|" Journal 1 - Before Surgery"|
January and February 2001
Revised addition to my Pre-Surgerical Journal
I waited to go to my first WLS Seminar given by Dr. Fisher until after the Holiday Season had passed. Just the thought of having to deal with WLS during the holidays was just to much for me. I needed time to become accustomed to the thought and needed the time to do as much research as I could into WLS. That same week after leaving Dr. Bobe's office and in spite of my fears, I started online research into WLS. I wanted to find and learn everything I could about WLS, the positives as well as the negatives. The more I found the more I knew that maybe this surgery could truly help me. There are dangers to any surgery but the more I read the calmer I became. It's funny how fear of the unknown can be so debilitating.
During one of my online searches I stumbled upon a Support Group at Yahoo Groups for people who have had WLS and for those considering WLS. The moderator of this group was Dr. Barry Fisher. The surgeon Dr. Bobe' had referred me to. I immediately joined and started to post the group with my questions and feelings. I was welcomed and the new friends I had come to know in this group became very dear to me. Before I went to Doc's Seminar I had become kind of a fixture in group. When I attended my first Seminar quite a few people knew the night I was going to be there, including Dr. Fisher. You can imagine my surprise when Dr. Fisher after being introduced to the group asked where Betty was. Bewildered and surprised by my name being mentioned I held up my hand to idenify myself and Doc very warmly welcomed me. Seminar was very informative but I was so nervous I didn't absorb very much. Toward the end of the evening quite a few of Doc's post-op patients came to speak and answer any questions we might have. I knew quite a few of the post-ops from their posting online and it was like we had a special bond with each other. After I had picked up the required paper work at the end of the evening I went up to Doc Fisher to thank him for his most gracious welcome and he gave me a big hug. I sent in my paperwork and received a date for an intake appointment in February.
In February 2001, Sam and I drove the 2 hours into Las Vegas so I could go to my intake appointment. I filled out some more paper work and received all the forms necessary for my pre-surgerical testing. I was told t he sooner I got all the testing done the sooner I would get my OC appointment with Doc and a date for surgery.
I was still scared but finally beginning to let myself become excited about this. Could it be after all the years of being on so many diets. losing weight but gaining every pound back and the feelings of being powerless to gain control of my eating. Could they be behind me within just a few months?
It would be the miracle I had prayed for so many times.
|November 8th, 2000
Revised addition to my Pre-SurgericalJournal
My husband Sam and I went to our new doctor on this date. Like Dec. 7th or Sept.11th, this day will always be special for me. This was the day I was conceived to be reborn into a new woman.
We had recently moved to Bullhead City, AZ. from Southern California and we were in need of a compassionate as well as excellent family doctor.
Dr. Richard Bobe' was the doctor we had heard was one of the best in Bullhead City. That first meeting, he bolted into the exam room like "Kramer" from the Seinfeld TV Show. Or as my mother in law would describe it, "Like Grant took Richmond." He introduced himself and proceeded with his examination of us. We had been cared for thru an HMO before we moved and had been told we were not too bad off for our age! Dr. Bobe' told my overweight husband that he could lose his excess weight by limiting what he ate and exercising more. He changed most of Sam's blood pressure and cholesteral lowering meds and then got around to explaining to what he felt were my medical problems, as if I didn't know!
Dr. Bobe' was sitting on one of those little adjustable stools with wheels that doctor's use in their exam rooms. He wheeled over to me as I sat there in a corner of his exam room and came within 8 to10 inches from my face invading "my space" . He very softly said the following, " Betty, your weight is killing you. You won't live another 10 years the way you are now. Sometime during those 10 years you will become bedridden." He couldn't have hurt me more if he had slapped me across the face. The effect of either would have been the same. Me, bedridden? No way, that would mean existing in a living, breathing nightmare. God Almighty! I knew I was fat. I knew how I felt and it was lousy. I couldn't take a deep breath because I had asthma that was getting worse. There was pain in my chest off and on, my heart pounded and skipped beats, my back, shoulders, knees and hips were in constant pain. I hated to even wake up in the morning because I would be in pain the moment I moved. My legs and ankles were always swollen and red. I had skin infections and a constant ache in my head. I was deeply depressed and terribly lonely in my slowly shrinking world. I had come to this doctor to get help with all of this and here he is telling me I am going to die soon and die FAT! Dr. Bobe wasn't finished he went on to say "I would like you to consider weight loss surgery and I would like to refer you to a surgeon I know in Las Vegas, Nevada. Will you give me your consent to contact your insurance company and start the ball rolling to get surgerical approval ?" I was stunned, but I knew He was right. After trying so many things to lose the weight I had finally resigned myself to just accepting the fact I was destined to be fat. I pretended my problem didn't exist and decided to ignore it. Afterall I didn't need to go out that much. Sam was willing to help me as much as he could. In loving me poor Sam just became a co-dependent to my weight problem and I didn't even care. How could I have been so selfish?
But God I guess has other plans for me. I knew I couldn't go on much longer the way I was but the thought of surgery just about scared me to death. I reluctanly agreed to Dr. Bobe's plans. After leaving the doctor's office I started to cry as I got in the car. "God, help me. What had I gotten myself into?" All kinds of houghts were running thru my mind but the one that returned the most was, "I could die." I thought I was depressed before, well it was nothing compared to what I went thru for the next couple of weeks. I felt so lost and the tears would come out of nowhere. I prayed to God for guidance and asked to be shown what to do.