Follow me.......

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Let's get ACADEMIC!!!!

If I wasn't a MOD (mother of a doctor) and if I hadn't spent more than half my life working in higher education at a major research institution, I would have no idea about the staggering amounts of research that is being conducted by very scholarly, super-smart folks on everything from the mating habits of the tsetse fly to the taxonomy of education to everything else in between.   If you are up for some kicks and giggles and have a huge chunk of time on your hands someday, take a gander at Google Scholar and put a topic in and you will be amazed at the number of articles that will come up related to that topic.  I can't guarantee you will understand all of what you read... I sure don't.... but you sure will be impressed by them all.  And, you will be mega impressed by how many authors with academic initials after their names are associated with each article.  It's humbling to imagine that there are so so many smart people who are willing to dedicate their lives to learning more and sharing what they learn on even the most benign and minor topics in hopes of making the world a better place to live and thrive.   Imagine spending your life dedicated to researching just a little spec of something with the dream of making that spec an integral piece of something that improves a major function of technology, health care, the environment, disease control, global safety.......and on and on and on.
I don't know about you but I can't thank these smarty pants enough......

 Ever since my 7 year Lap band appointment earlier this week when I learned that the research project I've been involved in hasn't been extended,  I've been a bit consumed by the thought that there hasn't been a good amount of research on the long term success and the long term effects of Lap band surgery.  All of a sudden, I'm wondering things that are very unJudilike.....things like.... what's it like to be a 80 year old Lap bander?    what if I want to eat pasta when I'm 92?  should I get a Lap band medic alert bracelet in case I inherit my family senile gene?  what if I gain 2 lbs a year and I live until I am 102 as planned.....?
 I am sure I will get over this stage of torturing myself with questions but until I do, I've been scouring the internet for whatever information might be out there....from reliable sources who seem to have strong credentials.   Although I am spending time doing this--to be completely honest.....I am someone who figures I will deal with whatever I have to deal with when I have to deal with it.  I've pretty much learned that sometimes no amount of planning or knowledge can stop fate.  But, I'm a pretty nebby girl.  And, if faced with spending my evening doing laundry or doing research on long term effects of my Lap band, I choose the later!  

Anyway, since I spent so much time on this project, I figured I would share 2 of  those articles that I actually read....A) Because I understood them and B) Because they weren't 345 pages long.  
And, if you don't feel like reading them...I will give you a brief snapshot of what they said....

 *Long-term outcomes after bariatric surgery: fifteen-year follow-up of adjustable gastric banding and a systematic review of the bariatric surgical literature, 2013
Basically, this research says that patients were able to maintain 47% of their weight loss after 15 years. 

*Researchers Say Weight Loss From Lap-Band Is Relatively Low; Critics Say Study Has Flaws, 2011
This study reports excess weight loss overall was 42.8% of excess weight after 12 years and 48% among those who still had their band at the end of follow-up. Greater than 50% is considered a good result, experts say. So, it's a below-average result.  Overall, 60.3% of patients were satisfied.

 After all of my research and reading and all of the contradictory information that's out there, I can pretty much tell you this--there's no definitive answer.  
A more practical person might find that hard to live with.  
I've never been accused of being practical.  
I figure success is up to me.  
It's in my hands.  
Perhaps I should write a paper, get it published and declare myself an expert.....


No comments: