Wednesday, April 23, 2008

60 Minutes Report---My Point of View

Now that I have had time to reflect. I want to share my point of view on the 60 Minutes show. I still believe it was just another attempt to sell an elective surgery, a totally biased one-sided report.

Nothing was said about how your entire life is turned topsy turvy after the surgery. Did it tell how many people end up losing friends they have had for years? Did it show how many couples end up in divorce? Did it talk about the severe malnutrition seen in long term post ops? Did it share the studies showing conditions primarily seen in starvation-ridden countries and serious or terminal illnesses are now being reported among bariatric patients, from crippling osteoporosis, auto-immune diseases, to brain damage? Did they speak of people who trade one addiction for another?

There are always 2 sides to every issue. Not sharing the dark side, as I call it, of WLS means many will be uninformed when making the decision to have it. That little slip of paper you sign the day of your surgery says you ARE informed about all aspects of the surgery, plus the risks. How many of y'all actually even read the paper you signed? Check out this consent form for one doctor. My consent form was not nearly this thorough.

The whole obesity pani-demic started when the surgeons report back in 2001 stated that 65% of Americans were now obese or overweight. What they failed to tell you is they lowered the BMI categories. From Gastric Bypass, The Untold Story (doc):

Fat people are considered overindulgent, lazy, and are thought to demonstrate a lack of self-control. It doesn't matter that science now shows us that weight is primarily determined by our genes. We have been so ingrained with the idea that fat is somehow a personality flaw that we believe the diet ads and scare tactics that are thrown at us. As we do, we become more and more depressed over the fact that diets just do not work.

Obesity researcher, Paul Ernsberger1 curtails current claims that a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25 or over is a major health risk, by drawing attention to the fact that this information is ―based on reports issued by groups like the World Health Organization2 (WHO) and the NIH3 Obesity Task Force. The WHO panel (originators of the “Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health”) consisted entirely of physicians who run weight loss clinics. Many of these clinics are largely dedicated to prescribing weight loss pills. The NIH Obesity Task Force, as (Paul Ernsberger) pointed out in a letter published in JAMA, consisted almost entirely of people running weight loss clinics. He also asserts, ―this is a more fundamental conflict of interest than taking a few drug company checks. This is a conflict involving livelihood. The NIH and WHO assemble panels of doctors and psychologists who have dedicated their clinical practices to promoting weight loss. Indeed, in their reply to (Paul Ernsberger’s) letter in JAMA, the NIH has explained that their very definition of an obesity expert is someone who runs a weight loss clinic. These people are then asked to objectively evaluate the threat posed by obesity and the benefit provided by the clinics they run. In no other area of medicine are practitioners of a completely unrecognized specialty given such free rein to set their own ground rules.(Campos 44) (Campos, The Legalization of Fat 75)

The American Society of Bariatric Surgeons repeatedly refers to the ―obesity epidemic‖ to persuade people into considering gastric bypass surgery. We are barraged with statements about how gastric bypass surgery ―cures‖ diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and acid reflux among other things. We believe what we hear—they are the experts, aren‘t they? We allow them to alter our digestive systems hoping to attain the holy grail of thinness and health. What they neglect to tell us is that ―any‖ weight loss can control those conditions, not just the surgical alteration of our insides. We are also not informed that there is no guarantee that those same problems we had before surgery will not return in the future and bring even more health problems with them.

Hundreds of thousands of people have had bariatric surgery in recent years and the number is growing every year. The media portrays this surgery as a lifesaver and an almost-magic method of losing weight for the millions of people who are being targeted in the so-called ―obesity epidemic. However, what is life like years after gastric bypass? Is it still as rosy as it was portrayed? Is there a part of the story the media hasn‘t yet stressed?

