This was an experience of being on the patient's side, being the one vulnerable to the health care providers, and experiencing the "good, bad, and indifferent" within the healthcare industry. I did experience all three, in different situations, but the final word..This procedure was a lifesaving, life-sustaining SOLUTION for a woman who was quickly advancing in Type II diabetes, ADVANCED Coronary Artery Disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, 20 years of acid reflux disease, (chronic respiratory infections from the acid reflux, as well!) and in general, depression from a sad life hiding away from people due to a poor body image!
I don't know what finally inspired me to just make the decision to do this final act, or just make the "jump" into having my insides "sliced and diced"..as you will.. but I do remember watching some videos of a long-lost singer-performer named Alison Moyet, (of an 80's group that I used to LOVE, called Yazoo)..since she disappeared off the radar, she re-appeared, little by little, from 2009, 2010, then, in 2011 she really made a major comeback.
The dramatic change in her appearance was SO obvious to me, and was also being discussed on some of the weight loss forums..I kept looking at her pictures and listening to her interviews, watching her move, watching what she was doing..and it was like a light went off in my head when she mentioned something about "not wanting to be dependent on people" later on in her life..that was it!! I was going to do it too! I could tell by her thinning hair, this was not going to be easy, and that she was SO brave, getting up in front of all those people, obese all her life, then melting down to that gorgeous self-assured self that she is now..
I started this journey in August 2011. Half of all the tests I needed done by the bariatric group I decided on, were already done from the cardiac diagnostics the year before, my cardiologist really WAS upset with me, said I had 5 yrs., at best, if I didn't take off 75 lbs. NOW! But it just wasn't happening. Metabolic syndrome doesn't work like that! This surgery works for it! It's the ANSWER for metabolic syndrome, because dieting, exercise, and meds just don't cut it. I KNOW, I've been there, and done that, for umm..how many years? I'm starting this at 205 pounds. That's not all THAT obese, is it? It's bad enough to kill me, though! My right coronary artery is 100% blocked at 57 yrs old? Hey!
I decided on Washington Hospital Center, and the Bariatric Medicine Group, associated with the hospital, purely because my cardiologist practices there, and in case I had a cardiac event during the procedures at any time, I had him around. Thank goodness! He's awesome! Of course, even though this was my complete choice and decision, he's still asking me if he can take credit for it! My Bariatric Surgeon is Dr. Timothy Shope. His group is very large.
There are some crazy women at the front desk who get things mixed up, and an RN case manager who loses records and messes things up as well. That's another story. I won't get into the "bad and indifferent" parts of the surgery, because that might discourage you from doing it. Nothing is perfect in life, least of all, in the present medical systems, in these huge corporate profiteering organizations! My hospital stay at Washington Hospital Center was ok in the recovery room, but after that, it was 4 days of pure nightmare! I was alone, and if it wasn't for the fact that I'm a registered nurse, aware of what the recent grads were doing to me, on that understaffed unit..I'm wondering if I would even be here, right now, writing this expose'! LOL!
I AM here, and I'm going to be 60 years old in November. It's so awesome seeing myself in a size 8-10 slacks, like my old self 25 yrs ago, breathing easy again, half the meds I used to be on, and no longer a diabetic. EVER. No more sticking my finger, no more metformin, no more blood pressure pills, and only one prevacid a day! I am no longer having acid reflux, and had NO colds or infections for a whole year. Is it a miracle? YES! My surgeon repaired not just ONE complicated huge hiatal hernia, but TWO, while he was in there, re-creating a new digestive system that acts like NORMAL people's digestive systems.
I have to eat like a woman of my age. I'm 60, for heaven's sake! Small portions, and no junk! That's what messed me up in the first place!
This surgery should definitely be considered the medical intervention of the year. It will save my insurance company many many years and procedures worth, of so many complications that WOULD have occurred had I remained sick with Type II diabetes and continuing cardiovascular disease, which, by the way, appears to have arrested..so my cardiologist says! And he still wants to take credit for my choice of getting this surgery!