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Healthy4Life - Hobart, Munster Indiana - First Of Two Pre-Op Meetings

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Since November 16th I have met with Dr. Shamsi once a month, kept a food journal on myfitnesspal.com and shared with the doctor. Six months and 60 pounds lighter, is a good start. I've gone through WLS "Is it Right for me" class, which explained all the surgeries, I have sat in group meetings, I have gone through psychological testings and met with their psychologist, I had a previous colonoscopy that they have the records, I had to get a release from my cardiologist, I met with their nutritionist, met with Dr. Stanish twice now and finally received my verbal approval from BCBSIL on Monday and I lucked out....twice a month they do a mandatory two Wednesday class from 1-3. If I didn't get approved until today I would have had to wait another 2 weeks for the next class to begin!! So two days after approval, I got into my first Wed. Class.


The program at healthy4life through St. Mary's Hobart/Community Hospital Munster seems different than a lot of the ones I've seen here. They charge you a $600.00 program, out of pocket fee,before surgery. I paid $200.00 during my four month - pre-surgery nutritionist evaluation. Today the second $200.00 was paid, which paid for two weeks worth of protein shakes for the pre-op diet. Another $200.00 will be paid one week before surgery when I meet with the nurses to go over my medications and which meds to continue, stop etc. These fees gives us hotline number to the nurses to be used at any time, free access to meet with the nurses, free nutritionist/dietician access and nurses, and appointments for life. Sounds pretty good to me.


Today's meeting was with a group of 5 that will be undergoing surgery with either Dr. Dong or Dr. Stanish. A few are getting gastric bypass the rest are getting sleeved. Dr. Stanish does not do duodenal switch any longer and I'm not positive, but I believe he's moved away from LapBand. We each received a packet and a special envelope that had Dr.'s prescription orders for tests he wanted. I need a mammogram, and an upper GI. I scheduled those the minute I got out of the office lol. Mammogram tomorrow, UpperGI Saturday. There was also a note saying that on April 1st I had an abnormal ekg and she needs to talk to me after the class. For some people that have heard of these places, Dr. Stanish and Healthy4life used to be out of Methodist Hospital. They recently transferred to St. Mary/Community and they are now working out their Center's of Excellence all over again. They were Centers of Excellence but they moved their program to a new hospital so they had to start all over. Though Dr. Stanish has been a surgeon over 13 years, and has done well over 1200 of these surgeries at Methodist, they are now at about 80-100 at St. Mary's and last week they did their second at Community Hospital. I will be their third done at Community Hospital. To become Centers of Excellence Bariatric Clinic like they were at Methodist, they need 125 at each hospital.


Unfortunately, on April 1st I woke up and my chest was in pain. Every single breath hurt. I exercised anyhow, and finally realized it wasn't going away on its own, my husband said time to go to the hospital so I hurried and made a meatloaf for the family, took a shower and went to the ER. I was given an EKG, Chest Xray and a CT-Scan. They admitted me for observation. I was visited by my Internist the next morning, and he said that a cardiologist would be and I may end up getting an ultrasound of the heart or another ekg and I will probably be released. One of my Cardiologists' partners showed up and said I was having a complication from Lupus and I had pleurisy and sent me home without an ekg or ultrasound. Nothing was said to me regarding an abnormal ekg, which was taken while I was sitting in the triage. It was probably a lead that wasn't placed right.


So, after the two hour meeting today, the nurse contacted my cardiologist, who left for the day but spoke with his nurse to see if he will sign another release or what I am suppose to do. I followed up the call and I pray my doctor just says yes and faxes a release, otherwise this will throw everything off track. My next appt. with cardiologist is July 15th, and I would have to try to get in before next Thursday, which is the day I meet with the surgeon to be given my surgery date. I should hear back tomorrow from the nurse from my surgeons tomorrow and I'll follow-up with my cardiologist tomorrow afternoon! No approval, no surgery. Keeping my finger's crossed.


Back to the meeting:


She said to quit caffeine now and from here on out, nothing to drink with sugar in it, including Zero Calorie Vitamin Water because it has 3-7 gm of carbs per serving. She gave us a bottle of ISOPure (grape) and truthfully it was quite terrible to me. I don't drink pop, crystal light or anything like it but this was pretty nasty to me. I guess it's going to be my new best friend for two weeks after surgery though. Ugh.


I was told the day of surgery (even if it's at 6:30am) I will be allowed nothing by mouth, not even water, even that night until the next day when we will do our barium swallow. I've had surgeries, and I can tell you right now, this is going to be my biggest challenge. I'll want ice chips after surgery, I always have and this will be tough.


I received my choice of 42 shakes, puddings, etc. today that will be used for the two week pre-op diet. They use New Direction I grabbed two variety packs to try the cream of chicken soup and different flavored and I decided to stick with chocolate and strawberry for the rest of them. I asked her about unjury chicken broth and she said she had some samples and she gave me the chicken broth to try now, in case I would like to use it during the clear liquid two week after surgery phase. She told us she recommends Optisource (you can purchase from Walgreens) it has all the vitamins and minerals you need and they are chewable vitamins. Must take 4 a day.


She explained that the day of surgery we will receive a shot in the tummy and every day while we are there we will get this shot. It's to prevent blood clots. We'll get the IV and then while in surgery we'll get the catheter. She informed me that we'll remain in the hospital 3 nights 4 days as long as there are no complications. We'll be up walking that first day, several times, I'll have a morphine pump and we'll be given not sure if she said Torodal or Tramadol, unfortunately I didn't write it down. She said the next day will be clear liquids. Clear liquids will be two weeks worth. I will have a drain which will remain for at least a week. We will have compression stockings that blow up on their own every time we are in bed and not walking, we will be given antibiotics before and after surgery and we'll be using our spirometer 10 times an hour.


Next Wed May 9th. is my second two-hour pre-op meeting and we'll be going over recipes for each stage. She will give us a spirometer and show us how to use it. She will teach us how to deal with the drain we will be going home with and how to clean out the drain. (ugh)


As long as I get my cardiologist note clearing me for surgery, I have a meeting with Dr. Paul Stanish on Thursday 10th and we will schedule the surgery. He will tell me when to start my pre-op shakes and i will make an appointment for one week before surgery to meet with a nurse. I'll bring in my prescriptions and they will determine which ones I can take, which ones I need to stop and which ones I will need a new prescription because the size of the pills are too big.


After surgery we will be given a one ounce cup and will have to write down each time we have an ounce of liquid, take oral medication, etc. My one week appointment with the surgeon, they will remove the drain. I haven't read anyone here talk about getting a drain, so it gave me the willies, never had one before. However, the good news is I'm less apprehensive about leaks because the drain will be a clue if there is a leak or not for the first week.


It seems like this has been a roller coaster of things to do, emotions, worrying whether or not my previous adhesion issues will cause me to be declined, whether or not the Lupus will be an issue, whether or not the pleurisy was going to cause an issue, whether or not insurance will not approve me, it's been a lot of ups and downs. I've lost 60 lbs. on my own, major plus. Getting closer by the day though, and can't wait to be on the other side safely.

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You can also ask your doctor if you can take the Opurity Bariatric Vitamins (the ones for the bypass). They're chewable, you take 1/day, and they only cost $40 for 100 days supply. They also supply your Vitamin D and I think your Vitamin B. It's cheaper than the ones you can get from Walgreens.

It sounds like you've had a tough few days. Feel better, good luck, and keep us all posted!

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