Thursday, March 31, 2016

Jon is Having Bariatric Surgery

I am currently sitting in the surgery center waiting room in Des Moines while Jon is undergoing bariatric surgery. I know that this surgery is done successfully all the time, but there is still the risk of death and I'm scared.
Back in 2013, Jon underwent a medically managed weight loss program and lost about 130lbs. He blogged about it here. Over the past three years he has gained all the weight back, done more researching and is, as I type, undergoing a vertical sleeve gastrectomy.

It has taken me a long time to get to the point I am today, supporting Jon and his decision. Back in 2013, Jon wanted to have surgery, but I was against it. I didn't want him to permanently alter his body in reducing the size of his stomach when he might have success with VLCD. Jon did great on VLCD, as stated, lost a bunch of weight, but over time just put the weight back on. I contributed it to the lack of psychological care in the program Jon was in. Sure, he was getting the nutrition counseling, but wasn't getting the mental work to change  his relationship with food.

When Jon brought up surgery again, this time in August 2015, I was very against it. He still had not done any of the psych work to deal with his emotional eating. I didn't understand how having surgery would change that. Sure, it would reduce how much he could eat at one sitting, but if he still had an unhealthy relationship with food, he could still gain weight. Per our insurance, Jon needed to meet once per month with a doc for six months to specifically discuss diet, exercise and weight loss. He ended up doing seven months to make sure he met the requirement. It was also required that he meet with a psychologist. Jon chose the psychologist that works in the Weight Loss Clinic to ensure that he was meeting with someone that understood emotional eating and food addictions.

Over the past several months, I learned that Jon has given this a lot of thought. He wants to see Gus and Lucy grow up. He wants to be able to go on bike rides and run after the kids. He wants to grow old with me. He wants to live. After the six-week healing period, he will be able to eat mostly what we eat, just in smaller quantities. Yes, he will have to take certain vitamins (multi-vitamin, B12 and calcium citrate) for the rest of his life, but the risks of him dying from heart disease, diabetes or any other obesity-related cause will be greatly reduced. I thought that him having this surgery would mean that we'd be cooking two separate meals, we would always have to be planning around his eating (something that I grew up with in regards to my T1 diabetes, and didn't want to repeat) and that we'd be living two separate lives.

I was wrong. We are doing this together. We will make adjustments as we need to in order to still have family meals. We will support each other to be healthy and healthier. We have long lives to live together.


  1. My sister has bariatric surgery Nov 2014. She has had immense success - having gone from 411 pounds down to 178 lbs with very little in the way of complications. I know, first hand, watching someone go through it is so scary but it is so, totally, worth it. She is a different person these days and a much better mother because she physically CAN be one. Good Luck and I'm thinking of you!

    1. Thank you so much, and congratulations to your sister! It's been exhausting since his surgery as I've been trying to stay on top of what he's supposed to be doing/eating at certain times. Now that he's off pain meds and is more "with it" I don't feel so overwhelmed with everything.

  2. A colleague of mine did this and he had great results. He definitely still needed to make smart choices about what he ate and how much, but he's lost over 100lbs and kept it off for well over two years.

    I hope your husband has similar success! Good luck!

    1. Thank you so much. Yes, Jon knows this is just a tool, and he needs to work on his relationship with food for long-term results, but we are hoping to work together on it.