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Surgeon TestimonialManuel Martinez QuintanillaDr Quintanilla was quite friendly and seemed genuinely interested in my health and welfare in my initial consultation with him. I have had been to several follow up visits since, and I have seen nothing that changes my observation in that regard. I found his staff to be quite friendly and caring. The thing that I least like about Dr Quintanilla's practice is that things can be a bit disorganized there. My operation was originally scheduled for a Friday, but it was rescheduled at the last minute to Saturday because they did not have a needed tool to do the operation. I was told that it was, \"on the way\" and that I should go back to my hotel and come in the next day at around 3 in the afternoon. I did. Unfortunately, they were not yet ready for me even THEN. I had to wait a few MORE hours until one of the SURGEONS showed up. There was a surgical team of five people that worked on me from what I was told. Once everything was in place, the surgery went off without a hitch. I have had absolutely NO problems due to the surgery. I have had a few appointments that were missed due to the Doctor's staff not putting them down in his appointment book. They had to be rescheduled. I would recommend to anyone who has an appointment with the good Doctor to CALL in advance and CONFIRM that you have an appointment for that day before you make the trip. Fortunately for ME, I do not have too far to travel. rnrnDr. Quintanilla believes strongly in aftercare. The cost of your aftercare is INCLUDED in the cost of your operation. I have not had to pay a DIME for any of the follow up visits that I have had with the good Doctor. I am not sure what is meant by, \"a structured aftercare program.\" What I CAN tell you, is that I go BACK to see my Surgeon about once a month. At these visits I am weighed, Have a picture taken, and have a series of questions asked to determine how I am feeling regarding my Physical health. He also wants to know how my weight loss is affecting my mental health. After all of this, the Doctor gives me some recommendations for steps that he thinks I should initiate in my weight loss journey and then gives me some encouragement. He tells me when he wants to see me next, ant I am ushered out to the front desk to set up my appointment with the ladies at the counter. rnrnWhen we spoke of the risks of the surgery, Dr. Quintanilla explained that while there were risks involved, barriatric surgery had improved over the years so much that the risks were not much greater than those found in any other surgical procedure. I was told that the specific procedure that I was having, the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, was safer than most barriatric procedures. rnrnExcept for the missed target date for the surgery and the few delayed appointments that I have had, I have found Dr. Quintanilla to be an EXCELLENT Surgeon. I would have to say that at least SOME of those missed appointments were beyond his control and should not be held against him. I don't know that anyone else would experience the same problems that I have had. These things DO seem to happen only to ME. I can pick the shortest line in the grocery store, watch it move along QUICKLY, and just before it is MY turn to be served, the cashier has to cash out and a NEW cashier take over the register. This takes a few MINUTES to perform, of course, and it would happen while I was in a HURRY. This kind of thing happens to ME all the time. Murphy's Law, I guess. rnrnI found Dr. Quintanilla's bedside manner to be wonderful. He was kind and caring. After the surgery, when he found out that I was a Christian, he gathered a group of other Christians together, and they prayed over me while I was still under the effects of the anesthesia. My wife was there and joined them. I do not think he would have done this publicly had he not known and asked permission of my wife. He would have respected my religious preference and NOT have prayed publicly. I can only speak to the RESULTS of his surgical competence. I can only speak for MYSELF in that regard. In MY surgery, I have had absolutely NO complications. I have had no nausea, vomiting, cramps, or any of the typical side effects known to come from this type of surgery. I have not had to go back to the Doctor for any kind of repairs or problems regarding this surgery. I healed quickly. I would say that this surgery was a complete success, since I have lost 76 pounds in 3 months and 20 days since the surgery. Overall, I would highly recommend Dr. Quintanilla for whatever Surgical Weight Loss Procedure you are interested in.
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hubarlow's JourneyClick Here To View
Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
At one point in my life I was able to lose over 250 pounds. I did this by a combination of hard physical labor and a very restricted diet. I was able to maintain the weight loss as long as I was physically active. When I was young, I had injured my back. After losing this great amount of weight, I went to college for the first time. I had been away from school for over 10 years. All the sitting at college aggravated my spinal injury. After 3 and a half years of college, I had to quit because my back hurt so bad that I could not walk. It took a year and a half for me to work my back back into shape so that I could walk again. During that time I had gained some weight. I was unable to be as physically active as I formerly was and my weight kept creaping higher. ...
Surgical Comparisons on March 27, 2008 11:32 pm
Take this for what it's worth. I am telling you up front that I am NOT an "Expert" on Weight Loss Surgery. I encourage EVERYONE to RESEARCH EACH surgical option FOR THEMSELVES! THIS is the information that I have found in MY research. I have posted it here for people in an effort to help GUIDE folks and help them START their OWN journey into their OWN research.
There are a LOT of differences in the different types of surgical procedures. There are a LOT of differences in different SURGEONS. Some surgeons require more of their patients than others. Some PROCEDURES require more of the patient than others. You need to do some research and find the BEST fit for YOU. I just had a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy 3 weeks ago. My surgeon did NOT require me to lose weight. I had a BMI of 43.6. Now that isn't NEARLY as bad as many people. Had I been HEAVIER, he may HAVE required it. I don't know. What I CAN tell you is that I was having problems with arthritis in my knees and my shoulder. That was three weeks ago. Now it is almost GONE. There is just a TWINGE every now and again but NOTHING NEAR the constant agony that I was in before! I was also a Diabetic 3 weeks ago. I have had to DROP all of my diabetes medications a few days ago because the ONE glucovance pill that I was taking caused me to have my blood sugar to DROP to 53 POINTS! My sugars are still a LITTLE high, but under 150 and WITHOUT medication! In a FEW weeks with some MORE weight loss, I figure that my diabetes will be in COMPLETE remission! I have lost 36 pounds in a little over 3 weeks with my surgery and it was done WITHOUT feeling HUNGRY!
Here is a link to a site on AOL that gives you a brief overview of the most common weight loss surgeries plus one that is not quite so common. It will give you an idea of what these surgeries are about but does not go into much detail. Here is the link: http://www.aolhealth.com/condition-center/obesity/weight-loss-surgery?icid=1615984945x1203971396x1200410494 .
From what I have learned, your MAIN options are the LapBand, the Vertical Banded Gastroplasty, the Gastric Bypass, The Duodenal Switch and the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. There are other options, I am sure, but these are the most common that I have found. There are also combinations of these options ALSO available such as the Banded Duodenal Switch, the Banded Gastric Bypass, and the Banded Sleeve Gastrectomy. The Banded options are basically the same as the Regular surgeries but they have a LapBand added as additional insurance in case of future need.
