“A Sister, A friend, and one of the sweetest, kindest people you will ever meet” — Cassandra Crawford
I found this family after surgery, and have never felt so at home with complete strangers. A little about myself. I have ALWAYS been fat. I started gaining weight at around 5 years old. I have never known what it is like to be thin. I don’t remember a time when I was not overweight. I was extremely healthy for someone my size until about 5 years ago when I started coming down with major health issues. It started with high blood pressure, then high cholesterol, fibromyalgia, and Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Then I found out that I had a hereditary form of arthritis. In a healthy weight person, the symptoms would not show up until they were in their 60’s or 70’s but since I was severely morbidly obese, my symptoms started in my 30’s. In December 2015, I was told by my Orthopedic Surgeon that I had a full and several partial meniscus tears in my left knee. I also had no cartilage left in either knee, so when I walked, I was doing damage to both the bottom of my femur and the top of my tibia. I needed total knee replacements in both legs at 37 years old. However, he said the hospital would not let him schedule surgery until my BMI was under 50. I finally gave in. I watched an online video, and went to see a Bariatric surgeon. I started the six months of monthly visits with my PCP. I had RNY Gastric Bypass on 5-11-16. My high weight/starting weight was 417. As of today, I am at 233. I was in a wheelchair until this past December. They did arthroscopic surgery on my left knee, and found there were no tears. It was all pieces of cartilage that were in the wrong places. They cleaned it out, and put gel shots in both knees, to help provide some cushioning. They are going to try and hold off on the knee replacements for as long as possible. I have never been on a special diet since surgery. My Dr told me to try and make better choices, concentrating on protein and what my pouch will tolerate. The only things I can’t tolerate are super-sweet, and super-greasy. No more bacon or fried chicken. Pretty much anything else, I am fine. My physician said that I have to make this journey work for me. He didn’t lecture, just said that my pouch will tell me when I get full, and I have to learn what that feels like. My advice to you all is to find what works for you. All of our bodies are different, all of our stories are different. We are unique individuals, yet, here, in this place, we come together as a family! One that truly understands what each other are going through. We are here supporting each other, and I find that amazing.
Anyway, sorry this was so long. Thank you for reading it. Please know that if anyone ever has a question, please feel free to ask. I am an open book.
*****Update: I went through a lot of therapy over the years, and thought a lot about why I got fat in the first place. For me, my parents separated when I was 3, divorced when I was 4 years old. I was and still am, a Daddy’s girl. He got visitation after the divorce, every Tuesday and Thursday from after school to 9 pm, and every other weekend. Well, when we saw Daddy, we went out to eat. But we never went to any restaurant except all you can eat buffets. Every damn time! I was so happy to be with Daddy, that I transferred that happiness to food. When I couldn’t be with him, I went to food. Whenever I was sad, depressed, or lonely, I went to food. I started packing on the pounds, and by 6 or 7 years old, I was fat. Then, of course, the fat shaming, name calling, and general be mean to the fat kid started at school. Being picked on was never fun to endure, and just made me eat more. I didn’t understand any of this until I got to be an adult. Hitting 417 pounds nearly killed me. Surgery was the best thing I have ever done for myself. I reached my 1 year surgiversary, 181 pounds gone forever! Still a long way to go, but I look forward to the journey!