The Waiting is the Hardest Part - Gainesville, GA

I have a countdown clock on my phone. 2 months 3...

I have a countdown clock on my phone. 2 months 3 days to go. I can't even stand it right now, I'm so excited. My insurance has required 3 months with the dietician so the appointments and the waiting has begun. After reading most of the reviews on here I know for sure I've made the right choice. You guys have been such an inspiration to me, you have no idea how much you've helped. I'm starting at 221 lbs. at 5'3". I swore to myself that I would do a full marathon before I'm 50 and this is the beginning of my training program. Last year I did 4 5Ks, granted I walked 95% of the time. One, I was dead last, One, I came in next to last, Two, 3rd from the last and One, middle of the pack. Everyone keeps saying, "well at least you did it". Which to me is just as bad as saying, "she has such a pretty face". I'm so tired, all of the time. I've had two surgeries for plantar fasciitis on the same foot so my feet, legs and back hurt all of the time. I'm on a cpap and take meds to insomnia. I'm also super anemic and have had 2 iron infusions. So to say that I'm looking forward to feeling better is an understatement.

I've read all of the FAQ pages I can find and looked at everyones before and afters and I still have alot of questions. Hopefully this will be my last stop and all of my questions will be answered. In advance I'd like to thank everyone for sharing their experiences, your stories have and are keeping me motivated while I wait.

My questions (for now):
Hair loss? Yes or no? Anything you can do to prevent it?

How did you tell friends and family? I've only told my husband, sister and 2 daughters. No one else knows yet. I do want them to know though, that I'm telling them what I'm doing not asking for permission. Did anyone lose friends because they didn't agree with your choice?

Realistically how soon after surgery were you able to drive?

Alcohol? I like having a cocktail every once in awhile so... never? Really? :(

Joined a gym! Yah.

I started at Planet Fitness on Friday. Did 45 minutes of Just Dance today and going to the gym tomorrow.

New Pics

Still counting down

52 Days to go. I went to the pre-op meeting and my first support group meeting this past Monday. Pre-op was super informative. If you have a chance to go to one, go! Also, one suggestion that was made that I'll pass on is to start collecting those little dosing cups that come with stuff like kids liquid meds. From what the nurse was saying the size of that cup is all you're going to be able to drink following the surgery.

During this waiting time I feel like I need to try and eat some of the things that I know I won't be able to ever eat again.

In the twenties!

29 days to go. Went to see my PCP today and get the release and medical necessity forms filled out. Now I only have 1 more RD appointment and that's it. It's starting to get real now.

3 weeks!

Tomorrow I have 2 appointments. Last one with the dietician and one with the fitness guy. All of the paperwork is complete, the shake mixes have been purchased and now I wait, still. Week from tomorrow I'll start on the liquid diet. A week ago I had some dental surgery done so I've already been drinking the meal replacement drinks so I don't think I'll have a problem sticking with them. The days seem to be going by quicker now but not quick enough. I still haven't told my family or my job so I kinda stress about that, my feeling is it'll come out when it's time, whether that's before or after is yet to be seen.

16 Days and counting.

I have to start the liquid diet on Tuesday so today and tomorrow will be spent prepping and preparing for this. I went through the cabinets today and tossed so much "junk" food. Tostitos, dry cereals, some nuts that were going to go bad anyway. I'm glad I have chickens in my backyard who were able to take advantage of my cleaning out of the pantry so no food has gone to waste. Here we go. Almost there.

12 Days and on the liquid diet now

Day 3 of the liquid diet today and my head is killing me. Word of advice, if you drink coffee, soda or tea start weening off of it now. I went cold turkey day one and haven't really been able to function. Went to pre-op yesterday. Saw the doctor, had before pics taken, then was sent to the hospital for for a battery of tests. Chest xrays, ekg, lots of bloodwork including an arterial blood gas (most painful thing ever). But it's all done and now all I have to do is continue the liquid diet for 12 more days. 12 more days. I really hope they pass quickly.

I've been trying to be creative with the shakes, adding extracts, mixing flavors, etc. and so far my favorite is banana shake mix with sugar free strawberry quik. I've discovered I do not like chicken broth. Beef broth is ok but I prefer to use the packet from beef flavored ramen noodles instead. 1 packet with a cup and a half of hot water. I have chickens so they've enjoyed getting the dry noodles as a treat. I have 4 different bowls of sugar free jello in the fridge. Bottom line I'm not hungry staying full, but the switch to decaf splenda tea has been hard. I didn't realize I was such a caffeine addict. I miss my flavored coffee.

3 Days past surgery

So far so good. Alot of gas pains but probably my fault from not getting up and walking enough. I'm back on the clear liquid diet but now I'm able to add some yogurt and creamy soups. No weight loss noted yet but it's only been 3 days and I've had some swelling due to fluid retention.

