The beginning of losing control - The free gastric sleeve

Fast forward a few years…I’m getting acid reflux and I didn’t know why. Going to the doctor and a test later, the explanation for the condition is that I’m so overweight that tests reveal my stomach is now herniated. Part of it is above my diaphragm and part of it is below where it belongs. So, when I do eat, I get full quickly. Oh JOY – a free gastric sleeve! Except for the acid reflux occasionally. No more carbonated drinks for me. But seriously this is not healthy and confirms that I’m on a one-way track to MORE not so good things happening in my body beyond my control. I’m maintaining weight at about 220 pounds now and climbing. Yikes! It just keeps climbing. I’m boarderline diabetic, and my blood pressure is boarder line, too.


Changing My Doctor

My doc retires, so it’s time to find a new doc who will ask more questions, look for the source of issues and not just treat symptoms. I’m maturing and realizing that my doctor is only as good as they are curious…and that I can advocate for my own care.


Enter the new doc. She begins by evaluating my blood labs and current medications. I’m back to working full-time in a much less stressful arena, still sedentary, still borderline on high blood pressure and diabetes. I tell her I feel full quickly because of the herniated stomach, I really don’t eat much, I don’t drink sodas at all. Honestly, I forget to eat because I am so focused on my tasks at work that hours go by before I realize I’ve missed a meal. I drink a lot of water or unsweet tea most of the time and chew a lot of sugar free gum. The needle on the scale will not budge! I’m not active on any level though. There is no energy for that. When I clean my house, my hips hurt to the point I can hardly walk for a day afterwards. I’m carrying 230 pounds now…and climbing!


The new doc says, “How long since your last cycle?“


Over 5 years.


“And, have you had your hormones tested?”


Ummm, people DO that?


“Do you have hot flashes?”


Yup.


“Do you feel like you have no energy?”


How did you know?


“What about mood swings?”


Oh, let me tell you! (No never mind that.)


“Let’s get you tested,” she says.


So, I spit in a different tube at all hours of the day and night then ship it off with a $400 check for evaluation because insurance doesn’t cover it. But hey, it’s all in the name of getting answers...I’m on board whatever-it-takes! I’ve been to enough doc check-ups with older family members to know I do NOT want to have co-morbidities.


Results come back, the doc adds hormones to my routine and keeps me on a low dose of high blood pressure meds (just to be safe) because that’s boarder-line too. Now I can say WOW. A good night’s sleep, no fighting with sweating and chills all night long plus energy to spare. Time to tackle this weight loss again.


Then, Covid.

Sure, we all gained something...but thankfully I was able to maintain 230 pounds. Why am I happy about that – because I didn’t gain any MORE! This is ridiculous!!! I go to renew the hormone meds a year later, and oh, and by the way, my doc passed away so they can’t be renewed!


Seriously, she was not that old – I have no idea what happened. I’m sad for her family and my connection to a doc that I thought understood my body SO well.


I thought I was back to square one. Well maybe 1.5 because at least I got the hormones part figured out. I met the nurse practitioner at a new office and jump through the hoops to get meds and hormones refilled as a new patient. Whew! Back to normal for the moment.


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