If ever there was a week for my insurance company to make money off of me, last week was it. Of course this week is looking pretty good too since my gallbladder surgery is tomorrow. Thankfully, it’s only a day surgery so I should be home tomorrow afternoon if all goes well. My surgeon (another doctor in my bariatric surgeon’s office) seems to think it will be fine.
I had all manner of doctors’ appointments last week, some of which were routine maintenance, and some of which were prep for surgery.
I am pleased to report that all is well, and that the only blips I noticed in my workups were liver-related. I have a feeling that probably is the case because I was found to have fatty liver disease on the ultrasound my ER doctor had ordered for me. My surgeon will be doing a biopsy to investigate further.
My cholesterol was also the highest it’s ever been: 214 mg/dL. In my entire life, I’ve never had cholesterol above 200 so this was a bit worrisome to me. My PCP seems to think it will resolve itself once my gallbladder is gone though. She was pleased that my HDL levels were high, which is good. Better still, my a1c is the lowest it’s ever been at 5.2. That made me happy to see. Because I was a type II diabetic for so long, seeing my a1c stay in a normal range is a relief that my WLS was truly a great decision toward better health.
I will say that one of the doctors’ appointments I had last week was to see a new gynecologist. One of the things that I did not do as frequently as I should have back when I weighed 400+ pounds was go in for an annual exam. When your doctors tell you that they can’t visualize anything internally upon manual exam and that the only way to see anything is with a transvaginal ultrasound, you truly don’t know the humiliation that comes with being a morbidly obese woman trying to get routine healthcare. I mean, you really just don’t know.
It’s not awesome being so large that hopping up on that damned table, scooting your ass down to just the right place, and putting your feet in the stirrups is one of the most uncomfortable positions EVER. You’re already feeling vulnerable because some strange person (man or woman) has their hands all up in your lady business and is holding your vagina open with what (to me) looks like two shoehorns placed back to back, both of which happen to be really cold (or warm, if the instrument tray is kept warm). Don’t forget there may be an audience, especially if your doctor is a man (as mine is). The doc goes in, feels around to make sure all is well, gets the cell sample and then finishes up.
In the past when I went for annual exams, this part of the exam seemed to take forever. This time, my doctor was done before I even realized it. I mean, I scooted down, felt the familiar uncomfortable pressure and scrape, and then my doctor offered me his hand to help me sit up. I couldn’t believe we were already done. It dawned on me that perhaps now that I was much, much smaller than the last time that my doctor could actually see what needed to be seen and could get the cells he needed quickly and without incident.
Yet another added benefit of weight loss: medical procedures and tests are much easier in a smaller body. I never gave that much thought before last week, but now I am quite aware.
I am hopeful that tomorrow’s surgery and my subsequent recovery are easier than the surgery and recovery I chose to endure to lose this weight. My bariatric surgeon told me at my 2-year follow up that yeah, I’d feel like crap the first two days, but after that I’d be okay. He did tell me that I was doing great, regain and all and that I was falling prey to the metabolic changes that come with getting older. He also said, “Well our bodies are designed to store energy and you’re just really efficient at it.” I said, “This is not something I want to be awesome at!”
So now I know what needs to be done. For me, it is movement. Once I’m healed up from surgery and can get in the pool again, I’m planning to do water aerobics a couple of times a week to start, and then lift weights at least one day a week to begin. Small steps.
Let’s hope tomorrow goes off without a hitch, that my recovery is smooth, and that I can get back down to looking like this:
I was there once, I know what it feels like to be there, and now I know what it feels like to NOT be there.
I can get back there again. And I WILL.