Monday, June 28, 2010

The Easy Way

Bariatric Clinics are popping up like Nail Salons around here.

That concerns me.

I don’t have a problem with bariatric surgery. Many people have had major medical problems alleviated by Gastric Bypass or Lap Band surgery. I have a friend who now has the use of his knees again after GP. Another friend of mine virtually eliminated her congestive heart failure by getting a Lap Band. Still a third friend has her Lupus under control after bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery is not a bad thing. And those of us who choose not to have it do not need to get all judgy about it. (You know who you are! Stop it right now!)

I admit to getting a little envious when I see my friends who’ve had the surgery & see how great they look. It’s hard to see the debilitating medical conditions that drove them to surgery in the first place.

That’s why I am so concerned about all these clinics popping up.

They make it look so easy.

Their marketing is just like Jenny Craig’s, Slimfast or Weight Watchers: Lose weight, be beautiful, and solve your problems with one little surgery. One little surgery that costs thousands of dollars and is rarely covered by insurance. One little surgery that essentially removes (or permanently constricts) a major organ. One little surgery.

This isn’t like getting your tonsils out.

One of my friends, Carmen, had GP about 6 years ago. She opened my eyes to what it’s really like. She lost 100 lbs and looks very pretty – as long as her clothes are on. She gets sick every time she eats. She lost most of her hair – and the hair she has is dull & brittle. She has loose skin – which chafes and becomes irritated all the time. She had additional surgery to remove it. When she needed knee surgery last year, the fact that she no longer had a stomach made her recovery that much more difficult.

Carmen needed the surgery, and she would do the same thing over again. It took a few years, but she is looking and feeling healthy again. It took a few years to feel healthy again. And the battle is still raging. The weight could come back.

Carmen would be the first to say that having a Gastric Bypass is not the same as getting a boob job. Or Botox. Or liposuction. Bariatric Surgery is not about how you look.

It’s not easy.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you 100%! My husband had it 10 months ago and has lost close to 200 pounds! It has been life-changing for our family. He went from walking with a cane, sleeping with a c-pap, in great need of knee surgery, high blood pressure, and little desire to play with our three active boys. Now, he is running out the door to play with the boys, swimming daily, and having a blast! No knee surgery is needed, no more sleep apnea, no more high blood pressure, and a new zest for life. But let me tell you girl, it wasn't easy and it never will be! No one really knows just how difficult it is unless they are living it. It's a lot more than losing weight...and it's not easy!


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