Monday, August 20, 2012

Date Change and Support System

My surgery date has been changed to September 24. A week later than I had anticipated but that's ok. I'm getting it done and that's the important thing. Today I saw my primary doc to be cleared for surgery. Last thing I need to do now is get my upper endoscopy on Thursday. I've had a colonoscopy or two in my day so I'm not foreign to the whole scoping world, BUT I've never been scoped up top and in fact have had a panic attack in the dentists chair before during a procedure that I needed to have stopped so I could bring myself back down to earth. Anxiety is something I sometimes struggle with. Funny thing is most people that know me don't view me as the anxious type. I'm the gal who is stable and keeps it all together. I am the level headed one that other people go to for advice and can be depended on to keep my cool in times of distress. Hell, I volunteered downtown Manhattan during the 9/11 attacks. If anyone keeps it together it's me...  Except when it comes to my own health. Thank goodness I have some excellent support around me. When I had my band surgery, my brother, his wife and my niece all took care of me after surgery. They were kind enough to take me back to their house and help take after me. All three of them probably have no idea how much this means to me and that it made me feel so much closer to them. I appreciate them so very much. This go around I have a man at home to look after me. Something I did not have before.  My boyfriend has been invaluable. He has talked me down from some emotional ledges. When I have felt defeated and was self loathing he reminded me of my worth and has helped me to see how loved I am. I appreciate him and value him more than he could possible comprehend.  If anyone asked me what was really important to know before going into this process, it would be that you need to have support around you. A support system can do wonders for you. They cheer for you when you're up, pick you up when you're down, laugh with you and even sometimes cry with you. It is important to find a way to have this support whether through a support group, online community or family or friends. Support can be instrumental in helping this process be a successful one. I highly recommend it. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lots to do! Lots to do!

That's me at a park in Brooklyn overlooking the Williamsburg Bridge and the tallest of the lit up buildings is the new World Trade Center's Freedom Tower.  The boyfriend and I were having an impromtu photo shoot on a date night not too long ago. 

So... new things in the works.  I am on my way towards revision surgery.  My surgeon and I have settled on the Sleeve Gastrectomy.  This will happen on September 17, just 4 1/2 short weeks away.  I am in the midst of doing all sorts of pre-op prepping.  I have to go through all of the same rigamarole as I did with the first surgery.  Thank goodness that I work in the hospital and it makes it much easier for me to get things like appointments and blood work done that normally would require taking off multiple days from work.  Today I had my psych evaluation (yes... another one).  This is an insurance requirement.  Though I already had it done last year, I guess they want to make sure that having the band didn't drive me mad.  I'm sure there are a few loose screws up there, but I managed not to alarm the psychologist too badly.  Luckily I am an employee of the hospital.  He waived my fee for the evaluation (which cost me about $200-250 last year if I remember correctly!). 

Tomorrow it's on to nutrition counseling.  I'm not sure that there is much difference in the pre and post op diets from the band to the sleeve.  Back to protein shakes I'm sure.  I'm not looking forward to all liquids again.  I missed having something to crunch last surgery.  But... it's only for a while and I'm sure it's going to be fine. 

Next week is an appointment for medical clearance with my general doc and then an upper endoscopy after that later next week.  So much stuff to get done!  All while prepping to go back to school for the fall.  If I didn't know how good the outcome from this promised to be, I might be overwhelmed right now.  I'm on my way to better days.  Now I'm off to research more info on the ins and outs of this gastric sleeve business!

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's a Wrap LapBand... :-/

Bittersweet news.  My surgeon has decided to remove my band.  After many many MANY episodes of being seen emergently for tightness beyond the point of dehydration and unbelievable pain, she feels that the band is not for me.  I went into a pretty dark depression for a few days after finding out this decision, but now I kind of feel a sense of relief.  Before this decision was made, I wondered every day, is this going to work out?  is this fill going to be ok?  am I going to end up in the ER again on the weekend?  I was having trouble that I know most don't have.  I am not knocking the band AT ALL.  Without it I could not have lost the 70ish pounds that I have taken off in the past year.  Without it, I would still be eating excessively and gaining, and I can honestly say I'd probably be way over the 300 pound mark by now (I was teetering somewhere in the 290s!).  One of my good friends has made excellent strides with the band and has lost 110ish pounds in the past 15 months and she looks and feels great.  I KNOW the band works, it just doesn't fit with me. 

I had to accept that it is time to move forward with another option.  I will have my band removed next month as well as have a sleeve gastrectomy.  My surgeon and I both agree that the restrictive method works for me, just not in band form.  We are going to go another route and I am pretty confident that this is going to do the trick for me.  It may sound silly, but one of my big fears going into this surgery is losing the support of my fellow blogging bandsters.  All of y'all have helped to keep me focused, supported and on track, especially in the toughest of times.  You have congratulated me on losses, kicked my butt when I've needed it and encouraged me when I have felt really down.  I have to tell you, I don't want to feel like I'm going to get kicked out of the club because I am having a revision.  I hope to continue to have your support along this next phase of my journey, which I think is all of our journey.  The journey to healthier and happier existence.  I hope y'all will still be here once my band is gone...