On my last blog I left off having scheduled my seminar for bariatric surgery for December 2013. Time flew by with the holidays and befpre I knew it time came for me to attend the information seminar. I was extremely nervous. Being so overweight I always felt uncomfortable around large groups of people. I knew everyone was going to be there for the same reason yet I was still terrified! I went to the seminar and it was great. I met with the surgeon, his physicians assistance and bariatric nutritionist. They explained the different types of bariatric surgery they performed. Lapband, RNY and gastric sleeve. They explained the risks and benefits of both. For me the RNY gastric bypass sounded like the way to go due to the greatest weight loss, longest studied post-op as it is the oldest surgery and the fact that it resolved most cases of diabetes! The down side of the information session was I learned they required you pay $750 out of pocket for your initial appointment which was an assesment with the surgeon, nutritionuest, exercise physiologist and a psychologist. For $250 you could reserve an appointment and make payments o. The rest or pay it the day of surgery. I paid the $250 that day but set my appointment out till April to pay off the other $500. We are a family of 5 on a tight budget so that was a lot of money to spend unexpectedly. The months seemed to crawl by and I tried eating better several time but it never lasted more than a few days here and there. I did cut down some on my portions. Opting for 1 large plate of dinner rather than going back for seconds. If ally the months had past and I had paid off the balance of my fee for my assesment. The assesment lasted about 4 houra, mostly time spent waiting as each person came I separately. The nutritionist quickly explained the goals for eating poat-op and had me right down 5 ways I would achieve them. The psychologist reccomened I upped my therapy to once a week to discuss my fears and get better control of my anxiety and prepare for this big change. She also had me right these goals out. The exercise physiologist took measurements all over my body and weighed me, I weighed in at 237 pounds. She said based on my build she wanted me to do 30 minutes of cardio 5-6 days a week along with weights each day. She said I have a naturally muscular build and that would be my biggest fat burner. Finally I met with the surgeon. He was nice and explain ed all my options again and said the choice was completely up to me but his recommendation was gastric bypass. I told him I agreed and he looked over all of my work ups I had done through my primary and required a few more blood test and informed me i needed 6 months of bariatric nutrional counseling per my insurnace company that was the end of our talk. I checked out at the front desk and scheduled my first nutritionist appointment for May.
I left off with my last blog telling you my primary doctor was on board with me getting bariatric surgery and sent me for blood work and a sleep study. I did both of those test . My blood test revealed my A1c was very high (11.2) due to my uncontrolled blood sugar, my cholesterol was still very high and I had extremely high liver enzymes. The sleep study revealed I did not have sleep apnea but was only getting stage 1 &2 of sleep and had a lot of uncontrolled muscle movement (specifically 512 per hour!!!). These results prompted primary to refer me to an endocrinologist , back to my carsiologist and a neurologist. As soon as I met my endocrinologist I liked her. I told her of my plans for bariatric surgeey and she was on board and was very knowledagble of the surgery and had treated patients pre and poat op gastric bypass. She put me on insulin shots right away (I had only ever been on pills) and asked me to email her my sugar logs weekly and we would make adjustments accordingly. She explained how important it was to get better control of my sugar level befpre surgey so that my body would be able to heal well after such a major surgery. She also orsered some blood work to check my thyroid levels, c-peptides and cortisol levels. Test results came back that I had normal thyroid, but c-peptides and cortisol were very high. I had to then do urine and oral testing for cortisol which both ruled out Cushing syndrome. I then saw my cardiologist who I had known for years and told her about my plans for bariatric surgery and she was 100% supportive. She did recommend I lose 10% of my body weight before surgery to improve my outcome. Next I found a neurologist, I was not a fan of his but kept in mind I just needed to deal with him to get my surgery. He was fine with treating my unexplained muscle movements and addressed my long term battle with headaches/migranes. He originally thought I had pseudo tumor cerebri as it is some what common in women who are obese and carry a lot of weight in their abdomen and have persistent headaches. He ordered a ct and mri of my brain and a spinal tap. I reluctantly did the testing all of which came back normal so he just put me on preventative medicine for my headaches and diagnosed my uncontrolled muscle movement during sleep as restless leg syndrome and gave me another medicine for that. I was finally done with all my needed testing to send over a letter of medical necessity to my insurance to get a referral for a bariatric surgeon!!!! Once I received my referral I found out I had to have surgery at a center of excellence, the only one near me was over an hour away and required you attend a seminar befpre you could go any further. By this time in was the end of November and the next seminar they had was the last week of December. I signed up!
