7 years ago, almost to the day, my Lap Band was placed. I have hated my band for a long time. I was in between my junior and senior year in college and my mom was very insistent that this is what I needed to be able to get a good job on the other side of my Senior year. She talked about it non-stop and eventually I decided to just go ahead and do it, because if I didn't I would have had to face her disappointment. I did alright with it for a couple months, and I lost a little weight but at one point I stopped making appointments with my surgeon and then I just didn't go back. About a year after my surgery, I got a call from them that I needed to come in and have it checked so I did, but then not even a month later the surgeon was fired. Next thing I knew, 3 years had gone by and I decided I wanted to actually do something about it so I found another surgeon that some people recommended and I went to see him but my esophagus was dilated so he said there was nothing he could really do for me. I spent years abusing it and then I felt like I was a failure. I wish when I was talking about my band, someone had tried harder to talk me into the bypass.
Jump forward another couple of years to this April, I was having severe upper abdominal pain and I was very scared that it was my band. I made an appointment to see the doctor that I had seen 3 years ago, just to look at the band, but the pain got too severe. I ended up going to the emergency room. Thankfully it wasn't my band that was the problem, but I did have a pretty severe case of pancreatitis caused by gallstones. The surgeon that took out my gallbladder is actually in the same practice as the other lap band doctor I was seeing. When I went to my 2 week follow up from surgery, Dr. Barker actually mentioned the idea of conversion, and I was very interested in it.
The most important part is that my mom was not with me at the time, so any discussion about it was between my doctor and me and I didn’t even tell my mom about it until I had decided that I actually wanted to do it. At first I wanted to do the sleeve, but my doctor told me I should just got straight to the bypass because of how much weight I need to lose.
For my insurance I have to do the 6 months of visits with my PCP, meet with a Psychologist, I had to have an upper endoscopy and an Upper GI, and meet with a dietician. My doctor also wants me to lose at least 50 lbs prior to surgery.
My upper GI showed that I have gastritis and esophagitis, so now I am in the process of getting my band out soon rather than waiting and doing both things at once. I hate my band so much I don’t want to wait 6 months to get it out. I met with the dietician today and I have to immediately go on the liver shrinking diet and I will be on it indefinitely. I have to lose 20 lbs in 3 weeks and then my MD will schedule the removal surgery and then I have to stay on the diet until my bypass, probably next January.
I am having a little anxiety because there is so much to do before I can actually have my bypass and I am only at the beginning. I know that the 6 months will be over before I know it and I’ll be happier on the other side, and that doing all this stuff beforehand will make things easier in the long run, but it seems so daunting. Any words of wisdom or encouragement would be greatly appreciated. 2 months ago I would have never thought I would be in this position, but now I am and I really don’t want to mess it up this time.