Tooter, me Marty,
Kathy S, Sharyn, and
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Kathy, Melissa, Me,
Dana and Amy
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Oh goodness - LOTS
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Kathy, Melissa, me
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Before & After
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Surgeon TestimonialDavid Provost, M.D.Doctor Provost is AWESOME. The only downfall is the 4 month waiting list to get your initial consult. Doctor Provost answers ALL your questions and he is very patient. I heard he writes great letters to normally difficult insurance places and gets them to approve. We shall see! I would absolutely recommend him to anyone. His staff is great! He was very thorough about what to expect concerning risks and his after care program. Fantastic Bedside manner.
- Cats - Have 2 very spoiled cats. I have a 16 pound Tabby and a Polydactyl Russian Blue.
- Coins - I collect coins and especially foreign coins or paper money.
- Scrapbooks - started doing it a few years back but I work on it sporadically.
- Scuba & Snorkeling - one of the first dreams I realized when I lost weight. Got to dive with sharks!
- American Sign Language - Nationally Certified, Interpreter for 14 years now, LOVE IT!
- Law Enforcement - I have 2 degrees in Criminal Justice. Love it and was going to go FBI one day.
- Alternative - Used to be an old "new waver/punk" person from the 80's
- Sport Fishing - my dream is to catch a Marlin, Swordfish or Sailfish.
- Gardening - VERY much into gardening, it is my obsession right now! I love Zone 6!!!
Seven Year Anniversary! well.. posted a little late. on December 6, 2007 3:14 pm
I have been told by some friends that I need to update my profile. I still don't know HTML very well to make it all fancy and such.
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Pretty much nothing has changed since my 6 year update. I am loving life so much and I still look the same.
I am in a size 8 or 6... I gain and lose the same 10 pounds over and over.
I have done SO much this year!
Learned how to fly a plane
Walked all over NYC
Rode in a Helicopter for the first time
Visited the statue of Liberty
Have visited so many new states (I only have 18 more to go!)
Touched a sting ray
Walked on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Shopped on Rodeo Drive
Survived an appendix rupture and a severe bowel obstruction (hernia in the mesentary) which really causes your bowels to move like 'snakes in a snake pit'
There is so much more but I can't remember them right now.
I really need to learn this html stuff so I can add all the gizmo's on here.
If you really want to read everything, scroll to the far right and you will see ALL my posts in archive format. I believe they go all the way back to March 2000. It is hard to believe 7 years has passed. The message boards have certainly changed a lot since those "old times." I can't get over how many new people are on here. I miss the oldies.
I remember Sally Simatos, Big Pete, Momma Angel and how they lost their battles with obesity. I miss the first "young 'un" Cora Elizabeth. I miss Debbie Underwood "Love your guts!", Rhonda Nichols, Sandy Pierce and countless others from 6-7 years ago.
Leilani, Charlie C, DX, Natalie (Tink), Jane (Redheadjane), Kelle' Frasier, Sarah Margaret, Melissa Mermaid, Mom of Many (MOM), Stalker Val and countless other people in the past 4 years have inspired ME even though they came after me.
It is hard to maintain your weight all these years. It is so scary. I mean, I have done it but I have lived my life saying "I need to lose weight, OMG." It is exciting your first year of surgery and even into the second year. You are losing so much weight so quickly.
Then you bottom out at your lowest weight. Then you have plastics to look forward to. Woohoo!!! More weight lost and sizes. Got new boobs, a new Tummy and a new "hoo-hah" (those oldies will get that one!) Then, year 3... you rebound about 10-15 maybe even 20 pounds... then you freak out.
You learn that your body likes being a certain weight so you accept it. Then you are stable for year 4 and 5. Year 6 brings some weight shifts. If you were a pear shape, then suddenly you have weight in your stomach.. then a few months later, it shifts to your back giving you muffin tops.. then a few months later, it moves to your arms. LOL.. traveling fat pockets! Oh well.. it could be age too! I will celebrate my 40th birthday February 4th!
