Sunday, December 26, 2010

Life's Rough before a Sleeve

Let me preface this with the fact that I have tried to blog before and unfortunately I was very bad at consistently posting. With that said, my life is about to change drastically and from what I hear, I need to provide myself with an emotional outlet for self realization. To start from the very beginning, here goes. And I do apologize for the length of this post but I feel like I need to get it all out!

In March of 2010 I realized that my weight was really effecting my life negatively. I used to joke about getting weight loss surgery but knew I was never really heavy enough, but as my clothes kept getting tighter and larger in size, my self esteem and confidence went by the wayside. I knew that my joke was quickly becoming a very real option. So, I scheduled an appointment with my primary care doc and he referred me to Dr. John Rabkin, the king of the duodenal switch. His office suggested that I attend a surgery support group meeting to get a sense of what their patients go through post op, and since that day I knew that weight loss surgery was in my grand plan for life. What I didn't know however was that over the course of 9 months I would be presented with individuals and information that provided multiple "aha!" moments to lead me in the right direction.

Over 9 months I fought with an insurance company until I was blue in the face. I started a new job with an HMO, unknowing that I should have chosen a PPO in the hopes of getting surgery covered. Roger lost his job which then allowed us all to be on a PPO. And miraculously, 5 days before my initial $15k out of pocket surgery was scheduled, I discovered that my insurance company decided that the procedure is medically necessary and not investigative. So, I canceled my initial surgery date, found a new surgeon, got approved by the insurance company, and am scrambling to get all of my pre-op orders complete before my surgery date.

Ladies and gentlemen, on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 I am getting a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. Or, as I like to say "I'm getting my stomach cut off". And guess what??? I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

With all of the change and drama surrounding simply scheduling the surgery, I will be the first to say that I am grateful to have gotten to enjoy the holidays and all of the delicious (non-nutritious) food and alcohol that Christmas festivities bring! So my last year stuffing myself with cookies and martinis was well spent. But I am definitely ready to reprogram my brain into "your stomach is now 2 oz." mode.

Today I started the first of my 3 days of clear liquids pre-op diet. I was not exactly a stellar patient. I did go to Starbucks and got a non-fat peppermint mocha. I know, I know, dairy is not clear. But by golly I was starving and thankfully that held me off for the majority of the day. Hoping the 8oz of milk that I consumed will digest and be gone in 72 hrs. I also cracked at the movies and ate 1 kernel of popcorn. Yes, that's right, exactly 1. The rest of the day was filled with a whole lot of diet coke and 2 cans of chicken stock. Exciting stuff. My stomach is grumbling as I type this. I spoke to a good friend who had gastric bypass and she swears that after surgery I will be much more satisfied by clear liquids, but for now, all I feel is HUNGRY!

What I did notice today is how often I reach for food. In the morning, I had to stop myself from eating a piece of bacon that Roger had made for Breakfast. I had to remind myself that suggesting we go to my very favorite restaurant for breakfast had no purpose because well.... I can't eat anything anyway! We got in the car, and I had to stop myself from grabbing a few skittles that were in a bag on the console. In Starbucks I had to deny myself the pastry that I would have normally ordered. At my mom's I had to open the fridge and close it again, reminding myself that I can't eat anything. I did this easily 5 times this evening. At the movies, I had to not eat the delicious bucket of fresh movie popcorn that Roger and my cousins were enjoying. At my Grandma's I had to not eat, to close the fridge, to not eat the remainder of Benjamin's plate. Same at my mom's. At dinner I had to not eat Aidan's leftovers, or eat a few bites to convince the kids how great the meal was and to eat their dinner. And once again back in the car, there were Ritz crackers that I was dying to eat because at this point I am just so darn hungry I would probably enjoy just about anything. But the moral of the story is... I just like food and I sure as heck like to eat! Probably a lot more than a normal person. But what I also realized is that this is WHY I need the surgery. Because for some crazy reason, food is like medicine for me. It calms me down, it makes me FEEL good. It has a power to do more than just provide simple nutrients. And I have a funny feeling that going through weight loss surgery is going to force me to find out why that is. Scary thought.

The purpose of this blog is to share my thoughts with my friends and family, people who support my decision, and those who are skeptical. Either way I hope that my personal experience can affect someone positively whether it be to look into surgery, or to just understand where I am coming from. So, I hope that sharing my thoughts is positive, even when I am feeling negative.

And my last thought for tonight: I sincerely hope that this decision is the very best thing for myself, my family, and most importantly my 2 little monkeys, Benji and Aidan who I love more than anything in this world.


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  2. Wow, you're right - that IS a drastic change!!! Sounds like you've done a lot of contemplating to make your decision. I, myself, am constantly struggling with the ups and downs of weight, so I can relate to your feelings about self confidence and self esteem. I hope surgery goes well and I look forward to reading more on your blog and seeing you evolve, as I'm sure such a life change will not only change you physically, but mentally and emotionally. Best wishes and Happy Holidays to you and your family!!! =)