13 years Surgiversary
Nov 01, 2018
13 years ago, I got my virgin (open) DS. It's been a wild ride with an incredible learning curve, but thankfully for you all today, a group such as this exists to keep us all healthy. Back when I got mine, we had another board and after we noticed we were having similar challenges, especially with A and D, we started comparing notes and now through pages like this, we share with everyone.
My highest weight was 286, which is probably where I was on my before photo. It was so devastating to see this photo come up many years ago. I lost all the way to 139 (for about 3 seconds). I settled in the 140's for a couple years and then gained 10, then another 10. Today I'm ranging between 155 and 165 (size 10) with no effort at all and I don't sweat this little bit of gain. I'm done fighting my weight and refuse to obsess. I had a hernia in my 2nd year post op due to me being stubborn about lifting a soaking wet bag of topsoil and not waiting for assistance.
I eat protein forward (lots of cheese), but enjoy many taboo snacks with mindful attention not to go crazy on them. Even as I was losing, I counted protein and fluids, not carbs. Who had room for them after eating protein? I would always save a bite or two for whatever I wanted as I was losing, knowing that deprivation played bad games with my head. Allowing that indulgence when nearly full left me happy to have a treat, but full enough not to get into trouble.
Nobody would guess I had wls at all to watch me eat. I just eat like a thin person, leaving a little behind on my plate when my body tells me I'm full. I have learned not to push myself beyond that wall. I also eat often, every couple of hours, nibbling on something. I am a diet coke and iced tea addict. I know not good practices for the noobs, but I'm being transparent and I feel wonderful.
9 years - now it's mine to claim.
Oct 31, 2014
Just like my birthday, I’ve been claiming my surgiversary for about a month now. Today officially marks 9 years post-op from the Duodenal Switch. I have regained only 14% back from my lowest weight that only bothers me because my clothing size is no longer a single digit. I’m told now that I look perfectly healthy, and I feel that way too.
- Vitamins are a habit and not a big deal at all.
- Eating 100g of protein is easy.
- I’ve only been ill 3 times in the last 9 years. My immune system is incredible!
- One giant BM every day – that’s it.
- I’ve nailed down most foods that give me gas, so it’s rarely a problem.
- I eat normal small-ish meals, but large enough so nobody guesses I ever had wls.
- I still don’t “exercise” – never did – but I enjoy active living.
I have to tell you all that I feel like a regular person these days. I am no longer obsessed with my weight, or DS living. I’m just me and very happy with myself. I will always feel grateful that I discovered the DS.
8 Plus years Post op - update
Feb 20, 2014
Yeah, I let some time go by, but I still poke in here from time to time. Over the last couple of years I finally stopped fighting my body to remain a size 8 and allowed myself to relax. I relaxed into a size 10-12, and dare I say I don't mind it. I put on about 20 lbs to get here, and I'm not all that concerned. My mother says I no longer look like a scarecrow and I got boobs back (hubby is pleased with that, btw). Considering the expectation is to regain 15-20% of ewl, I'm still way ahead of the game. Understanding how food affects me continues to be a learning process, but I know a hell of a lot more today. Straight milk is an absolute "HELL NO". I've almost eliminated onions, for they make for explosive poops in the middle of the night, and aside from rice noodles, I avoid more than two bites of pasta. Yogurt is my probiotic, and greek is packed with protein, too. I still don't participate in organized exercise. I still get bored with it, but I'm always up for something that's fun instead of dawdling around. I travel for work now, and living on the road is no big deal either. The Marriott will make me whatever I want, but I usually just dissect and rearrange their standard dishes and they fill my requests occasionally with a raised eyebrow, like when I asked for meatballs marinara over mashed potatoes, but they do so with a smile. If anyone is wondering, carrying vitamins with you on the plane is no problem either. I have them in my purse or laptop bag and even if they're all bunched together in a zip loc they never even notice.
6 years post op
Nov 11, 2011
- Drink, drink, drink. Don’t whine about it, just do it. Not only do I accomplish 64 oz every day, but I do at least twice that…sometimes three times.
