David Provost, M.D. David Provost is a courageous doctor who took me in and saved my life when no other surgeon would help me after a botched DS in Mexico with the butcher Dr Huacuz. This he did even though I basically said I had no money or insurance. He is straight laced, no nonsense, but he is patient and answers your questions without judgment. His staff are BEYOND wonderful and kind and friendly and helpful. The hospital was also the best hospital I've ever encountered. What else can I say?! A+++
Don't go to Dr. Huacuz in Tijuana, he butchered me and others - read my blog for 2010.Want the best vitamins for our needs? Visit Vitalady.com. Want information on the best WLS, Duodenal Switch? Visit DSFacts.com!
Seems like just yesterday I was lurking on the Texas board, looking for RNY.
Then the usual surgery wars battles made me curious, I visited the bad, evil, DS board and decided I belonged here....on the Dark Side. *lightening crashes*
This place was amazing, and it took a further 3 years for me to get my surgery.
By then, I was so desperate (I was 311 pounds at 5'2" and it seems like the weight gain would just keep creeping up...I was around 180-200 lbs in my 20s, and I was adding 10 pounds per year...) that I turned off some of my common sense and took selective advice (in otherwords, heard what I wanted to hear) and went to the wrong doctor.
Not getting into the complications and recovery, that you can catch up on in my blog, but hey, I DID get fixed in the end.
Issues (once I was past the complication and on my way to healing and losing weight the healthy way):
-- I had horrid loose stools and diarhea for months. This was causing issues with a sore bottom.
-- I had uncontrollable gas - I mean, eat nothing but chicken with mayo all day and still had peel-the-wallpaper gas. This was causing issues at work.
-- I had severe iron-deficiency anemia (still do, actually) and no money or insurance to get an infusion. This was causing issues with exhaustion.
However, with the help of the people here, I tried many different solutions, and it did take a long, long, time to figure out what worked best for me, but I can say I have overcome all of the above!
-- I now have two main times a day me and the toilet have special time with my smart phone (lol) - upon immediately waking up, and around dinner time. It is soft-solid and no longer irritates my poor bottom. I still may go occassionally at other times or in the middle of the night, depending on what I ate.
-- I now how gas completely under control! I have learned what not to eat (white flour, lactose, fructose, etc) and what I can eat (corn! potatoes! rice and whole wheat in small doses!) and honestly maybe toot lighlty once or twice near the end of the day.
(Note both issues above were also fixed with a couple of rounds of flagyl, and taking probiotics. Once I knew my bacteria issues were under control, I really had the chance to test the foods I can and cannot tolerate with more precision.)
-- I'm taking two proferrins heme iron pills (split in half, one dose at breakfast, one at lunch) and 5 Vitalady tender irons (at bedtime), and I feel like it's raising my energy level to tolerable while I wait to get insurance again.
I've managed to get my full set of labs done at least once a year (when I briefly had insurance, first Obama's high risk insurance then my new husband's insurace before he got laid off), and have carefully crafted my vitamin and protein regimine with help from this amazing group. When I get my insurance back (both hubby and me are working, but only "contract" work with no benifits thus far, can't wait for Obamacare to kick in!) I will be getting them every 6 months (probably just the ones to watch mid year though, and a complete set at my annual physical).
I learned that I have issues with Vitamin A and K, and iron mostly. The iron was already an issue pre-DS, though. I am doing fantastic with my protein, calcium and vitamin D levels. Everything else is normal, I even had to cut back on my B vitamins - I was ODing on B6 (be careful of that, people).
This is what my daily life is eating these days:
Morning commute: Protein coffee with 1 1/2 scoops of Syntrax Nectar protein Breakfast: Scrambed eggs, cheese, sausage mixed up with salsa Coffee treat: Once crunchy granola bar dipped in my coffee Mid-morning snack: Cottage cheese mixed with a no-sugar added fruit cup Lunch: Protein (meat) and the only sides allowed have to be made of corn (such as in a crunchy taco) or potatoes (such as fries or mashed) or veggies. I tend to love eating protein salads like chicken, tuna or seafood. Post-lunch snack: Carb countdown yogurt Mid-afternoon salad: Yes, this has it's own meal. Crunchy, wonderful mixed greens salad with protein on top (chicken or cold cuts or steak or whatever) slathered in dressing for a cruchy fill me up and keep me to dinner feeling. Dinner: Whatever my family is having. I allow carbs here, although I'll fill up on the protein first and then have the carbs (even white ones). After dinner snack: Sometimes I'm bad (ice cream) sometimes I'm good (open faced sandwhich on toasted whole wheat sandwhich thins). Sometimes I don't have one.
