Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Common Misconceptions About Weight Loss Surgery

Following the Channel 7 News piece, someone posted a comment about how weight loss surgery is not a panacea for obesity and that non-surgical methods should be tried first. People who have had weight loss surgery can also fail. This person is absolutely correct in these statements.

One thing that wasn't covered in the under 2 minute clip on Channel 7 News were the specifics of the evaluation process when considering bariatric surgery. The program at NSMC, as well as many insurance companies, require a diet history be provided that shows repeated attempts to lose weight through non-surgical means. I can't speak for all bariatric surgery programs, but in my experience talking with other weight loss surgery patients, showing this kind of history, and the failed attempts at maintaining weight loss long-term, is a given in meeting the criteria for having weight loss surgery. Anyone reading my blog will know that I have no misconceptions about, nor do I ever present weight loss surgery, as a cure-all for obesity. If the lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, are not maintained post-operatively, regain is common.

So then a person might ask "well then why even have weight loss surgery if you still have to do all the same things you'd have to do without it?" For me, it was because everything else I had done, I had failed at. I was actually quite terrified about failing even with weight loss surgery. But, what the tool of my surgery has helped me to learn is when to stop eating. I had a bottomless hunger before surgery. With my pouch, I do NOT have that...I have very clear, physically palpable limits set on what I can eat. I could exceed those on a regular basis and defeat my tool. I could eat the wrong foods and defeat my tool. I did not make the decision to have surgery lightly or without having exhausted every other non-surgical means of weight loss available to me first. A competent medical team, like the one I have at NSMC, would not in good conscience consider performing surgery on a person without them showing those other efforts to have failed first.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Link to Channel 7 News Story

It aired today, and here is the link.

Health Expo Gastric Bypass Story

I know that realistically, it is a great piece. Emotionally all I seem able to do is tear myself apart for how I look. Dysmorphia really is crappy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quick Update on the Channel 7 Health and Fitness Expo News Piece and Life

The North Shore medical center piece on gastric bypass, which will include the coverage/interview Melina/Charles from Channel 7 did a few weeks ago with me and Zachary (for the Boston Health and Fitness Expo), will be airing on Tuesday, June 23rd. It will air during the 4 p.m. newscast on Channel 7, and again during the 10 p.m. newscast on the CW56. :-) I'm looking forward to seeing how it all came together.

On other subjects, the school year is almost over for Zachary. YEAH! We've been going to his baseball games, practices, riding our bikes and getting together with friends for play dates. We'll be doing some traveling this summer as well, including an adult trip for mommy to visit friends and go tubing...YES!!! And then there is a trip for both me and Z to visit some other friends out west.

I learn more and more about people, what to trust, believe, and question each and every day. And I'm working on accepting the fact that I'm just an overthinker and that causes my anxiety to sometimes spin out of control. I'm learning to manage it better (I think? I hope?) with the wonderful support of friends and professionals alike. I'm a lucky lady in so very many ways.

I'm feeling a bit more in control of my eating habits again as well. I basically have sworn off of eating out for a little while...until I can make better choices when doing so. I tend to splurge when eating out, and then perpetuate the consumption excess when I've already done the damage. This is my life...I'm going to make this work for me, period, end of story. Failure is not an option.

My body feels good and strong again. The headaches I was plagued with for almost 2 months have finally abated. I'm not getting them daily or even weekly anymore. That is an absolute blessing, no doubt. My knees have been more painful lately...I'm not sure why considering I started taking glucosamine/chondroitin in hopes of helping them about 2 months ago. But so far, they are worse and not better. I've been doing the elliptical for exercise but not running. I need to attempt a run again very soon before the next 5K Martha and I make sure I can still make it.

I haven't been to our support group since I think February? Too long. Too many things were planned/coming up that interfered. I'm looking forward to going on Monday night and reconnecting with that group as well. I'm also coming up on my 2 year anniversary of my surgery. Hard to believe it's been 2 years almost, and almost a full year maintaining as well. I'm not sure I could think of a time in my life when I maintained my weight within 5 lbs. for an entire year. It's sort of a bizarre but great concept, I must admit. One of those little "WOWs" we have post-op.