- HEALTH TRACKER
Before & After
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Donald B. McConnell M.D.
My first impression was that he was a bit older than I expected. I would guess him to be in his late 50's early 60's. He was a kind and gentle man. He was not flamboyant and stuck on himself. He asked me "Why would a nice person like yourself want to do something so horrible to your body?" I thought that was an interesting start of the conversation. He took plenty of time to explain the procedure to me and show me pictures and the different surgeries he performs. I think his staff is great. I have dealt with Sierra, Bernadette and Robin. All of them were pleasant and proficient. As for what I liked least...I wish he preformed the DS Lap, but he doens't so that's ok. He addressed the risks of surgery and told me which category I would fall into. So far I would rate him a 9 out of 10. His surgical competence is the most important as it means my life, but bedside manner is greatly valued by me also.
Isha F.'s Journey
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Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
I hated being overweight. No matter what I tried to lose it, nothing ever worked. I have been obese since I was a child so I expereinced all of the torment in school you get when you are overweight. My grandmother also was very cruel to me about my weight.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
If you would like to read more about this wonderful procedure please visit www.duodenalswitch.com where you can also read personal experiences. There is also a very friendly group on Obesity Help that you can ask questions or just read at: http://www.obesityhelp.com/forums/DS/posts.html
Here is some of the information that convinced me this was the best WLS for me. It is from the Dr. Hess brochure on DS.
"IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THIS PROCEDURE
The stomach is 3 to 5 oz. in size, like small juice glass, and will slowly enlarge so you can eat a small normal meal. Not a large meal.
The pylorus is not removed or bypassed so it can continue to function in controlling the emptying of the stomach (therefore no dumping syndrome), and allows for small bowel reversal to normal if it should ever be needed.
The alimentary limb (the new portion of small bowel from the stomach to the large bowel) digests part of the food and carries the rest to the common channel where it mixes with bile and pancreatic digestive enzymes for a more complete digestion.
The bilio limb (the portion of small bowel which is bypassed and carries bile and pancreatic digestive juices) reabsorbs many of the bile salts and water, as you did normally before the surgery, so you do not lose these important salts. Normally, the liver and pancreas secrete about one to two quarts of fluid per day, and it is reabsorbed in the bowel.
The common channel (the last portion of the alimentary limb after the bilio limb is attached) area is the only place you have full digestion of FATS. Therefore, you have a selective malabsorption of fats, which lowers your cholesterol, triglycerides, and your weight. Only part of the fat you eat is digested. Since you can’t digest all of your fat food, you can’t digest all of your fat-soluble vitamins – A D, E, and K so you must take vitamins daily for the rest of your life.
NO MARGINAL ULCERS: These re ulcers that form in the location where the small bowel is sutured to the stomach in gastric bypasses. We have never had a marginal ulcer with this operation due to the duodenal switch and removal of part of the stomach (which makes most of the acid).
NO DUMPING SYNDROME: This is a complication caused by liquids and foods high in sugar, which may occur after gastric bypass or a gastrectomy, where the food “dumps” into the small bowel without control of the pylorus. "
PHOTOS: I get asked often, where is your head/face? I have opted to keep my surgery private, and that is why you are not seeing a full picture of me.
Welcome to my profile, it is a work in progress! I am a young mother of 2, and have been happily married since my early 20's. My weight problems started at about age 9. It was slow, but it added up. My parents were always very kind to me about my weight. I wasn't as lucky with other realitives. They tormented me my entire childhood about my weight. I spent years feeling morbidly obese, even though I was just 20 pounds overweight. The time in my life that I could have felt like I was a normal weight age 9-15, was horribly tainted by them always telling me how fat I was.
My parents would work hard to counteract the attacks, and my mom and I would diet and exercise together. I could fill volumes of the things they said and did to me at an impressionable age. I thank God for my parents building up my self-esteem, as she regularly tried to destroy it. As soon as the weight started to come on, so did the bad treatment. I still struggle with them about this till this day. Of course now we have had years of me refusing to discuss it with them, and even some spells of me not speaking to them after them saying unspeakable things to me about my weight. There is no way in the world I will be telling anyone if I do go through with WLS.
