Friday, October 05, 2007


I've been going back and forth about whether or not to talk publicly about this, but I've decided it's easier (and better) to talk about it, get it out there, and not have to avoid any questions.

Six months ago, my doctor had a conversation with me asking how Weight Watchers was going. I told her I was frustrated because no matter how hard I tried, I always ended up falling off the wagon and kept going back and forth with the same ten pounds. She looked at me and said, "Taunia, I think it might be time for you to consider weight loss surgery."

WOW. My immediate reaction was quite strong. HELL NO. I had been an (uninformed) opponent of the surgery and quite vocal about my opposition, so I very strongly resisted. The problem is, I simply cannot do this myself.

I take after my dad's side of the family. Everyone is built exactly like me: big on top, small legs, big boobs. And everyone on my dad's side of the family also dies of a heart attack in their 50's. If they're lucky enough to escape the long line of heart disease, they get diabetes. My grandparents were diabetic, and now my dad has diabetes. I'm staring a ticking timebomb in the face.

At 25, my weight didn't really affect my health or energy. At 35, I feel it every day. I'm always tired. I wake up and every part of my body hurts for a good 5 minutes in the morning. I can't cross my legs. I *want* to exercize and be active, but my body limits me. I have Polycystic Ovary Disease because of my weight. I now have GAUT because of my weight. This is a problem that I cannot ignore anymore, and as much as I hate to admit it, I need this surgery. And when your doctor is suggesting it to you - it's a big wake-up call that you are someone who needs to think about it.

It's embarassing to admit that you're out of control and need help. I used to say this surgery was a "quick fix" for people, but always left the caveat that there were some people who needed the surgery because they had a quality of life issue. I just didn't realize I was one of them.

So after lots, and lots, and lots of reading, research and talking with people who have had the surgery, I've decided to it. I feel like it's the most responsible thing I can do for my life and my body. I've tried for 35 years to do it myself. I've been fat my entire life. 10 years ago, this choice would have been for vanity reasons. Now, it's so that I can avoid heart disease and diabetes and take back my life.

I'm embarassed that I used to be so vocally opposing when I was just so uninformed, and I sometimes feel like a hypocrite for making this decision. But honestly, it's the most responsible decision I can make. And 99% of the people I've told have been 100% supportive of my decision. And for the other 1%, they may not agree with the decision, but they support me because they love me.

I found an amazing website called obesityhelp.com which has TONS of information, before and after photos, doctor and hospital reviews, and also profiles of patients. I've created a profile, and there's a blog area on there. If you're interested in reading about my progress through all the appointements, etc, or just generally how I'm feeling about things, that's the place to go:

I probably won't post much here about it until I actually go in for surgery (looks like January-ish), but I'll leave a link over on the left so you can pop in and check my OH profile blog.

Everything is in the very early beginning stages. I still need to be approved and accepted by the surgeon, and I need to be approved by my health insurance (which looks very likely).

So there it is. I'm public about it. And terrified. And excited. About LIVING.

Posted by Taunia @ 6:45 AM

Read or Post a Comment

PCOS isn't caused by weight, it's quite the opposite. Trouble losing weight, and craving sugar because of the insulin resistance causes weight gain. If you treat the insulin, very often the weight just falls off. I've lost over 100 lbs doing nothing but taking my meds :)

As far as weight loss surgery, I'm not going into that one. If you don't want to enjoy food the rest of your life go for it :) I would suggest reading melting mama's blog. She's fantastic, and doesn't sugar coat everything. It's scary what happens to your body when it's forced into anorexia. So I hope you explored treating the PCOS before you decided on surgery :) Good luck!

Posted by Blogger r @ 9:24 AM #

I'm not really sure how I can say that I've done tons of research and tried EVERYTHING in a way that people understand.

I've been on insulin for 5 years. I'm happy for you that you've lost the weight doing nothing but taking your medications - but I think that's rare. And obviously in my case, did not work even when combined with diet and exercize. But congratulations, and I mean that sincerely. I wish insulin had the same effect on me.

I'm curious where you're getting your PCO information from, though? "PCOS isn't caused by weight, it's quite the opposite. " The Federal Government, The PCO Association, The Mayo Clinic, and many other numerous health organizations have official statements: "The cause of PCO is unknown." While they do recognize the role that excess insulin plays in PCO, no one is clear whether PCO causes weight gain, or if weight gain causes PCO.

But beyond that, PCO is NOT the reason I've decided that have the surgery. I'm well aware of the possible complications and risks, but compartively, I'm also looking at the possible risk and complications of heart disease and diabetes in as little as 15 years.

My choice was not made lightly, and it took me 6 months to make the decision after doing very large amounts of research and reading. And quite frankly, I *don't* want to enjoy food for the rest of my life. Enjoying food has put me in the position I'm in now. Food is like a drug, and I'm doing what I need to do to save my own life. I need to eat to live, not live to eat.

I would be interested in reading her blog though if you could provide the link.


Posted by Blogger Taunia @ 10:00 AM #

I said:

"I have Polycystic Ovary Disease because of my weight."

Then I said to R:

"I'm curious where you're getting your PCO information from, though?"

I'm a dick. I made a blanket statement and then called you out on your comment, R, when I had done the same thing. Sorry for being a douche. :)

Posted by Blogger Taunia @ 2:33 PM #

Hi, I wasn't ignoring your question, my Internet was down for 5 days!! I know I sounded harsh in what I wrote, I honestly didn't meant to...more worried is what I meant. I think everyone should make their own decisions, it just worries me that someone might go into WLS and then come out the other end being irreparably damaged. I realize it's a VERY personal decision.

Her blog is: http://meltingmama.typepad.com/wls/
Or you could probably just google her.

As for the weight part of PCOS I got that from my endocrinologist mostly, but yes, I've read it other places. I think upwards of 25% of women with PCOS are normal weight, so it's pretty obvious that it isn't caused by weight. I think my doctor even said that although weight gain often happens with PCOS, it isn't a requisite of it, and it isn't a response to it.

Anyhoo, I wasn't trying to make you feel bad or anything, just from what I've read about WLS, it's just forced starvation, which I don't believe is good for anyone. I wasn't saying you should or shouldn't, that's up to you, I just meant that I hope you know what you're getting into! I'm betting many people who do know what they're getting into and do it anyway!

On the other side of things, why are you taking insulin for PCOS? I'd never heard of that. I had heard of doctors treating PCOS as though one has diabetes which is wrong. Or maybe you said you had diabetes? Now I can't remember!! Anyway I think the PCOS medicine works totally different from insulin. I think it helps your body to regulate its insulin.

But anyhoo, good luck! I hope I didn't sound harsh, I honestly didn't mean to. Surgery is just scary in general, and this one especially is I think!

Posted by Blogger r @ 4:17 PM #
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