Friday, August 26, 2011

More Medical News...

Today was the day I met the surgeon that is going to eventually take out my gall bladder. The appointment was little more than a 15 min conversation. And at the end of that conversation, I have to ask a question: Do all doctors go to a class that teaches them how to deliver news in the most doom & gloom, creepy way possible? I mean, I get it. I've watched the requisite medical shows. I understand the psychology here. Most people in my situation are kind of clueless about the dire circumstances they are in. And an overly blunt, even slightly cold recitation of the possible outcomes can be a shocking awakening, kind of like a bucket of glacier cold water dumped on you. But in my case, all it really did was showcase how little this doctor knew of the kind of man I am.

I already knew the risks, and I know the dangers I'm currently facing as well as the factors I have on my side. So while the shocking speech really had no effect on me, it did allow me to learn something about my surgeon. And I liked what I deduced. He seemed to be a no nonsense, straight talking kind of man. The type that will always tell you the truth, whether you like it or not. This is the type of man that can be a good ally in the medical battles ahead of me.

As for the medicine, we covered the risks of the procedures I have to have done. There are two. One is the gall bladder removal, and the second is an endoscopic procedure to check and make sure that all the gall stones are out of my system (and if not, remove them). There is a risk in delaying the procedures, but that same delay also buys me time to lose more weight and increase the safety factor. My surgeon has done this many times and according to him 800,000 gall bladders are removed in the US every year. It's a very common procedure with minor risks.

We went over my gall stone incident in the broad strokes, and I sketched out the particulars of the diet program I'm in. He wanted to discuss permanent weight loss options, meaning gastric bypass surgery or the lap band ring. But I pretty much vetoed that. This diet is working for me, and I want to give it a real shot before I start to consider more drastic, surgical options. As for how well the program is working, realizing how much I lost in such a short time kind of clued the doc into the fact that I was taking this very seriously.

By his assessment, (and I agree) my weight loss progress is good so far, but now I have to step up my game. The easy part of my weight loss program is pretty much over, now it's time for more strenuous activity so I can ramp up the drop in weight. A side benefit of more powerful workouts is that my muscles, skin & other organs will tighten up. This will reduce the amount of excess skin I will most likely have to remove as I keep up the weight loss.

I also got a time frame for the surgery. Balancing risk vs reward, safety vs medical necessity,  he would recommend the procedure be done within the next 2 months. I set up another appointment with him in a month to further assess my progress. If things are going well, he'll schedule the surgery at that time. But the surgery will have to be at least a month out. We both agreed that this is the best course of action.

From here on out, my goals are basically to stick with the diet, ramp up the physical exercise and focus on losing as much weight as I possibly can. I still believe that I can lose all the weight I need without surgical intervention. Now, it's time to put my money where my mouth is and PROVE IT!

1 comment:

  1. "Attaboy", gold stars, brownie points.. Take them all.
    Well done indeed.
    We should talk - I'm in sewing mode these days and can help. Message me on FB? Iris