Happy 2-Year Anniversary!!

Nicolle
on 2/23/10 4:42 am
To all of you celebrating your two-year anniversary, congrats! Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my duodenal switch!!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my DS!!!!

In 2008, I was 344 pounds and had a BMI of 55.5. I was newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. I had arthritis in my knee and three herniated disks in my spine. According to my PCP, I had 10 years until I became bedridden and dependent on others, IF I stayed on that horrible path. With two young kids and a disabled husband, this was a grim prognosis for us all.

Diets had not been my friend, leaving me fatter and sicker each time.I needed something that would actually work. Based on all of my research, the DS had the long-term success rates and post-op quality of life that suited me best (see www.dsfacts.com for peer-reviewed scientific data). I did my research, picked one of the top DS surgeons on the planet, and traveled to San Francisco to change my life. (My surgeon comes to Chicago for our monthly support group meetings since there is a fair amount of us here.)

Today, my diabetes and sleep apnea are gone! I fluctuate between 145 and 155, depending on the time of the month, exercise, etc. I was a size 30-32 in jeans and now I am an 8-10. I take 12-13 vitamins a day, whi*****ludes 8 calcium citrates, one multivitamin, one B complex, one Vitamin D (3x a week, I take two of these) and one Vitamin A. I have about 2-3 small, easy bowel movements a day, depending on what I eat. As long as I get my protein in, I eat what I want with no ill effects, from meat to salads to cheese to desserts.

In fact, last night, my hubby and I celebrated my surgiversary with a great meal at a top Chicago restaurant—goat cheese frisee, great bread/butter, stuffed Amish chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, lentils, decadent dessert and a Lemon Drop martini. We had a very late dinner reservation, so we stopped off for Taco Bell earlier—go figure!

I know that excessive carbs can derail any weight loss surgery, even the mighty DS, so I watch the scale. If I go on a carb bender, I up my protein/lower my carbs the next�couple of�days and the scale drops down. Pretty amazing, like a “normal person! I plan to stay vigilant yet enjoy all the goodies I can!

I am considering reconstructive surgery, but we'll cross that scary bridge when I come to it. My abdomen needs some work, but I can deal with it longer as I gather my courage.

Negatives? I DID have kidney stones last year—hideously painful but resolved quickly. I was low on iron as a pre-op and my DS made it slightly worse, so I have had two iron infusions recently—no fuss, no muss. I feel great. I hope I shall always be so fortunate, but time will tell.

I am one of those “pay-it-forward DSers because I feel so lucky to have discovered this amazing option. I do NOT believe that everyone should get the DS, but I think everyone should know it’s a real option for them, even if they are lightweights or have to travel, switch jobs/insurance policies or even self-pay (I did a combination of most of these). I resent how insurance companies and ignorant doctors, using inaccurate information and hearsay, steer people away from the only surgery with a 98% resolution rate of diabetes, which is a brutal killer. Sure, the DS is not as profitable as the other WLS for docs, but patients should know it exists.

And finally, I just wanted to give a shout out to all of the veterans who generously pay it forward on OH every day. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom.

Two amazing years down, 60 more to go!

Nicolle
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Photo Captions: (I think I squoooshed the photos to fit them--forgive me if I look 2 feet tall!)

Left, me at 344 pounds with diabetes and sleep apnea.
Right, me (with my surgeon, Dr. Rabkin) at 150 pounds. My diabetes and sleep apnea are gone.

I had the kick-butt duodenal switch (DS)!

HW: 344 lbs      CW: 150 lbs

Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea GONE!

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