While November 24 is the actual anniversary, it was two years ago Monday that I made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery.Â Two years later, I’m down a total of 160 pounds.Â I had lost a total of 170 by MayÂ but I had some minor surgery this summer that preventing me from working out so I actually put on a few pounds.Â The weight has stablized and now I’mÂ in maintenance mode.Â Still, the gastric bypass surgery has been a positive development and one I’m thankful I chose.
As it turns out, what I thought was a minor complication — some post surgical bleeding in my staple line — was actually very serious.Â I took five units of blood before the incisions stopped bleeding.Â My nurse told my wife if I were older, I probably wouldn’t have made it.Â I spent that Thanksgiving night watching The Godfather Part I & II and sipping tiny cups of water every 30 minutes.
From a health perspective, I no longer snore so I no longer have sleep apnea.Â I no longer have high blood pressure.Â I no longer have high cholesteral.Â I excercuise more.Â My diet has improved as I am eating more fruits and veggies and less processed food.Â But I can eat a small slice of pizza again without getting sick and I can eat foods I couldn’t a year ago.Â
I help referee soccer games now.Â I can buy clothes in just about any men’s store.Â At trade shows and events and business trips, I still run into old colleages and friends who haven’t seen me in a while. Their reactions never get old.
What I have learned is everyone who has this surgery has a different experience.Â I can eat things others cannot.Â Likewise, there are some things I can’t eat that others can. Some former patients eat several small meals a day.Â Others don’t.Â The post-surgical experience is different for everyone.Â And almost everyone I know has a family member or friend considering this surgeryÂ and I always invite them to contact me about my experience.Â
Last Christmas, I was able to exchange gastric bypass surgery notes with former USC runningback Anthony Davis.Â At ComicCon, I had a gastric bypass discussion with Buck Rogers actor Gil Gerard.Â
I’m very grateful to my doctors at Orange Coast Memorial in Fountain Valley.Â In 2011, I’ll need a tummy tuck to remove some extra skin that won’t snap back and I’m told the tissue will be harvested for a burn unit to provide skin grafts.Â Whoever came up with that idea is brilliant.
The biggest thing that ever happened to me on Thanksgiving was the birth of my son; the gastic bypass thing was the second biggest.Â As it sit down to the traditional meal this Thursday, I’ll be thankful for the care I got, the support of my family and friends, and for improved health.Â The cranberry sauce (made with sweetener, not sugar) will be a bonus.