I am married to an extremely supportive husband and have three kids ages 21, 20 and 14. I have been overweight for most of my life, but the last 10 years I have been morbidly obese. My BMI is 46.9 My sister got me interested in WLS when she told me about a friend of hers that had done well with it. I decided to consult with Dr. Heap and the ball started rolling from there. Unfortunately, my insurance has an exclusion for WLS even if medically necessary, so, I am going to self pay. My husband has been great about it and says nothing is worth more than my health. I am scheduled for sugery on May 27, 2005. I cannot wait for the start of my new life. I want to be able to do the things I used to like hike, ski and keep up with my kids during their activities. I am also very nervous. I have never had surgery and have only been in the hospital when I gave birth. I just want to make it through the surgery on move on to a new healthy life.
Well, I have one week and one day to go until my surgery. I am starting to get scared. I have attended a support meeting, tho, that really helped. It is full of women who have been thru the surgery and are doing great or have a surgery scheduled. I really feel that support groups are important before and after surgery. I had an upper GI done yesterday which I hope to never have to do again. It wasn't too bad, but the gown was too small and so my butt was sticking out the whole time. They finally gave me a sheet to cover up with, but it was very embarrassing.
Some of the goals I have for after weight loss are:
1. fitting into a hospital gown
2. being able to sit in movie, theatre and sporting event seats.
3. riding on a roller coaster without being afraid of fitting.
4. skiing with my son
5. having energy and not always being out of breath
6. participating in my sons parent and kids basketball games
7. being able to get out of bed and chairs without rolling out.
8. being able to shop for cute clothes in "normal" sizes
9. doing yard work without getting exhausted.
I'm not sure I will be able to do all these things, but at least it is something to work towards.
These Pictures were taken on 5-26-05, the day before my surgery
Here I am 5 days out. I'm still in a bit of pain, but getting around more and more. I get my stitches removed on the 6th of June. My husband has been a godsend these last few days, without him, I'm not sure I could have managed. The hospital and it's staff were amazing. I heard some bad reports on Kennewick General, but I do not have one negative thing to say. All the nurses were attentive and caring. They got me up and round soon after surgery. I will write more later. I tire rather easily these days.
Got my stitches removed today. I was afraid it was going to hurt, but I didn't feel a thing. I have lost 24 lbs since surgery 10 days ago...........woohoo!!!!!!!! Today feels like a new day for me. I feel great, have been on no pain meds, even went out for an outing to walmart (I'm sure I could have picked a much better place, but, didn't have much of a choice). This evening, I went to my sons basketball game and that was a little too much sitting.......of course they went into overtime!!!! I just got home crawled into bed and have rested. I hope I haven't overdone things. All I can say is it is very important to get your water in. I try to never feel thirsty, which is a challenge, but I carry a glass of ice chips around and that helps. It seems easier to eat ice chips than to sip water for some reason.
I am now 16 days out and feeling better every day. I am able to get out and about but tire very easily. I wanted to write about my day of surgery in case anyone has any questions about what happens.
I arrived at the hospital at 6:15 am. I was taken into a room and weighed. I was told to undress and put on the surgical gown. I then had the nurse come in and explain everything that would happen. The anesthesiologist came in and explained everything that he would do. It was a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I then had the IV's put in and I dont remember anything else until I was in ICU. I was in ICU for 2 days. I was uncomfortable the whole time. It hurt to move and I have to say I regretted the surgery the first week. They got me up and walking the second day in ICU and they had me walk to my regular room. It was painful to get in and out of bed and I didn't want to eat, but, the nurses kept after me to eat and drink. On the third day I was allowed to go home. The first week was awful. I was in pain, uncomfortable and couldn't sleep. The second week, I started feeling much better. Now 2 weeks out, I'm still very weak, but, feeling much better
August 1, 2005
I am now 9 weeks out and feeling great. I am able to eat almost anything and my energy level is great. I still have trouble getting in the liquid, anything but water has been making me ill and I just have trouble drinking very much water. I have lost a total of 53 lbs so far and am sooooooooo glad I had the surgery.
August 9, 2005
I am now 10 weeks out. I went to see my doctor yesterday and I have officially lost 57 lbs. I was so excited. My blood pressure was also normal for the first time in years. I feel great and am so glad I had the surgery.
