Wow, they really want to make sure I do okay with this surgery! The clinic I am going to is really incredible. Bariatric surgery is all they do.
Yesterday I went for PATs. I got there and they went over my insurance coverage information. I really have great coverage. The MOST I'd have to put out of pocket is 0, and it'll probably be less than that.
I had to be weighed in. My surgeon WILL NOT do the surgery if you gain any weight between your consultation date and your surgery date. I was terrified to step on the scale. But I had actually lost 4 pounds, so that was very good.
Then it was on to the laboratory where they took my temperature and blood pressure -- which was an amazing 115/56. They commented on how I must not be worried at all. Good thing they didn't take it BEFORE I got weighed! Personally, I think it was because I actually took my meds in the morning. LOL. They then drew 5 tubes of blood. Next I went into an exam room where I got changed. I had a chest x-ray and ekg done in there. That was followed by pulmonary function tests.
At that point, I was given an incentive spirometer to practice with at home. (It's a machine you use to measure inhalations) I was also given a scrubbie to use on my belly the morning of surgery. Unfortunately, because my BMI is over 50, I also had to have an aterial blood gas drawn. Not fun, but not as bad as I expected. After that, the nurse read my CPAP machine, on which I have clocked over 500 hours. She said that was very good.
Another nurse came in and took my medical history again, checking what medications I am on, among other things. She gave me some basic eating and exercise instructions, some handouts to read, and explained what happens at the hospital. The one thing she said that I found very interesting is this: After surgery, the opening between my stomach and intestine is only the size of the head of a ballpoint pen. This is the reason why I am on a liquid diet for so long. It's because of swelling and healing. At 6 weeks out, which is when I'm allowed "normal" food, this opening is only the size of an M&M. Try to eat something bigger, and it will get stuck, causing me to vomit it up, or requiring surgical intervention to remove it. So I was instructed to CHEW CHEW CHEW everything to DEATH at that point.
Next it was the nutritionist who came to visit. She gave me a binder full of information. They call it the Barix Bible. It has recipes for every stage (clear liquid, full liquid, puree, soft foods, regular foods). She told me that my goals are: 64 oz of fluid daily; 70 grams of protein daily; no more than 10 grams of fat per meal; no more than 2 grams of added sugar per serving in anything I eat. We went over how to read food labels. I have dates for when I go on to each new phase. This binder also has menu ideas, info on complications, and even a section on emotional issues and relationships.
I was given two protein drinks to try. Protein is VERY important after surgery, so that you don't lose muscle, your hair doesn't fall out (too much), and you still have energy. Since food is out of the question for several weeks, protein powders make getting protein in possible. I also bought a container of Capuccino flavored powder. I want to get a few more before surgery -- like chocolate, vanilla, fuzzy navel and non-flavored.
FINALLY, the doctor came in. I swear he was from another planet. He took huge pauses between each word. I am SO glad he's not my surgeon!!! He reviewed my lab results and said everything was fine. He switched my hypertension meds to one without a water pill. He said I'll use that after the surgery instead of my current med, because he doesn't want me dehydrating after surgery. He gave me the all clear.
One more thing before I left. A nurse took me outside to take a "before" picture. Then I went home and took a nap. Doctor appointments are exhausting!!!