I am still thrilled that I can fit comfortably in a size 8, I have maintained my weight now for 5 years. My plastics still look pretty good. I have a few more wrinkles... my hair goes from long.. to short... to long... to short... lol.
Other than that... nothing has changed much!
TAKE YOUR VITAMINS!!!! I did have a bone density scan done and my numbers went UP!!!! I started taking the Bariatric Advantage Chewable Calcium in Cinnamon 4 years ago after free samples from the Cincinnati OH convention. They are yummy and I know that's why I increased my bone density!
Good luck to everyone!!! It is worth it! Enjoy every step of your journey! It goes way tooooo fast!
Remember...... .When you are on a plateau, it means you are losing inches!!!! I got the most compliments and people noticed my weight loss when the scale WASN'T moving! When you aren't losing pounds, you are losing SIZES. Remember that.
6 YEAR Anniversary!!! on November 9, 2006 5:40 pm
November 10, 2006
Hey everyone! I love the new profile that Holygirl72 did for me and thanks to Loris who archived the whole shebang!!!
I am feeling great and just went to the Obesityhelp Convention here in Lexington. It was so wonderful finally getting to meet people I have been conversing with on-line for so many years!!!! See my slideshow at: http://www.photoshow.net/danatx/favorites
I started my journey April 14th, 2000. I picked up a People Magazine with Carnie Wilson on the front. That very day I looked online for a surgeon in my area. It was that same day, April 14th, that I found Obesityhelp.com. I think there were only 1,000 members at that time. I had my surgery on November 10, 2000 and I had plastics 4 years later. I started at 300 pounds and got down to 118. 118 was too thin for me so with doctor's orders, I gained 10-13 pounds. My body hit about 130-133 and I have been maintaining this weight for 4 years now!
I will always be a member of Obesityhelp.com. I have seen so many changes over the years. I remember some of the precious ones we lost like Momma Angel, Sally Simatos and Big Pete. I will always remember them. I try to give back what OH has given me. There are so many new members though but I try to follow as many journeys as I can!
I have plastic surgery pictures and they are located in one of the 2003 archives I believe. I went from a size 28/30 to a size 6/8. I got to realize so many of my dreams and goals such as: horseback riding, learning how to scuba dive, going on a shark dive, parasailing, traveling to NYC and there are too many things to list!
Good luck to everyone and I hope you enjoy my new page.
There is a VIDEO of me signing at the bottom of the page if you want to see me in a dorky moment. LOL.
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January 2006 on January 1, 2006 12:00 am
January 2006- I celebrated my 5 year anniversary last November and I am doing great! Well I did have an appendix rupture the day after my 5 year anniversary on November 11th! It was a rough recovery but I was well enough to go to Texas for Christmas. It was great being "home" again and being spoiled by my mother. She took really good care of me during my recovery. My weight is pretty much stable at 130-135. I guess my body is happy here because I have weighed the same now for 2 years. I wish I still weighed 120 or 125 but I do feel healthier at this weight. I wear mostly 6's and a few 8's in dresses because of my boobs! This surgery was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I can do so many things now and feel "normal." I still dump very easily though and my limit is about 8 grams. I eat like a "normal skinny person" and don't limit myself with specific foods. I still allow myself chocolate but instead of a whole bag, I eat just a little bit. If I overdo it, believe me, my body retaliates.
