I think it might finally be time to do this

on 12/1/18 7:11 am

Hello all,

This is my first time posting to this forum. I am 41 years old, married, a nurse and a mother of 3 kids (15, 15 and 12) I am 5'3, 315 lbs and the highest I have ever been. I have been overweight since adolescence, having been put on my first diet at age 11. I stopped dieting years ago and have stayed around this weight for several years, uncomfortable as it is. I fully believe diets do not work (if they did I would be a healthy weight many times over by now). There is no doubt in my mind that I cannot lose so much weight without surgery. I full believe my options are to stay this weight or have surgery. That is it.

I have thought about surgery off and on for many many years (when I logged in today it reminded me that I am first registered for this site in 2011) I have known a few people who have had the RNY. Up until the last 1-2 years I was able to tell myself that I was just overweight but otherwise fine. In the last year or so I was diagnosed with: MS, sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension and had spinal surgery to correct severe cervical spinal stenosis. My back and knees hurt every day. My energy level is so low (improved since I now use cpap every night successfully). I avoid doing active things because I get winded so easily. I avoid travel because of the fear of not fitting in a plane seat. I avoid social situations because ugh, what to wear?

Every day I have to think about: will I fit in that booth? Will I break that chair? Will it hurt to sit in that theater seat? Will I knock something over? Bump into people and things? If I feel this way at 41 how will I feel at 51? 61? 71? Will I live to see those ages?

The thought of so drastically permanently altering my stomach and digestive track freaks me out. But then I try to remind myself that I have altered other parts of my body for my health (I have a plate and 6 screws in my neck, I have taken a medication for MS that has lifetime risks to my health) Why am I willing to take those risks for those things and not this?

The idea of looking so drastically different, unrecognizable, freaks me out. The sagging skin after surgery. The hair loss?

Can I follow the rules? I was always great at diets in the beginning, so gung ho. But I always lost my motivation eventually and slipped back into old patterns. But I also never had THIS tool.

I know my family and friends will be supportive. It still feels scary to tell them.

I work at a major medical center with a robust bariatric surgery program. It is covered by my insurance. Every time I have thought about scheduling an appointment I have chickened out. I finally did it and I am scheduled for 12/12 to meet with a surgeon. From what I have read I think if I have surgery it will be the RNY.

There it is. Where I am at. All laid out. Is it finally time? I know I am the only one who can answer that. I appreciate your wisdom and support. ??

on 12/1/18 7:23 am, edited 11/30/18 11:24 pm
RNY on 11/22/16

Welcome!! This is the hardest and best think I have done for myself. You are going to look back and ask yourself why you didn't do it sooner.

on 12/1/18 10:24 pm

That is great to hear, thank you for your reply.

on 12/1/18 8:18 am
RNY on 02/14/18

Good for you for continuing your journey and self assessment and good luck with your appt on the 12th!

You have a lot of thoughts here so I'm going to pick one to comment on -- because it's one I'm dealing with right now.

"The idea of looking so drastically different, unrecognizable, freaks me out" --- I am getting "oh, I didn't know it was you" a lot -- which is great but uncomfortable. Usually it's followed with "but then you opened your mouth and I knew you right away" or "but your laugh is still the same" or "I'd know your smile no matter what". It's only some of the physical things that change! What makes you you will still be there (for better or for worse, I'm not sure "then you opened your mouth and I knew you" is all that positive, lol).

On the other hand, my sisters partner (not known for being tremendously observant) told me at thanksgiving "you seem lighter, I don't mean your weight but your spirit". That's a "loss" I can get behind!

The head part of this journey continues 9 months after my surgery, and I know from the vets here who share so much, it will continue every day of my life. By having the surgery and being disciplined, I have the energy and willingness to tackle the other hard stuff that I need to. Maybe not every single day, but more days than I did at my highest weights! Some days I feel very comfortable in my new (saggy) skin and some days I look in the mirror and wonder who is that person -- but I looked in the mirror pre surgery and wondered "how did I get here" so it's just a different side of the same coin. Some people have plastic surgery after wls, some don't -- I'm early in so I don't know where I'll wind up; right now I'm just entertaining myself with the acknowledgement that my batwings are now dragon wings and I've always liked dragons more than bats.

