Ready to Stop Sitting on the Sidelines of My Life - 38F - Tucson, AZ. Surgery Date August 18th 2016

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This is where my journey begins. I have made the...

This is where my journey begins. I have made the life altering decision to have bariatric surgery and get healthy once and for all. It's time I stop being a bystander in my own life and take back the reins. I'm slightly scared, it IS surgery after all, but I'm excited and optimistic about the path that I'm beginning.

About Me...

So I'm 37, have 2 kids - a preteen and a toddler. I'm 5 feet 1.5 inches and at my initial consultation, I weigh 273 lbs. My BMI is 51.6. Ugh. I'm borderline diabetic and I have high cholesterol, as well as suffer from chronic migraines and my knees are pretty shot.

I knew I was big, I just couldn't see it for as bad as it is. I didn't realize I was so far gone. Over half my weight is just...FAT. Seeing a recent pic of myself, seeing what others probably see - not gonna lie - it's rough. It's depressing. I dont recognize that person. I decided I have to do something to get healthy and be there for my kids for as long as possible.

I'm also engaged to an amazing guy, who sees me as beautiful no matter my size. He is supportive of my decision for weight loss, and since I've told him that I won't be a fat bride this time around, I need to get myself to a place where I can look back at the photos of the day and be happy with what I see. One thing from my prior marriage was that I didn't like how I looked on my wedding day and my wedding pics were disappointing to me because I wasn't happy with ME.

I've made the decision to do gastric sleeve surgery and will start my first of 6 monthly weight loss appointments on January 5th. Then in Feb, I'll have my 2nd appointment and my first nutritionist visit. I have to have a stress test of my heart, a sleep study, a scope of my esophagus and stomach, and I need to quit smoking before surgery, which hopefully will take place in July.

I'm taking it one step at a time, one day at a time. I could really use some encouragement. I find when something seems too hard, I just give up. I'm not giving up this time. I'm getting myself back, and becoming the person I see inside.

Feeling Meh.

I'm annoyed with myself. I eat too much junk and I drink too many sodas and every drinks. I know I need to prepare myself and start making changes sooner rather than later, but I guess since I don't start my weight loss appointments until January, I'm just doing things the way I have been doing them and I'm just not making healthy choices for myself. I need to turn this around so I don't continue gaining weight.
I think I just need to be more prepared for my meals and plan ahead so I'm not eating what I can grab on the fly. I need to pay more attention to myself emotionally too and ask myself, when I eat, am I actually hungry? Or is it something else - like boredom, stress, etc?

I think if I observe myself and my emotional state as well as what I eat and when, maybe I can figure out how to change my dependency on food. I also need to start doing some exercise.

I'm anxious to be thinner and in better health, so why am I waiting to get started? I mean, really, I can lose 60 pounds and still qualify for surgery.



You know how some people wish they had superpowers and were invisible? When you're big, sometimes you ARE invisible and let me tell you, it's NOT super. One thing I'm looking forward to is being SEEN again.
I keep watching youtube videos of othrr peoples' post op updates. It's hard to believe that hopefully by this time next year, I'll be like those other women, confident and wearing normal sizes!
The loose skin doesn't seem to be something I'm too worried about now - I just want to be a normal size, shop in any store, and not cry in the dressing room out of frustration because nothing fits me right or at all. Something simple like that is going to make me SO happy. I feel frumpy right now - there's not a lot of cute choices in my budget, so I'm looking forward to being able to wear things that I can only look at on the rack for the time being.
I have so much to look forward to! That's pretty exciting. I can deal with how things are for know, knowing that it's going to get better. Before I considered having surgery as a tool to help me lose weight and get healthy, I felt overwhelmed and depressed about losing weight, because I didn't think I could ever have a chance to be "normal" again. This gives me so much hope for myself and my future. I'm going to make it. :)

Time CAN fly!

Looks like I have not been updating as planned. I finished my last of 6 monthly supervised weight loss appointments as well as my last of 2 visits with the nutritionist, and surgery will be within the next 4 to 6 weeks, assuming everything goes well. My insurance approval is the next step, followed by my pre op tests and then...SURGERY. I'm nervo-cited! More to come as it gets closer!

Stuck waiting and waiting - Long Rant!

