Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our first "off the record" post

This author wishes to remain anonymous.  Here's her story...

I am so grateful for this blog (thank you Deb and Georgie!) since I really wanted to get some perspective on this situation from others, but I don't feel comfortable posting this on my blog.

In a nutshell, here is the situation: I am considering having weight loss surgery (Gastric Bypass) and I am trying to decide if I should do it or not. I have about 75-80lbs to lose and I am right on the border line as far as someone who is or is not eligible for surgery.
Generally if you have a BMI of 35-40, you are eligible for surgery if you have another existing condition associated with being overweight (i.e. sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.). Once you reach a BMI of 40 you are generally eligible just with that alone.

Here's my situation: 3 weeks ago my BMI was 35.9 which will probably be considered for surgery since I have also tested positive for Sleep Apnea. However, at 35.9, I am right on the line of being eligible and not eligible. Then last night when I went to the doctor again I was weighed and I lost 6lbs in the last 3 weeks (he gave me a med to try) which brings me to a BMI of exactly 35.

So my quandary is this - do I continue to try and lose on my own and become ineligible for surgery or do I stop trying and stay in the range to be considered? Initially I thought, well, if I've done 6lbs, I could probably do this on my own, but let's be real - all these years (I have always struggled with my weight and have progressively been gaining every year for the last 10 years) I haven't, so what makes me think I could do it now? I've lost 6lbs, but could I really keep it up to lose another 75 on my own which is what I need to do? Honestly, I doubt it if you ask me. That is a LONG way to go.

So, this is where I am at. I told my doctor that since the process takes so long (usually it takes 6 months to a year to get from the time you say you want the surgery to actually having it), I want to start it and continue to think about it as the process goes along. He gave me the referral to the surgeon and now I just have to make the appointment, but honestly if I lose any more weight I probably won't even be a candidate.

Part of me is like, I can do this myself and don't need to take this drastic step, but then the other part of me is like how many years have I said that and I have never actually done it? Yes, it's possible, but will I? The surgery will ensure I do it whether I want to or not since you are physically forced to do it based on the changes made to your body. Again, I am not convinced it's the right thing for me, that's why I am still debating this. I have the referral to the doctor though and I am going to make the appointment and continue to move forward with this until and if I definitely decide not to pursue it.

What would you do considering all this?


Soxy Deb said...

Well you already know my thoughts on this. So I wont fill up the comments with that again. I hope you can find some peace with whatever decision you make though.
I will just urge you to remember that although 1 in 300 is a big risk, think of the risk being overweight carries.
Love ya, Deb

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the decision you make, it is your decision. Your body and your right to do what you feel is best for you. That alone earns you my respect.

Having said that, I would encourage you to continue on your own, at least one more time. If that doesn't work, then I would re-evaluate and re-consider surgery. I have seen this surgery do great and wonderful things for many people. BUT -there is always a but-I have seen it be equally as devastating. I fear for your health afterwords more than your physical health if over-weight. I don't mean to scare you. So I apologize if I have.

But then again, we must look at the emotional damage that is done to ourselves and others if we experience a low self-esteem because of our weight.

In short-I would like to see you try on your own ONE last time. and IF that doesn't prove successful, then consider surgery. AND no matter what you it for yourself and for NO ONE else!

Good Luck! With whatever decision you do make!

April said...

My dad went through the exact same thing. He has sleep apnea too plus just recently was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He looked into the lap band and is giving himself one year to try and loose the weight himself. A friend of mine had the lap band and she says it's very hard but wouldn't go back and change anything. She can't even drink anything carbonated. That would be very hard for me.
Like the one above me said, Whatever you do, do it for yourself. Good luck on this journey.

Tenakim said...

I have 2 Aunts that went through the surgery- they are doing great and feeling loads better. I also have one Aunt that didn't make it to the hype and ease of the surgery. About 8 years ago, she had just had back surgery (from complications of her weight) and was so miserable for so long- ended up taking her own life. What I would do for her to be around in this world today where people that just can't get it off in traditional ways can still have a chance!

That being said, I know that it can be done in traditional ways, it's a very personal decision!

Amy Amy Bo Bamey said...

This is such a personal decision.

I know you can do it on your own if you really set your mind to it. You can tackle it but you have to be willing to give it your all. I did weight watchers and lost 30 lbs granted I have gained some back but I know I can do it when I put my mind to it. I am currently tackling it again and I just know that I will be battling it for the rest of my life which is why I know it is a lifestyle change. Easier said than done.

Just know that which ever avenue you choose. We will be here to support you through it. I think I may know who this is and if you think I am right email me. I will be your cheerleader whatever choice you make. You can do it!

Annie said...

I loved Weight Watchers!I've lost 70 pounds before and it was not as bad as I thought. I just HAD to not cheat and really change my eating habits and mealsize etc.
My 2 cents is try it on your own first and really commit yourself. It seems like you are off to a good start! 6 pounds is great!!!!!!

J'Ollie Primitives said...