Finally some results

I am 1 week post op today. Tomorrow I go for the 8 day check up and guess what... I'm already 20 lbs down from my starting date and 7 lbs down from my surgery date. Woohoo, hang-in there pals you're almost there.

It's not been easy though by no means. I fill full all the time so I'm not hungry per-se but I do have alot of cravings. Mostly for anything salty. I'm told that's normal. No more pain but some spasms if I drink to fast. So word of advice sip sip sip and popsicles popsicles popsicles. That has been my saving grace. Headed to go walking now will post more after my appt. tomorrow.

Hit 30 lbs down today

It's been 26 days since surgery and today I weighted in 30 lbs down. I will say again it has not been easy. I feel like there is no way I'll ever get all of the protein and water that you're supposed to have in a day. Also for me gulping has been an issue. Oh my lordy does that hurt. And I've had so much energy I've been walking and working out in the yard that I get so thirsty I just want a huge drink of cold water. ugh. Man that hurts. I've sweated more in the last 2 weeks then I have in the past 10 years.

Allie, as far as soda, I quit soda and caffeine cold turkey on the first day of the liquid diet. On day 2 I had the worst headache ever! But I knew that it would be ok to have a little so I had about a 1/2 cup of tea and it was just enough to ease the headache. Next day I was fine and haven't had any since. Now I sometimes will have decaf tea made with splenda. I've not been a real big "real" sugar person anyway, we've been using the splenda sugar blend for years so going to straight splenda was easy.

I still love my popsicles and fudgesicles. A few things I've had some issues with are gas, constipation, trouble sleeping (ambien doesn't work anymore), lack of hunger (which is an issue when you're trying to get in all of your protein), and my taste buds have changed and I don't like some flavors of shake mix that I liked before. But I do love love love Red Velvet Cake flavored Muscle Milk.

I'm taking the Bariatric Advantage vitamins, biotin and MSM (for hair) and vitamin D (for absorption and because my blood work showed it was pretty non-existent).

I'm down 5 sizes in panties (my hubby loves that, wink wink) and I 2 dress sizes. I wore a skirt with heels the other day. I felt so very sexy!

That's about it. I go back for my 1 month on the 4th and hopefully the dr will tell me I can move back onto solids. I would love a taco!

Before and After pic

Before was taken in April. After was take last Monday.

Edit

That should be 2 dress sizes.

1 month post-op

And I'm down 32 lbs. and walking 2 miles everyday. I've even shortened my 2 mile time to only 33 minutes. Before I could barely get in a mile in 30 minutes. I feel great, have tons of energy and I'm eating solid foods now. Start with something high protein, then if I'm still hungry will add a non-starchy veggie. So far I've not been able to eat more then about a 1/4 of a cup of anything. But it's working and I can see results now. woohoo

8 weeks post-op

And I'm down 40 lbs. I couldn't be any happier then I am now. I'm exercising regularly even doing a boot camp program and although I'm a little slow I would have not considered it before.

Jgschiff - wanted to let you know that I did get a fitbit and I love it. Thanks for the info.

3 Months Post Op

It's been 3 months since surgery and I'm down 52 lbs. and 4 dress sizes. I love my sleeve. No real issues to complain about. Some normal things like constipation from the high protein diet and the fact that my ambien only works for 3 hours now but nothing I can't deal with. I'm on a full diet and eat whatever I want, but mostly I just drink muscle milk and eat quest bars. I love my sleeve and have no regrets.

4 months post op

4 months out and 17 lbs to goal. I'm down 61.1 lbs and now in a size 10. Everything is going great and the only complaint I have right now is the hair thinning. I knew it was going to happen so I was prepared but I don't like it at all.

6 month surgiversary!

I know it's been a minute since I've updated but I'm never still now. I have so much energy I just wanna go all the time. Thursday will be my 6 month surgiversary and I'm proud to say I'm about 5 lbs to GOAL. I've gone from a size 20 to a size 8 and I feel amazing. I've gone through the hair fall out stage and now it's beginning to grow back and I'm super happy about that. I did the cut it all off thing and went with a super short pixie cut. Now that I'm small it's really cute. Keep it up everyone, you can do it.
Gainesville Bariatric Surgeon

So far, so good. Everyone in the office has been super friendly, helpful, available and patient.

