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I'm Considering a Gastric Bypass. Any Thoughts?
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:07 pm    Post subject: I'm Considering a Gastric Bypass. Any Thoughts? Reply with quote

That about sez it. ...except for the fact that making a final, life-changing decision about something that's so hard to anticipate and wrap your imagination around is tough.

It could give me control over an area in my life that I've never been able to exercise any restraint over. And all I have to give up is the second great love of my life.

In exchange, my body may not over overwhelm my skeleton (which has begun giving way to osteoporosis as a result of the steroids that asthma has forced on me). I may able to actually sleep all night and to allow my hard working, loving and indulgent husband to sleep too and us to do it together. I might feel like re-joining the world (I've retreated further and further as I grew more and more to resemble Humpty Dumpty). OTOH, I rather like being a hermit and that might never change. And I will probably live longer.

I'd love to hear any thoughts and experiences anyone may have.
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Rainey,

I don't feel totally comfortable giving you my opinion, since I'm new here and a total stranger...and I can't empathize with your situation fully, but I can say one thing: life's too short to be unhappy.

Good luck with whatever you decide. I know you have plenty of folks here pulling for you!


Last edited by sweetbabyjames on Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chicago Bear



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that I've tried to learn is that I can hate parts of myself or parts of my behavior but still know that there are other parts that are fine and worthwhile. There's a part of you that you hate, and it sounds like it's taking over the other parts that are fine and worthwhile, causing some health risks and overall darkness. I can't help with your decision process, but I can tell you that I admire your courage for being determined to change that part of you. I admire it especially because I've tried hard to change parts of me that I don't like, and keep coming up short. So, way to go Rainey!
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey , as one who has experienced two bouts of major surgery in the past two years, I would say "only as a last resort" after you have exhausted all other avenues. Surgery comes with risks and takes a toll on the body both physically and emotionally. One of the best gifts I gave myself after my first surgery was a Personal Trainer. We met and discussed my goals (which included physical and mental health)and he then devised an exercise programme I could do at home ( I didn't have to go near the gym). We would meet once a month to discuss my progress. Maybe if you worked with both a Personal Trainer and Nutritionist you could avoid surgery.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, congratulations on even thinking about such a life-changing procedure. I have nursed quite a few people who have had similar surgery. Some have done really well and others didn't.

Please forgive my comments if they're not what you want to read, but you did ask ...

Having a smaller stomach doesn't change the way you think and feel about food, that comes from within yourself. Have you researched the various surgical methods of weight control? One of my friends is a research assistant for the Royal College of Surgeons here in Adelaide and he did a study on surgical weight loss methods. His findings were that Laparoscopic Gastric Banding was the least successful, and jaw wiring was the most successful. I gather this is because jaw wiring actually imposes a change to one's dietary habits, whereas the gastric banding only decreases the size of the stomach and if the person wishes to eat chocolate or whatever, they still can, just in smaller quantities.

There is a fantastic book, "Complications, a Surgeon's Notes on Imperfect Science", written by US surgeon Atul Gawande (01 April, 2003) - Picador. I saw it in Borders when we were in the US last year and it's well worth reading the chapter on weight loss. Otherwise I can send you an audiobook copy on CD.

So, there are some of my thoughts. I'd be happy to discuss it more with you, either here, via private message or email. I think it's wonderful that you are considering this, but just wanted to offer a slightly different point of view. Please don't take this as criticism or negativity, I most certainly don't mean it as such.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts and I'll respond to each of you tomorrow (daughter's B-day and I've got B-day dinner going).

Judy- That is precisely the kind of info I'm looking for and my greatest concern. The procedure which my medical plan will cover is a gastric band or the Roux Y Limb done laproscopically.

I'm not in the least concerned about the procedure or the recovery (tho the discipline of reacculturating the new stomach to food is daunting). It's the rehabilitated approach to food that I'm very worried about since it's something that I've never been able to sustain for more than a bit. Once I went a couple years, but, as with everything else, it caved at some point.

I'd be most grateful for whatever info you have. I don't mind publicly at all if it would be of interest to someone else. But I'm just as happy to have it in PM if it would be a bore at take up space for more generally interesting conversation.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, can you give me your mailing address via PM please? I'll post you a copy of the audiobook version of Complications. It's not quite as 'user friendly' as a book, in that you can't just flick through to find what you want, but its excellent and very thought-provoking. I listened to it while we were travelling somewhere that involved sitting in the car for long periods of time.

If you have a portable CD player, that's a good way to listen, otherwise it will play on your computer or any other CD players.

Barbara is right about surgery as a last resort. I have a friend who is in her 70s and she has made a very conscious decision to never have surgery again. She has observed too many of her friends who just don't ever fully recover their cognitive processes after having a general anaesthetic. Now, I know you're a mere spring chicken in comparison, but if you can avoid an anaesthetic, particularly with your other health problems, it would be a good thing.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sweetbabyjames- Your story is inspirational. I'm so happy for you both.

Meanwhile, I'm laughing at your reticence to jump in (so glad you did!) because I've never hesitated to give anyone my invaluable Shocked opinion disguised as helpful thoughts. Wink

Your encouragement is most welcome and I'm happy to meet you.

