I had my 6 month post-op visit yesterday. I’ll start with the good news. I’ve lost 82 lbs. For those of you following closely (for all of my THREE readers, lol) you will know that I have now made my first goal weight of 220lbs. Yay, excitement, wheee.
And then there’s the other news.
So a little background before I get started (oh the suspense!) I normally see a woman from the practice, she is an NP I believe and really friendly, but often rushes me through my appointments and I don’t really feel like I can share a whole lot with her. Due to an incredibly sad health issue that she is dealing with right now, she is out. So the office called to reschedule the appointment and I took the opportunity to see the PA that actually helped my surgeon in the OR and is a gastric bypass patient himself. So he walked in and was all hi good to see you and all that good stuff and he asked “so tell me how you are doing”? I was all, HERE IS MY CHANCE. And I tell him that I’m doing fine, great even! But that sometimes when I eat certain foods they just don’t…sit right. To me, I thought this was totally normal. I know a lot of lapband patients and they are often complaining about how food is sitting in their stomachs. But when I told him this he just kinda nodded his head with a smirk on his face and says, “are you smoking by chance”? Uh well, yeah. I had picked the habit back up back in November and haven’t really had the desire to quit (well until about a week before my appointment anyway, Brad and I had agreed to quit after tonight). He nodded his head and smiled and said “we make patients sign a waiver now that if we find out they are smoking they will be discharged from the office. Now, I’m not going to discharge you, but you have to quit smoking, and let me tell you why…”. At this point he goes on to tell me that smoking causes an ulcer almost 100% of the time, even if it’s just once a month. Oh awesome. Then he says that the symptoms I explained when eating food (I didn’t realize I was telling him any symptoms, by the way) are also symptoms of an ulcer. So he is sending me to an gastroenterologist and I will be getting an EGD (which if you all remember, I HATE these). The worse news came next. If he finds out it’s not an ulcer their next concern would be that my bowel is herniating into my stomach, which is fairly normal but can be fairly dangerous if not treated. He said that if the bowel pushes up into the stomach and gets stuck, it can cut off blood flow to the bowel and then my bowel could die and then they would have to go in and remove the dead bowel. Which is a surgery that he promises me I wouldn’t want. But in order to make sure that is not happening, they have to do surgery. He said I would be trading a much longer surgery for a short 10 minute. In my mind, surgery is surgery, so this is all bad news to me.
So I mean it is what it is but the part I am struggling with is, what if it’s neither of these things? I don’t feel like anything is wrong with me at all! I’ve heard plenty of other patients complain about the same thing! So I know he is the professional, and he does this every day and went to school and is really smart and all of that. And I respect that immensely. But what if I have this EGD, and there is no ulcer, so then I have the surgery, and there is no bowel herniating into my stomach? I mean, then we just chalk it up to how my pouch handles food after surgery and I just wasted a buttload of money and time (including vacation time at work)? It’s my health, so I am going to do whatever they tell me I need to do and respect their wealth of knowledge and degrees and pray that my money is going toward something that I need and am actually suffering from. Right now? I’m totally praying it’s an ulcer, because surgery is not for me. No siree.
I don’t even mind the way the food sits in my stomach. It doesn’t hurt, it just feels…weird. And normally, had my appointment been with the other woman, I wouldn’t have even said anything! So I’m alternating between thinking this was a whole divine intervention thing and instead of pushing back my appointment until the woman is back from her medical leave (which was what they wanted me to do) I scheduled my appointment with him instead which created an environment that made me feel safer to talk about my minor annoyance, to thinking the other extreme that I just shouldn’t have said anything and just let it be. I won’t have a conclusion to those thoughts until I get to the outcome…which is probably going to take a few weeks to get to. I will say though that an ulcer can turn into a deadly situation as well (something having to do with arteries and the ulcer spreading into it and then bleeding out before they can ever get you on the table), so maybe I will just be thankful either way??
They let me take my blood-work sheet with me, so when I work from campus next week I will go to the lab there and get my blood drawn to check my labs and make sure everything is good there. God please help my labs be good, I can only take so much (but then, He already knows how much I can take).
I’ll keep y’all posted!