September 15, 2005
I am now down 75 lbs. I cannot believe how wonderful I feel. Not only do I feel lighter and more energetic, but I feel more confident. I guess I didn't realize just how the excess weight was bringing me down. I thought I was a pretty happy person but I realize now that I wasn't as happy as I could have been. I have gone from being morbidly obese to just obese. I can't believe how tickled I am to be obese.....never thought I would see the day.
October 3, 2005
As of today, I am down 81 pounds!!!!!!!
October 8, 2005
I have always been a hot blooded person. What I mean is, I have always felt hot. Even in the winter, I was warm when everyone else was cold. That has all changed now. I cannot get warmed up. This is only October and we haven't even had our first freeze yet, I shudder to think what January will bring. After my sons football games, it usually takes a couple of hours under my down comforter to get warmed back up. I guess this is all part of losing weight.
October 23, 2005
I had a real WOW moment today. I was shopping and decided to buy myself some underwear. When I got to the counter to pay, the girl behind the counter asked if they were for me. I said yes, and she told me they would not fit me. I was mortified, thinking I needed to go back and get a bigger size. She then said I needed at least one, probably two sizes smaller. That was a first for me and made me sooooooo very happy. She was right, two sizes smaller fit perfect.
November 18, 2005
I got the results of my bloodwork yesterday. Everything was fine except I was low on vitamin D and my protein was low. My PCP gave me a prescription for a once a month vitamin D pill and told me to up my protein. On the upside, I am down 97 lbs and feeling great.
November 28, 2005
I have been feeling a little frustrated and down lately. I know it is normal, but my scale is not moving at all. I have lost a total of 99 lbs, but 100 lbs seems to be illusive. I knew that a plateau would hit around 6 months out, I just didn't expect it to be so prompt. Hopefully it will pass soon. I would still like to lose about 45-50 more lbs.
November 30, 2005
I am soooooooooo happy. I hit the century mark today. 100 lbs gone. I am thrilled, excited and very thankful that this surgery has given me the opportunity to get my life back. I have noticed that I am much more confident when I am out and about. I am easily able to get up and down the bleachers at my sons football and basketball games. I have noticed that clerks in stores are friendlier and more apt to help me. Is this because of being thinner or being more confident? All I know is that I am so happy I had the surgery and I feel so wonderful. I still have 50 lbs to lose and I know it will take a lot longer than the first 100 lbs took, but I am bound and determined to lose it.
December 11, 2005
Well, nothing much going on here. I have lost 4 more pounds....it's going slowly but at least it is going. I went to a wedding on Saturday and got a lot of comments from people who hadn't seen me in a while. It feels good to look and feel good. My goal is to lose 46 more pounds, but, if I am unable to, I will be OK. It seems amazing to me to only have to lose that many more pounds.....I am still thinking 150 lbs overweight. Another amazing thing is that I am as of today only overweight, not obese. How great is that. Once again I am so thankful I was able to have WLS. I am very thankful that my husband was so supportive even though we had to self pay. I am also thankful for the support my kids have given me. It has been wonderful to have my family and their love around me through this process. It has made it so much easier.
As of today I am 106 lbs down. I am so much happier than I was a year ago. I have been shopping and decorating and not getting exhausted like last Christmas. My youngest son plays about 4 basketball games a week and I can get up and down those bleachers with no problem.
Before I had surgery, my son Jonathan asked me why I wanted to do it. I told him I wanted to be healthy and for him to be proud of me. I didn't want him to be embarrassed by having such an overweight mom. He told me he was already proud of me and that he didn't think I needed to lose weight (this was when I was 150 lbs overweight). Isn't he a great kid. Anyway, I do know my three kids are proud of me and my weightloss and I feel more comfortable meeting new friends of theirs. I was always embarrassed and ashamed to meet new people. WLS has given me confidence. Inside I am the same person I was 100 lbs ago, but not having the shame makes a huge difference when dealing with people.
January 3, 2006
My youngest son is back in school today. I guess it is back to the old grind. I love school holidays when we don't have the usual routine. He had basketball practice everyday, but after that, nothing. It was wonderful. Today I was down another pound for a total loss of 109 lbs!!!!! WooHoo!!!!!
