Finally, it had all come together. It was like Christmas morning or having tickets on the fifty-yard line. It was like holding the winning lottery ticket. It was my like my birthday or my first kiss. It was the first day of Summer. Finally, I had lost ninety pounds. I had become my own best friend. When I was alone, the company was good. I liked the person in the morning mirror; more so, I enjoyed her. She was pretty, and she was fun. She had energy, and she was alive. She was confident, and she was ambitious.
The weight had come off surprisingly fast from my gastric bypass surgery, almost melting away (or so it seemed). As memory allows, my weight loss all happened between six and nine months.
And so it stayed. Ninety pounds. I was satisfied, but believed I could accomplish more. My bariatric diet was good, healthy and as prescribed. I also was taking my vitamins as recommended for gastric bypass patients. I knew that the desire for additional weight-loss from my surgery was not vanity or some other questionable motivator. It was simply a need to discover the best in me. So, I began a program of daily exercise, and in a few months shed the additional pounds. One hundred pounds altogether. I felt good about myself, and my new bariatric life, but remained grounded. I thought the redesigned me was something of a gift and was determined to not abuse or exploit what I had received. Simply put, I was happy.
And then something changed. The one hundred pounds that had been lost became ninety-nine, then ninety-eight, ninety-four, ninety. I was gaining weight. Eighty-eight, eighty-six, eighty-two. Eighty...I had regained twenty pounds of the weight that I had lost after my weight-loss surgery.
I did not fully understand what had happened to promote this reversal of fortune, but I understood the effects completely. I began to feel depressed and scared. Memories of an overweight (obese) youngster resurfaced. Although I took the weight off as a teenager through rigorous diet and exercise, I regained it after marriage. Now I wondered if this was in fact an ugly cycle of weight loss and gain, happiness and despair.
My current twenty pound weight gain had happened in fast forward. It was quick, an ambush of inches and pounds. Although I was hardly my former obese self, I was terrified she was lurking nearby and prepared to take control. I began looking at old photographs of myself prior to my gastric bypass. I knew that I could not go there again, to be morbidly obese. It would be physically and emotionally unbearable. It would be poor health and tattered self-esteem. It would be miserable.
I went to the website of the bariatric surgeon who had performed my gastric bypass procedure a few years earlier, to see if anything could be done to stop this tide. It was there that I learned about gastric bypass revision surgery.
There are currently five options for gastric bypass revision surgery:
Shrink the stoma by injecting a sclerosant (sodium morrhuate) into the stoma, which is the opening between the stomach and small intestine. The procedure, called sclerotherapy, involves injecting the sclerosant over the course of two or three procedures to create scarring that reduces the stoma's size.