Lurking, Labs and Thank You!

on 4/15/19 3:50 pm - Kingman, AZ
RNY on 09/11/06 with

Hi! First I want to Thank all of you that show up on this site and share. I mean it, from the bottom of my heart. I've been lurking during the past year and more as I tried to figure out what was going on with me. So, excuse the long post and thank you in advance for any reply.

I am now coming out of a deep fog thanks to all of you! I will try to make this short. My RNY was at 49 with no complications. About three years ago I was at goal weight and loving my life. Still getting in my protein, multi vit, biotin, calcium citrate, magnesium citrate, B12 sublingual, D3 and water.

I started having leg cramps at night and when I talked to my doctor in California was told it was most likely age-related. I asked for labs to be drawn and they all came back good. No worries, but still having leg cramps so made sure I was getting calcium and D3. Over the next year, I had a ton of stress with an Aunt fighting cancer stage 4, issues with our oldest daughter as she struggled with BiPolar, my husband recovering from prostate cancer and two of our dogs died. Could have made a soap opera. lol, I started to become tired often and put it down to the stress and depression. When I saw my doctor late 2016 he finely diagnosed gall bladder disease and in the spring I had it removed. Thought that was "the thing wrong".

Nope. For the next year, my leg cramps got much worse. I was lucky to be sleeping 4 hours a night. By the spring of 2018, I was a mess. I had posted on here about protein and started adding back in the whey protein that I had stopped for some darn reason. Looking back I can see when the foggy thinking started. My aunt lost her fight and passed in March 2018. In April our oldest daughter moved out of state for college and my husband was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration that was taking his eyesight. He had been hiding it for a while due to all the other things going on and had been falling a lot. In May 2018 I ended up having another surgery for disk replacement in my neck. As I recovered the leg cramps were getting worse and I still wasn't sleeping much. Due to the stress of traveling for my husband's medical treatments 3 hours every other week to find a good doctor, we decided to move. More stress and packing.

It was meant to be. We found a home and a wonderful town with way better medical. My husband was getting care, my daughter loves her online school and I went to a "Dr." When he diagnosed me with Osteoarthritis and scheduled me for cortisone treatments I started to lurk on here again because it scared me silly! I also researched online and decided that something wasn't adding up. The night leg cramps were starting to become a problem during the day. He ran labs and said everything was ok, except the pain I was in from my knees that needed cortisone. I had all the tests he ordered before Christmas. And due to his office mismanagement after the lab sent them twice and he didn't get them, I went and picked up my labs and X-rays, echogram and ultrasounds to deliver to his office. I kept a copy. By the end of January, he hadn't ever followed up. I found a new Doctor that IS a doctor after I found out he was a nurse practitioner and known locally as "The Cortisone Doc".

My new Dr. is an OD. She right away spent time and listened to me. She reviewed all the tests and started me on something to stop my legs cramping. She also advised me that she thought I might be dehydrated and to add in electrolytes. I started to research and lurk on here again.

When I thought about those electrolytes it got me thinking. I found posts regarding our malabsorption issues, what vitamins we should be taking and I started taking another multivitamin. And that even if I was post-menopausal at the time of my RNY that I should be taking Iron. AND that regular labs can be missing it. OMG! Huge lightbulb flashed over my head!! When I looked up Iron Deficiency I had just about all the symptoms. I contacted my doctor, stopped the pills for legs and she agreed to pull labs again to include a Ferritin lab. I felt hope!

I bought Iron supplements and started them the day after I had labs drawn. I slept for 7 hours! I was only taking one tablet, waiting for the lab results. By the 3rd day, my leg cramps were some better, not aching all day. And I was sleeping every night! When I finally got the labs online I was stunned. My ferritin level was 16. When I talked to the doctor's office she advised me to start taking an iron supplement. No joke, ya think. She also warned me it may take 6 months before we would take labs again and still may not see a change in the level. WTH? I upped to two 65 mg tablets and 1000 mg of Vitamin C.

For the first time since I had my RNY, I am not constipated. That's HUGE! I'm sleeping at night. My leg cramps are very light and mostly in the early morning, but don't wake me up! I'm coming out of the fog and can never pay back what this site has given me! I'm thinking SO much clearer. lol, I have more energy and want to do things.

I have hope. I am praying I don't have to have transfusions. I have also added whey protein back into my daily plan. :) Please, if my story rings a bell with you, ask for new labs! The list of labs had changed a bunch since I had my operation. Hell, everything changed a bunch in 13 years!

I plan to stick around this time. Thank you for reading my "book". Thank you for sharing even when you don't think it's for anyone else but your own accountability. :)

Just when the catapiller thought the world was over . . . It became a Butterfly!

The Choices We Make Dictate The Life We Lead 
Citizen Kim
on 4/15/19 4:09 pm - Castle Rock, CO

We always advise getting all your results (mine are online) and watch for trends and be a partner with your doctor, as opposed to a submissive "patient". I have an awesome PCP who is 100 per cent collaborative.

Cant tell you how many people say their "labs are fine" when all they know is that their nurse or doctor used those exact words.

Noone will ever care about your health more than you should. Doctors and nurses are not gods. Too many of them know next to nothing about living with weight loss surgery and it is 100 per cent our responsibility to learn what it means to us.

Yes, 15 years of living with RNY and hanging out here most days has made me better informed than most people's doctors and there are health professionals and non health professionals here whose knowledge and advice I respect wholeheartedly.

