Friday, January 13, 2017

Repurposed Em - Why the Gastric Sleeve?

RepurposedEm #2
Happy Friday All!

I pray your day has been great. For me, laundry, cleaning, karate... and now my child has a friend spending the night. My husband is upstairs watching TV and I am here with you... though I really need to make cards as well. Sigh - I'm never done being busy. YOU?

Anyway... I ran across this quote. Saint Teresa of Calcutta is one of my favorite Saints. It is hard for me to NOT call her Saint Mother Teresa.


Everything we say and write is of God, if we do it the right way. We are broken sometimes... but if we are open to it, He will help us write a great masterpiece.  Amen!

To that end, if you are interested in Bariatric Surgery, I implore you to pray about it, and research it. Study it for a few years (more than five years) like I did. Write the positives and negatives of each type. Talk to people who have had the surgeries. Find out why it worked or didn't work. Join support groups and ask every question you can think of - I did and they still like me.

This post will help explain why I chose the Gastric Sleeve (VSG). Here are two links that will help you compare Bariatric Surgery Types and help you determine what is best for you.

Ultimate Bariatrics - Procedures. This is my doctor's site.
WebMD - Comparison Chart. This is a chart similar to one I found years ago. I like the succinct way it's all laid out.

I am going to concentrate on what I call the Top Three and help you understand how I came to my decision. These are my opinions as I am not a doctor. This is about what we decided was best for me... so please know that which ever option you choose with your doctors is not wrong for you. I want to make that clear.

Additionally, I also want to tell you that my insurance does not cover them all, but they do now cover these three. Since I don't have $10K - $20K to pay out of pocket, I'm working within these restraints. Some people choose to go to Mexico (apparently a mecca for Bariatric surgery) or pay out of pocket. Many doctors will work with you on this.

1) Lap Band - I have a friend who got one. For a long time, this was the only thing my insurance company would cover, but I knew I didn't want: 1) something foreign left in my body (it took me over a year for my body to accept a titanium marker in my left breast); 2) I knew I would not be able to handle the stress of monthly fills with big needles. Needles + Emily = high anxiety (and can I just say, it's like people who are afraid of heights. I can not look at a needle in a book/magazine. I can watch a person get shot in a cop show, but bring out a needle and I will turn my head). #thestruggleisreal.  And to top it off, having joined a few bariatric groups on FaceBook, I have heard countless stories about people who got the Lap Band and ended up having it removed and getting sleeved. No thanks! I mean honestly they lost me at lots of needles. Sigh.

2) Gastric Bypass - During my research, what I kept running into was the fact that they bypass the part of your intestines that absorb nutrients. I was at the hairdresser and out of the blue, someone tells a story about their mom dying of a heart attack because her organs were not getting nutrients. It was like God saying - Um - NO! And so I crossed this one off. I just feel like I want to be able to absorb nutrients.  I just felt it wasn't safe for me.

3) Gastric Sleeve - This is permanent and scary, but at the same time, it feels like the least invasive - TO ME! Yes, they take part of your stomach away. Yes, you are in the hospital overnight. Yes, you have to eat liquids and then soft/mashable foods and essentially it is about two months or so before you can eat regular food.... however - this really feels like the best tool - FOR ME! And, in October 2016, my health insurance started covering it. I couldn't believe it.

As a faithful woman, I believe that in a fantastic series of events, God has helped set this in motion.  I remember earlier this year, when my podiatrist said he was happy I'd lost seven pounds, but it wasn't enough... then dad got sick and I had chest pains because of the anxiety and the cardiologist did some tests and I have a genetic heart disease. It's nothing drastic, but it could have been had I not found out.

I was talking to our appointment scheduler  and for some reason I didn't feel comfortable with the Bariatric Surgeon I was referred to... well, she said that she had gotten gastric surgery by a great doctor, and I asked her to change it to him. Guess what, it turns out, he and my cardiologist are friends. Everything has fallen into place and I really believe this is meant to be.

My next post will be about choosing the right doctor and how much work is actually involved in prepping for surgery and living the bariatric life after surgery... which is WHY it's so important to choose the right doctor.

This Monday, January 16th, I will start the two week liquid diet to prep me for surgery. Pray for me.
If you like this series, I am thinking it will be every Friday's post, so check back.

Hugs, Love & Blessings,


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Em