- HEALTH TRACKER
Before & After
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I met Dr. Sutyak for the first time on March 5, 2004. He immediately struck me as someone who is genuinely friendly and caring and is totally dedicated to the ultimate care of his patients. I had prior knowledge of the surgery, but he explained things to me in a different manner and explained his variances in technique. He did not have that typical surgeon snobby persona at all. We laughed and joked around and he made me feel totally at ease.
In my opinion, I feel that surgical competence is of the utmost importance when choosing, however, I feel that Dr. Sutyak has it all!
At over 16 months out, I continue to see Dr Sutyak for my follow up visits. He's still very interested in all of his patients and obviously cares a great deal about what he does. I love him! :)
Latest Surgery Support Comments
On December 11, 2003 I went to the COMP (comprehensive obesity management program) Clinic in Springfield. I actually began my journey back at the beginning of this year but because of insurance and BTC errors, it never came to fruition. This time, I feel very positive that things are going in my direction. I had my appointment with the medical director, Dr. Gupta and met the dietician, Erin and the psychologist, Sandy and of course the wonderful coordinator/RN, Cindy. Everyone was exceptionally wonderful and I even got all the appointments done early, thanks to whomever didn't show up that morning. Dr. Gupta said that he felt I was a good candidate for surgery and to modify my diet and lose 10 to 15 lbs before coming back to see them in March. Huh? Only 3 months, not the 6 they said it might be? Cool! So I have to go to a few support meetings which should be cool, one of them is like art therapy and we get to experiment with clay and mosaics :) And I have to lose those 15 pounds or so and then I get to meet the surgeon, Dr. Sutyak. Cindy told me on the 11th she didn't have his schedule for March yet so she'd call me around January to schedule something. Much to my surprise she called me the very next day and I got his second appointment, the 5th of March. So, till then I'm going to be watching and working and praying! 12/15/03 Ok it's nearing 3am and I have to get up in a few hours but I just can't leave this site! I have really enjoyed and been motivated by all the wonderful profiles I've seen and can't help but daydream ... hmm maybe night dreaming now? the success I might just experience finally. Now for the bad news. The RN coordinator told me my GP's nurse wanted to see me before I left the building (her office is 1 floor up). Oh great, I thought. Sure enough, the blood test they'd done on Wednesday ... well my blood sugar was 270 ... 200 is the mark above which they diagnose Diabetes Mellitus type 2. I can deal, I keep telling myself that. I get to stick myself 4 times a day to check my glucose level and call it in once a week for a couple weeks to the office. I also went thru the beginning phase of a research study about asthma and weight loss. They weighed me and took vitals, etc and from last week until this week I'd lost 8 pounds. Now, I know it's darn near impossible to lose 8 pounds in a week but I also know that my shoes (which is the only difference week to week) don't weigh 8 pounds either LOL So, all in all a bittersweet day, but I will survive... 03/21/2004 I got a phonecall from part of my insurance company, there're so many departments and people and procedures! She had received my information from the clinic and was going to forward it on to the higher-ups. I'm so glad this is coming to an end. I'm very burned out it seems everywhere. I hate going to class this last semester, I don't need either of them except as electives, which makes it very difficult to put forth the effort. I'm sending off my application to grad school for Occupational Therapy tomorrow. Just a whole lot of things going on right now. It'll all get better. 04/08/2004 Been a while since I've updated. I found out about a week and a half ago that I have a date!!!!!!!!!!!!!! June 7, 2004 at 7:30 a.m. I will have my surgery. I can't wait. I have a gallbladder ultrasound scheduled for Monday ... that I can wait for lol. Well, just had to throw that in. I'll update more as time goes on... 05/19/2004 Getting closer and closer to surgery day. I'm beginning to experience just a bit of nervousness, but nothing major. Went for the MMPI test with the psychologist today, gee I hope I passed! LOL I have to meet with the dietician on the 28th and then with my surgeon on the 4th of June, a mere 3 days before my day! Wish me luck! 05/30/2004 I'm starting to get a little nervous about my impending surgery. Not killer can't sleep at night totally focused on just that nervous, just a little something on my mind. I have sooooooo much to do at work to get ready for the end of the year and get turned in before Friday ... aye, I just can't believe it. I met with the dietician a couple of days ago and she gave me the "official post-op diet guidelines" and she was great, as always at explaining things. I meet with the surgeon this Friday, the 4th, and taking my mother with me so she can ask all of her questions. Then just one more weekend! Before: 06/17/2004 Well it's been 10 days since my surgery and WOW ... I feel amazing. (I'm sipping my lunch while I'm writing this LOL.) I never really had too much pain post-operatively. I got along just fine with the morphine pump LOL but I didn't over use it either. When I woke up after surgery and had to get up and walk, I just rolled over and pushed right up into sitting and off I went. I'm not so sure why I've been so lucky, maybe all those great prayers, wishes and thoughts from all the great people in my life and those I've run across here, but I have to say that I feel extremely blessed. I go back to see the surgeon and dietician tomorrow, hopefully I will get to step up to some more textured food - mmm pureed. Ha. I have seen many foods pureed, however, pureed cheese puffs - are definitely the worst! I've been taking mini walks throughout the house, but it's a small house (having to stay at mom's until I can at least drive!) and it's so very hot and humid outside it just takes my breath away. Well, I have to go get some more stuff done so ciao for now! And to everyone who sent me good wishes ... THANKS!!!! 07/11/2004 Been a while since I updated my profile here. I've been checking out all the great pictures from the OH event yesterday in St. Louis. I'm so glad I found out about it and went. The day portion was very informative with all the great speakers and vendors there to sample from. But the after party was such a laugh. As for my progress, I'm doing great. Down 42 pounds since my surgery! It's so amazing. I'm starting to get a bit braver with my food choices. Still difficult to get allll the protein in in a day but working at it dilligently! I've lost so much in my behind that I now have to sit on a pillow on the wooden computer chair here! LOLOL Well that's all for now! 07/25/2004 I went to see the dietician on Friday. We talked about all kindsa good stuff. I was bummed that I hadn't lost any more than what my scale showed a couple weeks ago. Plateau's suck!! lol. I'm not totally depressed or anything, I know it'll go again. I'm having a bad food day today. Ate some restaurant food carry out fish last night, requested it baked, well what I didn't think about was that they were going to bake it swimming in butter! I patted it down (smushed it more like!) with towels and ate a bit of it. I later had one sf chocolate creme sandwich cookie and a cup of milk (still workin on that protein thang!) and a couple hours later ... I was praying to the porcelain goddess... EWWWW! I dunno which one it was ... I'd had the cookie and milk before and never got sick, but I can't be for certain. I have only had a bit of cereal and milk this morning and some cream of mushroom soup today but I'm working on some Crystal Light tonight, hope to keep that down. Well I guess that's all for now! 08/14/04 I wanted to add the picture of the gang (well those of us left to take the pic) from the IL boards who met at Dave and Busters in Addison. It was so cool to meet everyone, especially being a newbie back then. Well, the picture is missing but I'll see what I can do! Left to right: (Back) Dawn S., Andi S., Vespa R., Jeff F., Jennifer M., (Front) Marla, me, Dixie Austin (Kathie) and Feedle Eye (Jen V.). What an awesome crowd! 