Thursday, April 30, 2015

Weight Loss Adventures...

That, my friends, is a very recent picture of myself. Sadly, I can't use the phrase "does this gun make my butt look big", well, because, my butt is big. So is my Diabetes, my heart problems, my lethargy and even more so, my depression. I stand at a whopping 5'6" tall (which makes me feel like a giant compared to all the little Asian women at work whom I absolutely tower over), and weigh in at 210 lbs. I know your thinking that I am not that big, and you might be right considering how the average American looks these days. HOWEVER, I have always been healthy up until 6 months ago. I was larger, yes, but I was issue free otherwise.

How did I start this adventure? Well, I eat healthy, limit my red meats, lots of fruit and vegetables, the very occasional alcoholic beverage, low salt intake, but I noted that I was feeling really crappy so off to Dr. Mumtaz I went. I have a significant history of cancer in my family, one of them being thyroid (my mom had hers removed right about this time frame in her life), diabetes, heart problems and other issues, so Jack and I decided to have it checked out for safety. We tested my hormone levels, my blood sugar (fasting), and my thyroid. The results? "You are epically diabetic Mrs. Earley" was the response Dr. Mumtaz gave me. Not, you have a little touch of the diabetes, or there is a problem with your blood sugar, this woman had to toss the term "Epically" in there. My A1c? 7.99 Yes, my fasting blood sugar for 12 hours was a wonderful 199. 

That wasn't the shocker though, it was when she said "You are at a 35% BMI Ms. Earley, you qualify for weight loss surgery...did you know that?" No, I didn't. And I also didn't know I could cry in public like that either.

So off to multiple dieticians and nutritionists I went, and with the changes implemented through all of them I dropped my A1c in 3 months to a "normal" level of 6.0! Apparently, that is quite a feat because my Dr was absolutely thrilled with me!! My average blood sugar is now about a 130, and I managed to drop about 8 lbs. YAY!! 8 lbs, but I am still at a high risk, obesity level. At first, I was absolutely abhorred that I could possibly be a candidate for weight loss surgery! Then, I started to do the research, and I am not one of those people that looks on Wikipedia and says...Oh, ok. No, I followed a few friends who had RnY done, another who had a Gastric Sleeve, and a DS surgery as well. I read forum after forum about before prepping, how to handle things during your short hospital stay, but most importantly; things that can possibly go wrong and how to handle them. I followed the awesome results, and I followed the not-so-awesome results as well. I kept all this knowledge between Jack and I though, at least until I knew for sure if it was really an option I could handle both physically and mentally.

Now, I mentioned Jack above and I should share with you a little bit. He is also twice divorced, and both of his ex's had RnY's done. The first wife had hers done but then turned around and had 4 more children after their divorce. Fail. His second wife had her surgery done, but apparently they were not very thorough because she had a hidden heart issue that resulted in Jack doing CPR on two occasions to save her life. And then there was the ex girlfriend before we got back together who had the lap band done. She was a hot mess and couldn't eat anything more than mashed potatoes and beer, and threw up every time. That was a very short relationship, lol. It is probably unnecessary to say, but he has some serious insecurities about my choosing surgery. So he has attended every appointment with me (minus a few support groups), and went to my pre-op appointment with a LIST of questions. After asking his thousands of questions to Dr. Carter, he is very on board and prepared now with my choice. Leave packet has been submitted, and approved, so he will get to take care of the boys and I for the first 15 days. I expect myself to be up and about by the second day (I'm a stubborn-ass that way), and well into taking care of things myself by the end of the first week. I also know he will kick my ass into gear if I don't take care of myself though.

Now, backing up a little bit, I did decide to do this surgery, and I am going for a Gastric Sleeve. I chose this one simply because it is the least invasive (Madigan will not do lap bands because of the risk factors), I can get the maximum results and even better, NOT look like Skeletor when my body decides it is done with losing weight. It will be an open incision (per my choice as my pudge won't allow a laparoscopic incision. However, while Dr. Carter is in there he is planning to remove my appendix, gallbladder, and repair a herniation point as well, so I'm ok with it being an open surgery. It has taken a little over 3 months of appointments to get my surgery date, which is May 8th. These appointments are no joke I should add. I have seen nutritionists, dieticians, occupational therapy, diabetic nutritionists and been to multiple support group sessions.  The support groups alone are amazing as it is a combination of surgery styles and both pre and post-op patients. There is information to be had there!

The biggest reasoning though for optioning to have a sleeve done is this: I can go into the hospital on medicines for my medical issues, and walk out of the hospital 3 days later with no medicine anymore. That alone is completely worth this. It is a chance to completely retrain my mind, body and soothe my soul of the agonies I have placed there with my years of abuse on my body. I can do this, and I will.

The benefits far outweigh the negatives, but living longer to see those beautiful boys of mine grow. That alone is worth a 3 hour surgery and a few weeks of downtime.

This will be the first time in almost 15 years I will see myself under 200 lbs, even after years of food retraining, exercise, and fad diets galore. I am excited, nervous, and every emotion ever known to mankind right now. I finally broke down and shared this news on FB, and have had an array of responses. One friend told me that I wasn't ready, and I hadn't given dieting a real chance. Another friend told me that I was just taking the lazy way out. Several friends have supported my decision and are following my progress for changes themselves. And then, there are those friends who haven't said anything at all, maybe because they are mad at me for doing this, or maybe they are jealous, but I personally think it's just because their mothers taught them well with the phrase "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all". Good job Moms!

My goal is to post daily now, and allow this to be my way of handling things along my life path. However, for now I need to go because I have a long list of "To-Do" chores to complete before the 8th.

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