Physical, Emotional and Mental steps on my journey towards healthy living on every level

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

This morning I had the privilege of attending "the class." I had to go to the hospital (used very slow but helpful valet parking) and check in at 8:30. Then I had to go to the Admissions desk of the hospital. The lady took down all my insurance information, gave me a plastic band for my arm, took down lots of information. I thought they were going to try to slap me on the ol' operating table that very day. I asked her, "Now I'm just here for the class today, right?" And she patiently responded, "yes."

I then was escorted up to the AM Admissions room by a silver haired volunteer who saw from my chart where I was from. She asked if I knew a friend of hers from our town, and when I said I did not, she still proceeded to tell me in great detail the story of this person's life as we rounded bends, crossed corridors, went up the elevator, and walked to the room. She started to tell me where to sit, but took a look at my face and decided I could sit wherever I wanted to in the waiting room.

I had to poop, so I took a few minutes to do that as I still had another 1/2 hour to wait. Now, I must say, that if it offends you to read the word poop, you probably won't want to return to this blog. I mean in a few weeks you are going to be hearing all about this journey which is going to include incisions, possibly infections, what I eat and how often I evacuate, so I would hope that telling you that I pooped was OK.

Anyway, I just want to give all the details and not leave anything out as I'm trying to be realistic. Also, i have time as I'm sitting at Culvers as I have a Doctor's Appointment this afternoon that I have to wait around for, so I have time to give lots of details.

Another nurse came and got me and took me into a surgical room. There was a gown sitting there so I asked her, just like I asked the first person. "Now I'm just here fo rthe class today, right?" and she assured me that I was. She weighed me and as my elderly father has said for years, "I just about cracked right up." Here over the last 5 weeks I have been trying to eat everything in site that I'm not going to be able to eat later. I have given myself license to eat what I want until surgery. And in the process of all of this, I have lost 8 pounds in the last five weeks. I think this is so hilarious. But anyway, I digress. I pointed this out to the "weighing nurse" who wasn't as amused as I.

So, by this point in time I have already been helped by 3 people and the class hasn't started. Another person came in to go through a questionnaire with me. She asked me lots of questions about my health and what disorders, disabilities, and disgusting physical traits I had. She also had to write down the ages of all of my children. Why, I have no idea. One of the questions that I found to pure irony was "Do you have a history of unexplained weight loss?" Unexplained weight loss? Don't I WISH!?!? Why would a person with unexplained weight loss need bariatric surgery? I pointed this irony out to the "charting nurse" who wasn't as amused as I.

This woman also gave me a chart to show me what to do if I had extra gas after surgery. It literally has a drawing of a person lying on their stomach with their butt in the air. This is to demonstrate how to help the "air bubbles travel up and out." A pictoral tutorial on how to fart. I was flabbergasted and highly entertained, but by this point had decided not to share my amusement.

I then was finally told that I could go to "THE CLASS." I walked in and there were two other women there, and their mothers. And a pharmacy practicum student. And the trainer. And I was by far the FATTEST person anywhere around. Now, I have always had a history of being over-qualified, so it's nice that I didn't break tradition.... but I am definitely over-qualified for the surgery.

The class wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be because the trainer was FAST. She had apparently done this training about 348 times, because she was good and quick. She went throught he material rapidly and didn't act like we were morons. most of it was no surprise. This is the fourth time I've been through the information so a lot of it, well, actually, all of it, was a repeat. I heard it at the doctors. I read it in the material. I watched a web flash presentation. It is all laid out very specifically. But the bottom line is this: You'll never eat a decent meal again in your life.

After the first hour, the trainer quit, and the dietician started. She went through each week and what we could eat. I won't ruin the surprise for you because I intend to post it all, but the first few weeks I'm going to be crabby and hungry. And then after that I'll be less hungry but still crabby. And won't be eating much but water and mush for a month.

Towards the end of the class I revealed that I did, indeed have a family. I wasn't planning on talking, but I didn't want them to think I was a total loser because my mother wasn't with me. My mother is far away. But I told them I had ten kids. They have no idea how this surgery could push me to murder if I get too crabby. JUST KIDDING. Do NOT call CPS. That was a complete JOKE!

During the end of the training they talked about how we really needed to change our eating habits NOW, to change them before surgery. I asked, "Have you ever had ANYONE that does that? This is MARDI GRAS for goodness sake." She admitted that only the ones who had to lose some in ORDER to have surgery actually did. Everyone else is out having their last favorite foods, I assume.

I have been told by many that you can't have successful surgery without a good, positive attitude, I'm going to prove the world wrong,. I mean who can be POSITVE about eating cream of wheat and cream of chicken soup (with the chunks of chicken removed, please). Nobody. People can fake it, but inside they are crabby. Terribly, horribly, irrevocably crabby.

So, before leaving, I told the dietician that I was not going to be have a good attitude, but that the surgery would be successful. I was going to prove it. She said something stupid like, "Well, it doesn't sound like you really have a bad attitude" and I corrected her and said, "Yes, I do. And I WANT to have a bad attitude. So stop acting like I don't have one." She said something brilliant like, "Oh, you are SO funny."

So, i filled out my paperwork with questions like, "Do you understand that you must exercize regularly for the rest of your life for the surgery to be affective" and turned it in. They said I was free to go. I announced, "I'm going out to have a BIG lunch. After all this talk of bullion and cream of wheat I'm HUNGRY." As I left I could hear the whole room talking about me and laughing. Satisfying, in a strange sick way. Very satisfying.


At 5:01 PM, Blogger Mary said...

The recipient of many surgeries, I am fully aware of the "position" to relieve intestinally injected gas. Use it! It'll feel like you're having a heart attack, with pain in your shoulders.

We have the same attitude and make jokes about what's going to happen. For many years, I had infertility surgeries and joked with my GYN that if I saw him at the grocery store the only way he'd recognize me is if I was in stirrups.

And pooping is important. They never let you leave until you've passed gas and pooped at least once. So move them bowels!


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