My ‘3rd Birthday’ is coming up this Friday, Feb 5, 2010. 3 years ago on Friday I arrived at ‘stupid o’clock’ in the morning at Roanoke Memorial Hospital amidst a windchill that can only be described as what Northern Canada must feel like. It was awful and in fact snowed the next day while I was recovering.
At approx 7:30 AM, after asking a couple of the nurses if I was the heaviest person ever to have gastric bypass (only to get the same reaction, a laugh followed by “Oh Lord no!”), I was wheeled into the surgery room and there were SO MANY people in there! Wow! The sleep juice doctor and I always talk and come to an understanding. Due to a scary experience I had when I was 10 years old and was put under for my tonsils, I always; and I mean always, hold the mask. So I held the mask, drifted off, woke up 5 1/2 hours later.Keeping with my tradition of coming out of it very quickly, the recovery room nurse said, “I am not going to have you for very long” and within minutes was taken to my room in the PICU (baby ICU).
You can read all the recovery stuff, if you so desire if you go back to the beginnning of the blog.
I am going to write about the good, the bad, the pretty and the ugly and for the first time am going to reveal numbers.
I went on the table at 302 lbs. My heaviest weight that I know of is 318 lbs. That was years ago. I got down below 300 lbs for a good long while but was still in the high 200’s. Anyway; went on at 302 lbs. With my age and bone structure, my goal was set at 170. That is a respectable weight for where I was and I was happy enough t0 shoot for that. I am 5 f 8 in…. tall…. so , ok. Well, I got to 170 and just kept going, going , going. I, now, basically keep a holding pattern around 140 lbs. I am very happy at this weight! With 10 lbs of skin and my large frame it is at the low end of normal. When I got sick a few weeks back I got down to 132 lbs. I got it clarified that I was beginning to show signs of malnutrition. However, that was a special circumstance. 140 ish or 10 stone for my Northern Irish family is my sweet spot. My family and both my nurse practitioner at my surgeon’s office and my family doctor want me to gain 10 lbs, but I just don’t think I can! I know what they want and why but it just seems so wrong!
OK, so the good, bad, the pretty, the ugly…..
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat a gazillion times over!
The good: My heart health is great; cholesterol, bp and blood sugar; fantastic. Endocrinologist report states I have a “less than average chance for coronary heart disease”. Before my surgery, I had a higher than average risk. God is so good!
The bad: Thank you God!: I have not thrown up one time since my surgery! I have come very close, but have been able to work it through; however, I do have a lot of gastro- intestinal issues and have 4 tummy meds available to take (as needed)
The pretty: Shopping for regular, cute and saucy clothes! Hubby is impressed at my talent for super bargain shopping, a real plus! 🙂
The ugly: My extra skin 🙁 It isn’t super bad but I hate it. No one sees it except Me, Paul and occasionally medical professionals. I am going to look into some options for plastic surgery but doubt my insurance will cover it.
The good: The ‘freedom’ I feel as I ‘fly’ through grocery stores, feeling small in roller coaster seats; just plain feeling light on my feet. It just ‘feels healthy’.
The bad: Having to take a bazillion vitamins everyday or else find myself in a situation that I am in now, having to get a script for Vitamin D and low on protein, etc. For the rest of my life, once a year, I am going to have to have my blood checked to make sure all is ok with my vitamins and if it is not, will have to correct it.
The pretty: HIGH HEELS! I was never able to wear them because of my weight. Now they are easy to wear and I love wearing them! 🙂
The ugly: Since my face has gotten so ‘thin’ as they say, I really have to work on my eyes. Because my eyes are already ‘small and hazy’ (I get that from my Dad) and I have what are called ‘nasal shiners’ from my bad allergies, the ‘dark circles’ I am prone to are worse. I get so tired of people telling me that I look tired.
Anyway, the good, the bad, the pretty, the ugly…. you get the drift. It has not all been a piece of cake. There have been a few bumps along the road but for the most part, I am what you would call a success story. The main reason, however, I am a success story is that I was given a tool and I did the work. I know of people that have the surgery and think they can just do what thay want and then wonder why they aren’t losing weight.
As far as things like holidays, etc? It is quite simple. I have what everyone else is, I just have a few bites of everything, including pie (yum!) and I am stuffed! I don’t feel deprived! As long as I can eat a few bites of everything, I am good! Nothing tastes as good as being ‘thin’ feels!
I have had numerous bumps; mostly dealing with my stomach. I get terrible stomach spasms at times and it is generally when things, em, er, eh…. get ‘backed up’ (something very common with bariatric patients). Sometimes the pain is horrible for days and my weight drops. Last time this happened I also had broken out in shingles and my weight had dropped to 132 lbs. I actually had these discolorations and bruises on my skin. I would later find out I was in the early stages of malnutrition! Yikes! I got my weight up to 140 ish again. But a part of me thought, “Oh cool, I am losing again.” And, yes, I am working diligently with my counselor of 7 years on my warped body image.
I am really opening myself up here. However, what I want people to know is this: I believe in this surgery 150%. I would do it again a bazillion times over. I think it is the cure for obesity; diets don’t work. Now don’t get me wrong! I believe you CAN DO IT ON YOUR OWN! You just have to be really strong and determined. Bear in mind too, with my hashimoto’s disease, I was fighting a bum metabolism too.
I also am saying it is not an easy ticket. You still have to do plenty of work. You still think about your weight every minute nearly. I highly recommend finding a good counselor to ride the ride.
It is not an easy ticket, but it is a great tool. You have to have the determination and know it is a long road!
I can’t believe it has been 3 years. What a long strange trip it has been. Below are some of my favorite outfits this winter.