Friday, December 5, 2014

Surgery Clearance

For some reason I've been reluctant to post lately. I guess I've been trying to work out how much information/detail I wanted to give on a blog that's published on the Internet. In the end, I've decided that this is mainly for me anyway and there's no point in doing it if I'm not being totally honest, so I'm going to go for it.

I've attended a few appointments in the last few weeks, in the lead up to being cleared for surgery.
As part of the surgeon's requirements, I had to attend a seminar with a dietician, see a psychologist and see a physician.

I saw the psychologist first. She was great. I had to answer a whole bunch of questions about my weight and my history. It was a whole lot more emotional than I was expecting. I guess a lot of my weight issue is tied up with emotions. I know I eat when I'm emotional, but it can be any emotion, I can be happy, sad, bored, stressed or whatever, and I'll eat to feel better.
I've suffered from anxiety and depression in the past, and had a pretty bad relationship that did not help. She also offered to see me again in the future, if things are getting hard. I might just take her up on that.

The dietician's seminar was a great information source about the surgery and clearing up any misinformation we might have been given or read somewhere. I ended up buying a set of books from her with information that should be useful post-surgery. I'm even feeling better about having to do an Optifast (very low calorie shake/bar/dessert) diet for 3 weeks before surgery. I've tried the shakes before and I think they are awful, but 3 weeks is not the end of the world. I can do it.

The last one was the physician. I have suffered from sleep apnoea for the last 7 or so years, and use a CPAP machine to help keep my airways open while I sleep. When I initially went for a sleep study all those years ago, I was told I had severe sleep apnoea. This basically means that the number of times I stop breathing during an hour of sleep is enough to be considered severe. What I didn't know is that anything over 30 events per hour is classed as severe. Mine was 156!
I was able to take a machine home with me that logs data to make sure my settings on my CPAP are correct. Luckily they are all fine, so no extra tests needed. Yay!

I also had to go for an ultrasound of my heart as my physician detected a murmur. This was the thing that freaked me out the most, however it is all fine. They've decided that it is not due to any blockages, so I'm all good to go for my surgery.

Now I'm just waiting for the date I start Optifast to arrive (January 16) and my pre-surgery appointment with the surgeon (January 28) and I should be ready. 8 weeks and counting!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Journey Starts with a Single Step

It's ironic, isn't it? You spend years trying not to get pregnant, because 'the time isn't right', 'we haven't saved enough' or 'we should wait until after we're married'. Then when all those things are taken care of, you stop trying not to get pregnant and you start actively trying...and then nothing happens. Some people are lucky and it happens in a reasonable amount of time (like a friend of mine who fell pregnant their first month trying). For others, like me, it doesn't seem like it will ever happen...

We thought we'd wait a while before seeing a doctor - maybe we just needed more practice? Maybe my body is still getting used to being off the pill? Maybe we didn't try at the right times this month? So we waited to see the doctor. The next time I was in for something else I thought I would just bring it up. I still remember the look she gave me and the words she said "I think if you lost some weight it will just happen on it's own."

I hadn't thought my weight would be that much of an issue. Sure I was very overweight. More than very. At over 150kg, I was easily in the Morbidly Obese category in those charts you see. But I remember thinking "But I see very overweight mothers all the time". I hadn't considered that my weight might be stopping us from having the one thing we wanted so desperately - to have a family.

Over the next year or so, I tried pretty hard to diet and lose some weight. I would lose close to 5kg and then put it back on. It was an endless loop. Meanwhile, things at work were stressful and I was finding things all the time to distract me from our baby goal.

We went to a seminar for IVF and found out that I wouldn't even be treated because of my weight. A healthy weight is one of the first criteria to come up every time. I understand the reasons why, it just makes me sad to think about because up until this point, losing enough weight to be in the 'healthy range' just seemed unrealistic for someone that has been overweight all of their life.
According to Weight Watchers, my goal weight for my height is 47-52kg. If that's not a way to feel defeated right from the start, I don't know what is.

A couple of doctors along the way suggested gastric banding (also known as lap banding) and it honestly scared the crap out of me. The thought of being cut open, to put a device around my stomach to restrict my eating, is very scary.

It wasn't until around March, when P said that his doctor had given him a referral to see a surgeon to talk about a gastric sleeve operation, that I considered surgery again. When I found out in July that I was pre-diabetic, that's when I made a decision to go and see a surgeon myself.

I am now about 3 months away from lap band surgery. I got my surgery date the other day - February 6, 2015. It's scary and exciting but I'm hoping it will be the thing to turn our lives around and help us realise our dream of becoming parents. Actually, not just becoming parents, but being healthy, happy and energetic parents of a couple of rugrats. That would be unreal.

Anyway, although this blog is really just for me to get my thoughts out there, I hope I can maybe meet a few people and get to chatting with you. So feel free to leave me comments - just be gentle please! :-)