I have been on a quest the last few months to have gastric bypass surgery. I qualified with a BMI of 40.6, and my surgeon wanted me to do a few things to ensure I’m a good candidate for surgery and check for any problems. Two of these things required of me have proved vital and may in fact reduce my need for surgery: a sleep study and a psychiatric evaluation.
I had always assumed I’m a light sleeper. For years, I’ve gotten up multiple times at night. But I never thought I had sleep apnea. I though if I had sleep apnea, I would wake up gasping for breath or something, but that was never the case.
Turns out, I have SEVERE sleep apnea. I stop breathing for 10 seconds or more on average 48 times an hour. That’s nearly every minute. For the most part, I don’t wake up enough to even know. But it still affects how much sleep I’m really getting, and the quality of that sleep.
Sleep apnea can cause obesity which can worsen sleep apnea which can cause obesity which can… You see how just that could be screwing me up.
During the psych eval, I described to the therapist that I’m always HUNGRY. That sometimes even while I’m actively eating, I feel really hungry. Tummy growls on the regular if I’m not eating every couple of hours. Therapist says she’s not sure, but that sounds an awful lot like hypoglycemia. I had no idea. No doctor has ever suggested I may have hypoglycemia. Wasn’t even on my radar. She suggested eliminating sugar and carbs (basically just eat protein and veggies) to see how I feel, and if it evens me out, see what happens if I eat a banana or something. If, like usual, I’m starving after eating a banana, that would suggest blood sugar spiking and all that. (I do not have diabetes, I’ve been tested. Often.)
The therapist also determined my medication and lack of any other therapy is not managing my depression and anxiety, both of which have been big problems for me for 10+ years. I was not surprised to hear I’m not being managed well. But I will have to get my medication adjusted and start cognitive therapy to get it under control.
So there you have it. A recipe for obesity that keeps getting worse no matter how many times over the years I’ve tried every kind of diet you can think of and all kinds of exercise programs.
The combination of the sleep debt from the apnea and my mismanaged depression makes for an always-exhausted and apathetic me. No amount of willpower or motivation would cure someone like me.
My Bi-PAP machine to help me with my sleep apnea arrives in a couple of weeks. I’ll be seeing a therapist and doctor soon to adjust my meds and work on my mood. I’ve started shifting my diet to more protein and vegetables.
Who knows? Maybe with the apnea, depression, and hypoglycemia managed well, I could start dropping weight naturally. I should have more energy with proper sleep and diet, and a lot more motivation in general without the heavy fog of depression.
For now, I’m putting my gastric bypass plans on hold to see how I do with treatment and management of all this. I “only” have about 100 lbs to lose to get me well within the healthy weight range for my height.
Quite frankly, if I could fit into a size 8 or 10, that’s plenty good enough for me. I mostly want to have energy and feel comfortable both physically and mentally.
I know a lot of people were Negative Nancys about me even considering having surgery. But! If I never pursued surgery, I likely never would have found out I had sleep apnea, possibly hypoglycemia, and that my mental health issues weren’t being managed properly. So even if I don’t have surgery, I am definitely glad I pursued it even to this degree.
Monday, September 9, 2013
This entry was posted in Health
and tagged gastric bypass
, sleep apnea
, weight loss surgery
Bookmark the permalink
. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post
Trackbacks are closed, but you can .