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Monday, September 25, 2017

Weight Loss Surgery

So I've decided to write about a decision that I've recently made to have weight loss surgery. I figured that if you're reading still my blog, you have probably been on this journey with me for a while. And since the "following" on THIS blog is quite small, hopefully this is a safe place to share.

I've toyed with the idea of WLS for years, but never seriously considered it because it's SO expensive and my insurance won't touch it. In January 2016, Clyde and I talked about it and he said he would help me try to get it financed. But I found keto and had pretty good success with it.

But as of last week, I've re-gained 35 lbs and am dangerously close to 300 lbs again. I'm struggling so hard with binge-eating and emotional eating this year for reasons I'm fully aware of and don't really care to share at this point. Just know that there HAVE been issues that I've been using food to cope with. Bottom line is that at age 41, I'm sick of this shit. The constant roller coaster of diets and weight loss. The neverending battle with food. I'm ready to move on to a phase in my life where I can actually reach a body weight that I can live with the rest of my life.

So I started re-thinking WLS. Not as a cure to my battle, but another tool in my arsenal. I know I will still have to work on the emotional and mental aspects of this journey, but I'm hoping WLS will be a tool that can help me with the physical journey along the way. I know so many people that have used this tool to get their life back.

I want my life back.

So after weeks of research, I've decided to go with the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG).

This surgery actually reduces the size of your stomach so that it's about 20% of it's original size. It also removes the part of the stomach that produces ghrelin (hunger hormone). You don't get the "dumping" you get with other surgeries, either. So you're pretty free to eat what you want, just tiny portions. This surgery also works well with the ketogenic diet, which I plan to continue after surgery.

Now, the other think about this decision to have the surgery is the part concerning WHERE I will have it done. Since I'm not interested in financing close to $30,000 in debt for this surgery, I've decided I will travel to Mexico to have it done. Medical tourism is a real thing that I've JUST learned about. Thousands of people travel over the US border for weight loss surgery each year. It's safe, it's common, and after researching it I feel totally comfortable (and excited!) about this choice.

So, basically I will travel to San Diego, CA and cross the border into Tijuana, MX. Although I haven't decided on a clinic just yet (there are about 3 I'm looking into), the procedure for each is pretty much the same. You fly into San Diego, someone from the clinic picks you up and transports you across the border to a hotel. The next morning, you check into a Mexican hospital for your pre-op and surgery. After 2 nights in the hospital, you spend one more night in a hotel before traveling back to San Diego to fly home.

ALLLLL of this for $4000-5000 plus the cost of airfare. Most surgical packages are all-inclusive, meaning that everything is included for that price... hotel, transportation, surgery, medicine... everything. My plan is to save up the money because I don't want to accumulate any debt for it. My goal is to have it done in June when school is out. That will give me plenty of time to prepare and work on the MENTAL aspect of this journey. And also keep trying to clean up my diet and get out of this cycle where the sugar binges de-rail me. Because I'm fully aware that if I don't, surgery can't help me.

So, I'm very excited. Even though it's still a long way off, just the prospect of WLS seems like a light at the end of a very long tunnel. Even if I lose a significant amount of weight between now and June, I will still have this surgery. I believe it will only help me long term. I can only dream of a future where I'm living in a healthy, fit body where good obsession and diets are only a memory. I'm ready for the next phase of my life, where I start LIVING instead of just existing.