I posted a video to Facebook a couple of days ago to share “my story” My hope (it still is) to continue to post videos sharing my journey up to this point. However, I have a piece-o-crap laptop which I can’t download my iPhone content onto, which means, for now, I can’t do any more videos. So I thought I would pick up blog where I left off from the video…..
So I gave a brief history of my health obstacles, described the stroke in 2009 which was my last and hopefully final major health obstacle Couple my health obstacles with poor eating habits and BAM it was a recipe for morbid obesity……
Honestly, bariatric surgery just was never on my radar. I think primarily because my mom had a friend who had bypass and failed at it. So not only did she lecture me about this person, quite honestly I had failed at every diet I had ever tried and I didn’t want to be a surgery failure as well. So bypass and bariatric surgery were tainted in my mind and just not an option…..that is until I went back home Christmas 2013.
I was blown away at how fabulous my sister in law looked and seemed to feel. She had shed some serious weight. I, of course, knew that she had had lap band surgery at some point, BUT she had lost more weight this time, so I was curious what she was doing. She informed me that she had been a revision from lapband to the sleeve and my curiosity was peeked. So she told me all about the surgery and I’ll be honest, it was like a fire had been set in my mind. I felt like, “WOW if Sandy can do it, so can I!!!” You see my SIL is uber uber busy but she was successful at it. I felt like if she can make this work, so can I and plus I know someone personally who’s not only had the surgery but is successful with it. Not some random friend of my moms.
So we got home from Christmas and I started researching. More so to appease my husband who wasn’t really on board. Because at this point, I knew I was going to push forward with it. So I found a surgeon someone who I hated but was a close driving distance to our home. My first consult was right around Thanksgiving 2013. At this point, I knew I would have to get on a scale, something I avoided like the plague. I knew that I was pushing 300lbs and I just couldn’t deal with that reality, so I just didn’t weigh myself. It was no real shocker when the surgeon’s scale read 315. Yes I wanted to cry, BUT I knew that I was making the right choice. EVEN THOUGH, NOONE in my family was on board with my decision.
But I get it, they were all scared. I had been through health hell on earth and now I was electing to have my guts chopped up intently so no real reason or so they thought I get it, but it didn’t make it easy on me. Thankfully my resolve was resolute. I would not be deterred. I felt like this was my ONE chance at really taking my life back from Satan. I felt like I HAD to make this surgery work or I would die from obesity related problems. I had been through too much to then turn around and get diabetes something that runs in my family You see I was already medicated from high blood pressure, something that didn’t resolve after my pregnancies. I had already had a stroke, granted NOT from high blood pressure, but I didn’t want to put myself at risk for another one I had high cholesterol and was on meds.
I want to LIVE, something I hadn’t really done in a very long time. So this surgery was my way out if you will.
I was determined.
So the day in the surgeon’s office, I didn’t love her, but I felt like this was my compromise for my husband. She was the closest option to the town we lived in AND I knew he’d have to drive me….I have low vision following the stroke and don’t like to drive if I don’t have to. Now most people would’ve thrown in the towel, but not me. I was determined to make it work.
So Dr. Hawver gave me instructions, she wanted me on a high protein, low carb, low calorie (1100 calories) diet from that day forward for 3 weeks to see “how desperate I wanted to change”-her words not mine. She said I need to have some weight loss in that time frame and if I didn’t she wouldn’t do the surgery…..no pressure, right?!
I was freaked out because remember I had NEVER successfully lost any weight on my own…..but again I was determined, so I set out with this in mind.
I’m not going to lie, it was INTENSE. We went home that Christmas 2014 and I did the best I could, I didn’t eat like I would normally have in the past. I did “go off the reservation” a bit, if you will, but nothing drastic. Ironically I didn’t weigh myself thought-out this time frame, I don’t know why, I just didn’t.
So when I went back into her office and I was down from 315-309 I was thrilled!!!! I had managed to lose some weight. She was happy. So we moved forward in the process…..the next step was to keep eating the way I was eating and once scheduled for surgery to begin a 2 week liquid diet. I’m not going to lie, I was scared of the liquid diet, but I was determined to do whatever it took to be successful.
Oh, it’s also important to note that stupid Dr. Hawver continued to tell me that to expect any loss greater than 25% would be an injustice to myself. That to be thankful and happy IF I ended up at 222. I just remember thinking, “lady you don’t know me, you don’t know what I’ve been through and you certainly don’t know my resolve” My plan at this point is to hit 180 and call that ole bag up and give her nurse a piece of my mind!!
So I jumped through all the hoops, pre surgery testing, consultations etc. I scheduled everything back-to-back so that I could get a surgery date sooner than later. My mind was set. I would not be deterred. I finally had a surgery date of Feb. 3, 2014, which meant my liquid diet phase began 2 weeks prior. I had the typical food funeral, ate all my favorite crap food, then I began my liquid diet. It wasn’t as bad as I had expected it to be. I literally lived on Progresso chicken pot pie soup with unflavored whey protein powder during the liquid phase stage and post op. Now if I NEVER saw another can of that soup again I would be ok J
Then about a week prior to surgery I got bronchitis and my PCP put me on antibiotics. It did not even occur to me to let my surgeon’s office know, so I didn’t until the morning of surgery. I called the hospital that morning and spoke to a nurse. I guess I was freaking out that it could deter my surgery, I had finished the meds but was still feel punky. The nurse paged Hawver (it’s about 3am) and she called me back, gave me a stern “talking to” and she to come to the hospital she would decide at that point if she would do the surgery. She wanted me to drive over an hour to see if she would still do the surgery. Of course I did because this was my one shot……You can imagine I prayed fiercely as we drove to the hospital. Talk about putting your patient under undue stress, she was a nightmare, but again I was determined so I jumped.
Hawver apparently didn’t let anyone at the hospital know that my surgery could be rescheduled because as soon as I go there they ushered me into the area for prep. Nasty Hawver poked her head in, grunted something to me and left….again I would not be deterred. I remember stepping on the scale and I had gone from 309 to 297!!! I was over the moon excited. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had seen a 2 at the front of my weight on the scale. I had lost 9lbs in 2 weeks and 18 since the beginning of the process. I was beyond excited. I knew that this was the right choice for me.
I went into surgery. Had complications, which I discuss on my FB video but even with the ICU stay, the complications, the pain, I was excited and determined and I haven’t looked back since they wheeled me in for surgery.
It would seem that obstacles have defined me over the years….
Now for those judgmental jerks out there who think bariatric surgery is the easy way out, I don’t even know why you are reading this blog, but you are so let me tell you a thing or two. There are many roads that lead to weight loss, bariatric surgery is simply just one of them and the road I chose. At the end of the day it’s a person’s resolve to get healthy and how THEY decide to bring that resolve out of them should be applauded not berated!! This is the path I’ve chosen and I WILL make it work because that’s the kind of person I am. Now you know…..