My VSG Journey: I’m Getting Bariatric Surgery
Hello again, I’ve been thinking about doing this post a lot. Those of you that follow me on YouTube have already seen my video and know what I mean. I have decided to go along with my doctor’s orders and have bariatric surgery. I have been a little doubtful of posting about it here because I hadn’t decided if I wanted to start a new blog just about my journey. But just like on YouTube I decided to share the news and my journey here since it’s here where many of you have seen my weight loss stories. I will have a separate place in the Menu at the top so you can follow my surgery journey with just a click.
Keep in mind please that anything I post are my personal experiences. I am in no way saying that what I say will happen to you. Every single journey is different and we all have different points of views. That being said I will leave the comments open to all my weight loss journey posts. However please be kind, keep in mind that this is my choice, my experiences, and my opinions. So please, please, please be kind when you comment. I want this to be an engaging community. A place where we are able to talk about whatever and more than anything support one another. Where everyone is able to comment without feeling judged.
Okay, so here I am finally sitting down and sharing with you this great step in my life. Why don’t I start with why I have decided to get bariatric surgery.
My weight has been an issue probably since middle school. My weight has always been like a yoyo, which is very frustrating. I have been as small as 90 lbs back in my freshman year of high school, after being 120-130 lbs in sixth through eighth grade. It was my sophomore year of high school that the weight started to creep back up. It’s been a constant battle with my weight ever since. When I graduated high school I was weighing around 300 lbs and seven years later I was back down to 109 lbs. So now you have more of an idea as to how my weight has yo yoed.
I have tried every possible diet you can think of. Most of the diets I’ve done I have share with you here on my blog. I’ve tried Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, Atkins, the cabbage diet, the liquid diet, the juicing diet, diet pills, and drops, you get the idea. I must admit that some of those diets do work. However once I stopped whatever diet I was doing, the weight would not only come back but I would gain even more. The Nutrisystem diet was the last diet I tried back in January of 2016, and I was able to get back down to 150 lbs.
Something is seriously wrong here…
Around the end of July 2016 I started getting severe pain all throughout my body. It took me awhile to get that checked out. Mainly because I was scared to find out what was causing all this pain. Finally I went to my doctor and told her what was going on in late September. Now I have been with the same doctor for years, so she pretty much know what goes on with me and my medical history. She did some lab work and she checked everything she could. Everything on all the tests came back normal except for an inflammatory marker. Because that kept coming back elevated, and my family history of rheumatoid arthritis she referred me to a rheumatologist.
I am lucky enough that since all my doctors are in the same network and all work out of the same hospital, they can all see the tests I’ve done. This is great because then I don’t have to keep getting all the same test done. The rheumatologist sent out for different tests which all came back normal. It was at that point that he then diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. After trying several medicines we finally found some that would help with the pain. Now I take Gabapentin and Meloxicam for the fibro and Zoloft and Wellbutrin for my depression.
When I stopped working out because of the pain (July 2016) I was weighing in at 150 and by the end of November 2016 I gained 80lbs and now I was weighing in at 230 lbs. I now thanks to the meds have at least 2-3 days a week without pain and I take advantage of those days to work out. But even with working out those 2-3 days a week I just can’t lose the weight I’ve gained.
I can feel the damage these 230 lbs was doing to my body.
When I followed up with my primary care doctor I told her about my issues with the weight. I shared with her that I couldn’t go on walks or do housework without getting short of breath and feeling tired. That was when she first recommended bariatric surgery. I looked at her like she had ten heads. honestly I didn’t want surgery. So I told her that if surgery was all she could offer, I was going to keep trying to lose weight the old fashion way. Surgery was out of the question for me.
I knew that bariatric surgery was a huge step and it was one that was life changing. Many people think that bariatric surgery is an easy way out. But I knew better, bariatric surgery is only a tool that helps you change your way of life. And that scared the life right out of me. So I insisted to her that I was going to exercise and diet and lose weight that way. My doctor looked at me and because she knows how hard headed I am told me the following. She said “I will give you three months to try to lose weight”, “I will see you back in three months and if you haven’t lost more than 10 lbs we will need to have this conversation again”.
Only three months to go…
I came back home and went to work on losing the weight. I can’t say that I watched what I ate because having been on so many diets eating “right” is always on my mind. This is where having depression wasn’t helping me. I started a food log and that’s when I noticed that if I was home alone I wouldn’t eat. I simply didn’t feel hungry so I wouldn’t eat. My mentality was: if I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t going to eat. That way those were calories that I was not going to be putting into my body. This was a horrible way to think, because since I wasn’t eating my body was in starvation mode. Whatever food I was putting into my body would get stored as fat. So it didn’t matter that I was working out.
Time is up…
Three months came along and I went back to my doctor. She asked how I was doing, she looked over my food log. Then she told me that since I was eating so little my body was probably storing all the food as fat. Next she took me over to the scale and when I got on, my jaw hit the floor. In those three months I had gone from 230 lbs to 250 lbs! This was ridiculous, I couldn’t believe it!
