- HEALTH TRACKER
Before & After
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I adore Dr. Edwards. He is caring, loving, compassionate and a superb surgeon. I felt completely at ease with him from the first time I met him and had no fears going into surgery with him in charge. The office staff is very competent. They scheduled everything and liased with my insurance perfectly. The structure of the aftercare program is a little loose but Dr. Edwards does encourage you to attend support groups and that helps alot. There is also nutritional followup after one month. He is just the best. Both surgical competence and bedside manner are wonderful. A great doctor who loves what he does.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
I started on this journey in June, 2006, starting a six-month physician-monitored diet and exercise program in preparation for surgical approval. I have been faithful to the diet and exercise with little weight loss but much gain in strength and stamina. I will be finished on December 13, 2006 and at that time will submit for approval to my Third Party Administrator and pray for the best. I have so many co-morbidities, diabetes, hypertension, gout, arthritis, urinary incontinence and on and on. I want this healing so very badly. Love the Missouri Obesity Help Board, they are my brothers and sisters.
WOO HOO!!!! Last Thursday, 11/9/06, as DH and I were driving to North Carolina for his family mini reunion my cell rang and it was my dear sweet insurance person. She had asked me to fax her some info from my diet/exercise program earlier that week and I was busy and didn't call her afterward. She said that she'd looked at my info and that I have been compliant with the program and that she wanted me to just go ahead and schedule surgery for before the end of the year. After I did the happy dance all over the car I called the Surgeon's office (praise God for cell phones) and the final outcome is that I am scheduled for surgery 12/26/06. I feel as if I've won the lottery and been born all over again. I am on a cloud and just slightly afraid that something will happen to stop this joy. But I am trusting God for His goodness and counting on surgery for Christmas.
I just found out that Dr. Edwards will be doing my surgery and that it will be December 27 instead of December 26 but that's just fine with me. I was to have NUT consult today, 12/1, but snow got in the way so it will have to be moved to the first of the week. Was diagnosed this past week with rheumatoid arthritis but early stages and mild case so am thankful I'll be getting the weight off my knees soon.
12/12/06 - Hallelujah!!! I just spoke to my insurance person and she is writing my approval letter today so I have a green light and nothing can stop me now!!! I am just on a cloud and thinking of all the things I need to get done before the big day, but, you know what, there is nothing that can't be accomplished in the time I have left until surgery and nothing is impossible. Six months ago it seemed as if I'd never get to this point and now here I am, in so much better physical condition because of the requirement to exercise, and I have a surgery date and am going to get to live a diabetes-free life. God is so good.
12/30/06 - I had my surgery on 12/26/06 at St John's in Springfield. Dr. Edwards, who is Wonderful, did a great job, thought everything went better than expected. I have tried to follow his rules to the letter and he said my liver was beautiful!!! Sick man!!!
I stayed two nights, just wanted to be sure I could sleep on a flat bed and on my right side before I came home. St. Johns only charges $25 extra for a private room and it is sure worth it since we stay such a short time. Dr. E said I could come home Thursday or Friday but I felt good and slept 8 hours on Wednesday night so came on home. I have done great. No real complaints and pain is sure tolerable. I haven't had any pain med, except for Tylenol, since yesterday and have been up and around most of the day. I have lost quite a bit of weight preparing for the surgery so am not expecting gigantic drops like some of you have had but I am off my diabetes medicine (4 pill/day) my hypertension medicine (1 pill/day) and my heart rate med (1 pill/day) so that makes six less pills per day. Plus for some reason my rheumatoid arthritis hasn't kicked up since before surgery so that means 4 less Tylenol per day, all in all 10 pills less. WOO HOO. This is success for me already. I'm sipping and walking and doing my best to be perfect, (we only children are good at perfection)!!! I'll post more later when there is more information available on my progress.
1/10/07 - Two weeks post-op yesterday. I feel great and am back at work today. I have been somewhat hampered in recovery by the awful cough/cold I developed four days after surgery but my PCP sent some antibiotics three days ago and it really helped. I have had no problems surgery-wise and have been carefully eating all blended foods. So far nothing has not agreed with me, I am very attracted to foods with lots of taste, spicy or with spices added. Makes me more creative. However, I can't say there is any hunger, just curiosity and the need to keep protein level up. I've lost 15 pounds since surgery, amazing to me. I haven't been great about drinking but forced myself yesterday and was rewarded on the scales today. That sip, sip, sip really works.
