Sunday, June 29, 2008

People die from Weight Loss Surgery

One of the reasons why I haven't been running around telling people in my real life that I'm getting surgery is that I don't feel like having to listen to all their horror stories about people they know who know someone who knew someone who had a horrible experience and maybe even died.

But that doesn't mean I don't hear the stories anyway.

Yesterday, someone on one of my WLS message boards went to Mexico and died from having RnY. Naturally, this has freaked people, including myself, out. Heck, I was scared before I heard about this particular death. I have young kids still. I want to be around for them. Surgery is risky. You can drop dead just from the general anesthesia. Hardly anyone does, of course, but why take a chance if you don't have to, right?

So that's what it boils down to... do you have to? I think I have to. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. In the next couple of years, for sure.

The thing is, morbidly obese people do not live to a ripe old age. I turn 51 this year. This is the decade where fat people start to drop dead and the survivors say things about how, yes they were young, but it's not really that unexpected given their weight. And if it doesn't happen to me in the next 9 years, it's pretty likely to happen in my 60s. When I'm 60, my oldest will only be 26. My youngest will just be getting out of college. I'd like to see my kids grow up and have careers and have some grandkids that I can spoil rotten. But there is a good chance that won't be happening for me if I don't get my weight under control.

There was a time when I was younger and wasn't really feeling the effects of my weight yet. I had great blood pressure and cholesterol and other lab results in my 30s. Sure I wanted to be thinner and, when I got married, I lost a ton of weight for my wedding. Of course, I gained it all back and then some. Then I lost some more to have a second child. But for the most part I was healthy and happy and could live with my weight even though I was bouncing between obese and morbidly obese pretty much the whole time.

But now I have high blood pressure and I have to take medicine for it. And that medicine depletes my potassium so I have to take something for that. I've seen people get old with their 50 bottles of pills that they need a scheduler for to remember to take them all at the right time and start interacting with each other to give weird side-effects and I see this blood pressure thing as being the domino that starts that trend. I don't want to go there any sooner than I have to.

I also am starting to really feel the weight as I get older. I used to ice skate. I was never very good at it, but I loved it. I did it for ten years and for most of that time I did it 6-10 hours a week. Recently I stopped. My weight just finally dragged all the enjoyment out of it. I've stopped all exercise, in fact. I don't take my kids to the pool because I don't want to have to deal with a bathing suit. I have trouble bending over to pick stuff up when I drop it. When I go to someone's cube at work to ask a question, I have to sit down because standing for more than 5 minutes tires me out.

I HATE being like this -- this is no way to live and I have to do something about it! I'd love to do something that didn't have a risk of death, but there is no such thing. Maybe in 10-20 years there will be, but by then it will probably be too late for me. I just can't afford to wait any longer.

So I'll just cross my fingers and my toes and hope for the best. I don't really see any other good options.
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