The LapBand: (http://www.obesityhelp.com/content/wlsurgery.html#LapBand) is well known. It basically squeezes the stomach to make it smaller and creates a pouch with a restriction at the top of the stomach which fills quickly and empties slowly. The advantages of this surgery are that it is reversible if needed and it is adjustable if needed. It is a HIGHLY flexible procedure. This surgery is well known and excepted by many insurance companies. It may be best for people who have a history of cancer either themselves or in their family and may need to take chemo-therapy and for women in childbearing years who may become pregnant. There are also other reasons for wanting this type of surgery, but I don't want to spend ALL day writing this. There is an effective Excess body weight loss over 3 to 5 years of 50% to 60% noted in some studies. The PROBLEM with this option is that there are sometimes complications with this device. Some people have a reaction to the foreign object in their body. People with immune issues should NOT have this device. Lupus and MS patients for example, can have a reaction to the foreign body and it may trigger an immune system response. Other issues with the LapBand are that it is common for the band to "Slip" on the stomach and cause the pouch to enlarge thus causing the person with the device to eat more and negating the purpose of the surgery. Some surgeons have started stitching the band to the stomach to prevent this from happening. It would be wise to ask your surgeon if you are considering this option if he does this. Other times people have learned to "Eat around the Band" and force the food PAST the band to fill up the rest of the stomach and thus defeat the purpose of the band. Actually, this is an issue with ALL weight loss surgeries. All can be defeated by a patient who is either ignorant or intent on doing so. It seems to be MORE common with the Banded options, however. Another issue with Banded options is that occasionally the bands will erode the outside lining of the stomach causing damage to the stomach that often needs repairs and calls for a removal of the band and or a revision to some other type of weight loss option. This happens in about less than 1% of the LapBand Surgeries but it IS something that needs to be taken into consideration.
I have recently stumbled upon an EXCELLENT video showing an operation that features a LapBand Weight Loss Surgery! CAUTION! THE VIDEO IS GRAPHIC! IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH, I SUGGEST that you just START the video and put it in the background somewhere and LISTEN! There is some GREAT INFORMATION given during the procedure and I found it to be QUITE FASCINATING! The link can be found HERE:
In the Vertical Banded Gastroplasty: (http://www.obesityhelp.com/content/wlsurgery.html#VBG) (commonly known as stomach stapling) the surgeon makes a cut into the stomach to create a pouch. He sews the pouch and places a band at the bottom of the pouch. This banded option has less chance of the band slipping since the cut in the stomach holds it into place. It also has the advantage of being somewhat reversible but is not as easily reversible as the LapBand. It is NOT as well known as it's more famous banded cousin, the LapBand. There my be difficulties in getting this option with some insurance companies. It has many of the advantages and disadvantages of the LapBand surgery with the exception that the Band does not tend to slip and let the pouch expand.
An excellent link that better explains the pros and cons of this procedure than I can can be found here: http://obesitysurgerynjnyct.com/weight-loss-surgery-options.html. It also discusses some of the other procedures to some extent.
The Gastric Bypass: ( http://www.obesityhelp.com/content/wlsurgery.html#RNY) is made when the surgeon cuts the TOP of the stomach off and creates a pouch. An OLDER version of this surgery left the stomach intact but had a line of staples that was used to create the pouch. This method is no longer in use much if at all. The surgeon then takes a length of intestine and BYPASSES it. He takes the LOOSE end that is still attached to the intestines and sews it to the SIDE of the pouch that was created from the TOP of the stomach. The BYPASSED intestine is then attached to the side of the intestine that was connected to the pouch so that BILE from the bile duct can empty bile from the liver into the intestine. This option is often the DARLING of insurance companies. Many companies that won't pay for any OTHER Weight Loss Surgeries will pay for THIS one. THAT makes THIS surgery quite popular for many surgeons! This surgery has the advantage of being a HIGHLY effective tool in the arsenal of weapons against the foe obesity! It has an effective rate of weight loss and maintenance of 60 to 80% in some studies at 1 to 2 years. The DOWNSIDE of this weight loss option is that there issues of malabsortion of minerals and vitamins due to the bypassed intestine. This often leaves the patient reliant on his doctor for the special supplements required to maintain his or her health. Other issues are dumping, nausea, and vomiting. Dumping is basically when you have diarrhea that is caused by the intestine's inability to absorb the food that was eaten. Along with the diarrhea can come intestinal cramping, sweating, palpitations and other unpleasant side effects. Some people experience dumping with sweets. Others experience it with fats. Each person seems to have their own issues but whatever they are, they cause them to excrete the food that they ate before it was fully digested. Nausea and vomiting, while experienced by many in ALL weight loss surgeries is NOT experienced by ALL. It does seem to be MORE PREVALENT in the GASTRIC BYPASS and DUODENAL SWITCH patients according to the research that I have seen. The gas and foul smelling stool are also a result of the shortened digestive process due to the bypassed intestine in both the Gastric Bypass and the Duodenal Switch.
I have recently stumbled upon an EXCELLENT video showing an operation that features a Gastric Bypass (otherwise known as the Roux-en-Y)! CAUTION! THE VIDEO IS GRAPHIC! IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH, I SUGGEST that you just START the video and put it in the background somewhere and LISTEN! There is some GREAT INFORMATION given during the procedure and I found it to be QUITE FASCINATING! The link can be found HERE: http://www.or-live.com/PinnacleHealth/2119/event/rnh.cfm?
"Mini Gastric Bypass":
This was quite popular a while back but there where problems that were soon discovered that KEPT the procedure from REMAINING a popular option. You can read MORE about this procedure at this site: http://ezinearticles.com/?Mini-Gastric-Bypass---The-Ideal-Weight-Loss-Solution&id=361143 . What follows is a direct copy of the entry for the post on the Mini Gastric Bypass in the section defining the procedure under the Variations of the Gastric Bypass in WikiPedia. "Loop Gastric bypass ("Mini-gastric bypass"): The first use of the gastric bypass, in 1967, used a loop of small bowel for re-construction, rather than a Y-construction as is prevalent today. Although simpler to create, this approach allowed bile and pancreatic enzymes from the small bowel to enter the esophagus, sometimes causing severe inflammation and ulceration of either the stomach or the lower esophagus. If a leak into the abdomen occurs, this corrosive fluid can cause severe consequences. Numerous studies show the loop reconstruction (Billroth II gastrojejunostomy) works more safely when placed low on the stomach, but can be a disaster when placed adjacent to the esophagus. Thus even today thousands of "loops" are used for general surgical procedures such as ulcer surgery, stomach cancer and injury to the stomach, but bariatric surgeons abandoned use of the construction in the 1970s, when it was recognized that its risk is not justified for weight management. The Mini-Gastric Bypass, which uses the loop reconstruction, has been suggested as an alternative to the Roux en-Y procedure, due to the simplicity of its construction, which reduced the challenge of laparoscopic surgery. It is claimed that construction of a long tubular gastric pouch reduces the risk of inflammatory complications, and renders it as safe as the RNY technique." While it has been CLAIMED that the change to a longer tubular Gastric pouch reduces the risk of inflammatory complications, there is little research that PROVES it. If you are interested in having this procedure done, keep this in mind. The entry for Gastric Bypass in WikiPedia can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastric_bypass_surgery . Here is a short animation that shows what is done for the Mini Gastric Bypass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFQPLF9IjtI .
