It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Archive for the ‘GASTRIC BYPASS COMPLICATIONS’ Category

Gastric Bypass Reversals-101

Disclaimer: I’m a medical and mental activist, not a clinically trained medical or mental health professional. When in medical and/or mental health crisis, please seek medical/mental health treatment, in acute care facility, immediately.

However, the nature of this topic which is gastric bypass reversals, while it’s not something I’m concentrating my activism as a blogger, on, as of late, it’s something I’m always “on call” for, because I’m probably the most public person out there, who’s farthest away from my reversal.

While nothing I ever say, SHOULD EVER be taken in lieu of professional medical or mental health issues, I have a little more leeway in this topic and credibility.

For one, I can’t do bariatric surgery or take down of them.

I can only tell people when I think they are necessary and when they are NOT.

Or agree and/or disagree and give my opinions when the topic of gastric bypass reversals come up, that’s it.

Gastric bypass reversal outcomes, if you use a search engine, there is clinical medical data out there, but it’s limited.

The nature of a reversal being needed, makes it the outcome pretty difficult to predict, other than that it will usually save a person’s life and/or now, when they are being done, when the quality of life of a gastric bypass patient, is so reduced, more so than the potential that any of the co-morbidities of Obesity and Super Morbid Obesity, could ever present to a patient, that it will improve their quality of life and or at least arrest certain complications, like long term nutritional deficiencies that can cause serious and irreversible complications from getting worse (I’m not talking about patients who don’t take their vitamins, I’ve addressed this topic in other blogs).

With some caveats, which I will explain as I go along.

Most people are surprised to find out that I am bariatric surgery “positive”, without serious promotion of it.

I am a medical activist and advocate, I do believe that bariatric surgery, up to and including gastric bypass, are the Obese and Super Morbidly Obese patients best chance of losing a lot of weight and keeping it off, long term.

I am not digressing when I say the same, with Opiates, I believe they for those who have severe chronic pain, have exhausted all other treatment options for pain.

That being said, I obviously, like most medical providers and medical activists , believe that to be true, both with bariatric surgery and opiates, ONLY as a last resort, because of complications and things that can go wrong, even when the most qualified medical professionals are involved, with the most compliant patients.

There are many reasons why a bariatric surgeon will tell a patient that they need a reversal, the reasons are varied and that should NORMALLY be between a surgeon and/or another medical professional and a patient.

Because those reasons are complex and too numerous for me to list.

However, when it comes to a patient wanting a reversal for medical reasons (I’m about to make another point, bear with me) but a surgeon NOT wanting to do a reversal, there are cases, which I get contacted about, because a surgeon doesn’t want to do a reversal, not necessarily for the right reasons.

And that’s where I come in, or my friend Misty, who blogs and vlogs about gastric bypass reversals, as well as my friend Sue (I don’t have the means right now, to link their stuff, I’m only writing this because it’s what’s trending on my stats on WordPress, so forgive me in advance).

Meaning, I will get bariatric patients who find me, are going to die from their complications and the ONLY reason they are given for a reversal not being done, is because of a surgeon’s fear of of a patient gaining all their weight back.

My surgeon wisely told me, as he did both my gastric bypass (2001) and reversal (2010) that my complications which I would’ve died from, posed a greater threat than the co-morbidities of Obesity ever could present to me and for how much sicker I got drastically (I had complications from 2002, 1st hospitalization in 2004, many from 2006 to 2010, especially in 2010) I wouldn’t have lived long enough to gain all my weight back, like I actually did, in my super unusual case for a patient who had long term severe complications from late 2007 to late 2009 due to meds, even though I couldn’t eat very much and projectile vomited anything and nothing I ate due to those pesky ulcer bleeds.

Usually, when patients find me who are are super sick from their complications, have had many complications and are in and out of the hospital most of the time, quite a few have feeding tubes, chances are, they are NOT going to live long enough to have to worry about co-morbidities that are typical of Obesity.

I usually tell them to find another surgeon. Because usually in these cases, their lives depend upon that.

I also have to deal with gastric bypass patients who are TOLD to have a reversal, but don’t want one, because they are afraid of getting fat again.

I don’t take that personally.

It usually goes beyond the scope of most bariatric patients that if they have gastric bypass or any other weight loss surgery to lose weight and become healthier, that they could possibly become sicker and/or die, than the co-morbidities of Obesity, could ever present, like I said before, quoting my surgeon.

Those patients, I can usually only take so far. While I help quite a few of them, because I’m blunt in saying, that they are going to DIE, usually in their cases, they won’t live long enough to get fat again and I urge them, like I urge anyone that I help to get both medical and mental health help that goes beyond acute care.

Although acute medical and mental health professional help, is needed in those patients.

Also,  I have to explain to a lot of patients, whether they had an ideal outcome, but especially in catastrophic ones, they aren’t (on rare occasion, there is extreme self sabotage or they weren’t ideal candidates and should’ve never made it through the pre-operative bariatric surgical process) to blame for their complications, moderate to severe.

Bariatric surgery, all of them, is a tool, not a form of torture.

While it’s not meant to be comfortable, it’s not meant to be agonizing, either.

Which lastly brings up, the last populations of bariatric patients (or their families)I get queries from, who want and or need help.

Those who don’t have complications that aren’t anything that’s abnormal in the realm of having bariatric surgery, in the first year, that any competent surgeon (which I realize, there are some bad surgeons, but there are a lot of good ethical ones, too) and their teams would’ve warned them from the start.

We warned 16 years ago of what to expect, as far as having to re-learn how to eat again, in my pre-surgery process and it’s way more extensive now, as far as preparing a potential bariatric surgical patient of what to expect and the fact that complications including death, can happen.

I get that whether or not patients are warned, that a lot of patients when it comes to bariatric surgery, don’t think serious complications could happen to them.

Lastly, here’s a few other major things people need to know about gastric bypass reversals.

NO pre-operative gastric bypass patient should think that they can easily be reversed.

They can’t easily be reversed and they aren’t due to “buyer’s remorse”.

I get pre-ops who find me, who want that as an emotional insurance policy, that if they change their mind, after the fact, that they can just get it get undone.

No, because it is risky. No surgeon is willing to do a reversal, unless someone’s health dictates it’s necessary. It won’t guarantee that they will be able to eat normally again.

And lastly, similarly, there are patients who want a reversal, no matter how much (or sadly how little they were prepared for life after gastric bypass)  who cannot accept losing food as a coping mechanism and are despondent and want their surgeries undone, that couldn’t have been forecasted .

I try to help anyone, who’s receptive and honest with me about their circumstances, again, with urging them, if it’s necessary to be under the care of multiple clinical professionals, other than a surgeon and their team.

I do in these cases, because for one, not only do I know people who’ve done well long term after gastric bypass, I’m actually biologically related to one.

I also know that usually with time, when people have “bariatric surgery remorse” that isn’t complication driven, they usually get over it, in time, when they start to experience all the good things that their gastric bypasses will bring them (i.e. the positives of major weight loss)  and usually they get past devastating regret.

Which requires above, 2 separate support systems, truthfully as far as peers, as most people don’t understand initially, that bariatric buyer’s remorse does happen and aren’t as supportive as they could be. On the flip side, when patients do accept their surgeries and what’s good about it, it’s still life changing, in under the most optimal circumstances, so that’s where the peers of the weight loss surgery community can help, life long, for those people.

Unfortunately, initially, that does put me in a unique position. I get where so many people when they need or want a reversal come up, either for medical reasons or mental health ones, where I can say things that a normally much better qualified in any other topic, medically and mentally trained professional, sometimes can’t.

Bariatric surgeons are sometimes like mechanics, they fix medical problems, if we are equating a body (which is a lot more complicated) than a car,if we use a car analogy.
Psychologists are like the emotional mechanics, of why people need “car repairs” if they keep “crashing their cars”.

But this is a tricky instance, where if you’ve had mental or medical health issues due to being fat, have unresolved eating disordered issues, where medical and mental health interventions AND peer support with people who’ve been in a similar situation, can really only help.

And/or if you need a gastric bypass reversal.

I touched upon the things people need to know about themselves, the limitations of both patients and providers, as well as the fact, that most people, their lives are saved, when a surgeon says they need a gastric bypass reversal, or they do have a better quality of life.

It’s usually though not right away, especially for those who live and nearly die longer (i.e usually within 3 years status post rny) than those of us, who had a reversal, later.

I did have a better outcome than a lot of people, but NOT right away, it took years. And all of us who I know who had straight takedowns (there is a trend of surgeons now reversing and then doing a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, that’s not weight related) but had complications longer, usually have something.

In my case, I have gastroparesis, like most, but not bad. It took years for my labs to come back to a low side of normal. I can eat without getting sick, usually. I have though severe heartburn, the second I eat or drink anything. I never regained a sense of hunger, even though I did regain a sense of satiation. I can eat quite a bit. But not often and not for like 4-6 hours at the very earliest, from waking up.

But there are still foods I can’t eat (hamburgers or meatballs, cruciferous veggies) without getting sick. My severe reactive hypoglycemia does come back  and I do start blacking out, if I forget to eat (which does happen) and/or wait too long. Or calorically go too low, which is like 1200 calories or under.

