Let's talk GERD **part FOUR**

Low and behold Dr. Evans came through!  I got a phone call from his office telling me that he spoke to a Dr. Prats in York.  Yeah! *does little happy dance*  I call Dr. Prats office and set up an appointment for January 26.  Ugh.  It's so far away it seems.  

Time did fly quicker than I expected and the day arrived.  I was a mess waiting though.  I was worried that I would see someone else and be told they too couldn't help me.  Sometimes I think people roll their eyes when I tell them that THIS is my big medical issue.  BUT, the lack of sleeping, the pain in my esophagus, the coughing, the pain running down my arm that feels like I think a heart attack would feel, the shortness of breath, the inability to exercise due to reflux... and the list goes on and on.  And those are just my symptoms.  The end result of this is about a 90-95% chance of Barrett's esophagus which then can be a precursor to cancer.

Cancer is a scary word and hearing that there is a possibility that could be a next step is disconcerting at best.  Especially since I have such a severe case so young, they really don't know how bad the long term effects could be.  I realize this isn't something major.  I am not trying to garner sympathy nor do I have a woe is me attitude, BUT this does have an impact on my health.  

*stepping off soapbox again*

So when my appointment with Dr. Prats rolls around I am nervous to say the least.  I pick Josh up from work and head to the office.  When we get there I have to give them my paperwork and insurance.  Then we wait.  And wait.  And... Melissa?  Oh, she said my name!  I grab my purse and start to get up.  The nurse gives me a puzzled look and I turn around and there is another lady gathering her stuff.  Ummm... I tell her my last name.  She's like "that's not a B is it?"  Ummm... NO, it starts with a "c."  Her response "well I wasn't calling you then."  

Okay, all she said was a first name!  How was I supposed to know another Melissa was waiting?? I'm kind of having a meltdown now because the mean nurse upset me and I was already on edge. When I finally get called I sulk back to the hallway.  Plop on the scale and I am then lead to the room.  The nurse takes my bp, 110/70 - like usual, and tells me the doctor will be in shortly.  So again we wait... and wait... and wait.  

Dr. Prats finally comes in and I'm pleasantly surprised.  He's super nice and starts going over my file.  Then he hits me with a great surprise, he actually had a conversation with Dr. Evans (my previous surgeon) about my case.  I know this seems like an odd thing to get excited about, but I've noticed that people have a tendency to promise to do something and not follow through.  I'm not talking just about doctors, but about people in general.  So thank you to both doctors for restoring a little of my faith in humanity.

So we go over my test results, yes bad, yes he does the toupet fundoplication, this is how it would work *draws some pictures*, but did I hear about the NEWEST procedure?  He doesn't do it... and at this point I wilt.  Seriously once again I start to break down.  I realize this whole thing makes me seem like an emotional mess, but this whole thing has been a roller coaster of ups and downs and can get overwhelming and emotionally taxing. 

He explains to me this new procedure and I tentatively ask if I could just go forward with the procedure we talked about.  He smiles and says he feels as though I am very well informed and he agrees that because of my age, it probably would be best to not try something they have no long term studies on.  Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

At this point he does discuss some possible issues down the road and the potential for another surgery down the road if my gastritis becomes worse.  This is called a vagotomy and involves cutting the nerve to the stomach so that it no longer produces acid, but it also does not perform peristalsis.  Yikes!  He doesn't think this would happen, but he said since I seemed so well informed he wanted me to know everything that could happen.  Then he says he would like to get this scheduled as soon as possible.  I assume we're talking end of February, beginning of March.

Nope.  Friday February 13th.  Friday the 13th.  Friday as in 17 days.  Wow.  It's really happening!  We talk about the fact I will be staying in the hospital overnight with an upper GI the morning after to check to see if I can swallow okay.  I thank him profusely and he sends me off to his scheduling nurse Nancy.  She tells me I have to stop taking all my medications one week prior, no food or drink 24 hours before, I needed to get my blood count checked, etc. 

I walk out of there near tears (again with the emotions! - and no I was NOT PMSing thank you very much).  This is fantastic.  I'm excited, elated, relieved and focused.  This is finally happening and I couldn't be happier.  Yes it will be my first surgery ever, but all except one or two tiny cells in my body are not nervous at all.  I'm ready to be fixed.  To lead a normal life and to be better.

Right now it is Tuesday evening.  I only have to pick up the house tomorrow and get the guest room ready for my mom.  Then just get all my post op entertainment together, pick out my comfy outfit for my hospital visit and relax (maybe blog a little).  Thursday I will be waiting for the phone call to tell me the exact time of my surgery and Friday is the big day.

I have goosebumps right now.  I'm so ready.  YEAH!!!

*hugs and kisses*

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