Weight Loss Survey Responses
The following are Pam B.'s responses to the Weight Loss Survey:
- What was your stay in the hospital like? How long where you there? What things are most important to bring?
- 3 DAYS. MOST FRUSTRATING WAS I COULD NOT EVEN DRINK THE FEW OUNCES THEY WANTED ME TO, AND ON THE WEEKEND THE ONLY NUTRITIONALISTS ON DUTY HAD NEVER WORKED WITH BIPASS PATIENTS... I FELT INSURANCE SHOULD NOT PAY FOR HER VISIT BECAUSE SHE CONTRIBUTED NOTHING TO ME.
ROBE AND SLIPPERS ARE NEEDED BECUASE YOU WILL HAVE TO BE UP AND WALKING. MY ROBE WAS THE BIGGEST ONE I COULD FIND, AND IT BARELY ZIPPED. IT IS MY ONLY BIG THING I SAVED. AT TIMES I CAN NOT BELIEVE I WAS THAT BIG FOR OVER 20 YEARS!
- Did you have any complications from the surgery? If so, how did you deal with them?
- ABOUT 5 OR 6 DAYS POST OP I HAD VERY SEVERE PAINS THAT WOULD NOT GO AWAY. I WAS READMITTED, AND A LEAK(MY WORST FEAR) WAS SUSPECTED. IT TURNED OUT THAT MY LIVER WAS BRUISED DURING THE PROCEDURE AND WAS ACTING UP, MAKING ME SICK AND MY BLOOD COUNTS HAYWIRE. I THINK I WAS IN ANOTHER 4 DAYS OR SO.
- In the weeks after you got your surgery date, how did you feel? How did you cope with any anxiety you might have felt?
- I WAS EXCITED AND WANTED TO HURRY UP AND GET IT DONE. I WANTED TO GET IT 3 MONTHS EARLIER, BUT BEING IN COLLEGE ON A PAID SPONSORSHIP, I HAD TO WAIT UNTIL CHRISTMAS BREAK. I WAS TOO BUSY IN COLLEGE TO SIT AROUND AND WORRY OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT...BESIDES, I HAD 15 SURGERIES PREVIOUSLY SINCE 1983.
- Describe your first few weeks home from the hospital. What should people expect from this period?
- YOU WOULD HAVE TO READ MY LOG TO SEE, IT WAS 20 MONTHS AGO. WHAT I DO REMEMBER IS THAT GETTING IN MY LIQUIDS. LOTS OF TEARS AND FRUSTRATION.
- How far did you travel to have your surgery? (If far, how did this affect your aftercare?)
- DOCTORT OFFICE IS 1 HOUR AND 15 MINUTES FROM MY HOME, AND HOSPITAL IS ABOUT 50 MINUTES.
IT WAS A DRAG, BUT NECESSITY TO GET THE BEST DOCTOR WITH THE BEST INSURANCE COVERAGE.
- Please describe in detail what things you could and couldn't eat in the weeks and months following surgery. What foods have been off limits? Please explain how your dietary tolerance changed week-by-week, and then month-by-month since surgery.
- TOO LONG AGO, LOOK AT LOG, BUT I FOLLOWED MY NUTRITIONALISTS ADVICE EXACTLY. I DID NOT REVISE THE PLAN, WHICH IS WHAT I HAD DONE ON EVERY SINGLE DIET I HAD EVER BEEN ON.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WAS AND REMAINS, TO EAT THE REQUIRED NUTRIENTS FIRST TO MAKE SURE I GET THEM IN. FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WERE CHALLENGING FOR ME, EVEN WHEN THE PLAN ALLOWED THEM, SO I DRINK V8 JUICE TO GET THE NUTRIENTS AND THE LIQUID BOTH!!
I LIKED CHICKEN BROTH ALOT WHEN I WAS ON LIQUIDS. I TRIED SEVERAL PROTEINS, AND LIKED SYNTRAX WHEY PROTEIN NECTAR THE BEST ( STILL USE IT 20 MO LATER) THE CARIBBEAN COOLER, LIGHT COCONUT, AND FUZZY NAVEL, ORANGE PEACH WORKED BEST FOR ME. (MONTHS LATER I ADDED CAPPACINO FLAVOR WITH 4 OZ OF SKIM MILK AND 16 OZ WATER WITH 2 SCOOPS 46 GR PROTEIN) FINDING ONE YOU LIKE IS VERY KEY... IF NOT YOU WILL NOT USE IT.
