March 5, 2009: Grandy takes this picture...reluctantly...while on the phone...to show progress made throughout the year.
Looking at these, it's hard to believe either one is me. I never really saw that person in the top picture and I don't yet see the person yet to be in the bottom.
On March 6, 2008, Grandy had Gastric Bypass surgery. I know you all know that I had a "surgery" back in March last year, but I never really shared with everyone WHAT the surgery was. There are so many opinions out there about the surgery, and the reasons people have them, that I didn't want people making assumptions about me or my reasons while I was going through the process.
First things first, Grandy's weight did not qualify her for the surgery by itself. In looking at the picture, I don't see how that is possible, but it is true. It was the fact that my diabetes was heading off the chart, my heart rate was out of control, blood pressure couldn't get down, and I was pretty much headed to even bigger issues. Despite gym attempts and re-hashing dietary needs over and over and over, Grandy was taking 13 medications per day (200 units of insulin was just the start). Those medications were taking a toll on my system.
The GP had mentioned the surgery to me for a couple years, but each time I would get ticked at the mere mention that I was even large enough. I'm not 100 lbs. overweight DANG IT! He would always come back with, "You don't have to be. You just have to be over 40% body mass index. Clearly you are." ASS
So Grandy tried other ways: Weight Watchers, Atkins, Exercising, Weight Watchers again, you name it. Slowly her weight would fall, rise, fall further, rise higher. All the while, no matter what she did, her blood sugars never balanced out.
In April 2007 Grandy applied to go on "The Biggest Loser". At that time my weight was 226. It was enlightening to even go through the application process (to say the least). I cried as I truthfully answered all the questions. When it came to filling out my health history, it broke my heart. I was now turning 35 and did not see the possibility of me seeing the light of 40.
From that moment I decided it was time for me to take charge of my destiny. I had an overwhelming sense of needing to fight. I broke my back and almost died at 23, I had a stroke at 28, and the writing was on the wall. Must.Overcome. When I wasn't accepted onto the show, I had my "Plan B" in place.
Unfortunately, my body decided to start the implosion, and the doctor put me on my MIS (Medically Induced Sabatical). "I'm going to put you on permanent disability," he told me. I had to do something. Nothing was working.
In November 2007 I met with the surgeon. My weight was 209 (my efforts were slightly paying off) but my insulin needs continued to climb. He told me to STOP going to the gym, and don't lose any more. He worried my weight would drop me too low and the carrier would not qualify it. I had all the other CO-MORBIDITY factors required for the carrier to approve it, why miss out for 5 more pounds?
I started going to a support group (and was looked at funny when some of the patients realized I wasn't an "after" patient) and continued to go every month. I made changes to my diet ahead of time so it wouldn't be too hard after (no more carbonated soda).
One year ago today I took the big step. I had my big surgery. My weight the day of the surgery was 201. My morning blood sugars were 407. Today my weight is 145, and my morning blood sugars are 130. My 200 units of insulin is down to 15. All the other medications I was on have been replaced by vitamin supplements.
In September they discovered a complication (something that only happens in 2% of all gastric bypass patients) and in October I had a "re-do" corrective surgery. Man did that suck. I made it through though, as you all know.
For those of you that think that I took the easy way out, please keep in mind that today I have paperwork that outlines my prospective retirement date of 2037. Try and imagine how it feels to actually believe I might see that day sometime, when before I never thought you would see 2012.
It's very exciting people, I assure you!!