Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Moment of Truth and the First Step

In late July of 2012, I got on the scale at my monthly doctor's appointment and watched as the PA pushed the big slider to the 200 notch.  That was nothing - I'd been stuck on that notch for the better part of the last 10 years.  But then I watched as she slid the little slider up past 10...past 20...past 30...past 40...and came to rest on 49.

I'd gained back two-thirds of the 75 pounds I'd lost since 2010 (aside from the 25 pounds I'd lost and regained in 2012), and for the god-knows-how-many-th time,  the yo-yo was on its way up again.  It'd become my modus operandi for the last 30 years: lose, gain, lose, gain, lose, gain, lather, rinse, repeat.

When my doctor (here on in referred to as Dr. H) came in to the examining room he went through the usual motions, writing scrips and listening to my lungs, and then he said, "anything else?"

I took a deep breath and said, "yeah...as a matter of fact, I need to ask you something.  I'm gaining again.  What do you think about weight loss surgery?"

He cocked an eyebrow at me and I thought I was going to get the same speech my last doctor had given me, about how I should try Weight Watchers - again - and blah blah blah.  Instead, Dr. H let out a low whistle, clicked his tongue, and said, "I think it's a good idea and you'd benefit from it.  It's worth looking into, in my opinion."

Later that week I got up the nerve to make the call and found myself on the phone with Missy, a patient rep at Synergy Bariatrics.  She and I discussed the various available procedures, and I told her that while I had considered Lap-Band in the past, I was thinking that this time I might have to go whole-hog and do the Gastric Bypass.  She said, "what about the sleeve?"

I'd heard of "the sleeve" before, but as far as I knew it was still considered experimental and therefore not covered by most insurance.  Missy assured me that it had emerged from its previous experimental status and was now recognized as a common procedure.  She invited me to a support group for pre-and post-op patients, and told me she'd send out a registration packet the following day.

I had absolutely no idea what this "sleeve" business was about, so when I got home I started my research.  And this, dear readers, is where it all began...

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