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William W. McAlexander MD
I switched to Dr. Mac for my fills and after care. My original surgeon was a total ass and treated me with nothing but contempt and made me feel like no matter what I did, I would NOT succeed.rnrnDr. Mac is a kind, warm man who took the time and effort to help me and actually gave me a fill after a year of losing weight on my own. He made me realize that it was not my fault I had not lost like a gastric bypass patient. I would recommend him to anyone looking to get the lapband.
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Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
Food was my way at getting back at my father. He was so after me to lose my weight and he controlled my life so I controlled my weight. It made him so mad that he couldn't MAKE me lose weight.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
My name is Amy and I live in Jonesboro, Arkansas. I have lived here for the majority of my life. I am married with three children. Sara, Tyler and Samuel. I've been over weight for the most of my life. I really don't think you can count being thin when you are 8 as ever being thin. I have been tossing around the idea of weightloss surgery for a year before I actually got serious about it. The deciding factor for me was having knee surgery in January of 2005. My orthopedic surgeon told me that I would have to have total knee replacement in less than two years even with this knee surgery if I didn't lose the weight. He also said I would have to have the other knee operated on as soon as the other healed if i couldn't get some weight off. The knee surgery was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. My knee is still not 100% and its been almost a year now. I decided that I couldn't and wouldn't spend the rest of my life crippled due to my weight. I started working on getting insurance approval as soon as I could walk properly.
In July, 2005, I sent an email to my insurance company asking if they covered weightloss surgery. They replied two weeks later telling me they did but only if medically necessary but the surgeon I chose would have to send in all my paper work. I called the insurance company and asked what doctors were in network and even asked about the hospitals. I chose my doctor based on being in network and also a friend had used him for her gastric bypass.
I made my first appointment with Dr. Rex Luttrell of Little Rock, AR. I liked Dr. Luttrell and he didn't have many requirements other than a liquid pre-op diet for two weeks before surgery. Dr. Luttrell's office manager at the time, Karen, worked really hard to get me approved. I had to have a psychological evaluation, nutritional consultation and have several comorbities plus a weightloss history plus have a bmi of over 40. I knew I would qualify on the co morbidities and the bmi. I have had fibromyalgia since I was 19 and hypothyroidism for several years. I also have osteoarthritis and high blood pressure. Karen sent all the paper work she had in and they sent me a letter telling me what all else I needed. I worked hard getting it all and in a month I had it and sent it all in. I got a phone call from my nurse manager and she told me that I was approved and would get a letter in the mail soon. I hung up the phone and screamed and called everyone I knew. When I got my husband on the phone I started crying as soon as he answered. He thought someone had died. He yelled at me and told me not to scare him like that again. lol I was just so happy. As soon as I got everyone else called called my doctor's office. Karen scheduled my date for two weeks from that date. I had to start the liquid diet immediately.
I stuck to that diet without cheating which was incredible for me!
I started calling around and found Dr. Woodman. It was actually closer than driving 3 hours to Little Rock. Since we only live 70 miles from memphis it was alot more convienant! I had to go to another seminar by Dr. Woodman so I went to the first availabe. At the seminar they made my appointment to come in and when I got there my paper work was already there so all I needed was the nutritional evaluation and a new letter from the insurance company approving them to do the proceedure. I had already done a nutritional eval so I called my nutritionist and had her fax it to them. It was a couple of weeks before the insurance sent the new letter but it eventually got there. I had to do all my pre-op testing and as soon as all that was done they called me in for my appointment to meet the surgeon and go over the proceedure a little more in depth. They would schedule my surgery before I left that day. I went and met the doctor. He stressed exercise and accountability. I then went in to talk to Kelly and set up my date. November 18th, 2005. I was so happy. I was having the surgery the day after my birthday! What a great birthday gift to me.
