Long-term Vets (5+ years) Gratitude Thread

Discussion in 'Duodenal Switch' started by DianaCox, Dec 14, 2016.


    DianaCox Bad Cop

    We talk a lot about the issues and complications of the DS, but rarely mention the GOOD parts that evolve and become normal over time. I saw someone's gratitude post on FB and thought it might be good to start one here, where it could be stickied and referred to by newbies and people who are struggling from time to time.

    I am 13+ years out. Life with the DS is utterly routine now. I think about it every day (taking my vitamins, getting enough protein, watching what I eat if I might be around other people a few hours later), but what I DON'T think about every day is how much I hate being fat, which occupied way too much of my thoughts for most of my life.

    I don't wake up in the morning and think about the struggle ahead of me with what to eat and what not to eat. I don't make New Year's resolutions about losing weight. I don't fear eating in public. I don't think about what I'm going to be deprived of or feel guilty about eating, if facing a celebration or party or social gathering. I don't fear walking into a room or down a street or getting on a dais to give a talk, knowing that the first thing people will think about when seeing me is "JEBUS she's fat!" I'm not afraid of flying on a plane, or even walking down the aisle of the plane or through a turnstile (I used to have to walk sideways). I don't hate going clothes shopping (well, I kinda still do, because I just don't like it, but not because I have to shop in certain stores or sections, and can't find anything that fits). My blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, blood sugar - are normal or low. My feet don't hurt.

    Being fat just doesn't impact my life 24/7/365 anymore. It doesn't seem like much when I say it that way, but it is everything.

    I'm sure there's a lot more I could say, and maybe I'll come back and add to this, but for now, I'd like to ask others to post their thoughts as well.
    Spiky Bugger

    Spiky Bugger Well-Known Member

    In fits and starts...

    It is now normal that I DON'T have to know in advance that the restaurant has tables and not just booths...where I didn`t fit.

    I no longer have to take several extra changes of clothes with me in carry-on. Because, pre DS, if my luggage got lost there was a good chance that the shops in random small towns would not carry my size.

    For those who have tried to live with the LapBand...at restaurants, I no longer have to IMMEDIATELY locate the restroom and try for a seat near the restroom, because at any moment, the food that "went down" could easily be on its way back up.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
    1976, Stefanie S., Razbry and 4 others like this.

    DSRIGGS Yes, that is chocolate covered bacon

    I am not 5 years out but working on 4 and you know I don't give a shit about rules so I am posting in this thread anyway.

    Even though I am a hot mess right now I am very grateful that I look normal, my diabetes/cholesterol/BP are no longer high, and I know that I can eat anything I want. Additionally I would have needed a new liver by now as it turns out, had I not had the DS and multiple surgeries. Being fat and diabetic did significant damage to my liver and I wouldn't have known of the issue until it was completely shot and transplant required.

    The biggest thing I can say about this whole thing is that I am so glad to have formed friendships with so many of you great people and how helpful you all have been to me. I don't say this lightly, but I really do love so many people that I have met through this board and or on FB, even though I haven't personally met most of you in person. I have met Larra who is as wonderful in person as here, a lady named Cyndi who is also a Dr K patient and Dawn who moderates Dr K's private FB group.
    Stefanie S., Razbry, Mystrys and 2 others like this.

    galaxygrrl Well-Known Member

    I agree with this 100% and only 4 months in.

    What I would add is that I love I can do things again without struggling. Like a long walk, Yoga, etc. I never stopped doing those things, but they were hard.

    I do like clothes shopping and will like it even more when I get to my goal weight. :)
    Stefanie S. and hilary1617 like this.

    southernlady Administrator Staff Member

    At almost 6 years out:
    I'm to the point where life with the DS is routine. Seeing my primary is typically down to twice a year...for labs and other shits and giggles typical of living normally. (This last month has been odd but my neck/soulder decided it hated me (completely unrelated to my DS).

    I wear clothes I bought two to five years ago. I also hate clothes shopping cause I never find something I like as opposed to something that fits.

