I went to my 3 week follow up appointment at Swedish 12/19/13. I ended up being late, partially due to the awful new phone system they have. I don’t want to get into that though. I had the most difficult time finding parking than I ever had. I was walking with a cane because I’m so incredibly weak, and had to stop and sit whenever seating was available. So I was about 30 minutes late for the nutrition group appointment. The other people in the group also had surgery roughly within the past month. We learned about transitioning to soft foods and what is/isn’t allowed. Lots of questions were asked, not many were actually answered. I feel like the people running this meeting should have more experience with this stuff. The lady is perfectly nice, she would make a fine friend, but the not knowing the answers thing got pretty frustrating. We were given a bunch of paperwork with food lists and other things to keep an eye on. After the group appointment, we were sent to wait for our individual incision check. I spoke with a woman and her husband while in the waiting room – she was much smaller than I was (like, MUCH smaller, I wonder if she has some other medical issue requiring rapid weight loss – not that she had much at all to lose) and she said she gave up and had started eating a few days ago. Psh, can we do that? Why wasn’t I a rebel? I got weighed and their scale said I was about 10 pounds more than my home scale says. Say whaaaat? Anyway, I got put in a room, and the nutritionist came in while I waited for my wound check. She wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything since I was late for the group part. She’s much better 1 on 1. I told her about how I was not doing well with protein intake or shakes and how even the mention of certain foods were making me nauseous. She advised that I take a week off from the shakes and the vitamins and just focus on starting the soft foods. The logic there is that if something makes me sick, I would know it’s not the shake or supplement. She gave me a direct line to reach her so I don’t have to deal with the stupid answering service, a card that says to please sell me food at a reduced price because I had surgery, and an additional food list that others don’t get until their next appointment, in hopes that I would get more food ideas since I have all these food rules. A surgeon came in (he checked me once while I was in the hospital, but wasn’t in the operating room with me as far as I know) and said everything looked normal. Me with my open and infected wounds, barely able to breathe, and nearly in tears because I’m so exhausted. Whatever. He did tell me to ignore their scale and keep going by the one that I use the most. He kept trying to send me out and I’m like dude these incisions need covering, so he did so with dry gauze (really fun when that sticks – thanks doc), told me I was doing well, and basically sent me on my way. The drive home was pretty bad, I was really physically uncomfortable and was probably a bit too weak to drive. Even though I was given the OK to begin eating soft foods, the thought made me sick. I was so discouraged by the whole event, that I went home and slept. I was in the ER about 12 hours after I got home from that appointment. More about that later.
I’m in the middle of attempting to shop for vitamins right now and I’m ready to punch a small child.* I’ve tried doing this multiple times and get too frustrated and give up. I’ve got my weight loss surgery binder on my lap right now, so I’m accurately able to list what is required from Swedish Weight Loss Services. This is what is recommended for the RNY. I’m paraphrasing in parts.
- Multivitamin – Bariatric specific multivitamin in liquid/chewable form for the first three months. If you opt to take a bariatric surgery specific multivitamin, choose a general adult multivitamin that contains 100% of daily value for at least 2/3 of nutrients and take double the dose.
- Calcium Citrate – 1500 mg daily
- Vitamin B12 – Sublingual or liquid drops. 1000 mcg daily
- Iron – I’m glad I’m reading this clearly now… I’m not positive exactly how much I need!
- Vitamin D3 – Unsure of this as well. There is recommended amounts, but both are dependent on labs. I was only told my labs looked good
- Prilosec/Protonix/Prevacid/Nexium – I’ve taken Prevacid for years. I have plenty
- B50/B50 Complex – Suggested. Depends on how much is in the multivitamin. Also dependent on labs
- Probiotics – Highly suggested
Okay, so this list doesn’t seem THAT hard, right? WRONG. Finding vegan vitamins on a fixed income is seriously not recommended. It will make you wanna jump off something tall. I am SO FRUSTRATED. I decided tonight to just power through and order stuff. I’ve had a lot of trouble finding a vegan multivitamin that meets the requirements given AND that I can afford. I don’t freaking care anymore, so I got on the Baritatric Advantage page. I started searching for coupon links and stuff and came across Bariatric Advantage® RECOVER®. According to the site, you work with your surgeon to apply for assistance in getting vitamins. It appears they only help 500-1000 people per year, and considering it’s mid-October now, I’m not sure if I’ll have any luck. I’ll call Swedish first thing in the morning and see if it’s an option. At this point, I’d rather something I can afford and just do everything else as plant-based as possible. I can handle three months of vitamins with potentially non-vegan ingredients. I can play the “ignorance is bliss” card for 90 days, right? I HATE THIS.
I need to get the vitamin/supplement situation figured out ASAP. I called Swedish to check in on my status and it sounds like I may have been submitted for insurance already! WHAT?! When I go in for my final pre-op appointment (sounds like it’ll be 2-3 weeks before surgery) I need to have my vitamins and proteins with me for them to check. Craaaaaaap!
(Also, I forget if I said – I was given a new CPAP machine. I went to get the info downloaded off my first one and nothing showed! The settings were changed for the new one and I’m not sure if this one is working correctly either, but I go back to LinCare on Friday to check in on that. So sick of this machine, I’m wearing it right now.)
*Done Being Big does not condone punching small children. Don’t be a moron.