I have struggled all of my life with my weight. I was almost 8lbs when I was born-- thirty percent larger than my older sister. I remember being encouraged to start my first ever diet when I was 5. The women in my family on my mother's side were constantly on one diet or another and obsessed with their weight, but as Jamaicans, loved the home dishes. I actually wasn't ever severely overweight as a child but I grew very quickly compared to my other classmates and that made me seem "Big". I started puberty at eight years old (!!!) and was at my full adult height and fully developed by the time I was in the 4th grade.
Because I looked much older, I was treated as much older by almost anyone, which made for a very anxious and depressed young girl. I felt like I took up too much space and family members were constantly critical of my size. It didn't help that my parent's marriage was slowly falling apart. I ate to quell my anxiety, but since my mother was a nurse practitioner we never had junk food in the house. I was consuming a large amount of calories through enormous portions of healthy food, if eaten in the right amounts normally. I was still taller and larger than my classmates but not severely obese.
By about 7th grade, my classmates were finally starting to catch up and some then surpassing me. I became very active with sports and exercise in general became another coping mechanism, but so was food. I was young and active enough to keep my weight stable. I would lose a little and then gain it right back, but never went over a set number. That set number slowly increased as the years went on though.
Right before I turned 15. I was at my peak activity-- I did track and field, and played volleyball for my school. I also had my first real job at the local public library. Being so active helped me to avoid the chaos that was my home life (my parent's divorce became ugly) and forced me to come out of my anxiety shell a little bit. But for months I had been feeling unwell. I chalked it up to being busy. It never occurred to me to say anything to my parents. One morning, I woke up for school and found I couldn't open my eyes. Overnight my entire body had filled up with fluid, like a balloon. My face had swollen to the point that my eyes were forced shut. My mother rushed me to the ER, thinking I had some sort of allergic reaction. Instead, they found out my kidneys were being destroyed by Glomerularnephritis, an autoimmune disease.
This began a whole new life of hospitalizations, drugs with terrible side effects, and home schooling. My body went through hell, culminating in having to take a chemotherapy course to try and slow down the progression of the disease. That was the only time my weight dropped down to a "normal" range for my height (5'4"). I looked like a skeleton with wisps of hair, but people praised me for finally losing the weight!
What was far worse is that by the time my disease had finally stabilized when I was 17, my mother was struck with her own autoimmune disease, Rapid Deterioration Multiple Sclerosis. The time between her diagnosis and her death was only four years.
My life went on, and I managed myself and my disease to the best of my ability. I only had my sister to lean on--she is only 3 and a half years older so she only knew but so much. But she did a phenomenal job taking care of first our Mom then me for all of those years. I went on to get my two college degrees and married, then divorced a lovely young man for complicated reasons. During those years I had several surgeries, went on dialysis, got a kidney transplant (my donor was my then boyfriend turned husband, now ex), broke a few bones, went into a few comas, moved seven times, went back on dialysis, had GERD surgery (Nissen Fundoplication) and then in 2016 (ELECTION NIGHT, no less) got another kidney transplant.
Through aaaaaalllll of this, I struggled with my weight, constantly yo-yoing between 50 to 60 pounds, up and down. By the time I was 45, my body decided it was going to stay around 210 lbs. No matter what I did, the pounds would not budge.
I have a very healthy diet because it is necessary and try to exercise as much as I can, mostly running and weightlifting up until 3 months ago. My hip and lower back were killing me, and not improving. After some tests it was found I had the beginnings of osteoarthritis in my hips and my lower spinal discs were degenerating. I was in so much pain I couldn't walk more than a couple of feet. Also, my GERD came back, just as bad as before. This is what drove me to go back to my bariatric surgeon to talk about getting wls. My BMI is just under 35, but the many comorbidies that I have make me qualify. The biggest gain I may get from the surgery is that my transplant may function better and last longer.
Like everyone here, I am fighting for a better quality of life. I may have less quantity than others, but I am damn sure gonna make the best of what I have left, may it be 5 or 50 years.
So, that is why I am having RnY surgery this year .
Height: 5 feet 4 inches
Starting Weight: 217.4 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery:
Current Weight: 196.7 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Weight Lost: 20.7 lbs
Surgery: Gastric Bypass
Surgery Status: Pre Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 08/09/2016
Surgery Date: 09/02/2020
Hospital Stay: n/a
Surgery Funding: Insurance
Insurance Outcome: n/a
drawingdami's Bariatric Surgeon
161 Fort Washington Ave
New York, New York 10032