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Surgeon TestimonialRobert Bell, M.D.I first met Dr. Bell last year when I consulted with him regarding my elderly aunt who needed surgery. I found him to be the most informed and compassionate doctor I have met in a long time. He never made me feel rushed or hurried when we talked. I met him in person at the hospital, and he was just as nice, and very knowledgeable. The next time I saw him was at a support group meeting, and again that was a very positive experience. Dr. Bell's concern is directed to his patients and their care. He doesn't not treat patients like cattle. Everyone is treated as an individual. I met him again when I had my group session at his office. After the session was over, we met in the stairwell and chatted again. He never makes you feel as though you are a stranger. He treats you with compassion and is very sensitive to the discrimination that overweight individuals experience. He is a well education, compassionate, caring human being who is more than just a surgeon. He's in it for the long run with his patients, which is extremely important!
- Pets - I have two beautiful Beagles, they are my loves!
- Theater - I love Broadway and the theatre--especially musicals!
- Writing - When I retire, I plan to do some writing. I love it!
- Fashion - I love clothes now...can't wait to buy SMALL sizes!!!
- Cooking & Baking - I am a great cook & baker..however, I think I'll retire from that post surgery!
- Gardening & Horticulture - Have lots of perinniel gardens
- Swimming - I have a pool, and I love to swim!
- Cruises - I've been on about 8 cruises...I want to go back to Bermuda
- Nursing - As soon as my surgery is done, I plan on going to nursing school
- Vacation - Have travelled extensively--can't wait to do more and fit in seat better!
8.5 Year Anniversary - Visit with Dr. Bell on January 23, 2013 8:13 am
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Yesterday, I had my belated 8 yr anniversary check up with Dr. Bell and I am happy to report, I am at my lowest weight! This has been a fabulous journey, and I am eternally grateful to Dr. Bell for providing me with a tool that has basically saved my life. To anyone out there considering the surgery, please do this for YOU.
Approaching 7 Year Lap RNY Anniversary on June 27, 2011 4:33 am
On 7/21/2004, I had a life-changing surgery with Dr. Robert Bell at Yale. I had a lap gastric bypass. That was the beginning of my "new life." A lot has changed since then in my personal life...some things changed because of the surgery, and some things changed, due to life.
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Since 2006, I have had the misfortune of being laid off 2x, and I am happy to say that I have now landed a fabulous job, and am excited to start that new journey. During my unemployed times, it was the most difficult to stay on track and eat properly. I was depressed and didn't eat properly and stopped exercising.
I lost a total of 90 lbs (some days 91), and I am happy to say that 7 years later, I am still there! Did I have "up" times? YES! Is there a magic secret to keeping the weight off? NO NO NO! What do I do? Well over the past 6 1/2 years, I tried every way possible to keep the weight off. We all know (after having surgery) that there is a "honeymoon" period. For me that period of time was about 20 months. After that, I stopped losing weight. I took liberties and started eating things that I know I shouldn't (carbs, sugar). This past year, I made a promise to get back down to my lowest weight. I had gained about 20 lbs, and I was not happy; my clothes were getting tight, and I felt like I looked "fat" again. I gave up bread, pasta, rice of any kinds and started eating a high protein diet sprinkled in with lots of veggies and some fruit. I reward myself on the weekend by having some foods that I don't eat during the week. I also make a big effort to exercise daily. Some days, it's just a walk and other days, I go to the gym or swim. In order to maintain, you must eat appropriately and exercise. One or the other doesn't work; you must do both.
As I approach my 7th anniversary, I have to encourage anyone considering this surgery to please do it for yourself. It will be the best thing that you can ever do for yourself.
For the first time in my life, I am excited when I jump on the scale....believe me that's a FIRST!
I am a 46 yr old woman who has battled my weight most of my life (since I was 10). I am scheduled to see Dr. Bell in June, and I would like to get started with the support group and being online. It has been a long time in making this decision, but I do know it is the right one!
I'm exhausted from carrying this extra weight around. It just crept up on me. I was always overweight, but fit! I am no longer fit, and every joint in my body aches. I am hoping the surgery will give me some relief and that I will be able to stop some of the medication I am on for arthritis after the surgery. What I am looking forward to the most, is being treated as a "normal" person. I, as I'm sure you all have, have been discriminated against for years because of my weight. Society looks at overweight individuals as "less" intelligent than thin folks! That is so untrue and unfair.
I have been fortunate enough to meet Dr. Bell on a consult for my elderly aunt, so I know how competent he is (not to mention nice). June 10th can't get here fast enough!
I am ready for a life change that's for sure.
April 6, 2004:
Today was one of happiest days I can remember in a long time. I received a call from Dr. Bell's office giving me my first appointment to meet with Dr. Bell on 6/10/04 YAHOOOOOOO!!! I emailed a few of my friends, who did not know I was considering the surgery, to share this with them. They have been very supportive. While I do not have much family left, I am very blessed with great friends who genuinely care about me. They are a great support network, and I could not have made it through some of the "bumps" in the road that I've had without them. They have always been soooo supportive of me! I have a couple of friends in the medical field, so they have volunteered to help me in any way that they can. My best friend, Dorothy, who has been like a sister to me since we were 12 yrs. old, is coming to stay with me when I have the surgery.
I am like a sponge with the Obesity.com website and message board. I cannot get enough information. Fortunately, I know three people who have had gastric bypass surgery, so I feel that I am well informed about what to expect (I think).
