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Surgeon TestimonialHoward Simon M.D.July 31, 2006 ~ WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I met Dr. Simon today. He was wonderful. \"They're\" going to assist me in my appeal against BXBS Excellus! He agrees with me about the denial being BS!rnrn
- Humor - Truly the best medicine!
- Music - Music is a key part of my life (excluding country and rap).
- Tattoo - Two, hope to have more in the future!
- Baseball - I love the New York Yankees!
- Softball - I'll play again in 2007!
- Volleyball - I'll play again in 2007!
- Beadwork - Just began beading within the last 3 months. I love it! It's very therapeutic.
- E-Bay - I'll be back!
- Renaissance Festivals - Sterling, NY has an awesome festival!!!!!!
- WLS Light-Weights - Some day I'll fit in this category. Let the Appeal game begin!
My Weight Chart:
October 12, 2007. Happy Friday! Well, it took me another while, but I've finally lost another 2 lbs. I hit 181 when I went to the doc's to get a mole removed from my forearm. I continue to buy size 14 jeans, many of my 16s are big on me. My tops are large, as is a jacket I bought. I have 26 lbs to lose before I hit goal (I'd really like to be closer to my original goal - 138, not the doc's goal of 155) I'm definitely losing inches now, rather than lbs. I'm okay with it!!
Love you guys and thank you for your continued support!
September 6, 2007. Well, it took me a while, but I'm down another 2 lbs. I've lost 60 lbs in less than 4 months! I'm delighted. I was able to get my Eddie Bauer size 14 jeans on last Saturday, too! I have 31 lbs to hit goal. I know I can do it by my one year surgiversary!
August 13, 2007. Hmmm...I'm down another 2 lbs. 188! Must be all the walking in NYC, working the market and the Ag expo. It surely was loads of exercise!
What's happening to my hair? It's turning BLONDE! I have dark brown hair!! 3 people mentioned it to me today! I do dye it and haven't since before the 4th of July. Can the sun bleach out dyed hair? I have no idea! LOL
August 8, 2006. Went to the doc's office today. Marcy did my 2nd fill today! The doc wasn't available. Marcy told me I am the only Lap Band success the office has had so far. Not sure what that means. Maybe I'm their only bander! My goal has been reset to 155. She thought 138 was too light for me. The 155 was determined by looking up the insurance info for height, weight and body makeup. I'm large boned.
August 6, 2007. So, it took me 3 weeks to lose 2 lbs., but I did it. I'm down 56 lbs today. 190. I know I'll hit plateaus, so...don't sweat the small stuff!
July 20, 2007. Weeeeeeeeeee-O. I've hit my 1/2 way point. I'm down 54 pounds today!!! 192. About 10 weeks out. Truly amazing! It's so great to see the scale read under 200 for more than a day!! I can't wait to be under 190! I'm losing at the rate of 2 lbs every 2 - 3 weeks. I guess it's my own fault...not walking like I had been or going to CURVES. I think once my son goes back to college, I'll get back to CURVES full time again!
July 3, 2007. Okay, down 50 pounds!!! 196! 8 weeks out today!!!! I know I shouldn't be weighing myself as much as I have been, but it will be 3 very close WOW weigh-ins that bring me to:
1) ONEDERLAND ~ 198 pounds (on 6/29)
2) Down 50 pounds ( today 7/3)
3) Down 50% 54 pounds ?
Off to post today's pics!
To be continued....
June 29, 2007. WOOWOO I did it!!! I'm in ONEDERLAND! 198 lbs, - 48 in 7 weeks. Size 24 to a 16, 44dd to a 38d! I'm so excited about this. My appearance has changed so much. I have 2 lbs to go to hit - 50 and 6 lbs to go to hit 50% loss!
June 22, 2007. Weeeeeee! I had my first fill today! I saw Mimi (RN) first for weight and a quick overview of my progress. She is amazed at how well I'm doing! They have me down as losing 44 pounds from my beginning weight! She said I am the "Poster child for Lapbands" at their place. Mimi asked me if I would like to speak with other prospective banders and possibly run a support group. I told her I absolutely would speak to anyone, anywhere about it! Mimi will make sure she keeps my name/number available. She said she has to take me to Dr. Simon, so brought me into the hall where several staff members were. Mimi announced to the doc and his intern that I was only 6 weeks out and down 44 pounds. Doc said I look "great". Of course I went in with heels and a skirt to show off the calves and ankles I now have! Doc asked me if I wanted a fill if I'm doing so well. I told him I absolutely do. Doc, his intern and I went into an exam room. The intern has never seen a band fill before, so she was excited. Now, I had heard that the area where my port is will be numbed, THEN the needle will be poked through my stomach. NOPE! he cleaned the area with an alcohol prep and said, "I'm gonna poke ya". WOOWOO...he poked the needle right through my un-numbed skin. LOL It was just a lil pinch! The intern is speaking about the comparison between RNY and Lapbanding at the hospital. She asked if I would like to come along as an example. I told her to take my info with her! Dr. Simon told me I was only supposed to be losing 2 pounds a week! He was amazed at how well I've done, too! He asked if I was exercising. I told him I was walking and had begun CURVES again. He reminded me that it's all about the exercise! Of course he's say this...he's a marathon runner!!!!
