Whether it's the "freshman fifteen", a little baby weight that never quite comes off, or weight gain due to hormonal changes as we get older, unless something is done to actively push back, weight gain is like a train that just keeps gaining speed. That's how a friend described it to me several years ago when I first decided to try and lose a little weight. I was successful that time around but about five years ago I completely lost control of my health. I went back to work full time, my father passed away unexpectedly, I had a series of health issues that culminated in a hysterectomy, and I turned 40, which for a person with hypothyroidism makes weight loss all the more difficult. Perhaps most importantly I put my weight gain and general health on the back burner and really lost any motivation to prioritize what I considered the least important issue in my life. At 5"1 (and a half!) and 163 lbs I can honestly say I now weigh more than I did on the last day of each of my two pregnancies. More importantly, my cholesterol levels are rising, my normally low blood pressure is creeping up, and I am less healthy than I have ever been. The picture above is from this winter in Miami. I don't love it but believe me it's not the worst one I have! I wanted to share it with you as we get started.
ORBERA came across my desk as Dr. Din's practice administrator. It is part of my job to evaluate any business proposals or opportunites that come through our office. Dr. Din rejects the vast majority of these. With ORBERA he was cautiously optimistic as he reviewed the literature and the intragastric balloons on the market. After speaking to several peers who work in the field, reading all the studies available to him, and undergoing training in this procedure, Dr. Din is really excited to offer this weight loss system to his patients. I insisted that I wanted to be the first person to get this done in our office. The hardest part is going to be the commitment that all patients who sign on for the procedure and the 12 months of support agree to. As Dr. Din's wife I have historically also been his worst patient. This year I am going to trust the process, listen to our team and regain control of my health. This makes me the ideal first candidate because if I can follow through on this, anyone can!
I had a pre-procedure EGD and colonoscopy last week to make sure I don't have any pre existing conditions that would prevent me from being a good candidate for the procedure. Most patients will have a regular GI exam in the office and an EGD immediately prior to the placement of the balloon. I had mine last week because of course being a non compliant patient (in the past!) I was about 5 years overdue for my colonoscopy and EGD. Other than a cold I've picked up over the weekend, everything was fine and if the cold clears up I am scheduled to have my ORBERA procedure on Wednesday February 22nd.
Last night I met with Melvin, our fantastic fitness consultant. You'll be hearing a lot more about Melvin. He is an essential member of our team as ORBERA is just a tool for weight loss. The real results come because of the changes you are making. Melvin met with me and laid out my fitness plan. It's really basic because there is very little I have done in terms of fitness in the last few years. Each person who joins our team gets to meet with Melvin and develop their own plan for how they will be successful regardless of their current level of fitness.
On my agenda for this week is getting signed up for ORBERA coach, an app that walks me through the nutritional component of the program, lets me track my progess so the office can see what I've done, and is the portal through which I have one on one consultations with my nutritionist at my convenience. I'll let you know how I like it once I'm up and running. On Wednesday I have my physical and preparation meeting with the team at the office. At this time I get instructions from Dr. Din regarding preparing for the procedure as well as my prescriptions so I can get them filled and have them available for when I get home. I will also meet with our physician's assistant, Kelsey, who has worked hard to prepare information for our ORBERA patients so they know what to expect going into the program. I will pick up my grocery list from Kelsey, so again once I get home from the procedure next week I'll have everything I need to follow the program.
I'm looking forward to sharing this journey to better health with each of you. If you have any questions, you can email me directly at [email protected] and I'll do my best to answer them. In about two weeks another member of our team will be joining me on the ORBERA journey. She will be available to answer questions as well. We are doing this as a team and are happy to have you join us as well if you are ready.