Gastric Bypass Decreasing Chronic Pain

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Angeleyes13
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Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 8/3/2011 8:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Over the last 3 years I have lost almost 40 pounds but have been at a complete standstill and the nuitrionist and drs all agree this is because I have been unable to increase activity. In april I completed a 6 month weight lose program and was recommended for surgical weight loss. Surgery needed to be postponed because they thought I needed to be refused and that took priority. Hardware came out, no refusion, no SCS yet, so my surgeon wants to procede. I went in yesterday and they have me scheduled for less than 2 weeks away! BTW, I was turned down for the Lapband because the surgeon does not feel I will be able to increase activty levels enough to make it effective.

I have been thru a ton this last year, but I am OK with another procedure if it may help. I am left with the question will taking another 80 pounds off outway the risks of everything. I now fall within the category of BMI 35+ with co-morbidities. All this while I am trying to get into a new PM dr to get some new ideas. The bypass surgeon feels, take off the weight, get that stress off the body, be able to increase activity somewhat, then go for the SCS to take care of the neuropathic pain once my weight has stabilized. I have waited this long, whats the difference, lol?

It all does make sense to me, but I think at this point anything that had a CHANCE at reducing pain would sound good to me. My judgement may be alittle clouded here,lol. Looking for input in regards to bypass surgery, anyone here have it and how did if effect your pain levels? I searched and found a member but she hasnt been around lately.

Thanks a bunch,
Shell

Post Edited (Shell74) : 8/3/2011 8:37:17 AM (GMT-6)


Jim1969
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 8/3/2011 10:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Shell,

First and foremost, let me say that whatever you decide I will support your decision.

Do I think it has a good chance of helping you? Yes I do. How much it might help I can't even begin to guess.

What I do know is that I have dropped about 25 lbs since Feb of this year, and while I can't say that my bad days are not as bad as ever I can say that I have more moderate days than before. A big part of the reason I lost the weight was because I was having so many bad days for a while I had no desire to eat. Since I have lost that weight and noticed some over all improvement in my pain I am trying to lose another 25-30 lbs which would bring me down to where I should be giving my body type, bone structure, etc.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5004
   Posted 8/3/2011 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
My former dil had a bypass to lose 100 lbs, the minimum they used to require a person to need to lose. It worked fine, but since she couldn't eat, she found a different outlet for her addictive personality. I'm no way saying or even suggesting you might have an addiction! But it's something that happens to an awful lot of people who get this operation.

Anyway, dil started drinking because of not being able to eat. Son kept taking away her booze, so she divorced him. He loved her but is better off.

The answer is to get LOTS of counseling before you make the jump. People who get enough help can be successful. Make sure this is the only solution before going into a surgery that is non-reversible. Then, if it's the right thing for you, plan ahead to get help dealing with the side effects afterward. I suspect there are support groups. I go to one dealing with breast cancer, still dealing with PTSD 2 years later.

Best wishes dealing with pain. I had to lose 40 lbs, took a few years to do it, mainly by not eating white carbs - mainly bread. I am not comparing, just commiserating with you. It was really hard, but it does make me feel better. Less shortness of breath, arteries, cholesterol better. Don't copy me, though. I waited until I had a heart attack to get serious.
Alcie
 
 

mscrowbar
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Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 877
   Posted 8/3/2011 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the gastric bypass surgery. At the time I was very over weight but considered healthy. I wanted the surgery because I knew that I was getting older and the weight would become more of a problem. I hated not being able to sit in a booth or a movie seat and having fingers pointed at me. I did manage to lose 160 of that weight. And then..........

First let me say that I would have the surgery again in a heart beat and would work harder to make it work for me. I would know things about the surgery, and the future, and would be more preventative in my medical care. ALL my medical issues started after the surgery and some a direct cause of the surgery. I now suffer a mal-absorption issue. I have to take mega doses of iron, vitamin D, vitamin c, calcium and get b-12 shots every month. All this was not found in one visit or with one blood test. It took several years and trial and error to figure it all out. Even with the iron my levels will still drop and fatigue sets in big time. (actually had to have a transfusion last August)

Now, because of all the meds (and lack of good physical exercise) I have gained back almost half that weight. I have been diagnosed with fibro, Rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, and have been hypothyroid for several months (had cancerous thyroid out about 6 months ago).

What exactly caused all this to start? who knows. Was it trauma? I had no accident. Was it stress? Maybe, my mother passed away a few months after my grandson was born (8 weeks early). Do I hurt? almost constantly. Did losing weight help with the pain levels? No, I cannot say it did because the symptoms and the diagnosises came long after the surgery.

Losing weight will help with physical stress. It is less stress on your knees, feet, back and it helps with self esteem. But, will it help with your pain levels? I would say, maybe not. Aches and Pains from some illnesses, diseases, syndromes come no matter what age, size or shape. Keeping physical, eating well, taking your meds and vitamins, keeping a positive attitude are keys to less aches and pains.

