WLS Chronicles – Pre-Op Testing

14 Feb

Unrelated to weight loss surgery, on August 16th I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy.  Since I was having pain that we thought was associated with endometriosis on my colon, Dr Tyner wanted to check out everything to ensure we weren’t dealing with a bigger issue.

The first pre-op test that I had was on August 22nd at Central Carolina Hospital.  It was my Upper GI/Ultrasound/Chest Xray) tests.  This was pretty high on the list of the easiest appointments I had on this journey.  No eating after midnight the night before.  Arrive at 8 am.  They did my chest x-ray, the ultrasound and then the Upper GI.  Drinking the liquids for the upper GI was the worst part…but it was over very quickly and I was on my way!  I did, of course, worry that I was going to have some defect that I never knew of.  Whew.  Worry is evil, y’all!!  I also worried that I was going through all of these things and would still get denied by my insurance for the surgery!  **In case I have not mentioned or you do not know…you go through ALL THE PRE-OP testing and THEN they submit your information for final approval to your insurance company.  There are NO guarantees that they will approve it!

On August 30th, I went to the office to pick up my remote sleep study materials.  I was SO thankful that I could do the test from home!  It was the first one I had done but knew of many people that were required to use the sleep clinic’s facilities to sleep in – and I knew I’d get NO sleep!  The instructions were very clear and easy.  Basically you have monitors around your chest and abdomen as well as a monitor that fits like a tiny oxygen tube in your nostrils. I did it that night and just had to take the machine back to the office the next morning for them to read the results.

I had my stress test, EKG and Deep Vein Thrombosis screening on August 31st.  The EKG and DVT were NO big deal…and were surprisingly stress free.  🙂  The stress test…..whew.  I have never been one to overexert myself for the sake of exercise but MAN that was tough!   It was on a stationary bicycle and the tech was pushing me so hard to keep going!  I did but it was NO FUN!

On September 6, I had two appointments at the surgeon’s office.  (Their office is a complex that houses the surgeons, physician’s assistants, nutritionists, psychologists, labs, sleep study clinic, stress test facility, and food/vitamin/supplement store!)  I attended a class held by the Dietician…with about 6 others.  It was very informal and informative.  We talked about the things that we could start immediately to ready ourselves for surgery and the ways the diet would advance over the weeks prior to and just after surgery.  I am SO thankful there were handouts because there was SO much information.  It was very helpful to be able to look back on the information once I got home and was talking over it with my hubby.

My other appointment that day was with the psychologist.  He asked me some general questions and then a little more personal questions related to my home life, weight issues and emotions.  It was not too deep but enough to make me realize how this surgery was going to change EVERYTHING.  Looking back, I still don’t think I grasped how very much my life was about to be flipped upside down!

On September 9th, I had my second “insurance required weight loss check”.  It was uneventful and again we discussed types of surgeries and the results of the endoscopy/colonoscopy that was performed in August.  The endoscopy showed weakening in the sphincter that connects my esophagus and my stomach.  Because of this, Dr Tyner was confident that I would one day face acid reflux.  He suggested that gastric bypass would be my best option since it would knock that out.  I agreed and we moved forward with that plan!

When I had my earlier stress test, there was an issue that they saw so that prompted a nuclear stress test that I had on September 13th.   I was so scared!  I had never even heard of this so knowing that I was about to embark on this was worrisome!  I had this test at Capital Heart Associates in Raleigh.  This facility was wonderful and the staff were so intent on making me comfortable, which helped so much.  Mike went with me and that made the morning fly by.

On September 30th, I had hernia repair surgery (by Dr Tyner) at Rex.  We did it there because he wanted to do it robotically as well as to do some exploratory surgery to ensure that there was nothing else going on that was endometriosis related to my colon.

On October 10th, I had my third “insurance required weight loss check”.  This time it was with the PA and he was helpful and very comforting.  It was nice to know there was an entire team supporting me there.

On November 14th, I had my fourth and final “insurance required weight loss check”.  It was getting real.

On November 17th, I had NINE vials of blood drawn at Wake Med for labs related to surgery.  It was rough!  My veins are not what they once were and it took a village to retrieve all that blood – but it was one step closer!

On November 22nd, my packet of information was turned over to Cigna for approval.  I was anxiously awaiting the word…either way!

I got THE CALL on November 28th.  MY SURGERY WAS APPROVED!!  I was so excited….but now….the worry – WILL I GET A DATE IN TIME???

On December 5th I had my “Results Visit”.  This appointment basically summarizes all the tests you’ve been through and talks about any test results that are related.  I knew by then that my heart, veins, gall bladder, mind, blood, colon, and lungs were ready.  At the end of the appointment, I met with the scheduler.  I took the LAST SURGERY SLOT AVAILABLE for my surgeon.  Talk about God looking out for me!!!  My surgery would be Dec 27th.  I was finally entering another stage of this process!

 

 

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