**this is going to be a raw post so if you can’t hear my heart then you might not want to continue reading**
As my EGD draws closer I’m making myself a little crazy, I didn’t even realize how crazy until my husband, who had been gone all week, got home and said, “Angie your brain is wound so tight around this that I don’t know how you don’t just burst into flames?” Of course, I didn’t want to hear it initially because I thought I was doing the right thing, ya know, overthinking….
What am I talking about?
To have a revision surgery and which kind to have?..
WOW I had no idea how much this journey would have me questioning EVERYTHING!!!!
I feel like I completely screwed up choosing the sleeve to begin with. I feel like I rushed forward with a surgeon I didn’t really like, in fact, my gut told me she was a pompous jerk, but she was my chance if I wanted surgery so I went with her, pushing down any nagging intuition that I had. Now 2 ½ years later I’m paying the price with acid reflux, regain, and never feeling like my sleeve was done correctly to begin with. Honestly the acid reflux coupled with this ongoing knowing something isn’t right being what prompted my call to Kettering Bariatrics and what led to my appointment with Dr. David Schumacher.
Honestly, I don’t totally remember how I found him. I think I did a google search of “bariatric surgeons in Ohio who perform the DS” I think, but I don’t totally remember……
You see, I’ve ALWAYS said that IF I ever revised my sleeve it would be to the DS NOT to the bypass. The bypass has ALWAYS scared the crap out of me for some unknown reason and I don’t know why, it could be one of these following reasons:
- My mom planting fear in my brain about it
- I’ve always heard you can’t take NSAIDS with bypass
So I honestly just never thought I would fully explore the bypass option, never mind the fact that I don’t understand the anatomy of it at all, or didn’t.
So fast forward to my appointment with Dr. Schumacher. Night and day difference to my first experience with my sleeve surgeon and even the bariatric surgeon I eventually switched to in St. Louis. I don’t know there is something to be said about Midwest doctors, they just seem to have their crap together.
I inadvertently met Dr. Schumacher in the hallway as I was lost looking for his office, I crossed paths with him, we said a cordial hello as I was trying to find his office. My first impression was I thought he was short (physically) and handsome, so I kind of chuckled to myself when he came into the exam room for the first time and I realized he would be my surgeon. He spent a good hour with me going over my history and the questions I wanted asked. My husband was the one rushing me verses feeling rushed by the doctor. The only thing that I didn’t like was the fact that he hadn’t read my sleeve pre-op report. My overall impression of him was that he is confident, educated and a bit arrogant, which I don’t find offensive. I want a surgeon who is a bit arrogant, to me that means he knows what he’s doing and can handle a situation should it arise. His impression of what I told him is that my sleeve was probably done to big based on what I can eat. He was shocked that at my starting weight of 297, I never got under 200 pounds and that in 2 years I had only lost 60 pounds with my sleeve. Honestly when he put it like that, I was even more angry about my sleeve experience!! I certainly hadn’t decided to have my guts chopped up for 60 pounds, this was NEVER my goal, but again it came back to my irresponsibility in choosing a surgeon that I wasn’t 100% confident in.
Dr. Schumacher said he would like to get an EGD and based on the fact that I was sitting in his office complaining of reflux he said that the roux en y would be the best revision surgery needed to “fix” that issue, but that I could work with his nutrition/exercise people and opt to NOT have surgery, but before ANY decision could be made he needs to see what’s going on inside of my stomach. I thought this was fair and if you know me you now my personality is to jump so I said, “no let’s get the EGD and move forward with the Roux” BECAUSE upon talking to him it just sounded “right”. It could potentially solve my reflux (this is all again based on my EGD), get me off BP medications due to how the anatomy is arranged and then the metabolism and hormones begin to operate differently AND get me not only under 200 pounds, but close to 165. It all sounded excellent to me, so yes I was excited and said “let’s do it!!!” That’s how I left the office. I asked Jeff how he felt about Dr. Schumacher, did he have ANY reservations about him like we did about Dr. Hawver (sleeve surgeon), he said NO and that’s how I felt as well. I didn’t have a gut feeling like I did with Dr. Hawver. My consult with Dr. Schumacher was on February 29 and you can imagine it’s now March 20 and I have been making myself NUTS with researching EVERY possible angle of roux en y and realizing that DS is really what I want to have IF it would help with my reflux, but here’s the thing and where it gets tricky.