May 4, 2004
I attended the first support group that Dr. Bell offers at Yale. It was awesome! The guest speaker, Mark Gaynor, was incredible. It was so nice to meet some of people that I have been communicating with. Better than all of that was the fact that I was in a room filled with people who knew "exactly" how I feel!
May 10, 2004
Well last evening I watched a very disturbing program on obesity surgery on Fox News channel. It was very anti gastric bypass. Fortunately, I went right to the message board, posted, and got lots of good feedback. I am still a little nervous about having the surgery, but I am also convinced it is the right thing for me. One month from today, I see Dr. Bell, and hopefully, I will at least be closer to a surgery date. The waiting is unbelievably stressful! The days seem to fly by, but the date for my visit with Dr. Bell doesn't seem to want to get here!
May 18, 2004
Well, I'm past the one month away til I see Dr. Bell mark! This waiting is driving me up a wall! HELP! Each day seems longer and longer and longer. I never wished spring days away so much in m life. Hopefully the next few weeks will zoom by.
I haven't posted in a while because I have been using the board instead. These past few weeks have been so tense! I know that I am so close, but yet I feel like I am a million miles away from a surgery date. So many things to get done before the surgery, but I don't have a date yet! O'well I guess I just have to wait. Tonight is Dr. Bell's support group meeting, and I am looking forward to attending this meeting.
I have slowly been sharing the fact that I am having the surgery with family/some friends (only close friends), and the reactions have all been positive. Only one friend of mine is worried that I may die! I told her I will die if I DON'T have the surgery. I feel like I am dying now. When I attempt to walk up any type of steep ground, I cannot do it...I feel like a building is pushing back at met.
I read the posts faithfully, and I must say that's how I have been getting through the days.
Well this day has finally arrived! I got to see Dr. Bell (in a group setting). The surgery was explained and the dates that surgery will take place were given to all of the patients there. Surgery will be between 7/21-8/9/04. I am so close but so far! I went for echocardiogram on Friday, one more thing that brings me closer to surgery. Now, it's back to the waiting game. We were told that we should hear within two weeks of 6/10/04.
I really know that I am ready for this surgery. I have been watching my caloric intake, hopefully, I can lose some weight before the surgery. I spoke with my best friends last evening. She is coming to stay with me for two weeks when I have my surgery. Boy, I can't wait to see her. She "really" understands what this is all about. She was thin all of her life until a few years ago when she gained 85 lbs. and had to try to take it off. She struggled so hard, but she is maintaining and that's all that counts!
Well, until I have more news, I 'll say good bye for now.
June 17, 2004
Well one week has passed since I met with Dr. Bell. No news yet about a date, except that the hospital called today. I have to call them back tomorrow. Hopefully, they may have some info. for me. The waiting is the worse part. I wish that summer was over (and I love summer) only because I know that my surgery will be done by August 9th! I have been thinking and thinking about this surgery...I am more and more comfortable each day about having it. I know I have made the right decision. I cannot wait to be able to walk without pain! I love walking and it has been so difficult this past year. The arthritis I have is rheumatoid and it is in my heels, which makes it almost impossible to walk without pain. It also feels like I am always walking up a hill!
As soon as I know more, I will update.
PS As you can see, I need an angel, so if anyone wants to be my angel, I'm taking applications! :-D
June 18, 2004
Well two good things happened today! Linda W. has offered to be my angel and I heard from Yale Admissions office that I'm on the schedule for July 21st for surgery!!!!!!! WOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!! So ladies and gentlemen on the losing side...make room for me please! Here I come! What great news for a Friday!!!
June 21, 2004
No word of confirmation from Dr. Bell's office yet! :-( I will continue to try to be patient and keep busy. The weekend was busy. I worked on Sat. and on Sunday, I had my aunt for the day. It was a great visit as usual. We have always been very close. She is my mom's sister, and we have become even closer since my mom passed away in 1985. We had a long talk about the surgery. She knows all too well how much the weight thing has effected my health. She, too, has rheumatoid arthritis, so she knows the pain. I am ever so grateful to have my special "auntie" in my life. I cannot imagine not having her! I can't wait to be able to get around better, so I can help her with things she can no longer do.
I window shopped tonight at the mall and was daydreaming about being able to shop in a "normal" store. It has been a very long time since I was able to shop in a non-plus-size store. As I was walking through the "womens" dept., I heard a woman say, "oh here's a 16 wide!" DUH!! and she was a plus-sized woman. O'well. The wait is long, but I'm sure it will be worth it!
June 22, 2004
Well at 3PM today Liz from Dr. Bell's office called me! I HAVE A DATE!!!!!!!!!!!WOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO YIPPPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEE YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
JULY 21st, 2004 is the day that I am going to be reborn!!!! How lucky am I? I could just cry!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been waiting so long (mentally more than physically) for this day to come! I have spent the past 30 yrs. thinking that some day I would find a tool to help me lose weight! My dream has finally come true! I feel such a peaceful feeling knowing that this suffering is almost behind me! Until you have walked in an obese person's shoes, you have no idea what their life is like, how tortured they are on a daily basis, how discriminated against they are! To think that those days will be gone forever is like a fantasy to me. I can only hope (and pray) that I am able to use the "tool" that Dr. Bell gives me! I pray for that every night! I feel like Dr. Bell is an angel that has been sent from above! I feel so fortunate that he is there.
Today, I begin my new life!