MAGIC BULLIT IS A GREAT MACHINE TO QUICKLY DO PUREE. CANNED CHICKEN WITH REDUCED FAT MIRACLE WHIP WAS REALLY GOOD & (SOMEWHERE AROUND 3 MO) I BEGAN EATING REFRIED BEANS WITH SALSA AND LOWFAT CHEESE. IT BECAME A MAINSTAY, WHICH i LOVE TODAY, BUT NO LONGER HAVE TO PUREE IT OF COURSE .
I DO BETTER IF I TAKE MY PROTEIN FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. LATER I EAT A LOWFAT STRING CHEESE AND 3 OR 4 REDUCED FAT TRISCUITS. THIS HAS SERVED ME WELL AND I STILL DO IT.
I DID NOT EAT BREAD AT ALL UNTIL ABOUT 7 MO OUT... AFRAID OF CHOKING, CLOGGING ETC.
I HAVE ONLY EATEN A COOKIE TWICE IN 20 MONTHS, AND IT MADE ME SICK BOTH TIMES. I AM VERY SERIOUS ABOUT EATING HEALTHY, AND NOW ESPECIALLY SINCE MY 512 YR OLD BROTHER IN LAW DIED OF A HEART ATTACK THIS MO.
- What was your actvity level in the days and weeks after surgery?
- I KEPT A CHART, AND I WOULD WALK SO FAR DOWN THE DRIVEWAY, THEN FURTHER AND FURTHER, AND TO THE MAILBOX AND BACK ETC.
ABOUT 3 WKS POST OP, I BEGAN WATER EXERCISING 20-030 MINUTES 3 TIMES A WEEK. I DID THIS FOR MANY MONTHS.
LATER I ADDED THE RECUMBANT BIKE. AND NOW I DO THE BIKE AND THE ELIPTICAL.
- What vitamins and/or dietary supplements have you taken since your surgery?
- 1500MG LIQUID CALCIUM CITRATE WITH MAG AND VIT D
2 MULTI VITAMINS DAILY, 1 B COMPLEX CHEWABLE ( LAST YEAR DUE TO STRESS), SUBLINGUAL B12 WITH BIOTIN- B6 AND OTHER VITAMINS, AND LIQUID IRON AFTER 1 YR SHOWED LOW,( HAD BEEN TOLD DID NOT NEED DUE TO MENOPAUSE... GUESS THEY WERE WRONG)
- What side effects (nausea, vomiting, sleep disturbace, dumping, hair loss etc.) were worse for you? For how long after surgery did they persist? How did you cope with them?
- NAUSEA AND INABILITY TO DRINK WHAT I NEEDED WERE MY MAIN PROBLEM. I COULDN'T DRINK OVER ABOUT 36 OZ CLEAR UP TO 3 OR 4 MO POST OP, AND 48 WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MY MINIMUM.
I ALSO REMEMBER BEING MAD AT BEING FULL AT 2 OZ, "I WANT MY FULL 3 OZ" HOW ODD!
- What was the worst part about the entire bariatric surgery process?
- THE HEAD TRIP... ALL THE CUES TO EAT OTHER THAN BEING HUNGRY, EMOTIONAL, HABITUAL, TV, SOCIAL SETTINGS ETC.
FEELING "ABNORMAL" AND BEING MISUNDERSTOOD.
I ALSO HEARD RUDE COMMENTS FROM A NURSE, AND FELT SHE WAS WORKING ON THE WRONG FLOOR!
- What aftercare support group/program do you have? How helpful/important is this?
- I USED THIS SITE FOR QUITE AWHILE BECAUSE I FELT SO ALONE, AND IT HELPED ALOT.
SOMETIMES I FELT PEOPLE WERE NEGATIVE, SO I TRIED OTHER FORUMS WHICH BETTER SUPPORTED MY GOALS.
