This sharepost is part of a series about total body contouring plastic surgery that My Bariatric Life underwent following massive weight loss.
Once the plastic surgery is scheduled patients generally feel very excited. I know that’s how I felt. I wanted this surgery since 2006 with my surgeon. I was super excited to be making that dream come true. But then one day we get on the emotional roller coaster. It was a wild ride for me, and I do not mean that it was in any way good.
Surgery affects each patient’s emotions differently. One patient may have a fairly gentle kiddie ride on the emotional roller coaster. Another may ride Six Flag’s El Toro version of the emotional roller coaster. I think I rode El Toro with both arms in the air and no safety harness.
I became friends with a patient who had scheduled her surgery a week after me with the same surgeon. We supported each other emotionally through and after surgery. People who have not been faced with plastic surgery after weight loss just cannot understand the range of emotions we go through. She would have heart palpitations. She was afraid of the pain of recovery. I had full on panic attacks that presented about two months after my phase 1 surgery tummy tuck and persisted the four months leading up to my phase 2 plastic surgery total body lift.
I had spells of lightheadedness and shortness of breath accompanied by blood pressure spikes. My initial perception was that these were related to pain from my tummy tuck. Then I later thought they were panic attacks because I had suffered a traumatic event related to my tummy tuck, which is when my symptoms began. My endocrinologist is actually the one who picked up on this. He asked when my symptoms began and I told him June. Then he asked what changed for me in June?
Following that I questioned if my panic attacks had a physiological cause, because if psychologically-driven then the Ativan that I had been prescribed because of the traumatic event would have resolved my anxiety. I sent this email to my PCP:
_What I am about to say will not sound rational, but I will tell you anyway. I am very intuitive and I keep getting the feeling that I am going to die or come close to dying during this surgery. So I would like to be screened for anything that might be causing these symptoms which might put my well-being at risk during the surgery. Of course I acknowledge that these symptoms can be explained by pre-surgery anxiety. _
My PCP and Endocrinologist screened me for a few rare diseases that could impact my safety during the surgery. With Pheochromocytoma there is a concern for cardiac arrest during/after anesthesia. With Addison’s disease the patient can go into coma or die from anesthesia. This happened about a week before I left for my trip to California and then New Jersey for my surgery. So it was quite dramatic, a real nail-biter for me. My emotions continued to spiral out of control.
Living life well-fed,
My Bariatric Life
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