But medically, it took 2 years, to really heal from reversal….But all of us vary, who’ve had them.

I hope this helps. I am putting this out here, knowing it’s wordy and while my blogging activism, as well as having personal issues, not within the realm of my control, didn’t make writing this NOW, an ideal time, as far as being concise.

But apparently is needed, now, for what people are searching for in on search engines, the realm of what to expect and when a reversal is needed and why bariatric surgeons, medical professionals and seasoned reversal patients can’t forecast another’s outcome post-reversal.

I can be contacted here or my private email address or on Facebook, as Lisa Kasen (not on social media much, here is better) as well as there is a gastric bypass reversal group on Facebook, for those looking for more information, from a peer perspective regarding a gastric bypass reversal.

Note: PLEASE don’t make defend both my advocating for those who have had complications, bariatric surgery regret, as well as defending those who are happy who had weight loss surgery whether they had an ideal outcome or not. Thanks…

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“It’s NOT fair/Bad Example”……

lisa1010smoking

You wanna bad example??? Or examples of things NOT being fair…

I’m not writing this blog for my subscribers, it’s to respond to comments regarding my weight, where for a refreshing change, as it applies to some in the bariatric surgical community.

Versus the “fat people” hate, I’ve been getting lately…..

Here are your trigger warnings: I talk about intentional weight loss, so if that it’s a trigger or profanity, please don’t read.

HOWEVER, if you’re like some weight loss surgery peeps who like most people can’t figure out how someone almost 16 years post gastric bypass keeps off some weight (a little over half, at this point) and are confused what my 2nd bariatric surgery was, I’ll make it crystal clear and through in some proof, and I’ll hopefully I’ll NEVER have to blog about this again.

So, I’m minding my own business, today (like I do EVERYDAY) . I’ve been homebound last couple of days due to not feeling well, when I get an email regarding my gastric bypass “reversal”.

Well it was an email reaming me out by someone who had bariatric surgery around the same time that I had my reversal and was calling out me out on the fact that I have kept off some weight (at this point over 1/2 excess and regain, which by bariatric surgeons’s standards makes my gastric bypass, a SUCCESS, as the usual universal standard for bariatric surgical success, is keeping 1/2 excess weight post operatively…Heh)  and they had gained all their weight back by their 4th year post operative gastric bypass  and was looking to have a revision, even though they said they had been fairly compliant.

And had found me both on ObesityHelp.com and my Facebook page and had an issue that I could exercise and eat what I want, but that I was playing with fire, eating carte blanche and ruining my surgeon’s efforts to not only help me once, with weight but TWICE. As they didn’t believe I was reversed, but revised.

I am not saying the above with any judgement, as far as weight gain, post operatively. I know from being in the weight loss surgery communities now, for almost 16 years there is so many factors, that play into weight regain.

As well as my own experience with gaining my almost all my weight back, starting almost 7 years post gastric bypass due to psych meds.

The specifics and timetable of complications, regain and “reversal” are covered in many blogs on here.

I usually support the weight loss surgery community as a long term peer, best through OH.com. 90% of what I have to say is to help others, is received positively, including and especially from OH.com staff. The other 10% is really negative from fellow bariatric surgical peers, purposely misconstrued because I think my “reversal” status, if a bariatric patient can believe it, scares the HELL out of them, and that I get, if they are not emotional terrorists about it. Or my issues make them feel better about themselves, which makes them an emotional terrorist, picking on me, for no reasons.

While I support people who’ve had complications and/or reversals , through my blog, Facebook and OH.com, OH.com allows me to give advice when people ask for it, as a long term peer, even when they didn’t have complications, but the many different life adjustments that happen life long post weight loss surgery.

And UNLIKE most of my peers who’ve had nearly life ending and life ruining complications, I’m weight loss surgery positive, with ALL the weight loss surgeries, including gastric bypass.

Because while I know people who’ve died waiting for a serious medical intervention for bariatric surgical complications, I also know people who died for weight related health reasons who died WANTING, more than anything, bariatric surgery.

This is what I don’t understand. NO ONE is forced at gunpoint to read ANYTHING I write on the internet.

I go out of my way, for free, given all this free time I now have, that I NEVER asked for, due to multiple complex medical, mental and cognitive disabilities, to try and help people, the majority of time I’m on the internet.

I admit, I wasn’t perfectly compliant. I was a moderate smoker, at the time of my gastric bypass, who NEVER quit. That’s it. I didn’t drink alcohol, I take/took my vitamins, ate with compliance and exercised.

I didn’t ask for a gastric bypass reversal, which is what I had. I had to have one to save my life and to maintain what little life that I would have, should I live through my complications, should the reversal work.

And guess what??? The only thing that is not even guaranteed, is that one will most likely live through their reversal vs. die from their complications. Or have somewhat of a better health outcome, because no one goes into bariatric surgery either thinking they will have complications or weight of a starving person, or in my case, where I was heavier than most people reversed, the labs of a starving person, multiple complications and a primary reason for reversal was so I didn’t internally bleed to death.

And before any weight loss surgery peeps blame me as a smoker, while I don’t advise smoking, I know people who smoked a lot and drank a lot and never had a G.I. bleed.

I don’t go to anyone’s spaces on the internet, tell them what they are doing wrong with their life, how they should look, behave and weigh.

All I’m asking is for the same fucking courtesy…..

You wanna know what’s not fair, as it applies to me, as well as my family, is that I was compliant.

That I should’ve been known as a bariatric specializing Certified Personal Trainer and successful small business owner who was a mother of 2 and loves her kids more than anything.

Not the trainwreck that my life became post gastric bypass, epic nervous breakdown and suicide attempt in 2008, that makes me NOW, known as the wordy reversed chick.

I will try to help almost anyone, with anything I can, as far as my time, to help, restricted to online.

But please don’t be a bariatric surgical peep telling me that life post operatively from a gastric bypass perspective, was fucking more fair to me, it was NOT. Even though I’ve heard stories and supported people who had it worse than me, and if they lived, they don’t go around telling others how unfair it was, compared to other bariatric surgical outcomes that didn’t have complications. Or people who had not as many major ones.

Not to mention those who did die from their complications.

Not all reversed gastric bypass peeps can eat like I can. And guess what, I can’t eat carte blanche, but I can eat somewhat normally, after almost 7 years post reversal and that I’m grateful for.

And am not going to apologize for that. Or living the little life that I have, without micromanaging my weight and what I eat, for the rest of my life.

My bariatric surgeon in early 2010, during my 1st hospitalization of that year, when I was begging for a revision, wouldn’t revise me, due to the extent of my complications. 6 months later when he brought a reversal to save my life, he made it clear, that was my only choice to live and while he never made one negative comment about my weight (as he understood meds played into my enormous regain, without being able to eat much or keep down what I ate, due to those bleeding ulcers).

As well he NEVER suggested any type of non surgical weight loss treatment, but did it make it clear, that if I’d gain a lot of weight, I’d most likely be ineligible for ANY of the bariatric surgeries, regardless of how much I weighed (if I’d become morbidly to supermorbidly obese) or if I’d develop co-morbids, but I was more at risk for dying due to how I responded to a perfectly performed rny.

So that’s why I make some effort to keep some of my  weight off. And don’t feel like I failed the world at large or the bariatric surgical community that I’m not thin, any longer.

I’m really fucking sick of having to explain all of this. Over and over again.

And of all of the judgement people have NO problem throwing my way.

I get that there are people out there, who have to I guess blame, bully and bother complete strangers that NO ONE is forcing them to pay attention, to.

I’m not even fucking asking, for people to pay attention to me.

IF you really care about what’s unfair, how about kids who get cancer and killed in schools??? Or about both children and adults who lose loved ones due to illness, accidents, injury??? Which is what I’m kind of really stressing out about, mostly. Among other things. I live 2 blocks away from a level 1 trauma center, which I hear the sirens all the time.

And here in Minneapolis today, an innocent person died due to being at work and people were injured when a school had a gas explosion. And it feels worse to even have to think that if that gas explosion occurred 6 weeks from now, it would’ve been catastrophic.

So hopefully that clears up how I feel about people having no problem harassing me, in this case about my gastric bypass reversal but trying and being able to keep some weight off.

And if you don’t believe I had a reversal, here you go:


There’s no coding for gastric bypass reversals. The above should tell you anyone, even though it’s really none of their fucking business, and certainly not to judge, if discredit, my medical history, that I’ve only been forthcoming about my medical and mental health issues to help others.

Although if you’re going to do something so shitty, like others do to me about my reversal and regain/keeping some weight off issues, better to do it to me, than to someone who’s possibly in both medical and mental health crisis and you could seriously emotionally harm.

I’ve lived through enough shit that while I don’t love all the inaccurate assumptions about my life and life choices, I’ll be okay.

Someone else, though, may NOT be. Knock this kind of shit, off……

Seriously!!! For those who do this kind of crap, shame on you!!!

Note:  You can’t defend the hate and hurtful comments that I and others like me, receive in these instances. Don’t even try. The only reason why this is being blogged is that I’ve gotten enough crap about all aspects of my weight and bariatric surgical outcome and I”m really fucking sick and tired of it.

