21 Years Old, Obese Class II, Battled with Weight All my Life - Portsmouth, NH

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I've always been overweight, but last summer I...

I've always been overweight, but last summer I gained over 25 lbs from steroid treatments following a huge poison ivy rash all over my body. I was very uncomfortable with myself and followed a low-carb diet at the beginning of 2016 to get rid of the recent 25, but knew I finally needed to take control and get down to a truly healthy weight. My ex got the vertical sleeve gastrectomy in September 2015 and so far has lost over 120 lbs. When he was going through approval I went in for a weigh-in and did not quite qualify as my BMI was slightly too low. This time around I met the 40 BMI threshhold and began the process on February 15, 2016.

I went to so many appointments, group therapy, psych evaluations, blood testing, physical therapy, had to lose 12 lbs (not an issue)... finally got the insurance authorization on June 2, and the surgeon's office called me June 3rd with my date of June 28. Took off 6 weeks using short-term disability insurance through my work. And...

I had my surgery yesterday! Tonight is my second and last night in the hospital. No complications, been up and walking a lot both days, starting phase 3 of the postop diet tonight with a shake for dinner and a shake for breakfast tomorrow.

Just dealing with gas pains - they started in my abdomen around my tummy and have moved up under my ribs. I'm sure they'll reach my shoulder(s) by the time I leave. They've given me fentanyl and oxycodone at different times, which helps. Other than the gas pains I honestly feel great, even without any narcotics in my system.

Yesterday evening my parents and best friend and one of my roommates came to visit. Today my girlfriend and father and ex and his girlfriend came to visit and signed my take-home WLS procedure picture pillow (which I will probably not be displaying front and center on my bed, despite the bariatric coordinator's encouragement!).

More details - was on a clear liquid diet all day Monday with nothing at all to pass my lips past midnight. Got up early and drove myself in at 6 yesterday morning, an absolute ball of nerves. Once I got to the hospital I was on autopilot. Went into surgery at 8:20 and woke up at 11:30 with 5 laparoscopic incisions. The first thing I did was reach under my blankets to make sure I didn't have a catheter in, lol. I put my body jewelry back in yesterday evening when my best friend visited, so I felt more like myself.

Yesterday I was sipping 30mL of water each hour. They had me on fentanyl in the evening which helped with the pain, but that was depressing my heart rate, so the HR monitor kept going off since my HR dipped below 50 bpm. (Note - I'm a healthy 21 year old female with no other health conditions.) Today I've had a popsicle, sf Jello, and vegetable broth from the hospital, plus about a cup of water each hour. My tummy doesn't like when I put things in it, but after ~30 seconds of grumbly pain it accepts its fate.

I've been using a few gas-x strips but haven't seen much of a difference yet. Just gotta keep walking and taking that oxy! I've felt ridiculously lucid these past few days, considering all the medication I was given.
Will update as the days/weeks progress!

My stats:
HW: 233
SW: 213.6
GW1: 180
GW2: 150
UGW: 120-130

One Month Out

Recovery has been exceptionally easy, but most of my weight loss occurred during the first week and I've been plateaued for a solid 3, which is disconcerting. I've moved on to mushed and pureed foods. My appetite isn't there but my head wants to eat sweets because it always has... surgery won't banish the intrusive emotional eating thoughts.
My nutritionist says I'm doing fine.

One year out

Oops... things got crazy and I managed to let eleven months go by.
In summary, I kept steadily losing throughout the fall season as I worked full time and took 5 college courses.

But in mid-November, my best friend passed away unexpectedly.
I basically stopped eating. I couldn't. I drank myself into a stupor every night regardless of work in the morning, and lost fifteen more pounds while subsisting only on booze and Hershey candy cane kisses. This led me down to my lowest weight of 160 in January, but I was malnourished and shaky. I had a nervous breakdown in mid-Jan, prompting my doctor to put me on medical leave from work.

Then at the end of January, another close friend was found dead.
I was right back to where I started - drinking, not taking care of myself. I couldn't get out of bed, couldn't bathe myself, and my partner had to help me eat and bathe (on top of taking care of my apartment & cats for me). In February I was put on 'crisis mode' medications - namely, Remeron to help me sleep, and Abilify to help me mostly-achieve basic tasks and start to be a person again. I started attending a partial hospitalization program in hopes that it would help me restore functionality. It didn't. I did get better about eating semi-regularly, but the food was hyper-palatable because otherwise I just wouldn't. I figured, "Well, as long as I'm eating /something/, that's a step in the right direction."

The Remeron and Abilify helped with my recovery, but because of their metabolic effects and the intense sugar cravings they're known to cause, I gained 20 lbs in the span of 2 months. By mid-April, I was up to 185. I had already weaned off the medications by then, but the weight just wasn't coming off.

I'm stuck around 180 now, making efforts to form good habits again, drinking my shakes and plenty of water. Exercise is a longtime enemy of mine but the fiance and I are trying to start going to the gym.

I have plastic surgery scheduled for mid-July with a reputable doctor in Cancun - I'll be doing a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, and brazilian butt lift. I'll try to be better about documenting my journey on those!

In the meantime... here are as many progress pics as I could scavenge.

180-170-166 pictures

Accidentally posted the last one before I could include these.
Dr. Molly Buzdon

Very knowledgeable surgeon, great bedside manner, no complications.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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