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Surgeon TestimonialMuhammad A. Jawad, M.D.My first impression of him was that he was a very busy man. I had to wait over 2 hours to see him. When I finally got to see him he was very well informed, answered any and all questions. He made me feel confident in him. He does seem to be very quiet. Over all it was a good experience. I had my surgery (lap band) on July 13,2005 and everything went well.
- Pets - I have a border collie, retreiver mix and 4 cats!
I started this journey about 2 years ago when a friend of mine got the gastric by pass surgery. It really intrigued me and I started to do research on the by pass. I really wasn't too keen on having my insides rerouted and the quick rate that you lost weight at. Personally I feel that losing that amount of weight in a short period of time is unhealthy for you. I look at it this way, it didn't take me a few months to put all this weight on, so it shouldn't take me a few months to take it off. I too, like so many of us was tired of the yo-yo dieting and was basically giving up and trying to come to grips with the fact that I will probably be obese for the rest of my life. Then I found out about the lap band! The more research I did about it the more I liked it. I just knew it was the perfect tool for me to help change my habits and kick start a new life for me. As my health was getting worse, I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, etc. I knew I had to do something fast or I was going to fall victim to my other health issues. And then I found Dr. Jawad in Ocala, Fl. and let's just say the rest is history! I started my life over on July 13, 2005. Preop I weighed in at 308lbs with a BMI of 44. As of August 10th I am now down to 274lbs. I still have a long journey ahead of me, and I'm sure I'll have ups and downs but I know I'm going to make it! I feel like I have a fresh new start on life and I'm going to take full advantage of it.
I know I'm not really good at keeping up with my profile but I just read a post on the board that has made me think twice about keeping it up. Ok so here I go.
I had my first fill on Sept. 2nd and at weigh in I am now down to 268lbs. So I have lost a total of 40lbs so far. I do know that that is above the average of weight loss for this type of surgery. Typically it is 1 to 2 lbs a week. But I am also keeping in my frame of mind that it is very possible for the weightloss to slow up some. So I am excited about my loss I don't want to get carried away with myself and want to keep my head in reality.
As far as my fill goes, I really don't think it's working that well. Now I'm not overeating. I'm still getting in around 900- 1000 calories, sometimes even 1100. But I am hungry in the afternoons something fierce!! The mornings seem to be alright. I eat my breakfast around 6:30 am and I'm really not that hungry till around noonish. But after lunch I seem to get hungry by the 2nd hour. So I think I need a little tweak in my band. I'm not scheduled until Oct. 7th for this, so I am going to wait it out and do my best day by day. This new journey is defintley like a 12 step program in a sense. You really do have to take things day by day, sometimes hour by hour and minute by minute. But so far over all it's been a great journey.
I guess that's about it for now. I will post again real soon!!
Well I just went for my second fill on the 7th and I wound up having my band completley unfilled on the 8th. I got very emotional over this and I'm still upset about it but I have to get over it and move on. I went for my fill and I was brought up to 6cc's in my 10cc band. I did the water test and everything went fine. Nothing coming back up, nothing puddling in my throat, the water went down ok! So I went home. As I was driving home (I'm 2 hours away from my surgeon) I started getting this uncomfortable feeling on the left side underneath my ribs to the left of my port and in my left shoulder. I kinda chalked it up to the way I was laying on the table during the fill. Well as the night progressed so did the pain. I was able to still get liquids down, I wasn't throwing up, so being too tight wasn't on my mind. Well the pain got so bad that I passed out for a few seconds, so I called my surgeon and explained what was happening. He said I was too tight. He called me in some pain meds to get me through the night and wanted to see me first thing in the morning. So when I got there he removed some of the fluid and had me drink some water and it hurt going down so he removed all of my fluid in my band and the pain pretty much left. So now I sit here unfilled. Once again having to rely on my will power to not over eat. He said I can start refilling my band, at a slow pace, at the end of next week. I do have to say I'm upset by all of this but I'm still glad I have my band!! And thank God the only thing that had to be done was remove the fluid from it. The good thing is is that I'm down a total of 46lbs!!! So I will keep on moving on and working my band like it's still has fluid in it!!
