I'm Not In Any Photos Yet.
Before & After
There are currently no before and after photos for this member.See these instructions
if you wish to submit your own Before & After photos.
Surgeon TestimonialDavid Podkameni M.D. My first impression of Dr Podkameni was that he was very knowledgable & experienced. Over time, I found him to be strict but communicated very welll with me, and I could even joke with him some. Some members of his staff have had bariatric surgery (nurses & the dietician, Donna) so they know what they are talking about because they have lived it.
I found it odd that he didn't care about taking labs since it was June when I had pre op labs but my surgery didn't happen until November. Also, I found him to be overly structured and strict at times, but I am a person who likes to test limits...lol
There is a lot of support with the Banner Gateway Bariatric program, ranging from pre op to post op support groups. They even have a clothing exchange program!
The thing that I am most impressed with Dr P is that he is thorough, methodical, and careful with his patients. During my surgery, he found a benign tumor on my liver, and repaired a hiatal hernia I didn't even know I had! Afterwards, when I had some nausea, dry heaves, and a bad rebound headache (probably from the pain meds), he gave a combination of meds thru the IV that took care of all three problems. That made the difference in me having to stay an extra day or not. (I got to go home as scheduled.)
- Cats - I have 5 cats...My husband wishes we only had 2 or 3...
- Museums & Art Galleries - I love the Getty & the Getty Villa! I have been to the Smithsonian National Art
- Walking - I am glad we have spring & fall in the year so I can be outdoors!
- Computer Games - I am addicted to Frontierville on Facebook!
- Movies - Always ready to for a movie! I love vintage movies from the 1940's.
- Flowers - My favorites are lilacs and gardenias...
- Scrapbooks - This is an extension of my love for old family photos & genealogy.
- Cooking & Baking - I love cooking when I am feeling healthy!
- Swimming - We have a pool and I look forward to swim season!
- WLS in your 40's - I will be about 43 when I have my sleeve gastrectomy Nov 16th.
sedonagirl67's JourneyClick Here To View
Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
I felt like I was weak and couldn't lose weight because I wasn't disciplined enough. I had accepted that I would be a "big girl" for the rest of my life. It took several years to get there but I never felt picked on...just didn't have any energy...and I don't think I realized how much more I was eating than "normal" people. I always felt hungry...
Update from Mexico...and sublingual pain meds? on December 30, 2011 7:52 pm
I have been texting back and forth with my friend who just got sleeved in Tijuana 4 days ago...and I gotta say....I am SOOO jealous of her recovery so far! She got out of the hospital yesterday morning and is back in her hotel room...which she says is beautiful (but I don't have any pics of it). I know she is about 3 blocks from the border and gets US wireless services okay.
I asked about her pain meds, and she said they are sublinguals! Under the tongue (sublingual medication) ROCKS! I have dealt with the nausea monster for the last 13+ months and only recently discovered the delightful sublingual Zofran (ondansetron odt 4mg tablets). I absolutely LIVE by these meds, taking one a day to help me conquer the ongoing nausea I have. I like sublinguals because they go directly into your body, bypassing your stomach and intestines. When you are in pain or nauseous, you don't want to wait an hour or longer for the meds to work! My sublingual works as quickly as 5 minutes after I pop it under my tongue. (But I have no idea about what pain med she is on that comes in sublingual form...and she said it was all listed in Spanish...lol)
My friend is on clear liquids until day 8 post op...but she can already take in 8 - 10 oz of broth in about 15 - 20 minutes! Again, this is astonishing to me! I relearned to drink using the "sip, burp, sip, burp, sip, burp" method, and daily BURPING is a definite side effect of my sleeve. But my friend says she doesn't feel the need to burp at all.... (Am I wrong in thinking she is a VERY lucky girl with her recovery so far?) I have told her "we will see how you do when you move on to full liquids"...
By the way, her doctor came to check on her at the hotel today. Room service doctor? I'm kinda jealous again!
I don't know that I will ever follow her foot steps to Mexico when I have saved up for my plastic surgery needs (batwings and sharpei puppy thighs need some work...my butt has fallen and can't get up.) I am glad she is having a great experience but I think she has been VERY LUCKY in many aspects.
