It’s hard to believe, but on March 18 it will be six months since I had my surgery. Even harder to believe is the fact that I have lost 120 pounds. People call me “slim” and make comments about how skinny I look. Maybe it’s a self image thing, but 250 pounds still doesn’t strike me as being skinny. That being said, I could not be happier with the weight loss I have achieved. To put it in perspective, in six short months I have lost a supermodel.
More important are the benefits I have seen in my health. I am off of all blood pressure medications. My blood pressure and pulse are lower now than when I was taking three medications a day to alter them. My cholesterol was 330 prior to surgery. I think the bacon may have played a small role in that. Now, it is 145. I am no longer using my CPAP machine for sleep apnea. The headaches that I used to get at least three times a week are gone. The constantly sore lower back and heel spurs are considerably improved.
There are many other benefits that are coming out. I have lost 12 inches in my waist, 10 inches from my chest and 4 inches from my neck. I have had the wonderful experience of buying underwear from Wal-Mart instead of the big man store. I was able to take advantage of a great sale at Boston Store where I got $500 worth of clothes for under $100. This is a store I would not have even stepped in for the last 15 years. And to be honest, there has been a noticeable improvement in my sex life. As if my wife needed more reasons than just my health for the surgical benefits.
Now, to answer a few questions. Yes, I still get hungry. This is a challenge I am still working on. I would be lying if I said it didn’t frustrate me at times. Hopefully Dr. Wallace won’t get too angry, but yes, I do have a dessert of some kind after dinner sometimes. It is no longer the extra large sundae from Culvers, but something simple like a popsicle or a pudding. I still do not enjoy working out. I do it, and I understand the necessity of it, but it still isn’t fun. Maybe when it warms up and I can get outside it will help. Yes, I still have cravings. I have had dreams about Solly’s. And in my dreams the burgers, fries and malt don’t taste as good as I know they do in real life. When we watch Man vs. Food every week there is at least one thing that makes me want to go to the destination city. Especially the doughnut place in Texas with hot, fresh-dipped doughnuts the size of your head. I also believe that the cows and pigs at the farm are laughing hysterically at the chickens because now their population is decreasing at the same alarming rate that their four legged friends were just six months ago.
And on to the most important question, do I have any regrets? No, not one. I am absolutely blown away by what I have been able to accomplish over these last six months. I though it would take at least a year to lose my first hundred pounds. Now, here I am only six months post-op, and I am 25 pounds away from my goal. Unbelievable. This has not been easy and it is not a quick fix. I do not have it all figured out and there are answers that I am still seeking. But knowing what I know now, would I do it again? In a heartbeat. For those of you who are considering the surgery or are recent graduates of it, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have (use the Feedback link below). I am no expert and I will never pretend to be one. But I can offer a caring and compassionate ear and a perspective only those of us who have had the surgery have. Here are some more before-and-after pictures. The old me on the left and me six-months post-op on the right:
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Congratulations on doing a great job!! I hit the 80 pound mark and feel really great too. I cannot believe it but I feel guilty if I take the elevator at work now and I am on the third floor!! The pictures look great and I know what you mean about the shopping - I am having a blast!! My daughter is having fun dressing me and I am actually looking at patterns and colors - a new one for me!! Thanks again for sharing - keep up the good work and hopefully I will see you at the lunch at the end of the month!!
I think that was really cool that you had the surgery not only for your health, but for the well of your family. I too am obese and have sleep apnea. Along with that, I have high blood pressure. I'm really scare to have this surgery. I know that I need it. I also snore. Did you snore before you had this surgery as well? I don't want to snore in bed with my lady friend anymore. I know that I interrupt her sleep. And I don't want to interrupt her sleep anymore.
Like you I have been "heavy" most of my life but hid it by "being tall". You made the choice in time before seeing some of the major health issues that obesity can bring. Unfortunately I have waited until many of them have reared the ugly head. I suffered with liver disease that eventually led to a liver transplant in September of 2002. Along with that I developed a plural effusion (fluid around the lung) that hampers my breathing. To make matters worse I also smoked about 2 packs of cigarettes a day a habit that I broke at Christmas of last year. I still have the COPD that resulted from this addiction along with hypertension, sleep apnea and recently diagnosed diabetes, all the symptoms that go along with a BMI of 39. What really got to me was that when I finally quit smoking I gained more weight. Even with eliminating as much sugar as possible and eating "low fat" foods I still gained weight. I also have been working out in the Cardio Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic at the VA. I have decided that I need to loose the weight to get the health issues under control and regain a normal healthy lifestyle. I just hope that I will be accepted into the program. As far as I can tell there has never been a surgical candidate who has had a liver transplant.