- Name: Valerie G.
- Username: valgroce
- Location: "The OG", OH, USA
- Member Since: 11/5/2004
- BMI: 24.3
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: DS (10/31/05)
- Surgeon: Rita Anderson
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Surgeon TestimonialRita AndersonThe organization is so wonderful with the New Life Surgery Center. They won't take patients 'on a whim'. Before they'll even let you schedule an appt, they first require you to go to an informational seminar that they hold once a month. rnOne thing I was first impressed with is that they did not push one type of surgery. The New Life Surgery Center does DS and RNY, so they presented both in an equal light and instructed us to make our own decisions. They brought two patients in who were two years post-op, one DS and one RNY, and invited us to atted both support groups.rnrnOnce you decide and get insurance approval, the process went by quickly. I had a pre-op physical with Dr.Anderson and she was SO nice! Her med asst had RNY, but took extra pains to become knowledgeable about DS, too and was very helpful and able to answer any questions I had. rnrnThe next step was pre-op testing at Kettering hospital and they included a class in the afternoon showing everything that was going to happen after surgery and all the tubes and stuff attached to us, followed by a presentation by a nutritionist. I have been impressed with the organization of it all. So far, it's been a great experience.rn____________________________rnNow I'm a year post op, and Dr. Rita was so excited about my progress. I think that is her favorite part of her work! My recovery was totally smooth and flawless. I attribute so much of my success to her!rnrnrnrnrnrnrn |
6 years post op on November 11, 2011 1:54 pm
As I put on my Halloween skeleton socks, I was reminded that it was my Surgiversary on Halloween, because I was arguing with the hospital staff to keep my skeleton socks on having to miss Halloween and all. I’m amazed that I kept these same socks a whole 6 years. It was six years ago that I had the Duodenal Switch, the best thing I ever did for myself. I was extremely active out here for the first 5 years, but I opened a restaurant in the last year and just haven’t had the time to keep up with everything, so knowing that there are many out here to carry the torch in my place, I backed off for a bit. I won’t go over all of the gruesome details; you can read that on dsfacts.com from my article there. I’ll give you just the interesting highlights and where I am today. My starting weight was 286, 272 the day of surgery. I wasn’t required to lose any weight prior to surgery, but it happened on its own. As I was losing, I focused my goal on a certain size instead of a weight, modeling myself after a friend of similar height that I thought had the perfect, realistic figure (size 8). It was about 14 months post op that I reached that goal, and started working to put on the breaks. It wasn’t very hard since my weight loss was leveling off anyway. I ate a little more freely and slowed down quite easily. I dipped down to a size 6 for a while, but started getting complaints that I was too skinny, and agreeing completely, worked to get back to a size 8. After a couple of years, I found that I started to gain more than I really wanted to. I’d gotten to a size 10, which wasn’t terrible, but not where I wanted to stay. I had been enjoying the shameless eating a little much and struggled to let go of some of it. Once I opened my BBQ restaurant, opportunities to sit and eat a respectable meal were few and far between, and I dropped 15lbs without even thinking about it. I’m now quite comfortably back to a size 8 and holding steady. My latest moment of excitement was getting a physical for a life insurance policy. I was written up for the average physical health, but actually got a partial REFUND after my physical and bloodwork because I was so healthy that they gave me the Preferred Premium rate. Who’d ever thought I’d accomplish that?? Lessons learned to share? I have a few:
- Drink, drink, drink. Don’t whine about it, just do it. Not only do I accomplish 64 oz every day, but I do at least twice that…sometimes three times.
- REAL vitamins. Not flintstones or anything gummy. Don’t accept anything mediocre because catching up is a real bitch when you fall short. There are some real vitamin guru’s out here. I love Andrea U and Vitalady for information. They’ve studied a lot to keep healthy and have been very generous with sharing.
- Be realistic. Know your stats on what to expect and don’t assume you’re special or different. This will save a lot of frustration along the way. I found focusing a goal on a clothing size instead of weight was much better. I’d been MO for so long that my bone density is high, so I weigh more than I look. Had I been fixated on a weight number, it would have made me crazy.
- There are absolutely no magical creams, lotions, or exercises to prevent or treat loose skin. Count on it happening and work ahead on how you will deal with it. How severe its gonna be depends on the cocktail of your age, genetics, how long you’ve been MO, with a dash of simple luck.
- Similarly, there are no magical shampoos or vitamins to prevent hair loss six months out from your surgical date. Google Telogen Effluvium and learn all about it. It’s going to happen to the majority of you, and it will last 3-5 months and it will go away, no matter what vitamins you take or what shampoo you use. The best remedy is a haircut with some texture to blend in the new growth so you don’t look like a chia pet when it comes in (and it will). If you’re more than a year out and it’s happening again, it’s time to check your vitamin levels, for it may be a result of malnutrition.