If you're on the fence about undergoing major surgery it might be best to wait for six months and continue to lose weight on your own ~ or with a support group. As with any elective surgery it's a VERY personal choice.
I know folks who have been successful after surgery, and some who have not been able to win the psychological battle. They continue to gain weight and weigh more now than their original pre-bypass weight. The battle isn't only what goes in your mouth, but in your mind too.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

6lbs girl! You can do it! My friend has the surgery...she looks awesome...but the extra and saggy skin is also another thing to think about and another surgery to endure!

But I wish you the BEST of luck!

Lisa said...

My friend's husband had the surgery because he was 200 pounds overweight. It has been 4 years and the only way he's kept the weight off is through lots of exercise. The surgery is not the end all, magic wand that so many hope for but lots of hard work.
There is also the risk involved with the surgery itself and the possibilty that it may not work.
Since you are not so far from your goal and have other options at your disposal, it seems your mindset is all that needs changing. You've lost 6 pounds in a few weeks, you can truly lose more. Good Luck with whatever road you choose to take.

Kristin said...

I am at about 50BMI and to tell you the truth, I would do just about anything to never ever have surgery. I lost 50 pounds a few years ago and never gained an ounce back. I just stopped at that point. I've recently lost another 13 pounds the past few months. I learned how to eat because of the 6 Week Body Makeover with Michael Thurmond. I haven't had fast food in about 2 years. I make my own meals and I eat in restaurants.

I decide how much or how little I eat.

I watched the Biggest Loser the other night. One of the men on that show had gone through Gastric Bypass surgery. Carnie Wilson went through the surgery, lost the weight and is now still battling with obesity.

If you have the surgery, you will have to change the way you eat and if you do it yourself, you will have to change the way you eat.

I would find a program that will show you how to prepare your own meals and will discuss with you the facts behind food and how your body uses each type of food. Knowing these things will help you make wise food decisions for life.

Well, that wasn't one sided was it?

I wish you all the best no matter what you choose.

Kritta22 said...

This is from the Medical Assistant side of the comment box. I worked in a Gastro/ Internal Medicine clinic for over a year.

There are a few things to consider:

1. Most GI doctors will NOT accept patients that have had Gastro Bypass.

2. We had a few that were grandfathered in to the clinic...meaning they went there before the surgery. Of those 50 or so, EVERYONE of them had GI issues. I would say 25 of them had such bad heartburn that it was eating their throat. We can give you meds for it but because you don't have the stomach space for it to absorb correctly, it will only work for the amount of stomach you have. The other side of that is, 60% of them had chronic diarrhea or constipation. Again they can give you meds for it but it doesn't absorb into your body.

3. That also goes for all other medicines that are taking orally. They are absorbed by your stomach. If you only have 5% of your stomach, you will only receive 5% of that medicine. This is why doctors will NOT accept GBypass patients. They feel that they made the choose for the surgery and now have to deal with the consequences. Before you have the surgery you have to have quite a few consult appointments. They tell you all this stuff in there. Most people just blow it off with the thought of just loosing all that weight.

4. Just think if you have a cold and want to take will only be able to use 5% of what you drink. That means to get the full effect of the medicine you will have to take, in different time, 20 doses. That is pretty much a whole bottle. That is also an overdose on it because what absorb fastest in most people's body is the sleeping agent. You could and probably will put yourself into a coma if you drank the whole bottle.

5. The doctor that I specifically worked for offered a membership to Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers or any other place like that for a YEAR if they didn't do the surgery. That's how much he was against.

6. There is a reason Heavenly Father gave you a full stomach. It is hard to think that why but it's true. If he thought we needed smaller ones, he would have done it.

7. You are ALREADY loosing the weight!! Congrats on that, by the way!! That is sooooooo great!

8. If it means your health, I think you will do it. If you need support, start a weight loss blog! I'll join. I think all of us would like to loose some poundage!

I really hope that you take these into consideration. Whatever decision you make, you are going to have live with it, so make it good!

That's the other are the only one that has to live with it. Yes people in your life have to deal with the effects of it. But only you deals with in every second.

K there's my two cents. Hope I helped and wish you the best!

InfertileMadWoman said...

So, now a comment from someone who has HAD GASTRIC BYPASS....

If you really think that you need it then do it. I will never look back. There are fears. Some people have a lot of problems, some don't. Some gain all their weight back, some don't.

This is no EASY WAY OUT, and I swear I get so sick of hearing that. Getting fat is easy, losing weight is not, no matter how you do it.

Nothing personal, but Kritta22 if you haven't had the surgery, and aren't a WLS doc then you don't really have room to talk...

Heart burn?? How do you figure? There is no stomach acid in the pouch anymore.

As far as your math on the absorbtion rate, I would love to know where you get your info from because I experience FULL effect of my meds, and most even quicker then my non GB counterparts.

Anon, do this for you, because it is for you, not everyone else in your life. If you need to talk about this you are more then welcome to contact me through my blog. Infact please do so that we can talk about this...

Gastric Bypass Patient of 8 years, and still happy with my choice!!


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