I grew up in a home with very poor eating habits. We hardly ever had fresh produce in the house or juice. The foods we had were mostly sweet cereals, milk, soda, sweet snack foods, chips and microwavable foods. My family ate out very often, sometimes as often as three times in a single day. Needless to say I was not getting the nutrition I needed and had very little self control when I moved out as a young adult.
Dieting had been something I had been doing off and on since before I was overweight. I'm pretty sure dieting helped me become overweight. A few months of denying myself practically everything that I wanted to eat and then binging on those terrible foods afterwards was not healthy.
At 30, I saw my scale tip at 311 lbs. I knew I had to do something. Through weight watchers I was able to get myself down to 278 lbs. I was only in weight watchers for a month or two but stuck with the plan for about 4 months. Then I kept the weight off for about a year, balancing myself between 280 and 285. It was nice to be making healthier choices most of the time and the change wasn't that difficult. It just wasn't enough.
My family has a history of many medical problems, most of which are weight related. I decided that I needed to do something more direct about my weight and take care of my health now before I have problems. In fact, I have had several doctors and medical personnel looking at my test results before surgery and they all remarked how healthy I am! Let's keep it that way!
I went to Dr. Moran's Office for their free seminar on weight loss surgery options. I love the Raleigh Center for Weight Loss. They offer the seminars for free to show people what both gastric bypass and lap-band surgeries entail and give you the information on each. Dr. Moran and his staff provide you with the pros and cons of both surgeries and let you decide which one is best for you. They'll advise you but the decision is ultimately up to you.
After a series of medical tests: sleep study (I had a mild type of sleep apnea), blood work, chest x-ray, barium swallow, and an ultra-sound, I was approved by my insurance for the surgery. I have Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield. I more than exceeded their requirements for a high BMI to qualify for the surgery.
On June 9th, 2011 (Thursday morning) I had my Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Procedure. I had high blood pressure after the surgery and the medical staff at Rex Hospital made sure that I was stable before they sent me up to my room in the surgery recovery wing. The staff at Rex Hospital are very familiar with weight loss surgery patients and are great at taking care of them post surgery. I had a rough night Friday Night with nausea and dizziness caused by dehydration but by Saturday morning I was feeling 90% back to myself. I was walking the halls of the hospital wing, teasing the nurses that I was making a break for it, showering myself, dressing myself, packing my bags and then I was released Saturday afternoon.
When I got home, I was disappointed that I had actually gained a few pounds while in the hospital. I have to assume that this was due to water weight gain (since I was dehydrated the staff at Rex kept me on a fluid IV drip up until the time I left). I was also a little bruised and puffy around my stomach (as to be expected).
Today is Tuesday, June 14th and I'm down a few pounds from where I was before the surgery. I'm back to 280.2 pounds. Basically everything I lose from this point forward will put me ahead of where I was by dieting on weight watchers last year.
I've spent the last few days sorting clothes and doing laundry. I found out that I have 15 pairs of jeans to shrink into! 15 pairs of jeans - 3 that I was wearing pre-surgery, 1 that needs a button sewn to it, and 11 pairs of jeans waiting for me to shrink into them! I got excited looking at some of the nice looking clothes that I already own that are just a few sizes too small for me to wear right now. It'll save me money at first by being able to wear these. Many of them look brand new and I'm sure that a few were on clearance sale but never fit me.
This first week on clear liquids is going well. I'm drinking a lot of crystal light (the lemonade is awesome). Hot tea has always been a favorite of mine and I'm enjoying the decaffeinated teas I've been drinking this week (a packet of splenda makes them more awesome!). I also found out that I am allowed to drink ISO-PURE protein shakes this week. I find that the shakes are not that great without fruit or milk, but that comes next week. I'm very lucky that the Food Lion grocery stores here are having a BIG sale on fruit this week. I'm going to pick up a bunch, wash them, chop them, zip lock bag them and freeze them for next week's protein shakes.
I feel like I'm at the start of a very positive and healthy journey that only result in great changes for myself.