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  1. #1
    Big Hearted Cyster!! :) lovegoddess1977's Avatar
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    Question My PCOS and obesity journey has come to this. PICS included.

    Hello everyone,

    I have not posted on here in years. I miss the boards because I always found great support and information on here. So, let's get straight to the point. I am a 35 year old RN on a neuro clinical care unit at a very prestigious hospital in NE Ohio. I am 5'9" and weigh 365 pounds. I have weighed over 300 pounds for the last 10 years. The last time that I weighed in the 100's was 25 years ago. In other words... I have been morbidly obese my whole life. Over time I have developed HTN, Insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome, difficulty sleeping, hypothyroidism, metabolic disorder and a borderline diabetic. My knees and back hurt me every single day. I feel like I have very little quality of life. I am still able to perform my job functions but I get more and more sore each day, oh and I also work 40-60 hours each week. I have always been against gastric bypass surgery because of all the complications. I used to see it as the easy way out. I was always on a diet. I would lose 50-60 lbs only to gain it all back again in half the time. I feel like I have been on a diet for the last 25 years. I can lose weight but then I always plateau and then eventually gain it back. It's a vicious cycle .... and I am done with it. After much soul searching and research, I have decided to have WLS. My doctors all explained to me that with my current conditions, it makes it very difficult to lose the weight and keep it off. My hormones such as the insulin and testosterone are all jacked up and do not work as they should. Losing weight is doable.....its keeping it off that seems to be the problem.

    When I hear people say.. "Its simple to lose weight. It's calories in vs. calories burned." It enrages me. That is not always the case. Healthcare is an ever changing science. New things are being discovered everyday. Nobody really truly knows exactly how the human body works. We've done experiments and research that helps us to better understand all of the possibilities but there is still alot of uncharted possibilities out there.

    I have decided that I am going to have gastric bypass surgery. I was one of the biggest anti-surgery people out there. It's hard to judge somebody on what they should do when you yourself have never been in their shoes. I was guilty of that but now I see and I understand.

    I just recently got married to the love of my life. Her and I are both morbidly obese. We have known each other for 6 years and we have been together for 5 of those years. We want to live a long and healthy life together. We have done alot of soul searching and we have decided that we are going to both have the surgery. We want to be healthier and enjoy life. We started the process with the bariatric institute at the hospital that I work at. My insurance will cover both of us at 100%. Many people keep warning me about all the complications. I am a nurse. I am completely aware of all the complications that can occur because of surgery. But I also know that if we stay how we are we will be threatened with our current health getting worse along with many new disorders that can occur because of obesity. To me, I have had enough. We have made the decision and we are sticking to it. I am ready for my life to change.

    We just started the process so we still have to go to see the surgeon and set our dates now that we have been declared candidates for the surgery. I have chosen to go with the RNY. I feel that is the surgery that would suit me best. I would love to hear some encouraging stories of everyones experiences. You reach a moment where you just can't deal with it anymore. For me that moment came when I saw the picture of my self at my birthday dinner with my friends. I couldn't believe how big I looked. No more dieting. I want to lose this weight for good and keep it off. :)
    groupbig3.jpggroup3.jpggroupbig.jpg
    I am the one in the purple shirt. My wife is the puerto rican woman in the middle picture on the left. I know that I can do it. Anyone out there with any experiences they would like to share?

    Starting Weight: 365 lbs (NEVER AGAIN)
    Goal Weight: 150lbs
    Waiting on a date for WLS.


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  3. #2
    Registered User JulieofDenial's Avatar
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    I'll be absolutely honest. I'm not a big fat of bariatric surgery in general because of the potential side effects. Surgeries like the RNY which involve things being cut apart and rerouted in particular. On the other hand the RNY, because it bypasses part of the illeum, effectively can 'cure' insulin resistance which can 'cure' PCOS. I'm not quite sure what the mechanism is behind it, but to my understanding it isn't simply a good treatment because you lose weight. There's apparently something else going on. I saw a scientific study recently that followed women who had bariatric surgery, and by the end of the study (which only spanned 2 or 3 years if I'm remembering correctly) all of the women had their PCOS improve to such a degree that all of those who were trying to get pregnant did. That might not be your objective of course, but it's a pretty good way to measure the effectiveness of a PCOS treatment.

  4. #3
    Big Hearted Cyster!! :) lovegoddess1977's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of the complications either but at this point in my life I am willing to take the risk. In the last year I have been diagnosed with two additional disorders. I'm ready and thought long and hard. Thanks for the info. I'm gonna have to do some researching on it.
    Starting Weight: 365 lbs (NEVER AGAIN)
    Goal Weight: 150lbs
    Waiting on a date for WLS.


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  5. #4
    Registered User teacupnosaucer's Avatar
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    It sounds like you've given this a lot of thought and are ready to make the decision.

    I just wanted to say I totally sympathise with you on the "always on a diet" feeling. I'm not yet out of my twenties, but it's really depressing to me to think "I've been on a diet since as long as I can remember," which is the case for me too.

    Good luck to you and your wife!

