Almost 7 months after surgery update!
Hi everyone - I was trolling these boards before I got my surgery trying to decide if going to Mexico was a good idea. I wanted to post an update.
-To date I have lost right around 100lbs and next week (the 28th) is my 7 month surgi-versary. I really didn't try too hard to get to this point, though my weight loss has slowed down considerably. I haven't really tried all that hard to lose weight - it just happened. I haven't been counting calories, I didn't try to eat "right" - I just ate a lot less.
-My health as far as blood-sugar issues have turned right around. My labs came back with normal blood sugars, normal cholesterol levels, normal everything.
-So while my health overall has improved and all the issues I had previously have gotten way better, there were side effects. I want to make the statement that regardless of the side effects, this surgery was totally worth it and I would have done it again. However, in order to make an informed decision for yourself, you should know everything.
1. Anemia - I have become anemic. I do (did?) have PCOS, polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, caused by high blood sugars for a number of years and menorrhagia (excessively harsh, long, painful, heavy periods). I have spoken with my doctor and a hematologist because the anemia got so bad that it required intervention immediately. I DO NOT blame the surgery for the anemia but it hasn't made it any better. The specialist, the hematologist, said that this surgery will always give me a disadvantage for absorbing nutrients because the portion of the stomach that absorbs nutrients (yes, they are apparently absorbed in the stomach as well as the intestine) was removed. That's the point of the surgery lol... but it will always cause issues absorbing iron. So at this point, I am taking an iron supplement daily and my iron levels are slowly going up.
2. Hair Loss - As expected I have lost some hair. Losing 100lbs that quickly probably shocked my system a little (and the fact that I'm 39 years old probably didn't help matters). In addition to the weight loss, the anemia played a significant role for my hair loss. I don't think I would have become anemic had I not had the menorrhagia for 2 years prior to the surgery. Anyway, yes, I lost a good deal of hair but I have a ton of tiny hairs now where it is going in. I put in a spiral perm to make it look fuller - which has helped. I will keep my hair at this length until it grows back completely.
3. Protein intake - you WILL need something like whey protein, but make sure to get the expensive kind, whey protein hydrolysate. The other kinds, like isolate or concentrate, don't absorb as easily and we need all the help we can get in this regard. Don't skip the protein shakes... Find one you like, and if you're picky, spend the money to find one you can live with. If you don't care for the taste of that particular shake, you can use these in yogurt, you can make protein pancakes with them, and other recipes. I highly recommend Pinterest for ideas as well as body building forums.
4. Vitamins and supplements - I take a TON of vitamins and supplements every day. The best supplements I've found are Wellesse liquid ones. I take the multivitamin, B Complex, Liquid Iron (in addition to my normal pill iron), a sublingual (under the tongue) B12 supplement, and a sublingual zinc supplement. I feel like the bionic woman sometimes since most of my belly during the day are supplements. When I had my labs done, my doctor had found my vitamins were off the chart (in a good way), so I am absorbing them.
The hardest part of the surgery for me was that my comfort isn't eating anymore. Even if I eat stuff I shouldn't be, I can only have so much of it. I don't have the feeling anymore that I used to get from eating. There are sometimes where I feel like eating out is a waste because I don't care to share meals with my husband (it isn't fair to him anyway) and I usually get full before the meal is even there. You can't eat and drink at the same time... so if I decide to have a drink unless we're there for a long time, I won't be able to fit anything. I did get depressed a bit after surgery, which I read was rather common, kind of wondering what I did and why I did it. However, I got over that pretty quickly.
I didn't exercise at all since the surgery because I didn't want to ruin my joints (I have terrible osteoarthritis from being overweight for so long). I am way more active and I would walk a bit, but not like in a capacity for exercise. I'm just off my duff more often. I'm finally at a weight where I can start to exercise and get back on my treadmill. I am currently in a size 14, which is a huge accomplishment for me, and when I started this path, I was a size 28 or 30. I was around 320 and currently I'm at 220 - so 100lbs lost.
I highly recommend going to Mexico for the surgery. I had a few doctors take a look at my incisions periodically and everyone agreed that my surgeon did a very good job. I can hardly see the scars anymore and the incisions for a surgery 15 years earlier are more visible than these. I went to Dr. Rodriguez in Juarez, Mexico via BeLite Weight.
So there you go - hope that helps!
Hi VNickinocole - I got the vertical sleeve gastrectomy for a few reasons. First, its a fairly minimal surgery all in all - it staples one's stomach smaller and cuts away the parts which trigger diabetic symptoms and all that. Also, there really isn't a dumping syndrome for eating the wrong foods - but there is always spit-up if you eat too much. Also, if I absolutely needed to rewire my intestines and go to the roux-en-y/gastric bypass later, I could still do that in the future. So far I've lost over 100lbs in 7 months and I'm healthy enough to walk and go to the gym. I've put on probably 10lbs of muscle, so the scale stayed the same but my clothes are smaller. I have about 50lbs to go to hit goal, maybe less, hard to say. I've been struggling with antidepressants keeping weight on, so I'm certain that if I wasn't taking them, I'd probably be closer to goal - but still, the transformation has been real quick. Family members who haven't seen me from Christmas were astounded at the difference. I went from size 30/32 to a size 14 in 7 months.
oh yea, PS - the sleeve was done so well! I had my normal doctor and 2 others (who were just curious) look at the incisions and they were impressed. Also, I felt I was well enough to go back to work in a couple of days. There wasn't anything I couldn't do - except eat lol! I'm 40, by the way.