I guess I should finally talk about the surgery I have been referring to that is taking place in May (hopefully). My doctors have finally approved me for weight loss surgery! We are just waiting on insurance to approve it, and then it will be scheduled.
This is something I have been working on somewhat quietly for the past few months. I have been overweight since I was a teenager. No matter what I have done, I have always been plus size. In the past few years, I have received a few diagnoses that have explained the weight gain and lack of weight loss despite me trying various diets, working out regularly with or without a trainer, and meds. I have Hashimoto’s, PCOS, and Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
Up until recently, I was against having the surgery. I had a lot of misconceptions of the surgery that blinded me to the benefits. The final straw was when my doctor finally agreed to give me a referral to get breast reduction surgery. Over the years, my boobs have been trying to kill me. I can’t sleep on my back without my boobs trying to smother me. If I move the wrong way, they pull the muscles in my back and neck. On more than one occasion, they have done that so badly that I needed physical therapy for six weeks and electro dry needling done repeatedly to stop the spasming. When I called the clinic to set up a consultation for the reduction, they told me they wouldn’t see me until I was under 190 pounds. Seeing as I was about 340 pounds at the time, I was extremely heartbroken. So in a fit of rage, I emailed my doctor asking for a new referral to have weight loss surgery which he approved.
Thanks to Covid, it took a few months before I could have my consultation. I’ll admit that I went to the video appointment fairly begrudgingly, but I was surprised by what the doctor had to say about the surgery. She helped me work through the misconceptions I had about the surgery. This wasn’t the easy way out of being fat. This wouldn’t be an easy thing to get approved for or to go through. She explained the different types of weight loss surgery and why they would or wouldn’t work for me. Ultimately we agreed that Roux-en-Y would be the best bet for me. It is recommended for people like me whose BMI is this high and have other factors (such as my autoimmune disorders).
Over the past few months, I have met with several different doctors. I had to pass a psych evaluation, meet with a dietician regularly, and have a ton of tests done. It’s been crazy, but I have made it through it. Now, all we have left to do is have Tricare approve the surgery. We should hear something in the next week or so. If approved, I should be having surgery at the beginning of May. The doctors involved in this are being great because they are trying to get me in early enough to have time to heal before we move. Depending on when the surgery is, I should have 2.5 months to heal. I know healing is going to be a bitch, but having better health will be worth it. Plus, potentially being 40-60 pounds lighter by the time we get to San Diego would be great. Let’s be honest here; it’s easier to make friends and be accepted if someone isn’t obese.
I will admit that I still have some conflicted feelings about this surgery, which I will write about in a future blog post. It’s too much to unpack here and now. Plus, I am still working through all my thoughts. Ultimately though, I am looking forward to the surgery. I am celebrating the changes I am making to make a better future for myself. While I say goodbye to my favorite foods, I am making a new relationship with food. As cliche as this sounds, this journey has me feeling like a fat caterpillar that is about to turn into a beautiful butterfly.
This won’t be a one-time post about this subject. As mentioned earlier, there will be a future post about my thoughts about the surgery. As I go through this process, there will be more posts about what’s going on. Plus, in the months after the surgery, I will be housebound and won’t have a ton to write about during that time. Sorry if things get temporarily boring. But I promise it will only be temporary because this summer, I will also be documenting our move, our cross country trip, and exploring San Diego. So please stay tuned even when it gets boring. I promise it will be worth it.