Well, I hope this feeling lasts forever or gets better! I am so excited at the prospect of having a brand new life! The support I have received from Obesityhelp.com's CT messageboard is unbelievable! I truly cannot thank each person enough! The thing about this site is that EVERY SINGLE PERSON understands what the weight thing is all about. I vow to "never" forget what that feeling was like to be ignored, discrimminated against, and hated, just by the mere fact that I am overweight! The thing that John Q. Public does not know, is that the person on the inside is far more wonderful than the "coating" on the outside. I would love to be able to get that message out to the world!
Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox and say that July 21st is ALMOST here. I talked to my best friend, Dorothy, yesterday, and she is JUST as excited as I am (probably more lol). She is the "sister" I never had, and boy, am I grateful for her. I love her more than life itself! I am so blessed with an awesome group of close friends. My friend, Betsy, is my confidant; my friend, Marie, is my spiritual coach, and my friend, Pat, is unbelievable....she has adopted me into her family, and a wonderful family it is! I have more friends than this, but these are the ones that immediately come to my mind!
I am so blessed!
June 24, 2004
Well now the days are zipping by! I can hardly wait to start my new life! I know the first few weeks/months are going to be rough, but well worth it! I have so much to do that I cannot do now because of the arthritis/weight..I am unable to move as quickly as I would like to. I'm hoping this feeling of a million pounds on my back is relieved too! I am so thankful that my surgery will be in the summer, so I can walk away the lbs!
Today is one day closer to July 21st! My new beginning!
June 27, 2004
Well, I am closer today than I was yesterday! 24 more days and COUNTING LIKE A MANIAC! This waiting is like nothing I've ever waited for before. My emotions are just a wreck. I keep thinking that I am ok, and then I have these highs/lows and meltdowns! So, unfortunately, I have been doing a lot of uncessary eating :-( I hope this stops some time soon!
I thinking working is easier than being home on the weekend. I had a party yesterday, and my feet swelled so much I could not walk! It was so painful I wanted to die! I had to sleep with my feet elevated. I cannot wait to be able to walk like a normal person again! To just be able to walk my dogs! My little one is so full of energy and I cannot keep up with her..it breaks my heart!
Well I guess today is a down day!
Twenty-one days from today I will have surgery with Dr. Bell. That sounds so far away, but I'm sure the next few weeks will just fly by. I have really been doing some soul searching, and I know this is the best thing for me to do. I no longer have any doubts in my mind about having the surgery.
I talk to my best friend, Dorothy, every day. She will be coming in the day after my surgery and staying with me for two weeks. She is such a great support to me. She told me yesterday that she would only eat when I can eat and what I could eat. I said, "honey, you'll starve to death, cuz I can only have liquids for the first two weeks." She didn't even flinch...she said.."Okay, so we do liquids." I guess that's called "sisterhood"!!!
Today is my little friend Bridget's 10th birthday! She is a love in my life. Her mom and I have been friends since high school. Betsy (Bridget's mom) has been very generous with sharing Bridget with me. In fact, a couple of years ago, Bridget called me up and asked if I'd be her special Auntie. I cried like a baby! And, of course, I said yes! Betsy has taught her unconditional love, and boy is Bridget fortunate. She is a sweet, kind, caring, loving child, who is absolutely beautiful in every sense of the word! I am so honored to have her in my life.
If my Mom and Dad were alive, today would have been their wedding anniversary. They would have been married 53 yrs! What a milestone that would have been. They were such a cute couple. The good thing is they are reunited today and celebrating I am sure!
I go to Dr. Bell on the 15th of July, and I can't wait!
Well that's all for now.
July 2, 2004
Happy 4th of July ALL! This is my very favorite holiday of the whole year. Summer has always been my favorite time, even though I never had the body to wear summer clothes! But next year that will all change. I will be wearing summer clothes that fit, aren't giant, so no one can tell how big I am, and that are stylish! Boy, I cannot wait! I am troubled by my rheumatoid arthritis in my feet lately. I just want to scream because my feet hurt so much! I pray that the surgery will relieve the pain some.
I am spending the weekend up at a lake in Ellington. My friend, Linda, has a lake house there. While on the subject of Linda, she has never had a weight problem (lucky her), and I have struggled of course over the past 17 yrs that I know her. She has always been supportive of my efforts and never said a word when I failed, which is unlike her to not voice an opinion. When I told her I was having the surgery, she told me that if it would make me happier and if I knew it was the right thing, then get my butt going and do it! So this will be our last gathering before I have the surgery on 7/21. We are gonna to catch up. We used to work together, but both changed jobs a few yrs ago, and she moved about an hour away. So, unfortunately, we don't get to see each other as much as we'd like to. We do email each other though. I miss our daily conversations that we used to have.
I feel that I have been totally blessed with the most wonderful group of friends that anyone could possible ask for! Without them, I would never be able to survive!
I want to thank each of them for who they are. I have only named a few friends, but there are more than the one's I've listed. So to all of my GREAT FRIENDS, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being who you are. I love you all very much. Please know that I will need your support over the next few months as the bumps in the road arise.
Every time I am waiting in traffic, and I see someone cross infront of my car or walk through a parking lot, I can't help but think about how I would look if I were that "thin". It's amazing how once you make your decision to have this surgery, your observations are very different. I cannot wait to be able to shop in a non plus size dept and to be able to buy shoes that are not a WW width!!!
That's all for today!
