a bunch of scar tissue that he had to clean out. I’m not sure if that’s the spot where I have the dimple now, because I remember it restricted my breathing but I thought it was on my L side not my right side.
I expected the binder that I have to wear to be different from the other ones I had after my gallbladder and my other WLS. But this binder is exactly the same. I wish it was slightly bigger, and was holding things in slightly tighter, than it is.
I spent another night in the hotel room after my 1 day visit, because me and my parents didn’t want to try to brave the 21 stairs to my mom’s apartment. Both of my parents were incredibly supportive of me and went and got me whatever food I asked for, and were extremely willing to fetch for me even in the middle of the night when I needed water, tissue, pain killers, etc. The next morning, I came up to mom’s apartment and I’ve been here since then. Mom has a massaging chair which reclines, and I fell into it almost immediately and moved very little outside of going to the bathroom.
My doctor told me I could shower after on day 2 after, but it wasn’t until day 4 that I wanted to. I was able to stand up (bent over really, since I’m not supposed to stand straight yet) in the shower and once I toweled off I actually got a good look at my body. It was (is) much smaller. I’m very happy for that. It’s still very surreal, and doesn’t much feel like me, but I know it will come to feel that way more and more in the following weeks.
I have two drains, which are not a big deal at all remembering the four I had at one point. I know they won’t be so fun to take out, and neither will the staples, which will come out on my next post op visit tomorrow.
Everyone had been warning me that constipation was an issue- I ran into that on night #3. It hurt so much and my parents were running around trying to find laxatives/stool softeners that would work, while communicating with my doctor. Anyway, now that we’re over that hurdle I’ve been taking my fiber pills again and taking a stool softener every day so I don’t experience that again.
Another much more significant issue I’ve had is nausea. I was not in any way nauseated the first day- partially I think at least due to the fact that I had a huge appetite and ate and drank a ton. Well, on night 3 and 4, I started throwing up hourly. I would just wake up and puke into a bowl, and then go back to sleep. This would happen for several hours. I was taking anti-nausea medicine, but it didn’t help. Let me tell you, vomiting when you have a ton of stitches in your abdomen is NOT fun. It was very scary, I often felt like I was tearing things. Last night, we finally were able to switch the nausea medicine to one that worked, and I made sure that I ate as much as I felt like I could before I had my antibiotic. The result- no puking!
I’m excited for my appointment tomorrow- I want to ask my doctor about the dimply area on my right side, and if it will go away. I also want to know about (eventually) piecing my belly button. It’s just too cute to not, I think. I also want to hear about when I can change positions while sleeping, and if I can eventually switch to spanx rather than this abdominal binder, which I’m not sure holds everything in as well. Generally, I just feel like I will be more able to think of questions now that I’m not just overwhelmed with the pain.
So, that was a long update. It was a nice distraction for me, since I woke up and the rest of my family is still asleep. I am starting to nod off again, so I will bid farewell for now.
the date is set on August 20, 2012 5:09 pm
december 6th, I'm finally getting this hunk of skin cut off of my body. I'm honestly in shock, I can't believe it's gonna finally happen.
Be the first to leave a comment.
I wish I weighed less- coming back from camp usually helps me down a couple of pounds. but alas, I was 191.4 when I stepped on this morning- far more than I expected, and more than even my "panic point" of 190. I had shakes today and then brussel sprouts and shakes for dinner, and I will start calorie counting in the morning. It's essential for me to get back to my lowest weight before the pre-op weigh in, possibly even lower. I have 4 months to do it.
lots of thoughts, but I'm distracted right now. will write later
I've got the power on February 4, 2012 11:58 am
I'm sure most of y'all here have tried diets after diets. I know I have. Hell, I still do. Since I had surgery my weight has fluctuated between 176-190. One of the things that I've been struggling to embrace is my agency in this whole process. I feel like I've constantly been trying to fight for everyone to understand my own personal work in this matter, and you can hear it when I talk about my surgery. I tend to indicate to people that I had surgery, it didn't work (my band slipped and I had no restriction) but I lost weight because I was really pushing for it to work. I was 203 when I went in for my second surgery, and they removed the band and sewed up the significant hole in my stomach. I usually tell people that my stomach is slightly smaller than it was but still significantly bigger than anyone else who has a sleeve. All of that is true. It's true that my doctor did NOT perform sleeves, and mine was done only because it was an "extenuating circumstance". Its true that his primary goal was to save my life not to perfect my weight loss, and it would have been risky removing lots of stomach tissue because of how degraded my stomach had become with the erosion. It's also true that I did get a leak, so his concerns were well founded. I used all that information as my justification for why I'm still 180 lbs rather than my goal of 158. I used it to justify my feelings of helplessness, and the subsequent unhappiness I had from that.
Be the first to leave a comment.
