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  1. #1
    Gastric Sleeve Member sraebaer's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
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    10/07/2013
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    Default Confession Time!

    Just wanted to say that Addiction Transfer is a real complication to bariatric surgery. I finally realized I have been drinking WAY too much in the past 4 years, never anytime except in the evening, never gotten sick, never been unable to function in the morning, but when I start drinking I can't seem to stop. Hubby and I will have a manhattan, and while he has one I'll keep secretly filling mine up again and again. This weekend I totally embarrassed myself in front of family, including children, by acting like an ass. It was the last straw.

    I NEVER had a problem with alcohol before surgery. For some reason after surgery I thought I could drink like a regular person. Not the case. My tummy is not regular.

    So this week I made the bold step to start attending AA meetings. While I'm not sure I'm an alcoholic, I may be, I do have the desire to stop drinking, and that's the only requirement. So far it's been easy, hope that continues. I think I caught it early which should be to my advantage, after hearing many stories of jail, rehab, auto accidents, loss of everything, people addicted to alcohol for 30+ years, etc.

    The cool part today was after a meeting a young, slim lady came up to me almost in tears. She said she hadn't planned on attending today's meeting but something told her she should go. During the meeting I had shared about my surgery and how I had gone from eating too much to drinking too much. She told me she had the bypass about 10 years ago and has the same problem. I made a new friend that's for sure.

    I'd appreciate your prayers! I really think I've got this! I made it through a bad week where I got a horrible bite from a special needs student, and have gone through doctor visits, blood work for HIV and hepatitis, and pain. I've got every little tooth mark in my arm. I think I will retire from substitute teaching and just be retired. It will be much more fun.




  2. Gastric Sleeve Surgery With Weight Loss Agents
  3. #2
    Gastric Sleeve Member KiwiGal's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Lisa
    Surgery date
    09/04/2017
    Surgeon
    Stephanie Ulmer
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    Hi Sharon

    How very brave of you to share this with us all. Thank you.

    I'm sure this topic is going to resonant with a lot of people.

    Addiction is an interesting topic. I think most or us are/were addicted to food and now that we have that (mostly) under control I can definitely see how we could transfer that addiction to something else.

    My partner was addicted to energy drinks. 6-8 a day at his peak. Some days he would go out and get a couple of bottles before breakfast. Scary stuff. A medical event led him to go cold turkey and he hasn't touched once since which is great. He was then told to drink more water and he took this to the extreme drinking around 6 litres a day. This also took a toll on his health as his sodium levels plummeted causing dizziness and lethargy. It would seem that he transferred his addiction from energy drinks to water! He has now pared back the water (who would have thought that you could drink too much?!) but I wonder if he will find something else to replace this.

    There are so many vices (for want of a better word) that are around to tempt us. Some people can indulge a little and others go to the extreme. In that case I suppose avoidance is the only way to go.

    It's never easy to give up something that you are addicted to.....ask any ex smoker....but I guess we have to keep on trying.

    Seeking help as you are doing is a great thing to do. It's always harder to do something by yourself.

    I am sending you all my good wishes. I know that you have got this - just as you have negotiated your way through all the other trials that life has thrown at you.

    Kia Kaha (stay strong)

    xxx



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  5. #3
    Gastric Sleeve Member
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    04/10/2018
    Surgeon
    DR Halstead
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    Jan 2018
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    HI Sharon
    You are very brave and well done for recognizing you might have a problem and dealing with it and for being very open and sharing it with us. I am sending you all the good wishes and keep up the good work. You are still an inspiration to me and many others. xx



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  7. #4
    Gastric Sleeve Member Snooties75's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Jen
    Surgery date
    06/28/2019
    Surgeon
    Dr. Thomas Brown
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    08-18-2019 12:04 PM
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    Good for you that you recognized and are addressing the problem! Addiction switching happened in the opposite way for me. I got sober 15 years ago and switched to compulsive eating. I have done extensive work in recovery and in therapy to address this. I am hoping it will not happen again when I have surgery next month.

    If you ever have any questions about AA, I am happy to help!

    Jen



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  9. #5
    Gastric Sleeve Member kenson's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    01/13/2014
    Surgeon
    Dr. Karl Strom
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    Sharon,
    As usual, you continue to be the rock star that you've always been. Thank you for sharing and being transparent.