- Get to know your local consignment and thrift stores. You will reach a point where you need a new wardrobe every 6 weeks. Go to the ritzy part of town and shop there. It’s amazing what the rich and privileged discard. Go armed with a tide pen and plenty of time to just pick through things. A consignment shop will take the clothes you’ve shrunk out of and fund the new purchases. I was able to replace my wardrobe for less than $100
- Shapers! I love them in the wintertime. Not only do they hold in what’s loose, but they keep me warm, too. Get some. There are some I get from Walmart for less than $10 that go from my ankles to my bra. They sell them by the sock section.
- Padded and molded bras! They serve two purposes: first, they have a pre-formed shape to pour your girls losing their own shape. Second, nobody knows when you’re cold. I love the Lane Bryant Balconette, myself. I’m shrinking out of their smallest size (34C now, I think), so I’m on the lookout for something I won’t leap out of when I’m not being careful. My boobies are like escape artists.
- Don’t feel resentful for how people treated you when you were MO. If they treat you differently now, don’t be a bitch about it. They have no idea what they are doing and are probably quite sincere about how they’re treating you today. Life is too short. Just be gracious about the compliments and new treatment and look forward with your head held high. You’ve done it!
We'll finish off with a photo of me and my family taken only two days ago.
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Happy New Year on January 1, 2010 2:48 pm
So, it's now 2010, and I'm rolling into year 5 as a successful post op. I finally put on a few pounds. It's pretty common to add 10-20 lbs after you reach your all time low. Put me down for another 10 thankyouverymuch, and I get to stay the same size, so something's shifted in my favor along the way. My labs are in decent shape and pretty easy to keep up with. Since my first year post op, I've not had to supplement iron at all. I do enjoy red meat daily, so that may be a good contributor. I find myself craving carbs more, and its because I eat them. Being this far out, I do keep a closer eye on the scale and weigh about every month or two, after going a couple of years without weighing at all. I let my jeans be my guide.
Speaking of jeans, I wore out my first pair in 2009. I mean, I wore holes in the knees and front part before I grew out of them. I wear them, holes and all like a trophy now. They're my favorite weekend knock arounds.
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Annual Encore of my favorite recipes on November 8, 2008 3:28 pm
Sugar Slut, step back! My fabulous recipes sank back to page 2 and people were having trouble finding them, so here they are, y'all! RNY's reading this, you can make substitutions for lower fat varieties of some of these things.
I've been getting many requests for my trail mix recipe lately, so I thought I'd post it here for all to see:
Fabulous Ricotta Fluff Stuff
1 large container of ricotta cheese
1 box SF jello instant cheesecake pudding
dollop or two of sour cream (to taste)
A little bit of milk to lighten it up (about a cup-add last and gradually)
Mix it all up and enjoy however you want it. I love it with strawberries! It's a great fruit dip or just eating straight out of the bowl.
Variation for fluff: Do whatever flavor of pudding you like and add a little milk to get the texture you like.
Warning: Walmart's ricotta is very grainy in texture and never mixes to anything smooth and creamy. Tasty, but strange.
Fabulous Trail Mix
1 jar peanuts
1 jar sunflower kernels
1/2 bag raisins or "berries and cherries"
1/2 small bag chocolate chips.
1 small bag macadamia pieces
1 small bag pecan halves
To this, I might add other nuts depending on what's on sale (walnuts, cashews, more pecans). I've also varied the fruit, too, so play around. Try to keep the proportions the same. It's so easy to load up the sweet stuff, but it's the nuts that are so valuable here. The balance makes the perfect sweet and salty snack and my daily breakfast. If proportions are kept, it's about 32g of protein for 8 oz.
Fabulous Custard -- full of protein, easy on new post-ops ~delicious!
3 cups milk
3/4 cup splenda
4-5 eggs (depending on size)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
handful of coconut (optional)
Preheat oven to 375'. Beat eggs, nutmeg and vanilla together in baking dish. On the stove, bring the milk and splenda just to a boil, then stir together to the eggs. Bake for 25 min
NOTE: when the milk is coming near to a boil, you'll get a little foam on the top. Remove this foam before stirring into the eggs, or it will get a weird texture on top.
God Bless Paula Deen for flourless peanut butter cookies!
1 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup Splenda
Mix and roll into balls (about walnut sized) and flatten with fork dipped in Splenda. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
-Do NOT overocok -- they will get crumbly since there's no gluten
-Peanut butter is naturally low sugar - the low sugar kind only reduces it by 1g per serving.
-If you're picky about artificial sweeteners, I've done a 3/1 with splenda and sugar to cut the after taste and it's good. Presently, I do full-splenda in the cookies, and roll in regular sugar and that's good too. I've also added semi-sweet chocolate chips to shake things up.
