Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

June 11, 2013

I’m doing swell — thanks for asking

By Mike Redmond

— Ordinarily I don’t take requests, but a bunch of people have written to ask how I’m doing with my weight-loss surgery and I thought this might be the most efficient way to answer.

I don’t intend to make a habit of it. As I said a couple of months ago, I’m not fond of any piece of so-called commentary falling under the “My ( Fill-In-The Blank) Journey.” In my case, if I wanted people to know every detail of my fill-in-the-blank journey, I’d invite them over to read the scales with me every morning.

So, to the question at hand: How am I doing?

Fine, thanks.

There. Are we done?

Oh, okay. I suppose some detail is in order. All right, here we go.

To date I’ve lost about 60 pounds. You better believe it feels good. And no, I’m not telling you how much more I want to lose, for a couple of reasons:

a. I don’t know, and

b. Even if I did, I’m not sure I’d want it blabbed all over the place. A fellow has to have some cards he doesn’t show.

My procedure is called the duodenal switch, which is pronounced just like it is spelled: switch. Simply put, it reduces the size of the stomach and re-routes the intestines to reduce the amount of food you can eat and limit absorption of what food you do.

The journey has been pretty much uneventful, which is not the same as uninteresting. See, the surgery is only the kick-off. There’s lots of work to be done after that in order to make this procedure work.

Simply put, I have to learn how to eat again, which is a weird thing to say when you consider that eating is something at which I used to be really, really good, if quantity counts for anything.

Now I take my meals from salad plates with baby utensils. I also drink from a sippy cup and take Flintstones vitamins by the handful. When they say they are taking you back to the beginning on this learning-to-eat business, they’re not kidding.

They’re also not kidding when they say that the duodenal switch brings with it a few gastro-intestinal side effects, or should I said sound effects, that might give you pause. And I say this as someone who was raised around farm animals.

The procedure can make you — there’s no other way to say it — gassy. Not always, but when it happens, it is impressive. And during these times you begin to see the wisdom of our ancestors, who put the Necessary in a little building away from the house. Such a building now might help to cut down on times when family members regard you with annoyance and say, “DO you mind? We can’t hear the television.”

The other side effect is that my tastes have changed and I’m really not very interested in food. No, I am not making this up. I don’t care. Anyone who knows me knows how significant this truly is. I didn’t miss many meals.

So there you have it. I’m doing fine, I’m losing steadily, I’m not very hungry, and I’m loud. As fill-in-the-blank journeys go, this is both typical and weird. Which, when I think about it, is the only kind of journey I’m willing to take.

© 2013 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.