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Pre-Operative Consult – Gastric Bypass Surgery

I had my pre-opt consultation with the surgeon today. My surgeons name is Dr. Cagle with Southwest Medical Group Surgical Specialists in Vancouver, WA. Dr. Cagle spent a good deal of time with us discussing the surgery, going over the risks, and basically making sure that Jason and I both understood the procedure and making sure that we didn’t have any questions.

Most of what she discussed I remembered from the Seminar that she had given that I attended back in June, I didn’t expect to get a tentative surgery date today, but I did, they gave me a tentative date of October 19th, so long as the insurance pre-authorization goes through and told me that they would call me and let me know when that happened.

The one thing Dr. Cagle did tell me that was a bit disappointing was that she was pretty sure that I would have issues with excess skin. I was hoping somewhere deep down inside that I was still young enough that something like that wouldn’t be a huge problem, but apparently I was fooling myself there, I’m not sure how I feel about that right now, I mean, the reality is, that I have a life full of people that love me for me, regardless of my weight, and that’s a wonderful feeling. The big motivator for me in starting this journey wasn’t just about what I look like, it was about what I feel like, it was about wanting to be healthy, it was about wanting to improve the quality and duration of my life.

The excess skin thing scares me, that’s no lie, it makes me wonder if I’m not trading one ugly thing for the next, and I can’t help but thing that while I will come of this healthier in the end, that my body will look like it thirty or forty years ahead of me with all the sagging loose and wrinkly skin. One thing at a time I suppose, but I think the worst is ahead of me, they told me that I need to start the all milk diet four weeks before surgery.

What’s the all milk diet you ask? Well, it’s just what it sounds like, an all milk diet, you get no food, and nothing to drink other than milk and low/non caloric beverages like Crystal Light, Water, Propel, Herbal Tea, Decaffeinated Coffee & Tea and stuff like Vitamin Water Zero and Sobee Lifewater. Something tells me this is going to be the most miserable month of my life, I’m not looking forward to it, in fact, I’m terrified that this is the part of this journey I won’t be able to accomplish and won’t be able to stay in compliance with.

For the first time since I started this, I’m scared, really scared.

My Weight Loss Surgery Cordinator

The one person that I just really have to mention here though is my weight loss surgery coordinator Cathy Gier. This woman has been quintessential to my journey so far. I have to laugh, and I hope Cathy does too, because gosh, when I first started this we sure didn’t get off on the right foot. Looking back now I find the whole thing sort of funny really.

When I first called Cathy to get started in the program, I had quit smoking for two months and I wanted to get the ball rolling as quickly as I could so that hopefully I could get ready for surgery by the time my six months of not smoking had arrived. Of course I’d done this before, hell I’d been to two seminars already, though they were years apart and years ago, but really, I didn’t want to have to do that part again and when Cathy told me that I had to, I was very argumentative and negative with her. I’m sure I was a tart and I’m sure Cathy was rolling her eyes at me thinking I was going to be a pain in the butt to deal with, I wonder if she thought I’d be one of those people that doesn’t even show up for the seminar and just gives up, or that only gets that far and never peruses it after that. I have no idea what her first impression of me was but I doubt it was very good.

I first met Cathy at the seminar I attended and I rushed home that night, filled out my paperwork and faxed it to her. We had a few hang ups in the beginning, there was some issues with the insurances since Jason was laid off at the time and we were paying cobra payments they were not reporting that we had coverage yet because they were a bit slow on processing the check, luckily that would be over when our regular insurance kicked back in at the beginning of July. I had to wait a couple of weeks for the insurance to catch up and of course I wasn’t happy about the delay and I let Cathy know it, again, I was probably such a tart.

But once we got past the insurance stuff and my confusion with what Cathy meant when she told me that the surgery would bill out at anywhere between thirty and sixty thousand dollars, well, I started to settle down and realize that Cathy was an essential part of my progress and was there to help me in any way she could. I think that’s when I stopped being a grumpy little twit and just started talking to her a bit. From there on Cathy was there for me every step of the way, finding answers to problems I had when I started experiencing low blood sugars after I would exercise, and when I started having horrible cramps in my calves when I was doing my time on the treadmill an there to laugh with me when I figured out the cramping wasn’t caused by anything medical but by me wearing compression socks! LOL!

She was there to help me work with the Sleep Study center and advise me on what course I should take when that whole sleep study thing wasn’t going quite as planned and even though I may not have always liked what I heard, Cathy always gave it to me straight and was kind enough to apologize and be sympathetic when I didn’t like the answer.

Cathy has been amazing, and really, I doubt I would have gotten very far without her; she’s been there the whole way to share stories with me and to listen to my stories, to laugh with me, and to encourage me.

So let me just take a small moment to say thank you Cathy, for everything!

The surgeon’s office just called as I was writing this post and set me up with a pre-op consultation for Monday! Woot! Now we’re rolling! I’m so excited!

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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