27 Years Old - Sleeve Gastrectomy Changed My Life! Full Video of My Journey!
My name is Ariana and I decided to have weight loss surgery in September of 2014 after a lifetime battle of yo-yo dieting and no weight loss even with proper eating and exercise. I did a lot research to consider what procedure would best fit my lifestyle and turned to YouTube and found that the gastric sleeve was the best option for me.
After getting a referral to the weight loss surgical department I began the process of evaluations and blood work and came to find I was pre-diabetic and had very low levels of other vitamins all which would contribute to my pain of not being able to lose weight. The thought of having diabetes was another wake up call for me, and made it clear that I was on the correct path.
As part of the process in weight loss surgery I had to do psych evaluations to make sure I was mentally capable to go through this dramatic life changing procedure as well as that I was doing it for the right reasons. I also attended 3 months of classes in a support group setting which allowed me to meet others and build a strong network of people to have for support during and after the procedure. In these classes, you go over everything from changing lifestyle habits, eating habits, what to expect immediately and up to a year after surgery.
A week before the surgery you are required to do a liver shrinking diet which is also the first mental test to this new life you are about to embark on. The day of surgery was nerve wracking and exciting and the surgery took about less than an hour to perform. Post surgery I felt very woozy and in some pain; it took me about a day before I was back to a normal state of mind.
Expect to have about 2-3 days in the hospital to recover, you will barely be able to drink water and do not eat anything for days following surgery as you are swollen and your stomach is very small. While in the hospital the nurses continued to take my blood pressure and make sure I didn't have any other health problems associated with the sleeve gastrectomy. Make sure you are walking around to reduce the risk of blood clots.
I was very scared to leave the hospital and not have the nurses there to make sure everything was okay. Luckily I had the support of my parents and husband so I was in good hands. An important tip when driving home from surgery is to put a pillow in between your stomach and the seat belt; too much pressure on your new stomach will be very uncomfortable.
To my surprise, I was much more comfortable when I got home versus being in the hospital bed. At home I was able to surround myself in pillows and lay on my side. Laying on my side really relive the gas pain. My food intake was a liquid diet consisting of water, popsicles and broth. It's hard to explain unless you have this feeling, but even taking sips of water was difficult. My mom got me 5 ounce dixie cups so I made sure to finish the liquid in the cup every hour or so. The popsicles and broth kept my blood sugar up and relieved some of my hot flashes. I actually didn't end of vomiting at all from any of my medications or liquid intake which was a relief.
I continued my liquid diet in my first week post operation. It wasn't till around day 5 that I really started to feel hungry for some sort of substance. My husband bought me chunky soup and blended in our ninja so I was able to easily swallow it. As I continued through my first week I continued to regain my strength. Most of this was due to my ability to allow others to help me and not pushing my body to far. I made sure to relax and sleep as much as possible to allow my body to properly heal itself. After the first week I had lost about 15 pounds and even started to move around a little more with short walks around the house.
As I went into the next few weeks I continued to become more active and was determined to shed my excess weight. It was crazy to think about how quick my lifestyle changes altered from before surgery to around one month out. In the beginning consuming food will be strange because you might be full but your brain is so used to consuming more food, so its definitely an adjustment process.
Towards the end of the first month I did see a week where it seemed that my body weight had stalled and I was no longer losing weight as quickly as my first couple weeks. Don't get discouraged, you need to give your body time to adjust to your new stomach. It is important to stay on your diet and to continue your physical activity.
Five months after the surgery I was a little under 200 lbs, which put my total weight loss at almost 100 lbs. from the beginning of the journey. My goal weight is 165 lbs. so I still have some work to do, but continued progress has always been my motto. This is not a one month or one year fix, this is a complete lifestyle change so it important to gradually continue to make yourself better.
I am still on the journey to lose more weight and am so happy to say getting gastric sleeve surgery was the best thing to ever happen to me. Not to mention I get to buy all new clothes and have a revamped wardrobe! My struggle with obesity bothered me my entire life and am thrilled that I found this weight loss procedure.