Weight Loss Surgery - Never thought I would be here

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05-11-2014, 07:01 PM
I have recently had some health problems, and finally got in to see my new primary care physician. I'd been without insurance until 2013, and just "never got around" to getting a p.c.p.

To make a long story short, my doctor believes that I am getting arthritis in my neck, which is affecting my shoulders, fingers, etc. I'm in a lot of pain all the time. This has been going on for around 2 months, and before that I was able to lead a fairly active life (gym every morning, walks, a 5k (I walked it not running), etc). I carry a LOT of my weight in my upper back, and she believes that's what is causing the arthritis....my weight.

I've thought about weight loss surgery off and on for many years, but lacked the insurance/funds to really think seriously about it. Sitting in the doctor's office, having weighed in (humiliatingly) at over 400 pounds, my doctor suggested that I get serious about the possibility of weight loss surgery.

The tears started right then and there. I've been dieting since I can remember, and the last time I was under 200 pounds was in kindergarten. I'm currently at my near highest weight, and struggle year after year to lose it. I lead an active life, doing 3+ sessions of cardio, and 3 sessions of strength training per week. I've used myfitnesspal to track my food for over 3 years, and nothing seems to work for me in the long run.

I feel such shame. Such humiliation, that it's come to the point where I may have surgery because I can't seem to lose the weight on my own. I've never judged ANYONE for having WLS (I know a few people that have had it), however I can't help but almost...judge myself for looking into it. I spent most of Friday afternoon crying, because I just feel so ashamed and humiliated.

I've spent the entire weekend reading message boards, doing research on the procedures, and exactly what to expect, what to eat, etc. I've made an appointment to attend a WLS seminar on May 19th at the local bariatric center.

I know that I need to do more research, and attend the seminar, but I feel as if this may be the best thing for me...to have surgery. My mother, my husband, and my best friend are all behind me, no matter what I decide to do.

I've been a member of these boards for many many years, but kind of "gave up" coming here when the weight just wouldn't budge...or worse, go up. However, I know that support can be crucial, and there's a lot of good information on these boards, so here I am.

May 19th can't come soon enough now.

05-11-2014, 10:10 PM
First of all, :hug::hug:.. You sound heavy hearted.
I had my surgery February 28 this year in Mexico (my ins does not cover). I am sooo glad I did it!!! I have been on a yo yo diet for 25 years and I decided this is my time to live!!!

With that said, let me tell you it is not easy breezy. They took out part of my stomach (I had the sleeve), but not my brain. It is harder than I anticipated mentally. But, again, I am not regretful of my decision. Your brain wants you to keep eating when you have nowhere to put it. Your mind envies ppl who can eat a "normal"portion.... However you just have to do a lot of self talk to get through it. You have to remember why you went through the pre diet and weeks after of liquids and soft foods. And remember how good it feels to be comfortable in your clothes and eventually new ones.

I too used to have a negative stigma that ppl who got surgery took the"easy way out"... Having been through it ... IT IS NOT easy. It takes work and dedication, and CONTROL!!! But it can be the best decision you mKe for health.

Good luck in your decision . You can message me here if u need other help.

05-12-2014, 11:05 AM
Kayley - repeat after me: WLS IS NOT A PUNISHMENT. it's a tool

and love, why are you so hard on yourself? you said that you didn't judge others for deciding to have the surgery, so why would you be so much LESS kind and more judgmental with yourself?

Facing a future as an overweight person is very scary - but so is facing ALL the unknowns of surgery, especially since you know that you will have to make A LOT of changes. Some will be fairly easy, but others - O M G!!! I'm still struggling with some of them after 10+ years [especially the 'sitting with the emotions that i don't like and want to eat away' one].

So, how about taking a very tiny first step? Between now and the seminar, just LOOK at why you're eating - whether you're really hungry, or maybe thirsty, or bored, angry, frustrated.. whatever. you might want to jot it down.

NONE of us got to the point where we required surgery because we have a healthy relationship with food - and in order to make this work, we have to change this... so, just looking at what we're doing is a first step.

and BTW, there are a few hoosiers posting here, notably JANE!!!! and i consider myself an honorary hoosier because my mom grew up outside of Fort Wayne and i still have a lot of relatives there.