I'm glad you were able to find a solution somewhat. An earlier post here would have given you a list of labs to get checked!

Proud Feminist, Atheist, LGBT friend, and Democratic Socialist

on 4/15/19 4:21 pm - Kingman, AZ
RNY on 09/11/06 with

Totally agree! The LPN at the doctors office didn't return my calls twice last week and let it go over the weekend, then when I talked to her this morning it was just normal business not anything to be concerned about. Sheesh!

And the posts here on what labs to get checked is what saved me. :) Can't tell ya how muddled my mind was that I didn't even think of checking to see what labs I should be getting, just accepted what doctors said and La la la law la down the path. lol

Just when the catapiller thought the world was over . . . It became a Butterfly!

The Choices We Make Dictate The Life We Lead 
Citizen Kim
on 4/15/19 4:36 pm - Castle Rock, CO

Thank you for making this post. It really can't be said enough!!!!

Proud Feminist, Atheist, LGBT friend, and Democratic Socialist

on 4/16/19 4:47 pm
RNY on 10/17/17

I'm not sure that many of the changes that came with Obama care have been worth the powder it would take to blow them up but patient portals are awesome. Just recently, the cardiologist I went to see due to low heart rate, found that my TSH levels are too low and the dr. thinks it may be biotin that's the culprit. I have stopped taking the biotin and will have my levels redone in a couple of weeks. I always look at my levels and in fact, checked my previous TSH levels the last time they were checked and they have definitely dropped. In fact, I always check my levels, each and every one, have gone and checked to see what a particular level meant, etc. My bariatric clinic also posts it's results and I check those. They, however, don't check TSH levels. It would have been interesting because I know my heart rate was too low then and I wasn't taking biotin. I didn't start biotin until a few months before my bypass.

Surgeon: Dr. David Carroll Surgery Date: 3/17/2017 Hospital: Merritt Health River Oaks Hospital

Height: 5'2" HW: 331 lbs SW: 279 lbs GW: 130 (originally, I changed to 140) CW: 130 to 135 ish

Biggest Goal: To Be Healthy in everything I do!!! To make healthy choices always!!! To just embrace HEALTH each and every day for the rest of my Life!!!

Julia S.
on 4/15/19 5:44 pm - Beaverton, OR
RNY on 02/12/18

I have found more information on this forum than at the WLS support group I have gone to, and have passed on some of the information I have gleaned here.

So happy to hear that you have found the problem, unfortunately for some of us there are a lot of Dr's out there that have no clue about WLS and don't know what labs to test for, or what normal for us actually is. Even my friend who hasn't had WLS found out her vitamin D level was 7, definitely not even close to normal- so she is now on the level of D that I take weekly. Living in the PNW our levels tend to be low anyway, but how could they not figure this out???

I hope you continue to improve and life gets better for you.

This forum has been invaluable in dealing with vitamins and the causes for constipation, and knowing what I should actually be taking.

5'5" Age 61 HW 291 SW 275.8 CW 164.0

H.A.L.A B.
on 4/16/19 10:10 am

To add to what other wrote, when they run our blood work, it is just that. Minerals and vitamins blood levels. Our blood needs to have certain balance, and pH (acidity). Very narrow pH level. When some elements in our blood are fettget drpledep (calcium, magnesium) our body would pull that from bones. And ac they test your blood levels for calcium and mgnmagnes, it often came as "normal ".

I read studies that due to depleted soil, and people being on PPI, (or had RNY) almost anyone has severe deficiencies in magnesium. Leg - muscle cramps, constipation, problem with sleeping, osteoporosis, etc. Is often caused by not enough magnesium and other minerals. Unfortunately a lot of medical doctors believe that people's problem is not taking enough calcium, and advise patients to take more. Dismissing lack of magnesium that is essential to our bone health, our BP, our sanity.

I take 1600-3000 of magnesium per day. Depends on a day. My average is app 2000 my, in different forms. I take mag malate, and oxide, and glycinete and..taking too much mag per day may result in more runny BM, but since I deal mostly with constipation, I really don't mind getting "clean" once in a while.

Good luck.

Hala. RNY 5/14/2008; Happy At Goal =HAG

"I can eat or do anything I want to - as long as I am willing to deal with the consequences"

"Failure is not falling down, It is not getting up once you fell... So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again...."

on 4/16/19 10:16 am - Frederick, MD
RNY on 04/07/09 with

glad you're getting better! don't be afraid of iron transfusions. i've had a couple rounds and they are easy. and they get your iron up way faster than a supplement. in fact, in your situation i would be proactive and ask about getting them.

on 4/17/19 8:12 am - Kingman, AZ
RNY on 09/11/06 with

Thank you! I plan to do that. :)

Just when the catapiller thought the world was over . . . It became a Butterfly!

The Choices We Make Dictate The Life We Lead 
on 4/16/19 10:51 am, edited 4/16/19 4:40 am

Just a clarification please... is your new healthcare coordinator an OD or a DO? A DO is a real doctor. An OD is a chiropractor... which while helpful for many things, should not be mistaken for a real doctor and does not require extensive medical training... just trying to avoid confusion for people (unless she meant an eye doctor, which is an OD of a different sort, but I suspect that is not what was meant).


Highest weight: 340
Surgery weight: 313
Surgery date: 10/24/11
Current weight 165... 185 pounds lost!!!!

I am not a doctor, but I play one at work.

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