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.