Saturday, February 5, 2011

Looking back...

Recently, some have requested more information as to how I got started with pre-op process for bypass. The first thing you have to do is be really ready for all the information they are going to throw at you. I struggled so much with this decision that when I finally decided to choose me before anyone and any food, I thought it would be easier and much much quicker. However, I was in for a very rude awakening. The entire process takes what we all feel we don't have enough of...time. The first thing I had to do was meet with my doctor and explain my desire to attain more information. Your doctor will refer you out to an informational meeting which is a requirement to move on. Once you have attended the meeting (and internally flipped out and questioned this entire decision again and again) you may pay the cost of the program (which includes pre and post visits to the center) and schedule an appointment with the surgeon. This was the point that I could also get started with a variety of steps I would need to accomplish prior to even receiving a surgery date. They are as follows:
  • Six month requirement for Insurance: In order to have my insurance company cover the cost of my RNY surgery, I had to attend an informational meeting about the different surgeries and then embark on a 6 month weigh in regimen where I have to be weighed in once a month for six months at either the Bariatric Center or at my GP's office. If I missed a month, I would have had to start all over again. I also had to lose 5% of my body weight within that time.
  • Psych Clearance: I had to drag my butt to a crappy waiting room in a crappy office building and wait to be "shrinked." The psychologist who cleared me held all the power as he sat there balding in front of my eyes, eying me with his self-righteous (I can make or break this for you) look, talking my ear off about his "specialty" with drug addiction and substance abuse. It was almost enough to send me into therapy on a continuous basis.
  • Sleep Study: For those people who have had a history with sleep apnea, this would have been MUCH more involved. However, because I have never had any sleep issues, a wonderful woman brought a sleep monitor (goes on your finger) on a Monday and picked it up Tuesday morning. Easy breezy!
  • Tests: EKG (stress test only if my EKG had been abnormal but thank goodness, it wasn't) and blood tests galore to check all my levels and see what vitamins I may have needed before surgery.
  • Attendance at support group meetings: Must attend three meetings...loved this even though I thought I would hate all the Kumbaya singing and hand holding (we really don't do this...really).
  • Lots and lots and lots of patience! All of these steps took time, scheduling and lots of waiting. It was worth it!
Would I do it again? Abso-tively-lutely! Was it a pain in the butt? Yes is surely was! Was it a waste of my time? No it was not. In order to really be ready for something like this, you have to be as informed as possible. I can't even count the number of hours I spent online, in forums like "Thinner Times" and on my SparkPeople page logging my daily dietary intake (which I still do, every single day) and fitness minutes. If I had not done all of the above, I may not have done this for the right reasons...I may not have done it at all. This has been a complete life change. I still stall on the weight loss as it seems to come in waves, so I am experiencing everything others are. It is frustrating not to see the scale move for a week or more, I am never going to be able to relax and just watch it come off...I am going to have to work like everyone else. In the beginning, yes it will come off faster, but those that do not make it an extreme life change and understand that we do this to move forward FOREVER, not forward and then back again (like many of us have done our entire weight watching lives) will have a very rude awakening when they have gained all of their weight back. I have very likely given up sugar permanently as my body may not be able to tolerate it. I cannot drink alcohol for at LEAST a year. There are foods that I may eat along the way that will make me extremely sick anytime I try to eat them (which for me would only be once lol). I may have hernias and vitamin deficiency down the road. Did I know all of this going in? Yes. Would I have my guts rearranged all over again? YES!
~If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading~
-Lao Tzu-

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