I Had Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy – Happy Birthday to ME!

Whew, it feels good to get it out there – I had Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. Good… and nerve wrecking. But I do know, despite my scaredy-cat nerves about sharing this life-changing life-saving event, the decision to have this weight loss surgery was the best one I’ve ever made.

Ever.

And while today is my actual birthday, I now have another – May 11, 2016 – to celebrate each year.

Happy Birthday to Me – I had Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.

For those who don’t know what that means, here it is simply: the surgeon (who, with an amazing and super supportive team) removed 2/3 of my stomach, leaving a banana-shaped “pouch” in place, connected from my esophagus and to my intestines.

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy - Banana Belly

There are several different types of weight loss surgery; however, as we went through this process, we determined that the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy was the best one for me.

(from here on out, I’ll be referring to it as “my sleeve” or “Banana Belly” (because yes, I named her))

Now. For those who are just finding out, please do not feel as though I hid this great big secret from you. It has been a very long journey to get to here (since last July) and we (Gary and I) kept this mostly to ourselves. There were many reasons for this and I’ll be getting to those as I continue to share my story!

Related: San Journals 1

For those few who happened along for this VSG journey to date, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I love you all so very much and am so fortunate for all your support and kindness throughout this process and always.

Thank You - Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

And let’s talk about that process for a minute.

It began with the doctor’s visit in July 2015. The head specialist. Perhaps you remember – I’ll be sharing more about that, later, too. From there to my PCP (primary care physician) and into the Weight and Wellness Program in October 2015 to here, May 2016, one week post-op.

You will realize as you venture on this new life (truly a re-birth) journey with me, that I was more than prepared to make this “elective” Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy decision.

  • I researched.
  • I saw my therapist weekly.
  • My dietician monthly.
  • A social worker monthly.
  • Attended several classes.
  • Lost a few pounds…

So yah. There’s that. By the time we got to here, I had been sick for nearly two years (October 2013 – October 2015). When I entered the Weight and Wellness program (7+ months ago), I was tasked with losing a specific amount of weight before I could be scheduled for surgery. Unfortunately, none of us knew how screwed up my metabolism was. I had gained an extra 75 pounds from just one medication, which tipped me over the diabetic edge

Barely diabetic. Still. Life changed forever. 

On top of that, I wasn’t over-eating anymore. I was under-eating. Neither of which will EVER aid in any permanent weight loss.

But.

I managed to lose 12 pounds from October 2015 – April 27 2016. And another 8 pounds in the two weeks before surgery – my pre-op diet. To give you an idea of how screwed up my metabolism is, I gained ALL the 8 pounds back PLUS a pound, the first week on the pre-op diet. I then lost a total of eight pounds PLUS the 12 for a total of 20 pounds down, going into surgery day.

I was ready. I even knew I’d gain some back from IV fluids and it only irked me a tiny bit.

I was scheduled for afternoon surgery, which ended up being delayed a bit. I landed in my room around 8:15pm that night and was allowed to go home after speaking to my surgeon around 9:30 the next morning. She caught up with me as I was looping the solarium for the umpteenth time (I walked 2.5 miles before I even left the hospital – walking right after WLS is SO beneficial for you). As predicted, I had gained from my IV – six pounds, to be exact!

And Today?

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy - Happy-Birthday-To-Me

My Weight Loss Stats:

  • *HW: 322
  • *SW: 302
  • *SD: 05.11.16
  • *CW: 291.8
  • *TPD: 30.2
  • *GW: 175-150 (I am 5’6.5 and I am getting healthy, not necessarily society’s perceived notion of thin)

It would appear that my metabolism got just the shock it needed.

And lest you think I took the easy way out, I am here to tell you that this was THE HARDEST decision I’ve ever made. The best and the hardest. I needed to do this for me, but I also needed to consider those most close to me (G and Mags). So I did. And as I continue to journal my whole ick story, I will share with you every detail I can possibly give, that may help you or someone you know reach a decision about whether to have Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy or weight loss surgery in general.

When we spoke with the head specialist last July, she very firmly told me to pass it ON! And that is exactly what I’m going to do – the ick story and everything that follows. And YES. I’ll throw in some seriously awesome healthy life tips along the way.

Thank you for stopping by, today. I fretted for some time about writing this post. I mean, I knew I was going to do it, but how.. the words…

…the words just flowed – pretty much how I do it every. single. time.

Till next time, for your health and mine,

San-6-miles-daily-sig

 

 

 


And stay tuned because we ARE GIVING AWAY in June. I have one Fitbit Flex (and bonus bands) to share with one lucky winner, and I’m working on a few more awesome prizes.

Are you moving more with Fitbit? Let’s get connected – you give me your user name and I’ll give you mine. LOVE those challenges! 🙂

Follow my #picaday of #365days on Instagram. One pic a day as I transform, for this entire year (began 4.27.16). Here is today’s #day22pic:

 

 

*Abbreviations used in this post*

  • HW – Highest Weight
  • SW – Surgery Weight or Starting Weight
  • CW – Current Weight
  • SD – Surgery Date
  • TPD: Total Pounds Down
  • GW: Goal Weight
  • VSG – Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (otherwise known as my Banana Belly)
  • WLS – Weight Loss Surgery

…the complete list of WLS Abbreviations 🙂

Ask Your Surgeon

What questions to ask your surgeon are important to you?


 

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