Today I am nine days post op. It has been a wild week to say the least. I think I was subconsciously expecting for my thighs to fall off after two days. Well of course they didn't. In fact I showed no weightloss what so ever and was terribly disappointed. However I didn't get down about it. The liquid phase was much more easy than moving up to full liquids and on to pureed. I only had to do full liquids till the seventh day, which just happened to be the day after Thanksgiving. The day before turkey day, however, I had the worst day I have had yet. I was so dead tired and just about to drop all day. I stayed light headed and just had a nasty disposition. I come to realize that I wasn't getting in the calories and was barely getting in 100 calories in a day. I had been taking my vitamins and my b-12 like the doctor told me but it still was not enough. I struggled and struggled and I was actually starting to get hungry by the end of the day. I had to go pick up my husband from work at 11 pm and when I got home I couldn't function any longer. The pain in my stomach and the feeling like I was going to pass out was too much. I had bought some cottage cheese that afternoon for when I could start the pureed/soft stage and instead of waiting, I opened it up and ate about a 1/4 cup. I was full and so satisfied and I started to feel better almost instantly. I had also started to dehydrate not because of not getting enough liquid but because I had diarhea so bad it was like water running thru me. No matter how hard I tried it wouldn't go away. I called the doctors office that day and they told me I could take Imodium as long as it was liquid. After I ate the cottage cheese, the diarhea hasn't come back.
Thanksgiving day, I decided to just continue on with the soft/pureed diet because I didn't really think I would live thru the week if I continued with the full liquids. I know thats not the way I should have gone because my stomach has to heal but I couldn't see how two days was going to make much of a difference. I decided to have some dressing (runny) and some turkey (smashed up and very juicy) and some cranberry sauce (jelly) I probably didn't eat a 1/2 a cup of all this together and was very proud of myself. We decided to go to see Harry Potter after dinner and I kept having this problem with the back of my throat. I was so terribly afraid I had gotten something stuck but it turns out I was so dehydrated that my tongue was dried up on the back and it was splitting and making it feel like something was caught in my throat. I was so afraid! I started drinking alot more cause I didn't want to go to the hospital.
Friday, I drank more than I ate trying to get my fluids built back up and it has helped. My tongue is better for sure.
Yesterday though I found a food I can't eat yet and am wondering if I should even eat it at all. Crackers. It is on my list for soft foods and they are fat free. I ate a very small bowl of homemade chili and had about three crackers in it. I have never been that uncomfortable in my whole life! I felt like I had something pushing on my sternum. We went to the movies and watched Walk the Line and the pain only lessened a little. I came home drank a little grape juice and went to bed. I got up this morning and the pain was gone.
I have been so careful to chew my food till it was mush and to eat till I feel full and then stop. I was so scared I had messed up last night! I was nearly in tears when I went to bed. I just couldn't face going to the doctor and saying.. It was my fault and I know better! I am just so very glad it has gone away this morning. I was careful to only eat a little cottage cheese this morning.
I also walked a full mile yesterday. I am really proud of myself over that. It was very tough cause I had knee surgery in January and my knee is not healed all the way and it goes out on me all the time. I was walking about a half a mile before surgery and it was going out on me at least twice while I was on the treadmill. It only went out once yesterday. I was thrilled.
In even better news, I am now down to 289lbs. When I started this journey in January I weighed 326lbs. I weighed 301 the morning of surgery and when I weighed yesterday, I was down to 290 and this morning, 289! I have to be down at least 25 lbs for my first doctor's appointment. I know I can do it if I can keep losing at this pace! I am not regretting my desicion what so ever and doubt I ever will.
Anyway, I have started back to college now and am doing well with that! I am still not regretting my band!
I have found one thing I cannot eat and truthfully shouldn't have tried but was in a hurry and didn't have time for anything else... an egg mcmuffin from mcdonalds. BAD IDEA on so many levels!! I won't do that again! Thats really the first thing I have had to get stuck. I also had my first bout of sliming. I was unfortunetly on my way to a class and was scared to death I was going to start throwing up but I managed to keep it together and it eventually went down on its own. Lucky me! for real!
