DorkyCool

Thinking of WLS? Both of my nurse friends warned me not to do this

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 Talk about the bad things I've seen in 30 years of Nursing related to Diabetes!!!

Amen! I am not diabetic or even pre-diabetic, but I know I'll eventually be a type-2er if I continue on the path I'm on. And that path? That path leads to amputations, massive sores, dialysis, and life in and out of hospitals. I love working in hospitals, I hate being a patient :P So that life is not for me, and it's time to head it off!

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Agree with all the posts!! Well said.  Morbid obesity IS a huge risk factor for many acute, chronic and fatal diseases.

Weight loss surgery isn't as dangerous as it used to be and complications are relatively rare. I'm a nurse practitioner AND had a complication during my surgery, a very unusual one.

I did fine, and continue to do so.

I am stronger and healthier than 3 mths ago and will continue to be!! My cholesterol and fasting glucose(sugar) have been slowly creeping up over the last few years.

Am going to follow up with my PCP this summer, hopefully will have much improved lab values!!! Will post about this further when available

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Best of luck for your labs @annegirl

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On ‎8‎/‎17‎/‎2015 at 7:52 AM, DorkyCool said:

I didn't tell many people before I got my sleeve.  I've told just about everyone after the fact, with a predictable range of reactions, but I'd done my research, made my decision, and didn't want to be deterred.  But I have two friends, both very skilled and experienced nurses, who I turn to for med advice, so I talked to them.

 

They both got very serious and warned me that it is a terrible idea.  They've seen "so many" bad outcomes.

 

One works in peds and one in a pain office.  While their general knowledge is very good, neither has any experience with bariatrics, endicrinology, cardiology, etc.  So after a few frightening moments I had to realize that the outcomes they've seen are the same as the outcomes all of my negative relatives have seen -- they know somebody, or a few somebodies, who had the surgery.   No doubt a lot of people suffer badly after the surgery -- years of obesity takes a horrible toll, and we humans are more inclined to whine about our suffering than bleat about our triumphs.

 

If you tell people before your surgery, you may get the same -- the dire warnings, the pleadings not to do this.  Although some people are invested in you not changing, most people are sincere in their concern.  Advice is cheap, but when smart people you trust are staging an intervention, you should always stop and listen.

 

You should also trust your doctor(s), and yourself.  This is your health, and your life.  You have to make your decision based on the most reliable, tested information available.

 

If you're considering WLS, you already know the information:  People who struggle with obesity can sometimes lose weight, but they will probably regain it.  People who have WLS will lose, and will almost certainly keep at least part of that weight off.  If they stay engaged with the process, they will almost certainly reach and stay at a healthy weight.  People who stay obese suffer co-morbidities -- diabetes, heart disease, cancer, sleep apnea, loss of mobility, etc, and, as a result, and shortened life-span.  People who have WLS may already have some of those conditions, which increases the risks of the surgery and the complications afterward.

 

No matter how many individual cases are put before you, how anxious your daughters are, or how anxious you are, the simplified version of those facts is:  If you are obese, you are in danger.   Assuming you meet the criteria, WLS can save your life.

 

It's like chemo.  If you have a potentially deadly but treatable cancer, do you take the treatment?  The chemo is poison, basically.  You'll feel sick.  There are scary risks.  You may have pain, be on an emotional roller coaster, struggle with changes in your appearance.  But you swallow hard and give the nice nurse your vein, because you want to get to the other side and live.

 

Obesity is a life-threatening medical condition.  Seriously, dude, this isn't about fitting into the cute clothes or showing up your sister.  This is about saving your life.  And transforming your life -- being able to do some of the other things the normals have been doing all along, savoring the textures of our all-too-short time here.

 

So, speaking as a woman who is about 6 weeks out, struggling with body issues, nauseated about 20/7, can't figure out what the heck to eat (almost to the point of tears and I don't cry), can barely swallow even small pills so gags every morning, still has some pain, and sleep-walked through my first weeks back to work:

 

I would do it again.  I mean literally, if they said that I had to go back and do it again tomorrow to keep what I've got, I'd go without hesitation.

 

 

You aren't choosing between getting the surgery, with all that means, or not getting the surgery, and avoiding that pain.  You're choosing to live.

 

Live.

Thank you for posting this, this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear.

