On a personal note:  some of you know that I am scheduled for gastric bypass surgery February 8.  It represents a big change in my life that I’m sure I’ll be processing (and likely blogging) for some time to come.  This is a decision that has been hard.  It has been a long time coming.  And I’m fairly confident that I’m making the right (or anyway, a right) decision.  Because it seemed to me I had a couple of arguably good options (having or not having the surgery).  That’s part of why it was a hard decision.

I have probably lost a good 30 pound in the last year.  And, for the first time, I was both eating a relatively healthy diet and not hungry  all the time while I did this.  I have made some modest beginnings to working a bit of exercise into my life too.  So I was fairly confident I could keep losing (and keep off) a good bit more weight.  And I think I’m in the category of overweight now where I qualify for this surgery because I am a diabetic.

But that’s why I made the decision I did.  I am diabetic.  I’m pretty close to having to go on insulin.  Lower weight in the past (and good blood sugars) have not really seemed to slow the progression of the disease.  And this surgery, even before weight loss, has a good chance of getting me off of all medication for my diabetes almost immediately.  No guarantees, mind you.  But a very good chance.  Plus quicker weight loss — and maybe more weight loss.  So it seems worth doing.

My wife and my doctor are convinced I will live a longer, healthier life with the surgery.  And I think most likely they are right.  Some people do die with any surgery involving anesthesia.  And there are a lot of possible complications.  But overall, this is a pretty safe surgery.  Not everyone gets off their diabetes medications.  But my odds are good.  Not everyone keeps their weight off.  But most people do.  I’m not likely to be svelt.  But my clothing sizes are likely to change.  There are prospects for a number of health benefits.

There are also going to be permanent food and drink changes I didn’t really want to make.  I won’t be able to drink the quantities of water I’m used to drinking all at one time anymore.  Five grams of sugar or fat may make me feel so ill I’ll wish I were dead, because of something called dumping syndrom.  Carbonated beverages are out.  Alcoholic beverages might be out for good.  I’m going to have to practice mindful eating (which may be good for me), paying real attention to each and every bite I eat, probably chewing every single bite about 20 times.  And they tell me my bite size is going to be that of a pencil eraser.  My meal size is going to be tiny.

I know that most people who have this surgery are happy they did.  And, although I don’t really want to make some of these changes, I’m confident I can — partly because I have a wife who I know will support me in this change.  And, when you are talking a flip side of being a lot healthier long term (and likely living both better and longer), it seems to me that this will be worth the tradeoff.

Anyway, we have what is termed our pre surgery “family visit” this Thursday.  Things will start to be planned out in detail for what will happen before and after surgery.  So this is something, baring the completely unexpected, that is happening.  There is other change going on in my life right now that does make this more stressful.  But on the whole, I’m relatively calm about the surgery.  At least for now.  I’m sure my anxiety will be pretty high by the morning of the surgery.  But I’m also getting to the point where I want this to happen and am actually looking forward to being on the other side.  Six months ago that would not have been true.

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