Ever get annoyed? Ever feel like someone needs to be told where the dog died? Or handed a crowbar and a tub of Elbow Grease to help them pry their head out of their arse? Congratulations--you've come to the right place.

And when I'm not commenting on the latest thing to piss me off, I'm trying to figure out my own twisted life. Because, hey, I'm like that.

On a gentler note: for anyone dealing with depression, anxiety, and other assorted bullshit: You are NOT alone.

And if you're looking for a laugh, search on the key word "fuckery." It's just my little thing (as the bishop said to the actress).

Monday, February 21, 2011

These Are the Pros and Cons of Bypassing

Written around midnight after a really horrific reaction to high fructose corn syrup. I've been pondering this post for a while, particularly as I celebrated my two year post-surgery anniversary on January 20th. A lot has changed over the past two years.

That zombie-like moaning you’re perceiving at the edge of hearing is me, curled in a ball, in agony, having bid a violent farewell to my very healthy dinner—chicken breast, green peas, and brown rice. And Orangina.

Now, when Orangina hit the market a few decades ago, it was billed as an Italian soda. I always found it delicious—tart, slightly sweet, and not terribly fizzy. Post-gastric bypass, that not-fizziness is a good thing. HOWEVER… Orangina is now bottled in the States, and no longer comes in the lovely little dimpled bulbous bottles of my youth. It comes in Americanized soda bottles and is bottled by the Motts Corporation—y’know, the apple sauce people. Well, unbeknownst to me, they put high fructose corn syrup in the fucking Orangina. The label has a blue badge on it with “12% juice, 2% pulp,” creating an illusion that you just might be ingesting something healthy with your fizziness.


I read the label AFTER the vomiting started. You’d think you could trust something bottled by the Mott’s people.


There happened to be a bottle of their cinnamon apple sauce on the table; I read the label. Sure e-fucking-nough, HFCS. *slams head on the desk* Bastards.

I have written a post before about HFCS; I have called the Corn Growers Association a bunch of cunts. They are, and they’re poisoning us with that shit. I may not be a doctor or a chemist, but y’know, my reconstructed digestive system doesn’t lie. I can’t ingest that crap—I can tell when I’ve taken a large hit of it because I feel pukey—that awful feeling in the back of my throat, it’s like a crawling sensation, the feeling that whatever has gone down is heading back up.

I hate that. I cannot tell you, in any combination of words, how much I hate that. I cannot abide vomiting, and I’ve had to do a lot of it over the past two years because, hey, my new stomach is even fussier and more precious than the old one. The only good thing about throwing up right now is that, because the part of my stomach that produces acid is closed off from the pouch my surgeon created, the food tastes the same as it did going down. NOT a great advantage, but at least I'm not dealing with the burn in my throat from the acid. Just the pain from the heaving.

I don’t know if I’ve blogged about the gastric bypass before. I know I’ve talked about some of the aspects of it, but here, now, just a little over two years later, it seems like a good time to actually talk about it in depth.

I have no regrets about undergoing the surgery; when I first was told that the gastric bypass was the only surgical option—that I had far too much weight to lose for the lap band option (the way my superior surgeon put it is that if it’s 60 lbs or less, it’s about banding. If it’s more than that—and my goal is to lose over time 250 lbs or reach a size 16—it’s the gastric bypass)—I was incredibly depressed. I mean, I felt like a piece of shit. A very fat, very disgusting piece of shit, a complete utter loser, a waste of space on the planet, a piece of human detritus who had nothing to live for and no reason to exist. Fat does that to you. This society has no forgiveness for fat people. I’ve blogged about this before—the societal prejudice against the obese is horrific, and while I understand it, I don’t support it. Like every issue, there are multiple factors involved, and while, yeah, there are some seriously fat, lazy, stupid people out there, obesity is not a simple issue. Our food supply—our poisoned food supply—is at the heart of it. Our laziness as a society is also at the heart of it. And while I do not support the vegans and can never be a vegetarian, I do believe we need to be a hell of a lot more careful about what we put into our bodies, and it’s about fucking time America woke up and demanded the overhaul of the FDA.

Like the rest of our fucking government, those corporate cocksuckers have been bought and sold by the food industry years ago. Think I'm kidding? Do a little research on the rise of obesity, cancer, diabetes, ADD, and ADHD and you will find some very direct correlations with the processed food industry.

But I digress.

Anyway, the months leading up to surgery involved a lot of preparation, education and adjustments. My weight yoyoed ridiculously up and down by about 30 pounds; the only figure that has stuck in my mind is 455, which is what I weighed one week before surgery.
Yeah, you read that right, four hundred and fifty-five pounds. Size 36 or 38W, a 6X.
I don’t weigh that now. I’m still slightly north of 300, but not by much. Surgery, diet and exercise has seen to that. I can actually wear jeans again—size 24W, a size I hadn’t been able to get into in over 20 years.


