Monday, January 31, 2011

just thinking

Firstly, no new news so far. Secondly, I have been asked for info on gastric banding details. I was made to visit a really great website with lots of good info but I'm not sure I'm allowed to share it, so once I get the okay from the people at St. Vincent's I will share it. Until then you can always go here and see what Wikipedia has to say about it. I think they explain things pretty well and with a lot of detail. It's a lot of info, but you can skip around and get the gist of things. Please don't be terribly frightened by the list of complications and yes, I have been made aware of all of them.

Chris went to the gym today! He said he really enjoyed it and I'm very glad! I'm hoping this ice storm doesn't get too much in the way of him working out...although I feel it will make the town stop dead in its tracks for a couple of days. I;ve made dinner for the second night in a row tonight and I'm trying to go for all week. I went to the store yesterday and planned out all of our dinners for the week. Wish me luck that we do them all! (I really don't have a choice anyway since the rest of our money is going to bills.)

So, I told my boss today about my intentions and I was pretty nervous about what she would say, but she was very supportive and happy for me. She asked me lots of questions and we talked about it for a while and I let her know approximately how many more doctor's appointments I'd have to have before it was all over with. She didn't seem to mind! So that was a relief. She said I was perfect the way I was but she was happy for my decision and would help out however she could. :)

Recently, I've been thinking about what people that get weight loss surgery consider their decision to be. What I mean by that is do they consider it a defeat at their own attempts to be healthy or do they consider it a new challenge in life? Obviously, it can been taken both ways by the same person at different times in their life.

I consider it both ways. In a way, I do feel like I have failed in regards to my health and I definitely feel ashamed of it from time to time (probably more often then I'd like to admit). I mean, I have done this before and then slacked off and I let it go way too far. But on the other hand, I feel like this surgery is a great way to jump start my lifestyle change (again) and further motivate me to stick with it for the long haul this time (losing the weight, fitting my old clothes, betting pregnant eventually). I have a lot of different factors to motivate me. I know the challenges I will face and the dedication this process will take. I know I will have to do it for the rest of my life, and I really feel I am ready for that. I, in no way, consider this a cop out or an easy way out. I know it's going to take a lot of work and a lot of self control (which obviously is/was a problem for me before). I consider this stepping stone to a brighter future where I can feel normal again and not worry about what everyone else is thinking...so I can start the next chapter in my life!

Friday, January 28, 2011

not gonna last

Alright! So I had my 2 doctor's appointments today.

First was my appointment with my new primary doc, Dr. Cropper. She is pretty cool and very receptive to what I have to say, which makes me feel good. She is also a DO instead of an MD, which I think I am starting to prefer. She talked to me about lap band and I told her how much I had already researched it and she seemed to agree with my decision and said she would type up my appointment note (with an OK from here in it on my decision to get lap band) and give it to me before we left! (Which was totally awesome if you have any idea how long it normally takes for a doctor to get a letter sent to someone else without you bugging them about it.) She also gave me a prescription for Nexium (YAY) and for some generic birth control. (yey...) I talked to her about my stupid wrist too and she suggested I get some resting wrist splints (which I knew I needed, I just don't really want to pay $15 for one...why so expensive?!).

So far, I really like Dr. Cropper. I have to go back next week (I KNOW - a million doctor's appointments much?) for a physical and a lady exam since I haven't been to the doctor in so long :/ Ah well. I won't be missing all day for this appointment - a couple hours in the morning - so that's good. I'm thinking I will be telling my boss about my intentions when I tell her about this appointment. She hasn't asked so far because she knows it's none of her business, but I'm gonna have to tell her eventually and I don't want her to think I'm dying or something with all of these appointments (or just skipping work).

Then, in the afternoon we drove to Carmel to see the psychologist at St. Vincent's. This appointment went pretty much how I expected. He asked about my family life and eating habits as a child, family histories, current eating habits, how stuff made me feel, my job and why it stressed me out so much, and a few other things. It took about an hour, but I'm wondering if it wasn't supposed to be that long and I just rambled a lot :/ I tend to do that, lol. OH WELL. If I did, he was very nice and patient and listened intently. He told me thought I was very well versed in what I wanted and why and thought I had made a good decision, even if he didn't like LapBand surgery as much as Rout en Y (because of the success rates). He also stressed exersizing and I reassured him I was UBER motivated and we just got Chris a membership to a gym and if he likes it I might join him as well. (It's WAY cheaper than I expected - $36 a month!) I am going to just try to do my Biggest Loser DVDs first and see if I can do it on my own. I really don't think that will be a problem since we have resistance bands and things here...at least that are strong enough for little ol' me.

Everything seems to be going fairly smoothly so far. I'm trying to gather everything I need and get everything done before the insurance tells me I need something else. The last time I was on Weight Watchers was the beginning of last year and it was about 6 months long, so I'm HOPING that, along with my Thin and Healthy history will account for my '6 months of supervised weight loss' - if my insurance requires it. I talked to one of the insurance ladies in Dr. Diaz's office and she said she got the paperwork I dropped off to her (the doctor's note and a note from the support group leader, stating I was there) and that she would be reviewing my info and contacting my insurance next week!

I'm desperately trying to not get excited just in case everything goes wrong or I have a set back, but I feel so confident about my preparedness that it's really hard to not starting thinking ahead already. I would really like to get this surgery sooner rather than later!

