Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Q&A Wednesday (Bonus)

Heather just asked some great questions, and since she's not the only new reader to the blog... I thought I'd answer them today as well.

Heather asked:

Would you mind sharing (possibly again) what prompted you to have the surgery?

To be honest, I thought about having the surgery several times before I got serious about it - but always had a closed mind toward it... I didn't give myself the freedom to really explore what it was about and research if it was for me. That was until January of 2007.

In January of 2007 - I found myself in the hospital having emergency surgery for an infection. (it was a female issue... enough said about that.) I was in the hospital for 5 full days and was extremely sick, it was at that time that I found out my diabetes made the infection worse than it normally would have been. Two doctors at that time told me that they felt like the surgery would be the best option for my overall health.

It took me until April of 2007 to really let it sink in, and figure out what I was going to do. I told John that I wanted to explore this, and off we went together researching and preparing to "break the news" to our families. As any weight loss surgery patient will tell you - there is a LOT of prep work involved in getting this covered by insurance. So I embarked on that journey, having been told that my insurance would cover it if it was deemed medically necessary.

During that process, we went to a seminar by a surgeon that we both wanted to use. (he retired shortly before my surgery - so neither of us used him) In that seminar, we learned that weight loss surgery could cure most of the "co-morbidities" that I was suffering from. He told us that in 95% of cases, type 2 diabetes was reversed... so that made up our minds right then that we'd found something that I needed to have done.

After the 6 months of preparing - which was a blessing in disguise because it lead me to my primary care doctor... who in my opinion is God's gift to the medical profession. At any rate - after jumping through all of the hoops to indeed prove the surgery to be medically necessary - I found out that John's company had put an exclusion into our insurance plan and the company wouldn't even review it for medical necessity.

Thus forcing me to find another option and pay cash for the surgery.

Has weight always been an issue with you, or did you find that once you were in your teens, or went to college, etc., that weight became a problem?

Weight has been an issue for me since I was about 5 years old. At about the time my parents started having problems and divorced, I turned to food... please don't read that as blame... it's far from it, but that is about the time that I started packing on the weight.

I also was not a very active child - never played sports, or did anything active at all. I was in dance class for a short amount of time, but when I found out about there being a recital at the end of the year... well that was over. (yes, I have other issues too! )

Food being my source of comfort and way of dealing with my emotions was only the beginning. I later found in high school on my first appointment to the gynecologist that I also had hormone problems (PCOS) that made my weight problem harder to deal with. The PCOS going untreated for such a long period of time created the perfect environment for me to continue gaining weight. Also leading later on to my development of diabetes.

What did you try before you had the surgery?

I guess the real question here is what DIDN'T I try... Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Hypnosis, Total Body Makeover, Cabbage Soup Diet, Atkins, South Beach... any fad diet in between. I tried it all, and honestly - the moment that you stop living on those programs and try to go back to real life (maybe with the exception of Weight Watchers - depending on what you learn) the pounds come right back on and bring 40-50 of their friends along too.

Therefore, I realized that conventional methods weren't going to work for me. I needed something drastic to break the cycle and force me to relearn everything I thought I knew about food.

I'm still a work in progress on that, but I've come a LONG way... here's hoping that I can learn some more while venturing out on this journey with John for my second time around. He is much more adventurous with food - so maybe he'll help me develop some recipes and things that work for us and can keep us eating healthier more quality food items for the long term.

If you missed it the first time around - leave your questions for next Wednesday in the comments.
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