First of all, when I started my process 8 years ago, I had been faithfully keeping my profile updated and I had detailed the journey from considering WLS all the way through about 1 year post op. I'm not sure what happened, but during the time I was "away" something happened and all of my stuff had been removed. Not sure what happened there, all of my before and after pics and everything. So sorry about the lack of detail, I'll try and get everything included in a nutshell here...
Ok, my story, eh? Well, as far back as I can remember I was heavy. Always the fat girl in the class. Put that together with being freakishly tall (I hit 5'10" by 7th grade) AND having an unusual name for that time (I'm 38), people know who you are. They remember, too. I've run into people I went to elementary school with and they make stupid comments to this day (WOW, you were always SO big! I always remember you as being so chubby, I can't BELIEVE this is YOU!!!). I was constantly ridiculed, taunted and made fun of. I either had to pretend it didn't bother me, or kick someone in the shins (I actually did both) As I got older, even at my smallest, I was still bigger than all the other girls. I was in Jr high/high school weighing 165 (which is actually a healthy weight for me) and all the other girls were like 110-130, so I was still always huge compared to them. It sucked. Thank God I met my Bestest Buddie who was 5'11"!! A really good thing was that as I got older, I was increaingly appreciated for the Way Cool person that I actually am, and the size really did take a backseat to that (for the most part). I was popular with the people I wanted to be popular with and never had a problem with dating and have always had a blast in general. There were always some issues and thoes zinging reminders, but I had learned how to ignore them (as much as possible).
As the years have gone on, I got married, had 3 kids, gained more and more with each one without losing in between and ended up weighing 338 at my max. My husband never complained, and actually had a really big problem with my decision to have WLS and to get healthy. At that point, I had to re-evaluate my entire life, and decided that if I were going to take control of it, I would have to take TOTAL control. So in addition to losing 170-ish pounds from my body, I lost an additional 250 in the form of one husband, and have not looked back once. I honestly don't know if that would have happened if not for my weight loss, I like to think it would have, and I like to think that it wouldn't have taken me much longer to realize that it needed to happen. It's weird, but I feel so sad for the girl I would be now if I hadn't done this for myself. It seems like the deeper I got (into the fat?) the further away from MYSELF I got, you know? I got lost for a while there... I'm so glad that I realized that I deserved a better life.
Anyhoo... I found out about WLS by reading an article in the Sunday paper. I have never been a reader-of-the-newspaper, so it was funny that I happened to see this. It was about Dr. James Sapala and his new innovative surgery for morbid obesity at St. John Riverview hospital in Detroit. It was new, it wasn't something that you really heard about at that time. This was like 10 years ago, remember. So I thought about it, fantasized. I'm not sure how it happened, really, it seems like I made a phone call, had a couple of appts, and was approved for surgery. It was a blur, like I couldn't BELIEVE it was happening. I couldn't wrap my head around the REALITY of not carrying the weight anymore... of being thin and NORMAL. Really, though, United Healthcare gave me no problems, I went through all of the stuff I had to go through, there was a waiting peroid at that time, and I was approved. Open RNY.
No complications for me, easy as pie, really. The girl I met at the support group meetings had her surgery a month after me and died in the hospital the next day of a pulminary embolism (blood clot to the lung). THAT freaked me out. She was an awesome person, wife and mother of 2 little ones. This isn't something most people like to think about when contimplating this surgery. Makes me appreciate my life each and every day! So I survived. Single and Svelte, ready to take on the world...and I have. The last 7 years has been such a Trip!! I lost like 170-ish pounds, gained back 20-ish (it goes up and down the same 10-15) and am still happy. I freak a little now and then, scared that I'll get back over that 200 mark (my BIGGEST FEAR), but mostly I'm ok. I was gone for a while, but am now back on this incredible site as it was INVALUABLE to me then and I knew it would be now as well. I'm finally ready to do my reconstruction stuff. TT, anyway. That's all I'm really interested in doing, it's the only thing that bothers me. So, I've had my consult with Dr DiNick at Barix in Ypsi, and will be having my surgery on August 22 at Providence Hospital in Southfield (He gives that option). I'm in Royal Oak, so that's just down the road for me. My Community Blue (BC/BS) will cover the procedure and hospital stuff, muscle repair and all. They will not, however, cover the vertical incision for the 'Anchor' TT, that would be 800.00 $ extra. Since I am a working Mom and have had to ba very creative in being able to budget the time off and deductible, that's not an option for me. That's what he wanted to do at consult time, my decision wasn't made until a week after that. I'll not see him again until I go back for pre-op testing. Hopefully, I'll leave that appt feeling as confident as I need to feel knowing a traditional TT will be perfect and beautiful for me! ;) So I guess that's pretty much it for now. I've impressed myself, this is way shorter that I would have thought I could do... I'm a generally Long-Winded Gal!! I'll do what I can to get more pics up, I'll have to find and scan more Before pics and get them up. By the way...I'm curious as to other peoples experiences and opinions on dating/relationships now as opposed to before WLS. I'm always asking that. Nosey perhaps, but I think it's as valid a question as any other. The differences ARE real, and they are HUGE!! I like to see what others think of this... Thanks for taking a minute to read my Tale... say "Hey" if you'd like, it'd be great to hear from you!!