Why am I choosing to have gastric sleeve surgery?

I had always dismissed weightloss surgery, despite the fact that several doctors have recommended it to me over the years. The first time it was mentioned was nine years ago. Imagine how different my life could have been if I’d just listened. At the time, my only health issue was my weight and I thought that if I just gave a diet a red hot go, that I could do it myself. Since then I tried every diet known to man. I successfully lost weight, and then successfully put it all back on…and then some.

less Lisa more life | why I chose to have gastric sleeve surgery

I recently joined a couple of facebook support groups for people that have sought to improve their health via gastric sleeve surgery. The number of people seeking permanent weightloss solutions is very eye-opening. It’s so easy to be so consumed with your own issues and to feel alone in your struggle. The reality is, you aren’t alone, and everyone’s struggles are very very real. Choosing to have gastric sleeve surgery, or any kind of weightloss surgery for that matter, is usually the last resort and the act of someone who is desperate to regain their health and their life. It is not a decision that is taken lightly, nor the easy way out.

I asked a few friends why they chose gastric sleeve surgery…

The deciding factor for me was the embarrassment of flying for work and having to ask the airline for a spare seat beside me. Just the looks of others as I was walking down the aisle made me want to jump right off the plane. When I got to Malaysia I also didn’t do everything I wanted to because I knew I wouldn’t be able to walk for too long…. Definitely knew it was time to do something. – Michelle A.

I realized that the children I spent the last ten years trying to have, carrying and breastfeeding wouldn’t have me around if I didn’t do something, and that I wanted to see my grandchildren. – Anon

I was very overweight, but had no co-morbidities… that wasn’t going to go on forever. I wanted to live my live, not just survive it. I wanted to continue my adventures with my new husband and not sit back as a spectator wishing I could do that. – Michelle T.

I did it to stop the battle in my head over whether today a would be a good eating day or a bad one….I did it to stop feeling overwhelming regret and guilt on a constant basis. It was never about health or weightloss. It was about the constant self hatred. – Suzy

I was much like Suzi above, it was somewhat about health, but more about each day of self loathing due to 40 years of being obese and trying each day to “diet” without much success. At the age of 67 there is finally a tool that has helped me lose and I feel it is a workable solution for me. – Anon

I did it to save my life. At my heaviest I weighed 139kg. I didn’t stay at that weight for long but took too long losing it. As a result I was an overweight smoker for about 20 years. As a result I developed Diabetes Type II which went undiagnosed for many years. I was finally diagnosed when at 39 yrs of age and 100kg I had a massive heart attack. My body later rejected the 3 stents which had been implanted and I ended up having an emergency quintupple bypass. I developed endometrial cancer and required a radical hysterectomy with removal of 22 lymph nodes. As a result of missing lymph nodes I have developed lymphodema in both feet. As a result of clogged arteries I required an endartectomy where my neck was cut open and the carotid artery cleaned out. I have small blockages in my calves which make walking up an incline impossible and currently I have 3 fractures and 2 dislocations in my right foot and 1 fracture in my left. I now have a charcot right foot which may never regain normal shape. All of this has been a result of having undiagnosed diabetes as an obese smoker. I am 4 days post op, having had my surgery on my 42nd birthday at 101kg. Until my heart attack it was rare for me to have a sick day. Now I have a disability pension and a mobility scooter. I hope through my sleeve surgery to lose the excess weight, have full control of the diabetes and get rid of lots of medications. And I hope I have saved my life. – Melinda

My parents both struggled with their weight, and one week they had 7 doctor/specialist appointments between them. A week later I was told by a doctor that I needed to get my weight under control before I ended up down the same path as my parents.  As I have a child with a rare medical condition, I was scared that I wasn’t going to be around in the future to help him and my other two children. I never want to have to tell my children I can’t help them because I’m too sick myself. – Tan

Every single person that chooses weightloss surgery has a very valid reason for doing so, and I can relate to every single one.

So, why am I heading down this path?

