This is my story. How I made my decision to have Gastric Bypass Surgery !
You’ve made your mind up to loose weight and you’re going to do it this time! But how are you going to do it? If you are like me this is a question you’ve been faced with many, many times before. This is when I first started to think about weight loss surgery… Maybe the lap band or perhaps my decision would be gastric bypass surgery. But I just wasn’t sure if I was ready to make that big of a commitment. After all we’re talking surgery and a major lifestyle change! It’s scary. So what’s it gonna be?
Are there any new diets out there I haven’t tried? Do any of them sound different and promising? After all I’ve tried so many diets over the years I can’t even remember half of them. I do remember ones like weight watchers which I think is a good diet program for some people and to be honest by the time I tried it I was dieted out and didn’t really give it a fair chance. There was also the Atkins diet that wasn’t too bad because I felt like I could eat more then most calorie restricted diets and I did loose some weight on it. I tried the cabbage soup diet and lost about 12 pounds but it was pretty bad tasting. Then there was Optifast back in the 80s where you just drink optifast nutrional drinks and eat NO food. I lost the most weight on that diet, over 40 lbs. There were numerous other diets and exercise videos and even a new treadmill at one point. Always something for most of my adult life and I was now 56 years old. The PROBLEM is I always gain back whatever weight I loose and usually more. For me dieting has always been a vicious circle.
A few years ago I got fed up with it all and decided to just accept my weight and not be unhappy dieting all the time. After all I was no spring chicken anymore and life was too short to be unhappy dieting day in and day out with little to show for it. Besides I wasn’t that big was I? 5 ft 1 in. and probably weighed around 175 lbs then. I had pretty much always been what I called myself … pleasantly plump. My mom was always very overweight and my grandma too. They were both a lot bigger then I ever was so I just decided to accept my weight. It was in my genes anyway right?
As time went on so did the weight. By just accepting my obesity and not trying to do anything about it I was not only getting heavier and heavier but also the weight was starting to cause me health problems. When I say health problems let me explain what the extra weight was doing to me physically. At my all time high weight of 221 lbs. That’s a BMI of 41.8, MORBIDLY OBESE! My cholesterol was very high and I was prescribed Crestor. My blood pressure was way up too and I was prescribed Benicar HCT . I realized I had a heart condition known as ventricular tachycardia after I was taken to the hospital when I felt my heart pounding wildly in my chest . My heart rate in the emergency room was 168 beats per minute. Another medication added to the growing list, Dialzatem. During this time I became depressed because I never felt good and I was so self conscious of my weight all the time. I started taking the antidepressant Wellbutrin. My blood sugar was high and I had to start taking Metmorphin because I was now a borderline diabetic, the one disease I really dreaded. To me diabetes is such a destructive illness . I saw it take my grandmothers sight away from her and due irrevocable damage to my mothers body as well. Unfortunately it is becoming an epidemic in the United States because we have become such an overweight nation. On top of all this I wasn’t sleeping well and my doctor ordered a sleep study and of course I was diagnosed with obstructive Sleep Apnea and started wearing a mask hooked to a breathing apparatus [a CPAP machine] every night. My oldest daughter a licensed respiratory therapist made the health risks associated with obstructive sleep apnea very clear and made me promise to wear my c-pap machine every night. I hated it and myself for allowing myself to get to this point. Just accepting being overweight was clearly not the right answer. I needed to really consider if gastric bypass surgery or any bariatric weight loss surgery was the next step.
This is a brief description of my co morbidities witout even getting into the psychological aspects of being obese.
There are often many Co-Morbidities associated with obesity.
Bariatric surgery and in particular Gastric Bypass surgery can often times eliminate these co-morbidities and the medication they require. (especially diabetes ) I was pretty sure I wanted weight loss surgery. My decision to have gastric bypass was getting closer.
During this time my mother suffered a stroke on Christmas day . She had the same health problems that I had developed. And now with this stroke her life was in a rapid downhill decline. One thing after another going wrong. She eventually ended up needing kidney dialysis, a tracheotomy and living on life support for almost a year. Her weight bounced between 300 and 400 lbs. all of her adult life . I can never remember her not being really overweight. At the age of 74 she went to a better place and her suffering here on earth ended.. When I watched the suffering she went through I knew I had to do something or in a short time I would be in the same place as she was.. I was just 18 years younger then her and already having so many similar health problems.
It was during this time that I decided I had to make some kind of drastic change. I began reading all kinds of books and articles online about weight loss surgery and all the options there are. From all the information I had read I was considering gastric bypass and the lap band . I decided to contact a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic Baratric and Metabolic Institute. (Fortunately I live only a couple of hours away form Cleveland ) I knew that weight loss surgery was the only answer for me. Diets just didn’t work and any weight I had ever lost I only gained it back. I wanted weight loss surgery. I just needed to figure out what was right for me. I knew that it was a major life changing step to take but I knew it was the right decision for me. My decision to have gastric bypass surgery was becoming more realistic to me.
Its not a decision to made lightly. After all besides going through major surgery you are committing to dramatic lifestyle changes. Especially with gastric bypass. Ill be honest a big change for me was going to be NO MORE SWEETS. I had a sweet tooth and loved cookies, candy and ice cream for sure. But I had heard the horrible stories about “dumping syndrome” You know where if you eat anything very sweet after this procedure you would get very sick…vomiting, lightheaded, sweating ect… Also committing to a high protein diet , I already knew from previous diets I wasn’t a big fan of a lot of those protein drinks. And what about committing to daily exercise …I was never into exercise. I never felt better and had more energy because I was exercising??? But I knew this was the only way for me to loose the amount of weight I needed to loose and the only way to keep it off. If I got the surgery, made it through the entire process and lost the weight I definitely would keep it off. That’s one commitment I was sure of.
Here is a link to a survey you can take to help you make the decision for your own bariatric surgery. I looked it over when I was making my decision to have gastric bypass surgery.
If you are reading this and still having a difficult time making up your mind watch this 4 part video by Dr. Oz. explaining gastric bypass surgery and the benefits of it. A decision to have Gastric Bypass Surgery ?
Getting to this point and making this decision was a lifelong struggle. All a part of My Story, my journey to gastric bypass surgery and a healthier, happier life.
As my journey continues I want to share my story with you. I have information and personal experiences to write about. Ideas, advice and information to hopefully help and encourage you on your journey to a happier, healthier life. Eventually I want a way for all of us to chat and share experiences with each other. Please hang in there with me as I learn how to build and develope this site.