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    Registered User pb52's Avatar
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    Good for you! You are the only one that knows what the right decision is for you and it can be tough, especially when what you decide goes against your earlier beliefs. Good luck.

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    Registered User Hopenfaith76's Avatar
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    I say go for it. If I had the insurance to approve of it I would do it too. I'm trying to loose the weight the hard way with discipline and its bomber. Good luck to you and yours and me too.

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    Registered User misskellyk's Avatar
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    I think you've made a well-informed decision for yourself! Good luck! I can't wait to hear more about your journey. I wish you all the best!
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    Registered User JulieofDenial's Avatar
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    Like I said if it is reducing symptoms you are worried about you will see an improvement. Here's the article I talked about before:

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/ASMBS/27131

  10. #9
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    Sounds like you have done your homework, and only you know what is best for you. Don't let anyone try to sway your decision! I can't wait to follow your journey, as I have contemplated WLS myself! Please keep us updated and best of luck to you
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  11. #10
    Registered User TellaKelly's Avatar
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    I was a skinny child and adolescent, but I developed PCOS (poly-cystic ovary syndrome) in my early 20s. The endocrine complications were pretty horrifying (unwanted hair growth on my chin, thinning hair on top, acne, irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, etc) but the gradual weight gain was the worst. I put on an average of 10# a year for 20 years. The weight gain simply exacerbated the other symptoms. It became an awful spiral that didn't seem to improve no matter what I did -- so I gave up.

    My younger sister also had PCOS but her weight gain was far more dramatic -- she had developed bulemia in her struggles with her weight as a teenager. She ended up having the RnY when she was 25 and 350#, back in 1995. She experienced the rapid, drastic weight loss most bypass patients do, and embarked on an amazing new life. Unfortunately, she never really tackled her eating disorder and was terrible about keeping up with her nutritional needs. After 10 years she was malnourished and developed severe pancreatitis. The changes to her GI tract made things difficult. Two pancreatic surgeries were aborted and a third was successful only after instruments were re-designed to handle the changes the RnY had made. She died after two years of agony, in 2008.

    6 months before she died, my sister told me about the Lap Band and begged me to consider it. She said she would have chosen it over the Bypass if it had been an option at the time, but regardless, she didn't have any regrets over having bariatric surgery -- she figured it had saved her life. I did the research, liked what I learned, and initiated the process of having lap band surgery. I was banded 7 months after my sister died.

    While I didn't have an eating disorder per se, I am a sensualist-foodie type who turned to food for comfort when I gave up on fighting PCOS, so recognized that I had to change my relationship with food if I was going to lose weight using the Band, which does not have the added oomph of mal-absorbtion to speed weight loss. My surgeon had told me that bariatric surgery was the only real hope for PCOS patients, but even so, due to all the excess hormones floating around in my system, weight loss was going to be much slower for me than for the average bariatric patient.

    It's been 4 years, and I've lost 130#, or 75% of my excess weight. It was very slow going at first, but I didn't give up, and year-over-year I've lost more weight. I expect to take off the last 35# to 50# in the coming year. The best part about the weight loss is that my PCOS symptoms have improved dramatically. My infertility suddenly reversed and I woke up pregnant at age 43. The unwanted hair growth is less obvious, my menstrual cycle is almost normal, the acne non-existent. My skin is soft and smooth.

    I'm living a life that I love, and I owe much of it to the hope that the Lap-Band gave me. It isn't a magic pill that gave me a new body a year later, but it is a tool I've learned to use to control portion sizes and keep me on track. If I'm lucky, the Band will be with me for the rest of my life. If I'm unlucky and experience gastro-intestinal issues like my sister did, I'm grateful to know that the Band can be removed and my GI tract returned to its normal architecture with little drama or trauma.

  12. #11
    Registered User jesslamb23's Avatar
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    I could never afford LBS or GB...wish I could. Ive gained a LOT of weight from PCOS, so frustrating

  13. #12
    Registered User ChelleLynn97's Avatar
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    I too am an RN and had Lap gastric Bypass in May 2012. My hospital requires a 6 month wellness program prior to surgery . This program taught us the importance of proper nutrition and exercise. The surgery is only a tool! I've been blessed in that I've have no complications at all from surgery. It was the best decision I ever made for myself. My periods are now regular now 32 days down from 60+, I no longer take Bp meds, off metformin, I now only take synthroid for my hypothyroism and of course my vitamins and supplements. I started my journey at 321 lbs and now I'm 219. I can wear non plus size clothes and love to exercise and hope to run a 5k sometime this year! Good luck!
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  14. #13
    Registered User MrsMandolin's Avatar
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    I'm schedule for surgery Wednesday January 16. I too am having gastric bypass. I'm nervous because of all the potential complications but living with PCOS for over ten years has made my decision easier. Good luck on your journey!

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    Registered User Just_Kelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsMandolin View Post
    I'm schedule for surgery Wednesday January 16. I too am having gastric bypass. I'm nervous because of all the potential complications but living with PCOS for over ten years has made my decision easier. Good luck on your journey!
    Good luck Mrs. Mandolin!

  16. #15
    Registered User Via the Navy's Avatar
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    Good luck!!
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