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Vitamins for Long Term Bariatric Health

I am big believer in vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements. I’ve used them since my 20s and I believe that they are the reason for my overall good health. I study vitamins and supplements, so I tend to get very technical when I am putting together my personal vitamin and supplement regimen.

I’ve posted about the various supplements I take, but I wanted to update that to what I am taking right now, plus some interesting information I’ve found about Vitamin K. First, the Vit K info!

Vitamin K, which is promoted as a helper for calcium absorption and often found in calcium supplements, has several forms. Turns out, the form most often found in calcium supplements, K1, is not the one that helps with calcium. Who knew? I came across this article about Vitamin K that I found very enlightening. What I learned is that K2 (menaquinone) is the vitamin supplement you need to help calcium, NOT K1 (phylloquinone). Here are the K vitamins and what they are for:

•Vitamin K1, or phylloquinone, is found naturally in plants, especially green vegetables; K1 goes directly to your liver and helps you maintain healthy blood clotting

•Vitamin K2, also called menaquinone, is made by the bacteria that line your gastrointestinal tract; K2 goes straight to your blood vessel walls, bones, and tissues other than your liver

•Vitamin K3, or menadione, is a synthetic form I do not recommend; it’s important to note that toxicity has occurred in infants injected with this synthetic vitamin K3
(Excerpt from “What You Need to Know About Vitamin K2, D and Calcium” by Dr Mercola, from previous cited article.)

There is more technical info in that article, but suffice it to say that you need K2 to assist calcium absorption when taking calcium supplements. ALL BARIATRIC PATIENTS should take calcium supplements, especially if you are on omeprazole (or any -zole drug), since these drugs block calcium absorption. You also need Vitamin D3 to assist with calcium absorption, but that is in pretty much every supplement out there. I will add that you should also balance the calcium with magnesium citrate (2:1 ratio). You should also be on high doses of Vit B12 since your stomach was the source of the absorption and is now a fraction of its normal size.

What all this boils down to is you need to be aware of this balancing act when you start taking calcium and vitamin D supplements. Lucky for YOU, I’ve done the math and found the right blend of products to achieve this balance of Calcium, Mangnesium, Vit D3 and Vit K2 for longterm bariatric use. I will cite specific products from Vitacost, since they have everything and also have GREAT prices. Use the link provided below and you’ll get a $10 coupon. :)

My current supplement regimen (My vendor is Vitacost. Use THIS LINK for a $10 coupon!):

1 200mcg Selenium (hot flashes)
1 Kyolic Kyo-Dophilus (reflux and gut health)
1 QuickDots Vit B12 chewable
4 Kirkland (Costco*) Adult Multi Gummies (double dose since they are not very high quality, but I LOVE THEM!)
2 Kirkland (Costco**) Sugar Free Calcium Chews (being replaced, see below)
1 Quickdots D3 and K2 chewable (to get the K2)
1 VegLife Vegan Iron chewable (When I can stand it – they taste nasty. I have never taken iron (not prone to anemia) and it makes me sick typically, but this vegan one doesn’t make me sick it just tastes gross. I try to take it 2x week. If you are prone to anemia, you’ll need to take this 1x/day or more. Your bloodwork will inform you how to dose.)

*If you do not shop at Costco, then you can get this substitute at Vitacost:
Vitafusion Adult Multi Gummy (identical to costco, take FOUR)
**This is being replaced with a balanced calcium/magnesium chewable: Pioneer Calcium Magnesium Chewable It’s pricey, but it has higher quality calcium and the proper magnesium.

That’s it. I’m still doing lots of chewables and gummies because I like them and because taking a handful of capsules can sometimes give me a little reflux. The gummy multi is not nearly as high quality as taking a multi capsule, but as I said, I like them and there is no chance of reflux. I will likely go back to my capsules eventually.

Another side note:
Since surgery, my inflammation issues are GONE. I no longer take naproxen or turmeric, but I think I’ll add turmeric back in eventually. I’m very happy that the inflammation has disappeared – it is a nice bonus from the VSG.

