Lets see I don't even know where to start with this adventure it has turned into a long journey. Well I guess I will start with my sister (Becca) who began researching the surgery in early 2002. She weighed close to 350 lbs. and was in need of losing weight. Her obgyn had given her the name of two doctors, one in California and the other in Utah that preformed gastric -bypass surgery. She checked out both and decided to go with Dr. Oliak in California. Once she filled out the paper work it wasn't long before she got the go from her insurance company. She was set to have surgery in November of 2002, we were both very excited. We had both tried several diets and going to the gym but neither of us were able to keep the weight off.
In just a matter of a few months I could tell a big difference in her attitude and the way she looked. So in June of 2003 I made up my mind and wanted to have the gastric-bypass surgery as well. I chose the same doctor my sister had because her results were awesome and I wanted to look as good as her. I filled out my paper work and sent it in only to not hear anything back for months. I started calling everyday because I thought that they had forgotten about me. They hadn't, they had just not heard from the insurance company. Little did I know this would be a long battle that would eventually get me nowhere. In December of 2003 I decided that I was tired of waiting for the insurance company to approve the surgery after being denied twice. I was going to have this surgery done at any costs, so I was obviously going to be paying out of pocket for my surgery. The only people who knew I was thinking about the surgery was my dad and my sister's family, so I talked my options over with them. In January 2004 I decided to drain all my bank accounts and have my dad take out a loan for me so I could have the surgery. After I set the date for Feburary 4, 2004 I finally decided to tell my mom. She was very against my sister having the surgery, so I wanted to wait until the last possible minute to tell her. At the end of January I took a cruise and ate everything in sight cause I just knew life would be different after the surgery. When I came back from my trip I had just 2 weeks to get all my stuff together for the surgery. I also found out that a lady that my sis works with is having the same surgery, the same date, and with the same doctor. I mean really what are the chances.
On February 2 my sister, my father and I made the trip to California. This marked the start of a new beginning for me. Reality still had not hit yet that I was finally going have the surgery. I could not wait for the next day to do all of y pre-op stuff at the doctor's office and the hospital. They had sent me a schedule in the mail of how the day was going to go, and it was going to be a busy one. The first meeting of the morning was with Dr. Oliak and it was done in a group just going over the basics of the surgery. The rest of the day went just as smooth, but when it can time for lunch amazingly I was not hungry. WHAT! A fat chick miss a meal , thats right I was so nervous about the next day I couldn't eat. I kept my sister and dad up all night playing cards cause I could not sleep, and when we finally got in bed I think I talked my sister's ear off.
Yeah! The big day was finally hear February 4, 2004. This was going to be the start of my new beginning. But my gosh be at the hospital at 5:30 am, someome must have forgot to tell them that I don't do mornings. I geuss I could make an exception for this. By the time they took me back to admitting I was so nervous I could barely walk and told them I felt as if I would vomit everywhere. That stuff they give you to calm your nervous, yah I don't think that stuff actually works. Okay and did I mention that this was my first surgery. I was nowhere near prepared to fill how I felt after surgery. All I have to say is WOW, I think I got my ass kicked in that fight. If you would have asked me if i wanted to have WLS anytime during the first day that answer would have been an absolute NO.
I remember my sis and my Dad sat with me most of the first day for support, they were awesome. I didn't walk until really late the first night cause I just couldn't get out of bed the first time of round. I don't really remember much of the first day execpt sleeping, waking up and sleeping and waking up and sleeping...I think you get the picture.
I was glad to escape the hospital after 4 long days. I had to stay near the hospital for the next week just in case anything went wrong, I mean I guess this wasn't to bad I mean I was just glad to be out of the hostipal. A week after I had my surgery my sis and little nephew had me at Disneyland. Yeah I know it sounds crazy and I was even forced to ride the rides. At the end of the week I got my drain out and Back to Vegas I went.
My second post-op visit was 3 months after my surgery and I had lost 56lbs. This is the most weight I had ever lost before, it almost seemed to good to be true. The bad thing was I had been vomiting since after the first month. The doctor said I had a sticture (I had know idea what this meant but I would soon become framiliar with this problem). About a month later I had my first endoscopy. Thing really improved after this, I was still having a hard time keeping food down. At 9 months post-op I was down 123 lbs. and the doctor was concerned about how fast I was losing weight and if I was going to continue losing. So I had a second endoscopy, this time i had it done in Vegas. I had a real bad experience with my first in California ( I woke up during the procedure). By my 22nd birthday a month later I weighed in at 121 lbs., I had lost over half of my starting weight(or my evil twin as I like to say).
When I went back for my 1 year post-op visit, I was once again told that I would need to have another endoscopy because I was still throwing up almost once a day. It got to the point where this really didn't bother me anymore I just excepted it as part of something that happened after I ate. I once again had another endoscopy and said this was the last time I was going to have this done. I had 3 strictures in 1 year, I thought what the heck was wrong with me. My sis had the same surgery with the same doctor and she never had a problem.
Now that I had my weight off my goal was to work out as much as possible. I had applied with a few different police departments and was working out at least 5 days a week 2 times a day. In late August of 2005 I was hired on with LVMPD. I was going to start the police academy Sept. 5th. I had now finally reached my goal and purpose for having WLS. I graduated the police academy on Feb. 8, 2006, I was now a comissioned police officer.
In July of 2006 I decided that I was now ready to have a tummy tuck cause I was tired of wearing oversized T-shirts to cover up my skin roll. I had an appointment in August with Dr.Oliak to discuss having a tummy tuck. He felt I would be a great canidate for surgery. I told him that I was not in a hurry to have surgery so I wanted to first see if my insurance would cover the surgery.
In September of 2006 I had surgery with Dr.Oliak to repair an internal hernia. I had been having extremly bad abdominal pain for about a year and a half and had been to the emergency several times only to hear them tell me there was nothing wrong with me. The pain was getting worse and it was lasting anywhere between 6-8 hours.
In March of 2007 I finally heard from Dr.Oliak's office that I had been approved for my tummy tuck by my insurance. I was so excited to hear this news that I wanted to kiss the lady on the other end of the phone. However evenwith this good news I still was unable to set a surgery date. Dr.Oliak wanted me to see a swallowing specialist before he cleared me for a tummy tuck. Finally in the beginning of May I was cleared and could set a date for surgery. I was scheduled for May 21 and it seemed like that was months away, but in reality it only 3 weeks away.