You know what they say about best intentions, right?
As some of you may know, I had gastric bypass surgery in 2001. While I have had some success with the surgery, I’m still obese, and still have most of the health problems that caused me to have the surgery in the first place. I’ve experienced significant regain in the past few years, partially due to my bad food choices, and in the past year, mostly due to the decline of my mobility because of fatigue issues and arthritis.
So on Thursday night, it was business as usual for me, I was working on the monthly roundup, and ate dinner as usual. A few hours later, I was in complete agony, with waves of horrible abdominal cramping and dry heaving that were so bad, that I had my husband take me to the emergency room.
Several anti-nausea and pain medication shots and a CT scan later, they determined that I possibly had a partial bowel obstruction (a known possible complication of bariatric surgery) and decided to admit me. After 2 days in the hospital without food or water, they now know a few more things. If it was a bowel obstruction, it’s cleared itself up – while I still do have dilation, the contrast went all the way through, which is a good thing. In addition, I definitely have an incisional hernia which may have caused the condition, and in the most surprising of news, I may have a gastrogastric fistula, in which there is “communication” between my pouch and my remnant stomach, which I can assure you shouldn’t be happening. All of these conditions above need surgery, which I’ll probably have at some time in the near future.
But here’s where the major life-changing news comes in. While talking to the bariatric surgeon at the hospital, he let me know that my bariatric surgery was doomed to fail for a multitude of reasons (wrong surgery for my BMI, having the surgery without actual losing some weight through other methods first, breakdown of the actual surgery, not dealing with the food issues first, etc.). The situation isn’t hopeless. When I follow up with him, we’re going to look into revising my original surgery to place an adjustable gastric band around my pouch, ensuring that my intake is restricted as it should have been if my original surgery was intact. We’re going to deal with the food issues. And part of the dealing with the food issues and part of *this* solution being successful means that I have to lose some of my weight (roughly 70 lbs.) before I can have surgery, in order to ensure that I would get good results this time. He said that the amount a person loses though surgery is roughly the same for everyone (150-200 lbs), and that by originally starting out at 500 lbs, my “result” would be that I would still be obese. By starting at ~350, I can expect to get into a comfortable and much more healthy weight for me. And getting part of the way there by myself will allow me the time to get my head on straight.
So what does it mean for this blog? Not much will be different. I’ll still appreciate all of the decadent things in the blogosphere and in Columbus, just with a little more moderation. I’ll still like to eat and appreciate good food. But as I meet with the nutritionist and learn to eat in a way that works for my body (South Beach, anyone?), the meals I make may be a bit more different, and I’ll definitely be taking advantage of local meat and produce, that’s for sure. Once I’ve had surgery, if I eat out, I’ll probably be taking bites of my husband’s meal rather than ordering my own. But for the time being, it will be business as usual – at least until all this gets sorted out. My trip to Philly and New Jersey is still on for next week, and I still plan on eating stuff I really miss while I’m there. Once I get back, though – it’s down to business.
Hopefully all of you will come along with me on this journey as well. It’s definitely very scary to contemplate! BTW, expect March’s roundup in the next couple of days. My unexpected hospital stay shot my deadline for getting it up (yesterday!) all to hell…