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  11. Gastric Sleeve Surgery With Weight Loss Agents
  12. #6
    Gastric Sleeve Member WANAGL's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Cyndi
    Surgery date
    12/30/2015
    Surgeon
    Dr. Robert Marema
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    Sharon,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. The first step is admitting powerlessness.

    Prayers coming your way.



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  14. #7
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    Oh Miss Sharon, so grateful you've figured this out! As Barney Fife used to say, "nip it in the bud." I think those of us who have struggled with weight and overeating, may have "addictive" personalities.

    I've been grateful to have appropriate counseling as needed over my years; first for a group to address anorexia/bulemia, then for root cause (sexual abuse as a child); then for some self-harm behaviors (cutting/picking) and then a great deal of blood work, appropriate meds for Major Despressive Disorder and also for Severe Anxiety Disorder. Along with more counseling.

    I'm grateful I skipped alcohol, drugs and other things. I am also grateful for your bravery, honesty and candor - you're willing to be a help to other folks who might not have gotten clear yet on what's happening in their lives.

    What an awesome group! I am continually humbled to know you all.
    [I]HW: 240 lbs CW: 205 lbs: SW: 199 lbs GW: 130 lbs

    1 MO = 167.0 2 MO = 156.4
    3 MO = 148.4 4 MO = 140.6
    5 MO = 136.0 6 MO = 130.0 (GOAL)
    1 YR = 122.0 20 MO = 130.0

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  16. #8
    Gastric Sleeve Member JessNP's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    05/23/2019
    Surgeon
    Dr Shillingford
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    Sharon,

    It takes an enormous amount of strength and courage to admit you have a problem - especially when the addiction does not interfere in your day-to-day functioning or relationships. You are an incredible person and an inspiration to so many of us. Thanks for sharing with everyone. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers. You've got this!



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  18. #9
    Gastric Sleeve Member Ann2's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Ann2
    Surgery date
    08/18/2014
    Surgeon
    n.a.
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Missouri
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    Oh, Sharon! Thanks for this thread and for your transparency.

    Although I am absolutely not an expert of any kind on addictions, I understand that alcohol is the most common transfer addiction for WLS patients.

    Another thing I've observed is that human beings like to use drugs of all kinds (including food and our bodies' responses to food) to calm themselves and to sedate a realm of physical and emotional discomfort and pain. It's not at all surprising that when we stop using food to achieve such relief that we turn to other substances that can give us that relief.

    I realize that AA is anonymous, but I'm interested in your experience with it -- but ONLY if you are comfortable sharing that. Also, it might not be appropriate or helpful to you to share your thoughts outside AA.

    P.S. I'm sorry about your terrible bite! I hope you suffer no long-term damage from it. And yes -- DO retire fully! It's the bomb! After all, we are all terminal and your bucket list is really long!



    Consult: 235 lbs
    My and doc's preop diet: 216 -19 lbs
    M1 postop 205 -30
    M2 193 -42
    M3 184 -51
    M4 174 -61
    M5 167 -68
    M6 162 -73
    M7 156 -79
    M8 151 -84
    M9 148 -87
    M10 146 -89
    M11 144 -91
    M12 143 -92
    M13 142 -93
    M14 140 -95
    M15 139 -96
    M16 137 -98
    M17 135 -100

    First Surgiversary post

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    Third Surgiversary post

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  20. #10
    Gastric Sleeve Member Sandra3's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Sandra
    Surgery date
    01/20/2016
    Surgeon
    Dr W
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    France
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    My dear friend,

    I'm very sorry about the bite. When the wound is closed you can try to massage daily some rosehip oil to help with the scar. It does work well for me. Many scars are almost invisible.

    Alcoholism is a disease I know unfortunatly really well. All my uncles on my mother's side are drunks. It killed all of them. My cousins also have some issues. Those who have a great spouse only drink during parties or events (and fight each others like animals during weddings, funerals..., most my cousins -all brothers- are weird) but others who are singles got into meds with alcohol, one is really in bad shape, he is ten years older than me I don't think he will reach 60 since he looks like he gave up on everything and nobody seems successful to help him. Very sad... he was so bright and funny, but 30 years of addiction got the best of his brain. He is like a ghost of himself.

