on 8/25/19 1:15 am
I had the VBG in 1982 at 17, although I only knew it as my stapled stomach. It was successful and life changing. I did gradually begin to eat around the restriction, opting for the soft and easy foods. But I was active and healthy even with a substantial gain. I had no intention of revision.
In 2004, the GERD snuck in. It was mild and easily managed at first but by 2010, I began treatment with a GI doc. Endoscopy showed moderate reflux and small hiatal hernia. GI doc sent me home with a prescription the usual warnings. The GERD did not improve and I began to have respiratory problems. I had stopped smoking years before and had no allergies, but mother died of copd at 46 so it didn't seem crazy that I would develop late stage asthma.
As my respiratory disease rapidly worsened, my pulmonologist began to run every test he could find to explain my condition. At that point, my dx was asthma but nothing supported it. I had an exhaustive panel of allergy tests, tests for Alpha1 (a genetic disorder), bronchoscopy, biopsy of lung tissue-all negative. I had smoked for years with no respiratory problems and there no problems for 10 years after I quit. A baseline xray was normal and each successive one showed progressive scarring. I had been having regular episodes of micro aspiration which is when reflux is so forceful that you inhale tiny amounts of digestive juices. I purchased an adjustable bed but the damage was done. I was diagnosed with obstructive and restrictive lung disease or COPD. The aspirating was killing me. I was hospitalized often for pneumonia or such.
I am now fully disabled with about a 45% lung capacity. Chronic lack of physical activity has led to more weight gain which exacerbates the other problems. My Come to Jesus moment occurred last year when I was taken by ambulance to the hospital with sepsis and aspiration pneumonia. As soon as I recovered I went to see my surgeon, who told me that RNY is the only solution for the GERD. I have always been wary of bypass procedures. Dumping syndrome terrifies me. I don't do well with remembering to take pills so the idea of handfuls of bulky vitamins is not appealing. BUT...
The alternative is even less appealing so I am fully on board. My surgery is Monday, and for the first time in a long time, I can imagine playing with my grandkids and going to the mall again and living long enough to see my son graduate from college!
I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I will keep you all posted.
on 8/25/19 6:55 am
I am just so sorry you've gone through so much.
I do not have enough knowledge to advise anything, although I am a 5 year out RNY patient with nearly all positive things to say about it.
I wish you the very best on your upcoming surgery. I truly hope that you get the results and relief you deserve.
"What you eat in private, you wear in public." --- Kat
I hope this helps with your GERD and brings all the activities you want to do back into your life.
if It helps, the RNY doesn't always equal handfuls of vitamins every day - I take 1 calcium 3x a day, iron 2x a day and 2 multi vitamins 1X a day, along with a sublingual b12 every other day. Once you get into the routine, it's pretty easy! You may have other requirements given your health issues buti think the routine of it is key.
good luck to you!
HW: 306 SW: 282 CW:144.8 GW: 145 (reached 2/6/19), next goal - 132.9
Wow, I did not know they would operate on a 17 year old.
Dumping is miserable, but not dangerous, and can be completely avoided by not eating sugar.
Taking vitamins and getting regular blood work is part of the deal. You also need the track your food intake.
Good luck with the upcoming surgery.
Real life begins where your comfort zone ends
on 8/25/19 5:27 pm
Thank you. It wasn't easy to find a doctor. My weight was not life threatening, nor debilitating. But from an emotional standpoint, I was in a dangerous place. I had no will to live and was suffering a crippling depression. I had dropped out of high school in my senior year because I could no longer tolerate the bullying and humiliation and I was bingeing to the point of vomiting every day. This surgeon saw this and decided to take the risk. The downside of having the surgery so young is that I was reckless in my eating. I also did not understand that the eating was a symptom of a bigger problem and like many of us, I began to use alcohol as a substitute which led to a whole new set of problems.
I am 53 now, which is also not an ideal age for major surgery but I have the wisdom to know that I will not find happiness on a plate, in a bottle or anything else outside of me.
on 8/25/19 4:36 pm
I revised from VSG to RNY about a month ago due to GERD, and fortunately, I haven't had any acid at all since I got home from the surgery.
Dumping does not happen to everyone; I've seen estimates saying that only maybe 20 - 30% of people experience it. So maybe that's reassuring? Additionally, the foods that seem to make people dump are things we should be avoiding anyway :)
Regarding vitamins, you can meet the ASMBS recommendations with two centrum multi's, one or two iron pills (often quite small), and a calcium chew each day. Definitely not "handfuls" of anything "bulky." Once you get into the habit of taking them in the morning and at bedtime, it's very manageable!
Sparklekitty / Julie / Nerdy Little Secret (#42)
Roller derby - cycling - triathlon
VSG 2013, RNY conversion 2019 due to GERD. Trendweight here!
on 8/25/19 5:13 pm
Awesome news about the acid. My reflux is so severe that I frequently aspirate causing fibrosis in my lungs. In fact, this is the primary reason for the revision. Elimination or significant reduction of the reflux would be life changing. Weight loss will certainly help too! I think the the hardest part of this is the knowledge that I won't ever enjoy food the same way again. On the eve of my surgery I am beginning to grieve the loss of my old friend. At the same time, I am excited at the prospect of being able to do the things I once did as well as the fact that I can actually look forward to the possibility of living to old age, which was not possible before.
Why do you think you won't ever enjoy food the same way again?
6'3" tall, male. Maintaining a loss of 280 pounds.
Highest weight was 475. Consult weight 04/12 was 411. RNY on 08/21/12 at 359 lbs. Current weight 195.
M1 -24; M2 -21; M3 -19; M4 -21; M5 -13; M6 -21; M7 -10; M8 -16; M9 -10; M10 -8; M11 -6; M12 -5.