And have a right to defend myself and others like me, who may not have a voice……

And if for whatever reason, people can’t see how toxic they are, when they tell people who didn’t ask them for input, about why someone, post operatively is able to keep weight off, when they can’t, feel free to ENJOY(for the wrong reasons)/RESENT/THINK I’M THE UGLIEST WOMAN WHO’S UNFORTUATELY FOR YOU STILL ALIVE of the pics of me living my life and what I look like to being okay looking to horrifically sick, when it’s been HELL to life when it was great, but at least I’m ALIVE (pics, at all different weights in the last 2 1/2 decades), in my previous blog, that was meant for those who hate on me, cause I’m too fat….

Also note, when a blog that I really shouldn’t have had to write, requires me, to go into my medical records and it’s something that’s painful for me (also discussed in many other blogs) for an hour to hunt “proof” of having a gastric bypass reversal, I had to edit blog within 90 minutes of publishing, for clarification of intent….

“State of Misgrace”……

IMG_20170719_223504_109
(pic of me taken at Downtown Minneapolis Target) 7-1-2017.

Here’s what Google and search engines terms on WP tell me what you wanna know about me:

IF you’re a fat person hater (more about that, in THIS blog), Yeah, I am fat as fuck, over 15 1/2 years after gastric bypass surgery AND my sentence syntax still sucks, as well as YOUR search engine skills (and YOUR psyche) really SUCK, as I’m not hiding on social media(um ever hear of Facebook where my profile and pics is public and there’s like 2 people with my name out of 2 billion and only one “unstapledlisa on the planet, you dumb hateful fuckers) , this is far from the first/current full body pic, that you’ve managed not to found out about me, or anything else “hateable” about me.

IF you’re a weight loss/weight loss surgery peep who hates on people in the community (many of you don’t, that’s why I still co-exist in the wls communities :)), I ALREADY know you won’t EVER be like me, with complications and more importantly, that you won’t ever gain ANY of your weight back, like me AND at 2 1/2 years status post of weight loss surgery of your choice( the average length of time post surgery of my community of wls haters) , you ALREADY know everything, so congrats on both your XXX lbs gone FOREVER and being a bariatric surgical PRODIGY!!!

And fucking FINALLY, if you’re a Fat Acceptance advocate, I still defend my right to lose weight and anyone’s elses and find thin bashing STILL just as repugnant as fat bashing and/or not accepting and being respectful of people’s right to do with their OWN bodies, their business, so yeah, I’m epically failing as a FA, too.

NOW that we got the fun of BODY POLITICS outta the way, wanna talk about just good ole fashion “normal” (heh!) politics????)

***Trigger Warning/s: Even though this blog is more of an update/personal nature blog than activism, because I talk about serious subjects, even when I’m venting/ranting, which if a picture explanation, is just THAT wordy and ranty, I have a feeling that this will be much more of a “fun” blog to write, than it will be to read.

It’s too bad  I can’t rent my blog/me out, as a sedative.

HOWEVER, even when “venting” , I talk about serious subjects and sometimes when NOT in “activist” mode, make a little fun of them (my own issues). IF you’re easily triggered by serious topics and/or are a danger of hurting yourself or others, PLEASE seek professional help in acute care facility for evaluation and treatment. Also, if you’re triggered by profanity, please don’t read. Thanks!!!!***

Okay, with above business being taken care, I’m kinda pissed that I couldn’t title this blog “Fuck You 2017 and Fuck You, 47th year”.  Like I did with my birthday blog from last December. Well, I mean I could, it’s still a free country (no,not really) and there is still freedom of speech (no, not really, EITHER).

It’s more like there’s consequences (depending on who you are and I think because of KARMA (which I’m still NOT sure I believe in) or not, depending on who you are, or who you aren’t.

Or a scary amount of disproportionate consequences (or not) from your actions or lack of actions, regardless of how well meaning, misguided, to the downright evilness of intentions, depending on the person.

That’s the FUCKING problem, I’m dealing with, nowadays. I know what my problems are, genuine and irrational. I know how lucky I am, in a lot of ways. I’m still ALIVE, everyone I love the most is still ALIVE and my life is NOT the LIVING HELL that it was in 2006 to 2011.

But as the oldest and ongoing winner of the Ms. “has a fucking frightening lack of responsibilities in the” Universe pageant, my life ain’t the fucking bowl of cherries, it should be.

Or it’s one that I keep choking on the pits, so to speak.

When I think of my life, exactly 14 years ago, I was a full time employed single Mom of 2, with a great new baby girl and an awesome almost 11 year old son, who just returned back to work, after a 3+ month maternity leave (DAMN, I USED to be really good with money, among a zillion other things, then) my life wasn’t anything resembling this fucking hard, as it is now.

While I count my blessings for what great people my children have turned out to be and how sad I am, that I had so little to do with that (if you’re a new reader, that’s covered in many previous blogs).

I’m just really sad that this just seems to be such a fucked up scary world for them to exist in. And I can’t do much to protect them from that, except warn them of potential hazards, not going overboard, as I really don’t want to sully any kind of more positive outlook on life, they may have, compared to my outlook, but at the same time, I don’t want life to give them a big ole punch (ok, many fucking punches) in the gut, that they will hopefully survive (as well as THRIVE)  better, than their mother seemed capable of.

I just don’t want that to be my fucking legacy to them, my legacy to myself and/ or the world, for the matter(s).

And while I’ve accumulated, some (ok, very little) wisdom that normally comes with age and know who I am and am secure with who I am, as well as messed up about how my life turned out, I don’t want my legacy and/or my current identity tied up as “the loving single mother who had the great life experience of having 2 great kids, sharing a plane with Princess Diana (in 1996, also in other blogs) and the screwed up luck of having mental health issues that I was unaware of at the time in 2001, going into a gastric bypass, that I was lucky enough to have a brilliant surgeon who performed a technically performed bariatric surgery that I responded physically HORRIBLY to and nearly died from, and lost my crap and nearly got committed (also in other blogs) who ended up needing a gastric bypass reversal and is now a very wordy medical and mental health activist”…..

YIKES!!! That was a mouthful!!! It’s also the reason why the owner of this brain is not on Twitter, very much. Let alone social media (which I’ve written other blogs about) very much anymore.

I get that in this wordy ranty blog of mine, it’s taking me now 1100 words to make a point/s.

And like no one, except for me (on occasion) has that kind of attention span in 2017. And most people don’t have the time or the inclination to dwell on matters of this nature, even though as UNRELATABLE as most of my blogs are, to most people, I apparently resonate with quite a few, as my blog has been read in 87 countries (fun fact!!!) and 6 continents (Seriously, WTF, Antarctica, don’t people dwell about serious shit at 3 a.m, too???).

Apparently, some of my blogs, such as my most read blog, to date which the “The Project Harpoon People Can GO Fuck Themselves” (way to go ME, for keeping it classy and concise, right??) that I wrote 2 years ago, which I found myself the target of a group of haters on a site called Voat called “FatPeopleHate”  that popped up after the Harpoon peeps got shut down on Twitter, that I found a few weeks ago.

It’s not the first time I had found myself a target of haters or Fat Acceptance hatred. It was the first time of being eviscerated by a large group of people (1100 to be exact, holy shit, right???)  too mean, stupid and hateful to find out anything other about me, than I am wordy blogger who blogs about Fat Acceptance and had a gastric bypass (that and a bunch of other stuff about me, was in particular blog) that I apparently epically failed and was a bitter, ugly, fat as fuck 500 lb ugly chick who can’t write a simple sentence. And was hiding behind a blog.

Cause it’s not like I have full body pics from different times in my life to current times that are PUBLIC and can be found in about 2 seconds, when doing a search engine on me or my blog name, which I actually do have. And it’s not okay to body shame anyone in the manner they shamed me, regardless of how much I would weigh.

I guess that serves me right for finding that group, when “Googling” myself at 3 a.m…

I’m at  almost 1400 words (FUCK!!!)  and I’m finally am going to make my points!!! YAY!!!

I still at rotten overripe,oversized  and old age and person (by weight and looks) at an average size 14 and 47 1/2 in age,  get judged way more for what I look like and what I weigh (depending how fat or not fat enough, depending on who you’re asking) than anything I ever fucking  did or anything I ever fucking said.

By both people who know me well and people who don’t fucking know me at all. Or people who’s responsibilities are to know me better and/or not judge me (i.e. medical professionals/see past blogs on “md-ptsd”, although I advocate for clinically trained medical and mental health professionals, as they are their essence, human beings).

I get my own barriers and my unique barriers in resolving some of my issues. I even have the understanding of others barriers. And have empathy for most people.

EXCEPT for fucking  murder/suicide perpetrators, rapists, pedophiles and people who hate on any class of people for any reason, whether its on me or others and I can live with that.

I’m just having so much fucking trouble adapting to a world, that seems as it gets so technologically advanced, people become more scary and uncivilized to me. And I can’t do anything about that, other than to bring awareness, that while I know my own issues, that it could help, with removing stigma about so many things, for others to be aware of their own issues that could possibly interfere with others right to a safe and peaceful enjoyment life, too.