That's my update for now.
Well I went the other day for my refill and everything went fine. Passed the water test, etc. So I left and about 45 minutes into my drive home, BAM, really bad pain!! I had to turn around and go back. So they wound up unfilling my band once again. The reason this is happening to me is because my band is sitting up high on my stomach because of the fat around it. So when they are filling it the balloon in the band is hitting into my diaphragm causing me pain. The problem will work itself out. Once I lose some more weight and the fat pocket starts to go away the band will start to sit where it's supposed to sit. Thank God it's a simple problem and that it'll fix itself on it's own and I don't need another surgery to correct the problem. I'm a little depressed about having my band completley unfilled, nervous that I'll gain some of the weight back. But I'm not going to let that happen. I'm going to step up on my exercising, and continue to eat how a bandster should eat. I also have an infection where they poked me for my fill, but I'm taking antibiotics and it'll clear up. I go back on Nov. 1st to try again. This time we're going to take baby steps with my Vanguard band. So a little at a time.
Well that's my update for now, will update again when I go for my next fill.
November 8, 2005
Well I haven't had my fill yet. I was supposed to go Nov. 1st, but after seeing my doctor at one of our support meetings it was suggested for me to wait a few more weeks due to the pain had just subsided about a week and a half ago. So that means that some of the swelling has finally gone down, but they still wanted me to rest my belly before we went ahead with the fill. So now I'm not scheduled until December 1,2005!!
Boy can I tell you what a head game this has been for me the past month or so. I have been struggling really bad with the fact that I have no fill inside of my band. And the fact that I'm hungry every 2 hours. But I've been trying my HARDEST not to give into the hunger and trying to keep to the "bandster" size portions. So I decided to join a gym and I've been pretty faithful in going. I do an hour of cardio (on the treadmill) a day for right now. The doctor doesn't want me to do any kind of weight training as of yet. I got on the scale the other day at the gym and it said I was up 6lbs!!! Can you believe that, Im hoping that it's muscle gain from all this walking I've been doing. At least that's what the personal trainer said it probably was. Since I've been loosing inches still. So who knows. It's been rough but I've been hanging in there. Hopefully when I get to go for my fill everythig will go ok. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers and I will update again when I get my fill!!
Thanks for sharing in my journey with me!!! Until then......
Well I got my fill early!!! I wasn't supposed to get it until Dec. 2nd, but my husband was approved for the lap band surgery and the day of his pre op appointment they said they would go ahead and fill me this way if anything went wrong at least I would be in town for a few hours and I wouldnt have to drive all the way back again. I am so excited to report that the fill WORKED!!! Wooo Hooo!! We're taking baby steps with the fills, they only filled me up to 3cc's in my Vanguard band that holds 10cc's. It's ok though at least the fill worked. No pain!! I have a little bit more restriction then what I did have. I'm not where I want to be or where I need to be but it's better than what it was before!! I am soooo excited!! Now maybe I can get back on track again and my weight start to drop. I haven't gained any weight while going through all of this, only maintained. Which I guess is a good thing, anytime the scale doesn't go up it's a good thing, but I'm ready for it to start moving down again! So we're going to try again in a few more weeks, taking it slowly. I think we're going to try when my hubby goes for his first post op appointment. Which will be in 2 weeks!! He's having surgery on the 28th of Nov. I am so excited for him too!! He's already lost almost 20lbs since starting the pre op liquid diet. The liquid diet consists of replacing 2 meals with a protein shake and having a high protein, low carb dinner. He's been a little cranky since he started it, but I can remember how cranky I was when I had to do it. I guess pay backs can be rough!! LOL!! Well that's about it for now. I will update again after my next fill!! Thanks for checking in!!