The first bariatric operation was the jejuno-ileal bypass (JIB), introduced in 1950 by Kremen, Linner, and other early pioneers (MacGregor Ch 1). The complications caused by this procedure were considerable and caused the procedure to fall into disrepute. Some of the complications included mineral and electrolyte imbalance, osteoporosis and osteomalacia(softening of the bones), calcium and vitamin D deficiency, hair loss, anemia, edema(fluid retention), vitamin depletion, gallstones, abdominal distension, irregular diarrhea (4-5 times daily), increased gas, bowel obstructions, arthritis, liver disease (in at least 30% of patients), acute liver failure, hepatitis, cirrhosis, erythem modosum (non-specific pustular dermatosis), Weber-Christian Syndrome5, renal disease, kidney stones, peripheral neuropathy, pericarditis6, pleuritis7, anemia, neutropenia8, thrombocytopenia9, diarrhea, and malabsorption with multiple deficiencies. (MacGregor Ch 2) ―As a consequence of these complications, jejuno-ileal bypass is no longer a recommended bariatric surgical procedure. Indeed, the current recommendation for anyone who has undergone JIB and still has the operation intact, is to strongly consider having it taken down and converted to one of the (newer) gastric restrictive procedures. (MacGregor Ch 2)

As I will illustrate, almost all of these complications are showing up in current bariatric surgery patients as well. Surgeons have discarded this older surgery for the ―new and improved versions; but are they really better? Each one of the surgical procedures for weight loss was touted as ―new and improved in its time. However, as each was time-tested, it too, was found to have many of the same complications. Then another ―new and improved version would come along. Bariatric surgery has become a cash cow for the surgeons performing it, and they certainly do not care to give up this lucrative income. Consequently, the many complications that are brought about by gastric bypass surgery are conveniently played down.

It really all boils down to one thing.....WLS is big business. The surgeons make money. the supplement companies make money, the hospitals make money. You and I, the post WLSers pay that price with our health, physical and mental and many times with our life.

All because we fell for 2 ideas. One, we think obesity is unhealthy. Two, the thought of finally we could be thin. This is the real reason most go for the surgery, despite all their cries about doing it for their health.

Here's some further reading on this:

As for the claim that WLS "cures" diabetes, let's not forget how well it works. (sarcasm there y'all) Reactive hypoglycemia and Nestidioblastosis(pdf) are well know complications after WLS. Some getting to the point where part of the pancreas has to be removed.

You can check out Jenny's Diabetes pages to learn to control your diabetes with a low carb dietary approach.

Let me leave you with one final thing.......

Even with the newest and most recently improved weight loss surgeries, the complication list is comparatively similar to those first surgeries, which were subsequently discontinued. Although the same conditions can occur in people without weight loss surgery, those listed below have been confirmed by doctors of gastric bypass patients as being related to the surgery.

These conditions include, but are not limited to, dehydration, chronic vomiting and nausea, stroke, heart attack, arrhythmia, kidney stones, kidney failure, liver failure, anemia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, malabsorption of supplements (including vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from food), blurred vision, muscle and bone pain, loss of teeth, bleeding gums, rotting teeth due to vomiting and/or calcium deficiency, severe hypoglycemia, headaches, black outs/seizures, lactose intolerance, injury to spleen during surgery, splenectomy, coma, paralysis/blindness after coma, osteopenia, osteoporsis, osteomalacia, ruptured pouch, lupus, auto-immune diseases, looped intestines, ruptured esophagus from vomiting, misfired stapler during surgery, ulcers, pneumonia/lung problems, arthritis, weakness and fatigue from malnutrition, fibromyalgia, metabolic bone disease, food blocking stoma causing severe pain, stoma needing repeated stretching, neuropathy, beriberi, feeding tubes/picc lines, chronic fatigue, fistulas, muscle atrophy, hair loss, hernias, blood clots, leaks, peritonitis, heart burn/gerd/acid reflux, bowel obstructions, gallstones and gallbladder removal, depression, anxiety, loss of memory, poor concentration, irregular blood pressure, diarrhea, constipation, opening of outer incision-needing packing until healed from the inside out, insomnia/sleep disorders, involuntary anorexia and bulimia, gas, foul smelling stools, silent stroke, vertigo, and malnutrition which is the cause of many of the above problems. Some patients end up becoming invalids, and then there is death.

These complications can happen right after surgery, days, weeks, months, or many years later; even when taking all the required supplements. In addition to physical complications, there is the financial and emotional hardship caused to families who are devastated when someone close to them is ill or dying. … and the list continues to grow.

WLS might be just a tool......

For many of us.....

The tool is broken......

