michiganmilkman

Pre surgery nervousness

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Hello. My date is set for the 21 of march. Ive been calm and reserved about my decision until today. I found myself asking if this is the right choice.  I got over 130lbs I need to lose. I have sleep apnea, hypertension, pre diabetes. I guess im getting caught up in the "what ifs" .  Is it normal to feel this way now? Did any of you who had bypass surgery feel the same before your surgery?  Im scared that I wont wake up. I lost my dad 2 yrs ago in march. He went in for a stress test and never came home. They performed open heart surgery on him and he never woke up.   Thanks for listening Rob

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Hi, Rob.  I definitely worried about the same thing.  I worried about a LOT of things. If you want the full list, feel free to check out my blog on this site - I posted every day for the first month after my surgery, and pretty frequently before.  I'm a big believer in archiving things for posterity.  :)

Not waking up was a big fear of mine.  I also really worried about having a lot of pain and/or post-surgical depression, since both were possibilities and I had post-surgical depression after my last surgery (fusing vertebrae in my neck, about 12 years back).  There is a LOT of scary stuff to read on the internet about WLS, too, and believe me - I read it ALL. 

On a personal note - I lost my dad two years ago, too.  It was actually a big part of why I decided to have this surgery.  I watched my dad struggle with his weight right up until he died, and with the terrible results of carrying it - diabetes, hypertension, immobility, pain... you name it.  I decided I couldn't risk following that same path, so in a real sense it was his life experience that led me here.  But at the same time, I understand very well how losing a parent can muck with your mind - make you doubt yourself, and feel your own mortality. 

All I can say is, going through with this surgery was the best thing I ever did for myself.  Odds are really, really good that in six months or so, you'll be saying the same thing to some pre-surgical forum member!

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33 minutes ago, michiganmilkman said:

Hello. My date is set for the 21 of march. Ive been calm and reserved about my decision until today. I found myself asking if this is the right choice.  I got over 130lbs I need to lose. I have sleep apnea, hypertension, pre diabetes. I guess im getting caught up in the "what ifs" .  Is it normal to feel this way now? Did any of you who had bypass surgery feel the same before your surgery?  Im scared that I wont wake up. I lost my dad 2 yrs ago in march. He went in for a stress test and never came home. They performed open heart surgery on him and he never woke up.   Thanks for listening Rob

Rob-  I was calm, cool and collected all the way up until the day or two before. My surgeon met with me the day before, walked me through the procedure, showed me the actual tools she would be using etc. She asked me if I had any concerns, and I said "well yeah- I have 5 young kids at home and I'm afraid of dying tomorrow! I want to wake up!!" She smiled, and reminded me that the risks I was bringing on myself by continuing to carry diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea (major heart threat)... were far greater than the risk of going under anesthesia. I knew that of course.  I've told folks here before-- the biggest risk is NOT taking one!

Left to your own devices, untreated, your story can only end one way.  The same for all of us. Fat, ridden with disease and complication and co-morbidities, and having cashed in years of our lives early. There's no guarantees with anything of course. But you already know you need this, to change the outcome of your story.

Just know on the day you go in, lots of us will be here rooting and praying for you. I can't even imagine what it would have been like going into my surgery without knowing that all my friends here at TT were thinking about me and waiting for me to get on the bench next to them :-)  We will be waiting for you too!

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I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas for months before the surgery. I didn't worry at all. You'll be fine. I approach situations with the thought that worry is the most useless emotion you can suffer. Don't focus on the amount of weight you have to lose. Focus on doing it!

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Also, remember the anesthesiologist that they will assign to your case in the hospital will be well-versed in working with high risk and obese people. They will be extremely attentive and on high alert at all times because of the risks. When I met with my anesthesiologist before I went in for surgery in pro-op, I told him of my concerns and I had a baby at home.  He assured me and my husband over and over that he would be right there if anything would happen  & he and his team would be the first to jump in. Being honest with all parts of your surgical team is important. I asked for something to help relax me the night before surgery so I could actually get a few hours of sleep. My PA kinda chuckled, and I told her that my anxiety was real not just surgical and not waking up fear, but it's major change in every aspect. When I wake up, life as I knew it when I go under would never be the exact same way again...and there is anxiety in big changes. She actually apologized and wrote me a script on the spot. She got it just like my anesthesiologist did when I told him. Probably helped that my eyes were welled up with huge crocodile tears that fell when I was talking....lol! 

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Congratulations on your date! It's normal to be nervous. Its very difficult to lose 130 pounds. If we could've lost it and kept it off, we would have by now. We need surgical help to lose it and live our best lives. By the time my surgery date rolled around, I was more scared NOT to do it. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad. Your situation is much different. You've undergone tests to be sure your body can handle this surgery. I keep thinking about how much easier your physical farm work will be afterwards. It really is so worth it.

