Hard Choices – Weight Loss Surgery

I wasn’t sure if I was going to write about this here because it’s personal on the borderline of embarrassing. However, it’s not really more personal than sharing about the abuse I’ve suffered, miscarriage and other personal things I’ve shared (which normal people would probably consider MORE personal than WLS).

I did keto before Covid and lost 25 pounds. I gained 30 during quarantine so I planned on starting keto again in January. If you’ve read my posts then you know I no longer have a gallbladder. Gallbladders are pretty important in digesting fat and some say you can still do keto without a gallbladder but mine also caused pancreatitis. So low fat, no dairy, and so many other things because of the 2 issues this year pretty much mean no keto. Period.

I’ve tried low fat, high protein, counting calories all that but when you physically cannot workout because your limbs stop working when your core temperature rises those diet changes don’t work. Then I read a book that pointed out that once your BMI hits a certain level it’s nearly impossible to lose the weight on your own because it changes the chemical and hormonal makeup of your body.

Not to mention all the weight gained during my first two years of MS diagnosis because I was on steroids all the time for one reason or another. I know I’m a big girl right now, the biggest I’ve ever been actually. It doesn’t help my pain level, pre-existing mobility issues or my self esteem. It is what it is I thought. FML.

Every doctor appointment they say “I know you can’t really exercise but if you could maybe swim or something to lose weight that would be good.” Hmmm, well indoor pools are out because they are hot and humid as fuck so that defeats the purpose. I have 3 physical therapists but we don’t focus on weight right now, we focus on me being able to stand and walk with my cane or service dog without falling over.

My last in person meeting with my neurologist I was discussing my hesitation to get the covid vaccine because I get weird reactions to everything. He told me that covid was the least of my worries at the moment. My biggest health risk factor… my weight. To which I replied, yes I know I’m fat I lost weight on keto, gained weight during quarantine and then my gallbladder went on strike so I can’t do keto again. Then he told me that my weight actually puts me at imminent risk of heart attack or stroke at any moment. 😳

Well that was encouraging and not at all terrifying, thanks for that. So I thought a lot, researched a lot and figured out the who, how and what type of surgery. I’ve decided on vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). The surgery won’t remove my disabilities, it won’t fix my short term memory, my balance, my inability to do simple tasks that “normal” people take for granted. This surgery will not magically give me the ability to work again, but it will decrease my risk of sudden death. It will hopefully reduce my cholesterol, help the obstructive sleep apnea (not the central sleep apnea though because that’s my brain), and it will hopefully get my doctors to stop telling me I need to lose weight so I don’t get diabetes, stroke and/or heart attack. More about the actual surgery in the next post, when I’m not so exhausted.