Well it is now March 12th and I haven't posted in such a very long time. I haven't posted because I have been going through so much with this band. Don't get me wrong, I love my band and if I had to do it all over again I would in a heartbeat, but on Thursday March 9th I was told that the band would have to be removed. Let me first start off by saying that I was not going to keep up with my profile, but the more I thought about it I realized that I needed to do it. Just in case there is someone out there going through what I have been going through at least they will know that they are not alone. I have been searching for over 5 months to find someone out there that has been going through the same thing I am and I have had no luck, which has been a little disheartening. (If that's a word!!LOL!!) I just really wished that there was someone that could relate to me, someone who knew what it was like to go through exactlyl what I have been. To give you the cliff not version of what has been going on with me comes down to this, My body does not want the band inside of me. It started out fine, things were moving along smoothly in the beginning, God I had lost a little over 50lbs within in the first 2 1/2 months. I couldn't of been happier. I got my first fill and things seemed to be ok, but I still didn't have "proper restriction". The food was just going right through the band. No matter what I ate. And I wasn't eating soft foods that would easily go right through. Solid proteins, chicken, beef, pork, whatever it was just went right through. I waited almost a month for my second fill and that's when it all started. They put in a little amount and by the end of that night I was in excruciating pain. I met the doctor the next morning to be completley unfilled due to the severity of the pain, which was in the left shoulder, lower back, and the rib cage area. I also had trouble breathing. So I stayed unfilled for awhile and then tried again, once again the same thing, this went on and on and on. Then I started to experience, and am still having, major acid reflux. So they sent me for an Upper GI to check for any slips or leakages. Everything turned up normal on my tests, except for the acid reflux. So we decided to give it that one last try to see if it would work,which was last week. I had the fill done on thursday and I was back in his office on friday after a night of choking on acid and major pain throughout my body. It was final the band has to come out. I will never be able to have "proper restriction" with the band. I asked if I could just leave it in unfilled and try going at it like that, but my weight has stopped coming off for the past 3 months, and I'm still going to the gym 5 times a week and eating right but to no avail. But since the onset of the reflux they are afraid that it will only get worse over time and do major damage to my esphagus, or they could be the slightest chance that the band can erode into my stomach. So my choices are to have the band removed and then go on my merry way and try it once again on my own, which has not worked in the past, that's why I had the band put in in the first place, or he would remove the band and convert me over to the RNY. So I am at a crossroads right now in my life with a few decisions to make. I'm going to leave it in Gods hands to help me make the right decision for myself. I have been coming to terms with the fact that I have not failed, it's just that my body doesn't want a foreign object in my body. It's disappointing and it breaks my heart but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and maybe God has something else planned for me. Something that is more right for me. So I will keep you updated on what my progress is and what I decide to do with my future. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers! God Bless!
Well it's now May 22 2006
I just wanted to update a little on what's been going on. Well finally after 2 months of playing games with the insurance company, them saying they don't have the paperwork, refax it to them, then they say they still don't have it, anyway I was FINALLY APPROVED!!! So My new new journey will begin once again on May 31, 2006. I will be having my lap band removed and have a revision over to the RNY. Though this was the original surgery I started with when I started my journey, I did choose the lap band over it when I found out about the lap band. It saddens me tremendously that I will be losing the band. It took me awhile to come to terms with all of it. It's hard being one in so many million that this happens too. At first I kind of felt like a failure, but I'm not one at all. I have no control ove what my body will accept inside of it. The RNY does make me really nervous, I know there are a lot of complications that could happen but I'm leaving it all in Gods hands that everything will work out just fine. I'm really excited to start out on this new journey and that I was able to get a second chance at this. It's my only hope of a better healthier life. So keep me in your thoughts and prayers on the 31st and I will post again after my surgery and I'm feeling better!!
May 30, 2006
Well tomorrow is finally the day!! I am so excited and so nervous and scared at the same time. I've had 10 surgeries before this one but for some reason this one is different. It's even different then when I had my lap band put in. I'm very emotional this time around and I'm not exactly sure why. I know that I just can't wait to finally be able to get a grip on this weight and this food addiction and hopefully in a year from now be a lot healthier. I will definitley update after I get home from the hospital and I'm feeling up to it. Wish me luck everyone!! I can't believe this is finally happening!! Talk to you soon!!
