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Obesity & Me

Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.

I was never an over weight person untill about age 15. I was molested by a family friend and had also started taking birth controll pills.I gained 45 pounds in a 3 month time frame. I immediatedly joined weight watchers and started my dieting roller coaster. To this day I wish I would have just been okay with the extra 45 pounds. About 8 years later and 20 or so diet programs under my belt I managed to pack the weight on. I spent the next 6 years trying to get it off. You name the program and I have probably been on it.The end result was me weighing 290 pounds. I hated myself.

What was (is) the worst thing about being overweight?

It's hard to pick the worst thing. It was all horrible. I hated the way other people treated me. Like I was not even human. I also hated the way I felt. My legs, knees and ankles hurt all the time. It was hard to participate in any of the activities I love like water skiing, racquette ball etc....I was out of breath all the time and so tired.

If you have had weight loss surgery already, what things do you most enjoy doing now that you weren't able to do before?

walk, run, ski, raquette ball, buy clothes that aren't from the BIG ladies store

How did you first find out about bariatric surgery and what were your initial impressions of it?

A friend told me about it. Her friend's mom had had it done years ago. I thought she must be nuts. Having a surgery to loose weight?

Describe your experience with getting insurance approval for surgery. What advice, if any, do you have for other people in this stage?

If you cannot get your insurance to approve your surgery apply for new insurance after cancelling your current one. Most insurance companies will simply turn you down because you are obese. Once you have been declined ask them to send you info on the MRMIP program. They cover the procedure and cannot turn you down.

What was your first visit with your surgeon like? How can people get the most out of this meeting?

He was fantasic, he told me all the risks and was very honest. He gave me a list if every surgical problem he had incured. I knew percentages and everything. I trusted him completely.

What made you finally decide to have the surgery?

I decided that if this surgery killed me I was better off dead than obese....

How did you decide which proceedure to have?

I went with the one that did not have horrible side effects.

What fears did you have about having complications or even dying from from the surgery, and what would you tell other people having the same fears now?

I had no fears

How did your family and friends react to your decision? Would you have communicated anything differently if you could now? How supportive were they after your surgery?

I only told those I thought would be supportive and if they weren't that was their problem

How did your employer/supervisor react to your decision? What did you tell him/her? How long were you out of work?

I am self employeed. I was off work 10 days

What was your stay in the hospital like? How long where you there? What things are most important to bring?

My hospital stay was awful. I was in a lot of pain. I was in there for two days. I just brought my mom, she is a nurse and made me feel safe.

Did you have any complications from the surgery? If so, how did you deal with them?

I had some bleeding and I got like this bruise looking thing on my stomach. It was really big. When I stood up after the surgery blood squished every where and it scared the nurse to death. It didn't hurt me or anything. They made me drink this chalk stuff and they made sure nothing had sprung a leak. I was fine. It just had to heal. i also got a bladder infection from the stupid cathader. I hate thoose things!!!!

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 felt like I had made a big mistake. What had I done to myself. I was some kind of freak!!!! I couldn't hardley eat. I kept my fears to myself.

Describe your first few weeks home from the hospital. What should people expect from this period?

It was really uncomfortable trying to sleep. I was very bored. I walked outside alot to regain my strenth. I was just glad to be outta the hospital. I hated the hospital!

How far did you travel to have your surgery? (If far, how did this affect your aftercare?)

it was 2 miles from my house

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.

week one was just liquids/ non dairy, week 2 was soft stuff like refried beans and mashed potatoes, week 3 I just tried a little bit of everything but meat was hard to eat and bread was impossible, after one month I could eat anything I wanted to just in small portions. I started craving meat and cheese like crazy at the 6 month mark. I could not get enuf protein. After a year I could eat anything including bread. At the two year mark I feel like I can eat way too much. The only food I don't like nw is cake, it makes me feel nauseus.

What was your actvity level in the days and weeks after surgery?

For one week I was very weak. After one month I started getting a lot of energy. Now I am very active.

What vitamins and/or dietary supplements have you taken since your surgery?

flintstones daily vitamin

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 lost tons of hair during my 6th month. It grew back

What was the worst part about the entire bariatric surgery process?

my hospital stay. I had a lot of pain. Now I am gaining weight back and that really stinks.

What aftercare support group/program do you have? How helpful/important is this?

I went to a support group on my own. It had nothing to do with weight loss or surgery, just tried to get mentally healthy

What is your scar like? Is this what you expected?

can't even see them, better than I expected

Please describe any plateau experiences you have had since surgery.

at 1 year i stopped lossing for about 2 months then it started again. Now I am getting fat again. I have regained 30 pounds in the past month. I think i need a revision.

Do you notice people treating you any differently now?

yes people treat me much better now, people are disgusting.
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