    But the biggest thing is I no longer feel that people are judging what I am eating. Back before my DS, I always felt like people were judging me for what I had on my plate.

    Larra Well-Known Member

    At almost 11 years out I can only agree with all of the above, except that I still hate shopping, even though I can find plenty that fits.

    I've always said that I didn't have the DS so that I could climb Mt. Everest or become America's Next Top Model. I did it to be healthy and to live a normal life. Really, the things that make us happy would seem like such little things to others, and taken for granted by people who have never lived with morbid obesity, but for us they are big things.

    k9ophile Well-Known Member

    Eight years out and:
    • No CPAP machine. My sleep apnea resolved and my sister was diagnosed so I gave it to her.
    • No more medications for hypertension and high cholesterol.
    • Shopping in stores instead of having to buy on-line because even Lane Bryant brick and mortars didn't have my size. And no more Lane Bryant at all.
    • A new left knee.
    • No more using the motorized shopping carts (unless I am totally exhausted from activity and my new knee rebels, which is rare. Maybe twice since WLS.)
    • IF I ever get on a plane again, I won't worry about sitting and buckling myself into a seat. I do worry about explaining all my pill cases which I will refuse to pack in luggage that could get lost. (I had a job that required anywhere from 2-5 flights a week while I was obese. It would have been a pain to travel that much at a "normal" weight and I'm sure everyone here knows that being obese worsens that pain both physically and emotionally.)
    • Being blessed with a PCP who actually consulted with a DS surgeon to better understand the anatomy and our supplement & testing regimen and now takes care of about a dozen of us.
    • Less need for pain medication due to back pain because I have less back pain.
    • By being so open about my surgery, a few people have sought me out for advice because the "been there, done that" let's them know I can probably understand their problems better than most. This also has the payoff of either making new friends or strengthening friendships.
    There's probably more, yet this covers a lot of the major things I'm thankful for.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016

    KathrynK Well-Known Member

    February will be 12 years for me, and Diana couldn't have said better what I am thinking about having had the DS. So, I'll just share things that have been said to me in the last year that have made me grateful for the decision in 2005. From a nurse after taking my history: you are one of the healthy 65 year olds here. From a sales person at Talbots: you should be looking at a smaller size, that one will be too big. From my husband: I can't remember when you were overweight (granted he might have had ulterior motives at that moment). From my daughter: Mom, you need a smaller bra. From an airline seatmate when I got the middle seat: so glad to have someone small in the middle. While in a restaurant trying to get to an inside seat at a small table, from the server: don't worry, you can scoot past. None of these things would have been said to the 65-year old me who did not have surgery, if I would even be alive with diabetes, hypertension, morbid obesity, and high cholesterol. It saved my life, my health, and my self esteem. It hasn't been without a price, but daily vitamins and bowel issues are a small price or pay for all that I have gained.

    aaa Well-Known Member

    I'm 11+ years out.

    @DianaCox@DianaCox 's post is a mirror of how I look at my DS. No wondering if the first thing people will notice is my weight. No worrying about finding something to eat at a restaurant, party, company meeting and/or if anyone is watching...Also like Diana, I'm careful about what I eat when I'm around others (so I pretty much only eat junk at home or when I'm going to be near a bathroom) b/c I don't want to have to deal with the after effects.

    I don't worry about finding something to wear when I wake up. I don't worry about daily prickly heat (thigh rubbing) in the summer. I don't worry about sweating constantly.

    I like clothes shopping. I don't do it much but I love going to the section with my size.

    Also like Diana, I don't obsess over my DS. After all these years, it's habit. I do think about my protein amounts & know how much protein I've eaten (I call it the ticker in my head). Same with vits/minerals. I'm complaint and, thankfully, pretty healthy.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016

    talitali Active Member

    I am 8 years out and I can echo most of what others have said in terms of benefits. It's more common to receive comments about being 'too skinny' and 'eat a burger' than 'OMG you are fat'. It's quite funny actually.