    So if you only drink in the evening, it's probably in the early stages. And it's really hard to get it on time, I know with our jobs we have lots of functions and lots of colleagues drink a lot because of it. A few are on a slippery slop. But again, they are singles. They drink at lunch etc..

    Having a spouse who's not drinking too much is a big advantage, it will keep you centered.

    Everybody has issues of some sort. The best thing is to face it and you are doing the right thing.

    I was really surprised when the psychiatrist told me in 2014 about the transfer to alcohol and the suicide risk higher after the surgery. Especially because I know it's in my genes, before the sleeve I could drink whatever, I never got drunk. Would pick up people from the floor, drinking less than me. My husband gets sick if he drinks too much. So I was always really careful with alcohol.

    At some point when I started working, I got a 6 months contract managing an export department in a Champagne company. I did a great job, was able to double the profit in less than 6 months. Part of the job was also lots of tasting and at some point I was happy when pregnant I had to decline the tasting, I had a valid reason.
    Long story short, when I came back to renew my contract after my baby was born, they wanted to sign me a really good one they said on the phone, but I came back obese and was told to my face "I couldn't represent the company in my current state"...those idiots hired someone who crashed the department into bankruptcy (they had to fire half the export department) , their accountant called me months later because she was trying to get me back but I had moved away anyway...all that to say that I always thought I got lucky in some way... and again, lucky since the sleeve my stomach can't stand alcohol..

    What I find helpful to fight my chocolate "addiction" is first not have it inside the house, but if it's there (because I have to bake something) and I don't want to eat it, I smell essential oils. It's great to cut down cravings.
    I usually smell it directly on a tissue, some people prefer a diffuser.
    I like lavender a lot but roman chamomile or black pepper work well too for cravings. They also relieve anxiety (it's all linked).

    Take care, my best wishes for a better health.

    PS : Do you think it got worth with the accidents or the recent loss? I'm pretty sure you used alcohol as a stress reliever and that would make perfect sens.
    When my father died in a car accident 13 years ago, I was eating 100g of chocolate per day for like two weeks. At some point one evening I was out of chocolate and drunk a bottle of red wine by myself. That was the end of the chocolate overload because it woke me up from my paralyzed state. And I never touched a bottle by myself after that, and have like a glass twice a year...


    HW : 150 kgs
    09/02/2014 : 142 /1st apt
    01/20/2016 : 134 /surgery
    01/30/2016 : 130 /1st post-op
    02/27/2016 : 126 /2nd
    04/23/2016 : 118 /3rd
    07/16/2016 : 109 / 4th
    10/01/2016 : 103 /5th
    01/21/2017 : 98 /1 year post-op
    February 2017 : 100 lbs lost
    07/22/2017 : 96
    10/21/2017 : 93
    12/22/2017 : 91
    01/02/2018 : 96!! regain (medication)

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  22. #11
    Gastric Sleeve Member Katrina's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Katrina
    Surgery date
    11/04/2014
    Surgeon
    Dr. Borland
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Yesterday 09:05 PM
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    Good for you for acknowledging there may be a problem and taking the steps to get on top of it. That's admirable. I know you'll come through like a champ like you've done with everything else.

    I drink sometimes and typically to the point of being ridiculously drunk. I don't really enjoy drinking as in I'm not one to want to have a glass of wine in the evening or anything like that. I will drink when we go out, but mostly I look forward to the late night Whataburger, Krystal's or Waffle House that always follows. My addiction is still very much food.
    No pre-op diet
    Day of surgery 11/4/14: 5'4" 213lbs
    1 month: 187
    2 months: 171
    3 months: 155
    4 months: 148
    5 months: 142
    6 months: 136
    7 months: 131
    8 months: 125
    9 months: 120
    10 months: 114
    11 months: 111
    1 year: 109
    1.5 years: 105
    2 years: 108
    2.5 years: 102
    3 years: 113
    4 years: 115


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  24. #12
    Gastric Sleeve Member sraebaer's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    10/07/2013
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    Sep 2013
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    Quote Originally Posted by JessNP View Post
    Sharon,

    It takes an enormous amount of strength and courage to admit you have a problem - especially when the addiction does not interfere in your day-to-day functioning or relationships. You are an incredible person and an inspiration to so many of us. Thanks for sharing with everyone. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers. You've got this!
    It is really odd that it hasn't really changed anything, except drinking too much and acting stupid when I drink, which is embarrassing in front of others. Never been sick or hungover or anything. Maybe that has something to do with our stomachs, I don't know. But I've stopped no problem, so I pray it will continue to be no problem. I'm always fine if I don't start. I don't get "shakes" or anything like I have to drink. So the secret will be not starting!



