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John D. Husted, M.D.
I have found a most wonderful surgeon in Dr. Husted. His staff is phenominal. They treat you as if you were their best friend and only patient. You couldn't want anyone else. You couldn't find anyone better, and take my word for it, I've seen many!
Latest Surgery Support Comments
JUNE 22, 2000
475 pounds. Four hundred and seventy five pounds. There, I said it. Almost a quarter of a ton. It's not unexpected though. I knew I was getting heavier. No matter what I did. Until now.......
Finding this website has been a Godsend to me. I, like so many others here, have been obese ALL my life. I started out as a 5-pound baby and never looked back! I just turned 32 and I can feel my life slipping away. So far, I have been lucky (health wise). I don't have any serious health problems...Yet. My father and his mother were very heavy people and both of them had diabetes. Grandma's gone now, but Dad's still hanging on. He's now in kidney failure and on dialysis. His arm and chest tubes both are failing. They have put in a tube into his stomach cavity to try another type of dialysis. It too has failed. I don't know what we are going to do. But I do know that I DO NOT want to go through the same thing he is. For me, and for my family. My other sweet Granny has high blood pressure and diabetes, Grandpa had heart disease and high blood pressure, he's gone now. Oh how I miss him...Mom's got this surgery. I wish that there were another way. I have tried it all.... Richard Simmons, Atkins (which I am on now), water diet, Form U 3, Opitfast and such. I have been on a diet since I was 3 years old, literally. This is part of my problem. My metabolism is so slow now, that nothing comes off.
I can barely walk now, I have headaches all the time, I have trouble keeping myself clean, I can't relate to my husband like a wife should, I have horrible swelling in my feet and legs, I have severe chronic back pain and joint pain, and I can't even take care of my house anymore. It's been years since I have been truly happy. I am tired of existing. It's not that I want to die, it's just the opposite, I WANT TO LIVE!!! I want to go hiking with my friends, walking with my husband, work, play in the garden, take care of my Granny, swimming in the ocean, watch a movie, see a Nascar race in person, sit in a regular chair, go to the Mall, and I want to be hugged, really hugged, close enough that I can feel it. Not numbly felt through this death suit of fat.
I have a most wonderful husband. He takes care of me no matter what. I know he hates to see me suffer like this. We wanted children so badly and haven't even dared to try and have them; we know that it would've killed me and/or the baby.
I hope that all goes right and I can have this surgery. I am hoping to have the BPD/DS. I'm not sure if my surgeon does this kind or not. I know he does the RNY. I can only hope. I have heard good things about this Doctor, I hope they are true! Luckily, he is very close to us. Only 25 minutes away! We live out in the country and he is in the city nearest us. Maybe this is a good sign?
Enough of this...Peace be with you all and may you have good fortune no matter what stage of the process you are in. :-)
June 29, 2000
I have a consultation appointment with the surgeon on July 5th. Wish me luck. I am getting so terribly nervous!
July 5, 2000
Well today was my consultation day. Bad news, sorta. Dr. Compton has decided that due to my histories, that the surgery that he performs is not the one that is in my best interest. So he has referred me to a Dr. Sugerman in Virginia, which is over 4 hours away. This may be a huge problem and may very well be the end. There is no way that my husband can take that much time off of work so I will have to somehow drive myself. There isn't anyone else that can drive me.
Dr. Compton is everything that you would want in a doctor, what I have seen of him. He was very nice and has a most wonderful way about him. I would highly recommend him to anyone.
July 8, 2000
We are traveling to the Richmond area to do a "test" run to find out where the facilities are, exactly how long it will take to get there etc.
July 9, 2000
Uh, no it is not 4 hours away, Dr. Compton, it is 7 hours away!But I got to meet one of my internet buddies in Richmond! Hi Brenda! I think that I have found a soul mate! LOL
July 10, 2000
It seems that there is some confusion as to whether or not Dr. Sugerman performs the surgery that I need. I am needing the BPD/DS. I have contacted Dr. Compton's office to verify this. I am still waiting on an answer.