June 19. 2007. Ok, so things have slowed down a bit. I expected this. I'm 6 weeks out today and am down 42 pounds. I'm delighted! Even my ex-hubbie told me I'm looking "skinny". Well, definitely not skinny, but definitely smaller than I was when he saw me just after surgery. I get my first fill this Friday, June 22nd. I really wanted to be under 200 pounds when I went in. I know I'll be close! One day at a time! All I know is, I'm loving life! I'm really not doing anything different, other than holding my head up when I walk! I love you guys!
June 8, 2007. Today I'm one month out from my Lapband surgery. I have never felt so good! I am full of energy and look forward to getting out of bed and facing the world everyday!! I have gone from a size 24 to a size 16. My personal goal was/is a size 14 by the 4th of July. If I don't hit it, I will still be happy with what I've accomplished so far. My starting weight was 246. I weighed 229 around my surgery date. Today I weigh 206. I have lost 40 pounds!
I went back to CURVES for the first time last night. It was great! My plan is to go 3 - 4 times a week, depending on work. I walked my dog, a big chocolate lab, for the first time last night. She did better than I expected, not pulling me all over the sidewalk! LOL I will try to walk with her more often, otherwise, I will keep my own walking up.
May 31, 2007. Well, I'm down 17 lbs since surgery and 34 since February. I'm so excited! Tonight, I posted some new pics of me 3 weeks out. My face looks completely different, my double, maybe triple chin does, too. I called my doc's office today. I've been released to go back to CURVES! I'm so excited. I know I have to take it slow at first, but just knowing I can work out and burn some of this energy up will be awesome! Tata!
May 18, 2007. My first post-op doc appt. The staff thinks I'm nuts! When they brought me in, all of my staff...doc, nurses, nutritionist, etc. were all standing in the hall. I jumped up and kicked my heels together! They cracked up and said I must be doing well! As I thought, I've lost 12 pounds in 9 days, since surgery. I'm so excited. I'm down 29 since February. I feel so dog gone good I can't even tell ya! I get my first fill on June 22 @ 12:30! :D I can't go back to CURVES until 6/9/07. Doc doesn't want me lifting weights. That's ok, I'll up my walking. I've been so busy the last couple of days, I haven't made time to walk. Dr. Simon thought it was great that I raked the lawn 2 days after surgery. He's very big on exercise, being a fitness man himself. Hubba Hubba! I think the best part of the visit was him taking my very excited face in his hands, saying I am beautiful and telling me he can see I've lost weight! That makes it all worth it! To be continued...
May 14, 2007. This was my forum post this morning. I liked it so much I am pasting it here:
Ok, so I'm almost 48 and had not seen SHREK I yet. It was on tv last night, NBC at 8 pm. One of the first songs in the movie was ALL STAR by SMASH MOUTH. I used to love this song and now I know why. It cracked me up and stuck in my mind all night, because the 2nd line is the song is what I woke up singing today:
She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an "L" on her forehead
If you remember, making that sign on your forehead means LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Remember Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble belonged to a club called the WATER BUFFALOS? The Grand Poo-Bah. They had this hand shake of the brotherhood.
So, I can see those of us who are both pre-opers and post-opers at a gathering greeting each other with the "L" on the forehead as our "handshake". LOL
This is the chorus of ALL STAR:
So much to do so much to see
So what's wrong with taking the back streets
You'll never know if you don't go
You'll never shine if you don't glow
My interpretation of this is chorus piece is what I know I have done. I strayed off the main streets in my life (eating to excess, no exercise). I do believe it has made me a stronger person to have walked down these back streets. What's the saying, "what doesn't kill ya, makes ya stronger?. Well, I am stronger woman emotionally, spiritually and now on the path of being stronger physically.
I have always had a song in my step, but with my face hung towards the sidewalk no one heard it. Well, my head is now high and my song will be heard!
I love you guys! "L"osers and soon to be "L"osers!!!!!!!
down 2 more lbs. this morning. I know, I know...stay off the scale!
Ug, got on the scale 2x today...after I walked. Now it has me at 217...meaning I'm down 2 more lbs since I weighed this morning. This scale has got to be wrong!