MY YOUNG ADULTHOOD:
By high school I started to put on a little more weight. My mom and I did weight watchers, she got to goal. I got no where. We did low fat, slim fast, that stupid cabbage soup diet, Hilton Head Metabolism Diet, and weight watchers again. We wore out exercise tapes. Nothing made much of a difference. I would say in high school I weighed 170-180. I felt so gigantic. Oh how I wish I could be that size again!
After high school, my weight continued to climb. I remember when I went over 200 pounds. It was like the unforgivable sin in my mind. And there I was, 200 pounds. I was dating this guy that I liked a lot and then he had to move away. I was very sad. At the same time I became friends with a young couple in my church and they invited me to go to the gym with them. This is where I first experience step aerobics.
The first class the morons took me to was the advanced step aerobics class that was a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes (including weight training). About 20 minutes into the high intensity aerobics, I went to the bathroom. I slid down the wall and sat on the floor. I was the color of a plum, and my heart was beating so hard, I was sure I was going to die. I was horribly out of shape.
In spite of that, I was hooked. I loved step aerobics. I became obsessed with the gym. I think part of it was my sadness over the guy I liked moving away, but either way, I had found a new love. The gym. I starting going to aerobics 7 days a week, most days twice a day. I did weight training too. Still, my weight didn't budge!
That's when I pretty much stopped eating. I was so sick of being fat. I made a conscious decision not to eat. I had 1/4 of a plain bagel and a small baggie of carrots a day, and drank gallons of water. After a many months of doing this I had lost 19 pounds. THATS IT, 19 lousy pounds! Starving and working out non-stop and I still couldn't lose anymore. The worst part is, this was my best loss ever, and I only achieved it by terrible means. Eventually my dad got wise to what I was doing and forced me to stop. This was about the same time I started dating who would become my husband.
With marriage came bills, and the gym membership quickly got cancelled due to lack of funds for it. My weight crept back up. Then it kept on creeping. In my mid-twenties I would say I was at 250 or above. ***WARNING*** Way to much female information to follow*** About this time I had been bleeding vaginally for many months straight and was in a complete fog. I remember one day at work that my pen was getting so heavy I would have to set it down. Something definitely was wrong with me.
While waiting on a customer I felt something huge come out of me. Upon hurrying to the bathroom you can imagine the horror of seeing a grapefruit size ball of blood. I was certain I was having a miscarriage. Feeling unable to drive, I asked my boss if she would take me to the hospital. She (in all her kindness) said I could walk, it was barely a mile away.
My husband came and took me to the ER. Once there, they were frantically puzzled as to what was wrong with me. I was bleeding through 2 maxi pads, my clothes and the absorbent pads they put on the beds every few minutes. They needed to get a blood sample, but couldn't get a vein. Ironic that they couldn't get blood, when it was readily available from other regions! In the midst of all of this, I requested that my thyroid be tested once they got some blood.
As it turned out I was severely hypothyroid. The endocornologist said he had never seen anyone conscious at the level I was at, and that I should have been in a coma already. I was working full time.
The doctor also said that he could not find my thyroid gland, that it has mostly likely been destroyed from years and years of going undiagnosed. He figured that I had the problem since I was a child.
I of course hoped that finding this out would be my weight cure-all. I was wrong. I didn't lose any weight. I did feel somewhat better though on the thyroid meds. The best part was that getting my thyroid under control allowed me to be blessed with our first child. I have always wanted to be a mamma, and my dream had come true.
MY HEALTH PROBLEMS:
The next few years were difficult emotionally. I received all of the following diagnosis’s during age 26-28:
1.) Severe Hypothyroidism (actually on an illegal dose to keep me alive)
3.) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
4.) Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
5.) Type II Diabetes
6.) High Blood Pressure
7.) Super Morbid Obesity
9.) An additional Auto Immune Disease detected but no blood tests available to identify.