- REAL vitamins. Not flintstones or anything gummy. Don’t accept anything mediocre because catching up is a real bitch when you fall short. There are some real vitamin guru’s out here. I love Andrea U and Vitalady for information. They’ve studied a lot to keep healthy and have been very generous with sharing.
- Be realistic. Know your stats on what to expect and don’t assume you’re special or different. This will save a lot of frustration along the way. I found focusing a goal on a clothing size instead of weight was much better. I’d been MO for so long that my bone density is high, so I weigh more than I look. Had I been fixated on a weight number, it would have made me crazy.
- There are absolutely no magical creams, lotions, or exercises to prevent or treat loose skin. Count on it happening and work ahead on how you will deal with it. How severe its gonna be depends on the cocktail of your age, genetics, how long you’ve been MO, with a dash of simple luck.
- Similarly, there are no magical shampoos or vitamins to prevent hair loss six months out from your surgical date. Google Telogen Effluvium and learn all about it. It’s going to happen to the majority of you, and it will last 3-5 months and it will go away, no matter what vitamins you take or what shampoo you use. The best remedy is a haircut with some texture to blend in the new growth so you don’t look like a chia pet when it comes in (and it will). If you’re more than a year out and it’s happening again, it’s time to check your vitamin levels, for it may be a result of malnutrition.
- Get to know your local consignment and thrift stores. You will reach a point where you need a new wardrobe every 6 weeks. Go to the ritzy part of town and shop there. It’s amazing what the rich and privileged discard. Go armed with a tide pen and plenty of time to just pick through things. A consignment shop will take the clothes you’ve shrunk out of and fund the new purchases. I was able to replace my wardrobe for less than $100
- Shapers! I love them in the wintertime. Not only do they hold in what’s loose, but they keep me warm, too. Get some. There are some I get from Walmart for less than $10 that go from my ankles to my bra. They sell them by the sock section.
- Padded and molded bras! They serve two purposes: first, they have a pre-formed shape to pour your girls losing their own shape. Second, nobody knows when you’re cold. I love the Lane Bryant Balconette, myself. I’m shrinking out of their smallest size (34C now, I think), so I’m on the lookout for something I won’t leap out of when I’m not being careful. My boobies are like escape artists.
- Don’t feel resentful for how people treated you when you were MO. If they treat you differently now, don’t be a bitch about it. They have no idea what they are doing and are probably quite sincere about how they’re treating you today. Life is too short. Just be gracious about the compliments and new treatment and look forward with your head held high. You’ve done it!
Happy New Year
Jan 01, 2010
Speaking of jeans, I wore out my first pair in 2009. I mean, I wore holes in the knees and front part before I grew out of them. I wear them, holes and all like a trophy now. They're my favorite weekend knock arounds.
Annual Encore of my favorite recipes
Nov 08, 2008
I've been getting many requests for my trail mix recipe lately, so I thought I'd post it here for all to see:
Fabulous Ricotta Fluff Stuff
1 large container of ricotta cheese
1 box SF jello instant cheesecake pudding
dollop or two of sour cream (to taste)
A little bit of milk to lighten it up (about a cup-add last and gradually)
Mix it all up and enjoy however you want it. I love it with strawberries! It's a great fruit dip or just eating straight out of the bowl.
Variation for fluff: Do whatever flavor of pudding you like and add a little milk to get the texture you like.
Warning: Walmart's ricotta is very grainy in texture and never mixes to anything smooth and creamy. Tasty, but strange.
Fabulous Trail Mix
1 jar peanuts
1 jar sunflower kernels
1/2 bag raisins or "berries and cherries"
1/2 small bag chocolate chips.
1 small bag macadamia pieces
1 small bag pecan halves
To this, I might add other nuts depending on what's on sale (walnuts, cashews, more pecans). I've also varied the fruit, too, so play around. Try to keep the proportions the same. It's so easy to load up the sweet stuff, but it's the nuts that are so valuable here. The balance makes the perfect sweet and salty snack and my daily breakfast. If proportions are kept, it's about 32g of protein for 8 oz.
Fabulous Custard -- full of protein, easy on new post-ops ~delicious!
