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Surgeon TestimonialRobert Read, M.D.My first impression of Dr. Read was how warm & compassionate he was. Since this is an overweight issue, and we all know how folks feel about that, I was afraid he would be condescending. Well, he wasn't at all! He looked me straight in the eye, and I could feel his compassion and wanting to help. Wow, I was blown away. And my impression never changed. I am almost 3 months out, and he still greets me with a handshake and a direct look with that warmth there.
His staff is also great. They visited with me every day I was in the hospital and followed up with numerous phone calls in the weeks that followed. They really go out of their way to get all the paperwork done as fast as possible and have everything ready. I've seen them burn the midnight oil, and I've also seen them *really* work with folks & their insurance to get this surgery. And it's all with compassion, and caring. You can just tell they care. In fact, I had an appointment, and was feeling kind of low. Well, one of the staff called me a few days later and asked how I was doing. She called because (and I quote), "You just seemed so sad" and she wanted to help me to feel better. Wow, I was so, so touched.
What did I like least about my surgeon? Hmm, I don't really know how to answer that. I can't think of anything whatsoever. He is such a nice man that cares about his patients, and remembers their names. I have nothing but great respect for Dr. Read.
What should future patients know about him... Hmm, the only thing I can think of is just be honest. He responds very well to that.
Dr. Read has started up the Samaratin Bariatric Program. This includes numerous informational sessions, lots of reading, and a Support Group. They strongly emphasize going to support group. We are also told to call if there are *any* issues, and I've seen/heard of him dealing with issues at all hours of the day/night. His staff keeps in close contact, and encourages us to call if there is anything going on. They are *very* involved in after care, and making sure this surgery is as successful as it can be.
Yes, Dr. Read, and his staff, have went over the risks of surgery numerous times. It was scary, but we all needed to know and understand it.
I would rate Dr. Read and the whole Bariatric Program the highest rating there is. I have had no complications, and everyone has been on top of checking up on me.
Dr. Read has a phenomenal Bedside manner, and he is the chief (or head, or whatever) of thoracic surgery, so his skills are way up there as well.
Working with Dr. Read and Samaratin Bariatric has been such a positive experience. I feel blessed to have gone through this the way that I have.
- Arts - Want to be more involved in the Arts. Theater, ballet, etc.
- Books & Literature - I LOVE sci-fi/fantasy. :-) But will read almost anything.
- Family & Friends - Gotta mention my DH & DS! Plus all my amazing, wonderful friends!
- Fitness & Exercise - Looking to being all over more healthy. Like the naturalpath stuff. Like Yoga...
- Scrapbooks - This is a new hobby that I'm LOVING
- Outdoor - Love the beach and the mountains and associated activities.
- Horses - Horses are my life and my passion!
- Renaissance Festivals - Used to love D&D - This brings all that to life for me. I really dig it!
- Rock - Heavy Metal is my fave! Been getting in to Karaoke, too.
- Rock Hunting - Mostly for gems. Raw or cut; I love 'em all! Gotta have my "Sparklies"
posted on 7/19/06 12:00 am
It's been a year. Oh my goodness I can't believe it's been a year already. I have so much to say; so much inside I want to get out. Bear with me as this will probably take a few days to do. I'm going to start out by posting my pictures. Simply amazing. I swear I don't hardly recognize myself anymore. I used to scoff at people who would say that. I mean come on! But here I am saying it too.
I'll start just writing stuff down as it comes to me, so it may seem pretty random & scattered for awhile. (I'm sure I will clean it up as I find the time.) But I don't want that to stop me from posting my thoughts & feelings. So good luck if you decide to muck through my randomness! ;-)
I guess I should start out with some stats. (I'll get my measurements later.) I started out weighing 360 pounds. I now weigh 173 pounds. I was wearing TIGHT size 30 jeans. I now wear (tight in a GOOD way! ;-) size 12 jeans. (And I have a skirt & pair of capris that are size 11!!) My shirts were size 4X. Now I wear mediums or larges.
I am anal about a few things on my program. I don't drink for 60 minutes after eat. I am religious about taking all of my vitamins. My bloodwork has always come back great. I make *sure* to get in at least 64oz of water each day. I have had no complications so far(I have been very blessed). I try to eat only 3 meals a day that are protein & veggie based. (I'm only human so I mess that up from time to time.) I also chew my food to oblivion (as my surgeon says). I've learned (the hard way!) to take smaller bites. It was hard at first as I like my mouth to be full & chewing, but that doesn't work very well (even though I chew well) so I'm working on smaller bites again.
When I started this process I had sleep apnea that I was on a Cpap for. I had Acid Reflux & a weird stomach problem (that's hard to explain) that I was on medication for. I had irritable bowel syndrome. - If anyone has that, my sympathies are completely with you. Nothing is more miserable or more humiliating than having that urgent need to find a bathroom. And planning trips & routes to know where all the bathrooms are. What a miserable way to live. - I also had a weird asthma thing going on that I was on 2 medications for. Guess what?? IT'S ALL GONE!!! Every last bit of it! I am off ALL MY MEDS! No more CPAP, no more taking pills all the time. WOO HOO!