July 4, 2004
Well last evening when I got home I had a letter from Anthem saying that they basically approved me, if I was covered by the insurance at the time of the procedure, etc. etc. So I'm taking this as my letter of approval. What a nice surprise that was! So I really feel like I am on my way now! I cried when I read the letter, because it made me feel like all my work finally paid off and I was NOW SURE that I would have the surgery. Up until this point, there was always a doubt that the insurance may not approve me, so I was kind of holding back a bit.
Fourth of July is my very favorite holiday. But this year, I am feeling so lousy, I cannot enjoy it. I keep thinking about next yr. and how great I'm gonna feel (and look of course), and I just cannot wait!
Happy 4th to all.
Well another day closer to surgery. Seventeen more days and I'll be on the losing side. I am so anxious! My feet hurt so much, I could cry. I spent the day at a party observing all the thin people around me. This whole waiting process has made me more observant of my surroundings I think. I am aware of more than I ever was before. I know that inside I will still be the same person I am, but I know that outside people will view me differently. That disturbs me to a certain degree. The world is filled with judgemental people...who should really think twice before judging others. I know I will never forgot the feeling of being overweight and being treated differently, no matter how much weight I lose.
I pray that the next 17 days are easy.
July 6, 2004
Tonight is Dr. Bell's support group. This will be my "last" support group before I have my surgery on 7/21. Boy, am I ready for surgery. I am feeling lousy because I stopped taking the Clonidine that was prescribed for hot flashes, because I fell asleep while driving the other day and scared the life out of myself. Thank GOD I woke up just in time and slammed on my brakes! So between the hot flashes and this weight and the rheumatoid arthritis, I feel like garbage. I am so looking forward to a "new life". I pray that the next 15 days go bye quickly!
I decided this week that I'll start preparing my bag for the hospital and gathering items that I'll need when I get home.
Well 12 more days to surgery! This wait is incredible! I'm trying to keep busy and get as much done as I possibly can. It is so hard to walk up and down all the stairs that I have in my house. I cannot wait for some relief! I have all my ducks in a row, so to speak. My friend, Dorothy, is coming from California for two weeks to help. My friend, Pat, told me she'll stay with my "girls" (the doggies), and my friend, Betsy, will take me in for the surgery, and my friend, Marie, will be there to help, too. I have other friends that I know will be around helping, but right now my head is like mush! I'm hoping to sort through some clothes by size while I'm home. I have all sizes...so I should be okay with clothes as I shrink :-D
I have started my vitamins and calcium chews. I'm trying to take in more water, as I am not a big drinker, but am about to become one! I have lots of books to read about WLS (thank you Chryssie), so I'll have enough to do that's for sure!
This feeling of a new beginning hanging over my head is sooo exciting. I haven't heard anyone say that they were sorry that they had the surgery! So I'm psyched!
I'm grateful that this is the last summer that I will be a "freak", by next summer, I will look normal! I canno wait at all for that!
And the countdown is on....
July 11, 2004
Well ten days from today is my "big" day! It's hard to believe that it's almost here. I have been doing some serious soul searching, and I really find that this is the best thing for me to do. I know I am making the right decision. I have been slowly telling my friends/neighbors/relatives about my having the surgery. Everyone is so very positive. And for that I am grateful!
Well I'll post more as the week goes on!
July 13, 2004
I had an appointment with my rheumatologist/internist last night for final surgery clearance. She is very optimistic that this surgery will work for me. Boy do I need to hear that. I've been feeling scared that I will lose the weight, but gain it back! That would just kill me! She was very thorough about my exam, and we talked extensively about the surgery. She had recommended it like two years ago, and actually she is the reason I finally pursued (she gave me the courage I needed). I think I'm ready! Next Wed., 7/21/04 is my day for a new beginning, a new life, and little bit of pain/struggle to get there! I wish I could stop my imagination from working until the surgery is over. It's going full speed ahead!
So until the next time.....
July 14, 2004
Well exactly one week from today, I will officially become a "loser". For the first time in my life, I am going to be happy to be called a loser.
I'm grateful for all the support I am getting from my friends/famiy. It's just incredible! All paperwork is set, I meet with Dr. Bell tomorrow, then to Yale for pre-op and off to surgery next Wednesday.
I spoke with Dorothy last night about some of my anxiety I've been having about worrying that I'll regain the weight. She was so reassuring. I also talked alot about the fact that I would not be able to eat for the first two weeks. I'm sure that is going to feel like a loss. My emotions will be all over the place. She reassured me that we can walk and keep busy, so I wouldn't notice it. She's dieting as well, so there won't be a lot of temptation around. I pray so hard each nite that I can use this "tool" that Dr. Bell is giving me to obtain my goal weight and STAY THERE!
Little by litte, I am sharing the fact that I'm having surgery with others. That has been difficult for me. I don't want all eyes on me after surgery watching what I eat....especially at work!
So, I begin the seven day countdown!
7/14 & 7/15/04
Well, Wed. was the day from hell!I received a call from Dr. Bell's nurse stating that I needed a cardiology consult! I explained that my PCP cleared me and I was okay, but they needed a letter. After numerous phone calls, I never heard from my PCP's office. This morning, I called and they told me they faxed it late last evening UGH! I was a mess all night worrying about this!
So today, I saw Dr. Bell for my pre op visit. He, as usual, was very informative, and he was so reassuring. He gave me hope, something I haven't had in a long time. I know this "tool" is going to work for me! I am so grateful for having found Dr. Bell. So in six days, I will be on the other side...a loser...in a good way!
