If you don't know, AskBrad

My Journey

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For those of you that don't know, don't remember, or don't care, I am Brad.

As of the time of this writing, I'm fat.

I'm not "wafer thin mint" fat, but I am considered Morbidly Obese. As a result, I am also a Type II Diabetic with Hypertension. This means lots of shots and lots and lots of pills. It also means that normal stores are not going to have clothes that fit me. The only places that have what I can wear are Casual Male XL and Wallyworld. Also, as a result of being gravitationally enhanced, I am circumferentially superior to all my friends, family, and just about everybody else that I know. I don't want to go to amusement parks because I really don't fit on the rides. Ultimately, I just want to be able to spend more time with my wife, Christine.

In the past, I've tried many activities to increase my physical level and decrease my food intake. Many years ago, I used to play two-man beach volleyball several days a week. This was keeping me keep active and fit. I was losing small amounts of weight which I would find again in the Winter. A friend asked me to substitute for an injured player on her indoor volleyball team. In about two minutes on the hard court, I had blown my ACL. After I had surgery for that and recovered, I tried my hand at Taekwondo. I lost more than 30 pounds in three months! This was probably the greatest weight loss and mind-building exercise I had ever experienced. However, it was not meant to be. I was sparring with my instructor and my knee buckled and I blew my ACL again.

This is right about the time the depression (eating) set in. I was driving a desk for Toyota (same thing, over and over) and felt that exercising and activities lead to injury. It was a petri dish for depression cells. I tried Northern Praying Mantis Kung-Fu. This time, I didn't blow my knee out completely, but I injured it to the point of barely being able to walk. So, I bowed out.

Eighty pounds later, I am writing this.

What's the Purpose of This?

I have had more than one doctor tell me that I need to take drastic steps to lose weight. I had one doctor try to shock me by telling me that I would be dead by Christmas. Even though that was more than three years ago. So, I guess, to be fair, he didn't say which Christmas.

Fast forward to January of 2014.

I am told that Kaiser Permanente has a program called Options. This is a 12 week program that helps to get you mentally and physically prepared for bariatric surgery. The program quite effectively answered my questions, helped dispel the misinformation I had regarding bariatric surgery, helped me get over many of my food related issues, and (hopefully) prepared me for what is to come.

I am going to share some of the information with you as I'm sure you have many questions. I will show you some of what I learned, what the procedure is, what I am expecting from the surgery and what I expect the outcome to be.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

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Bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) includes a variety of procedures performed on people who are obese. Weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch) or by resecting and re-routing the small intestines to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery).

There are many more options that what will be listed here. However, Kaiser only supports three types of bariatric surgeries: Gastric Bypass or (Roux-en Y,) Sleeve Gastrectomy (Vertical Sleeve,) and Adjustable Gastric Band (Lap Band.)

Click on any of the Bars below to expand the description.

Ok. Now what?

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I have done all the necessary lab tests. I've hit all my milestones. I don't have a fatty liver. My A1C is down. My spirits are up. With all the advantages and little disadvantage, I am going with the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure.

The Doctor that will be performing the surgery is Dr. Gary Belzberg who's been with Kaiser since 1989.

Oh, yea. My VSG surgery is on June 19th - Kaiser Permanente at 25825 S Vermont Ave, Harbor City. I won't have a specific time until the day before. I will be in the Hospital until the next day. I'm sure I will be groggy and hateful during my Hospital stay. So, if you come to visit me, I apologize in advance.

In the weeks and months following my surgery, I will post pictures as I am going through this process.