Well, I started this journey after falling down and cracking my ribs in November 2011. After a couple days of suffering with the pain, it became difficult to breathe and in a panic I finally went to the Emergency Room. My ribs were fine, but they would not let me leave because my Blood Pressure was 220/160 and was uncontrollable with medicine. Thus began a frank conversation with my doctor about my life and Weight Loss Surgery.
I went to a seminar at Kettering Hospital in February of 2012 determined to do something. My first appointment that month was with the Weight Loss Solutions team of Nutritionist, Psychiatrist, and Physical Therapist and my weight was 555 lbs. I was determined to change my life, but honestly, I was going forward out of desperation and "healthy" seemed unachievable.
Meeting the surgeon, he recommended the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy for my situation due to my extreme weight, lack of certain comorbidities, and ability to lose weight temporarily on my own. I concurred with his expertise and picked a date in August due to my job.
The surgery was tough, but I survived. Recovery was slow. Progress was quick and noticeable. By October, I was "borrowing" clothes from friends and by February, 2013 I bought clothes from Wal-Mart for the first time in my adult life. The weight continued to drop but steadily followed a curve of diminishing returns. As of February 2014 I have lost 300 lbs, reduced my waist 24 inches, my shoe size has decreased 2.5 sizes. I can now pass for a "normal" American.
Things I can do now that I could not do before:
- Tie my shoes
- Sit in a Movie Theater
- Drive a car (even a compact)
- Play catch with my son
- Walk up steps
- Walk more than 100 ft
- Go to professional sports events
- Wear normal size clothes
- Wear a suit and tie
- Garden/yard work longer than 10 minutes
- Can fit in the bathtub
- Donate Blood (can find a vein)
- Normal Blood Pressure
- Improved Sleep Apnea
- Better Sex life
- Improved Stamina
- Rarely get headaches
- Less Joint Pain
- Less Sweating
- Better attitude/confidence
- Rarely get sick
The only negatives have all been emotional. You just don't go from being addicted to food for 40 years to not being addicted to food. Something's gotta give. I wish I had started therapy sooner, but at least I did start seing a therapist. However, for every emotional negative, there has been at least 5 emotional positives. That's the one thing to remember on this journey when you get down: perspective.