hard choices

dogwood

No, the picture has nothing to do with the post. But isn’t the dogwood lovely? And hopeful. Spring is such a hopeful time and I need a little hope right now.

I referenced in this post that I can see myself dying if I don’t make changes. I got my blood tests done yesterday. Some things remain okay, but my liver function is going downhill, my hbA1c is worse, cholesterol is still upside down (though overall okay, the hdls are low and the ldls are high). My vitamin D levels also remain low. They’re better than they were last fall, but still about half of normal. Apparently low vitamin D can cause tiredness, aching, weakness, etc.

I’m 51 years old and I feel so old. Most of my health issues are related to my weight. I need, NEED to get my weight down.

I try. I am trying to eat more vegetables and fruits, lean meats, etc. I lose control with the carbs now and then and I just don’t seem to be able to stick with a “diet.” It doesn’t seem like it should be that hard. Eat less, move more. How hard is that.

Dr. Endo wants me to consider roux-en-y or the gastric sleeve surgery. Between the two, I think I am leaning toward the sleeve. There are fewer risks for malnutrition and other complications common with roux-en-y.

But, I feel like such a failure with the lap-band. I did so well, then gained all the weight back. Am I really going to be able to make the changes necessary for success with another surgery? What if I fail again? Your body adjusts to all the surgeries. You can regain the weight fairly easily. If I lose weight, am I just going to gain it back again? Why can’t I just eat better and move more and lose weight like a normal person?

And I’m scared. The surgery itself scares me. I hate general anesthesia, it makes me feel like I’m dying. There are risks to any surgery, of course. It’s going to hurt financially plus, as I’ve said before, I don’t have the kind of friends here that I can rely on to drive me back and forth to the hospital. It’s complicated. It’s scary. I don’t even know if I will qualify for the surgery. Before the lap-band I had to show that I could follow the diet and lose weight. I’m not doing well with following any diet these days.

I’m feeling doomed. I need to come to a decision, I need to commit to something. I see Dr. Endo in a couple weeks. I don’t know whether I want to go see my lap-band surgeon or choose someone new. Probably old surgeon is a good idea. He sort of knows me and I know the staff there. One step at a time. Make a choice first.

Sometimes I feel so alone down here. I wish my friends lived closer.

lake

Hope.

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14 thoughts on “hard choices”

  1. “Eat less, move more. How hard is that.”
    Very, very hard. I so wish I had some good advice, but about the subject of losing weight it’s all been said. Over and over. I read a book last week called The Fix: How Addiction is Taking Over Our Lives by Damian Thompson. It was one of the better books I’ve read about the general subject of addictions. If I had to sum up the book in one word the word would be “availability.” He makes the case that addictions — to pills, Internet games, shopping, alcohol, food, whatever — are more about availability than about genetic predisposition. If people didn’t have such easy access to, say, the Internet, their brains wouldn’t be screaming at them “get me in front of a computer game NOW!” If they didn’t have so many ways and places to shop, their brains wouldn’t be screaming at them “buy something, anything, NOW!” Food of course is unlike all the other addictions. But applying his reasoning to a situation like yours, I must toss out the idea of focusing less on what you eat and focusing more on what you bring into your home to eat. If there are no high-calorie/fat carbs in your house at 3 AM you are unlikely (I think) to drive to a 24-hr mini-mart to buy cookies. Maybe there isn’t even one close by, and you’d have to drive 20 miles to find food at 3 AM. Would you do that?

    I know this seems like a huge undertaking — I’m not sure I could force myself to empty my frig and pantry, leaving only enough food (low calorie food) for one or two days. But it does have the advantage of being fairly simple.

    I hope you can find a solution. You’ve done it before, which theoretically means you can do it again. It’s painful to read that you’re scared, but maybe fear can help motivate you.

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    1. I’ve done the nothing in the house but healthy food – problem is that I can binge on anything. Does it help not to have cheetos around? Absolutely. Do I buy them anyway? You bet. Now and then.

      I have a problem with your author’s theory. It doesn’t explain why one person gets addicted to alcohol and another to gambling or food or whatever. Take one addiction away and you do tend to compensate with another, but it’s not the same. Availability is part of it, for sure.

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  2. I don’t think that you should beat yourself up about not sticking to a diet. There are so many obstacles to eating healthy beyond the ability to buy + prepare balanced meals. Emotional eating. Lousy metabolism. TV shows that glorify consumption over health. Devious commercials aimed at impulsivity. A society that associates celebration with junky foods.

    The push for all of us to eat too much is everywhere. Lord knows, I understand that.

    I believe that you’re on the right track to living a healthier life now that you acknowledge there’s a prob. I cannot imagine which surgery I’d opt for, but I understand how any surgery makes you dependent on other ppl for so many things. I think that you’re wise to contemplate those aspects of the whole surgery situation before you go rushing into anything.

    No real answers here, but I do get where you’re coming from with this post. Maybe writing about it will be the very thing that you need to figure out what to do next. I’m sending good thoughts your way.

