Two years post-op -- some observations

on 6/28/12 2:20 pm - Los Gatos, CA
I had my RNY on June 29, 2010.  I did my due diligence in the months before the procedure, looking around at all the common options, and felt pretty good about my choice to go forward with the bypass.  My recovery, judging from what I read here on OH, was about normal.

Like just about everyone else, I dealt with the stalls, the weakness and lack of energy, the bad breath, and the hair loss.  And of course, it took a while to work my way through the experiments to find a balance of vitamins and supplements that were palatable and priced right.  Remember... those things are forever.

Was it worth it?  Would I do it again?  Oh, yes.  Without a moment's hesitation.

In the first few months after my surgery, I lost:  my perpetually sore knees, my sleep apnea, my type 2 diabetes, my cardiac arrhythmia, and my bad cholesterol numbers.  I was able to discontinue nearly all of my (significantly expensive) daily meds.  Well within a year, I had also dropped 125 pounds.  The quality of my life has improved immeasurably, and I am likely to live seven to ten more years as a result.

My surgeon did his job well.  The surgery had its intended effect.  But those are mechanical things, and obey the classic laws of probability.  Most of the time, things go as expected.

It has been two years now since my surgery.  I dropped from around 315 pounds down to about 180 within a year, and have maintained at that level pretty consistently so far.  In fact, my weight this morning was 175.

A point that should be made, especially for those who are contemplating weight loss surgery, is that the surgery will do little more than provide you with a valuable tool that can be used to manage your weight.  There are manifest examples of folks for whom the surgery was little more than a temporary pause in their slow, lifelong journey to morbid obesity.  Unless you are willing to change your eating habits -- forever -- maybe you should save yourself the hassle and discomfort and money that surgery will bring.

I haven't eaten a french fry or a potato chip, much less a hamburger, in over two years.  I still have a protein shake and a few prunes for breakfast every day.  I still eat a protein bar for lunch every day, as I have since about two months post-op.  Mid-afternoon, if I need a snack, it'll be a piece of fruit.
My dinners are kind of normal, minus the starch (potatoes, pasta, bread) that I used to enjoy.  It is really only at dinnertime that the RNY-reduced capacity of my remnant stomach plays much of a role in my weight loss.  I guess I've made the conversion: I now eat to live, and no longer live to eat.

If all that sounds like preaching, I'm sorry.  But my age (67) and former occupation (high school teacher) have conditioned me to call a spade a spade.  I'm having the time of my life now.  My biggest regret is that I didn't have the surgery 30 years ago.

If you're recovering from WLS, or just thinking about it, keep thinking good thoughts.  Believe in yourself.  Ask questions, follow good advice, and try to set a reasonable set of goals.  It will be worth your time and energy.  Good luck.

Learning to swim was easy.  The hard part was getting out of that burlap sack.  Those rocks were heavy.
High: 310    Surgery day: 282     Goal: 190     Current: 178

on 6/28/12 2:38 pm
 Thanks so much for sharing that, and reaffirming my reasons for having RNY, just two days ago.

on 6/29/12 1:22 am - Los Gatos, CA
You're welcome, Brenda.
I know the next couple of weeks will be a challenge, but there's no turning back now.  Keep your eye on the goal.  Best of luck to you.
BTW: In the first days after my surgery, it really hurt to sneeze or cough or even clear my throat.  I learned that if I backed up against a wall and clutched a firm pillow to my abdomen first, it made the experience much less painful.
Learning to swim was easy.  The hard part was getting out of that burlap sack.  Those rocks were heavy.
High: 310    Surgery day: 282     Goal: 190     Current: 178

on 6/28/12 2:55 pm - TX
Don: What a fantastic post!!!! I am a year out and doing really well, as well. It is important to let others know of our successes and our problems but also what is REAL. My journey is similar to yours, I embrace the life-changes and try to keep a positive attiture. You post is very real and inspriring. Thank you Thank you.

HW: 328   GW: 164  CW: 159  Height - 5' 8"  
GOAL REACHED 12/15/2012!!!!!!!!!

RNY Surgery Date:  6/21/11  
LBL/BL  - 11/6/2012 Arm Lift with Abdominal Lipo - 12/11/2012 - Dr. Paul PIn
Love me without restriction, trust me without fear, want me without demand and accept me for who I am.         - unknown - 



(deactivated member)
on 6/28/12 3:15 pm - WA
RNY on 08/21/12
I'm still in the pre-op phase and posts like yours are keeping me motivated and confirm that I'm making the right choice for me. I've stopped buying any bread, pasta, potato or rice and am finding that I am missing them less and less. I've quit smoking and am now even off of the patch. These are things that I never thought I could or would do, but I want to be healthy. Thank you for sharing that these dropped habits are forever, not just temporary...and that it's worth it!
on 6/29/12 1:24 am - Los Gatos, CA
Just cutting out the smoking probably added many years to your life (not to mention the dollars in your pocket)).
It's surprising what bad habits we can break if the motivation is strong enough.  Best of luck to you in your journey.
Learning to swim was easy.  The hard part was getting out of that burlap sack.  Those rocks were heavy.
High: 310    Surgery day: 282     Goal: 190     Current: 178

on 6/28/12 3:55 pm
 True it is all worth it.. I'm only 6 months out and 82 lbs down. Already feeling much better. Blood sugar level is normal. Waiting for more labs to be done in sept..
on 6/28/12 9:18 pm
 Congratulations for losing and maintaining!!! Thank you for sharing your experience thus far. It really helps those of us still early in the journey. 


Don 1962
on 6/28/12 9:22 pm
Well said.

Never, and I mean NEVER, trust a fart!! 

on 6/28/12 10:20 pm
Great post.  on maintaining!!!