As I’ve mentioned, I had to go back on omeprazole (Prilosec 20mg) to keep the reflux in check. This is why I am trying to find the absolute BEST calcium plan I can, because omeprazole blocks calcium absorption and has lots of BAD long term effects. I’d rather not have my bones dissolve, so I’m trying to work out the best strategy. I’ll wait to get the results of my 6 month blood tests in November to decide if this plan is sufficient.

As always, I hope this information is helpful to other bariatric patients out there who are trying to navigate the maze of supplements like I am. <3

Getting in Gear for DragonCon

Slowly getting used to being without my cow cat. It’s been hard. Shasti is cute, but just no substitute. Shasti has decided to be a house cat. I had to actually shove her out the door this morning! She stayed out for 10 minutes and came back in to play and use the litter box. What is it with girl cats and coming IN to pee? LOL

Operation Osteoporosis is still chugging along, although I think I’m starting to feel the omeprazole becoming less effective. I had reflux this morning, for the first time in about a month. Boo! If it stops working, I guess I’ll have to try another drug in that category. Ugh, I don’t know. Suck.

DragonCon is around the corner. No idea what I’m going to wear. I may have to buy another pair of jeans since the ones I got a month ago are already getting loose. Yay! The scale is still wacky; one day I’m 209, the next day I’m 214, so I’m going with the trend and saying I’m at 209, which is about 3# down from when I posted the video Aug 2. No idea about the weight, but my clothes are definitely fitting differently. I eat what I please, but it’s still restricted to about 4-5oz. Protein is still a challenge. Still drinking a shake or eating a protein bar every day.

On the drinking front, I FINALLY got drunk last Friday!! I’ve discovered these wine spritzer things by Barefoot wines that are yummy, so I take that and add a bit more wine to it. Works like a charm! I’m SO happy to have broken through the drinking barrier! I still do NOT get drunk on less volume, which is kind of a bummer, because it takes me a LONG time to get there. Also, it helps if I don’t eat. Which is, of course, NOT a problem! :P

The provisions for DragonCon will be Vitamin water, wine and protein bars. I actually recommend Premier Protein bars for anyone doing cons. They are 30gm protein, very little sugar and palatable. The shakes are good, too, but they have to be cold. You do NOT want to drink those warm. EW.

The arcade game business is starting to get a little action. We had a meeting with a potential client on Monday. We hope they decide to go with us. They had previously spoken to another company who talked a good game but ultimately did not have ANY classic arcade games, oops. Seems to me that the TYPE of game should have been the FIRST thing to ask about, not the last, but whatever. The bad news is that this company is one of those that splits the game profits and doesn’t charge anything to install the games, so the client had a preconceived notion that the games would cost nothing. I hope we got past that barrier by reminding them that if they rent from us, they KEEP all the proceeds from coins and we take care of the games for free. I’m not sure we did. We’ll see.

Which brings me to a small rant about these other game companies. They use the old model of coin operated games that splits the coin profits in lieu of actual rent. Well, what if the game earns $100? Then you have rented out that game for $50? Screw that. It’s not worth it to us. We would rather just rent the games and let the renter decide if he wants to deal with coins or just do free play. We think free play is the way to go, since people will play more and therefore eat and drink more at your bar. It certainly works for My Parents Basement. They LOVE having the games on free play! But if they want to deal with coins, great, deal with the licensing and all that and KEEP your profits. The games might pay for themselves! But for our part, we just want to make a certain amount for each game, so we can figure out how long it will take for the game to pay for itself. That way we can set goals for the company and manage our money better. I just wish the Old Skool guys would STFU about splitting coins and get out of the business – they mess up our groove. We have a modern model of running an arcade shop that we think will work just great for all involved. The Old Skool ways are outdated now that full on arcades are nonexistent. Sure, you could make a living off splitting coins in the old days, but now people have 4 or 5 games, not 40. This is why we created our model. I just hope the new clients will go for it. ::fingers crossed::