I had some bad news on my knee's that I mentioned a little earlier in this update. My knee that I had surgery on is not improving. The spurs are coming back at an alarming rate and the arthritis is so much worse. My ortho has suggested I do the synvisc shots. I have to get insurance approval and all that stuff first of course. It was a really huge blow for me. I had pretty much just given up on the weightloss and everything. I mean, I had went forward with the weightloss surgery mainly because of my knee's! Now they tell me that it isn't going to make that much of a difference now! It took me a while to get myself back together but I did and I realized that I did it for more than my knee's. I did it to watch my kids grow up and to get healthier in general. Although my knee's aren't good, they aren't as bad as they were for awhile either. Walking on campus hasn't been that bad at all. I am using them and it isn't killing me. I will admit that I have thought of taking my cane with me on the day's its soooo wet because of fear of falling or the pain I had was pretty bad. But really, how do you go up there in the sea of 18 year olds with a cane?
Either way, I will try to update this more.. for those interested I have a blog on yahoo 360 that I have devoted to my band journey. If your interested look me up..my yahoo name is artesianstar.
Well, It has certainly been a very long time since I last updated. I found myself reading my previous entries and thinking about how difficult some of those times were and then thinking how hard it has been to reach where I am now, 267 lbs.
I hit six months post op on the 18th of May and was not at all happy with my progress. I was stuck at 275 and had been for weeks. In fact the last appointment I had with the surgeon which was six week prior I was at the same weight. I did lose to 270 but promptly gained five pounds. My depression level was through the roof and most of this stems from my doctors visits.
At first I thought that this was just me being overly sensitive because my weight has been out of control for a very long time, however the longer I am forced to endure this man, the more I realize what an ass he is and how much I do not want to ever have to deal with him again.
I have talked to several people who have had the band and none of them have had experiences like mine except for other patience of his.
The problems all started when he decided I could go against my ortho's wishes and do three miles a day walking. I had my ortho send him a letter explaining the situation, well, Dr. Woodman thanked me for having my ortho send the letter and he has not been on me once about walking since. HOWEVER, since he doesn't get on me about walking and exercise, he has taken to brow beating me telling me I am not taking my band seriously and that I should be losing 15 to 25 lbs each visit. I may not have lost 15 lbs each time I have went in but I have lost consistantly 10lbs each and every time I have gone since my first visit. He also told me that I shouldn't even bother to come back for my fills if I wasn't going to take it seriously.
Which, brings me to my next point. FILLS. He will NOT tell you the size of your band. He will NOT tell you how much of a fill he gives you. He also has given me a fill each and every time I have went into his office. He does not do them under flouro. He does not allow other people to be in the exam room while he gives your fills. That includes nurses. He has not done anything to me to make me concerned about him behaving himself but it does raise a concern. I was under the impression that a nurse was suppose to be present when a doctor was working on a patient other than like regular check up stuff. My fills have been so minimal that I can't tell anything has been done. I am still waiting to feel what most people talk about. I feel like I have lost this weight with little help from my band.
I have lost though and thats what counts. I will go back to Woodman because he is the only one that will see me for my fills at this point. It is such a nightmare.
One other thing I have had trouble with. My shoulder stays terribly sore. Sometimes the pain is so severe that I have to take pain medication to deal with it. I got very upset and hurt my certain individuals telling me it was my fault for not following the rules when I admitted that I may have over ate on an occassion or two but that it wasn't something that happened often and the pain occurred all the time, not just when I had over eaten, but that last part was over looked and it turned into a "you can't over eat with the band" bitch session. HELLO! I know that! Thats why it has only happened like twice! That still doesn't make my shoulder stop hurting! Some nice individuals did try to help me with it and I listened to their advice and I found that it is related to gas and trapped air. I just have to try to find a way to move the air and the gas on out now. I still have the pain but I am managing it alot better than before.
On a different note, I am down to a size 22 now from a size 28. I actually need to go to a 20 now but am still trying to get a little more wear out of the 22 jeans. hehe I can't keep my blouses up where my bra straps aren't hanging out now. People are starting to notice the lose. I thought they could tell before now but apparently they don't pay close attention to you.
I am really hoping that going to summer school will help me get some more off. Sweating in this Arkansas heat and humidity is a killer so it shouldn't be too hard. It's like living in a suana constantly. FUN FUN! NOT! Might not be too bad if there weren't tornadoes popping out of the sky every other day.