To me, the key to keeping gas under control was to limit bad carbs to small amounts only at night so the consequences happen in my sleep. :) Although, I still cannot go wild and do too much or they will continue into the next day.
This is my vitamin regimine now, based on my needs:
Proferrin Heme Iron
Tender Carbonyl Iron
Vitamin B12 Sublingual
Vitamin B12 & Folic Acid Sublingual
1000 mcg & 800 mcg
* Alternate days
** Every 5 days
Mostly, I don't think of my DS much, I'm too busy living life, enjoying my new husband, working on my career, wishing to win the lottery for some plastics... :)
I am currently 140 pounds, and pretty happy at my weight - especially considering what I think I will look like post-platics.
OH yeah, and my hair is finally back to it's pre-op thinness instead of my nearly post-op bald thiness. I've read that iron deficiency anemia can cause thin hair in women, so I have great hope that it will recover even further if one day I manage to get my infusions!
There are so many new experiences to report, I hardly know where to start.
I bought a size 10 silk maxi dress and a large cover-up months before the wedding, and both were too big (I'm now a size 8 almost 6 or medium). A maxi dress can go big, but I had the cover-up altered. Can't show those bat wings at a wedding! I also broke down at the last minute and bought spanx because I didn't want my damn saddle bags to show. However, despite my efforts, the wind blew my dress puffy and made me look pregnant. :p
I have been wearing wigs so I thought, dammit, if I am going to wear a wig at my wedding I'm going for the dream hair. So I bought a long, luxirious wig that was a pain in the patooty to keep up with. I am now bald (not really) with an extreme short pixie cut of my own hair. But that's a post for another day. This one was enhanced because my hair was slightly longer and the same exact color so I was able to blend my own hair in around the hairline for maximum believability.
We ran away and eloped. It was just me, Preston, the internet minister I found and my best friend from childhood as witness. Her husband was photographer. I will share a video later.
We went to the very picturesque location of Point Fermin Park in San Pedro, CA. It is on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Breath taking. And free, we just showed up. :)
Ok, to start things off, I totally could WALK down the airplane aisle FACE FORWARD (not have to sashay sideways) without issue. I sat extremely comfortably in the seat with space to spare and crossed my legs. I totally wished I brought my own snacks, because their offerings to buy were all very very carby. And I get hungry every hour so 3 hours without food wasn't an option.
Thank you the inventor of the 31 day vitamin organizer because all I had to do was pull the appropriate days out and stick them in my suitcase, viola, I'm covered. No thinking neccessary.
I ate whatever I wanted. For the most part, I got away with it. Two exceptions - champane and wedding cake made me sick (combo of alchohol and dumping like symptoms) and ice cream made me miserable for 24 hours of bloating and stomach pain. And get this - LOST 4 pounds on the trip. I'm now at 140. (5'2")
The best part was this - I WALKED all over Disneyland for 3 straight days and NEVER got exhausted, never foot or leg pain, I had SO much energy!!!! I was stoked. I was so worried about the walking, I couldn't believe it!!
I put more pictures in my profile if you want to see them. I felt so...normal and friends couldn't believe how good and healthy I looked!
So, at one year out from surgery my hair is dead. Gone. Kaput. As my youngest daughter put it "Mom, you hair is very thin. Like cancer patient thin."
I have had thin, fine, hard to manage hair my entire life. I've always been jealous of people who can grow out thick, luxurious locks. So, when the natural shock effects of two surgerys and many months of malnutrition hit me, it's not surprising it really took a toll.
I really always knew I'd end up in wigs some day, even without WLS helping.
So here we are ... my story in pictures of how I decided I was going to have thick hair after all. OH wouldn't let me post all my big pics, so they are thumbnails to the big pics.
So, here I am fresh out of the shower and this is what my hair looks like:
This is my official before pic at the salon...
So, we put on my new wig bought from wigs.com for about $120 (I wanted quality enough for my first wig, but I will probably upgrade to a much more expensive wig once I learn what I am looking for). All good wigs come extra heavy in the front so you can trim/thin to your exact needs.
At some points during the cutting process I had to hold the wig down so she could pull up the hair to cut it without yanking it off my head!
Checking out the cut and length to see if I like it. Had to grab my glasses!
The front of the wig before trimming. These bangs when down to my nose.
The front after trimming, but before styling, so it still looks a bit heavy. However, no bangs in my eyes!
The side of the wig before trimming.
The side of the wig after trimming.
The back of the wig before trimming.
The back of the wig after trimming.
When I felt confident enough that the wig would be fairly realistic, I took the plunge - I had to cut off all my dead, fried hair and hope that protein and vitamins will encourage new growth one day. Honestly, I don't hold out much hope, only because I was having hair issues prior to surgery.
