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Whatever it Takes!...though I Never Thought I Would Do It.

Monday, November 27, 2017

I have often joked that the last time I was a size 14 I WAS 14, but it is true. Excess weight has been an issue in my life for more than 40 years. As I've dealt with obesity, I've dealt with poor self image, pain, diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, knee surgery, bone spurs, a hiatal hernia/reflux issues and other struggles. And I know I probably don't need to explain that weight issues negatively affect relationships, social life, financial life and careers; even though we can't always "measure" the impact.

After years of continual work improving the quality of my eating, increasing my activity, and still struggling to see the weight loss needed to live an actively productive and quality life, I have finally taken the step of weight loss surgery. Not a door I wanted to walk through. Advised by the medical profession to do this more than 12-15 years ago, I got more focused on my weight loss battle. And though I saw some successes, the effects of a lifetime of carrying the excess weight were definitely "out-weighing" my progress!

This has been a journey of several years in the making. After initially being turned down by insurance for lap band surgery in 2009, I redoubled my efforts at weight loss. (Financially, there was no way to proceed without insurance coverage.) I went from my highest weight of 343 down to the 320's and have since "hovered" in the 320-330 weight range over the last two years in spite of my very sensible and consistent weight loss plan. Diabetes and mobility issues clearly impacted my ability to "make" weight loss happen.

Although my diabetes was controlled without insulin, I was on four different medications to help me keep my blood sugar as close to normal ranges as possible. I was also on two prescriptions for high blood pressure plus a statin for high cholesterol. In addition was a regular regime of anti-inflammatory pain relievers for pain in my knees and lower back.

After several different health plan changes through my husband's employer, and finally, (after 30 years self employed with no benefits) a new career with great benefits for me, I finally had access to an insurance plan that would cover bariatric surgery and felt that as God opened this door, that it was time to walk through it.

I had a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy on November 9, 2017. It was a difficult decision nonetheless, and I know some things are never going to be the same. I am still early in the healing process, but I'm believing that this is a positive CHANGE PROCESS that will finally give me the BREAKTHROUGH I've been looking for into a more active lifestyle!

God has been more than good to me as I've proceeded in what I believe is His plan for me at this time. Previously diagnosed in 2009 with a notable hiatal hernia, I and the surgeon were prepared for a somewhat longer than average surgery as he was planning to do a hernia repair along with the VSG surgery. Before my surgery, I and my family prayed for God's guidance and blessing and specifically for SUPERNATURAL healing. As a diabetic, I was well aware that increased blood sugar can greatly prolong healing. My church prayed for my healing as well.

God answers prayers! My surgeon was unable to "find" the hiatal hernia that he had diagnosed back in 2009 (and that had caused symptoms over the years before and since). I was home 48 hours after surgery and had none of the customary nausea problems that most bariatric surgery patients endure. I have not had any issues with getting in my required fluid intake daily. And since the surgery, I have been taken off ALL the diabetes medications and one of the two blood pressure pills. They expect they will have to take me off the other one soon as well. My blood sugar and blood pressure readings have been consistently and perfectly within normal range.

I want to give my thanks to everyone here on SP sharing the journey with me as I work to take the LIMITS OFF MY LIFE and the WEIGHT off my BODY! It is TIME! (It is well PAST time is more the truth!) While I have not done well in my past battles with weight, I do intend to win the war!

I know that surgery is not a "magic bullet" so to speak. It's just another tool in my tool box, and I'm still going to have to work hard and consistently be aware of what I'm eating, making healthy choices, and working diligently on increasing my activity. I'm actually looking forward to feeling well enough and being healed enough to get back to the pool and some real physical activity. I'm so determined to see some new successes in my life!

Blessings to all of you who are joining me on this journey to better health! I appreciate the support atmosphere here on SP, and especially the support from my challenge team-family (especially those who continually support me as I have struggled with staying "engaged" with my support team while I focus on my own immediate life concerns).

I WILL win this battle with God's help most of all...and yours...and plenty of hard work on my part, I know.

Everyone is different, but for me, this has been a HUGE and difficult decision to proceed with bariatric surgery. I never thought I would actually do it, but I came to an inner place of knowing I had to do whatever it takes. The door has opened and I was compelled to walk through it. This is a new journey...
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