Saturday, December 17, 2016

Why Bariatric Surgery? (3)

I think by now (if you have read my previous blogs on this subject) you would have gathered that I had quite a journey, arriving at the point where I decided to have surgery. From a skinny youth with long hair, I morphed into a rather large and very unhealthy 50 plus something kinda dude.' All the signs were there that I was heading to an early grave. Indeed my doctor was quite specific with me, around the age of 62, that I would not make the age for the 'pension (We call it Superannuation in New Zealand. It is Government funded for all over the age of 65)

Lets go back a bit. I began to notice a slight 'spreading of the girth,' around the age of 40---nothing to be too concerned about, but I am sure if I had had blood tests regularly, a pattern would have been apparent. My response?----GO ON A DIET. And so began the 'yoyo' period of my life.

Dieting became an addiction, along with food. You name it---the diet---I have done it. I will not name them all, but I am sure you all know the ones I am referring to. Of course they work, in the sense that the weight comes off---quite successfully for a while, then something kicks back in and back it all goes and then some! Those who have never had an issue with weight and food, will no doubt be making all the old judgments, so maybe they should stop reading. I have heard all the assumptions expressed before, in many different ways, so I guess I am immune to them now.

I will not bore you with the list of statements that the above people have thrown at people like myself. Often they come from people close to you, or ones who work with you. At the time---they hurt and led me to feeling incredibly bad about myself. I felt useless and out of control and I put up a facade. You all know the big happy loud guys. It is  nothing more than a veneer, folks. Inside there is a hurting and unhappy person.

I also went down the 'gym pathway' and other exercises. I ran/jogged, for a while and yes that too worked, but all attempts led to the same result. It came off then back it came! By the time I hit my 50s----health issues were becoming very hard to ignore. Blood pressure,  diabetes (T2), sleep apnea--just to mention a few! I had to use a machine to stop me from snoring and risking a stroke or heart attack. I actually quite liked that machine.

Everything came to a head, one day when while visiting my doctor, he gave me that 'ultimatum about not reaching the age for the pension.' It hit home and combined with the support from my family and some close friends---I explored the issue of Bariatric Surgery. If one is over 50 in New Zealand, the Government does not fund it. Yes, we are lucky in NZ to have a free public health system, that for the most part, delivers excellent service. We have not had to endure that never-ending debate my American friends have aorund that issue. MOST NZers accept higher taxation to have such a system, although  there is a tendency for more and more people to have medical insurance. I did and it paid for part of the procedure and I picked up the rest. (The total cost here was abou $US 15,000)

By this stage, the decision was quite easy for me. I went home and within minutes, I had rung up a surgeon who I had been recommended and started the journey. (To be continued)

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