Monday, April 21, 2008

WLS on 60 Minutes

The Bypass Effect On Diabetes, Cancer, Surgery Can Send Diabetes Into Remission, And May Reduce Risk Of Certain Cancers - CBS News


And here all this time I thought 60 Minutes was a news program.

This crap is nothing but a friggin' infomercial.....

And don't even get me started about the WLS cheerleaders throughout the comments section. Many of them I know. Let them walk a few days in my shoes and see how gung ho they are about WLS then.

I'm too angry now to post what I really think. But rest assured it's coming. Just let me leave you with this thought.

Altering a healthy human body to cure some perceived affliction is nothing new.

It wasn't that long ago they thought a lobotomy would "cure" mental illness.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bipolar Speaks

A great site was brought to my attention by a fellow blogger. I have just finished reading some of it and felt compelled to write a post. Here's the comment she left on my blog describing the purpose of the site.

Bipolar Speaks said...

Most of you know me as “Dreamwriter.” I recently
Launched a new blog called, “Bipolar Speaks.” One day something came over me as I was reading websites called “Post Secret” and also a blog who had a post where they had quotes from other Bloggers with mental illness about how they felt.

It occurred to me that WE need an escape to let out our feelings and frustrations. I know that a lot of bloggers say what they feel within their own blogs, but you are welcome to share your thoughts, opinions, and feelings.

You are welcome to help raise awareness and put a stop to the Stigma that lies within mental illness. We can change the world - one story at a time.

I thought it would be interesting
To design a “Safe Haven” for those who battle with a Mental Illness; and allow them to come and let out their most darkest, painful, and emotional feelings. This would be a great way to spread awareness by letting society know what is REAL about mental illness.

If you are interested, you can submit a story or short piece as an “Anonymous” contributor, or if you don‘t care about what others think, then feel free to reveal your blogger identity; its purely up to you.. I tried this several times and the “Anonymous” button works and ends up in my email as an “Anonymous” comment.

The rules and regulations are in the blog within a post. Take the time to read them thoroughly and I hope that you become a constant contributor.

Remember, we all have things on our chest to let out and we all truly don’t want others to know. But now is an opportunity for YOU to speak up, speak out, and be heard!

I know that I have a lot of feelings and issues that I don’t want my husband, friends, or family to know about…this is my chance to get it off my chest and I WILL be a constant contributor.

Depending on the issue, I might submit the story under both “anonymous” and my name.
Go to “Bipolar Speaks” and look around, don’t forget to display the Bipolar Speaks button on your blog and link it back to us.

By the way, I still have my other blog, so don’t forget about me over there, too. :)

I will probably work on a post of my own for this. For those who read this blog know I'm pretty open about my mental illness. I am also a staunch advocate for change in many mental health policies. I feel our voices need to be heard. Even if you don't have a Bipolar diagnosis, take the time to read some of the posts. It might just enlighten you. you can access the site by clicking the button.

Friday, April 18, 2008

So much to do so little time

I have found many things I would like to blog about. But time is not a luxury right now. I'll just give you some really great links.

Junkfood Science: News updates: Decisions guided by fears, misinformation and insecurities

An investigative report for the Courier-Mail learned of a doctor who has performed more than a dozen bariatric surgeries on underage teens in the past year. Most disturbing, he is prepared to operate on children as young as ten years of age.

on counselling and mental health services « Fat Lot Of Good

I had to say how disturbing it was to read the experiences readers at The F-Word have had with counsellors/ therapists/psychiatrists and mental health services in general. While I was not at all surprised by their accounts, I was still distressed on their behalf. Mental health service provision (or lack thereof) is an issue I know from both sides of the fence. I am a qualified social worker and counsellor, and I am currently doing post-grad study in counselling. I also have chronic depression and an anxiety disorder that raises its head every so often. And no, my depression has nothing to do with my weight. I suffered from depression when I was slim, when I was slightly overweight and when I was a lot over weight. My weight has been irrelevant to my experience of depression. I have been on medication practically non-stop since I was 21. I am not ashamed to admit that. There are people that will say I shouldn’t be a social worker or a counsellor because of my own depression. I say “bollocks”. My experience with depression and anxiety has given me a great deal of insight as well as bucket loads of empathy for others in similar circumstances and also for anyone who has to deal with mental health services in any way, shape or form.

melting mama: Gulp.

