Sunday, May 9, 2010

Let's Start at the Beginning

Ok, so I've read that blogging or keeping a journal will be very helpful to me during this journey I am about to begin. On June 7th, 2010, I will be checking into Centennial Medical Center to undergo gastric bypass surgery. I need a place to write my feelings, celebrate my successes, and document my progress. So, here we go.

I haven't always had a weight problem. In fact, I didn't really start to notice that I was gaining weight at all until after college. I was pretty active up until then, but once I went to work at a "sit down" job, I noticed that I was gaining weight more quickly. I loved my lunch hour, it was the only time I left the office. I needed that hour every day to get outside, but that usually meant meeting up with co-workers for lunch somewhere. Las Palmas was a favorite. Unfortunately, I had also become less active than in recent years, so the weight crept up quickly. I changed jobs and went back into the retail world, where sitting down is a luxury, not a job requirement.

In 2003, I topped 200 lbs. for the first time. I decided to try the Atkins diet. I did well with it, staying on it for about 6 months and losing 30 lbs. I was down to about 170 in January 2004 when I was sent to California for three weeks for work. I was able to maintain that weight, so when I went to Hawaii in February 2004, I let myself enjoy my vacation, and fell completely off the wagon. The weight came back. I tried to go back to Atkins, but when you haven't had pasta in 6 months, and then you rediscover it....well, let's just say my love affair with carbs was re-born.

From then on, I have struggled to maintain my weight. The two most successful things I have tried in recent years were Weight Watchers & phentermine/exercise/food journal. Weight Watchers was great at first. I lost 5 lbs. the first week. Then my Nana died, and I gained it all back. I stayed with it and eventually lost 25 lbs., but never broke the 200 mark. Plus, as much as I hate math, the constant tracking & adding points was a pain. Got bored with it, gained the weight plus some back. The phentermine was a good plan too, it gave me LOTS of energy. I bought a treadmill and used it almost daily. I lost 25-30 lbs., felt great, looked good. Then I developed bone spurs in my heels. Walking became excruciating for me. Needless to say my exercise regimen took a major hit. I got depressed and eventually gave up, only to gain the weight plus some back again.

I had almost decided that this was just my lot in life, to be overweight. I was tired of trying. Only after a visit to my Dr. for a yearly physical did I decide that I needed to try one more time. See, at that particular visit I was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, or insulin resistance. Basically, I was on a fast track to having type 2 diabetes, which scared the crap out of me. I asked her about weight loss surgery and if this would be an option for me. She agreed that it was worth investigating and gave me contact information for a local practice. This was last summer. I attended a informational seminar and a support group, where I met several people who answered questions for me. I decided the Lap Band would be my choice. I requested the required paperwork and set out to get the ball rolling. I took my time, reading, researching, praying, and finally turned in the paperwork in October 2009. Afterward, started having second thoughts. Not about the procedure, but the practice itself. My mom works for HCA, and has a co-worker that had bypass surgery. She sent me lots of information and I decided that I wanted to change practices. I called the Centennial Center for the Treatment of Obesity and instantly felt good about my decision. I chose Dr. Douglas Olsen as my surgeon upon the recommendation of my mother's co-worker. I filled out all of their paperwork, and was ready to schedule the procedure for the beginning of 2010.

In December 2009, I developed gall stones and had to have my gall bladder removed in January 2010. This obviously set my plans back a little. Finally in March 2010, I made the last two appointments to meet my insurance requirements. The psych evaluation was scary for me. I know I'm of sound mind, but you never know. I was cleared by the psychiatrist with the warning that my evaluation had shown that I sometimes have problems following rules. You think? If I had more self control, I probably wouldn't be doing this! In April I met with Dr. Olsen for my consultation. I went in with an open mind, and after discussing my options with him, decided that the bypass, not the band, was going to be a better choice for me. I needed a more restrictive option, since I have problems following rules. They talk about dumping syndrome, and since I hate to get sick, thought this could help keep me in line and not eat things I'm not supposed to.

So that brings us to today. I have met all of my insurance requirements to cover my surgery as medically necessary. I have scheduled the procedure, and now I'm just waiting. I meet with the dietitian Tuesday, and have my pre-surgery blood work done too. 28 days.... and I'm starting to get a little stressed about it. Add that to the stress from work this past week (Nashville flood), and uncertainty about another aspect of my personal life, and I am one big ball of stress! Luckily I have a great support system in my family & friends. They have all been so supportive and I am so thankful, as I will need their support more than ever now. It's going to be hard, but I am determined to do this and be successful. As stressed and anxious as I am right now, I can't wait to start living my life again! Please pray that I can reduce my stress these next four weeks. I need all the prayers I can get!! I hope I'll keep up with this, so I can look back & see how far I've come.

HW:255/CW:241/GW:165

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