08/22/04 Tomorrow is the day I go back to work. Wow what a crazy summer it's been! Had an awesome time out last night listening to the Antics and dancing. Had my first drink, too, since surgery. Bacardi and diet. It was goooood and I got a bit tipsy! Nothing terrible though! Last time I weighed myself I was 1.5 pounds away from a 50 pound loss. Cool! That was a couple days ago, too so I might even be there now! 08/24/04 Well, I've been back at work for a couple of days and I'm soooooo tired! I guess I didn't anticipate my endurance still sucking! I start school this weekend, too. Ugh. 14 days without a day off... I'm gonna be dead! LOL 09/20/2004 Well, it's been a LONG time since I've updated my profile. Thanks bunches to Patty for doing such a beautiful job on my profile, it's just what I wanted! I started my master's program for occupational therapy last month and it's proving to be quite difficult. Not that I can't handle it mind you, just working full time, having 4 full time classes and trying to manage my new eating habits are a whole lot of things going on at one time, especially for the time-management-challenged such as myself. I am doing better with planning and things of the like though. I have lost like 65 pounds per my evil scale this morning. I am wearing an 18/20 stretch pant and a 20 in regular pants. Woah. My tops are a size bigger than my pants but then again my belly has always gotten in the way - what's to stop it now? It's still a LOT better than the 30 I was before! I have been awesome at getting in my protein except for on my weekends at classes. Water is another story sometimes. I don't know why, prolly just lazy, got to work on that! Saturday away at class is usually ok but this Sunday, whew my tummy hurt so bad I just didn't eat anything but a protein bar and had to force myself to do that. I figured out later that I was gassy. Kinda crabby like when a baby has gas too LOL. It's all good though. I have loads of stuff to do for online work but wanted to update here since it'd been like a month. I look at my before pix vs my 3 month pix and am amazed. My friend called me last night and said that if she was to walk by me on the street she probably wouldn't recognize me ... wow. Well, thanks to anybody who reads this :) Huggzzz, Cathy 09/21/2004 Well I know I just updated yesterday but I went to see Erin, the dietician, today. I absolutely love that girl. She is so awesome and always gives great advice and is so motivating. Her hubby was one of the docs on the aftercare surgery team that came in to see me in the hospital post-op. Those guys were a riot. We talked about how things are going for me and she said I was doing good. My protein bar choice could be better so after this box, I'll look for a different choice. No biggie she said. She's just such a happy and positive person and I look forward to seeing her always. She even said Brian asks about me - I was like coolz! Found out the doc I referred to as 'red''s name is actually Mitchell. I told her Katie Spoon was having surgery today and she said she'd try to get some of the guys to go in and give her a pep talk, hope she doesn't mind, I just feel like we're all family ya know?! I also got my order from vitalady today and got my sf strawberry and sf white chocolate syrups and my sf chocolate syrup ... mmm! Haven't done my postings for class as of yet this week but I have to go give mom the financial aid check tonight so she can pay off her cc because of the mess up at school. Such geeks! Oh yeah, Erin's card said I started off with her at 296 so that makes my total loss 68 pounds!!! Y'all have a great day! Huggzzz, Cathy 10/02/2004 I found out today that a good friend of the family passed away this morning. She had been dealing with various forms of cancer ravaging her body for some time now. She was young, just in her 30's and had so much going for her. This terrible news saddens me, but it also makes me realize something. I have not been living my life to the fullest for a LONG time. It is time to make some changes. I work full-time and go to school full-time so that I can make a better life for myself. I want to get married to a wonderful man and have children and teach them all the beautiful things that life has to offer. My journey towards health is a definite step in the right direction and I am excited at how things are changing. I am wearing clothes I never thought I'd wear again, and this is just the beginning folks! I've made some really great friends here and I am so totally happy that this place exists. Thanks for reading. Huggzzz,Cathy 11/6/2004 Wow it's been a while. Tomorrow is my 5 month anniversary. I've lost 92 pounds since beginning this journey. And I feel amazingly wonderful!! I'm going to make this short - I'm on the way out the door to meet a friend for lunch. I haven't seen her since I was 300 pounds and I can not wait. She's seen my website pix, but not me in person! I'm going shopping with my mom after that. Yesterday I went into Wally World and wanted to buy myself a lil present ... I saw the prettiest sapphire and diamond ring in white gold. Nothing spectactular, but very nice. I thought I'd have to have it resized due to it being a 7 .... well lo and behold I put it on and IT FIT!!!!!!! Wooooooooohooooooooooooooo! Ok I really gotta run :) Thanks for reading this! Huggzzzzzzzzzzz,Cathy 11/15/2004 Over this past weekend I went to Indiana to meet Stalker Val, Karen D, Daniele M. and Samantha from the OH boards. We all had a wonderful time! Val and John had a HUGE spread of food and Karen brought the most scrumptious SF cheesecake. We all talked, laughed and even got a special call from K-Man - don'tcha know! Hahaha! Here are a couple pictures from the day. You can check out the rest of the pictures at my website: www.cathymassey.com/ohvisits.html Till next time ~~~~huggzzz~~~~ I wanted to put a copy of this here. Thank you so much, Dx, you are truly an inspiration to all of us here! I feel so grateful to have been included on the list! Part 2 Top 40, er Top 100 Forever Grateful! Original Post by Dx E at 4:52 PM PST on 11/14/2004 This thread has been viewed 467 times Oxford, MS - RNY (08/05/2003) Well Folks, I was listening to a "Top 40 List" And I thought I'd put one together myself. I tried yesterday, and though I'd put out the "New Improved Version" -" List.5" for the morning Crowd. I want to thank just SOME of the folks that give this board It's character and make it an invaluable part of our Journeys. But, I couldn't get it down to a "Top 40," or "Top 100," and even then I'm sure I've left off some of my top 10's. Take a moment to thank these folks and please add the one's I've clearly left off in my oversight. Sorry and Delighted this is so long- A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR----- 2Fat2Skinny who's wild ride past goal is an amazing story and still she gets out the support to so many. All of the Texas Divas and Studs, they are so supportive, and always there to come to someone's aid. Annie B. who's coy and funny replies really make me smile! Arlies Q our Mississippi Queen. Smooches Sweet Hon. Amy Williams "Our Celebrity Star!" She gives us a public face and how lucky we are that it is one of such Grace, Beauty, and Charm. Amanda Davis -The Softhearted Darlin' who can accidentally stir up some Drama Just by Meaning Well. Beautiful Song who is so full of gratitude for those who came before and kindness for those just starting. Brainbamaged, AKA Nancy who fought Cigna and just makes me laugh while putting in her 2 cents. xo. Cajun Express / AKA Dan