10.) Insulin Resistance
11.) Recurrent Corneal Erosion
13.) Sleep Apnea
14.) Chronic Migraines
Impressive huh? Not the happiest list to have in your twenties.
CAVING IN TO THE IDEA OF WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY:
My OB/GYN has always taken a personal interest in me. She has also always been on to me about losing weight. When I was about 28 or so, she started prodding me to look into weigh loss surgery.
I was totally not interested in having WLS. I continued to try and diet on my own, without success. She continued to prod every time she saw me. I wrote down the doctors name a couple of times just to please her, and then would lose it, I am quite sure just because I wasn't ready.
After having my second child at 29, a beautiful gift from above, I was ready to think about WLS. I read my guts out about RNY and Lap Band. They were the only two options I was aware of. I wasn't crazy about either. At the same time, I was sick of being fat. I was now over 300 pounds, and miserable. In the meantime a relative of mine had RNY. She lost a ton of weight, but again, I wasn't happy about the pouch, or dumping, or the big possibility of weight re-gain.
A local doctor was recommended to me, he performs RNY, but he is retiring in 2 weeks. I need to find a surgeon even if they are farther away, that would possibly let me do all of my follow up closer to home.
I called my OB/GYN back and let her know that the Dr. she suggested was not an option. Here is where the best thing that could have happened came in.
WHEN DUODENAL SWITCH ENTERED MY LIFE:
It was recommended that I contact another hospital. Before I did that I thought I would research the doctors at this hospital that do WLS, and the hospital itself. Next to one of the doctors information I see the surgery "Duodenal Switch", and thought, "What the heck is that?" So I googled it. This brought me to www.duodenalswitch.com Oh my goodness, what a change of events.
I started to tell my husband about what I was reading. It was a surgery where I could keep my normal operating stomach. I would not have dumping syndrome. I could eat normal food, in reasonable amounts! The chance of regain was much, much smaller than that of RNY. It was like everything I ever wished WLS could be, but it was a real option!!!!! I read every word of every patient story on that website. I stayed up late at night reading. I became completely obsessed. It did not take me very long to be convinced that this was the surgery I wanted, and that I definitely wanted to go forward with WLS. All I had to do was get the support of my family.
FAMILY, WLS, AND KEEPING SECRETS:
My husband was concerned. He didn't really want me to have surgery. My mom was concerned too. Both of them would give me their support, but they were very worried about it too. My dad was 100% DEAD SET against it. This was VERY difficult on me. I had made a decision to keep my surgery private (a lot of that reason was because of my relatives mentioned earlier. I knew I needed the support of the few family members I was going to tell. It broke my heart that he was so against it.
My grandfather on the other hand was very supportive. He drove me to the information seminar in and sat there with me. At 350 pounds, I was one of the smallest people in the room. I also was the youngest. There were people there that were so very sick, it was heart breaking. I listened intently at the presentation and asked questions and took notes. I think I would prefer to have lap done.
CHOOSING MY SURGEON AND PREPARING FOR WLS
After reading on the yahoo boards, I think I have decided to choose Dr. McConnel as my surgeon instead.
I have had my initial consult with the nurse, and also my appointment with my soon to be surgeon, Dr. McConnell. I found him to be kind, informative and supportive. Currently my surgery date is set for March 7, 2005. On Feb 14th I will go in for my entire Pre-Op testing etc. I will post more as it happens.
Yesterday 2/14 I had my pre-op visit with Dr. McConnell followed by pre-op testing. I arrived armed with 45 questions. I was SO impressed that Dr. McConnell sat with me for an hour and answered every single one without EVER looking hurried or annoyed. He is really a wonderful person. After that I was sent over to Pre-Admission Testing where I had blood drawn, blood pressure taken, pulse taken, oxygen test taken, an EKG, and a very short discussion about anesthetic. Then I had a chest x-ray & I was done! So hopefully all of those tests will be good and I will be on the table in less than 3 weeks!!
