So when I left you yesterday I was telling you how desperate I was.
I wish I could post a picture of myself at this point, but to be completely honest, I just can't bring myself to do it. It was bad, folks.
I'm a tall girl, I had that in my favor. But even at 6'1”, 330 lbs is... Well, it's big. I remember watching a football game and realizing that I outweighed a lot of them.
So I found myself in the offices at Bariatric Treatment Centers in Ypsilanti, Michigan (now called Barix, the name just hasn't stuck with me yet). I was going to meet my potential surgeon, Dr. P. I was nervous, and rightfully so. I was preparing to hear how someone was going to cut me open and rearrange my insides. The only thing that calmed me was realizing that I didn't fill the double-wide chairs that furnished the room.
I know how ridiculous and pitiful that sounds.
“Epi?” A nurse was hailing me from the receptionists desk.
I inhaled and stood from the double-wide wooden chair. It let out a sigh of relief when I got up
“Welcome, Epi... How are you doing today?” The Nurse was warm and inviting. She squeezed my arm as she led me into an exam room.
“I'm pretty much terrified.”
"There's nothing to be afraid of...Here, let's get a quick weight on you first...”
Oh for the love of Christ.
Nothing knocks the last shred of denial out of a potential patient quicker than facing what they hate the most. The dreaded scale. I kicked my shoes off and emptied my pockets out. I stepped on the scale and looked away.
“Three Thirty Two” The Nurse read cheerfully.
I wasn't feeling nearly as cheerful. I wanted to die. At that very moment.
How in the hell did I get to this point?
“How about we get your BP while we're at it? Hey, Epi, are you okay?”
Tears were stinging my eyes. I couldn't force myself to speak at that moment.
“Epi... I was where you are right now. I was there two years ago. I know how you feel.”
All I could do was nod my head. I'm not sure I've ever been as embarrassed as I was at that very point. I had put on close to 100 pounds in less than three years.
Dr. P met with me and sang the praises of the Roux-en-Y procedure. They would cut me open, section my stomach, separating away the top so that it would be roughly 20cc's. They would staple shut the bottom portion, but not remove it. They would reroute my small intestine to meet the new “pouch”, thus bypassing where the majority of the calorie intake takes place.
I could expect to lose approximately 70% of my excess weight.
Now I've never been great at math, but that worked for me. I was sold.
“Not so fast... There are risks....”
Staple Failure (basically a leak after surgery which is potentially fatal).
Okay, so I could die during surgery. I could die right after surgery. I could end up screwed up royally through nutritional deficiencies (B-12, Iron, Calcium...). Here, I thought this was the “easy way out...”.
The potential to be a better parent, a better wife, and a happier person in general won out.
There was one thing that was clear. I wasn't going to be able to do this on my own. The cards were stacked against me. When you weighed what I did the chances of taking off the weight that I needed to take off, on my own without surgery, was less than 10%. It just wasn't going to happen.
“Okay... If we're going to move forward, there's a few things you're going to need to do,” Dr. P. told me. “You're going to need a Psychiatric evaluation. You're going to need to prove to your insurance company that you've made attempts to lose weight through non-surgical means for at least six months, and you're going to need a sleep study.”
“Fantastic, Doc. I'll get on that immediately.”
“Yes, Doctor P?”
“Are you sure this is what you want to do? Why don't you go home and talk to your family about this? This is a life changing surgery you're about to have.”
"I understand Doc... I've talked to my family and they're completely supportive. My husband is a little nervous about the whole thing, but he's quickly coming around. I'm ready to get this show on the road..."