Third Time’s A Charm

I started my journey to weight loss surgery with a team that came recommended to me by a friend. I went to the seminar, went to my first appointment with the nutritionist and surgeon, and stopped there. I did not like them. They were cold and seemed uncaring. I couldn’t go forward with such a major decision with a team that seemed like they didn’t want to be at work, never mind help me on this journey.

Take Two
After some research, I went to a different hospital’s seminar and really liked the surgical team. They were knowledgeable, caring, and the surgeon I picked was cute (bonus points!). If I’m going to have someone digging inside my body, she might as well be easy on the eyes. She had me choose from a number of psychiatrists and nutritionists to work with, and I lucked out with my choices. The psych gave me his blessing for the surgery right away, which was great because I wasn’t sure what the visits would entail. I had to spend 6 months with the nutritionist to fill an insurance requirement. Next week, my 6th visit happens!

I had 3 sleep studies – I could not fall asleep during the first two, so an at-home sleep study was scheduled for me and completed. Now, I don’t ever have a problem falling asleep at home. I hit the pillow, and within in moments I am out like a light. So to not complete two sleep studies was not fun. I am a belly sleeper (I know, unusual for an obese person) and the sleep techs would not allow me to sleep on my belly during the studies. Also, I tend to toss and turn a few times while getting comfortable, and that is impossible to do with the amazing quantity of wires hooked up to my body. Seriously, I don’t know how anyone can finish a sleep study.

I spoke to nurse case-manager at my insurance company, and she told me that the only thing I needed was a request for the surgery from the surgeon. That was the missing puzzle piece that I didn’t see as obtainable. My surgeon (the cute, caring one) needed me to lose 100 pounds before she would consider me for surgery. My weight when I saw her was 533 pounds. She wanted me down to 420 pounds. Um…I have an issue losing weight, hence why I’m at her office, right?

When I made the decision to get weight loss surgery, I was ready to go. I don’t like waiting, I like instant-gratification. Six months with the nutritionist seemed like an eternity. But, I wanted this, so I’ll do it. I have to.

I joined a couple of online support groups for weight loss surgery patients, and I asked them if it was normal to have to lose 100 pounds before having surgery. The general answer was “NO” and that I should shop for a new surgeon.

One morning, I had the news on, and I saw a commercial for an area hospital’s weight loss surgery center that advertised “we give hope to the sickest and heaviest patients”. I instantly rewound the TV, watched it again, and again, and then went to their website to find out more.

The next new patient seminar was the following night, so I went. I was excited – the mentors, surgeon and staff were all welcoming, genuinely cared, and answered all my questions. More importantly, they wouldn’t require me to lose 100 pounds in order to get on the table. YES!

I met with the weight loss team – I have been cleared by their psychiatrist, had a great visit with the nutritionist, and was told by the surgeon that if I play along, don’t gain weight, and as long as no other issues pop up, that I would have the surgery in October.

So today I write this with a new found sense of hope – I can see the surgery and my new life now – it’s not far off.

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2 thoughts on “Third Time’s A Charm

  1. wonderful news!! I was always amazed at the requirement of losing 10% or more of your body weight to undergo weightloss surgery! It really surprised me that people could request that of people who are losing hope. I’m so happy for you and I hope that this journey is an easy one. I did a sleep study for a peer in college and it WAS difficult to sleep with all of those wires! I told him there was no way my results were helpful because I must have tossed and turned 100 times during the night! But he said afterward that the results were just fine and he had plenty of data. Maybe it was just my mind convincing me? 🙂

    I know your days will be tough til October but I believe in you! Drink your water and try and walk a little each day. Even if its to the mailbox and back. Or the end of the drive or the end of the block and back. Do what you can to make yourself feel better like making a few small changes, opting for a green fresh veggie instead. You can do this! You are powerful and strong and you are in control of everything and three months from now you will thank yourself!!!

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  2. Hi – just found your blog. Good luck to you! October is really just around the corner and as I’m sure you know, ANY weight at all you can lose before then will help you to a speedy recovery. I had lap band surgery in 2006 at 283 pounds. I had lost 10 prior to surgery. It took me 4 long years but I eventually lost 95 pounds with the lap band..Not nearly enough. In 2012 my lap-band began to malfunction and I finally JUST had revision surgery (to the RNY) 2 weeks ago. I am SO glad and wish wish I did the RNY back in 06. Which surgery are you planning to have? Glad you didn’t give up and kept pursuing different surgeons – they are all really so different!

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