July 11, 2000
Still no answer.
July 12, 2000
Still no answer. I think that I am going to loose my mind.
July 13, 2000
Finally an answer, however it is no. He does not do the surgery. This sux. We had all of our arrangements laid out, lodging for my hubby, etc. Of course it wouldn't work out. :-( So we are starting over.
Judy said that Dr. compton could only find one surgeon in Minnesota that does this surgery. I gave her the name of a couple that I think are ok. I haven't heard back to see where we go from here. It looks like we may be going to Ohio which is even longer away than even Richmond. The surgeon there is very good, however he requires you to stay in the area 4 weeks after you are released from the hospital! EKKK! Not only that, but they do NOT have a hospitality house at all. The hospital faxed me some info on area lodging that they have worked out "special" rates with. The cheapest is 50$ a night! 50$ x 7 days x 4 weeks = $1400! MINIMUM! plus gas, food for hubby, 5 weeks pay.....We have figured the total cost of the trip as about $4000.00.
July 24, 2000
Still no answer from Dr. Compton. I'm not sure about the hold up. I've called several times to no avail. I've been researching docs on my own, I thought that I had found one, Dr. Hess. He is 2 hours farther than Maguire but I had hopes that they would have a hospitality house there, but they don't. AND he doesn't take my insurance so I have to pay up front, at least for the visits. The first one is only 115.00! Let's see, 2 hours farther, more money up front, ummmm.... NO. I spoke with Dr. Dennis Smith's(from Georgia) office to see about him doing it. He is just moving up from Mississippi and won't be seeing patients for another month. BUT....they have a hospitality house where Jeff can stay for a few days and I also have had an offer from a very sweet person here to stay with her for a few days also. BUT...there, of course, is a problem. He is not covered under my insurance and he has not done very many of these. We MAY be able to get the ins co to accomodate him but I can't even ASK for an appointment for him for at least a month, much less get one. Then we would have to appeal to the ins co to let him do it, then actually get an appointment with him. By then my date for Maguire will have passed and it takes F O R E V E R to get an appointment with him. I just wish we knew which direction to push, pull, root, or hope for. Maybe they will call today. I wish they could understand what this waiting does to us. And they wonder why when we take our pysche tests that we are depressed....
Well another 3 weeks has gone by with no progress. Dr Smith and I have emailed a couple of times. He said that he would work with Compton, have him do all my preops and all my post op here! So the only time I would have to travel to Ga would be only once for the surgery! Now that sounds like a doc who realizes the struggles of having to travel sooooo far!I sent Compton a fax telling him about Dr. Smith, asking him if he would be willing to work with Smith, do all my tests and followup, and after 2 weeks he sent me back a 3 sentence paragraph stating that he thought Dr. Smith would be fine and that he would forward my info to him. The end. ......WAIT! ....What about the preop! the followup! the referral that I have to have for my ins co!. Well, I called the office to ask these questions, and stupidly I thought I would get an answer. Well, that was 1 week ago. I do not know this guy's problem. In person he is the sweetest thing. I really felt he was a compasionate man about his work.....but now I must rethink things. If he is going to ignore a desparate plea for 5 weeks total now....I don't know. As of now, I cannot recommend him, if he will not answer his patients questions. That is very important.
Aug 23, 2000
Well, here it is, almost 8 weeks later and no progress. Ya'll aint going to believe this. I called the illustrious Dr. Compton's office today,( being a little bit more than upset for some unknown reason)and I NICELY explained the situation to them. I explained how they had lost me my chance of getting in to see Dr. Smith before the mass of patients arrived at his practice, due to their non- comminications. I was told that I needed to sign a release form for them to send my info to Dr. Smith. Uh, why was I informed of this earlier? Did it take them 8 weeks to figure this out? I asked them if he had did my referral yet and was told that I had to go to my PCP for that, uh, why was I told that HE was going to do this? And,of course they had to drive one more spike into me, he won't be able to do my preop and post op for me, he is leaving the practice in Nov. Oh joy.