T, for his devotion to keeping the Night Owls going. Carmella Williams who's Deep faith and rib hurting funny replies have lightened many a load. Caroline Martin who I bump into again and again and she just lifts our spirits and pushes the positives. Charlie C who has the sunniest photo and disposition. She's there when needed and least expected. Charl getting thinner, for all of the great recipes of yours I've used. Christina J who is quick to jump in to a "how ya doin'" chat on any thread because she truly is a caring friend to so many out here. Dakota Mom who is a true, close friend to so many out here and a source of joy and support for so many. Dame Tooter - Has lots of great advice and a Dang Funny Sense of Humor. Thanks for all the Flax! Dana and David Barr who literally share their lives with us out here. DeeDee my Sweet Formidable Southern Belle in only the way a Wife of a Politician can be in the South. Delores S., who can see through the BS and tell a "pot stirrer" when she sees one. Diane Bower who was the first to Welcome me to AMOS and I'll bet she was the welcome wagon to many others as well. Dixie Chick, gal I love to get your replies, and any name with an X in it stirs my heart. Miss Dolly Butterflyblossom Â¡V Who keeps us watching our diets with- "What Did Ya'll Eat Today?" Dragon Master who gives back so much to this site of himself and adds that "cool factor" to the boards. Eric Klien, Obviouly without the founder, none of us would have the net of support. Erin o. who drops a line of support on So Many Surgery Pages, and is still "just hoping" to have surgery. FatFreedom M. AKA Erica and DH, who share their lives with us all, and maybe soon the "Baby M." Frvsnt One who gets a note in on nearly every surgery support page. Gen Gen who brings a smile to my face every time I see her replies. Gina FitsEmons who every time I've come across her on the boards she has given nothing but compassion and love. Grace Loves Cats just talks to us all in a candid compassionate style, and is a reminder to love our "fur babies" too. Irish Pixie who is one of our Prayer Warriors and a beautiful soul. IZDAWNIE always there with the biggest heart and no rush to judgement. Jenniroo AKA Jennifer S, sweetest soul and cutest face. She really just talks on this board and never meets a stranger. Jessica O one of our extreme complications folks, been through the ringer and still gives positive advice Jessie Lewis Jr. our muscle man inspiration to get out there and work out! JoAnn in Boston my Bella, who will pull up a seat and the pop-corn when the drama breaks out, and is there with sound advice to see that it need not do so. Joy M for all of her great advice and info, Her glasses adorned face propped on hand, just brighten my Day. Kathi in Hawaii for all of her Vitamin and exercise encouragement, and dear concern for others. Kari A for sharing her far less than perfect journey and giving the full honest view of what WLS could mean. Kimmani B. whoÂ¡Â¦s bright face and dear words of support are a comfort to us all. Kirk Thompson AKA Crow who solves our site glitches and makes the bugs run and hide. Kiki Pixley for just her Great Smile and her Friendly Challenge. K-Man - Gives us the "What Day is It?" post, and a lot of himself to everyone out here. Kricket for all of her work giving us faces. Thanks Doll! Lady A who serves us all as a volunteer and posts to those support pages like she was getting paid by the word! Larry Irvin and Bo McCoy for keeping the national Conventions well attended. Lisa Blue Eyes who is just Delightful! You've touched more hearts than you know! Leilani who is always a hoot and I just love that beautiful name. Melissa Mermaid - who makes sure Every Day is a Birthday! Bless you for taking this on. Melly T with a constant outpouring of support and a great sense of humor. Mokihana with her sweet supportive, comforting answer to just about any question of emotions and fears. Mommy Teacher because she makes me feel like I've got a new little sister. Mom of 4 for all of her hugs and straight to the heart of it comments and advice. My Local Mississippi family, you girls (and Jimmy, hehe) are so good about sending your love and prayers. Nikki -of "Nikki's Low Carb recipe's" Fame. Thanks for the down load sweet lady! Nitro Mike, the Brother with the biggest Fan Club on the WLS Forums. Old Rode Clown Pants and Side Kick, Doug and Nancy for being such an inspiration when I first came on board. Patty Butler who I miss of late, pulling out her soapbox and reading the riot act to all of us. Perry Perkins - Our Christian Novelist, and one of the most thoughtful folks out here. Poppa Hotrolls, the Dean of the school of WLS, the only one I've seen work a semi-colon into a reply. Princess Splenda who, as a Pre-Op is breaking records for posting to support pages. Randall Culpepper - who's always there with the prayers and support, as well as a source of e-mail jokes. Rev.Carol B. for her sensible commentary & questions, and for keepin the Night Owls, in Dan's absence. Richard -the White Knight of the Lap Banders, a true Champion for us all with the studies on hand always. Saliena Bowers - Our favorite Bald Woman, Livin' Out and Proud w/ the sweet heart of a Georgia Peach. Sassy Cathy who is always there with a smile and a kind word. And what a cute face! The Sex a holics that many of us have "lurked in on" from time to time- Myra, Roxxi, David B. Steve W. Stina and the gang, thanks for all the Lurker entertainment! Sharron Neva - who gives so much of herself to this site and the individuals here. Don't miss her profile. Sherry Weber who gives such thoughtful advice and support and has a really cool profile. Spyder S. - who'll do a little dance for you and share her open honest feelings. Stalker Val - The Straight Shootin' Sweet Heart, who's got the perspective to tell it like it is, with Love. Stupor Mario - for his "Tough Love" and reminder that it's the Tool, you're the Carpenter. Susan Maria, lord what vile protein supplements would we be left with if it weren't for her? Sweetie Beanie the sweet Lap Bander with daily inspiration and information. Tara B. who is my non-WLS beacon to know that there are those out there fighting without the tool. Tek Tek - our patron saint of semantics, logic and no pulled punches. He is a Vulcan, Right? Theresa C. what a Volunteer! And what a giving, understanding soul. Track McCreary who gives excellent exercise advice and encouragement. Vee Nix, for getting together the WLS Gospel Choir, and the Mother of the BAF. Vi noneofyourbusiness- who always has fun and is a joy to this board. Beyond these, also a round of heartfelt applause for those certificate members who have given the $$$ to keep this site going!!!!! And Last, But certainly not least- All of you nameless Angels, Who make the world of difference For one person at a time. God works through you. And for the Angel That I never had the privilege to meet out here- Momma Angel, who passed just weeks before I joined this site. Her spirit is forever online as the spirit, and heart Of AMOS. Please give thanks to these folks And to the ones you've come to count on. We stand on the shoulders Of those around us, and look To our distant, New Horizon. Forever Grateful, Best Wishes- Dx 11/26/2004 Good morning! Today is the day after Thanksgiving. There have been a LOT of things happen in the past few days for which I am thankful. My grandmother was brought to the ER Wednesday by her friend Lil. She had a hernia that was protruding quite far and they sent her to Springfield for a surgical consult. She's got to go to get it repaired but they can do it laproscopically so that will decrease the time it takes her to heal. I'm thankful that it wasn't more serious than that. It sure sounded like it initially. I wanted to add a few things to my thankful list this year. A lot of this is precipitated by Miss Dolly~ Butterflyblossom's post from yesterday on the messageboard. It was titled "~~~Reflections of a girl that is gone~~~" and one of the last paragraphs