Monday, February 12, 2007


It's been TOO long since my last blog, so I decided I should update you folks on what's going on.

I'm delighted to say I've finally adjusted to my new lifestyle. That's not to say it hasn't had its challenges. I've nicknamed myself the Duchess of Yerk, because every once in a while, my stomach stages a palace revolt.

One of those was around Christmas. My husband is a cop, and he took me to his department's annual Christmas party a couple of months ago. We sat with a bunch of Mike's friends from the bomb squad, who, being cops, were proving their skill with sick humor. (This poor, dumb 17-year-old kid had built three pipe bombs just for the hell of it, and one of them went off before he could get clear. Luckily, he survived, but his thumb didn't. One of the bomb squad found it in a light fixture. Since the kid was missing a chunk of his hand, there was nothing to reattach it to. The way cops deal with horror is by making sick jokes, so these guys got into a pun contest. "Hey, he gave me the FINGER!" I was laughing so hard, I forgot to watch how I ate. I ate too much, too fast, and realized I'd obstructed. So Mike and I had to leave.

On the way home, we had to pull over so I could yerk. There's something about standing in a ditch beside a patrol car tossing your salad that really puts things in perspective. I guess it serves me right for laughing at those horrible jokes.

So anyway, I am now down 81 pounds at this point, six months after my surgery. This weekend, I was invited to Philadelphia to speak to the Valley Forge chapter of Romance Writers of America. Now, flying in the past has always been a huge source of humiliation and pain, because regular seat-belts didn't fit. Last year, I had to ask the flight attendant on each plane for seat belt extenders. But this time, no extenders were needed. I felt comfortable on a plane for the first time in years! Oh, it was wonderful! And I was able to scramble up and down the ladders and walk through the airport without feeling as if I was going to pass out or have a heart attack.

There are some problems, of course. I have a really bad cold at the moment, but gastric bypass patients can't swallow pills, and anything asprin related is out. So finding a cold medication is a challenge. But I found I could swall Dayquil Liquid Gel pills without obstructing, so I was able to get through the flight. (Though for a while, I was worried I would yerk up the pills. My stomach is REALLY picky about large, hard things.)

Anyway, I can honestly say I'm glad I had the surgery. Yes, there are times I think longingly of the chocolate I can't eat, or the desserts everyone else is enjoying, or the drinks I can't have. But wearing a size 20 instead of a size 28 is a very nice consolation, and so is feeling so much more healthy.

I still have 60 or 70 pounds to go, and I'm not sure how long it's going to take to reach my goal. My weight loss has been slowing down. Ironically, as my body has gotten smaller, it hasn't needed as many calories, so it's not burning fat as fast. But I'm losing at a good, healthy pace -- about two or three pounds a week (There were days early on when I'd lose a pound a day). Hunger isn't a problem (though cravings do hit, and you have to control them. Luckily, because sugar gives me dumping syndrome, it's much easier to stay out of the cookies and candy than it once was.)

If you're morbidly obese, and there is a GOOD, experienced surgeon in your area who does gastric bypass surgery, you should give the surgery some thought. (I'm not talking about some quack who does them every once in a while. You need a guy who has done at least 100 Gastric Bypass surgeries and has a low rate of complications and mortality. Any time you operate on someone who is more than 100 pounds overweight, there are very serious risks.) God knows it's not cheap, though, and you may have to jump through hoops to get your insurance to pay for it, but I think it's worth the effort.

Oh, by the way, the Valley Forge chapter was GREAT to me! I had a ball talking to them. They're a fine group of ladies, and they're very friendly and welcoming.

Angela Knight