3 cups milk
3/4 cup splenda
4-5 eggs (depending on size)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
handful of coconut (optional)
Preheat oven to 375'. Beat eggs, nutmeg and vanilla together in baking dish. On the stove, bring the milk and splenda just to a boil, then stir together to the eggs. Bake for 25 min
NOTE: when the milk is coming near to a boil, you'll get a little foam on the top. Remove this foam before stirring into the eggs, or it will get a weird texture on top.
God Bless Paula Deen for flourless peanut butter cookies!
1 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup Splenda
Mix and roll into balls (about walnut sized) and flatten with fork dipped in Splenda. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
-Do NOT overocok -- they will get crumbly since there's no gluten
-Peanut butter is naturally low sugar - the low sugar kind only reduces it by 1g per serving.
-If you're picky about artificial sweeteners, I've done a 3/1 with splenda and sugar to cut the after taste and it's good. Presently, I do full-splenda in the cookies, and roll in regular sugar and that's good too. I've also added semi-sweet chocolate chips to shake things up.
My 3 yr surgiversary
Nov 01, 2008
Last Edit: 10/31/08 7:24 am
3 years strong today. Yup, just like GoBlue, I’m another Halloween DS baby. What a difference 3 years makes, too! What’s funny is that I’m dressed like a living dead girl. If I was amongst my MVADS, I’d say I’m dressed as the one who listened to their surgeon and am still taking Flintstones chewables after three years.
Year one was full of changes. I was melting away and learning to eat all over again. I was learning what affected my body and how. I was working to eat more so I would never have to tolerate those horrible protein drinks again if I could help it. I set reminders in outlook so I would be reminded to eat and take my vitamins. Who ever thought I’d need to be reminded to eat?
Year two slowed down, and I reached my goal at 14 months out. I continued and lost a little more than goal and made promises that if I got 5 lbs less that I’d consider digestive enzymes. Honestly, I don’t think I got too skinny, but people started getting concerned. Magically enough, though, my weight loss stopped on it’s own. It probably had something to do with me loosening up on the carbs, being able to eat more those days, etc. I also got a hernia in year 2. I’m pretty sure it was due to me being too stubborn to wait for assistance for the wet two cubic foot bag of top soil and lifted it up on my own. Needless to say, this required another surgery and a decision to have a TT. I took a hard look at myself, and decided that while my loose skin isn’t that attractive, that I wasn’t yet ready for the risk of complications (and the pain) associated with the TT. My skin could be better, but it hides well, so I consider it a blessing. For those concerned with hernia repair, it’s not that big of a deal. We’re talking an overnight stay at the hospital and a couple weeks off of work.
Year 3 was a breeze. I floated pretty effortlessly the first 6 months at the same weight, give or take a couple pounds. I noticed my weight creep up so started reigning in my simple carb intake. I never got real anal about it. It’s just not my style for stuff like that. I just found myself saying no to sweets every once in a while. Not always, mind you, but once in a while. I just pay more attention is all. My weight crept up another 5 lbs to stay steady in, once again, give or take a couple pounds. I’m still a size 8, though (sometimes a 6). I'm smaller than I've ever been as an adult -- and even as an adolescent. This is the perfect size for me. I don’t feel too “skinny”, and I really like the way I look. I still have plenty of boobs and butt, too. It would be nice if they were a little more firm, but that’s the miracle of today’s undergarments. I can create the perfect illusion – no problem!
Year 4 -- I still have the Outlook reminder to take my vitamins, but my stomach has finally figured out how to tell me it's hungry. The rest will be posted as I learn it, LOL. Thanks for all of our contributors out here, for I wouldn't be as healthy as I am today if it weren't for the information that is shared out here that I never heard from my surgeon, any nuts -- ANYWHERE. Newbies -- stick around. It's definitely worthwhile, even with the idiiots that drop in occasionally.
- Don’t make this harder than it has to be. You’re gonna lose no matter what the first year.
- If you eat protein first > then veggies > you can eat what you want after because you won’t have much room left anyway and you won’t feel deprived of any favorite things.
