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Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

Sunday, September 02, 2012

I'm so excited to be working with the bariatric team at Memorial. A friend of mine suggested weight loss surgery, but I thought, 'that's for really big people and it's the easy way out.' After some research, I found out I AM a 'really big' person, and it's NOT easy. I've literally spent my days and nights researching various procedures. In several blogs/vlogs, patients talk about all the work they still have to do to lose the weight... and the biggest surprise of all.... they can still gain all the weight back if they dont work on it. After spending some time thinking over thr pros and cons of surgery, I decided that this is the right choice for me. I'm not saying everyone who's morbidly obese should get surgery, but I think it is the answer for me. I greatly struggle with portion sizes and especially breads.... having surgery would help nudge me into reducing portion sizes significantly. My surgery pick? The gastric sleeve. I like that no foreign substances are placed in your body that have the potential of slipping or eroding (yikes) and that the anatomy God gave you isnt changed, resulting in malabsorption and dumping syndrome. I already have IBS... I don't want to make it worse with dumping syndrome. However, if I was only able to do the bypass surgery (bypassing food passed your stomach), I would probably still consider it. The gastric sleeve removes a large portion of your stomach, restricting the amount you can eat. It doesn't bring the bottom of the stomach up hire by making a square 'pouch' or pinching it off (which would make me believe you'd have bigger issues with acid reflux), you're stomach still has the same general shape... just thinner. The bottom of your stomach is still the bottom of your stomach. I also like that Grhelin (my spelling is prob way off) is removed.... this is the appetite hormone. Being that weight has been in issue for most of my life, I think this will be great to help aide in long term success.
While I am sick of daily tasks being so extremely difficult (I can only imagine how much harder it is for those people you see on tv who weight like 500 lbs or more), I still greatly respect the bariatric team and my primary physician and the process I am going through. You can't expect long term success with just surgery... even though I'm hoping to get it in these next couple of months.... I love that they 'analyze' you in several different ways, so you can truly be a success. I love the help I'm getting from a nutritionist. I don't feel I have to rely on all the information I've gotten online (which can sometimes be hypocritical of other information, making you wonder what's really correct). I love that there is a therapist to help those with serious, underlying issues. And I love that a social worker speaks to me to help determine if I need that help. I think if I would have pursued surgery a few years ago, I would have definately needed the the help of a therapist because of the severity of my depression in the end of my relationship with my ex (the one I dated for nearly 6 years and thought I was going to marry). I also don't think I would have really been ready for surgery because I had too much going on emotionally that I wasn't really concentrating as much as I could have on weight loss. Yes, I had gone to the gym sometimes for 6 hours straight (like my nutritionist pointed out... I tend to go from "0 to 200"... which usually results in long term failure), but just as there are several different people on the bariatric team to evaluate several aspects, I wasn't ready in all aspects. I hope that makes sense... it makes sense to me and thats what really matters (I can see my growth in being mentally prepared). I feel embaressed that I'm 26 years old and living with my parents again, unable to work (I've tried but it's so physically hard for me right now unless it's a sit-down job... which has been difficult to find, however, was able to gain some front desk experience in volunteer work.... ANYWAYS, back to the point...), but that's where I am right now, so I can't focus on being embarressed. I am EXTREMELY fortunate and grateful for my father's financial help (he pays for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING... including this surgery and the nutrition classes that are not covered AT ALL by insurance). If I didn't have this financial help, I'd probably still be stuck where I was a couple years ago.... trying to focus on too many things at once and unable to concentrate. As I lose weight and gain some health back and stability, I will be able to work and lose weight, go to school, etc all at once. But right now, it's school (online) and weight. Luckily, it is no longer depression holding me back (I haven't felt the effects of depression in over a year now), it's just the physical strain of this heavy body making things that those of a healthier weight might take for granted (walking through a parking lot to class, taking a shower... showering is a workout to me, etc).
My open schedule really has been helpful when scheduling the appointments with the bariatric team. I'm always so eager to keep feeding this 'craving' of more information. Whenever I catch myself with free time (which is often), I'm looking up more information online and viewing more vlogs to 'tide me over' until my next appointment. Everything they tell me I take as gospel, lol. I sometimes even bring a pen to take notes of things I'm afraid I'll forget. My first support group meeting is on the evening of September 4th and I feel like a little kid looking forward to Christmas. I'm just so eager and I wish these support groups were more often. I've joined forums online, even downloaded a forum app on my cell phone, joined Facebook groups and developed friendships with people going through the same process as me. I've filled out an application for a mentor through Memorial (the people I'm seeing in person... not online). I just want to take advantage of EVERY opportunity. It truly is a lifestyle change and I'm getting as much support and positive influence as possible.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • GOPINTOS
    I really enjoyed this. I just learned yesterday that starting in 2013, my insurance company will cover bariatric surgery. I have been asking for this for years and years, and now that they cover it, I am not so sure I qualify anymore. haha. I have lost over 60lbs on my own, about half way there, so my BMI might not be high enough anymore.

