Last August I created a mini shit storm when I announced that I was considering Lap Band surgery as a tool in my weight loss efforts. All kinds of people expressed their feelings on the subject, quite a few got up on their soap boxes and shouted to the rafters.
My outlook hasn’t changed. I stand firm on my opinion that bariatric surgery can be an extremely useful tool for morbidly obese people. If you have a negative opinion to share with me on this, please be advised that I welcome you to tell me how unnecessary this surgery is…if you are also carrying an extra 219 pounds around on your body and have been morbidly obese for many years. If you’ve walked in my wide width shoes, then please…share any negative thoughts you have. Otherwise I suggest you get down on your knees and give thanks that you’ve never had to deal with that much extra weight.
The only issue I have with bariatric surgery is that it does seem to be the chubby’s equivalent of Ritalin for parents. Remember the Ritalin craze when scores of parents were rushing little Ashkyn and Scope (I’m using ridiculous hipster names here) to the doctor for some nice healthy drugs instead of using old fashioned discipline? Some less-than-ethical doctors were giving themselves writer’s cramp signing prescriptions instead of doing their due diligence to make sure the little darlings in their care actually had ADD. Well, I feel that way about some bariatric surgeons and their patients. Ultimately, though, it’s everyone’s right and responsibility to decide what’s best for themselves.
I am not a person who takes this decision lightly – in fact, I wish doing research burned calories. I’ve researched my ass off. Painstaking research led me to make the decision that Lap Band is the only surgery I will consider, as the other procedures are too risky for my taste. With that, I had to painstakingly research my way to a surgeon in order to get a consultation appointment and ask questions…which I did. My insurance requires a mandatory waiting period for anyone considering bariatric surgery, during which time I am required to pass a psychiatric evaluation and undergo several months of supervision by a nutritionist. I went ahead and got that ball rolling just in case.
I’ve spent a lot of time talking to Lap Band patients and asking questions. I’ve enjoyed my appointments with my nutritionist and have actually learned to look at my relationship with food in a healthier way. Even after all this, I still feel there is more research to be done…so I joined some online forums for Lap Band patients and started reading. Talk about an eye opener!!
If you or anyone you know is considering any kind of bariatric surgery, I can’t recommend online forums enough. Reading these forums has made me aware of all kinds of pitfalls, benefits, and side effects that I never would have thought of myself…at least not until it was too late. Nothing I’ve read has scared me away from the idea of considering this surgery, but I sure have a much better idea of what to expect.
As you can expect (and according to the lovely packet my surgeon’s office gave me), if I elect to have Lap Band surgery I will have to begin a pre-op diet a week before my surgery. I will then be required to switch to clear liquids 2 days before surgery. My post surgery diet will be clear liquids for a week, then plain liquids, then softy/mushy things. Basically, I won’t be eating normal food for about a month if I have surgery.
One of the things I see a lot of on the forums are patients who are really struggling with their new diets. In addition to the healing process their bodies have to go through, they’re dealing with the emotional and mental aspects of having their “best friend” anymore: comfort food. Every person is different, every experience is unique, and all of it is extremely eye opening for me.
So…I was hit by an overwhelming wave of sheer brilliance last night: what if I take the diet for a little test drive. What if?!?!?!
I mean…I’m pretty sure I can take the pre and post op diet phases. I can do that. I’m more afraid of the stories about food getting stuck…or the lady who says she can’t eat chicken ever again…or something I’m not even thinking of. But how will I know unless I try it out?
I don’t know what’s going on with me lately…there must be something in the water at the Hot Mess household. Tomorrow is the 2 week anniversary of the day I gave up sugar. I’ve also drastically reduced my intake of Liquid Crack (aka diet soda). I’m on a roll. So when I was reading the forums last night I felt a switch turn on and I thought “What if…”
When I gave up sugar, I was amazed at how easy it was. Until Day 9. When Day 9 hit, I would have punched out an old lady at the grocery store if she had the last box of Little Debbie cakes. It wasn’t pretty. Imagine if I’d waited until the surgery made me give up sugar. Wow. I can’t imagine recovering from surgery and going through those powerful emotions. I’m glad I got that out of the way.
This is what got me thinking…what else can I get out of the way? What else can I try on for size?
Well, as of today, I’m giving myself an imaginary lap band.
I went out tonight after work and bought everything I would need if I were doing the pre-op diet…and when I wake up in the morning, I’ll be in “imaginary lap band mode”. I just want to see if I can do it. If I make the final decision for surgery, I’m going to have to do it anyway…so let’s see if I can handle it. The only difference is a little piece of silicone around my stomach.
I am highly motivated right now and I don’t want to lose that. Making the decision to have an imaginary lap band has given me a feeling of control during a time when I’m still considering so many options my head is spinning. This makes me feel like I’m doing something constructive.
Wouldn’t it be something if the imaginary lap band was enough to get me started down the right path again? What if? The only way I’ll know for sure is to just do it…so, ready or not, here I come!
It’ll be fun to see how this shakes out.
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