The initial "OMG, I might actually do this" is starting to wane a little. I'm sure that feeling will arise again when I get closer to my appointment with the Nurse Practitioner and Dietitian (both on the same day!). I have been doing all sorts of research.
Learning about the preparation, procedure, post-op, future eating, fills, problems that may arise, mental preparation, and the necessary support system. I started out by looking for information about the actual procedure and what it actually entails. The website for the hospital where I plan to have my procedure has a pretty simple description for those who might like to know exactly what I'm planning to have done. There are many surgical weight loss procedures, but this is the one that I (and my doctor) felt most comfortable with. Hopefully the physicians at the clinic will agree. I am not very comfortable with doing something gastric bypass, or the gastric sleeve, as those involve cutting away of the stomach, and sometimes intestines. Absorption is affected, it is not reversible, much more risky, and I just am plain old not comfortable with it. I will admit, the idea of having something implanted inside of me is a bit weird to get my head around, but I'd rather that than to have my guts cut out.
When I first had the discussion with my physician about this, it was simply because I had asked to use the scale in his office because I'd been working out, and walking for the past few weeks and wanted to see if I was making any progress on the scale. This sparked the weight conversation with him, as is typical at some point at each visit I have. I have asthma and my weight is a big hindrance in the control of asthma, and as is par for the course, he has once again encouraged me to lose weight. Now I have tried to lose weight. My entire life I have battled with my weight. I have tried everything under the sun. For example... Weight Watchers, Herbalife, Slimfast, Hydroxycut, Dexatrim, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Atkins Diet, even the Master Cleanse where you drink nothing but lemon juice and honey spiked with cayenne pepper for 10 days to a month at a time. I have tried it all. He asked me if I was doing anything at this time, and I am currently on Weight Watchers (or as I like to call it: WeWa). Then he said it. The words that I think I've probably hoped someone would say for years. "Have you thought about getting a banding procedure?" It was as simple as that. A simple nudge towards another route.
Initially after leaving his office I had a little bit of a meltdown. I cried. Then I cried some more. Talked to a friend. Then some more crying. After a couple talks with friends, finally I decided to call my brother. When I have serious decisions or need to be sure that I am being logical, I tend to lean on my brother for guidance. Being the oldest, he's been cursed with that job. He is his little sister's place of solace in times of confusion. When I just can't seem to get my head on straight about a major life decision I turn to him. I like him, because he typically comes as a team with my amazing sister-in-law. They have been a couple since I was in the 5th or 6th grade. My S.I.L. is as close to being my sister as she could come, and her advice is always solid and comes from a place of love. Did I mention that she's a psychologist? Ironically, she has experience doing psychological evaluations for this procedure, and was able to really help me work through the emotional upheaval that I was having. She offered perspective on how having the procedure would help me, and she would know since she's been a part of my life from the time that I first began my struggles. I am thankful to her for being a voice of reason when, as is typical with me, I am teetering off my rocker.
I have told a few friends, though not all of them. I have not said anything to family other than said brother and his wife. I know that it will come with a barrage of questions and concern. It's a lot to think about right now, and I think I've got enough on my mind without pulling too many more voices into my head until I actually have a surgery date and am really on my way. The family and friends that I have told have been incredibly encouraging and supportive. Only had a few skeptics in the bunch so far, but after a short and truthful conversation on my feelings, everyone seems to agree that this is going to be the right decision in the long run.