- HEALTH TRACKER
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John Pennings, M.D. F.A.C.S.
My first impression of Dr. Penning's was how friendly yet professional he was. He said it the way it was but yet in a manner that wasn't offensive...How refreshing. My opinion of him is still the same even though I havn't had any interaction with him since surgery. He has a PA-C that does all the post-op fu visits. I think that if anything could be said in a negative fashion it would be that you have no post-op interaction with the surgeon and just withthe PA-C. I do understand the load needs to be shared but when you signed on for this with the surgeon and that's who you thought every visit would be with your expectations are a bit shattered when you don't see him again after surgery. As far as the office staff at Surgical Bariatrics NW they are very professional and friendly. You feel like a part of the family when your in their office. If your starting out with them and wanting to know something I guess it would be to just trust and do what they ask you to and everything will hopefully work out alright. Their after care program is superb with awesome weekly support groups and a therapist that we all consider our life line!! She's wonderful! Pre-operatively the risks were not only given to us by Dr. Penning's in our office visits but also on a disc to watch at home on your computer. It walks you through the entire surgery and all risks. It was very informative and really helped us understand what we were going to go through. I would give Dr. Penning's and his staff at Surgical Bariatrics the highest rating possible as far as our experience went and is still going. They saved my life and my husbands. As far as which is more important to us, surgical competence vs. bedside manner. I believe both get the job done. You obviously want someone who's going to get you through surgery alive but after the surgery the work just begins. You need a doctor and staff that's going to help you and understand all the woes of post-op and get you through it with understanding and encouragement.
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Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
Everything revolved around food. If I had a doctors appointment it was all about where we were going after to eat. If it were the movies it was about what snacks were we going to bring. If it were movies at home it was about what dessert and snacks were we going to eat while watching. All about food!! Breaking that was and is a very hard thing to do. Dieting was a fleeting thought and would only last for a couple weeks at a time until I got frustrated and quit.
I have always been overweight. As a child and into adulthood it's been very difficult to know that every year I will have gained a little more weight and gone up another size. I have always been able to maintain a good attitude and have a great sense of humor but in the last 5 years or so the weight has really taken it's toll. I married met my husband in 2000 and we were married in 2002. We were both overweight and loved to eat together. That's when we both started really packing on the pounds. We both gained around 80 to 100 pounds together. A few years ago I applied for RNY through my work but got denied. They said I met the weight standard but needed to have other health issues too. At that time I didn't so I let it drop, but that soon changed! A little over a year ago my husband started having major health issues. He became a diabetic and was having isuues with sleep apnea and hypertension. I also had severe hypertension and was also becoming glucose interolerant. So we both decided to re-appy for gastric bypass and go figure with all the new medical issues we met the guidelines and were approved for surgery. We had RNY with Dr. Penning's in Post Falls, ID on 2-26-07 and both have lost over 180 pounds since starting our bariatric program. We havn't had any problems post-op and are no longer on any medications and don't have hypertension, diabetes or sleep apnea any longer. We are so thankful to have had this opportunity to save our lives!! Losing weight and feeling healthy is by far the most rewarding thing you could ever do for yourself. Our only hope now at 11 months post-op is that we can continue to lose weight and reach our goals. It does get tougher and the weight drops off slower the further out you get. We are both just trying to stick to a regime and remember everything weve been taught in support groups.
Everyone who has done this has my extreme kudos...It's not easy! It takes discipline, courage and faith in yourself but the outcome is so worthwhile. Just remember that you are worth it!!!!