May 13, 2007. Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's (and dad's if you're single parent)!!! I called my stmom to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. I let her know I bought a scale! As we were talking about it and the wgt I've lost since surgery, I jumped on it to explain to her what it does. OMG! How could I have lost 2.2 lbs since yesterday when I first got this thing?????? Down 8 lbs since surgery! Plus, I have my period, which my Mirina IUD has prevented for 2.4 yrs. Ug! Not thrilled with that!
Ok, so I foolishly bought gummi vitamins yesterday. I had to replace them with some chewables...LOL I'll give the gummis to my nephew and niece.
May 12, 2007. I have a jewelry stand at the local Farmer's Market. My dad and friend, Donna, got all my goodies to my spot so I could set up. 7 am - 1 pm. It was a good day ;). I do need to work on getting my protein in. It's almost 6 pm and I haven't had any all day. :(
Off to buy a scale!!!! I tossed mine about 4 yrs ago! I plugged my info in! I lost 6 lbs this week. From my surgery date of 5/8/07 to 5/12/07. Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! 85 to go!!!!
May 11, 2007. I walked away from my home, alone, for the 1st time today. Just a block. I'm back!!!! Stayed up until 11:30 without a nap.
May 10, 2007. I seemed to have loads of energy and most of the bad gas pains had diminished. My son mowed our very, very small front yard. I raked. I know, bad move. It truly was a small piece.
May 9, 2007. I was d/c about 10:30 am. My son called early afternoon and told me he was coming home from college. It was a great surprise. He and his g/f of 10 yrs (they're 21) brought me daisies. My favorite flower!
May 8, 2007. Surgery day. Dad picked me up and 6 am. I had to be at the hospital by 7:30. Of course no traffic and no construction. We arrived at 6:45!!! I had my IV put in about 7:45 or so. Somewhere around 9:40 my surgical nurse came in and informed me that the supply person forgot to order a small lap band, so they'd have to go to another medical facility to get one. About 10, she came back in and informed me that they didn't have one there either. Someone would be driving to Utica to get one. Grrr...They were going to take the next surgical patient in. The surgery would take about 2 hours. Well, now at about 12, she came back in and said the incision was just made in the other patient. This procedure would take 2 hours. Finally, at about 2 pm, I was given my "calming med" and taken in. I don't remember much about recovery, but remember they took me to my room at about 5 pm. At 6 pm I told my dad I would be out of it most of the night, he should go home. About 7 pm, a resident told me I was being discharged. I told him I wasn't because I had no ride home.
So, throughout the night nursing staff (which was wonderful) would wake me every 2 hours for vitals. I would make them take me for a walk through the halls. Doc said I needed to walk, so I did. LOTS! Eventually, I didn't need to be supervised. The gas pains from the co2 was the worst. I never really felt my incisions. The midnight nurse told me that she heard if you lay on your side, it breaks the gas up. So, she brought me more pillows and I turned all night!
May 7, 2007. I received a call from the hospital, surgery is moved up from 10 to 9 a.m.! Weeeeeeee!
May 1, 2007. Ok, I have one week before my re-birth on May 8, 2007. I'm so very excited I can't think straight. Work? Forget it! I'm there in body, all of it, but my mind is clearly not there. I am like a little kid waiting for Christmas. I can't wait to see what this present will be. How fast I can get the wrapping off to get to the goodie! I never imagined that when I came to this site, I would have the support from such wonderful and understanding people. For this, I thank all of you! Thank you for your support, ideas and experiences! I love you all!
April 23, 2007. One more phase is out of the way. Did the pre-op tests today. Met a PA from the anesthesiologists office. Next contact is surgery. 14 1/2 days! 229. I have 91 lbs to lose.
April 12, 2007. YIPPEE!!!!!! I've been approved!!!! I meet with Marcie for my history and physical at Dr. Simon's office on 4/23/07, then see the anesthesiologist. Surgery is May 8, 2007.
March 30, 2007. I've lost my 5%, plus a little more. My weight will now be sent to BXBS, awaiting a hopeful approval. Cross your fingers for me...
November 2006. BXBS Excellus approves the Lap Band!
9/18/06. Well, losing faith in this whole process. I've done what has been asked of me...BXBX denied, doc said he'd file the appeal in July. Still no appeal filed. Might need to look into changing to a different doc/hospital/etc. This is becoming very frustrating and depressing for me.
7/31/06. I saw Dr. Simon today. He said the denial was BS!! He will assist me in my appeal! YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7/25/06. Well, I'm new to this whole thing. I've seen one doc. He doesn't do lap band. I was scheduled in June for my second appt. with a doc who does lap band surgery. He was called in to surgery. I am scheduled to see my doc on Monday, 7/31/06. I sit here spiraling out of control due to a denial from Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Here's my story. Well ~~~
There once was a day I was thin.
I know I'll be back there again.
With the help of the band,
and the doc's steady hand,
I'll smile and then say Life is Grand!