I wish you lots of luck on your surgery and hope that the weight will come off and that you will feel much better about yourself. If you should have any questions about the surgery please ask, I will be more than willing to share.
Denita
**************************************
Rheumatoid arthritis with secondary Sjogrens, Fibromyalgia, meniscus tears in left knee, Cancer survivor

Angeleyes13
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 8/3/2011 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Jim, Alcie and Denita very much for your response. It is alot to think about.

My friend had surgery and she has lost to much weight, she really scared me. I was very confident about things till I saw her. However she is not eating several meals per day, like she knows she needs to, she says she forgets and just isnt hungry. She does have some other issues that may may affect whats going on though. This was the first thing I spoke to the dr about when I saw him.

Alcie, I have seen in our support group that many people turn to alcohol once they lose the weight. I think that was one of the biggest points they push was the importance of coming to those groups as well as your required appointments. We did need to go thru several counseling sessions before we were cleared, of course that doesnt mean things cant come up, but I have been seen and they dont feel that there is any obvious or concerning behaviors at this time.

Denita, I am not to uncomfortable with my body as it is. But it wil be nice to be able to purchase a bra in a store rather than thru a catalog. When it comes down to it, if it wasnt for the desire to become more active my size wouldnt both me to much. OK, sitting in a booth without without feeling wedged in place will be awesome!

I think my expectations is that the reduced weight would help with the DJD pain in the knees, hips, lower back and shoulders by allowing me to become more active and keeping those joints and muscles as healthy as possible so that I can deal with the neurological stuff better. In addition to getting off of 3 blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds and the CPAP machine. I dont expect any change in the neurological stuff.

I know its alot to think about. I thank everyone so much for their thought and experiences. I will keep everyone posted!

Shell

Snowbunny21
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 8/3/2011 4:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Just curious...isn't their options...like the lap band? I don't know enough about these type of things...but I thought there were other things that can be changed along the way and it doesn't have you eating barely anything...I would worry so much about the malnutrition and absorption issues...

Was the 6 month weight loss program mandated before this surgery is suggested? Or was it something that you happened to just join..

And..I know I'm probably saying things that you already know...but have you truly tried every single other avenue to lose weight consistently? As in not just the last six months...but the last 3 years...where you say you lost 40 pounds...And not that it's not fantastic!..But it's not very much for 3 years...

So I'm truly asking if you do daily exercise...30-45 minutes...even just walking...very slowly....or using a pool...Getting your heart rate up....And doing very gentle weights 3 times a week...a pound or two weights..or even just using stretch bands...

And can you also say that you have developed a completely healthy eating plan that you stick to 99% of the time?

Of course the reason I ask all of these is it just seems with so many other health issues and surgeries to maybe come...that the risk and nutrition issues outweigh the benefits to doing this the healthy and slow way..

Ever since I moved into my mom's house a year ago...She was morbidly obese....my height at 5'5 and 320 pounds...She has now lost 80 pounds just by switching to eating all Organic like me...Not vegetarian...but just eating all natural foods....And she has just now hit a bit of a plateau...but that's because she was only doing the food portion...and now she is starting to slowly add in the walking....Or have you tried programs like WW or Jenny Craig...and using both a Physical therapist to help make sure you don't injure anything and maybe trying other eating options?

My mom is now does 5 minutes of walking at a time...in the house...and then rests..(She has back and heart issues)...and is trying for 10 minutes a day...
She is turning 70 this year!...And we are all cheering her on!!

Now..of course we all support you on whatever decision you make...I was just wondering if you have really looked at every single option...as it's certainly not a surgery without risk...

I am praying for you and as said...will cheer you on whatever you choose..

Hugs (( ))

Angeleyes13
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 8/3/2011 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Snowbunny, I understand all of your points completely. And when I make my lists of pro and cons I see these things and wonder what I could do differently

Many years ago I started by seeing a nuitrionist, we worked on meal plans, etc, with the exception of cutting portions I was on track according to her. My step son had some weird food allergies so we all ate a preservative and dye free diet, so before organic became popular we were doing it. It is called the Feingold diet. So we do eat a decent diet, and I follow portion control, but no where near 99 % healthy.

All doctors require some sort of program before they will do surgery as far as I know, as do most insurance companies. You must have proof of all things tried, so I had to gather together my WW and Jenny Craig receipts, hosptal reports from adverse reactions to a weightloss suppliment and various other documentation from my PCP of the things that were actually tried and documented over the years. So, you cant really go in and say, I have never tried to lose weight a less invasive way but I want surgery. I was turned down for the lapband due to my multiple co-morbidities and orthopedic issues, they feel it would be ineffective.

