Thursday, October 25, 2012

Grieving The Loss of Food

Not eating real food is depressing. My family is eating and I sit here with my stupid broth. Again. I just want one bite of the hamburgers they’re having tonight. One bite of the egg sandwich they had this morning.

I know I’ll be able to in a while. But knowing that doesn’t really help me right now. I find myself on the verge of tears sometimes.  I’m grieving the loss of food. At times it makes me want to find a time machine and turn back time and not have the surgery.  If I was actually faced with that choices, chances are I wouldn’t take it.  But right NOW I might.

I knew the journey would have it’s up hills and down hills. I just had no idea how they would affect me. 

I look back on my last post about being in pain.  I’m not anymore.  I still get weird twinges when I eat and drink, but nothing like before.  So, of course, I’ll someday look back on this post and realize I was soon able to eat real food again.  It’s just hard to get out of the here and now.

Friday, October 19, 2012

This Too Shall Pass

This is some serious pain.  When you hurt a leg or an arm it really hurts, but there’s a difference to pain inside your body.  That’s where all the important stuff is.  If you hurt your arm or leg bad enough it can be cut off and you can still go on to live a productive life.  Something goes that wrong inside you and there’s nothing you can do.  Am I saying there’s something that wrong with me? No. But it’s a lot scarier than limb pain.

I know this too shall pass.  I know it gets better. I know my friends in my support groups all say with in a few days they were ready to get right back to doing what they did before.  But the other part of my brain can’t wrap it’s head around that.  It can’t get past the pain.  It can’t see that tomorrow, the next day or even later today I’ll feel better.  It’s stuck here and I don’t like it.

I’m posting this because the logical part of my brain knows I’ll look back and read this later and laugh at myself for being so dramatic.  But I also don’t want to forget what this feels like so when someone else goes through this I can honestly say I know exactly how they’re feeling.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The inner bitch needs to be slapped

Tomorrow is the day. I’m to report to the hospital at 9:30. Probably means my actual surgery will be closer to noon.  I’m trying very hard not to think about it because when I do I freak out a bit. 

I have this inner voice that can’t possibly believe I can ever be thin.  She likes to remind me about all my failed attempts to lose weight in the past. She likes to tell me to not get my hopes up because I might lose weight, but before I know it I’ll gain back all the weight and then some, just like before.

That bitch needs to shut her fucking mouth. Because you know what? I WILL be successful this time! I am being given a tool that will make this attempt successful. Unlike other diets where I’ll eat good for a couple days, then fall off the wagon and say “screw it! I just can’t do this”, I will not be able to not eat well.  I will be physically incapable of gorging myself.  There is no way to NOT lose weight.  And once I get to my goal weight I will have been trained to eat well. There’s no going back. The fat me will not exist anymore.

So, where ever you are tomorrow around noon pacific, send a little thought out for me. And a little bitch slap to that inner voice.

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Weight Loss Journey

I’m about to embark on a weight loss journey.  And I’m starting to get scared.

I’ve been over weight my entire life.  I’ve been able to lose weight here and there, but I always gain it back – and then some.  So I’ve made the decision to get weight loss surgery (WLS).  This decision was not made in haste.  I’ve sat on the idea for about a year.  A couple months ago I decided to take the plunge and get the ball rolling.

Many insurance companies these days are covering WLS.  They’re figuring out it’s cheaper for them to pay for this surgery than to pay for the myriad of complications that can arise from being obese.  It’s called Preventive Medicine and I wish more organizations would figure it out.

There are three major surgeries that my insurance offers: Gastric Bypass (also called Roux-en-Y), Gastric Band (a common one is Lap Band) or Gastric Sleeve.  A couple months ago I went to an informative meeting thinking I like the Gastric Band idea the most.  At the time it seemed the least invasive.  There’s no cutting, not including the laparoscopic incisions,  and it’s adjustable.  Even removable.

After the meeting, however, I left knowing that, with out a doubt, I would want the Sleeve.  Here is a quick description of the different surgeries:
1.      Gastric Bypass – the surgeon uses staples to divide the stomach into a small upper section and a larger bottom section. The top section of the stomach (called the pouch) is where the food you eat will go. The pouch is about the size of a walnut. It holds only about 1 ounce of food.  Then the surgeon will connect a small part of the small intestine (the jejunum) to a small hole in the pouch. The food you eat will now travel from the pouch into this new opening into the small intestine. Because of this, your body will absorb fewer calories.  (

2.      Gastric Band – A synthetic band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach. It works by creating a small "pouch" at the top of the stomach just below the esophagus, thus dramatically reducing the amount of food that can be eaten. There is then a port attached to muscles. Saline solution is pumped into the port to make the band constrict. (

3.      Gastric Sleeve - The stomach is restricted by stapling and dividing it vertically and removing more than 85% of it. The stomach that remains is a narrow tube or sleeve, which connects to the intestines. This restricts the amount of food the stomach can hold, as well as removing the portion of the stomach that generates Ghrelin, the hormone that causes hunger. (

I chose to go with what I felt was the least invasive.  You may think the Band sounds the least invasive, but I disagree.  The Bypass rearranges organs.  That’s the most invasive.  The Band leaves a foreign object in your body.  The Sleeve, although it has the largest internal cut, leaves everything else intact and does not leave a foreign object to cause possible future problems.

Choosing to have WLS is not as easy as one day waking up and scheduling it.  There are classes to take and new ways of eating to be taught.  There are lab tests and psych visits.  They want to make sure the person they’re giving the surgery to will survive it.  It may be preventive medicine, but it’s still money management.

You also have to lose weight before getting the surgery to help you lose weight. They want to make sure you’re willing to put in the effort needed to be successful.  Yes, once you have the surgery you won’t be able to eat as much, but you can stretch that “pouch” and, over time, make it as big as your stomach was before. 

So, I’m eating better. I think I’ve lost weight, but I’m too scared to step on the scale to look.  I’ll know at my pre op appointment if I made the grade.  If all goes as planned, I will be having surgery on October 17th.  Every person I’ve talked to said it was the best decision they ever made.  I hope I’ll be able to say that soon, too, but for now I’m starting to freak out.

I plan on keeping track of my journey right here.  I hope you’ll follow along. I will need all the help and encouragement I can get.