Friday night, I tried on a bra that was a band size 42. I could get it clasped (and still breathe) without a bra extender. I haven’t been able to do that since high school. Yeah, I’m proud. (I’m still a DD cup, thank the Gods. I love my tits, and while I could bear being a C cup again, I’m happy with the DDs.) This means I can try on my 44 bras and they should fit! Huzzah! This time next year, I’ll be able to go to Victoria’s Secret and successfully shop there. May sound like a silly thing, but that’s going to be my three-year-anniversary treat: a Victoria’s Secret bra. Go me.
Last night, to Jim’s concert, I wore a size 26 shirt. That may not sound like a big thing (well, it IS a big thing, literally), but for someone who couldn’t even get a size 32 button-down shirt closed a few years ago, it’s a fucking miracle. I started cleaning out my fat clothes a couple of weeks ago, and all the size 30 jeans are going to Salvation Army. All the INCREDIBLY fat clothes are already in the bag, and the size 13 and 14 granny panties have been thrown out. I’m wearing a size 11 in undies; one more size to drop, and my shopping options open up immensely.

All of my size 26W jeans are getting loose; they go on tight after the wash, but within a couple of hours of wearing… waistband is loose. And I discovered last night I need to put a couple more holes in my belt.

This is how I’m measuring accomplishments—the size of my clothes. The other way is the extent of my workout in the gym. I found my old gym notebook last week; the diary with the chart I kept when Keith first started training me back in 2002. I can’t tell you folks what it felt like last week to get on to the elliptical and do four minutes and keep up a speed over 3 mph. Two years ago, I couldn’t walk without a cane and couldn’t walk more than a few feet without breaking into a flop sweat and not being able to breathe.

Now… even with two knees that need replacing, I can walk a block without a stick (I took my fancy silver-headed stick to the show the other night, but left it in the car). I can carry, lift, move… I don’t need to fear about being trapped and unable to get to where I need without assistance. All the damage hasn’t been undone, but so much of it is getting better. That’s all I care about.

Last year, my best friend—who hadn’t seen me in three years—couldn’t believe the change. “Oh, my God, Lee, you have a neck again! You have hips!” said to me in a voice filled with wonder. My other best friend, the first time I went up and outpaced her in a walk around Fort Anne… she had been convinced I was going to die if I didn’t go through the surgery (and she was right, to be honest).

I’ve been lucky. I’ve had enormous support from my friends and some of my family. Not everybody gets that.

So far, I’ve talked about the good stuff. Now… the bad stuff. Food is a problem. Food has always been my enemy; as much as I love the taste of good food, I am allergic and sensitive to so much (Christ, I wish I could eat seafood and broccoli and sweet potatoes!) that I never know what’s going to go down and stay, or what’s going to have me bent over and worshipping at the porcelain altar.

It sucks. I can’t eat high sugar or high fat foods, ditto high starch. I miss, miss, miss pasta and rice. Ditto most ice cream, and Ben & Jerry’s and Hagan Daas… *sigh* I kicked the soda habit as part of the prep for surgery, but fuck, I miss Pepsi. I miss Russell Stover Chocolates—just discovered that THEY use HFCS. Shit. I miss fried steak, french fries, potato chips, all that great tasting poisonous shit.

The weirdest thing that’s happened (and I’m feeling a bit strange talking about it) is the change in bowel movements. It used to be ginormous logs; now… well… now… errrrrrrmmm… there have been several occasions when I wanted to go and get my rune dictionary because it looked like I was shitting rune scripts. Seriously. It's utterly gross, but it's also fascinating in a really sick way. Vile. And we won't discuss the stench. You'd think bypassing the stomach acid would make things smell better.


The other weird thing is that I can no longer burp like Barney Gumble. No more earth-shattering belches that earned me the respect of immature guys everywhere.

Alcohol… I’m the cheapest date on the planet. The good thing is that I get drunk VERY quickly. I am the only designated driver who can get hammered early in the evening and be sober enough to drive just by having some food, taking a piss, drinking a pint of water, and waiting an hour. For real. I get COMPLETELY faced on a single drink but will be sober within half an hour. And I don't dare drink alcohol without food on my stomach unless I want to turn scarlet and burn up. Stuff goes into me, gets processed immediately, and out it goes. This is how I know it was the HFCS and not the tequila from the night before: I'd already processed that out. Trust me on that one. *shudder* I found out just how quickly my body processes stuff a couple of years ago whilst drinking copious amounts of rum with Highlanders and I thought they were going to have to take me out of the Citadel in an ambulance to have my stomach pumped because I couldn't puke.


So that's the story. It's been two years; I'm hoping to finish the last big push on the weight loss over the next nine months. I'd like to lose four more sizes by the time my birthday rolls around in November. I keep my ass hauling in the gym, I'll do it. Besides, now that I've accepted cougardom, I want a tighter body to chase the hot young things with. ;-)

Cheers, kids. Happy freakin' Monday. Is it April yet?

1 comment:

  1. 2 thumbs up and keep going! very motivating :D