The Duodenal Switch: (http://www.obesityhelp.com/content/wlsurgery.html#DS ) is the STRONGEST tool in this arsenal of weapons! Many surgeons think it shouldn't be used lightly and often only recommend the procedure for people with a body mass index OVER 50! In the Duodenal Switch, the surgeon REMOVES approximately 85% of the stomach including MOST of the region of the stomach that produces the hormone grehlin. Grehlin is one of the hormones that create HUNGER. Removing the section of the stomach that creates hunger is a HUGE feature of this procedure. The surgeons then sew the rest of the stomach back together and create a tube shaped stomach that resists stretching. The stomach varies in size depending on the surgeon and the patient but can be anywhere from 2 ounces to 6 ounces. Perhaps more. The next step of this procedure involves bypassing the intestine just like in the Gastric Bypass. Instead of attaching the intestine to the SIDE of the stomach, it is attached to the BOTTOM of the stomach where the intestine used to exit. The bypassed intestine is then sewn at one end near the liver and the far end of the intestine is sewn to the intestine that was attached to the stomach to pass bile to the intestines as it does in the gastric bypass. This procedure is MORE efficient than the Gastric Bypass in losing weight. This option has an effective rate of weight loss and maintenance of 70 to 90% in those same studies. The downside when compared to the Gastric Bypass is that Insurance companies often do not know of this option and are often reluctant to pay for it. This option has many of the same issues as the Gastric Bypass. There are some severe malabsorbtion issues. There are often issues with dumping, nausea, vomiting, GERD (acid reflux), gas and foul smelling stools. Many surgeons have been reluctant to perform this surgery due to the severity of the complications that can arise. This is why it is often reserved for those who are considered severely morbidly obese. Many surgeons had looked for an alternative to this surgery which lead to what was initially considered a "Half Duodenal Switch" or as it later became known, the "Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy."
I have recently stumbled upon an EXCELLENT video showing an operation that features a Duodenal Switch! CAUTION! THE VIDEO IS GRAPHIC! IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH, I SUGGEST that you do not watch! There is NO AUDIO during the procedure but I found it to be QUITE FASCINATING! It HELPS if you have STUDIED what goes on in this type of surgery since there is NO COMMENTARY.
To get a better idea of what goes on in THIS type of surgery, I suggest you watch the videos for the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, which will give you an idea of what happens in the FIRST part of this surgery, and also watch the video for the Gastric Bypass which will give you an idea of what goes on in the SECOND part of the video for the SWITCH part. THEN watch the videos that follow.
The link for the Sleeve segment of the surgery can be found HERE (it is a WMP download of a video clip that is approximately 9 minutes in length--be patient): http://www.advancedobesitysurgery.com/images/Lap%20Duodenal%20Switch%20Full%20WMV.wmv
Here is where you can find the section on the SWITCH part of the procedure (this segment is only a WMP download of 3 minutes and 36 seconds long): http://www.advancedobesitysurgery.com/images/
A digitalized and sanitized "Cutaway view" of the procedure can be found here to help better visualize what this procedure is about. The video has no voice-over or writing and is self explanatory. It is only One minute and seven seconds long so take some time and view it.
Some of these clips and MORE information about this type of surgery and OTHERS can be found HERE: http://www.gastricbypasssanfrancisco.com/duodenal-switch-interactive.htm
The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy: (http://www.obesityhelp.com/content/wlsurgery.html#VSG) (if you get the same picture as the Vertical Banded Gastroplasy, just scroll UP) is a GREAT tool to use in the fight against obesity. While not QUITE as effective as the Duodenal Switch, it is often JUST as effective as the Gastric Bypass without the severity of the side effects of EITHER of those two options. The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy initially started as an attempt to create a safer Duodenal Switch alternative. While early attempts were not as successful in weight loss reduction, this was mainly due to the fact that the surgeons were relying on the larger size stomach often used for the Duodenal Switch patients who often rely on the "Switch" part of the surgery for some of the weight loss. Once the surgeons started reducing the size of the STOMACH, the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy became a much more effective tool at helping the patient loose weight. In the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, the stomach is cut and approximately 85% of it is removed. Just like the Duodenal Switch, most of the cells that produce the hormone grehlin are removed. This eliminates most of the hunger that the patient used to have, if not all of it. The stomach that is made from what is left is turned into a tube that is resistant to stretching. This tube is often designed to hold from 2 to 4 ounces of food or liquid. At this point the surgery is complete. The surgeons just need to close up and the patient needs to recover. The upside to this surgery is that it is simple and has one of the LOWEST rates of complications of all the weight loss surgeries. It also has one of the HIGHEST rates of excess weight loss with one study in California coming in starting at 58% to 77.9% loss in a ONE to TWO year study and one doctor in England reporting that 100% of his patients had a weight loss and maintenance OVER 70% at 6 YEARS of living with the Sleeve. He also reported that patients with hypertension, diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, obstructive sleep apnea, asthma, or arthritis were all cured or improved after surgery. It has also been said that this is the ONLY recommended option for people with immune system problems. People with diseases like Lupus or MS can have this procedure because there is NO foreign object placed in their body. This also is one of the few recommended options for people with organ transplants. People with transplants need their intestines to metabolize their anti rejection medications. There are possible issues with GERD in this surgery as there are with the Duodenal Switch There are NO malabsorbtion issues with this surgery. There are NO additional foul odors. There is NO additional intestinal gas. While nausea and vomiting is common in ALL weight loss surgeries, it is NO MORE PREVALENT in the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy than in most of the other options. If needed, the Vertical Sleeve Gastrecomy can be easily converted to a Duodenal Switch should additional Weight Loss measures need to be taken at a later date. This act is called a "Revision." Having your Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy converted to a Duodenal Switch would be said to be having a, "Revision of your Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy to a Duodenal Switch."
The Biggest DOWNSIDE to the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is that it is considered "Experimental" by many insurance companies. While it has not been practiced HERE in the US as a weight loss option for very long (about 5 years or so) it has been done for QUITE a while in Central and South America and in Europe for quite some time. The surgery has been used HERE in the US for OTHER reasons for QUITE a while. It has been used QUITE effectively to treat stomach cancers and ulcers with good effect. These treatments have been done in the US for quite some time.
Options for getting surgeries that are not paid for by insurance can be found if you are persistent. You can sometimes petition the company and get them to reconsider with a doctor's explanation. You can also self pay or take out a loan. Many times, the surgeries are cheaper in Mexico or other central or South American countries. Do some research to find your options.