My appendix ruptured while I was at work but I was misdiagnosed in the emergency room at another hospital. They sent me home thinking it was the stomach flu or virus. For some reason it was hurting badly in the center of my stomach instead of my lower right side. My stomach was very distended so it was really difficult to tell where it was hurting. It was one of the most painful things I have endured. I ended up back in the hospital 2 days later. I went to a different hospital though. Many hospitals don't want to deal with people who have had gastric bypass surgery. They always want to assume that my surgery has gone wrong. Well just to be on the safe side, I went to a hospital that specializes in Bariatric surgery. Finally it took a WLS surgeon to diagnose my appendix rupture! However, when he did go in, he noticed that I had "freely moving intestines." When they did my original surgery 5 years ago, they would "tack down" the intestines to the existing fat. Well after losing a lot of that body fat, it leaves a "void" where the intestines have nothing to adhere to. This can cause kinks in the bowel or blockages. I didn't have those things but he did get rid of the "void" area and tacked my intestines down to each other. So... it was like I had a double surgery. Luckily he was able to re-use my existing lap scars from WLS AND my tummy tuck scar to go in. My appendix ruptured so badly that it caused an infection and I turned septic. My white blood cell count was very high (21,000). He said I am lucky to be alive with that festering in my body for 3 days before I went back to their hospital. Recovery took me 3 weeks and that was the worse surgery I have gone through! Believe me, I have been through 6 surgeries in 5 years and nothing compared to this! Even my "extreme makeover" only took a week for me to stand up and go out and 2 weeks to completely heal. I don't know why this one was more difficult.
I am adding a few more pictures of me just to show that this surgery is still working after 5 years. The two of me by the lake are when I went to Texas during Christmas. It was almost 80 degrees outside! You can tell by the lake that Texas is having record drought levels. People can't even get their boats out and we have a "beach." The one of me on the bed is from New York City which I went to in October. The last one is of me in my New Years eve party dress. You know I love the color red!!! I am taking ballroom dance lessons right now so I get to wear it from time to time.
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ELIZABETHTOWN!!!!!! September 2005 on September 1, 2005 12:00 am
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I am not sure if you all know that Barry was an extra in several movies including the new movie Elizabethtown that will star Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. The movie will premiere on October 14th. The movie was filmed in many locations here in Kentucky. Well Cameron Crowe is the director and he promised that instead of having the world premiere at California or New York, he would bring it back to E'town.
Barry is also a writer for the magazine Kentucky Monthly and I am a freelance photographer for them also. We were so lucky to get press passes that took us right up to the stars! Our day started at 11:00 am when we drove to Elizabethtown for a special "invitation only" BBQ. There was excitement in the air as police vehicles with sirens blaring were escorting the big promo bus!!!
After that, Cameron Crowe exited the bus with hoards of people greeting them. It was funny because Mr. Crowe brought his own digital camera and was taking pictures of us taking pictures of him!! Unfortunately my larger camera ran out of film and my digital camera's batteries went dead at that exact moment. I went over to an isolated table away from the crowd. I was cussing my cameras under my breath and asked Barry to please get me the backup batteries and film out of the car. All of a sudden I look up and there is Cameron Crowe with his entourage coming towards me! Hoards of people were trailing behind them. I come face to face with him and all I could think of is saying, "Welcome to Elizabethtown Mr. Crowe! We are thrilled to have you here!" and I extended my hand out to shake his. He shook my hand, patted me on the back and said, "I am thrilled to be here!" It didn't take me long to figure out that I was at his autograph signing table!!!! I said, "Oh, let me get this stuff out of your way so you can sit down." I think he thought I was part of the "welcoming committee" when it was just dumb luck that I was having camera problems (right place at the right time). For the entire 40 minutes he was signing autographs I was standing right next to his wife. You may know that his wife is singer Nancy Wilson from the group HEART. Her sister had the lap-band surgery a while back. While her husband was signing autographs, she and I discussed the surgery and she said that Ann is doing well. I was also a "passer" of Cd's, posters, postcards etc. to Cameron. As I stood there feeling like an idiot with no usable camera I spotted my salvation. Barry was peering over the new crowd trying to find me. He didn't realize that I was right next to the director! He finally spots me and hands me some fresh batteries. I popped them in my camera and then finally I was able to take some great pictures!!!!