One thing I did manage to get was a horrible case of acne. !!! I have it worse now than when I was an adolescent! Oh well! I also get these weird stomach pains (that I told my surgeon about) on my right side under my ribs that gets relieved if I pass gas or belch. How unladylike! Weird. My surgeon says we'll keep and eye on it & if it gets worse or I don't like living with it then we'll start investigating. Since I can get relief from it, I'm not worried at this time. I've also gotten sick (as in throwing up) from time to time. It's not often, though. But there are times when I've eaten too much sugar and up it comes! Ugh! It takes more than I'd like for me to dump, but I'm ever so grateful that I dump at all. I'm such a sugar addict, that it scares me if I wouldn't dump whatsoever. I'll also make myself feel awful (it usually lasts about 45 minutes) once in awhile because I ate too much. Not enough to throw up but enough to feel like hell for awhile! Will I ever learn? You bet I will! This surgery has left me with such a feeling of empowerment. Food had *such* a hold over me. I was wonder & worry & stress & look forward to whatever my next meal was going to be. I would get anxious if there were long delays & if my plans didn't come to fruition. I was a slave to it! That feeling is now GONE!!! And oh MAN is it ever freeing. I am free from hunger. I am in control, not my body or food. What a rush! I still fall for the shackles from time to time, but I know that food can't hold me down & make me a slave anymore. I can't even begin to describe how liberating that is, or how shocking that realization was to me. I would have never thought in a million years that this would happen. I am so grateful.
Binging has taken on a new meaning now. I'll get a taco & burrito and eat half of each and I'm stuffed to the gills! Man, I used to get like 8 things at Taco Bell and eat them all. I can't *imagine* doing that now. This surgery has really changed how I look at portions. Thank goodness, eh? :-)
As far as fitness goes, I'm not where I would like to be. I've lost a lot of muscle and strength. I figure the first year was my year to lose the weight and this next year will be to get fit. One thing at a time I guess. ;-) We got some exersize equipment this spring. I know DH is bummed I'm not using it much, but I really wanted to have it for the fall/winter/spring (those who live in the Northwest know what I mean! ). I also think I overwhelmed myself with telling myself I *had* to do 20 minutes on the elliptical. 20 minutes is HARD. I'm going to start out a bit less and I bet it'll be easier to talk myself in to doing it. And make no mistake, I will have to talk myself in to it. I sorely with I was one of those people who looked forward to excersize, but yuck. It's just something I need to do. Oh well, I'll get there. I need to work my gluts (my butt) really bad because it hurts to sit on my tail bone! My butt also is saggy & I keep sitting on a folded piece of skin. Ouch! (And gross!)
And for the segue...
Can't be a year out and not talk about plastic surgery! As in YES I will be getting it! Not any time soon however. Gotta get DH through school first. But the lose skin is unsightly. I absolutely hate it. I look decent enough dressed but when I see myself naked, ewww! I feel just as fat as I did before. The worst part is my stomach & chest. The girls are GONE. And I wasn't big up top to begin with! So a boob job is in my future. I'll be getting them fixed & put where they belong (they do *not* belong on top of my belly button! ) and enhanced. I went from a C cup to a B cup. And I think I have the frame to easily support a nice big D, so that's what I'm going to do (when I can). I can't wait! ;-) I also want a tummy tuck. Ugh, I *hate* looking at my stomach. It's all wrinkly & gross. I can't imagine looking down & not seeing a bunch of stuff there. I hate how my skin hangs over my hip bones. That bothers me a lot. My arms aren't completely horrible, but enough that I can't wear some clothing. So when I get my chest done, I'll probably have those done at the same time. My legs are also not horribly terrible, but it bothers me, so I imagine I'll get those done as well. My back end fell by quite a few inches ;-) so if I can't excersize that out, I'll have that done, too. Not all of this at once of course! I'm sure it will take at least 3 surgeries. Which doesn't really bother me. I know a lot of folks hate having surgery & will never do it again (voluntarily) but I want to finally be comfortable in my skin. I've never had that and I figure I've earned it.
Now let's talk about the fun stuff that everyone is waiting for. ;-) Stuff I can do now that I couldn't before. This is the list that will probably get added to a lot as I think of more things.
1. I can cross my legs again. I don't *ever* remember crossing my legs, much less when I lost that ability. Now I cna't seem to sit without crossing them!
2. Sitting in a booth. I lost this ability not too long before my surgery. Maybe a year or so. How humiliating. Now DH & I ask for a booth so we can snuggle up together. :-D
3. To be added to as I think of more...
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