I have recently stumbled upon an EXCELLENT video showing an operation that features a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy! Credit for this find MUST go to geauxtigers! I clicked on a post that geauxtigers had made telling of a Video of a VSG. Here I found THIS GEM! CAUTION! THE VIDEO IS GRAPHIC! IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH, I SUGGEST that you just START the video and put it in the background somewhere and LISTEN! There is some GREAT INFORMATION given during the procedure and I found it to be QUITE FASCINATING! The link can be found HERE: http://www.or-live.com/ololrmc/2002/event_flash/rnh.cfm?
There is a NEW bariatric
procedure that has just come out. It is called the StomaphyX
Procedure. Basically there is NO cutting involved. The surgeon just goes in through the esophagus and puts some spike like devices into the wall of the stomach at two points in the wall and draws the walls of the stomach up. He does this at various areas around the stomach until he has reduced the VOLUME that the stomach can hold by basically FOLDING the wall of the stomach in upon itself. At the moment there seems to be no long term studies on weight loss results but if you are in need and are willing to try it then it may be worth the cost. From what I have seen, the cost of the procedure is about $9,000.00 here in the US. I don't know if you can get the job done in Mexico yet. Recovery time seems to be very short with some of the comments saying that folks were back to work the next day. At the moment the procedure seems to be used mostly to help folks with the Gastric Bypass that have started to regain weight after they initially have lost weight with weight loss surgery. According to Wikipedia
, it can also be used for some OTHER weight loss surgeries such as the Duodenal Switch and the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
. The link to themorbidme
.com stated that the procedure could eventually be used as a stand alone procedure as another weapon in the arsenal in the battle against obesity. There is a link that talks about the procedure here: http://www.obesityhelp.com/ohblog/mode,content/cmsID,10601/
. Another EXCELLENT link that talks about the possibility of this procedure being used for more than Gastric Bypass patients can be found HERE: http://www.themorbidme.com/2007/09/stomaphyx-incis.html
has more to add to the subject and the link can be found HERE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StomaphyX
Not every surgery is going to be right for every person. Frankly, for ME, if I were an obese male with a BMI
under 50 (which I am) or an obese woman NOT of child bearing age, I would choose the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
(which I DID). If I were an obese male with a BMI
OVER 50, I would get the Duodenal Switch. If my insurance company would not COVER it, I would get the Sleeve. If not THAT, then the Gastric Bypass. I would keep working my way down the list until I found SOMETHING that I could get. If the insurance company wouldn't pay, I would try to take out a LOAN (this is actually what my wife did for me). If I were a WOMAN of child bearing years or a person facing the possibility of chemotherapy or some other health issues that would require periods when I would NEED more sustenance, I would want the flexibility of the LapBand
. Not enough is KNOWN about the StomaphyX
procedure for anyone to have an educated opinion yet. The short of it is, Do YOUR RESEARCH and CHOOSE the right surgical option for YOU! If you can't get ONE option for a reason, at least get another! For the sake of yourself and the ones you love, do SOMETHING to fix the problem before it is too late. If you die due to health problems caused by obesity, it is TOO LATE!
Whatever surgical option you choose, for whatever REASON you choose, we are ALL here for the same reason. We are here to HELP and BE HELPED. Please, let's respect each other.
I hope this helps
| Leave a comment.
What a WEEK! on March 22, 2008 8:57 pm
WELL, WHAT a WEEK!
My week started with me at 328 pounds. It ended with me at 318 pounds. This is a loss of 11 POUNDS in ONE WEEK! ALL THAT FROM A PROCEDURE THAT DOESN'T EVEN WORK! Or so I have been told from a self proclaimed "Expert" in Weight Loss Surgeries. To be fair, the "Expert" did say that I would lose weight to begin with but would regain it. I have research that proves the "Expert" wrong so I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I ran into this rather unpleasant person while answering a request for information by a young lady that was forwarded to my email mailbox. This was my REGULAR email mailbox and not the one associated with the account for this site. The young lady had asked people why they chose their surgery. I answered and gave her MY story. MY story was about MY options. MY options included the LapBand, the Vertical Banded Gastroplasty, the Gastric Bypass and the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. There are OTHER types of surgeries out there, but I was not OFFERED them and I did not KNOW of MOST of them so I did not MENTION them. Almost as soon as I finished my post, I was attacked for spreading inaccuracies about a surgical procedure that I had never even HEARD about, let alone MENTION! The procedure that I was wrongly accused of maligning was the Duodenal Switch which I LATER found out was the PRECURSOR to the very surgery that I had undergone, the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy! The Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, I came to discover, is HALF of the Duodenal Switch! In the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, the surgeons remove about 85% of your stomach including most of the section of the stomach that creates the substance called grehlin. Grehlin is a hormone that is instrumental in producing HUNGER! Without the cells that produce grehlin, you no longer feel hungry! The surgeons remove most of the stomach, as I said before, and then sew what is left back into the shape of a tube that holds roughly about 4 ounces of food or liquid. With the Vertical Sleeve Gastectomy, the surgery stops here. With the duodenal switch, the surgeons continue and cut a length of intestine out (about 10 feet if I recall correctly) and "Bypass" it. They hook the end of the intestine that is still attached to the rest of the intestine and hook it up to where the stomach empties into the intestine. Now, both ends of the "Bypassed" intestine are free. One end is still hooked up to the bile duct. The Surgeons close the end closest to the bile duct and hook the end FARTHEST from the bile duct to the intestine that was just re-routed to bypass the section that they just connected. Now let me say this: I am just a layman. I am NOT an expert. I have just researched this and some of the information MAY be a little off. I don't THINK it is. I wouldn't bet my LIFE on it though. TALK to your SURGEON before making any PERMANENT decisions based on MY information! I counsel you to do the same regarding ANY information that you get from this website!
Now, the Duodenal Switch is a very powerful tool in the arsenal against the war against obesity. The procedure, while often effective and with an Excess Body Weight Loss from 70% to 90%, has these issues:
Malabsorbtion: While often not as severe as that of the Gastric Bypass, the Duodenal Switch usually leaves the patient reliant on vitamins to supplement their diet since they cannot get all their nutrients from the foods that they eat. Occasionally, the Duodenal Switch patient may experience Malabsorbtion issues as severe as those found with the Gastric Bypass patients and he may require supplements that are supplied by his physician
Intestinal gas: SOME patients suffer from severe bouts of cramping and flatulence due to intestinal gas caused by the undigested food being passed through the intestine made shorter for the switch part of the Duodenal Switch.
Severe nausea: The nature and causes of this are often varied and unknown. All weight loss surgeries report incidences of nausea. It seems more severe with the Duodenal Switch and the Gastric Bypass.
Vomiting: The nature and causes of this are also often varied and unknown. All weight loss surgeries report incidences of vomiting. It seems more severe with the Duodenal Switch and the Gastric Bypass.