Not just for my sake. But for those who I love the most (i.e. my children) and so many innocent others, where we at a time, never had so much that should unite us, but is also dividing so many, at the same time.  Or that HATRED is uniting people, way more than acceptance (and again, if that doesn’t work, try apathy, yes, I said apathy not empathy. you don’t have to like, let alone love on something you’re predisposed to hate on, but try to at least be indifferent, OK?) should be and how terrifying I find all of this to be.

(see, for the 2 of you, non-haters, the above 5 paragraphs is the worthwhile reason I wrote this blog/you were rewarded for your patience)

How the FUCK do we FIX that!?!?

If you know, feel free and tell me, so. Try to be respectful about it, though, OK? I don’t go either in others online or offline spaces to make them feel unsafe. Either intentionally or unintentionally (though you now have a current pic, of what I look like, if you see me out and about). I know that this obscenely overweight smoking redhead does her fair share of scaring people, unintentionally, when out and about, in Downtown Minneapolis where I reside (which if that’s the case, stay home, because I’m definitely not the scariest thing  that you’ll encounter down here), I respect the right of others peaceful and safe enjoyment of their own lives, both in their private, public, offline and online spaces.

And wish that fucking everyone realized that everyone has a right to that. And now, over 2000 words, later, I made fucking finally made my point/s.

Note: If the rantiness and wordiness of this blog didn’t give you the clue, that I’m absolutely not going to give a shit, let alone post anything that has no resemblance to my “agreeing to disagree” respectfully stance, don’t waste my time or your own, by sending me something that I won’t read and I won’t publish, both in hatred of me, or any other.

 

“MD-PTSD”….When doctors do more harm than help…

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I hoped that the next blog that I would write, would be in the realm of activism regarding mental health,  not talking about another devastating encounter with a new physician.

I admit that I  not an easy patient to treat. As I’ve said in previous blogs that my disabilities make it hard to express myself in logical sequence of order and in complete thought processes, which can make me difficult to understand.

It’s compounded a bazillion times, between anxiety, due to the fact I do have mental health issues, I have temporarily abused drugs, twice, in my life, that I’m quite forthcoming in this blog about that and the labeling I’ve experienced.

I had seen my long term PCP 2 weeks ago. Because we were at an impasse with my medication management, I had agreed to see a pain management specialist to give insight to the both of us, of what would be the best course of action.

As my physician didn’t feel comfortable increasing my dosages and I metabolize meds or have bad side effects to so many medications.

Or they just don’t work at all.

I was able to get into pain management today. I had anxiety of course, which I explained and it was hard for me to be concise.

While the pain management specialist was forthcoming about that she didn’t necessarily agree with my medication regimen, she didn’t agree or understand that after all the doctor visits I’ve had in my life, in the last 10 years between mental health and my gastric bypass complications, that I at this point didn’t want to see a bunch of doctors again and because of the severity of side effects from so many drugs, I didn’t want to try any new medications.

Nor did I want to be taken off the medications that I was currently on.

It was a long intake appointment with the understanding that while she didn’t agree with my being on opiates, that she’d leave that up to my long term PCP and she said, very clearly, that  she wouldn’t interfere with that.

So I did shoot off my prescribing physician, a few hours after I got home, a message of what transpired in my visit with her, while it was fresh in my mind, as I knew that it wasn’t a stellar visit for either one of us.  I detailed what she agreed with my physician, and of her urging me to be under the care of clinical mental health professionals and follow pain management modalities .

Unfortunately for me, I took her at her word that she said she would NOT interfere with my doctor continuing on my current medication regimen. That she appreciated as a pain management specialist, that I am concerned between having mental health issues, that I don’t want to have addiction issues and I would rather not be medicated at all for pain then risk addiction and becoming either a prescription drug addict or trying street drugs, something I’ve never done.

I try to treat myself, from a patient perspective, because I have an addictive personality and mental illness, of knowing that could be the case and it’s a mixed blessing that opiates don’t work as well as they should, because if they did, my circumstances could be a whole different story, and I’d have full blown addiction issues, which I don’t, but it’s nothing short of a miracle that I don’t.

Things that I’m completely honest about. Among other humiliating things in my life.

So imagine my surprise, after shooting my long term physician,  a recap of my visit, tonight, then deciding to check out my after visit summary from my appointment this afternoon, that not only did she think I was somewhat a mentally unstable non compliant  hypochondriac but that she was recommending I get taken off my medications.

Which is a complete contradiction and LIE, from with her at the end of my appointment clearly telling me that she would not interfere with my medication management being done by my long term provider.

Unfortunately for me, it’s my word against hers, a physician.

I’ve had doctors tell me, straight out,that they think I’m a drug addict. I’ve had ER docs when I’d be in the ER for my gastric bypass complications, at Fairview University Medical Center,  even bringing my meds and being compliant with controlled substances, having a ton of them, in their bottles, of them thinking I was drug seeking, when I wasn’t looking for drugs, but diagnostics such as with the pesky intractable projecile vomiting blood due to my ulcers both prior to gastric bypass reversal and after it.

Just based upon the fact I was a bariatric patient with my one and only suicide attempt, trying to use controlled substances to intentionally overdose, that’s explained on my 1st blog on here, in greater detail .

As well as being honest about an inability to be compliant on non controlled substances like ibuprofen (which I didn’t take much of prior to my gastric bypass reversal or of meds like Imitrex, PPIs, and meds in other therapy classes, other than controlled subtances, because I metabolize medications so bizarrely).

Which I’ve been quite forthcoming with providers as well on this blog. There are shades of grey, with patients’s prescription drug use. I’m obviously not compliant with most meds, it’s impossible to be, because my tolerance to so many meds, in so many therapy classes, not just with narcotics, is so high. But I by no means habitually abuse controlled substances, something that she said herself and somewhat congratulated me for, towards the end of my appointment.

Both unfortunately for me and HER, the pain management specialist I saw today,  I did do a Google search before my appointment, to get an idea of her medication philosophies (usually pro Butrans, something she thought I should consider, but apprently not, given her recommendation to my long term provider).

I also found that she nearly had her OWN license suspended due to drugs. Almost 2 years ago and the conditions of her “stay of suspension”, so that she could keep practicing medicine. Her conditions of being able to retain her license, which she is now under, is the fact she can’t be in possession or write a script for controlled substances for 5 years, in addition to other requirements for her to retain her  license and/or be eligible to apply for losing those conditions.

I don’t take any satisfaction in that. Both as a patient and as an advocate who’s trying to de-stigmatize and create dialogue about drug addiction amongst both providers and patients.

As well as in doing all the research I had to do past blogs, as a medical activist, as well as make an informed decision about my medication management I’ve thought about discussing physicians who struggle with drug addiction and trying to de-stigmatize that, too.

Because I fully am aware and sensitive to the fact, that physicians are patients, too.

It’s absolutely  NOT  okay, what I was put through today by her. It’s now going into a weekend.  I can’t talk about this to my own provider, until early next week. I did write a scathing message to the pain management specialist about her lie, and I am now  going to  be filing a grievance against her with the hospital system. And also against the hospital system, themselves.

Which I’ve talked about “md-ptsd” and I have filed one grievance before, with that hospital, which is in another blog.

I’m just beyond stunned, of  the hypocrisy that the hospital has, as well as that provider. They have a a more stringent standard of expectations on their patients, that they don’t even have for their OWN physicians. As it’s a travesty that my suicide attempt and being mentally ill, that history is held against me, apparently for the rest of my life by any provider, but her own isn’t?

How is that ethically fair? To not only as me, as a patient but any other patient who is seeing this physician, have any chance to be treated ethically and honestly, as she has bias, in addition to her own mental health issues and addiction issues  that create an inability for her to be effective of in providing fair  care to her patients.

Especially, especially, ESPECIALLY given the specialty she’s treating patients….

Lisa definition of “md-ptsd” (a “Lisaism” you won’t find in DSM V) – extreme psychological and physical distress of seeing clinically trained medical and mental health physicians, due to my being labeled as drug seeking hypochondriac, post epic mental health breakdown and suicide attempt in 2008. But I have also mentioned that I was drug tested prior to being put on opiates, during ER visits, since I had my gastric bypass.

So now, it’s made my “md-ptsd” expotentially  worse. I don’t love when doctors treat me like crap. That’s why I rarely seek medical attention, any longer. What I usually did in the past with unpleasant encounters when I’m being treated clearly with bias, due to having mental health issues, is I leave. I’ve left ER visits, including ones that I needed further attention. I’ve left appointments in the middle of a visit. I can be mean and not mince words, when doctors treat me like an unstable drug seeking hypochondriac, but I only use words and leave, if I’m going to be reactive (which most of the time, I’m NOT) . That’s it.

You want an example of that? Certainly. I’ll say to a doctor when they come off condescencingly and judgemental that I’m a mentally unstable and drug seeking hypochondriac with maybe other bias towards me (such as weight and being a cigarette smoker) that I’ll say “Wow, I didn’t know Walmart had a school of medicine!!!”.

I’m appalled and devastated, though that a pain management specialist with her own drug problems would do that to a patient who admitted everything I’ve said in this and in past blogs, would lack empathy and lie to me.

