On deciding

Melting Mama raised some powerful issues yesterday. I want to be careful about quoting her because the entry is complex and should be taken as a whole, but a few points in particular stand out. She writes,

I am against WLS for healthy kids like myself.

If you are not dying from your morbid obesity (I was far far from it. I had zero co-morbidities of obesity.) don’t butcher your anatomy. It is too likely to cause long-term problems (the studies are just now surfacing because of the sheer numbers of people turning up years later, sick), and if you were healthy to BEGIN with (like me) the only real positive is the fact that we’ll fit in regular size coffins.

Wow. Point taken. So as a reader, I have to ask, “am I a healthy kid too?” MM was my age at surgery, and she has some pretty serious complications, so is she a part of that peer group I should be looking to?

Well, that’s not an easy answer.

If 280-320 is the range for her peer group, then I’m not in it. 30 days ago I weighed 364. However, I know that I could reduce my weight to 320 fairly easily and probably even keep it off. She had zero cormorbidities. What are mine?

Well, sleep apnea is a given. I do have that. But I could probably lose enough weight on my own (around that 280 window) in order to significantly reduce or eliminate that issue. It wasn’t a problem until recently when I climbed into the mid-300’s. So discounting that as a solvable issue, what’s left?

My blood pressure is slightly high, but I don’t have hypertension. My glucose is slightly high, but I’m not diabetic.

But there are some personal “co-life-sucks'” I associate with my condition. My feet hurt. My back is absolutely killing me (and I need to mention that to my Dr. next month). I get winded too easily. I have no endurance. I can’t enjoy a leisurely walk. If I got pregnant (assuming I could) at this weight (or 320 or 280), I would risk my own health and my baby’s. I could not be the kind of mom I want to be at this weight. My husband deserves a more enthusiastic, self-confident sex partner. My husband deserves a workout buddy and companion for all his outdoor activities.

None of that can be measured in absolutes. It’s all quality of life. So, even after reading Melting Mama’s thoughts (which, I realize, are not intended to speak to my particular situation), would I trade the possibility of osteopenia and daily supplements and the scary reality of mild neurological conditions and flabby skin for a life of relative normalcy? Yes. For me, for my back, for my feet. For my husband. For my not-yet-born kids.


Obsessive, much?

Last night while driving to a movie, my husband turned to me and said, “You know how I always talk about cars? That’s how much you’re talking about all of this doctor stuff.”

And then he proceeded to talk about cars the rest of the evening. Point taken.

1 month down, 5 to go!

After Thursday’s visit with the nutritionist, I met Friday morning with my primary doctor. (Who still, by the way,  has not completed the paperwork for my CPAP machine. Grrr.)

Anyhow, we had a lot to cover. He went over my labs and echocardiogram first. The results were surprisingly positive. I almost didn’t believe him, but my cholesterol is only 147, which is 33 points lower than it was at age 13! How this is possible, I have no idea. But he was pleased and so was I! There were no problems at all presented in my blood work and my heart echo was “excellent.” It did pick up a couple of minor valve abnormalities, but the Dr said it’s nothing to think twice about.

My blood pressure yesterday was 136/90 again, however, and Dr. Richter wants me to begin taking it myself twice a month and recording the results. If it doesn’t go down, we may begin treating it with medicine. We went over my blood glucose levels again, which were also slightly high, and Dr. Richter said that he thinks my body was “becoming toxic” and that I am pursuing this at “exactly the right time.” I knew my health was failing. I could feel it.

Dr. Richter does disagree somewhat with my nutritionist’s eating plan, however. While the nutritionist allows for 5-7 grains each day, he wants me to cut those in half and never go beyond 1500 calories per day. He sees this as a diet, whereas the nutritionist sees this more as training me for balanced eating. I’m not sure where I stand on that, but I’m going to try and reduce some grains and see what happens.

So recap of everything that has happened since April 13th when I decided to get my ass in gear on pursuing WLS: I’ve had about 4 primary doctor visits, 1 ER visit, 2 nutritionist visits, 2 polysomnograms, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and I’ve lost (at least according to this morning’s numbers) 13 pounds. Things are moving along!