I love food. I am an emotional eater. I used to eat when I was happy, when I was sad, when I was nervous. It was an outlet. I also come from a family of people who love food and cook quite well. I never truly had a problem with weight until I was about 24 and life threw me some challenges. I gained about 80lbs and weighed approximately 294. When my life stabilized, I started a strict diet and exercise program. I lost all of the excess weight and weighed about 230lbs. I maintained that weight for many years. I got married and had children, but despite the new time constraints and its affects on my ability to exercise, I still maintained a healthy weight. In 2010, I had a bad car accident that left me with a permanent back injury. While rehabilitating, I began a downward spiral. I did very little to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I just didn't care. Despite pleas from my wife, family and friends, I did nothing to help myself. My best friend had VSG surgery in the fall of 2013 and I did see her success, but yet I was still not open to doing anything for myself. It wasn't until some very dear loved ones brought some other concerns to my attention that I decided I needed to "get healthy!" Starting in November of 2013, I began my journey on getting right. One morning, in late January of this year, the thought of weight loss surgery entered my mind and since then, it's been continual progress. By the first week in February, I had a consul with my surgeon. I got my checklist of things to do and people to see. I wanted to have my surgery on April 15th (spring break) and I made sure I moved mountains to meet this goal. On, Thursday, April 3rd, my doctor's office submitted all of the paperwork for my surgery to be approved. The very next day the office called to say we were on for April 15th! So, I had my surgery. I wasn't in the least bit nervous. I was confident that I was making the right decision. I was confident in my surgeon. I had the support and help from all of my family and friends.
The day of the surgery arrived and we got to the hospital at 6AM. After some paperwork and talking to the anasthesiologist and my doctor, I walked into the OR at around 7:35am. I laid myself on the table (which to my surprise, is quite small and narrow), and a nurse started my IV and started connecting me to monitors. I felt "giddy" when they injected me with something and then the anasthesiologist had me breathe into the mask and after 3 deep breaths, I was out. I vaguely remember them pulling out the tube and telling me to cough. I remember being transferred to the other gurney. And, then I remember the nurse in recovery talking to me, telling me to take deep breaths and showing me how to use the PCA. My surgery took a bit longer because of where I store my fat (mid section) and it took the surgeon a bit longer to get to the areas she needed to get to. Soon after, I was in my room, but did nothing but sleep! I don't recall having much pain from the surgery. It felt as if I had done a lot of crunches. I had more pain in my back from the uncomfortable bed than I did from the actual surgery. Due to how my body reacted to the anesthesia, all I wanted to do was sleepâ€¦.and sleep I did. The morning after my surgery, they brought me down for my X-ray. The liquid I had to drink was seriously the most disgusting thing I have ever had to endure. The mere thought of this liquid makes me want to vomit. So, I got the clearâ€¦the surgery was a success. However, I was still very, very sleepy. All I did the second day post op was SLEEP! At this point, my surgeon increased my IV fluids and decided to keep me an extra night.
So, I came home on Thursday, April 17th. I was still sleepy, but I did fine with only taking naps throughout the day for the next few days. On Saturday, April 19th, I started some protein shakes. I stayed on those for the next week and a half, at which point I was cleared for soft proteins. This past week, I was cleared to start eating other foods, with moderation.
I must say that this surgery was the best thing I ever did. At 6 weeks post-op, I was 50lbs lighter. I have increased energy, I am down 4 pant sizes and my back, knees and feet don't hurt at all. I know I have a long way to go, but this surgery saved my life. Everyone has noticed so many positive changes and now I realize that I can do it. I can get healthy. I am excited to be part of this forum so I can learn from others and possibly help someone who is thinking of taking this step in getting their life back.
Height: 6 feet 2 inches
Weight Lost: 66 lbs
Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 02/09/2014
Surgery Date: 04/15/2014
Hospital Stay: 2 Days
Surgery Funding: Insurance
Insurance Outcome: 1st Letter Approval