Random Thoughts as I Live Maintenance


I've seen a few people mention that WLS and massive weight loss throws them into menopause. I thought it through, the hormonal changes, etc., and I couldn't see how it would be possible. Thing is, either that happened to me or it was coincidental.

A couple of weeks ago I asked my 72 year old, has seen everything, knows all, most experienced GYN I think is still living... this question.

He said that massive weight loss is a huge shock to the body, major mega shock. He said that he can't say WLS and/or massive weight loss can push someone into menopause but he isn't going to say it is impossible either. He said WLS affects many hormones and in the end, they are all tied together so yes, it is possible.

So yesterday he called me with my lab results. He drew labs to see just where I am in menopause. I haven't really had hot flashes or anything other than chronic insomnia. We thought I was probably in the beginning stages of it. Nope... I'm totally done. Post menopausal. It's a done deal.

To say I am beyond thrilled is an understatement! OMG I love it!!!!!!!!! I think it's the best thing about WLS! ;o) I'm actually fairly young to have it be a done deal. No hot flashes, no beard, no mustache, none of it.

So I go to do a bit of reading since OB/GYN isn't a strong field of mine, I've never done that part of medicine. What do I find?

Articles that discuss post menopause with ads showing SENIOR dating websites,

Articles that tell me this isn't the end of the world,

Articles that tell me my life will continue, there is life after periods,

Articles that discuss how I can still live a meaningful life anyway,

Articles that convince me life as I know it today is not necessarily over,

Articles that try to convince me that my life doesn't have to revolve around bearing children.

WTH? Do people really think this way? I think it is liberating, the articles would tell me otherwise. ???


Food issues!

I had an epiphany when I was on my post op diet after my band to sleeve revision. It was my 2nd post op diet. Ugh. But you know what I realized? I didn't care that I was on clear liquids for 10 days. When I was originally banded I kept asking myself... liquids for HOW many days? Is he actually serious? It was a struggle, it was really hard. I had head hunger issues galore! I was cranky, miserable, going through carb withdrawal, and not a happy camper!

When I did my 2nd post op diet I was at goal, that was the day I realized I had changed my thinking about food so drastically. I didn't care that I was on clear liquids for 10 days, full liquids for 10 days. It didn't matter to me. Food is not the center of my life. My life does not revolve around food.

Pre op... I would be eating breakfast and think about what I would have for lunch. Eating lunch I would think about what I would have for dinner. Eating dinner meant zoning in on what I would have for a snack before bed. Then the grazing, OMG the grazing! How could I have not been fat? My world revolved around food. I would go to a restaurant and order whatever had the biggest portions. Doggy bag? Rarely.

We love food! We love the taste, we love the texture, and most of us love big huge bites of food. I could finish a quarter pounder in no time at all. I inhaled the stuff. I'll bet you do too!

My point here is that there will come a day when you don't care about food. You won't care if you eat lunch or not. It doesn't matter. That seems like an impossible dream but the thing is, when you have weight loss surgery you physically cannot feed the food demon. There is no room. You made a conscious choice to surgically limit the amount of food you can eat. So it eventually becomes a non issue. It is what i is. It does not happen overnight but it does happen.

You know, every Thanksgiving and every Christmas my PMs and email are full to the brim. Half the people are crying because they want to eat and can't, the other half are upset because they weren't supposed to eat and did. Without fail, they are newbies. Food issues are sooooo hard! I remember feeling the same. I had surgery 12/6/06. Right before Christmas! I was on the post op diet through the holidays and I survived it. My revision was in June/08. But you know what? My revision was such a non issue regarding food, it just didn't matter to me. I could have had surgery on Thanksgiving day and it wouldn't have been any different.

I can't tell you when it happened or how it happened, it just did. I didn't even realize it until my revision post op diet.

Give yourself time, acknowledge that the pre and post op diets suck big time. It's okay to be cranky and miserable. It's okay to not like it. It's okay to hate it, as a matter of fact. It is not okay to not follow your post op diet to the letter. That is critical. Bands need time for scarring to set and staple lines need time to heal and prevent leaks. You have to do it. Turn the TV and radio OFF! It's nothing but food commercials post op. If Pizza Hut is advertising, THAT is what you want! If Taco Bell is the next commercial then that is what you want. Whatever commercial is on TV that is what you want. Turn off the TV. All it will do is make your head hunger kick in full force. Just know, in a year or two it will be a non issue. Well, that's true and it's not. Most people learn to deal with it. There are a few that don't but overall, you will learn to deal with it. I know I know, you are sitting there in your chair shaking your head saying that you are the one that will not learn to deal with it. Odds are, you ARE the one that will learn to deal with it. You trusted me to read this far, trust me on this issue.

It's just something that takes time. I don't think it even takes effort, it's just a side effect of surgery and a good one at that!


Stress and the Holidays oh my oh my....

Over the past two days I am reminded again about stress during the holidays. Well, it's longer than the last two days, it's since 12/24/10. It spills over into real life in so many ways.

I cannot be reminded enough just how intense our food issues are. One person was posting and mad as hell! She came back to work from having surgery and there were Christmas treats in the break room. She honestly did not understand why others were daring to leave food out when she just had surgery. She was more than angry when all of us reminded her (Some gently, some not so gently.) that she had surgery, her coworkers did not. It is normal for people to have food available during the holiday season and it is not up to the rest of the world to adapt to our new lifestyle. She really did not get it and wrote the 'Goodbye cruel world' post and said she was leaving. She did not leave, but I guess my point is that it was her emotions talking, not the rational person she probably is at most other times.

Another person is just sure the beyoootch at her MD office is really filing for one surgery type when she really wants another because she's just mean. ??? When people answered her questions she wrote a post telling us all how stupid we are because we are not giving her the right help.

What is the right help?

I think it is hard not to react to these people sometimes when you were just told how utterly stupid you are for not agreeing with this person. I am no good at that, head patting and hand holding have never been my thing. Speaking from the blunt heart is my thing, it is who I am. That is not to say I cannot be nice, but I do find myself responding in kind. Sometimes people do need a dose of reality.

But it still begs the question, what is the right way to handle someone like this? Me? I say put their behaviors in front of them so they see what they are doing because I do not believe most people smack in the middle of their behaviors realize just what they are doing. In the whole scheme of things it really does not matter even one little bit how people behave on a message board in the middle of their insanity but it might make a huge difference in real time where they are making big decisions, buying cars, buying homes, making medical decisions, etc.

But that is my way, not everyone will agree.