So many decisions made in such a short time. The biggest of which is that I am going to undergo bariatric surgery. I do not make this decision lightly. It has nothing to do with wanting to be thin, skinny, fashionable, etc. This is purely about my health. This decision is not for the faint of heart, either. This is not the “easy way out”. This requires total dedication to a healthy lifestyle — forever. Preparing for, and following up after surgery are huge commitments. The ongoing vitamin upkeep is difficult at best. But what it will provide is a permanent tool. One that I feel I need. It will also provide me a jump start so that I can get to a point where I have lost enough weight to be more active so that I an keep up with the amount of movement it takes to be healthy. At my current weight, though lower than where I began, those movements are difficult, coupled with my bad knees and it’s a recipe for failure. Just getting the weight off my knees should prove to be helpful.
Frank and I met with Dr. Joshua Long from Parker Adventist last week. We both really liked him and felt comfortable with him. He was thorough. We were with him for nearly 2-hours. He answered all mine, AND Frank’s questions — those of you who know Frank know what a researcher he is…
As I qualify for insurance coverage, it is really a matter of choosing which procedure will be suit my goals. Bypass, Sleeve, or a procedure that combines the two. I chose the 3rd option. The Laparoscopic Loop Duodenal Switch. That’s a mouthful. The switch employs the power of the sleeve (stomach reduction) and the bypass (malabsorbtion) to give the best shot at the most significant weight loss possible. Up to 90% of the overweight amount. From where I am today, that would be a nearly 125 p0und loss in the end. I’d be ecstatic with 100.
Good news, I have maintained a lot of muscle from my early athletic days. So that wasn’t all a waste! Doc said that’s going to be good and difficult news at the same time. Good in that muscle burns fat. Bad in that because I’ll want to maintain my muscle mass, I will have to eat somewhere between 80-90 grams of protein a day rather than the usual 60’ish that other patients content with.
Difficult because for a time I’ll be on liquid – then pureed – then soft foods. Even when I’m eating at capacity it will be like a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup per meal time five times a day. That makes getting that much protein in difficult. Add to that I’m milk protein allergic. Meaning, high protein shakes and things like greek yogurt are pretty much OUT. But I’m willing to figure it out. And my doc is willing to figure it out with me. We are partners in this journey.
My insurance requires me to do all sorts of hoop jumping before final approval. Weight loss classes, shrinks, exercise physiologists, my regular doc for a once over, and a dietitian. I have 90 days to complete all the required steps. It’ll be a busy 90 days. But it’ll keep me focused on the end-game.
Another decision I’ve made is to be public about this. I’ve always blogged. I’ve always shared where I’m at. My thinking is that if I can help someone else who is in a similar spot, than that’s a good thing. So many others have helped me in my spots along the way. I have no shame, no pride in this decision. Others may judge, but in general, I have a great support network. I have a great doctor, and an amazing husband who keeps telling me he loves me no matter what — no matter what size I am. And I know that. This isn’t about feeling loved. I am one of the most well loved people I know. It’s because of this love, and these people that I want to be around for the long-term. There’s no guarantees. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to let something like weight determine if I’ll one day succumb to cancer, or heart issues, or diabetes. In truth, I may still suffer from any one of those things, but it won’t be because I didn’t try to fight it with every tool available to me.