At this point in time, my actual structured exercise is very limited by the physician. No bending, twisting, no weights or anything against heavy resistance. The pool does work well. I am permitted gentle stretching and walking on the treadmill, but once the nerve overacts and the foot drops I am done, this happens fairly quickly. I do yoga with my daughter as tolorated. I have uncontrolled hypertension which also reacts poorly to increases in activity. Pretty much my physical activity consists of walking up and down steps all day long at school going inbetween classrooms. This may not seem like alot but I average 3 miles per day going up and down those steps and hallways according to the pedometer. Some days with my cane, some days without. I do have an elevator key but I figure I better get some walking in during the day because once I get home I crash and cant move.

Sometimes, I cant help but feel that I am giving in and looking for the easy out. I can also see how others may look at me and say that too, its easier for people to see someone at 500 pounds and accept that they need bypass. For those of use on the border it really is a tough descision.

Thank you so much Snowbunny21
DX: CRPS, Fibro, CP, DDD, DJD, OSA, Syringomyelia, Arachnoiditis, failed fusion. Fusions C5-6, L5-S1, hardware removal and removal of scar tissue. SCS trial successful awaiting placement.
MEDS:To many to mention, changes every week it seems.

mscrowbar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 877
   Posted 8/4/2011 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Shell,

The gastric by pass is not an easy way out. It will help you lose weight but there is a price to pay. You literally cannot eat very much at all in the beginning and if you do you will throw it up. You cannot drink sodas, alcohol or eat any sugar AT ALL or you will become violently ill. If you drink anything too fast (even water) you will become ill. Some foods are restricted the first month such as raw veggies and fruits. You will live off protein drinks for a few months just to make sure you are getting all required nutrients. (The high protein diet caused me to have severe kidney stones issues). There will be some foods that will make you sick even if you loved them before.
Eating very small amounts of food will change your bowel functions. You will have to take large amounts of supplements everyday for the rest of your life.

Eventually you will be able to eat more food and more variety. But don't let that make you feel that you are safe from the supplements. THAT was my undoing. Now I am back on all of them and have suffered greatly till we realized that this was the cause of all my woes. Well, most of them anyway.
I still have fibro, RA, and sjogrens but maybe I wouldn't if I had stayed on all those supplements and not done any serious injury to myself.

Don't let anyone tell you that it is the easy way out. It is a major life change and could be for the better. Just be aware of ALL the risks and do everything you can to protect yourself from them.

Like I said before: I would do it again but I would be sure to be better informed and more active in my own health.

Good luck to you and whatever you decide.
Denita
**************************************
Rheumatoid arthritis with secondary Sjogrens, Fibromyalgia, meniscus tears in left knee, Cancer survivor

Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 8/4/2011 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I appreciate you taking my post as intended...which is with care and concern and no judgment:)

I will be praying and wishing you well no matter what you decide!!
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006
 
 

NiNi53
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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 8/4/2011 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi from nini53/kathy, I dont have information on the surgery, but I am overweight by about 40-50 pounds and I do know that when I take the weight off, it does help some.  I have taken it off and put it back on for about 12- years now.  Some of the meds I took in the beginning particularly methadone somehow makes the weight come on and not go off.
 
I am also sure it is the 1/2 gallon of ice cream I sometimes eat in one night.  I know its awful, but ice cream and I have a very long and disfunctional relationship.  Now I have been on ww point plus because my daughter is on it and I have lost the weight, only to gain it back.  So now I am in the middle of losing again and trying to keep it off.  I have discovered skinny cow ice cream and candy, my other addiction chocolate.
 
I cant give you help with your decision about the surgery, but I do think a pro con thing is the way to go.
 
Good luck to you, I wish the best for you know matter what.
 
P.S.  I know what its like to order bras from a catalogue, I have to also, large mammary glands run in our family, and for every woman who ever said, oh I wish, or has had surgery to enlarge, Please, they hurt your shoulders as I am sure you know along with other problems.
 
Take care of yourself, and I will pray your decision works well for you, make sure it is your decision, no one else has to live in your place, just you, do what is best for you.
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Angeleyes13
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 8/4/2011 6:33 PM (GMT -6)   
mscrowbar said...
Dear Shell,
The gastric by pass is not an easy way out.
Good luck to you and whatever you decide.


I should have worded that better on my end Denita. Sometime I feel like being forced to comply with the diet and whatnot is the easier way than having better will power, control and overcoming the physical issues that limit my activity. I didnt mean easy as in the surgery is a simple solution and easy fix. I am very critical of myself and feel guilty for not being ale to fight harder. However when it comes down to it and I really look at things honestly I do have very good control and dont often make poor choices just have low self esteem.

I do have one weakness, which is chocolate peanutbutter cup ice cream. However, to avoid this I just dont buy it very often. With a house of 8 people you usually only get one night anyway, so its not around to tempt. That will be the one thing I would miss. I am glad I am not a fan of soda and can take or leave it. The first few month without veggies will be tough, since thats what I munch on all day while driving and in between classes.

Kathy, for many years I used the biggest size I could find in stores, but finally gave in and bought from a catalog. I never imagined what size I truely was till I was professionally measured,lol.

Thank you all,
Shell
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