Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gastric Bypass Adventures 3

Gastric Bypass vs. Lap Band

EWWWW...Fat Me and My Momma!
Hello again folks! Well this topic happens to be on my mind a lot these posts are coming faster than I originally has turned into every other day! However, I suppose that this is a good thing for those of you impatient souls, that don't like things drawn out like they do on those silly reality shows!

One of my first hurtles had been met. I decided to quit smoking! And I accomplished that with no problems other than internal worry.

My second hurtle was abiding by the pre-surgery diet. Basically quit eating...simple enough for a fat chick! YEAH RIGHT!!!! I was to drink a protein shake (made with water!) for breakfast, lunch and dinner and for lunch I could have (oh JOY JOY!) a side salad with spray dressing and a small serving of lean meat. Oh and I had to leave off all the really good salad things like grated cheese, know all that stuff that makes salad taste good! UGH!

Needless to say, I didn't do to well on this diet! It was the protein that killed me the most! I made the mistake of getting lemonade flavored! Can I just say YUCK!!! OK folks, my doctor's office has what is called a Resource Center, they have all kinds of protein powders, vitamins, samples....basically all the supplements that you need before and after surgery! When the lady at the counter recommends you get a certain type of protein...listen to her...she knows what she is talking about! She suggested chocolate or vanilla....those happen to be my that I have learned how to drink the stuff without gagging! It took me a year and a half to find a combination that didn't just make me want to throw up after each swallow! I promise to share my recipes before this series is over!

Oh and did I mention that part of this diet was not drinking anything but water??? Oh yeah that was part of the plan too! I could have as much water as I could drink and the only flavoring that I could put in was those Crystal Light things! No coffee, tea, SODAS, milk, juice...nothing but water! (A plan to break you of all caffine if I ever saw one!)

I finally figured out that this diet had a dual purpose!

Firstly it was to prep your body for surgery. You see when you go on such and extreme diet you do lose weight (I lost 11 pounds in 3 days), but more importantly you lose weight internally. Which it so happens helps your surgeon when he is working on you. So no matter how bad it is...your gonna want to do this diet or whatever diet your doctor puts you on...because in the long run it helps you and him both!

And I am pretty sure the other reason is that it gives you a preview of what your eating style is going to be in the future! Sad but true!

Now my third task from my first office visit was fairly straight forward. I had to choose between lap band and gastric bypass. Now Dr. Warnock explained both procedures to me by drawing on the paper that they use to cover the examination table. I wasn't sitting on it at the time....I was tearfully holding Tool Man's hand for support and trying to internalize all this new information I was being bombarded with.

OK...from what I can remember your stomach is set up pretty simply. Food goes into you mouth, travels down you esophagus, into your stomach, exits your stomach into your intestines, and then travels onward.

The lap-band procedure literately puts a band around the upper part of your stomach that restricts the amount of food that can go into your stomach. There are silicone sacks around that band that are adjusted as needed through a port in your side.

Okay this didn't appeal to me on so many levels.

1. The whole adjusting thing sound like to much temptation to me...."well the holidays are coming up and I have all these parties...and I enjoy eating." Kinda defeats the whole purpose...I am not that strong willed!

2. The foreign object in my body....I could just see some kind of allergic reaction to all that hardware...then I met a woman that had lap band surgery done previously and was in the office to have gastric bypass done, she had gained back about 80 pounds and her stomach had grown up around the band! Can I just say YUCK, again??

3. Your weight loss is about half as fast with lap band. Now that seems like a really silly reason...I know it is safer to lose weight slowly...however I need my weight off and I needed it off last year...not 2 or 3 years down the road.

Now Gastric Bypass is a little more complected and involved. They actually go in and make you a pouch out of your own stomach (about the size of an egg) and connect that pouch to your small intestines at a certain spot. You see your intestines have certain areas that absorb food/nutrients differently. The very first part of the intestines right below your stomach absorb all the bad stuff you ingest, sugar, fats, now you go on a little further and the intestines get a little only absorbs the good stuff and it rejects the bad...sometimes in a violent manner. This picky area is where they attach your new stomach pouch! My doctor also highly recommended removing my gall bladder while he was in there....said it was totally unnecessary and would save problems in the future!

OK...I wanted my weight loss to be permanent. I didn't want to go back to being unhealthy and fat. I wanted to avoid diabetes if I could. The thing I found out through my own research is that patients that have gastric bypass, rarely have a problem with diabetes. They are finding out that alot of people's problem with diabetes is coming from what is being absorbed in that very first part of the intestines....and when you have had gastric bypass...that problem is resolved! Also many people who have this surgery that have previously suffered from things like diabetes, high blood pressure and a variety of other illnesses no longer have to take their medication just DAYS after surgery!

Do you see how appealing this is sounding to a person that has the possibility of suffering from one if not all of these maladies? I was already having problems breathing, suffered from sleep apnea and arthritis....I could see myself going downhill fast! I couldn't control how I ate so I felt I needed a governor switch on my stomach! (hey I really like that analogy!)

Now this is a big decision. My doctor had already recommend gastric bypass, and that is the way I and my Tool Man were leaning....but my Daddy had other ideas. Now you will find out quickly that my parents love me and are very protective of me and they were very worried for me! Not only for the current state of my health but the extremes that I was willing to go to rectify the situation with my body. What parent wants to watch their child go under a surgeon knife voluntarily??? I know mine didn't but on the other hand they understood mine and Tool Man's decision. My Daddy's opinion was that I needed to have the less invasive lap-band. Part of his reasoning was that it was fully reversable...and that if this was doing me more harm than good then I could just have all that paraphenial removed. As much as I love and admire my Daddy I had to disagree...and in the mean time I did a little more research, made a couple of phone calls and found out that the gastric bypass is also fully reversible! They don't remove your is just dormant in your body, so you can change your mind and have things reversed if you want to....but seriously...who would want to????

Now before my next appointment I had made the decision that gastric bypass was the way for me to I just had to wait to hear from the insurance company.....I don't like waiting.....Patience is a Virture!

Until next time....
God Bless,
Mama D

Ok Folk...this here is my disclaimer... all research, thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone. DO NOT take my word as fact! This is intended as a shared learning experience. I just want those who I know and love to understand why I have done this surgery. And I pray that my story helps someone in some way in the future, weather I know that person or not. God Bless, Mama D

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