05-12-2014, 01:16 PM
There was a doctor here in Canada who was interviewed for a local newspaper several years ago (obviously it really stuck with me). In this interview he had that in his opinion many morbidly obese people will never be able to lose weight without WLS. At the time this made me furious but as time went on I realized he was right. For whatever reason some of us just can't do it. It isn't great and no one's first choice. I wish I had been able to lose the weight on my own but I couldn't and didn't. I honestly felt that I had done everything I possibly could do on my own. Don't feel badly because you are in the same boat with a lot of people and you are ahead of the game by being able to make this admission and seek the help you need.

05-12-2014, 03:59 PM
Just wanted to add kayleystar that I have recently been certified to be a personal trainer and if there is anyway that I can help you with your gym routine I would be happy to work with you. It sounds like you have been going to the gym regularly which is GREAT because getting into that habit is really difficult. Send me a PM if you are interested.

This goes actually for anyone on this board. I'm happy to share my knowledge and be a coach and cheerleader for anyone who want help.

05-12-2014, 07:29 PM
Hi there Kayley-

I am too overweight also, actually I am obese. I never thought I would be considering weight loss surgery either but I am. I tend to be very hard on myself too. Hugs. :hug:

Take care.


05-21-2014, 09:05 PM
I want to thank you all for the kind words. I'm emotionally wrapping my head around the decision, and I'm coming to terms with it all. I'm very hard on myself (aren't we all just our worst enemy?), so it's been a tough couple of weeks.

After a trip to the E.R. on Monday night, I found out I have pneumonia (when it rains it pours). However that did NOT stop me from attending an informational seminar about weight loss surgery last night. I filled out a TON of intake paperwork, and they'll be calling me for an initial appointment to see if I'd be a candidate for the surgery soon.

I've been doing nothing but research since my doctor suggested I look into a surgical option, and I've narrowed it down to gastric bypass or the sleeve, although I'm leaning more towards the sleeve. So the research continues!

PS: Born and bred in SW Michigan, and about a year ago I transplanted to South Bend!

05-22-2014, 10:47 AM
this is NOT an easy decision, so take your time with it. You're doing your research, and you'll take ALL of it to your appointment with your doc [RIGHT????] so you can discuss it.

the sleeve is a restrictive procedure, and the bypass is restrictive plus malabsorption. There are great results for both [and some not-so-great results, and some complications]. Some people start with a restrictive procedure and later have the malabsorption part added later. Be sure to discuss that with your doc.

you're writing down all your Qs, right?

NOW, please take care of yourself. Much of my weight-related disasters started with pneumonia. Take ALL your antibiotics. And if you have some residual wheezing, go back to the doc. Sometimes there's some inflammation that keeps going, and you'll be coughing and gunk will come up even though there's no infection. the docs can give you some stuff to help clear all that out. that's REALLY important to do.

07-30-2014, 09:28 PM
I want to thank you ladies for the advice given on this thread.

I went for a consultation at St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis last week. I did my psych evaluation that day, and they sent off my info to insurance on Monday. Tuesday morning I was approved for surgery. I wasn't expecting it to be that fast!

The surgeon basically told me what I already knew: This surgery is crucial to save my life. With my father being over 500 pounds, and obesity running rampant in my family, it was only a matter of time until I got there myself, honestly.

I go next Friday for all my pre-op testing to get cleared. Nervous, since I'm currently with laryngitis and have been for 4 weeks now. Luckily, my pneumonia is clearing up.

07-31-2014, 11:39 AM
WOW!!! this might be a record approval! are you sure you're mentally ready for this? and which one are you having? Bypass or sleeve?

as the pneumonia clears, the laryngitis should clear up, too.

ask the docs if you'll be intubated, and if you use a CPAP, ask if you should bring it with you. ummm. what else? i'm sure you have lots of other Qs!!! ask ask ask!!!!

07-31-2014, 07:22 PM
They called me on Tuesday saying I was approved. However, I received a letter dated for last Friday from my insurance company saying they needed more info. Definitely need to call the surgeon's office tomorrow and see what's up!

Mentally, I'm prepared for how this will change my eating habits for the rest of my life. Hopefully, attending the support group(s) and being a member on various forums will help me learn new ways to cope with emotional eating, etc. I understand the risks associated with the surgery, and although I'm scared of surgery, I know it's what I need to save my life.

