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Today is the day!

Those of you that know me realize that I have never been a skinny guy. I wasn’t so fat that the Navy didn’t take me in 1972, but at that time I was about 6’0″ and about 185#. Over the years I managed to pack on a few pounds here and there, and at my peak weight I was over 350#. The highest recorded weight (I have been weighing in on Wednesday morning for years now) was 348.9. Pretty stout.

I’ve managed to lose weight here and there as well – Atkins (didn’t work for me at all), Weight Watchers (lost 40#, gained back 60), and other attempts, none of them really successful.

Over the years the doctors started warning me about the long-term bad effects that could come along if I didn’t lose weight. First it was mild warnings. Then “pre-diabetes” (whatever THAT is). Then it was diabetes. Just another word. But I wasn’t just “overweight”. Or even “obese”. I had managed to get into the “morbidly obese” category, with this diabetes kicker. “Oh, you’ll ruin your kidneys. You’ll have diabetic retinopathy. You’ll have peripheral nerve damage.” We monitored my kidneys, which are still OK. And my eyes are checked by an ophthalmologist about every year (usually about 15 month intervals, because by the time I realize it’s been a year, they are booking 3 months out). But the peripheral nerve damage. I started getting signs of it maybe a year ago. Every once in a while, a slight twinge, only in my left foot. I’d bring it up to the doctor and get a “yeah, that might be it”, and my diabetic specialist would test my extremities and not find anything conclusive. ┬áBut it seems to have progressed a bit, just to the point of where it might be considered annoying, but not pressing, and certainly not “dangerous”. But still.

But still. It was time to do something. I went to a Bariatric Weight Loss clinic at Emerson Hospital several months ago, and everything clicked.

For the past several months, after joining their program, I have been prepping for surgery. I have lost 31.6#, down to 317.4 today, the lightest I have been since my Grandfather’s birthday (August 19) in 2009.

I’m going in for surgery today. Dr Laura Doyon is going to punch five holes in my abdomen, inflate me with CO2 gas, stick in a camera, a fancy stapler, and a few other implements of medical destruction, and then run four rows of staples into my stomach, sealing off what will remain, sealing off what will be removed, and then cut between rows 2 & 3 of the staples, and pull out about 70% of my stomach. She’s also going to fix a small hiatal hernia, where my esophagus passes through my diaphragm, then pull everything out ( I do wonder if I’ll sound like a deflating balloon when she takes out the CO2 tube…), and close up the small incisions.

No longer will I be able to eat eight lobsters, a couple ears of corn, and have room for pie. I might be able to eat one lobster, perhaps two, but there won’t be room for pie. I won’t be “filling up” on salad before the meal, because salad has so very little nutrient value. Rather I’ll be concentrating on the important stuff – protein. A cheeseburger will be OK. Well, initially maybe half a cheeseburger. Hold the bread. Hold the fries. Hold the Diet Coke (which I hated anyway. I do not like artificial sweetener) because apparently the carbonation wreaks havoc on the little tiny pouch of a stomach you have left. Oh, crap. No beer? Oh, crap.

Over time, this tiny pouch will stretch a bit, so eventually I might be able to get in a whole cheeseburger. Hold the bread. Hold the fries.

And pizza? Please cut it into six slices. I’d never be able to eat eight.

I’ll keep you updated.

Be well,

John

 

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