Anyway...have a good weekend all!

<3
Erin

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baby steps

This process is nothing but a large amount of baby steps.

Yesterday, I made 2 doctors appointments for Friday. I have an appointment with my new primary care doctor (Dr. Michelle Cropper. She is in my same practice but I have not met her yet) and one with St. Vincent's bariatric psychologist for my psychological evaluation. I have to get a letter me medical necessity from my primary doctor...I'm hoping she agrees with my decision and understands it. I would hope if my family agrees with my decision, my doctor (that I've never met, mind you) will agree as well.

As for the psych evaluation...I'm not really worried about that. Everyone's evaluation is different, but I'm pretty sure the gist of it is to make sure I'm not too crazy and to make sure I will follow a diet (which I have no problem with AND I'm even better at following written diet plans...yay for lists!).

Then, today the husband and I went to a lap band support group meeting. It was here in Muncie at the YMCA and there were a lot more people than I expected. I was only expecting there to be 2-4 people there for some reason, but there were 16! Who knew? There was an extremely wide range of people there in all stages of the lap band surgery process. There were 2 other people that still had not gotten their surgery, a couple that were less than 4 months out, and others that were at or around a year out. The guy that ran it was 4 years out and he has lost over 400 pounds! I recognized him because he had a picture at St. Vincent's of him skydiving and it was totally awesome. We mostly just talked at the meeting. People asked questions to see if other people had the same tendencies, they asked for food advice, we talked about insurance companies and of course at the beginning we all introduced ourselves and everyone said how much weight they had lost. Overall, the meeting wasn't anything I didn't already know (I've been researching and learning everything I can about this surgery for over 2 years) but it was nice to actually hear it from people in person instead of on the internet, and it's really nice to know there are people in Muncie I can talk to if I need to. You can read about the guy that leads our support groups here (http://jeffbutts.com/) Yes, his name is Jeff Butts and yes I totally laughed on the inside when he said it. He just put the website up so it's still a little rough.

I keep going through phases of really excited about this surgery, to really sad seeing all of these people losing all of this weight and wondering if I will be able to do as well as them and how long it will take. I know that ultimately it doesn't matter how long it takes (as long as its not like...10 pounds in a year) and I don't really have a desire to be a size 6 - I just want to be healthier sooner rather than later, ya know? And I'm really glad I did all of this research beforehand and I already have the general knowledge of eating healthy. I think the fact that I have this knowledge already will really help my progress after the surgery.

I know some people don't understand why I don't just do that stuff now - but what a lot of people who aren't in my situation (fat) don't understand is that I can diet all I want but I still have a huge probability to just gain it all back (especially if I get pregnant). I want this surgery to help me lose the weight and keep it off indefinitely AND when I do get pregnant it will definitely help me stay on track and not gain too much weight and help me get off any excess weight far better than I would ever be able to do on my own. The lap band will help me stay focused, on track, and motivated and that exactly what I need.

Until next time. <3

Friday, January 21, 2011

...and so it begins

Alright. This is the beginning and the background in as small of a nutshell that I can manage.

I've been a fat kid all my life. After high school, I lost 50 lbs and started to feel normal for the first time in my life. Once I felt normal, I started acting normal and starting dating a guy who was about to go into basic training for the army. When he came home we got serious, moved in together, and eventually got engaged. Gradually, over the span of about 2 years I gained about 100 lbs. I have maintained this weight, give or take 20 lbs since then. I guess you could say I fell off the wagon of healthy living.

I always joke and tease my husband about how he is the one that made me fat, but really, I know it's all my own doing. Only I have the willpower to stay on that wagon.

Well, long story short, I have decided to get a step stool for that wagon. This morning I went to my initial consultation for weight loss surgery. I have done a ridiculous amount of research (about 2 years worth) on the subject and have come to the conclusion that this will be a good tool for me to get back on my healthy living wagon and hopefully surpass my previous 'lowest weight' since being out of high school.

The procedure I have decided upon is adjustable gastric banding. Most people call it Lap Band. This will allow me to restrict my calorie intake and adjust the restriction as needed. It also means once I get to my goal weight and start trying to have a baby I can have as little or as much restriction as I need to keep the baby healthy without me gaining a ton of weight in the process.

This takes me to my other reason for gastric banding - babies. At my current weight, I do not have periods and therefore cannot conceive. I have looked into other means of testing my fertility, but losing weight first seemed like the most logical step. So, that is the step I am taking.

So, back to my appointment today, my hubby and I sat through an 'educational' meeting of sorts with a few other people. basically we were given on overview nutrition information, insurance information, and an explanation of the types of weight loss surgeries St. Vincent's Bariatric offers. Once we sat through that we got a one-on-one meeting with the surgeon and talked about my eligibility for the surgery.

Thankfully, and not surprisingly, he said I was an excellent candidate for gastric banding because I was motivated, and I was already well versed in what it takes to lose weight and now to eat healthy.

My next step will be getting a letter of recommendation from my primary care doctor and getting a psychological evaluation (which I have to pay for out of pocket...lame!). Once these things are obtained, they will send in a request to my insurance and once my insurance okay's the procedure, I can set my surgery date and pre-op appointment!

Hopefully, this process goes as fast as I made it sound.

So there you have it. This is the beginning of my journey, welcome aboard.