really put into words how I feel about my journey. She stated: "Point is I am blessed and Thankful for life and being able to live and enjoy it with such wonderful family and friends. ANd the old gal who sat at home hiding, the one who hated herself, and the world. The girls who was not happy. She is gone but not forgotten. She still lives inside my heart so that I can always remember where it was I once came from." That was me ... sitting home, hiding, filled with self-hatred and loathing and is still with me wherever I go. Only now, she's just part of me, integrated with the more outgoing, happy, healthy me. Thanks Teresa! There are so very many wonderful people here who I am thankful for that I could not possibly name all of them, but would like to mention as many as I can remember now. K-Man (Captain!), Stalker Val, Kathie in Hawaii, Dixie Austin (MY IL girl!) Jenniroo aka Jennifer S., Carol B. (the Rev), Christie D (gonna be a mommy!), Cajun Xpress, Grace Loves Cats -- y'all are awesome and I love ya's! There are so many more, like I said, who have been inspirations to me and I am thankful for every one. Thanks to anyone who reads this muttled mess of my thoughts. Best of luck to anyone considering, getting or fighting for surgery. I couldn't be happier that I made this decision for myself. ~~~~~~~huggzzz~~~~~~~~~ PS I'm now down 99 pounds ... wonder how long that 1 will hang on!? Tehehehe! 11/28/2004 Well hello there to anyone who reads this! I have had a wonderful Sunday. A great holiday weekend overall, too! I have realized that I *am* worth so much more than being treated poorly and letting people walk all over me. Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Gee, did I rant enough about that? LOL Saturday I didn't do much during the day, but decided to go out shopping that evening. I didn't buy much, just some little necessities for around the house, but it was nice to get out and just bebop around for a while without worrying about anything. I treated myself to a sugar-free, decaf, nonfat Vanilla Latte at Starbucks and just had a good 'ol time with myself! Yep, as K-Man says ... I'm a nut! Fast forward to Sunday, today. I email my webpage out once a month to family and friends when I update my after pictures. A friend mentioned not having seen me in person for a long time and maybe I'd show up at mass this weekend. Well, good idea, I thought. I saw SO many people that I hadn't seen in YEARS and a good deal of them didn't even recognize me. Talk about WOWOW moments! I did get some bad news though. A good friend of the family's brother has terminal cancer and is in hospice care. I realize that death is inevitable but it saddens me to hear that he is only 49 years old. I have already lost 2 friends this year to cancer and I know the pain that their family is enduring. Ok this has gotten to be a really big entry so I'm signing out for now. I'll update again soon! Thanks to all who read this! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~HUGGZZZZZZZZZ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cathy 12/7/2004 Well today is my 6 month anniversary. I don't have a lot of time to update but I wanted to put something here. I'm putting my favorite poem or story, whatever you want to call it. I think it's quite representative of what so many go through. Hope you enjoy. I'll have a better update after finals week is over! One day a man found a cocoon of a butterfly. When a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the tiny hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly now emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand, to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was, that the restricting cocoon, and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved freedom from the cocoon. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were allowed to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. And we would never be able to fly. ~Author unknown Take care of yourselves and thanks for reading! ~~~~~~~~Huggzzzzzz Cathy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 12/13/2004 Well I still haven't done a great 6 month update but I have to add what I did to myself over the weekend. We had our last class weekend in TN and had our Kinesiology practicals scheduled for Saturday morning. We studied the night before and as Hillary and I were leaving the hotel Saturday morning, I fell down the steps right on my tailbone. I hit really hard the first time and then bounced down the next 4 or 5 steps. I stood up but it was VERY painful and as I was going to turn around and tell Hillary I wasn't feeling so great, I passed out! I guess I bounced my head on the concrete a couple of times when I hit the ground. The next thing I knew, I woke up on the cold concrete and Hillary was calling 911. They sent a fire engine and an ambulance to the hotel. Cute firemen there in Nashville, by the way :) I didn't really want to go to the hospital, but since I'd lost consciousness and hit my head, it was recommended that I go ... or as one of the firemen said they could kidnap me LOL. So I got to visit Summit hospital and got X-rayed and CT scanned. I have a cracked coccyx but there's nothing that can really be done about it so I just have to deal with some pain in my tush - literally LOL - for the next 4-6 weeks. Everyone was really nice and I was glad to have Hillary with me - it's very scary being alone in a place you don't know well at all and being hurt. Hillary was able to get ahold of someone at school and let them know what was going on. After they released me, I decided to go to school and take that darned Kinesiology final! I got 100% too! The drive home (6 and 1/2 hours) was pretty painful, but I'm home now and have prescription pain meds to take at night to help me relax and sleep. I'm a little anxious as to how work is going to go for the next couple of weeks since sitting is difficult and the only chairs around are kid sized chairs. Ok it's late and I'm tired and I think my pain meds are kicking in so I'll close for now. Thanks for reading this :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~HUGZ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cathy 12/15/2004 Ok so I'm using this as my place to vent today. I had a great day yesterday, sort of. I took my last final, pathophysiology, thought I did a great job - an A definitely, right? NOT. I ended up with an 87.5 ... a B. B+ to be specific by Belmont's grading scale ... wtf +'s and -'s for grad students? Sheesh. It's so true that they don't do surgery on your brain, just your stomach! Which happens to be making all kinds of noises at the moment. Prolly due to the shit that's gone on this morning. I woke up in pain of course because of my tailbone so any and all movements are very slow. I got all ready, dressed nice because I have a meeting this afternoon. First off, I had to scrape ice off the windows on my car. Fine. Then I see that I have a very low tire. It's the spare I'm driving on because when I went to school the last time I got a flat on the way home and haven't gotten it fixed yet because money has been so tight. So I had to hobble up to the gas station, air up the tire, go into work late, take my checks to the bank, pay the landlord, and then I realized that I had left the paperwork for this afternoon's meeting here at home. I swear if I have to get in and out of my car once more I'm going to scream. I was in tears this morning because I am just not coping well with everything that is going on. This past month has turned into a carb fest unfortunately and I haven't lost so much as a pound in a LONG time. I haven't been exercising either. I KNOW that would make me feel better ... I just need to DO IT. So, this isn't one of my happier posts, but not everyone is happy 100% of the time. 12/20/2004 Well, I finally got around to taking my six month update pictures -- nearly two weeks late. No biggie, really. I don't think I look much different from last month. I'm experiencing a stall at the moment, which is