Friday, January 16

Coming to a decision

When I first wrapped my mind around weight loss surgery, I was so sure I just wanted a lapband. I was afraid of the gastric bypass because a friend of mine had one in 2001 and died. I met a widower on the Widownet message forum who'd lost his wife after she had a gastric bypass. I had a strong bias against any weight loss surgery for more years than I should have. I was afraid of dying and leaving my kids orphaned completely (their dad died of weight and cardiac complications in 2001).

I was terrified when TB decided to have the duodenal switch. Fortunately, everything was fine and TB's doing well. He's still getting used to eating "real" food again but Dr. Greenbaum is very pleased with his progress.

We'd agreed he would have surgery and recover first before I had mine because he is still hoping to get back to work. My plan was to get the lapband laproscopically, be home the same day and recover quickly with little or no pain. When we went for TB's first post-op surgery visit, Dr. Greenbaum joked with me, "Now it's YOUR turn."

I shuddered and said, "Yes, but a different procedure."

I met with Dr. Greenbaum's partner, Dr. Wasser, on January 2. As we talked, I began to realize that the lap band probably wasn't going to be the best procedure for me. I have Type II diabetes and Dr. Wasser doubted that I would lose enough weight with the lap band to put it into remission. I would have to work very very hard to get the lapband to work well for me and that patients could expect to lose around 40-50% of their excess weight. Hmmm. Not good.

Dr. Wasser explained the RNY gastric bypass procedure to me and said he could do that one laproscopically as well. He said I'd probably lose 60-70% of my excess weight and that in all likelihood, my diabetes would go into complete remission. I was leaning toward the RNY until I began reading up on it and doing more research on it.

There are too many things I don't like about it. First, it creates a "blind" stomach so that if I needed to be scoped, a doctor wouldn't be able to see everything. Next, a stoma is created in the little pouch that empties the little stomach right into the intestine. I could get a "dump", which sounds like a thoroughly horrible experience, from taking in too much sugar--and it could even happen with fruits I love like blueberries. If I don't chew my food to mush I might swallow too large a piece and it could get stuck. To top it all off, I wouldn't be able to take NSAIDs and I have arthritis and fibromyalgia and sometimes that pain is intolerable without medication. No, the RNY doesn't sound like it would do it for me either.

I read a lot of information about the duodenal switch on the message board and at the website and I'm beginning to see that this is the best option for me. I'm going to see Dr. Greenbaum on the 29th of this month and see what he thinks. Looks like he was right after all--I'm next.


Astrid (…and the kitties too) said...

*hugs* I know the decision is hard but I also am sure you will find your way through it all :)

Robyn and The (Mostly) Badass Cat said...

I hope you can figure out the best one for you and it goes great. *sending positive vibes*
Purrrrrrs from the Hotties

Wendy Glosser said...

Cassie, I can't wait to see how you do with this surgery!! Praying for you guys!!

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