Weight Loss Survey Responses
The following are Judy M.'s responses to the Weight Loss Survey:
- Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
- Like most people who are morbidly obese, I have fought with diet
and weight control plans all my adult life. I tried many, including:
weight watchers (some were helpful---some were awful, making us weight in in full view of the others;strangers or not)
Nutri-system - can a "diet" get more costly? While I understand it may have changed (I was there 16 years ago) they used to have foods you had to buy and they gave me serious health trouble.
Slim Fast - Yupper...the shake taste GREAT....can I have another?????
Merida - While it did help me eat less, it also gave me an odd shake, bad breath that nothing could cure and bloody stools.
TOPS - seemed to be a place to exchange ways to "cheat"
any number of well wishing (I HOPE) family, friends and even strangers telling me all I have to do is stop eating. Excuse me...can you live if you do not breath????? We have to eat, and at this point if I have one more person tell me I have a nice face and I just need to lose weight I might be forced to SCREAM
- What was (is) the worst thing about being overweight?
- Being judge by people who do not even know you. Not being able to do things with my family without looking like frosty the snowman in the throws of a stroke.
And, people who love you making excuses for me....or worse, looking away when I have trouble standing up, fitting into a too small seat on a plane, at a ball field, or in a resturant. My children being happy when they have grown up enough to have arms long enough to hug me.
- How did you first find out about bariatric surgery and what were your initial impressions of it?
- I had a friend three years ago who had it done. I asked lots of Questions, watched as she lost almost 200 pounds in a year and regained her life. I have learned more and more about this and I know
it is not for everyone, but I think it is for me. In any event, I am looking forward to a new life, a new me and a chance to be here and
able to play with my grandchildren when they get here, in the meantime I am looking forward to playing with my hubby (lol).
- What was your first visit with your surgeon like? How can people get the most out of this meeting?
- My first meeting was very good. Dr Barba is open, caring and honest. He was the first person to tell me that a)this will help b)this is a TOOL, not a cure and he will help me to make the most of it c)it will help me to get healthy d)and there is nothing wrong with looking forward to the extra benefit of looking better when the weight is lost.
He takes time to attend the support meetings (as hubby says "in his line of work time is money, yet her he is at this meeting) and when asked a question (even about the money aspect) he is open about it.
He likes to have people ask questions, likes to explain the operation and the after care involved. Don't be nervous, don't be quiet. Before your visit, write down the questions you have, and make sure you ask them all. If the Dr does not have time to talk to you....find another one. This is a person who is going to cut you open, put their hands inside you, then staple your tummy shut. AND YOU ARE GOING TO PAY THEM TO DO IT!!!!!! Find one that will take time to talk to you. Even if he/she says they will address them at a later appointment, that's good. Sometimes the first appointment is only a few minutes to see if a)you are a candiate for this b)and if you still want to go through with it. So as long as they are willing to talk to you, that's good.
- What made you finally decide to have the surgery?
- Have you SEEN my picture?
I want to be able to play with my grandchildren (when they get here in a couple of years)
I want to be able to walk around the malls, parks, fairs, campgrounds...everywhere
I don't want to worry about having a stroke or heart attack at 40
I want to be able to jump into my husbands arms and say Catch me and not have to worry about breaking something of his....lol
- How did you decide which procedure to have?
- Dr Barba and I went over the options, weighing pros and cons, in the end it was a joint effort.
- What was your stay in the hospital like? How long where you there? What things are most important to bring?
- I have had to have three other major operations in my life, those, plus the time in the hospital having my two kids, this was the worst, worst, worst stay I have ever had. I know it is not typical of this place, somany people have had wonderful stays at the same place, but for me it was a nightmare. I was in from Mon-Friday
I am not going to go on about it, so the next question is what to bring? Bring your own boost. Both days it was ordered for me, they sent for it at 7 a.m. and both days had to re order it and I got it at 3. Warm. They don't chill it for you or keep it cold for you after it is open either, so you have to try to keep it on ice yourself. I brought books and stuff to do, but simply could not do anything with them until I got home. I was too shaky to ready and too unsteady to walk much.
- Did you have any complications from the surgery? If so, how did you deal with them?
- none, just sore and bruised like it is supposed to be.
- 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 happy happy happy. Had no anxiety to deal with at all. I was at long last going to be on my way to being healthy
- How far did you travel to have your surgery? (If far, how did this affect your aftercare?)
- about 50 miles. The first post op trip was tough but not too bad. hold a pillow on your tummy for bumps
- 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.
- milk give me loose stools, so I avoid it. Red meat, pork, sweets and breads are not something I can tolerate well. Fish and beans work great. Lots of soup and well cooked veggies. Fruit makes me dump though
- What was your actvity level in the days and weeks after surgery?
- walking was tiring at first. Now I walk whenever I can. I park as far away as I can and I find I enjoy it. I can get all the housework done in a much faster time than ever before. I do anything I want to these days. The pain in my back was gone after the first 30 pounds!
- What vitamins and/or dietary supplements have you taken since your surgery?
- b12 folic acid and multi vitamins twice a day. Boost was ok pre op but makes me dump now. Soy milk works well and I use tofu in chili and stews....shhhhh don't tell the family and they will never know.
- 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?
- I still dump from some things, but not often. I had to cut three feet of hair off while it was falling out, it stopped after a month and is coming back well now. Never had a bald spot though. I do have trouble with sleeping, not going to sleep but staying asleep. I have meds from the doc to help with that.
- What was the worst part about the entire bariatric surgery process?
- Hospital stay. But I think I was not the best patient. They did not have the right bed and it hurt like hell to get up, so I did not get out of bed often enought. If I had to do it over again I would MAKE sure I got up as much as I could. I had the open rny and my ribs were sore as the dickens.
- What aftercare support group/program do you have? How helpful/important is this?
- I use this site all the time. I get email almost every week and I talk to people I meet here. It helps a lot. I try to go to support meetings (I will be there in Jan) and the doc office is great. They never act like I am being a pest when I call.
- What is your scar like? Is this what you expected?
- getting smaller all the time. Itches some but is fading much faster than I thought it would. It will never go away, but it is not bad at all. I put lotion and oil on it every day.
- Please describe any plateau experiences you have had since surgery.
- none yet!
- What things do you most enjoy doing now that you weren't able to do before?
- walk, play with the kids and at the risk of being indelicate....plying with hubby (blushing.....)
Wearing nice bra and panties....sounds stupid I know....but I can buy them in Wal mart now!!!!!