- HEALTH TRACKER
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Where does one start after being overweight since they reached puberty over , which is over 40 years ago. Through high school and nursing school weight fluctuated but generally 15-20 # above the recommended weight for height, there was no such thing as a BMI chart in those days. I gained most of my weight peaking at about 240 pounds in my 20's, pregnancy and being home with kids cooking and less time to take care of me were the reasons I think, plus learning I liked to cook. When both kids were finally in school I was able to spend more time exercising and was able to follow a weight watchers/exchange type diet and walk our neighborhood creek path and lakes with our dog, and was able to lose down to about 160. Well then kids were getting old enough that I could return to working more daytime hours, and get rid of weekends and evenings, unfortunately that meant giving up the exercise time, and gradually over the next 20 years crept up to a all time high of almost 330#. The last 30 pounds related to complications from a hysterectomy and a slow healing wound that really limited my activity for about a year.
in 2000 I started feeling more and more phys cal effects from my weight, developing high blood pressure, muscle aches, eventually arthritis pain in low back, problems with weakening ligaments in a ankle from an old sprain and all the walking i did over the years, and being on my feet as a nurse.
In 2004 I heard about research study for implantable gastric stimulator, this a devise that is about the size of a pacemaker, that is surgically placed in your upper abdomen and leads attached to the stomach that send intermittent impulses to the stomach nerves that is suppose to suppress hunger and make yo feel full sooner, almost like The same effect as a lap-band. I applied to be a participant in the study and after careful scrutinizing that I met the studies specs was accepted. This was a two year study. The first year there was a 50/50 chance that your devise was turned on, there was only one person in the management of the study who knew where you were placed. Everyone went through monthly visits with study coordinators/dietitians and monthly group support meetings You were asked to follow a 1600 cal diet plan, and keep careful food records. The second year everyone would have there simulators turned on, but there was less focus at this point on the education/group support pieces.
Well I lost the most weight the first year when we were carefully monitoring our intake, and I had gradually worked up to 30-60 minutes of walking each day. Dropping to about 250 pounds. I found out later that my devise had been not turned on the first year of the study, the second year did not do nearly as well, but stayed stable with my weight. Well they actually ended up stopping the study early by about 2-3 months-deciding that the stimulator really just didn't work as well as hoped and the manufacturer decided it was not worth the cost of the study to continue. I think there are still studies done on a similar devise because I have seen or heard of searched for participants for studies still.
Well then I stared creeping up again and trying every trick in the book just could not back in the grove, but definitely had learned enough about portion sizes, types of food to avoid and the value of exercise that did note return to my all time high, but was back to hovering in the upper 290's.
For much as I know about meal plans , and am very OCD about allot of things in my life, taking care of myself before others has always been a difficult task for me, that's probably why I enjoy being a nurse as much as I do, I love educating others, but have difficulty following even my own advise.
This past year more health issues popped up, including a quite painful, debilitating arthritis in my hip, making any kind of activity very uncomfortable, and though I am probably a good candidate for joint replacement my orthopedist felt the chance of a successful outcome were slim. I also learned, though appear stable , I have two Small aortic aneurysms and another on my renal artery, none of which if they became large enough to require surgery would the surgeon feel I was a very good risk for surgery at my current weight, these issues made my need to lose weight once and for all a more urgent need.
I also became a grandmother 9 months ago for the first time, and started thinking about my own grandmother being about the same age as I am now when I was born and thought about all the energy she had to go places with me, go shopping, child care, etc and thought I don't know if I have that kind of energy, I had hoped to get a jump start with weight loss early last year when I first learned I would be a grandmother, but just get on the right track.
I had been thinking about bariatric surgery since the IGS study and wished maybe I had opted to have the lap band done back when they removed the stimulator, but never felt that that procedure would work and made me a bit uncomfortable. I also thought about by-pass, but because of the complications I had gone through with my hysterectomy and eventual surgical hernia repair and some resection of my small bowel to remove scar tissue was not sure I would be a good candidate.
I am very lucky to have a great internist, who is a marathon runner himself, and very fit is not overly pushy, but knew I had struggled with my weight suggested that I look into bariatric surgery again and I decides okay I'll go through the process, learn more, see what my options are, and then decide. I went to an informational meeting at a local bariatric center , which included much of the staff and surgeon I had worked with during the IGS study. There I learned about gastric sleeve as an option and thought, yeah, this makes sense. I am going to continue the process,. so 5 and 1/2 months later, several appointments, a over- the-phone nutrition/healthy life style counseling (even the dietician thought this was a joke for me as I already knew what she needed to teach me, and was able to teach her a thing or two) , and my insurance okaying the coverage for the procedure, which is reason for the delay and many appointments, I finally was scheduled for surgery which occurred this last Tuesday March 6th. Let the next step of my life journey begin!!!