Welcome!

By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

SignUp Now!

WLS

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Points
6
My Weight Loss Story in Frankfurt

Surgeons:Prof. Dr. R. Weiner and Team
Clinic:Sachenhausen/Frankfurt - Germany
Surgery Date:
2 May 02​
Height:5'3
Pre-op Weight/BMI:264lb / BMI 46.9
Current Weight/BMI:166lb / BMI 29.5 (as at 9 March 2003)



My Weight Loss Story in Frankfurt 1.jpg

On May the 2nd 2002, my life changed for the better. I had my DS surgery. I regard this day as my re-birthday, for on it I reclaimed not only my body and my life, but also a large measure of my dignity. Like so many obese people struggling to come to terms with their condition, I had endless questions...why, oh why was I destined to be obese? What was causing it? After all I had dieted concientiously for much of my life to no avail. All it did was rapidly worsen my condition.

I still do not have the answers as to why, nor what. But what I do know now, is that I had a chronic, life threatening, progressive disease. I only wish I had known this sooner and saved myself years of torment as I desperately and unsuccessfully sought to lose weight.

Those of us who come to the DS door are beyond weary, often extremely ill, disillusioned with false hopes that we might beat it in any way and finished with the denial that we are unaffected by it. It's a very frightening place to be for many of us, without the buffers we have built around us for so long.
I spent many soul searching months researching various weight loss surgeries and had come to the conclusion that the one for me was the duodenal switch. I did not want a foreign object obstructing my stomach, such as the band. I did not like the idea that even with it I would have to be disciplined or risk that I regained lost weight. After considering the RNY, I was not willing to risk the potential "dumping syndrome". It seemed to require vitamin intake as well and the late regains coming to light, looked pretty scary to me. I wanted a surgery that would not punish me in any way. I wanted one that would work for me, not me for it! I have had too many years of living with restrictions on my diet, and enough psychological punishment to keep me going for several lifetimes! I wanted to eat what I liked and to be free of the disease that obesity is forever. More and more the DS was looking like the right option for myself. And then one day, I just knew that I had to move heaven and earth to have the DS and put an end to the ongoing misery I was living in. It had become very clear to me that I had more risks living with my obesity than I had from undergoing surgery.

I'd be lying if I said I was not afraid as I was wheeled into surgery. But I do remember that just before I lost consciousness an overwhelming sense of peace settled in on me removing all my fear and filling me with a wonderful calm, and deep sense that I was doing the right thing for both myself and my family. My husband laughingly jokes this was just the effects of the aneasthetic kicking in, but I know it was not!



My Weight Loss Story in Frankfurt 2.jpgI had a seven hour surgery. Prof. Weiner removed old adhesions from my bowels and intestine. My appendix and toxic gallbladder were removed. The gallbladder removal was very difficult as the bile duct presented problems. He repaired two hernia's, removed stomach polyps and still did the DS. All this was laparoscopic despite the fact that my belly did not inflate properly and that I had an enormous, swollen liver making things even more of a challenge. I have no doubt that in the hands of a lesser surgeon, at best I would have been converted to open surgery, at worst, I might have lost my life. In ordinary circumstances the DS takes about two to three hours from start to finish.

The history of my obesity is similar to many other peoples. My first diet was at age twelve and I soon became a wonderful faster and early Breatherian (person who attempts to live on fresh air alone)! Twenty years of dieting, coupled with the odd bout of starvation tactic and every pill or potion you can imagine, followed. I exercised and did healthy eating plans, but the weight just kept coming on. I felt miserable, depressed, out of control and very afraid. I dreaded going out and had begun to feel I was letting my family down badly. As I became morbidly obese I became ill and had endocrine malfunction as well as sleep apnea. There were days that I slept away in an attempt to get on top of my chronic fatigue. My knee was beginning to ache. I had hirsutism and was infertile. My mood was consistently irritable. As is typically symptomatic of morbid obesity, I was hungry two hourly. No amount of willpower could take care of this biological hunger. I could not stomach the idea of yet another futile diet.
This was my past.

Let me tell you about my life now. It is a daily joy for me to inhabit a body that does not always gain weight no matter what I eat. At dinner time I say: “please pass me the butter and the sour cream for my veggies... could I have a little more dessert please? Why, thank you... I would really enjoy one of those chocolates! Yes please, I will have a teaspoon of sugar in my coffee and full fat milk is fine thanks!”