I have all of a sudden started to worry about gaining the weight back and I'm not even finished losing yet. I watched Oprah yesterday and there was a gal on who had lost 300 lbs thru gastric bypass. She kept saying it was just a tool and if you aren't diligent in watching what and how much you eat, you will gain your weight back. I know and always have known that this is true, but it seems a little more real now that my weight loss has slowed way down. I try to watch everything I eat but I think I need to start watching more carefully. I don't think I could handle gaining weight again. My problem is I still have the head hunger and the old habits. Will they ever go away? I just wish I could eat to live and not every worry about it again. I know I am rambling, but I wanted to get my feelings on my profile. If you are considering surgery, know that it is not a quick fix. It is a tool that will help you get started but you will have to work hard to have continued success. It is so easy at first, the weight comes off no matter what you do, then around 6 months out it slows way down. If you don't exercise and eat carefully, you may gain the weight back.
As of today, I am down 114 lbs. I have been feeling really great the last few days. I have been having a tablespoon of ground flaxseed in my cream of wheat every morning, and it is really helping with my constipation (sorry if that's too much info). After reading Dame Tooters profile, I decided to give flaxseed a try and boy am I glad I did. Thanks Tooter. I find that I am able to eat a lot more than I could 2 months ago, and so must make much better choices these days. I am glad I can get so much more protein and water in tho. I spent my first few months always feeling thirsty and finally that feeling is gone.
February 6, 2006
I am now down 118 pounds. The weight is coming off slowly but I am glad it is still coming off. I have really appreciated everyone on Dr. Heaps forum. It is so nice to talk to people who have had the same surgery and similar problems. My support group is amazing, also and I love meeting with them once a month. It is so nice to know that everything I am going through has been gone through before and is pretty normal.
February 28, 2006
I am now down 121 lbs!!!!!! I can hardly believe it. I feel really good and am looking forward to getting my bloodwork so I can make sure I am as healthy as I feel. The weight has really started coming off slow and I have started recording all I eat at www.fitday.com. It really helps to know how many calories I am consuming and what my total nutrients are. I am consuming about 1000 calories a day..........This seems like an OK amount although the surgeon has never said one way or another how many I should get in. I am really working on eating the best foods possible, although I still crave the salty snacks. Pringles seem to be my weakness these days, but, if I have one serving of the fat free or low fat, I don't feel so bad. I figure if I am eating healthy and getting in my vitamins, one little indulgence wont hurt me.
I had a wonderful wow moment this weekend. I was at a high school basketball game when I saw one of my sons friends that I hadn't seen in several months. When he saw me, his eyes got really wide and he said "you look amazing"!!!!!! A 15 yr old made me feel soooooooo good. A friend of mine also commented that at games I don't sit quietly and never move from my seat anymore. I am walking around visiting friends. I think before I was so afraid of falling in the bleachers and just didn't want to be noticed, I wouldn't even get up to use the restroom. WLS has not only changed the way I look, but the way I feel, act and interact with people. Life is good.
March 17, 2006
Happy St. Patricks Day!!!!! Today is my 46th Birthday!!!!!!!!! I always tend to look back at where I was last year on my birthday, Christmas, etc. Last year at this time, I was just starting on my journey. I was 300 lbs and was miserable. I never felt good, was always out of breath was incredibly depressed and hated myself. Fast forward a year. I weigh 178 lbs, can move around easily, and feel wonderful. I am still on antidepressants, but, as my mother and 3 of my sisters are also on them, I think it is genetic and not situational. It is amazing to me that I am only 23 lbs from my goal. I have come a long way in the year since I turned 45. It has been a struggle and very painful at times, but I wouldn't change a thing. I would have surgery again in a heartbeat. I couldn't have made it through this year without my husband, Bill and my kids. Also, my support group and my dear friends have been a Godsend. Thank you all!!!!!!
