I know I ranted against my Diabetes specialist when he dared to suggest I consider lap banding or a gastric sleeve to help me lose weight. I still believe he saw the disease and not the person, but he did me a favour. He made me stop and think, to go and find out more.
So on the 18th January 2013 I will be having gastric sleeve surgery. It has not been an easy decision, but after I meet with the surgeon and his team of support staff (dietitians, exercise phsyiologists and baritiac assessors) and I heard what they had to say. After I watched a DVD of past recipients of the surgery, after I heard them acknowledge that they are sure I am eating the right food most of the time, but I am eating too much for me, for my metabolism - I stopped and though hard. I am morbidly obese, 41 on the scale, given my height and age.
I am currently nearly 2 weeks into a VLCD to try and shed some fat out of my liver, which I now know is enlarged. I need to lose 5kgs to start that happening, I am now down about 4kg with 2-3 weeks still left.
I chose to have the gastric sleeve rather than the lap band, partly on the advice of the surgeon, but mostly because I know of 3 people who have had lap bands who constantly struggle with regurgitating food back. I don't vomit, and on the couple of times I have, my body goes into shock. So regurgitation is not something I am putting my hand up for. Apart from that, each and every one of them struggles to eat meat and bread. Each of them has stopped going back to have the fill ups that are needed to keep the band tight, each of them has put back on some of the weight they originally lost.
Gastric sleeve surgery eliminates the need to fluid top ups, it enables you to eat a varied diet, your stomach works in the normal way, there is just a lot less stomach and so you eat 3 very small meals a day.
Sure there are some big draw backs, I can only drink very small amounts of fluid before I fill up and it comes back up - yuck. I need to sip water often as I can't easily rehydrate if I haven't kept my fluid levels up.
There are bigger surgical risks too, they basically cut away 2/3 of your stomach using staples and a cutting thingy (like my technical terms?) and you can leak stomach fluid and become seriously ill and end up in intensive care, or you can suffer a major bleed and have to go back into surgery. Lap banding has very minor risks.
The reality though, is I could be dead in 5 years of heart attach or stroke, I have a 50/50 chance of that happening, I have a 1/2000 chance of surgery complications. That is not to mention all the complications like gangrene and going blind that uncontrolled diabetes bring to the game. That is not to mention the fact that no doctor will replace my knee while I weigh this much.
So 2013 is The Way Forward year, the year I take back control, the year I lose up to 80% of my excess weight - that's like 40kgs people, even saying that out loud is scary.
One bonus of being on the VLCD is that I already have had to cut down my diabetes meds, my BG readings are so good that I just can't believe it. Did I tell you that I might end up on just 1 tablet, or even if the Universe is smiling - no medication for my diabetes. Not to mention dropping my blood pressure tablets, my pain meds, and all sort of other benefits.
So 2013 is my oyster and I am making sure that I end up with a PEARL. Thanks to my hubby and all my family and work colleagues who have already been so supportive, who have not judged me or seen this as the easy way out, but have been there cheering me on.
Happy New Year to all who drop by here to read and comment, I hope 2013 is the best for you too, I have so much appreciated your friendships, your comments and reading your blogs through 2012.
Oh and Beth - your turn, go!!