2/16/08 - Seven weeks post-op and down 26 pounds since surgery, 51 since I started this journey. I feel wonderful. Saw the Doctors (surgeon, PCP and rheumatologist) the past two weeks and blood work was great. Cholesterol 165, Blood Sugar 97 and BP 140/78. I am about halfway to my goal. Dr. Edwards says I will make it with no problem. I sure hope he's right. I am not dropping weight really fast but my clothes sure fit differently. Jeans down from a 22 to a 16 regular not women's. That's a big WOW. I will definitely need plastics on tummy and upper arms. Dr. Edwards confirmed that. Said it would not be a big deal. I'm anxious to get to goal, obviously, but even more excited that this is the last time I'll see these 51 pounds. Have been going out to eat, very carefully. Have been to Appleby's and had chicken breast with cheese melted on it. Made four main dish servings out of that one. Went to Mr. Yen's last night and had a shrimp, snow peas dish and ate about 1/2 of the shrimp and 1 snow pea. Snow pea felt really fibrous so I chewed forever and only ate one. My DH loves to go out to eat so it's exciting to be able to find things that work for me. We went to a Philly cheese steak shop in Branson Landing and I had the chicken, cheese and onion sub and ate 1/2 of the meat, no roll. It was great. I'm so glad I had this surgery. It has given me back my health. Thanks be to God.
Just a quickie post to say I'm doing great, still no problems. Sometimes I eat too fast and feel a little uncomfortable but no big deal. So much more energy and feel just great. Have lost 40 pounds since surgery, 66 altogether. Can't believe my health is so good. My RA is under control right now so I'm virtually pain-free and lovin' it. Thank you Jesus.
Just a note to let you all know I'm doing just fine. I have lost a total of 46 pounds since surgery and 72 since this whole journey started. No new revelations or WOW moments except that people have started telling me I am getting too thin!!! Now really, I still have at least 30 pounds to lose. I am good at hiding my midsection but I sure know the fat is under that jacket!!!
Clothes are a problem. I go to Salvation Army alot and I have several pairs of jeans that I'm still trying to get into. If they are cool and not worn out I buy them and put them away until I can wear them. Who'd have ever believed that would happen, but it does. I've never gotten DOWN into clothes before. Always UP!!! However, it is the waist that keeps me from wearing some of them. Guess I'll have to wait for the tummy tuck to permanently solve that problem and that is a long way away. Dr. Edwards says about 18 months after surgery. that would be June 2008. I can do that, I waited six months to get to have the surgery, I'm good at perseverence.
I'm still here and still plugging away. Losing about 2 pounds per week and think that is fantastic. Since last summer when I started the six month diet/exercise plan I've lost 80 pounds and that's a record for me. In the past I could usually lose 40 pounds and then gain back 50 or more. I will try to put some new pictures on the site soon. Of course, like everyone else, I can't really see big changes but know by clothes that they are happening. The last jeans I bought at TJ Maxx are 10s but there are still some 13s that fit so it's not a sure thing. Just depends on the style and maker. I haven't been to Salvation Army for a couple of weeks. Decided I needed to give the clothes buying a rest!!! Don't want to trade one addiction (food) for another (clothes) although I've had the clothes/shoes/purse problem all my life. I could always find a place that had clothes I could wear no matter how big I got.
The most frustrating thing about this whole body thing is that I still can't really wear an XL. I mostly need a Womans 1X. I would think that by this time I'd be in a smaller size on top but I guess when I consider that I used to wear a Womans 3X that is still significant. I long for the day when I can get out of the Woman's dept. I have at least 20-25 pounds to lose so I guess that should make the difference in the top area. It may be that I won't get into a smaller size until after plastic surgery. Whatever, I'm so much healthier and happier, I try not to get hung up on sizes. It's just that that is the way we have always gauged our successes.
