Welcome to my Fatboy series. This is a chronicle of my journey after weight loss surgery in January 2012 at the University of Texas Medical Branch Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery.
I wrote how Jan. 9 was my new year, marking one year since I had my weight loss surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery.
So how did I celebrate? I agreed to have my blood drained from my body.
OK, that’s a bit overkill. But for my one-year anniversary, the medical staff at the center wanted to run a series of tests to check all sorts of stuff.
I had to fill up 12 vials (I’m told it's 6 ounces per vial) for a battery of tests. Because I am a touch stick — I swear I should be the final exam for any phlebotomist — we had to fill up 16 vials.
I jokingly sang, “I’m all out of blood,” to the music of Air Supply’s hit “All out of Love.” The phlebotomist said I was “cute.”
My test results were no joke. But there was plenty to smile about.
My total cholesterol used to be high, now it’s below 200, which is normal. My “good” cholesterol is at goal and improved from a year ago. My “bad” cholesterol is borderline high, but improved. We want that to be below 100 and right now it’s at 133.
My triglycerides count, which was high, is now at goal and improved. A higher triglyceride count means I would be at increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
Most of my other tests came back as normal and almost all showing improvement.
Maybe the best sign that my medical health has improved is to look into my medicine shelf. There are far fewer pill bottles in there than prior to my surgery a year ago.
I am still having issues with high blood pressure, but part of that is genetic and part may be related to long-term kidney stone issues. We’re still looking into it. But I’ve had only one case of kidney stones since all this began — compared to the four or five I would have annually before.
All these results are a reminder that a change in lifestyle and getting active again can do wonders for your health in more ways than one.
If it means that my visits to the doctor now are just to get follow up tests, well that’s a darn good thing.