It’s been a hot minute since I posted here but it felt like time to do a long-overdue update. I’ll provide the Cliffs Notes version (remember those?).
- My sleeve worked until it didn’t. I was successful in losing over 200 pounds from my heaviest adult weight but unsuccessful in keeping it off.
- A battle with depression and her pal anxiety helped me put back on 100 pounds. This was compounded by dealing with my mother’s diagnosis of terminal cancer.
- After being Mom’s caretaker for almost 2 years and living with the stress that comes with assuming that role, my health was worse than it was pre-sleeve. After she passed in the spring of 2019, I decided it was long past time to regain control of my health and began losing weight again using an old tool–Weight Watchers.
- I was pretty successful and lost 80 pounds but couldn’t get past a certain point and maintained that through most of the early days of the pandemic. The regain came slowly over the following year.
- In the spring of 2022 after learning I would need double knee replacement surgery to fix my shot knees, I decided I needed to bite the bullet and go forward with duodenal switch surgery. This would require a change in insurance plans as my insurance policy at the time did not have bariatric surgery coverage AT ALL.
- I had my first appointment with my surgeon that April. The surgeon I used actually worked in the office of the surgeon who did my sleeve surgery back in 2013 and was performing DS procedures then, but at the time I did not feel ready to make the commitment required and I felt that a sleeve alone would be a tool I could manage. Little did I know how wrong I was!
- I was originally scheduled to have surgery in December, but because my insurance company dragged its feet on the pre-authorization, it was delayed two months. This was infuriating for multiple reasons: I’d just done an excruciating pre-op diet (all liquids + protein shakes), and had plenty of time off from work at the time. Delaying my surgery forced me to take FMLA which I did not want to do but alas…
- After jumping through all the hoops my insurance made me jump through, I had my DS procedure done last Thursday. I went home Friday afternoon and am recovering well. I feel like I’m tolerating this recovery better than I did when I had my sleeve surgery done in 2013. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve done this before, because I knew what to expect, because of how I was medicated during and after surgery, or because I weighed 60 pounds less than I did when I had my sleeve done. Whatever combination of factors came together to make this recovery smoother I am grateful for because every day I have been able to drink more liquid and be more mobile.
- I am hopeful that this tool will get me to where I want to be healthwise: free of my diabetes and better able to be more active. While I will never be a runner (according to my orthopedic surgeon), I do still want to be able to ride a bike (a trike, really; I never learned to ride a two-wheeler), swim, and walk long distances. Looking good is secondary at this point; I just want to FEEL good and be healthy so that I can live a long life. There is still so much I want to do in this life, and I want to be as healthy as I can so that I can enjoy whatever time I do have left.
I’ll try to update more than every 7 years, especially now that the journey has a different feel and path to health.