There are also issues for people with immune system disorders and it is HIGHLY recommended that these people do NOT get this type of surgery. Actually people with immune system disorders are really only recommended to get the VSG ONLY! They are discouraged from getting the banded options as well as the gastric bypass. The VSG is the ONLY option considered SAFE for people with immune system disorders! Another group that is highly discouraged from getting this type of surgery are people who have transplanted organs. Those people who need to take anti-rejection medications are HIGHLY discouraged from having this type of surgery due to the malabsorption issue affecting their medications. MOST Weight Loss Surgeons prefer the VSG over the Duodenal Switch for people with a BMI under 50. THIS is the primary reason the Duodenal Switch is not performed by most Weight Loss Surgeons! They prefer to reserve the DS for those who need a more drastic weight loss regimen. The same can often be said for the Gastric Bypass. Many Surgeons seem to prefer to do the Gastric Bypass instead of the Duodenal Switch because it seems to be a simpler surgery for the SURGEON. The Duodenal Switch is quite comlicated and takes quite a bit of time for the surgeon to complete. Once again, I am not an EXPERT, but the nature of the two types of surgeries seems to suggest that a surgeon may be able to do MORE Gastric Bypass Surgeries in an allotted amount of time than Duodenal Switch Surgeries. This MAY be a factor in the overwhelming popularity of the Gastric Bypass when compared to the Duodenal Switch.
Having gone through all that, I didn't KNOW this when I was BROAD SIDED by this person who attacked me from NOWHERE about a surgical option I wasn't even TALKING about! Our initial discourse was HERE: http://www.obesityhelp.com/forums/amos/a,messageboard/board_id,
After disengaging from combat I went back to my "Home" forum and the folks I had gotten to know if only somewhat in an effort to lick my wounds and find out what kind of person it was I had just run into. I had my suspicions, but I wanted to know for SURE. I wrote and posted a thread on the forum that I ignorantly posted in the wrong place. I also ignorantly used the person's NAME in the post. The person's name was quickly modified and I was notified that my post had violated the web site's Terms of Service. I felt bad. I had read them but frankly, legalese pretty much puts me to sleep mode any more and I sleep-walked my way through the document. Although my eyes had passed over the words, they apparently didn't register. I didn't mean to cause trouble with the thread, I just wanted moral support from "MY" people and to get a few, "You did Good's" and, "Yea, I had words with them before." kinds of statements. In the first few HOURS the thread had something like 200 hits! I was getting ALL KINDS of statements from folks about how they had dealings with this person and the "Gang" or "Posse." Most were posted on the thread but some were PRIVATE messages. The private messages were telling me that they didn't want to post publicly because they didn't want to be a target. This person and the "Posse" appears to have had a BIG impact on a certain forum. They hang out there. They are all members of this forum and have all had the same surgery. They all seem to think that their surgery is superior to every one else's and ridicule and harass people who have a different opinion than theirs. They claim that they are "correcting inaccuracies" but often the spew inaccuracies around themselves like a lawn sprinkler set on HIGH flow!
Once I found out what kind of person I was dealing with, I stopped posting on the poor girl's thread. I waited until my wife came home and when I could get access to some ACCURATE information (My wife is a nurse Practitioner and has access to information the general public doesn't and knows how to SEARCH for medical information), I made one last post and again, I left the thread. Then I waited for the "Expert" to come find me. I was sure that the person would, because that person had that type of personality that just wouldn't leave well enough alone. Sure enough, like CLOCKWORK, JUST ABOUT when I expected the person to show up, POP! There they were! DING! NEXT ROUND! The "Expert" started hammering at me again but this time, instead of trying to make her angry, I just tried to answer her questions as reasonably as I could. I wasn't trying to win her over anymore. I realized that I couldn't! This round I was playing for POINTS! I knew I was going to be judged by everyone who read the thread. This time I wanted to be sure I got MY information out there so that people could see that I KNEW what I was talking about and that even though I was NEW to the forum, I WASN'T stupid! The supposed "Expert" tried to WOW me with some documents that meant ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I dissected them word for word, translated them into layman's terms and then LAUGHED! I then brought out MY documents to support MY arguments and did the SAME! MY documents, however, actually SUPPORTED my arguments! I made the supposed "Expert" look foolish right there! The exchange went on for a few turns after that but I pretty much stopped the exchange and asked folks not to post before it turned into a name calling contest because I did not want to stoop that low. The supposed "Expert" however was all too HAPPY to go that low and began launching into just that. I ignored the thread until another moderator switched it from the VSG forum to the "RANTS and RAVES" forum which is where I SHOULD have posted it to begin with! After the change of venue, the thread got NEW legs. It had already broken the 1000 hit MARK and was CLIMBING! It was nearing the 2000 hit mark! I once again posted to the thread and explained what had happened and how this HUGELY POPULAR thread just POPPED into existence right in the Rants and Raves forum and pleaded yet again with people to NOT post to the thread! At that point, a moderator contacted me and told me via the site's email feature that I could have the thread KILLED if I wanted to. I told her that I didn't mind if folks SAW the thread, I just didn't want people POSTING to it and providing more TARGETS for this so called "EXPERT" and the POSSE! At THAT point, the moderator LOCKED the thread. The last time I saw it it was quickly approaching 3000 hits (at the time of this writing). If you are curious, the thread can be found at: http://www.obesityhelp.com/forums/rantsandraves/a,messageboard/
Another EXCELLENT post I have stumbled on in an effort to MITIGATE the damage being done by my post was THIS one: http://www.obesityhelp.com/forums/rantsandraves/a,messageboard/
I t seems to me to be a very concise and well written report about the differences between the various types of surgeries and what can be expected of them. It explains the POSITIVES and the NEGATIVES of each Succinctly!
The profile for the person who wrote the article has some GREAT reseach that was used in writing the article and provides GREAT information on the VSG Sugery. The link to her profile where the information is located is HERE: http://www.obesityhelp.com/member/lkh/
What I don't understand is how the moderators can allow something like this to happen for so long? It is obvious to ME that this person has had a BIG impact on this community and it seems to me that it has been mostly in a negative way. This person seems to be so caustic that they drive people away from the very surgery that they claim they are trying to help people GET! This does not help the people LOOKING at different surgical options, the Forum, or ObesityHelp.com! I think something needs to be done to STOP this kind of behavior!
I have found a thread that gives useful information in helping find "TROLLS." Trolls, I have recently discovered, are the "artificial personalities" or "alter egos" created by some people who don't want to be identified when they go to a forum or board to create trouble. The link that follows gives some useful pointers in helping to identify a "TROLL":
Here is ANOTHER link that is quite amusing and educaional TOO!