I’m devastated that I can’t trust most  doctors not to label me for the rest of my life, given my complicated issues with compliance of non controlled substances due to how bizarrely I metabolize most medication or have severe side effects.

I’m incensed as an activist that other patients might have gone through this and they don’t have a voice. I know almost 9 years ago, when I was acutely suicidal and in so much physical pain and had mentally disintergrated, that  I didn’t have a voice and no support. I write this blog, so that other patients don’t nearly lose their lives from being treated this way or have themselves AND their care compromised due to bias.

I’m hoping that if anyone has gone through this, they will message me privately, if they don’t feel comfortable commenting on my blog.

But I am going to fight back, an ethical fight. By filing a grievance and while I said in my very concise message to her that I hope she loses her license, I hope really she learns from this and at least gets reprimanded.

Although if she doesn’t learn from what she did to me today and has done that to other patients, maybe she should NOT be practicing medicine, any longer.

Because no mentally ill and medically disabled patient who’s been as forthcoming with providers, should have to go through what I keep going through with most physicians.

Actually, it’s been my hope as an activist and blogger, for years,  to encourage honest dialogue between patients and providers, whether mental illness is a factor or NOT, that patients aren’t necessarily penalized with non compliance of ANY medication.

Not only does that increase the risk of patients LYING to their doctors, if they are abusing drugs, it puts them at risk of getting involved with street drugs and the risk of safety and or accidental overdose and addiction to them.

And I didn’t fight so hard to stay alive and try to retain what’s left of my sanity, to let a doctor do something so unconscionable like what was done to me, today (It’s still  5-12-2017 in MN), but I’m going to try that some greater good comes out of it.

For both patients AND providers.

Not just for myself, but for many patients who experience bias and compromised medical and mental health care because of bias that physicians carry due to mental illness and other still stigmatized patient disorders.

Wish me luck…

Note: I have no problem publishing differences of opinions, if stated respectfully. And unfortunately my normal disclaimer of “seeking professional clinical trained professional guidance when in medical or mental health crisis”  doesn’t apply, because I’m not at that point but I’m seriously distressed that my anxiety is in overdrive and my medical care has been compromised by a doctor that knew fully my history and lied to me that way.

Especially given how vulnerable I was due to my medical health issues at that appointment and my mental health issues, as it was difficult for me to get to that appointment with my barriers, as I was exhausted physically and mentally frazzled due to some scary encounters on 2 crappy local buses and walking part of the way in the sun, which I have photophobia.

Again, I own what’s multiply frustrating by me, for ANY provider, including the most non biased clinical professional, of what it’s like to treat me. I’m not a fun patient to treat and I can get defensive. I’m wordy and all over the place. But I tell new providers that those are my barriers, from the start.

And the truth is, most patients are vulnerable, in some way, when seeing a provider, especially given all the factors that played in my visit.

Also,  I don’t believe all doctors are bad. Largely due to my long term physician, where we have a stance to agree to respectfully disagree, given what I’ve been through with mental health and having weight issues even with my needing a gastric bypass reversal.

And I realize other Fairview medical professionals who I know are excellent and ethical physicians, as well as other physicians from different hospital systems both locally and globally.

But regardless of a terrible experience with a doctor, I’m going to ALWAYS recommend that if a patient-provider relationship is not working for a patient, that they try to get help from another provider, whether in acute crisis or not.

Just please forgive me for being kind of a hypocrite about not being too terribly excited about seeing new doctors, in the short term, given my circumstances.

Also note: Unfortunately, I had to do some major editing, 10 hours after I first published  this, because I was so frazzled between being in a lot of physical pain and heightened anxiety, which was was made so much worse, after her saying one thing to me and a few hours later, she completely saying another, as far as her final recommendation would be, made this not as clear as I would’ve liked.

This still isn’t clear, due to the fact I am a disabled blogger who writes about disability and bias. But I feel like I’ve honestly and better presented a fair description of what I go through as patient, but at the same time, being fair with providers who have to treat me.

Cause if it didn’t happen during the social media era, it didn’t happen, RIGHT?

ats111

http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/video-paris-landmarks-hyperlapse?xid=soc_socialflow_facebook_tl

The above link, just showed up on my newsfeed on Facebook. And wow, Paris has sure changed in the last 19 years, since I’ve been there.

I’ve been kinda quiet on social media, since I’ve come home from Las Vegas, other than my blogs I wrote, last week.

And it was 2 weeks ago, that I left for Las Vegas. And while I put a lot of my trip in check-in, pictures and comments on Facebook, for many reasons, one primary reason, stands out, to most who know me well.

So, that I actually remember my own trip to Las Vegas.

And how my adventures there, made me feel.

Having strange long term and short term memory issues, and knowing that I have that, is a very mixed blessing.

While most people give me credit for adventures that I’m willing to go on, as well as share,  being a complex medically, mentally and cognitively disabled chick, they also know I spend an enormous amount of time, at home, alone.

Most of my time spent, is trying to keep the memories I have, of my life when I had my children, living with me. My son turns 23 on Friday, and I’ve been a mother for over 1/2 my life, now.

WOW!!!

My feeling and loving them as a mother, DID NOT change when our addresses, unfortunately, did, 7 years ago.

I was on the phone, yesterday morning and was speaking to someone about a volunteer opportunity, that I might be eligible to do.

And I was trying to explain the events in my life and sum up my life, in a 40 minute telephone conversation.

And that was hard to do. The person I was on the phone, was nice about it and I understood that the questions that were asked, were necessary.

I was trying to convey of how blindsided I was about how the events in my life, changed in the last 10 years. That while I still tried to live a life with purpose and meaning, and be grateful that I was still alive, that I’m always going to have to refer to my past, as far as the best years of my life, were concerned.

Not my present, not my future, no matter what I do in my life, to try and make it meaningful for myself and for others.

So while I can still smile, when I talk about that time that I went on a business trip to London, and Princess Diana was on my plane (something I reference both on Facebook and my blog on occasion and I also took the Eurostar to Paris) in June of 1996, the fact that Zachary, my eldest,  had a mother who could take time off from work to bring birthday treats, to school, will always be a bigger deal, to me. Volunteered for every holiday party, in his elementary school career, as well as took him on vacations.

But the day to day stuff with my children, when they lived with me, has meant the most.

The fact that I could get my 2 children who were 10 1/2 years apart, that I was raising by myself to 2 different daycares, and worked full time, drove a car, maintained a household, then was still as I was getting sicker, still planning on starting my own business, 10 years ago,  the irony that I can’t do any of that, any longer, when people used to tell me they didn’t know how I did so much, is so far, NOT  lost on me. When I saw my daughter briefly the other day, she was shocked that she didn’t know that she had been out of our state, when she was younger and I was able to tell her about when we went to Florida and Wisconsin Dells, when she was a toddler.

It makes me profoundly sad, that my children had two different mothers, in me. And that she loves me so much, even though she has no expectations of me.

It’s just what is lost on me, and in me, that HAUNTS me. I know how lucky I am to have children, I know how lucky I am that everyone I love the most, is still alive.

I can’t escape the irony, either, that as hard as it is, to try and remember anything significant, that my writing is getting slightly better, even if my memory isn’t.

I go back to my old blogs and it’s “TL:dr” situation for me. With my OWN writing. Nothing has changed though in the last almost 2 1/2 years that I launched my blog, as a disabled writer, other than I try my hardest to be a little more concise.

People ask, on occasion, what would I do, if I could go back and change the past, what I’d do differently. Sometimes they are asking about whether or not, I’d have my gastric bypass, again. Some people will insensitively ask, whether or not I regret having my children (I don’t answer the latter question, I just look at people in HORROR, and it’s enough for them to know that it’s so not appreciated).

I can’t honestly say that there is anything that I would’ve done differently, given my circumstances and skill sets, at the time that I experienced anything from wonderful to horrific.

Not that it matters, I can’t go back and change anything and that’s something I’ve learned to make my peace with.

I have to say, for someone who at the age of 45 1/2, while most of my significant life, is over and was over before a billion people have decided to hang out on Facebook, I’m still not OVER.

So if you wondered why I pick and choose certain things to highlight  in my “social media” life, I hope this makes more sense now. I hope it makes more sense of why I’m pretty much the same, in my “offline” life, as I am online. And why I choose to live such a transparent life, but that I take breaks from social media, often (another blog specific to that, will be written, soon) and need my privacy and being reclusive, too…

For someone who never took anyone or anything for granted, I still will always struggle with my current circumstances, even though I know that life could be and definitely has been, much worse.

And it will be worse again, so I know that the universe doesn’t need to take that, as a challenge.

Just hopefully I’ll retain what I have in memory and skill sets, to get through it.

So, while I can’t say I’ll always have memories of London, Paris, Las Vegas, NYC, Miami and Fort Lauderdale given my memory issues, it’s what happened in my life, in Plymouth, Minnesota, that meant the most  to me(my children and I lived in Plymouth,MN other than 3 years, when Zachary was a toddler that we lived in New Hope, MN).

And I’m grateful to know the difference that the relevance of my life, past, present and future, isn’t based upon the relevance of it to another, especially a stranger or someone who doesn’t have my best interest at heart, on social media.

9-7-2010 – MY Gastric Bypass Reversal Story….

