Relieved for the Sleeve

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I wanted to post this Wednesday when I was exactly...

I wanted to post this Wednesday when I was exactly at the 30 day PRE surgery mark, but the app didn't cooperate. I tried twice with no luck so this almost didn't manifest.

I'm not new to RS. I used it to chronicle a procedure and revision some years ago (think before the app circa). I toiled with the idea of creating a post for my journey to, through and with the Gastric Sleeve. I'm older now, and my patience is short. I can see from reading the reviews from others and I recall from previous experience that people can been somewhat demanding and intrusive with wanting pictures and updates. That and unsolicited advice is a huge turn off to me. However, I am going to think positive and do my best to see this through as I would like to look back a six months from now and so on to reflect on my progress. Okay, on to what's important.

My story for desired weightless is really not too different from most of yours. I've struggled with my weight for years...scratch that...defeats the purpose for already saying that the differences aren't plentiful, right?! I'll just say that the most notable difference is that my insurance approval was rather swift. I went to a seminar August 17th, had an approval some time mid October and was given choices of surgery dates November 4th. I actually could have selected December 13th or 16th, but opted for the 23rd because it works well for my work schedule. Basically, the requirements were minimal. The doctor has more requirements that my insurance does. No diet phase other than what's already been documented through my primary care doctor. My BMI is such that I qualify. I also have sleep apnea, but my BMI already took care of the approval.

I had an initial visit with a group of about 25 candidates who were all in various stages of the process in mid November. It was about a 2 hour session with the PSY intern and dietician. I return in two weeks for my pre surgery/consent day December 10th. I officially start my pre-opt diet on December 9th and to my surprise it is not all liquid. I'm allowed to eat solids: high protein/low carb diet (70-100 grams of protein per day and 15-30 grams of carbs per meal). However, I am going to ease into my pre-opt diet on December 1st. I really want to increase my pre-opt weight (I weigh 285 lbs and I am 5'4' and just turned 40 year old) loss as much as possible, as well as simply start transferring the mental preparation to the physical implementation.

Another way my story mildly differs from what I've read is that I have volunteered to participate in a research study as a result of me having the procedure. I am having my procedure done at a research hospital and the bariatric team are some of the doctors who are directing the research. The study is being done to examine how bariatric surgery can affects the metabolic response of fat cells' response to insulin. Surprisingly, there is little to nothing known about this and I am happy that gain this tool will also serves others in the future. I'll be the first to say that it's a bit involved though. It requires a stay in the research lab for four days prior to surgery and when released they take you to the operating room. That's a part that I won't be able to do. With advanced notice and planning I probably could have done that part but I'm happy to do the other parts that I can do (which includes three small fat biopsies).

At this point, I am working on acquiring the things I'll need to have access to immediately after surgery. This past week I bought some premier protein shakes in chocolate and banana cream from Walmart, and they are a go so I'm going to order some from the company (I hope they are still having free shipping from their Black Friday sale). I really want to try the Isopure that's been highly recommended. I'll have to see about that though. I don't know anyone with a GNC membership and there member's price seems to offer the biggest bang for the buck.

I think I am going to do store bought broths or have my mother make some, and when its time for pureed foods, I am going to simply eat baby food. I just can't bring myself to putting much of what I eat in a blender and I have a vitamix so it'll pulverize most of anything, but I just don't want to do it. I applaud those who have and will do it.

I've gotten some bio-oil to use on my skin, particularly in my abdomen area, once I am able to. I also want to get some skin firming lotion too. I know that Nordstrom Rack carries the Fat Girl Bliss. I'll also look for it a TJ Maxx and Marshalls but I know that it's hit or miss at those stores.

Its getting cold where I live. Perhaps if I had engaged this process earlier this year I could have had the procedure during the summer while I exhausted a great deal time off work, that way I could have taken advantage of the warm weather for my out door exercise. I have seriously given thought to buying a treadmill or something to put in my office. There is a gym right across from where I work, and I have a membership that I have no problem using. But using it consistently, especially during the winter months, has been one of my more serious dilemmas with working to lose weight. When its 10 degrees or more below zero, dark and after 5:00 p.m. I have not had the inclination to want to work out. I'm sure a treadmill will be over kill, but I want to make getting in some exercise easy and manageable. My goal this week will be to walk over at least twice "for lunch" to see if that's something that'll be feasible.

I keep wondering if I've said everything. But now the thought just occurred to me that its okay not to say it all in one post, lol...gotta have a reason to come back here right?

Oh well, I'll wrap up the rambling I've been doing. I have read many, many of the stories here and they have been a tremendous help in getting me prepared. I am truly excited for the surgery and the improvement in my health, my level of fitness and activity, and my appearance which in turn will increase my self-confidence.

Two weeks and counting

Soooo, my pre-preop diet was not okay. Today starts my official two week pre-op diet, and I am sweating bullets over it. My uneasiness is making me quite nervous about the new way of eating that's to come. I think some of it is anxiety and nerves.

