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  1. #1
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 03:12 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,378
    Said "Thanks" 3,227 Times
    Was Thanked 1,050 Times in 687 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 224 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    "I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy."~~ RabindranathTagore

    I'm 2+ years out on my VGS, and without each of you here, I would not have been successful and encouraged constantly with honesty, good information, tips and yes, sleeve envy!

    Everyone comes to the VGS on their individual journey; mine was encroachingly bad health. High BP, high cholesterol, diabetes requiring medicine, advanced cardiovascular disease, 3 strokes, several rounds of cancer, and a failed triple bypass. Did I know the sleeve would make life liveable, no. But it seemed like the best shot I had to enjoy my family and the rest of my life.

    We were self-pay, as have some of you been. That means you have to really decide you are going to commit to everything it takes because calculating the per pound price of a sleeve is mind-boggling. I've lost over 100 lbs -- so at $13,500 you can do the math, lol.

    Some folks on here have gone on to amazing adventures, trips, activities, and world travel. I admire (and envy a tiny bit) their boldness post-sleeve. I love their photos, their joy, their struggles. It makes the choice to live a healthy life so much easier in a "village" of travelers, physically and metaphorically.

    I am healthier than I have been since my mid-40's (hit 68 in May, God willing). No meds for much of anything.

    Yes, I eat differently. Yes, I move more. And yes, I am making forever memories.

    If you are wondering why to do the sleeve, write down where you would like to be in 2 years -- and decide if this is the way you'll get there.

    Thanks to one and all here, and most joyful of holidays however you are celebrating.

    I am cooking cooking cooking. But not eating nor missing it all!

    The journey is about living where you are, in your healthy body and sharing your life with those around you.
    [I]HW: 240 lbs SW: 199 lbs GW: 140 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 2 YR = 140.00

    Happy with my weight; happy with my size; over-the-moon with my health!

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  3. Gastric Sleeve Surgery With Weight Loss Agents
  4. #2
    Gastric Sleeve Member kenson's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    01/13/2014
    Surgeon
    Dr. Karl Strom
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Last Activity
    Today 10:02 AM
    Posts
    1,137
    Said "Thanks" 41 Times
    Was Thanked 589 Times in 409 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 51 Times
    Blog Entries
    27

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    Oh Annie!
    You are such a rock star and one of the people among many here that I so admire! You have rocked your sleeve since the beginning. I remember when you meticulously had all your stats written down in your signature line. It has been a real journey. You have expressed so much of what I am feeling. What a renewed lease on life the sleeve has given me. Keep rockin! Love the new picture! Happy Holidays to you and your family!



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  6. #3
    Gastric Sleeve Member goestogym's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    02/08/2013
    Surgeon
    Dr. Sasse
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Last Activity
    Today 11:49 AM
    Location
    Reno, Nv
    Posts
    393
    Said "Thanks" 92 Times
    Was Thanked 116 Times in 88 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 246 Times
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    "write down where you would like to be in 2 years--and decide if this is the way you'll get there" AnnieG



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  8. #4
    Gastric Sleeve Member
    I have not had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Sally
    Surgery date
    01/21/2020
    Surgeon
    Mr Hamouda
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 04:04 PM
    Location
    Herne Bay, Kent, England
    Posts
    16
    Said "Thanks" 13 Times
    Was Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 0 Times

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    I’m only just starting my journey (Surgery date 21st Jan2020) and I already know that this group and the many people on here will play a part in my journey. Right now I’m not sure how much of a part but I know I’ll be looking for help, advice (and encouragement at times) and I hope some day to be able to do the same for others.



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  10. #5
    Gastric Sleeve Member KiwiGal's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Lisa
    Surgery date
    09/04/2017
    Surgeon
    Stephanie Ulmer
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Last Activity
    01-16-2020 05:32 PM
    Location
    Auckland New Zealand
    Posts
    1,173
    Said "Thanks" 691 Times
    Was Thanked 789 Times in 608 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 622 Times
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    I love this post Annie.

