First meeting with doctor was on Wednesday, January 9, 2002.
Surgeon: Thomas Clark
January 25, 2002: Approved by Optima Health plan to have GBP surgery.
Surgery date scheduled: Wednesday, April 24, 2002
I'm very excited about having this surgery, and looking forward to a new life as a healthy, thin person.
On March 26 I met with the dietitian to learn about what my diet will/should be like from the day of surgery on. The first two months seem like they'll be kind of rough, but still I can't wait. In the meantime I am trying foods I've never tried before, and eating whatever I want. I realize many of the foods I enjoy now will become a thing of the past, but I'm okay with that.
On March 27 I met with the doctor's assistant. She explained to me the pre-op testing, and so on and what I can expect the day before surgery, the day of surgery, and during my 4-5 day hospital stay. She gave me a packet of information to review more carefully to prepare for surgery.
I've started taking the children's chewable vitamins which I really hate. I'd much rather swallow a pill than chew it, and I hate the after-taste. I've found that taking one just prior to brushing my teeth in the morning, and again at bedtime works best for me.
I'm trying to take care of as many household things and work things as I can prior to the surgery. I know it'll be here before I know it, and I'm glad.
I meet with Dr. Clark on April 16th for my pre-op exam, and then the 24th is the big day!
I had the surgery April 24, 2002. It's been nearly six months and I've officially lost 101 pounds. I've been very fortunate in that I have not experienced many of the negative side-effects such as dumping, hair-loss, or vomiting. I do take my vitamins including 2 multi-vitamins, 1 vitamin B-complex, and 2 flax oil vitamins daily. I also focus on protein first, and drink lots of water.
I've learned from talking with others how important it is to follow the doctor's and dietician's recommendations.
The hardest thing is acquiring clothing that fits. It's disturbing to buy something only to have it fit for a month or so.
Wendy's chili is one of my staples. I eat it frequently. I can usually eat about half of a small chili at one sitting. Sometimes I can't eat quite that much, and other times I can eat a bit more. I find soups more satisfying than eating solid foods, though I do eat solid foods, as well. The only food I've had any difficulty with is raw carrots. That's no big deal though. I could go the remainder of my life and never eat another raw carrot!
My recommendation to anyone considering this surgery is to do your homework, and to follow the doctor's orders.
The people I know who have had this surgery, and have had difficulty don't seem to care what the doctor has told them. Some of them have done little to change their eating habits in spite of the surgery. They eat all the wrong foods in smaller quantities, and then complain when they don't feel well, and haven't lost at the rate they'd hoped.
For me, this was the best decision I've ever made.
Finally had first consultation with Dr. Clark on 1/9/02 nearly two and a half months after scheduling appt. He has changed his procedure from one-on-one consultation, to a small group seminar in an effort to see patients in a more timely manner. I thought I wouldn't like that very much, but really didn't feel cheated, after the fact. All my questions were answered. In fact most of my questions were answered without my even having to ask them.
I feel he is a competent surgeon. He outlined what I could expect, what the real risks are, and stressed that WLS is just a tool. He also emphasized that WLS is a life-changing event, and its impact shouldn't be underestimated.
Since there were 8 of us at this initial consultation, and he does a number of surgeries each week, I worry about how much time he will have for me individually both pre- and post- surgically.
Thus far, I'm impressed with his knowledge, skills, and statistics. He seems to be compassionate, too.
Optima, Optima Health Plan
So far they have been easy to deal with.