“I’m not gonna miss out on something that could be great just because it might also be hard.”

I have that quote pasted on my desk at work where I have to look at it constantly.  It’s my frequent reminder of this journey I’ve been on and it’s my motivator for what I’m about to endure.

I’m 9 days away from having surgery – NINE!  I only have five more days of work left and that’s it!  Holy Moses!  I feel a bit of anxiety setting in.  I can’t believe that I was merely THINKING about having this surgery done 7 months ago…and now, it’s almost here!  Everyone keeps asking me if I’m excited about the surgery.  It’s kind of an odd question to ask – no one is really ever excited about surgery.  I’m “excited” in the fact that I know my life is about to change a whole lot.  I’m “nervous” because there’s always a risk of complications.  Now, before everyone gets worried – please know that there is always a risk with ANY kind of surgery you have, not just bariatric surgery.  What I don’t need right now is people being worried for me.  I just need positive reinforcement and prayers that everything goes well.  🙂

It helps to know that I have a GREAT team of nurses and a top-notch doctor that’s behind the procedure, so I’m not so much worried about that.  I have been highly impressed with my choice of doctor and I have every reason to believe that everything will be just fine.   On Monday, I went in for my plethora of tests.  I had bloodwork done, a breath test, a chest x-ray, an upper GI (yuck!!), an ultrasound, an EKG, and a breathing test done.  I was wore out by the time I got home that afternoon!  But, I met with the onsite doctor there at the hospital and he said everything looked great for the most part and that I’m exceptionally healthy and he cleared me for surgery.  He just had one area of concern and that was I was showing low on iron.  So I do have to go back next week and re-test for that, but he wasn’t too overly concerned – it’s definitely not stopping me from having surgery.  My mom and I attended my pre-op surgery class on Tuesday (thanks Mom for going with me!) and we got all of the ins and outs of what to expect during my surgery and my stay at the hospital as well as the diet plan.  I’m not so crazy about the whole liquid diet two days before surgery, but hopefully I can keep busy enough those two days I won’t notice it too much, lol (yeah, right!).   I also weighed in at my class and I had only lost a pound, which isn’t great, but at least I didn’t gain.  So it took me 7 months to hit that plateau….and I’m okay with that – I know what’s coming.

So what’s about to happen?  Well, in short form here’s the scoop.  Like I said, I will be on a liquid diet two days before surgery.  I will arrive at the hospital around 9 am, check in, and get prepared for surgery.  My surgery is scheduled for 11 am and the surgery itself will take anywhere from 2.5 hours to 4.5 hours.  Definitely the longest surgery I’ve ever had done.  Then I’ll be in recovery for probably a couple of hours, so it will probably be early evening before I get to my own room.  From there, I’ll be in the hospital approximately 2 nights if all goes well and go home sometime on Wednesday (probably early afternoon).  It just depends on what happens over that 48-hour period.  If there are any complications, then of course I could be in there longer.  Again, I’m thinking positive here.  🙂  Once I go home, I will be on a liquid diet for a week (by then, I’ll be doing good to get any liquids in me, lol).  Weeks 2 and 3 I will be on pureed foods and hopefully by week 4 I can introduce solid foods back into my diet.   From there, hopefully it just gets better and I get smaller!  🙂

I know that some of you may be wanting to come visit, or hopefully want to come visit to help me pass the time away.  However, I do have one request for any visitors outside of immediate family.  Because the first day will be a long one not only for me, but for my boyfriend and family, I am requesting that everyone please wait until Tuesday to come and visit.  I can’t guarantee I’ll even remember you being there if you were to come on Monday, lol.  There are no set visiting hours, so  you can come anytime and stay as late as you want – which is nice. 🙂  I will be asking my boyfriend to post updates on my Facebook page the day of surgery, and as soon as I am able I will post a blog entry on here too.  My boyfriend will have my phone too during my surgery, so feel free to send me text messages to read after my surgery!  And if you are unable to come visit because you know, you live in California or Texas or Kansas or anywhere else in the US (lol), feel free to send me text messages anytime, lol.  My boyfriend is staying with me the entire time, so if I don’t respond right away, I’m probably out of it and he probably has my phone.  (I love him and am so grateful that he’s sacrificing three days of work to be with me, man I am one lucky girl!! I love you KLS!)  So there’s the logistics (yeah, I’m such a planner, lol)

It’s hard to explain just what I’m feeling right now as my surgery date gets closer and closer.  I have fears, not going to lie about that.  And my fears really have nothing to do with the surgery itself.  It’s more of the after surgery.  It’s the first experience with the “dumping syndrome” that scares me.  It’s the fear of getting dehydrated because I can’t get my 64 oz of liquid in everyday.  It’s the fear of pain, or better yet – taking that tube out of me that’s going to be giving me pain relief.  And it’s the fear of what is my body going to look like.   When someone asked me the other day about whether or not I was excited about the surgery, it was all I could do to not get emotional about the thought of becoming skinny.  I have never in my life had that feeling.  I’ve always been a chunky kid.  I hated school as a child because I was always being made fun of.  But now, in a few days, that’s all about to change.  I’m really about to say goodbye to the old Stacey, the Stacey I’ve always known and that demon that has always controlled me.  I don’t know what it’s like to be a skinny Stacey.  I’ve watched youtube videos over and over and have watched the transformations that happen with other women who have had this surgery, and I’m like oh my word – that’s going to be me in a few months.  My dear friend TK has a picture on her Facebook page that was taken back in April of this year.  I looked at the picture and wanted to cry – I looked disgusting!  I even posted on there about how horrible I looked in that picture.  I can’t believe how much dropping 60 pounds has made a difference.  I just can’t even fathom what dropping another 100-120 is going to do to me.  I seriously don’t think I’ll look like the same person.  I don’t know what it’s like to shop in skinny people’s clothing department.  Shopping for clothes is going to be a whole different experience for me.   This IS going to be a life-altering experience in every aspect.

I know that the weeks following my surgery are going to be difficult.  And I’m sure I will have breakdown moments and they could be ugly.  But you know what, I won’t miss out on something great, just because it’s going to be hard.  (btw – that quote will be posted in my hospital room, lol).  It’s temporary pain, for long term gain.  It’s going through the bad to get to the good, no, the great.  I’m doing this for my future husband, my future kids, and for me.  It’s going to be worth it!

Again, thank you to each and every one of you that have encouraged me over the last several months.  I couldn’t have done it without you.  But this is only the beginning.  I’m still going to need a support system in place after the surgery.  I’m undoubtedly going to have to days where I’m ready to give up.  I need people like you to come alongside me and do this thing called life with me.  And even on my good days, I may just need someone to work out with or talk to.   I’m cutting a lot of things out of my life so that I can focus on the next year of my life.   I always been on the go and overbook myself, and as of 10/31 that’s coming to a complete stop.  Not only do I have a relationship that’s leading towards marriage, but I also have a house remodel project going on, and I have a whole new lifestyle that I need to adjust to.  So I’m not going to be quick to fill up my calendar.  But I still need people in my life, like you, to walk alongside me.  🙂

Love to you all!