I looked into weight-loss surgery options because my life had become out of control. I had ballooned to morbid obesity and I recently had been diagnosed with, and hospitalized for, diabetes 2 and hypertension. My triglycerides were bad; my cholesterol was bad. They had been bad, in fact, for a long time. I finally got to the point where I felt like I was going to die. The reality was that I had been dying for decades but it had become so "in my face" apparent that I couldn't ignore it any longer. As they say, I hit bottom.
Even on medication, I never could get my blood glucose readings or blood pressure readings "normal." I still felt awful... and I was afraid of dying. Fat and desperate, I asked my primary care physician about weight loss surgery. He told me that several of his patients had had the surgery with great results. He recommended a surgeon to me and I phoned his practice for information.
I was promptly told by the receptionist that there was an 18-month wait list for Dr. Amazing (not his real name, of course)! She offered that another surgeon in the practice whom had assisted Dr. Amazing in many surgeries now was performing the surgery on his own. I could have my surgery with him fairly quickly. "Ding-ding-ding, it looks like we have a winner!" I scheduled my appointment that day and began researching various weight loss surgery options online.
At my initial consultation, I sat with a group of weight-loss surgery candidates and watched a film presentation concerning weight-loss surgery. Then I met with the surgeon for a private consultation. I asked about the LAP-Band, Gastric Bypass, and the Duodenal Switch - which was my preference of the three surgeries. Although my weight loss would be greater with the Duodenal Switch, the surgeon advised against it, citing that there were greater side effects and that it typically was performed on patients with significantly more weight to lose than what I had to lose. I agreed on laparoscopic RNY gastric bypass surgery.
The process went rather quickly from that point. Back then, there weren't psych evaluations, or 6-month supervised weight loss programs, or the tighter scrutiny from insurers that patients face today. Most obese people qualified for weight loss surgery with a BMI of 35 or greater. There simply were forms I had to complete about my many (many) failed attempts to lose weight, about my comorbid conditions (my other disease), and other questions that screened for mental health and addiction to drugs or alcohol. Insurance approval came quickly. So, in July of 2003, I had my gastric bypass surgery.
I have to be honest here and say that I went on an eating binge in the weeks leading up to my surgery. I made sure that I ate all of my favorite junk foods because I pretty much knew I'd be giving most of them up for life. I ate fast food galore... it was really quite despicable to be this way, but there you have it, a moment of truth.