HOME FROM HOSPITAL
I am almost 2 weeks post op & a bit shaky. Thank you for all you emails. I will write up an update as soon as I can.
4/7/05 SURGERY & HOSPITAL DETAILS
My surgery was scheduled for 3/7/05 at 12:15pm with Dr. McConnell. We arrived the night before since I had to be at the hospital at 6:30 the next morning. I was nervous the night before. I had written all my “goodbye/explanation” letters. I only told my parents, in-laws and grandfather. So I knew if I died during surgery, there were going to be some pretty mad/upset friends and family that never got to say a last “I love you”. I opted to keep it private because of all the negative talk about WLS, and it was a VERY hard decision for me to come to anyway, and I couldn’t bear all the negativity that would have came my way. PLUS- It is none of anyone’s business anyway!
Sunday afternoon I gave my children necklaces that break in half and fit back together and told them I would always be with them no matter what. I nursed my baby for the last time. (This has ended up being the hardest thing on me emotionally STILL) So Sunday night I took an Ambien, curled into my sweet husbands arms, and actually got some sleep.
I woke up at 5 am on Monday morning and took my 2nd antiseptic shower and we headed to the hospital. First up was getting my epidural placed. That was no biggie and didn’t take very long…the rest of the day did. The person in the OR ahead of me was having problems and I did not get taken into the OR until 4:30, over 4 hours late.
My surgery took about 4 hours and Dr. McConnell said everything went well. I stayed in ICU for 3 nights. I got pretty good care while in ICU. Only one nurse seemed to dislike bariatric patients, but she was tolerable. The drugs were not. They were so horrible. Then I started to stop breathing. They began to have to cut into my wrists to try and get blood gas readings. I ended up getting about 30 cuts in my left wrist, and still no reading. (I have HORRID veins). The drugs were making me hallucinate and be totally out of it.
The first time I got up was the morning after surgery (about 9 hours later). This was almost an unbelievable feat. It hurt so incredibly much. The physical therapy team was very nice and helped a lot and really walked me through it. Each time they came it got easier.
Because of being stuck in ICU, I did not get to progress to clear liquids like normal…I ended up days behind on that. Once I finally got cleared to have some apple juice, I got moved to the regular floor right then, and the orders that I could have the juice didn’t make it up there with me and I almost had to have a knock down-drag out fight with the nurse to get her to look into it a little further. After about 5 hours I finally got my apple juice. Grrrrr…
I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one, but I felt I received mostly inadequate care once I was moved from ICU to the regular floor. No, it was not because I was spoiled in ICU, it was because they seemed very understaffed, and had some nurses who obviously did not like their jobs. They were impatient and sometimes rude. The worst was I started my period right before I got moved up there, and my first nurse did nothing! She just wanted me to lie in blood. On the other hand, I did have one nurse that was very, very good. She had zero tact, (kept talking about my rolls and folds of skin) but she was determined to keep me clean and to care for me. Needless to say, I really wanted to get out of the hospital ASAP, but ended up in there 6 nights.
My first week home was very, very hard. My mom stayed with me and I would have never survived without her. I didn’t have a BM until my 8th day after surgery. I kept calling the hospital and they kept telling me to drink Milk of Magnesia (old sweaty sock juice). Finally on day 8, I sent my husband to the store to buy suppositories, and within an hour I had a BM that clogged our toilet. (Joy of joys).
Five days after I came home I stopped taking my pain meds. I could not handle one more hallucination or nightmare. I had totally had it. Oh my gosh, did it hurt not to have pain meds in me. Honestly, it was better than the mind games. It was very difficult though.
I went to my 2 week check up. I had lost 1 pound. This cracked me up. I teased my doctor about it. He felt that I was doing really well, and thought my scar was healing nicely.
