Have you ever considered surgery for weight loss? I am not going to tell you that yes you should or no, I am just going to tell you to do your research.
After my mom died in January 2010, I had began searching about weight loss surgery, I had a job where the insurance would cover it. I researched what I could and saw that the total bypass had more risks and that the lap band took too much to take care of, like weekly doctor visits as compared to monthly. They had something newer called the sleeve and all it did was change the size of your stomach.
At the time, the only side effects I could find related to such procedures were: “dumping”, surgical infections, excess skin after weight loss, surgical leaks and very rarely was there any reported deaths. I knew I was to be on vitamins for the rest of my life and not eat sugar products like candy or pastries. My portion sizes would be greatly reduced and I was going to lose weight. But to me that was a small price to pay as long as it meant in the long run my life was longer and healthier. I wanted to be a mom and I knew the road I was traveling on would make that dream impossible. Now I had no medical ailments as a result of my weight, in fact the doctor was surprised, he said you are healthy, just obese. I did not have diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, fatty liver, NOTHING…but I decided since it all ran in the family why make my chances higher by not doing anything.
So March 9, 2010 I underwent gastric sleeve surgery. After surgery I spent 4 days in the hospital as I had caught pneumonia. When I got him I began the liquid diet, I was making myself go out for walks. I thought this was the worst I was ever going to get, I had no idea.
Months later I began having problems with my mobility, it was effecting me so that I could no longer work out. I had tests after tests done, all my blood work was fine, I had been taking my vitamins as I was told to. I was getting worse. In June 2012, I had my gallbladder removed, which did not help and in fact gave me tinnitus and vertigo(just a hint when-ever you have a laparoscopy procedure done..make sure the surgeon puts earplugs in your ears or bring your own as the noise from the machine can cause hearing problems). I was on a medical leave when i had the gall bladder removed and was soon fired from my job, which in result called me to lose my insurance. I fought and won my medical leave pay and a position until a certain time, however no insurance, so how was I to get myself treated? I tried to apply for Medicaid and was denied as there was no more openings, October 2013, I tried to apply for Obamacare and was denied, they stated I earned too much money(they went off my 2012 taxes of when i last worked, a whole year previously..I had been unemployed for over a year at this time.) 2014, again I was denied and was left going to a free clinic, which was pointless they did nothing but chastised me saying nothing was wrong physically, I needed mental help. So finally 2015, I was approved for insurance. I quickly made 2 appointments, one with a family doctor and one with a neurologist. My symptoms were now more advanced than just mobility, I was experiencing weakness and tremors. Finally 5 years after my surgery I was told I had peripheral neuropathy and was a result from having the gastric surgery.
So here I am, I had the surgery to lose weight so I could have a child and now I can’t walk and may be unable to carry a child, if I were to be pregnant I would most likely be on permanent bed rest. But how would I play with my child or even pick them up. I can’t, well not yet, but Insha Allah it will happen and will bring all my dreams to reality.
I am now trying to learn to accept my new limitations, I believe this is just another test to go through.
I do not regret the surgery, as I believe without it, I would be weighing over 600 pounds by now, that is if i was still breathing, however, had I known back then when I had surgery the complications that really could happen, like adhesions, neuropathy, intestional blockages, ulcers, abdominal hernia, constant abdominal pains, anastomotic stenoses, hypoglycemia and emotional disorders. Maybe I would have been more informed and known sooner so when I began having problems I could have been trying different things and not going through all of this for 5 years making my condition much much much worse. I was constantly told that it was not surgery related, however my problems began just months after.
WLS is not a cure all, it is just a tool. It is not an easy way out, it takes alot of courage for a person to admit they need medical intervention. But before you choose it this is truly what you want, RESEARCH and ask questions. Also, know your body..when you feel something is wrong keep fighting until you feel right.
I do follow a low carb diet to help keep the weight off and keep losing, but it is hard to lose weight when you are unable to work-out. But I know if I venture off my healthy eating, I would fall prey to unhealthy choices again and I would be back to where I as before surgery. I now how it is to be heavier as I went that route already and I am not about to forget what I have learned through my disability just to trash my life with unhealthy eating habits.