CB- I probably have a whole hell of a lot less self-loathing than I should rightfully have. I am sometimes embarrassed by my size, I am greatly inconvenienced by it and now I am imperiled by it but I gave up vanity a looooong time ago.

The hermit thing is part of the same nasty indulgence which is at the root of my weight. That horrible Indulgence beast is the one that gives me the most concern about undergoing and then undermining the surgery. The fact remains, however, that I am an Alexander Pope person who loves mankind but comes up short on patience for actual fallible humans rather than a Johnathan Swift person who shows a tough face but enjoys all the prickliness that human nature entails and I don't require much that I don't already have in the bliss of my room, my computer and my garden so I may be a hermit in my heart forever regardless of my size.

Lovely Barbara- I am mindful of how much you've been through and how stoopid it is that I bring much of this on myself when you have no such choice. I admire your courage and the deliberation with which you embrace your life and make it lovely. Consequently,I am embarrassed that you should even consider the dopey position I've put myself in (but I'm encouraged and delighted that you're feeling strong enough to be posting again!).

The asthma and aging aren't things I can do too much about but I'm told that I'll age more and burden my lungs and skeleton less if I allow the surgery to assist me in taking weight off my body.

Your suggestion of working with a trainer and, generally, doing what I can to lose the weight more constructively are, of course, ideal. But then in 5 decades of fighting my weight I've been in numerous programs and worked with both physical trainers and nutritionists with only limited and temporary results. I did manage through the Atkins diet to take 50 pounds off and keep them off for almost 2 years a few years ago. My cholesterol soared and, eventually, I put the weight back on. And, as always and, apparently, part of a general pattern, I put back on that weight plus additional weight. Currently, I'm slowly and steadily putting on little bits all of the time.

Thank you each for caring and providing the information you did. This will be a very big change, if I take it on, and I may need to ask for your help again.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Rainey---what a courageous thing to contemplate! I wish I could empathise more but weight has never been a BIG issue for me. I have a good customer though who had the procedure done a few years back and I can attest to the greatly improved health and disposition this has brought him. He still eats, still enjoys food, just not in the abundance he was used to. Just think what a great gift you will be giving your loved ones by increasing your chances for a longer and healthier and more active life!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

God! you guys are so kind and generous!

It doesn't feel couageous. It feels like the wienie way out for someone who lacks the character to have solved this the "right" way a looonng time ago.

The good part of this is that Steve and I will do it together. More or less. I may go first so I have a better idea how to care for and support him and finding the time is more problematical for him. However, he has cardiac problems and a degenerated disk so it will make a big and positive difference for him.

He works so hard. It would be great to see him be able to play some golf and enjoy his downtime more.
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, you're too kind. And so very eloquent.

You know once something's brought to your attention, how you start to notice it everywhere? Well, the one thing I've heard so many times the last two years is how folks try to change and fail. So they set to trying again, only to fail again and again and again.

I feel this way all the time, for various reasons. It's easy to be discouraged. And each time it seems harder to pick it up *again*. I'm convinced that this type of experience will be lifelong. It does take a lot of courage to keep setting out on the same difficult journey. But maybe that's an important experience. Maybe it's essential. Maybe eventually, when the attempt fails, you don't go back to square one but only as far back as square two. Maybe that's the key...who knows. Just a thought.
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Rainey.

Last edited by gingerpale on Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, I appreciate your posting on an open forum the issue of your surgery. It's very brave.
Nevertheless, I believe that the only thing we ( I ) can do, is to support you after YOU decide about this. I do agree with Barbara, because any ecclectic surgery is a risk. We did have the same problem with our daughter, and we ( she) decided not to, as the risk factor was high. Only your physicians, together with you, can make a rational decision: what is more risky to your health: to have the surgery ( taking in consideration age, other maladies, etc) or to stay at your present weight. There are no easy answers, I know, but still, I believe it's mostly a medical decision.
Good luck with your choice.

More war against the nasty pounds ( kg)!!
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itroussel



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Madrid (Spain)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't agree with you, Rainey. IMHO, getting gastric bypass surgery is a very brave thing to do.

Coming from a seriously overweighted family (from my mom's side), and
being myself seriously overweited, I have been on and off diets for the last 15 years (I'm in my early thirties). I was born with serious health problems and has spent my entire childhood getting orthopedic surgery every 2 years... I've always been terrorized of general anesthesia: I just can't deal with the loss of conciousness, so I last time I convinced my surgeon into getting me an epidural... of course this is not possible with gastric bypass... so I get I won't have it (unless my condition becomes life-threatening)

The point is, that I am far too chicken to lose weight that way: I stick to the diet / physical training method. Now I'm seing a nutrician (my previous diets were not supervised by a health care professional), and am losing weight slowly but surely (20+ pounds since last April) and still going strong, with a diet that allows me to eat 1/2 a baguette per day (yep, that's right) and a weekly free meal (I usually and reasonably indulge myself on real "vinaigrette" with my salad and "fondants au chocolat"... yummy!), combined with static bicycle.

I admire you so much for even considering getting that surgery!

Good luck with whatever you choose to do!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alas! It won't be an option as it won't be covered by my insurance. I'll have to continue the struggle on my own resources. But I thank you all for your thoughts and support.
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