I know at last, the true meanings of “satisfied” and “satiated”. No more deprivation, hidden desperate eating or terrible guilt. I am free from my obsession with food on every level. It amazes me how much life energy I had tied up in this. I no longer tot up every calorie and avoid fat at all costs. I feel that my eating habits have become pretty normal. Some days I am hungry and eat all day long, totally guilt free! Often the next day I will have dropped more weight. Other days I am more than content just to eat my protein requirement. It's a marvellous feeling!

I can run up a flight of stairs without feeling that my heart is going to explode or that my lungs will burn and ache. I love to socialise now, whereas I had reached a point where it was getting very difficult to face other people. I had too many years of trying to project my character through my physical body. An ongoing need to prove that although I was fat, it didn't mean I was unintelligent. It was getting exhausting and I had become very defensive and slightly aggressive about my weight. Towards the end of my life as obese, I really felt I just could no longer deal with other people and what they thought of me.

Now my family are living with a more optimal person. I partake in life instead of just sitting glumly on the sidelines. My apnea has gone. The daily pain my adhesions and hernia's caused has gone. I think 99% of the health issues I had before surgery are resolved. Psychologically I am a free women released from years of extreme illness, self hatred, guilt, frustration, criticism, shame and sadness. Physically, I am off the grinding wheel of diets, self control and deprivation. Free at last! For me the DS is a daily miracle in which I live.

My worst nightmare is that by mistake a surgeon undoes my DS. I never want to return to suffering from Obesity.

I am aware there are many years to live with this surgery yet. There will be challenges along the way, I am sure. However, for me, nothing could ever come close to the desperate challenge of living with obesity. I look back on the last 10 months of my life since my surgery and realise that I am living joyously and optimally for the first time in 20 years.

These ten months have been a truly wonderful time for me and personally I would rather have a few years of this kind of top quality of life, than struggle miserably for many years as I have done before.
I am often asked what the price I pay for having this surgery is? I take 12 multivitamins a day and eat 85 to 100 grams of protein daily. All in all, it's a very small exchange of self discipline, for an all-round healthier body. I must add though, that as the surgery has made me malabsorptive, I run the risk of nutrient deficiency. Therefore it is absolutely vital for me to have regular comprehensive bloodwork done. This very specific aftercare requirement is currently presenting a problem for me here in the UK, but I am hoping to find resolve on this issue soon.

In the UK alone we lose 30,000 people a year from obesity. In my heart I grieve each one of these deaths, and all obesity related deaths deeply, for I know that many wonderful meaningful lives could have been saved by having the DS or indeed any of the other weight loss surgeries. I hate to think of the humiliation they may have suffered for so long before dying. I am appalled by so many in the medical fraternity that too often allow people to suffer on with morbid and super morbid obesity when it is possible to both change and save lives with surgery. When I see a supermorbidly obese person struggling with the basics of even just moving such an ill body... I am very moved and wonder how it can be that their GP has not yet informed them of how they could live a better life. It seems cruel to me. While I am aware that some obese people may feel surgery is not for them, my feeling is that all obese people deserve the right to be informed of any options they have, especially surgical options, to combat this terrible disease.

When I speak to my friends who are battling obesity, they say no information (other than the old, outdated and generally only suitable for the slightly overweight, mantra "diet & exercise") was ever given to them. Many of them say they never knew surgery existed until I had mine. Could this be part of the fact that many obese patients are unconsciously discriminated against by some medical professionals who all too often believe that the obese have caused their own condition by lack of willpower, wrong diet etc?

I regard this unfortunate prevalent attitude as extremely negligent in the face of the clear risks that obesity poses an individual. I was one of these unfortunate souls investing my health in diet after useless diet, drug after useless drug and gruelling exercise programs, prescribed by well meaning doctors untrained in understanding the dynamics of obesity. It's no life. And the chances are I may well have died prematurely anyway.

On the plus side, more and more medical professionals are starting to awake to the fact that this epidemic is not going to go away and that an open inquiring mindset is required to help those who suffer obesity. I count myself as extremely lucky to have an open minded GP who has supported me from day one in my quest to find a cure for my disease.

I have absolutely no regrets that I decided to have the DS. Through it I have reclaimed my joy in living. I have learnt to nurture and love the body I am in. In these respects it is a priceless gift of a surgery. I share my story and am open about my surgery always, hoping that many other people suffering from the misery of obesity will be able to reclaim both their bodies and lives through the Duodenal Switch Procedure.
 

Similar Topics

Forum statistics

Threads
46
Messages
46
Members
5
Latest member
dushanis

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
46
Messages
46
Members
5
Latest member
dushanis

Members online

No members online now.
Top