Here we are at seven weeks and there has been another milestone. Two weeks ago, I returned to work. I have to say that it was an experience I was not completely prepared for. I knew that my return was coming. I thought I was ready for it. I was beginning to develop the new habits I needed after the surgery. There were certainly no complications that concerned me.
But then, a couple of days before my return, I had this uneasy feeling. Was I really ready to go back? Was I prepared for this next step? I didn't feel so sure now. Regardless of my unease, it was time. That morning, I was greeted with compliments and questions. How do I feel, how did everything go, how much had I lost? The concern and encouragement from my coworkers was welcome.
But then, that familiar feeling came back. To understand this feeling, you have to know how I ate at work before. I grazed all day. A granola bar here, a pack of doughnuts there. Whenever hunger pings came, I snacked on something. And then, regardless of whether I ate lunch or not, I almost always stopped and had some type of fast food on the way home. Bad enough if that was replacing supper, but in my case, it was a snack in addition to supper.
While I was home, I wasn't feeling those hunger pings. I ate my three meals and was content and full. The day I returned to work, the pings returned. On the way home, as I passed each fast food restaurant, I felt this feeling of hunger. My head was telling me, "You can stop and get a grilled chicken, something healthy." I had to stop myself and think about it. There was no physical way I could be hungry. I had eaten lunch just an hour ago. And if I wasn't hungry two days ago after eating, I certainly wasn't hungry now.
It is amazing the tricks our head can play with us. Dr. Wallace was able to alter the body, but I have to remember that he wasn't able to do anything to my head. And that is where most of my problems started in the first place. That I have to work on changing myself.
Now, for my new found weight-loss motivator. As a part of surgery, Dr. Wallace does a liver biopsy. The results of mine were less than glowing. Dr. Wallace told me the results showed that I had something called, "Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH". This is a fancy way of saying that I had fatty liver syndrome. On one hand, how can I be surprised by this? I had fatty belly and fatty butt syndrome, so fatty liver just makes sense. But unlike the other two, fatty liver could lead to my death. Fatty liver can lead to non-alcohol cirrhosis of the liver. Once this has set in, the only fix is a liver transplant. I was assured by the specialist that this was the road I was on.
The scary part is that without the liver biopsy, I would never have known about this problem until it was too late to do anything about it. It does not show up on blood work or other testing. So, without this surgery I probably would have never known until this took a drastic turn for the worst.
So what is the fix? Thankfully I found out that it is what I have begun to do already. Lose weight, a lot of it. Check. Eat healthier and well-balanced meals. Check. Lead a more active lifestyle. Check.
As I found out, there is no pill to fix this, no treatment to change it. Drastic weight loss and lifestyle changes are the only real treatment for NASH. The specialist told me that this is very common in weight-loss surgery patients. But he also told me that he frequently sees this disease begin to correct itself if these things are done. So, as if I needed another motivator to succeed, here it is.
And for those of you who are wondering, seven weeks out, down just over 60 pounds.
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Congratulations on the 60lb loss. I wish you continued success!
I have been keeping up with your progress and I have to say I am a little bumbed out by your liver diagnosis. I am two years post op also with the liver diagnosis. But, as you said you are on the right track. I just wanted to say I get through each day by trying to maintain a positive attitude. I feel better than I have in years, so I won't let a little thing like this diagnosis get me down. Take care of yourself and Good luck!