Well, here we are my first post. I've been planning to start this blog for some time now but wanted to wait until I received my surgery date before I did so. I have finally been given the date of October 31, 2011. That may be Hallowe'en to you but to me it's the Vigil of All Saints!
So here's the story, back in November of 2010, I broached my dr. about weight loss surgery. He thought it was a great idea and sent me for the whole kit and caboodle of blood tests plus an EKG and an ultrasound. When my tests came back they showed my cholesterol was at a number which we wanted to watch very closely, I was also on my way to diabetes and had a 64% chance of having a stroke. This was along with all my other problems caused by being overweight (extreme back pain, high blood pressure, etc.) plus I am at risk for colon cancer (family history) and uterine cancer (I have a condition.) So I want to get healthy. I am over 40 yrs old, tried every diet known to man, been told twice in my life by different dr.s that I'm a big girl and will just have to live with it, have had two kids and my body just will not loose weight and keep it off. Oh I can loose 30 pounds easily enough if I set to it, but then I'd hit a wall for good and maintain that weight, but it gets depressing when you can't loose anymore weight, no matter what you do, and a year's gone by. So the surgery is my final solution. It's drastic, but I've reached the point for drastic measures.
Every province in Canada has its own public health care system. Here in Ontario, where I live, the only weight loss surgery covered by government health care (OHIP=Ontario Health Insurance Plan) is gastric bypass surgery. So that is the type of surgery I will be having. The surgery, visits to dr's and hospital stay are all free but there are some prescriptions I have to pay for because they are not covered by my drug plan. They may be covered by other's drug plans though.
So what have I been doing this whole year. I was put into the nearest Bariatric Treatment Program, which is in a city about 45 mins drive from me. It all started off with an orientation meeting, which was full of people, where the whole program, operation and rest of your life was explained to you. From that point we were given a number to call if we were interested in continuing with the process. This started off a series of tests and appointments which would be similar but not necessarily the same for everyone. I had separate appointments with a nurse, a nutritionist, a social worker, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, an intern and finally the surgeon.
The only problem I had was at the social worker, then psychiatrist level. Here my autism came into question; I have Aspergers and am quite OCD, though I won't let my shrink officially diagnose me with it as I think it is just a part of my Aspergers rather than a separate diagnoses. I accidentally said something stupid which was a joke but they took me seriously. I realized this way too late and clammed up before I did worse damage. Anyway there was concern that I was not mentally stable for the operation.
Hah! I said to that. Discrimination, is what I felt to that! So I requested another appointment, they gave me the psychologist and I took my own social worker, who is an RN specialized in psychiatry, who has been visiting me twice a month for the last 4 years. She came as my advocate and I sold myself to the psychologist telling her that my obsessions actually made me an ideal candidate for the surgery, I had changed my eating habits to the diet for life we were told we'd have to follow and had a food diary with me. She was impressed and said there seemed to be no problem so I was back in the program. I didn't need to take too many tests, another set of blood work, this time looking at my levels of individual vitamins and a gastroscopy. I had already recently had both a colonoscopy and mammogram just prior to joining the program so didn't have to repeat those tests. And anyway here I am today awaiting my surgery and 17 pounds lighter than I was this time last year just from changing my eating habits.
For 3 weeks before my surgery I have to go on a liver shrinking liquid diet and take two shots of liquid vitamin K. So starting on Oct. 8, I will no longer be eating solid foods until about 6 weeks after the surgery. But I'll post more about that in my next post.
I do intend to post progress pictures so you can see how I am doing and I have just taken a before picture. But I do not plan on posting it until I have a decent after photo that shows some progress to go along with it as it will be very hard for me to show the world the "before" me. I'm not sure if I'll reveal my actual weight at this point, but I do obviously need to loose over a hundred pounds or else I wouldn't be having the surgery, would I?
Welcome to my journey! Let's pray it goes smoothly!