One of the reasons I jumped on board to try ORBERA first was because I wanted to "test" it out before I started marketing it as part of my job. I probably could have continued living a relatively sendentary lifestyle and gaining weight without too much concern for a while longer if this hadn't come along. As I shared with you last time, part of preparing for the procedure was undergoing a routine colonoscopy and EGD that I had pushed off for far too many years. At the end of the day yesterday, Dr. Din received my lab results from the colonoscopy. We were both really surprised to discover that the four polyps that had been removed were precancerous. I am grateful to God on so many levels. First that I was led to a place where I was pushed into having the colonoscopy (I had no symptoms that would have propelled me to do this otherwise) and second, that none of these polyps had advanced to beyond precancerous. It has made me so very appreciative that the journey I am taking is one of health and weight loss and not something far more serious.
This of course doesn't mean that I didn't panic a little and consider all the "what if's". Dr. Din shared with me (as he has for many years without me really listening) some ways to reduce the risk of both the recurrence of polyps and prevention of colorectal cancer. This time I'm listening a little more closely. The risk factors that I've been ignoring include excess weight gain, inadequate water intake, excessive consumption of red meat, and a lack or exercise. It must be noted that you can do everything right and still end up with polyps or colon cancer. The best preventative measure is routine colonoscopies. However, if I can make changes that will reduce my risk I have to do it. I am so glad that the opportunity to change some of these habits is right in front of me and that I have access to a weight loss tool and an incredible team that will make this a little easier.
The week before the procedure Dr. Din, Kelsey, Melvin, and all of our staff (the "Team") are already hard at work getting things set up. I was surprised at how much I'm already doing to prepare. I had my weigh in, my vitals logged, and my "before" picture taken, All my lab results are imported into our patient portal and I have started taking an acid reducer (Prilosec) which is basically used to prepare my stomach for the balloon.
Dr. Din has called in my prescriptions and Kelsey and I have gone over what my first week will look like. She's given me a grocery list so I can be prepared when I get home from the procedure. One really important item to have on hand is a protein shake you like. I like Isagenix myself and it requires ordering so I have to make sure I have enough for the first week.
Melvin gave me my workout a few days ago, but honestly I let myself off the hook because I was still recovering from a cold. Nothing gets you out of bed and on the treadmill like the realization that cancer could be knocking on your door. I'm still coughing, but I got my workout in this morning and I'm ready to roll.
I'm signed up for ORBERA Coach, an app we set patients up with. It's primarily a nutrition tool containing recipes, places to log pictures of your food and enter how many steps you've taken each day. Most importantly, this is the portal through which we meet with our nutritionist to design a customized plan. I'm really looking forward to this part. I have terrible eating habits and it seems like I'm supposed to avoid everything that I like eating. I really don't think I can revamp my diet on my own, I'll keep you all posted on how helpful this is. Kelsey will supervise everyone's progress through ORBERA Coach as well. Although you may not have Kelsey right next door to remind you to take your Prilosec like she does for me, she will be with you every step of the way as well.
I've learned through countless efforts (sometimes successful, sometimes not) at weight loss that the support you have and the people coaching you through the process are as important as, if not more important than, the product or system. Getting started has been the hardest part for me. Once I made the decision the Team really took over. I'm really proud of the team we've built and can't wait to get started!