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Diary Health

Weight loss surgery

I’ve been a candidate for weight loss surgery for years, but due to various circumstances and my own reticence, I haven’t pursued it seriously until now. You’d think I might have done something about it in 2007, when I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and sleep apnea; but I lost just enough weight on my own to help my heart recover, and I sleep with a CPAP machine, and I got used to that state of being and didn’t worry about anything else. Even when, last year, I was told I could go blind if I didn’t lose weight, I didn’t immediately begin preparations for surgery. I talked about it a lot more, sure, but I didn’t actually do anything.

Now I’ve been to another neurologist, and he was very insistent that I lose weight, that I do whatever I have to do to lose it now, because I will go blind, and I don’t want to have shunts surgically installed in my head as a stop-gap measure that probably won’t work anyway.

So I’m doing it now. I’ll be heading out of state for the procedure. I was looking into a doctor near me, but many circumstances have changed and I’ll go to a place where I’ll be surrounded by family. It could happen very soon; I should know exactly when here in the next few days.

Right now I’m working on the ten-page questionnaire the bariatric surgeon’s office sent over. It’s slow going. I’ve partially filled out paperwork like this before, so I have some of the material I need already, but I’m stumped on questions like “When did you first become obese?” and “What did you weigh 10 years ago?”

I’ve kept track of my weight in various ways since the mid 2000’s–I didn’t have a scale until 2004–but the time before that is virtually a blank. I didn’t really start my blog until 2002, and I didn’t talk about my weight in the beginning. Back then, there were no smartphones with apps to track personal data; I didn’t even have a cell phone. Any paper records I might have had were destroyed in the apartment fire in 2005. I do know about how much I weighed in my teens thanks to some diary entries I transcribed to this blog before the fire. But that doesn’t help me with 2001, alas.

I know I was 150 by my junior year, and after I quit kung fu I ballooned. I think I may have passed the 200 mark my first year of college, but I’m not sure. The next year, I lost a lot of weight due to chemotherapy, and I managed to stay around 150 through 1999 thanks to the Atkins diet. When I stopped doing that due to misguided concerns about my kidney function, though, I ballooned again. Looking at pictures from 2000 on, I can see that I gained weight steadily thereafter. I suppose I’ll just have to find my earliest recorded weight and guesstimate, assuming a steady rate of weight gain. (I wonder if I went to any doctors in 2001? Maybe my weight for that year is recorded in my medical records somewhere…)

As for the question of when I first became obese, that would be whenever I hit about 170 lbs the first time. I’m sure that was before the leukemia, but again, I have no information from the 90s other than that I was 150 in 1992. I suppose if I had my weight at time of admission for cancer, I could guesstimate that answer as well.

Maybe I’ll try to call about my medical records in the morning. For now, I’ll check out more of the forms…then head to bed.