After about 45 minutes, he hopped back into the bus and headed towards Louisville. He was due to sign autographs at a CD and media place called Ear X-Tacy. Barry and I drove the hour back and was able to beat them there. When we arrived, they weren't letting any media in at the moment. There was a line formed around the entire back of the store. I asked the front security guy what was up and he said that there was a filming crew inside. Orlando wasn't able to make it to the Elizabethtown BBQ but to our surprise he was due to show up at this place. Suddenly the enormous bus pulled up and Orlando Bloom came running out of it! Apparently they have two tour busses and this one picked him up at the airport. He had JUST flown in from filming "Pirates of the Carribean" part 2. Screams from all the young girls were deafening! He flew into the store and surprisingly he came back out after 15 minutes, got back on the bus and left. We knew that Cameron was due to arrive and sign autographs but what was up with Orlando? I asked the front door security man what contributed to his quick departure? "He filmed a segment for Oprah." What??? It appears that he was filming a short segment that said, "Hi Oprah, when I am in Louisville I shop at Ear X-Tacy" and then held up a cd or something. All of the young girls were heartbroken as they saw him leave. About 30 minutes later, Cameron Crowe pulls up in the second tour bus. He arrives to lots of screams and promptly gets seated inside. At this time, they let the media in. I was never so impressed by someone famous before. So many fans made him things and he would come around the table and give them hugs. He had his digital camera at the ready so when he was particularly touched by a fan's comments or signs they made, he took their picture for his website. He is truly a nice guy and is so polite. Part of his heart is in Kentucky and you can tell. Barry had written an article about his experiences being an extra at the famous Brown hotel. He gave Cameron a copy of his article and Barry had a backup copy for him to sign. Cameron was thrilled and autographed a copy for Barry. He and Nancy had one of his promo people take a picture of the 4 of us. I will post that as soon as Mr. Crowe sends it to me! Here are some pictures from the signing at Ear X-Tacy:
Nancy Wilson from HEART.
They were there for about 2 hours then they were off to the Brown Hotel to change for the Red Carpet Premiere in Louisville! Barry and I didn't have enough time to change because we wanted to get a good spot in the media section. As we arrived, there were hundreds of fans, some who had been there since 8 am. The premiere was supposed to start at 7:00 with them arriving about 6:00 but as they say in showbiz... "fashionably late!" Barry and I took this time to meet other press people. We got to meet people from USA Today, People Magazine, Oprah and all of the local affiliates. I told the representative from People magazine about how the April 14th, 2000 issue changed my life. It was the one with Carnie Wilson on it. I told her that when I picked up that issue and read it, I knew right there and then WLS was for me. She was impressed with my story and how much of a success this surgery has been for me. She took my name, phone number and might do an article on me! Here are some pictures before the stars arrived:
Around 7:30 a limo pulled up and it was Cameron Crowe! He walked down the carpet and granted several interviews then all of a sudden you hear ear-piercing screams! Orlando Bloom must have pulled up! Sure enough, you could hear the roar of the bus coming around the corner. The doors opened and Orlando came out! He stopped and signed a few autographs and made his way over to the press area. I was pretty lucky to get a few good shots and speak to him. By the way, these photos are COPYRIGHTED so please don't use them or I will have to hunt you down! LOL
After the premiere it was time for Barry and I to run home and get changed for the Black-tie after viewing party. It was on the 16th floor of the Brown hotel downtown. I changed into my red dress and Barry wore his black suit. To me he looks like a movie star! We travel up the elevator and the doors pop open. A barricade of police officers and bodyguards were checking ID's and passes. We made it through just fine. The spread of food was unbelievable as we walked to the ballroom. We were there just a few minutes before Cameron and Orlando showed up. Orlando was very tired so he didn't stay long. I did manage to get his autograph though. I spoke with Cameron for a bit and then we had our picture taken together. They had an "open bar" that many people were taking advantage of. There were a lot of people there and I think some were moviestars but I wasn't sure. They had that "look" but could have easily been someone else.
We had such a blast but were so worn out by the end of the evening. What a great time we had and we were able to get all the autographs and pictures we needed. Cameron Crowe and his wife were such a delight and I wish everyone was like them. After leaving Louisville that night, they were headed to Nashville for another round of autographs. I don't know how they handle it!