- Be creative – pasta is my nemesis, but only the noodles. I found plenty to do with those fabulous sauces. Also, Dreamfields pasta is the shizzle! It’s not foolproof, but I can eat considerably more than my couple bites of other stuff with no ill effects. If I eat lots though, my body will bust me.
- On that note, pay attention to what foods affect you and how long it takes. If you notice that you get bad gas or diarrhea, write it down along with what you’ve eaten. Find the patterns to identify the culprit so you can limit or eliminate the consumption.
- Ricotta Fluff, Flourless Peanut Butter cookies and SF custard –mMMMMmm
- Don’t buy retail until you’re close to goal. Get to know the consignment and thrift stores in your area. It never fails to amaze me the wonderful things that people cast away. Even though I’ve been a size 8 for 2 years, I love to find the great deals.
- Lane Bryant Cacique Balconette bras – enough said
- Be aggressive with vitamins A and D. I went from 400 iu to 800, then 1000, then 2000, then 5000 and my levels continued to tank. It wasn’t until I was taking 25,000 iu of dry A and 50,000iu of dry D that my levels started to rise at all. My surgeon wasn’t nearly aggressive enough with her suggestions, and I intend to tell her that when I see her next month so others can start on the right foot. In the meantime, I’m telling y’all.
- Don’t waste your time on chewable and liquid vitamins if you don’t have to. It may be necessary at first, but go to pills as soon as you’re able.
- So, we dress up for Halloween at work. I'm the living dead girl to those here, but my secret pals will understand this even though the gal who took the photo didn't get it.
So, how healthy is malabsorption? Let me show you!
Oct 27, 2008
For those who think DS'ers eat themselves into an early grave with the fats we consume -- here's proof of what wonderful things it does. Before my DS, my cholesterol and all that entails was off the chart. Never before in my life did a health screening list my overall health as "Optimal". I love my DS!!
So, how important are vitamins?
Oct 09, 2008
It's completely up to you.. if you are willing to gamble with your life (yes, you can die from non-compliance with supplementation) then go for it.
Otherwise, take the initiative and do the research on your own to decide what supplements you should be taking, rather than take the word of a "medical professional." This includes me -- I am not a medical professional in any shape, form, or fashion. Do your own research.
So deficiencies in the following can result in:
B1 or Thiamin
- irreversible neuromuscular disorders
- permanent defects in learning and short-term memory
- coma (aww.. this isn't so bad..)
- death (Nothing worth worrying about, right?)
B9 or Folate (Folic Acid)
- paranoid behaviors
B12 or Cobalamine
- neurologic sumptoms
- numbness and tingling of extremeties
- difficulty walking
- memory loss
- megalobalstic anemia
- permanent neural impairment
- extreme delusions
- overt psychois
+ Permanent damage can occur if treatment doesn't start soon enough!
- chronic low intake creates metabolic bone disease presenting as
- combo of above
- muscle cramping
- bone pain
- rachitic tetany
- mucle pain and spasms
- bone pain
- decrease in daily calcium absorption
- rickets (osteomalacia)
- concentrations in blood greater than or equal to 80nmol/L, there was a 50% reduction in colorectal cancer rates
- concentrations in blood greater than or equal to 50nmol/L, there was a 50% reduced risk of prostate cancer
- risk for type 1 diabetes increased dramatically in vitamin D deficient children
- higher circulating levels of vitamin D linked to a significantly lower Multiple Schlrosis risk
- hair loss
- feeling cold
- pagophagia (constant desire to eat ice -- pica)
- decreased immune function
- decreased sense of smell
- altered taste
- poor wound healing
- poor appetite
- hair loss
- low libido
- problems with skin and mucous membranes
- dry hair
- broken nails
- increased risk of infections
- linked to anemia and iron absorption
- ophthalmologic consequences such as night blindness
Did I get them all? Hell no. But it makes you think twice about skipping your vitamins, doesn't it?
Hmmm, about surgery types...
Mar 08, 2008
Some are better with sticking to a vitamin routine
Some are better being punished for non-compliance
I say, thank GOODNESS there is something for everyone