On September 8th I went to Dr. Oh's orientation in Federal Way. My dad (who lives in Oregon) came up for Orientation, and my fiance Ryan came along as well. It was pretty informative, and I learned that Dr. Oh is hilarious. He was constantly making jokes- I guess it's his little way of being more personable to future patients. I enjoyed it. Since I already knew that I was ready to go the lap band route, I had the opportunity to schedule my initial appointment just after the orientation. I scheduled it for the following Monday.

9/11/06 I had my initial appointment today with Dr. Oh in Federal Way. $135 up front. I had this big packet that I had to bring in all filled out. I met with Dr. Oh and he asked me several questions. And then I went back in the waiting room while they worked their scheduling magic. They told me that my surgery is scheduled for NOVEMBER 14TH. I couldn't believe it!! So soon!! I'm ready though- very excited. I have about 7 appointments to get through first- which they scheduled for me then too. Too bad I live 1 1/2 hour away from Federal Way... Oh well, it could be worse, I could be going to Mexico instead I suppose....

9/25/06 My first big appointment over and done with. This was the dreaded EGD (endoscopy). I was told to bring a driver as I would be sedated for the procedure. Luckily Ryan was able to get off work to drive me. $700 right up front for the EGD. My first impression of the exam room: not as clean as I had hoped. There were just a few things left out from previous procedures, could be worse. When Dr. Oh walked in, he said "ok, we have two options here. Either I could give you an IV sedation and you won't feel a thing, or I could just numb your throat and we can get this over with right now." I said- "will I be able to go eat afterward if I get sedated? I'm starving!" He said that I couldn't, I would have to go home and sleep. My hunger made the decision for me- no sedation ( I mean I couldn't have solids after 6pm the previous night, and I was on a liquid diet until 8:30 am that morning, and then nothing). I was nervous, but Dr. Oh told me it would be quick and painless. He even reassured me by telling me he's done this procedure to himself- crazy!!! So I had to lay on my side facing him. He sprayed me three times with a bannana flavored novacane type numbing agent. He had me bite down on this little plastic mouth piece that had a hole in the center. Then he started putting the tube down my throat- saying "hard swallows" a few different times. I just layed there with my eyes closed focusing on breathing through my nose and went to another place in my mind. Throughout the entire process his aide was standing behind me and she was patting me on the back and petting my hair. That was comforting. It seemed like it only took about 3 minutes. He didn't have to do a biopsy so that's good. However, he did inform me that I have Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach wall) and a hiatal (sp?) hernia. Both of which are incredibly normal for someone my size. He said I have to get an H. Pylori test to rule out bacteria causing the Gastritis. And he'll have to repair the hernia during surgery in November. So that sucks! All in all, it was painless but incredibly uncomfortable, but quick. I was able to go eat dinner about 45 minutes later. Next up: my psych evaluation on Friday the 6th. Should be a blast I'm sure!

11/07/06  It's been forever since I've been on here. So much has happened. The psych eval went fine. I had to first talk to the psychologist and he did some tests- easy stuff. And then I had to go in this little room and spend about an hour filling in bubbles- it seems like they mostly wanted to know if I was schizophrenic. Most of the questions were like: "do you hear voices that nobody else hears?". Pretty funny really.

After my psych eval I had to go to St. Francis Hospital the next week and get all of my pre-op testing done. It should be said here that I had called the hospital right after I had been scheduled for surgery and all my pre-op appointments and they quoted me $850 for the testing. Well when I got there they said the total was actually around $1500. I only had the $850 of course so they just took that. I was appalled though! They took all sorts of blood first, and then I got my ultra sound and chest x-rays, and then I got an EKG and pulmonary function test. Everybody at the hospital was really really nice and they sped me right along. I got everything done in less than 2 hours. And then I got to eat (it had been 12 hours)! Since I was in the area I went to Vitalady for the first time and tasted several different protein drinks. I was most impressed with Cocoa Mochacino and Fuzzy Navel, so I bought both of those. I had missed my nutrition class on accident as one of my biggest clients passed away the day before and I completely spaced it. So Tina at Dr. Oh's told me that in order to still have surgery on Nov. 14th I'd have to start taking my proteins now and come to the nutrition class on 10/25. So I did. About a week later I got a bill from the hospital for my tests and the total was like $2200! I couldn't believe it. Luckily for me as a cash paying patient they have a policy that if you pay your entire balance off within 60 days they'll give you a 58% discount. So that helps!

Next stop was St. Francis again to take the pre-surgery education class. One of two free appointments in this adventure! That was a good class. I learned a lot about how much I'll be able to eat, and we talked about protein and multi-vitamins.

After that I had my nutrition class with Tina at Dr. Oh's office (the other free appointment). This was very informative. I got all of those questions answered that I was still unsure of. For example- how fast will I be able to drink liquids after surgery? She said it takes her 5-10 minutes to drink a bottle of water. Good to know.... It should be noted though that there were several differences in what the nutritionist at the hospital said and what Tina said. I know that this is because each surgeon is different and has specific requirements, etc. but there were some major differences. I think that Dr. Oh's office and the hospital need to meet up and get on the same page.

On 11/3 I had my last office visit with Dr. Oh. I had to pay him $4000. I brought a cashier's check for that amount, but they told me that I had to pay the office visit fee as well (arg!). And I said- "oh really... so $90 then?" and she said "no, it's actually gone up to $150." I didn't have it so they billed me. It was at this time he told me that I had to start my liquid diet 10 days before surgery (that was the next day!). I had been told that I would start 1 week before, but I had gained a few pounds since my last weigh in and he wanted to be sure that my liver would shrink enough so he would have to cut me open. So I've been on a liquid diet since Saturday and it's not the funnest, but it could be worse, and I know it's worth it.

On 11/4 I saw the internist Dr. Fajardo. I brought a cashier's check for the amount listed on my appointment sheet ($175) and his receptionist told me that I was short $30. By that point I had had it. I said "do you realize that everywhere I go the the prices are increasing without my knowledge?". So frustrating! Anyway, the internist went over all my test results with me. I learned that I have a heart murmur! Crazy! Apparantly it's not a big deal. I was just a few points shy of being diabetic- thank God for surgery next week! I also have high white blood cell count which means infection, although we're not sure where. Apparantly that's not a big deal either though because he cleared me for surgery! Whoohoo!

Today is my one week mark. I can't believe that I'm having surgery in one week!!! I have to go back to Federal Way again today and pay the hospital all the rest that I owe them for the surgery. I'm not looking forward to the drive as the traffic on I-5 has been horrible and I'm not sure if I'm going to come home to a flood or not. I was evacuated last night and luckily Stanwood did not flood but apparantly it's still a huge risk right now. We'll see!

So far the major suggestion I have for anyone who is starting this journey is this: after they tell you when your appointments are and how much they're all going to cost, be sure to call each one a day or two before and double check the price. Because they were almost all different for me. And surprises like that suck!


2012: Had a tummy tuck and breast lift with augmentation to remove skin and right what had once been wrong (haha)


2018: Had band removed after reflux and slippage complications


About Me
Stanwood, WA
Surgery Date
Feb 10, 2003
Member Since

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