A friend of mine, another roux en y'er, just got back from her testing for her hypoglycemia issues, and it's confirmed: She's got nesidioblastosis, and she's scheduled for a partial pancreactomy next week.

That's a partial explanation for babies that are BORN with this disorder - it's not something that adults generally ever have - unless they were born with it. It's a genetic disorder, except in the cases of the adults that are popping up that happened to have roux-en-y gastric bypass, because this unique metabolism situation triggers hyperinsulinism in some of us.

Big Girl in a Big City: Romantic songs notwithstanding.....:

Where I am at right now is in the crosshairs of the bullseye. Underneath all the bravada of my words (Gym, Church, NO FRIGGEN CHEESE) is my desire to uncover, identify and release the behaviors that keep me in a state of 'I'm not good enough' or 'I'm not worth it'. So here is a pattern. I start. It's perfect. Life gets in the way, I get tired, I don't want to. I do it anyways, then life really gets in the way. I don't, but go back, and maybe even lie about it. (Yes, those stairs are a workout, yes, swimming for 15 mins is a workout). Mainly lying to myself. Then I stop, but just for a rest, just for a day. Then life again (always ever encroaching on my fun) barges in and brings responsibilities with it. Son of a biscuit. So I go TOO BUSY< TOO BUSY and sit on the couch for a couple hours. Sleep more. Eat more. Stop being present to what I am eating. And it's now two days later, and I am tired and scared of the gym again.

Tumors Use Sugars To Avoid Programmed Cell Death

Jonathan Coloff, a graduate student in Assistant Professor Jeffrey Rathmell's laboratory in the Duke Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, has found that the tumor cells use glucose sugar as a way to avoid programmed cell death. They make use of a protein called Akt, which promotes glucose metabolism, which in turn regulates a family of proteins critical for cell survival, the researchers shared during an April 15 presentation at the American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting in San Diego.


* Be sure you are stocked up on Sanity Watchers Points before reading this post - you have been warned*

I start to wonder what hope there is of educating the average person about Fat Acceptance when this sort of crap is shouted out from the rafters by those in authority and those holding positions of power.

421 pounds: Cheryl Harvey's story

Video of the journey of Cheryl Harvey after having WLS.

Going once… going twice… survey reminder »

The feedback to my survey for bloggers who write about eating disorders has been fantastic. I’ve had about 270 people take the survey, although not all completed it. The survey is rather long - 40 questions - but very few of the questions are fill in the blank so I think you can complete it within 15 minutes or so. If you start it, please, please finish it! I can’t include uncompleted surveys!
EULAR evidence-based recommendations for the management of fibromyalgia syndrome « Living with Fibromyalgia

The EULAR guidelines for the management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (Fibro), which were e-published last July, have now been published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

The full article can be seen here, but the evidence-based recommendations are summarised into 9 simple points:

Attenuated adrenergic responses to exercise in women with fibromyalgia « Living with Fibromyalgia:

An article was published in the April edition of the European Journal of Pain discusing a controlled study that looked that the adrenergic responses to exercise in women with fibromyalgia syndrome (Fibro).

The researchers from the Department of Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders at the National Institute of Occupational Health, Norway said in the article that “altered responses from the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, sympathetic nervous system and muscular system have been suggested as being of importance” in the pathogenesis of widespread pain and fibromyalgia syndrome.

Education Issues: Action Alerts and Updates:

April 15, 2008--On March 24, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) published new proposed regulations enforcing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which governs disclosures from students’ records by educational institutions. (Federal Register, March 24, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 57 (15574 - 15602; 34 CFR Part 99).

The proposed rules address the disclosure of information to parents and others and set a new standard for DOE’s review of disclosures. The proposed rules also address other matters, including requirements in the U.S. Patriot Act and the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act and two U.S. Supreme Court decisions (Owasso Independent School Dist. No. I-011 v. Falvo, and Gonzaga University v. Doe).

That should be plenty to look into for the weekend.

There will be a pop quiz on Monday........just kidding. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Guestbook

I've added a guestbook feature in the sidebar. Please take the time and sign for me. I wanna hear from you!!!