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@DorkyCool   How are you doing now, almost 2 years out?  Love this post, would love an update :)

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7 hours ago, TammyP said:

@DorkyCool   How are you doing now, almost 2 years out?  Love this post, would love an update :)

I'd love to know how she's doing Tammy but sadly, DorkyCool hasn't been back to the forum since October of last year.  

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I'm happy to say that my fears haven't been justified yet; folks seem to be positive about it for me. People have asked me about the process, which I explain to the best of my knowledge and experience; however, the people who need it haven't asked! My OBGYN wanted to know how I was successful in receiving approval as she has a number of clients who need the procedure and meet BMI levels but haven't been approved for the surgery. My worry now is that I've stalled since I reached the 60% rate, but I want to lose a lot more!

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Hi guys . . . I'm like Bloody Mary.  Say my name enough times and I will appear . . . 

(I sort of keep up with things here with the email notifications).

I'm actually sort of exactly the same.  Life is challenging and complicated and my husband just had another brain surgery yesterday, trying to resolve his trigeminal neurolgia.  My work is challenging and fun but very particularly stressful right now.

The thing you really want to know is how's the post surgery life.  The honeymoon phase is a REAL THING.  About a year out, I found that I could and would gain weight if I wasn't careful.  The difference between now and pre-surgery is that my efforts actually have an impact.  Everytime the stress ramps up, I start struggling to sleep.  When I get tired, I inevitably compensate by eating.  Then the scale and my pants alert me to a problem, and I can adjust my behaviors and get the weight back down.  

My two critical strategies are

1.  exercise -- particularly riding my bike, but when the weather doesn't permit, I like doing the wii fit or just hitting the steps in my apartment building.  My job is so sedentary and deadline driven -- I can go hours/days without moving, so that's the challenge with that strategy, but I keep at it.  If I can't ride often, I ride far.  I rode 8.5 miles on Monday.

2.  Eating core foods -- If I think I'm slipping on protein or fiber I track my food on MyFitnessPal, but the numbers make me play games ("Oh, I can still eat more today!")  To lose or maintain, I focus on eating "core foods" as defined by the old weight watchers plan, so unprocessed, lean foods basically, no bread, one cold cereal/day, like that.  I used to eat 5 milk duds a day, but when I'm doing the core foods, I allow myself to have whatever sweet if it's truly special (not a result of craving or temptation).  Doing this eliminated a lot of sugar cravings - I startled myself by going over a week without eating a single sweet thing, which I'm pretty sure is a first in my life.

I guess there is a third strategy, which is I did have to shift away from too much bariatric community stuff online.  This group is amazing, so supportive, and I do read the email notifications.  But if I delve too much I start comparing my journey.  "Should I try to lose more?"  "This person is only eating 800 calories a day -- I should cut down to that!"  "I hit my predicted weight loss but these guys are doing so MUCH BETTER!"   This is why you don't see me too often -- I have to stay gentle with myself.  That old way of thinking (bad foods/good foods, constantly feeling guilty & anxious and like a failure for not being more thing) just rolls me into old habits.  So please forgive me for holding back just a little, but I love seeing all your successes and insights, and do thank you for letting my participate this little bit.

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So how are you feeling now, better? How long did it take to feel ok? I really want to do it but I'm so afraid of being sick inside... thanks for the support! 

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Happy to see you back and doing well.  It does suck when the honeymoon ends...if only it was forever! You keep doing what you're doing, it's obviously working for you!

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The original post is so spot on.  I was going to have WLS in my 20s and told a million people and was talked out of it.  This time....I've told 3 people in my life.  My husband, my oldest son, and my best friend.  She was not supportive at all.  I realized that when we are in relationships with people, we all have a role.....I am 'the fat one'.  I'm changing that.  My new role will be 'the healthy one' or 'the brave one who took her life back'.  My husband is behind me 100% and, honestly, besides my own thoughts on this, his opinion is the one that matters to me the most.  So I'm 45...so I don't have diabetes....yet.  I do have hypertension and triglycerides are ridiculously high.  I work in a hospital...I see what diabetes and morbid obesity does to people.  That will not be me!!  Does part of me want this surgery to look good, sure!  But it's a small part...I don't want to die from being fat and all that comes with it.  Kudos to ALL of you guys/gals who were so brave to go on this journey.  You have given me comfort in knowing that others had fears/doubts but forged ahead.  I'm glad (kinda) that I didn't have the WLS in my 20s...I wasn't ready....but I am now!!  Fast forward through these 6 months and to a healthier life!!!!

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