Monday, July 2, 2012

Now all I can say is WOW - One Woman's Lap Band Story

Tell Me About it Tuesday is the day we do several things.  We might 

  • Pose questions to you wonderful readers for feedback
  • Review books and products, sometimes we might even start a giveaway!
  • Share your stories through Guest Posts
Today we are sharing your story.  This story does not come from a blogger.  This story was originally told on Facebook.  The woman writing this post is a former classmate of my husband from high school.  I read her story, emailed her and told her I would like to share her story.  She agreed.  So here is her story.

April 28, 2010 is the day that my life turned healthy and today it is what I have for the most part worked hard for. Today, I can officially say I am a normal weight, and a normal BMI. I have met my goal of losing my excess weight. 

You may ask why April 28th? April 28th is the day I had lap band surgery. Now before anyone starts to say I took the easy way out, stop. 

As a small child I was a normal weight, played outside, had fun. At the age of 9 is basically when I started gaining my weight. (I want to also say I am blaming no one but myself just excited for this). I turned 9 and started going through puberty - at the same time my sister (who was a teenager) became pregnant.  My parents were not happy.  

I was sent into the basement to eat whatever I wanted. I was rewarded every morning after my mom came home from work she brought me a candy bar from the machines (my favorite nibs).  I really did not learn how to eat properly or healthy and within boundaries. The bullying started 6, 7, and 8th grade. 

I was sent to a high school none of my friends were going to and encouraged to be in the band. I was in band year round for 4 years and my weight although over weight maintained due to the exercise year round for band (we had Friday night football games, competition season, summer parades) so yes that was exercise. 

Of course kids are cruel and I was made fun ALOT which made me cry and shy.  Things were made worse when I could be pointed out as "That's Susan the short, fat one" - thanks family.  I continued to eat as teenagers do not really caring. I graduated and went onto nursing school for not the 2 year program but 3 years. I know some have no idea of what nursing school is like but for me it was one of the hardest things I have ever done and accomplished. This is where ALOT of people picked up smoking due to the stressful time it was.  Me, I ate and ate gaining a total of 70 extra pounds to my already overweight body. 

I have no memory of events from fall of 1992 to August of 1995 seriously. I have people say remember so and so and I have no idea what they are talking about. I also did get quite a few looks from patients of sadness or shame of being cared for by someone overweight.  I also had the physical effects of having my inner thighs gaulded by panty hose that I could barely walk at night after clinicals. I graduated in 1995 and started a night shift job with more bad eating habits. 

I did do a medically supervised liquid diet and lost 72 pounds. I finally learned what eating right with limits should be once I was weaned onto food.  I have never liked vegetables as I was a member of the clean plate club. I also was rewarded for everything with food. I did maintain this weight for about 3 years and slowly it crept back on.  I stopped exercising and slipped back into safe old habits.  I found out I have PCOS and insulin resistance which did not help.  I started on medication for that which never allowed me to get to my heaviest but came within some pounds. 

During this time I never had a boyfriend and felt ugly. I was embarrassed to say the least. I did have a few boyfriends but nothing serious like I wanted.

I finally moved on my own and really understanding weight etc etc. I met a wonderful man (my now husband) over the Internet as bad, bad dates turned me into protecting myself. I was overweight but for the first time I was told how pretty I was for me not my body. Yes, it would have been a bonus but he loved me for me.  I fell in love on the first date, but of course doubted myself. Glad he didn't. 

WE married, have had two beautiful girls (other proud accomplishments). As we had the girls we started talking. I did not want my girls to go through my pain of being overweight and bullied because of it.  They do not have to be clean plate club members, no excessive sweets, we eat dinner every night at the table with no tv on, they also have learned healthy foods. 

I still was overweight despite since having my girls and going to weight loss support groups. They did work for me for 10 pounds at the most but didn't.  This does not mean they can't work for others.  I started getting down on myself as my girls were growing specifically Eden (the youngest) and at age 3 and 4 she was very active wanting to go outside and play; also me getting donuts with her.  Ashamed as I was to admit it I said, "go get a game and we will play in here".  I had the realization that I was becoming a mother I did not want to be. One going down a path I couldn't stop. I was becoming, in my eyes, a lazy mom and feeding my girls bad, unhealthy foods. 

I did not want to cause them pain by having their mom being overweight (I could hear the jokes namely the fatty, fatty 2x 4 your mom can't fit through the bathroom door).  I would cry at night, I also prayed in church every Sunday.  Sometimes even saying "God please take me, I am ruining their lives with my weight."  

He had a different plan. 

In January 2010, I emailed an old coworker from my night shift days at the hospital.  I asked her about Lapband surgery as she had it done. I read all I could about it.  I was obsessed about it.  I read and read and read about it.  I checked with our insurance and I wasn't a candidate for it.  I was too healthy.  I didn't have co-morbities (diabetes, high blood pressure etc).  How could I be too healthy for it?  According to my BMI I was obese, I have a bad family parents have had heart disease, both had had cancer, one has had a quadruple  bypass, both have diabetes, both bad cholesterol the list goes on and on.  I basically was told if I didn't get my weight under control now I would end up with these diseases with my insulin resistance. 

Yes, it was an extreme method to lose weight, but the one thing for me is I wasn't doing it to lose weight.  I was doing it to be healthy and to have a healthy lifestyle for once and all.  

I had to talk to David. To say I was nervous (an understatement) but I did. He did research and to see if this was a split second thought.  He asked me in depth questions.  I had answers for him.  I had to promise if I was going to go through surgery I was going to follow all of the lap band rules.  This is where I have said, stop if you think this is easy.  

Lap band rules: 

  • You can never have carbonation (which means pop/soda alcohol)  Some drink alcohol, but a half a glass of red wine is okay.  Why no carbonation?  Basically the bubbles can cause your Lapland pouch to expand further than you want it. 
  • No drinking for 1 hour after your meals (it pushes your food right on through), 
  • Try for no liquid calories (well you want protein and subsistence), 
  • Get support (we have monthly support groups at our doctor normally I go but I have missed some)
  • Stop eating when you are full (If not that last bite will return or things get stuck and physically HURT) I have had these happen it isn't fun, I try not to repeat them. 

There are other rules but you get the picture.  I can tell when I am full it sometimes seems to others like not ALOT of food.  Well, it is because I am eating a normal portion.

I had ALOT of people tell me I was too small for lap band when I told them. When I had it done I signed a paper saying it was cosmetic; which has since been changed.  My BMI at the time was 34.1, the next number to be considered extreme obese 35.0. It worked for me, but it may not work for everyone. 

Without my family of my husband and children and true friends for the support I would never have succeeded.  I was told 2 weeks ago I have a figure and am sexy!  Never in my life have I been told that. I also have a normal BMI.  I have all blood values normal and they have always been borderline if not high(cholesterol etc).

I guess through this long post I am trying to say how proud of myself I am! From the kids at school making fun and teasing me, to my family who said "the short, fat one", made fun of me or told I will never find a husband, to complete strangers who took pity on me.  It has been a lifetime of pain and to do this all I can say is ...


To leave some love for Susan, comment below.  She is not a blogger, but a (daily) reader of The Hickman Five.  I will also be emailing her the comments so she can know all the bloggy love she is getting.  

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