August 2005 on August 25, 2005 12:00 am
Aug 8, 2005
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I got back from San Antonio a few weeks ago. I went to my first National Conference in my organization (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf). I am so excited as I got elected Vice President of a special interest group! That is for all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada! I can't wait for the next conference to be held in San Francisco! I have been so busy working freelance the last few months. I am also working as a video relay interpreter when time permits! I see Barry on most weekends and we are still going strong! He and I will be together almost a year on September 12th! I have some new pictures of my Conference to San Antonio. We work very hard and have all kinds of interesting workshops like mental health interpreting, legal interpreting and medical interpreting. We also know how to have fun at night too!
It was soooo HOT there in Texas! I will always be a native Texan and I love Texas but I do NOT miss that heat! I love having 4 seasons!
This is my good friend Kim and I "talking" (she is Deaf and Blind and we communicate via tactile interpreting.) She was an old friend of mine when I lived in Austin. I was so excited to run into her! She used to have her own television show for kids called "Kim's World." She has no fear and she bungee jumps, skydives, scuba dives and the list goes on (all in tandem of course!) We are catching up on old times.
My best friend Dot who is also an interpreter. We are having a blast in San Antonio! YEEEHAWWW! Love my new hat! (Always a Texas girl at heart!)
August 25--- OH Cincinnati Convention--- I am so glad I finally got to make it to a convention! I have been a member of ObesityHelp for almost 6 years now and this was my first one to be able to attend! I have thoroughly enjoyed watching it grow into this huge support group!
One of the highlights of the weekend for me was to finally meet Amy Williams. I have followed her story intently from the time she became a face on the boards and I saw her documentary on MTV. I had always wondered what caused some obese people's legs to be larger than the rest of them..It is called "lymphedema." I now know that my Great-Grandmother had this affliction. My very skinny mother used to tell me how when she was a little girl she would go to her grandmother's house. She was the official caretaker of my great-grandmother. My mother would tell me that if I didn't lose weight I would become like her grandmother. She would tell me in great detail how her legs would swell up, her skin would bust open, had these horrible sores in the folds, and she could barely walk, etc...
I could tell by the tone in her voice that she was repulsed and resentful. I am sure she was praying that I wouldn't become like her grandmother so she wouldn't have to take care of me. That has always been in the back of my head my whole life. I never got to meet my great-grandmother. Because of Amy, I now know that my great-grandmother had Lymphodema and I have really educated my mother on how it was not my great-grandmother's fault (for being "fat")!! I think I have educated and chided her enough to feel guilty about it. I wish so badly I could have met my great-grandmother and told her it was ok and how there are new treatments to help. Unfortunately I think she passed away in the 50's. Sadly for her and I am sure thousands of others, her lymphodema went undiagnosed as being "fat."
Thank you Amy, you are truly an inspiration to me and countless others as they are in various stages of their journey. Amy is the epitome of a person who has a lot of bravery, stamina and outright perseverance when it comes to her life.
I am honored to have had my picture taken with her. Unfortunately it was taken with my phone so it might be a little fuzzy. She is a truly beautiful person inside and outside and has a beautiful, loving spirit.
Plastic Surgery Pictures:
I have been told that my old link doesn't work. I cut and pasted this link and I hope it works. You will have to highlight this address and then put it in your address bar to view them. They haven't been updated since a week after surgery. I will be 2 years out from Plastics on December 31. My scars are VERY light now and I am thrilled with the result! I need to take new and updated pictures. WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC and shows everything so if you are repulsed by loose hanging skin and then scars everywhere, don't LOOK!
In case you don't know Sign this is what I said in the above video.
"Hi! My name is Dana and this is my name in sign language. I am an interpreter for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Welcome to my Weight loss journey. Can you believe I am SIX years post-op? WOW!!! Take care/Love ya!"