- I briefly spoke to Dr. Schumacher about the DS and while he does perform it, he doesn’t recommend it saying it’s socially awkward because you have horrible smelling flatulence that you can’t control, which makes going out in public difficult, but he said if that’s what I wanted he’d do it, but he kind of talked me out of it, so the conversation ended on that note.
- On Facebook I’m in a DS group and according to them there’s only a handful of DS surgeons in the U.S. and there is a list of “vetted” surgeons well Dr. Schumacher is NOT on this list and I don’t really understand why not. According to my one sleeve to DS Facebook friend (whom I don’t know personally keep in mind) it’s because he’s not vetted and not known among this small clique of DS surgeons, so then this plays with my mind and poses all these questions like “should I use him even though he’s not on this “holy” list of vetted surgeons? Would the DS even work to fix my reflux? Would weight loss fix my reflux, if so then the DS could work, right? What if I picked the wrong surgeon again? Should I just travel to another state where there is a vetted surgeon, but how would we afford that? ARGH, see I’m going slightly nuts.
Then it dawned on me, the real root of what’s going on here in my life is this…..I don’t trust God….
I don’t, there I said it! Everyone that I say this to, except my friend DeLisa because she just loves me and listens to me and offers Godly wisdom, is usually pretty flabbergasted by this statement, “ANGIE HOW can you say this after EVERYTHING you’ve been through?” I know, He’s brought me through so much in my short life and I am not saying I’m not grateful at all, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that in these moments where the rubber meets the road BEFORE the crisis hits, it’s in these moments I doubt, I question, “do I hear you God?” “Are you speaking to me? Why aren’t you talking to me?” Then it hit me again that at the beginning of this process, I said two things
- I will pray that IF God wants to close the door at any point I will trust He will, I will not push forward, I will not manipulate with my words to get my way (because as my mother-in-law has said I’m a good interviewer, see I’ve said all along that if God doesn’t want me to move forward with the bypass I’ll fail the pysch evaluation to which my MIL said, “Angie you are the best interviewer I know”, see I don’t want to be the best interviewer she knows, I do plan to be HONEST with the psychiatrist and if that means the surgery is halted so be it.
- I will ONLY pursue revision surgery with a surgeon that I trust….period and upon leaving Dr. Schumacher’s office I cancelled a second bariatric consult because I felt so strongly that I liked Dr. Schumacher, but here I am almost a month later digging into him on the internet and Facebook and out of ALL the reviews I’ve only found ONE dissatisfied customer….ONE and he’s been doing bariatric surgery since the early 90s, can I live with that? Yes I think so. As another Facebook friend said to me, “if you look hard enough you will find all sorts of stuff” do I want to look hard enough? The reality is we don’t live in a perfect world. Dr. Schumacher isn’t a perfect surgeon, but is he the right surgeon for me? Upon leaving my consult, I fully and wholeheartedly believed yes and I don’t want to lose that confidence. I have to trust God at some point that He’ll give me a prick in my knowing place when things aren’t right, now I just have to listen. So far so good.
So my plan is to STOP looking up all things DS and Gastric Bypass related because NOTHING can be decided until I have the results from Thursday’s EGD, once that happens THEN a decision can be made. I don’t know why Dr. Schumacher isn’t considered a “vetted” DS surgeon, but you better believe I’m going to ask him along with a slew of other questions and in the meantime, I desperately need to spend some time alone with God reading His Word and journaling my thoughts because I can tell you this is NOT worth the stress I’ve put myself under, God HAS been too good to me to live under fear and condemnation