I left off on my last blog having had my first born and a miserable, emotional wreck stuffing their emotions with food. After all that I met a wonderful man who I went on to have two more children with. Between my second and third child I looked into bariatric surgeon and quickly found out I did not qualify per my insurance rules. I was extremely discouraged and frustrated as I felt it was so obvious how badly I needed bariatric surgery. I sulked for a few months, packing on more pounds and then one day just decided to give weight loss on my own another try. This time I actually worked out, I bought the 3p day shred DVD and counted my calories using an app on my phone. I lost 25 pounds in 3 months and was feeling great and motivated. Then things came to a halt when my grandmother was hospitalized and diagnosed with cancer that was stage 4. Her doctors agreed the cancer was to far spread that not only could they not operate but chemo and radiation were pointleas. We were told she would live less than 6 months and to enjoy the time we had. That was June 1 I got than info. June 2 I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child. The stress of my grandma dying and pregnancy I packed on 70 pounds. On delivery day I weighed in at 251 pounds. I was disgusted with my weight and my health was suffering even more. My back was a wreck, I had 2 ba,k surgeries for herniated disc 1 year after 3rd kids birth. Being bed bound led to more weight gain. Life got a little better, I managed kids and work and was feeling ok with all my health issues. September of 2012, less than 1 year aftershad new insurance again I waa gas I had new insurance and decided I would try to grt bariatTo my delight my new insurance e did cover bariatric surgerydeem long as it was deemed medically necessary. I made an appointment with my primary doctor for the next week and discussed my wishes. I was very nervous to mention the idea for fear of being shot down and told to just eat less and exercise more. This was NOT the case. My primary was all for me getting Bariatric surgerto save my life! He Told me he had only had 1 patient before me go through the process with me and it took a lot of work and testing to get the insurance to agree and asked if I was really ready to do the work. I WAS! He sent me that day for blood work and ordered a sleep study. I was officially on my journey to getting RNY gastric bypass.
Thank you to all who read my previous blog. I ended my last blog when I was age 27, 230+ pounds, type 2 diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I forgot to mention I was also diagnosed with sever depression, generalized panic disorder and polycystic ovarian syndrome due to my lack of menstrual periods and growth of body hair. I had also over the last 10+ years attemoted weight wtacher, nutrisystem, sputh beaxh diet and atkins to lose weight. None of which i stuck to mpre than 3 months and lost and gained maybe 15- 20 pounds. Back to my lat post….
I decided to divorce my husband when I was 27 because we were just not on the same path. He was a great person, hard worker and wonderful provider and friend. Sadly there was just no longer any love for me. Our divorce was almost emotionless for me but very emotional for. I immediately jumped into a “relationship” with someone who was his complete opposite. Always wanted to go out and have fun, constantly showing me affection and just had a zest for life. All things I had been missing for a very long time. He was very attentive to my health issues and got me motivated to move my butt! We played tennis, basketball, went for long walks and just spent a lot of time outside. Also he ate a much healthier diet and had a grip on portion control so I would always ask him to make our plates and I would eat the amounts he put on our plate which was always at least half as much as I would have put on! Cutting down on portions and getting in some real movement and being generally happier lead to me shedding 50 pounds! I was feeling great physically over the next few months but unfortunately this relationship was far from healthy and I was seeing some tendencies I didn’t like and becoming less and less happy. I knew I needed to make a change. Before any change could be made I found out I was pregnant with my first child. It was an extremely trying time and things with the father and I got worse and I ended up moving an hour away and spending minimal time together. That fun outgoing personality with a zest for life was not so fun when you are pregnant and want to spend your time and money to prepare for a child rather than going out every weekend. Not to mention the affection I loved so much was being spread around to many people. During my pregnancy with my first son I gained 30 pounds. My diabetes was out of control and my eating was horrible. I only gained 8 pounds my first 6 months and 22 the last 3 months when I just lost all control of my emotional well being and the realization that I was going to be a single mom hit me and I had no coping