My Recent Surgery

I would like to say thank you to all of those who have prayed for Lisa and I this past week. I debated on whether or not to tell this before hand, and I hope I have not led anyone into thinking that something was seriously wrong. As you know I have struggled with my weight for several years now. I come from a line of big men; my father was 6’7″ and during his 30’s-40’s was about 280 lbs. My two nephews are big as well, the oldest is 6’11 and his “little” brother is 6’9″, and I call my son Matthew the runt of the litter at 6’3″. When I was young and working in construction I was lean and muscular. But a pastor’s job does not require daily lifting of sheets of drywall and buckets of paint.
All of 2015 I could see my weight growing gradually, and it was no longer easy to lose weight. Every week was the start of a new diet, and the end of the week was the start of a buffet. I have been thinking of bariatric surgery since 3 of our Bethel members had it done. One of which was our beloved Jimmie Carmickle. I have known Jimmie and Linda since I was a boy at Bethel, and Jimmie was always heavy. One year, our church entered our church bus in the local parade, and Jimmie dressed up as the Pillsbury Dough-Boy. He nailed it! Jimmie had a procedure known as a “lap band”, a band placed around the top of the stomach that prohibits much food from going in all at once. I watched this man’s transformation and I said to myself, If Jimmie can do it, so can I.
On Monday January 25th I underwent a procedure called “sleeve gastrectomy.” The lower portion of the stomach is removed, leaving a banana shaped ‘sleeve’ stomach. It is not a by-pass, but actually leaves a small portion of the stomach intact. It turns out that the lower part of the stomach is where your stomach makes a hormone called “grehlin”, also called the hunger hormone. It is what tells your mind, no, COMMANDS your mind that you are hungry. By removing that area, those who have had this procedure do not have the overwhelming urge to eat. So the surgery is two-fold, it limits the amount of food that can go in, the “abuse” I call it (lol), and it removes most of the desire to eat all the time.
Since beginning the 7 day clear liquid diet before surgery, to this date I have lost a total of 25 lbs. My goal is to lose 100 lbs. My weight the morning of the pre-op diet, January 18th, was 323 lbs. Many of you have probably noticed my chubby face lately, so have I.
On the day of my initial consultation with the surgeon, I saw a man that was probably 10 years older than me, and about 100 lbs heavier. He used crutches to get around but most of the time was spent in a wheel chair, his wife struggling to move him from room to room. His hips and knees were destroyed. I told myself right then to go through with it. I was not going to put my wife through that if I could do something about. I found out from the surgeon that he wished he had it done 10 years ago.
It is highly possible that I will no longer need daily diabetes medicine, and much of the pain in my hips, knees, and back will diminish. If you want to know how it feels, go to the hardware store and pick up four 25 lb. sacks of rock salt, then carry them around for awhile. It is not fun.
I know that part of the problem is the American way of life, a lot of lounging and eating, and no labor to work it off. While still another part of the problem is on the American food supply. Large portions of processed food, with little nutrition and a lot of hormones and calories. I’ve seen chickens in Kenya, trust me, American sized Tyson chickens do not grow that big naturally.
I am recovering well since surgery and look forward to getting back in the saddle come Sunday morning. Thank you for understanding that this was not an easy, nor a rash decision. Lisa and I both agreed that this was the right thing.
If there is anyone out there who has the same struggle, and is considering bariatric surgery, I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I did, and how it is working.
God bless you all, PM.

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20 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Praise the Lord!

    I am standing with many of your brothers and sisters who are praying for you before the throne of our Lord. DaLee Lambert

  2. Our family in sparwood british columbia, canada are sooooo happpy your alright, praying your recovery is quick, God keep you and the family, and church family well. God Bless you all Pastor Mike. Thank you.

    Sent from Samsung tablet

  3. Pastor Mike,Keep on keeping on Pastor Mike.  I agree that we have to make the hard choices to make getting older less burdensome for us and our families.  I have watched older folks who waited too long and it is not easy to watch someone lose their indepedace.   The Lord help you and strngthen you to meet your goal. We need you!  Thank you for your gudance and teaching.  God bless and keep you.Halina Gronowski,hsgrn@cox.net

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

  4. Pastor Mike,
    Thank you for your honesty with your congregation, even though you don’t owe anybody that. You and your family are daily in my prayers. Diabetes “gallops” in my family and I have, sadly, lost several dear relatives because of it. I am “pre-diabetic” and you are an inspiration to me. You are not alone when it comes to food cravings! :- ) You stay in my prayers. -Valerie S.

  5. Pastor Mike,

    This is such exciting news!!!!!! What a powerful testimony to share with others struggling, it is rampant these days and I think it was just a slice of the great agenda is to make people sick and disabled –

    We are happy for you, keep everyone informed on your progression, it will be exciting to see – you will feel like a new man!!!!

