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Monday, August 15, 2011

Presurgery fears and Questions

How are you guys today? I'm laying in bed slightly dehydrated and certain I'm a little backed up. WOOO!! The beauty of fasting!
Yesterday, I got an email from somebody who has been torn about the decision to have or not have surgery for a long, long time. I answered her as honestly as I could, and asked her permission to post about it today. It has been slightly edited for clarity and privacy.

 Hi my name is Suzy Q and I am having a lot of trouble coming to a final decision about having the sleeve. I currently weigh 241 lbs at 5 ft 2 and  I have high blood pressure, pre diabetes , fatty liver, sleep apnea and knee and hip problems.The list goes on and on.
I also have asthma and severe gastric reflux, and my gastroenterologist is worried about me getting surgery because he says it will compound my problems. On the other hand the bariatric doctor thinks that it will all be ok and there won't be a problem. This is just one reason I've been undecided. My depression and my fear of breaking up my relationship with food doesn't help me either.
I have been running away from surgery for the past 4 years. I was scheduled to have it last year and as the surgery date approached, I got so scared that I chickened out. I thought I could do it on my own and like always, I failed.
What is your experience with the sleeve. Do you have any regrets?
Your blogs are a true inspiration. God bless you and thank you for whatever help.

Dear Suzy Q,
I think that with the problems that you already have it would be in your benefit to strongly consider surgery. With the weight loss that follows surgery, there is a very good chance that your blood pressure, hip and knee problems, blood sugar problems, sleep apnea, etc all of those problems will be resolved. With your gastric reflux it could get better, worse, or stay the same, but for me that would be a gamble I would be willing to make. I never had reflux before surgery, but I have acid reflux now. Taking a ppi is a small tradeoff for the life that I have now.
I don't regret getting the sleeve for one minute. I was a miserable 350+ pound mess,and while I didn't have any major health problems, I'm sure that they were right around the corner. My liver enzymes were elevated and my bp was beginning to creep up. It was coming.
In the first 4 to 6 weeks you will probably have buyer's remorse and second guess yourself a lot. I had a lot difficulty getting in water and that caused a problem for me. Lots of people with bariatric surgery go through the same thing, though. Trust me when I tell you that it WILL get easier after the first 4-6 weeks. Just focus on staying hydrated and you will stay on top of a lot of problems.
You WILL have days that you miss your old friend, food. There are days that I get pissed cause I get full too fast and I want just one more bite. You will have those days too. But I surround myself with a really great support team, both real life and online and it helps so much. I'm a better wife, a mother, I'm happier, more fun. For me, life is so much better on this side. I would do it again in a second.
I'm 18 months out from surgery and I'm still managing to lose. There are several long term sleevers (3+ years) on Facebook and they're doing well, too.
So instead of asking yourself  "what if it won't work", ask yourself  "what if it does!"

If its ok with you, I'd like to post this letter on my blog and see what some people have to add. I will never use your name, pinky swear, right hand to God. However you answer is ok with me. You can email me or contact me anytime. That's why I'm here :)

So, do you guys have any suggestions or anything to offer Suzy Q?


  1. I agree with you. I think surgery would probably help 90% of Suzy's issues, but she has to get her head on straight before she goes under the knife.
    Ending your relationship with food is not an easy thing to do. It takes a lot of work and practice. I'm glad that I had 6 months required by my insurance co, before I had surgery. If I had jumped in, the changes would have been even MORE difficult.
    I struggle with how to cope sometimes, I often WISH I could have just one more bite (or ten), and when we are socializing I struggle to feel normal and not freak like.
    That said, for me, it has been life changing and worth every single bite I have bitched about missing. It has helped me to find myself, to enjoy life, family and friends.
    Surgery isn't for everybody, but it helped me greatly.

  2. You will love love love the sleeve but reflux will probably get worse. It's a trade off I'd still take. I don't eat or drink a couple hours before bed and when it's really bad I take my PPI. You know how you dream all the time and the day dreams are the same? How you would give anything to be thin? You can be. I love my sleeve. I wish I would have done it 20 years ago, yes that would make me 12 but still. I've lost over 100 lbs and I feel and look great. What do you have to lose except weight?


  3. I also commented on FB but, I wanted to add this: I have been dating food for nearly two decades! I was so fearful of not having that crutch to lean on after surgery but, as long as you cook and eat right, you can start dating food again but, this time, it will be a HEALTHY relationship instead of a codependent one. Again, I wish you ALL the best in the world with whatever decision you make! :)

  4. Just wanted to add that I love food more now than I did before. I choose the best foods to eat, naturally, instead of the most food or whatever is around. No way would some store brand cookie go into my mouth. I would rather wait to go to a bakery and have a real treat. The compulsion to eat all the time is gone so I enjoy my food much more.


  5. You do not GIVE UP your relationship with food, you have to CHANGE your reaction to food, how you react with food to the things that trigger you, stress, emotions and boredom.
    I would seriously suggest that you look into getting weight loss surgery but also regardless of whether it is required or not by your insurance go on a 6 month diet AND start seeing a councilor if you are not and if you are focus on your issues with food

  6. Go for it,Suzy Q. Seriously. My life has changed tremendously and my issues are very similar to yours. I no longer used my cPAP, my bp has gone from 148/90 to 110/60. The creaks and aches and pains have subsided and I STILL have 200 lbs to lose. Know that it will be a struggle and that until you do the work to learn how to use food for you instead of against you, it will be a fight. But when you make it through that first few weeks and start to see the changes, it will all be worth it. Whether you have surgery or not, though, we're all here rooting you on and can help you navigate the treacherous waters so that you can meet your goals and just start feeling better. Surgery is not a cure-all, but it sure does help A LOT!!!

  7. I'm not much overweight, but I've been reading posts and comments from jump. Besides supporting a personal friend, I think WW and her site is honest, insightful, and humorous - the same goes for the comments. Seriously, check the archives. This is a good example of a blog done right. Suzy Q, you've come to the right place.

  8. Such a inspirable and good blog . I am able to get new knowledge while reading this . Keep sharing this type of informative blogs.


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