Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A life decision...

I made a life decision about a month ago. I decided to get the lap band (it is an adjustable band that fits around the stomach).

A lil about me - I have always been Big. I have always been the fat friend/cousin/sister/daughter/wife/mom. I started dieting when I was 10 years old (that is so sad).

I've tried many of things to watch my weight and they worked, at the time...just to gain it back and then some.

About 6 years ago, I was online looking at gastric bypass and came across laparoscopic banding site. I was interested more in this because I was not a fan of being dissected (GB).
I went to the seminar, but was told that my insurance would not pay because it considered the lap band as experimental.

For six years I fought with my weight, had another child and settled.

In October 2008, I went to another seminar and was told that my insurance MIGHT pay depending on if it was 'medically necessary' - which means I would have to go to the Doctor and have tests. I waited.
I would complain to my StepMom about this and she basically, told me to get off my ass and go to the Doctor.

February 2009, I went to my Midwife to get her to write a letter to the lap band surgeon that she feels it to be necessary. *thinking I was waiting for them to contact me, I waited*

April 2009, I called and set up an appointment with the surgeon and everyone else I would need to speak to about the lap band.

May 26, 2009 - I had my 3 hour appointment with the surgeon, nurse, dietitian, athletic trainer, pre-operative labs and X-ray & psychologist (psychologist and blood work had to wait 2 wks, June 11, 2009).
At this visit my Doctor informed me that IF insurance covered it, my surgery could be in July. (Mind blowing!!! it did not seem so far away, but also seemed like forever).

June 11, 2009 - went and had my blood drawn and my visit with the psychologist.
A few days later, the billing lady with the surgeon called and told me that my insurance would cover it.
I talked to my husband and we decided on a surgery date July 2, 2009.

There are things you have to do to start this journey...I was told to start a 700 calorie diet 2 weeks prior to my surgery.

June 18, 2009 - started my diet. 700 calorie diet is not much, but after a few days your body gets used to it and deals.
Brkfst: 2 eggs, cheese stick, 1/2 c fruit.
Lunch: 5 oz cooked chicken (3 oz red meat), 1/2 cooked vegi
Dinner: 5 oz cooked chicken (3 oz red meat), 1 c cooked vegi.
NO SNACKS - this was hard. You sit and think that you would like a piece of cheese or a few crackers to snack on just to realize that you are not allowed any. You also come to realize how much you graze...Oy!
The purpose of this diet is to shrink the liver (makes it easier for the surgeon during the surgery).
Also, no caffeine and alcohol had to be stopped 2 weeks before and cant have any for 6 weeks after.
today, I am 21 days without caffeine (as a southerner, this is hard...I would drink sweet tea -splenda- from the moment I woke til I went to bed) and 18 days no alcohol...not such a bad thing.

I've really come to enjoy Crystal Light. So many flavors and tastes real good.

June 20, 2009 - I had to have a sleep study. (When I went to see my doctor on May 26, he asked me if I snored - my reply to that was 'my husband says I do' and with that my doctor put me down for a sleep study).
We had to rush the sleep study (takes 10-14 days for the results to come back) and my surgery had already been scheduled.
I went in for the sleep study at took about an hour to get all wired up (sexy, isnt it? LOL). It was a quiet night, but not really is hard to relax when you know that there are camera's watching you.

July 2, 2009 - Dropped the kids with a friend and then drove to the hospital. Went to admissions and had to answer a few lil questions: 'do you have a living will?, are you an organ donor?' <~ questions I don't want to think about before surgery! Had to have more blood work. Then went to Same Day Surgery to be prepped. Hubby stayed with me during this time, which was good...he is good comic relief. I said my 'I love You' and goodbyes to hubby as they rolled me into the operating room. I scanned once to see the tools that would be used on me and then decided that that was not such a great idea. The nurses and anesthesiologist were joking that we all had our 'party hats on'.

2 hours later I woke in RECOVERY, there I stayed for 45 minutes.

After the surgery, I felt ok. My chest was hurting and my back was killing me due to the gas.


Mother Goose said...

So proud of you friend and your MAJOR life decision. Hope you're feeling well this week. Was great to see you at the parade.

Thinking of you!

PennilessCaucasianRubbish said...

Good for you! I think you are one of the bravest people I know. Way to take life by the horns! Here's an 'Atta Girl' for you!


Bubba said...

You rock woman!! Thanks for sharing your experience and keep us posted on how you are doing.

Love, Bubba