If diet and exercise were all that there was to being thin . . .

If diet and exercise were all that there was to being thin . . . Well, okay, so it's diet and exercise . . . I kid! I kid!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Hello, friends! I accomplished ¼ of my goals for Monday. I did not go to the gym because my son [H] was home sick unexpectedly. He’s too old for the childcare room and too young to be allowed onto the gym floor and I’m not comfortable leaving him home alone at his age (12). Anyhow, he was sick, so it’s not like I’m going to bring him out to have him share his germs with the general public. Yes, dear readers, I am an overly protective mother. I seriously try and do it in a cool way, although I doubt there is any way I can accomplish this in his eyes. I was discussing with an old high school friend recently that my son is seemingly the only kid in his school of 900 who does not have his own cell phone, and that this is not going to change anytime soon.
When H moved to middle school this year, I was obviously aware of the changes in store and felt a little bit wibbly about it – mainly because of how early kids are sexualized nowadays. Within two weeks of school starting, H got into the car after school one day and announced that he had a girlfriend—a girlfriend! – code-named Lolita, who sits next to him in their citizenship class. The texts this twelve-year-old girl ended up sending were just really age inappropriate, like talking about how “hot [H] looks in his skinny jeans” and calling him “babe” and “honey.” As well, after a bit of confusion regarding our texting plan, the boy managed to run up a $347 phone bill texting with Lolita, so I put the ixnay on that quite quickly. What’s truly sad is that Lolita “broke up” with H because he wasn’t responding to her requests for him to kiss her or to engage in PDA, and probably just for being a dorky twelve-year-old boy, who is happy to stand around looking cool with his buds, but who also doesn’t mind spending an afternoon playing with his Nerf gun collection. ‘Tween is so true.
I was going to insert some kind of feminist statement here about women and their right to their sexuality and the expression of such, but frankly I just feel weird and kind of badly that Lolita is so overtly sexual at age twelve, and while I understand why that happens . . . I kind of, well, slightly mourn her childhood on her behalf, for it is clearly over after only eleven years.
No, I am not trying to change the subject from my epic fail regarding the gym and having fruit and yogurt for breakfast. On Monday, I came downstairs having completely forgotten about the fruit and yogurt pledge I had made. Instead, I had a crab cheese wonton from Wok Uptown (best Chinese food in Denver, I swear) and some rice and an egg. I realized with horror my mistake and so substituted the fruit and yogurt for lunch. I didn’t like it and it was completely unsatisfying. I have to be careful with milk products; since my gastric bypass, milk products have been the easiest to give me dumping syndrome. I don’t drink milk as a beverage anyway, but I can’t really even have a bowl of cereal without getting severe nausea and the pounding heart. What is dumping syndrome? From the Wiki:
Gastric dumping syndrome, or rapid gastric emptying, is a condition where ingested foods bypass the stomach too rapidly and enter the small intestine largely undigested. It happens when the upper end of the small intestine, the duodenum, expands too quickly due to the presence of hyperosmolar (substances with increased osmolarity) food from the stomach. "Early" dumping begins concurrently or immediately succeeding a meal. Symptoms of early dumping include nausea, vomiting, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, dizziness and fatigue. "Late" dumping happens 1 to 3 hours after eating. Symptoms of late dumping include weakness, sweating, and dizziness. Many people have both types. The syndrome is most often associated with gastric surgery.
Dumping is really uncomfortable. It’s like having an acute onset of the stomach flu; it lasts from twenty to thirty minutes, but you are miserable the entire time. Even though I am careful, I dump at least once per week, if not more frequently. It’s a side-effect of my gastric bypass, and it’s horrible when it happens at a restaurant or somewhere away from home. As I type this, I am having minor dumping from eating half a biscuit – too many carbs. My heart is pounding, but fortunately I am not nauseous. I also get very sleepy when I’m having a dumping episode, so often I will nod off for twenty minutes or so and wait for it to pass that way.
I want to share about the reality of having gastric bypass surgery. You can’t really know how truly altered your body will be following gastric bypass surgery until you undergo the procedure and live in its aftermath. Dumping syndrome is definitely a problem. Sometimes the stoma (the opening from the stomach to the intestines) gets blocked, which is unbelievably painful. The way you have to take medications changes; you cannot take sustained release medications any longer, because the portion of the intestine where sustained release medication is typically absorbed has been bypassed. So now, instead of once in the morning, I have to take my medications four times per day, which means I have to carry them with me at all times. Some people suffer intense and chronic diarrhea or constipation from gastric bypass; I am fortunate that I myself do not. The rapid weight loss that occurs from gastric bypass often causes an excessive amount of gallstones to be produced, which typically leads to removal of the gallbladder. I had to have my gallbladder removed eleven months post-op. On a scale of one to ten, with one being no pain at all and ten being childbirth, gallbladder pain is like a fifteen. After the gallbladder is removed, many people have to take bile salts for the rest of their lives. Gastric bypass also can cause pernicious anemia, due to vitamin B deficiency. I have to go in for a vitamin b shot every single month to avoid pernicious anemia. You cannot take NSAIDs (Advil, Alleve, etc) post-gastric bypass. When I was nine months post-op, I did take ibuprophen and I suffered a massive GI bleed that was life-threatening. I was hospitalized for five days and received four transfusions, and for almost one year following the GI bleed, I had to receive weekly IV iron supplements to counteract the severe anemia that the GI bleed caused. I never intended to harm myself by taking ibuprophen – I merely was experiencing some ongoing pain and I wanted to alleviate it! And because I had taken ibuprophen all my life with no problem, I rolled the dice and lost. Again, not on purpose. But a bit recklessly in the end.
I have been asked if I had it to do over again, would I still have undergone gastric bypass surgery? Yes, I would have. But I would have gone into it with a clearer picture of what to expect. All those side effects I just listed? I can live with those. I am not thin and I never will be, but I am mobile and healthier and happy. Because the list of side effects I was experiencing from obesity? It’s just about as long as the list above. Tit for tat; ying for yang; this for that; six of one half a dozen of another. Someday I’ll post my “before” pictures and some current pictures. I don’t even look like the same person. Nevertheless, I’d like to take off another 35-50 pounds, to ensure my continued good health and well-being. So, speaking of dieting, I went ahead and changed my username at MyFoodDiary.com to FatAtTheGym. I refuse to give up good food, though, so taking off weight is going to be even more challenging for me than for the average dieter who is capable of eating a lot of “diet” foods that I myself am not (i.e. yogurt, cottage cheese, fish, etc).

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