fine. I haven't been eating or exercising as I should have been so it's my own fault. Things are going well otherwise. I spent the weekend at my Dad's for an early Christmas with everyone and we had a great time. After this weekend I'm bushed! It's nearly 4 am and I just woke up about an hour ago but I need to go back to bed for a bit as I've got an appt. with my PCP at 8.30 this morning!! I'll update again soon! ~~~~~~~~~~~~Hugz, Cathy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 12/21/2004 Well today I woke up and found out I'd made the Century Club and ONEderland all on the same day! Woo hoo down to 199 now! This is my post from the main message board and the responses I got that I am so appreciative of: Well folks I hopped on the scales this lovely December morning and lo and behold it read 199! It's official! I'm a member of the century club! It's been 6 and 1/2 months since my surgery and I couldn't be happier with the results. I think I'm adjusting well though I know that this will forever be a struggle for me. I am SO very thankful to have this wonderful place, filled with friends and family, for support. Thanks to everyone who has supported me through this great journey! Happy holidays! Huggzzz, Cathy 300/199 (yeah baby!)/140 RE: I did it!! Century Club AND Onederland Response from Laurie Voshell at 2:53 PM PST on 12/21/2004 North Bend, OR - RNY (08/05/2004) Congratulations!!! What a wonderful Christmas gift you have given to yourself!!! You gotta feel great!! I'm right behind ya.....I'll know tonight at my support group meeting..... Laurie -99 lbs!! RE: I did it!! Century Club AND Onederland Response from Vicki C. at 2:55 PM PST on 12/21/2004 Letart, WV - RNY (06/30/2003) AWESOME!!!! Way to go...looks like Christmas came a few days early for you! Vicki 299/129/125 RE: I did it!! Century Club AND Onederland Response from Kimberly Oconnell at 2:57 PM PST on 12/21/2004 Haverhill, MA - RNY (02/07/2002) Congratulations Cathy! I'm doing the happy dance with you. Keep up the good work. RE: I did it!! Century Club AND Onederland Response from Amanda B at 2:58 PM PST on 12/21/2004 Monterey County, CA - RNY (04/27/2004) Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amanda RE: I did it!! Century Club AND Onederland Response from Kiki Pixley at 3:01 PM PST on 12/21/2004 WA - RNY (06/04/2004) Sass Master I couldn't be happier for you. You're very inspirational to us. You have a great attitude and a wonderful soul. Let's all "happy dance" together. Everybody Dance Now RE: I did it!! Century Club AND Onederland Response from Barbara Johnson at 3:06 PM PST on 12/21/2004 Cape St. Claire ~~ Annapolis, MD - RNY (06/29/2004) Wow -- two huge milestones at once -- congratulations! I started at the same weight as you, I am really looking forward to seeing the 100's, hopefully soon! -BJ 300/212.6/150??? RE: I did it!! Century Club AND Onederland Response from Ken Schuch at 3:42 PM PST on 12/21/2004 Marshall, WI - RNY (03/15/2004) Way to go Cath Baby!!! I knew you could do it!! Keep up the good work and behave...Santa is watching...Captain K-Man RE: I did it!! Century Club AND Onederland Response from Therisa Bennett at 4:31 PM PST on 12/21/2004 Belton, TX - RNY (12/10/2004) Go girl go!!!!!!! Congrats I cant wait till my turn to hit that mark. Therisa RE: I did it!! Century Club AND Onederland Response from Stalker Val ******* at 5:18 PM PST on 12/21/2004 Andrews, IN dancing in a winter ONEderland YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEe I am so happy for you Gracie how awesome for you and i can almost feel your smile Love you sweetie...Grace Sr. And from the IL boards~ RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Luv2bowljen :-) at 10:19 AM CST on 12/21/2004 Lisle, IL - RNY (11/16/2004) CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I'm sooooo happy for you!!!! Keep up the great work! Jen RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Giovanna DiBenedetto at 10:32 AM CST on 12/21/2004 Downers Grove, IL - RNY (12/06/2004) Cathy, Congradulations on your huge achievment. You have worked so hard for this. Keep up the great work. You are such a support and example for the rest of us here that are on this journey also. Giovanna -21 RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Michelle Behrman at 10:40 AM CST on 12/21/2004 Swansea, IL - RNY Congratulations Cathy!!! We couldn't be happier for you, unless it was us of course. lol. Keep up the good work. Michelle RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Konni P at 11:20 AM CST on 12/21/2004 Quincy, IL - RNY (01/18/2005) wooooooooooohooooooooooooo!!!!! congrats Cathy!!!! RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Dawn Pyles at 1:33 PM CST on 12/21/2004 Decatur, IL Cathy, GREAT JOB!!!!!! I am so happy for you. Its hard to believe that you were getting the whole process started about this time last year. I want pics now!!!!! Seriously, people like you are such an inspiration to me. Keep up the good work. Dawn RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Nancy R. at 2:02 PM CST on 12/21/2004 Mokena, IL Cathy - Your news was enough to make me come out from lurking and say CONGRATS to you!! I am so proud of you!! Keep up the good work, Nancy RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Terry D at 3:10 PM CST on 12/21/2004 Rockford, IL - RNY (12/27/2004) Wow, Cathy, that's the best gift ever! I know how excited you must be and I'm really happy for you. I hope 2005 is your best year ever! Terry RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Debby G at 3:59 PM CST on 12/21/2004 Loserland, IL - RNY (12/14/2004) OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ROCK!!!! yeah YOU! Debby RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Marsha Rogers at 4:31 PM CST on 12/21/2004 Pryor, OK - RNY (06/16/2003) You go girl Another big loser keep up the great work Marsha RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Chandra Hamilton at 6:13 PM CST on 12/21/2004 Zeigler, IL Thats great Cathy!Keep it up...Happy Holidays!!! RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Disappearing Dee at 8:59 PM CST on 12/21/2004 Loserland, IL Cathy you go girl! RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Andrea Brewer at 10:18 PM CST on 12/21/2004 Murphysboro, IL - RNY (12/01/2004) Congrats Cathy!! Way to go!! You are an inspiration to us all!! Have a great Christmas....i guess you opened your up early!! God Bless Andrea RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Richard B. at 10:20 PM CST on 12/21/2004 West Suburbs, IL - RNY (07/28/2004) Congratulations on the milestone! I know everyone says that the scale shouldn't matter so much, and we all do this for the health, blah, blah, blah . . . but it truly IS something special to reach a mark like 100 pounds lost. Congrats again and keep up the awesome work. Rich RNY 7/28/04 440/319/160 RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Ed O. at 11:00 PM CST on 12/21/2004 Bolingbrook, IL Congratulations Cathy! I'm very happy for you! Ed RE: I did it! Century club AND Onederland! Response from Katie S. at 7:57 AM CST on 12/22/2004 Springfield, IL - RNY (09/21/2004) WHAT A FANTASTIC CHRISTMAS PRESENT!!!!!!! I'm so proud of you!!!!! Katie I just wanted to put these in here to have a memory for myself. Thanks again to all who responded! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Huggzzz~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cathy 12/25/2004 MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! I just wanted to put a few pictures at Christmas. One is of myself taken Christmas Eve with my mother and grandmother and just one of me. The other is a family picture taken last weekend at my dad's. Everyone has been SO supportive of me and I love them with all my heart! I'm so very blessed to have such wonderful family and friends! 