The icky…

When doing the gastroscopy, the doctor also tests for a great many things you had no clue about. One of these is your PH. When there are irregularities, you will be sent for the following:  The esophageal pH test is an outpatient procedure performed to measure the pH or amount of acid that flows into the esophagus from the stomach  during a 24-hour period.

The procedure is commonly used to help confirm the diagnosis of  GERD or to identify the cause of various symptoms, including:

Heartburn, primarily in patients who have had a normal endoscopy and who have failed medical treatment or may be considered as candidates for surgery

  • Uncommon symptoms of  GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), such as chest pain,  chronic cough,asthma, and other throat symptoms.

How this works:

The equipment used in the esophageal pH test consists of a small probe that is inserted through your nostril and positioned near the lower esophagus. The probe is plugged into a small unit (or monitor) worn on your belt or over your shoulder. A newer, wireless device may make monitoring the pH level easier: Instead of having to have a tube placed down your nose for 24 hours, your doctor will place a disposable capsule into the esophagus using an endoscope. The capsule then wirelessly transmits information for up to 48 hours to a receiver worn around the waist.

With the touch of a button on your monitor, it will record the following information:

  • The occurrence of symptoms
  • The times when you eat and lie down

A nurse will review the monitoring instructions with you.

Be careful with the monitor and keep it dry at all times.

This is not a pleasant test but I can assure you, you won’t die. It is uncomfortable, and you might get a little nauseous, but when its done, its done. Just a quick tug and its out and you can go on as usual.


Here we go…

After the gastroscopy, all the assessments started. Did you know 90% of Weight Loss Surgery patients have a hernia of some sort? I didn’t know I had one until after the gastroscopic procedure. I never had any symptoms at all. This will also be fixed in your surgery.

I had to visit a psychologist that did a few tests and upon the second visit, before I was cleared for surgery. They put you through all the psychological tests, because lets face it, if your mind is not right, this will never work. If emotional eating is your vice, you are going to have some serious work cut out for you. BUT, this too shall pass. You can do this, again, eyes on the prize.

You need to get the sleep study behind you as soon as possible so that they can send your results to the endocrinologist.Your endocrinology appointment is extremely important as well. Your heart and lungs must be ready for this fight. Angela Murphy is a very kind doctor that will tell you exactly like it is, and how to get yourself on track for surgery. Apparently everyone has a vitamin D deficiency, which she gave me a script for.


In the beginning…

In January this year (2017), I started with the process. I was quite intimidated by the list of doctors I had to schedule, procedures I had to go through and just general time it was going to take to get to surgery. I am eternally grateful that I chose the best team in  the industry. From day one, I felt supported, had the right guidance and overall, the experience was painless on my emotions. Dr Schutte at the Sunward Park Bariatric Center of Excellence. Enough said. He has the recipe for success in the bag!

You will see a Endocrinologist, Biokineticist, Psychologist, Sleep Therapist, Dietician, have Bloodwork done, then after all the little procedures, you will see the surgeon. The reason for this is simple. Because this is a very complex procedure, that affects your whole life, for the rest of your life. You have to be in the right space mentally, you need to be well enough bodily to handle the surgery, and you need to stick to the most important of all – after care.

I went for my first gastroscopy procedure on the 2nd of February 2017. It was honestly painless, and after I woke from anesthesia, I never even felt like anything happened. The bloods they took that day was pretty prolific. I remember thinking…..are you going to be buying a house on my name with all that DNA you are extracting madam…

Its sad to think how thankful I was that my BMI was high enough to qualify for my medical aid paying. But it being 59 was a massive gamble with my life. It was a rarity that a person of my stature, 1.64m tall (or should I say short) and weighing 158kgs, didn’t suffer from a co-morbidity.


How it all started for me

I would like to introduce myself first. My name is Karen, I’m a 35 year old single mother of two kids, living in Johannesburg South Africa.

As you know, no matter where you are in the world, the road to weight loss surgery is a long one. It requires patience, discipline and lots of “eyes on the prize” moments. Its emotional, it pushes you out of comfort zones and it is by no means the easy way out. Contrary to popular belief.

By the time you have made up your mind, you are a professional cyberspace troll. You have googled it all, you have questioned it all and you know everything there is to know about all the procedures. But do you……?

I am going to take you through the journey with me, be honest about the nasty, “YAY” about nicer things and just be honest about it all.

Keep on following, to read all about it.