My hubby and I have walked across the border before (when you only needed your driver's license here in Arizona to go across) and considering that I have done social work in some "ghetto-y" neighborhoods of Phoenix (I have been very close to gun shots fired a few times), I never felt comfortable on my border walks.
My friend is a limit tester, like me. So far, the difference in our sleeve surgeries is one of opposites. I was at a Bariatric Center of Excellence five miles away from my home, with the head of the bariatric department as my surgeon, after I had at least 3 meetings with him and had done my research on him. My friend is a few hundred miles from home in a third world foreign country with a surgeon we had a hard time finding information on thru the internet...and she didn't meet him until the day she had surgery. My medical insurance covered the cost of my surgery, after I won on appeal (the whole process took a few months). My friend paid out of pocket because she has no insurance right now (from booking to surgery it took 2 weeks). My BMI starting this was over 40, hers is about 33.
Another thing I am perplexed about: I don't know that being lucky teaches you what is necessary for long term success using this new tool called "your sleeve". I have learned portion control, taking my time to eat, limiting my calories and sugar, because Sleevie made it quite clear early on he would not tolerate deviation from The Plan. The uncomfortable bloated pain I got when I ate "one bite too many" or ate something with too much sugar or fat taught me alot! Will my friend learn those lessons without experiencing pain or bloating? I honestly don't know the answers right now...
All I know is I am both jealous and concerned that she is Holly GoLightly with her new sleeve. And that really bugs me...
| Leave a comment.
Surgery in Mexico...(+ gory stomach pic) on December 29, 2011 7:57 am
Not me, literally, but one of my best friends is currently post op Day 3 in Tijuana after getting sleeved. Apparently, Tijuana is becoming quite the "medical tourism" place to travel for weightloss surgery, plastic surgery, etc. My friend was able to get a medically sound doctor and facility for only five thousand! I am astonished, to say the least! (In the background, I am researching Tijuana docs for my plastic surgery dreams.)
I know all the horror stories about going to Mexico, and all the "buyer beware" stuff...the "what ifs"... And in this economy, even the drug dealers gotta be looking for extra work (I can only imagine one of them driving me to the hospital...after he makes his ecstasy tunnel run to the US...)
Anyway, I gotta say, I am fairly impressed with the pictures and my friend's gushing over how well she is being treated. They gave her 2 leak tests too....and the doc asked if she wanted a picture of her stomach! I am a little jealous, I think...yep... (Not to mention, she seems to be having an amazing recovery so far...something I did not have in my "Bariatric Center of Excellence" hospital).
Since pictures speak louder than words sometimes, here are a couple for you to think about... (By the way, my friend gave me permission to share...) The first is my friend's hospital room in Tijuana. The second is her removed stomach...with a cell phone nearby used as a reference point.
| Leave a comment.
Lessons in Pooping...(+ Christmas Pics) on December 27, 2011 2:19 am
My fellow OHers, lend me your ear, and I will tell you a tale like no other...One of hard work, lots of grunt work, and sweating to win an ongoing desperate game, where plop in the toilet is your reward... Yes, my friends, we pay homage to the Porcelain God with this blog...
My pre op days were filled with many impromptu dashes to the throne, as I was a consistent IBS-D'er, having many episodes of Big D (diarrhea for those who don't know) daily. One of my dreams in having weightloss surgery was for Big D to finally "leave the building". And it has...overall...as in, I feel some days I may never poop again. Truth be told, I rather like having the opposite problem with Monster C (constipation for those still clueless). I don't have to keep my bathroom radar on when I go out and the cramping is a lot less.
As a post op, reduced calorie, skinny girl (and yes, I love being thin), my throne accumulates cobwebs and dust, awaiting the day it can be flushing away the presents I leave behind (like the Christmas reference there?)
I now rely on multiple products to help me along, but I am not consistent with any of it really.
I have the "by mouth" remedies, MoM (Milk of Mag), stool softeners (ie Dulcolax), Miralax powder, and Exlax. Sometimes I take all of these products at once...and still don't go for several days, even though it feels like an alien is about ready to burst from my abdomen.
I also have the "by anus" products, which are the enemas and the gloves. (I should be a major stockholder in Fleet by now since I have bought so many of their saline 4 pack enemas.) I have even looked online for enema recipes...frustrated at how ineffective the "store bought" versions can be to my problem. The gloves, well..., let's just say if the enema doesn't do all it's work, then its time to take matters into my own hands...literally!
