a potential life-changing decision

I’ve slacked off on posting because 1) my new job and volunteering have taken up much of my time,; 2)I’ve slacked off exercising and 3) not a lot has happened worth mentioning.

Except for one.

I’m going to have a gastric bypass.

It’s something I never seriously considered before since the operation is generally for the morbidly obese and it is dangerous. Some of this has changed over the years. Morbidly obese people aren’t the only candidates any more. Studies have shown that diabetics who have the surgery go into remission, up to 95% of all diabetics can toss their meds and maintain regular blood sugars without them, they do not have to worry about their kidneys, eyesight or losing their feet or legs to neuropathy any longer. There’s no data on how long the remission lasts but it looks good, that by maintaining a healthy weight most diabetics can live longer and be healthy overall. Other weight-related illnesses decrease or just go away, stuff like hypertension, heart disease (unless there’s already damage there), joint pain including arthritis and sleep apnea.

I looked into these claims, mostly because they sounded too good to be true and I knew there had to be a catch. There is, the price of the surgery hovers around the $30,000 mark and insurance may not cover it or only pay part of it. I am fortunate enough to have the resources needed for this and after attending a seminar I made an appt.with the surgeon’s office. I did my bloodwork today and attended a support group meeting tonight. I’ve set up my appts. for tests, a psych evaluation, consult with the dietitian and the surgeon. I may have my surgery in about 3 weeks.

I’ve tried to lose weight over the years. Diets, exercise, programs like Weight Watchers, the usual stuff everybody else has tried and they worked, up to a point. I’ve been exercising and  eating healthy, I’ve cut out fried food (well, mostly), red meat and watch my portions. This has helped my cholesterol, resting heart rate and blood pressure but I’ve not lost weight and this pisses me off.  This is the act of a angry and somewhat desperate woman. Diabetes does not get better, not any other way I know of and I am not doing insulin or dialysis or any of that other crap. Not if I can help it.

So far I’ve only told a few people. My husband is supportive and went to the seminar and dr.’s office with me. I told my son last night and announced my intentions on my other blog. I accidentally told one of my co-workers and told a friend last night after she shared some of her own health concerns. I have not told my boss or the staff at the library yet. I haven’t told my sisters or my dad or mother-in-law. I also haven’t told my best friend.

I know some of these people may not respond in a positive way and I’m preparing myself for it. I think I’ll still have a job and my volunteer gig but it also means I’ll have a lot of questions to answer. I’m not sure what to expect from my dad or sisters, especially my youngest sister, whom I love but is a bit of a drama queen and is opinionated about  everything. She’ll be all for it or against it. My mother-in-law tells everybody our business and adds her own (usually inaccurate) spin on things. The one I dread telling is my best friend, she’s been my friend since college and we’ve endured a lot together both good and bad, One thing we’ve always had in common was our weight, trying to lose and usually failing. She’s a wonderful person, sweet, smart, emotionally tough without being hard and physically one of the most beautiful women I know. She’s also overweight and I worry that she will feel I’ve betrayed her by having this operation. She will probably be supportive but I worry she will also be hurt.

At the same time I’m excited about losing weight, keeping it off  but mostly getting rid of my diabetic meds for good. No more testing my blood sugar, no more finger sticks, no more fear of having to go on insulin.Ironically the trade-off is I will have to take nutritional supplements for the rest of my life but I can live with that. The smaller portions and not being able to eat certain foods (like frybread) any longer are acceptable if it means I’ can live longer and kick diabetes a**.

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