Hello!!! Well it's done and over with!! I came out of surgery with flying colors!! It's been 7 days and I feel really really great!!! Well with one exception of this G-tube. It makes things a little more difficult, like bending and getting up and down, in and out of chairs, beds, etc. But other than that I absoulutley feel WONDERFUL!! I am so glad I did this and I'm really excited about starting my "new journey"!! I go on the 12th of June to get the staples removed, the G-tube has to stay in for 6 weeks!! Yikes!! But they said that they will deflate the little balloon thingy that keeps the tube in so I can hopefully find a little more pleasure!! It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I'm on full liquids now and I'm tolerating everything just fine!! (knock on wood) I haven't had a problem with anything, yet!! So that's about it for now. Not too much going on. Just trying to get in my protein, water and walking, walking, walking. I usually walk about 20 minutes 3 times a day right now. I know when I start feeling a lot better and this tube gets out of me I will be really able to increase my exercise!! I will let you know how everything goes at the Dr.'s office when I go on Monday!!!
Ok it's now 7/3/06 and I went for my second checkup with my doctor. So as of today I'm down 30lbs. I guess that's not too bad, I'll take it!! It's 30lbs less then I started with. He did say that I was not getting in enough calories and that I needed to get my calories up to at least 800 a day, right now I'm probably getting in about 500. So I will try my best to get some more calories in some how. I finally got the G-Tube removed today!! Woooo Hoooo!! That thing was not as bad as everyone made it out to be but it was quite annoying!! So now I have a hole in my belly but they said it should close up within a week! Everything post op for me has been pretty good (knock on wood). I've been tolerating things fine, though I have gotten sick, for lack of a better word, a few times. Not dumping though, at least I don't think it's dumping. I haven't thrown up, no heart racing and no diarrhea. I just kind of didn't feel very well and then it's like I can barely keep my eyes open and I have to go lay down. I'm asleep within seconds and I'm totally knocked out till the morning. My husband said that you could set a bomb off under my bed and I wouldn't move!! LOL!! But other than that the doctor is totally please with my progress and now I don't have to go back for 3 months. Oh yeah and I'll have to get my blood work done before that.
I do have to say that it's nice to no longer wake up in the middle of the night choking on acid and finally being pain free!! It's been one heck of a ride up until now. Physically and emotionally. This food addiction was really kicking my butt, but I think I'm finally getting a hold of this demon!!
So that's about it for now, overall I'm feeling pretty good and I'm really excited to see where this journey is going to take me. I will post again real soon!! Till then...... God Bless
So it's been a little over a month since I've posted anything, so I thought I would add a quick update. Nothing too exciting has been going on, I'm a little over 2 months out now and I've lost 41lbs. I know that's a pretty good weight loss but I guess part of me was hoping it might be a little bit more. I do find myself more obssessed with food now then ever before though. I'm having a really difficult time with eating. I'm not getting in enough calories. Though I'm trying hard and some days I do meet the calorie requirements of my surgeon, most days I just can't do it. I literally have no desire to eat and when I do eat I usually get sick to my stomach. I'm not vomitting or anything just sick to my stomach. I know... I know.. too much information. Now for the past 2 weeks I've been experiencing something a little weird. I can actually feel the food in my throat!! Yikes!! It's like from my chest area up to the top of my throat, and it doesn't matter if it is solid food or liquids. Weird huh?? Someone said I might be developing a stricture. I e mailed the nurse practioner at my surgeons office to run it by him so I'm waiting on his reply. I'll let ya know what I find out. Other than that things are going rather well. I've started back up at the gym and right now I'm going about 3 times a week, though I do exercise every day. Thursday I'm going to try something new, water aerobics!! It sounds like it might be some fun. Going to the gym constantly can get pretty boring so I thought I would try something different and if I like it at least I have something different to throw into the mix.
I'm real excited about going to the OH conference on the 19th of August!! My friend and I are going to drive up for the day and come home the same night. It should be lots of fun!!
That's about it for now. I'll update again real soon and let you all find out what's going on with my food/throat issue!!