Two days later, things turned for the worse. By 4pm, I was completely miserable. It felt like everything I had eaten that day (which wasn’t much) was just sitting in my stomach. Within hours it was all thrown up. This proceeded to happen for the next week and a half. Finally I called into the doctor and was given Reglan. Two days later, I was no better and called in again. They sent me to my local ER, where the drama of getting blood and IV’s ensued. Once that nightmare was over, it was determined that I had pancreatitis, and that my intestines and colon had both stopped working. This was obviously very serious. I was admitted to the hospital for the next 4 days. For 3 days I had nothing but the occasional ice chip (sound familiar?). Each day my doc would listen to my stomach and hear NOTHING (not good!) Finally, they started to hear some sounds and I passed some gas…and got to come home. That was Saturday. Today is Tuesday and I am still petrified of eating. I am trying my best. This journey has been rough so far. Much harder than I had thought. I am ready to be a few months out, and maybe feeling half way alive. So there is my surgery and first month experience. I know how much I enjoyed reading these when I was a pre-op, because everyone has such different experiences. I will update again at 2 months post-op.
2 MONTH ANNIVERSARY & CHECK UP:
According to thier scale I had lost only 37 lbs. Basically showing that the only weight I lost was during that 2 week period before I went into the hospital that I threw up everything I ate. My surgeon asked what I had been eating. I recounted to him exactly what I ate. I had been plugging it in to fitday.com and faithfully for the week before my appt had done it everyday. I told him I was eating 400-1100 calories a day and getting 60-110 gms of protien. He kept saying then there was "no way I could not be losing weight". I was not sure how to reply to that. Then he said he thinks I am taking in more calories than I think. I tried to explain how specific fitday is, and that it is exact. That didn't work. I left feeling very defeated. I certianly have not went through this surgery and the hell that goes along with it to be sitting home eating twinkies and strawberry milk! I eat protien drinks, and protien. That is pretty much it. I haven't made it over 40 carbs yet in a day! Then I saw the dietician. At least she was familiar with fitday and said I was not eating enough...Blood tests were ordered by my surgeon.
(2 days after 2 month visit). Blood work came back and my thyroid is very, very, very bad. EXTREMELY LOW, reason for not losing. I am already on the highest does there is, so more blood work was ordered and my surgeon and PCP will decide what to do.
(1 week later) My PCP's office called, thyroid still very bad. They are adding to my already maxed out dose. Hope it helps. As of last week on my 2 month anniversary I was down exactly 50 lbs. I have maybe lost one more this week. The thyroid thing seems to really be messing with my system.
3 MONTH ANNIVERSARY:
I just had my 3 month anniversary and as of today I am down 75 lbs. I am happy with the loss, but wish it was more visable. DON'T get me wrong, I am not complaing. People have been commenting that I look pretty, but only one person has noticed (or at least mentioned) my weight loss. That is fine, I lose all over, so being as big as I am it will take a while.
I feel better on the higher thyroid dose, and am waiting for my lab sheet to be set up so I can see if my level has improved. I don't think I wrote the results before, the level was supposed to be between .5 and 5 and it was 93. So I was way out of whack. It will be interesting to see what it is this month.
Things that I am personally noticing are BONES. Suddenly I will feel something on my body, and at first I am like "WHAT IS THAT?!?" then I realise, OH its a bone! Then I laugh out loud at myself. So sad to have not seen bones in so long. My clothes are pretty baggy now. I plan to buy some new ones next month. I will update with my thyroid test results when I have them.
Well, I finally got my blood test results back and my thyroid is close enough to the normal range that they are going to leave me on the dose I am on now .4 and check it again at 6 months post op probably. I will post in a couple more days with my 4 month update.
FOUR MONTH ANNIVERSARY
Here I am already four months out. I have lost 90 lbs and am very happy about that! This month has been pretty easy on me. I feel back to my normal self. We had out of state company & I was able to enjoy my time with them and eat like a normal person, and not suffer terrible consequenses! I am thrilled with my sugery choice! My next goal is to join the century club! 10 more lbs to go! I will update when I do!