I have been overweight, and now morbidly obese, my entire adult life. A couple of years ago my wrist was aching terribly all the time. It was absolutely debilitating, so I sort medical help. I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome…which can be caused by obesity and diabetes. My doctor sent me for some blood tests to see if there were any other issues. Yep, you guessed it…type 2 diabetes. It was a shock, but not unexpected given my weight and family medical history. When I was first diagnosed, I could manage my diabetes with diet and exercise. I am now on oral medication. Unfortunately my diabetes is progressively getting worse. I was incredibly ill recently and my blood glucose levels sky rocketed into the 20’s, and I was very close to being admitted to hospital. I was so scared! Scared that I would have to be put on insulin, and scared of what will happen to my body if this continues…loss of eye sight, the possibility of losing my feet (just like my grandfather), and dying at an early age. Worst case scenario stuff, but it plagues my mind. The very next appointment I had with my endocrinologist, I asked for a referral for gastric sleeve surgery. I have been thinking about surgery for two years, but it wasn’t until recently that I made up my mind.

I have had friends who have had either the gastric balloon inserted, gastric band surgery or gastric sleeve surgery. I have been watching their progress closely and have decided that gastric sleeve surgery seems like the best fit for me. I needed it to be extreme and the assurance of permanency. I am confident it will work for me, and I am finally in a really good head space to undergo the procedure. From the very first moment I spoke with my surgeon, I felt a sense of calm. I know this is the right step for me.

Have you had weightloss surgery? What lead you to that decision?

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  • Trish says:

    Lisa , you are courageous sharing your journey publicly. I am here to cheer you on because you are blazing a trail others will be watching closely.
    Trish recently posted…Wordless Wednesday : All the Kings’ men and two Queens.My Profile

  • Nardia says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Firstly, I found you through Aussie Bloggers and the engagement thread post that Alyssa put up this morning (just in case you’re tracking!!). Secondly, I just wanted to say that I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog. My sister had the gastric sleeve procedure done about 18 months ago. She was nearly 150kg after two pregnancies (11 years apart) and trying to keep up with a pre-teen and a toddler was a struggle and so with an inheritance from our dad she decided enough was enough. She had been suffering depression and anxiety as well and ultimately she wanted to have more children. She rang me last week to tell me that she is pregnant with her third baby. All up, she has lost over 70kg which has been amazing for not only her health but her mental wellbeing. It has had long lasting consequences with an immense amount of left over skin to contend with but she is the happiest I’ve seen her in a long long time. So I wish you the very best with your surgery and I think that if you’ve reconciled it in your mind, which it sounds like you have, then it truly will be successful for you xx
    Nardia recently posted…Silent Sunday – 26 JulyMy Profile

  • Good luck for the next part of your journey – I imagine it’s not an easy decision to make. I look forward to reading updates as you progress through and become a better version of you. x
    Amy @ Mrs Smyth recently posted…The Day I Got Rid Of My iPhoneMy Profile

  • Anna says:

    Good luck with the surgery. I know a young mum who had it done and it has made her life so much better.
    Anna recently posted…Thanks for the nice displayMy Profile

  • One of my son’s friends’ mums (you’re with me, right) have been on this journey over the last 18months, with her surgery happening only a few weeks ago. She is still adjusting to the whole experience and what it both has and hasn’t changed for her.

    All the very best, doing everything we can to help our bodies carry us through our lives is a great gift. x
    Alysha Herrmann recently posted…On the edge #freetheartsMy Profile

  • Toby says:

    Hi Lisa, so great to find you blog today 🙂 Your getting the sleeve done! Good luck with it, I wish ya the best!! I have a friend that did it plus a wife that didn’t do it. I’ll elaborate for you.. My friend got the work done and he lost so, so much weight. He looked great, was a changed person. Got a bit cocky about how much better he looked, so hot tip, show it off, work that thang (hehehe) but still stay grounded like you sound liek you are 🙂 My wife on the other hand lost 52kgs by getting a personal trainer, changing her foods, gymming it all the time and just got addicted to exercise. She’s the last person I’d think that could ever do it, and I’m so proud of her. So yeah, there’s two stories for you to help motivate you. I hope it all goes well for ya. Glad to connect today, would love for you to drop me a line and happy to chat some more. Cheers!!!
    Toby recently posted…My Obsession with Hats – Rival Golfer Mesh Hat ReviewMy Profile

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