What I was doing exactly FIVE years ago…..

It’s 5:30 a.m and I’m getting in medicab as I have to be in surgery by 8 a.m. and it’s my kids first day of school, so I’m on my own.

6a.m ish, registering for my surgery and I get brought back to preop and get asked a zillion questions.Unlike my preop questions to me, by medical staff when I had my gastric bypass, which was in December of 2001, I didn’t have any problems with getting all of the bowel prep in, like I did then.

It also probably helped that I spent most of 2010, “NPO” (nothing by mouth), I certainly wasn’t going to screw up my reversal by messing up my bowel prep.

I’m feeling a lot of things, while I’m waiting for my surgeon to answer some ( OK, A LOT) of questions, before I go into surgery.  The problem is, while I got a packet, from the hospital,  it doesn’t say very much. And the month before, when I had an appointment to discuss my reversal, with him, I actually was directly admitted, 2 minutes after he looked at me, cause of the pesky intractable projectile vomiting I had.

The thing I was feeling more than anything, was impatience. I was NOT nervous at all. I had my 1st gastric bypass complication hospitalization, 6 1/2 years earlier. I had my mental health crisis which was done and over and while I didn’t get my wish that things would go back to normal, early in 2010, I was anxious to get this over with.

Not that I had much choice. It was literally do the reversal or DIE.

Smily,  sweet and brilliant surgeon comes in and lets me ask my million questions. Can’t eat for 2 weeks afterwards, similar diet to first year post gastric bypass. Ulcers, it will be debated on whether or not, they will be cut out, when they get in there. I should have an naso-gastric tube for about 3-5 days. Can have clear liquids after it comes out, but NPO while it’s in. Literally in this case, nothing by mouth, as it was my 1st time having an ng tube, and even meds that were only made to take orally, would be crushed up and put in tube, if they didn’t have i.v. equivalent.

Great, lets get this done.

Anesthesiologist comes in, a little bit after that, and gives me a shot, like I had with my rny. What’s different, is that I’m still lucid but can’t talk. I’m now being wheeled into the operating room and I can see it and it’s the one and only time, I not only am nervous, but REALLY nervous, because I always had a fear with surgery that I’d be the one to wake up in the middle of it.

My eyes dart around the operating room, which looks like an oversized sterilized bathroom. There’s a ton of people prepping. One of them is another anesthesiologist who sees my eyes darting around, terrified and gives me another shot.

Fade to black.

I am starting to wake up as they wheel me out of the o.r. into recovery, it’s almost 3 p.m. I notice the pneumo boots on my legs and I start kicking trying to get them off. I’m in and out of it, but at least I know it’s over. Or at least I have a shot at being alive, not having horrible abdominal pain and vomiting and blacking out everyday, like I had for the last 7 years.

I get wheeled up into my room. Surprise!!! I have company. It’s my Mother and Father, who I didn’t expect to see, as it was my kids first day of school. It was Zach’s first day as a senior in high school and it was Zoe’s 1st day of 2nd grade. I know they weren’t home from school, at the time it is, so I don’t know how their first day of school is.

I see my parents who for once, don’t have much to say. I tried to spare them with how sick I got physically, even before I gave them my kids, and they are looking at me, terrified. I am still kind of out of it,  I tell them not to worry, to let Zach and Zoe know that I LOVE them, that I hope they had a great First Day of School and I’ll see them soon.

I thank them for everything and I fall back asleep again.

I wake up around 10 p.m. I’m completely wide awake. I notice my roommate and I say hi. I call for a nurse because I want to go to the bathroom and have a cigarette, after I check in on Facebook.

Nurse comes in. Says that smoking is probably not a good idea. And I don’t need help going to the bathroom as I have a catheter.  I am nice, but insistent,   with all this extra tubing, I make it clear that I’m going to have a cigarette, once I get dressed. Being a frequent flyer in that hospital, for the last 4 years,  I had already packed a t-shirts, sweats and bras and underwear with NO metal  and  usually it would be my cute “Sesame Street” t-shirts, as I’d see kids in previous admissions and it would make them smile. Ironically the orange brownish color in my green Oscar the Grouch shirt, matches my NG tube. Score…

An aide helps me dress and takes me outside for the first time to smoke. I make conversation with her, and learn that I’m hardly alone, being a gastric bypass patient who needed a reversal.

I get back to my room, once we are done. I end up talking to my roommate and I find out that she, like me, had weight loss surgery problems but she had a lap band that needed removal. If she didn’t have cardiac history, it would’ve been an outpatient procedure. And so she is now eating sugar free gelatin and I’m salivating.

I ask her more about her being unbanded. She had her unbanding, earlier in the afternoon. Around Noon. I ask her who her surgeon was and I’m surprised, more like in disbelief, when she says she had the same surgeon for her band that she did for her unbanding (the lap band was not an option when I had my gastric bypass in 2001) and that it was the same surgeon as ME.

I knew I was tenatively to be in the operating room for 5 hours. They were thinking 8am to 2ish. I was my surgeon’s first surgery of the day. I didn’t know and I was blindsided, not in a very good way, when I found out that he scheduled another surgery, in the middle of my reversal. I also was angry.  At him. Not my roommate.

Now I knew in 2001, that a few local surgeons did do more than one weight loss surgery at a time. I NEVER thought my surgeon would do that, certainly not in the middle of an openly performed gastric bypass reversal. While I was fully aware that the Fairview University of Minnesota Hospitals, especially my hospital, was a teaching one, being on campus at the university, I didn’t think they’d double dip when it came to complications.

I also didn’t think the hospital would be STUPID enough to put 2 patients who had the same surgeon, at the same time, in the same room, afterwards.

My roommate and I, both not tired, continue to gab most of the night. I get the hang of how to undo my NG tube so I can smoke without having to bother anyone.

Morning comes. It’s 9-8-2010. I’m very uncomfortable from the NG tube (I had lost the pneumo boots about 11 p.m the night before, when it’s obvious, that I’m not going to throw a clot, due to not being able to get walking in. Most of the nurses already knew me and my penchant for not staying in bed, during my many admissions prior to my reversal).

I decide to go the floor with waiting room on a quest for magazines. I run into my Aunt M  and Uncle S  and 2 of my cousins (my Mom’s older brother, wife and 2 out of 3 of their kids)  when walking by the hospital pharmacy to get to the main waiting room on my magazine hunt. I had knew my Aunt, who had never smoked, just sadly had been diagnosed with lung cancer. I also hadn’t seen any of them, for almost 3 years, even before my kids went to live with my parents. While it was kind of awkward, I was glad I was able to tell her personally how sorry I was and they had NO idea how sick I’d been physically, as my parents are VERY private people. It wasn’t appropriate to talk about my issues, and all the IVs hanging from my IV pole, as well as that pesky NG tube. While I had argued with my parents in the past, as I thought it was unfair for people in my extended family just to think, that I had given up my kids for without some good reason, it’s just not something they would budge on. I talk them for awhile and I get my magazines and go to call my Mom to inform her that I ran into them. She makes a biting comment that I must be feeling A LOT better, as when she called in the middle of the night, to get an update on me,  the nurse had told her I was outside smoking. I’m already not thrilled with my surgeon double dipping, them telling my Mom, that was NOT necessary.

I get a new roommate that 2nd night. It’s a new gastric bypass patient who had been in surgery way longer than they thought. And she was really out of it, only half lucid and while her parents were there, she’d only awake to cry. I end up walking around later, and catch her Mother, crying and she was beside herself. I start talking, well more listening, to my roommate’s Mom, and she feels horrible because she wanted her daughter, to have a gastric bypass to lose weight. But she had one herself, and had some problems. I tried to reassure her, without telling her much about my own story, that I’d look after her daughter as it was getting late, she was distraught. I did tell her that I did have some problems but that NO ONE  else in my family who had a gastric bypass had any problems and that if this was her first surgery, she could very well be reacting to the anesthesia, like I did when I had my gastric bypass, as well as I had problems with the morphine they gave me then. But that we had a brilliant surgeon and that she’d be ok. That I’d keep an eye on her and/or keep her company, so the Mom could go home and try to get some rest, as she was older and it was quite late by then.

Next morning I get moved to my own room, which I had wanted from the beginning. I start breaking out from all the IV Dilaudid and between the NG tube, I’m very uncomfortable. While I knew I didn’t tolerate Dilaudid very well, it did help with pain. I had problems in the past with it. But because I’m on so much more Dilaudid post reversal, then usual, I actually have HUGE hives, all over my face and body.

A physical and occupational therapist comes in, later that morning, to let me know that I’d be working with them, during the duration of my admission to make sure I know how to do things, once I’m discharged, but it was expected that I’d go home, the first several days, with family to observe me, which I knew wasn’t going to be the case. I tell them though that I don’t need therapy, I had a history of being a Certified Personal Trainer who wanted to concentrate on adaptive and rehabilitative personal training. They still take me for my 1st intake and session. When about 5 minutes into that session, it’s obvious that I know how to move, without effecting my core area, where all the major work was done, internally, they agree that I don’t need any PT or OT and tell my surgical team when we walk by them, that.

