WOW! is all I can say. I look back at myself this time last year and I was a few weeks away from my intake appointment. The beginning of my new future. Little did I know that I was starting to turn my life completely around. It has been a whirlwind affair to say the least.
In October 2008, I had a TIA or mini stroke. That scared me but not enough to really take a hard look at my life. I think because I had no lasting damage and it didn't slow me down, it didn't really register. I was lucky. Little did I know that I had an underlying medical condition that was still so new that few doctors looked for it. It is called APS or antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome. I was fed up with heavy periods and painful cramps so I decided to see my GYN about the ablation procedure. I had two friends who had the procedures with great success. They were both period free for a year or two at that time. I wanted that freedom too. When my new GYN took a history she immediately suspected APS and wanted to test me. When the test came back positive they frantically called me up and said to make sure I tell doctors and dentists that I have this disorder. What disorder? I was so confused. I didn't think it was a big deal. I assumed she thought this was a cause of my post partum hemorrhaging with the birth of my 1st son, in addition to miscarriages and the TIA. When I went back for my follow up after the ablation procedure she explained in great detail just how devastating this disorder can be. I don't clot properly or it is a crap shoot if I do. I can bleed out or clot up and have a stroke, heart attack or embolism. Scary stuff!! Apparently it is an autoimmune disorder that attacks fat cells. And boy did I have a LOT of those. Other factors are HBP and diabetes, both of which I have. So I basically was a walking time bomb.
I went to my current physician, of which my previous blog notes my extreme unhappiness with the most recent visit. She has always helped me and been there so even though my last blog was me being pissed off I will give her another chance but I can say that if she treats me that way again I will find another doctor. That being said, I went to her after I got the diagnosis of APS and took her the paperwork showing the results. She simply said, OH MY! Oh My. She then said well there are several things we need to get under control. HBP, diabetes and my weight. She said my weight needed to come off fast! She suggested weight loss surgery but it was my decision. She advised me to research options and doctors on my own, that she will not refer me to any particular doctor. Whatever I decide she will support me and do whatever is needed to help. I chose lap band and here I am today.
My successes are measurable. I am down from 4 HBP meds to 1 and that is only taken because this one is beneficial for blood sugar control. I still have the Protonix for reflux but it is now as needed only. I had been off of it for several months then had a bad month of sliming episodes so I once again needed them. Now I keep them on hand for emergency or as the reflux starts up I nip it immediately. No diabetes meds. My weight is down 91 lbs. I am in smaller clothes, I can fit in clothes off the rack so therefore I can spend less on a single article of clothing. I am still in plus sizes but I suspect not for long at the rate I am going. My surgeon said over 3 years I should lose about 120 lbs which is roughly 65% of my excess weight. That is 40lbs a year and I am already down 91 lbs in 8 months. Theoretically, if I continue at this rate I will surpass the goal my surgeon set by my 1 yr bandversary on May 12th. I could be in a truly normal weight range by Christmas this year. How cool would that be?
I HIGHLY recommend the surgery. My life has taken on new meaning in just 8 months. I have a new found appreciation for myself and no longer consider myself grotesque. I know I have a long way to go but I know now that I will get there. I could NEVER say that before. For anyone considering the surgery, please consider it hard. It is truly just a tool but when used correctly can be your best friend. I read of people who have had the surgery and obsess over diet and making sure they don't eat very much or they say they drink lots of shakes. I really don't fret over my diet AT ALL. For the first time in my life I am diet free. I eat what I want and if it isn't going to work for me, my band let's me know. What I have learned and now do virtually without thinking is to make better choices but they are still my choices. Breaded items are not a good fit for me, same goes for deep fried because they are almost always breaded. Occasionally I have a day or two where I can eat bread and I will get my bread fix. Then it gets stuck and I am so over wanting bread just that quickly. I never was a big sweets person so desserts are not a real issue for me. I was into deep fried and breaded. My most notable change is giving up soft drinks completely. I stopped those in March 2010. Prior to stopping I was drinking about four 20oz bottles per day and would also throw in a few canned sodas each day. It was bad. I stopped cold turkey on the day I scheduled my surgery for May. That day in March was the beginning of my new life. I have never looked back since then.