    You are a great member of the forum and one of the many on here that I hold dear.
    We are all on the same journey but for many different reasons - but I think we all hope for the same result - a healthier, happier, longer life.

    I too was self pay and it was a huge amount of money for me to find. The results however have been priceless and I wouldn't change any part of my journey. I am having the time of my life.

    I love coming on here for the support that is always available and, if I can, to offer advice.
    I thank the veterans of the forum for sharing their triumphs and their struggles. Life isn't always a bunch of roses post surgery - even several years down the road. It is nice to know that there is always someone here who understands.



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  12. Gastric Sleeve Surgery With Weight Loss Agents
  13. #6
    Gastric Sleeve Member sraebaer's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    10/07/2013
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Last Activity
    Today 09:33 AM
    Posts
    4,352
    Said "Thanks" 998 Times
    Was Thanked 3,463 Times in 2,095 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 147 Times
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    What a beautiful post Annie. Love it! I hope we get to meet one day in person. ROAD TRIP!!

    I wonder if us self-pay people have more success than others? My husband would kill me if I gained back my weight. Just kidding. But he would be super sad, as would I. But there is no way it will happen.

    We're off on another adventure for my birthday Sunday, to the mountains to ski. Actually I HOPE to go on this adventure, I have an appointment with a shoulder surgeon Thursday. Hopefully it's not bad enough for surgery. If it is, I'm hoping a cortisone shot to tough it out through ski season. That's a lot of hoping going on. Life gets in the way sometimes, doesn't it? Getting old is not fun.



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  15. #7
    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
    01-16-2020 09:31 AM
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    689
    Said "Thanks" 39 Times
    Was Thanked 362 Times in 257 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 0 Times
    Blog Entries
    34

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by sraebaer View Post
    I wonder if us self-pay people have more success than others? My husband would kill me if I gained back my weight. Just kidding. But he would be super sad, as would I. But there is no way it will happen
    I was just having the same thought about us self pay people. Seems like there's quite a few of us still riding the success train. Seems odd because it was so much easier with me being self pay. I feel like had I been forced to jump through hoops and go on that ridiculous pre op diet (idk how you guys do it.), I'd make damn sure I never put another piece of junk in my mouth again. As it was, I handed over 11 grand and he cut my stomach out. Bam! Easy peasy.
    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


  16. #8
    Gastric Sleeve Member kenson's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    01/13/2014
    Surgeon
    Dr. Karl Strom
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Last Activity
    Today 10:02 AM
    Posts
    1,137
    Said "Thanks" 41 Times
    Was Thanked 589 Times in 409 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 51 Times
    Blog Entries
    27

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by sraebaer View Post
    What a beautiful post Annie. Love it! I hope we get to meet one day in person. ROAD TRIP!!

    I wonder if us self-pay people have more success than others? My husband would kill me if I gained back my weight. Just kidding. But he would be super sad, as would I. But there is no way it will happen.

    We're off on another adventure for my birthday Sunday, to the mountains to ski. Actually I HOPE to go on this adventure, I have an appointment with a shoulder surgeon Thursday. Hopefully it's not bad enough for surgery. If it is, I'm hoping a cortisone shot to tough it out through ski season. That's a lot of hoping going on. Life gets in the way sometimes, doesn't it? Getting old is not fun.
    I would love if we all could meet sometime. We've all "known" each other for over 6 years!!! Hope you get to enjoy your skiing holiday and that a cortisone shot will provide you some relief. I used to have to get those for my knees!



