Blog From November 2008- Coming out about my Journey!
Jan 26, 2009I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, but really until today didn’t quite feel all that ready to do this, and although I am doing this today, I may very well erase the whole thing on a whim at some point, so with that disclaimer please read on….
I’m not new to this whole Blog thing, in fact there was a time in my life where I blogged quite regularly. I’m in a new place in my life where many major changes will be coming down my path and I thought what better to do but put it all out there for the world (or should I say my friends on facebook) to read.
Please be aware that some of this information is going to be of a very sensitive nature for me because mainly it’s about me and although I make statements and assumptions about things in this blog, that it really is my opinion and should not be reflected on what I think of others who have been in similar places.
I should of started this blog three months ago, but I will attempt to re-cap it all for you that you have missed. By now your probably wondering…. What the hell is she talking about?
I’m talking about Gastric Bypass Surgery and a complete life change!
A year ago on October 13, 2007 my mother (my best friend) was admitted to EMMC in Bangor with myself and my step dad by her side as she under went gastric bypass surgery. On that day, I thought that this was not the way for me to go, my husband was absolutely against it, and I was supportive to my mother, but no where in my mind considering it.
A month later my best friend, Kelley Ann, had GPS (Gastric Bypass Surgery). I have spent the last year with two of my most favorite women in the world going through huge changes in their lives. Together they have lost almost 300 lbs and are doing wonderful. With their permission I may some day post photo’s of their change, but otherwise it is their story to tell.
So, about three months ago….. is where my story starts.
Me, being against this option for myself was adamant there was another way for so long, but after yo-yo dieting, medications, and many different health thingies… I came to the decision it was time to go to the informational and support group meeting which is where the process begins. I chose EMMC because I have never had a bad experience there, both through my mom’s surgery and my grandmother’s passing almost two years ago. My mother’s doctor is Dr. Toder and having met her through other support groups I attended with my mom and on the day of my mom’s surgery, I felt very good about her as my doctor should I decide to move forward.
So I scheduled to attend the 1st step of this process: Informational Session/Support Group for June 6th, 2008. That’s all great and dandy, until I chickened out. I cancelled this first appointment, thinking again I would figure this out. I was seeing a new fertility specialist (we’ll get to that later) and he had renewed some hope for me. I had started going to the gym and doing water aerobics.
This was good for awhile, but then I realized. I should still go and see what it’s about, at least hear them out right? And I got my husband to agree to go too, which helped, considering he in now way supported this idea at this point…. Saying things such as “it’s the easy way out”.
On August 1st, 2008 I attended the Orientation Class from 2-4pm and the following Support Group from 430-630 pm at EMMC. This officially put me on the list to begin my process towards surgery.
The Orientation was a two hour process that detailed the surgery types such a lap band, sleevectomy, and GPS. It went over the details of our stay in the hospital, what is required before surgery and what to expect after. Then came the support group, which for me was the beginning of me setting my mind on this path.
There was a very large support meeting this particular evening, with well over 50 people present and people at all stages of progress after surgery from 6-10 year out to two months after surgery. It was very motivating and encouraging to see and hear about how others have been in the exact same place I am.
I guess that brings me to a short story about me. I’ve always been a heavy, overweight, chunky, husky, plump, fat, girl (however you want to say it) and I’ve always been affected by it in some way or another whether I want to really admit it or not. In middle school I was picked on “fatso, lard ass” and jokes like “I think your pretty- Pretty Ugly”. In high school I was the “friend” to everyone, never dated until my senior year, and had my first kiss when I was almost 17. I didn’t get to wear the cool “in” clothes and covered myself in sweats and big clothing. In college, I began to come into my own more, became more confident in my skin, but continued to gain weight. My freshman year in college I weighed in at 285. I met my husband and lost some weight, had a wonderful college experience, but still longed to be healthier and skinnier. My senior year in college I began taking medication for high blood pressure, and started to have knew problems. Not to mention never having a regular menstrual cycle. I would go a year at a time without periods. After graduation and getting married, weight came on even easier and my eating habits worsened. For years I tried to convince myself I didn’t want children, but really it came down to not thinking I would ever have children. I began to suffer from more medical problems such as gout, vertigo, sleep apnea, anxiety, depression, back problems, sleeping problems, etc etc…
I will not in the blog say what I way today, but it’s more than college. Maybe someday I will get over the fear of putting that out there to the world, but for now, I’m not in a place where I am ready to. Thank you for understanding.
So back to my journey….
After the informational it was required that I go back to my sleep specialist doctor to determine if my sleep apnea was bad enough to be put on what is called a CPAP machine to regulate my breathing during my sleep. By the middle of September I had brought home my CPAP machine and began using it. Believe me, it took a good two months to get used to sleeping with something on my face, but now I sleep through the night with it and feel much more rested all day and my blood pressure is better.
On September 18, 2008 I attended an all day Dietary Class and Physical Therapy appointment through EMMC, two more of the requirements prior to seeing a surgeon. At this point I still had not totally committed to doing this for sure. We learned about how we would have to eat after surgery, what types of foods to avoid, and ways to make it easier for mobility being a larger person. The down point for me, being shown tools that aide in bathroom duties because for some they are too big to even wipe. Although I had not got there yet, it definitely hit me hard.
On October 3, 2008 I attended a Psychological Evaluation at Acadia Hospital in Bangor to be evaluated for my readiness to have surgery. This probably was the easiest part of me considering I’m a social worker and have seen the process before. I took a large multiple answer test and a eating survey. I was told that I was done the fastest they have ever seen. It was really easy if you ask me. Then I met with the Dr. and was evaluated as ready to have surgery. He felt I also had a diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder with Panic Attacks.
That afternoon I met one on one with my person dietician and found out that I had lost 7 lbs since my first weigh in. I was on cloud 9 about this and very happy that I was on track. She felt I was doing wonderful and was ready to move forward. Then came the bad news. Dr. Toder was booking into Feb of 09, and I was ready for December! By the time I got an initial appointment with her I would probably not have surgery in April. We discussed other options and I agreed to go see Dr. Huang, since he was still looking at December/January times.
Then the waiting started… By now something had clicked for me and I’m not even sure when, but I had made up my mind, I was starting to plan for surgery, life after and time off from school and work.
One day I got a letter in the mail from the surgeon’s office. I knew this was my appointment, but when I opened it I could be nothing but disappointed. My appointment was for Dec 9th with Dr. Haung. A whole two months away…. I was very disappointed that things were not moving faster… and my eating went down hill from here, kind of a Fuck it attitude persisted.
So here I am, awaiting my 29th birthday tomorrow and about to head down a new path towards a new me. Although I will not see my surgeon until December I am mostly at peace with my decision, as I see my mother and Kelley both hitting their one year anniversary’s and wearing size 12’s it makes me so happy and jealous of them. I hope to some day be as successful.
So now I await surgery, and look forward to moving on with my life, having babies, etc.We have just moved into our first home together and things are going well.
I plan to blog on here about my journey as much as possible. Please feel free to comment or ask questions… but please understand it’s all a very personal journey for me.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement!
Jan 26, 2009