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Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Change of Mind~ The Gastric Sleeve

 Oh how I love my weekends... I look forward to them like I once looked forward to my yearly vacation. Now I am too tired and too broke to take a yearly vacation. I usually take my vacation days one or two at a time throughout the year by adding a day here and there, and added to a  three day weekend to get that most cherished of all mini vacations : FOUR days off in a row!  You  folks who suffer from a chronic issue with either pain and/or fatigue understand how wonderful it is to know that you don't have to put on a bra and makeup for a few days!! Heaven Baby!  Point being, I love the weekend, but Sunday afternoon always rolls around and you start the dreaded prep work for the Grind. This week is going to be particularly busy for me for a number of reasons. We will be having training at work on new software for dispatching which I'm sure will be quiet stressful in its self. On top of that I have made a major change in my plans of the removal of my lap band. I initially planned to just have Gary removed on August 5th and opted not to have any further surgery, but I have had a change of mind. After much worrying and watching these pounds just continue to accumulate I have decided to have the gastric sleeve procedure. I fear that when the band is removed and I have absolutely no restriction on my food intake, I will go through another cycle of intense weight gain. I don't think my already fatigued body can carry anymore weight. I have gained about 40 pounds in 18 months. I cannot exercise much due to the POTS. I am trying to ride a recumbent bike 10 minutes a day to start my process of reconditioning. If you have the type of POTS I do (hyperandrenergic) , my heart rate goes from 60-70 bpm to  140+ bpm by simply standing. The doctor at Vanderbilt said absolutely no cardiac exercise to start with when you are in a "deconditioned" state. Love that description.You have to work slowly to increase your cardiac workout.  On Wednesday, I attend a half day class at the hospital about the procedure. Then the following week I go for all the consults with the NP, anesthesiologist and the nutritionist. So I am two weeks away from the surgery...conflicted still to some degree about the fact that I will lose a section of stomach and that it is not reversible. I have been online reading forum posts from patients who have had the sleeve. So many say "the best decision I have ever made" then you see the ones where everything that could go wrong has and the people are in a bad place. I know every surgery has risks and possible complications. I am trying to weigh the negatives of carrying these extra pounds and the health risks associated with them to the surgery/post surgery complications.  I know this for sure... I didn't think I could be more miserable than I was a couple years ago, but let me assure you I am 10X worse now than I was in January 2012 when this lap-band failed and the weight gain began. I am both physically and mentally flat-lined. I'm in a depressive funk that I battle each day to claw myself out of ...
So the decision has been made. I can't continue to endure the daily struggle to just walk across the parking lot or down the hall at work. I am responsible for my life, both the good and bad. I can't get to the point of deconditioning to where I can't take care of myself. It is my responsibility to make the mortgage, feed and cloth myself and take care of business daily. A gals got to do what she has to do, so in two weeks I once again take a radical step in this battle of the bulge. I have an excellent surgeon in Knoxville who has done over 700 gastric sleeve procedures. He is very highly recommended by other physicians and past patients so this relieves my anxieties to a certain degree. So I am trying to embrace this as another new beginning and get myself in the right frame of mind to relax and prepare for the big day.