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GRAVY

  • My first novel started with a mole. Yes, a MOLE - a freckle, a birthmark, whatever you want to call it.
  • I was at the pool with my daughter getting ignored by our swim instructor when a lifeguard with a particularly ripped abdomen walked by. He stopped to flirt with one of the female lifeguards and my eyes flew directly to an adorable mole on the top can of his six-pack.
  • "How cute!" I thought (among other things). "He looks like a character in a romance novel!"
  • So I went home and started writing fiction for the first time. That was over a year ago and I still haven't been able to stop. GRAVY is the story of a suburban housewife who wants another baby, but gets a man with a mole instead.
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« Awakening my inner housekeeper | Main | Gastric Bypass Surgery: Part one of [many] »

January 22, 2008

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Gail

Just yesterday, I was thinking of e mailing you with a question about the surgery!
I am considering the surgery and was wondering what, if any, prep did you have to go through in the weeks before the surgery and how long after could you eat various types of food? I have been reading about jenandtonic's experience and the optifast before surgery sounded like a nightmare. Also, are there any things that your stomach can't tolerate anymore? Thanks Amanda, I am looking forward to your post.

Jen

I don't know much about it myself, but my father-in-law had it. He was an Army Ranger and smooshed up both knees in a parachuting accident. He needed a knee replacement but couldn't get one until he lost weight. He couldn't exercise until he got new knees. So, he had gastric bypass surgery. He lost a lot of weight. He's had one knee replaced and is about to get the other one done. I just think the fact that he couldn't exercise because of his injury is a point a lot of people forget when thinking about gastric bypass surgery. It really made a huge difference in his quality of life.

Carrisa

I am interested to hear your story. It's a surgery I would love to have, but cannot afford. And my insurance doesn't cover it. I've heard of a website that offers it for around $10k but even that is not possible for me at this point.

Several former friends of mine have had the surgery. Sadly, as a result of the way they changed after the surgery, I found myself no longer wanting to be around them. It makes me worry if I would also turn into someone like that if I had the surgery myself.

Of course I'm married so that immediately tells me I won't be doing a large number of the things they did. But I still wonder.

I'm currently reading a book called Conversations With the Fat Girl and the main character is fat while her best friend is now thin via GB. And well... damn... it's like I wrote this book myself.


Rachel

I think I've voiced my opinion before but I wanted to say before I do that it's only MY opinion (I realize that we are all entitled to our own *wink).

I don't agree with the surgery. I think it's offered to too many individuals at this point and I think that too many people use it as an "easy way out" when it's not at all. There are a great many people who don't realize the negative impact that it CAN have on your life.
My aunt went in for the surgery in November of 2003. She didn't come out of the hospital until April and she was in a coma for most of that time. There were days where it looked like she would certainly die and other days where it looked like at the very least she would never get better.

The doctors perforated her bowel, and an infection spread throughout her system. They ended up having to reverse the surgery after many months and she only just had the gaping hole in her abdomen completely closed last winter (three years after the surgery).

Has she lost weight? Yes, a ton in fact, but at the expense of not being able to eat more than a few bites without vomiting for years and she still can't eat much. She can't eat many foods she loves and she suffers from a lot of different effects from the surgery.

She's had to endure surgery after surgery to repair the damage.

She wishes she had never had the intial surgery. It wasn't until afterwards that she learned how many people actually die from the procedure or later on from the effects.

My brother's girlfriend lost her 19 year old friend to complications. A woman at my father's office died 2 years after the surgery from an infection. And there were many, many stories we heard during all of this.

The surgery is considered "elective" and it's considered risky. It was doctor error and poor judgement that led to my aunts condition but they are stuck paying all of the medical bills because as of now a lawyer can not win a case for them.

Don't get me wrong, I've seen the positive stories too, like yours. But in my opinion it's just not a risk worth taking.

Marie

My mother wants to have a weight loss (management?) surgery but I think she wants to have the lap band procedure. All in all I think that, for my mother, it is not a good option because I am not convinced that she will be able to change the mental reasons that accompany being overweight. I guess I would like to hear your comments on this. I always think that probably the toughest part of the surgery would be overcoming past bad eating habits and keeping up a healthy lifestyle. I mean, it's not a miracle solution (right?). If you have bad eating habits BEFORE surgery won't those bad eating habits start to creep into your life even if you've had a successful surgery? I think that if you're willing to put the effort in mentally than the surgery can be a great help in weight loss and management. This is the argument that I have with my mother. I want her to be healthy, happy, enjoy her life and be around to see her grandkids but I want to see her succeed before having surgery and then use surgery as a way to HELP with the weight loss. I don't know. I just want her to be happy but at the same time I don't want to see her end up at the same place in 10 years since she didn't approach it the way I think it should be approached.

