I thought you all might find this interesting -- my friend Ryan had the gastic bypass procedure last year and he just continues to amaze me.
And he's gotten thinner since. And not just that, but he's eating better, taking more pride in his appearance and he JOGS. He works out. It's really awesome. I am proud AND jealous of him.
He has posted his journals from this experience. I have C&P'd for your enjoyment:
Wednesday, November 15th, 2006
Fat Man Walking
So I had my big appointment yesterday. The first thing they did was draw blood, a lot of blood. Enough blood, it seemed, to feed a whole family of vampires. (That's not funny. I'll come up with something better later. 07/07/08: I never came up with anything better and that's still not funny.)
After that, I waited around to meet my nurse, Michelle. I brought a book for just such a wait, but I opted to people watch instead. Knock on wood; I've never had to spend much time around a hospital. Before my mother's knee surgery a few months ago, I can't remember the last time I was in one. It was interesting, to say the least. Parts of it reminded me of a movie set (a whole lot of "hurry up and wait"), while other parts were kind of like a mall, except for the whole "people dying" thing. I don't dread going back and, luckily, I'm not one of those people that are creeped out by hospitals.
After about 1/2 an hour, I meet Michelle. Fuck me, she's cute. Like really cute. Like "oh great, this chick's gonna see me with my shirt off and she's really cute" cute. I opted not to flirt with her because I noticed rings on her ring fingers, and well, I was sitting there with my shirt off.
To date, this process has been very repetitive. I went to an informational meeting last week that went over the procedure. Then Michelle (ahh, Michelle) went over it again and ran a couple tests on me. Then after her I met with an internist that went over it all again. Plus, I'll have to go to another informational meeting as well. They really pound it into you. Whereas I'd prefer to pound it into . . . well, I'm sure you can see where this is going.
After chatting with Michelle (and putting my shirt back on), I met with Dr. H, the internist. He was cool. He got a little more specific than the others when going over the procedure. (He had pictures!!!) Truth be told though, since it was the 3rd time I was hearing all this my thoughts bounced back and forth between wondering when I'd see Michelle (ahh, Michelle) again and how this guy doesn't see that his comb over isn't hiding a thing. Next, he either checked my vitals or felt me up. I'm not sure. He poked around my stomach a bit. Suffice it to say, it would have been both better and worse had Michelle done that instead.
When all was said & done, he determined that I'd be a great candidate for the surgery and approved me for the next step. Other than being overweight and potentially borderline diabetic, I'm perfectly healthy. (07/07/08: Looking back on that statement, I was either lying or an idiot. Seriously.) Now I have to schedule 5 more appointments.
1.) Ultrasound for my gallbladder. 2.) Nutritionist 3.) Psychologist 4.) Lung test thingy 5.) Sleep study
I've already got 3 of the 5 scheduled for the Tuesday after Turkey Day. Once I get through those 5 steps, the medical team will review my case and make the final determination. Pending their approval, I meet with the surgeon and schedule the surgery. Oh yeah, I also need to lose 10 lbs. I start on that Monday.
At this point, the surgery will probably happen in January or February. I'm hoping February because I don't want to be recovering on my 30th birthday. Not like I'll be doing anything anyway, but still, I wanna be able to at least eat some cake.
Thursday, November 16th, 2006
Fly, Fatass, Fly!
I met with my boss today. He's totally behind me. (Not like that, you sick fucks!) He has no problem with me taking the time off for recovery. It was a good meeting after all.
The Tuesday after Turkey Day is another big appointment. They've scheduled me so I knock out another 4 requirements all in one day. That's crazy! After that, all I'll have left is a sleep study and another informational meeting.
It's going a lot faster than I thought it would.
I'm excited and nervous.
I wonder if I'll be good looking??? (07/07/08: I am. Though, depending on whom you ask, I may or may not currently need a haircut.)
Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
Sleep is for the Fat
So I got a little action last night. His name was Tom and I think he liked me.
I had my sleep study last night to see if I have sleep apnea. I won't find out the results for 2 months. (07/07/08: Spoiler alert!!! I had it. The surgery took it away.)
I can honestly say it was one of the worst experiences ever. (Please note: I have not had to have any of the "up the butt" tests yet. 07/07/08: Still in the clear on that, for those that are curious.) If you've never had it done, they basically strap all these sensors to you. 1 on the top of my head, 2 on my forehead, 1 behind each ear, 2 on my jaw, 1 on the throat, 1 on each shoulder blade, 1 on my side, and 2 on each leg. Then they strap 2 belts to you, one on the chest and one around the stomach. It was during the above process that Tom the Tech basically got to second base. It was not comfortable in the least. Though I believe in some countries we're now married.