I knew I wasn’t feeling better, I was still having shortness of breath. It was harder to workout because now I was only walking because I couldn’t run anymore, but I thought that it was because of the 230 lbs. Never would I have imagined that instead of losing I had gained 20 lbs. I was devastated, my doctor told me that she had been witness to everything I tried and to not feel bad. She told me that she had seen everything I had done to try to get on the healthy track and that nothing had worked.
That’s when she told me that it was time for me to look into bariatric surgery. Especially with my family history of diabetes and heart problems. At this point I understood. She had let me do what I wanted to do and now it was time to give her idea some consideration. So I told her I was willing to look into it and find out more about it.
She issued the referral and told me to go to The Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Newton-Wellesley Hospital more importantly she told me to look up their informative meetings and see which date I could go. This way I could learn more about them and what they had to offer before making an appointment to go to the office.
My history with Newton Wellesley Hospital.
The bariatric surgery wouldn’t be the first surgery I would have at Newton Wellesley Hospital. This is the hospital that I go to whenever a hospital is needed. I had my gallbladder removed there in 2008, I had a D&C due to a miscarriage there in 2009, I had a c-section there in 2011 and carpal tunnel surgery there in 2013.
All of those times I couldn’t have been happier with the service that I received. Everyone from the doctors, nurses and the orderly’s always made me feel at ease and welcome. So I knew without a doubt that this surgery would have to take place there.
The Center for Weight Loss Surgery – CWLS
At this point I had understood that bariatric surgery was no longer something optional for me. That I would have so many benefits from this surgery that I as soon as I got to my car I called the CWLS. I left a message and received a call back the very next day.
The lady I spoke with said that the following week they were going to have a New Patient Instructional meeting and that I should go to find out more. She said I could schedule my first consultation after that meeting. She also told me that I was welcome to attend any of the other meetings ( community support meeting, 0-6 month group) before my consultation.
My first meeting…
After talking with her I went online and saw that there was a community support meeting scheduled for that week and I decided to go. I can’t tell you what a difference that meeting made for me. The atmosphere was amazing! I felt comfortable, I felt understood and even though there was a lot of people I didn’t feel judged. I felt like I could say or ask anything and that everyone there could understand where I was coming from.
Aside from that I got a chance to meet patients who had the surgery before. I had a chance to meet people who like me were thinking about getting surgery. And I met people who already had their surgery date scheduled but hadn’t had the surgery yet. Their stories were so inspiring and I knew I was headed in the right direction. The community support meeting was so informative. I learned great tips that night.
Let the change begin…Getting ready for bariatric surgery.
The very next day after the meeting I decided that I was going to cut sugar out of my diet. Those of you that know me know that I have a huge sweet tooth! But I knew that it had to be done because I learned that after bariatric surgery I shouldn’t have sugar. So I cut out sugar cold turkey! This all started on a Friday morning. That morning I weighed myself and started a new food log. My weight that morning was 255 lbs. By the time I went to the New Patient Informational Meeting I weighed in at 249.8 lbs. I was surprised to see such a big drop in one week.
At the end of the New Patient Informational Meeting I made my consultation appointment for September 26, 2017. They told me to estimate being there for 5 hours because I would be doing all the lab work, meeting with the dietitian, the psychologist and the surgeon all on that appointment.
The real reason behind getting bariatric surgery…
Through all this I don’t think I’ve shared the MAIN reason why I decided to have bariatric surgery. Before I gained all this weight, I used to do tons of things with my boys. I would play on the floor with them. I would run outside with them. Whenever we would go to the park, I would be running around and playing with them. And I was very involved in their lives.
Don’t get me wrong I am still involved in their lived, but in a different way. Now whenever they are playing in the house, I am watching and playing with them but I’m sitting in a chair or on the couch. Whenever they’re in the back yard I’m sitting in a chair while they are running around. When we go to the park, I’m watching them while they play. Now I feel that I am on the outside, when I should be playing with them.
This is not what I want to do anymore. I feel like I am watching them live their life and I can’t be a part of it anymore. When my boys remember their childhood, I don’t want them to remember me sitting on the side. I want them to remember me playing and running and rolling around with them. That’s what I need them to remember, and that is what my ultimate goal is.
What I am not doing…
I am not doing this surgery to lose weight because I want to feel pretty. This may sound conceited but I’m already pretty no matter my weight. I am not doing this because I want to be a size zero, nope that’s not what I want, nor is it realistic. I am not doing this for that. I am doing this because I want to be healthy and be able to play with my boys, I want to be able to live a long life and see their milestones. Most importantly I want to be a part of their lives!
I hope that you will join me on my journey and that we can have a community where we can support one another and not judge. If you have any questions or comment leave them below. I will try to answer them as best as I can.