I hope they are able to remove all those awful negative things during surgery that I have been burdened with as an overweight person. I have been trying to think healthy "mentally" it hasn't been easy...but this is my last chance at being thin, and I swear I am going to make it work!
six more days!
Well, in 24 hours, I will be a "loser"..the good kind of course. It's hard to believe that this time has really passed so quickly. I could not have made it this far without the help of the CT Board and this website, but especially without the support of my Angel, Linda W. I am so blessed by so many old and now new friends. The thought of being "normal" is almost unreal to me. I cannot remember a time in my life when I wasn't looked upon as being "fat", even when I lost 70lbs on WW, I remember this rude woman at work said to another woman, well she still has a long way to go! Those are the things that just rip through your heart. I vow to never forget that feeling and to always remain compassionate to overweight individuals. I also hope to share any information I have to help anyone who might be seeking WLS. This is a commitment that I will stay loyal to; I pray not to fail!
My only regret is that my dear, sweet parents are not here to see my success. They would have loved to see me thin. My only hope is that they are watching from heaven and smiling!
To Dorothy, my dearest friend, I love you and am so thankful for you and all the support you have given me since we were 12 yrs. old. You never saw me as abnormal! I love you more than life itself!
To Betsy, my dear friend, nurse, mentor...thank you for listening all those times I tried and failed at dieting. Thank you for always having the time to listen, when others gave up! Thank you for never seeing me as "fat." You're the best!
To Pat, my sister, my friend, my confidant! Where do I begin to tell you how much I love you! You are a sister to me! You have welcomed me into your family, and I am so grateful for that. Your love of animals is so admirable! My girls are so lucky to have an Auntie like you! I could never have made it through all those yrs. at work w/out you. The girls and I love and adore you!
Marie, you and I were sisters in another life; I know that! You are the best friend anyone could ask for. I love you very much. Thank you for ALWAYS having faith in me and being by my side. I will hold your hand as you walk through a difficult time in your life...I'm here for the long run for you. I love you immensely!
To My Auntie Katie,My love for you is unexplanable! I wouldn't know where to begin. I love you, I need you, and am eternally grateful to have you!
To Dr. Arnold, my PCP, you have encouraged me, treated me, understood me, listened to me, and helped me more than any other doctor I have ever been to. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. You are a wonderful, sensitive, caring, compassionate woman. Thank you!
To all my other friends, I love you, cherrish your friendship, and could not have made it this far without all your love and support. Thank you very much.
Tomorrow I begin a new life, filled with love, friends, and the two most beautiful dogs in the whole world!
Thank you Dr. Bell for giving me a second chance at life; I will not let you down, and I will appreciate the "tool" you are about to give me and respect it for the rest of my life!
Well I did it, yes I did! I had Lap RNY surgery! Never thought I'd do it, but I really really really did it! I am on such an emotional rollarcoaster still. Of course, I'm glad I had the surgery, but now this not eating for two weeks is not pleasant.
Let me first talk about my surgery. Everything went very smoothly until recovery time! They were trying to get me to wake up and I just couldn't. I could hear them talking, but just couldn't respond! Finally, in the recovery room, I did wake up, and was told that my Oxygen levels were low. So they moved me to the step down unit (half way between intensive care and the regular floor). I spent one night there and the next morning, I was taken down for the leak test, which was AWFUL. I won't go into detail, but let's say, I'd rather drink a glass filled with spiders! I spent that afternoon and the next day in the hospital and came home on Friday afternoon. I had my little cups of water and Ensure.
When I got home, it was a whole different ball of wax. Drinking was so difficult to do. Only liquids for first two weeks...everything was sweet tasting and I wanted something that wasn't sweet. I made it through the first two weeks with lots and lots of support from my dear friends and the OH CT boards! It was the hardest thing, I'll tell you. Physically, I felt fine...mentally...that was a whole different story.
I saw Dr. Bell. I lost 15lbs. He was very pleased, but I must say I was a tad disappointed. He said because I have a low BMI, I will lose at a slower rate (just figures).
My profile was erased, so I'm going to try to retrace the past month. I have been walking and walking and walking. According to my scale, I am down about 25 lbs. YAHOOOOOOOOO! Lost a ton of inches, and my clothes are falling off YIIPPPPPEEEEE!!! I am also wearing clothes I haven't worn in like two years!
Eating is a whole different thing. Most soft stuff stays in. I have had about 4 episodes of vomiting, didn't chew well enough or took in too much not sure. Chicken just isn't staying...so I'm avoiding it! It's difficult to get all the water in too, being as I have to wait an hour in between. So I am always watching the clock. I walk 2-3 times a day about 3 miles on a good day and about 1 1/2 miles on a regular day. I have been doing walking laps in my pool too, soon, that will end though. The arthritis in my feet isn't gone, but at least I can walk. I couldn't walk at all before the surgery. I have a ton of energy! My hair is falling out a bit, and that's scaring me big time. Pleaseeeee GOD don't let me be thin and bald!
On Friday, 9/1 I am leaving for a quick jaunt to Jamaica! Sat. 9/4 is my b'day, and I'm treating myself to a spa vacation. I cannot wait. I am thrilled, plus I feel like I got ripped off as far as summer is concerned. So a couple of days of sun and fun, and I'll be on the right track.
I am still on all my meds. I see my PCP in another month, and we will determine what I need and what I don't need. I want to be med-free! It's hard to swallow pills still.