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Comments (43)

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Hi omg thank u for posting!!! I'm going to be 3 weeks out of being sleeved tomorrow.... I'm deg. Going to follow u for motivation thank u for all the info and being such a motivator I love ur energy! Ur looking amazing!!!!! Congrats on ur 6mo surgiversary!!! It's so hard!!!
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I know it's been a minute since I've updated but I'm never still now. I have so much energy I just wanna go all the time. Thursday will be my 6 month surgiversary and I'm proud to say I'm about 5 lbs to GOAL. I've gone from a size 20 to a size 8 and I feel amazing. I've gone through the hair fall out stage and now it's beginning to grow back and I'm super happy about that. I did the cut it all off thing and went with a super short pixie cut. Now that I'm small it's really cute. Keep it up everyone, you can do it.
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Congratulations!! Tomorrow is my pre-op visit. Your story encourages me that I am making the right decision. Thank you!
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congrats you look great!
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So glad I found your post! I've been reading so much and of course the horror stories stick out in my mind so to hear that you're doing great and loving it is such encouragement! P.S.- ShaeDreams- my BMI is 34 so I think it depends on where you go and your co-morbidities (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc)
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You look amazing! I am 5'2" and weight 190. Im tired of being fat. Would I be a candidate? Also, if I take anti anxiety meds, is the absorption not as good after the sleeve? Would you do it all over again? If there were side effects that you could rid yourself of, what would a must have be?
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I know how you feel I was tired of being fat as well. I don't know about other doctors but at mine you would not be a candidate. My dr requires a BMI of 39 or higher. At your current weight and height you're only a 34 (congrats). As far as your other questions, yes absorption can be an issue. One med I take only lasts 4 hours now instead of 8. For sure I would do it all over again and the one and only side effect I'm not happy with is the hair loss. Right now I'm shedding bad but it should only last about 3 months.
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And thank you, I feel amazing.
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I looked at some websites in my area last night and the cutoff BMI to be eligible is 35 - I would think that would be close enough. I am going to consult because no matter what I do, I cant get down below 180 and then I bounce right back up to 190. I have a ton of hair so I'm hoping the hairloss wouldn't be a huge issue for me. Do you have any back scarring?
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Yes every doctor is different mine just happens to have a cutoff of 39. Back scarring? Not really sure what you mean by that.
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Sorry, typo - that was supposed to say bad scarring
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Can barely even see them. I have 5 tiny ones and 1 that's about an inch long.
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you look awesome..
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Congrats on the progress and just stick with it. I am steadily losing 10lbs+ a month and have no diet issues, save when I eat too fast I get a bit queasy. The Fitbit is great to ensure I stay reasonably active (tough as I have a desk job) and I have a completely different relationship with food now. Still love my treats, but food is fuel and not "the ultimate source of happiness in life." My wife has also dropped 20 lbs as she is not exposed to my eating binges as she was before. My exercise program is still "taking a walk" as many evenings a week as I can fit in, but we have a toddler so that can be tough. The sleeve was a fantastic option for me and I continue to be very pleased.
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You look awesome! But most importantly, you are healthy! I almost cried when I read your entry about wearing heels and a skirt and feeling so very sexy! That to me means everything! Its been so long since I have felt that way, and since I have been able to wear heels! My journey is just begining, but I will get there~! I know its different for everyone, depending on the area in which you live and insurance companies, but how much did you end up paying out of pocket? That is the only worry I have! I do not qualify for any financing. :/ Keep up the great work! I may look for you after my surgery...which will probably be next year! ~Rachel
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You look amazing! Well done!
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You look great!
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Just FYI, get a Fitbit. Been a huge motivator. www.fitbit.com
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Thanks. I had to go buy new running shoes today. It was really awesome and a size smaller. I'm up to run/walking 2 miles in 30 minutes. I may only run about a minute at a time and I am huffing and puffing but everyday I run a little bit more of it. I can feel it getting easier. I'm down 32 lbs and 3 sizes.
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Hiya, how are you doing now, much more than twenty pounds I guess. I haven't been sleeved yet but I'm so grateful for the advice on the caffeine. I should stop drinking sodas now really, alcohol I can do without but soda will be hard. How are you managing with that? I'm worried about things like hair loss too. Anyway, hope you're okay!
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Hey there, how are you doing now it's been another couple of weeks? Would love an update on your progress!

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Keep up the good work. it only gets better. And thanks for the update. My cravings went away until this week when I started wanting "sweet." A bit of SF chocolate sorts me out. The exercise gets easier with every pound you lose and I have taken 8 minutes off my walk route time. I do it so fast now I need a longer route. One day I may even jog it.... Ha! The "No drinking 30 min before or 30 min after eating" is my biggest challenge, but it keeps me on track. The food journal, which was stupidly easy to do once I got started, has also been a lifesaver. One of the best days so far was tossing all my "fat suits." Goodwill will have a field day for their fatty clients. Must have been close to a dozen suits. Even my shoes are more loose now. Lastly, check out Eggface at nhttp://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/ Best resource I have found online and has been great for both me and my wife.
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Thank you and thanks for the link. I haven't had the nerve to go through my closet yet. I'm still in the mindset of "what if this doesn't work". Which I know is kinda dumb since I've already lost 22 lbs. But I just think that if I get rid of everything then I'm jinxing myself. Maybe next week, there's no rush, right?
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No rush. It will be there. And then there will be more to toss. And more. It was weird replacing all my underwear/shirts all at once. Felt great to do though. Single X and smaller only, please.
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