Monday, March 04, 2013
After discussing it with my doctors, husband, family and support system, I've decided to have weight loss surgery. (This is a very long blog, some may not seem relevant, but all in all comes back to my decision with weight loss surgery.)
My fertility specialist recommended it after the fertility treatments weren't working and we couldn't get control of my pancreas and hormonal insanity. At the time I absolutely refused. I didn't want any surgeries, for a few reasons.
1. I felt after a WLS I would have to change my eating habits and eat less, etc, well if I could do it after surgery, I can do it myself before surgery and wouldn't need the surgery, right?
2. I don't want it to look like I'm taking the easy way out, which is what I thought WLS was.
3. I didn't want surgery, it's scary and dangerous and there are so many horror stories out there you hear about.
That was in 2011.
In 2012 all fertility treatments stopped because, there just wasn't anything left to do that we could afford. Adoption/Fostercare were a possibility in the long run, but not something that was available at this time for one reason or another. 2012 was really a year of me learning a lot about myself and coming to accept certain realities in my life. Let's make a list again...
1. I binge. I didn't know. A lot of people probably would say, "how do you not know you binge?" Well, I always thought binging went with purging and I didn't purge. If we're going to be honest here (and it's time I am), if I could purge I think I probably would have. I just don't have much of a gag reflex and takes a lot for me to vomit even when I'm sick. So I learned this after seeing a therapist initially about the infertility issues. I'd like to say that since I learned that I binge that I stopped, but that's not true, not at all. I'm more aware of it and am better about it, but certainly still do it.
2. I was starting to accept that children might not happen for me (for us) and while there were times of self pity and guilt, I've been able to work on accepting that my husband loves and supports me with or without children and doesn't blame me. I've come to realize that if I never have kids there will always be a hole in my heart, but we all have our crosses to bear and if that's mine, so be it. Call it fate, destiny, life path, whatever...it is what it is.
3. I have trouble with balance in my life. This is not something I learned in 2012, what I did learn is that I do not have to be a pushover. I am allowed to say "no" or to tell people how I feel, even if it might hurt them. I don't have to be rude or mean about it, but my feelings are important too. What does this have to do with balance? Well, I think I went from one extreme to the other. Once I started saying "no" and being honest about my feelings, thoughts, etc, I think I might have tipped the scales the other way. I never said or did anything I felt to be rude or inconsiderate, but I think my tact might have gotten lost along the way. The best word to describe how I've been I believe is "testy." I need to find the balance. I'm working on that, but I am glad I'm able to speak my mind more. I may have upset some people and possibly lost friends along the way, but I still feel this is a positive direction for me.
So, now we come to 2013. In January, a friend updated her profile picture. At first I wondered who that random person was she was posting as her picture, then realized it was her, down about 80 pounds. It's unbelievable how different the weight can make you look. I spoke with her in some detail and she explained about having the gastric bypass surgery, her doctor, the process, etc. I began to reconsider it as an option. At this point, I still felt the bypass was much too invasive, and maybe the lap band would be an option I'd consider. So I signed up for a free seminar the following week.
At the seminar, there was a lot of detail, a lot of q&a, and quite a change of my thought process. I learned the mechanics of the surgeries and what they do for and to your body and internal organs. I thought it was as simple as, smaller stomach=smaller portions. Well, it's not. Without going into details, in the end I was leaning more toward the bypass due to the fact that it has such a positive and immediate impact on diabetes, due to bypassing the pancreas. Well, my lovely pancreas is a huge source of my issues, so it seemed obviously the correct choice for me.
Appointments were made, surgeon, nutritionists, psychologist, etc, all necessary for the hospital and my insurance. After speaking with the surgeon, he advised me that he felt either the sleeve or the bypass would work for me, but the choice was mine and he'd approve either one. I'm not in the process of talking to many people who've had both and getting the pros and cons for both.
I understand that either one I choose will greatly change my life, my eating habits for the rest of my life, vitamins and supplements I'll have to take for the rest of my life, things that I probably will never be able to eat again without having extremely bad reactions to it, however, I feel that I can't do this alone. I've attempted so many times to lose weight and get healthy. I've tried really bad diets (Atkins, diet pills, etc) and some general healthy lifestyle changes. Granted the "Lifestyle change" that SP helped me with a few years ago when I lost about 50 pounds was the most successful, but didn't last. Partially, definitely my fault. I could have chosen carrot sticks instead of chips, but also partially that my hormones, blood sugars, etc were working so hard against me all the time. Unless I was eating 1200 calories a day and exercising 60+ minutes every day I would gain back. I couldn't even maintain with this mess inside me.
I'm sure some people are still 100% against it (some friends are as well, but luckily they're supportive of me and whatever decision I make, which is why they're my friends), and I'm sure I may get some negative comments on the option, I believe this is right for me now. With my weight and my medical issues at this point in my life (I'm only 34), I can't imagine where my health might be if I stay at this weight and this poor health for another 5, 10, 20 years, if I even live that long. I start to say, what have I got to lose, but I understand, there is still risk. However, I feel, this is worth the risk. (I have researched the hospital numbers of risks and complications from this as well. Nothing's 100%, but they have excellent results and surgeons there.)
Something else that does concern me slightly about this whole surgery option...I don't want people to look at me like I took the easy way out. After all things considered, it's extremely difficult and the easy way would be with simple diet and exercise, however, I am still concerned about what people think. My husband constantly tells me not to care what others think, but it's not that easy for me. I'm not going to let this fear stop me from doing what I feel is best, but it will still be something in the back of my mind every time I tell someone.
I still have a couple months of appointments, follow ups and what-not, but I have to say, I'm excited because I have hope...and I haven't had hope in a long time.