on 4/28/10 2:35 pm - Billings, MT
 Do NOT get this surgery or any weight loss surgery.

Read up on "NIPHS" or post bariatric surgery hypoglycemia.

I am 5 years post op.

I have seizures.

My blood sugars drop to lows of 26 for NO reason.

I eat right.

I don't drink alcohol.

I consume enough water.

I have a diploma in fitness and nutrition!

My short term memory is very very bad.

I had a GREAT career and now I am soc. sec. disability.

The ER doc. I  saw at the hosp. in BILLINGS (the only hosp. here that does this surgery) for one of my complications (two nice ugly ulcers right where my pouch meets my intestine) had NO CLUE what gastric bypass was and I had to explain it to him!!!  Then go back the next day still vomiting blood.  (About 6 months ago)  got to see my surgeon then........

I carry water in my purse, in my car, in the trunk of my car and of course I am at home with water all the time.

I cannot touch sugar, unless I HAVE to swi**** around my mouth because there are no glucose tabs around to save my life and keep me from passing out or having a seizure.

I cannot touch almost anything they say you can after this surgery.  I live on rabbit food.  

I shake, I tremor, I am afraid to drive, (I shouldn't drive!)

I have had three big seizures and smaller ones.  One was a reallllly big long one.

I've ridden in an ambulance more times than I care to count - and from my ex-workplace.

It has caused me so many problems you will never know.


Elizabeth N.
on 5/2/10 7:17 am - Burlington County, NJ
****hugs**** Hey Amy, would you like to talk by phone? If so, click on "contact" and send me a PM.

I'm going to be in MT for most of the summer, but on the other side of the state. I dunno if we could work out a way to meet in person.

Did you connect with Beth and Vitalady?

I hope you are getting the message that you are not alone with what you're facing. You are not crazy. There are people out here who are also having problems and who are working on this stuff, looking for answers and for people who can help.
(deactivated member)
on 5/4/10 3:40 am - Makawao, HI

Well this is crazy.  Why didn't I see this prior to surgery. Now what? 
Elizabeth N.
on 5/4/10 4:03 am - Burlington County, NJ
Well, the good news is that the kind of complications Amy has so powerfully described are at the far end of a "bell curve" of results. The majority of people who have WLS will lose at least 50% of their excess weight and will--assuming they know how to take vitamins and get lab work done once in a while to make sure they aren't malnourished--have no particular issues.

HOWEVER, notice that there are several caveats implicit in that statement: (And Amy, if you are reading this, I am in no way implying that you are guilty of ANY of this, okay?)

1. You must be compliant with the rules for living with your surgery. This means not just diet and exercise, but SUPPLEMENTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!! eleventy!!!!!! And getting labs done regularly, at least twice a year, and NOT trusting some doctor to say, "Oh all is well" and waltzing off on your merry way, throwing back a couple of Flintstones and a calcium pill.

You see, doctors go by the medical model, which is to look for "disease" and then treat it. When you're talking about nutrition, this means that they look for deficiencies and disorders (if they're smart and you're lucky to find someone who has a clue about the subject at ALL) and will then try to "treat the disorder." MAYBE. But the other side of that coin is that in the, oh, maybe 6 credit hours they got as undergrads about nutrition, they got drummed into their skulls that too much of a nutrient is "poisonous" and they were indoctrinated to be afraid of going to "excess." 

BUT.....The definition of "excess" in almost all nutrients is a nebulous thing in any case, AND once you add malabsorption to the mix, the rules about "excess" totally go out the window. This is a young science, this bariatric medicine, and frankly, NOBODY really knows what we truly need in general once we have malabsorption-causing procedures. Give it another 50 years and things will look very different. But right now you and I (and Amy and everyone else) are guinea pigs. Basically research subjects, if we are so fortunate as to be connected to someplace that is collecting data about us and thinking about it within the parameters of good scientific method.

(Um, you have to sign a consent form and participate knowingly in such research. Did you do that? I didn't think so. Neither did I. So guess what? NOBODY knows or gives a **** about our experiences except us.)

Therefore, guess what? NOBODY is going to advocate for good health for us in our oddball altered states except US. I'm sorry to say this so harshly, because I realize that this is new to you and probably really terrifying, but my goal is to educate and inform, not to give happy hugs and say everything will be wonderful forever. You must, MUST MUST MUST, learn how to read your lab results and how to adjust your supplementation to make your nutritional status better. You CANNOT rely on any doctor to do this for you.

There is one source I recommend for post bariatric nutrition information: Michelle Curran, . Doctors around the country both love and despise her, because she's "just a salesman/vitamin hawker" to some, and "a fabulously devoted patient and health advocate" to others. She and her husband Don have been living with super distal RNYs for over 15 years and they know their stuff. If you want to be super meticulous about supplements, then get on her program and stay there. Not everyone needs everything she recommends, but IMNSHO it's money well spent.

2. You got gut surgery, not brain surgery. You need to work on your mind. You need to understand that this is NOT about getting skinny and Hollywood hawt. It's about making very obese people less obese and therefore saving lives. So you need to divorce yourself from the scale, from certain clothing sizes and from the images that surround you of skinny sexy hawtness. You need to learn to love yourself. Not just accept. Not just tolerate. LOVE, with great passion and power. The kind of passion and power that transcends appearance and every other sensory perception about yourself. Use any road that will give you that great, marvelous, passionate self love for the greatest percentage of your life. Because if you KNOW you are loved without reservation, you will be powerful and wonderful and generous to all of humanity a whole lot more than if you are trying to be a "good girl" while believing that you basically suck.  This is a much bigger battle than the battle with the scale.

Carrie B.
on 5/16/10 12:39 pm - Miles City, MT

I agree that in every medical experience there are both ends of the spectrum. My heart goes out to you for what you are going through. I agree, supplement and find that person who can treat you for the symptoms. Don't stop till you do. My prayers are with you.

Most Active