My Bariatric Surgery Story

This post is going to be a little different today. I am going to be sharing something very personal which I haven’t really even shared with my whole family as of yet.

PLEASE!
No judging!

I need to start off my story about a year ago in February 2016. I had been feeling pretty

crappy about myself and really needed to change something in my life so that things would start looking up. A few people in my family had gotten bariatric surgery and even though I had thought about it, I never really had the urge to look into it deeper. But, something in the back of my mind told me that I needed a major change! My family doctor had been after me for years to lose weight and quit smoking. My blood pressure was on the verge of needing meds, I had sleep apnea and snored to beat the band and I had a fatty liver which apparently was not good. I took the GIANT leap and made an appointment with a Bariatric surgeon after much discussion with my husband and my children. I was actually really surprised at how much they had supported my decision.

The first appointment was NERVE WRACKING to say the least! I had to meet with the

social worker to make sure that you are mentally sound and a good fit for the surgery. You also meet with a nutritionist to take down what you are eating now and what you will be eating after the surgery. You also meet with one of the Medical Assistants whom take a whole inventory of your past medical history. Then, the surgical coordinator whom talks about the different options for surgery and your insurance coverage. The whole appointment took about 3 hours and talk about overwhelming!! But, I was determined to become healthy no matter what it took. I weighed in at 249.5 pounds at this first appointment. This was the highest weight I had ever been!

So began my first break up with all things unhealthy for me. Starting with smoking:( On

April 5, 2016, I quit and haven’t looked back since! I have to say that quitting was probably the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life…but I did it. I cannot say that I do not miss it because I do…almost every day. But, I am very determined to stay away and I can honestly say that I do not miss spending my hard earned money on buying cigarettes! They have gotten so expensive!

Next, I had to get my sleep study done and see a cardiologist. The sleep study was not too

bad. The worst part was being hooked up to all the wires and trying to sleep. The cardiologist was a piece of cake since I had not had any cardiac issues in the past. I also had to get a written letter from my family doctor, whom was ecstatic BTW, releasing me to have the surgery completed. I also had to lose 12 pounds to even be ready to schedule the surgery which was difficult in itself. After all this.. I was all set and ready to roll!

Lastly was to determine which surgery I wanted. The Sleeve or the Bypass? My surgeon left it up to me since I was on the borderline of needing one or the other. I decided to go with the sleeve which is irreversible but in the end was the better choice for me.

My surgery was scheduled for August 30, 2016 and I got to say that this was the day that changed my life! I was so nervous the night before. I recall just wandering around the

house sobbing because I was so nervous and it was like saying goodbye to the old me and not knowing what the new me was going to be like? But, even through my nervousness, I was still determined as ever because I had done so much to prepare for that day…nothing was going to stop me now.

My Mom and I had to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 AM, I was the first case of the day. I weighed in at 224.5 pounds.  The check in process was fairly simple and after getting the “feel good” med, I was good to go! I never was really in much “pain” per say but they do inject your abdomen with gas to   maneuver the machine inside you. This gas has no where to go, so it kind of just builds up until it gets released. That is the worst! The gas just kept sitting under my rib cage and I ended up sleeping in a chair for 2 nights. Also, I am not very

good with anesthesia, which leads me to get sick and this surgery was no exception which I had expected. So, normally you would go home the next day but I got to spend an extra glorious night in the hospital until I was able to keep down fluids. The med that they would give me for nausea made me VERY sleepy and I ended up sleeping right on through my family visiting.

The very first time eating was some broth and I remember feeling it literally hit my stomach in an explosion of fireworks. It did not hurt but felt funny. You could feel all liquids traveling down your esophagus into your stomach. It was the strangest feeling! I had gone down to 206.5 pounds in the first week of being home. They said I was a fast loser and it would slow down over time. THEY WERE RIGHT!

I have recently hit my one year surgiversary this year on August 30th. I am now down to fluctuating between 169 & 175 pounds. The surgeon is very happy with where I am and actually said that if I do not lose any more weight, that would be fine. I am right where I should be.

Am I happy? HELL YEAH I am! I am at the weight that I was when I graduated high

school. I feel good and have a lot more energy. AND..no more c-pap machine for me! (I hated that thing) Was this an easy process? No way! And anyone whom thinks that surgery is the easy way out, has no idea. They can come talk to me for a minute or two. I would do this again in a heartbeat to feel the way I feel now. I have more self confidence and love taking selfies!

It has been a long road and one that I will continue on for the rest of my life. The process is forever. I have hit my goal weight but must maintain and sometimes I feel like that is the hardest part. I can now eat a bit more than I could in the beginning which is good but also scary as hell. I do not want to get back to where I once was. But for now, I will trudge on….

If you are considering the surgery or have ever considered it., I say go for it! If you have

any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me! I am always here to listen and give advice on my experience if needed!

Thanks for listening!!

me

Heather

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