My journey into weight loss surgery began one warm evening in August 2003 when, ironically enough, I was at dinner with a few very close friends. One of the ladies having dinner with our group that night was particularly full of zeal and was really enjoying herself quite a lot. I remember thinking that although she was always a very happy person, she seemed especially exuberant and alive. And then it hit me: my dear friend had gastric bypass surgery eleven months earlier, and she’d had it at Emory.
After over a year of research and more than almost thirty years of being either overweight or morbidly obese, I got the “yes” that I had been waiting for from my insurance company. Yes, I was approved to have gastric bypass surgery. I remember getting the news at work on September 24, 2004. It was so significant to me that I even remember the time; it was 4:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. Needless to say, there wasn’t much else I could think about for the rest of the day.
The friend that I’d had dinner with – the one who had gastric bypass surgery – ended up becoming my support person. Every patient absolutely must have a support person when going through this lengthy process. I was incredibly lucky that she would be mine. She would attend my initial surgeon’s consultation with me and also attend the monthly support group meetings I began attending that summer to prepare for surgery. Needless to say, she was amazing and I only wish that every patient could have someone just like her as a guide through this potentially life-changing adventure.
Next up: The Paperwork Challenge! Keep breathing…