Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Weight-Loss Surgery . . .

I think I'm going to get some kind of weight-loss surgery.

There I've put it in print! Yeah, I do want to get it. I'm wayyyyyyy overweight (damn it, I'm downright fat!) and tired of it. I don't have to go back down to 115 pounds, which is what I was in my early twenties, but I would at least like to get down to 150. Since I'm only 5 feet tall, that would still have me overweight . . . but not as overweight as I am now, ya know?

It's not all about vanity with me  . . . I have to admit that's a BIG part of it, but I also want the surgery because I want to be able to move around like I use to --  to run a block without being so out of breath that I feel I'm going to die. I want to look forward to going to Disney World with my nieces and nephews and not be worried about getting tired after just a few minutes. I want to go out on my book tour later this year -- when my new book, An Angry Ass Black Woman, is released -- and have enough energy to actually want to do some sight seeing.

I want my old life back!

To look at me now you'd never know I spent 5 years in the military ( U. S. Navy), and could run 3 miles without breaking into a real sweat.

Like many people I started gaining weight after I had a child, but there's no way I can blame all my weight gain on my pregnancy. I started eating more, and my dress size began to reflect my eating habits. And then when I started suffering health issues (which had nothing to do with my weight) and couldn't exercise or get around as much I use to I started gaining even more weight.

So here I am, at age 53, and looking like the fat old woman I always vowed I'd never be. Naw . . . I can't go out like this. I would like to stick around long enough to see my grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, graduate from college. There's no way I'm going to be able to do that with all this extra weight -- which is guaranteed to cut down on life expectancy. 

 Sooo . . . I attended an orientation at Temple University Hospital on January 28th, and got an overview on the various procedures. We learned about:

Gastric Bypass Surgery-- the original surgery procedure, which gives the best weight loss. Find Out More About Gastric Bypass

Lap Band Surgery -- I know a couple of people who had this surgery and complained about it -- they said there were too many things they couldn't eat without almost immediately regurgitating. This procedure gives weight loss, but not as much as the Gastric Bypass. Good thing about this is that the Lap Band is adjustable, and you go into the doctor's office to get the Lap Band enlarged or shrunk to regulate the weight loss. Find Out About Lap Band Surgery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery -- This is the newest of the surgeries, and has the least side effects and the fastest recovery time. The weight loss is not as quick as with the Gastric Bypass, but is better than with the Lap Band Surgery. Find Out More Gastric Sleeve

After the orientation I signed up to get my initial appointment, where I'll tell them which procedure I'd like, and find out what steps I'll have to take to get the surgery. From what I understand, most insurance companies will pay for the procedures -- as long as 1) you can prove you need the surgery because you have some kind of medical problem connected to your being overweight . . . such as diabetes, sleep apnea, or high-blood depression and 2) You can prove you've tried other weight loss measures, but without success or 3) You have a BMI -- body mass index -- of over 40, or are more than 100 pounds overweight.

Find Out Your BMI Index

Just so you all know, I'm leaning toward getting the Gastric Sleeve.

My initial appointment is on March 21st (I'm trying to get an earlier appointment, so if you're interested, don't wait until March 21st to check this blog again), and I'll be able to let everyone know after the appointment what surgery I'll be getting . . . that's if I'm getting the operation at all. Although I may want the surgery, it doesn't mean I'll be able to get it. 

I really want to do this . . . and I'm going to blog about it so that those folks who are also considering some kind of weight-loss surgery know exactly what to expect.

Wish me luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Eye Surgery Was A Success!!!!!

Yep! Congratulate me! I can now drive the streets of Philadelphia again!

On January 31st I had surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital which was conducted by Dr. Jacqueline Carrasco, who is affiliated with Wills Eye Institute. The purpose of the surgery was to correct my double vision, which started after my brain surgery in 2005. Well, the surgery was a success! On Tuesday, February 7th, I drove for the first time in three years!

OMG . . . it felt so good!

Now, I have to admit, my driving was shaky! Before the surgery my double vision was at Level 10, and I was experiencing it about 80 percent of the day. After the surgery I'm now at Level 4, and it only kicks in about 5 percent of the day. The thing is it can kick at any time . . . and it has already kicked in twice while driving, but since it's only a 4, I can usually force my brain to bring the two images together.

So, I don't think I'll be going joy riding anytime soon, and I won't be driving at night . . . but the bottomline is I can drive when I want to, and I don't have to be dependent on other people all the time. I've already driven to the store just to get myself a Pepsi . . . just because I wanted to! LOL 

Life is good!