If you decide this is the route for you, you will have changes and challenges, but for me, I decided they were offset by the potential continuing health challenges or maybe not meeting the children of my nieces and nephews when they are born, way in the future. I am a great aunt...but I really want to be a Great-Aunt:-)

Good luck to you as you continue. Read through the posts here and on the RNY forum (the menu thread was helpful for me when I had to show my sister that I wouldn't starve to death) and ask questions when you have them!

HW: 306 SW: 282 CW:144.8 GW: 145 (reached 2/6/19), next goal - 132.9


on 12/1/18 10:27 pm

Thank you! You make so many good points. And there are challenges regardless right? Living life at this weight is challenging. I like what you said about having more energy to tackle the hard stuff. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I will stick around and ask questions and learn from the people here.

on 12/1/18 8:41 am - Philadelphia, PA
RNY on 04/28/15

Like you, I toyed with the idea of surgery for a while before biting the bullet and doing it. I'm sure if I'd done it at first thought I would not have been successful- I'm retrospect there was so much I didn't understand, know etc. and I would have continued to let life excuses (busy, family, work, etc) get in the way of making good choices.

I had had surgery at age 37 and was ready. How did I know? I was literally tiredness of eating crap- it didn't even appeal to me any more. And I was scared I was on borrowed time in terms of health. I've never once regretted it and my life is so different. Heath is my priority, and maintaining my loss.

Be selective with family and friend support. We get get hung about this and everyone that's in the 'normal' world tired quickly of hearing about all this. Use the forums as your outlet too. And some family and friends will turn on you-- they accept you as you are now, which for some is not any level of 'competition' for them. Once you change- you'll Have redefined the relationship- which makes others uneasy.

finally, I know your a nurse- but realize that this may be an area of healthcare you know little about-- the feedback you will get in this site is invaluable to your success.

5'6.5" High weight:337 Lowest weight:193/31 BMI: Goal: 195-205/31-32 BMI

on 12/1/18 10:30 pm

You are right, I don't know much about this area of healthcare. I have a lot to learn. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I really need to hear from people who are happy with their decision and would do it again.

The Salty Hag
on 12/1/18 8:51 am
RNY on 05/20/13

Changing the way you eat, and the way you think about food is a huge hurdle for many people-myself included. I'm still a foodie. I still love good-tasting food, but I've had to redefine what that good-tasting food is. I've never fully embraced the "food is only fuel" mindset, but I've done pretty okay at maintaining a 140 lb loss at 5.5 years out.

I congratulate you on taking the steps. They ARE scary, but if you are really ready for this, and it sounds like you are-you'll be improving the quality of your life.

I had surgery at 41, and at 47 now, I feel SO MUCH BETTER on a daily basis than I did even in my 20's, when my weight was everywhere from 201 to 285.

I woke up in between a memory and a dream...

Tom Petty

on 12/1/18 10:35 pm

That is what I am hoping for. I want to feel the best I ever have because even in my 20s I was overweight. I love food, cooking, gardening, canning/preserving. These are my hobbies. I don't want to give them up. Hoping I can find a way to enjoy good food in a healthy way. I can still cook for my family and enjoy that process and enjoy what I am able to while sticking to the guidelines (I think?) It's time to add active things to my hobbies! Right now I am too out of shape to enjoy walking, hiking, biking or anything active. My 74 year old father and 71 year old mother do things with my kids that I am too out of shape to do.

Citizen Kim
on 12/1/18 9:19 am - Castle Rock, CO

I had this surgery at your age and here I am, 56, and in excellent health! I've never had a single day of regret in 14.5 years, not one!

Don't waste another day. If you have these health problems at such a young age, where will YOU be in 5, 10, 15 years?

Surgery isn't magic, you will have to work at it every day, but you're worth it!

Hang out here, join the RNY menu thread, make friends among your peers who will understand. Make the most of this awesome resource to take back your health.

Proud Feminist, Atheist, LGBT friend, and Democratic Socialist