On April 22, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

Okay.  I’ve had it.

There are very few things that get on my nerves.  I know, it’s hard to believe, but I really am a pretty patient person.

Sometimes something hits me just right, though, and then all bets are off.

We’re here.  And considering the headache I’m fighting, perhaps it would be best if I just went to bed instead.  But I’m here.  So watch out.  Maybe we should call this a rant.  But then I would have to do something Latin-y.  And I am in the #BBGC.

I am SO sick and tired of the young post-ops (or even better, the pre-ops) that know EVERYTHING about the science of post-op life.  Or even?  The non-op “Professionals” that like to correct us long-timers.

Listen up folks — I’ve been around a L O N G ass time.  I’ve had my share of problems with this fucked up anatomy of mine.  I’ve dealt with deficiencies due to bad vitamin advice (Optisource blows, guys; Flintstones and Tums are not much better..) by my walk-on-water surgeon; I’ve had physical complications due to adhesions; I’ve had ulcers due to doctor incompetence (NO!  Really.. IV Toradol won’t hurt you.. NSAIDs aren’t systemic..)

And what REALLY pisses me off?  It’s not that people don’t take the advice of those who have paid the price of ineptitude over the years.  I understand that people really do want to have that trust for their doctors.  We want to believe that our doctors are Gods that went to school and know more than some anonymous idiot on the internet that didn’t go to school for a decade.  I UNDERSTAND the wanting to believe in our medical practitioners.  I do.  I want you to listen to your doctor, but I want you to ask QUESTIONS to figure out if your doctor really is making the right decisions for YOU and YOUR health.  Your doctor sees many, many patients every day and cannot give you the individual attention that you really need.  It’s a sad fact, but it is a FACT.  Ask questions, learn, and then make the best decision using their knowledge and your own brain.

So what REALLY pisses me off?  Are those newbies that FLAUNT the fact that they are blatantly disregarding the heartache that we vets have gone through.

Or the “Professionals” that don’t have our guts at all?  That don’t listen to the vets that know what they are talking about.  Hello?  I sorta know how my body absorbs stuff.  You don’t have my labs, I do.  Please don’t tell me what studies on normal people say.  Those don’t count for shit.  Until those same studies are done on a wide variety of post-ops are done, then I will not follow those studies as gospel.  Sure, they’re nice, but labs are critical and those results in the long-term are what I’m going to follow hands-down.  Listen and learn.

Do you realize how painful Rickets is?  I mean, do you realize how painful it is?  Let me explain this to you — your bones BEND with ever step you take because they are being leeched of calcium.  Every joint ACHES.  Your fingers.  Your wrists.  Your legs.  Your knees.  Your hips.  Your toes.  Your spine.  EVERYTHING.  And every step is excruciating.  And part of the treatment?  Weight training.  Which helps to bend those bones even more because you are adding weight to them.

And then very low iron?  Where you don’t even have the energy to get out of bed?  Much less taking care of your two kids?  With a ferritin of 7 while taking 600mg of elemental iron?  Iron sat of 13%?  Which, by the way sucks?  Having to space everything around all of that iron because, well, NOTHING plays well with iron?

And ulcers?  Where even water causes pain to the back?  Or you forget that it hurts and you decide to get some chicken from Bojangles, where they add Cajun seasoning and OMGTHATFUCKINGHURTS?  Or the iron pill that contains Niacin and OMGTHATREALLYFUCKINGHURTS and now you have a 9 month old poking you with a fork because you’re obviously playing a game while curled up on the floor in a ball from the pain?

So flaunting the fact that this experience is just not necessary?  That you don’t care, and that you’re just going to ignore it?  That you want to go your own way despite being told repeatedly that it’s really detrimental to your health?  Really makes some of us wonder why we bother.

I’ve always been a masochist..

But then an email will pop up that makes it worthwhile.  And it makes it all right in the world again.

Just remember, newbies (and I count anyone who’s been living with their redesigned guts for less than 2 years) — things are not always as they seem…  And come see me at year 3 with all your labs..

Folks, take some notes:

  • Carbonation will NOT explode your pouch.  I had 2 carbonated beverages today and I am living to type this out.
  • TUMS are NOT good calcium!  They are BAD!
  • Flintstones are not acceptable for adults!  Even if your surgeon said so!
  • Gummies are not even acceptable for your kids, much less you!
  • NSAIDs are systemic, they are not good for you even if you crush them and snort them
  • We vets? We’ve been there, done that.  Your surgeon?  HASN’T.  Neither has your NUT.
  • Professionals that sell product?  Most don’t have your guts, either.
  • RDA’s don’t apply to us, and neither does conventional wisdom.
  • We don’t preach because we like to hear our own voice.  We do it to help you avoid pain.
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19 Responses to “Know-it-alls.”

  1. Such great advice and so very true! My husband is 9 years out and I have learned from trial and error from HIM and OH. Being 3.5 years out myself I am just coming up with things myself that I never had before and I am pretty darn compliant with my vitamin regimen, etc. Crapola happens, unfortunately, even when you try hard. It is life.. however, if we can learn by way of example from those who have been there and done that.. well, duh.. we just should. Thanks for your wisdom.

  2. Lori Senften says:


    You’re a woman after my own heart. BEAUTIFULLY written! I couldn’t have said it better myself!


