considering surgery (g2)

I’m not sure anymore how much detail I’ve gone into, I’m too lazy to go look at any prior posts of mine about health. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, just like Grand. Unlike Grand though, I don’t hide twinkies and say I bought them “for the kids” or a 10 lb bag of oranges and eat them over a few days because I’m too lazy to cook for one.

I do however, have an intense love of chocolate and had (my meds make me crave meat now, go figure) a sweet tooth so fierce I’d make myself sick. I could never understand why, but my doc said that since I’d always ran a low sugar until now, I would of course crave it. I used to have a blood sugar of  about 74 shortly after eating. I know only because I had a type 1 boss who would stick you anytime you alluded to not feeling perfect.

I’m on a pill twice a day. I’m thankful I don’t have to use insulin, for now. I’m also glad I’m not having to stick myself, for now. My numbers have been getting better minisculely, not rapid enough for the instant gratification loving person than I am. I know that this is a process, but the process, to me should be faster than 10 lbs in three months.

Walking… hurts right now. But I do as much as I can. I would love to swim, but have no access to such in a reasonable time frame or distance. If I tried to do yoga, I’d fall and hurt myself. My body is not fully under my control right now.

I’ve always berated myself for being a food-addicted by-product of bad genes and a worse upbringing, but I don’t think that is the whole story.

I distinctly remember crying over a plate of food because I couldn’t eat anymore and I thought I would be in trouble. Grand always fixed our plates for a 300 lb grown man and then demanded that we eat everything. My mom tossed the plate I was crying over in the trash and spent the next hour trying to de-program a short lifetime of conditioning.

I was suicidal by age seven, depression came on pretty hard when the hormones did in my preteens, and so did about 10 or so extra pounds. At that point, I didn’t have any major body issues, I figured my next growth spurt would probably iron it all out, as I was still a kid.

That is, of course, until I sent to my Aunt from Hell’s house for the summer. She promptly slapped me on the Atkin’s diet, droned on about “ketosis” and fed me shitty unsweetened yogurt and unripe blueberries. It would be twenty years before I would ever willingly taste another blueberry.

I had one friend I made that summer and was thrilled when they invited me over for a sleepover. Anything to get out of that bitch’s house. Their dad made homemade vanilla ice cream, a treat I’d never had in my life. I ate one small scoop, since I was trying to keep to the Fuhrer’s strict rules.

I was subsequently screamed at for an hour when they found out.

Years later, when same aunt was giving me advice about the “delicate psyche” of children before Spawn was born, I brought up this small page in our history. I also told her I used to find her terrifying.

her:”…………….I’m….. I’m so sorry”

me:”kind of fucking late to regret now, isn’t it?”

I think that was the only time I ever heard that woman apologise for anything. She is Grand’s twin in many ways.

My twenties, I ended up with the marital fluff that comes from too much indifference and entirely too much meat and potato-based meals. When we split, I’d put on 30 or so lbs. I lost any taste for soft drinks and spent the first month or so gorging on as many raw vegetables as I could get my hands on. Not because I was dieting, but because I craved them. I didn’t count anything, didn’t weigh anything, I ate what I was in the mood for, including a 3 scoop variety bowl of ice cream with all the crap on it. I took up yoga, I loved it. I felt centered for the first time in my life.

I did weigh myself though. I had a mental number I wanted to reach and when I was within five pounds of it, I decided to take up a judo class. The first month, I instead gained five pounds but had dropped a pant size. It was my first epiphany in how little numbers mean.

The second was with a friend of mine who also had the desire to lean down, while we were at a pub crawl (I did mention I gave up nothing, right?). We were on bar three and moving to bar four. It was probably just a couple blocks to the next one and my friend and I were chatting and laughing and outpacing everyone. We passed two individuals who represented everything we were trying to achieve, size-wise. As we passed, we heard one complain about being exhausted and their feet hurting. The other responded in agreement. My friend and I looked at one another and I simply said “maybe we need to rethink our priorities…,” they simply responded “indeed.”

When Spawn was known but in the works, I ended up taking care of Grand, a noncompliant diabetic. I never understood what Grand thought they were accomplishing by not checking their sugar and lying about what they ate. They lost their eyesight and their independance, and its by sheer miracle they didn’t lose an appendage or have to go on dialysis.

