A Sleeve Journey

The Time is Now

Pre-Op Tests

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Anyone who is looking into the surgery knows that there are a lot of appointments and testing to do before you can be approved for surgery. I did a lot of reading about all of this before I started my process and I know it helped to hear about it from different people. Here is my account of the pre-op testing that I got done all in one week!

Psychiatric Clearance:
This was definitely a lot quicker and painless than I thought it was going to be. I expected to go in there and be crying and needed to tell my life story of being fat. Talking about all the emotional torment etc. I figured I would come out of there with a red face and bloated eyes. Not. Even. Close. This was about 15 minutes at most and never once did I feel a twinge of emotion. Basically he asked who knew about my surgery which would be both of my parents and two of my friends. He asked what each of those four people would say are good qualities about me. He made me list a few adjectives that I felt about being obese and asked if I had ever been raped or had raped anyone. That was it. Quick, easy, and painless.

Gallbladder Sonogram:
Pretty straightforward. Fasting sonogram to make sure they don’t want to take out your gallbladder. Took about 20 minutes, and besides the fact that she got goop on my sweatshirt, this wasn’t bad.

Here is when things go from painless to a little worse. This is a test that you actually go to the hospital for and go under general anesthetic. Since it was in the hospital, naturally, I sat there for a good 5 hours after I checked in with an IV freezing my butt off before the test actually happened. I think this test was another one of those moments where you seriously think about what exactly it is that you’re doing. When they handed me the form to sign stating who would make decisions for me if anything happened while I was under, the severity of what I was doing sank in a little more than usual. They make you gargle some liquid to try to numb your throat so the gag reflex is not as bad, but I’m certain I numbed more of my tongue than my throat… and it tasted vile. I remember the swallowing of the scope barely. During it, it seemed more like a dream than reality. I was just out enough that I knew I felt like I was choking, but couldn’t do anything or really formulate thoughts – just knew it was happening. The test took about 45 minutes and then I had to stay an hour after I came to in order to be monitored. They found a hiatal hernia and will most likely fix this during my sleeve surgery.

Sleep Study:
Officially the most skewed results of any test. First of all no college student is going to fall asleep at 9PM. I’m in Robotics Engineering with a minor in Mechanical Engineering, and doing my masters in Fire Protection Engineering. I can’t remember the last time I went to sleep before midnight. On top of that… connecting 40 electrodes and other sensors to the point you can’t move around in bed doesn’t exactly aid the sleeping process. I maybe slept for 20 minutes total at one time waking up probably about 10 times. Needless to say, at 4am when I was released is when I went home and went to sleep! This is the only test I was unhappy about doing, but it’s all part of the process. I’m just glad I proved to them I don’t have sleep apnea and prevented them from throwing me on a C-PAP.

This was a long week, but being done with all the testing was one of the BEST feelings I’ve ever had in my life. Now, the only thing that stands between me and surgery is time. Those 6 (now 5!) monthly doctors visits are all I have left to be approved for surgery. Every day gets more exciting. My 2nd doctors appointment is going to be in Massachusetts since I am at school now with a doctor on campus. Should be interesting. In talking to her to set up the appointment it seemed like she had never dealt with this before where most family doctors know the drill as bariatric surgery is so common now. Updates on that soon to come!


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