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    1. Thank you Ally. I’ve known there was a problem just about forever. It’s just that I kept thinking I could solve it on my own. It’d be different this time, you know? And that’s what scares me. I did so well on the lap-band until I didn’t. There were reasons but they don’t really matter. There are always reasons. If I have the surgery, will I do okay or will there just be more reasons.

      I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I appreciate the good thoughts.

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  3. I think from everything I have seen, I would pick the roux-en-y which is the first time I have ever heard it called that, I know it as gastric bypass. I personally know two people who have had it and have had great success with it. I also have watched many episodes of the UK show Fat Doctor (which is available on youtube and might be worth a long and considered watch before making any decisions) which features this surgery a lot and this is the one people have the most success with whereas the others tend to end up going back to old habits. One of the reasons for that success from what I understand is the removal of that metre or so of small intestine which has many effects..

    But heck it is a big commitment to make, especially if you were doing so well with the lap band and then.. not. Did you ever work out what caused the not? I’m thinking you probably have to address that before anything else.

    I send you many good thoughts. We might not always know what to say but we always listen. 🙂

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    1. The “not” is complicated and sort of a perfect storm situation. There was stress with Mom being in the nursing home and Dad going downhill quickly. Then I had knee surgery which kept me trapped at home, bored, and not at rehab for 6 weeks. Then my last fill was too tight. I was used to getting a fill, feeling tight and loosening up as I lost weight. This time, I stayed tight. I couldn’t eat anything I was supposed to eat but chips and cookies and soups and puddings passed easily. It was really easy to slip into old habits.

      What I should have done was go back and get slightly unfilled. What I did was keep expecting for it to get better. And gradually – it took about a year and a half actually – I started gaining weight. Then I kept saying it would change. I would change. But the band kept getting tighter and when I finally went in, I needed to be completely unfilled. And I still haven’t changed.

      The sleeve v the rny – part of my issue is nsaids. Part is the way they reconstruct the stomach. Dunno. Will discuss it with the doctor.

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  4. I have no good advice to give(your previous commenters are much wiser and smarter than I am), but from what I’ve read on this blog, you are a sensitive, kind and intelligent woman so I have great confidence that you will figure it out. The decision would not be one I would want to make, quite frankly. However, it sounds like you need to do something and we all value you very much and want you around a LONG TIME!!

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    1. Well, the site is back up and I don’t know what was wrong with it. Tech support logged off before I could ask. Still, they fixed it.

      Anyway, everyone can have their own insight and opinion. We don’t have to all agree and no one is wiser and smarter. I appreciate the support and yes, I surely need to do something. To be honest, sometimes I think I’m being passively suicidal. Not trying, per se, to die – but not making the healthy changes I need to make to live.

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  5. Even our familiar devils never become easier to understand or live with, do they? The only advice I have to offer, and it is very self-centered, has to do with the possibility of you having more surgery. If so, set up a kick-starter account to pay for me to come out there and be your driver and cook until you can drive again. See? Self-centered, but also a really, really good solution to that part of your challenge! : )

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    1. That’s a clever solution Tish, which you know I could never, ever do. My goodness, all the guilt buttons that punches just to think about! Wow. I didn’t realize I even had that many guilt buttons. 🙂

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  6. ” I think I’m being passively suicidal. Not trying, per se, to die – but not making the healthy changes I need to make to live.”
    I have that thought all the time, especially as I’ve gotten older. I enjoy food so much that I’m willing to risk a number of diseases, and cut years off my life, to eat what I want. For example, at dinner the other night, at a Cuban restaurant, my dinner companions ordered fish. I considered it, because I like fish and I know it’s healthier (although full to the brim with bad chemicals), but the Cuban pork simply looked too delicious. I atoned by skipping dessert. (And BTW, the pork was probably filled with hormones, so ya just can’t win.)

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    1. It does seem like there are no good choices – and really, most restaurant food is a bad choice to start with. Real chefs (mostly) cook with a lot more fat and salt than we would use at home. Restaurants are all about making food as great tasting as possible. And that’s how I treat them. I eat out rarely and I will eat whatever I damn well please when I do. Well, provided it’s a good restaurant where splurging is worthwhile.

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  7. I also wanted to take a moment to comment about dogwoods. When I lived north of Houston, in the piney woods, as I drove around in the springtime I felt like the dogwoods existed within their own sphere of light. The white blossoms glimpsed through the dense woods looked as if a spotlight was shining on just that one tree. Looking for them was kinda like looking for shooting stars during a meteor shower. They were not common, but I was sure to see one or two each time I was out driving around.

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    1. I love the dogwood – and really all the flowering trees. We have a weird little ornamental apple tree – it grows real apples but they never ripen and you can’t eat them, tho the critters seem to enjoy them. And a redbud that is pretty in the spring. I think the first trees in the Mark Twain Forest around here that bloom are just spirea, but they’re gorgeous too. And you’re right, seeing those blooms pop up as you drive along is just magical.

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