So my primary care doctor's office is completely and totally incompetent. And I'm frustrated because they are holding everything up due to their incompetence. On June 8th, I got a call from the surgeon's office saying all they need to submit to the insurance company is a referral and my most recent lab work from my primary care doctor. I call my primary care and they set me up with an appointment because I never had an official "discussing bariatric surgery" appointment and I need new labs. I see my primary care and he says no problem on the referral and I also let them take blood for the labs while I was there. He said I had to make another appt in 2 weeks to go over the lab results with him. I gave him my surgeon's info and watched him look her up and get her info to fax everything over. I went and saw him again on June 23rd for the follow up and again said I need that referral and lab work faxed to my surgeon ASAP. He got her name again, and said it would be taken care of. I waited 2 days, called the surgeon's office on Thurs, Fri and Mon to try and talk to the insurance specialist and left her messages each time. She called me back Monday and said she was swamped with a pile of requests and would call me back. She called me on Tues and said they had nothing yet and suggested since it had been a week, (really 3 weeks since she initially called me about the referral) to go down to my primary care's office and just get it from them and hand deliver it. So I went down today and tried to get it. Guess what? The girl at the reception desk looks me up in the computer and it's NOT there. A separate referral for a dermatologist is there, which I asked for at my same follow up appt, but not my surgery referral. I tell her I've been trying to get this for a whIle and then she lets me know it can't get done then either because my dr is not in today. Argh! I tried to explain to the girl my situation and how frustrating it has been trying to get this over the last 3 weeks and she interrupts me mid-sentence and says "I UNDERSTAND but..." so I interrupted her right back and said "No you don't. And I don't appreciate you interrupting me, you should at least let me finish what I'm saying." So she, I kid you not, makes a rude face (if I were to try to describe it so you can imagine it, it was like she was mentally doing a sarcastic "Okay, bitch" with a raised eyebrow while looking away) and then tells me again that my dr isn't in and that she can't help with that. So now I'm angry. I couldn't believe how rude she was being, and was pretty pissed at this point with her unprofessional attitude, so I just asked when he would be back. (I admit that I asked in a not very nice tone.) She replied "tomorrow", and was saying something else, but I just grabbed my purse off the counter and turned and walked toward the door. She called out a snarky, "Have a nice day!" at me on my way out too. Grr. I'm generally not a confrontational person and don't usually let my anger get the best of me, but I was really close to joining the Slappahoe Tribe.
So, tomorrow, I camp out there until I get my referral and lab work in hand. I'm bringing water and snacks - I expect that reception girl will make me wait a while. The sad part is that it probably wasn't even her fault, but her lack of courtesy and crappy attitude pointed my anger at her instead of who was probably responsible for screwing up.

I have been APPROVED!!!

Finally! I got the call today that my insurance has approved my gastric sleeve surgery. Things will start to go fast now. I have a preop consult with the assistant on Aug 4th and one more appointment with the surgeon where I get the BIG book. I have to schedule my last pre-op tests, and someone should call me soon to make a date for surgery. All I can guess is that it will be on a Wednesday some time after Aug 4th and before mid September. Wow!
I don't know how I feel. Nervous, excited, I'm not able to settle on a feeling right now.

Surgery date AUGUST 18th!

I got the call from the surgery scheduler today. August 18th at 3pm, check in at 1pm. Oh my god, I'm going to be starving and thirsty by then....but it will be WORTH IT. I'm so nervous and excited and my mind is racing. I have so much to do to prepare! I have to get my EGD, cardio clearance and chest xray done and I see Dr. Lovato one last time before my surgery date, and her appt is on the 15th. The phlebotomist will take blood on my visit on the 4th and I'll probably get the chest xray afterwards at the radiology place across the street. The scheduler said that my EGD and cardio testing will get scheduled before Monday, most likely, so I will have those appts set soon. It is going to go SO fast. Yippee! New me, here I come!!

Appointments scheduled

On Monday, I set up my last test appointments. Cardiac clearance, chest xray and EGD consult and then procedure will all be completed prior to the 10th. Then I see Dr Lovato on the 15th. I have a lot on my mind.

Testing done!!! And I was bad...

I had my EGD yesterday as my last test and it was super easy. Didn't even feel like I'd had a procedure done, since I felt so normal when I woke up. It was like I'd simply had a nap. They saw some redness and biopsied the area, but I'm not worried.

I saw the surgeon's office on the 4th and found out I had gained back the 10 pounds lost during my 6 month weight loss visits. Can you say FOOD FUNERALS? So now I am on a diet. Protein shake for breakfast and dinner and a high protein, low carb lunch. High protein, sensible snacks if any. Boo. I wanted to go crazy a little longer! Lol! Honestly, it's been no big deal. I'll be eating sensibly as my lifestyle and I am enjoying my choices so far in protein shakes. One week and one day to go until surgery!

I did it! Surgery 8/18/16

I'm home from the hospital already. Had sleeve surgery on 18th around 430pm, was done by 530pm and got to my room from recovery around 730. Stayed overnight and was released around 430pm the following day. I did it!
I had massive cold feet the night before surgery and was thinking about backing out. I just was very scared to change. But that's what addicts DO, right? Try to justify not changing and make excuses. Luckily I have a great support in my fiancé, who helped me push forward. So here I am on the other side of it. Sore, like I've done a million sit ups and afraid to move my core too much for fear I may open an incision. I haven't been hungry, but have sipped quite a bit of fluids. Probably not as much as I needed though. I'm really not feeling full like others say they feel. No nausea either. No hiccups to say I'm full, or other hints yet. I was walking the halls like a champ though. I was on my feet again right away and I think that helped a lot. Sleepy and drained feeling hits fast and out of nowhere too. Time for some rest.
Dr. Christine Lovato

I have met Dr. Lovato twice so far. She seems sweet, has a very compassionate demeanor and I feel she will be incredibly competent to perform my gastric sleeve surgery when the time comes. She has experience with the DaVinci, which means she is up to date with the technology and surgery options. I had to bring my toddler to my initial consultation and she was completely fine with it; she even gave him some attention too. Binda, who coordinates the insurance, is a rock star! I felt totally at ease knowing she was handling everything and I know that I'm in great hands with the entire staff. It's nice to know they also have the nutritionist, the psychologist, as well as a Nurse Practitioner, Scott Lopez, who will do the monthly supervised weight loss visits all in one place.

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