My Fantastic Journey- Pre-Op Decisions Decisions
May 20, 2013
I wished I would have started this blog two years ago when I had my gastric bypass surgery in February 2011. Well, better late than never. I weighed 419 lbs. on the first day of my "Options Classes" the name of the weight loss surgery classes offered by Kaiser. My "Fantastic Journey" actually began January 25, 2010 when I attended WLS orientation. I weighed 419 lbs., the highest weight I ever recorded. Orientation explains the various procedures and provides an overview of all the weight loss options Kaiser offers. After orientation, I still was not sure if I wanted to have the surgery. It took me six months and several Double Doubles to finally make up my mind. It actually took being diagnosed with lymphedema in my left leg to help me make the crucial decision to have surgery. I will talk about lymphedema in another blog.
On July 30, 2010, I began the 12 week WLS course to better understand what I was getting myself into. The goal was to learn proper eating habits, the need for enough protein and water after surgery, the need for vitamins for the rest of my life and just preparing my mind and body for this major life change. The goal was to lose about 10 percent of my body weight to demonstrate to the surgeon that I was serious about the procedure and losing excess weight can also reduce complications during surgery. By week 12, I only lost about 10 lbs. I was devastated but not surprised. On that day, I was determined to utilize what I learned in class and lost 40 lbs. before surgery. I met with my surgeon in November 2010 and we both agreed that the gastric bypass would be the best option for me because I had so much weight to lose. I wanted the sleeve but realized the bypass was a better solution and I would have a better chance of reaching my goals. A majority of all my blood work was done the next day following my last Options class.
During the next few months I had to be evaluated by a psychiatrist and cardiologist. Kaiser had to ensure I was in the right mind and confirm that my heart was strong enough for surgery. I passed all test with flying colors. The waiting game began waiting for a surgery date. I finally got a date and received my pre-op instructions. I had already stopped drinking soda and was eating smaller healthier high protein meals so the week before surgery was not too bad. I had to go on a liquid diet before surgery and that was difficult but manageable. The laxative to clean out system the day before surgery was nasty. The morning of my surgery was exciting and frightening but I had my best friends with me for support one just had the surgery a month prior to mine. By February 9, 2011, the day of my surgery which I also call my "second birth", I weighed about 380 so I lost about 37 lbs. I was pleased.