1/8/2005 Well, it's been a while since I've written anything here. My seven month anniversary came and went yesterday and I can't say it was all that great. I was late for my first appointment because I tried to take a shortcut only to have to backtrack due to Fayette county flooding. I got drooled on majorly at work. The fuel pump went out in my blazer on my way back and it's going to cost $750 to fix because they have to replace the entire unit. Mom had to come to Vandalia and take me to Staunton to get my grandmother's car so I can have some means of transportation. I have NO money and have to go to school next weekend and still have not reserved the room - so not only am I letting myself down, but I'm letting down the girls I room with. I guess I'm going to have to ask my Dad for some money, which I am so not proud of. I've never had to ask him for anything other than advice. I've always been able to count on my mom for everything. We went to dinner last night after I got my grandma's car and I ate HORRIBLY. Fried shrimp, mashed potatoes, salad (ok that was the good part of dinner) and a small piece of the dessert they had out there. I am very lucky that nothing more went wrong and I do realize things could be a lot worse, but everything seems to be snowballing here lately. I have a clinical student that is going to be following me around at work for the next 8 weeks Monday thru Thursday, I haven't bought books for school. My financial aid money hasn't been released to me yet. I just want to crawl up in a ball and isolate myself from the world. But I'm not going to. Yes, my life is nasty screwy right now, but I'm going to go back to the eating basics and take one day at a time. I appreciate all of the love and support that I receive from my family and my family here at OH and am very grateful to have it. I need to get my 7 month pictures taken, not that there's any difference from last month ... the weight loss has pretty much stalled out for the past month since I hit the century club. Ah well, tis my own fault and I have noone to blame but ME. Till next time, Huggzzz, Cathy 1/13/2005 Well I just wanted to add a little something that I noticed over the past couple of days. It's been really windy around here with the weather changing - yeah 67 yesterday in JANUARY and temps dropped today and it rained, sleeted and snowed. I never had any problems pre-op with windy days. I always had plenty of weight to keep myself in place, I guess. Well walking in and out of buildings has been kind of challenging lately! I guess I don't have as much to help keep me grounded, if you will - and it's a really neat feeling! Just wanted to share! 01/21/2004 Well, I go see the surgeon and dietician today for my (late) six month follow up. I've been talking to the pre ops at the support group meetings and have really enjoyed it. I think it benefits me as much as them, if not more. It really motivates me to do good and remember why I did this. It's after 1am so I need to get some rest. I'll update more later after my appointments. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hugz, Cathy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 01/23/2005 Well several things have happened in the past couple of days that have not made me happy. Friday I went and saw the dietician and surgeon for my late 6 month follow ups. I have only lost like 10 lbs according to them since October. What I have lost is nothing to scoff at, mind you, but I know that I could be doing better. Depression sucks. Yes, I'm back on my Lexapro - I ran out of it because I didn't have the money to pay for it. It's been refilled thankfully. I'm not sure how well I would've handled the rest of what transpired Friday had I not had it. I had a good cry, got ready and took a drive where I cried again. Yeah, driving and crying is probably not the best activity. I went to the grocery store and bought mostly good for me things and came back home. Honestly, if I didn't have the message boards and the great friends I've made here I don't know what I would've done. I still tend to isolate myself a great deal when things aren't going great, though I did reach out to one of my oldest friends and she gave me some tough love. It kind of sucks when you live so far from everyone you know. I moved here 3 years ago and still don't have any friends around here. I know some of that is due to my schedule with working and going to school, but it still sucks nonetheless. I say I know that I'm worthy of someone who will treat me well and I understand it, but being able to accept it and receive it is another concept. I'm glad to have the support groups through the clinic as well. I'm going again Tuesday with Katie to talk to preops. I sucked at keeping my eating under control on Saturday ... today is better. I'm only putting things into my body that will fuel it. Food cannot comfort me as it once did, no matter how much I want it to. I have to continue to look from within for support and strength. People will always let you down, that's a fact, and having inner strength to draw on is essential. 2/14/2005 Happy Singles Awareness Day I went to see Les Miserables last night and had mom take a picture of me with the book I bought. I'll write more later about how it went ... just wanted to get this up here as I'm also putting together my 8 month update picture. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hugz, Cathy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3/1/2005 Tonight I went to support group. It was nice to see J ... she had surgery back in April of '04 and has had a lot of problems. She had a PE and then was in rehabilitative nursing care and is now home with her DH. She has a great attitude despite having been through such hell. We did part of an old The Firm workout and I felt really great afterwards. I have been under a great deal of stress lately with work, school and my finances being completely screwed up. I'm moving back in with my mother to save up some money before I have to start my 6 months of clinicals for school when I'll have ZERO income. I'm so not looking forward to it. I'll survive though. 3/13/2005 What a long strange month it's been ... so far. And it's not even half over! Work has been a pain in the butt, my beloved clinical student is gone and some of the people I work with - well we just won't go there! I have been trying to prepare to move back to my mom's for a while. Though temporary, I'm sure it will be a challenge for us both. I just feel like I'm running in circles sometimes, trying to catch myself, and never being able to. I finally put up my 9 month picture today. I guess I'm having some body image issues. I have a gaggle where my fat neck used to be. Every time I visit my surgeon he mentions my great amount of excess skin. I see this every day. I can feel my bones underneath but can't see them. I could probably be in at least a couple smaller size clothes if it weren't for all the skin. I've been keeping what I eat in check pretty well lately. I'll flat out admit that it's still a challenge but I do try to keep in mind what some wise folks here have said time and time again ... "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should" ... I don't dump ... I can eat sugar, fats, etc ... but for the most part, I stay away from them. I've gone to two birthday parties in the last week or so for two of my nieces. I didn't eat any cake or ice cream and was fine with it. I kept myself occupied playing with the kiddos or chatting with whomever. Pre-op I might've been obsessing over not being able to have these treats and now it's not quite the perseverative thinking about food that I was once plagued with. I still have a LOT of anxiety issues that I deal with and feelings of inadequacy but I'm working through them. Well I need to go do some homework and pick up a few things in town so I'll close for now. To those of you waiting for approval or surgery dates - all my best to you! To the posties - keep up the great work. There are so many who are inspirations to me and I thank everyone who shares their journeys with us here ... you never know whose lives you might be affecting, completely unbeknownst to