This one tells of the different types of "Flame Warriors" you can find on forums like this! the link can be found HERE: http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/index.htm
Here is some interesting information that I stumbled upon posted on the VSG board about the LapBand procedure by a CURRENT LapBand owner who is preparing to undergo a revision to Sleeve Gastrectomy because the LapBand FAILED: http://www.obesityhelp.com/forums/VSG/a,messageboard/board_
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I Left My Stomach in Matamoros on March 16, 2008 7:37 pm
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These are my blog posts from MySpace. My Myspace name is (Guess what?) HuBarlow! You can find me on MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/hubarlow .
My Myspace Blog is at: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendID=219472017 . I have a blog at AOL that consists of the same information as the MySpace Blog for those of my friends and family that do not have a MySpace account. It can be found at: http://journals.aol.com/hughabarlow/the-further-adventures-of-stupor/ . Please feel free to look at these sites as they contain a bit more blogging than this site does since this site is dedicated to my adventures in getting and living with my Sleeve Gastrectomy.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I Left My Stomach in Matamoros Update
Current mood: grateful
Category: Food and Restaurants
Friday came and I went to my scheduled doctor’s appointment in Matamoros. THIS time I was not rescheduled to SATURDAY! My lovely wife had me meet her in Brownsville at her place of employment and from there we went to a co-worker’s house and dropped off the kids. My wife gave the co-worker some cash so she could take her kid and our 2 boys out for something to eat and we left her car there and crossed into Matamoros in my big old Chevy Van. We bought the Chevy van from some Winter Texans about a year ago and it was in really good shape for the year. It is a 1994 G-20 cargo van (that means it is a full sized 3/4 ton van) that was converted to a passenger van by a conversion company and sold at a Chevy dealership in Wisconsin. The vehicle has over 180,000 miles on it but it has only been driven from the Northern edge of the US to the Southern edge of the US. The Winter Texans who owned it had a car here that they drove when they got here and they had a car at home up north that they drove when they lived THERE. All the miles were highway miles. The thing runs GREAT but uses a TON of gas. Unlike my wife’s car, the inspection on the VAN is current! I drive THAT one. It was a GOOD thing we drove the van to Mexico this time. Officer "Friendly" was there at the border checking cars again but this time he wasn’t out in front where everyone could see him. This time, he was standing NEXT to the toll booth operator. I don’t think he was trying to hide. The toll booth operator WAS cute! The problem was, standing next to the toll booth operator made it difficult for us to spot him until we were locked into a lane into a toll booth. Once we spotted him standing in our lane, changing lanes would have drawn his attention much more surely than shouting and pointing to the expired sticker on the windshield. Since we drove MY vehicle, it wasn’t an issue and we crossed the border like we WEREN’T the bandits that we are! ;-)
My appointment was for 4:00 PM and we were a little early. As we crossed the International Bridge into Matamoros we saw that traffic was backed up WAAAYYYY past Garcia’s. Traffic was backed up past the turn I usually made to get to Calle Primera (First Street) and was backed up for over a mile. I am willing to bet that the wait to cross at the International Bridge on Friday at about 3:45 PM was close to 2 and a half to 3 hours by car. We ended up driving about a mile and a half down the road past the Best Western Hotel and turning near the museum to catch Calle Primera and get to Calle Gonzalez and to my doctor’s office. We got there with time to spare, entered the waiting room and were called to the office in a very short time. Once again, I sat in the office as the doctor and my wife chatted in Spanish for quite a while. I don’t know what they were talking about. I think they were making plans to meet later. ;-) The doctor then asked me the typical questions, "How are you doing? How do you feel? Do you feel hungry?" Stuff like that. My wife asked him if he was going to weigh me and the doctor then had a sheepish look on his face and said, "I am sorry, one of my patients broke my scale." Now, let me tell you, this scale was IMPRESSIVE. It was a TOLEDO scale (which is NOT cheap) and although the measurements were in metric scale, actually went HIGHER than MY weight by about a hundred pounds or so! I had NEVER seen a scale that went THAT high in a DOCTOR’S office before! I used to weigh over 400 pounds at one time (back in my 20’s) and I never knew just HOW much I weighed because I could not find a doctor’s scale that could weigh me! THIS one could have! It LOOKED like a typical doctor’s scale but I noticed it wasn’t RIGHT AWAY when I went to weigh myself and the weights didn’t even go CLOSE to the edge of the bar like they did on EVERY OTHER doctor’s scale I had ever used! In order to find out how much I weighed, I used to have to weigh myself on a scale at the MEAT PACKING PLANT that I worked at. The worst part is, I never got to KNOW just how much I weighed at my heaviest because I had LOST weight BEFORE I started working there! When I worked THERE, I was over 450 pounds! Eventually, working hard at the plant, getting ANGRY at myself for allowing things to get THAT far out of hand and thus using that anger to REDUCE my caloric intake and becoming a STRICT VEGETARIAN (yep, I was a strict vegetarian working at a meat packing plant) helped me to drop to 230 pounds. I was able to maintain THAT until my back went out in college from too much sitting! I guess I was NOT meant to go into computer programming!
Anyway, as I was saying, some gorilla came in and broke the doctor’s beautiful Toledo scale. I HATE to THINK of how big the ape was. He MUST have DWARFED ME! Yea, I know, It ain’t nice to say things like that about fat people and I should know better being a fat person myself, but this monkey BROKE a beautiful piece of MACHINERY! I am not calling him an ape because he was FAT but because he was insensitive enough to know he was TOO DAMNED BIG FOR THE SCALE! Even at my BIGGEST, I NEVER broke a doctor’s scale! This one was made for BIG PEOPLE! Fortunately, I had weighed myself that morning before I ate. I was 328 on Friday morning (I weighed myself this morning and I was 327). The doctor was impressed with my progress, asked if he could take a picture and asked for permission to use my picture and my story on his website (www.cero-obesidad.com). I told him that I had NO problem with THAT. I was then told that I had permission to eat any food I wanted as long as it wasn’t "Crunchy." This was defined as NO chips, NO fried chicken and NO Raw Veggies. Everything needed to be "Soft." I can eat Grilled Chicken but not fried, broiled fish, but not fried, steamed veggies but not raw and baked potatoes but NOT potato CHIPS! DRAT! No more vegging out with a bag of Sea Salt and Vinegar flavored Potato chips! Oh, well. They were killing me anyway! After leaving the doctor’s office, my lovely wife treated my big green pig (the G20 Chevy Van) to a FULL TANK of Mexican GAS! The price per gallon in Matamoros was about $2.80 a gallon. It looks like the Mexican Government realized that they couldn’t keep the price of gasoline on the border pegged to the price of the US gas like they HAD for a while. Most Mexicans simply cannot AFFORD $3.15 a gallon for gasoline. Pemex (the state owned gasoline station and the ONLY gas station ALLOWED in Mexico) gets it’s gas RIGHT OUT OF THE GROUND. They refine it in MEXICO! The cost per Gallon (or liter if you prefer) is MINIMAL. The largest expense the government HAS in dealing with the gasoline is LABOR. MEXICAN LABOR IS CHEAP! That is why so many Mexicans COME HERE to find work. Anyway, we had a couple of Mexican men, young boys really, help fill the van with gas. One watched the pump while the other washed the windows with a squeegee. ALL OF THEM. The Green Pig has the front windshield, the two front door windows, the two BACK door windows, Two SIDE door windows, and then it has THREE "Picture" windows cut into the body. I told my wife to get him a rag and see if he would wash the van. My wife tipped the fellow about $2.00 in Pesos and got a look of incredulity from the poor guy. He just couldn’t believe that someone would pay him EXTRA for doing his job! We crossed back over the border at the Puente International Port of Tomates which is Mexican for the Veteran’s Memorial International Bridge. The wait there was about 45 minutes this time. This time I was driving. I sat in the lane where the trucks where and as they pulled off to be inspected, we moved up 3 times faster. Now, the WHOLE LANE wasn’t filled with trucks and CARS from the other lane kept cutting in front of them when they realized what was happening, so that alone kept us from getting out of there in 15 minutes instead of the HOUR it took my wife the LAST time, but the wait WAS significantly shorter. My wife claimed that the line was shorter this time than last. I don’t think so. If it was, it wasn’t by much. We still started sitting in line on the MEXICAN side of the bridge waiting to get to the security checkpoint.