I really did try to keep losing weight. My lifestyle since surgery is COMPLETELY different. Every thing I eat is different. All the excercise I do. Etc etc. however, nothing besides short lived liquid diets give me any weight loss. I tried lots of different methods. I got a pedometer. I tracked my calories. I got jobs on my feet. I ate almost exclusively protein. I ate foods I hated. I tried to be more balanced. I abstained from alcohol. Nothing produced more than a 2-3 lb change, followed by a plateau. And (especially because I felt so out of control there) that meant they were all incredibly hard to continue doing. I was SO scared I was going right back up to crazy obesity. So scared as soon as I lost the fight in me and "let myself go" and ate somewhat normally, I would be right back in the 200s.
I told myself that anytime I hit 190 was considered "Panic mode" and I needed to do something- anything- to get back down to the 180-185 range that's now my comfortable habitat. Well, after a slacking semester where I didnt frequent the gym a lot, and a long, celebratory holiday season, I returned to Gainesville and hit the scale. 190.3. So, I bought some protein powder, re-instituted the calorie count, and didn't buy any more of the things I eat that are more caloric (namely nuts, my cheese- though its reduced fat, and occasionally ice cream). Seems like any other diet, right?
Well, this time it wasn't. One thing that I had never really acknowledged was how unreliable my calorie counting was. Sure, I'd do plenty of days where I'd stay within my 1,200 calorie limit. I loved charting then. But when I strayed? 50 calories- probably gonna chart it. 2000 calories? No way in hell. That first week I decided, "No matter what, I'm going to chart it. I'm not gonna let the shame of being in the red control me." The night after that, I was bored, tired, and reallly hungry (and I had almost nothign in my kitchen). I ate almost an entire bag of baked tostidos. I rationalized myself saying, "Well, at least they were baked, so they're healthier than the originals" but I definitely felt beyond full eating them. and then I went and charted the calories in them.... it was astronomical. It was such a shocker. It was more than I'd eaten the entire rest of the day and then some. But, I didn't let it beat me up. I just said, "Fuck that, next time if I want to binge I'm getting cheesecake, that wasn't worth it!" It has totally helped my awareness when I am mindlessly consuming food. If I think, "I just have to keep track of how much so I can write it down." then it just makes me so much more aware than I ever was that I'm eating, I'm consuming these calories, and I want to. I've been on this a few weeks and guess what? I go over my weekly amount more often than I stay on it. It's set at 1100 and my actual average is about 1560. But I've still lost weight. Really lost weight.
That realization has made me acknowledge- okay, yes, my body is stubborn. Yes, my metabolism is slow. but no, its not hopeless. a lot of the reason why I couldnt do it before was because I couldn't face the reality when I went off the plan. So those days get uncharted, I tend to not dwell on them, and suddenly I'm saying, "WTF. I'm eating 1,100 calories a day and I'm not losing any weight." No, I'm really not.
I HIGHLY recommend the calorie counting method to anyone who's having trouble. its a feat, to be honest with yourself. but even if you do it for a few weeks and then not for a long time, it provides you with so much valuable information if you're willing to look honestly. Look at your choices. I have eaten PLENTY of junk in these last 3 weeks without regret- tons of jelly beans, chocolate cake, at least half a dozen cookies, alcohol. I've lost 6 1/2 lbs anyway. And knowing I have the power to do it is more important than any of this other stuff, because that's really where it all matters. That thought has enabled me to get up early to go to the gym, to pass on some food I think I want, and to work toward my goals.
One other thing, besides Daily Plate where I chart my calories, that has been incredibly helpful is my fitbit (bless that machine). Fitbits are these clever little bugs that you stash on your body (I clip mine to my bra cause I lost a few on my pants) and they monitor your steps throughout the day. I don't care what people say about not needing someone to cheer them on, I KNOW for me, when my fitbit notes that I take the stairs all the time, there's recognition there. I can gloat that I've made goals and met them, that I've been reasonably active, etc. It also tends to kick me in the pants when I haven't been getting adequate sleep.
Fitbit recently added a weight loss/calorie O'dometer of sorts to its site. This means, based on your current stats, it will tell you about how many calories you can eat to lose at a certain rate. thats no different than livestrong, or many other sites out there. the things that are unique to fitbit, that I appreciate are: 1. its a range, not a number, so I feel less discouraged by it and more flexible 2. most importantly, the range is automatically adjusted to the amount of calories you burned that day. well, livestrong does that too- you plug in the exercise you performed, and it subtracts. What's the difference? Fitbit is taking your calories into account without you doing anything, and its way more truthful than just what you did at the gym. take the stairs? park a little farther away? fitbit will give you more calories. sit on your butt after you did your hour workout? probably not as active as the day you were running errands. boom. go over my calorie limit? walk to the grocery store, instead of drive, and when I check it again I'm automatically back in the green zone.
All that to say, I've had an incredibly productive few weeks, and the diet is the easiest one I've done in a long time. Sustainable. not awful. the frequent and accurate help that I get from fitbit and livestrong have made this an actual possibility for me. they said I'll reach my "goal" of 158 by April 24th. I don't know if that's really what I'm aiming for still, and I know during spring break I will certainly set myself back, but I'm really glad to feel equipped and powerful to make my body look and feel the way I want it to.