So, here is my surgery story and a little update on how I am doing. Hope you enjoy! I have been getting some emails and messages lately from ladies that are in the process of getting the band, or even just thinking about it. It has really been inspiring. I think it so important that I use this blog to post my story and information about me and my band! You never know who is reading! ;)
For me to have lap band surgery was a long long long journey. It all started in late January of 2010. I had thought about having weight loss surgery for years, but always decided against it. I would always think, "I can get this weight off myself, I'll just join a gym or start taking diet pills again." Which, I would do just that, and in a year would realize that in fact I had not lost any weight since the year before. To be honest, I would have probably gained weight. In February 2010, I went to the seminar. I wanted to do this so bad, but I wasn't sure if I would have the courage to go through with it. I was also told, due to my insurance company, I would have to wait 7 months to even get a surgery date. I knew it was going to be hard, but I also knew it was something I had to do. I knew there was a lot I was going to have to overcome, spiritually and physically, and I was the only one that could do it. No one was going to be able to do this for me, except for God!!!
So flash forward to August 4, 2010. 2 days after my 28th birthday, and more importantly 2 days after my 7th and final monthly primary care doctor's appointment. I prayed that morning on the way to work. I pray just about every morning on my way to work. I love to drive somewhere by myself and get alone with God! I prayed that God would give me the perfect surgery date, when it was time. I prayed that it would be a perfect date for a perfect surgery. That morning I called my surgeon's office to find out what my next step was in this long and trying process. I told her that I had completed everything. 7 months of consecutive doctor's appointments, sleep study, blood work, and support group. The only thing I had left was a nutrition class, that couldn't be scheduled until I had a surgery date, insurance approval, and a date. When I was talking to her she asked me how fast I wanted to have surgery? I told her that I would like to have it soon. I explained my reasoning, being that I was extremely nervous about surgery I thought sooner would be better. She said "What about next Thursday, August 12, 2010?" I was in SHOCK!!!! I didn't know what to say! I panicked! It went something like this,"Oh, that soon? Will that be safe for my liver? I haven't been on any kind of pre-op diet yet? Oh, I don't know that is really soon? Are you sure that will be ok?" She finally just told me to think about it and call her back in an hour. I thought about it, remembered what I had prayed, called my family, and then returned her call. August 12, 2010 sounded perfect! I was immediately put on a liquid pre-op diet. Immediately, like had a protein shake for lunch that day. I was scheduled for my nutrition class on Wednesday before my surgery on Thursday. Everything went great at the nutrition class; I also did all my pre-op blood work and testing that day. The only thing that was unexpected was that when I went for my last appointment with my surgeon, the appointment where he answers all your last minute questions and tells you everything is going to be fine, yeah my surgeon wasn't there. He had had a death in the family and was unable to be at the office that day. I had to see his partner instead. They assured me that my surgeon would be doing my surgery on Thursday though. Everything went fine. It would have just been more reassuring if I could have meet with my surgeon the day before he was going to operate on me! I had to be at the hospital at 8:00 am on Thursday. I was so nervous!
Ant and my Mommie drove me to the hospital. I didn't talk much. I cried. I cried almost the whole way there. I cried because I was scared. I was scared about the surgery, about the recovery, and if this was the right decision. It is scary. This whole process is. It is unknown ground. I even thought about backing out, but I knew they wouldn't take me back home! I prayed. I listened to my favorite calming praise and worship songs. I cried. I got a phone call from my sweet Gran Gran, that was on her way to the hospital to meet us. She told me she had heard from God and he said "Rest in Jesus." That gave me peace. I could feel it in my spirit. I new if I could go through with it, everything would be fine. We made it to the hospital and they put me in a room a couple of minutes after we got there. Anthony was allowed to go back with me at first. Then they would allow the rest of my family to come sit with me. They gave me my first blood thinner shot, which I would be on 14 days after surgery and Ant would have to give them to me. I got in my gown and tried to relax. I had my Bible clutched to me! Psalms 91 is what I read over and over. Finally they let my family come in. This is who all came to my surgery. Ant (husband), Mommie, Mandy (sister), Meagan (sister), Gran Gran, Paw Paw, Aunt Judie, Nealey (sweet girl in our youth group), and Carolina (sweet girl in our youth group)! That room was packed! I was so nervous they gave me an Adivan for my nerves. I didn't think it every kicked in, but Ant says I was acting really goofy. He said I kept starring off into space and saying really random things. :) I kept on saying I wish they would give me something else, because this isn't working! I had to wait a long time before surgery. There was a lady in front of me that had some complications. She was having her gallbladder removed and a band installed. Her surgery most have taken longer than expected.