April 10, 2006
This last weekend, I went to Pullman, Wa. with my sister Teresa for Mom's weekend at WSU. We had a wonderful time with my son David. He has turned into an amazing young man and I am so proud of him. He is an architecture major and I know that I am his mother, but, I find his drawings and plans pretty awesome. He is such a thoughtful, caring and intelligent young man and he is really a beautiful person inside and out. My sister Teresa is also amazing. She is the one that got me started on this wonderful journey. On our way to Pullman for Moms Weekend, last year, she brought up the subject of WLS. She had a friend who had it and had done well. It got me to thinking about it and the rest, as they say, is history. I ended up researching, getting a consult and having surgery within 2 months of talking to her about it. I consider her my lifesaver. Teresa has always been very supportive and she is so much fun to be with. She loves me unconditionally and is my very best friend. I am now down 124 pounds.
May 28, 2006
Well, yesterday marked my one year anniversary since having surgery.Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I feel energetic and so much more alive. I used to hate myself and what I considered my "weakness". I now know that I just needed some help to get me going. Thank you Dr. Heap and to my support group.You are all the best.
June 3, 2006
I have dropped 3 lbs in the last few days. I am now down 131 lbs. and have only 5 lbs to go until my BMI is normal and 14 lbs until my goal. I really never thought I would see this day and am so happy I am so much healthier. I am in a size 14 pants and a large top. I would love to be in a size 10 pant, but with my body I think a 12 or 14 is as low as I will be able to go. Seeing that I started out in a 26, I am going to be happy about it. It is odd to have bones that I can feel. My husband feels my shoulder and cannot believe how "bony" they feel. I think that although we had a great marriage before WLS, it is even better now. I don't think Bill's attitude toward me has changed at all. He always found me sexy and desirable and always loved me unconditionally. My attitude has changed, though. I am a lot more confident and comfortable with myself and it has really helped in our marriage. I am also lucky that I married such a wonderful man to begin with. He has helped to get me here by convincing me I was worth the cost of surgery and for nursing me afterward and for being incredibly supportive during the whole process. He has been my cheerleader,and for that I will always be grateful. Thanks, Bill.
June 28, 2006
I am now out 13 months and have lost a total of 135 lbs. One more lbs and I will have a normal BMI WOOHOO!!!!!!! I am handling the summer heat much better these days. I don't like 100 degree weather, but at least I am not miserable and extremely grumpy when it does get that hot. I am in a medium or large top (depends on the brand and style) and a 14 pant. I have quite a bit of loose skin on my stomach, hips and thighs and know that I would benefit from plactic surgery. Oh well......it's not in the cards right now. I am going to enjoy my new body, flaws and all and be thankful that I am so healthy and energetic.
August 19, 2006
Not too much has changed since my last update. I am now down 139 lbs and weigh 161 lbs. My goal is 155 but I am happy where I am. I have had a wonderful summer. I went hiking with my son and his girlfriend, and had no trouble keeping up with them. I also flew to San Francisco to see my oldest son. I fit in the plane seat just fine. I always used to get very upset about flying as I barely fit in the seat and I felt as though I was invading the other passengers space. This time there were no stress at all. I had a wonderful time and was amazed that with as busy as we were, I wasn't overly tired.
September 1, 2006
I am not sure what is going on, but I have lost 4 lbs in the last 2 weeks. I am down 143 lbs, I weigh 157lbs. I am trying to get lots more protein in, but I am addicted to carbs so I have to try hard.
October 12, 2006
This morning I weighed in at 156 lbs for a total loss of 144 lbs. I wear a size 12 pant and a small or medium top depending on the style........a typical pear shaped body. I feel great. I went to Cabo San Lucas with my sisters and mom last week and actually ran around in a swimsuit. I did try to keep a sarong around my waist most of the time as my legs are not the prettiest, but, I didn't let them stop me from time in the ocean and the pool. It was amazing to feel so confident. It did help that there are very, very few perfect bodies out there.....no-one else let there bodies stop them so why should I.
October 28, 2006
Fifteen months after my sugery, I have finally hit my goal!!! I didn't think I would ever get here, but I am one of the lucky ones who lost all of their additional weight. My PCP thought I wouldn't get under 175lbs and I would have been happy with that. Now I am sitting at 155 and even happier. Once again, I have to say that I am so grateful to have had this surgery, thankful for my husband and my family for their support, and thankful for all my dear friends on this site and in my support group. I would not be here without each and every one of you.
December 9, 2006
I am now weighing in at 149 lbs..........under my goal but still a healthy weight for me. I find it surprising that I still lose weight...I figured I would be done by now, but hey...I'll take it.