Back to Business

Now that I have the hard emotional post out of the way, it is time to get back to the business of discussing my preparation for the gastric by-pass surgery.

These are the tests, etc that I have to complete before surgery.

  • More blood work – the list of blood work tests they gave me is very long.
  • Urinary test.
  • Chest X-Ray.
  • Sonogram of gall bladder
  • PFT test – Pulmonary Function Test.
  • Another EKG.
  • Pulmonary consult and clearance.
  • Bariatric education class at hospital.
  • Nurse interview at hospital.
  • GI Consult.
  • EGD – that’s where they stick a camera down your throat all the way to your stomach to take a peek inside.  Fortunately, I will be unconscious for this.
  • Last pre-op visit with Surgeon’s office the week before the surgery.

Here is what I have done so far.

  • GI Consult.
  • Nurse interview at hospital.
  • Bariatric education class at hospital.

This is stuff I am getting done this week.

Wednesday:

  • Blood work.
  • EKG
  • Pulmonary consult and clearance.
  • Urinary test.
  • PFT test – Pulmonary Function Test.

Friday:

  • EGD.
  • Colonoscopy.

What I still have left to do before the surgery:

  • Chest x-ray.
  • Sonogram of stomach, gall bladder.
  • Last pre-op visit with surgeon’s office and appointment with their nutrition counselor.

Fortunately, my primary care doctor is a pulmonary care doctor, so I can get the pft and pulmonary clearance done right there in the office.  I can also get the EKG done there.  They will also do all of the blood work, etc.  The GI doctor that I saw is also going to do a test for Celiac Disease.  My sister has it and the doctor thought it would be prudent to see if I have it as well.  I insist that I do not, but we shall see.

I am waiting to do the chest x-ray and the sonogram of my gall bladder until after I see my primary doctor.  I want to make sure that they give me recommendations for those tests as well as the EGD and colonoscopy, which is scheduled for Friday, so that they can get clearance from my insurance company.

Oh the hoops I have to jump through.

The bariatric/nutrition class at the hospital was very informative, if not a little bit scary.  The nutrition part of this class was actually very interesting.  The nutritionist reaffirmed many of the things that I’ve already learned, plus she talked specifically about what we will be eating.  A lot of the diet isn’t going to work for me.  Mostly because of the dominance of milk-based products.  I am allergic to milk, so I am not going to be able to follow that part of it.  Fortunately, she did say that there are many alternate choices for me.  I will have to work with the nutritionist at the surgeon’s office to create something specifically for me.

I think the heavy reliance of milk-based products is because milk is a great source of protein, which is very important after surgery..  Milk is also a food that can be found in many soft forms, yogurt, cottage cheese, soft cheeses.  Soft, gentle foods are also important in the immediate first eight weeks after surgery.  With that in mind, milk products are great.  They offer the double punch of being soft and packed with protein.  Excellent food choice for post bariatric surgery.

Not for me.  I have to find alternate sources of soft, protein rich foods.

The scary part came when the bariatric nurse gave her talk.  She was terrific.  She is a tall beautiful blonde-haired woman with a delightful eastern european accent.  I think she said she was from Ukraine.  She was also tough as nails and did not hold back at all.  She was very specific about what life will be like the few days immediately following the surgery.  She talked about the pain levels we should expect.  She told us that some of us may have feelings of regret in the first days after the surgery.  She also said that some of us may need to give ourselves pain shots after we get home.

She basically tried to paint a very real picture of life immediately after the surgery, plus what we should expect for the first eight weeks.  She stressed the importance of following the diet and the doctor’s orders.  Basically, she put it out there that if you were having doubts at all and did not think you can handle what is coming, now is the time to talk to your surgeon and perhaps reconsider.  This surgery is not for the faint of heart.  It is not easy.  She also made it clear that this surgery is not the answer.  It is only a tool.  It is up to use to use that tool to make more substantive changes to our lives to see the best results.

I definitely left there with a more clear picture of what to expect.  I am definitely not turning back.  Yes, I was a bit scared about the possibility of giving myself shots.  I really do not think that I can do that.  I will somehow manage to muddle through.

Yes, the pain of the surgery does scare me.  The things I may have to do in the immediate aftermath of the surgery scare me as well.  The pain I feel every day, whether it is excruciating back pain, agonizing foot pain, both of which are almost constant, or the difficulty I have breathing are so much worse to me.  I am willing to face a little bit of short-term extra pain and difficulty to   experience long-term positive health benefits.  In short, I want to take my life back from my obesity and I’m not going to let the short-term pain of surgery stop me.

Today’s cat is Milo.  My sister adopted two abandoned kittens.  One was a girl, which we named Oscar.  The boy kitten was Milo.  She took both kittens so that they would not be tossed into a dumpster.  She intended to keep Oscar and find Milo a home.  She did eventually find Milo a home, but not before he left his mark on Oscar.  She had a little of four adorable kittens, all of them found a loving home.  Then she had Oscar fixed.  Nonetheless, we loved Milo.  He is a beautiful cat.

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