I feel so much better about me...I don't feel so worthless anymore! I felt like I was slowly dying inside and out, and now I feel reborn! People at work are noticing the weight loss; I am just saying I've been dieting and exercising; I don't care the share this with EVERYONE.
I have to thank Dr. Bell for his expertise! Because of his "gift", I have found a new life! I will be eternally grateful to him!
Well, it's been a while since I posted. I didn't get to go to Jamaica because of the hurricanes!! So I had to cancel and now don't know when I'll be able to go again. I had my two month visit with Dr. Bell on 9/24/04, and I am down 36 lbs, which is was very pleased about. He said each time I see him, my weight loss should double. He set a goal of 35 lbs for me, and I made it and lost an extra pound. I have been on a plateau since then though. I exercise (walk) every day..I try to walk more each day, that doesn't always happen, but I do try. I need to join a gym.
Life is changing every day. I have to get new clothes soon; I'm running out of things that fit. I am wearing clothes that I haven't worn in like three years.
There are days that I feel down though. I am still not small enough to feel great, and I cannot eat much; still can't eat chicken, it won't stay in, and I feel "lost" some days. It doesn't last long, but it's there. I am hoping that will go away soon.
I look in the mirror and don't recognize myself. The good part about that is my face doesn't look distorted from the weight anymore. That was the most difficult thing for me was seeing face when it was so large!
I'll post again soon. I must say, I am very happy to have had this surgery, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Hit the 40 lb mark yesterday. That was a big deal for me, being that I was on a plateau since 9/24 when I went to Dr. Bell. I really exercised alot this weekend. I rode my bike and walked on Sat. and on Monday, I went to Federal Hill in Providence, RI to an Italian festival. We walked all day long. It was great.
People at work are beginning to notice more and more that I've lost weight. Of course, they are asking how. I tell them diet and exercise. Two people were bold enough to ask if I had the surgery, and I just didn't respond. I feel that this is a very "personal" thing, and I'm not up for telling people my personal business.
Each day that I exercise, it gets easier and easier. It still hurts my heels/feet due to the rheumatoid arthritis! I saw my rheumatologist last week, and she was impressed with my loss. She is very optimistic.
I am so grateful for having had this surgery!
November 26, 2004
Well the day after my first Thanksgiving as a "loser", and boy do I feel great!I don't feel cheated or like I missed anything. I saw friends yesterday who haven't seen me in a bit, and they were all shocked at how I looked! What a great feeling that is. I'm four months post op and I've lost 53 lbs. I feel human again! I never thought I'd ever see a "normal" size piece of clothing again, but I'm in a regular large.
This tool is working well for me, and I am so grateful for it. I pray that I will be able to keep it going forever!
Each day is a great experience. There have been some tough days. Certain foods don't "stay", so I've had some vomiting episodes, but I've learned what to avoid.
To anyone who is considering this surgery, DO IT! You will begin life once again. It's a second chance that some may never have!
January 20, 2005
Well, it's been a while since I updated my profile! I had my six month check up with Dr. Bell today. I am officially down 60lbs. He is very happy with that. I, on the other hand, am a little disappointed in myself. I thought I would have lost more by now. I am not exercising as much as I was in the warmer weather. So I bought an exercise CD and I am ordering another one called Walk Away the Pounds. This has been a very tough ride, but worth every step.
I hope that in the next 6 months I can reach my goal of losing 120 lbs!
To anyone who is considering the surgery, DO IT! It's worth it!
Well it has been forever since I posted. Sorry about that. This journey is a lot of work, but worth every minute. I was on a plateau from January until now. Kept gaining a pound losing a pound, and I was very frustrated, starting to get depressed, lathargic, and feeling so down. Then I decided that I was going to start doing the Walk Away the Pounds video, and I finally broke my plateau. This was sooooo hard...here I had made this life change, and Dr. Bell gave me this wonderful tool, and I was feeling like I failed at a diet again! Thankfully, the plateau is broken!
Life other than this has been good. It is amazing how people treat you differently after you are no longer morbidly obese. That really still bothers me alot. I guess that is society, and I am never going to like that.
I feel great, am down lots of inches (gonna measure myself this weekend), and am just fine with the amount of food I can consume. I have a great variety of food, can finally tolerate chicken yahoooo, and overall feel great. The rheumatoid arthritis in my ankles is still with me, but doesn't hurt nearly as much. It is still painful, but at least I can walk without feeling like I want to cry and die!!
I say this every time, but if you are considering this surgery, PLEASE do it for YOU. It's the best thing in the world! I am eternally greatful to Dr. Bell for his expertise...he gave me life again.
Well tomorrow is Easter, and this is the first Easter that I did not bake a million different types of desserts, pies, and Italian pies. Being raised Italian, Easter was always a time to bake and eat a lot of very fattening things. This is the first year that I'm not baking all of that, and I'm fine with it.
As of today, I am down 67 lbs. I have been a slow loser and that bothers me at times...I watch others just cruise along, and I'm plugging along like mad trying and trying to get this weight off. I'm not complaining, because I could not have lost 67 lbs without the tool that Dr. Bell gave me that's for sure, but I would like to make my 100 lb mark by one year, which will be in July (four months from now).
My life has changed so much! I feel sooo much better than I did. I have been doing the Walk Away the Pounds tapes, and now I'm up to the three mile brisk walk! It's actually fun! Did I say that???? Life is good, it really is, and I don't feel like an outcast anymore...I feel normal for the first time in a very long time.