While they were under my care, they dropped about 9 sizes. I cleaned out all the garbage and started cooking my normal jive. Grand was a shopping junkie, so I took them grocery shopping about three times a week. It seems excessive but I refused to keep any mass quantities of fruit (their main addiction) and Grand always had to walk down every aisle each visit.

Let me repeat that…. they had to walk down every aisle each and every time. Even if nothing had changed, nothing moved, nothing.

I played a game of trying to find the biggest grocery stores I could that still kept only within the food range. Wal-Mart was off-limits except for only special trips (moments I wouldn’t go postal spending days in a store). With Grand’s macular degeneration, they would obsessively grab shit and put it in their cart and I would pull it out of the other side and put it back. I tried to keep the splurge tab in the 10-15 range so the high could be obtained without the expenditure. Grand was a junkie when it came to shopping, folks. I would bribe anyone of you to do my shopping for me.

Grand:”I could have sworn I got more than this…”

Me:”hmmm, nope… you were a bit picky today.”

With Grand getting exercise on these trips, so I enforced the rule of only 2-3 pieces of fruit and each had to be a different color (probably the only thing they could see anyway) under the agreement we would come back when they ran out. When I refused to allow them the 10 lb bag of oranges, I got a call from one of her children about how I wasn’t feeding Grand. The 9 pant sizes and the elimination of two of their medications for sugar (there were four) seemed to support this. I did mention I was the evil black sheep of the family right? I fed Grand how I liked to eat, they had 3 squares and 2 snacks a day, and it worked.

My thirties, the weight crawled on while taking care of Spawn. Getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night with absolutely no break, full-time work and a kid who would scream if they had to consume anything besides chicken nuggets and french fries all summed up to a good 80 or more lbs. I responded the way I had in the past but with prepackaged salads, cooking mass quantities of meals and shoving them in the freezer (the first time around I had more than me to cook for with friends, roommates and my mom around all the time).

I tried to involve Spawn in my yoga. It didn’t go well and I wasn’t able to focus on it like I had when I could do it by myself, so I scheduled it when they were asleep. The weight also wasn’t budging either, even reviving the old habits. But this was a decade later.

I started counting calories for the first time. I hated it. I was hungry all the time and it felt like a full time job. I tried several calculations and set an amount that would hit a 2 lb weight loss a week, and it still didn’t budge much. I would knock off another 100 calories until I started losing again, but I was so damn hungry.

I started walking every other day. I found out one of my blocks was about 2 miles around, the other almost 3, so I walked both each time. BFG bought me some walking sticks because we had read it could help with strength training and your posture so you could walk faster. I didn’t even care if I looked stupid. I read so much material on nutrition and weight and exercise that, just like parental advice, it began to contradict each other.

I managed to knock off about half the weight. I’d had to give up caffeine due to an ulcer, and my last vice was smoking. When my cholesterol came back elevated, that went too. I was ok about it when I gained 12 lbs from quitting. I thought it’d be more. But I still had 30+ lbs left to go and it refused to budge.

Then I came home one day and my legs ached when I walked, my arms ached, I couldn’t get a full breathe, my brain ached. I was so mentally drained I felt like I’d been trying to do calculus without paper. I felt like I’d run a marathon and every bit of liquid I’d had in my body was focused completely around my legs like a pair of saline pants I couldn’t remove. I moved like Grand at 80, the 50 yards to the bed felt like Mount Saint Helen, so I crashed on the couch most of the time.

I  slept at least a dozen hours every time I could, more on the weekend. It was insanely difficult to get up in the morning. I was always stiff, always tired, always hurting. I had donned a gorilla costume the Halloween before and chased Spawn for hours while they knocked on door after door and now I had no chance in hell of standing at a stove for thirty minutes to cook anything. I couldn’t stand five minutes without whimpering.

My doc tried upping my anti-depressants, my cholesterol problem magically disappeared but my blood pressure was elevated, no that’s no longer a problem but your triglycerides are weird, nope, now its your thyroid. No wait…. DIABETES!

It stayed like that for almost six years now, and over 100 lbs this time. On a scale of 1 to 10, I was sitting at 11 in misery. Of course, over those 6 years I felt like cooking very little, drive-throughs often providing our only major meals. This pleased Spawn, but not me. Crap makes you feel like crap, but I wanted hot meals and had no desire to make anything. I could stare at a full fridge and could not come up with a single thing to make. I felt like I was dead.

