Topic: RE: 1 year SURGIVERSARY!!
One year ago yesterday I made the trip of a lifetime to visit Dr Ungson in Mexico for the DS surgery. I was SO scared going in for surgery. I thought maybe I'd be the ONE person in existence that the DS simply did not work on. Maybe I was BEYOND help. I was scared I'd die in surgery in a foreign place where I didn't even speak the language. I was scared of living with my new 'tool' and feeling different from everyone else. I was scared I'd never be able to eat foods I love ever again. At the same time I was excited, elated and completely over the moon to have the chance to get the surgery. We took out a 401K loan to afford it and I still feel such appreciation and gratitude to my husband for helping to make this happen.
My weight on day of surgery was 251 pounds. I lost all excess weight and hit goal within the first 6 months and have maintained at 140 pounds. To say I'm ecstatic with my surgery success is an understatement! I'm THRILLED, OVERJOYED, COMPLETELY HUMBLED, GRATEFUL..about my success and how healthy I feel. I'm 5'7". My BMI is 21.9: NORMAL. I went from a size XXL top to a size small. I went from a size 22 pants to a size 4. I still can't believe it when I go shopping for clothes. I find myself wandering into the plus size area and then realizing I can shop in the regular sizes. Shopping for clothes is finally FUN. I used to dread going clothes shopping because I felt like I couldn't find anything that looked good on me.
Health wise I'm doing great. I'm waiting on my yearly lab results but haven't had any real issues so far. I take the vitalady vites schedule without much trouble. The thing I hate most is sitting down and putting them all in the pill boxes for some reason. I find them relatively easy to take, although I did switch to the calcium petites. My blood pressure is consistently 116/ 72. Pre-surgery it was 143/92 and I was on blood pressure meds, which I no longer need!! The one issue I've had is that my throid went crazy and became under-active - slow metabolism, causing me to have extremely dry itchy skin, lost menstrual cycle, fatigue, hair breakage and some hair loss. It took a while to get my PCP to figure this out and I now see a specialist and am on meds to fix this.
Exercise before surgery was non-existent. I used to look for the easiest way to walk places because I knew I'd struggle and get out of breath. I had sore joints and a tired, achy body - not anymore! For the first 9 months after surgery I really didn't do any exercise. At 9 months I bought a treadmill and I now jog almost daily for 30 minutes! I can't believe I'm capable of jogging!! I actually look forward to exercise! This weekend we also took the kids swimming and I felt completely NORMAL at the pool. I have avoided swimming for years because I was so ashamed about how I looked.
Daily Life after DS has been a learning curve for me. I can pretty much eat whatever I want. I am drinking 2 to 3 protein shakes a day, usually in the morning mixed with my coffee. The rest of the day I try to snack on high protein yummy foods like cheese and crackers, lunch meats, hard boiled eggs etc. I also eat a lot of chocolate because it's an addiction I just love too much to give up. I feel like I eat a lot throughout the day. I seem to eat at least every 2 hours and I never feel deprived. Early out I felt frustrated with how little I could eat - I'm talking one or two bites and I was done. Now I can eat a single piece of toast with melted ham and cheese and feel very full. Now I worry I can eat too much! I have noticed I seem to be able to eat more empty carbs like potato chips or cereal, than protein. I can feel very full on one hard boiled egg for example yet seem to be a bottomless pit when I eat potato chips!. I also have to watch the carbs not only because I worry about putting weight on, but also because of the HIDEOUS gas some things give me. Learning about the changes to my BM's has been challenging for me also. For the first 5 month's I felt like things were very unpredictable with when and how often I had to go to the bathroom. It was often urgent too so I was careful to know where restrooms were. Now my body seems to have regulated itself. I go usually once in the morning and then occasionally once at night, depending on what I ate that day. It's not the 'urgent' feeling usually either, I can hold off a little while if I have to.
I'm a very private person and the only person I've really told about my surgery (apart from Doctors) is my husband. I don't know if I will ever tell anyone else. We'll see. I guess for me, I knew some of my family would not be happy about the surgery and I really didn't want to have to explain myself to them. Not THIS time. Not when my health and happiness were involved. It has been interesting to see different people's reactions. One of my sister's is constantly telling me I'm too skinny and need to go back to eating 'normally' (she happens to be obese herself but would never consider WLS). My Dad has joked a few times that I'm anorexic, which I really didn't appreciate. I don't have close friends around me because of a recent move, so I'm yet to see what others have to say. My PCP even said "don't lose too much weight, don't take it too far." I felt a little annoyed at her comment because I'm normal, within a normal, healthy weight range for my height. It just goes to show you what people 'perceive' as normal these days. I recall telling family I was obese at 251 Lb and they rolled around on the floor laughing. The perception seems to be that unless you are 600Lb and barely capable of walking, you are simply a little overweight. My relationship with my husband hasn't really changed. He is a good guy and I still feel madly in love with him, no matter what size I am. I'm lucky that he has been so accepting and loving no matter what I look like. He's one of the good guys, that's for sure!
Anyway, I hope this helps people that are considering the DS. Feel free to ask me questions if I missed something here that you want to know about. Without a doubt, I'd do the DS again!