Your Questions Answered!

You asked, and I answered! Thanks to everyone that submitted a questions :)

When are you moving home? When A.) Someone good offers to be my husband up there, or B.) I find a job that pays enough to survive.

Why don’t you eat meat? Because I knew that going vegetarian would force me to stop eating fast food, and help with living a healthier lifestyle. Because I wanted to no longer be a part of cruelty to animals, and to lessen my carbon foot print.

How does being vegetarian affect your sleeve? It’s not much different. I meet with a Nutritionist, whom specializes in WLS and she used to be vegetarian herself (now she is pescetarian- eats only fish). Before and after surgery we discussed ways to get enough protein in without consuming meat. I get most of my protein by eating soy products, whether it be soy “meats” or tofu, or tempeh. I also still eat eggs, cheese and milk products. I just try to only eat those that are locally produced or at the very least organic. I also have incorporated a lot more legumes (beans) into my diet.

What foods can you eat now that you are a year out? I can eat anything I want! Well not anything. I avoid some foods, like corn, raw celery and things high in sugar. But I’ll be honest, I don’t follow my guidelines to a “t”. BUT I had this surgery so that I wouldn’t always be thinking about foods, what I should have and what I want to have. I chose not to eat certain things, because I know they aren’t good for me. My new stomach chooses what I can’t have sometimes either, because it doesn’t like it. I don’t really eat ice cream or anything too sweet, because it makes my tummy hurt. I’m not supposed to eat corn or raw celery because it’s already hard for a normal stomach to digest. But, if something has corn in it already, I won’t be picky, I will just attempt to avoid it. Oh and I’m also supposed to avoid raw broccoli, but that’s gross, so I have no problem avoiding that!

Are you able to drink alcohol? I’ve heard that people that have had this procedure do, but I don’t. I tried drinking twice since surgery and got really sick after doing so. I’m not sure if it was just too soon after surgery and the fact that I was drinking wine, or if it was just that I can’t tolerate alcohol any more. I am too afraid to try…maybe some day!

Do you have loose and hanging skin? What will do you about this? I’ve been noticing more lately that my arms, inner thighs and stomach has more loose skin than 6 months ago. My surgeon said that because I am so young, my skin is still pretty elastically, that I probably won’t have a big problem with this. However, I will be making an appointment with a Plastic Surgeon in the next couple of months, but my Surgeon told me that we shouldn’t think about doing anything until after 2 years from surgery.

Did it hurt? When I woke up from surgery I thought I got hit by a truck. I hated my life for the first couple of days, I’m sure I was a joy to be around (thanks for taking care of me Mom!) Every day got better. I had really bad back pain. Not sure if that was from the gas pains, or the way that I was set on the table, or maybe it was the fact that my insides were rearranged.

Will you be able to have kids? Yes, I can have kids…not suggested that I try until 2 years after surgery though….no worries there!

Has your social life changed in any way? Do you find yourself going out to new places, bars, night clubs, etc? I don’t really think it has, but others might disagree. I guess I have more confidence and care less about being seen somewhere alone. I’m not a big fan of going out, and honestly don’t have any friends down here to go out to bars or clubs with. But I have been going out on more dates, just to get out of the house! I don’t mind doing things on my own, like shopping, or going to the park to walk around.

Why did you choose the Sleeve over Lap Band or Gastric Bypass? The way my Surgeon explained it, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy was the best choice. The Lap Band’s success rate is very low, and from what I have read, there were lots of problems with slippage of the band and erosion. Gastric Bypass also has higher failure rates, however is still a good choice, however, you have more problems with mal-absorption so they are required to take more vitamins for the rest of their lives, some people also, I have heard, have a higher risk of gaining back. If my insurance didn’t cover Vertical Sleeve then I would have gone with Gastric Bypass- I would have just had to be stricter and on point with my diet and exercise plan.

How do you deal with the negative comments from others? I honestly haven’t heard any, well at least to my face. And if anyone has any, I don’t really care! I did this for my and to better myself, I was able to lose over 100 lbs in less than a year, take that you nay sayers!

Are you involved in any support groups? Not really, I’ve recently joined a Meetup® Group, which meets once a month, which is for people that have had WLS, not specifically Vertical Sleeve. It’s nice to at least be able to talk to a few other people that are going through close to the same thing as you!

What was your recovery time, and how was it? I would say that within a week, I was feeling okay, and by week 3 I was feeling close to myself again. By month 2 I was feeling completely normal and I think my scars were all healed by then too.

Do you have any scars? Yes! I have 4. Three on my upper abdomen, right below my chest, and one in my belly button!

How long after surgery did you start losing weight? I probably started losing weight within the first or second week!

How long were you in the hospital? Just over night. They didn’t have a room for me, so I hung out in Recovery for most of the day. I don’t think I got up to a room until 6 pm…and my surgery was over by 10 I think. It was a long, sucky day in and out of consciousness.

How long before you could eat “real” food? I was cleared to eat “regular” food after a month. My restrictions were a lot less than others, but let me tell you, that month felt like forever!

How much do you exercise? Not enough. Exercise has always been my issue. I go to the dog park every day and walk about a mile, and when I go into DC for work I probably walk about the same, but I need to really start going back to the gym to work on toning my body.

How much did it cost? My insurance covered 100% after I met my deductible. After all my appointments and stuff, my remaining balance on my deductible was a little under $600. If I didn’t have insurance, my procedure would have cost about $ 35,000.

Do you crave anything now? Not really. Sometimes I crave something sweet, then I have one bit and am all set.

Do you have to take any supplements because of surgery? I am only required to take one multivitamin a day, and I have a hard enough time remembering to do that!

Is there anything you would do differently? I would probably join more support groups, and be more strict on my vitamin regiment from the get go.


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