Previously from Part I - Janet was not really afraid of dying but she was concerned about her inability of taking care of her grandmother who was diagnosed with dementia.
After the lapband operation, Janet was placed on a liquid diet for a month and monitored by doctors. They taught her to eat using a teaspoon and small plates to limit her food intake. But, old habits die hard! Even with the lapband inside her, her weight yo-yoed. Her fluctuating weight caused serious complications, and her band got blocked as the tissue swelled and fluids accumulated.
Whenever she ate was not going through her digestive system. She became malnourished and dehydrated. Her potassium fell to dangerously low levels. Low potassium can cause weakness, tiredness or cramping in the arm or leg muscles. The sufferer will also experience nausea or vomiting, abdominal cramping and bloating and may pass large amounts of urine or feel thirsty most of the time.
She was hospitalized 4 times for this. She was also suffering from chronic headaches and fungal infections between the folds of her skin, which had become loose as a result of the weight loss.
She went for a tummy tuck when infections became unbearable. Her doctors decided to release the tension of the band. By that time, the 1.58 m tall woman weighed only 47 kg. She was so miserable and highly irritable and felt so ill that she would have given everything to be back to 133 kg.
After the tension of the band was loosened, she put some weight back on. She now weighs less than 70 kg.
She has to work really hard to maintain this. She exercises 4 times a week for 90 minutes each time and covers about 50 km a week cycling, swimming, walking, jogging, rowing and using the elliptical walker at the gym.
On top of this, she needs to count the calories that she takes. But because the pouch that is the top half of her stomach had expanded, she occasionally throws up because not everything she eats is digested. Some of it will remain for a couple of days in the pouch, and then she would throw it up, sometime whole chunks of meat. She carries numerous small black bags in her pocket for these emergencies.
Although the unpleasantness of vomiting, she is grateful that the lapband procedure has reversed her diabetes and liver problems. She only needs to be monitored by her general practitioner now.
She warned that the lapband surgery is not an easy way out. Although her current weight of 70 kg is never her ideal weight but she does not mind. Being healthy enough to do things without injuring herself and being able to help take care of her grandmother is reward enough for her.
Gaining weight is very much easier than losing weight. This is a fact that many of us are aware of. Hopefully this story can educate and inspire us to adopt a lifestyle that includes healthy diet and moderate exercise that can help us maintaining a healthy weight. In this way, we can avoid the pain that Janet had been suffering during weight losing, and the risk of getting heart disease or other complications is greatly reduced.
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