I am traveling to North Missouri this weekend for my 45th High School Reunion and I have been asked to be the Master of Ceremonies so what to wear has been a huge preoccupation lately. Most people there will not have seen me since last May so it should be fun to see their reactions. My DH can't attend, he has to teach a class here in the Springfield area on Saturday, but he said he'd love to see peoples faces!!! I will be able to share reactions with him when I get home.
I have labs next week for my PCP and then my appointment with him the week after so it will be good to know exactly how I'm doing. My hair was coming out practically in hunks but seems to have stopped now. Think basically almost everyone has that happen, even with non-weight loss surgery. I think some of it is anesthesia. I don't care because I have been wearing wigs since before surgery, my hair was already so thin that a few thousand more lost didn't really make much difference.
I'll try to get pictures up really soon. I know how it helps me to see the difference and I know it can be an inspiration to others. There is a woman in one of the local support groups and I remember before surgery I looked at her and she was like me, taller with long legs and I thought, "I can look like her someday" and it really helped me. Hope I can inspire someone else.
11/7/09 - Weight since 10/20/07 has been 135 - my goal given by Dr. Edwards. I am now learning how hard it can be to stay at goal weight. I guess there is always that little demon that says "I wonder if I can eat this and not gain?" So far, so good but it's a struggle. Just have to keep strong and do what I know works - protein first, then veggies, and lots of hydration. I've been struggling with rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and wrists and intense shoulder pain from, doctor says, a combination of bursitis and RA. Yesterday I saw my PCP and he gave me options for the shoulders, 1. Steroids; 2. Injections; 3. Physical Therapy; and 4. Orthopedic referral. I chose the injections because I've had them before and it did help and fast. So he injected both shoulders and the left (least painful) feels wonderful today. The right is about 85% better so I'll take that. If it comes back I'll have another round of injections and by then it will be Spring and I'll go into remission until the Fall weather starts. I do think my job - typing and mousing - aggravates my wrists and shoulder but I love my job and would never give it up unless they carry me out the door!!! If you like young people working at a university is the very best job in the world - if you have my boss!!! And you can't have her because I do!!!
There are so many new people having surgery now. I wish everyone the very best and want them all to be well-prepared for what lies ahead. It is not easy - you have to constantly fight your demons - but it is the best thing I've ever done for myself. I have some really skinny jeans and I wear them alot so that if they feel the slightest bit tight I'll notice. Gone are the days of elastic waists that let me gain 15 pounds and forgave it. No way, Jose!!! I don't weigh every day, only once a week, but the tighty jeans let me know what's up!!!
Here's to all of us where ever we are on this journey. It's the ride of our lives and saves our lives at the same time.
Still plugging along and feeling wonderful. I am pretty much at 132 pounds, sometimes lower but not higher. I like this weight, don't want to be less but don't think that will be my problem. I sometimes forget that I have a new tummy pouch but then it reminds me - dramatically. If I eat too fast, which is my biggest problem, my pouch gets really angry with me. I don't throw up, just hurt for awhile. I confess to being AFRAID that I'll go crazy and eat too much and gain back the weight. I think we all, because of our past experiences, have this fear. Since I don't dump it is a little harder but I try to eat as if I did dump to limit the carbs. I am not really able to eat huge volumes of anything except salad which, as Claudette pointed out to me, isn't really much volume if you chew it well. We eat at Ruby Tuesday's alot, super close to our house, and the spring mix on the salad bar does not agree with me. However, plain old iceberg lettuce does fine. I think because it's crispy I chew it better. Also the grape tomatoes seem to not do well for me. Probably the skin to inside tomato flesh ratio!!! Most all meats are fine now if I take really small bites and chew well. Had steak Saturday night at a party - a few small bites of rare, and it set really well. I just never really know for sure. Also at the party I had about two ounces of white wine and didn't notice any discernable buzz - won't need to try that again - why use the calories. I just wondered what would happen. I'm not a drinker - just did an experiment.
I did have an MRI on my right shoulder because the injection just worked until the Lidocaine wore off. I have a torn rotator cuff and am going to have that repaired on 12/28. I want to get it done in this deductible year!!! I am not looking forward to a sling for 4-6 weeks and they physical therapy but don't want to live on Tylenol the rest of my life.
