Sunday, November 11, 2012

Welcome to My World

Hello everyone! I hope I find you faring well today. Today is the day I decided to start documenting my journey. I will try to figure out how to set up an official About Me page with all the nitty gritty details about myself, but in a nutshell here goes..

My name is Sara and I'm 27 years old. As of June 27, 2012 I am now a weight loss surgery (WLS) post op patient. I opted to have a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) after struggling with obesity for just about my entire life. I started "chunking out" when I was roughly 8 or 9 years old and just slowly progressed more and more into being over weight. Food has been a huge part of my family and it was only natural because of that for it to become a huge part of my life, too. The males in my father's side of the family have been of the Chef variety so good food and unhealthy treats were always available, particularly for Holidays. My grandmother on my mother's side was always a wiz in the kitchen when it came to making delicious treats. I don't blame any of my family for my struggles with weight. I am a firm believer that once you reach a certain age (12, 13 or so..) that you are well enough educated (generally speaking) to know good food from bad food.

So I've been lucky so far to have not developed any health problems such as diabetes, but I have had what they call "borderline" high blood pressure that they never felt was bad enough to treat with medicine. So as you can imagine, I had tried loads of different diets such as Weight Watchers, South Beach, soup diets, blah blah. The last one I tried was something called Roca Labs that was actually quite a nice success. I lost just almost 20 pounds in a 3 month period. Basically what it is is a formula consisting of fiber in which this thickens after you swallow a certain amount and "feed" it liquids throughout the day and "expel" it at night. Basically it was filling up a good portion of your stomach so that when you eat you feel fuller faster. This was not your typical dietary supplement. Actually, it isn't a supplement at all. It just fills up your stomach so that when you eat you feel full faster because literally, you are full of that stuff.

So it only made me want to have something like that more permanently. A boyfriend I was dating at the time and I had done some research about something that would help me for a more long term period. My sister had Gastric Bypass (RNY) roughly 4 years ago now so weight loss surgery has always been something I wanted desperately as a tool. I could see how it worked for her and longed to be able to have an opportunity for a tool like that. We (my boyfriend and I) looked into the surgery but since I do not have insurance it was just too costly out of pocket and I refused to go out of the country for the surgery. Apparently you can go out of state to a few different offering countries that have these surgeries for a cheaper price. I did not want to take any additional risks for my own personal life. I know a few people who have done VSG and other surgeries out of country and have done just fine but I've heard of a lot of complications and possible complications that have/can come of it.

 Anyway back on topic.. So we found that there was actually a bariatric surgeon in my very own hometown of Fort Myers, Florida. He does the surgeries in Naples, Florida but has a consult office in Fort Myers and also offers support groups there, as well. So we looked to see what they had to offer on their website and we found out about medical financing. It has not occurred to really request financing for medical specifically but it had been on our mind the possibility to finance it some other way, like a small loan or something. So we consulted the surgeon's office about it and they instructed us on what we could do to finance it (what companies they accept, etc) and after lots of paperwork and notaries and overnight shipping of documents, etc we were accepted for $15,000 out of $18,000. Then we had to have $3,000 down payment that we get back after we finish paying off the loan. So I thought I was out of luck but my boyfriend surprised me by paying the extra $5,000. So I had my surgery 2 weeks later! It went by soooo fast. By this time I had gained my weight back that I had lost earlier in the year. I was 353 by the time I was doing my pre-op diet which was 1 week long with only 2 days of clear liquids. Then when I left the hospital I was 340 pounds.

Today, roughly 4.5 months postop I am 294 pounds. I've lost a total of 59 pounds but since actual surgery I've lost 46 pounds. I've lost 1 pant size (from 30/32 to 28) and can wear from 4x to 3x shirts now.

It was brought to my attention that I should document my struggles and worries since I seem to have a bit of trouble getting through things just as the next person, but they find help in blogging so I am here to try my hand at it. I really hope this helps. So here I am :)

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