So, let's recap, since he is leaving, he can't order my preop tests for the surgery that should have all ready been done by now, but hasn't because he has not done the referral, which I have to have my PCP do but was not told this fact and when I asked about what all I needed to do I got no answer in 8 weeks. Not to mention that my records have not been sent to this doctor because I hadn't signed a form that I had not been asked to sign. This doesn't make any sense at all. Also Dr. Smith is not covered under my ins co. BUT they will make an "accomodation" if persuaded to by my PCP. Oh, yeah, there is one more, small problem. My PCP is terribly against any kind of this surgery, not to mention the DS in particular.
Sept 6, 2000
Well, finally, things seem to be turning up(I hope). Right after the last time I posted, I got really depressed about things. I was talking to our beloved JC about them. I told her one of the things that I liked about Dr. Smith was the fact that he would schedule all my test to be done here, through my PCP. That way I would only have to travel to him just once, for the surgery. JC, who I knew worked for a doc(didnt realize he did my DS) said that she might be able to do the same for me if I could go to Maine to have my DS done. Oh my God! a 20 hour drive! BUT...if I only have to go once for the surgery, this suddenly becomes an option. I would also have to go once a year for checkups with him, but that is doable. The next problem was a place for my husband to stay, since I will need to be up there a total of about 2 weeks, 4-5 in the hospital and 7-10 days in the area afterwards. We did some thinking and I think we've got that part figured out. A dear wonderful friend has offered their home to us for the stay. I am hoping to raise some money so afterwards, we can stay in a motel so as not to inconvenience this person with having a whiny postop, any more than needed.
Now, the next problem...my PCP. I wrote her a 3 page letter describing how my life is at this weight, what I have done to try and correct it, explained all about the surgery(so she would realize I knew what I was talking about), and gave her the qualifcations of Dr. Aslam. I faxed it to her office over the weekend and on Monday morning.....low and behold I get a call at 8:30 AM! From her! In all the years she has been my doctor, I have NEVER spoken to her on the phone! She said that it looked like I knew what I was doing and that she would write the referral and schedule the preop tests. Well halleluia! That was on Aug. 28th. I called the ins co this morning and still no referral has been received. I called my PCP back and they said that it just takes time. The last referral I had took 24 hours. Maybe it's because it's out of state? Who knows.....I just hope things are looking up. I am scared to actually have hope. I don't know if I can stand to be let down again. How many times can your heart break?
Well, something different, I had my hair cut. My hair is naturally straight, no curl whatsoever. It was down to my butt! I went and had it ALL cut off! I mean all of it. There isn't even any touching my neck now! It feels so weird. I am in hair withdrawal.....Help me, someone has stolen my hair! :-)
On a personal note, Jc, thank you so much. You have helped to save another poor soul :-)I can't wait to meet you!
Sept 8, 2000
Well, none of my refferals have been done nor any of my tests scheduled...except,(of course) the physical from my pcp. I hate all this waiting.
Sept 21, 2000
Wow! What a wild ride it has been. I went for my physical on the 13th with my PCP. She asked me how my other tests had gone and I just laughed. I told her that NONE of my other stuff had been done yet. She lets out this loud "Weeeennnnndy!". This poor 100lb girl comes running, holding a ton of files and very shyly asks "Yes?". My pcp holds up my file and says "Have you seen this file?" She says "NO", my pcp then says, well you have now, it is to be done by the end of the day! (Which of course it wasnt') This poor thing had just started this position, no insurance traing whatsoever. I was on the phone to my ins co in her office more than she was. How ever, God has been with us. Somehow, we got all my tests and appointments scheduled by the end of the month! WOW!