CENTURY CLUB MEMEBER!!!
Today I joined the century club! 100 lbs gone forever! YEAH!!!
My next goal is to reach my doctors goal for me of losing 60% of my excess weight, which would be 120 lbs. I will update when I reach that goal. As of today, I am just thrilled. There is no way I could have done this on my own!
6 MONTH ANNIVERSARY:
Well I just had my 6 month anniversary and as of today I have met my surgeons goal. At my first appointment with him he asked me if I would be happy only losing 60% of my excess weight. I told him I would never be able to do that on my own, and I would be happy with those results. So today, only 6 months into this journey I have lost 120 lbs. I really hope that by reaching this goal at 6 months, I will continue to lose. I would be thrilled to reach "Onederland".
At about 100 lbs lost people (women) FINALLY started to notice, and now it seems to be the only thing anyone talks to me about. Well, just last night, at church, about 8 MEN came up to me and remarked about how much weight I had lost. That to me makes it official, once the men notice, it must really be visible. It is so funny. I do think to myself, "Good grief, how fat WAS I that it took 120 lbs before the majority of people noticed! Nonetheless, I am very happy it is being noticed finally and have been enjoying being smaller.
Has it been easy? Overall in some ways it has. Frankly, the first month was awful. I had never had major surgery before, and it was very difficult for me to recover from. I have faced a few challenges with my other medical issues, but overall, things have went so well. This really falls within the top 5 best decisions of my life. After dieting for 22 years, to have acutally lost 120 lbs, and to be able to eat normally is such a beautiful thing! Also, to not have to worry about gaining it back, is such an odd concept. I love being able to go out to eat and not stand out because I can only eat a few bites. I enjoy a good portion of every meal. I meet my goal of 100 gms of protien every day. I usually get all my water in too. I have a few tricks to help me remember all my supplements and I will be doing my 6 month bloodwork next week, so I will try to post those results when they come in. The hairloss that I was experiencing for months 3-5 has stopped. I am just hoping some will grow back!
As of now I have dropped from a size 34 to a size 22. I can fit in booths at every resturant I go into. I can wear dresses without nylons and not have my thighs rubbed bloody. I have bones that I can feel! I am no longer the fattest person everywhere I go. I can buy clothes at Walmart if I want to. Today, I was able to buckle the seatbelt in the back of a 15 year old car, and I had extra room! I even ran after my daughter recently. Would I do it again? You couldn't get me not to! Until next time...
8 MONTH ANNIVERSARY:
WOW, it has been 8 months already. My how things have changed! As of yesterday (my 8th month surgery anniversary) I have lost 140 pounds. That is almost unbelievable to write. I am amazed at the amount of food I am able to eat. I do not feel deprived at all. The only food that gives me problems is baked or refried beans. No one could ever tell I had WLS by watching me eat, NEVER!
As far as bathroom issues, if I eat junk sometimes I have looser stools. No big deal though. Nothing uncontrollable. If I eat healthy, I have 1-2 soft BM’s a day. I rarely have gas issues (I would say less than once a month).
How has my life changed recently? I took my first airplane ride. I didn’t have to ask for a seat belt extender! I was SO amazed. THEN I was able to put the tray table down. I put it up, and down, and up and down, just because I could! I had not eaten a meal with my tray down in over a decade! On our trip to Disneyland, I ate whatever I wanted, and yes, I mean whatever. It was so incredible, and I even lost 4 lbs during that trip.
I don’t even think about sitting in a booth at a restaurant, I fit everywhere now, no worries. I feel a lot less embarrassed when I go to my children's school. Before, I worried a lot about embarrassing them. Now I just go and enjoy my time there with them. I feel like I am finally more “normal fat”, instead of “Oh my goodness FAT”. My size 22’s are getting baggy, so I am thinking about trying out some 20’s.