Thank you Dr. Bell, you are MY HERO!!!
Happy Easter to all!
Time for an update and a kick in the pants! I've been fluctuating back and forth between -66 and -68 lbs. Keep losing and gaining, and boy is it frustrating!!! If anyone thinks this is the easy way out, let me say, they are SOOO wrong! I have kicked up my exercise regime. I now walk about 6-7 miles a day. One would think that I'd drop weight like mad just from the exercise, but guess what? NOT! So I plug along each day, and pray to GOD I won't make bad food choices. I still don't really have an appetite, but the old "head hunger" is still rearing its ugly head.
On the positive side, last year at this time, I couldn't even walk 100 feet without pain! So I am grateful for that. Not to mention that I was a size 22/24 and now I am between a 14-16, and I bought my first pair of size medium pants WOOO HOO!!!! That felt so good! I have made myself realize that this may be it for me, and if it is, I am ok with the fact that I am no longer morbidly obese. If my weight loss continues, that's great too. This is a very hard thing to swallow, but I don't want to obsess about it anymore.
That's it for now.
Still stuck at 68 lbs! Can't seem to get below that. I was hoping to reach 70 lbs. by the end of April...still have a week left. I've been struggling with hair loss. This was one of my "biggest" fears...hair loss and the surgery not working. Well, so far the surgery worked, but my hair won't stop falling out. It's mostly in the front near my bangs! Last week was just awful and unmanageable!
I'm walking and walking and walking and not losing an ounce. Guess this is ANOTHER plateau!
On a positive note, I am shopping for all new spring clothes, and it's great! It's so nice to actually be able to shop in "ANY" store. I'm planning a trip to the west coast of FL at the end of May...treating myself to a spa vacation! Can't wait.
That's it for now.
Well today is a milestone! I am -70 lbs officially! I could have jumped up and down all morning this morning, when I weighed myself! I am so happy because I have been on a plateau forever!
I thank God that I finally broke my plateau. I was so worried that I was going to be stuck forever.
Thank you Dr. Bell, you are my true hero for giving me this awesome tool to work with!
Quick update. I'm down -72 lbs!!! Heading to Naples, FL next week..can't wait! Boy do I need a vacation! I bought all new clothes! I'm walking at least 5 miles a day and doing my Walk Away the Pounds video! Life is good. Hair is falling out terribly!! Tryin' to hang on to the little bit that I have!
Bought my first size 12 pants! WOO HOO!!!! Size 12...from a size 22/24!!! GOD life is GREAT!
Well I hit a real milestone today. Got up and jumped on the scale, and I am down -75 lbs! I almost died of shock! This is the "most" weight I have ever lost. I came very close to losing 70 lbs. in 1983 when I was on WW, but of course, gained it all back plus. This tool is a life saver. I hope I never forget how important it is to work the tool and not get "out of control" again. I feel like when I do get "a little" out of control, my pouch reminds me. I need that! I am so excited, I could just scream! Thank you again Dr. Bell for this marvelous tool. I could never have done this without your skill. I cannot remember the last time I was this happy about "me."
I'm off to Florida this Thursday, and shorts I bought a month ago, size 16, are too big, so I'm off to return them tonight. I'm basically in a 14 and did buy my first pair of size 12 pants :-) ....God how I wish my parents were here to see my success. I know they are watching from above, but I sure wish I could see their smiles!
On Friday evening, I attended a neighbor's funeral. He was an elderly man that I've known all my life. My aunt and uncle were there. My aunt walked right past me. I had to call out her name. She didn't recognize me!
OH GOD I LOVE LIFE AGAIN!
Well, as I approach my one year anniversary, there are so many things that I am thankful for. First of all, I am eternally grateful to Dr. Bell for giving me life again. Without his expertise, knowledge, and skill, I probably would have been on my way to death by now. I am so grateful to him, words could never describe it. Thank you thank you thank you Dr. Bell; you are really an "angel".
The summer has always been my favorite time of year. I never realized how uncomfortable my weight made the summer for me though, until this year. I no longer sweat all the time; I no longer have a rash from chaffing! I no longer feel like the Goodyear blimp in a bathing suit...of course, I'm not Marilyn Monroe either, but I'm at least acceptable. I no longer get winded doing yardwork and gardening and lugging stuff in/out of the garage, setting up pool stuff, etc. This is such a tremendous thing for me. My only regret is that I didn't have this surgery 20 yrs ago, but then again, they didn't have it then!
I have, once again, been on a plateau, but such is life. I hope to hit -80 lbs by the time I see Dr. Bell next month. If I don't, I'm not going to "sweat it," as I know, it will come. I am grateful to all of my OH friends that I have met. You all know "exactly" how I have felt my entire life. That's such a secure feeling.
If you are out there and considering this surgery, DO IT! Don't wait another minute...get the ball rolling....you won't be sorry.
Happy summer all. I so love life now!
Well it's been a struggle since my last update. I've been up and down about 3-4 lbs. Yesterday, I hit the 80 lb mark, but I never feel it's "real" until I stay there a couple of days. This is not an easy journey, but it is one that is well worth it! I see Dr. Bell for my one yr. visit on Friday 7/22. I cannot believe an entire year has passed! It's just so unbelievable! The quality of my life is 1,000 times better than it was one yr. ago.