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  26. #13
    Gastric Sleeve Member sraebaer's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    10/07/2013
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Last Activity
    Today 01:11 PM
    Posts
    4,129
    Said "Thanks" 910 Times
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    You guys are all so sweet! I think stress and depression has played a huge part, but just like overeating, those are just excuses. Life happens and we have to deal with it without food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, or whatever.

    My first step to anti-stress my life is I resigned as a substitute teacher today. Last day will be Tuesday. Today I got hit in the head with a shoe, and this was NOT a special needs kid, just a stupid 7th grader. But everyday in the classroom was stressful, so now I'll have more time in my happy place, the woods. I worked in a very poor district, and the kids basically act like animals. Sad but true.

    And did you know with a human bite you need your blood drawn every 2 months 4 separate times?



  27. #14
    Gastric Sleeve Member Katrina's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Katrina
    Surgery date
    11/04/2014
    Surgeon
    Dr. Borland
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 09:05 PM
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
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    658
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    So what you're saying is you're not only a WLS superstar, you're also a saint. I would have beat those kids to death. Good thing I'm not a teacher... and neither are you now. Happy retirement to you! Enjoy every minute of it.
    No pre-op diet
    Day of surgery 11/4/14: 5'4" 213lbs
    1 month: 187
    2 months: 171
    3 months: 155
    4 months: 148
    5 months: 142
    6 months: 136
    7 months: 131
    8 months: 125
    9 months: 120
    10 months: 114
    11 months: 111
    1 year: 109
    1.5 years: 105
    2 years: 108
    2.5 years: 102
    3 years: 113
    4 years: 115


  28. #15
    Gastric Sleeve Member Truss's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Russ
    Surgery date
    03/28/2019
    Surgeon
    Dr. M. Cox
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Last Activity
    08-11-2019 06:29 PM
    Location
    Western NC
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    Default Re: Confession Time!

    You keep this so REAL !!... I so appreciate you and all the support and positive vibes you send it regularly. This confession came at a really unique time for me. Sometimes people post stuff that relate to others and never know.

    I’m having more stress right now than I’ve had in a while. I’m in a class (one more week) to be a state instructor for Law Enforcement. I took a job that requires me to have the certification. I don’t drink not regularly.. I don’t really think about it unless I’m at a social (cookout or party) and even then not a lot. THIS WEEK I SO WANTED A BEER .. Just something A MIXED DRINK.. something to just unwind. It concerned me because that wasn’t really normal for me ?... Yesterday I thought the hell with it I survived HELL WEEK, I’m having me a drink. I talked to a couple folks who have had the surgery and they said I was way to close post-surgery ( not yet ). I read your post and it was like WOW !!... I better wait . YOU TO ME ARE LIKE THE POSTER CHILD TO WLS. You are such a teacher !!... I see it through your post . But to be able to ADMIT you have An issue u got to address.. THATS SO MUCH MORE !!... U are a LEADER that’s real.. it’s not all GOOD !!... but you post about everything you aren’t selective it shows. You have virtually jerked a knot in my ass a couple times a few months ago. Talked to me just like a teacher would . I appreciate you being YOU !!... this to shall pass !.. now stay focused and find a Damn mountain to climb. You at a rock wall, u don’t have to climb it.. just walk around it !!... and keep climbing that mountain. YOU ARE TO FOCUSED to be anything but an inspiration!!.... and I expect to keep reading your motivating post. You make it real, you still teaching !! I haven’t graduated yet and I learn and take a lot from your post.. I’m not gonna bite or throw shoes or be an unruly (need their ass kicked ) students.. but I’m not leaving either you got more to shareand that’s what teachers do they share their knowledge and I need yours !!!!!.... so keep spreading your lesson plans to the ones of us that are still here in class.

    Russ



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