My journey toward revising my botched sleeve to roux en y continues.
Yesterday, I had 3 appointments, just another hurdle to get me to surgery day. My first appointment was with the dietician, I was ok with her, Jeff wasn’t a fan. He didn’t think she was the sharpest knife in the drawer. When I asked her for specifics, like “how many grams of carbs should I stay under?” Her continued response was, “You will focus on protein and liquids first and if there’s enough room left over afterward a couple of bites of carbs” When I pushed for a number, she finally said to stay under 100g a day…..ONE HUNDRED!!! This is an insane number in my mind as I know from what I’ve learned on Facebook, most rnyers stay under 30. Of course, I’ll have to see how I respond to food after surgery, but when and if I ever start eating carbs again, I’ll be staying under 30 atleast!! Other than this little hang up, I felt like she gave me adequate handouts to get me started for this process. So my 2 biggest goals immediately following surgery is to get 70g of protein and 64oz of liquid. Of course, TODAY, I can’t even fathom NOT being able to achieve this, but they are the experts so I’ll listen to them and follow their plan to success. The other thing that absolutely blew my mind is that my surgeon doesn’t require ANY pre-op diet. This is NUTS to me!!! I was on a 10 day liquid diet pre op for the sleeve and lost 18lbs on that puppy. I’ve been REALLY tempted to just do a pre-op diet, but then I felt like the Lord really convicted me about this…..
You see, since my sleeve surgeon was HORRIBLE and her program was HORRIBLE, post op I basically had to educate myself on what to eat, how to eat etc. Since I had no real guidance with her program I had to take matters into my own hands and figure it out for myself. Looking back now, I realize I essentially dieted my weight loss off since the appropriate amount of my stomach was never removed in 2014, anyway we’ll get there in a second.
The last couple of days as I’ve been praying about this process and when I was deciding between the Roux or the DS, I felt like God was telling me to “take my hands off” this whole process and trust my surgeon, trust his program….TRUST
Can you imagine how TERRIFYING this is for me? I thought I trusted my Missouri surgeon and look where that got me?
But this time it’s different, as soon as I made the decision to trust my surgeon and go with what he recommended surgery-wise (rny) this peace has flooded over me and I can’t really explain it, but suddenly I don’t feel panicked like I was feeling when I was leaning toward the DS, will I always question whether I should have done the DS? Probably because that’s just my personality type, and I’m sure I’ll question it a ton immediately post op when life is miserable, BUT something the dietician said to me, “I’ve worked with Dr. Schumacher for 9 years and I’ve never come across a patient that I questioned the surgery he suggested, he has a knack for pinpointing the type of surgery a person will be most successful at. So this just once again confirmed my decision to trust God, trust the people He’s brought onto my path at this moment in time to reveal to me what I’ve known for 2 years, that my sleeve just wasn’t quite right!!
After meeting with the dietician, I met with a guy who has a bachelor’s in exercise physiology, sidenote: this degree would soooooo fit my personality type, oh my goodness, but that’s a blog post for another day. He was pretty blown away with what I’m already doing, the fact that I don’t have any mobility issues and that I’m already lifting weights. He basically said to continue lifting weights as soon as Dr. Schumacher gives me the “all clear”, he thought about 4 weeks post op
BUT he said I am going to have to be less intense with my cardio, which Cindy if you are reading this, I thought you’d get a kick out of!!
The goal he gave me immediately post op is to walk, not on an incline of course, for 30 mins a day. It doesn’t have to be brisk. I asked him about starvation mode and exercise plus a massive caloric deficit, he said that there could be some validity to the argument and that if I notice a stall in weight loss to drink more protein and more fluids….this I can do! Or atleast I think I can do….haha
Then after exercise guy, I met with the psychologist for the pysch eval. This was the one appointment I was dreading the most. You see for the sleeve surgery, I saw a psychiatrist and she was AWFUL, as awful as my surgeon. It seemed to me she was trying to scare me out of having surgery. When she found out about my brain health history (brain tumor, stroke etc) She said to me, “do you really think with all the brain trauma you’ve endured that your brain will allow your body to lose weight?” I pulled some bologna out of my back pocket and moved on, BUT that comment has stuck with me for TWO YEARS!!!!! And throughout this process when I stopped losing weight or hit a stall you better believe those words would haunt me. Haunt me to the point that before committing to have another surgery I talked extensively to my neurologist about this. His opinion? It is complete crap!! He has never heard of such a thing. I also asked Dr. Schumacher and he concurred with my neurologist, BUT the true test in my mind was asking this psychologist his opinion and I told myself if he agreed with the psychiatrist AT ALL that I would possibly rethink having surgery, of course I didn’t tell anyone this fact. When I told him what the psychiatrist said and that my neurologist thought it was crap, he said, “I have to agree with your neurologist!” Whew I thought.
