I am a 45 year old woman. I have been married for 14 years. I have also been overweight - morbidly so all my adult life. I had my daughter in 1986 and after that my weight just kept going up and up. My heaviest weight I ever have been was 302. That scared the living daylights out of me. I am only 5'6 and carrying that much weight is not good. When I first began thinking about WLS I was looking for a magic bullet. Something I would not have to work hard to acheive but would just take the weight off. I now know that is not possible or reasonable. It took me 25 years to put on this weight, it is not going to come off easily. I have cried many nights because I can not stand looking in the mirror, having my picture taken, or have my husband even look at me for fear I will disgust him.
I have fought depression, hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis, diabetes, night cramps, cancer and high cholestrol. I am still here. I am still living. It is now time to take charge and lose this weight.
I will begin at the beginning. When I was a teenager, like everyone, I weighed 117 to 120. I looked pretty damned hot. I met the wrong boy, got pregnant, and he wanted nothing to do with me or our baby. I was 19 years old. Having been brought up in the church I was very ashamed of myself for getting into this situation. I fell in the a depression that lasted for over 20 years. I was surviving not living. My family, friends and church members were all very supportive of me during this time. I had my daughter and we were accepted by everyone. If anyone ever had a problem with me they never let me know. This support system did help but it did not alleviate the shame I felt.
I was living at home with my mother. I met a man who had 2 daughters and after a hasty courtship, we were married. I was stupid for I did not get to know him as well as I should. The first year was fine. We had a happy marriage. But I soon began to realize that I married him for all the wrong reasons. Again, my regiously beliefs kept me in my marriage because I made this decision and I had to stick with it. My ex-husband had many issues from his childhood that he had never worked out, and became apparent soon after our marriage began. Of course I wanted to try and help him. Once I realized I was unable to, my depression grew deeper. I began to eat to stuff my feelings. I was deeply unhappy. I could not stand to allow this man to touch me. And only when he became verbally abusive to me and my daughter did I do something and got out of the marriage. I began to research my options, where I could go for help, finding a place to rent for the two of us, and how much money I would require for all this. Finally the day came for me to take charge and make him leave. I did just that. It was like having a weight being lifted from my shoulders and I could breath again. Interestingly enough, I lost like 45 pounds right after that. I had no desire to eat, I was active, I decided to go back to school, I was feeling pretty good about my life.
I soon became lonely and wanted someone to share my life with. Having grown up in the church I began to pray. I pray God would send me the person I was to spend my life with, and within a month, I met my new husband. My husband lived in Canada. I lived in Oklahoma. How did this happen you might ask, well, we met via the internet when it was brand new. We met in 1994. We were members of the same forum, and we began to write (email) each other as friends. He was dating - I was dating, and well our feelings for each other grew. Neither one of us was REALLY looking for a long distance relationship, but God works in mysterious ways. He brought me my husband and I was not going to allow him to slip away. 16 years later, here we are. Married, happy and now about to face yet another challenge with my WLS. My DH is very supportive of my decision. He attends all my appointments with me. He asks questions so he is well informed what to expect. He is helping with the pre-surgery diet. For my birthday he paid for me to start belly dancing classes on Jan 19, 2011. I am very excited about that.
When I first started to comtemplating have WLS, I was researching LapBand surgery. For many reasons but mainly because it was the least envasive and totally reversable. I was referred and accepted into a program my province was sponsoring where they would allow so many people have the LapBand and all the different services paid for by the province. I went through everything they offered only to be devastated when I heard due to financial reason's they were discontinuing the program. I was very upset. I did not allow that to stop me however. I again prayed to God to show me the way. To help me figure out a safe reliable way to lose this weight. One thing I have not told you is I work in an outpatient clinic that helps people who live with Parkinson's Diease. I am the secretary and I open all the incoming mail. One day I opened one of the physicians mail and found a weight loss pamphlet for a local doctor that was a self referral. So I called to find out what the clinic offered. I even made an appointment to go meet the doctor. After meeting them and hearing what their clinic offered, I realized it was not for me. I had informed them I was mainly interested in the Lapband surgery and was hoping they would be able to help me with that aspect. The doctor then told me about a surgeon who offeres WLS and is very hard to get into. He only accepts referrals one day a year and only the first 200 referrals get in. This doctor offered to make a referral for me to this surgeon. I said thank you and pretty much forgot about it. I then received a call some time later asking me to come to the clinic because the doctor was getting ready to make the referrals and wanted to meet with me again to make sure I was still interested. So, for me out of the blue this opportunity came. My prayers were answered once again.
I had to weight to meet the surgeon for about 11 months (which was shorter than I thought I would have to wait). I have had my first appointment with Dr. Lawrence Farries on November 30, 2011. I went in totally set on getting the LapBand surgery. I had gone through so many classes and seminars I knew the surgery backwards and forwards, so I thought. In my first meeting, I was asked to watch a little video that explained all the WLS options, all the pros and cons, what to expect with each surgery. After viewing this video, my mind changed. They stated that with the Lapband surgery you had to be very diligent in dieting for it to work. You had to account for everything you placed in your mouth and make sure it is the exact right thing. I know myself, I know I am not dedicated. When I heard about the VGS, I felt like almost coming home. It felt like the exact right thing I needed. When I discussed this with the surgeon, he agreed with me that it was the correct surgery for me. He then put me on a pre-surgery diet. 1 cup of food 3 times a day. No soda pop, no caffeinated drinks, only skim milk. I now drink only water. I have been able to stick to my 1 cup 3 times a day and lost 21 pounds in one month.
I have had to have a Endoscopy to check my GI tract. I have to have a pyschiatric evaluation which is coming up soon. and once those two things are clear, I will have a surgery date. I am not nervous about the surgery and the after diet or any of the possible complications, what I was nervous about was the Endoscopy. I had this done yesterday (Jan 14, 2011). I informed everyone I could I have a very bad gag reflex, and was told I would be asleep and would not remember anything and a spray would be giving to help numb my throat. Well, I don't remember anything about the scope however I did gag while I do not remember I gagged, I now have the sore throat to prove I did gag. I can not talk very loud at the moment (which might be a good thing for my husband
) and I can't eat anything that is very scratchy because I am having a hard time swallowing anything. Although I am sure everything went okay I am nervous I might have to go through that again. I don't know why I just have this fear that due to my retching it impeded the surgeon from getting all the information he needed to get.
So that is where I am, I have another appointment at the surgeon's office on Feb 8, my pysch eval is scheduled for March 2, 2011, and another follow up on March 8th. Then I am hoping I will get my surgery date. My fingers are crossed for sometime in June/July. Please send good vibes.
That is it for now.
Since November 30, 2010 I have lost a total of 25 pounds. Yay me!