Sunday, November 6, 2011

Trying to Explain

Two years ago, I left the hospital and came home to the biggest unknown I have ever faced. I could barely walk with the aid of two canes. I could manage to walk from bed to the bathroom, maybe from a chair to the kitchen. Within a few days I could manage a few hundred yards... just far enough down the road to reach the neighbor's house, or maybe if I was feeling great, the next farther house.

I couldn't sleep when I came home from the hospital. After having spent the previous month in a hospital recliner and hospital air-bed, I was wholly unprepared for my old bed (which I love!) and a recliner my mom had found on the road. Try as I might, I couldn't get comfortable no matter what I did. Our friends Carol and Gordon came to the rescue with the biggest darned Barcalounger I have ever seen. Barely made it through our door.

Each day was filled with enough confusion, pain and medication to make time pass ruthlessly slowly. Watching movies or listening to music made it worse. I could feel each minute pass.

Now here I am, looking back on that time and wondering how the next surgery will go. Today I had to explain to one of our friends what the next surgical procedure will be and how it will effect me. I am planning on having a "sleeve gastrectomy"
Sleeve gastrectomy is a surgical weight-loss procedure in which the stomach is reduced to about 25% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach, following the major curve. The open edges are then attached together (often with surgical staples) to form a sleeve or tube with a banana shape. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach. The procedure is performedlaparoscopically and is not reversible. - wikipedia
The goal of this bariatric surgery is to help my body shed the mass that it has regained over the past two years. Some of the side effects of the surgery: should cure my diabetes... should alleviate my sleep apnea,... should help heal my heart issues... should reverse the liver issues I have been dealing with... and on top of it all, I should lose about 75-100 pounds. 

Once that weight is down, the abdominal pressure will have lessen to the point where my colo-rectal surgeon can go in and fix the colostomy and repair the two major hernias. But first, I have to shed the pounds. 

It is hard to explain that no matter what changes in diet I have made over the past two years, regardless of food type or calorie count... the pounds are simply not coming off. When I talked with both of my surgeons, their explanation is that my metabolism is off due to the peritonitis having damaged my pancreas. In addition the visceral fat surrounding my organs is now acting more like an organ and less like fat. Lovely. Not really dinner conversation.

The reason I bring this up is that the prospect of going in for another surgery is not something we are taking lightly. It has to be done. If there was another way, I would be THRILLED. I am scared to death about the potential outcome. So hard to let go of what little control I have.  And this is what I have been trying to explain... the letting go. The accepting that I have tried my best... that I need help. 

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