Monday, December 13, 2010

14 Vials of Blood

14 Vials of Blood on the wall, 14 vials of blood.  Take one down, pass it around....

No, it's not a lame song from Twilight Family Vacation.  It's how much blood they took at the doctor's office today!  Wow.  I was there for 45 minutes while they looked up codes and what colored vials they needed.  They said that I was only the second person to have needed this type of labwork before.  They tested for the following:

  • CBC/Diff
  • Platelet Count
  • Iron Levels
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B12
  • Lipid Profile
  • LFTs
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin A,D,E,K
  • Selenium
  • HgA1c
  • Thyroid Functions (T3, T4, TSH)
  • PTH Intact
  • Vitamin D-25 OH Total
  • Folic Acid

 It looks like they are being very thorough.  It will also be a good comparison for after surgery so they can compare them to previous levels.  As far as other pre-op testing, I have already had 2 Sleep Studies (one with cpap titration), EKG, Nuclear Stress Test and Endoscopy.  I have already seen the nutritionist once and will need to see her one more time.  I also have a Psychological Evaluation scheduled for December 28th.

I am fortunate that I did not have any major health issues.  Some other bariatric surgery patients have to do the following:  Pulmonary Function Tests, Stress Echocardiogram, Dobutamine Echocardiogram, Regular Treadmill Stress Test, Nuclear Dobutamine Stress Test, Adenosine Stress Test, Wrist X-ray (bone maturity), pH study, Bilateral LE Venous Doppler, Mammogram, and Esophageal Motility Study.  Some patients must have an IVC Filter placed to prevent blood clots, and some must have an upper GI and Colonoscopy.  Some patients must be cleared by a Cardiologist, Endocrinologist, Pulmonologist or Hematologist.

This is not an easy process, and anyone who thinks it's just going to the surgeon and getting a surgery date is wrong.  It's a long, drawn out process and the patient must undergo a lot of testing before it's decided that they are a candidate for surgery.  It's more than medical, too.  There's a psychological component to it.  A person has to be ready for surgery and be willing to make a lifelong commitment.  This surgery is for life, it's not something that can be undone.  It also is not 100% fool proof, either.  It is possible to fail.  There are things called slider foods, mainly carbs - potato chips, french fries, etc.  Things that go down easy, that won't feel you up and are empty calories.  The sleeve is just a tool.  If you use it right, you will lose the weight.  If you don't follow the guidelines, you can fail.  It's really that simple.  Weight loss surgery is not something to go into lightly.  It's not the easy way out.  In fact, it can be much more difficult than conventional methods of weight loss.  The difference is that you have a tool in place to help you keep the weight off long term, to maintain that loss.  For a person with morbid obesity, it is almost impossible to maintain significant weight loss long term.  The body has a set point, and will try to maintain a certain weight, even if it's almost 300 pounds.

I have been keeping track of my weight and measurements.  I'm a bit methodical in it, and really rely on data to see where I stand.  I'm the type of person that likes to make a spreadsheet for everything.  So, here it is.




Seeing this in black and white helps me push forward.  I see that I am making progress and it's great motivation.  I love what I am doing for myself.  I'm already noticing a change in my energy level and have even noticed myself running up the steps to my front porch.  Amazing.  And, this is only a 20 pound loss, I can't wait to see how a 100 pound loss feels!  I've also noticed that my t-shirts are much more loose.  Looking at the chart above, I can see that's because I've lost 3 inches off my chest!  I just hope I don't lose too much of the girls.  I started this diet wearing a 48F and I'm now in a 46DDD.  I think my pant size has dropped from 28 to 26, but I can wear a 24 in stretchy pants.  I think my shirts have also dropped from a 28 to 24/26.  I don't think anyone notices yet, but I'm sure they will in a couple months!

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