Okay, it’s it a new year and time for the resolutions and followup. Many of us will resolve to reduce our weight. In September of 2014, I did. As of 1 January 2016, I’m 92.5 pounds reduced (not lost because that implies I’ll fimd them again and I don’t want to ever find them again.) My goal is to get rid of another 60 pounds for a total of 150 pounds and I may go further. I don’t know. One step at a time.
Suffice to say, I was heavy! I am five foot, six inches tall and I was 318 pounds. That didn’t seem much until I finally looked at myself honestly and came to the realization that I was FAT! I was OBESE.
Want to know what made me snap into reality and stop ignoring my situation? I needed help with everything event putting on my shoes. In fact, I couldn’t see my feet. I hadn’t seen them in a few years! I hated being so helpless.
Looking back, the weight gain was gradual. I remember 15 years ago, about 1999, my weight was creeping up. I was 170, then 190, then over 200 by the year 2000. Somewhere between 2000 and 2014, I added another 115 or so pounds (if you can believe that). Somewhere along the way, I went past the three hundred pound point. I honestly don’t know when.
Just as my CKD went from one to four, my weight increased because I had no energy to do anything. My son who was living with me at the time thought I was lazy. I wasn’t lazy. I was working eight to ten hours a day, driving 90 minutes in heavy traffic to and from work, cooking dinner, and collapsing into bed only to do that five days a week. Come the weekend, I slept and rested so I had the energy to repeat that same grueling process. Frankly, I only had enough energy to eat.
Some weight gain may have been after I started dialysis because I recall my “dry weight” going from 129 kilos (283lbs) to a “wet weight” of 145 kilos (319lbs). Frankly, I was in denial and I didn’t pay enough attention. I just wanted to get hooked up and get out. I was far too busy to think clearly about it. However, during this time I did think about doing something because a friend at work subtly encouraged me. At his suggestion, I looked into it but my insurance wouldn’t cover bariatric surgery in spite of the fact I needed it badly. I even considered paying for it myself but I didn’t have the ten thousand dollars ($10,000)! Also, at that time, in order to qualify for the surgery, you had to jump through more loops such as lose 40 pounds. Dang! If I could lose 40 pounds I wouldn’t need the surgery, right?
It took a while for me to recover some energy but instead of benefiting from that, I began cooking and… wait for it…. eating! I believe I put on another 20 kilos. However, I was eating more of a kidney-friendly diet, if that is a good enough reason. By 2014, I was going in at 140 to 143 kilos and coming out at 137 or so kilos. I was stressing my body with all the weight and the fluid weight. Another few years like that and I probably wouldn’t survive or I’d be in really bad shape.
Rather than face the reality of extreme weight I chose to start accommodating that “disability” and the eventuality that I would end up in a wheelchair because I wouldn’t be able to walk due to the fat. (You can imagine the courage it took to face this reality. It’s so much easier to just ignore it and make accommodations.)
This is the end of Part One. I will complete this as a Two or Three Part series because I have much too write about WHY weight loss is important to me and may be to other dialysis patients. I’ll provide some information about the bariatric surgery options and I will also explain why I chose the one I did. I’ll detail what I went through with my lapband, There’s a lot to tell. So, if you have a weight issue or know someone with it, you’ll want to read the next parts. I should have Part Two completed in the next few days.