Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Information Overload....

There is so much to learn!

I knew going into this that it is a lifelong commitment, but let me tell you yesterday was very informative.  I thought I knew quite a bit about weight loss surgery.  Well turns out I didn't know as much as I thought I did.  I also learnt that I need to toughen up mentally if I am even going to make it through this journey.  

Yesterday started out with a trip to my doctor to have her fill out the physician questionnaire portion of the registration package for the Humber River Regional Hospital Bariatric Program.  It is about 5-6 pages that your doctor needs to fill out asking questions about your health etc. I had to have blood work done (apparently I haven't had any done for over a year?!?!).  My doctor is not the best doctor so she didn't even fill out the paperwork fully, so hopefully there isn't a problem with that.  I filled out my portion of the questionnaire with as much detail as possible which was about 20 pages of medical history.

Once done at the doctor's office I had to rush back home to pick up my boyfriend so that he could come down to the information session with me (they recommend that you bring your significant other or a friend or family member.) By 11:20am we were en route to Toronto for the information session which started at 1pm.

So this next part is where I say that I need to toughen up mentally and also how I have mentioned in previous posts that I cannot do what I used to be able to do and it is so frustrating for me.  I am so ashamed and just upset that I can't walk as far as I used to be able to walk and that my legs feel like they are going to give out, and my back kills and the disc in my back pinches the nerve to the point where my legs go numb and feel like they are going to give out.

We arrived at the Humber River Regional Hospital around 12:40pm the Finch site.  We park (approx 30 meters from the entrance) I walked approx 5 meters and my legs wanted to give out.  I couldn't walk anymore and there was still so far to go.  I was so mad.  Of course when I get mad and angry nowadays  I cry.  So I am walking with my boyfriend and bawling at this point.  So he is like "Let me go get the car, I can take you to the entrance and then go park and come back."  I don't want that....I want to walk it.  I try to walk another meter and just can't do it.  It was all I could do to remain standing.  So Rob (my boyfriend) goes back and gets the car and picks me up. At this point I am broken down bawling I want to go home.  I don't want to go to the information session.  So after getting out a good cry, I get to the entrance and walk down the 6 steps into the foyer and sit and wait for Rob to come in.  We then proceed to find out where we need to go, it is a lot more walking down a long hall, I have to stop twice.  Once we get there I am relieved we are there.  I go to the counter to check in....We are at the wrong site.  We have to go to the Humber River Regional Hospital Keele site.  Well I start to cry again because it took so much out of me to get to this point.  So we get directions and I have to walk back out to the foyer and sit and wait for Rob to get the car and bring it around to the entrance.
I am totally frustrated, sad and upset that I can't walk far and am at my wits end before I even get to the other place and really thinking about turning around and going home, but I need this surgery and I want my life back more than the pain I am feeling. So on we go.

We get to the Humber River Regional Hospital Keele site Rob again has to drop me off at the entrance while he goes to park the car.  We follow the signs once we get into the hospital to get to the room where the information session is being held.  It is a long walk, and I have to stop 4 times because my legs are hurting and feeling like they are going to give out and my back is just burning. At this point I am an hour late for the information session because the lady at the other site said "Oh it will take 10 minutes to get to the Keele site." It does NOT take 10 minutes to get anywhere in Toronto especially in traffic.  So we get to the room where the information session is supposed to be held, there are two people in the room and they say "Oh the information session is downstairs." I bawl.  I am not only in serious pain at this point but I am an hour late and missing vital information that I want to hear and I can't believe that we can't get to this damn information session.  So we make it downstairs after another long walk and interrupt the whole information session because we are coming in so late.  However they were really nice and understanding.

This is why I am saying I need to mentally toughen up.  I was ready to give up 30 times yesterday.  I guess I should look at it that I didn't give up and I did push through, but I need to start really pushing myself and challenging myself more.  But I was so ashamed, sad and just mad that I have let myself get to the point where I can't walk any distance, that I have let myself get to this disgusting point.  I just can't believe it.  But I am 100% committed to changing it.  Yesterday was a huge eye opener.  Not just all the information that I learnt.  But the things I learnt about myself.  This isn't going to be easy, it is going to get a whole lot harder before it will get easier.  I need to dig down deep and gather up all my motivation and give this every fiber of my being.  This is the most important journey that I am going to take I am pretty sure.  

I learnt a lot about weight loss surgery yesterday, the information session was very informative.  They outlined everything from what to expect the process getting to the surgery is going to be like, to post surgery expectations.  One of my main worries with this whole process is the cost.  We are very lucky in Ontario, Canada to have OHIP, which will cover the cost of the surgery itself.  However there are still a lot of out of pocket costs that you have to come up with when you choose to have this surgery.  I am on ODSP and they do not cover anything at all.  Yesterday I found out that there is more cost than I initially thought.  I was worried about being able to afford the surgery before I went to the information session well after I went to the information session I was basically at the point where I was questioning if I could do it.  Which was very, very upsetting because I truly believe this is my last opportunity or chance to lose weight.  I have tried and tried to lose weight different ways throughout my life, and I think due to not only my health the way it is right now, but because of some of the problems I have that weight loss surgery is going to be the only answer that will allow me to lose the weight I need to lose.
Before I went to the information session these are the costs that I thought I was going to have to come up with:
Opti-fast liquid diet (pre-surgery 4-6 weeks) $200-400
Tinzaparin (Blood thinner needed for 8 days post surgery) $80-200
Parking for appointments- $200 (approx for all the time there)
Vitamins and supplements (for a couple months)- $200
Protein powder- $200 
Gas- $400
=$1600 before taxes.  (keep in mind these are estimates could be more or less and this is what I thought it would cost before the information session.)

What it actually costs:

Opti-fast liquid diet- (4-6 weeks at $110 per week) $660
Tinzaparin (Blood thinner it is based on your weight the cost) $280
Prevacid (an anti-acid that is needed for 6 months after surgery) $480
Vitamins and minerals and protein- $60/month so lets say $120 for 2 months 
Parking for appointments $200
Gas-$400 (if I am lucky I have a feeling this will be more after what it cost yesterday to go down.)
Scale and measuring cups I have to purchase $50
=$2190 estimate.  

The above doesn't include anything as far as food because you have to follow a special diet for the first month.  Even after the first month it is going to be more expensive protein rich foods and food with little to no sugar you have to eat which can cost more.  Mind you, I won't be eating nearly as much as I am now so it will even out.  So needless to say after the information session I was at the point where I was thinking I was not going to be able to have the surgery.  I just don't make enough to even save that amount by the time I have surgery.  Then I was on my way home and Rob and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up something for dinner when I got the most amazing news ever.
One of my dearest friends sent me a message stating she wanted to donate the $2000 I need to have the surgery!!!!!!  I was in complete and utter shock.  I am so grateful, she is an angel.  She is literally helping save my life.  But if that wasn't a sign that I am on the right path right now, I don't know what is.  

So I am getting the surgery!!!!  I am extremely committed to this new lifestyle.  I am going to start making some of the changes I need to make now.  Including starting to get some more activity in (walking, even if it is only for 5 minutes to start).  Also portion control and choosing better food options.

I am extremely blessed with amazing family and friends. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and is supporting me through this journey.

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