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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Converting from Lap Band to RNY- Response to a question I got

I recently got a question on Obesity Help from someone who is struggling to decide to convert from lapband to gastric bypass. This was my response.
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Bottom line for me is though I thought I was emotionally ready for the lap band surgery I wasn't. I got into a situation where I was transferring some of my behavior I used to with my family of origin onto my first surgeon and that was a mess. When I stopped losing weight he would yell at me and I'd leave his appointments crying etc. I began canceling my appointments and eventually didn't use the tool as planned. Of course it wasn't that clear at the time. Therapy, writing and reflection have helped me figure it out. I'm writing a book now about it and started a blog called Healing From my Obesity.

Here are some of the factors that contributed to my weight gain.

I let the first surgeon talk me out of rny and into lapband, saying I wasn't big enough. When I had a high enough BMI with comorbidities.
I hadn't really faced my issues with food, using it to numb myself out.
I developed a transfer addiction as a result and began drinking a lot of red wine. Thankfully I stopped before developing alcoholism.
When I lost my first 25 lbs the attention I got from me freaked me out and I gained weight back.
I beat myself up with feelings of failure for two years.
I thew up constantly and developed major nutritional deficiencies including ones that manifested neurologically.

Fast forward to 2009, I finally decided I had to be under someone's care. That I deserved that. Living in VT there was only one doc I could go to when I first started on my journey. I then learned about Dartmouth Hitchcock's program and contacted them. I can't say enough good things about them. At my first appointment with my surgeon he said “I am so sorry you've been through what you have. You never should have been a candidate for the lapband. RNY is the gold standard for treating obesity and as a diabetic you have a 90% chance of your diabetes resolving.”

We had to fight tooth and nail to get my insurance company to pay for a second surgery, but he convinced them it was medically necessary. I had revision surgery on March 3rd of this year. I am now down 35lbs 8.5 weeks out. 47.5 since my highest weight. My diabetes is resolved. I am starting to appreciate,even love my body again and I'm the happiest I've ever been.

I am not finding the adjustment hard, though I did experience some mourning for food. I've filled my life with other things, writing my book, planting my first garden, planning on learning to knit, playing with my dogs, enjoying my work as a professor etc. I hope this has been helpful. I so wish I had done this ten years earlier, but I am just happy to be where I am now.

Good luck on your journey. Let me know how I can be helpful.

Andrea

3 comments:

  1. Andrea, I can't believe what you had to go through to get to this point. Congrats on finding the doctor at Dartmouth. That relationship is so important! Isn't it wonderful that your diabetes has resolved?! I had not become diabetic yet, but it runs in both sides of my family. I was able to get off blood pressure meds after almost 30 years. Our bodies are such great machines--they just want us to find a way to help them out! You are doing great and I can't wait to read your book. Have a great week! Sherry

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  2. I am now down 35lbs 8.5 weeks out. 47.5 since my highest weight. My diabetes is resolved. I am starting to appreciate,even love my body again and I'm the happiest I've ever been.

    lap band

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  3. Mohammad, that is wonderful news. It is truly remarkable to have ones diabetes cured. How are things going for you now? I never saw this post until today.

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