Monday, June 10, 2019

Monday Musings

Oct 2012
This is a photo of me taken in 2012. I weighed 146 lbs, representing a 109 lbs loss since my Lap Band surgery in 2006.  I lost the bulk of it in a couple of years, then stalled for a couple of years.  Then came my divorce and the stress diet.  That dropped me 25 lbs to my goal weight.

Over the years, the weight has slowly crept back on.  Then, this January I had my Lap Band removed because is slipped and was no longer effective.  I really went hog wild after its removal, gaining 18 lbs in six months!  I lost all sense, and all control.  It felt so good to eat a 'normal' sized dinner.  And when we moved into the Big House last year, I let the desserts tempt me.  Everyone here jokes about the 10 lbs weight gain that comes with fine dining here.

The plan after the removal of the band was to have another surgery, this time either a gastric sleeve or a RYN by-pass.  I've chosen the sleeve since I take aspirin for my heart, and the by-pass demands no aspirin, ibuprofen whatsoever as they cause bleeding ulcers for people with that procedure.  Since I must take daily aspirin for my heart, that's a no-go. I've been working with a Bariatric Surgery Group at UC Davis and it's been a good program combining nutritionists, support groups, psychological therapy and top-notch surgeons.

I'm one of those unlucky people that really does have to be very conscientious about my food in-take. I took a holiday from that watchfulness and the result is not good.  One of my biggest hurdles after the next weight loss is learning how to keep it off and not let the pound creep happen.

For people who can eat without close scrutiny of their food choices and portion sizes, and who don't gain excess weight, these surgical options must seem terribly risky.  Why not just diet?  For most people, and for me, long-term success doesn't come with dieting.  I've discovered interesting factoids when looking into surgery again:  obese people tend to have little or no gut bacteria.  GB is restored after surgery - it's wild, but it's true.  I have no GB.  None. Zilch. The presence of GB has enormous consequences to overall health.  Weight loss surgery (WLS) also allows a person to jump start a new way of eating with very few hunger issues.  With my lap band, I had to remind myself to eat on schedule because I wasn't hungry at all.  The same will be true with the new surgery.  That effect will last for a few months and eventually hunger will return.  Then it's up to me to make thoughtful food choices.  I have spent my entire adult life on various weight loss programs, the lap band being the last one and the longest lasting.

I had my final pre-surgery nutritionist visit today and she was not very encouraging.  I took the written test (again) and I was coming up blank on questions such as "How much protein is in 1 oz. of chicken?"  Another was what specific vitamins in the multi-vitamin are critical.  B6 I said, instead of the real answer which is B12.  And do you know I did really know and mean "12?"  I was just so nervous and operating on 4 hours of sleep.  I felt like a dolt.  The good news was I've lost ONE POUND and that's after 3 weeks of meticulous record keeping and staying at 1200 calories (or under) a day.  So, the nutritionist, the psychologist and the surgeon all meet on Thursdays to evaluate cases and assign a surgery date if they believe the patient is ready.  If the decide I am not ready, I'll have to deal with it, keep on doing what I've been doing and tell them I don't test well.  That's why I keep records and my informational book at the ready.

So, feeling down in the dumps today, except that it is my birthday and I've been receiving well wishes from people far and wide.  That's been great fun!  We take the bad with the good, don't we? 

Cross your fingers for my surgery date!

11 comments:

  1. I'm a little taken aback that you have to pass a test in order to qualify for this surgery. I understand, but it still seems a little bit absurd. There is stress around test-taking especially when the outcome means surgery or not, it seems like that kind of stress can make for wrong answers. It would be nice if they could find another way to determine whether you should have the surgery or not. We're hoping for the best outcome in all ways. Other than that, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TARA!! We loved singing to you this morning. We'd croon for you anytime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the song -- it was GREAT.

      So, the test isn't the only consideration for the surgery -- you go through pysch evals, lab work, nutrition classes, support group (required) and on-going therapy (required). I'm hoping it won't weigh (no pun intended) as much as all the other factors. Psych eval by their psychologist was very positive. Ultimately, I get it. Any surgery comes with risk of death, so I get that they want to make sure the risk is worth it. I just was upset with the nutritionist's attitude, but have since discovered in an on-line conversation, that she has told other people this and they still got their surgery done. So, I'm more hopeful.

      Again, thanks for your card and your call -- a real boost for me!

      Delete
  2. Happy Birthday, Tara!

    For a great number of people, limiting one's caloric intake never results in achieving one's desired body weight on a permanent basis. Sounds like you've done everything they have asked for and are a good candidate for the surgery, having had a good outcome for many years after your previous surgery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! My parting words to the nutritionist were exactly that: I have a proven track record of being a good candidate for surgery, based on my past success with the band.

      Delete
  3. Have you tried apple cider vinegar? I read about it and began it last winter. It has led to weight loss without trying. I am just not as hungry. It supposedly also influences metabolism. I can't say it will continue working, or would for everyone but there is no downside to it. I haven't said much to others about it because who knows if it'd work for others as it has for me-- for now as in one jean size down and the new size is looser (I don't weigh except right before a physical). It's just 2 T. in the morning with juice or water. I've read you can add other things to it but for me it's just the vinegar. I well understand dieting and it not working as the metabolism slows along with the less food, which ends up self-defeating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you had success with this. Vinegar and I (or shall I say my stomach) do not get along. Pickled anything and too much vinegar in a salad dressing give me big problems.

      Delete
    2. It might not be permanent for me anyway. I had read it can help with weight loss but didn't try it for that. I was more interested in it supposedly helping with fatty liver. I don't know that I have that, but I drink more than is recommended; so figured it was worth a try. Time will tell on it. I don't take it straight but mix it with a fruit drink as I suspect my stomach wouldn't like strong vinegar either.

      Good luck with getting your solution.

      Delete
  4. I can understand why they might want some answers to help determine one's fitness for surgery. But things like "how much protein is in (whatever)" is not helpful. These are things you can so easily research and find answers in an instant. Not to mention the available printed charts. You cannot possibly memorize all protein, fat, carbohydrates in a given size of meat.

    Best of luck. I'm sure you will be successful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my thoughts exactly. I have a lot of reference materials I can look up every day - every meal if I need to. Seems overly picky, doesn't it?!

      Delete
  5. Happy birthday, a week late, to you! Thank you for sharing this journey you've been on. It sounds outrageous that you have to memorize the minutia -- why not open book?

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Yellow Cottage, Part 2

I have a dear friend who I met in my Creative Writing class my freshman year in college.  I sent the poem to her for her comments and edits ...