July 31, 2008: The light at the end of the Facemask

Jul 30, 2008

It turns out I probably DO have sleep apnea! I will spend the night at the sleep study clinic on Saturday, August 2, and be fitted for a CPAP machine, if the doctor's suspicions are correct. I hope it's true because it would be sweet to get some energy back during the day. The fatigue is holding me back from projects I want to finish. I nap all the time, yet I feel like I never rested. This simple resolution would be a Godsend!

Good news! The insurance coordinator at Dr. Wood's office sent me a message that my psyche evaluation results arrived and she was able to send all my paperwork in to BCN for approval yesterday! Woo hoo! I guess the sleep study results are only required prior to surgery, like the ten pounds I was asked to lose. But it wasn't necessary for insurance approval. OMG! I'm already awaiting approval by my insurance and it's not even August yet. I'm geeked!

More after my snooze on Saturday....

July 28, 2008: Perchance to Dream

Jul 28, 2008

Tomorrow is my appointment with my PCP. He is going to release me for surgery. Later in the afternoon, I have my consult for the sleep study. This intrigues me ~ I really want to know if I have sleep apnea. It would sure explain the fatigue.

That's it! Tomorrow should be the end of the tests---well, the actual sleep study comes after the consult---and the beginning of the nail-biting wait for approval from BCN. I'll keep you posted!

July 15, 2008: Got Psyched and Scoped today

Jul 15, 2008

What an interesting way to spend a paid vacation day off work! It was tough to trust my brother to be my escort, because he's not the most reliable person, but he came through for me. I picked him up at 8:30 a.m. and drove us to the psychologist's office first. He was dozing in the waiting room. I treated him to lunch afterward, but I couldn't eat or drink anything myself because of the EGD test scheduled for 2:30 this afternoon.

The session with Dr. Restum went well, I think. The only disappointment was the bombshell he dropped that the personality test takes 3 weeks to score! I told him I was hoping to have all my paperwork in to Dr. Wood's office by the end of July. I didn't expect delays from the psyche evaluation. He assured me he'd try to get it in by the first week in August. It was a kind gesture to accomodate my wish. I guess that will have to do.

By the time we arrived at the Endoscopy facility, my brother was laying back in the reclining passenger seat of my car, sleeping. I brought a pager out to him from the receptionist. He could sleep until the procedure was done and then he had to be at my bedside. I gave the nurses a description of my car in case they had to knock on the window to wake him up. While they were strapping on my IV, I said, "You have to drug me to make me sleep, because I'm so alert. My brother, on the other hand, can't keep his eyes open and he's the designated driver. What's wrong with this picture?"

I had doubts that I'd be completely out during the procedure. I've had an EGD scoping before six years ago and I was partially awake the entire time. It was called a "twilight" sleep----I could hear the doctor speaking to the nurse and felt something going on but I just didn't care. Not this time! The anesthesiologist said, "Take a couple of deep breaths. You'll be asleep in 30 seconds..." I thought, Yeah right. The next thing I knew, I was dreaming that I was tasting protein drinks for my diet and the last one made me throw up; I woke up in recovery, a nurse wiping something I regurgitated from my face. It must have followed the tube as they pulled it out from my throat. I was amazed at how quickly I had fallen asleep and how quickly I was alert afterward.

There was my brother standing at the foot of my bed! He told me later that he came inside the building before he was ever paged. The doctor had good news for us about the results: everything is anatomically perfect for WLS. I do have a little glitch with my valve that is common in people who have had chronic acid reflux. It's not a major issue. He did take a biopsy to rule out a certain condition, which he said he doesn't think I have. He also took a biopsy for H. Pylori. My H. Pylori blood test came back negative the other day, and this biopsy will confirm that. If there is anything else wrong with the lab tests, he'll call. Otherwise, I'm good to go.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, and a pleasant drive home with my buddy behind the wheel. Way to go, Bro!

Next and hopefully last test: Sleep study on July 25. Stay tuned!

July 12: Scheduled my last preliminary test!

Jul 12, 2008

Okay!  I have my sleep study scheduled for the night of July 25.  I didn't even have to request a vacation day for it.  It's after hours.  That about wraps up the last of the testing pre-op.  Now I have to lose 10 pounds.  I figure I'll swing by Dr. Woods office on July 23 and weigh in.  I've slacked off a few days on the exercise due to distractions.  I'm just tired lately.  I'm eager to get the paperwork in so Dr. Wood's office can send it to BCN for approval, so you know I'll be getting my second wind this weekend.  Time to pull out all the stops!  After all, this is the rest of my life we're talking about.  A new chapter awaits... 

I've cleaned out the fridge of unwanted food stuffs and reduced my long-acting insulin dosage from 150 units per day in June to 30 units tonight!  Tomorrow I'll take 20 units and then It looks like I won't need it anymore.  My blood sugar is staying lower with just the short-acting insulin with each meal.  The major change is smaller meals throughout the day and less carbs.  It means I'm successfully compensating by eating less and less each day.   I'm so excited to accomplish all of these changes before surgery!  It will make my life so much easier post op.  One of my goals is to be insulin free!  It's beginning to look probably now and I couldn't be happier. 

