Behind The Scenes: Gastric Sleeve Operation


 The day was May 15th 2019. Is when I finally was able to have the operation I struggled with for years. 3 years since I started the program in 2016. I struggled with the weight loss portion for years. Then I struggled with the sleep apnea test. 

 The weight loss portion consisted of you to lose a percentage of your current weight. When I started I was a little over 400 pounds. About 434 pounds. I had to lose 13 pounds. A weight of 421 is what I needed to be to advance to the operation. Along with several other appointments and tests to make sure I was able to have the operation. Also each appointment expires after a year so I ended up doing every appointment twice. 

When it came to losing weight I thought I did everything to lose weight but I was just running in place. I talked way too much instead of actually doing it. I seen that scale go from 434 to 470 and then back down. Over and Over until I finally stepped up. After struggling to lose the weight over and over I finally got down to 415. I was finally passed the weight I needed to get the surgery early October of 2018. But was sidelined by the sleep apnea dilemma. I was told I had mild sleep apnea. Although I felt I didn’t.

 With the sleep apnea test you have to wear like a watch with a wire that goes over your finger. I’ll leave a pic below. It requires you to sleep on your back for the whole night or at least 6 hours. For me I love to sleep on my side. So trying to sleep in one position the whole night derailed me. I barely got sleep that night that I took the test. Most of the night I just sat up watching tv. No matter how much I complained and told them I didn’t have it the doctors didn’t care.

 They gave me a machine and a mask to sleep with for 30 days before surgery. I tried everything with this mask. I had told them I barely slept with clothes on. So sleeping with a mask on my face with air blowing directly in my face didn’t help. I often remembered nights when I put the mask on and just lay there wishing I was on a surgery table.

 So after months of no luck. Constant calls to the doctors. I gave up and said fuck this. I requested to see another doctor in hopes of getting another overnight study. Like I did my first go round in the pre op stages. I had done it before and passed in 1 round. So I was hoping to get that but was denied.

 I was given another home study test. This one was worst than the regular test which was like a watch. This one I had to put on a belt. Attach wires to my chest. Put on a watch. It was as if they ignored all my rants about not being able to sleep with stuff on and gave me the opposite.

 I passed. Now luck had nothing to do with it. I cheated, I think. The night before I pulled a all nighter. In other terms I had no sleep so I was tired. Also I took some sleep medication. I had tried zzzquil when using the machine but even that didn’t help. So this time I used Melatonin.

 It did the job. It put me out like a baby. I woke up with more than enough hours needed for the test. After a couple of weeks. I was told I had no evidence of sleep apnea. Like I thought. Maybe a week later I was approved and had a set date for surgery. For others their date is usually like a month or two away. But mines was 3 weeks away. I had to start the liquid diet that Wednesday coming up and it was Saturday when I got the call. I dreamt of having this magical last meal filled with starch, starch, and sugary desserts. I had none of that because I had an appointment on that Monday and I was scared I was going to tip the scale. I had came way too far to mess up on a meal I had eaten so many times before. It just wasn’t worth it in the end.

 Now on to the liquid diet. The diet requires you to take in only fluids. No food at all for two weeks before surgery. The only exception was sugar free jello and popsicles. The liquid diet seemed hard at first but after I got use to it. It wasn’t a big deal. My family’s support also helped. They didn’t cook food around me. They went out to eat instead of eating in front of me. My sister continued to say little things like chicken isn’t that good. I knew she was telling a bald face lie but I loved what she was doing. Getting my mind off of it.

 The grand finale. When the day came I was super nervous. Thoughts set in like what if I don’t wake up? What if it’s my last day? That’s what inspired this poem, Last Day. I went in and I went under and I’m still here to write another day. It wasn’t that bad. I had a couple of issues mentally with my doctor. I didn’t know about the suppository or the penis clamp. I don’t know what the technical term for it but you know what I mean. It helps you pee doing the operation. Whatever. Google help me figure out it’s called a catheter and it’s inserted in you.

 I admire god because if I would have known those two things. My insecurities would not have led me to surgery. I would have quit in 2016. It was my first surgery and hopefully my last. Those two things I wish I was warned before. I was high off medicine and kinda let everything just flow so I guess that wasn’t really bad either.

 Anyways, going under wasn’t really scary. I had thoughts about waking up in the middle of the operation. But it’ snot possible. I don’t know what drugs they used but it put me out. I was out for 4 hours but if you ask me it felt like 2 seconds. The last thing I heard was I’m putting medicine into the machine that was connected to the mask I was wearing. Then I woke up in another room. Feeling like Mike Tyson punched me in the stomach.

 In conclusion the surgery was a success. I’m still recovering of course but I’m back working out and losing weight. The scale is way more fun now. Before I use to see numbers fall here and there. Now every time I stepped on I am down another 5 or ten pounds. Life is good now. My reason for this post is to show my struggle and maybe provide advice. But that’s the end to this long post. Be sure to like, comment and follow this blog. Follow me on Instagram @K.Exum. Follow my blog Instagram @Piecesofkblog. Subscribe to my mailing list to stay updated on my blog posts.


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