I have a lot of extra skin, so I know plastic surgery is probably in my future. My arms are just HORRID. My stomach and legs need help too. My boobs aren’t much better. I do not look forward to having more surgery, but at least the idea is more acceptable to me now than it was when I was early on post op.
I got my blood test results today and I am low on Vitamin D, so I will be starting a 3 times a week supplement. Up until now I have been taking Women’s One-A-Day, Viactiv Calcium w/ D&K, Maxi Hair, Flax Seed Oil, & Omega 3. So no biggie to add one more. My other labs sounded good.
I am only 6 pounds from my personal goal of 220 that I set before I had surgery. 220 pounds was the last time I felt I looked okay. It really looks like I should meet and beat that goal.
I sure seem to be able to eat a nice amount of food. Many times I wonder if I am eating too much?? I think because most people who have WLS are so limited in what they can eat, we DS'rs must be affected by that mentality too. As we all know, we CAN eat a decent amount of food. We just need to work on not feeling guilty about being able to eat well! Just my .02 on that!
This was interesting, I asked my DH if he thought I ate too much. His response, "You eat such small portions now". It was interesting to hear his viewpoint on that. That really got me to thinking...For instance...
We went to Olive Garden yesterday. I had a bowl of Zuppa Toscana, 1 1/2 bread sticks, and about a cup of salad and a 1/2 of a diet coke. Sounds like quite a bit huh? Then I thought about what I used to have when I went to Olive Garden pre-op. I would eat 1/2 of an appetizer, 1-2 bowls of Zuppa Toscana, 5 or so breadsticks, a big bowl of pasta, several Dr. Peppers and sometimes dessert. So in comparision, I am eating much less.
I focus on getting in my 100 grams of protien, and avoid the one thing that bugs me (beans) and other than that, I pretty much eat what I want. I don't EVER drink regular pop anymore. When it comes to eating junk, if I have to have it I have only the amount listed on the "serving size". This has given me a good guide, as the serving size is always small.
I chose the DS so I would not have to be deprived, and I haven't been. If my weight loss stalls or if I have bad labs, I will have to retool my methods!
Personal Goal Reached 12/2/05
Finally! I have been fighting this one stinking pound for a couple weeks! It was WAY too stubborn!!!
Back when I started back on my journey, my surgeon and I had quite a conversation on what my goal should be from WLS. Ultimately I should be in the 150-170 range "on paper". The goal my doctor set for me was to lose 60% of my excess weight. Which using the high end figure was to lose 117.6 pounds. So we used the round figure of 120 pounds to lose. I remember him asking me if I would be satisfied if I only lost 120 pounds!
Of course!!! I told him I would be thrilled to lose 120 pounds. Especially since I had never lost more than 19 pounds on my own. At that time he asked me what I thought a reasonable goal for myself would be. I told him 220. I had picked 220 because it was the last time I remember not thinking I looked totally gross.
8 months ago, the thought of weighing only 220 seemed like an impossible dream. Today that dream came true.
So now I am going to line out my next goals, as I am a goal oriented girl!
1.) Next goal: Onederland! So I am shooting for 199
2.) After that: 185 this will get me out of the obese category and I
will just be "overweight"
3.) Finally: 170 which my surgeon agreed would be the ideal weight
for me all things factored in.
4.) Ultimately: 159 On the charts this would make me a "normal" weight
I was excited to see the scale move this morning.
Why in the world do I feel the other emotions I am feeling? I keep thinking, "Good grief, now you are the size that a lot of people begin at for WLS". "You still are so huge". "You still have at least 50 more pounds to lose". "In the mirror, in reality and to others you are still an obese person". It is like I fixate on what I still need to do rather than be proud of what I have already done...
I really thought I would see this day with such joy, and my emotions are proving otherwise. I am puzzled with myself, but I am glad to have reached my goal.
9 MONTH ANNIVERSARY
So here I am at 9 months already. I remember reading posts when I was Pre-op, wondering what it would be like to be a post-op, and have lost a bunch of weight. Well, I can tell you, it is great!