Thank you Dr. Bell for this tool; I could never have done it without you and your skill. I will post again on 7/21/05 in celebration of my one yr.!
Today is my one year anniversary of my surgery! WOO HOOOOO!!!! I cannot believe I made it. I meet with Dr. Bell tomorrow for my 1 yr. check up.
Well I met with Dr. Bell. He was very pleased with my success. He thinks I am doing everything right. I am pleased to have lost 80lbs, but I wanted to hit the 100 lb mark by one year, and I didn't, so I am a tad disappointed. I know that 80 lbs is a lot, but I always have that fear in the back of mind that I won't lose any more weight; or I will gain it all back! I'm working on that though. Dr. Bell said I had the bloodwork of a 17 yr old HE HEE HEE HEE...how happy was I to hear that!!!!!??? So all in all, I am very happy that I had this surgery. Would do it again in a NY minute.
Thank you Dr. Bell; you are my hero!
It has been a long while since I posted. The past 8 months have been a blur. I'm struggling to keep my weight down. This is NOT easy. I work hard every day and fight the "head hunger"...it's such a devil! I am still so very glad I had this surgery and would do it again in a minute!
Well it's been a very long time since I updated my profile. First of all, on 7/21/08, I celebrated my FOURTH year anniversary for my lap RNY with Dr. Bell. I'm still a loser! LOL!
On 5/23/08, I had an abdominalplasty (and skin removal) with Dr. Stefano Fusi (www.drfusi.com). The surgery was in Dr. Fusi's operating room in his Guilford Office. Everything went well for the first few days, then I developed a fever. I went to the ER and they decided I had a UTI, gave me meds and sent me home. The fever kept returning. Finally, Dr. Fusi had enough and admitted me to Yale. I was there 4 days on an IV of antibiotics, had lots of test, they put a drain back in my incision to drain the infection I ended up with. On the 4th day, I was sent home. A week later, I ended up back at Yale. This time I was diagnosed with MRSA (Staph infection). I had to have my incision reopened and the infection removed. I came home a week later on a wound vac, which I had to carry with me everywhere I went. It was a nightmare!
Two weeks ago, I was taken off the wound vac, and my incision is closing.
The good news is I lost 10 lbs of skin/fat!
So all in all from day #1 (prior to my RNY), I'm down 91 lbs!!!!!!
Life is great!
Thanks again Dr. Bell, my hero, and Dr. Fusi for sculpting my body! Not sure I'll have any more plastic surgery, but I must say Dr. Fusi is absolutely the "best" plastic surgeon around! He is caring and compassionate and has a staff of great ladies who never are annoyed with you no matter how many times you call there!
I saw Dr. Fusi last week, and he is pleased with my incision. Although he says he'll probably have to do scar revision surgery in a few months. I'm not looking forward to that! All in all I feel great. I'm able to head back to the gym, which I need the structure! I am so happy I had this done! Life is good. Thanks Dr. Fusi & Dr. Bell (my two heros!!!)
Wow 2009, and it will be my 5 yr. anniversary in July. So much has changed for me in the past 5 years! I am still so grateful to have this tool. I do, however, struggle every single day. I wish I could hate food, but that's never going to happen. It's a necessity and it's my enemy!
My New Year's resolution is to go to the gym 3x a week no matter what! So far, I've gotten up to 2x a week, so this week I'll try to make the 3rd trip.
I look back over the past 4+/- years and realize that life isn't easy. However, it's easier to do it when your body cooperates. I had to shovel snow this weekend and never felt winded, and that is surely a great feeling. I need to get away from the holiday "sugar" that I can't seem to shake. I'm going to try to take one day at a time and see how that works.
I'm so grateful to Dr. Bell for his expertise and his ability go help me be somewhat of a "normal" person. Dr. Fusi gave me a flat tummy that I never had...well not since I was like 10 yrs. old anyway.
To all my friends who have supported me through this, thank you, and I love you. I hope I never disappoint you.
Well here I am 5 years, yes five years later, and I have NOT gained my weight back. I'm down everything I lost, except for a small gain of 6-8 lbs. depending on where I am. Tomorrows marks five years since Dr. Bell gave me my life back! I cannot tell you how wonderful he is and what a skilled surgeon he is! May GOD always allow him to have the skill he has!
Life has been a rollercoaster for me. Unfortunately, I lost my job, due to a downsize of my company. I so loved my job and respected my boss, but times are tough; and I am now a victim of this economy. I will survive! The best part about this is that I can look for a job and not feel like a freak...praying that no one will notice that I am a woman of size. To the naked eye, I'm an average woman with a few extra lbs on! I wouldn't trade that for anything.
Thank you Dr. Bell! You are my hero!
Well, I'm a day late in posting on my anniversary of my WLS, but yesterday was a very busy day. This past year has been awful for me on a personal level. I lost my job and was unemployed for an entire year. Throughout all of that, I was able to maintain my weight. That in itself is an accomplishment, as I would NEVER have been able to do that before WLS. All in all, I've gain back approximately 7 lbs., which I sometimes can get rid of 5 of those, but I am very pleased. I still owe everything to Dr. Bell for his skill and talent and for giving me life again.
Two weeks ago, I started an awesome job, and it feels to good to be able to dress like a "normal" person fit into normal sizes, and not feel like a freak. If anyone is out there who is considering this surgery, PLEASE DO IT FOR YOURSELF!
Thank you Dr. Bell for giving me life again, and thank you to all my friend who ALWAYS support and love me no matter what size I am.