What my life is like today - 2 1/2 years post-op

Aug 26, 2012

Time flies!

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:

Vitamins Dose Waking Breakfast Lunch Dinner Bedtime
Multivitamin RDV X     X  
Vitamin A 25,000 IU XX XX XX XX  
Vitamin D 50,000 IU       X  
Vitamin E 400 IU     X    
Vitamin K1   10,000 mcg         X
Vitamin K2 5 mg         X
Vitamin C 1000 mg   X      
Calcium Citrate 300 mg XX XX XX XX  
Magnesium 150 mg X X X X  
Proferrin Heme Iron 12 mg X   X    
Tender Carbonyl Iron 60 mg         XXXXX
Copper 5 mg X        
Vitamin B12 Sublingual 5000 mcg X*        
Vitamin B12 & Folic Acid Sublingual 1000 mcg & 800 mcg X*        
Vitamin B1  100 mg     X    
B Complex B-50     X**    
Zinc  50 mg         X
ProBiotics   X   X    

* 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!







Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

Dec 16, 2011

Photo whoring. The first is a comparison pic with me and my hubby. Then and now...

The next is me showing off wearing a dress with boots for the first time ever!


Being a beautul bride after DS

Oct 05, 2011

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!


Well now, let's talk wigs!

Apr 03, 2011

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! :)

1 comment

Ok, well, we're getting somewhere...

Mar 21, 2011

I'm officially a size 12 as of this weekend. Bought some more clothes because they're all baggy again. Looks like I'm on track to my goal to be a size 10 by my wedding in September...

My legs still look sooooo fat and flabby. Ugh. Actually, the skin is hanging like an elephant all over. And saddle bags from hell make it hard to look good in any pants...*sigh*

Also, I'm now officially a B cup. Even at 311 pounds, I was only ever a C cup so I truly anticipated the dissapearance of my boobies...I've gone from a 44C to a 36B now.

I can't believe how heavy I once was...

Mar 16, 2011

Found this picture from Feb 2010. I was at my highest weight at 311 pounds. I am shocked, I don't know how I lived like that for so long.


OMG...you gotta try THIS

Feb 26, 2011

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!

What's the deal with DSers and "The Dark Side"?

Feb 19, 2011

DS stands for "Duodenal Switch," but happens to share initials with the "Dark Side," too.

And, people who have had other surgeries tend to look "darkly" at the DSers who pay if forward with more enthusiasm than they deem appropriate.

Then, at some time it became an internet meme to say/post pictures "Come to the Dark Side, we have cookies."


Seeing how DSers are more likely to be able to enjoy cookies without guilt post surgery than any other WLS, DSers grabbed onto the meme with both hands and ran with it.

Another TV Station wanted to interview me about my surgery

Feb 17, 2011

Good lord PLEASE don't freak out 1) they made it look like a DS is a VSG and 2) they made it sound like OH recommended Dr. Huacuz which is NOT what I said (editing!).

But hey, it's my dog Bear that steals the show. :)

http://www.kvue.com/news/Texas-woman-nearly-dies-after-surge ry-in-Mexico-116368509.html

1 comment

Breakdown on what it costs for my vitamins.

Feb 12, 2011

I decided to really break down what I am spending on keeping myself healthy each month and it was an eye opener!

So, this is what I buy:

Supplement Price Qantity Per Pill Per Day Per Month
Vitalady Multi $33.99 180 $0.19 $0.38 $11.33
Vitalady Vit A $5.92 100 $0.06 $0.36 $10.66
Superior Source Vit A Sublingual $4.99 100 $0.05 $0.05 $1.50
Vitalady Tender Dry Vitamin D3-50 50,000IU 100 caps/btl  $22.55 100 $0.23 $0.23 $6.77
Vitalady Tender Dry E $26.99 250 $0.11 $0.11 $3.24
Vitalady Tender K1 $12.99 100 $0.13 $0.13 $3.90
Twinlab Vitamin C $11.99 250 $0.50 $0.50 $1.44
Vitalady Cal Capsules $19.99 240 $0.08 $0.67 $19.99
Proferrin Heme Iron $54.99 90 $0.61 $1.22 $36.66
Vitalady Tender Copper $7.75 100 $0.08 $0.08 $2.32
Nutralife B-12 with Folic Acid -- 180 Lozenges (Sublinguals) $11.07 180 $0.06 $0.06 $1.85
Vitalady Tender Stress B 50 $10.99 100 $0.11 $0.11 $3.30
Twinlab Zinc -- 50 mg - 180 Capsules $6.14 180 $0.06 $0.06 $1.84
Primal Defence Ultra Capsules $46.44 180 $0.26 $0.52 $15.48
Totals $276.79   $2.53 $4.48 $120.28

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).