Okay, I think that comment is long enough. :) I hope that my point comes across even though it seems to be a bit jumbled. I would like to hear about how you prepared mentally for surgery and if the mental part really is as big of a deal as I'm making it out to be. I'm looking forward to your post.

seeeeeeestor

Hey seeestor,
I'm still wondering if maybe your obesity had something to do with celiac, and by having the gastric bypass you were effectively cured of it. Do you still have your small intestine?

Its just so strange to me that i'm the only one in our family to have a genetic disease. Obesity is the major symptom for a lot of people who are gluten intolerant or have celiac. Just sayin'

cindy w

Well, since I've had the surgery myself almost 6 years ago and am one of the "success stories" (I hope?), I don't really have any questions. But I would LOVE to hear your opinion about the Fat Acceptance Movement people. On the one hand I sort of get their point, but the way they deliver their message kind of make me want to claw my own eyes out.

Jamie

My question is probably completely stupid, but I'm wondering if excess skin is an issue. I've ALWAYS been heavy, and at one point lost 90 pounds (not with surgery, just the plain ole diet and exercise) and even though I was still on the high side of normal weight for my height, I didn't appear to have any hope of ever having a flat stomach or tight thighs. Since it took me over a year to loose the weight that way (even with weight lifting classes and stuff), I'm wondering if loosing it even faster through surgery, loose skin is even more of a problem.

Carrie

My husband had the surgery Nov 20, 2007, and 30 days before the surgery he weighed 484 pounds. For the 30 days before the surgery he went on a liquid diet (Slim fast mostly) and lost 30 pounds...and that included a weekend in Vegas drinking alcohol. From his pre-op weight of 484 pounds, he is down, as of last week, 91 pounds, 60+pounds since the surgery. He has had a minor complication where the opening from the stomach into the small intestine closed up, but has since had that resolved using endoscopic widening with a balloon type thing. We both feel this has been the best decision of his life, of our lives. He already has way more energy, he is more help around the house, he feels better, and he fits better behind most wheels of cars. For him, this wasn't a cop out. He researched it for 3 years. He knows this isn't a quick fix or the easy way out. This surgery is a tool to get him healthy for the rest of his life. Our lives are already better because of this surgery.

What would be interesting to read in your post is what your husband thinks, thought at the beginning. I have had moments where it hit me that our roles in eating were changing so to speak. I am looking forward to reading your post on this topic. This surgery has made us so much closer again, and for that, I am thankful.

vetmommy

I am interested in knowing how much you can eat now, and how you choose what you eat. I know you have to eat a lot less, but I am interested in how this works when you mention all the wonderful food you make and enjoy (like crab stuffed 'shrooms - yum!) It sounds like you have a lot more freedom in your food choices than I would have guessed. Are carbonated drinks a problem? How does your experience with obesity affect your food choices for your children?

I work with a woman who was put on a medically supervised diet, the last step before insurance would pay for g. bypass. She has lost 80 lbs in the last year! It is so exciting to watch her lose weight and gain confidence. Her personal life and marriage have improved, as well. The disease of obesity affects victims in many ways.

Bunny

My question has to do with "after:"
How did you deal with not going back to the same eating for comfort? In the first bypass post, you say that you felt badly so you ate (which I do too). What happens after you've had the surgery and you get in one of those situations where you would normally turn to food? How do you keep from spiraling back to where you were?

Lia

Those questions are all great. I was also wondering about the "after" meaning you were obviously an emotional eater so how did you get that in check. From what I can tell, you guys still aren't the most healthy eaters (I am not either and I hope that doesn't sound bad) and Dave still has weight issues so how do you deal with it all?

OH! and how did you deal with being pregnant? Were you scared to gain weight? How long after the surgery did you get pregnant?

I guess I had more questions than I thought.

CJ

What was your post-op recovery like? I have a friend who is seriously considering getting the surgery (has met with a surgeon), and friend's wife is nervous about what the immediate, post-op situation will be like - and what the patient will need in the following weeks from her.

Stephanie Richards

My husband is definitely has to get the surgery done. He's only 32yrs old and has severe Type 2 diabetes. He's insolin resistant and the surgery is the last resort that he has. The doctor's told him that if he doesn't get the surgery done that he'd be lucky to see the age of 35, but if he get's it done it could prolong his life and hopefully the diabetes go away. He's gonna be meeting w/some doctor's and whatnot in Bangor, ME. Then he has to go to a couple of classes about what's to be expected in the surgery. I was just wondering what was your thoughts and fears going through your mind when you were considering on getting the surgery done. I'm just curious of what I've got to expect to help my husband after the surgery has been done. I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for taking your time is reading my comment.

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