Also you will see I've changed the blog layout once again. Some people try on shoes/clothes for fun. some people rearranged their livingroom. I try on blog templates. LOLOLOLOL

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A good reminder....

I found this on one of the many blogs I read and just had to share......

Is there something you have always wanted to do, but keep putting it off for whatever reason? Are you so caught up in the day to day grind you've forgotten how to relax?

Bottom line, is real life kicking you in the a$$......

Let go of some of that excess baggage ----I'm talking the mental baggage here folks----forget about the weight issues for a minute at least.

Just let go of some things and just enjoy the minute, day, week, or how ever long you can sustain it. Don't put off your happy life one more minute.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Good News

Nice to have some good news for a change. My follow-up EGD done last Friday was GREAT!! Following the soft bland diet and the new meds made a world of difference. My stoma ulcer is completely healed as well as the fistula. This means no revision surgery. Yippee damn skippy!!!

You just don't realize how happy that made me.

Another plus is now I can eat some decent food.

By decent food I mean something with some flavor. Granted some of the savory cheesecakes I've been eating have flavor. One of my fav's was the Wild Mushroom and Crab one from here---which I tweaked to be low carb.

I just missed using tomatoes and spicy things. I made up for it today, believe you me. I made Cleo's cauliflower lasagna noodles. My version wasn't the roll-ups though. I just made the noodles yesterday and let them dry out until this evening and put together my own layered lasagna with my homemade sauce. The sauce coked last night and the better part of today. Let me tell you---it was out of this world. It's been years since I have eaten lasagna. I shared with my parents and sis and her hubby. They are already asking when I'm going to make my seafood lasagna. I suppose that will end up being Sunday dinner this weekend.

Here are some more of Cleo's fabtabulous recipes to try:

The Lighter Side of Low-Carb: Cauliflower as Lasagna?
The Lighter Side of Low-Carb: I Can't Believe it's Cauliflower Pizza Crust!
The Lighter Side of Low-Carb: cutie's Oopsie French Toast
The Lighter Side of Low-Carb: Lamb Gyro and Tzatziki
The Lighter Side of Low-Carb: The Sailor Scouts make my Revol-oopsie rolls!

Check out the sidebar of Cleo's blog for more great recipes.

I want to thank everyone for the heart warming comments you left when I took some time out. I won't be back blogging full time for awhile but will post some important stuff on occasion. Once I get some more iron infusions in me, I'm sure to be back up to snuff. I'm a tough old bird. Can't keep me down for too long.....

Monday, April 7, 2008

Lunatic Asylum: A Popular Attraction?

From NAMI:

Last summer, Joe Jordan, an asbestos demolition contractor, bought the Weston Hospital in West Virginia, which is registered as a national historic landmark.

He has renamed it the "Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum,"(trans-alleghenylunaticasylum(dot)com--because I REFUSE to link to it) which was its name in another era. Constructed in 1864 as a psychiatric hospital, it housed more than 2,000 patients at its peak. It was closed in 1994.

The Associated Press (AP) has reported that Jordan is trying to revive the property by offering tours and other "attractions." The planned attractions include a "Hospital of Horrors" at Halloween season, a "Nightmare Before Christmas" tour, and well as "Psycho Path" dirt bike races on the 307 acre complex.

StigmaBusters are outraged that the stigmatizing name has been resurrected and that the hospital, where many people once suffered, will be used as the setting for entertainment, featuring violent stereotypes and disparaging language.

Please contact Joe Jordan and tell him to change the name and abandon the insensitive, stigmatizing attractions. Include the following points:

  • The US Surgeon General has denounced stigma, including inaccurate violent stereotypes and trivialization of mental illness, as contributing to barriers that discourages people from getting help when they need it.
  • "Lunatic" is an obsolete, stigmatizing, offensive term—just like racial and ethnic slurs that once were used in the past.
  • "Pyscho" also is insulting and further perpetuates stigma, along with themes like "Halloween of Horrors." Entertainment attractions are inappropriate for historic buildings of this nature.

Joe Jordan
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
71 Asylum Drive
Weston, WV 26452
Phone: 304-269-5070
Fax: 304-269-5071