My story is not unlike many other individuals who have struggled to control their weight throughout their life. Through the ups and downs of life and childbirth, I have managed to pack on an extra hundred pounds. Carrying an extra hundred pounds around certainly makes you feel tired!
I am currently in the fourth month of my six-month doctor supervised diet requirement (my insurance - UPMC - requires this in order to cover the cost of the surgery). Honestly, I haven't lost anything overall so far as I have been sick and on vacation from work which is a bad eating combination for me. I go back to work this coming week (second week of June), and I'm going to really buckle down and work hard to lose about ten pounds prior to surgery.
My RNY surgery is scheduled for August 25, 2008 at UPMC St. Margaret's in Pittsburgh, PA. I was there today (6/6) for pre-op testing, and it seems like a wonderful facility. The atmosphere is so nice!
The pre-op tests weren't fun at all though. I had the standard bloodwork, EKG, and chest x-ray. Those were fine. Then I had to have an ultrasound of my stomach and abdomen (which hurt because the tech was pushing so hard!) and an upper GI (which was by far the strangest medical test that I have endured to date!).
I am fairly new to OH, but I am looking forward to becoming a more active part of the online community!
My surgery has been moved up to 8/21/08! Yippee! The anticipation is killing me, and my daughter (9 1/2 years old) is a nervous wreck. So the sooner the better!
I am seeing my PCP on Friday for my six-month physician-supervised diet plan. I was told by my surgeon's office that typically if all insurance prerequisites are met - my insurance (UPMC) will cover the surgery without too many objections. The only snag is that they will sometimes refuse coverage if the patient has gained weight during the six months. Well - I had gained weight. A large part of the gain was water weight as I suddenly have some pretty severe edema below my knees and in my feet. I'm sure that's not the only place, but it definitely is the most obvious. I never realized that being swollen could be so uncomfortable! My PCP prescribed Lasix to help me shed the excess water. Part of the weight loss I'm sure can be contributed to the Lasix - the other part to my awesome willpower! I said to myself - "Melissa, you are going to do this! You are not going to have your surgery cancelled now when you are in the home stretch. You have all your ducks in a row - time off, family to be with you, etc. Go for it now!!!" And for once I have listened to myself.
My nutrition class with the surgeon (it's kind of a "what to expect" class as well) is this Wednesday at 5:15 PM. I'm interested to see what they have to say.
I haven't the faintest idea if anyone has even viewed my profile at this point, but I do plan on updating this regularly. I hope to open up about my relationship with food and the changes I need to make. Maybe my experience will help someone else. I hope so.
Update - 8/13/08:
My surgery is one week away! On Thursday, August 21, I will begin a whole new journey toward a healthier life!
I'm starting my liquid diet tomorrow. I have to stick to liquids for one week prior to surgery to shrink the amount of fat on my liver. Apparently, anytime a person gains or loses weight rapidly they will gain or lose the fat surrounding their liver. My surgeon did not begin to require the week of liquids until just this year when he had a few patients ready for surgery, holes drilled (the whole nine yards), and couldn't maneuver laproscopically and had to close them up and try again a month later. (I guess he feels that laporascopic is so much better than open that he didn't want to perform open RNY just for the fact that their liver was large. Plus I think that can even complicate an open RNY, so maybe that is why he didn't want to open them up too.)
I think I'll be OK with the liquids. The only thing is that I can't take any appetite suppressants to take the edge off the hunger. I just have to tough this one out on my own. I made weight at my 6-month supervised diet visit. Hooray! It nearly killed me, but I made it! I think if I hadn't made it, I would have climbed into bed and spent the rest of my life there. LOL
Well, I just wanted to update my story here on OH. I will update again soon - possibly before my surgery, but maybe it will be all "over with" the next time I update this page.
8/15/08 - Update:
Well, I had my pre-op visit with Dr. Quinlin today. I'm approved for surgery and all systems are go. The liquid diet stinks. LOL
Plus - the nerves have kicked in! Dangit! I was hoping that they wouldn't. All of a sudden I'm scared to death that I won't ever be able to eat again and (most of all) that I won't wake up! I have to be around to raise my daughter and be there for her. That's one reason why I want to have the surgery in the first place too! Boy - talk about a Catch 22!!!
Anyway - as the big day approaches, I think I'm finally going to post something on the main board.
8/20/08 - Update (very late - almost 8/21/08!):
My surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10 AM. The nerves are really starting to work on me. I need all the prayers and well wishes that I can get.
Thanks to those who have given that - both at home and here on OH.
I will keep you all posted.
9/15/08 - Update
Well I am almost four weeks post-op (this Thursday will be four weeks)! Time is flying! I'm went back to work last week. Last week was hard, but today was much easier. Thank goodness!
I'm really having a hard time keeping much down. I'm full so fast! Well I'm having a hard time thinking of what to update on right now. My incisions are healing really well but are really itchy!
10/11/08 - Update
I've had two strictures so far, but they were a piece of cake to correct with an endoscopy. I said right after I had the surgery that I would never go through it again. Now I know I would because it has been like a miracle for me. I've lost 29 lbs. since surgery (39 if you count pre-op dieting) seven weeks ago. I can walk up a couple flights of steps without having an asthma attack. The water that I was retaining in my legs is completely gone. I'm off all my diabetes meds, and my blood glucose readings are perfect every time! Plus my Size 18 jeans can be pulled down off of my without even undoing the zipper or the button! LOL
I'm sure more great things are yet to come!
12/29/08 - Update
Well - it has been one heck of a year!!! If someone asked me whether I would go through this again for the first two weeks out of surgery, I'm pretty sure I would have said, "HELL NO!", but now the answer would be, "HELL YES!!!".
I have lost a total of 58 lbs. this year, which has been like a miracle for me. I can sit comfortably, tie my shoes without wheezing and nearly losing a lung, climb the stairs without losing a lung, and walk the mall without feeling like I need to sit and take a break every five minutes.
I have gone from a 22/24 to a comfy size 16. I'm starting to get some pride back when it comes to how I look. That's a great feeling!
Thanks to everyone on OH for their support, encouragement, and endless advice.
Cheers to the new year!