My name is Jessica Dickey, this is my blog and my therapy. This blog which I have been writing since July 2011, it has been a lifesaver for me. My personal weight loss surgery journey started on July 12, 2010 when I underwent gastric sleeve weight loss surgery as the first step in a “staged” bariatric surgery process. I had my second step surgery, gastric bypass on January 14, 2013. I had this second surgery because I wanted to be healthier, accomplish things I couldn’t do before, to possibly start my own family someday, and maybe be taken seriously by society. The people who matter most are by my side and don’t judge me. This is my journey and mine alone.
I was too heavy back in 2010, I had a BMI of over 65 and my surgeon also felt that I was on too many medications for my anxiety and depression, after being misdiagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 2009 for the bypass to be safe. I had type II diabetes and sleep apnea at age 27, something needed to be done. He said that one day I could have the bypass done if I ever got mentally better. I refuse to believe that I have failed or been unsuccessful with my first surgery. Most other bariatric people are not aware that the sleeve can often be the first step in a two step process. Many are quick to tell me my sleeve failed since I had a second surgery. We did the first surgery, the sleeve, to get me to a better place physically and a better place mentally so that one day when financially able I could undergo the bypass surgery to help get the largest amount of weight off. My sleeve helped me lose about 50 pounds and go off my diabetes medications. Mentally I went from 7 psychiatric medications to one medication. My sleeve did work, at least to me it did. My first surgery was also a difficult journey. I was hospitalized twice in the first ten months for wanting to seriously hurt myself and used to have to take seven different medications to just barely function. Some how I managed to lose about 50 pounds through all this. I take one medication now for anxiety. I think that’s successful considering I could have been six feet under at this point and and I used to take 7 different psych meds! A plus, as of December 2013, I officially no longer had sleep apnea or diabetes and had a normal A1c of 5.4!
I’d lost about 140 pounds total through the aid of both surgeries up until a life changing event happened on January 14, 2014. After 4 days of extreme dizziness, fatigue, and falling over I finally went to the ER. I was admitted and spent a total of 13 days there. I was severely anemic with a hemoglobin level of 5.4, normal ranges from 11-13. I ended up receiving 11 blood transfusions. It was also determined that I was having acute renal failure. After days of blood tests and a kidney biopsy, it was determined that I was having an allergic reaction to one of my medications, Topamax which I was taking for migraines. I was given high dose Prednisone and spent 5 months on it. I gained a huge chunk of weight back after only being 40 lbs away from my WLS goal. The trauma also caused me to develop fibromyalgia which became my diagnosis after testing for other possible autoimmune disorders. My life has changed a lot since last year. This year I’m working hard to get some of the regain from the Prednisone off, when totaled about 40 lbs. So my life has been turned upside down but I’m trying to remain strong!
I am available to speak to speak at support groups or other events as a motivational speaker, if you are interested please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I live in Northeast Ohio but am willing to travel up to 2 hours, would travel more with compensation.