Update on labs and question!

on 3/13/19 10:46 am

Hello all! I hope you are all doing fantastic! I am now 18 months post op! As some of you may remember I donated blood a while back as they told me it was ok as long as I felt good and my iron was good, which I did one time and it tanked my ferritin to a 8! I have now been on iron supplement for the last 3 months and just had labs done! Even though they are back to normal I learned from it and am sad to say I will never donate blood again. I have had an increase in anxiety and depression and sleeping is near impossible. I discussed this with him and he believes the increase in anxiety and depression could be due to the lack of sleep and prescribed Ambien. I'm a nurse that does shift work, but want to know if any of you have been on Ambien and what your thoughts are on it. Of course I've heard the horror stories but Tylenol pm, melatonin, and zquil havent helped at all.

Highest weight: 265, surgery weight: 245, surgery date: 9/11/17 RNY m1: - 26 m2: - 14 m3: -15 m4: -10 m5: -8 m6: - 4 m7: -6.5 m8: - 1.5 m9: -3 m10: - 0 m11: - 2 m12: -0

on 3/13/19 12:02 pm
RNY on 02/28/17

I currently use time-release Melatonin to help with sleeping. Prior to surgery, I was on an anti-depressant that knocked me out and when my doctor suggested that I try it again, I took it 1 time and decided that the awful feeling in the morning wouldn't happen again. So I can't speak to using Ambien post-op.

I will say that I worked shift work, especially 12-hour nights for years and it can really be horrible and make you feel dead, triggering lots of binging. Just be careful and remember to plan good meals and snacks and to drink LOTS of non-caffeinated beverages to balance your body.

Wishing you a good solution!

HW: 248, SW (2/17): 244, GW (10/17): 125, CW: 117-122

RNY w/ Joseph Afram: 2/28/2017; Plastics w/ Douglas Forman: Extended mastopexy, Extended abdominoplasty-5/18/2018

on 3/13/19 12:12 pm

I have been on several different antidepressants before surgery but didn't like the way they make me feel. I can usually manage my anxiety and depression without meds. But ever since ive had troubles sleeping I feel like my anxiety and depression has gotten worse. Tylenol pm was working and then it stopped. Melatonin doesnt help at all. I am nervous how I will react to Ambien. Thanks for the encouragement!

Highest weight: 265, surgery weight: 245, surgery date: 9/11/17 RNY m1: - 26 m2: - 14 m3: -15 m4: -10 m5: -8 m6: - 4 m7: -6.5 m8: - 1.5 m9: -3 m10: - 0 m11: - 2 m12: -0

Julia S.
on 3/13/19 12:43 pm
RNY on 02/12/18

I have used Ambien post op, but I usually cut the pills in half. For me it would put me to sleep but I would still wake up in the night. Since Lunesta now has a generic I use it. It gives me an uninterrupted 6 hours of sleep a night and I don't have the groggy feeling in the morning. I have a lot of stress right now, so I've been using it more frequently with PCP approval. For me the Lunesta is a better solution. I never had any of the bizarre behaviors, side-effects listed with Ambien and my PCP told me most of those have occurred with the use of alcohol.

If you have concerns I would try the Ambien and see how it goes, but everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you. Sleep is mandatory, and when I don't sleep I get paranoid among other things. Good luck!

5'5" Age 61 HW 291 SW 275.8 CW 176.4

on 3/13/19 1:14 pm

Did you ever have the groggy feeling with Ambien? They told me to take half and if its to much take half of a half. If its not enough take a full tablet.

Highest weight: 265, surgery weight: 245, surgery date: 9/11/17 RNY m1: - 26 m2: - 14 m3: -15 m4: -10 m5: -8 m6: - 4 m7: -6.5 m8: - 1.5 m9: -3 m10: - 0 m11: - 2 m12: -0

Julia S.
on 3/14/19 2:58 pm
RNY on 02/12/18

The Ambien never really made me feel groggy in the morning, but for me it helped me fall asleep but I didn't stay asleep. I don't take antihistimines for sleep, but have tried a natural supplement called Formula 303 and it helps me to feel sleepy, and CBD oil also helps but overall for me the best one I've tried is the Lunesta. I also used Trazadone for years, but it didn't keep me asleep either. I've pretty much always had trouble sleeping, except for right after surgery I slept a lot, but was also really tired all the time. Good luck!

5'5" Age 61 HW 291 SW 275.8 CW 176.4

Sparklekitty, Science-Loving Derby Hag
on 3/13/19 12:54 pm
VSG on 12/10/13

From what I've heard from some of the other vets here, 17 is still pretty low Ferritin for a bariatric patient. I know some folks have said that they keep having symptoms of depression/anxiety/poor brain function until it's over at least 50, bare minimum. If possible, it might be helpful to talk to a hematologist (blood doc) to get a second opinion and possibly consider infusions to get those numbers back up in a healthier range.