Let the healing begin!


July 2, 2008: Meet The Surgeon

Jul 03, 2008

Dr. Wood was most impressive!  I was in awe the whole time he was speaking because he addressed every concern I had with the best response I could have hoped for!  He enjoys bariatric surgery because it's gratifying to help patients alleviate life-threatening ailments associated with obesity, like high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes (check one!).  He wants his patients to be as comfortable and safe as possible during and after surgery so he gives them extra TLC in the form of good pain management, a warming blanket, and meticulous surgical skill. (Check two!)  He wants us to succeed at losing a minimum of 50% of the weight we want to lose; our success is his success.  Him and his staff are there to help us every step of the way (Check three!).  On top of being a skilled surgeon with many years of training and experience and an impressive track record of success, he's charming, witty, warm and sincere.  Who could ask for more?  I knew immediately that I was in good hands.

He approved the Sleeve for me, saying I'm a great candidate for it.  I was prepared for a rebuttal in case he argued that I should go for the NY Bypass instead, but it wasn't necessary.  I have a few more tests and more paperwork to submit before BCN approval, and then the surgery date.  Stay tuned!

June 29, 2008 Paperwork!

Jun 29, 2008

 Good news! I was able to schedule both the psyche evaluation and the EGD scoping on July 15.  Hooray!  Meanwhile, I need my PCP to forward some medical records and a letter of support to Dr. Wood.  I feel rushed to get all this paperwork done, but I want my surgery before the end of August!  I went through all my medical receipts yesterday and could not locate anything from 2002.  I'll have to ask my PCP who he referred me to for my last scoping.  The gastroenterologist wants to know.   I hope it's okay if I don't have exact dates on some of the other questions.  Who knew I'd need to remember all this stuff?

Things are moving right along!

June 25, 2008 - First Support

Jun 25, 2008

I attended my first support group at Dr. Wood's office tonight.  It was packed!  Everyone shared their problems and successes and suggestions.  I learned a lot.  I also met a few women who have not had surgery yet.  No one else was there for the VSG surgery.  In fact, I don't think many even heard of it.  One lady jotted it down to research it; she might change her mind about bypass.  Two men in the group are having trouble eating meat since their bypass surgery.  One man has had two scopings involving a balloon to open up his passageways.  I heard that three times is a charm. The other one is not happy at all.  He can't even keep water down yet and he's 3 weeks out from surgery.  Ugh.

I'm so glad I chose the sleeve instead!  

I couldn't get July 8 off work.  It turns out to be a blessing, because I received the paperwork from Dr. Wood's office via e-mail and it clearly states that they schedule the EGD scoping at Harper Hospital after the H. Pylori test during my consult.  If my count is high on July 2, I need to take anti-biotics for 2 weeks before the scoping.  Also....one of the ladies at the support group gave me the name of a psychologist who had the procedure done herself!  She may be the best one to do my psyche evaluation.  I'm going to see if she can squeeze me in on July 2.  That would be great!  I only have two more vacation days to use for all these consults and evaluations.  I want to make them count.

Dana said she thinks I could be a good candidate for the sleeve because I'm educated about nutrition and willing to do the work required to keep the weight off once I lose it.  Hooray!  

June 25, 2008: My head is spinning!

Jun 24, 2008

I can't believe how quickly everything is coming together for my upcoming surgery!  My first consultation with my surgeon Dr. Wood is July 2.  I have an EGD test scheduled after my psyche evaluation on July 8.  I'll have to reschedule the EGD if I have too high of H. Pylori count at the time of the consult, because I'll need to take antibiotics for 2 weeks prior.  Otherwise, the paperwork to submit to BCN for approval is accumulating at a rapid pace!  I'm applying all the wisdom I learned from post op members here at OH and keeping a copy of everything for myself.  So far, the professionals handling things for me---from my PCP office to Dr. Wood to the psychologist's office---have impressed me with their competence, organization and thoroughness.  I've felt supported since the moment I made the decision that the sleeve is the tool I needed to change my life.  Expect more good news to follow.  


Getting started

Jun 22, 2008

I decided to start my tracker today since I KNOW the VSG surgery is close at hand.  I'm already riding my stationary bike every morning and keeping track of everything I eat.  I'll be losing weight before surgery, so I might as well post my progress.  I'm at 362# and I stand 5'6" tall.

About Me
Woodhaven, MI
May 29, 2008
Member Since

Friends 25

Latest Blog 19
December 5, 2008: Stream of Well Being
November 12, 2008: Every Day is Thanksgiving!
Lighting the Way to Ideal
The Path of Least Resistance: Driven to Drink!
Greetings From The Winner's Circle
September 18, 2008: The Dangling Carrot
All My Ducks in a Row
September 5, 2008 ~ Back on Track!
September 4, 2008: A Fork in the Road
August 12, 2008: Stamp of Approval