My surgeon basically laid it out and said the best option for my BMI (nearly 68) would be the RNY Gastric Bypass.

I'm not on a cpap machine, but I plan to ask about the intubation at my appointment next week at the hospital where they will be doing the pulmonary function, kidney, etc. pre-op testing.

And Jiffypop....be careful what you wish for! I'm sure I'll have TONS of questions! :D

07-31-2014, 07:58 PM
The surgeon probably gave them the additional information that was needed to get this authorized. You can call your insurance company to verify.....same happened for me and when I called the insurance company they told me they received additional information and it was approved.

so excited for you!

07-31-2014, 08:02 PM
That's kind of what I was thinking as well! Going to call bright and early, as now I'm anxious. :carrot:

07-31-2014, 08:18 PM
Best wishes. From your ticker we both aimed for the same amount of weight to lose.

08-01-2014, 02:18 AM
Kayley - ask away! that's what we're here for!

My BMI was at 70 at my highest, and i had to have the bypass because, as my surgeon said, the other available methods were too slow and i was too sick to wait that long. a bit scary.

that whole thing about stress eating/? I went back to knitting. lots and lots of knitting. crochet is good, too. anything that keeps your hands and mind busy will help. oh there are so many changes... and it's not easy. but that's OK. view it as a way to reboot your brain about everything and anything you ever thought you knew about food and eating.

and that's OK. honest!!!

sending hugs...

08-01-2014, 09:59 PM
Iwanawurkit - You were absolutely right on the money, as I got the official approval letter in the mail today, with a tentative admission date (September 29th).

Jiffypop - I've never been able to get past making scarves when it comes to knitting. However, I grew up doing cross stitch with my Mom, and still enjoy it, so I may just have to stock up on some supplies for post-op! :)

08-01-2014, 11:10 PM
I'm excited for you. I have another 3 or 4 months before I can have my surgery. And I can't wait, but on the other hand in the next 3 or 4 months I am supposed to be working on my relationship with food. And I think that's going to be really powerful for me. I really know how to eat healthy. I do. But I am a huge emotional eater. One of the things the behavioral therapist said is that she finds that that part is the hardest part. Some people will deny that they are emotional eaters and then after the surgery find out they are. So my piece of advice, even though I haven't done the surgery yet is go to counseling. It's a life changing step and having someone help you through the emotional land mines is so worth it.

08-02-2014, 04:45 PM
yeah. just about all of us go into counseling at some point. we have SO much to unlearn, relearn and change, we need all the help we can get!

Kayely - you don't have to get beyond scarves! you can make washcloths, sleeping mats for the local animal shelter, squares/rectangles for afghans.. al lkinds of things! but cross stitch, needlepoint, and so on work jsut as well.

and why wait until your surgery? start NOW - you're about to change your life completely. you might as well start with the easy things to change.

08-03-2014, 12:39 AM
Hi Kayley,

It's great to see another Hoosier here! I'm way down south, past Terre Haute.
Did the insurance people answer any questions for you?

08-03-2014, 10:01 AM
Hi Kayley,

It's great to see another Hoosier here! I'm way down south, past Terre Haute.
Did the insurance people answer any questions for you?

Hello fellow Hoosier! ;) I'm way up north in South Bend.

It ended up just being that the insurance company needed more info, and the surgeon's office sent it off to them right away, then I was approved. Whew!

08-03-2014, 01:42 PM
Look At Those Collar Bones, Jane!!! Gorgeous!!!!

08-05-2014, 04:21 PM
Way off topic (sorry!) but Kayley, you have the most beautiful face shape ever. I would kill for it! Anyways, I'm so happy to hear you were approved! Keep us posted!

08-05-2014, 10:43 PM
Way off topic (sorry!) but Kayley, you have the most beautiful face shape ever. I would kill for it! Anyways, I'm so happy to hear you were approved! Keep us posted!

Oh my gosh, you are so sweet! :hug:
Keep those angles good to avoid the triple chin! lol

I've never had anything other than "fat face", so it'll be so strange to see what I look like after significant weight loss. :o

08-06-2014, 12:37 PM
Kayley, you have gorgeous eyes too!