    The last few months were slow, but I rearranged my macros and it is moving once again.

    Now I am wondering, if I qualify, should I have it done, or continue to try to lose on my own? What if I dont have it done while I can, and then find I just can't lose the weight but then for sure wont qualify due to bmi, or what if we lost our insurance for some reason? Just lots of questions I seem to be asking myself since I learned of this yesterday.

    Very timely blog. Loved the information.
    3119 days ago
  • LANDERBELLE
    I'm going to get sleeved this fall. I, too, thought this was going to be an easier way to lose the weight, but the more I read about how difficult it is, the more committed I become to doing it for some reason. I had my appointment with the psychologist yesterday and next I meet with the nutritionist for the first time. I am committed to being on Sparkpeople for life as counting calories and proteins is going to be essential to maintaining success. I've joined three other support groups, just because I have plenty of time and find that I glean little bits of information from each of them. In case you're looking for any, they are VertivalSleeveTalk.com, and two Facebook pages- the Sassy Sleevers and Achieving Through Sleeving. Both are private pages and not visible to the pubic.

    Just wanted to share that info with you. We sleevers need to stick together.

    Carrie emoticon
    3174 days ago
  • JUDYAMK
    I have a relative that had this done. & I work in a pharmacy & 5 patients had this done also, now my head pharmacist her husband is having this done this year.he is over 400 pounds, & his wife is so excited for him. Everyone that had it done are doing just fine. The only problem they are now spending TOO MUCH money on knew clothes.Two of them had too much excess skin after the surgery in the stomach area, because it was rubbing against them & it could cause an infection, under neath the skin it was becoming raw.There insurance took care of it to have the skin removed The only thing on the one patient her arms had the sagging skin. So she took her kids to Disney as there treat. Then when she came home she started saving to have her arms done, which was $1.500 a piece. ( insurance would not take care of the arms ) These 5 people are the happiest people I know. They all are maintaining great after wards.All of us Sparkers will be a part of your journey as you have this done. This must be so exciting for you!!! ( I left a message on the January blog regarding your grandparents )
    Take care
    Judy
    Take care
    3177 days ago
  • SUPERSMILE37
    Good luck on your journey. I had the sleeve 1 year ago. I am down 125lbs...

    It is NOT the easy way out!!!

    lots of people think we magically melt off weight. that is not true. the surgery just allows us to eat less and eat like normal people and to feel full. not sure about you.. but I had never felt full before the surgery.

    good luck.




    3178 days ago
  • MISSILENE
    I wish you lots of luck with your choice. I had lapband surgery 2.6 years ago. I lost 91 lbs. I rec this very letter in my sparkmail. I think it is geared mainly for Gastric by pass.. I had the lapband. We drink quite a bit of water everyday.

    Thank you very much for thinking of me and sending it to my sparkmail.

    Miss Ilene, leader of lapband rulers, and lapband surgery,
    3178 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11958942
    I do worry about any bariatric surgery people have, but it does seem that you really have done the research and I applaud you for that. Most don't and think they have. I have seen several done including my sister-in-law, I am an RN so I am really interested in the medical side of everything. The one thing I will tell you is VERY important and may save your life, but you HAVE to drink water, lots of it. It is one of the fatal flaws people don't think about. I know you don't want to drink during meals, but start half hour to an hour after a meal and sip on it until an half hour to hour before the next meal. Kidneys work on pressure which comes from water and if you don't get enough they will start to shut down. This was fatal for my sister-in-law and can happen with all gastric surgeries. After she died I research it, and this is very common for bariatric surgery. I do not mean to scare you just inform you of the importance of water intake, especially with the surgery. I know several people who have had kidney failure and several other that did great, water intake seemed to be the key to success. Please take care and let us know how everything went and of course new pics.
    3178 days ago
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