This post is going to be fairly brief, as things around these parts are crazy busy these days. But the crazy busy is in a good way. So I’ll do a quick drive-by update with bullet points, because it’s about all I have time for right now.
Gallbladder surgery went well. My recovery was smooth and uneventful. I did learn at my follow-up appointment that my gallbladder had stopped ejecting bile properly, and as a result, cholesterol and bile had accumulated on the inside walls of the sac. As my surgeon said, “It was definitely time for it to come out.” So it’s good that I had the surgery when I did.
I also learned that I no longer have a fatty liver. When I had my gallbladder removed, my surgeon did a liver biopsy, as the lab work I had done on my trip to the ER in June gave him cause to want to poke around there. The path report revealed that I no longer had evidence of fatty liver disease. This is huge, given that on the day of my sleeve surgery a little over 2 years ago, my liver had 60% fatty infiltration. My surgeon was thrilled to learn that my fatty liver had been resolved by my WLS.
Looks like I’ll be having more surgery this year. UGH. My right knee has decided it’s had enough of being patched together with a neoprene brace. I’m looking at getting it scoped over Christmas so that I can have 2 weeks off my feet, and more importantly, 2 weeks with someone around who can help me! And depending on what happens with my shoulder, there may be yet another surgery in the cards for me this year. My left shoulder has decided it’s had enough and can’t even. So I will be heading BACK to the ortho to find out what the hell is going on with my shoulder once I get back from being out of town this week.
Regain is real, y’all. So for those of you who are early on in the process of having WLS, or who have just had it, please don’t delude yourselves into thinking, “I’m going to lose this weight FOREVER!!!!” or say stuff like “That’s ______ pounds gone FOREVER!!!!” Or at the very least, don’t say those things without realizing that while yes, losing the weight as a result of surgical intervention is fast and seemingly easy, keeping it off is much, much more difficult. I’ll be real with y’all–I’ve gained back about 35 pounds this past year (scary, huh?). I know exactly why and how, and I’ve decided to go back to a devil I know to lose it. I’ll be starting Weight Watchers online next week in an attempt to get back down to the weight I was at this time last year. I felt good, I looked good, I slept better, and I moved around better. I need the structure that the WW program provides because clearly I can’t provide it for myself right now. Also? All I have ever tried to do in my life is lose weight. I’ve never known how to maintain it. Losing weight is something I am good at; maintenance is not. I’m scared I’ll never learn how to maintain a weight I can live with. So in the meantime, I’ll be back to weight loss mode so that I can at least have a shot at feeling good about how I look and feel again.
Well, that’s all I’ve got time for…work and meal prep are calling.
Achievement unlocked: fitting into an airplane seat and not needing a seatbelt extender.
This is a big deal.
The last time I flew on a plane (American Airlines from SEA to DFW, BTW), I had to buy an extra seat, use a seatbelt extender, AND the seatbelt extender was just barely long enough to buckle me in. It made for a very, very uncomfortable flight in more ways than one. It was pretty much the worst travel experience of my whole life, which I’ll write about another time.
This week’s progress was a surprise, as I was on the road again this week at a conference in Houston. Travel tends to wreak havoc on my routine, and I sometimes don’t make the best choices with regard to eating and exercise despite plans to do so.
Yesterday marked 9 months post-op for me. I began the day by stepping on the scale to mark my weight since I collect data on the 8th of every month.
I stepped on the scale, off and on, like I always do, because I don’t believe the number I see every week.
When I finally stepped on for the final time, the scale settled at a number I’d hoped to see by the time this month rolled around.
As of yesterday, I officially weigh
200 pounds less
than my heaviest recorded weight.
I did not ever think I would see this day. But it is here. And it is glorious.
I have a 9-month follow up appointment tomorrow. I plan to mark the occasion as I’ve marked all my other surgeon’s appointments: by wearing a black and white dress. I’ll be wearing the dress I bought 2 years ago that I’d intended as a “goal dress” during my last bout of weight loss.
Now, I’ve reached that goal (exceeded it, actually) and will be wearing it for my appointment.
Then I’ll take it to the tailor over the weekend and have it taken in, along with a bunch of my other professional clothes which are a wee bit large for me now.
I am neither a medical professional nor am I a mental health professional. I am a bariatric surgery patient sharing what I have learned through my personal experience with the vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). I am also a biology educator with a keen interest in obesity research. If you have medical questions or a medical emergency, please contact your doctor or other qualified health professional.