  3. Heard that! Going to the DIABETES CLINIC because my OB won’t let me take anything as a follow-up but the 3-hour 100 gram glucose test. I gave her a list of alternative tests and she said, “N-O.”

    Then, “well I know you don’t have diabetes (due to my numbers) but since you won’t take the test I am going to treat you like a diabetic.”

    If it weren’t for the fact that I am a repeat c-section and she is the best at that (no pain and hardly any scarring), she’d be dropped like a stone right now.

  4. Leigh Ann says:

    You rock!

    I do believe some of the ‘newbies’ you refer to are those that think this is the easy way out and/or have no intention of making this surgery a permanent solution (meaning once they loose the weight they can go back to ‘normal’).

    I am a 3 month post op and have your blog and 2 others in my RSS feeder and I read each post. I have come to rely on the advice of some of the more knowledgeable post-ops, like yourself, that seem to have views that align with my surgeon and my nutritionist. I appreciate all that you guys put out there in order to educate the newbies like myself.

    I am trying very hard to re-learn how and what to eat, get all that water in each day, get in enough protein, and chew all these supplements each day. It’s hard…. and sometimes it depresses me to think that I will have to think about this everyday for the next 40 years.

    My most recent labs were wonderful… of course it is early! But my NUT and primary Dr. think that this is because I am using a bariatric chewable vitamin (and iron and calcium). I hate these chewables, but she insists that absorption of a ‘swallow-able’ pill will not be as effective and I would run the risk of getting it stuck.

    Thanks for being there for the rest of us!

    Leigh Ann

  5. Andrea says:

    @Myra — There’s so many new protocols that prove your OB wrong that it’s not even funny. If you need help with those, let me know.

  6. Melissa Stevens says:

    I SO love you like an $8 for proving that carbonation is all right and won’t make things explode

    My surgeon swears by Flintsones but I have listened to the wiser and now take Centrum Siler (ok the Target equivilent)

    I have a friend, however, who is following her surgeon’s guidlines that says no protein shakes and 1 ounce of food 3 times a day and don’t worry counting protein. (head bang)

  7. Carlea says:

    Andrea, I have to say as a Newbie I’ve appreciated your advice so much. I read, read, read and am beginning to spot the under-informed posts right away. However, I just wait to see a vet come into the post to correct them and I take the opportunity to learn something new! All the newbies are lucky that you and others are here to help.

    I am shocked that there are so many who have had the “best surgeon in the U.S.” and are still getting incomplete information.

  8. kalla lily says:

    Here’s another newbie (6mo postop) who would have been lost without the Veterans on the ‘net. My doc proved himself to be full of crap early on, so now I follow blogs and soak up whatever wisdom I can. The doc gave me a surgery free of complications, the rest is up to me. Thanks for all the fish!! :D

  9. JennType1 says:

    Preach it, hon. You do a great service for all WLS patients. Here’s hoping the “professionals” eventually learn the best lesson of all: listen to your patients, dammit! They can teach you stuff.

  10. Nessa says:

    I heart you so much. Your pain and suffering will save me…. You are a gem and anyone who gets on you is a moron.

  11. Thanks Andrea but it is like talking to someone of another faith or political affiliation. She just shakes her head “no.” I offered 1/2 hour post prandial, finger pricks, etc. No, no, no.

    It is very unsettling. Scott wants to switch OBs over it.

    I am sticking with her because (swear to god) she did the best c-section ever. Both perinatologists I saw told me so when they saw the incision. I knew it myself just due to the lack of pain and easy healing.

    Waiting for my approval to go to “Sweet Success.”

  12. Christie says:

    I’m 8-months out and I’m glad you’re saving the world one newbie at a time because my nut told me to take Optisource and ferrous sulfate. Apparently I’d like non-absorbable calcium and to never poo again.

    Keep fighting :)

  13. Andrea says:

    And kidney stones. Don’t forget kidney stones!

  14. Thanks hon. I’ll take your advice and sometimes even listen. Hey, I’m finally getting Proferrin.

    And now, I’m gonna go out. And have a beer.

  15. Andrea says:

    Proferrin FTW!

  16. too true. i’d rather have an experienced carpenter help me build my house than a kid in woodshop. just sayin’ cuz it’s true! I’m 17 months out and I thank my lucky stars for the WLS vets!

  17. Toni Lee says:


    I sparkly pink heart you so very much. I lurk on OH and love reading your posts. As well as a couple of other oldies.

    When I do post and ask for advice I always look for you and 2 others to see how you respond. That is who I generally listen to.

    Lots of complications since my surgery but finally on the right road (I believe).

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do. <3

    Toni aka tee_lee on OH

  18. Carrie says:

    Well maybe I just LIKE to hear you talk…..lmao Well said i am now 3 years out and i have a family member who is barely a year and KNOWS everything!! She is already breaking about 90% of the rules so only time will tell. I wish her well but it is not looking good at all. Sometimes people do not take advice even if all their hair is falling out (like hers is)!!

  19. Mimi says:

    I had stopped reading my sleeve board about a year ago due to some of these reasons. I cooled off from it for some months and now skip over the majority of the messages. I believe in paying it forward and I like to respond to posts but I can’t give some of these people the time of day if they don’t care enough to do the research for themselves. They think WLS is magic. Well, neither David Blaine or Chris Angel are in the OR, so they will have to find out the hard way that there is lots of work involved in this lifestyle.

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