Well hello so it's been about a month and we've finally figured out what's been going on with my throat. Seems I have some motility problems going on. They think it started from all the stress the lap band was bringing on inside my body and my esphogaus and stomach have grown weak. Good news is it will get better on it's own!! Woooo Hooo!! No surgery, no nothing, nothing serious.. whew.. thank God!! So I'm living with it and I know with time it will get better!! Other than that not too much has been going on. I'm about 3 1/2 months out and I'm down now about 54lbs. And I've started a new exercise, my hubby and I went out a few weeks ago and bought ourselves some bicycles!! I never in a million years thought I would ever ride a bicycle again. I always thought I was way too fat!! And it's been so much fun!! I absolutley LOVE it!! We go down to the trails and ride down by the river and it's been great!! A lot better than just going to the gym all the time. So now I go to the gym a few days and bike ride a few days to mix things up a bit!
Other than that all is well. I will post again soon!! Thanks again for sharing in my journey with me.
Wow.... It's been quite sometime since I last update my profile. Nothing too eventful has been going on. I do have some good news though. FINALLY after 7 looooooooong frustrating weeks the scale has started to move again!! I lost 5lbs, so as of saturday actually I am offically down 70lbs. I do have to say that I have also lost a ton of inches. I've went from a 4X in tops down to a 1X and a 24/26 in jeans down to an 18/20. So I am progressing....slowly, but progressing. I do have to say though that these last 7 weeks have really been just totally disappointing. I know in my heart that with having a revision the weight loss would be at a slower rate, but geesh... I would of never thought it would be this slow!! LOL!! But on the other hand when have I ever been able to lose 70lbs in not even 7 months. That in an of itself is just mind blowing. The only thing that I regret at this point is the sagging skin!! Arrrrgh!! I really didn't think it would bother me too much, but boy oh boy it really really bothers me. Hopefully one day I'll be able to correct that problem with some plastic surgery. Well I just wanted to get something up here because it's been forever since I posted last. Oh yeah and I finally have an updated picture of me!! So that's me now, that picture was taken on 12/9/06. Not too bad huh??
Well that's about it for now. Thanks for reading!! I'll be posting again real soon!!!
May 31, 2007
Oh boy, where to begin. First off I guess I have to say Happy Surgiversary to me!! It's been one year since my revision. God has this year just flown right by. I just realized that I haven't posted anything here in 6 months, shame on me! LOL!! I do have to say that it's been a pretty emotional day, a lot of thinking and pondering from where I was a year ago to where I am today. It honestly just feels like yesterday when I was agonizing on making the decision on whether or not to go ahead with the bypass after the removal of my lap band. I have to tell you that having the RNY surgery was really scary to me, I never wanted to have to do something "so drastic" like having my insides rearranged, worrying about malabsorbtion, etc. And as I sit here today I can truly say that I am so glad that I did go through with it. I was telling my friend today on the phone that I really feel it was a sign from God. There was a reason behind why I had complications from the lap band, it wasn't the right surgery for me. I truly believe now that if I didn't have the complications I did that I probably would of failed with the lap band. I think I really did need to have "consequences" with eating. Not to say that lapbanders don't have any, just not compared to the ones that you have with the RNY. But who knows, I might have succeeded with it, but I am truly 100% satisified and estatic with the RNY. I have come so far in this past year. My main goal was to get off insulin. I was taking over 300 units a day and I have now been insulin free for 3 months, along with getting off all of my other meds. I have my health back, my life back and I have to give a big thanks to my surgeon, Dr. Jawad. Dr. J you are the best and I love ya!! Thank you for giving me the chance to have this wonderful tool and getting my life back! I am almost at my goal now, I only have 30 more pounds to go. This has truly been an amazing journey. And for anyone out there who is struggling on whether or not to get a revision, do it. You are not a failure!! Even though I had medical complications I still felt like a failure. One more thing I just couldn't do. But I did do it!! I felt totally alone, and that was a horrible horrible feeling.† You are not alone. I can probably go on and on about this, but please feel free to contact me anytime if you're reading this and you need someone to talk to, someone to listen. Ok, enough for now, I will try to be better at posting more often. Good luck to everyone out there and God Bless!!
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