But neither is living with incapacitating obesity, COPD, Severe GERD on and on ad nauseum (literally). BTW Moderaters, I am an old timer on this site but could not seem to retrieve my password so I guess I am new again.
In more ways than one.
At 17, I was the youngest person on the east coast to have an elective gastroplasty (stapled stomach). I weighed close to 300 pounds and lived in my room like a hermit, refusing school and other normal teenage activities because back then, obesity was not nearly as prolific as now and people who saw me were rarely kind. My psyche gave out after so many years as I know many of you understand.
For those not aware of the way a gastrectomy works, well, it doesn't. It's very temporary, if that and back then, there was no insurance coverage, hence, no requirements. The day I was scheduled the surgeon drew me a picture of my new anatomy. I couldn't have cared less. I had size 7 jeans and boys etc. swimming in my head.
The surgery involves creating a small pouch, a staple line on the alternate side and the big gun--- a stoma or tube the width of the pencil coming from the pouch to the rest of the stomach. To keep this tube from stretching, they clamped a polyurethane band around it. In effect, you could break your staple line, stretch your pouch to the size of a football field but nothing much was getting past that band
The result and the need for future revisions was that people like me could rarely eat high density foods, i.e. beef )protein, turkey or even hi fiber breads, pastas...without risking vomiting. I vomited for the 30 plus years of this and rarely kept down meat. Let me say that disciplined eaters could and are successful eating meat on this stomach but I was 17 when I had it and certainly I did not know much about disciplined eating. Over time people with this OG operation tend to fall into maladaptive eating behaviors, e.g. I can eat a small piece of juicy steak (which I would love pre surgery) or a piece of cake and some mac and cheese (soft, slides right down and guaranteed no discomfort).
This is a known phenomena in the bariatric world and it is why ppl who have regained from their horrible diets are encouraged to do it.
I lost the original weight in a year and lived a normal happy life. kids marriage and throwing up became a way of life. Another interesting thing...alcoholic beverage go down easily as well and if you were a person like me who ate for comfort and numbness...and all of sudden couldn't.....well I will let you imagine the rest.
I never got higher than 220 even after my last kid at 40 so I thought I would handle it. I just never got around to it. For some reason, I refused to revise...I thought it was a cop out of some sort. Plus once was enough. that first operation was brutal. No laparascopics then.
I got sick. I began getting severe GERD and respiratory disease. It got progressively worse. I am on disability now because the copd almost incapacitated me. Weight shot up to 300 which horrified me but I was so sick and depression had kicked in. I was beyond caring. The COPD was somewhat puzzling because I had smoked but quit more than a decade before. Lung doc took x rays showing scarring at the base but he said it wasn't consistent with smoking. we discovered the reflux was the problem. I had been aspirating stomach fluids in microdoses for years.
The GI doc wouldn't do the the fundo thing because it isn't always successful and because of my vomiting issues. So I finally bit the bullet and went to see Dr Fitzer in Reston because he specialized in non surgical procedures. He told me straight up that the only surgery that would solve my reflux is RNY. And hey, he said, losing a hundred or so pounds could increase my life span significantly too.
From that moment on, I was all in. it would take expertise. This was a 38 year old revision and a tube covered in a forest of scar tissue. A hiatal hernia the size of a golf ball and an old tummy tuck reducing working area and vision. history of blood clots and to top it off..im not young. Fortunately, the heart and other vitals were in good shape so he made me lose 20 lbs and get cleared by every doc in the region but 3 weeks ago It happened.
When I woke up from that surgery, I was astonished by the pain and discomfort. Revisions hurt more, recuperation is longer and more painful.
But ive done my research in the last 7 years and weight loss pace depends on a variety of factors. I have lost 40 lbs just from the preop and postop liquid diet.
Here is the truth. Initially, I couldn't seem to drink water without searing gas pain and when I began to nibble, constant diarrhea I am a bit fearful of eating even now and food doesn't taste good. No pain to speak of. L-surgery is amazing. The diarrhea and uncertaintly about food is my only issue. Now, I dream of the days I will shoot hoops with my son and chase my grandkids. My best friend food has to hit the bricks. Happily, I am in recovery, so no boozing either. I personally don't care if weight falls off of me in sheets. I know that each pound I lose is something to be grateful for and will add to the quality and god willing length of my life.
Bless you all. Do not let silly ideas and monkey research influence you.
Congratulations on your sobriety! All of us need to hear the truth that if we have bariatric surgery, we must never take even one drink post-op. I?m planning on having my mini-incision RNY (2012) revised to a bipancreatic diversion without duodenal switch by Dr. Elariny in Vienna VA. I had surgery at 257, lowest weight 130, now 216. I've been sober since August 17, 1986.
This. Is. Amazing.
Thank you for being so honest about your journey. I am a pre-op and this helps me understand that there will always be a struggle, but things get better with time, education and knowing your body. I have a friend of mine in a similar situation as you were (she was open incision & stomach stapled) and has experienced a lot of issues. I would love to go to her for things, but since they no longer perform that surgery and it's considered outdated, I can't go to her for some things but I will absolutely provide her with this information so she can hopefully see the light with your story.
I love everything you have to look forward to. I have 2 small children and their pregnancies were difficult for me. Hoping to be on the end to experience life with grandbabies (but not for a long time) lol.
"I know that each pound I lose is something to be grateful for and will add to the quality and god willing length of my life."