Days keep going by. It’s finally Friday and I’ve spent the last 3 days since my surgery, NOT in bed. My NG tube comes out, my parents had told me, that my kids could come and visit me, once it came out. My kids also had never seen me in the hospital, due to any of my complications. And because my daughter was so young but knew that I had been sick, I decide that it’s better that they don’t come into the hospital to see me, so my nurses unhook me from my IVs and I take my kids out to lunch at a nearby Perkins, which the smell of food made me extremely nauseous. After we are done, my Dad picks us up from the restaurant, takes me back to the hospital, I assure my children that I’m fine and that I’ll see them soon.

The weekend goes by while inpatient, fairly uneventfully. Other than that I keep blowing IVs all the time, and I’m having horrible migraines, in addition to the hives and itching (that was lessened by the Vistaril they gave me) however the are having a hard time controlling my bounceback migraines from the Dilaudid, I get put on some Fioricet which helps. I’m also allowed later that weekend, to try drinking clear liquids.

Monday (9-13-2010)  comes and I’m told I’m being discharged due to how great I’m doing. Well, not really. But I’m not going to fight it. I want to get home. I’ve blown so many IVs that they have to get labs by doing a finger prick. That’s not the most efficient way to get 10 vials of blood, but I just want to get out of there. I get my discharge stuff, pick up the bottle of liquid Vicodin at the pharmacy and call for a medicab to take me home.

I’m a lot less adventurous at home, when by myself. The liquid Vicodin hurts to take, so I don’t take it. I rest a lot.

Ten days later, I go in for my first post reversal check up. I’m doing great, as far as healing, and my surgeon agrees that while unorthodox for a patient to be walking around so much, during admissions, especially to smoke, ain’t the best idea, that it probably helped me heal, a little faster. Even though there was a lot of work done internally that would take much longer.

I’m still feeling though, quite horrible when I get back home. And when the vomiting and intractable abdominal pain, I’m really miserable. By then it’s October. I end up going to the ER, about 2 days before my son’s 18th birthday. Because I found my son’s father on Facebook, before my reversal (as I, and others, thought I was going to die) he and his father finally connected and he was coming in to see him. I was going to take my daughter, for a couple of  to make it less confusing for her, as I’ll just say, her father isn’t in her life. I however go through another ER visit where the ER staff doesn’t do ONE test on me. And sends me home.

While Fall of 2010, continues to be quite hellish for me, once my daughter goes back to my parents, I make an urgent appointment with surgeon’s NP (nurse practioner, who I’ve known for years, since I made my appointment to have my gastric bypass). She directly admits me on the spot.  They didn’t cut out the ulcers when doing my reversal and I think they finally realize, maybe they should have. My labs aren’t looking that great, either.

Another 4-5 day admission, mid October 2010, and I’m discharged again.

The day before Thanksgiving of 2010. I’m still having problems with intractable abdominal pain and vomiting. I go back to the ER. I get the same ER doctor, who I’d seen that Summer who needed a huge push to take me seriously. While I didn’t think he’d give me the same problems, as I obviously had to be reversed to save my life, he wants to send me home, without doing another test. I call my surgeon’s office and beg them to order something. They do. They ER doctor who went from wanting to discharge me, about 5 minutes after seeing me, about 6 hours later, can’t tell me when I can go home, after I had my upper G.I. So I unhook myself from my IV and I leave.

Day after Thanksgiving of 2010. I get a call from the hospital, saying I need further tests. I get scheduled for an EGD, on 12-1-2010. Day before my birthday.

12-1-2010. I get a call from the hospital, telling me that they need to put off my EGD for one more day. So I’m now scheduled for an EGD on late afternoon of my birthday. Lovely (NOT!!!)

12-2-2010. My 41st birthday no one though I’d live to see. I’m just as miserable as I was before my reversal. I don’t regret it, at that point, but didn’t think it would take so long to heal internally. I get to the hospital, go to their diagnostic department, which I’m completely well acquainted with. My surgeon actually comes in, on time, waiting for me. They can’t get an IV in me. 3 people and 6 attempts later, I am so upset, I just want to go home. So I leave.

I’m walking out of the diagnostic area and my surgeon catches me and asks me where I’m going. We get in a heated debate. He says that I’m not rational due to my mental health issues, but that I should take that as a compliment, as he has other patients who have mental health issues, but that he would never feel comfortable due to the extent of them, of telling them that. I tell him, in not mincing words, it’s not my mental health issues that are the problem. It’s that I’m going on EIGHT years of still blacking out, still having severe abdominal pain and vomiting and it’s been almost THREE months since my reversal. He tells me because my labs are still really bad, that he’ll order a PICC line and then I’ll have my EGD and infusions. And finally admits that while I wasn’t a perfectly compliant gastric bypass patient, that my problems were NOT my fault, even though it wasn’t his, either. Which he has told me, before. Then I go home, again, via medicab.

Next day I’m back at the hospital, to get PICC line.

The day after, I have my EGD scheduled and my infusions of banana bags and ferritin. My surgeon’s assistant tells me that my infusions after that scheduled infusion are going to have to be managed by my Primary Care Physician, who’s 50 miles away. By the time EGD is over, I have a few hours to kill before infusions.

And I start to become VERY angry over the whole thing. My surgeon calling for a pain consult, earlier that summer, the admission he decided to reverse me, late in June of 2010. My being taken off IV pain meds, by the pain management specialist, who said that IV opiates were NOT protocol for Fibromyalgia. I’m angry enough with the pain management doctor to not mince words in saying that  my admitting diagnosis was multiple ulcer perfs, with intractable abdominal pain and vomiting. That lidocaine patches were not proper pain management for managing ulcer perfs, migraines (I have had a migraine history since the age of 15, but the migraines during hospitalizations were caused by the IV opiates but they were needed given the amount of pain that I was in, as I would throw up any oral meds). He doesn’t back down and 4 days out of that admission, going into a weekend, I am not given anything for pain and anxiety. All those ER visits that Summer of 2010 where it would be hit or miss if I’d get any treatment without being labeled as a drug seeking hypochondriac, but didn’t think they’d treat me that way, once post reversal.

I run into my surgeon, after my EGD, but while waiting for infusions. I’m so angry that I threaten to sue. I tell him I want the PICC line out, it’s not worth the risk of having one in, if they aren’t going to maintain the infusion orders. He tells me to have the infusions and that they can take out the PICC line after my infusions. I agree. And I sadly walk away from him.

Spring of 2011. I’m put on Topamax, again, by my PCP for migraines. Not only am I getting every adverse side effect from Topamax, I’m still vomiting and have really bad abdominal pain. I see my surgeon, who does an EGD, agrees that Topamax is NOT the medicine for me, as I have moderate ulcerations.

Late Summer of 2011, one night in particular, I start projectile vomiting and I can’t stop. Dozens of times.  My best friend who’s 1 bedroom apartment in her basement that I was renting, and  who’s also a nurse, calls for an ambulance. While there is a closer hospital, they take me back to the University of MN. I’m given Protonix, IV fluids, in the middle of the night, in the ER. As well as IV pain meds. The next morning, they want to discharge me. With NO testing. I beg them to call the Bariatric surgeon on call, they refuse.

While waiting for my medicab, after being discharged, I see a car come to me. It’s my bariatric surgeon. I take off my sunglasses, and he sees once again, I’ve vomited so much, that I’ve broken blood vessels in my eyes and look like a Gargoyle. He asks me “What the HELL happened to you??” I briefly tell him, as he is a busy surgeon with privileges at many of the local hospitals in the Twin Cities and he was on his way to one. He calls his assistant, tells her to order me an Upper G.I. and wishes me well.

The Friday before Labor Day of 2011. Which is almost exactly a year since my reversal and I’m scheduled for an Upper G.I.. They find a problem with that, but it’s going into a holiday weekend and they are having trouble finding a doctor to do an EGD. I call the medicab company to pick me up, when I’m told that my surgeon will come in, on his day off, no less to do it.

That would be the last time I saw my bariatric surgeon. I got a letter from his office, but not until 3 months  later saying I was of normal anatomy and no longer needed  to be under the care of them.

While I didn’t agree, I knew that our medical relationship was NO longer working. I did appreciate from the start, before I had my gastric bypass, which he went out of his way to make happen, as well as with my complications, that it wouldn’t work. Other than seeing an ob/gyn in November of 2011, to have Mirena put in, that was the last time I was in that hospital system for almost 18 months.

I had NO emergency room visits, in 2012. In fact I only saw a doctor TWICE that year. Once was when I had a syncope episode (because while I’m of “normal” anatomy, I’m still having problems both gastric bypass and reversal side effects, but at least I’m still alive) and fell and sprained my arm. So I went to a local urgent care. Then I saw my PCP. I still was having a lot of problems. but I just didn’t have it in me. But it wasn’t as bad as life was from 2004 to 2011. While my migraines were getting worse, I didn’t know yet, that Mirena would be an issue.

I was really sick though late 2012 and early in 2013. I ended up deciding to go to the ER, the day before Valentine’s Day of 2013, at the hospital where I had my gastric bypass and reversal and many admissions, when the intractable vomiting (sometimes blood) and was having many atypical migraines, that were getting worse.

