Moving to Chicago meant I had to get a whole new set of doctors. I’ve been lucky enough to find good ones that (seem to) know what they are doing and with very short drives from home. My first visit with the endocrinologist was great and I’ve been taking care of myself, following (almost) all his recommendations. Next appointment was with the OB-GYN to discuss my rather frustrating femaleness and the whole trying to conceive thing; not an easy task for a person like me.
I am not blind to my health issues. I am morbidly obese (that took courage to write down!), I have type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol levels, a poor-functioning thyroid gland and other conditions related to my weight. It annoys me to no end when people talk to me as if they think I have no idea of what I have to deal with. Yet I don’t do enough to change things; or maybe I do but it doesn’t work.
I’ve been chubby all my life. I have tried every single diet in the book. I remember my mom making me drink grapefruit juice and other badly-tasting concoctions every morning when I was a kid. When I was in 5th grade I went to see weight-loss doctor who ended up giving me amphetamines to everyone’s dismay. When I went to college I saw a doctor who was very much in vogue with the Atkins diet. I’ve seen tons of dietitians; I’ve done the Herbalife thing and some others. In 2005 I was able to lose 50% of the weight I need to get rid of all by myself, but once I left the discipline of eating healthy and going to the gym every day I’m back at square one. It happens all the time; people think you have no will power or that you’re lazy. They don’t get that obesity is a chronic disease.
I’m not going to elaborate on the psychological consequences of the “Yoyo Effect.” I think I’ve managed to have a pretty normal life despite being made fun of when I was a kid, feeling rejected by the guy I liked when I was a teenager, being told I wasn’t good enough to attend a certain college where only pretty people go, etc. And while I have to admit all that has played a role in my development as a person, I think it’s a matter of personal responsibility to deal with it and take the steps to change certain things that don’t work.
So now the focus is my health and the fact that if I want to be ready for conception I need to take a very careful look at the options out there. That’s why when my OB-GYN asked me if I’ve ever considered bariatric surgery I decided that I’m going to look into it. I’ve heard horror stories and it’s scary, but there are also the good stories and it doesn’t hurt to ask. I talked to my cousin – who’s a doctor and one of the people whose opinion I value the most – and when she told me “by all means, go for it!” I knew I had to get more information.
So I’ve been reading a lot about lap-band surgery, I joined a message board and I’m going to see a surgeon with great reviews on February 2nd. From the looks of it, I’m a good candidate for the surgery, and I know it will be a long process but I think it’s worth a shot.
In Spanish we say “A grandes males, grandes remedios.” – It means the bigger the problem, the bigger the remedy needs to be. Maybe it’s time for me to think bigger.
Any input from diabetics who have undergone this procedure will be greatly appreciated.