Monday, June 22, 2009
Dem Bones, Dem Bones. Dem Frail Bones . . .
I just read this article looking at the connection between bariatric surgery and weakened/thinned bones. Yep. You read it here first . . . gastric bypass might have some negative impact on your body over the long haul. What? That's not NEWS to you? Yeah. Me neither.
Here's the thing. And I won't get my soap box out here - don't fret - but any one who is really ready to enter in to this surgery and this life should be educated enough to enter in. How many times did I hear the lectures about hair falling out and bones suffering and blood clots on the table and after surgery and the need to get moving right after surgery and the potential for long term damages and suffering inside the body based on things the medical community did not yet know about the surgery and its long term impact (we don't know the 50 year implications of a surgery that is not yet that old).
Here's what we're all doing . . . trying to get healthy. We're willing to admit defeat against our bodies and our food impulses. We're willing to accept that the 50 - 84 diets we've all tried in our lifetimes have failed us. We're open to understanding that we need help in a drastic and extreme way. We are all willing to accept the RISKS that go with the surgery positive that the rewards, over the long haul, will outweigh (pun intended, suckahs) the certain struggles and strains and shortened life and crappy quality of life that would come with doing nothing.
My bones might thin out? Okay. No problem there. I'll take my calcium supplements. I'll drink my daily milk. I'll make sure that my protein bars have protein added. I'll get some calcium in any way I can (even though there is plenty of scientific evidence to support that - by 33 - my body has already taken in all the calcium it is willing to take in for bone development). I'll do the proper thing and maintain post-surgery care (physicals, blood screenings, general assessments) every year for the rest of my life. I'll risk my hair falling out (thanks to genetics it is doing that anyway) and I'll risk that my bones might - 50 or 60 years from now - become frail and weak.
Why? I would have had the joint and back pain every day for the rest of my life (just as I did at 530 pounds). and I lived in constant fear of falling down and breaking every bone in my body as a 500 pound man (just ask Wifey about how much of a mess I became one day when I tripped while looking at a house in Maryland). Because, frankly, without this surgery I would not have been alive for those bones to fail me 50 years from now.
The facts and statistics might be compelling (lots of evidence of reduced hip density, broken bones seem to be common, etc.) but I want to know how faithful those people are to their supplements and diets and I want to know what these people were doing that might have risked broken bones (a sidebar - we are a LOT more likely to run, jump, slide, skip, wrestle, sky dive, run, walk or do errands (smile) following our surgery and "stuff" happens when you are suddenly active after years of being sedentary) and I want to know what any of those statistics has to do with the price of tea in China.
I'm not scared. I'm not going to sit down with Wifey this evening and discuss how we'll put MedicAlert in to our monthly budget and I'm not even going to take it easy on the treadmill tonight (God willing I'll run even harder).
If my bones eventually become frail and weak . . . it is the cost of doing business in the GB world. It is the risk for the reward. The yin for the yang. The quid pro the quo. I'll be just fine. And you can sign "I told you so" on my cast(s) if you think I'm a fool for taking this attitude towards the article and the findings!