I took Ambien ONCE. I apparently walked in my sleep and tripped over my dog, resulting in a back so screwed up that I was out of work for months. Never again! I now take benzo's for sleep; right now I take the occasional Xanax, but if I need a little more "oomph" my pdoc gives me Restoril. It's not in the hypno class, like Ambien is, and has less chance that you'll do weird/dangerous stuff in your sleep. There is an addiction possibility, so you do need to be careful, but my docs consider it safer than Ambien.

Have you tried any sleep tracking at all? I wonder if getting a Fitbit (or similar) to track your sleep cycles would give any useful information.

Hope things look up soon! I also had to give up blood donations because of iron issues, though I do occasionally donate platelets and they don't impact my iron so badly.

Nerdy Little Secret (#42) - Derby Strong!

HW 300 / LW 150 / Post-regain goal: 170

on 3/13/19 1:19 pm

I was just happy that the ferritin level is coming up and I dont have any issues taking the iron supplement. We will monitor it and if issues occur we will do infusions but he says we are not to that point yet.

I do have a fit bit, my sleep cycles are crazy and very restless. Ive also had a sleep study done before surgery.

Highest weight: 265, surgery weight: 245, surgery date: 9/11/17 RNY m1: - 26 m2: - 14 m3: -15 m4: -10 m5: -8 m6: - 4 m7: -6.5 m8: - 1.5 m9: -3 m10: - 0 m11: - 2 m12: -0

Sparklekitty, Science-Loving Derby Hag
on 3/13/19 1:25 pm
VSG on 12/10/13

Glad to hear that it's moving upwards, and fingers crossed that it keeps trending that way! :)

Nerdy Little Secret (#42) - Derby Strong!

HW 300 / LW 150 / Post-regain goal: 170

on 3/13/19 2:36 pm - GTA, Ontario, Canada
RNY on 11/15/13

Congrats on 18 months! That's awesome. Other than sleeping & Ferritin I hope you are living your best life post op.

I want to share with you my Ferritin story. At around 2.5 yrs post op I felt like a walking Zombie. My skin was literally pale as a ghost, I could not sleep, I was constantly dizzy, unbearable fatigue, ringing in my ears, legs pains/cramps, irritability & shortness of breath when I should not be. I had blood work done at my Centre and my Ferritin was at a 4! I was beyond pissed that my Centre was not even remotely worried at that number. I mean zero is bottom and I was at a 4 and they were not worried????

All those symptoms I mentioned above are due to low ferritin. I turned to the Vets here on OH and sought their advice. They told me to RUN not walk to get an Iron Infusion. It took several infusions to get my ferritin back in a healthy range. I menstruate and unfortunately I menstruate very heavy each month. Due to the large blood loss each month and the fact that I don't absorb Iron orally is why I turned to the PatchMD Iron patches. The Vets here told me that I would want to keep my Ferritin at a minimum of 100 to "feel good." It took many Iron Infusions and using the Patches to get it over 100.

I keep my ferritin at 150-200 just to be safe. I get blood work done every 3 months to keep an eye on all my labs, especially ferrtin as I don't want to go back to feeling like the walking dead. So point of my lengthy post is a 17 Ferritin is not acceptable. Yes the "range" is anywhere from 11-307 but if you are still a menstruating female you will want to get your ferritin to a minimum of 100. And that is even low since the top end of the range is 307 right. The problem with oral Iron pills is once your ferritin starts to drop as low as yours is its hard with oral iron to get it back up, it will go up yes but slow and over the next year you may experience some or all of the symptoms I mentioned above. And for the record my PCP is very happy with my Ferritin being between 150-200 and approve of it. A lot of docs will say 17 is fine, but its not, ask any Vet here and they will agree with me.

As for Ambien, yes I personally have tried that one (I get the generic brand - Zolpidem) I am no stranger to sleeping pills and have used various OTC and prescription strength ones over the years. It works well, actually really well! I highly suggest you take 1/2 a pill to start and use it when you know you don't need to be sharp and up for work after taking one. We all react differently to meds and I found it quite strong. I didn't have any side effects from it other than feeling a bit dopey first thing when I woke up but having a shower & a coffee and I was fine. It for sure is one of the best prescription strength one I have used.

Oh and for the record MANY of us have sleep issues post op. I have no idea why, I can't explain it but I see it over and over here on OH that a lot don't sleep well post op. One of these days I will have to see if there is some research out there on post ops and poor sleep.

Best of luck on the Ferritin and the Ambien!

Daisy 5'5" HW: 280 SW: 254 CW: 125 - 130

Nov 15, 2013 - RNY - Toronto Western Hospital

Nov 2, 2017 - Gallbladder removal & hernia repair

Answers to your problems are not at the bottom of a chip bag or in a box of Oreo's! You can do this!

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