skills other than stuffing my face! I delivered my son via emergency C-section (just hours after my 28th birthday) due to failure to progress and his heart rate dropping. My son was born with extremely low blood sugar and my blood sugar and blood pressure were so high I did not get to hold my son or see him for over 12 hours because I was in intensive care and not allowed out and he was not allowed to leave the nursery because of his constant low blood sugar caused by my uncontrolled diabetes. I was able to leave the hospital 3 days later but he had to stay another day because my high blood sugars throughout pregnancy had also caused him to have some heart problem. Luckily by day 4 he was stable and I got to take him home. I am proud to say 7 years later he is a happy, healthy, thriving boy! I lost 22 of the 30 pounds gained right after his birth but began gaining weight back within a month as I had a serious cause of baby blues, plus I was stressed and again lacking coping skills for my emotions and turned to food to deal. Food was always there for me, it never let me down. I could eat it when I wanted and as much as I wanted and no one told me otherwise. Well my doctors did but in my eyes they didn’t count. I was addicted to food. I felt like everyone always left me and I could not control them staying but I could control food…although in reality it was controlling me. I have more to right but again I know this is getting long. I promise this back story will not last forever. One more blog. And then it’s on to my story of getting RNY gastric bypass!Continue reading
I thought I would start my blog with a little back story about myself. I have been clinically obese since I was at least 8 years old. I knew I was bigger than other kids and picked on for it but had never been called obese though I knew what it meant. Kids stuck to the usual names like fat, fatty fatty 2×4 and such. I remember distinctly reading my parents divorce papers and seeing my name followed by “an obese 8 year old.” I remember feeling horrible about myself and wondering why they had to include that in the divorce paper work. I would love to say it motivated me to eat healthy and exercise but that was definitely not the case. My childhood after my parents divorce was traumatic and filled with abuse and neglect. I was often left to fend for myself in a house full of open and eat junk or minimal work food that I could manage to make myself at 8 years old like macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes. My food was always accompanied by sweet iced tea or kool-aid. Between my lack of food choices, parental intervention, lack of exercise and feelings I had no idea how to deal with I ate and ate and ate. I have no idea how much I weighed from the ages of 8-15 but know I never fit into kids or juniors clothing, I was in adult women’s clothing. Being short (currently 5’2) made clothes even more akward. I often dressed in boys clothing as they were always lose and I did not have to compare my clothing sizes to my girl friends as I was just seen as a tomboy. I’m high school I kept up my tomboy dress style but longed to wear shorts, skirts, dresses and tank tops. I was always much to ashamed of my body to ever do that. I graduated high school weighing 240 pounds. I did not even go to my high school graduation out of embarrassment because my gown was so tight it barely zipped. I had friends who accepted me as I was and even had my first boyfriend as a senior in high school. My boyfriend was 20 when I was 17 and we went on to get married and spend 9 years together. Again I wish I could say my eating habits changed but even when I left home at 18 and lived with my then boyfriend my terrible eating habits and lack of exercise continued. My boyfriend was 6’4 and weighed 250 pounds. I began eating more, matching his portions. Again I have no idea how much I weighed as I NEVER weighed myself. I started partying and using recreation drugs and lost some weight but never got down to anything shy of overweight. By the age of 20 I had stopped partying and went to college. I was so stressed out determined to do well in college I landed myself I the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack which turned out to be a panic attack. I was also told my blood pressure was high and needed to see a primary doctor. I made a follow up appointment and was told in the office I weighed 234 pounds and my blood pressure was high. The doctor sent me for blood work and I returned to the office a week later. I was told I had high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Pretty depressing and overwhelming for only being 20 years old. Again, I wish I could say it promted me to change my eating and life style ways, did I mention I was not active at all? But sadly, it did not. I took my pills and kept on my same lifestyle for the next 7 years until I got divorced. I know this has been long winded so I will give you all who actually made it through this blog a break and I will continue again soon .