My physical was the 13th, the gall bladder ultrasound was on the morning of th 14th,the cardio/pulmonary was that afternoon(don't know how we lucked into that), my psyche test was the 15th and the stress test was the 18th.
My PFT/chest xray is the 25th and the dietician is the 27th.
I hope all goes well and quickly. I know that they(the surgeon) is all ready booked up through NOV, I don't relish the thought of going to Maine in DEC. but if I have to I will. This has to be done this year, due to personal and ins problems. Now, more waiting.
Oct 25, 2000
Well, it's been another month with no progress. All the tests are done, everything thing has been filed. More waiting.....Cigna has done nothing but deny my referral to see Aslam so we are trying for another surgeon.
Oct 27, 2000
I received the "official" denial letter yesterday. My PCP turned it in as "Bariatric Surgery". This may be one of the problems. The letter said that they have several "bariatric" surgeons in Tennessee. But as I know of, none of them do the DS. She needed to specify that I need the DS and not the RNY. *sigh
I called my local RNY surgeon, Compton, that had done my original work up. I made an appointment to talk with him. Luckily I got right in. I explained the situation to him. He is supposed to be calling Cigna and explaining the difference. We can only hope this will work. Cigna was very nice on the phone when I explained to them the problem. Hopefully this is a trend? We'll see. More waiting.....
Nov 8, 2000
Well, things haven't progress much. My PCP and Dr. Compton have been trying to contact Cigna at the number they put on the denial letter. Each time they are either put on permanent hold or asked to leave a message which is never returned. This has been going on since my last post. I called Cigna to see if I could find out what the problem was and eventually we found out that the medical director that denied me is on vacation! for 4 weeks! Then he Cigna is moving him to Nashville, it will take 2 more weeks. I asked them, you mean to tell me my appeal wont even be looked at for 6 weeks! Yes,...you mean to tell me that nobody's appeal will be looked at for 6 weeks?! yes.....Is there no ANYONE in the entire Cigna company throughout Tennessee that can look at these cases?! No, there isnt't.
Bull shit! Well, in light of this and other things(like them never mailing me a denial letter for Aslam)I have decided to lodge a formal complaint against them with my state insurance commisioner. This is insane! borderline illegal. And then, on top of that, since they are taking sooo long to approve me, I may have to have all of my damn preops done again. joy.
I have decided that I am going to coin a name for the mental condition that all this preop BS leaves us with....
---WLS InsCo induced pyschosis.
Now 27, 2000
Life goes on....passing me by. Dr. Comptons office called me last week, it seems like Cigna doesn't know who I am now. They rejected his letter stating they could not identify me in their system even though Compton sent a copy of my denial letter(which had my case number on it)with his. I cannot believe that I am having to go through all this for a damn referral. What will it be like trying to get the surgery itself approved? My husband has talked with his HR department and they are on the case. I have spoken to my local state insurance commsioner's office and they too are on the case. Let's see, 1 PCP, 2 surgeons, me, the state insurance commisioner's office, my husbands employer are all sending in info to Cigna for a referral. How many will it take?........
I just called Cigna. They said that the address where we have been sending info to is the wrong one. Ummm....it was the one on the denial letter where they told us to send it to. So, we are all sending more info to this other address, which I'm sure is the wrong address too. Is there a RIGHT address?
December 15, 2000
Well today is supposed to be Cigna's 30 day time limit. They were supposed to give me an answer today. I got a letter from the state insurance commisioner's office today. It states that they can't do anything about it since Cigna is self funded. It also had a letter in it from Cigna stating that Dr. Smith had sent them a letter and they restarted counting my appeal waiting time over as of Dec 7th. So I get to wait another month. My husbands HR department was told by Cigna that it was none of their business and to stay out of it. Is there any justice? Oh well. Life goes on....for them anyway.