He said, “now do I think that we develop habits that sometimes we don’t think about and our brain doesn’t kick in and this possibly causes weight gain? “Yes”
The example he used was a patient of his who had WLS and hit a nasty stall. When he started probing about what she was eating, she responded, “I can’t figure out why but I always find myself snacking in the evening when I watch TV” When he asked some more questions, he figured out that she was doing “what she’s always done” pre op and that was to sit in front of the TV eating after a long stressful day at work. This is what we call mindless behavior in the social work world. This lady was completely oblivious to how she was sabotaging herself. Was the brain causing her to gain weight? No, not really, but she turned her brain off and just went with the norm of what she knew before surgery. This was such a light bulb moment for me. Because yes while I’ve had traumatic brain injuries, at the end of the day, it’s still my choice to be plugged into what I’m putting into my body and when.
Part of this evaluation was to ask me questions, like “are my parents married”, “do I have any mental disorders in my family?” then he got more into my journey since the sleeve surgery, wanting to know how and what I ate when….did I eat when I was bored, tired, stressed, sad, depressed, those sorts of things. I was gut honest with him. I told him that I feel like my 2 biggest emotions that affect when I eat is when I’m tired and stressed. He wrote that down. Then he asked me what the lowest weight I hit after the sleeve, I said in May 2015 I was 206 and today I’m 242. He asked me what I thought caused my weight gain?
I said I didn’t really know, other than I was just really bored with how I was eating and what I was eating so when we moved from Texas to Ohio and we’d stop at fast food places. I would just eat with the family. Granted I wasn’t eating Big Macs and fries, but I definitely wasn’t being strict with myself either. It was a devastating time in my life, I told him, my husband lost a job he’s been working toward for 6 years of school, we thought we would settle and raise our family in Texas, but now find ourselves in Ohio and I’m just burned out on the same old gym routine. I told him I guess I’ve lost my motivation, but not my motivation to be healthy. I was fully expecting that this honesty would exclude me from surgery, but what he said next kinda floored me…
He said, “It sounds to be like you’ve essentially dieted your way down to a 70lbs weight loss and like every diet at some point the person hits the wall and veers off the path” OH MY GOODNESS…….I had NEVER thought of it like that before….EVER, but you know what he’s right. Looking back now, I did diet to lose weight after my sleeve surgery. Sure it wasn’t the fad diets like a all juice diet or Atkins, but it was still a structured way to eat with no room for forgiveness. It was how I had learned to lose weight and deal with my body. This just really struck me hard. I asked him if he thought coming out of this background I would be successful with bypass? He said, “I find that people like you who are very type A, like to follow rules so I have no doubt that you will be successful at following our program’s rules” Then I said, “So do you have any red flags with me moving forward to have this bypass?” He said, “NO!!!” Again, I was floored at this revelation as I was sure that between my type A personality and my weight regain, he’d say NO, but he’s not saying NO
So the road to the bypass moves forward and I still have a lot of peace about it.
Sure I still have fears; like will I really feel restriction?
But I continue to move forward….. After meeting with Dr. Schumacher’s team, I know that my life is about to drastically change, for the better and I’m excited about that!
I’m not sure all the As and Bs of it yet, but what I do know is that as I move forward in this process, I’m discovering things about myself I never knew existed. The first if bravery, something I knew thought about myself, but am seeing that I actually am a brave girl.
Another hurdle has been crossed and next week I have appointments on Tuesday and Thursday as surgery day draws closer. Please pray for me as I move forward, that God would protect me and stop anything that is not for my good.