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Surgeon TestimonialCharles A. Svendsen, M.D.I met Dr. Svendson at my pre-surgery visit on the date that my surgery date would be determined. He is the only one of the three Methodist surgeons I hadn't already met.rnI found him genuine, honest, direct and comforting. He examined me and answered my questions about surgery and recovery.rnI met him again the morning before surgery, then each day I was in the hospital. I felt he was genuinely concerned about my well being mentally/emotionally as well as physically. I really feel like he cares.rnI've known Barb Johnson, Dr. Svendson's nurse for several months as she leads the WLS support group for Park Nicollet/Methodist. I adore her. She's been a sage guide in the journey, a great source of information, and a wonderful comfort now that I am post-op and I'm really dealing with the challenges and benefits of surgery.rnThis program has a fantastic after care program. I've had my 1 week post-op visit so far. I'll have nurse visits at months 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12. I'll have nutritionist meetings at months 1, 2, 5, 8, and 11 months. I can attend support groups twice a month.rnI am very pleased to have Dr. Svendson as my doctor (I think of him as Dr. Chuck, not out of disrespect, but out of admiration and appreciation) and Barb as his wonderful nurse. I'm truely blessed by having them both helping me in this process. |
5 years in 2 weeks on July 29, 2011 5:25 pm
I haven't been on OH in almost 3 years. I just don't feel like I need feedback from the gang. I know y'all are supportive and have lots of suggestions, but I don't need em. So, I guess I'm not writing this post for any other reason than to document my stuff.
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I will be 5 years out in 2 weeks. I had to go back and look at my old profile to see where I started. On July 29 2006, I was 299.4. I was at the doctor yesterday and I'm 260.1. So, I'm still down about 40 pounds from my worst recorded date.
I feel a bit better now that I've seen that. I thought I was all the way back to where I started. I got to around 170 and I've come back up.
I knew I was going to put on weight. I went into surgery having a bizzare condition of having a really high metabolism and still gaining weight. When I had to write my letter to the insurance company, I focused on being in pain and getting winded.
Well, the pain didn't go away. Before surgery, pain, carpal tunnel, depression and I forget what else was dianosed as cause by being overweight. After surgery, pain, carpal tunnel and depression stuck around. Since weight wasn't as much of an issue, I went to physical therapy asking for help to learn to stand and walk properly with my new balance. After evaluation, I learned about all kinds of deformaties I have. My feet don't both point forward, I can't completely straighten my right arm, etc. Oddities that can't be fixed because whatever reason they are there, there's no changing them. I was also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and eventually, some pinched nerves. I've been to a chronic pain program, I'm on a bunch of Fibro drugs and I've got a TENS unit to help with the pain. It's not as frequent at all, but occassionally I have flares.
I was never diabetic. I have never had heart or blood pressue issues. I don't hate my bodyshape any more than the average American women. OK, maybe less than the average. Surgery was for pain and surgery didn't do anything to fix the pain. I have a CPAP and the setting is the same as it was before surgery.
I regret having surgery. Yes, the origin of my pain is identified and has been treated, but it hasn't been worth it. I have a problem eating every day at every meal. My pouch didn't stretch and I can't eat a whole cup at once unless I drink with it. I've gotten stuck and thrown up so many different things, my list of food is pretty short. I hate to eat with anyone because I'm very self-concious about how little I eat. I take really small portions and I stop eating before everyone else. Then I'm stuck sitting there waiting for everyone else to finish with nothing to do. I turn down dessert all the time. Last week I had a tiny sliver of key lime pie when I was at a social event and I started to dump - sweating, heart racing, the whole bit. I can drink a regular soda just fine, but I can't touch cake or pie.
I don't bother to sit down in a restaurant because I eat so little that it takes longer to be seated, place an order and get my food than it does to eat. Everything gets packaged to go.
I hate getting gifts of food from people. I still haven't found a way to say "no thank you" and have it stick. At this point, I'm just pissed off by the whole thing because no means no, damnit. With some people, I've resorted to turning down everything I can and just throw away the rest. It's such a waste. People don't accept how little I eat and are always trying to give me some to take with me.
On the other hand, if I'm going somewhere, I bring my own milk and some kind of protein snack. Always with me, I'm self concious that I'm carrying around 1/2 gallon of skim milk in my bag.
So, as I can see it, it sums up to either the fat girl not eating around other people and sneaking when no one's around or fat girl's snacking constantly. I feel like I can't win. Since surgery and I lst so much weight, I think I became more aware of how much attention other people pay to my weight and what I'm doing that may or may not affect it.
So, basically, I'm bitter and I regret surgery. I've gone through thousands of dollars of clothes and shoes in the last 5 years and I feel sick in one way or another every single day. My surgery was technically successful, but RNY surgery wasn't the right choice for me. And I'm stuck with it.
Weight is up on April 8, 2009 8:19 pm
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I haven't written in a really long time. Part of it is because I was pretty satisfied that my life didn't completely revolve around WLS. Also, life has been really change-y and I've reproritized and blogging moved down on the list.
My weigh is up 35 pounds since November. As you might imagine, I FREAKED OUT that weight was coming on and so quickly. I never thought I would have to buy bigger sized clothes, but it's happened. I especially noticed when my underwear didn't fit anymore. THAT will make you fidget.
I've spoken to every one of my doctors to find out WTF is going on. One medication has gone from 25mg to 100mg. It works GREAT but the #1 side effect is weight gain. Also, a thyroid disorder has been "discovered". For various reasons I'm living with a good amount of chronic severe pain often and I sleep up to 15 hours per day. Those aren't helping.