Jan 13, 2001
Well, it's been almost a month since my last post. It has been one he** of a month. A shear rollercoaster ride. On Jan 2, Cigna called to say that they had finally approved my referral to see Dr. Smith. YaHooooey! But when his office tried to call them to schedule my appointment, they tried to take the approval back(the scums). Well, after much tadoo, here I am, not only is my referral approved, but so is my sugery! WHAT WHAT WHAT??!!!! Yes siree, my surgery is approved! After so many months, I can hardly believe it. We have been so concerned, I have developed some problems with my lungs because of all this weight. I hope it is not permanent and I really hope it does not keep me from having the surgery. I've got to have a couple more tests done, an upper GI and a MMPI psyche test. No problem after what I've been through so far. It looks like I will be scheduled sometime about the first of March. I will have to go down 1 week before for the pre admissions and a few more tests, then the surgery, then stay in the area about 10 days.
Jan 29, 2001
Well, a miracle has happened. I have a date. Yes, after all this time, I have a date. Can you believe it? I would like to thank everyone who has listened to me whine, cry, and rage. Also to all those who have sent the many words of encouragement. I would have never gotten through all this without you. :-)
March 14, 2001
We've had a wild ride the last few weeks, not the ride we were expecting, though. As most of you know, I have been having some problems with my lungs the last few months. They thought it was bronchitis. I felt it was something else, since the more they treated me, the worse that I got. I didn't have any congestion, nor did I have any fever. I just was losing lung capacity and strength. Well, I got very desparate, and scared. I couldn't even make it 20 feet to my bathroom without almost passing out because I just couldn't move enough air to feed my body's oxygen needs. As a last resort, I made the first appointment that I could with my doctor, however, I couldn't get in to see her, I had to see her partner. Something that would save my life.
He instantly recognized that this was much more that bronchitis. He had me walk around the office and measured my O2 sat levels (which no one had thought to do). Upon seeing the results, he turned pale, pushed me into the chair and grabbed to nearest Oxygen cart. He had said that my levels were "nothing", which I took to mean "0", which of course they couldn't be, but what he later told me was that my levels had fallen into the 50's, which is close to the passing out point. Which makes me wonder, how low had they gotten at home? Since I was not nearly as out of breath in the office as I had been at home!
He then sent me to the hospital for some tests to be done STAT. An echocardiogram, chest x-ray, and ABG's. I don't what he told them, but I had all those tests done, completed and results in hand within 2 hours! By the time I got back to his office, he had all ready set up and had waiting for me, oxygen to take home, a concentrater, and a bipap machine. The office staff told me that he spent over an hour on the phone arguing with my insurance company. WOW. I think I have found me a doctor. :-)
Well, he sent me home for the week end(this was on a Friday) and had me come back on Monday to see how I was doing. After studying my results over the weekend, he had decided to have me admitted to the hospital, as a precaution, since my surgery date was only 2 weeks away. So, off we go to the hospital. My appointment with him was at 4:00, I was in a room by 7:00. I like the way this man works. I was in testing all night, and I mean ALL night. Chest xrays, echos, blood tests, ABG's etc. He had me set up with cardio and pulmonary specialists. They did a complete endocronoligical(?) work up. No diabetes! Yeahhh! No high blood pressure either.
However, nothing else was showing up. They couldn't find out what was wrong with me. The exrays showed the tinyest bit of pnuemonia, but not near enough to even cause more than a little cough. So we went on the the second level tests. They thought it was maybe my heart. So we went through all the heart tests. We ended up doing a TEE (not fun), which is where they put a probe down your throat and do an internal echocardiogram. My heart checked out fine. No problems at all. Good! But still the fact remained, what was wrong?
So, they dismissed the cardio, and started in with the pulmonary. More xrays, PFTs, bloodwork, VT scans, Gallium scans, dopler scans, sleep test, etc. It ended up with a lung biopsy, (not near as much fun as the TEE) After all this, the only thing that showed up was the tiny bit of pneumonia and a tiny bit of plueral effusion. Neither of which, even combined, would come near to explaining the problem. In fact, they felt it was a result of the diminished function, instead of the cause.