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Rob,

I had the nerves or coordinating international travel and childcare to distract me from the fear of the surgery. I wasn’t scared until the morning of the surgery. I shouldn’t have worried at all. I never felt real pain after surgery  I was very uncomfortable due to gas and fatigue but I can’t claim it was pain.

You will be healthier and happier than you have been in years. You will ask yourself why you didn’t have surgery earlier. You will have your life back. I’m excited for you! 

I understand the fear of not waking up. My cousin, who was thin and healthy, did not wake up from an elective breast enhancement surgery. Twenty years later, her loss is still felt hard by my family. I can sympathize. *hugs*

 

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I worried about my surgery before the day of surgery, especially since it was the first time in my life that I would be under general anesthesia.  But I worried far more about a heart attack or a stroke killing me at a younger age if I did not have weight loss surgery.

I have never regretted having my gastric bypass - not once.  We are here to support you, and to welcome you soon to the losers bench.

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On 2/14/2018 at 5:32 AM, TP1210 said:

I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas for months before the surgery. I didn't worry at all. You'll be fine. I approach situations with the thought that worry is the most useless emotion you can suffer. Don't focus on the amount of weight you have to lose. Focus on doing it!

I felt the same way.....once I decided to get the surgery, I never looked back.  I knew I would be healthier after the surgery and I knew I was getting too old to deal with the fact "I might lose the weight on my own".  I had looked into the surgery in my 40s and should have done it then!  But better late than never, I am healthier and happier than EVER and I still have a long way to go and a great life to live!!!!  I didn't worry at all about the surgery or not waking up...I was at a great hospital and had great drs/nurses so I put myself in their hands/expertise and just enjoyed the next step to the NEW me!  

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Rob, I was in the same boat-I had so many health issues I wrote good bye letters to my adult kids.  I was sure I wouldn’t wake up.  I was so scared that I almost got up and left in the OR room.  If I had, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I am so thankful I didn’t back out.  Life on the losers bench is great.  My health issues are in remission, I’ve done things I never thought possible.   Once I had surgery I’ve never looked back.  

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On 2/13/2018 at 10:05 PM, michiganmilkman said:

Hello. My date is set for the 21 of march. Ive been calm and reserved about my decision until today. I found myself asking if this is the right choice.  I got over 130lbs I need to lose. I have sleep apnea, hypertension, pre diabetes. I guess im getting caught up in the "what ifs" .  Is it normal to feel this way now? Did any of you who had bypass surgery feel the same before your surgery?  Im scared that I wont wake up. I lost my dad 2 yrs ago in march. He went in for a stress test and never came home. They performed open heart surgery on him and he never woke up.   Thanks for listening Rob

Oh, Rob. So very sorry to hear of your dad. I can see where that would make it even scarier for you. Maybe you could meet the anesthesiologist ahead of time to calm your fears? Check them out. Ask what their record is and ask the statistics.

Yikes. I just had stress test and failed it a few weeks back. I was wondering how bad things could be if there were indeed an issue and they pushed me to my limits. Really sorry about your dad.

 

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On 2/15/2018 at 6:08 PM, Gretta said:

Congratulations on your date! It's normal to be nervous. Its very difficult to lose 130 pounds. If we could've lost it and kept it off, we would have by now. We need surgical help to lose it and live our best lives. By the time my surgery date rolled around, I was more scared NOT to do it. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad. Your situation is much different. You've undergone tests to be sure your body can handle this surgery. I keep thinking about how much easier your physical farm work will be afterwards. It really is so worth it.

Thank you, (((Gretta))) I actually started thinking about it after I read this post. 2 hours is a long time to be put under but, you are right! My surgeon has put me through every test imaginable to be sure that I will be safe for surgery.

Rob, we got this!!!

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On 2/14/2018 at 5:32 AM, TP1210 said:

I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas for months before the surgery. I didn't worry at all. You'll be fine. I approach situations with the thought that worry is the most useless emotion you can suffer. Don't focus on the amount of weight you have to lose. Focus on doing it!

So true! And you are a great inspiration for the rest of us. If you can lose close to 350 pounds, we can surely lose our extra weight.

Rob, we got this!!

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On 2/13/2018 at 7:05 PM, michiganmilkman said:

........... I got over 130lbs I need to lose. I have sleep apnea, hypertension, pre diabetes. .....  I lost my dad 2 yrs ago in march. He went in for a stress test and never came home. They performed open heart surgery on him and he never woke up.

Rob,

I think you already  know that you wrote the best reply to your own question.

 I went back and forth over my decision but I had to keep reminding myself that 35+ years of trying to do it on my own didn't work and I just ended up heavier each time.  But my surgeon gave me the confidence that this was the right step for me.  Fact is, some will argue that although small, the risk is too high for an elective procedure. Others will counter that not having surgery is far riskier as many patients would run a very high risk of an early death or worse, become severely disabled of an obesity-related condition within a few years.