I still pretty much feel dead, maybe a zombie walker? My last visit we talked while I was getting checked out for a sinus infection (before the nurse told me to bend over). Cooking at home is now outweighing how much we grab. “Grabbing” dinner involves salads and lean meals at least half the time when I can find places that serve good food. I’m beginning to feel like I am at 8, sometimes 7 on good days. I’d lost 10 lbs… but in 3 months. It only took 6 months for that 100+ lbs to slam itself on and at that point, I was sleeping more than I was doing anything else. I even slowly weaned myself off the anti-depressant to see if maybe I wasn’t having some weird reaction to them.

So I’m at the point where I’m considering gastric bypass. I feel like I will continue to lose this battle with my own body unless I do something drastic. I have no intention of losing the war. I just need better artillery and the older I get, the harder this battle is getting.

I have read something about transfer addiction, and I used to think I had an addictive personality, but when I’ve set my mind to toss something out, I don’t go back. Chantix starts you out with 3 months, I quit in one, I kept another week of the pills to help with situations of temptation and donated the rest to a fellow smoker looking to quit. I’ve never looked back. I felt pretty smug sitting at an outdoor table with a pack of chain smokers with no desire to join them. I knew then I was done for good.

If I get my emotional brain to shut up, my logical brain tells me “remember that time you refused to drop the calculus class with the Russian professor you could never understand? It’s like that and it’s time to ask for help.”

Have you guys ever considered or done anything this drastic? I know I’m tired of just existing and now that Spawn is older, this is not at all the way I want them to remember me. I want to go on trips now, to experience now, to live NOW. Six years was too much already.

11 thoughts on “considering surgery (g2)

  1. I am from a family of two severely overweight sisters who are both dead now. One older and one younger; and a mother who “chose” to be overweight all of her life. I say chose, because she had choices. She ate what ever she wanted along with my two sisters, and never exercised a day in their lived. Bariatric surgery is like putting a bandaid on a bullet would. I believe anyone considering it needs to go into intense counseling for at least a year before it is done. Sure the weight drops off, it has no other choice… but what do you do with that urge to eat that you will continue to have? As you know I just lost a baby sister who had the surgery and lost 1/2 of her 300 lbs, and since she could no longer eat, she began drinking until she got cirrhosis of the liver and passed.
    See now, you want it all NOW. I have to care for myself each and every day. No it is not easy. I have to get myself up and out there to walk or run. If I say I’m doing it for an hour, that’s how long I do it. In my practice I see women all the time who want me to say that they are fine Psychologically and ready to have the surgery. I tell them all that they have come to the wrong person because I believe they need to get a handle on that eating addiction first. If you learned how to eat properly you would not be hungry. The same with exercise. Exercise gives you energy.
    My oldest sister died from her eating addiction. She had congestive heart failure, type 2 diabetes, kidney failure and everything that goes along with being overweight. She also never got counseling for her eating disorder. She also never exercised a day in her life.
    I wear a bikini proudly, because I look good in it. I have earned the right to wear on because I exercise at least 100 miles a week and eat very healthy.
    finally, remember it’s not what you are eating, it’s what’s eating you.

    1. The psychological bit eating me, I’ve spent a huge chunk of my lifetime trying to pinpoint that. I can and have gone through long diatribes about things that have bugged me and worn me out over the years, and hell, spoken about them here in detail. Bottom line is though, the only person you can really fix is yourself. And psychologically, I kind of like me.

      And although I would love instant gratification, the desire for NOW is after six years of frustration. If moving didn’t cause me pain, I would move more. I enjoy doing so. I love to go dancing. I LOVE yoga. I love judo. If I didn’t feel like it would break my neck to do it, I would.

      And, for full disclosure, right now I usually have toast and coffee in the AM, nothing for lunch and Spawn cooks dinner unless its a weekend. All my plates are salad size, because I don’t trust myself with anything bigger than that (thanks, Grand).

      If I talk to the doc and they want me to go through some screening process and a few months of a particular diet, I’m down. If it is in my head, then great. I’ve never turned away from what I needed to do and I don’t plan on starting now. I’m just tired of turning down life for lack of energy to live it.

      1. I’m sure you will do just fine. fyi, perhaps you need something more for breakfast than coffee and toast (like some protein), and skipping lunch or other meals is never the answer.