you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hugz, Cathy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3/22/2005 There have been some things going on in my life that I haven't exactly been dealing with well. I'm overwhelmed with school and work and trying to move. The prospect of moving back in with my mother to conserve money for my upcoming clinicals (6 months of unpaid work) is not exactly something I'm proud of but I told myself a long time ago I would do whatever it took to get this degree. Just a little note here to thank everyone who has been so supportive of me during this rough time. You know who you are and I TRULY appreciate it. I hope that perhaps my profile will help someone to know that no matter how happy we seem there can still be problems and that's ok ... it's how we deal with them that counts. It's late and I need to get to bed. I'll update more as things evolve. Easter Weekend 2005 Hello my friends! What a great weekend it's been here! Saturday evening I had the pleasure of meeting Cap'n K-Man and his lovely family. We had dinner at Cracker Barrel and then went back to the hotel so the kiddos could get in a bit of swimming on their last hotel-bound evening. I think it goes without saying that the K-Man is awesome! His family follows suit! His wife and daughter are absolutely gorgeous and his son ... well he's a future K-Man in the making ;-) I'm in the process of adding a couple of photos to my profile so be sure to check it soon! I'm just so happy I got to finally meet them! I think K-Man is going through OH board withdrawls though, so look for him tonight or at the very latest tomorrow - they'll be arriving back home and I'm sure he'll want to come say his hello's to all! I also got to see a bunch of my family last night at my cousin's surprise birthday party after I had met the K-family. We had a blast and partook in some drunken karaoke -- I'm still debating on whether or not to show those off! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, too! Hugz! Cathy 4/5/05 Oh my gosh! I'm so very excited! I get to be an angel for the first time ever! Boss N'Gagi of California is my Angel-dude and I couldn't be happier or more honored to be his angel. More updates to follow ... two days 'till my 10 month anniversary! ~~~~~~~~~~~~Hugz, Cathy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 04/06/2005 I just wanted to add a note here. I went to our support group last night and it was good. I'm very happy today. Several things over the past couple of days have happened and well, life is just great! Sure, I've got things going on that are a bit overwhelming, but I have a great support system and am meeting new and exciting people every day that know just what this journey is all about. 4/11/05 Good morning my friends! I have had a most wonderful weekend. I have one more session of classes at Belmont to finish up the Spring semester. Last week I lost a couple of pounds - down to 194 - and I was so excited. After having not seen any sort of decline in the scales in a long time, I was kind of frustrated. Well, when I stepped on the scale this morning I was down another 2 pounds! Wooooooooooo hooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! Classes went well. I'm still a bit anxious over everything that's going on but I know that as long as I take life one day at a time and try to do the best that I can every day, it will all be ok. Thanks to anyone who reads this - hope it helps at least someone a little bit! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hugz, Cathy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 04/13/2005 Yep another quick update :) I hopped on the scale this morning to see 189 ... OHmigosh! In the 180's! That means I'm just 40 pounds from goal ... I NEVER thought I'd make it this far ... On another postive note, all is still going well here on cloud 9 ... *Grin* 04/17/2005 Well kiddies I've done it again ... managed to get my brain to go places I thought it'd never take me ... I was shirking on a lot of my responsibilities. Something I tend to do when I get overwhelmed. School, work, money, life in general ... they're all tough sometimes, and I let it all get the best of me. It's very difficult for me to admit when I need help, let alone seek it. I was raised the only child of a single parent who struggled daily to meet my needs, making many sacrifices for me. To her I will be eternally grateful. I'm in the process of moving back in with my mother now. We packed a bunch of clothes and other items yesterday and I've got a lot more to do this week before next weekend when I have some great folks coming up here to help me complete the move. Last night I went down to Fairview to meet up with my friend Malissa for dinner. We ate at Zapatas (Mexican) and it was soooo good. I still have problems paying attention to the speed at which I eat, and how much I'm taking in so I was a little miserable following dinner. I met up with Debby and Dawn down at Laclede's Landing after that and we had loads of fun at Club Buca (sp?) and Trainwreck. I liked the atmosphere of Trainwreck a lot better - more laid back, awesome live music and you could actually talk to the people you were with and hear them LOL. I hope we get to hang out many more times and have just as much fun, too! Life overall is good ... sometimes I just let my brain get in the way. I just want to thank all the great people around here who sent me well wishes and have provided me with so much support. I love you all :) I'll put a couple of pics up on my website under the IL section of last night if Debby and Dawn don't mind. Click here for all the pictures ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hugz, Cathy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 04/21/2005 Hello my friends. I've been doing a bit of reflecting lately on how wonderful life is. A year ago, I was looking forward to the end of the school year at work knowing that the following Monday was to be my surgery. This surgery. In that time, I have changed so very much. Not only physically, but psychologically as well. Every time I look back at my before and progress pictures along this journey, I feel blessed. I have been given another opportunity at health and life and I am so thankful. Life isn't always easy, but it sure is interesting. Learning to trust others again, trust myself and make good decisions are all things I'm working on ... all in good time, I suppose. The weight that I am at now, 187 pounds, is a number that I never remember seeing on a scale. I was trying to explain to someone the other day ... whenever I try to say what I weigh, it always comes out three, two, one-hundred-and xxx pounds. Completely unfathomable. Just 37 pounds to my doctor's goal and 42 to my personal goal. Sorry for the long update, but there were just some things I needed to say. Thanks for reading! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hugz, Cathy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 04/22/2005 Wooooooo hooooooo 186 this morning .... I think I'm gonna faint LOL 05/07/2005 Grrrrrr I just had this most wonderful update typed and I'll be darned if I didn't hit some funky key combination that deleted it all! Thank goodness I was smart enough to close the window and not update and lose everything! Yikesers! Ok so as I was saying ... last weekend we had one of our final projects at school. We did groups with some men at a shelter in Nashville. It was an awesome experience. They gave us their free time and we tried our best to give them some positive experiences. At the wrap up session at the end of the weekend, there wasn't a dry eye in the house as we thanked them and told them what all their interactions and time and everything meant to us. Today is my 11 month surgery anniversary. Life is wonderful. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to do this and it truly has saved my life. I live life now, I don't wait for it to begin once I've accomplished X,Y and Z goals ... I live for now and look forward to the future. 