Jump in, sit down, BUCKLE UP! The story of my life and BWL surgery get pretty bumpy at times! Hoping to encourage, inspire, and give hope to all, that seek this journey, to a healthier you, and better quality of life! Here goes!
I’ve always battled the bulge, on and off heavy all through my life starting with the teen years. My weight was fueled by the fact that I was being physically and emotionally abused by my first of two “Step-Fathers”. For 10 long years my Mother endured this man. His: Anger, Rage, Emotional and (not to sure about any physical) aspect with my Mother).
It wasn’t all bad memories. I do remember times of happiness, with going to Disneyland, on a fishing barge 30 miles off the coast of Baja- CA, and I caught a huge 32 pound Yellow Fin Tuna, we were using live small white squid, and anchovies for bait. He did spend some time with my older Brother (Anthony) and I. But as the time went on in my Moms relationship with him, things began to change with him mentally. He would instead of: Mentor, Counsel, Educate, my older Brother as to the dealings with drugs and alcohol, he chose to : Yell at, Belittle, and emotionally and physically beat him. I was the recipient also of this type of abuse, however not to the extent my Brother was subjected.
It hurt me deeply not only seeing my Stepfather do this to my older Brother, more so it was tearing me up emotionally to see my Mother cry, doing her best to defend us from his wraith, which seemed to escalate as time marched forward. (I remember being kicked by him with his boots on) it all came to an end with this man when at 0130, he and my Mother came home from a function, and he became enraged as to the mere fact we had our stereo on for “white noise” to help us sleep. We were woke up to his yelling obscenities and actually ramming is fists, down on our stereo, destroying it! What a way to wake up! I was 12, Anthony was 14ish?…my Sister 2!
He then proceeded to FLIP OUT! He told me to get the four dogs we had and put them in the living room, and it was my job to tell them that Revelations had begun! He then began to preach that :The End was near, and as soon as he was done with his writing of the 3rd book of James into the Bible, Revelations would proceed (as stated in the King James Version of the Bible). Didn’t know I could communicate with canines, but okay!
It was my Brother Anthony’s task to take a trash can and place in the direct center of our front yard. proving (as soon as it began raining hail the size of snow balls), as one of the signs of the coming of the end of Earth (as written in Revelations in the Bible) not a cloud in the sky!, also,to go get our across the street neighbors up, to witness this fantastic display! Mind you it was 0200-0230 in the morning, and not a cloud in the sky…Needless to say our neighbor Bob Kumpe, asked my Mother if he was whacked out on drugs. We were terrified! They went back to their house.
My Mother tried to call my Uncle (her Brother a Police officer in the next city over), Who simply stated to call the local authorities. If he were to come over, that might have had a very fatal ending! I had a baseball at the ready and Anthony a home made pair of nun-chucks. We were prepared to neutralize him, should he harm any of us!
Anyway the local cops show, De-escalated the situation, and I scooped up my Sister (Jamie) and we left to seek refuge on the next street over at my friend Toms house. My friends Dad (Mark) slept in a chair, in front of the front door with a gun on his chest at the ready. My Step-Father, had weapons as well being an avid hunter.
So the next morning this LUNATIC Shows up at my friends house with a can of gas and a lighter! And proceeds to tell my friends dad, that “if we didn’t get our assess back to the house, He told my Mother she would watch as he killed us three kids, and then she would get it”! At that point my friends Dad Marc almost shot him right there!
This guy proceeded in the next few days to refer to himself as the “Lone Ranger” passing out silver bullets to people. And also to some referring to himself as a “Texas Ranger”, (which was total BS, as he was a felon! Come to find out at age 17 he attempted to arm rob a gas station. We ended up moving away from everything I knew , losing all my best friends, uprooted from school, and our lives! I ended up attending 4 different High Schools! And managed to somehow graduate! As with the 2nd step dad…Instant Ashlie, just add alcohol! We moved away from CA to NM. I was 17 at the time. At 17 1/2 I joined the military. I had become yo-yo terms of weight, as I was would lose the weight, then finding it again through stress and depression eating. Looking for that comfort and escape from the pain of the physical and sexual abuse?, being strong armed for my lunch money daily, and threatened if I told, more Physical violence, at the hands of my older Brother as well!
I medicated with food, and the “battle of the bulge”, and the up and down weight gain/loss ensued. I lost 35 pounds in 2 months with Boot Camp! Thanks to forced food and physical discipline. But my head still wasn’t right in terms of healthy eating.