        1. I’ve done both. I prefer to continue working if I eat lunch. I use to make mass amounts of lunches for the weeks to come and just eat at my desk. They don’t allow that where I am now, and I’ve never felt hungry during the workday, I ate because it was time to. So now, its 4pm before I pay attention and go “damn, I’m hungry.” Ironically, I usually just want meat mostly nowadays. I don’t even care what kind.

          Now when the cholesterol came back as a problem, I freaked the hell out. When I came back for my follow up (they had me try fish oil), I plopped a fat packet of everything that had gone in my mouth for the past four weeks in her lap and said “ok, tell me where my problems are.”

          She went through it, and I even pointed out “notice ‘sloppy ass cheeseburger’ is indeed listed along with the good crap.”

          She laughed, but she said she didn’t see any problems with what I ate, that I had a pretty good balance. Of course, this was indeed when I was still eating lunch. But I moved more then too.

  2. My best friend had that surgery done years ago. She has since passed, for other reasons completely, but when she was learning how to eat after the surgery, she still lathered everything in butter because “it made the food go down more easily” and then she would snack on cheesies because they would disintegrate in her mouth making them easier to digest.

    I agree with a year of counseling before that type of surgery. It does become a Band-Aid for a bullet wound. I’m sure her doctors impressed upon her the need to change her dietary choices but she did not heed the advice.

    I have been struggling with weight loss myself and I find smaller meals more often and staying away from processed foods really helps me. When the body doesn’t recognize something as a food it will break it down but it stores it in fat cells because it can’t properly process it. And exercise has been really helping as well….my dog is loving all the extra walks!

    1. I hear you guys, its the same song I preached to coworkers and friends who wolfed down a four piece fried chicken meal and then bitched about not losing weight.

      I watched Grand kill themself to gorge on fucking garbage, I have the BEST example who why you don’t lie to your doctor, ever. I cannot think of a time when I didn’t think first “What am I doing wrong, that I can change?”

      I’ve had my mouth wired shut from surgery for braces and whatnot and the only thing I really missed? The act of chewing. Gained a major affinity for french onion soup though.

      I’ve signed up for food delivery to both lessen temptation for quick and cheap and to reengage my pallette. Why? Because I find eating a chore and food boring. I’m a social eater. I enjoy good food when in the presence of good company. BFG hasn’t been to visit in several years, and I’m not very social otherwise, so I tend to grab what I can nuke or just eat. Sadly, food delivery tends to get boring too… what is Blue Apron’s addiction with fucking lemon zest, I tell you!?

      But what do you do when the base equation stops working? You cook, you eat good things, you move, and you’re still in a rut. I had a coworker, and honestly I thought she was lying her ass off for the longest, who complained about trouble with losing weight. But as I got to know her, saw her, she was the most energetic of any in our friggin company, even the ones a third her age. She was the grandmother who ran around the yard throwing dirt balls at her grandchildren until the sun went down and ate off a plate the size of a tea saucer and still had leftovers.

      In just the time of her trying to lose, a year and half, she managed to knock off about 5 lbs. I read about weight lifting… she tried it. But she had such an active lifestyle, it all just seemed crazy to me that when you do x, combined with y, you don’t get z every time.

      I have another coworker, different company, also in the 5-0 range who even did a digestive test (I didn’t know this was even a thing), in 72 hours most of what consumed was still in their system. They went on a 500 calorie/day diet through the doc and finally managed to get off a good bit of the weight they’d been fighting for years to get off. But you can’t maintain that, so what happens when they return to a normal caloric level?

      If I have to learn to eat all over again, I’m ok with it. If I can never have my favorites again, I’m ok with that. I’d rather they make me sick now, than dead later. It’s not even the weight loss as much as being able to feel full on a smaller amount. Not getting signals to eat something when you know you have no reason to feel like eating something. Being physically incapable of joining the clean plate club, now that would be epic.

  3. I will always be able to empathize with your struggle. I have never had a moment in my life where I didn’t feel like I needed to lose weight. I wish you all the best in your journey. I shall be following along and giving you all of my support.

    1. heh, I appreciate it. I sometimes feel like I’m in a giant sumo match with my own body and I just need to turn in just the right way so I can kick my body in the nuts and make it my bitch ;P

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