  17. #9
    Gastric Sleeve Member sraebaer's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    10/07/2013
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Last Activity
    Today 09:33 AM
    Posts
    4,352
    Said "Thanks" 998 Times
    Was Thanked 3,463 Times in 2,095 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 147 Times
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by Katrina View Post
    I was just having the same thought about us self pay people. Seems like there's quite a few of us still riding the success train. Seems odd because it was so much easier with me being self pay. I feel like had I been forced to jump through hoops and go on that ridiculous pre op diet (idk how you guys do it.), I'd make damn sure I never put another piece of junk in my mouth again. As it was, I handed over 11 grand and he cut my stomach out. Bam! Easy peasy.
    Yep, no hoops to jump through! I just went to a seminar, signed up, and had the surgery. Hardly had time to think about it. Others have to do crazy stuff for 6 months, like lose a certain amount of weight. If we could lose weight on our own we wouldn't need the surgery. And then if they lose too much, no surgery.



  18. #10
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 03:12 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,378
    Said "Thanks" 3,227 Times
    Was Thanked 1,050 Times in 687 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 224 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by sraebaer View Post
    What a beautiful post Annie. Love it! I hope we get to meet one day in person. ROAD TRIP!!

    I wonder if us self-pay people have more success than others? My husband would kill me if I gained back my weight. Just kidding. But he would be super sad, as would I. But there is no way it will happen.

    We're off on another adventure for my birthday Sunday, to the mountains to ski. Actually I HOPE to go on this adventure, I have an appointment with a shoulder surgeon Thursday. Hopefully it's not bad enough for surgery. If it is, I'm hoping a cortisone shot to tough it out through ski season. That's a lot of hoping going on. Life gets in the way sometimes, doesn't it? Getting old is not fun.
    Getting old beats the alternative, lol. I seem to have lots of "creaky" things, and odd (predictible things) like a chalaziam on my eye. Just annoying and painful, not fatal. Like a lot of the stuff that happens on are way through life.

    Excited for your ski trip! I know its part of your heartbeat adventures; you and Ann2 have certainly celebrating your birthdays in cool ways. I shall have to think about mine in May -- last year I had a prime (number) birthday party. Yes, geeky me and my family.

    Prayers for your shoulder to respond to shot/therapy and NO surgeries!

    Thanks for being such a great part of my journey. ROAD TRIP! Used to live in Columbia MO back in the 80's. I like that area. Except St. Louis. Mark Twain National Forest is awesome.
    [I]HW: 240 lbs SW: 199 lbs GW: 140 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 2 YR = 140.00

    Happy with my weight; happy with my size; over-the-moon with my health!

  19. #11
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 03:12 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,378
    Said "Thanks" 3,227 Times
    Was Thanked 1,050 Times in 687 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 224 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by Katrina View Post
    I was just having the same thought about us self pay people. Seems like there's quite a few of us still riding the success train. Seems odd because it was so much easier with me being self pay. I feel like had I been forced to jump through hoops and go on that ridiculous pre op diet (idk how you guys do it.), I'd make damn sure I never put another piece of junk in my mouth again. As it was, I handed over 11 grand and he cut my stomach out. Bam! Easy peasy.
    Easy peasy? Not! You've used your sleeve beautifully, accommodating your needs and those of your family. And I do agree - I had only literally 2 weeks between consult and surgery as self-pay. No time to repent!
    [I]HW: 240 lbs SW: 199 lbs GW: 140 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 2 YR = 140.00

    Happy with my weight; happy with my size; over-the-moon with my health!

  20. #12
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 03:12 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,378
    Said "Thanks" 3,227 Times
    Was Thanked 1,050 Times in 687 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 224 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    Kenyon, yes, it would be grand to meet in "real" life! One of my long time support groups, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) I've been in more than 18 years as a survivor. Without the group, I don't think I would be. I've made lifetime friends, and been fortunate to meet a goodly number of them face-to-face. But we keep up with one another regardless.

    Some bonds are deeper than living close to someone. This group is certainly that for many of us. And I do hold each of you dear in my heart, and in my daily prayers!