In all my research to find a safe, gentle way to make me a clockwork pooper, I have consistently run into the word FIBER. Fiber moves everything along thru your system like Roto Rooter, and sorta propels everything forward to the end zone. I have taken a myriad of fiber products (both soluble and insoluble), mostly in the form of tablets. I have been an oatmeal eater, a fresh fruit and veggies eater, a beans eater, and anything else that might help. (A long time ago, in my pre op world, I used to do "cleanses" too.)
I understand I need fiber now but it's a problem to get it when you can't eat much...and the priority is always protein requirements first. I noticed at my one year post op check up, the nurse asked "do you have problems with constipation" as she ran down her list of health topics in my exam. (She did NOT ask "do you have problems with diarrhea"). So, I know this Monster C thing is a common problem. And what works for some may not work for all... Perplexed pooping...that's all we need! lol
My latest "device" in my quest for consistency in the bathroom is a product I discovered early in the post op process but had trouble making it work for me in a quantity that could really help. But lately, I have been experimenting with a "recipe" to use this fiber so I can kill the protein and fiber need in one serving. It's called Garden of Life Super Seed
and it has protein in it as well as fiber. You can mix it with just about anything but...it's FIBER...so it will turn your juice into unappetizing mush...etc... I tried mixing it with oatmeal...but couldn't get more than 1/3 of what I needed into my tummy. (Because, fiber also makes you FULL!)
My latest fiber launching method is mixing 2 TBS of the Super Seed with 1/2 cup water, microwave for 1 minute, then add 2 TBS peanut butter and 2 TBS honey. (Early post ops may not be able to tolerate this concoction for awhile, but veterans are a different story.) The Super Seed is already a little sweet (it looks like brown sugar to me in its natural state) so that helps. I have been able to eat the whole bowl (although it takes me awhile) and I get about 15 grams of protein in it. The honey also helps the digestive tract move everything along. I haven't been eating this for very long, so it's still in the experimental stages.
By the way, I hope everyone had a great holiday! Here are some pictures of our Asian style Christmas "Shabu Shabu" dinner (which I will blog about later if I think of it.) (First pic is me wearing the hat my sister sent my 20 year old daughter...I have officially claimed it as my own now! lol and OMG! My nose didn't lose weight with me!) (Second pic is with family and friends gathered for the feast.) (Third shows the "hotpots" where we have shiitake mushrooms, Asian style cabbage, bean sprouts, etc in broth as we cook our thin strips of beef, pork, and chicken table side. You put sauce and rice in your bowls too.)
| Leave a comment.
Calories really do make a difference... on December 12, 2011 6:50 am
After months of health issues, ranging from dizziness to nearly passing out, I can honestly say I have improved so much since I started getting more calories. I noticed that everything has improved 90% in the last few weeks and I believe that my body understands "we" (as in my mind and body are definitely 2 different entities) are not in "starvation" mode anymore. I can stand up without feeling the dizzy monster very much and I am steadily being able to do more chores around the house...and be out and about the community more.
I am starting into my second year post op and felt very weak for much of the first year. In late July, after having several vasovagal attacks, I was advised by my doctors to increase my calories to at least 1200 - 1400 per day. This is easier said than done though...and it took awhile before I was succeeding on a regular basis.
The same component that helped me lose weight (no or little appetite) also made it difficult to increase my daily intake. Add in the near constant nausea and tummy pain I have had for the duration, and it has made calorie increasing an uphill battle. I think having "go to" foods around the house and at work has helped a great deal.
At 6 months post op, I still couldn't eat peanut butter, but I am a peanut butter queen now. One of my "high stakes" snacks I can handle eating is peanut butter toast. I butter the toast first, then peanut butter, then top with honey. Even if it takes me an hour to eat it, that's about 400 calories I can count on. Considering that a lot of my nutrition comes in 100 calories at a time (my favorite Key Lime pie yogurt, my scoop of french vanilla protein powder added to my teas, etc), adding 400 calories is a great boost toward that 1200 - 1400 cal goal.
