I came home from that fateful appointment and had much to think about. I was about to take drastic measures to help me lose weight. We talked with the girls (because The Boy isn't really old enough to get the whole gist of the situation) and answered questions that we could and basically tried to prepare them the best way we knew how.
I had to sit there and really think about the no smoking deal. Intellectually, I knew it had to be done or healing from the surgery would be awful. I basically chain smoked the rest of the night up until around midnight. It was a Friday night and for that last cigarette, Makenna followed me outside. I told her it was time. I gave her the pack of cigarettes I had left (around 3/4 of a pack) and told her to just take them away. She agreed, took them and went inside (I found out later she and her sister had themselves a large time destroying/shredding them and throwing them away). I then prayed and asked God to help me. I had smoked for so long that not smoking seemed foreign to me. I told Him I needed Him to take the want/need/desire for a cigarette away from me. I went to bed that night determined I wasn't going to smoke again and ruin my chances for this surgery.
I woke up the next morning and was fine. It wasn't hard to quit. Looking back, I think it wasn't hard to quit then (now is a different story-my cravings have gotten worse the longer I go without), because I knew it was time to do something about getting healthy.
Before I could count on this surgery being done, there were a few things I had to do on the preparation list. I had to have an EGD done. Now, I'm not so sure on what those letters stand for, but it had to be done the following Thursday morning. It's an outpatient surgery where they run a scope down your esophagus to check your throat and stomach for ulcers and other issues that could complicate a bariatric surgery. Gah, I was so nervous. I haven't had any surgeries other than a c-section seventeen years ago. They were going to put me to sleep!!!
The Man and I were at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. Come to find out, I wasn't even on the list?!? They took me and apparently put me first on the list because I was there so early. Fine by me. The adorable nurse anethesist (not so sure how this word is spelled as spell check doesn't recognize it) came by around 7:45 and we hit it off immediately. She said she was going to grab breakfast as Doctor C never got in before 8:00. Seriously? Then why on earth was I there so early??
Finally, around 8:15, they came to get me. They took me back to this small room and we were all chatting. I saw Doctor C come in the door from my peripheral vision and said, "What's happenin', Captain? One week smoke free! High five!" He laughed and gave me a high five and told the nurse anesthisit, "Hurry and sedate her before she starts talking." I looked at the nurse and said, "He's just worried I'll talk him into something else."
Next thing I remember, I was waking up in recovery about 40 minutes later and my husband was coming in. I am very vague about things after that. I do remember Doctor C coming in and telling me that I had a hiatel hernia. My stomach was trying to come up through my esophagus. Ahhhh...there explains the GERD I suffer from and the love affair with Nexium. He said he could fix it with surgery. Awesome. The rest of my stomach looked fine and he felt good about the upcoming surgery.
I was released and kind of remember calling my Daddy to tell him all was well. The rest of the day is pretty much a blur. Apparently, the anesthesia they use causes temporary amnesia. Nice.
I also decided to do the psychiatric consult. I had done one the year before for the surgery and would have been fine, but I felt that maybe I needed to just have one more. The seriousness of bariatric surgery is so great, that if you don't have it? You just don't understand.
Can I say I just thoroughly enjoyed that appointment? We both sat on her couch and chatted like we were old friends. We talked about the gastric sleeve and how important it was that rules are followed. She told me that I needed to prepare myself to mourn and grieve food. I heard her. My brain understood what she was saying. I just never knew how incredibly hard that could be (more on that in a future post). She invited me to come back if I felt I was having problems with my grief after surgery. I still may take her up on that.
I had three weeks until surgery. This food addict had some serious bidness to attend to, my friends. I had to do a food tour quicklike and in a hurry. I informed a couple of close friends that every weekend before surgery was important and there were places I HAD to eat before it was taken away forever. I have good friends. They fully supported this idea and I got to pick where we ate for the next three weekends. We ate Japanese steak house, Carraba's, and Red Robin (Yumm!). Each meal was amazing and I made sure to fully enjoy myself. Don't worry, I totally worked in Mexican food and a few other places high on my list also during that time.
The time up until surgery flew by, people. I am so glad Doctor C didn't require a two week liquid diet beforehand. Oh, Dear Baby Jesus and the sweet little lambs. The new doctor that has replaced him is strict and requires stuff like that. I so don't like him. All that was required was a 24 hour liquid diet before surgery. That was hard enough like it was. Jeesh. No caffeine was allowed (can you say headache???), either. No, I did not quit the caffeine before surgery. I sucked down Diet Coke like a madwoman up until I had to quit. I figured I was going to be on a morphine pump during the bad headaches and would come home with good drugs. Seriously, give me a break here. I had already given up the cigarettes. (ack...how defensive am I over this?)
I'd like to say at this point, I had a conversation with Makenna. She's twelve now and so incredibly intelligent. She has no weight problem at all and I secretly admire the heck out of her. I've watched her and she treats food like it should be treated. She eats when she's hungry and she stops when she's full. She doesn't over eat (unless it's a salad buffet-no joke). I told her that this was my adventure, not hers. While I really needed her support, I never wanted her to feel guilty for being able to eat something that I couldn't. I made her promise not to change and enjoy her food and life. She took me seriously and we were perfectly fine.
My surgery was scheduled for August 16, 2011. A big Tuesday. Whew. Friday, I hadn't heard from the surgery coordinator and I was tad bit worried. I was supposed to get the fine details from her before surgery. I had had one last visit with Doctor C the previous Thursday. Neighbor Debbie went with me as The Man had to take his son to a doctor's appointment at the same time. Doctor C hugged me when he came in the room and he treated Neighbor Debbie with full respect as part of my support team. He included her in the conversation and she liked him about as much as I did by the time we left.
I waited all day Monday to hear from the office and called a few times. They were moving their office across town so the phones lines were all messed up and communication was sketchy. Talk about making a person a nervous wreck?? Finally, she called at around 4 p.m. and this is what I heard...
"Hope, we have an insurance problem."