Finally it was time for me to go to surgery. I made it quit the dramatic scene. Mary style of course! When the were wheeling me back I was crying uncontrollably. All 9 of my support team was telling me bye, walking with me down the hall. Everyone was crying. :) Well, maybe not everyone, but it sounds dramatic. Once I got to where they prep you for surgery, I was even more nervous. They put my iv in, and then I just had to wait. I was crying pretty much the whole time. I had asked earlier in the day if I was going to get to speak with my surgeon before surgery. They told me no, that there wouldn't be time. Everyone must have felt sorry for me because I was crying so much! The next thing I know, I looked up and there was my sweet surgeon. He wiped away my tears. Put his hand on my shoulder. Looked me in the eyes, and said this "I am going to take care of you like you were my own daughter. Everything is going to be fine. This is the right decision." All I needed to hear. He stayed with me for a few minutes until I calmed down. He patted my shoulder the whole time. Is that not the sweetest man? The next thing I know They are telling me they are going to give me a happy shot and it is time for surgery. They gave me the shot. I didn't feel anything, at least I didn't think ;) I remember getting on the operating table, them strapping my arms down, putting the heart monitor pads on, tilting my head back, and putting an oxygen mask on me. They told me it was time and to think of a happy place. Boom. I was out.
I remember waking up in recovery. The first thing I said was "Praise God!, Do I have a band?" They assured me the surgery went fine, it had taken 40 mins. I kept going on and on about I just loved Dr. Miles. I even told the nurses he was my best friend! It didn't take long until I was out of recovery and back in my own room. Ant was the first one to get to see me. I kept on saying, "I did it!" "Me and God!" My whole family then came in to see me. Ant said the surgeon said everything went perfect. He said that this band was going to work perfectly for me! He put in a 11cc Realize band. I was up walking around in about 10 mins. I drank my fluids, went to the bathroom, and then I was out of there! I felt great! Really not hardly any pain!
The next couple days are a little blurry. I think the liquid loratab might have something to do with it! I was pretty much off the pain medicine by like the 4th or 5th day out of surgery. I had a little gas, mostly in my chest area and under my ribs. Not anything unbearable. I took gas x stripes for the gas. It seemed to help. I never really had any shoulder pain! Thank God! My should hurt for maybe like 30 mins one day! My incisions are little, I think. I have 4 punctures and 1 incision where the port is. They don't hurt, but the one where the port is is a little tender. I have had a little port pain, but nothing to bad. :) Over all everything is great!
Now for a little update. I am down 20 lbs. since August 4, 2010! I am so excited! I feel great! Today is my first day of mushies. I had 3 oz of egg beaters with a little melted cheese this am. I made 4 oz but couldn't eat it all. It is so weird. Having left overs is a strange feeling. I am so not used to it! Did I mention I feel good? I do! It is a different feeling. Something I really can't explain. A feeling of accomplishment. A feeling of excitement for what's to come. A feeling of security. You see a year ago, I could have gone on this same liquid diet for the same amount of time and lost the same amount of weight. I could have worked just as hard, had just as much will power, and accomplished the same feat. The problem would be that I would eventually gain the weight back. It would have been inevitable. The weight would have come back. Now I have security. When I got on that scale this morning, I now know two things that have never been present before. I weighed 290 lbs. I will never weigh 290 lbs again. I have lost 20 lbs. I will never gain that 20 lbs back again. I have security. What a great feeling!
Here is a pic of my incisions. This is when I still had the staples in, and a little swelling! I will have to get some updated pics!!!!