OH speaking of DragonCon, we are a part of the ARCADE that will be in the gaming area of DragonCon this year!! The gaming area is in the Atlanta Mart and the arcade will be in the middle of that, so I’m told. We’ll have Simpsons and Sharpshooter there for sure, and perhaps the Gauntlet II, but it died (of course) so probably not that one. ALL the games will be on free play! There’ll be 15 or so arcade games and several pinball games. COME SEE US!! We’ll likely be at the arcade area during the day for much of the con. Keep an eye on our FB (playeronearcadeservices) or Twitter (@playeronearcade) feeds for all the deets.

The hours for the arcade at DragonCon are as follows:
>>> Friday: 1pm to 7pm
>>> Saturday: 10am to 7pm
>>> Sunday: 10am to 7pm
>>> Monday: 10am to 5pm

We hope to see everyone at Con! (Yeah, right, that never happens, but we can dream!)

Once again, life goes on…

I got Missy’s ashes back yesterday. I put her in the pretty purple urn I found on ebay. I put her collar on top, like I do for all of my cats. Below is a shot of the memorial shelf with paw impressions on the left, then DJ in green, Missy in purple and Dickens in black – with their collars on top. There’s also one of Bernadette’s collars (the purple one), since she disappeared. I’ve got Hobbes’ paw print in with the others on the left. (Hobbes was Andy’s cat who went to CA with him, but Andy gave me the paw print to keep.) Hobbes’ pic is on the left, the other grey stripey on the right is Dickens.

Memorial Shelf

Memorial Shelf

So, Missy has been laid to rest. I only cried a little at bed time. I think I’ve cried it all out for now. But she is still the first thing I miss in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. Sigh.

In bariatric news, Operation Osteoporosis is still going well. The PPI has tamed the reflux. We’ll see how long that lasts. A friend with chronic reflux said that omeprazole stopped working after 3 months, so we shall see. I take one 20mg omeprazole (Prilosec) in the morning and one 10mg cimetidine (Tagamet) before bed. Getting off of ranitidine (Zantac) seems to have alleviated most of the ear buzzing; still got a little, but it’s mostly better. Still having intestinal issues, but I think they are easing off, too.

Life goes on. We drank wine and plotted our next moves with Player One last night. You just gotta keep moving forward. It’s not easy. But you’ve got no choice, really. Sigh.

Missy Kat: Dec 2003 – Aug 10, 2016

Today, we say goodbye to our old girl, Missy Kat. She has been on a steep decline in the last month and today she can’t even get up, so our vet is coming here is meeting us at the clinic to put her out of her misery this afternoon. She was unconscious all day, and the vet wanted $250 for a home visit, so we opted to take her in, which was still $125. I consider that VERY pricey and a little rude, actually. I had a big cry last night and I’m sure I’ll cry more today. It is going to be a long day. We said goodbye at around 3:30pm then took her to Deceased Pet Care after. The cremation service is $185 plus $45 for a terra cotta paw print. I cried all day.

Missy at Maplehurst 09

Missy showed up at my door when we lived on Derrydown, back in 2003. She showed up in the early fall and would come in and out with the herd o’ cow cats that were in the neighborhood at the time. I would leave the back door open and the neighborhood cats would come and go. One day, this little cow cat with a heart shape on her nose came in. She was very friendly and made herself at home. She was already spayed and in good health, so we have always assumed that she was an old lady’s cat and was abandoned when the old lady died. Of course, they always say that a cat is “around two” when you find them, but my vet and I think that Missy was more like 5 when I got her. If you do the math, that makes her around 18 years old, which tracks with her overall health. She’s been an old lady for several years now, since before we left Maplehurst in 2014. She has not hunted or been interested in going out since we’ve been here and she has been mostly deaf for over a year. So, she is VERY old for sure.

