There are many steps of Weight Loss Surgery and possibly one of the hardest is making the decision to go for it. Many weeks or months or even years go by while someone considers it, most often.
For me, it was a few factors. I had been diagnosed with diabetes and put on meds for it. I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and medicated for that. I lost an Uncle last March who was obese and we believe that led to his passing. I had more time on my hands than EVER, after retiring from my job in July. I was referred to a surgeon for a pain I was experiencing (that we thought was endometriosis related and turned out to be a femoral hernia) and this particular surgeon performed bariatric surgery as well. I prayed. I talked to my hubby. I talked to my Daddy (who had lap band surgery in 2013). I talked to my Mama (who was the chief cook/warden/support for my Daddy!). I stressed, I worried, I prayed, I read, I researched, I cried, I decided.
I needed to do this for my family, for my health, for my LIFE. I have ALWAYS battled with my weight. I have hypothyroidism as well, which does NOT help. I am an emotional eater. I had a very stressful job for 5+ years with travel and meetings and “no time” to plan to eat healthy – so I didn’t. Yes, that’s an excuse. 🙂 I was all about convenience. I was being selfish. Why not be selfish enough to take the time and energy and opportunity to push the reset button on my health? My family was the most supportive. I knew I would face criticism and the whispers of “why can’t she just diet and exercise?” and worse. The thought of this negativity made every little bit of positivity mean that much more. I clung to it and decided to move forward with the surgery, not really sure of which procedure I would land on. I was open to all options and began praying that I would have peace and clarity about which one. The procedures (lap band, gastric sleeve, duodenal switch, gastric bypass) all varied in their effectiveness as well as their chance of complications.
Research online helped tremendously as well as information from my surgeon’s office. (I went to Bariatric Specialists of North Carolina. Cannot say ENOUGH about how awesome they are.)
If you are considering bariatric surgery, my advice is this: Research, be patient and ensure you have a support system that understands the full process. Research the surgeries as well as the surgeons. Don’t settle for mediocre care as you may end up with mediocre results.
I plan to chronicle each phase of this journey and would love feedback or questions! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.