It’s been an odd time for me lately.  I’ve had some health issues going on related to the PCOS that I have.  Most of it dealing with pain that is constant and not finding much in the way of relief.

I kept telling myself that the pain is more than likely because of my weight.  I was following my Weight Watchers points and tracking my steps each day by pedometer and riding my bike.  The weight, however, kept going up and up.  I was feeling very frustrated.

Then on Easter I spoke with someone who had had gastric bypass surgery in December.  His diabetes was almost non-existent, he felt better and looked better.  I began to entertain the idea that the surgery would be something that would help me.  My desperation began to consume me.

Once upon a time, I wasn’t fat.  I didn’t know that I had this metabolic issue until I was 38 and well past skinny.  I spent years thinking I was fat when I wasn’t, mostly because of comments by people who should have been building me up instead of tearing me down.  Be told enough times that you’re fat and you’ll believe it, regardless of what the mirror shows.

So, I went to my doctor with two goals in mind:  1.  Ask why I can’t have a hysterectomy since I’m done having children and at least the pain of ovulation and menstruation (which keep me in bed almost 2 weeks out of every month when it’s really bad) would be over and  2.  With the way PCOS works, would gastric bypass even help me?

The nature of PCOS is such that none of the hormones in my body do what they are supposed to, namely the pancreas.  I am not diabetic but I take medication that diabetics take to control the insulin resistance and metabolic disorder that come with PCOS.  I could starve myself and still gain weight because of this issue.  I wasn’t sure if gastric bypass, which really only controls the amount of food you can consume would help.  In my brain, I’d lose weight like the surgery is designed to do, but would I just gain it back?  I didn’t know.

My doctor assured me the pain I’m in does have a cause and it’s not my weight.  I have an enlarged uterus and they need to find out why and fix it.  He also told me that a hysterectomy is far down the road.  I’ve got two other procedures to go through first, but they have to find out what else is wrong first.  When we talked about gastric bypass surgery and how I’ve been on WW for a year now and had no real progress, he told me to research it and come back in two weeks to talk about it.  I also had blood work ordered and my very first mammogram scheduled.  He gave me a prescription for a new med for my PCOS and sent me on my way.

My doctor has no idea just how nerdy I am.  I raced home and immediately overdosed on all things gastric bypass that I could find on the internet.  While everything I read was a little on the gross side, it didn’t seem that terrible.  I sat down that evening pretty secure with my plans, especially after talking to my husband who said, “If you need help and can’t do this on your own, then I want you to have all the help you can get.”

That’s when I turned on Netflix.

That’s when I saw “My 600 Pound Life.”

That’s when I changed my mind.

The episode I saw was this woman who was, as the show says, 600 pounds.  While I’m nowhere near 600 pounds, the worry was in the back of my mind, and that is what prompted this feeling of desperation, making me feel a kinship with the lady on T.V.  She was ridiculed for her weight openly in the grocery store.  I was at the drug store when a little old lady stopped to tell me that I was fat and unhealthy.  (It always amazes me how many people see someone who is overweight and point it out to them like it’s news. As if we’d say, “What?!  I’m fat?!  Why didn’t anyone tell me?!”)  She was embarrassed to be seen in public.  I HATE going to functions with my husband because, even though he would never feel this way, I am embarrassed that someone will say something about his obese wife.  She was desperate.  I am desperate.

Then she had the surgery.  And subsequent surgeries.  They carved her up like a turkey.  She spent three months in the hospital after one of them.  She kept saying that the surgery was worth it all–giant scars all over her body, pain, and the chance to have a baby.

Good for her, I say.

But I also say, it’s not for me.

I don’t want to be carved on.  I have enough body issues to have a surgery that will make me look like Frankenstein’s monster.  I don’t want my husband to have to care for me the way her husband had to care for her.  I can’t be in the hospital for three straight months.  I’ve got children to care for and my husband can’t do that all on his own.

I wept watching that show, knowing that I needed to exhaust all other possibilities, knowing that I’d only have the surgery if my doctor gave me the choice between it and dying.  I’m not there yet.

The scary news is I’ve still got some health issues hanging over my head that need to be identified and dealt with, with at least one minor surgery on the horizon.

The good news is, my doctor changed my medication.  This week will actually be a loss for me, fingers crossed.

For now, I’ve altered my eating habits by limiting my carb intake.  It seems to be working quite well.

I’m still frustrated and feeling desperate.

I’m still working through self-esteem issues.

I’m still not giving up.

That’s the important part.



About Miranda Gargasz

Miranda Gargasz is a freelance writer. Many of her essays can be found on sites like ScaryMommy, The Christian Science Monitor and The Huffington Post. In 2014, she published Lemonade and Holy Stuff and in 2016 she published Plus Size Mama: An overweight mom gets real about weight loss. She is also a contributor to Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee, and Lose the Cape: Never Will I Ever. Her debut novel, Haunting Suspicion, is being sent to agents for representation. She is currently working on her second novel, Dragonfly, about learning to love what you have before it's gone.
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8 Responses to Desperation

  1. Diane Ford says:

    I am so happy your doctor changed your medication! Hopefully this will help with the pain, AND you will start losing! I am here for you my dear friend, whenever, wherever you need me.

    • Thank you so much, Diane! You have no idea how much your support means to me! Just know that the same is true for you: I’m here for ya…….The pain is a little less and I believe I’m losing. It depends on what time of day you weigh me as to how much. Thursday will tell…..I hope your week has been good, weight loss or otherwise.

  2. Gosh, Sista, I can’t imagine folks being so rude as to point to another and say she or his is fat. What is wrong with people? To me that is much “bigger” problem than anything having to do with someone’s weight. No pun intended. Hang in there, sweetie. I’m cheering you on from here in South America!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • It is rude. Sadly, belittling people who are overweight is almost acceptable, not to me, but to others. So many people think that if you’re overweight it’s because you eat too much, are lazy, or just don’t care about your appearance. So many people don’t fall into ANY of those categories.

  3. I’m so sorry that you’re experiencing such pain and difficulties. My younger daughter’s friend has PCOS and has struggled with so many problems from it. I completely see where you’re coming from in deciding against gastric bypass. I couldn’t imagine going through all of the carving and needing cared for either. I’m surprised your doc couldn’t give you a definitive answer as to whether or not it would truly work for you. Surgery is a drastic step without guaranteed results. Take care of yourself and I hope you find relief from your pain with this new medication. 🙂

    • My doctor didn’t want to talk about gastric bypass until I understood what it was and had researched it. He called me at home the next day to make sure I had scheduled an appointment to talk with him about it. He’s really good. I think he is also holding out hope that I can do this on my own without surgery. I am determined!

  4. You are beautiful inside and out. Period.

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