That admission, I was treated like a volatile unstable drug seeking hypochondriac. Because I was used of being labeled, I had learned for the last 2 1/2 years, not to go to the ER when my PCP wasn’t working, because she had to intervene for me so much and explain to acute doctors, of the danger they were putting me in, not taking me seriously, which she had learned, almost the very hardest way, almost 11 years before when she delivered my daughter, and it nearly killed Zoe and I.

The ER doctor on 2-13-2013, at University of MN Health, didn’t appreciate my calling my PCP. After giving me a cocktail of Protonix (at my PCPs insistence ,as by then I was taking a lot of Ibuprofen, something I didn’t do before my reversal as I already had ulcer bleeds but anything I was trying to get rid of these unbearable migraines wasn’t working) and some IV fluids and Compazene, discharged me without a test and her abysmal treatment of me, was devastating. I couldn’t get a medicab to go home because they were overbooked. By then it was around 8pm, it was dark out, snowing, super cold  and the hospital campus, because they were building the light rail, was unrecognizable to me, even though I’d been there so much in the last 7 years,  not to mention I was kind of disoriented not being able to keep foods or fluids down and meds weren’t working.

I got lost many times when trying to find a bus, to get home. At least by then I lived in Downtown Minneapolis, where I just moved, a month before, which was only 2 miles away. I had already been super depressed, as discussed in a previous blog. I also didn’t know at the time, that Mirena was definitely an issue, that was going to kill me,  until a month later. While I don’t hold that ER doctor, responsible,  for not knowing Mirena was an issue, she could have treated me, better. I have NOT been at University of MN Health, as a patient, since then. Only this year, going there, to visit my best friend’s son during one neurological  appointment, that was in the same office as my bariatric surgeon and when his Nurse Practioner saw me, she didn’t even respond back to my saying “Hi” and my best friend caught that, and looked at me like a very scary ghost.

This was MUCH more than a Gastric Bypass Reversal story.It’s a medical and mental health activism story, as well. It also explains why I do the body diversity activism that I do, as well as why I definitely understand why some  people don’t want a surgical intervention or any weight loss suggestions, thrown on them on an hourly basis, and every time they see a doctor.

I hope it makes sense though, of why I went into so much detail. It made things so much harder on me, to get medical treatment, sometimes in life or death situations, then it had to be, because I had a mental health history, starting in mid 2008. I also when I had my gastric bypass reversal, didn’t know anyone else who had one. And I made a vow, that no one with major complications and a reversal, would ever go through that, unsupported. I did have great weight loss surgery peeps who did try to support me, but I’ve helped an enormous amount of people, by going through so much medical and mental health stuff, by going public with my story.

This was much longer than I could’ve anticipated. I will say that, while I don’t have any regrets about having my reversal, I’m still having a lot of problems, FIVE years later. That I haven’t wanted to address and hopefully, my going into detail of the problems I had, makes sense, why I’m so hypocritical in not proactively seeking medical care, when it comes to my own circumstances, due to the HELL I was put through. I’m not saying I was a perfect patient, because I wasn’t. And I’ve learned in the 5 years, I’ve been talking about my reversal, and helping a lot of people, that my bariatric surgeon made it easier than others, that I know now , who’ve needed a reversal. I also though at this point have hit a wall, and I do have to seek both a bariatric surgeon for side effects of my reversal that greatly interfere with my life.

Even though I’m no longer endanger of dying due to multiple ulcer perfs and my labs have gotten a lot better.

The specifics of how I’m doing, currently, will be in an another  blog, soon.

I apologize though, not only for the length of this, but that I haven’t done a gastric bypass reversal specific blog, on this site, I do have one at Obesity Help, that I started in Summer of 2010.

But today, I am celebrating that I’m ALIVE on my 5th anniversary of my reversal . Something I honestly, didn’t think between my complications, my reversal and my Mirena issues (another blog will be about that, too), that I’d still be alive, today.

Note: This is NOT a anti-wls surgery blog. This is a blog that hopefully explained in great detail, of why I do the activism I do. I am very supportive of choice. Meaning I’ll defend a surgical intervention to lose weight.

But I’ll most definitely defend anyone’s choice NOT to have weight loss surgery and not be subjected to constant fat bigotry not only by society, but medical professionals as well. But this shows that even in my case, where while my weight fluctuates, while I don’t have fat bias issue by doctors as a problem, in their treatment of me, the labeling that I’ve gone through, with mental health issues, has definitely effected not only not getting any care, when seeking it, but the horrible amount of bias that I have endured, not knowing until a few years later, not just because of my mental health issues, but before they were diagnosed, because I’d been labeled and drug abuse tested, way before I was put on narcotics, because of the fact I had weight loss surgery.

More than this………


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“I could feel at the time/there was no way of knowing….” /Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry “More Than This” /No copyright infringement intended..

I’m apparently starting 2015, a lot like I did with 2014. Caught between where I was 5 years ago and where I was 10 years ago.

Especially in the case of this particular weekend, where I’ve a pretty good memory (which is nothing less than shocking, to me, and those who know me well) where I was both exactly 5 years ago and 10 years ago.

Martin Luther King weekend of 2005, I was with my children, who were 12 1/2 (Zach) and 22 1/2 months old (Zoe Arielle) respectively, on vacation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. While I was no longer working, I was in school to be a Certified Personal Trainer and in the process of launching a small business.

I remember that trip, quite well. It was Zoe’s first (and only) time on a plane. We had unfortunately booked our trip through a company that rhymes with “hot liar”, and while we got to Minneapolis/St Paul airport at 6:30am (took a cab from our apartment in Plymouth to the airport). Didn’t get to Fort Lauderdale until 12:30 am, the following day, as we had a layover in Philadelphia. It was quite frigid in both Minneapolis and Philadelphia and while it was warmer in Fort Lauderdale, it was unseasonably cool, even there, (late 40 degree temps at night, mid 60’s most of the trip, except the last 2 days where it got above 75).

While my parents lived close by to me (actually, everyone in my immediate family lives somewhat close by, save my oldest nephew who’s now in college) they had a second home for quite a while in the Fort Lauderdale suburbs. So while Zach and I had been to Florida quite a few times to visit them when they “wintered” there, between my pregnancy and maternity leave while I still worked until 2004, couldn’t afford to go to Florida. And after our  January 2005 trip, I was too sick to be able to travel, so it ended also being the last time, my children and I would be on a plane or out of the state of Minnesota.

My son ended up staying with my parents during that trip except the last night, I had already reserved a Marriott Town Suite in Fort Lauderdale, where Zoe and I stayed. I had many fond memories of that trip, whether it was being amused of how much crap that one needs to take on a plane for a toddler, to how much space my little 22 1/2 month old would take up in a king size bed. I had rented a car, too, so that we could go on adventures together, all 3 of us, in addition to spending time and going out with my parents. We drove to Las Olas Boulevard and the shops and restaurants all over, we also drove down to South Beach and saw the hotels and the cruise ships, it was a lot of fun, though.

Never Ever, to think,  at the time, that 3 1/2 years later, I’d be on a psych ward for 35 1/2 days, after years of being sick and getting sicker physically and mentally to disintegrate, after one serious suicide attempt and giving up custody before that, knowing that I was acutely suicidal and too medically and mentally fragile to best raise my kids, any longer.

Martin Luther King weekend of 2010, was spent inpatient at Fairview University Medical Center, one of many inpatient medical admissions I had from 2006 to 2010. What was different about this particular inpatient admission, is that I was begging my surgeon after almost gaining all my weight back, due to the meds I had been put on from nervous breakdown in 2007, increased and added post suicide attempt in 2008, that caused me to be the same size (a 24) that I was at my biggest before my gastric bypass.

What was memorable about that admission was that I didn’t beg my surgeon to reverse my gastric bypass, as I had NO idea that gastric bypasses were EVEN “reversible”, I begged him to REVISE me. Because if I had to be that sick, I didn’t want to be that fat again, if I am to be truthful.

Never Ever, to think,  that 6 months later, my surgeon told me I needed a reversal, if I wanted to live and have any shot of anything resembling a normal life. By then my definition of normal had been so reduced, beyond the scope of anything I could have comprehended, ten years, before.

I’m not trying to trigger my size acceptance and fat acceptance peers when I say that I had asked for revision in January of 2010. And I have more blogs in me of why I do the activism that I do, when it comes to both weight loss surgery and/or SA/FA. And why I’m supportive of BOTH. But this isn’t the blog to discuss that.

This is the blog that explains my constant sense of remorse, that I have a life, that while I know just how lucky that I am be alive, is so far away from the life I dreamed of, ten years ago. It’s why even though 5 years ago that I had just gotten out of the mental health system, after a an almost 17 month stint, that as much as I complain, I don’t take things for granted.

But as I’ve said before, I never took things or people for granted. My freedom, perhaps, but really NOTHING else. There’s really NO learning lesson when in my life, my complex medical, cognitive and mental health issues, robbed me of abilities, that are just not conceivable to most people.

But again, I understand how lucky I am to have kids. I am lucky to have those I love the most, still alive.

Still, I’m always going to struggle with this….

“There was no way of knowing/like a dream in the night/of which way we were going” – Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry “More Than This”……

(Note: Above pic of my kids and I, taken 2005)

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