Well, by this time, they had decided that we would have to call off the surgery, at least until we had some idea of what was going on. At that point, we didn't think that I would live long anyway. I had allready stopped breathing a couple of times during the nights, even on the cpap and O2.
So, I made the call. I wanted to make sure someone else had enough time to use my date. Since these dates are so precious.
Well, my date came, and went, and I was still in the hospital.I ended up staying for 15 days. I was released the day after my surgery date. On the day of my date, (which was depressing enough, as you can imagine) we found out that the plant where my husband works, Thomasville, would be closing in May. :-( Which means no more insurance, unless we pay for it, and it is 432.00 a month!!! He will be getting unemployment, which will leave us 300$ a month short, and now on top of the 432$!!! Things seem to be getting complicated.
So hear I am, still on my O2. I am getting stronger, and learning how to cope better with dealing with my O2 limitations and thanking God for so many things. They still don't have any definitive answers, other than nothing major is wrong. No cancer, no blood clots, TB, heart problems, etc. They seem to agree with my PCP doctor, that the lung muscles are just tired and giving out and that having this surgery is the only thing that will save me. The lungs work fine, just at a lesser volume. The O2 and CO2 exchange works fine and when I am at rest, I can easily maintain my sats rate. It's only during exertion that they drop. So they said that I should be fine on a ventilatior during surgery. But trying to convince Smith to go ahead and do the surgery may prove hard. I hope not.
They want me to have it done as soon as possible, since I am stable right now, and I still have insurance. They said that they are worried about if we loose the insurance, and I have to go through another long battle with Tenncare(the state run insurance that I will have to take and probably won't pay for me to go out of state to Smith) that I would get to a point that I may not be able to be stabalized again. So, we are in a race with Smith in charge. I think we can hold our insurance until June, but after that, there is no way we can afford it. I know, that it is only through prayers that I lived that first week in the hospital. I knew I was dying. But, I am mentally and spiritually replenished and I am strong enough for the surgery now. I am quite sure that I am physically ready as well, or I wouldn't even consider it.
I heard that there are 11 in line as of April, so that would make me #12. So hopefully, if Smith will consider still doing my surgery, that would put me close to the June cut off date, if my health will hold that long. I am strong enough now, but they are very concerned about me waiting too much longer.
July 30, 2001
Well, it's been a while. After all that has happened after my last post, I felt the need to relcude awhile, to my own thoughts, to emmerse my self in my work, and forget about things....for just a while. As it takes time for our bodies to heal, so does it time for our souls....and mine is tired, so tired. But, time goes on, and here we are, to face another day. Another day, another chance at all the things we want.
August 5, 2001
Well...things can happen really fast sometimes. I was contacted by a stranger who asked me why I was not going to a particular surgeon, one which I had all ready contacted about the DS, and had been told that he doesn't do it, and I told her that. She was sure that he did, so I called the office, and sure enough, he just started doing them! Well, since my insurance was all ready approved, things have move very fast. I have met the surgeon and his pulmonary doc, and now have even had my pre ops done! I will be going into surgey Friday morning, August 10th! I feel bad, because I know that I am having surgery before this woman, but they explained to me, that this is an odd case, where I all ready had the insurances approval, which as we all know, is the longest thing to wait on. I owe my life to this woman. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I hope her journey goes well.
January 31, 2004
Most of my updates are on my website, but this one I wanted to post directly here as well.
Here we go agian! Feb13th I will be having a revision done. This is some 'fine tuning' of the original surgery. My weight stabalized too soon...most people don't have this problem, of course I would! LOL Even if I don't lose any more, I still would have it done again. I am 280, which is where most people begin, but coming from 500... it is great. I now have a life, and can go and do things. I'm not skinny but at least I can function in normal society. Now, we want to get me out of the danger zone. I will be going back to Nashville to have it done. Please think of us!