Anything worth having is worth working for…or so the saying goes. Well, having a desire to be the pretty thin girl most of my life – I was ready to do just about anything ergo all the diets and attempts to get there. After I heard for about the ten millionth time – don’t worry, you are just large-boned – I was ready to scream! But that is where I settled and lived for many years.
In 2007, I had the opportunity to move to Virginia to advance my career in meeting planning and exhibit management to a national level. Moving, in my opinion, was one of the best things that happened to me as I met an amazing nurse practitioner, Harriet Greenfield, who began to help me get my high blood pressure under control, sent me to have a sleep study only to be diagnosed with sleep apnea and when I went in with severe back pain helped me discover that the spine was not doing well. All those years of being on my feet with my weight was finally taking its toll. Sleep apnea diagnosis was a pain in the rear and taking more medications was not something I was fond of. But I decided that if it would help, I would give it the old “college try”.
Physical therapy helped to some extent on the back pain; but most importantly, I was beginning to be in the space of having bariatric surgery. Scared didn’t really enter my mind; however, I wondered if I could do it. Nothing else ever seemed to work for any length of time.
I sat down with Harriet and shared with her where my head was in all of this. She listened and heard the pain that I had kept in for so many years. This was April 2011. She suggested that I attend an informational meeting at Potomac Hospital to learn about the process, what to expect, etc. I carried that note around for almost 2 months before I finally got the nerve to reserve a time to go.
What if I failed? What if I couldn’t live without pasta and bread? How would I deal with not being able to drink as much or be the life of the party with my friends? How would I ever make it through a meeting having to eat ‘special meals’? How would I ever eat out again? These questions and a few hundred others swarmed through my head.
June 9, 2011: OMG. Scary as I walked in and registered to hear from the team at Blue Point Surgical Group about how they have successfully performed hundreds of bariatric surgeries. Yes, they shared the good, bad, the ugly but most importantly they gave me HOPE. That they provide ongoing support to ensure that their patients are as successful as possible. When I looked around the room, I looked pretty ‘normal’ compared to many in the room. But I also saw individuals that had that same ‘pain’ in their eyes asking ‘is there hope for me to be healthy?’
From the beginning, they talked as a team. They shared the good, the bad, the ugly and the hope that having surgery can change your life – they were talking about my life. BUT… (isn’t there always one)… it would take work, commitment and a desire to be successful from me. That they could provide the tools but I needed to be able to do the work, learn how to re-eat so that I could be successful, that I would need to talk about how I was feeling, look at trigger foods, etc. Piece of cake (no pun intended) I thought compared to being miserable, in pain and having more health issues beginning to rear their heads as I aged.
About this time, another friend was having bariatric surgery. I happened to mention it to her – and low and behold – she was with the same practice. On her suggestion, I moved from the Woodbridge office to the Fair Oaks office to meet with Dr. Amir Moazzez. She was right – what a cutie (well I think the words we use are ‘great eye candy’)!
As is typical of me, I put off the appointment in order to get through a couple of conferences. The one that moved me to the point of tears was the one that reminded me that if I was to stay in this business, I needed to go meet with Dr. Moazzez and get details on how this was going to work. I was in so much pain that I was literally taking very strong pain medication simply to make it through the day. Not the way I wanted to live every day. And back surgery (which had been presented as an option) was out of the question for me!
July 29, 2011: I arrive at Blue Point Surgical Fair Oaks office. I was greeted by some of the friendliest medical staff I have ever met. After filling out a sheath of paperwork, I met the doctor with whom I was placing my faith to help me be successful.
After a long chat and lots of questions from both sides…Dr. Moazzez agreed that I was a candidate for the “sleeve” bariatric surgery. Essentially, he would remove a portion of my stomach to make it smaller. Oh wait, I am getting ahead of myself…there were weeks of work to do before we get to the operating room.
Oh dear…in order for him to do surgery he wanted me to lose 15 – 20 pounds to help improve my liver function and to ensure that I had a commitment to being successful.
Stay tuned … amazing updates coming soon!