Friday, August 29, 2008

Getting stuff done

One of my awesome work colleagues 'K', that has had gastric bypass, let me borrow ALL of her books/magazines and even the actual surgery manual for the same doctor I will have!

I found out that I will need a psychological evaluation, in which I have already scheduled today. I will also need to take a nutrition class, which I have also signed up for already.

I am currently working on my letter of understanding/need for the surgery. I think this will be going to the insurance company and the surgeon.

All I will have left to do is:

- have a written letter from my PCP stating my need for the surgery along with the many MANY diets/exercise programs/pills I've tried over the years.

-have an upper G.I. series to make sure my bowels are all happy and good.

-lots of blood work

Aside from all of that, I think I will be okay, unless the surgeon wants to add other tests and what not.

I am so ready to get things going with the surgery. I have never been more sure about anything in my life (aside from my salvation through Jesus Christ).

Anyhow, I'm going to get off of here and do some more research and maybe finish my letter.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Starting on my Journey

Today is the launch of my new blog dedicated to my journey to health with the help of gastric bypass.

My Story:

Ever since I was a kid I have always been a bit on the 'chunky' side. I can remember when I took dance lessons at the tender age of 7 and my dance instructor said to me, "Amy, do you think you could lose 5 pounds before the recital next week?" Yeah....I was only 7 years first grade...fresh out of kindergarten. I was not a large kid, just chubby. Needless to say that is when I first started to diet. Over the years I had gotten a little taller and then good ole' puberty crossed my path when I started 5th grade. My weight was up and down as I tried diets such as slim fast to help with the 'excess weight'. Around eighth grade *I think I was 14* I was the closest I had ever been to appreciating my body. Weighing in around 150 lbs I still thought I was fat...but hey...
High school came around the corner and I was blessed to be a member of my high school color guard team. I had lots of strenuous exercise before and during marching season, which helped me get down to a size 12 *from a size 14* also I ate a protein rich diet. Around my junior year of high school I noticed that I had very little energy, my hair was falling out in chunks, and I had gained weight unexpectedly. I ended up going to the doctor...then to a specialist and found out that I had, "hashimoto's thyroiditis", a rare form of hypothyroidism. Ever since then I have truly fought tooth and nail to get my weight down.
Of course around age 18 I started getting depressed with the whole situation but kept chugging along anyways. Not long after I turned 20 years old I found that my periods were irregular and more painful than usual. One day after coming home from school a horrendous pain started in my right lower abdomen. I thought i was going to be sick! When I finally got home, I went to the bathroom and basically passed out by the toilet. I then went to my routine pap smear a few weeks later and told my doctor what had been happening. She said that the symptoms sounded a lot like a disease called, "Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome" or PCOS. She started me on birth control pills which helped regulate my menstrual cycle and decreased the random abdominal pain I had experienced.
Around age 21, I found a new doctor and she diagnosed me with depression & anxiety. She put me on an antidepressant called Celexa which helped me regain some of the motivation I had lost being depressed. Also at the time I started nursing school, which by the way is very stressful and taxing to your body/mind. I took the Celexa for 3 years and found that it helped keep me a float during times I would have normally not been able to handle.
So now here I am a 24 year, old battling depression/anxiety/PCOS/Hypothyroidism and now I am well over 100 pounds overweight. After years of abusing my body with many MANY different diets/exercise regimens/pills etc my body is basically falling apart.
This isn't suppose to happen to a 24 year old!

How I heard about Gastric Bypass:

When I started my job at the psych hospital, I was blessed to make a handful of very wonderful and loving friends. One of my friends, 'K' a 40 some year old mother, who is quite possibly one of the best people I know, informed me that she had had gastric bypass a few months earlier. Over the year I worked with her, the weight was absolutely falling off. She had many medical problems that lead her up to her having gastric bypass.
Also, a nursing school buddy of mine, 'T' also a 40 some year old mom has just had gastric bypass only 3 months ago. She started out weighing 273 lbs, was prediabetic, had hypertension, thyroid problems and of course the many debilitating problems that go with being obese. Now she has lost around 60 lbs, has a bunch of energy and she has been taken off all of her medicines.
After listening to her incredible story of her journey to health, I prayed about what God wanted me to do with my health. I had reflected on the past 17 years and the many things that have happened. A day or two later I called my doctor to get an appointment so I could discuss my weight with her *yet again* To my surprise there was an opening that afternoon *which rarely happens*. During my doctor visit, I discussed with her the topic of gastric bypass. She was taken aback and with good reason to be because surgery is serious stuff!
She explained to me the bad aspects of the surgery, shared some stories both good and bad and asked me my opinion on how having the surgery would affect me.
By the grace of God, I have gotten to the point in my life where I am able to accept who I am. I explained to my doctor that I don't expect the surgery to make me happy or take away my problems. All I want is to get back the healthy version of me that I have not seen in years. I want to walk up hills and stairs and not get out of breath. I want to bend over and tie my shoes without struggle. I know there is a better way of life than what I have now.
After talking with my doctor, she agreed to write me a referral to a bariatric surgeon in my area. One of the nurses in the office called the surgeon that had done my friend's and set up an appointment for me on October 27th.
The next day, I called my insurance company to ask about how much of the surgery they would pay for and the lady said my insurance would pay for the entire procedure *before/during/after surgery*

After school a few days ago, I went by the surgeon's office to fill out pages upon pages of health information. After turning it in I asked if there was an earlier appointment and again to my surprise I got one on September 29th.
For the longest time I have prayed for good health and to follow God's will in my life. I finally decided to get serious about this surgery. I am determined to find out everything I can about it; the good the bad and the ugly.
This is my answered prayer, everything is falling into place perfectly for me to have the surgery. I have not forced anything to happen, but I have been following a peaceful feeling in my heart about where to go and what to do. This blog is the beginning of a new life for me. I don't necessarily know what is in store for me down the road, but I know that I have peace about taking on this new life.
I will be updating this blog as my journey progresses. I also will share the ups and downs of my journey.