I've been told the thyroid thing is going to take at least 6 months to figure out and I won't lose weight until then, but I got a Wii Fit. I've committed to 30 minutes 5 times per day, but I'm doing more like 60. I've also decided to stop drinking soda so I'm weaning myself off. I am also working on 3 servings of fruit per day. I have to drink more water so I'm working on that. I'm also giving myself B12 shots and taking 5000 units of D-3 per day since I haven't been able to get my D up. I figure if I can't lose weight, at least I can tone myself as much as possible and be as healthy as I can be. DOn't get me wrong, I have all kinds of bad feelings about this, but I'm working on everything I can control to make the situation better.
Other than that, I'm single, I got a kitten on Christmas eve (her name is Emma), and I'm unemployed. Life is going pretty well overall.
Peace and blessings!
Almost 2 years since surgery on August 11, 2008 8:38 pm
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My 2 year surgiversary is approaching and I felt compelled to come visit the board I relied on SO MUCH when I was getting ready for surgery and going through all the weird stuff afterward.
On Friday, it will have been 2 years. I'm within 10 pounds of my surgeon's goal. For a while there, I set my sights on 20 or 30 pounds more, but that just didn't happen. I feel pretty good about the way things have gone.
Here's my reality + my tips for anyone who's curious....
* I can drink soda now, but I waited a full year before I tried it again. Still I try to keep in to 12 oz or less per day. It took me almost 6 months of weaning off caffine before surgery. In a few short months, I'm hooked again and get a headache if I don't have any.
* I have a hell of a time with ground beef. Steak is fine, but ground beef causes problems every time. Maybe it's the grissle.
* I didn't drink alcohol for the first year after surgery. Started after that, experimenting and whatnot. I've come to realize it's more trouble than it's worth, so I don't bother much anymore.
* I used to LOVE pasta. All kinds, all shapes, all sauces. Now, no matter what I do, I always get stuck. Every couple of months I try again, but it just doesn't work. It's an unhappy parting - a love affair that will never be...oh well.... Rice used to get stuck every time, but not anymore. YAY!
* My portion size is still pretty small...maybe too small. When I go out for dinner, I eat a bit and take the rest home. Half of a grilled cheese sandwich is almost too much. As such, I have to eat about 5 times a day to get enough in me to keep me going. Lots of little meals. Lots of leftovers. Most of the time it's ok, but sometimes it's sad to know ordering a dinner at a restaurant is mostly a big waste and it will end up cold in styrofoam in my fridge and will take a week to finish.
* Drink water and take your B12! Dehydration SUCKS! Pernicious aneamia (from missing B12) sucks even more. For goodness sake, follow your doctor's orders and listen to your nut(ritionist).
*My skin did not shrink back to fit my new size. Large parts of my skin (upper arms, upper legs, stomach area) look like pantyhose with runs in it. My boobs are saggy. The skin on my neck is loose and wrinkles vertically like an old lady. I get more self-concious about that more than anything. My partner (BLESS HER) said something to the affect of "I know you don't think it looks that great, but it all feels pretty good to me" Love that woman.
*Exercise to make the pain go away. Keep exercising. Start small, build up and keep going. It took me a long time to get my butt in gear, but once I did, I realized it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I got past my fear of being made fun of by strangers (which comes back from time to time) and kept going. Now I exercise just to prove I can. I rode my bike about 20 miles today just running errands (south Minneapolis to Edina via Richfield, through Linden Hills past Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun back to south Minneapolis) Never thought I'd do that, but I do - 3 times a week.
*Take care of your mental health. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. How many amongst us have turned to drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, gambling, depression, self harm, and all other assorted distractions to run away from the pain that's still in there, even when your butt is the size of a teenagers? Take your medication. Have your medication checked if you haven't for a long time. Go to group therapy and/or support groups. Get a therapist. Lean on your support network when you need it. If nothing else, such radical changes in every bit of your life - internally and externally - require a lot of self reflection and a lot of support to talk it though, process it, and talk it through some more and process it some more. IT'S HARD. GET HELP!
* Take pictures, keep a journal, and be kind to yourself when weighing. Give this great big thing the attention it deserves, but don't let it be the one and only thing in your life. Observe the changes, mark them down, but don't forget the rest of your life. The short time after surgery is going to be nothing compared to the rest of your life. Make yourself a little memory book can say "Back when I was fat, I had surgery, went through this really weird change, and became what I am now - look". When you are ready, put the book away and just enjoy your life as it is. Keep it as a momento like you might a high school yearbook or baby pictures, but remember, it's just part of your journey, not the whole thing.
Well, I've babbled on enough. You probably know I hardly ever come here any longer. Many of you probably have no clue who I am (look at my profile if you like - CRAZY differences in my pictures).
Know that even though I'm not here, I think of all the newbies fondly - I know how stressful the pre-approved, pre-scheduled and pre-surgery times can be. Listen to your medical professionals and ask questions of them until you are comfortable.
All you post-ops - hang in there. It's weird. It's bizzare. It's stressful as hell. Take care of yourselves as best as you can. Love you all too.
Old timers - you know who you are - I hope you're doing well and making it through the whole darn thing. I know you're probably here to get support from the other old timers and to help the newbies and post-ops with thier stuff. You're generous and lovely for that. Love you lots.
Best wishes to all of you, whatever your path is. I wish you happiness and good health whether you have surgery or not, whether you reach your goal or not. You're lovely. Your life can be lovely too.