So with all this shit strapped to me, they then asked me to go to sleep. This is not an easy task. Finally, I'm able to dose off. But I keep waking up and never quite hit REM. And of course at the point where I do achieve a deep sleep, they come in and wake me up.
Now it's time for the mask. The next 20 minutes are spent trying to fit one of 3 different masks over my face. It's like I was that blonde chick with the bears. So now I got this mask & tube strapped to my head and they, once again, ask me to go to sleep. People, this is not comfortable. It literally feels as if someone is sitting on my head, and not in the good way.
Coincidentally enough, just as I feel as if I'm about to actually fall into a deep sleep, the fuckers wake me up again. Sleep study over, go home fat ass.
Sunday, December 17th, 2006
My apologies for not posting any updates in a while. I usually post from work and work's been far too busy these last few weeks.
So things have been moving right along smoothly since my last post. A couple weeks ago, I have my major appointment day. First, the lung tests. Ladies, I now have a new appreciation for head. I mean, I had something stuck in my mouth for like 2 minutes and I could barely do it. So kudos to all you and your oral skills.
After that, I ate lunch. Subway, probably my last time eating there, at least eating what I ate.
My next meeting was with a psycho-therapist. I was nervous about that, having never gone to therapy before. (I know, shocking, huh?) She was cool though. We barely spoke about the surgery. Just talked about me, where I've been and what I want to do post-surgery. She says my next goal should be to get my career back on track. I'm going to meet with her for a few sessions once I'm all healed up. She says she'll help motivate me. What the hell, you know? Can't hurt, plus insurance will cover it. (07/07/08: Yeah, once she approved my surgery, I never went back. Honestly, it was probably the one mistake I made in the whole process.)
Last, and certainly the most dreaded of all the appointments, was the nutritionist. Given my history with fruits and vegetables, or lack there of, I was not looking forward to this. I had to bring a 3-day food journal. And I was honest. After the group meeting, we met one on one and went over said journal. Not one fruit or vegetable. She wasn't pleased, she wasn't mean, but wasn't pleased.
We went over what I needed to do. Cut out the junk, up the fruits & veggies. You know, all the common sense type stuff I've never done. She also said she wanted to see me again before approving me for surgery. Ugh.
The next day I had my first ultra sound! It's twins! Seriously though, props to the pregnant ladies in the world. That shit's gooey and kind of creepy. And my stomach was sticky all day.
That was all about 2 weeks ago. Since then, I've dropped fast food completely, as well as soda. (07/07/08: I haven't had a drop of soda since then either. But I think I've developed a dangerous addiction to Crystal Light.) Cut down on the junk food by 95% as well. And I've lost 7 lbs.
Now if I'm able to lose 7 lbs on my own, why do I need the surgery? 2 reasons. The first is that the surgery will correct some of my current health problems nearly immediately. Dropping the weight quickly will take care of the sleep apnea and diabetes. Second, though, is that I cannot sustain any kind of dramatic weight loss. I always put it back on.
The reason for my losing weight is to shrink my liver. If my liver is too large & fatty, my laparoscopic surgery with 5 small cuts will turn into them slicing me wide open. I do not want that.
So this past Tuesday, I met with the nutritionist again. She was very pleased with my progress and told me she would recommend me for the surgery.
As of Thursday, I was accepted as a candidate for gastric bypass. I meet with the surgeon on 12/27/06 and we schedule my surgery then. They say it will be scheduled for 5 weeks after that, probably the first week of February is what it's looking like. Happy 30th Birthday, RDT!!!
It's all going so fast. I'm excited and nervous. I've never broken a bone, much less gone in for major surgery. Beth Israel is one of the best hospitals in the country for this surgery, but still, you know?
I'm excited for how my life is going to change, how I'm going to change. I see what it did for my sister (and didn't do for my mother) and it inspires me.
Because of the recovery time, I'll need to stay back in MA for 4 months post surgery. That pushes my LA move (again) to mid-June. That'll give me time to save money though, which is good. By the time I get out there, I should be down at least 60 lbs, if not more. It'll be a whole new RDT.
Wednesday, December 27th, 2006
So the date is set.
My surgery is February 12th.
I'm both nervous and excited. Nervous because I've never broken a bone, much less had any kind of surgery. Excited for obvious reasons.
I also dropped another 4 lbs. Considering it was the holidays, I'm shocked at that. I was good though. I indulged but did not over-indulge. I also stayed away from the soda and fast food.