I write to all of you today simply as a Mother. I ask for your patience and understanding as I tell the most difficult story of my life. Even more painful for my daughter to endure. Chrissy was 19 years old, beautiful, intelligent, and yes overweight. I am giving only a brief part of Chrissy’s struggles in the hopes to warn those considering weight loss surgery.
She was always scared of surgery so you can imagine our shock at the announcement she decided to have gastric bypass surgery. I went with her to the surgeon’s office expecting some nutritional and psychological evaluation process. Instead, we got a brief PowerPoint presentation. Chrissy was otherwise a very healthy young lady. (no serious medical conditions) The Surgeon had her surgery approved by her insurance company and a date set very quickly. Regardless of my feelings, as her mother. You see the 100 lbs. overweight was enough for him to perform the surgery. Chrissy regretted it from the moment she woke up.
The pain never ended. She went back to the surgeon who said her pain was all in her head. We took her to another surgeon, who said her gall bladder was diseased and he removed it. This did not relieve her pain. She was given pain pills to try to ease her pain, vitamins, B12 shots, iron infusions, you name it Chrissy had it. We went to Dr. after Dr. all either reluctant to treat or just baffled with all the complications occurring. Chrissy had a stroke (some said stroke, some said complex migraine, some simply did not know) She went through rehab and returned to work. First day back she fell and sprained her ankle. The ankle never healed and we knew something was wrong. This is when they discovered not only the normal B12 and Iron deficiencies, but everything was deficient. Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, you name it.
Now of course vitamins were increased to huge doses. We already knew at this point Chrissy could not absorb pill forms of vitamins, as well as, many medications. Everything was tried from liquid, injections of A, infusions of Vitamin D and Iron Infusions. We even used a Vitamin D Sperti Sun Lamp in attempts to raise her vitamin D levels. Chrissy was just not absorbing anything and the numbers just kept going down. She was diagnosed with Osteomalacia and hyperparathryroid. Not for one minute can you tell me these were not caused by WLS.
The cruel joke was she looked great two years out of the surgery, but never felt great or even good. 5 – 5 ½ years out Chrissy started losing her teeth, was completely deficient, in a wheelchair, under pain management and could barely eat and our one saving factor was that she was not losing weight, so we thought we stood a chance. Everything was deteriorating, she was in constant unbearable pain, her muscles had begun to atrophy, and emotionally and physically she was drained. She was losing her eye sight and even her memory. On December 3, 2008 our last monthly visit to the endocrinologist she lost 50 lbs. I said at this time, as I said to every Dr., on every visit, I was having trouble keeping her comfortable. Even under pain management they could not keep her comfortable, because they refused to give her higher doses to allow for the malabsorbtion. The Dr. said go home enjoy Christmas and we will talk in January. We never had that Christmas, Chrissy died on December 21, 2008.
You see the cruel part of this whole story is that Drs. Do not know how to treat WLS patients with these types of medical issues and emergency rooms are a complete waste of time a because they don’t know what to do. What this means for the patient suffering theses very serious medical issues is no treatment, no pain relief, and no answers.
To date I am still fighting for this surgeons records which he refused to give to Chrissy . Imagine my daughter is dying, I am begging for records and this Dr. refuses for 6 ½ years.
My opinion is when you agree to bypass surgery you do not know how much absorbable intestine will be bypassed. These Surgeons are simply guessing as to how much a patient will absorb after surgery. TALK ABOUT A LOSE/LOSE SITUATION…..
I watched Chrissy die the most debilitating, deteriorating, and humiliating death possible for a 26 year old to have to face. She did it with dignity, strength, and courage. She even tried to prepare us for what was ahead.
Knowing and living, and dying as she did, she said even if she had medical conditions she would never have done this surgery had she known this was possible.
When Chrissy passed we already knew others had suffered and died the same awful way. I would like people to understand this may be a “death sentence”, not the “NEW LIFE”, described by surgeons. You may survive this surgery and live for many years, but your old medical issues will be replaced with other medical issues that are not as treatable. They simply cannot make your body absorb once the chemistry of your system is changed.
Since Chrissy’s death, I am being called and told of numerous stories of people suffering and dying trying to get help….
Sunday, July 05, 2009
SEN T TO:
QUITE SIMPLY NOTHING IN LIFE IS AN EASY FIX ESPECIALLY WLS SURGERY. Believe it or not I have only given a brief description of Chrissy’s 6 ½ year struggle. God knows there is so much more. I just want everyone to know how this surgery can completely ruin lives forever.
WRITTEN IN LOVING MEMORY OF CHRISSY. YOUR NEW WLS ANGEL FROM ABOVE.