Week 4: Post Bariatric Surgery: The Results Are In!

We are now one month post bariatric surgery, and it’s been a whirlwind since last December.  I mentioned in last week’s blog post Kevin had his first set of lab work since pre-surgery.  If you remember I said his excitement about his blood work got the best of him and he had some dumping issues because he drank his protein drink very fast.  That was last week! And the results of his blood work post-surgery are in!  Before I get to the results I want to talk a bit about the major changes that have occurred over the past six months.

lost two pounds since last week.  started the week at 230 pounds

June 9th, 2016 — Week 4
[228 lbs]

The decision for gastric bypass surgery was not a fast one.  Matter of fact we have spent many years on the diet roller coaster thinking we can just lose weight and maintain it ourselves.  Ten years ago we talked about the lap band (which is less drastic than the full gastric bypass), but we decided against it.  I don’t think Kevin was quite ready to make such a drastic decision. Even though he was about 100 pounds overweight.  In the past ten years he has struggled to have a normal blood panel. Every panel stated in big bold letters, “High Risk.” It never seemed to alarm him to change his diet or lifestyle.  Even when he got the diagnosis six years ago of full blown diabetes. It didn’t seem to scare him into making a lifestyle change.  He just wasn’t ready.

The last blood work up before he made his decision for a positive change came in November when his liver enzymes came back out of whack.  And what really got his attention to make a real change was a cat scan.   He had a scan to check for a hernia and instead of finding a hernia they found “Fatty deposits on his liver.”  He had what was called, “Fatty liver disease.”  You kinda need your liver to function.  He had a few more labs taken before surgery and all were a “Fail.”  He failed every category on the sheet!  If that doesn’t get your attention nothing will.  He was a bit nervous on Friday about his lab work, but was confident the results were going to be positive.

He had an appointment with his endocrinologist on Friday.  For days he was anxious about his results.  His goal was to fire his endocrinologist because his blood sugar readings have all been normal since surgery and he has discontinued all diabetes medications.  As he entered the doctor’s office and signed in everyone from the secretary to the nurse to the doctor did a double take.  They wanted to know what happened to Kevin. He was a bit smaller. He proudly said, “I’m four weeks post gastric bypass.”  They all smiled and congratulated him on his weight loss.  As he stepped on the scale he weighed in at 228!  The last time he weighed in a little over 280!  Amazing he has lost almost 60 lbs. in the past three months and continues to drop.

The nurse was so happy she gave placed a gold star on his shirt (which he proudly sported home).  When the doctor entered the room he could not believe this was the same person sitting on the table.  He was amazed at the weight loss.  He was even more amazed at all his reports.  They were nearly perfect!!  His A1C level was 6.1 (which means there is an increased risk for diabetes). However, he missed the normal range by a few fractions.  The normal A1C level is less than 5.7!  The last lab report stated his A1C level was 9.1!  Major difference.  All other labs were in the normal range.  His Cholesterol was 177, previously 298, liver enzymes reading were remarkable. His AST was 23, previous reading 50, and ALT 28, previously it was 84. This was the big one! He was ecstatic by the results along with the Doctor!  He couldn’t believe what he was reading. The new bold message at the bottom of his lab work read, “BELOW AVERAGE RISK.”  We are so grateful for the entire Bariatric Team at Sebastian River Medical Center.  They have touched and forever changed our lives!

Week 2: Post Bariatric Surgery: Exercise is Fun

What do you do for exercise? Is it fun or a drag? During the pre-operative consults the bariatric team couldn’t stress enough how important exercise is for the healing process of surgery and maintence of you body weight. Lucky for us we had been exercising regularly before bariatric surgery was even an option. Everyday since the surgery has been an adventure and learning process. It’s amazing how this surgery could change a life or even two.

lost eight pounds since last week.   started the week at 245 pounds

May 26th 2016 — Week 2
[237 lbs]

Not only has it changed Kevin’s life by his 50 lb. weight loss since December 2015 but has changed mine. I am even more convinced exercise is key! As a therapist clients come for help with depression, anxiety, and addiction issues (just to name a few). I ask this important question during the assessment phase: “What do you do for exercise and what diet do you follow if any?” Most people look at me like I have a horn growing out of my head when they hear the word exercise. Some will say, “I joined a gym but don’t have time to go, or the real answer is I don’t have time to exercise. Exercise has so many benefits and it can be fun, and you do have time.

Kevin’s recovery time from bariatric surgery, a hernia repair, and liver biopsy has been remarkable. He bounced back in just two to three days. Here we are at week 2 and he has already been out doing yard work (which he really shouldn’t be doing), but he says he feels great! He even looks great. To be honest I’m super proud of him. He’s come a long way. However, his speedy recovery time is because he has been on a consistent exercise program for the past 5 years. The last year has been a bit challenging and he slowed down a lot but he still kept at it.

For the past 5 years we trained for several half marathons, 10k’s, and 5k’s. Last year we ran four half marathons. We always had a goal to work toward and that kept us motivated. We were always on a training program, and it was fun! Having a training buddy makes it even more fun. Sometimes we have the best conversations during our exercise time. I have heard many people say, “Wow, I can’t even walk one mile.” To be honest neither could we when we first started! Heck, we got winded just walking to the mailbox and back. I tell people if you want to do it, you can. Anyone can!

2 Weeks Post Surgery Pineapple 5K, Stuart, FL

2 Weeks Post Surgery
Pineapple 5K,
Stuart, FL

Here we are two and a half weeks post surgery and we ran a 5K yesterday. We had the best run in a long time and Kevin felt and looked fantastic. It was exhilarating. The energy and support of the crowd and the people you meet on the course are all incredible. It makes you want to keep moving! And that’s what it’s all about, to just keep moving. When you move chemicals are released from your brain down to your toes and you feel great! The depression lifts and anxiety decreases. Exercise is all a mindset and disciple. So, get out there move and have fun in the process!