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I Want A New Drug – Weight Loss Surgery

Athena Perez

June 22, 2016

For those of you who don’t know, there are 20 steps in a Bariatric Surgery process (some might be longer depending on the insurance company). The first step was to attend the informational seminar.  I would say 90% of the folks were in their late 40’s to early 60’s; it was quite obvious I was the youngest one there. But, I did see more overweight people in the room that night than I have the entire time I’ve been in Minnesota. Perhaps they were all hiding out in their homes just like I do. It’s intimidating living here sometimes. I never see anyone like me.  

The first step was to meet with the Bariatrician and Nurse Clinician.  This was the first day I got weighed in. It would set a precedent for all of the appointments to follow. I was told if that number increased in any way during the months that would follow I would be out of the program. Shit, I didn’t realize I was setting a precedence this day. *gulp*…..

interviewI ended up sitting there for almost two hours as they went through my entire medical history since birth.  They want to know all of your dirty secrets; eating habits, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, sexual habits, addictions (or susceptibility), and family medical history. It was exhausting and a bit intrusive.  

I had a litany of things to do after I was given my “to do list” at the end of my appointment but I was able to cross off quite a few things from the start. Unbeknownst to me, I had already done many things on the list required for surgery.  

Last summer I starting suffering from mysterious symptoms; severe edema, blackouts, losing feeling in my arms and hands, feeling like my heart was beating a mile a minute, memory problems. I forgot appointments, and if I didn’t write down every meeting and phone call, I would forget.  They sent me in for heart testing believing I might be suffering from a heart condition. This didn’t surprise me; my birth father has a congenital heart condition. There was a strong possibility that perhaps I might be suffering from the same thing.  I was a little nervous going through all the testing but to my surprise when all the tests were complete, they found nothing wrong.  So they decided to send me in for a sleep study. 

The sleep study – another uncomfortable process. They hook you up to 10,000 (seems like) probes all over your body and they monitor your sleep. Although I don’t know how accurate these tests are; it’s impossible to sleep with the way they’ve got you all hooked up.

The results from the sleep study were inconclusive, and they wanted to test me a second time. The doctor was worried I might be suffering from gestational narcolepsy. I didn’t even realize this was possible.  It got quite bad actually. If I wasn’t working, I was sleeping. I was sleeping on average of 16-18 hours a day. I was getting work done, but that’s about it.  It took three rounds of sleep tests and blood testing to figure out what was wrong. I did have sleep apnea, but the culprit causing all of my health issues was a tiny pill they prescribed to “help with my knee.” The culprit’s name was Celebrex.


To help with the increasing knee pain, they put me on a new pill. Unfortunately, I only took it when the pain became unbearable, so I saw no connection to all of the health problems it was causing; in fact, I didn’t suspect it in the least.

By the time, I had that first appointment I had already done blood work, sleep tests, heart tests and a few others required in the Bariatric process. I kind of had a head start on accident.  At the same time, I felt like I had awoken from a 4-month sleep; trying to figure out how to get back on track.  I hadn’t blogged in 4 months. Ehhh. I didn’t even want to think about it. 

Shit….. this could drive someone to drink. I couldn’t live on prescription drugs – they were killing me. 



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I’m Athena Perez, a Christ-loving dog mom and CrossFitter who has lost over 200 pounds on a long journey of self-discovery. I’m obsessed with sharing everything I’ve learned to help you too!  

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