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Breaking Point



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Hi there! I'm new here, but am super excited to have found an online forum to participate in while I go on this journey. I am (hopefully) going to be getting gastric bypass at MUSC in the coming months. I'll be self-pay (dang insurance exclusions) so slightly less hoops to jump through, but I have not yet met with the surgeon or anything. My initial consult is March 1st. I kind of wanted to share what my "breaking point" was that ultimately resulted in the call to schedule a consult, and maybe see if other people would share theirs in the hopes that I am not alone. Be warned that it may be TMI for some people, and is definitely not something I have shared with anyone in my social circle (they are not as big as me and would likely be not only disgusted, but not understand).

A little background on me, I've basically been obese since right after high school, so around 17 years now. The range of how obese has varied but steadily climbed upwards until my heaviest of 273 (I'm 5'4"). I've done every diet under the sun, including some really really unhealthy ones (HCG anyone?). I've got high blood pressure, problems with my skin constantly being flushed, signs of pre-diabetes, aches and pains from minimal daily activities.. a lot of the same stuff I suspect a lot of people here have had too. You'd think that the health issues would have been enough, and you'd be mostly right. They were enough for me to look into weight loss surgery, but not enough alone for me to actually take the plunge. I kept putting that off.

No, to finally make the call it took me having trouble wiping my own butt after pooping. Maybe it's cause I'm just not that flexible, but it sure felt like all the accumulated fat on my arms, side, butt, and back were getting in the way of actually reaching. That was my breaking point. Sitting on a toilet, straining to try and get myself clean and realizing I couldn't. Now, I did eventually manage with a quick shower of my lower half and some creative use of a towel to dry off/make sure there wasn't anything the Water didn't get, but I still can't shake the feeling of being unclean every time I have to use the bathroom. Lord knows I am not asking my husband to come wipe poo from my butt.

Am I alone in the struggle? What thing, or things, made you finally decide this was what you needed after you'd been maybe putting it off?

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I had got referred in March 2017. Did all the stuff, and had a date set for Dec 2017. I chickened out, rescheduled for March 2018, and chickened out (again) and rescheduled (again) for June 2018. Then yep, chickened out for the third time.

Then one day that summer I was at a pool party sitting on the steps of the deck putting on sunscreen. I had trouble reaching my feet to put sunscreen on them cuz of my bulk. So i resorted to bending my knee and swinging my foot behind me to reach as I sat on the top step of the deck. I happened to look up as I was doing my thing and noticed some people around me looking at me with what I interpreted as pity (i dunno for sure if that is what they were thinking, but that is what *I* thought they were thinking, and that was enough). How I felt that very moment solidified my decision to finally go through with it for reals. That week I called the centre and rescheduled (again) for October 2018. I didn't chicken at that time, thank goodness. Zero regrets, and haven't looked back since.

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For me it was really basic. I had a painful knee that I had suffered with for 37 years and I wanted to get a knee replacement. They wouldn't do it at the weight I was then, so I took the plunge. I had my bariatric surgery in March 2019 and my knee was replaced in August 2020. It's SO GOOD being out of pain now!

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I had a health scare with a swollen lymph node and my husband very kindly brought up that he was concerned that masses or additional lymph nodes may be swollen and unnoticed due to my size. That's when I decided to start the process.

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Thank you all for sharing! It's so nice to feel like I'm not entirely alone, even if reasons are different. I don't know many people in my life who can really relate to being obese and the issues it can cause, so find it hard to address certain things (even the health issues) with anyone really. I have told a very select few that I really trust that I'm getting gastric bypass, and they're supportive, but also don't fully understand.

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I failed my work physical because my blood pressure was too high. Right after that, I started a new job that didn't require me to pass a physical, so I actually just kept ignoring my health for another year or so. But my new job was a desk job, unlike my old job that required a lot of walking, so I gained even more weight and got even more out of shape and I got to the point that I could only walk a short distance without getting sweaty and out of breath.

The failed work physical kept nagging at me, and every time I watched a medical-themed TV show where a patient had a stroke or heart attack, I would see myself there, so I finally decided to go to a doctor (I hadn't been to one in almost 10 years). They were talking about putting me on medication for hypertension and diabetes and I didn't like the future I was seeing, of being someone with all these medical problems, going to the doctor all the time, taking a bunch of medications. I've tried losing weight so many times that I had given up on it by then. Weight loss surgery seemed so extreme -- a last resort -- and I really didn't want to do it, but I came to the realization that it was time to go to that last resort.

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it happened for me during a routine physical. My doctor told me I needed to lose weight, which of course he always said (and I responded with my usual "I know, I know...."). This time he was quite blunt: he said that I did not take drastic action, I would likely have a major cardiac incident within 10-12 years that I might not survive. (I was 59 at the time.). He referred me to a local bariatric surgeon, and the rest is history.

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I bounced around from 60 - 75kg most of my adult life. Tried lots of diets, medications, dieticians, etc. Then menopause hit & suddenly I was 91kg. I was fortunate as the only health issue I had was achy feet & a general lack of fitness but I knew worse wasn’t far away.

I woke up one day & decided I’d had enough. I just hadn’t been able to shift the weight & I’d seen the success a friend had had with the surgery. I made an appointment with my GP & less than two months later I was in surgery.

So glad I made that decision.

Good luck in your journey.

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My OB/GYN did the annual blood workup and made me come back in for a follow up. He delivered both my kids so he's been my doc for a while, and like the poster above, he said if I didn't do something in 10 years I was going to be in big trouble. He also said that I was now diabetic - skipped the pre stage and just went straight in to diabetic. He referred me to my surgeon. I went to the endocrinologist and sure enough - diabetic. I'm 47 and I already see the cardiologist for a stress related thing - my dad died at 52 of a massive heart attack. Blood pressure is now high, cholesterol is high, and diabetic on top of it. My knees hurt so bad some days it's hard to walk. I can't stand for long periods of time. I was already thinking that in 5 years I might have to have a cane or walker. I have a 14 and a 10 yr old. When I talked to my husband, and he almost started crying because he was scared of losing me, that was it. That was the moment. It was all just a perfect storm to make me realize that I couldn't do this on my own. Surgery is next week and I'm getting more anxious about postop, but it will be okay and I'll come out better on the other side.

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