Cutting it all off...
And...see, I couldn't stand to go out like this because I like being so feminine, and this seems so damn butch. It's not me. :(
But see, now that I have a good wig, I can dress up! On with the photo whoring!
And finally, a shout out to the Davanti Aveda Salon in Denton, TX and my two lovely stylists, Jessica and Alli! :)
So, I made the effort to drive to Central Market in Ft Worth to get some full fat real greek yogurt (they only sell the sugar-laden zero fat mass market type in my local stores). And I tried it (Fage plain greek yogurt) the other day with some sugar free Smuckers blueberry perserves. Eh, it was ok.
So, I'm looking at this tub thinking I'm sure I can get this to taste good, just have to use my imagination! I had some sugar free cheesecake pudding mixes from way back when I tried to make ricotta fluff and didn't like it.
So, I plopped a package of Jello sugar free cheesecake pudding mix in with one cup of Fage plain full fat greek yogurt and added a few tablespoons of half and half to make it easier to stir - that stuff got stiff fast.
AND OMG it's like heaven in the mouth. I'm eating cheesecake without carbs. Honestly, tastes like the real stuff. WAY creamier and satisfying that made with ricotta. And just as much protein, baby!
Keep in mind I'm taking some expensive iron and probiotics, this doesn't include shipping (although I take advantage of free and reduced shipping whenever I can) and some of these items can possibly be bought cheaper if I searched hard enough, I just don't think saving maybe $20 a month is worth all that effort. All these vitamins and quantities are based on MY needs, and MY labs, so your shopping bill may be completely different.
If I had insurance right now, I might have been able to get some of my vites covered (at the very least the iron).
This was written in 2007, and I'm leaving it for posterity just the way it was. But my life is so much different now! :)
My name is Larissa, I'm a...thirty-something-or-other. I currently live in Texas with my three children, my mother, my sister, my nephew, four cats and one dog. I have a tendency to take in strays. Although you would think I'm just talking about my animals, it happens to be how I ended up with the extra relatives, too. Thank heavens I have a large house.
Of course, my house isn't the only thing that is large. But would I be here if it was?
I have been a Jane of all trades, my career choices have taken many turns: day care teacher/owner, fast food, midwifery assistant, school bus driver, ebay entrepenuer, web designer, postal worker, tax preparer, and finally, where I am today, computers. I currently work for a national corporation at their internal tech support help desk. I adore my job!
Besides computers, my interests include playing Guild Wars (a game I helped to develope for a year and a half before release as an alpha tester!), gardening, home decorating, reading...oh, I'm kinda a home body.
All my life, I have felt my excess weight has held me back in all arenas - socially, career-wise, etc. I always have to overcome predjudice/assumptions based on my appearance, or simply AVOIDED the situation and thus, the assumed rejection I'd get. In otherwords, I've been hiding, and the few moments I tried to be brave and go forth and declare my worth, I would get proof on why I should have stayed in hiding. One particularly painful moment I was in a job interview where I was in a tiny chair that was too high, and too narrow, with no table in front of me, trying my best to look dimunitive and relaxed infront of two interviewers when in fact, I felt like a big blob and knew that's all they could see. With my feet barely touching the floor, I never felt so humiliated in my whole life, and wasn't surprised when I didn't get the job, despite my excellent training, experience and references.
I know that's why I've done so well in the Tech Support arena. They can't see me on the phone...And gee, I'm so cute, really, other than the 150 extra pounds! Red curly hair, milky skin, cute freckles, bright blue eyes, come-hither mouth...lol. Doesn't it just SUCK that if you were just given the right genes, you think you might have turned out to be a heartbreaker instead of heartbreakee? *sigh*
As of this writing (9/4/2007) I'm 5'2" and 282 lbs
My maternal grandmother weighed over 300 lbs after 6 kids
I was a small baby (6 lbs) and a normal-sized kid
Puberty hit, and the hips were widening...and wouldn't stop
At age 13, my mother's friend warned me about the cellulite growing on my thighs...
At age 16, I weighed 155 (wore a size 12) and it caused me to lose out on a part in a school play
I'd give anything to be a size 12 again!
By age 20, I was up to a size 18 and had tried many diets already
In my 20s, I was having children and yo-yo dieting, once actually getting down to 140, but it didn't last
At 30, I was going through my second divorce and horrified to find my weight creeping up higher than at my heaviest pregnancy weight...
I haven't managed to lose more than 30 pounds at a time since then, and only at a painfully long crawl, and it has come back every time
My associated aches, pains, and health problems now at size 24 (pushing 26) make me feel 60 at 37!