For those of you who don’t know, it’s coming up on 11 years that I had my roux-n-y gastric bypass surgery.
As the anniversary of my surgery approaches, I’m reminded of just how much I’ve been through in these past 11 years. It was no easy road. The surgeon who did my surgery had his license revoked only 5 short years after he operated on me. For malpractice, negligence and the deaths of 13 other patients. I myself had been in and out of the hospital for various complications with my electrolytes, Iron, B-12 and protein deficiencies. I had lost half of my hair and I was always sick. Throwing up, experiencing “dumping syndrome” and depression all became part of my day to day life.
“Was this the cost I would pay to be thin??”
“Why did I do this to myself?”
“Will I EVER feel good again?”
The answer to that last question was yes. It just wouldn’t come for a really long time and it wouldn’t be in any way that I EVER thought.
Every time I went to the doctor in the high desert it seemed I was the one educating them on gastric bypass surgery. No one seemed to know as much as I did and that was only because I was searching day and night for information to “make me well” again. Nobody could give me answers as to WHAT I should be eating or WHAT I should be supplementing or WHY I was so sick all of the time with no energy. When I did go to see a “nutritionist” she told me that I needed to just eat meat, cheese and eggs until I got to my desired goal weight!! Does that sound right to anyone?? OK, anyone who’s NOT on the Atkins Diet???
No one EVER told me that over the counter vitamins would never be absorbed by a gastric bypass patient.
No one had EVER told me that I needed to supplement protein everyday.
No one EVER told me that I probably wouldn’t be able to tolerate dairy anymore.
That was until I went to Kaiser.
7 years after my struggle had began.
From the moment I met my primary care doctor I knew that he knew his stuff. He knew what to test me for in my blood work and he sent me straight away to a nutritionist who knew all about gastric bypass surgery.
She referred me to an online company who made vitamins and protein JUST for people who had had this surgery as well as told me that now that I can consume normal amounts of food the huge emphasis on protein was no longer as important. Getting on the proper vitamins and taking in the right protein DID make a big difference…but even after all of this I struggled with getting my lab work within a normal range.
For years, prior to Kaiser and after Kaiser, I went to the doctor to get lab work done. We’re talking every 6 months. And every single time there was SOMETHING deficient. Be it my iron, B-12, protein, hypoglycemia, Vitamin D…you name it! I would always be so hopeful going to see my doctor. Maybe THIS time would be the time that I would be “normal”. Maybe THIS time I wouldn’t need a prescription to fix something.
Well, I’m proud to say that THIS time WAS that time!
It’s been 6 months since our family went Vegan. I knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do but now I just feel so justified! I can’t tell you how good it feels to see your lab results come back in a normal range!
EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
For the FIRST time without prescriptions my protein levels are great, my iron is perfect, my B-12 is totally normal and my Vitamin D is right on the money!
I attribute all of this to our diet. That is the only significant change that I’ve made in all my years post-op. And you know something, I’m not afraid to say it but had I been living this way all along, I would have NEVER needed that surgery. I had to learn the hard way that there is NO WAY around eating right and exercising. That there is so much more to what goes in your body then just the calories that’s in it.
I’m so grateful that I’m where I am today and not dead. I know that I was meant to share this journey with all of you so that you can not only thirst for change in your own lives but plant the seeds of change in other peoples lives as well. Praise God for his beautiful design. Even at our worst, He’s got something lined up that will reveal our best.