It was back in October when I decided to seriously pursue weight-loss surgery as an option. My first call was to my health insurance company. There was a half hour of my life I will never get back.
My next call was to our family doctor to check for a referral. I was originally referred to a doctor who was part of our main medical group. As I continued doing my research though, I found myself looking at Dr. James Wallace and the Bariatric Surgery Program at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. As coincidence had it, two of the only people I knew that have had the surgery were patients of Dr. Wallace's. No amount of research can equal firsthand reports.
My wife and I attended the orientation in November. Some things seemed pretty simple. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Done. Chew each bite of your food at least 30 times. A bit of a change from my gulp and swallow technique, but I can do this. Increase protein? I can do that, just eat more red meat (my kind of diet).
Then came the hits. No red meat (at least for the first year). There goes that special cow diet I had planned. No doughy bread products? Are doughnuts really a doughy bread product? Increased risk for gall stones? Great, they can form a little stone co-op with my kidney stones.
The orientation was every bit of three hours long and at the end I still had questions. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't intimidated by the procedure after the orientation.
After a break for lunch, we met with Dr. Wallace for the one-on-one consult. The nurse took a history and my vitals. My blood pressure was 180 / 110. OK, the orientation was intimidating, but let's get real. My wife thought I was actually having a heart attack right on the spot. Thankfully, the nurse took a manual blood pressure and I was cured. Gotta love that technology. I would’ve paid money to see what my wife's blood pressure shot up to during that short time.
Dr. Wallace was very thorough and genuinely listened to my wife and me. He addressed the questions we had ready for him and seemed to have a strong confidence without crossing the line into arrogance. There was one thing that Dr. Wallace and his staff made abundantly clear. This surgery is not a cure. It is a tool, and like any tool it will only work as well as the operator that is handling it.
Next week, I will talk about the next steps in the process.
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Way to go Scott!!! I also happened upon your adventure while searching for employment as well. Looking forward to reading your continued entries. Much success to you!
- Philomena Wirtz