In 2016, I was diagnosed with severe Sleep Apnea, Intracranial Hypertension (too much spinal fluid in my brain), high blood pressure and was pre-diabetic. All of these were directly linked to my morbid obesity, they're even called, co-morbidities, and felt like I was hearing my own death knell. So, I started doing research and found my way back to seriously considering Weight Loss Surgery. I had been down this path in my 30s but it wasn't the right choice for me then. Two years ago it became the light at the end of a long and painful tunnel.
One of the reasons I decided to write about this part of my journey is because I want to share what I learned about a hormone called, ghrelin, also know as the Hunger Hormone. After reading several studies, I started to understand why, no matter how much I ate, I always felt hungry. I now understand that my stomach was most likely always producing ghrelin, which meant that my brain was always being told to eat. I started to feel hopeful because the research I found concluded that many patients who had Gastric Sleeve Surgery stopped producing ghrelin for a time after surgery because the part of the stomach that produces it is removed from the body.
In January of 2017, I met with a surgeon in Albuquerque and spent the next few months working on accepting that I needed such extreme help. I've always been pretty extreme in my weight loss efforts though (65 day juice fast, 21 day water fast, 5 years of not eating sugar, flour or wheat, etc.), so it's really not surprising that I ended up on a surgeon's table. I still had to process a plethora of pre-surgery feelings though, including: feeling like a failure, fear of the surgery itself, anger at needing the help of western medicine, which I felt had contributed to my obesity, and mostly it just felt like I was cheating. Cheating because my whole life everyone said that if I just ate less and exercised more, weight wouldn't be a problem. Turns out everyone was partially right, it just took having 75% of my stomach (a.k.a. my little ghrelin maker) removed so that my brain would actually be capable of functioning in a way that allowed me to eat less and exercise more.