Saturday, July 25, 2009

How I Came to Have Surgery at True Results

I tried to get approved for lap band in 2007 through True Results because I had lost the gallbadder and my foot broke right after that, from nothing more than walking on it. I was frustrated.
I had an evaluation at that clinic and then the insurance claimed there was an exclusion and I couldn't afford the surgery on my own. I tried again in 2008 when my husband and I had new insurance. No good, exclusion.

I started having extreme nausea that came in waves, I was also lightheaded that made me slow way down at work. I had a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy on February 27, 2009. This showed a hiatal hernia. Unfortunately, I did not know then that could be the key to having insurance pay for most of the surgery. I was just not feeling well at all and kept visiting my PCP. When I wasn't getting great results from these visits, no answers, I decided to take care of myself by going to the Fitness Zone located in the student services building of the college.
I went 3-4 days a week and walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I noticed a small backache setting in soon after I started. It escalated painfully when I went on my period and I wasn't able to sleep. I had a full work up done (about 10 tests) for my doctor - and everything was within the normal range she said, except my triglycerides were high.
I continued my workouts and started to add weight training back into my life.
Next, I requested help with my growing back pain and was told the Xrays were normal and she suggested I see and orthopedic surgeon. Frustrated I continued my workout and consulted with my podiatrist. He had suggested to me that the plantar fasciitis and two heel spurs were probably causing the back pain. Soon my feet were hurting non-stop, 24/7 and I gave up the workouts all together. I mean, hell I was only walking!

I told my husband I was having so much pain walking and afterward (was even given a temporary handicap parking pass) that I was ready to give up & eat whatever I wanted-just let it all go.
A picture of my mom with Madeline & Oprah Winfrey in wax.

He didn't like that idea, so then I started researching the lap band procedure again. When I mentioned to my mom how desperate I was and how willing I was to give up, she worked out way to pay for the surgery in cash, which is a greatly discounted rate. I could feel my depression ebbing back into my life and I was in no position to argue with her.

When my depression starts I begin to imagine people I love being hurt in horrific ways. These vivid images are so awful, I hate to repeat anything I see.

I chose Dr. Ken Hollis because I knew he was affiliated with Southeast Memorial and True Results. I visited with him on July 7 and he suggested exercise would not be enough for me. (I already knew that). My mom and husband accompanied me to the appointment so they would have an idea about what to expect. They scheduled my surgery for two weeks away and told me to get started on the pre-op diet.

Diets I've Tried

Things I've tried to lose the weight.

Regular diet, watching calories
Jenny Craig
Weight Watchers
Slim Fast
saw a food therapist
Something else normally prescribed for migraines-side effect is loss of appetite
Weight Watchers again
Meal Delivery - lost my gallbladder when the weight came off to fast.
Synthroid - (for hypothyroidism) still take it. It's supposed to help. but I guess not so well.
saw a surgeon for Gastric Bypass in 2002, he thought I wasn't ready to do it & my company also decided to excluded WLS earlier that month.
tried limiting caloric intake and stepping up to exercise... only I did too much and ended up not continuing
I joined 24 hour fitness, but after awhile I noticed the staff wasn't really as friendly as they made out.

Nurse Called

I just received a call from the nurse who gave me bruises. He apologized again, but he was really calling to check how I feel. He wanted to make sure that I'm keeping my liquids down and to hear about my level of pain. I told him I was just reading over the Book One for the lap band post-procedure, learning what are normal signs of discomfort and dangers to be wary about.

I am also trying to breathe more into the Airlife machine. He said he thought my level of breathing sounded okay. So onward, I shall go.

Motto for the Road Ahead

Today's Menu: Take it, or Leave it!

There is the motto I will be following for awhile now. I'm just starting week one, which is all liquids. Wish me luck! Come on back and follow my journey through lap band land.

Day of Lap Band Placement

When I weighed in at the center yesterday morning, the scale said I was 292, losing a total of 17 pounds since July7. The surgeon visited me and thanked me for losing so much, he wasn't worried about getting around the liver now. I was at the True Results facility from 10:30 a.m until 4:49 p.m. When I woke up at about 2:40 p.m. I think my body was going into shock, but the nurse there helped me calm down. I have a bad back and had been lying on it from 12:30-2:30, when I woke in recovery. I couldn't stop moving-trying to be comfortable and
my teeth were chattering uncontrollably.
The nurse gave me Demerol and my body calmed. I have abdominal soreness, which is better this morning, but I do have a bit of pain in both shoulders from the anesthesia.
The nurses had to stick me three times looking for an IV vein.nice bruise forming. They also give you a shot of heparin in the side (I didn't really feel it) to prevent blood clotting in your legs. I also wore compression stockings. I don't have any regrets.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Big Band Day

Today is my Big Band Day. In a few hours I will head over to the surgery facility with my husband. Before that, my doctor has requested I bathe with a special antibacterial soap called hibiclens.

I know what to expect going in because it is a laparoscopic procedure and I had one in 2007. The nurse said there are a few entry points so I guess I'll have a few more healing areas than I had before.

I have not eaten or had water since about 10:30 last night, so I expect to be hungry in a couple of hours. (it's been nine already).

Wish me luck! I'll write again when I'm feeling better.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How it began...

Traumatic things happened to me caused by someone I loved and then another person I didn’t, and then from one I liked.
I met my husband soon after the last bit of trauma and we became friends. Started dating in 1994 and I guess I began to mirror his proportions at meals and it sure didn’t help that we ate very late at night many times.
I began putting on weight in 1995 and never really stopped. I saw clothing sizes grow very slowly but couldn’t really see what I looked like from another person’s point of view. My man thought I was beautiful no matter how big I became. (I’m lucky there.)
So that’s how it started.

More to come, follow me down memory lane…

It’s really amazing how your outlook on life can change almost daily when you’re a woman. Maybe it is just the makeup of me, but this has been a loopy year so far – as coasters go, and recently I have been very optimistic about the future.

Here I am in a family photo taken July 21, 2009.

You see, I was given the go ahead to have lap band surgery by my mom. No, my mom isn’t a doctor, but she does have excellent credit. I won’t go into details yet, but it has been a long road up seeing doctors, being turned down by various insurance companies, going on and off diets.

I saw my surgeon on July 7, 2009, started my pre-op diet the next day, saw the evaluation nurse on July 9, and I’m scheduled for surgery tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.
Finally, I will have the tool I’ve needed all along.
I’ll keep you posted, follow me into Lapband Land.