Years of emotional and physical abuse from both my older Brother (deceased 13 years/justifiable homicide by the wife of his three kids) over Methamphentimines! And my Mothers poor choice on life’s partners. My father passed away at 27, from exposure and hypothermia after a car crash in Alaska. (I was 6) My parents had been separated since about age 3, the years of sexual, physical, and mental/ emotional abuse at the hands of my older Brother as well…toss in three marriages gone bad ending in divorce…I medicated with food and alcohol, and many illicit drugs back in my 20-30s to drown out the pain and memories. Counseling has helped along with the undying support of my wife! (She was sent to me to save my life, and has done so)…
So the “Big 50 year rolls on!”. Did you catch that? Yeah I Love watching “Cash Cab”. Anyway… I’ve reached my goal as far as weight loss! 150 lost forever, I went from 328lbs to (now 183 pounds this morning) and gone for good! In (81/2-9)months time! I fluctuate between 180-190 pounds. It is a new challenge for myself to get in the needed caloric intake, to maintain my weight! Seems so odd to say that! “You need to eat more”! Then the grouch pouch is like, “hey fool settle down turbo”! I also have days that I can eat things like a steak tonight, when turkey slices blocked my pouch, got me a bit de-hydrated, and dropped my blood sugar. There will be difficult days, but the triumphs have outnumbered the tragedies. DONT GIVE UP, STAY POSITIVE! Anyway…I (along with my: life’s partner, best friend, and wife at my side), we started both our WLS journeys to take back our health/lives mine began 9/19/16..328 lbs! Hers began in December or ’16. She’s lost like 108 pounds! Time/age and the associated negative physical impact began to really take its toll. I found myself at 45 years old receiving steroid/lidocaine injections several times to my right knee! I have left shoulder pain from a previous injury. Four herniated discs in my neck that create havoc, pulling muscles in my neck, back and shoulders causing muscle knots in my neck, along with horrendous headaches…. if that wasn’t bad enough, my Diabetes and Hypertension way out of control on the highest doses of medication allowed, and still out of control! Having to use C-Pap as my O2 Satiration levels would plummet to 53%, Wearing a brace on my knee ensued. The worst yet to show itself….Heart Failure!
At 47 1/2 I was showing S/S of a failing heart, with edema extending up past my knees! Headed for what my wife (and as nurses know) is an ominous sign for an early departure from existence. I wasn’t ready to die! I have a loving wife, kids and family that loved me, and I them!
I began the journey at one Surgeons seminar, attended a few Dietician visits, just to have that surgeon “take a leave of absence”, for whatever reason, and I left in limbo….
My wife and I turned 360 degrees and attended another seminar 150 miles away! It turned out to be the best decision of our lives! The surgeon/facility we ended up with was noted for Bariatric excellence!
At 49 1/2 years old, I have lost a total of 150 pounds! Down from 328 lbs to 178 and then back to where the surgeon wants me at aroid 185-187, with RNY 9/19/16 and at goal in 8.5-9 months time! My wife has lost over 110 pounds in close to 11 months with VSG! It’s never to late to take control of your life, health and longevity through WLS! I DID IT ,MY WIFE IS DOING IT, AND SO CAN YOU!
Now that I’ve gotten rid of the years of stress eating, comfort foods…And am totally right (kind of) in the head! Well about eating and maintaining weight with the tool RNY) I am now looking at a total knee replacement in a few months! ACL and meniscus are destroyed, and the “bone on bone grinding needs to stop. I look forward to rehabbing form it and being able to exercise again…CONFIRMED BY Orthopedic appointment a few weeks back total knee replacement in about 4 weeks. I will need my HbA1c redrawn and hopefully it down around 8 so they will schedule the surgery. Got HBA1c to 8.1, which didn’t fly with the surgeon! So back to trying to watch what I eat, get the requirements in and enough calories to maintain weight!
It’s a difficult journey…who ever says that WLS is “the easy way out” to weight loss has no clue! But it can be done! You will be tested in ways you never knew possible: physically, socially, mentally, and emotionally! I decided and chose, to break the chain of chaos of the: physical, emotional, sexual abuse that I was subjected to as a child and teen.
We all have our demons/skeletons in our closet (most of people in life). But making the choice to overcome those, deal with them, control them, and not letting those negative experiences control you…will lead you down a path to happiness and the willingness and want anything you set your mind to achieve what it is you need to be happy! The support I’ve received from: Gail, Elle, Sr. MODS, and fellow MODS of BWLF, my friends, fellow nurses and most importantly my loving wife, have given me back my life! YOU CAN OVERCOME ANYTHING! Never tell yourself or let anyone else tell you different!
My next task will be when I have my total knee replacement next month. I may need some encouragement, reassurance, and motivation thrown this way. Enjoy things, Love hard, laugh often, life is short. Tell those that you love, how much you love them everyday…Tomorrow is not promised. Love all my “FAMILY” members. BWLF, Mod. Squad and members! Here to support and encourage you!