Complications after weight loss surgery: “I’d rather be fat.”

No you wouldn’t.

Or, that’s because you’re skinny.

Okay, maybe you’re not skinny. Maybe you’re average. Maybe your BMI puts you in the overweight category, or even obese. Maybe you struggle to find clothes that are slenderizing — but you can still shop at Target.

When I tell people about my chronic diarrhea — and yes, of course, I tell people about it — most of them say, “I’d rather be fat.” When I was hospitalized for dehydration twice, I’m sure some of my friends thought that.

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of my chronic diarrhea. It does inhibit me in some ways — I doubt I’ll ever go camping unless it’s a special camping site with private bathrooms — and I’ve been hospitalized twice for dehydration when nothing would stay in. I don’t like it when I feel kind of nauseated when I eat too much sugar in the absence of any protein. I didn’t enjoy getting iron infusions while pregnant with Porcelain because my body had so little iron leftover after what she took. There are aspects of my life post-weight-loss surgery that give me some pause.

(If you want to read about a Biliopancreatic Diversion with a Duodenal Switch, you can find some here. And here. And some research studies here.)

But being fat — being morbidly obese, being nearly 275lbs at 5’6″ with no clear limit in sight — I wasn’t a fan of that either. It came with complications too. My blood pressure was rising, I was pre-diabetic, and when a piece of my liver was sent to the lab it came back as severe fatty liver, like what an alcoholic would have. I was tired and lethargic. I wasn’t able to enjoy spending with my kids the way I can now (sometimes). Or my dogs.

And oh, the sweat! Moving 275lbs around is not easy. The regular sweat. The underboob sweat! The sweat-dripping-into-my-eyes-and-blinding-me sweat!

The comparison is not FAT versus SKINNY WITH DIARRHEA AND A FISTULA.

The comparison is fat with potentially life-threatening complications that would not have improved on their own and skinny with definitely annoying complications but I don’t think they threaten my life and I can help them somewhat by what I eat. 

I rarely regret having my weight loss surgery. I can’t say never — right afterward surgery, when I was in a lot of pain, I thought, “My god, why didn’t I try Weight Watchers one more time?!?!?” — but every day I’m glad I did it.


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