Once past the checkpoint, my wife asked where I wanted to go for dinner. I told her that it didn’t matter much to me, that I would be happy to eat nearly ANYTHING. Her FIRST suggestion was the Golden Corral. She IMMEDIATELY nixed THAT though because as she said, "It would be a waste of money to take you to a buffet restaurant NOW." Her next 2 suggestions were both OK with me and she decided that if we couldn’t find Chilli’s right away, we would go to Bennigan’s. We found Chilli’s right where we thought we would and pulled in. The parking lot had only one spot open. We had to wait for a table for about 5 minutes. Once we were seated and given our menus, the woman asked if we wanted anything to drink. Barb had tea and I had nothing. I am not allowed to drink while I eat. Drinking washes the food out of the stomach and defeats the purpose of the surgery which is weight loss. I must stop consuming liquids a half hour before I eat and cannot consume liquids until half an hour after I eat. This allows the food in my stomach to properly digest and not be washed out and leave me feeling empty.
The waitress returned and took our order. My wife had a chicken Fajita Taco. I had the Chicken Margarita with Mashed Potatoes and black beans. I was only able to eat 1/3 of the chicken breast and 1/3 of the mashed potatoes. I never even TOUCHED the black beans. We took the REST home. NORMALLY I would have eaten a basket of chips with Pico de Gallo, maybe TWO, had my meal and asked for an extra side such as French Fries or something. I would have washed all of this down with 5 or 6 glasses of iced tea or diet Pepsi. My lovely wife ordered an extra burger for her co-worker who was watching the kids and we gave her a call as we left. She told us that she would meet us at her house and we beat her there. My lovely wife commented as we left Chilli’s, "It sure is nice to be able to leave a restaurant and not be embarrassed by the amount of food that you ate." I thought that it was nice to leave the restaurant and not have such a big bill! One of these days we are going to have to ask the doctor just how big my stomach WAS when he took it out.
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Death at a Funeral
Release date: 26 February, 2008
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Sunday, March 09, 2008
I Left My Stomach In Matamoros Update
Current mood: animated
Well: I was supposed to go see my surgeon on Thursday to have a follow up visit and check up to see if the stitches in the incisions on my abdomen were ready to be removed but it appears that either my wife or the surgeon got things mixed up and either She misunderstood what he was saying or He forgot to put the appointment in the books because when my wife had me call the office in Matamoros to double check on Thursday, I was NOT scheduled for the visit and the doctor was shopping in Brownsville! That's OK, I guess, because he just rescheduled me for Saturday. I don't much care for Saturday Visits because they tend to interrupt CHURCH! What can you do? The wife is busy during the week and the surgeon seems to prefer a Saturday schedule.
Anyway; after my eldest son's soccer game which was a tie, we raced down to Mexico to meet with my doctor. This was one week to the day after the surgery. My wife was impressed with that fact. She tells me that here in the States, after a surgery such as mine, the earliest you will see your physician for a follow up is 3 weeks. We get to the border and get ready to cross and my wife starts to sweat bullets. At the border is a Sheriff's officer. He seems to be standing in traffic searching cars as they head for the border. He may be there as part of an initiative to limit the number of stolen cars that actually MAKE it to Mexico but I don't know that for sure. I do know that there have been a number of initiatives in the past few years to help reduce the number of stolen cars that make it across the border and there has been greater co-operation from Mexico lately in returning the stolen cars that are actually FOUND there. It is STILL cheaper overall to KEEP the cars from getting to Mexico in the first place. The last time we crossed, there was one of the Sheriff's Deputies on guard and he warned my wife that her inspection was more than a YEAR past due. I had reminded her from time to time to take care of it but she kept putting it off, telling me that she was too busy. Well she FINALLY gut up enough nerve to get the job done and the inspector tole her that she needed a new tail light! The tail light is fine, there is a SMALL chip missing from the EDGE of the plastic that in NO way affects the FUNCTION of the light. The entire lighted section of the tail light is intact with all areas that glow red glowing red when needed and all areas that are white fully intact. There is no way that water can get into the lens to short out the bulb. The inspector is an IDIOT! You can drive around Texas with a shattered windshield and pass inspection but you can't have a chip in a TAIL LIGHT? Anyway, it was going to cost $60 to get a tail light from a junk yard locally. I went on eBay and found one for $30. We are still waiting for it. Needless to say, My wife's car STILL is not inspected! THAT was why she was sweating bullets at the crossing! My lovely wife snuck in behind a minivan from out of state and came through just as about 3 other cars were coming through. The poor guy didn't know which way to look and missed my lovely wife's car. I would credit my wife with some skill on the maneuver, but I am sure she had NO idea what she did to confuse the guy. She got through on LUCK!
Having SAFELY made our dash across the border like the dangerous BANDITOS we are, We wended our way to the surgeon's office and waited for him. We weren't there for more than 15 minutes or so when I was called to the back and told to go to examining room 2. Once there, Joshua, one of my nurses (and if you ask me, the BEST one) from my stay at the hospital, asked me to wait for a minute. He told me he would be right back. I felt some urgency to use the rest facilities in the room and when I returned from doing so, there was a hospital gown draped over the back of a chair which I took as an invitation to take off my shirt, put the gown on and wait. Joshua was nowhere to be seen. I did the aforementioned activities and waited about 5 minutes. The doctor then arrived and asked, "How are you doing?" I said, "I am well, how are you?" He then proceeded to ask all the typical doctor questions one would expect such as, "How much are you drinking?" and, "What are you eating?" "Uh, NOTHING? I'm not SUPPOSED to be eating yet." was my response to THAT one. He wanted to know if I had been experiencing pain. "Not much." was my reply. "Have you been vomiting?" He asked. "Not in the least. Not once. Not even TEMPTED!" I said. He then took a look at the incisions. He told me that they looked to be healing well and that it was time to remove the stitches. He took out his special little stitch cutting tool and proceeded to pull the stitches on all 5 incisions. It is such a great relief to get those damned things OUT! I can now wear a shirt without it rubbing against the ends of the stitches and having them POKE me all the time! That was QUITE irritating! I couldn't wear bandages over the stitches and make them lie flat because the heat of the Valley was causing me to sweat. The sweat was captured UNDER the bandages and it was causing a FUNGAL infection in the incisions. I needed to keep the incisions CLEAN and UNCOVERED under a shirt in order to keep them from getting infected!