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My 3 yr surgiversary on November 1, 2008 7:02 am
Post Date: 10/31/08 6:59 am
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Last Edit: 10/31/08 7:24 am
3 years strong today. Yup, just like GoBlue, I’m another Halloween DS baby. What a difference 3 years makes, too! What’s funny is that I’m dressed like a living dead girl. If I was amongst my MVADS, I’d say I’m dressed as the one who listened to their surgeon and am still taking Flintstones chewables after three years.
Year one was full of changes. I was melting away and learning to eat all over again. I was learning what affected my body and how. I was working to eat more so I would never have to tolerate those horrible protein drinks again if I could help it. I set reminders in outlook so I would be reminded to eat and take my vitamins. Who ever thought I’d need to be reminded to eat?
Year two slowed down, and I reached my goal at 14 months out. I continued and lost a little more than goal and made promises that if I got 5 lbs less that I’d consider digestive enzymes. Honestly, I don’t think I got too skinny, but people started getting concerned. Magically enough, though, my weight loss stopped on it’s own. It probably had something to do with me loosening up on the carbs, being able to eat more those days, etc. I also got a hernia in year 2. I’m pretty sure it was due to me being too stubborn to wait for assistance for the wet two cubic foot bag of top soil and lifted it up on my own. Needless to say, this required another surgery and a decision to have a TT. I took a hard look at myself, and decided that while my loose skin isn’t that attractive, that I wasn’t yet ready for the risk of complications (and the pain) associated with the TT. My skin could be better, but it hides well, so I consider it a blessing. For those concerned with hernia repair, it’s not that big of a deal. We’re talking an overnight stay at the hospital and a couple weeks off of work.
Year 3 was a breeze. I floated pretty effortlessly the first 6 months at the same weight, give or take a couple pounds. I noticed my weight creep up so started reigning in my simple carb intake. I never got real anal about it. It’s just not my style for stuff like that. I just found myself saying no to sweets every once in a while. Not always, mind you, but once in a while. I just pay more attention is all. My weight crept up another 5 lbs to stay steady in, once again, give or take a couple pounds. I’m still a size 8, though (sometimes a 6). I'm smaller than I've ever been as an adult -- and even as an adolescent. This is the perfect size for me. I don’t feel too “skinny”, and I really like the way I look. I still have plenty of boobs and butt, too. It would be nice if they were a little more firm, but that’s the miracle of today’s undergarments. I can create the perfect illusion – no problem!
Year 4 -- I still have the Outlook reminder to take my vitamins, but my stomach has finally figured out how to tell me it's hungry. The rest will be posted as I learn it, LOL. Thanks for all of our contributors out here, for I wouldn't be as healthy as I am today if it weren't for the information that is shared out here that I never heard from my surgeon, any nuts -- ANYWHERE. Newbies -- stick around. It's definitely worthwhile, even with the idiiots that drop in occasionally.
- Don’t make this harder than it has to be. You’re gonna lose no matter what the first year.
- If you eat protein first > then veggies > you can eat what you want after because you won’t have much room left anyway and you won’t feel deprived of any favorite things.
- Be creative – pasta is my nemesis, but only the noodles. I found plenty to do with those fabulous sauces. Also, Dreamfields pasta is the shizzle! It’s not foolproof, but I can eat considerably more than my couple bites of other stuff with no ill effects. If I eat lots though, my body will bust me.
- On that note, pay attention to what foods affect you and how long it takes. If you notice that you get bad gas or diarrhea, write it down along with what you’ve eaten. Find the patterns to identify the culprit so you can limit or eliminate the consumption.
- Ricotta Fluff, Flourless Peanut Butter cookies and SF custard –mMMMMmm
- Don’t buy retail until you’re close to goal. Get to know the consignment and thrift stores in your area. It never fails to amaze me the wonderful things that people cast away. Even though I’ve been a size 8 for 2 years, I love to find the great deals.
- Lane Bryant Cacique Balconette bras – enough said
- Be aggressive with vitamins A and D. I went from 400 iu to 800, then 1000, then 2000, then 5000 and my levels continued to tank. It wasn’t until I was taking 25,000 iu of dry A and 50,000iu of dry D that my levels started to rise at all. My surgeon wasn’t nearly aggressive enough with her suggestions, and I intend to tell her that when I see her next month so others can start on the right foot. In the meantime, I’m telling y’all.
- Don’t waste your time on chewable and liquid vitamins if you don’t have to. It may be necessary at first, but go to pills as soon as you’re able.
- So, we dress up for Halloween at work. I'm the living dead girl to those here, but my secret pals will understand this even though the gal who took the photo didn't get it.