WOW…. what a day today has been. Upon completing all of the requirements of the six month supervised diet for weight loss surgery (VSG), I was scheduled to meet with the surgeon for the first time. Finding a time to fit this appointment into my schedule was tough; however, I knew if I wanted to have surgery within the timeframe that I had blocked off for work (mid-May to mid-June), then I had to have the appointment with the surgeon as soon as possible. It is at this appointment that my weight management clinic actually schedules you for surgery.
So, I had my appointment at the hospital at 10:00 a.m. today. I was so nervous! I didn’t know what to expect…. I have read some real horror stories about some people’s surgeons on the ObesityHelp.com message boards! I was also nervous about scheduling and worried that perhaps my surgeon would push me towards the RNY gastric bypass surgery instead since I have so much weight to lose. I had all kinds of thoughts going through my mind.
First, the surgeon was great. My surgery will be performed by Dr. Jon Gabrielsen at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. He was such a friendly guy and really took the time to answer any questions that I had. I must admit, my first reaction when I saw him was “Are you old enough to be a doctor??” LOL because he looks like he was in his early to mid-30’s; however, his profile online puts him at about 41 – old enough I guess! He was VERY impressed with my weight loss so far and as of this morning, I have lost 95 lbs since the start of the six month supervised diet on November 20th. It’s crazy to me to think that when I started this journey just over 5 months ago that I weight almost 100 lbs more than I do today. It really makes me excited for the future.
Dr. Gabrielsen said that I was an excellent candidate for the vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery. They’ve performed a little over 100 VSG surgeries at this hospital and he’s done over half of them. He really seems to know what he’s doing – based on the reviews I’ve read online and things I’ve heard about him. In the VSG surgeries performed at this hospital, nobody has had a leak and hopefully I’m not his first.
Then….. he asked me when I wanted to have surgery. I informed him that I blocked time on my calendar and was hoping that timeframe was doable and he was like “totally… sure! done! you’re scheduled!” I thought…. holy sh*^ that was easy! He let me pick a date and BOOM, it was done – just like that. I really didn’t anticipate that it would be that easy. I AM SCHEDULED FOR SURGERY ON MAY 13th!!! Whatttt?? That is LESS than 3 weeks away. I start the liquid diet on Monday, April 29th. This is insane!
I went through some tests before I left the hospital and on the long drive home, it started to hit me. The severity of what I’m about to do to myself really seemed to set in during the drive. I will admit that I spent most of the drive home crying. I can’t really put a finger on the exact emotions I was feeling. On one hand…. I’m nervous and excited for the possibilities for how life could improve after having the surgery. On the other hand…. I think about the girl I was 10 years ago (almost exactly) when I weighed 167-170 lbs and was considered a “normal” weight. I think about that girl and how much she loved playing high school sports and how over the past 10 years since graduating from high school, she managed to gain 270 lbs to reach an all time high of 444 lbs in November.
How did I get here? How could I have destroyed myself physically like this? How could I let this happen? In a way, I felt disgusted. I was very emotional and to be honest, even as I write this post…. I get emotional all over again. I’m sure I’m not the first person to feel this way… but I wasn’t expecting it to hit me out of the blue like this. Don’t get me wrong…. I’m excited, but at the same time I’m very very scared and nervous. I can’t help but have some doubts creeping in…. wondering if I could have done this without the help. I guess I’ll never really know. What I do know is that I think this is the best thing for me and that’s what I have to focus on from here on out.