    Y'all are incredibly awesome!
    [I]HW: 240 lbs SW: 199 lbs GW: 140 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 2 YR = 140.00

    Happy with my weight; happy with my size; over-the-moon with my health!

  21. #13
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 03:12 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,378
    Said "Thanks" 3,227 Times
    Was Thanked 1,050 Times in 687 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 224 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by sraebaer View Post
    Yep, no hoops to jump through! I just went to a seminar, signed up, and had the surgery. Hardly had time to think about it. Others have to do crazy stuff for 6 months, like losing a certain amount of weight. If we could lose weight on our own we wouldn't need the surgery. And then if they lose too much, no surgery.
    I had consult, figured out payment, literally 2 weeks on pre-op liver sparing diet, to surgery. Not much time to reconsider. So I do think, despite the amount of money, it certainly gave me motivation beyond health & vanity. Our family invested so much -- really "put our money where MY mouth was".

    My weight gain was in most part reaction to medication and that Metabolic X Syndrome, along with genetic predisposition to cancers of 7 kinds. But the frustration & self-condemnation of being unable to lose, despite doing everything I knew to do, was overwhelming. When I found out our insurance wouldn't pay despite multiple co-morbidities, I broke down and wept. Felt like it was my last chance.

    THAT said, if you are trying to get approved, don't despair! You can find a way to do this.
    [I]HW: 240 lbs SW: 199 lbs GW: 140 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 2 YR = 140.00

    Happy with my weight; happy with my size; over-the-moon with my health!

  22. #14
    Gastric Sleeve Member sraebaer's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    10/07/2013
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Last Activity
    Today 09:33 AM
    Posts
    4,352
    Said "Thanks" 998 Times
    Was Thanked 3,463 Times in 2,095 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 147 Times
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnieG View Post
    Getting old beats the alternative, lol. I seem to have lots of "creaky" things, and odd (predictible things) like a chalaziam on my eye. Just annoying and painful, not fatal. Like a lot of the stuff that happens on are way through life.

    Excited for your ski trip! I know its part of your heartbeat adventures; you and Ann2 have certainly celebrating your birthdays in cool ways. I shall have to think about mine in May -- last year I had a prime (number) birthday party. Yes, geeky me and my family.

    Prayers for your shoulder to respond to shot/therapy and NO surgeries!

    Thanks for being such a great part of my journey. ROAD TRIP! Used to live in Columbia MO back in the 80's. I like that area. Except St. Louis. Mark Twain National Forest is awesome.
    Great news, no shoulder surgery at the moment. Got some medication and a shot. Says I will probably need a full shoulder replacement, but not for a while. I'll take that! To get the meds he called the bariatric surgeon to see what he would recommend for arthritis. Love it when these doctors work together.



  23. #15
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Annie
    Surgery date
    10/05/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Ryan Heider
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Last Activity
    Yesterday 03:12 PM
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,378
    Said "Thanks" 3,227 Times
    Was Thanked 1,050 Times in 687 Posts
    Said "Welcome to Gastric Sleeve" 224 Times
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: The Why of My Sleeve - Adventure? Or...

    Quote Originally Posted by sraebaer View Post
    Great news, no shoulder surgery at the moment. Got some medication and a shot. Says I will probably need a full shoulder replacement, but not for a while. I'll take that! To get the meds he called the bariatric surgeon to see what he would recommend for arthritis. Love it when these doctors work together.
    It is great when they consult and work for your best health choices! I'm so tickled you can put it off -- Jim has a few ortho type issues (football, skiing, sailing, hockey...) which have become a bit collective. SO far avoided surgeries, again because of good communication between docs. That said no skiing anymore.)

    I miss some of my previous outdoor activities, but the 24/7 vertigo makes me unsafe at any speed, lol! HAVE a marvelous ski trip!
    [I]HW: 240 lbs SW: 199 lbs GW: 140 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 2 YR = 140.00

    Happy with my weight; happy with my size; over-the-moon with my health!

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