    I'm disgustingly healthy overall. I get my vitamins in, eat my protein, etc. I see the Dr. as needed but lately it's been once a year for my annual appointments. I'm more active than ever, pushing myself to get those 10k steps in every day but not because I "have to" but want to.

    I don't like shopping either. Everything fits and I hate that. It gives me too many choices. I've largely gone to a uniform style of clothing and I buy multiples of the same things. Wedding dress shopping was odd because I fit into sample sizes and had to be cinched INTO them.

    I still think about dieting but not in terms of losing weight so much as not ever gaining weight back. I've had no regain (I have a 5-10 pound bounce range) and I want to keep it that way. I have the eternal 'last 10 pounds' I'd love to lose but the work involved to do it more than I'm willing to do most of the time. It requires a LOT of effort and dieting to get below 150 pounds. My body just likes this weight and I look good here. I'm a S/6 top and medium/8 on the bottom, can't complain about that.

    Life is good. It's normal. I'm normal.

    bearmom Well-Known Member

    I'll be 9 years out at the end of January. Reading through the above posts reminds me how much I now take for granted.

    We travel much more now, and everything about it is made easier (or possible) due to my DS, from the travel itself (planes trains etc) to doing what I want when I get there, which often entails days/weeks of walking, turnstiles, fitting though openings is caves, old castles (or climbing long, weird hidden staircases), you name it. Whatever comes up, I'm not even thinking if I'm too fat to do it. I'm game for whatever.

    I can ski again, which is a big deal for me since I grew up skiing and missed it terribly.

    I've had several back surgeries more recently, which while not great, were necessary and had been postponed for many years in part due to my obesity.

    I was there to help my father during his last days, which again, not great but I couldn't have been there for him and helped as I did if I were still MO and I feel was one of the most important things I've done.

    Last night was a holiday party that I used to dread every year. Every year I was fatter, and needed a new dress for it. So many hours of shopping only to look like shit anyway, and then be judged by many I only saw once a year, like how much fatter I was, or what was I eating, etc. So I had a great time last night, and had a few drinks, ate prawns dipped in some delicious fatty goo and danced and danced and danced! I was probably still judged, but had fun so who cares.

    I'm getting the last laugh out of this life, and it's a good one. I'm certain every one of us that comes here, has paid more than our share of dues, and deserves to get the last laugh.

    sheribearmama Member

    Hi All. I tend to troll the boards but don't post anymore. I'm 5 years out and have been so happy. I have had lots of luck with absorbing vitamins naturally from food as well as pills and I feel really good--physically and mentally. I am a bit of a recluse and used to blame being fat for why I never wanted to leave the house. I remember always worrying about what I would wear or how I might get stared at...or ignored completely. Today, I still stay in quite a bit but losing the weight gave me the freedom to explore WHY I feel the need to stay in. I have stopped blaming everything on being fat and have learned to face life head on, doing my best to understand what barriers I feel or see before me. People still stare but now it's because they like what I'm wearing or because they notice how tiny I am (I get that a lot). Before losing weight I had no career and a very sheltered life. Today I hold a very important position in child protective services--it was like a rebirth once the weight was gone. I can play with my children and not get out of breath or feel embarrased. I do watch what I eat because that's just plain responsible, but I no longer worry that I'm going to gain weight to any great extent. The DS was the best decision I ever made. It feels like 5 years ago I just started living!

    Stats: 5 ft 4, fluctuate between 118 and 120, size 0 in almost everything. Pre surgery was about 260. Surgery date was 12-5-2011 with Gary Belzberg IMG_1035.JPG

    southernlady Administrator Staff Member

    You look wonderful and happy surgiversary!
    sheribearmama likes this.
    Marquis Mark

    Marquis Mark Well-Known Member

    You look great. Always glad to hear another Dr. Belzberg patient is doing well!
    sheribearmama likes this.

    Munchkin Full of Fairy Dust

    Am I grateful that I had the DS? Oh hell yes. I would probably be dead or 500lbs by now if I hadn't.

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