Yesterday was my first two appointments since my orientation last August. I have to tell you I was quite nervous but there was no need to be. My first appointment was with the Social Worker. She was quite pleasant and put me at ease almost immediately. I'm not sure what I expected but she just asked straight forward, everyday life questions. Do I suffer from emotional eating? Do I eat when I'm stressed. Have I ever suffered from eating disorders such as Anorexia or Bulimia? What were my expectations for this surgery? Very simple straight questions. I answered them all honestly. Happily, she said she will be recommending me and I am definitely ready for the surgery. She felt I had researched the topic very well and knew exactly what would be expected and how hard I was going to have to work.
My second appointment was with the Surgical Nurse. She basically took my starting weight, blood pressure. Went over my current medications. Went over the procedure, checked out my test results and told me I would be moving on to the next two consultations. Which mean I was approved by her!
I read in the Bariatric forums all the tests that would be needed for the surgery and arranged to have them all while I was waiting for my appointments. My intention was so they would be done before and hopefully would help me move faster through the appointments. I'm so glad I did!
I have had a sleep study and found out I needed a Cpap machine. I have had ECG's & EKG's, Blood tests for everything possible. I have had a Colonoscopy and and Endoscopy there was also an Abdominal ultrasound. It's been a busy few months! My Colonoscopy and Endo came back good. My ultrasound showed a fatty liver which is double the normal size :(. They use the results from the ultrasound to decide how long you will have to be on Optifast before the surgery to shrink your liver and make it easier to operate. Hopefully, I will not need anymore testing before the operation although the nurse said they may want me to do a non-exercise stress test.
My next two appointments are scheduled for August 25th and 26th. I will see the Diabetic Nurse and the Dietitian. Once approval has been received through them I move on to the Internist/Surgeon! The process is very long. Sometimes it's nerve wracking but it gives you enough time to really research, join forums, talk to others who have been through the process and decide if this is really for you.
There is a whole lot involved. The surgery is very invasive and there is a lifetime of hard work ahead after the procedure. Just having the surgery is not going to make you skinny. You still have to stick to a very rigid meal plan. You still need to move and exercise to get the weight off and keep it off. It is a tool to help you but it won't do it for you. My doctor and I decided that this is the best option for me because my health is so bad. Medical research has shown that this surgery can greatly improve or put my diabetes in remission. It can also get rid of my high blood pressure, lower my cholesterol, lessen the pain from Fibromyalgia and Arthritis and therefore improve the quality of my life and quite possibly the length. It's not for everyone that is for sure and is not a decision to be made lightly. Although my family thinks it isn't necessary they will support me in whatever decision I make and that is all I can ask for.