Missy stayed around the apartment and when it got colder, I’d let her in. One day she joined me for a nap, put her head on my elbow, and that was it. When we bought the house on Maplehurst in Dec 2003 and moved in Jan 2004, we took her with us along with Dickens (who died in Feb 04), DJ (May 2014) and Bernadette (MIA 2009). They were all so freaked out by the move that they actually SHARED the bed for a few weeks! It was a tight squeeze at night.

Dickens, DJ, Bernie and Missy 04

All my cats from this era are now gone. Time marches on. Sigh. I really didn’t want to have any pets after Missy, but Shasti turned up and, well, I still have a cat. She sort of came with this house. The neighbor told me that she’d been around for about six months when we moved in (Jun 14) and she is so pretty, I started feeding her. She is what I call semi-feral, but she has taken to being a mostly indoor cat very well. She chooses to stay in most of the time and I’m confident that she was an indoor cat: she’s fixed, likes knitted products and loves toys. I think she’s about 3 years old at this point. Shasti is very sweet, but still skittish and hard to handle – she is a big cat. This one will never take to being moved – hell, I can’t even get her into a carrier. But life goes on and cat bound I shall be.

Missy always slept on my elbow or shoulder. I called her a Pirate cat since she would lay on my shoulder like a pirate’s parrot. She has always been “my” cat. She likes lap and has always cuddled with me during naps. Missy has always had lots of personality and has always bossed around the other cats. She is my first cow cat. Her fur is soft like a bunny’s. She has pretty eyes and that heart shaped nose that I just adore. (Sorry about the verb tenses being mixed. I’m not used to being without her yet.)

Missy Kat Closeup

Missy’s shenanigans with chipmunks in her prime even made it to Think Weasel! I like this one especially:
2010-10-12_example_chipmunk

And YES she did bring a chipmunk in and put it in the bathtub. Good times! She brought them in quite a few times, in an effort to sharpen my non-existent hunting skills, no doubt.

She also had an obsession with water. She’d climb into the birdbath, lick puddles and especially loved getting into the bathtub after we showered. Silly thing!

I am heartbroken that my Missy is gone. She was a great cat and I’ll miss her for a long time. Why can’t someone make a cat that lives as long as we do? We know that their time with us is limited and we know the heartbreak that awaits, yet we have pets because of the joy they bring to us. I always question whether it’s worth it when they die, but overall, I have to say YES it is worth it. Pets are pure love and remind us that life is short, so live every day the best you can. RIP Missy Kat.

All my jobs!

This is a FB thing, but I think it’s interesting, so here is my checkered list of jobs in my 50 years (I’m sure I missed some)!

Knoxville
Shoney’s server
Quincy’s line girl
Long John Silvers cod girl (f/t morning prep, got my first apt. Ca. 1985?)
Domino’s phones, cook, delivery
Chili’s server
American Favoritz (locally owned) server
O’Charley’s server

Atlanta
OptiWorld optometric assistant
lots of temp work as receptionist all over ATL
Eudora Mail trainer w/ small training company
Shop n Check worked at office to coordinate secret shoppers and take reports
retail at a kitchen store (can’t remember name)
Coffee Plantation coffee sales, barista
SteinMart

Back to Knoxville after college
SteinMart
U102/Star94 radio stations outside sales (used that AA in Music Business from Art Institute!)
SoftKey International Mac Queue phone support (used that Spanish/French BA from GA State!)

Back to ATL because Knoxville sucks
SteinMart (I logged about 8 yrs at SteinMart all together)
opened the first ATL Starbucks (sucked, btw)
Crescent Moon restaurant weekend host, which led to
Alternative Dining (2 Crescent Moon restaurants, $1 Million+ revenue) A/P, graphic design, payroll, websites, office manager
Mimosa Salon front desk

Current
Taqueria El Vecino A/P, graphic design, websites, social media, office manager
Boneless Cat Designs Etsy shop, fine silver jewelry
IndigoDragon Studios Artistic Director
Player One Arcade Services A/R, logistics, management

And now I am unemployable! LOL Too much time being my own boss. And tattoos. And purple hair. :P