I had gastric bypass surgery nearly 5 years ago. Well, it will be 5 years in November. At my very highest weight, I was 330 pounds. I lost really well until my cancer diagnosis in 2012, and got down to 185 or so, but just as I was getting sick, I put on 15 puonds, and then the chemo and radiation caused me to gain another 30 back. Terrifying. I didn’t have bypass to get skinny (althought it is a fantastic side effect). I did it to resolve sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes. It has done all of that AND resolved my heart issues. Sadly, it may have also been the thing that triggered my cancer (release of so many hormones can do that), but it is what it is.
I was stuck at 230 pounds from the time I finished chemo until this past January when I decided it was time to finally get myself to goal. I went back to Weight Watchers and as a bonus it has reminded my pounch of its job, and the weight is falling off pretty well now – in fact, at the same speed it was coming off about 6 months post op, 2 to 3 pounds a week. I had a big old “whooshie” this week and lost over 8 pounds, which means I’m officially down to 179, a loss of 51 pounds since January, and my lowest weight ever. I’ve lost a total of 151 pounds in nearly five years. I feel good, I’m healthy, and I have bat wings.
As a weight loss surgery patient, you know going in that you are going to have flappy skin. It is inevitable. You were big to begin with, lost a lot of weight quickly, and at my age, elasticity was a thing of the past. I have extra skin. From what my doctor things, probably 10 to 15 pounds on it (so if I had plastics, I’d weigh probably 160). I have a panis that hangs, extra skin on my tights, butt and calves, and huge bat wings. I mean, my arms are bad y’all.
When I first started having issues with extra skin (back before cancer got in the way), I considered plastics. Mind you, plastics are hugely expensive and often are not covered by insurance UNLESS there is an underlying medical condition. I didn’t have $50,000 lying around to get surgery done, and couldn’t do it until I was well within my goal weight. Now that I am, I see my extra skin, and I am not going to lie, it bothers me a little.
But, I am not having any medical issues (no infections, skin rashes, no broken skin) and no one is going to pay for it for me (sigh, Extreme Weightloss, help!). And I’ve seen the surgeries on TV. They put your panis (the extra skin on your belly) on a meat hook while they cut it away. They start the arm surgeries down near your wrist and go all the way up to your armpits. And there is scarring.
I’ve always considered having my arms done, they are unsightly, but I’m not sure I want stitces in my armp pits.
This weekend, I was talking to my husband about this. He told me that I’ve been through enough. I’ve had a heart attack, cancer, treatments for cancer, RNY, and he looked at me and told me flat out, “You need to be done.” Mind you, I’ve never considered my husband’s feelings about my body. Don’t need to. He loves me, fat, thin, wrinkly, smooth, whatever, he loves me. And his statement (as I stood there in a bathing suit that I knew would fit better on the bottom if I had a lower body lift) really resounded in me.
Who cares if my skin is floppy? Is it inhibiting me getting dates? Well, no, I’m married. Is it in the way? Well, kind of, but it is easily hidden with spanx. Do you care if other people see your floppy skin? Well, honestly, no. I no longer Give a Damn about what other people think of me. Too much water under the bridge. Do I want to have very complicated expensive painful surgery? NO. Done Being Cut Open.
Sometimes I suppose my vanity gets in the way. Would I love to have the body I thought I deserved growing up? Well sure. Do I want to have to go through more surgery and expense (and pain and drains) to do it? No.
So the plastics train ends here folks. Only surgery I’m having is if something is rotten inside me.
Flap away BatWings. Just Call me BatGirl.