Hello everyone my name is Ellie and I am about to get a sleeve on September 29! This was all very sudden and unexpected unlike some folks who have researched this for many years and gone through a long qualifying process, I have stumbled onto this procedure through a very roundabout way and in a matter of weeks I was approved. I am 37 years old and I weigh 270lbs at 5.8", I am hypothyroidic, I have sleep apnea and I'm prediabetic at this time.
A Little history: In 2007 I weighed 273 pounds! I had mild sleep apnea but aside from that I was relatively healthy. (By the ways, it took me 2 years, 2 denial letters and a LOT of hoops like Nutritionist visits, phyc eval etc to finally get approved, so that's why this time around, they considered that as my pre-op qualifications, and I did not need to re-qualify) I had the Lap band procedure done mostly because I did not like the way I looked. But the band yielded very little results, despite 13 fills and unfills to adjust, I never achieved an ideal restriction and was always hungry the weight that I did lose was because I was starving and working out and then I plateaued at about 245 pounds.
Then I got pregnant in 2009 I decided to take all liquid out of the band (complete unfill) so that I could eat tons of vegetables and fruits. Funnily enough during the pregnancy and the one that followed I actually lost weight!? I guess something to do with the baby and the restriction I felt because the baby was pushing against the the band. At birth I was 214lbs. But as soon as my children came out in 2010 and 2013, even as I breast-fed, I was completely ravenous and the pounds returned at an alarming rate. So I have found myself right back to where I started at 270 pounds. Only this time mother nature has not been so kind...
I am prediabetic and my sleep apnea has returned with a vengeance! On a day to day bases I ache and hurt like an old rickety roller coaster! I feel like I am walking through Jell-O all the time everything has just slowed down. Even so, being busy with a three-year-old and a five-year-old and being a full-time working mom I put myself in last place and have not focused much on trying to lose the weight. It's basically been, whatever I need to do to make it to the next day! I have ignored the aching that my body feels on a day-to-day basis and how hard it has become living and getting around at this weight. I have ignored the emotional and social impact of my weight, or maybe ignored is not the best word, more like drowned out with more food. And I experience some of what most mothers will relate to, I don't want to be in pictures with my children because I feel like I ruin the pictures with my presence. But even all this did not bring me to a decision to refill my lapband or do anything about it until a few weeks ago...
In unrelated events I twisted funnily and managed to cause harm to my port. I was in severe pain like having stitches after running but the pain never went away. So due to that event, I finally went back to see my bariatric surgeon and upon further examination I was told that my port had ripped out of my muscles and was now flipped. Great!
It was then that my surgeon told me that my options were to repair the port and try the band again or do something different. He recommended I try the sleeve because if I was initially unsuccessful with the band chances of me being successful the second time around were slim to none. I had heard about the sleeve before but never really in-depth.
I also have gallstones and have had two attacks which I feel is not enough to warrant surgery but my surgeons seem to think differently. They say the gallbladder wall has thickened and that it is a matter of if and not when I will need to have it removed :(
I hate surgery I do terrible with general anesthesia it takes me hours and hours of tortured nauseated foggy horrible sickness and pain to come out of it. And there is nothing I want more than to avoid having to go through another surgery. However My surgeon sent me to other surgeon who specializes in lap band revision who said he could perform all three surgeries at one time!! He would take out the Lapband remove my gallbladder and perform the gastric sleeve. And we are close to maxing out our yearly insurance maximum out of pocket, so if approved these procedures will be completely at no cost to me!!
If I have to go under the knife anyways, I reason, I might as well get as much stuff done at one time, so that I don't have to go under the knife several times. I have not had too much time to do research on the sleeve or get emotionally prepared for the journey ahead but I have spent the past few weeks ferociously researching and ferociously reading up on it and doing a lot of soul-searching realizing that given my Freewill to eat, I am killing myself by being morbidly obese.
My doctor submitted the proposal for surgeries to my insurance and I prepared for a long wait. However a week later I found myself getting approved by my insurance and my doctors office saying September 29 is available so start your diet now!! WOA?????
No time for food funerals, no time for that last binge, no time to take a cruise which I love to do because of all the deliciousness, and no time to deliberate too long. I do have an option of doing it at the next available date in November but that would be very close to holidays and who knows what other circumstances could arise to prevent me from having the surgery at that time.
It seems like all the factors have aligned together perfectly... my job is willing to let me go for that period of time the surgery will cost me nothing I can do three in one surgeries and I can have it relatively soon so that I don't have an agonizing time to wait and stress about it. It's like it's now or never. Most reviews I've read have people saying they wish they had done it sooner.
I have already started my pre-op diet which means I would've only been on it for 10 days versus 12 like most people. And unlike most people rather than being on full liquids I have been placed on a South Beach supercharged phase 1 diet that includes lean meats, low-fat dairy and vegetables.
I am finally wrapping my brain around what is about to take place mentally emotionally and physically. I have stocked up on many things and thanks to all you wonderful sharing caring people that have taken time to share your journey I have had a chance to very quickly catch up on all the information that I will need to be successful.
But I'm so scared and so nervous not even about the liquid diet following surgery , (although, my coworker who got the sleeve weeks ago says that she is hungry all the time), or anything like that but of the surgery itself of being under Anastasia, of the pain I will feel when I wake up, and I wonder if I will miss the stomach that God gave me with which I was born...I'm sure all these things have crossed your mind too. And because my Lapband failed I fear that if this procedure does not work for me and I shall be that one anomaly for whom this did not work, there is not much else to be done. And since this is so life altering and Permanent, I don't know where to go from there if it does not work out for me. I know...I know...not thoughts I should be thinking .., but I'm being candid and sharing from the deepest parts of my heart the secret fears that I have, I would never admit to anyone.
Any words of encouragement advice, solidarity, anything will be so very much appreciated at this time! Like many of you my weight loss journey is a very personal and private one and I don't have much support from the few friends with whom I have shared this information.
I am sorry this has been long, but the welcome letter encouraged that we share details about our experience and I hope that Sharing this much will give you a more in-depth insight into my personal journey struggles and fears.
Sending you blessings and green lights, Ellie
Height: 5 feet 8 inches
Weight Lost: 43.8 lbs
Surgery: Gastric Bypass
Surgery Status: Pre Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 08/25/2015
Surgery Date: 08/22/2018
Hospital Stay: n/a
Surgery Funding: Insurance
Insurance Outcome: 1st Letter Approval