MY DR. HAS A MONTHLY SUPPORT MEETING BUT I THINK I HAVE ONLY GONE 4 TIMES IN 20 MONTHS, I HAVE GONE TO 3 OTHERS TOO. YOU HAVE TO GO WHERE THE GROUP SETTING IS HONEST POSITIVE AND GOAL ORIENTED SO IT DOESN'T TURN INTO A PITY PARTY WHICH IS NOT VERY PRODUCTIVE.
I HAVE FRIENDS WHO WILL PRAY FOR ME WHEN I HAVE EMOTIONAL AND OR PHYSICAL NEEDS. WHEN DAD WAS IN THE HOSPITAL IN ICU I WAS16 MO POST OP, AND STILL MY MIND WANTED TO GO EAT EVERYTHING IN THE LUNCHROOM. I CRIED AND ASKED MY FAMILY TO PRAY FOR ME AND THEY DID.
IT IS HARD TO BE AROUND SOME OF MY FRIENDS WHO ARE VERY LARGE NOW BECAUSE THEY ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH ME, AND THAT IS SAD.
- What is your scar like? Is this what you expected?
- MY SCARS, 5, ARE LESS THAN AN INCH EACH AND ARE WAY LESS THAN MY 3 SHOULDER ROTATOR CUFF, 2 KNEE REPLACEMENTS AND 2 BLADDER SURGERY SCARS. I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THE SKIN REDUCTION SCARS THIS FALL, THOUGH.
- Please describe any plateau experiences you have had since surgery.
- I HAVE HAD MANY PERIODS OF PLATEAUS AND HAVE ALWAYS FOUND IT FRUSTRATING..."I COULD EAT TRIPPLE THIS ON WEIGHT WATCHERS AND LOSE 5 LBS...." ETC
JUST KEEP DOING THE RIGHT THING AND IT WILL KEEP WORKING. BE POSITIVE, PRAY AND HAVE A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM.
EAT MORE PROTEIN, CHECK YOUR PORTIONS, INCREASE YOUR WATER AND EXERCISE AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE GETTING SLEEP.
- Do you notice people treating you any differently now?
- YES, AND IT IS BECAUSE I AM NOT THE SAME PERSON AS I WAS BEFORE. I ALWAYS HAD THE POTENTIAL, BUT WAS LIMITED FROM MANY THINGS BECAUSE OF MY SIZE, HEALTH AND RELATED ISSUES. I FEEL BETTER ABOUT MYSELF, I CAN DO MANY OTHER ACTIVITIES AND AM MORE OUTGOING. THIS IS ALOT MORE APPEALING TO PEOPLE THAN A DEPRESSED PERSON WITH LOW ESTEEEM AND NO ENERGY.
I WILL SAY PEOPLE SEEM TO THINK THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMMENT NEGATIVELY ABOUT PEOPLE'S SIZE, AND I HAVE USUALLY SAID, "WE ALL HAVE OUR SHORTCOMINGS. PERHAPS YOU KICK YOUR DOG OR CUSS YOUR HUSBAND, OR SMOKE AT HOME... WHATEVER. I DO NOT COMMENT ON YOURS SO PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT ON MINE( THEIRS) ETC."
- What things do you most enjoy doing now that you weren't able to do before?
- I HAVE 37% DISABILITY IN MY LEGS AND 7% IN ONE FOOT... WITH MY WEIGHT PROBLEM ON TOP OF THIS, STANDING WAS VERY PAINFUL, AND I COULD ONLY WALK A MAX. ON 20 MINUTES. SO I USED AN ELECTRIC SCOOTER ALOT. NOW I CAN WALK FOR 1 1/2 HOURS OR BE ON MY FEET. IF I OVERDO AND WALK 3-4 HOURS, I PAY FOR IT FOR 3 OR 4 DAYS. I ONLY USE THE SCOOTER FOR LONG TRIPS, LIKE TO THE FAIR, OR ZOO ETC.
SINCE I AM MUCH SMALLER, MY HUSBAND PUT ON A BACKREST FOR HIMSELF ON OUR MOTORCYCLE, AND I FIT BEHIND IT WITH ROOM TO SPARE.
SLEEPING IS COMFORTABLE, AND PERSONAL HYGIENNE IS NO LONGER A PROBLEM. I FEEL HEALTHIER AND SEXIER!