I don't do well with straight meat (any meat) so making casseroles where I double the meat and lighten the carb load by adding less noodles or rice...and making sure the "gooey" food lube component is in place so that the protein slides down...is a must There is almost nothing worse than the feeling of food stuck in your throat or tummy. That half or 3/4 cup I can eat helps toward my calorie and protein total too, especially if I have a couple servings, spaced a couple hours apart.
I also try to eat about every 2 hours so I don't have to stuff my sleeve. There are some doctors out there (my bariatric doc included) who would rather see you eat 3 meals a day and only snack if you need to, but that just doesn't make sense to me. We have this itty bitty tummy that we don't want stretched out to a full size one. That big tummy got us into trouble to begin with! Smaller meals are easier to digest and don't cause as much pain for me.
My hair is still thin and I shed more than I would like, but that problem is improving too. I am trying to get at least 80 grams of protein a day since 60 doesn't seem to be enough to stop this annoying thing. I think I am going to cry Uncle and start using biotin too. I am still not convinced it will help, but I will give it a good 2 or 3 month shot.
Anyway, I am so glad that I am feeling stronger and better. The calories are definitely helping me and time is too. We can't under-estimate the value of either.
| Leave a comment.
The Healing Power of Warmth on December 7, 2011 8:19 am
It's hard to believe that a little over a year ago, I wore my own thermal blubber suit which kept me nice and toasty in the winter time. Fast forward to present time, you will find me in my fuzzy full length robe, long nightgown, and fuzzy slippers, sitting under an electric blanket, drinking my Pumpkin Spice hot tea (with a scoop of vanilla protein powder mixed in.)
I live in Phoenix, so finding heat is not a problem for 9 months out of the year. I actually look forward to this time of year so I can wear something besides capris and sandals...but this year is special. It's my first holiday season where I am at a normal BMI (first time in 23 years.)
With that normal BMI comes responsibility to keep the holiday food monster from taking over my house as well. For the last 2 weeks, I have been making sure I keep a fresh veggie tray stocked in the fridge (along side the ranch dip I eat with the veggies) and have been keeping a bowl of fresh, washed fruit too. (Right now, I have fresh tangerines, apples, pears, grapes, kiwis, and pineapple.)
I recently watched a video called "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" by a guy named Joe Cross. Joe went on a fresh veggie and fruit diet for 2 months (in the form of juicing it all), and had a lot of good come out of it (as you can well imagine). I recommend watching it (I think you can watch it for free on his website - www.fatsickandnearlydead.com
) but for the sake of keeping this blog short, what I personally got out of this movie, was the idea of how much we miss out on micronutrients when we eat processed/canned foods. So I have my own campaign to add more fresh goodness into my house for me and my family. (They can thank me later...HA! As if!)
But I digress...back to WARMTH... As I was recovering last year from surgery, I discovered how much a little heating pad could do for me. When I dealt with painful gas bubbles, the pad helped. When I was nauseous or bloated, the pad helped again. When I was on the verge of hurling, I would lay down on my left side (sometimes right) and put the heating pad on my side and tummy...and it kept me from upchucking the precious calories I was trying to keep down. When my IBS acted up on the downside of my digestive tract, the pad soothed those crampy contractions. In short, the heating pad was my BFF that no one dare take away.
And, over this last year, when I couldn't drink cold (or even room temp) water fast enough to keep me hydrated, or when I couldn't imagine keeping anything down due to the nausea or bloaties, I have used warm drinks to soothe my tummy. My favorites are Salada decaf green tea with a little honey, Chai tea (with a scoop of vanilly protein powder), and International Foods Swisse Mocha or French Vanilla coffee (both sugar free and decaf) - again with my protein powder added to help me catch up on nutrition.
And on a different note, the warmth I have received from my OH family, has helped me too. I have known that if I was going thru anything stressful or annoying, I could seek answers from those who have gone before me...or who were right there with me, going thru the same things! Some people do really well with the type of support where you attend meetings in a physical location. I am not comfortable being in a big room with lots of people (even though I really like people, my hermity nature makes me more of an online, texting kinda girl - plus I always have a houseful of young people to mother and my hubby to help keep me sane.)
So, find your warmth this season, (which may not be in those family holiday dinners or office parties), wherever you can find it...in a hug or in a mug...in an electric blanket or heating pad...in an online community of your peers or snuggling up to those closest to you...it's all good my friends...
| Leave a comment.