Ok, so i'm not a poet. Here goes:
I'm a 47 year old single mom of a 21 year old son. I have been a single mom since my son was about 2 1/2 years old. During his early years and certainly prior, I was a superb athlete, being invited to the first year of the NY Empire State Games for Field Hockey, I was a softball player, golfer, beach and indoor volleyball player. I was incredibly social and very confident. Things in my life began to change.
After my marriage, I had two very bad, unhealthy relationships. The last ending nearly 9 years ago. I guess I was absorbed in both my son's life and self pity for being alone. I became less and less active and ate more and more. I could see what was happening, but had no control. In 2001 my grandfather passed away very unexpectedly. He was 86 years old and certainly had a wonderful life filled with the love of his wife and the rest of his family. I think I cried daily for 3 years. In 2004 my grandmother, who I worshiped, passed away. She was 90 years old. Though I have a mother and a step mom, I considered my grandmother my mom. I was incredibly close to her. I still cry regularly. My bio mom left when I was 8, leaving 3 of us to my dad and these grandparents. My stepmom and dad split up about 16 years ago. The month after my gram passed, my son graduated from High School with Honors. That fall he left for college. Not going more than 50 miles, though still taking a lot of my joy out the door in his duffle bags. I found myself sitting for hours on the computer grazing non-stop. The only exercise I got was walking up and down the stairs with my CODE RED MT. DEW and munchies.
I believe the first time I thought about a weight loss procedure was late spring 2005. I made a call to my insurance company, while driving home from work, to inquire about the LAP BAND. I remember the excitement I experienced after speaking with the sweet gal on the other end of the phone. I had tears of joy I was so excited, thinking okay, so, maybe I can lose this weight I've been trying to lose, then gain, then lose...permanently! Days later, I got the packet in the mail. The info was for RNY. I was devastated. This was not the surgery I wanted. So, I called back and the gal I spoke to was unable to locate anything relating to the LAP BAND. I gave up.
I have friends who have had RNY and one friend who had LAP BAND last year. This was when I again called my insurance company, made an appointment with my GP and then with Dr. Simon's office. I joined a support group, though everyone there was kind, they all had RNY or were going to, so I felt kind of out of the group. I had my psych eval. I did everything I needed to do. I was then being told that my insurance company hadn't approved the procedure. Ug. Was this worth the time? Should I keep going to these appointments knowing the surgery I desired wasn't possible???? Well, I'm not a quitter, so kept going. Taking time off from work to make appointments an hour away. I think it was in January of 2007, I received an email from the head of the support group I had gone to. She actually sent 2 emails. One asked me to call her immediately. The procedure has been approved!!! (I'm actually sitting here crrying remembering this day!) The second email was the insurance policy for gastric surgeries, including LAP BAND. I called and we talked for a long time. I was so excited. When I went to my next doc appt. I met with my nurse, as I have since the first meeting. She told me that they would resubmit my name to the insurance company. At my weigh in at that visit, I had gained 1 pound from the last visit. Though I was still down 3 from the day I began with the doc, so I guess that wasn't terrible. Prior to my next appt. I received a letter from the insurance company telling me that Dr. Simon's office had to submit my weight by April 9th before a decision could be made to approve me or not. At my March 30th appt. I was down the 5% I had to lose, maybe a little more. I had lost a total of 17 pounds since the beginning. The weight was faxed to my insurance company that day.
Well, one week ago yesterday, April 12, 2007 at approximately 9:30 a.m. I was on a road trip for work. I remember I was running late, speeding through small towns I know better than to speed through. At the same time my cell phone rang, the lights and siren of a patrol car went off behind me. As the officer pulled up and got out of his car, I tried to answer my phone and watch his whereabouts at the same time, screaming "Jesus Christ...". ( not meant to offend anyone, sorry) I handed him the phone, kind of frustrated. He just told me to slow down coming through his town. So, as I'm pulling away from the curb, the phone goes off again! I'm now shouting towards my lap where the phone was sitting...CALL ME BACK AND LEAVE A MESSAGE, THERE'S A POLICE OFFICER BEHIND ME! I had no idea who had called. About 5 minutes later, outside of the village in the country, I pulled over to listen to the message. It was the hospital. I HAD A SURGERY DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! May 8th, 2007 10 a.m. The gal laughed at me and at the scenario that had taken place. She also heard me screaming "Jesus Christ.." We both giggled as I hung up. I was now about 5 minutes from my meeting SOBBING with joy!!! I think other than the day my son was born (and of course his accomplishments) this was the 2nd happiest day in my life. Yes, I said it MY LIFE! I will have one very soon! No more hiding myself due to embarassment. I FEEL ALIVE ALREADY!
So, to those of you who have very patiently read my story, I wish you all the best that life brings. I know this journey I'm about to take is to be the best!