This month I have only lost 7 more pounds. I wonder if anyone out there knows if it is normal for it to have slowed down this much? I still have 49 pounds to lose, and I would really, really like to lose them!
This last month saw me reach my personal goal of 220 and also saw me wearing some clothing with a “1” as the first number. To wear an 18 is just simply amazing. My wedding dress was an 18! So it has been over a decade since I have been this small.
People are using words like skinny, small and tiny in talking about me. Obviously at 219, I am none of these words, but in comparison to 366, I suppose I am. It is nice to be “normal fat”, and not “big huge crazy fat”.
Eating with the Duodenal Switch WLS, it truly unbelievable. I eat what I want, and I lose weight. I try to get 80-100 gm of protein a day, I drink water all day and I take my supplements. Other than that, I eat normally. My portions are smaller than they used to be, and overall I make better choices, but really, this surgery is the WLS I had dreamed of. Sometimes it just seems too good to be true. I enjoy going out to eat, and can eat a large portion of my meal (I would say 70%) unless the portions are huge. I just feel like my quality of life is so fantastic with this. To not have to worry about gaining it all back, or dumping etc, it is just so wonderful.
I am having some trouble with the reality of it all. I wonder if any of you are this way. Apparently, when I am buying new clothes now, I am buying them to big. My husband and mother keep pointing this out to me. In my defense, when I am at the stores, I pick up a 18 or a 20 and it looks tiny. I just can’t hardly make myself carry it into the dressing room because there is NO WAY it will fit me. Yet, that is the size I am right now. I can’t seem to get my mind to catch up with my body.
Another place I am having trouble is in maneuvering. When we go to a restaurant, and they head to sit us in a booth, sometimes I still freeze in fear. I walk cautiously toward it, and am convinced I will never fit, and sit down with the horrid dread of embarrassment. This happened just 2 nights ago. When I slid in and sat back, I could have easily set my eldest child on my lap and still had room. Why in the world can I not get my mind to accept this new reality?
I am not complaining, just wondering out loud to you all. I look forward to hearing if you had any of the same feelings. Overall, a very happy 9th anniversary to me!
CENTURY AND A HALF CLUB 12/14/05!
Well, I hopped on the scale this morning and low and behold I have lost 150 pounds!
Not too shabby for 9 months huh? Just wanted to share this milestone with my friends!
10 Month Anniversary
Another month behind me, and a total of 11 pounds gone this month. As of today I am 209. So I have lost 157 pounds. Wow that is just still so hard to believe.
Today I at church I was told by someone “You look great, but be careful you don’t lose too much weight”. Another friend joked that she was going to start following me around to see how I am doing this.
Still, again this month, I find myself continuing to have trouble realizing I am where I am weight wise. I bought a crop of new clothes, all in size 18, as the 20/22’s were swimming on me, but as I removed them from the closet all I could think was that I couldn’t possibly fit in them, and yet, they are too big. When will my brain catch up?
My skin is really bad. It hangs so much under my arms and around my stomach and my legs. Plastics are in my future, and I am nervous about that. I have a consult set up to get info in March.
My eldest child finally noticed that I lost weight. It was really funny, we were looking at old vacation pictures, and she said, “I can see a difference now”. Sheesh, only 157 pounds to show. She’s not the only one though. Another friend today asked me if I had lost a “little weight.” So most times I get a comment like the “don’t lose to much”, I am brought back to reality with a “did you lose a little?” I just take the comments in stride, I am happy that anyone notices at all.
My quest for plastics:
I spoke to my PS office today regarding costs.
Here was the breakdown I was given:
These include surgeon, anes. and hospital fees...
Lower Body Lift: $9814
Tummy Tuck w/ muscle work: $5,000
Breast Lift: $4,800
Thigh Lift $5700
She said the surgeon reduces his fee by 10% for multiple procedures, and the hospital by 50%. She said the hospital discount doesn't really count because that is only on a 3 hour surgery, then they c