Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today is the last day of my old life!

Tomorrow starts a whole new life for me. I start my two week liquid protein diet. So you know what I did today right? Thats right! I went to Olive Garden and had my favorite meal. I had the Zuppa Tuscana which is a sausage and potato soup then Steak Gorgonzola with angel hair pasta as an entrée. I will say that I shared this dish with my son George and still had some left over, but yum yum yummy! After we were done eating the entrée both George and I were full, but now comes the difference between skinny people eating habits and fat people eating habits, I asked him if he wanted dessert. He says, "No I am full." Hmmmm well so am I, but I am still going to have dessert! We ordered .. haha I say "we" .. the three shots of dessert. He ate one of them and I ate the other two. What the hell, I am not going to be able to eat those again so why not, right? It's four hours later and I am still extremely full.

After lunch, I had my pre-op appointment with my surgeon. Typically this is done just a few days before surgery, not two weeks. But who am I to wait? I haven't done anything else on their schedule. I will be doing the two week liquid protein diet on their schedule however. From now on I will be calling it Glucerna Diet. I will be drinking six 8-ounce bottles of Glucerna a day for two weeks. This is to reduce the fat in the liver, so that the surgeons can easily move it out of the way to get to the stomach during surgery. If the liver if fatty, it is very soft and can be easily damaged.

I got weighed in. I am glad I got weighed in after having a huge lunch and before I started my Glucerna diet. This way I will have an accurate weight loss. Well, maybe not accurate, but at least that first weigh-in will feel really, really good. My blood pressure was a little high 166/82. I think it's to be expected after eating that huge meal, then add on top of that my anxiety. I am still not ready to divulge my weight. Maybe after my first or second weigh-in post op. We will see.

I did not spend much time with the surgeon. Well, maybe 20 minutes, so that could be a fair amount of time. He went over the risks involved and answered any questions I had. I had two questions. One - after cutting out 85% of my stomach, will my stomach still produce acid to digest my food. He said that they now leave a small pouch at the bottom of the stomach (he drew me a picture on the white paper they use to cover the examining chairs) that allows the stomach to produce stomach acid. This is great news. I was thinking about that the other day. What if my stomach doesn't produce stomach acid anymore. Will the food go undigested? Second question was about the anesthesia. He said what every one else said which is I will be talking to the anesthesiologist before surgery and I was to explain to him my fears and concerns so he could take care of them.

Then comes the paperwork with the nurses. Getting registered. I am officially registered to have surgery February 9th. I have to fast that day. Um.. am I not going to be fasting for two weeks before the surgery?? I guess I can't even have the Glucerna. The pre-op nurse will call me a day or two before and will tell me specifically what I need to do and drink and not drink etc.

Here's your sign! During this paperwork, the nurse asked me if I was allergic to latex. I said I think I have a sensitivity to it but, I do not know if I am allergic to it. She said, "So this wasn't fatal or anything right?" Um?? I just looked at her and raised my eyebrows and gave her that look that said "HUH?!?" After staring at her for a few seconds, I chuckled and said "No, not fatal, I am still here, I am just sensitive to it." In my mind I was thinking "Damn I need to blog about this!"

After all the paperwork comes the payments. The break-down for self-pay patients is:
  • Hospital $7,500 (This covers up to $15,000 worth of hospital care)
  • Anesthesia $ 977
  • Surgeon $5,340
This comes to a total of $13, 817. This is about $5k-7k less than it cost about six years ago when I was looking into it. This does not include the $300 for the psych evaluation nor the $100 for the nutritionist evaluation. I am not going to include the primary care physician or lab work done as I had that done for myself. The lab work would have been included in the surgeon fee, if I would have waited.

I am excited! I am not even worried about doing the two week Glucerna diet. We will see how tomorrow goes. I know my kids will be supportive. I am glad I switched shifts at work. I am not a morning person, so I get to sleep in and do not have to be to work until 1 p.m.!! I think this will help significantly.

I have decided I am not going to have any friends or family at the hospital while I am having the surgery. I do not see any reason to have people just wait around for hours while I am having the surgery. I am especially not interested in seeing anyone after I wake up and not feeling good. When I feel up to calling them, then they can come see me. Its not like they can bring me food or anything. I plan to wake up slowly and ask for lots of drugs afterwards then do some good snoozing. I will make more definite plans after I know more of the timing.

It's not fear it's excitement!!


  1. You will do great...you have such a strong constitution; that will pull you through the tough times.
    Just remember that you have tons of people that love and want nothing but good to come your way.
    Love Aunt Brenda

  2. Thanks Aunt Brenda!! I really do appreciate your encouragement!