I have an all day pre-op appointment this coming Monday. What fun that will be? I've learned so much here that I have tons of questions to ask so I thank this forum for the lessons.

No one's story, that I've read, revealed a requirement to have someone attend the pre-op day as a support person. It was odd to learn that because it was rather late. I would guess that many doctors know that people still, in 2016, are freely willing to share about WLS. Some patients may really need a solid amount of time to sort out who such a person would be. I know some people who are against this and would not support. Others who know and would support me, reside in other states. Again, it just seemed strange to wait so late to share that as a requirement. Also I must take my vitamins with me on Monday to demonstrate my commitment to a life of supplements. I have pill versions of the three required but I'm going to order liquids and chewable forms now. I'm rather bummed that my team doesn't offer samples, of anything, at least they haven't as of yet. Not even a coupon. I plan to inquire (and express my dissatisfaction) if they don't offer any on Monday. I understand not wanting to shell out samples at seminars but once a date is set it seems reasonable.

Perhaps I'll share Monday's experience, in real time, during the visit, during or after each stage. Maybe that'll help me be more active cause right now I suck and I know I'll be upset when I visit this time next year and have such a short story.

Pre-Surgery Day

For yesterday's pre-op appointment day, thought I was going to be able to be footloose and fancy free to be able to log on and type updates in real time. Wrong. Not only was I wrong but I was so drained and cold that I had no energy to summarize last night.

My day began at 8:00 a.m. with my follow up appointment with the Pulmonary Specialist. This process actually identified that I have sleep apnea. I knew nothing about SA prior to starting. I may have had it for a while and didn't know. What I know now is that I am feeling better with the CPAP that I've been using for about a month and a half, but I don't want to be dependent on it long term. My surgeon requires 75% compliance with the device over the course of 30 days. I achieved 73% compliance and the nurse practitioner ok'd me to move forward.

My next appointment was at 9:00 a.m. with the nurse practitioner who works with the program (the bariatric program that I am using is at a teaching, research-based hospital and it includes three doctors). She took/recorded my current vitals and reviewed (once again) my medical history, then order new labs. It was at this appointment that I received three packs of sterile/antibacterial wipes to use the night before and morning of surgery.

My next appointment was at 10:00 a.m. with the anesthesiology department for a screening. I discussed former surgery with the attending doctor. He recording additional information in my electronic file. Based on my report of getting winded while walking up flights of stairs while carrying bags, and because of a tumor I had a few years ago, he order cardio ultrasound as a precautionary measure and added some additional lab work (including a thyroid test). New 3:30 appointment added to day. The great news is he called this morning to let me know that the results of those additional test were normal.

After that appointment, I headed to the laboratory so the medical vampire could extract my blood. 15 tubes in all. My goodness!!! Even if the temperature wasn't frigid I would have still been cold. And exhausted. While I waited to relinquish those 15 tubes, my support person, AKA my beloved mother, called to let me know she had arrived. I let her know where I was and she headed to meet me. We waited for about 10 mins (in sure I hadn't been there for no more than 5-10 mins by myself) before I was called back. The draw took about an additional 10 mins. Both arms. Two different medical vampires (lol, hey, I just realized that I'm finally starting to become a little funny, hopefully). That's hilariously insane. But it wasn't a bother.

By the time that was all over, it was a little after noon. I took my mom to the cafeteria. We got some Starbucks and I got a cup of roasted vegetable soup. It was near 12:30 p.m. when we paid. I decided to stop by the cardiovascular department to inquire about the ultrasound. My next appointment, the consent/nutrition class, was from 1:00-3:00 p.m. I didn't know if it would end at exactly 3:00 p.m. due to questions (from other soon to be WLS completed patients). I figured it was best to let someone in THE cardiovascular department know I may have been late or try to push the appointment time back. I ended up with the latter (4:30 p.m.).

After that, my mom and I headed to the 1:00 p.m. appointment. If I counted right, there were 10 of us in all, each with a support person. During that time, the nutritionist gave us another handout that is similar to one we received from the pre-preop nutrition class and reviewed it with us. She gave us a sample packet of PB2 and one chewable multivitamin. Blank stare. Really? That's all? Yes, that was all. About halfway through the session, the nurse practitioner arrived to take over with the consent. We each received our own individual packets, based on our procedures. Basically, it was consent, as well as an acknowledgement of the possible risk and complication.

(I'm getting sleepy now so I'm going to pause right here. I'll try to finish tomorrow for sure. But I'll close and say that nothing out of the norm or ordinary happened and that was perfectly fine by mean. Simple and concise is a great thing. We didn't see or talk to the doctors. That was a tad bit disappointing. Today marks 9 day until surgery. Oh, I'm first. Scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Reporting to the hospital at 5:30 a.m. I asked for the first opening. Hoping by night time I am doing well and have walked enough to actually rest.)

Can't believe I'm sleeved!

Procedure was Friday, December 23, 2016. Released from hospital Christmas evening. At home resting. Trying to get everything in so that recovery goes well. Prayerfully no set backs!
Chicago Bariatric Surgeon

Haven't had the procedure yet.

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