Six weeks ago I was given the opportunity to save my life from destruction of an awful deadly disease of being a Type 2 diabetic. Along with a multitude of other awful things happening in my body like Sleep Apnea, Hyptertension, et cetera….
Up until I had the lap band surgery on June 27th, I had been very sick with complications of having extremely dangerous levels of glucose since 2009. And by extreme, I mean my glucose numbers were constantly in the high 400s to 500s.
For those of you who don’t know squat about this lovely disease, that is coma level or death. Sorry about the dramatics, but it is the truth. Besides my oral medications, I was also on two insulins. I had a dietitian through the Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls and a Health Coach helping me along to no avail.
The thing about diabetes is … no one knows you are suffering from it unless the person tells you. Besides my mom and a few choice friends, no one knew what I had been going through.Some of the things I had to deal with was having absolutely no energy whatsoever. I had major fatigue. All. The. Time. I would prefer napping or going to bed early rather than hanging out with close friends or relatives. I had intense stomach pangs and weirdness overall in my body. I had the shakes and I was constantly thirsty.
Up until my surgery, I was literally drinking three (3) gallons of ice water a day. Three gallons. That is A LOT of water. And then it wasn’t enough. I was thirsty all the time. On top of that, I had oral thrush. Which is just like stuffing your mouth with cotton balls and leaving them in there the entire time you are awake.
My eye sight had gotten bad. It was always great till I was diagnosed in February 2008. But my last eye doctor visit in May … my doc told me just how bad they had gotten just from the year before. And I knew it. I had a very difficult time driving at night. And it scared me.
Now my feet and legs. Where do I begin on that? I won’t bore you but it wasn’t pretty. I was put on the drug, Cymbalta, to handle the nerve pain that I constantly had up and down my left leg to my ankle to my toes. Yeah, just on my left side. Oh and another thing, I was severely moody. Severely.
Thanks to my health insurance of offering an incredible opportunity this past January 2012 ~ that they would pay for one half of the entire surgery cost and that I would only be allowed to have one (1) weight loss surgery in my lifetime, I accepted the challenge and I have never looked back. Or had any regrets.
I changed my provider in March 2012 and the new dynamics of that match up and getting the ultimate support of my wonderful mom and my oldest brother/sister-in-law, was amazing. My mom told the world and I told a few friends.
By the time my surgery date rolled around… the support I had from friends, online friends, my Zumba buddies, bloggers, relatives, coworkers, the county and my former county and strangers alike…. was intense and oh so awesome.
So with this week being my sixth week since I got punctured five times … with having five glorious scars … I have certainly learned so many life lessons.
- I gave up all carbonated drinks eight weeks ago. Remember I had to go through two agonizing weeks of eating the Optifast diet before surgery. And I do not miss drinking Coke or anything else for that matter. My dental hygienist truly loves me now … including my hottie Dentist 🙂
- I have not eaten a yummy lettuce salad since June 12, 2012. Yes I miss the yumminess of a fresh green salad but I do not want to get a piece of lettuce stuck in my small opening now.
- I learned to eat super slow and enjoy eat morsel of food even when I was super hungry being on the all liquid diet phase of Stage II.
- While I was good at having patience, I learned having more of it really helps in the overall situation of being a lap bander now.
- I learned from fellow lap banders from my real life as well as bandsters I’ve met online.
- I have learned to listen to my surgeon and dietitian and all the hospital workers/staff/etc … to follow the rules and realize I will make mistakes. A lot of them.
- I have learned to like new food items.
- I have learned that my old food choices were really really bad for me.
- I learned to eat just a cup of food and tolerated it enough to say, “No More.”
- I learned that I really like to walk and exercise.
- I opened up my eyes to be more social and more outgoing rather than hiding out in my home and accepting this as my life. No More!
- I have learned to walk with my head up and not looking downwards when approaching people I do not know.
- I learned not to fear people who I think will make fun of me.
- I learned that the first six weeks after surgery are the hardest and most frustrating.. but things will get better thru exercise and determination.
- I learned if you are not proactive about your own health, no one will be either.
- Finally, I have learned to truly respect myself. And to be proud of how far I have come.
I know I have a long ways to go and that pretty much every single day of my life will be a learning experience. But never once through this eight year ordeal have I ever thought, this moment, for me, would not come. I never gave up HOPE and I have always had the FAITH.
Thank you for reading along, for stopping by, for the words of encouragement, for asking questions, for the prayers, for wanting to walk with me or just hang out, and mostly for being my friend.