I am excited that my daughter's mother-in-law had RNY Wednesday in Detroit. WAY TO TO GAIL!!!
Welcome all newbies and keep the faith you old-timers. Merry Christmas
I cannot believe that I haven't written on this since mid-December. I had the shoulder surgery and have pretty much recovered from that. It sure wasn't a snap and the physical therapy was hampered by the awful winter weather we had. I kept having to reschedule appointments. I finally just gave it up and worked on it at home and by just living my life and it's successful and getting better all the time. My weight is 132-134 all the time. I admit that it is mostly on me. I have to really watch it - tend to want carbs and have trouble resisting them. I still use the protein bullets - even though there is debate about "good" protein and "bad" protein. My labs are good so I'm not tinkering with anything. I had another Rheumatoid Arthritis flare and had to have an nuclear bone scan to find out that I basically have it everywhere. My good Rheumatologist, Dr. Simon, prescribed Methotrexate for me and it has worked for several months now. He thinks I will be in remission for awhile on it and I could up the dose if I have problems again so that's reassuring. I went to another reunion at school and my ex-husband was there and my daughter had to tell him who I was across the room. That was so SWEET!!! I have way too many clothes now - just can't seem to quit buying these small sizes. I feel fantastic except when the RA flares up and that is nothing to do with weight loss. I know I've been blessed with no complications and rarely have food problems - unless I eat too fast or too much and then I pay the price of being uncomfortable and it makes me aware of my pouch again. I always say that I forget I'm not a normal person sometimes. That's good because my normal person weighs 250 pounds and this chick weighs lots less than that. I still feel that if I had to have surgery over again every year to maintain this level of health, I would do it. My labs are all at normal levels - that includes all the vitamins that were done at the 1 year mark - and I donated blood here at school for the first time in years. My fingernails are sooo strong - think that must be the vitamins and healthy amounts of water and protein. In case anyone wonders I take 800mg of Citracal, 1 Sams Prenatal Multivitamin, 1 Sams B complex and 1 Folic acid (due to the drug I take for RA) every day. I take a sublingual B12 four times a week. I also take Pepcid morning and night just as a precaution. I don't consider these vitamins as drugs - they are just what I have to take to be healthy and they don't cause me the stomach and bowel upset that the diabetes medicine did.
I am still cold lots of the time - like right now - and think it is just because my insulation is gone. I have much more energy and must admit that the only NEW addiction I have since surgery is coffee, and not the unleaded kind. I love coffee with lots of cream and iced. I will not tell how much I drink each day - would get spanked for sure - but I love it and that's all I'll say!!!!!
If you have questions or comments - drop me a note. I love all of you and wish you smooth surgery and good results.
So long since I've written on this. I've bounced up some in weight - made the mistake of thinking I was invincible and have gained about 10 pounds but am working HARD to get it off. I'm scheduled at the Kansas University Med Center Plastic Surgery Residency program for an extended abdominoplasty on 5/12/10. I feel very comfortable at KUMC because my father was a patient there many times from the time I was 15 years old and they were wonderful. The residency program chops off $2000 and that's amazing. I feel like I couldn't have had the surgery if I'd had to pay the full price here in Springfield and of course insurance won't pay unless you have rashes or huge amounts of skin. I've about given up on the upper arms. They are pretty easy to keep covered. I do hate the belly though so am glad to get it dealt with. I still love my RNY even though I am now at the point were lots of the restraint is on me. I find that if I step back and really listen to my pouch it isn't hungry, just thirsty or bored, and I can take time to eat mindfully. I can eat so many things I couldn't early on but still don't do really bad carbs like ice cream or candy. My sin is crunchy salty stuff!! LOVE IT!! Fortunately my DH likes to stay away from those things too so we just don't have them in the house. He eats little pretzels but I can usually even avoid them. Life is sooo good and my rheumatoid arthritis has been in remission for three years now. I'm having to stay off my Methotrexate for six weeks, two before surgery and four after, and I admit that scares me a little bit but really want this belly gone.
My hope for all of you is that you are happy, healthy and eating right. You can do it!!!