Weight Loss Surgery Series: Before, During, and After, Continued

So I asked my doctor again. And my-oh-my how her attitude had changed about the surgery! She said that obesity is a disease, and if treated that way, surgery was certainly an option. She had even become the primary care physician for all bariatric patients at the hospital. She helped them with medications and partnered with the bariatric surgeons to assist patients as they prepared for this life-altering procedure. My doctor was finally supportive of the procedure, so I began the process. After I went to a day-long orientation meeting, I started a weight loss regiment, on my own, to lose 20 pounds before the surgery. My surgery date was set for December 18, 2011. My weight was at 276 pounds. I had to fast for two weeks before the procedure and was unable to eat solid foods until a few weeks after. I was off work for 3-and-a-half weeks. I healed completely, with no complications to date.

There is so much more I will share with you about the surgery. I know I was rather quiet about it here on dLife, however I am more than happy to share my weight loss journey with my readers. I think I was preoccupied with life, trying to live it differently since the surgery — that is why I never got into the details, or posted on social media sites about it. I did, however, find social media very helpful in my journey, as it prepared me for the best and the worst of bariatric surgery. I certainly appreciated those who were open books about their lives as they prepared for this life-changing event.

Where I Stand Today

Today I weigh 197 pounds, with the goal of losing about 10-20 more pounds. I am no longer on blood pressure medication. I am still a type 2 diabetic but I am now closely monitored as I manage the disease through diet and exercise. My A1c is at 6.0 and I test daily. I walk and ride my bike (today I rode about 14 miles), and I avoid high caloric, sugary foods and simple carbohydrates (for the most part). I feel great. I do not regret my decision to have the surgery, but I realize this route is not for everyone. I am very happy for those who are losing weight in traditional ways, however, I am glad to know that there are options for people who need a little extra help. I also realize that at almost two years out, the surgery is not enough. If I want to keep my symptoms of diabetes in control, I must monitor my food intake, exercise, and drink plenty or water.

By the way, I am looking quite different now, so I have provided an updated picture of myself for my column. There will be more to come about this weight loss surgery journey, as I have so much to share about it.

Got it sugar?


Read more of Kalimah Johnson's columns, Get it Together, Sugar, here.

dLife's Daily Living columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.

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Last Modified Date: June 13, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
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