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Scared to do this but more scared to die



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Hi all.

My name is Carrielee. I am 33 years old and have been on the fence about WLS for the last few years. I have struggled with obesity since I was quite young and the weight keeps piling on. I am 5 foot 1 and just hit 325 pounds. I now have a BMI of 61.4.

I have uncontrolled Hypertension on multiple meds, uncontrolled Type II Diabetes, and high cholesterol, sleep apnea, severe fatty liver disease (nearing cirrhosis), severe arthritis, IIH, angina, past history of PE. I can barely walk and have been told if I don’t lose the weight I likely won’t live to see 40.

I’ve backed out of this so many times but now that I’ve surpassed the 300 pound mark I know I have to do this. I’ve ended up in the ER twice in this last week with abnormal EKGs and the idea of having a cardiac event before 40 terrifies me.

I have to do this. My mom died at 50 at over 400 pounds due to multi organ failure from obesity and I am so scared the same will happen to me.

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Hello Carrielee,

Everyone has worries doing this surgery, you are not alone there. You seem to be at a place where there is no going back this time. Most of those things that are wrong with your body will disappear with this surgery. It would be a win, win situation if you could go through with it this time. I will not tell you it will be easy because its not. I had a lot of new stuff to learn and adapt to. I will say that I had zero pain.

I did this, I was very disabled. I can rush around now like a spring chicken. Go and get this amazing life, hold your nerve, its so very worth it.

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I went back and forth for at least 10 years on this. Fortunately, I didn't have the health issues you have, but I knew if I didn't get the weight off, I wouldn't live to see my 60th birthday (I was 55 at the time). I went into it thinking it was a "dangerous" surgery, but I thought it was even more dangerous for me to stay at almost 400 lbs. I was happy to learn that these surgeries are no longer dangerous (like they were years ago) - they're actually very routine now and quite safe - safer than hip replacement surgeries, which they do all the time. So I took the jump. Absolutely the best decision I've ever made! I'd do it again in a heartbeat - in fact, I'd go back and have it done every year if I had to!

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11 hours ago, carrielee said:

I have to do this. My mom died at 50 at over 400 pounds due to multi organ failure from obesity and I am so scared the same will happen to me.

About 21 years ago I weighed over 700 pounds when I decided to have surgery at 43. The writing was on the wall: By 50 I would be dead or wishing I was. With surgery I had solid chance at losing enough of my weight to live a more active, healthy, happy, and longer life.

Because of my weight and health issues, Doc said I had a 1 in 20 chance of dying on the table. I had a 100% chance of dying in too few years.

I didn't even have to think about it.

Surgery went fine. I'm told I didn't die. I followed my plan. I worked on my mental health. It took about 3 years to lose just over 500 pounds. I am healthier, happier, and ridiculously more active beyond anything I imagined.

Life is still full of ups and downs. Some ups and downs are the same, some are vastly different. The current ups and downs are better. Much better.

Good luck,

Tek

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13 hours ago, carrielee said:

Hi all.

My name is Carrielee. I am 33 years old and have been on the fence about WLS for the last few years. I have struggled with obesity since I was quite young and the weight keeps piling on. I am 5 foot 1 and just hit 325 pounds. I now have a BMI of 61.4.

I have uncontrolled Hypertension on multiple meds, uncontrolled Type II Diabetes, and high cholesterol, sleep apnea, severe fatty liver disease (nearing cirrhosis), severe arthritis, IIH, angina, past history of PE. I can barely walk and have been told if I don’t lose the weight I likely won’t live to see 40.

I’ve backed out of this so many times but now that I’ve surpassed the 300 pound mark I know I have to do this. I’ve ended up in the ER twice in this last week with abnormal EKGs and the idea of having a cardiac event before 40 terrifies me.

I have to do this. My mom died at 50 at over 400 pounds due to multi organ failure from obesity and I am so scared the same will happen to me.

Hi Carrielee - welcome! I had VSG surgery just about a week before my 40th birthday this past November. I had sworn in the years leading up to it that I would NEVER have any kind of WLS, but here I am! If I could have done it on my own, I would have - I needed help to improve my life, because nothing I tried on my own was working, and I tried it all.

I had sleep apnea, insulin resistance, and bp that bounced back and forth between hypertensive and high-normal. I felt like I was going to die after climbing up a flight of stairs, and I was passing up good opportunities at my job because I didn't want to walk 5-10 minutes to another building and get all sweaty. I had never had surgery of any kind before (other than getting my wisdom teeth out, but it's not like I was intubated for that), so the thought of getting put under and having my innards poked at was rather intimidating.

I would do it over again in a heartbeat. Like @catwoman7 said, I'd do it every year if I had to!

I never needed to use my prescription pain meds post-op. I actually take the "long way" to my car at the end of my workdays now. My husband and I routinely walk to the front of our neighborhood and back, whereas previously, I hated just walking the 0.10 mile to our mailbox. My blood pressure has actually been almost LOW ever since waking up from surgery, my IBS-D has essentially disappeared (and I had days where I couldn't be too far from a restroom before), and I'm a little less sweaty. My knees feel INFINITELY better, and they're a little less noisy when I bend down.

Now, you do have some health conditions that could make any surgery a little more risky (fatty liver, history of PE especially), but your doctor will review your history and will probably have you do quite a few tests and things to make sure it's safe for you to have surgery. I had some weird, random heart palpitations for darn near 20 years that were dismissed as "nothing major", but my doctor insisted that I do a 48-hour Holter monitor just to be sure. When that didn't show anything, they had me do a monitor for a whole month! They actually figured out the cause (occasional premature atrial contractions, or PACs, which apparently darn near everybody has at some point - some of us just feel them more than others), and cleared me for surgery.

Ask your surgeon all the questions you can think of. I watched YouTube videos for months leading up to my surgery just to see what others' experiences were. I crawled through this forum extensively. I read the binder my program gave me over and over and over. I started following tons of WLS accounts on Insta. Do whatever you need to do to ease your mind a bit, and know that there is a large community to back you up!

Trust your gut and go with what you know you need to do, be that surgery or something else. No matter what you choose, we'll be here for you. :)

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I think the title of your thread says it all. There is such a wealth of experience on this forum.

I started from a different place but so do all of us. I hope you can take this very scary step to change your life for the better. If you have specific concerns please say and someone here will have the answer.

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I swear I was 33 yesterday, but somehow today I am 50 and I promise you, that's way too young to die. You deserve a long life, and you deserve for it to start now, when you're still young enough to enjoy every minute of it. Surgery can be scary, but the good news is it isn't dangerous and it can help you have a healthy life.

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I am waiting for my first appointment with the surgeon as I am typing this out. Scared out of my mind but I know I have to do this to live. No more putting this off. It has to happen. I’ll update after the appointment.

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