In the last couple of weeks, I have alluded to something big going on in the LaRosa household, on Facebook. I’ve been vague for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to make sure the decision our family made was one that we were for sure going to make. Second, I wanted to make sure we, as a family, were collectively comfortable sharing the details on this blog.
The big news is that Eddie and I are both hoping to have bariatric surgery. This is not a decision we have come to lightly. We’ve done independent research on risks & benefits of procedures, done personal research by talking to friends and family that have had different procedures, attended support groups and attended an information seminar. Again, this is not a decision that was arrived at quickly. In fact, it’s been about two years since it first crossed our minds for us to both come to the decision that it’s something one or both of us feel comfortable seeking out.
Eddie and I both meet the physical requirements to be candidates for the procedure: having a BMI over 40, plus Eddie takes medication for diabetes, high cholesterol, and we both take medication for high blood pressure. We’ve also both attempted to lose weight via other routes for many years–Atkins, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, plans created by nutritionists. You name it. We are both fortunate enough to have insurance plans that cover a great deal of the cost, so we will likely have to pay very little out of pocket for the surgery. Eddie actually met with his surgeon, Dr. Oliphant, yesterday. He discussed the three surgical options with Eddie and left it up to him to decide on a personal level which procedure he would prefer.
The three surgeries that our local hospital, Carle, performs are the gastric bypass procedure, the gastric sleeve, and the lap band. Before learning about the procedures, I was relatively familiar with the bypass and lap band. I had never actually heard of the sleeve. But after research, and lots of thinking, Eddie and I both decided that the sleeve sounds like what both he and I are interested in. With the gastric sleeve, the majority of your stomach is actually removed, leaving just a small stomach pouch. Along with the stomach that is removed is the portion of the stomach that produces the hormone that can cause cravings. Weight loss with the sleeve is still significant, though slower than gastric bypass.
Since Eddie has met with his surgeon already, his next step was to meet with the dietician. She happened to have an opening yesterday, so after meeting with the surgeon Eddie was able to meet with her. She has given him three goals to work on, including quitting smoking, before seeing him again in 3 weeks. He is also waiting to receive a call about a required bariatric psych eval, and possible upper GI. I am not quite so far into the process, however, and am still waiting on a referral from my primary doctor to the bariatric surgeon. Once I have the referral, then I will be able to start the ball rolling too.
One thing that was somewhat disappointing, though expected, was to find out that after the surgery, women are expected to prevent pregnancy for a year and a half. Thinking about having to wait another couple of years to start our family seems like so long. However, the fact of the matter is that with my weight what it is now, I’m ovulating very irregularly. We haven’t really shared the personal details of our family planning with others, but the fact is that Eddie and I haven’t prevented pregnancy our entire marriage, and it has not resulted in a positive pregnancy test yet. So, hopefully one of the many benefits of surgery will be jump-starting my cycle to get back in gear, and in a couple years we can think about trying to start our family again.
So, there you have it… that is the big news that Eddie and I have been waiting to share. We’re looking forward to sharing our journey on here, and trust that family and friends will have faith in our mutual decision to move forward with this option for our personal situations. Having loving, supportive people around us during this journey will be one of the many keys to our success!