Thursday, February 23, 2017

Is Bariatric Surgery Right for YOU?

Anyone that has been through the process of preparing for Bariatric surgery knows how long and drawn out it and be.  They also know how many hoops your insurance company will make you jump through before they actually allow you to have the surgery.  For those of you that have really great insurance and didn't have to jump through hoops, I commend your employer for caring enough about you to give you such a benefit, even if you have to pay for it one way or the other.  The rest of us though, have to deal with the bureaucracy of Health Insurance that include co-pays and coinsurance costs.

From my first appointment with my surgeon to the day that I was operated on, was about 6 months and multiple different doctors appointments and procedures.  I expected this though, I was fully prepared for what I was up against.  I also had to cancel my surgery one time because I was fighting with one of my doctors (i'll go into that another time). I had to be cleared by several doctors for the surgery including, a sleep and pulmonary doctor, I also had to have a sleep test, a cardiologist, I had to have a stress test and echocardiogram, a gastroenterologist, I had to have a endoscopy, and a Psychologist, they had me take some test that the insurance company would not pay for, so it was an out of pocket expense along with an hour session.

The one doctor that I feel is probably the most important doctor to be cleared by but yet only one session was required was the Psychologist.

I believe that when you are at the point with your weight that it is effecting everything about you, moving, your health, your brain, your thoughts, your daily activities, and you have made the decision that this procedure is what you need to do, you really need to understand that it is a life altering decision, once you do this, you can not change your mind and have it undone at any time.  It also will affect you in one way or another for the rest of your life.

Another thing I believe is that if you have less than 100lbs to lose, you should probably try something else first.  You may have to go extreme, but do try other methods to lose weight first.  Unless you have an underlying cause for not being able to lose weight, this should be a last resort.

When I first started thinking about having this procedure done, I did check out some support groups, online only because, I just don't have enough hours in the day to go to in person meetings.  But I was able to get enough information to make me realise that there was really no support there.  Mostly it was people who were either whiney little brats or acted like they knew everything there was to know about bariatrics.  There were very very few people that actually could add some insightful ideas and advice but they were so far and few in between, it just really wasn't worth the effort.  I can not stress this enough, and I usually say it at least once for every Bariatric post that I make, nothing takes the place of the advice and counseling you get from your surgeon and their staff.  If you have questions ASK them first!

Whatever your reasons for having this surgery, are not really enough of a reason for actually having the surgery.  You should always weigh the pros to the cons. Of course there are many Pros for going ahead with a surgery like this, not just the weight loss but also the health benefits are wonderful and uplifting.  But there are also the cons, and there are a few.

The possibility of complications if you don't follow your surgeon's directions, is very possible.  You can have a leak which will require another surgery, or twisted stomach, which will also require another surgery.

There are also the limits that you will have to deal with for the rest of your life.  I am over 2 years out and I still can not eat more than 8 ounces at any 1 sitting.
Not like I try to eat more, because I don't.  I actually have held onto many of the good habits I picked up while i was still in the weight loss stage.  There is also the point that, when you eat too much, you will get sick to your stomach and may even throw up, even YEARS after the operation.  I do not do this often at all, but I will be honest, sometimes, it just happens.

And Alcohol?  Hah, Yes I drink once in awhile still but I metabolize it very differently now.  One drink and sometimes I am blasted.  You have to remember, because of your tiny stomach now, alcohol goes right to your intestine and absorbs into your bloodstream super quick!

There are also things that I just can not eat anymore.  Things that I used to really love to eat.  Some of it just makes me out right sick to my stomach, other things are just too heavy and make me very uncomfortable.  There are just a lot of things that I do not think people think about when offered this way to lose weight.

I think when the idea of this surgery comes into play, everyone that considers it should think about the ramifications of what this will do to them and how it will, most definitely affect the rest of your life because it, no doubt, will affect you.

For me, it gave me a new lease on life.  I am pretty much off all of the medications that I was once on.  The type II Diabetes that I was never able to control is under control now and without any medications.  I can play ball with my dogs, garden, run up and down stairs, walk over 6 miles in one shot and not be out of breath.  I am not crying about what I can't eat anymore or what I used to eat because life has become so much more than food.

Bariatric Surgery was the right decision for me...