    We love you both

    MIchelle

    ________________________________

  6. Hi Pastor Mike and family, really sad you’re going through this trial, here in the UK this type of surgery is very successful and gets good outcomes.
    I well remember your teaching about the body being like a seed that has to be planted before there can be a glorious result and that has helped me a lot now that I;m 68 and stuff is starting to happen to me. Only last week I spent the day in Hospital being treated for blood clots on my right lung and now I’m going to be tested for prostate Cancer, but how incredible that when I was born again I lost all ‘fear of death’ and I know its the same for you.
    While I’m writing this , may I include how after several years of trying to find a KJB Church, for last two months I’ve been attending a small gathering in Bideford in Devon that has a young Pastor who is very earnest and teaches good doctrine,BUT,,,,,,,,,,,only last week he was reading from Heb 12;8 and instead of reading ‘bastard’, he read ‘iligitamate’, So now I know he is actually a Bible ‘corrector’ . When leaving last night chatting as I said goodbye I told him about the word ‘death’* being 929 times, same number as chapters in OT. In my inocense I thought he would be as thrilled as I am to know this truth, but instead he looked blank at me and barely commented. Am I right? there seems to be much pride among teachers who don’t seem to have read Jeremiah 33;3, seemingly resistant to seeing the patterns and rythems in the Bible, I;ll keep trying anyway, while I look forward to you resuming your instructive posts.

    Just want to assure you of my prayers for your recovery and thank you for all the information you’ve shared over the years,

    God Bless, Stuart West.

  7. Pastor Mike, I am so relieved to hear you are doing well. I am a regular listener to your sermons. Along with Pastor Reg Kelly, you guys are my web based teachers when I travel away from my home church in the Mountains of North Carolina. Ironically enough our church is called Bethel Baptist Church. I kid you not! 🙂
    I have listened to your sprit filled messages and your deep dives into the Word on many nights from my iPad as I lay in hotel rooms before I close my eyes to sleep. Hotel stays are a regular part of my life due to my line of work which requires regular travel away from my family. You have become my family when I am out in this world conducting business. I can’t even begin to tell you how much your ministry has been a blessing in my life!
    I have to admit, I was sincerely concerned something bad had happened since you are so regular with posting sermons to sermon audio.com. Thankfully you are doing great and going to be doing even better in the not so distant future. I doubt I will meet you personally (at least in this life), but I want you to know God is using you in so many ways that I am not sure even you fully realize the true impact. May God continue to bless you in your healing process and may He continue to pour His Spirit out on your ministry which is bringing Glory and Honor to His name. God Bless to you and yours Pastor Mike! Your Brother in Christ, Joshua

  8. Congratulations Pastor Mike. I know it was a huge step to take and it won’t be easy. I have a brother-in-law who had this surgery several years ago. He had great success losing the weight, but had to deal with the psychological and social aspects of why he was over weight. I would highly recommend finding a group of others who have had this surgery and get involved with them.
    I am from New Orleans originally and we know how to eat! We have the best food in the world! Socially, we plan our day around where and what we are going to eat. Lol. Consequently, it is very common to have weight issues. I know from my own experience I have tried losing weight, every diet out there. It is frustrating! Also, we have to fight our genetics. I know this plays a role as well.
    Two years ago I joined the local gym to get back in shape and lose weight. I worked out “religiously” and did not lose any weight. I did firm/tone up, but I wanted that scale to move! Anyway in talking with the personal trainers there and doing research, I have found that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. You still need the exercise, but for real success it’s the diet. Now you probably already knew this. For me the diet was/is the hardest part. I will always have to work harder than others because of my genetics to lose weight.

    Anyway, I just want to encourage you on your weight loss journey. It will be the best thing you have ever done, but at the same time it will be one of the hardest. I am praying for you, your family and your ministry. May God continue to bless you.

  9. Dear Pastor Mike, I cannot tell you how happy I feel that you took that step towards a better way of living. I am being a little selfish as I know it will improve your health and that hopefully means you will continue to lead us. I just know you’re going to do great!! God bless you and your family, can’t wait to see the improvement online.

  10. Enter your comment here…That was a very courageous thing to go through although a smart one too. I sure hope and pray you reap good rewards from the operation with no bad residuals. I miss you from pm online live.

  11. hi pastor Mike my name is Bradly and I live in England after I watched your last pastor Mike online on YouTube where you asked us to pray for you I did not find anymore uploads for weeks got worried so came to the Bethel Church website and found this comment dated 31st I’m so pleased your surgery went well and that you are healing and already lost a quarter of your target I wish you your wife and family all the blessings you deserve love pastor Mike online and the watchman video broadcast thank you for all your hard work and god bless you you’re in my prayers

  12. Mike may the Lord be with you in this time of healing and I pray this will be the answer,I will add that the procedure you chose was likely far better than the lap style surgery I’ve personally seen those fail the people who went through with that particular procedure and one person I know wound up gaining even more weight after the lap band surgery failed to achieve results.
    You will be in my prayers.

  13. pastor mike please take a look at this https://www.facebook.com/SeekerNetwork/videos/1025596137464541/?fref=nf

    On Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 5:36 AM, pastormikehoggard wrote:

    > pastormikehoggard posted: “I would like to say thank you to all of those > who have prayed for Lisa and I this past week. I debated on whether or not > to tell this before hand, and I hope I have not led anyone into thinking > that something was seriously wrong. As you know I have strugg” >

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