After removing the stitches, the doctor told me that it was time to change my diet and that I could start eating soups with small pieces of vegetables. He then started asking me questions about rescheduling a follow up appointment. I told him to speak to my wife about those matters as MY schedule didn't matter, but HERS did. He then wandered off to the waiting room to find my wife and I proceeded to redress myself. When I finished, I went to the waiting room expecting to find my wife. Instead, I found my sons being entertained by one of the sons of the doctor. As I stood there looking slightly confused, the doctor's wife came out from behind the scheduling desk and ushered me to his office. The office had been redecorated since my last visit and while there had been 2 chairs for guests before, there was only one now. There was, however, a nice plush love seat with more than enough plush pillows on it to take up one whole place when they were moved to make room to sit. I was offered the love seat. I made room. I sat. There was only enough room on the love seat for me and the pillows. How ANYONE is expected to make LOVE under THOSE conditions I will NEVER know! ;-) The doctor and my wife talked scheduling and I really didn't pay much attention. I know that we are expected back on a Friday afternoon. I think it is in 2 weeks. Maybe it is in ONE. I doubt it. The doctor then talked to me about my new stomach and the need to treat it gently. He told me that he was impressed with my recovery so far and that the great reduction in calories seems to have made a great improvement in my energy levels. He said that I was brighter and that I seemed overall much more healthy now just ONE WEEK after the surgery and that he though I would be pleased with my new lifestyle. He asked if I had been feeling hunger. I told him that I had a SMALL amount of hunger but NOWHERE NEAR the amount that I had had before! This was after having had NO SOLID FOOD FOR A WEEK! I had been on a liquid diet before with my former intestinal tract intact and I can attest that it was NOT a pleasant experience! Even being allowed semi-solids like jello, I was ready to tear flesh off my ARM almost every minute of every day that I was on that diet! I could quiet the hunger pangs BRIEFLY with a Popsicle or jello but it was for no more than 5 or 10 minutes! NOW, I could go for a week on a liquid diet for the whole time and although I felt some small hunger, it was at the level where, if someone said, "I am going to Taco Bell, do you want something?" I would say, "Yea, get me a bean burrito or something while you are out." but I wouldn't be the guy to make the suggestion. I said if there was ONE thing I was glad for, it was THAT. I was SO glad to be RID of the overwhelming NEED to eat. There were times when I would be wakened in the middle of the night, at 3 or 4 in the morning so overwhelmed with the need for food that I couldn't sleep or do anything else until I had eaten a FULL meal. I could THEN go back to sleep. I would then wake up in the morning and be hungry enough to eat a full BREAKFAST. Like everything ELSE in my body, there was something wrong with either a gland in my stomach or in my head that would over produce SOMETHING that would cause me to NEED to get something to eat and cause me to do it more often. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to get a pass on my responsibility for binge eating of which I am somewhat responsible for, I admit. There is a certain amount of Psychology involved as well as PHYSIOLOGY. I do think that the PHYSIOLOGY was the MAIN driving factor in my weight gain! A stomach that was WAY too large due to abuse of CARBONATED beverages over the years and a metabolism that was out of whack for reasons unknown.
Our Exit from Mexico was fairly well unadventurous. About the only thing that can be said was that it took over an hour to cross the border at the crossing where the line is SHORTEST! Crossing out of Mexico on the weekend is a pain. Getting out on a Holiday is worse. I HATE spring break!
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Tuesday, March 04, 2008
I left my stomach in Matamoros (sung to the tune of I Left My Heart in San Franciso).
Current mood: groggy
For those who don't already know, I underwent a Sleeve Gastrectomy on Saturday. Basically, this is a laproscopic surgery where they remove about 85% of the stomach and leave basically a banana shaped pouch behind. One of the benefits of this surgery when compared to the other types of surgery is that they also remove the part of the stomach that triggers HUNGER. I am going to be EVER so grateful to be relieved of THAT monster!
I've been sleeping quite a bit lately and that is partly due to the need to recover from the surgery and partly as a way to escape from the noise of the kids! Barb has been great and has been staying home to care for me these past few days post op. I feel bad for not contacting people before this but I haven't really been lucid for long enough to write and my sinuses still hurt from the surgery. They must have shoved something like a tube through my nose because my sinuses have been swollen to about the size of grapes and have been hanging down at the back of my throat. It makes talking hurt. The sinuses are recovering, but not as fast as I would like. My right arm is also still numb from where they put the IV drip. The numbness is improving there too but it is taking time. Yesterday, the inside of my forearm and my thumb, index and ring finger were numb. Today it is mostly just my thumb and the tip of my index finger. The actual pain from the surgery has been surprisingly slight it hurts to move, of course, but outside of a few pangs that feel like the cramps I used to have from my spastic colon when I couldn't get to the bathroom fast enough, I haven't had much. The first night I couldn't sleep on my left side. The second night I could if I moved GENTLY over to my side. It is the MOVING that hurts most.
I have 5 small incisions in my abdomen. They are pretty much centered on my abdomen with the exception of one that is off to the left. The incisions make the outline of a sort of lopsided "C" starting just above my belly button and ending just under my chest. I have been living on fruit juices, Gatorade and popsicles for the past few days. Today, I have been "upgraded" to soy protein shakes. In a few days I should be able to eat soft foods. Cream of Wheat and mashed potatoes are going to be my fare for the next few weeks. I have been passing quite a bit of gas the past few days. I am told that this is due to the air that the doctors had to pump into my abdomen to perform the laproscopic surgery. I was told that it could cause pain in my shoulders which it didn't seem to do for me and that it would take time to "bleed" out of my system. It appears to be diffusing through my intestinal walls and out at a leisurely pace. I am pretty sure that the gas isn't coming from my food. ;-)
I want to thank all who prayed for me during my surgery and ask them to keep doing so. I need all the help I can get. For those of my friends who do not pray but kept me in mind, thanks, also. Please continue to do so. For those who didn't know about my surgery, now you do. Please pray for me or keep me in mind as you see fit. Anyone with questions can just email me. I will answer them as I can. My love to all of my friends and family that read this and thanks.
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