I am so happy to have found this site! I have felt so alone for so many years.....This is probably the one and only time I will put something on here because over the past 10 years I have become somewhat of a recluse and have shunned any and all interaction with people. Frankly, I am surprised that I am even contemplating this, but I wanted to tell my story for anyone else that might "accidently" discover this site like I did. You see, I am 55 years old and at age 28 (yes, 27 years ago in 1980) I had the RNY procedure. I went from a whopping 416 lbs. to 303 lbs. in the first year, but my experience was nothing like it is now!
In 1980, my Mom read an article about a new surgery referred to as "stomach stapling" and urged me to look into it to lose weight. I got a referral from a local physician and traveled 170 miles to visit a Dr. Maunz in Bangor, Maine. He explained the procedure, ordered some bloodwork from my local hospital and told me to return in 3 weeks for the surgery. After 9 days of believing that I had died and gone to hell, I returned home with my next appointment for when my staples would be removed. Upon leaving the hospital (feeling like death warmed over), I asked a nurse if I had any instructions on what I could eat and she said "whatever my stomach would tolerate". I had a 16 inch incision from my belly button to just under my breasts and rubber tubing inserted in 3 places along one side of the incision which came out on the other side and was tied in the middle over the line of staples in the center. ( I guess it was to hold me together or else keep anything from falling out!?)
The initial weight loss was great but I also lost a lot of hair and spent a lot of time in the bathroom. After this problem corrected itself, I returned to college to get my degree and spent a lot of time in the library trying to find information on this surgery and some type of guidance. There was none. I felt so alone and mad at myself for not being able to figure out why my body was starting to put on weight. I convinced myself that everyone else had had success and my failure was my fault. The weight came back and I am now 55 years old and weigh 440 lbs.(and gaining).
Along with the weight gain came "Dumping Syndrome", pernicious anemia, B12 injections(monthly), hypoglycemia, malnutrition(absorption difficulties), sleep apnea, severe depression ,chronic joint pain and now my thyroid has quit working. I also have degenerative disc disease so my mobility is greatly impaired, my metabolism rate is all but nonexistent and the weight gain was inevitable.
Now, I don't mean for this to sound like a "boo-hoo is me" letter so please bear with me for a few more minutes.
Last year I was in the hospital with pulmonary emboli and while there, I met a wonderful surgeon by the name of Dr.Luis Jimenez that had been called in to do an endoscopy. Needless to say, he was shocked to find out that I was over 400 lbs. and gastric bypass was in my charts... They had just recently started doing this type of surgery in rural northern Maine and he wanted me to come see him after I was discharged. After so many years of doctors shrugging their shoulders at me, my curiousty got the best of me and I went.
Dr. Jimenez said he had done the surgery, but no revisions, and he wanted to refer me (Bless his heart!!!) to someone else. He was reluctant to attempt it himself because with the risks involved, he felt my best chance would be with someone that had had more practice than himself. He said I was a young woman and had a lot of life ahead of me and deserved to have a better life. I have since been to a doctor in Bangor and one in Portland and they have both said no, because the risks were too great. I haven't returned to Dr. Jimenez but his interest and his willingness to say "come see me" has touched me....more than he can imagine!! I just can't take anymore disappointments. Besides, more doctors means being in the public...YUCK!
I can't remember where I saw a reference to the DS surgery, but decided to read up on it and find out how it differed from the RNY..... Imagine how I felt when I found you people!!!! Finally, people that had had WLS and were willing to talk about it, discuss problems or successes and even offer helpful suggestions and support. I all but cried. I am NOT alone and there are successes out there AND failures, yet you are all still plodding forward. I respect each and every one of you.
Even with everything that has happened, I still believe that weight loss surgery is a blessing. My luck with it wasn't so great but I would have it again if I could. I truly believe that if I had had my surgery with the support system and increased knowledge that is available today, I would have been a success story.
Good Luck everyone and don't forget to reach out for help and support....It is more important than any of you can imagine.
Oh, and thanks for giving me a place to tell my story......Sue