Given my history, I put my faith in the fact that for me, I had no choice.

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Your nerves are justified and completely normal. Any time you have surgery, there is always a risk. I was nervous before my bypass, but not for the same reasons. I've had a LOT of surgery in my life, so I was fairly certain I'd wake up after. My worries were more toward the  post op pain and nausea end of things. I had no pain, and once my nausea went away I felt really good. But it's totally understandable why you worry. Especially after what happened with your dad. 

Not having the surgery would be so much more risky though. Your pre diabetes will not remain "pre" forever. Sleep apnea can, and does, have some pretty serious complications. You know the risks from hypertension. Take it from a type 2 diabetic (now in remission :)) formerly very sick and taking 2 types of insulin, with high blood pressure and high cholesterol (also in remission and off all meds for it)...this surgery has saved my life! I was told by one of my doctors, prior to my bypass, that I wouldn't see 60 if I didn't make a drastic change. I want to celebrate my 60th birthday :) I'm GOING to celebrate my 60th birthday! And my 70th...

What if's are normal. Just remember why you're doing this...so the "what if's" of NOT having the surgery don't take you before your time ❤️

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1 hour ago, Nana Trish said:

I was told by one of my doctors, prior to my bypass, that I wouldn't see 60 if I didn't make a drastic change. I want to celebrate my 60th birthday :) I'm GOING to celebrate my 60th birthday! And my 70th...

I'm betting that you celebrate your 80th too!!:D

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Just now, Res Ipsa said:

I'm betting that you celebrate your 80th too!!:D

Thank you, @Res Ipsa!! I'll take that bet :DB)

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On 2/13/2018 at 10:05 PM, michiganmilkman said:

Hello. My date is set for the 21 of march. Ive been calm and reserved about my decision until today. I found myself asking if this is the right choice.  I got over 130lbs I need to lose. I have sleep apnea, hypertension, pre diabetes. I guess im getting caught up in the "what ifs" .  Is it normal to feel this way now? Did any of you who had bypass surgery feel the same before your surgery?  Im scared that I wont wake up. I lost my dad 2 yrs ago in march. He went in for a stress test and never came home. They performed open heart surgery on him and he never woke up.   Thanks for listening Rob

Hi Rob. My surgery will hopefully be around the same time as yours! I know I’ll get a little nervous right before surgery but I am so  looking forward to a chance at a healthy life. I have diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I’ve tried about every diet you can imagine and always end up gaining it back. At 56 years old I figure it’s now or never for a great chance at getting off all these meds and being able to live a full and healthy life. Congratulations on your surgery date! We’ll all be here cheering you on. We’ve got this!!!:D

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The university I work for just released (as in a month ago) a research study that shows that bariatric surgery prolongs patient lifespans:

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2018/january/bariatric-surgery-prolongs-lifespan-in-obese/

Surgery is always scary, and you could certainly be one of those people who has complications, but statistically speaking, you are better off having the surgery. 

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Thank you for the link Kristin.  

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On 18/02/2018 at 9:46 AM, CheeringCJ said:

I felt the same way.....once I decided to get the surgery, I never looked back.

I didn't worry at all about the surgery or not waking up...I was at a great hospital and had great drs/nurses so I put myself in their hands/expertise and just enjoyed the next step to the NEW me!  

This was me as well. I didn't have a moment of questioning my decision once it was made. I had total faith in my surgeon and knew that any risk I might be taking he would manage with every ounce of skill he had. I was going to be better off after surgery than if I didn't have it....I knew that even if I died, I'd rather that than living the life I was before.

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Thank you all for the replies. It helps hearing from all of you.  Rob

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8 minutes ago, michiganmilkman said:

Thank you all for the replies. It helps hearing from all of you.  Rob

Hey Rob, I had all sorts of butterflies in my stomach and kept having the Doubts. All of us do. But it's still the best thing I ever did. My family is pretty blown away by my health and all the good changes that came with it. Do the math, this is all so in your favor. Don't let your emotional fears of a bad outcome outweigh the rational benefit-to-risk calculation. Maybe you can fight the emotional fear of the surgery with emotional grief, and motivation, related to your father's early passing. Easy for me to say, of course. 

Very sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. It stinks. His loss must be powerful - my father passed 7 years ago, and I miss him every day - and you don't want to leave the Earth prematurely as he did.

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On 2/18/2018 at 6:31 PM, kristinwitha_k said:

The university I work for just released (as in a month ago) a research study that shows that bariatric surgery prolongs patient lifespans:

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2018/january/bariatric-surgery-prolongs-lifespan-in-obese/

Surgery is always scary, and you could certainly be one of those people who has complications, but statistically speaking, you are better off having the surgery. 

Thanks for sharing this article, @kristinwitha_k  

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