5/30/2005 Overweight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yep yep I woke up this morning and hopped on the scale and lo and behold ... 178 pounds which puts my BMI in the "overweight" category!!!!! Can ya tell how excited I am? LOL Yay me! There is not a time when I can recall EVER weighing 178 pounds ... to get less than 200 was a HUGE deal for me and for me to be just 28 pounds from my doctor's goal ... and 30 from my own personal goal ... I'm just ecstatic. Reflections from a one year post-op 6/7/04 to 6/7/05 Last year at this time I was getting ready to undergo a HUGE life-changing experience. I had researched, researched and done more research into having weight loss surgery and was finally ready to begin this new journey in my life. My surgery was pretty uneventful, as was my recovery. I must say that the past year has been one filled with MANY hills and valleys. As part of the program that I went through, I was required to attend monthly pre-op support groups where emphasis was put on identifying and modifying behaviors that contributed to my being obese. I donï¿½t think I really quite realized until AFTER my surgery just how important this is. I have so much more energy and zest for life ï¿½ who wouldnï¿½t after losing the equivalent of another person! I can run up flights of stairs, I can walk around for hours; I can tie my shoes and do so many other tasks that were such a challenge before. Has it been an easy road? In some ways, yes, in others, no. Yes, because I now have this tool that helps me manage my eating. I have a tool that will work for me for a long, long time as long as I continue to use it effectively. I say no in other ways because I chose to undertake several huge tasks last year at this time. Shortly after my surgery I started a distance masterï¿½s degree program while still trying to work full-time. Not such a great idea when I was still learning about my new body, how to eat and manage my new lifestyle in general. I got behind at work and at school and it almost cost me my educational opportunity as well as my income. Do I blame this on my surgery? NO way. I blame myself for not being prepared and making poor choices. Thatï¿½s why I didnï¿½t post as much for a while. And even though I continue to do more lurking than posting, I cherish OH and the people here so very much and appreciate all of the support I have received when I have needed it most. I have recommitted to both school and work and am doing well now ï¿½ Iï¿½m a survivor! I have two semesters left at school and then six months of fieldwork and it feels good knowing that another year from now I will have accomplished so many goals. I have made so many friends here. I have gotten to meet a few, hope to meet many more, and unfortunately will probably not get to meet some that I would like to. I do consider everyone here to be family and I love you all very much! Later that evening... I posted this: I just wanted to thank everyone who sent me messages today. Your support was so very wonderful ... I never could've imagined! It really helped me through the rest of the day's events. I was shopping, celebrating my surgiversary and got a call from my mom that I needed to go check on my grandmother (an hour's drive from where I was shopping). I feel utterly selfish for feeling like I should have a day to myself. So I zip home and find her house in a state - chairs overturned, she's sitting on the bed half-dressed asking me if it's snowing yet (folks, it was 95 degrees here today and the woman had the heat on in her house!). Granted, the woman has Alzheimer's but today displayed some MAJORLY different cognition. It was scary. Once I cleaned her up and the house up I had to get out of there before I went crazy (my mom was on her way). Making a long story short - I came back here and read all of the replies to my posts and it calmed me. Soooooooooo all in all .... y'all support people when you don't even realize it! Ok ... thanks for letting me vent! I think I need a nap LOL The day after... My mom is taking my grandmother to the doctor's today. Hopefully they'll find something - doubtful. I'm in a crap mood today because life is screwy sometimes ... I'm sitting at work in tears and I just wish that this day were over with and I could go home and crawl into bed. I stopped by my grandma's this morning and had to do a cleanup again. I used to work as a nurses aide and as an activity director in a facility specific to patients with dementia so the act itself doesn't bother me ... it's that it's happening to my grandmother. 06/09/2005 Well we took gram to the doc yesterday. I told my mom beforehand to ask when he would recommend long term care placement. She didn't even have to ask. He brought it up after he found out that she'd fallen several times and not remembered how or why and after I told him what I'd found the last couple of days. Sooooo today mom is looking at assisted living facilities. ï¿½When you dim your light so someone else can shine, the whole world gets darker.ï¿½ ~Harvey Fierstein from Playing Mona Lisa 6/27/2005 Wow what a weekend! Friday I went for my one year check up with my surgeon. He was so very proud of me and that made me EXTREMELY happy! I posted about it: Soooooo I went in for my one year post-op visit with my surgeon ... who I simply adore. He is so very happy with my progress. In addition to only being considered overweight, my cholesterol and triglycerides which were 280 something and 366, respectively are now 126 and 54. He said I was desirable ... stop thinking like that! He meant all my numbers are in the desirable range! Aaaaaaand he said in a year or so (because I'm still losing - lost 3 lbs this week) we could look into plastic surgery. He is just amazed at the amount of excess skin I have ... I said yeah try lookin' at it in the mirror every day! He even thanked me for doing so well Gotta love that guy! I'm 28 pounds from goal ... I've gone from a BMI of 52 to 29 ... in a year. I'm amazed. After my appointment I had to go to class - I just love class weekends - sometimes. My tush hurts all the time from sitting so much and the drive is really starting to get to me. Just 8 more trips to Nashville though - wooooooooo hooooooo!!!! I think the best part of the weekend was going to dinner with Hillary and April (we had drinks and then all had a steak dinner - mmm steak! LOL). Afterwards, the pool was occupied by a bunch of little league kiddies so April and I went and sat in the hottub for about an hour - talk about relaxing! I think I even slept fairly well that night, which is rare as I don't usually sleep that well when I'm not at "home". I did get to talk to the "crew" that went out in St. Louis for the weekend. I hope to get to meet everyone who went soon! Nanight for now! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hugz, Cathy~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4th of July weekend 2005 07/12/2005 Well I had a real WOW moment this past Saturday that I want to keep in my profile here ... it's amazing ... just over 13 months out and still fully experiencing the wonders of this surgery. It's still difficult at times to fathom. Life is GOOD. I was shopping at Victoria's Secret on Saturday - my first time ever in that store without feeling completely self-conscious and I ran across a girl I went to school with 6 years ago. I recognized her voice and waited until she turned around to confirm that it indeed was her. So I said "Hi Stacey" and she said hi and looked at me as if she didn't know me ... so I said "it's Cathy" ... blank look ... "Cathy Massey" ... Her: "OH MY GOODNESS!!!!" We ended up talking for nearly 30 minutes there with her boyfriend and he couldn't believe that I'd lost that much weight (I don't think Stacey weighs as much as I have lost LOL) and so I showed him my driver's license picture ... he said that he used to work as a bouncer and if I were trying to get into his club he wouldn't let me ... he would've thought I was trying to use my older sister's ID Now whether or not that was true ... it was a darn