- HEALTH TRACKER
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Carlos A. Ferrari M.D.
I had my 1st surgery consult with Dr. Ferrari yesterday 2/7/02. I found him very easy to talk to and very calming. He answered all of my questions and took the time to make sure that I understood every phase of the surgery and recovery. Blanca, in his office is wonderful. I have some co-morbidities that aren't particularly uncommon and by themselves aren't that great a risk. But, put them all together they spell "high-risk". Therefore, not for the insurance, but for himself, he has ordered a whole battery of tests. I really like that. Because of my high BMI and Co-morbidities he prefers to do the procedure "open" instead of "LAP". He says that Laps take longer and he doesn't want me on the table for an extended period of time. So far, all of my impressions have been good.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
I'm 33 years old and I am blessed with a wonderful supportive husband and a brilliant child. I have all of my immediate family still living. I have a great career. I enjoy going to work and like the people that I work with. I have a nice house and absolutely nothing to complain about except this one thing - me. I have had so much failure over the last 13 years in losing this weight that I had just resolved myself to the fact that...This weight problem must be my cross to bear. At times, I would tell myself "You should be ashamed of yourself for wanting to lose weight so badly." With all that I have, one would think that it would be enough. Apparently, that is not the case. A year or so ago, a first cousin had WLS and has been very successful. Likewise, I began to look into it. It's been 18 months of researching when I came across this web-site. A.M.O.S., what a web-site! And I finally have made a decision for RNY (lap if possible). I've been to 3 different seminars and I think I've decided which surgeon I want to use. Anyway, my first appointment with Dr. Ferrari is Feb 7. Wish me luck!
2/8/02 Hey! Well, everything went well at my consultation yesterday. With my BMI so high and my accompanying co-morbidities Dr. Ferrari says "No Lap". He wants the surgery to be as short as possible. That's ok, I'm just ready to go. He ordered an entire battery of test, which is good, too. Hopefully it won't take too long to get all of this preliminary stuff done.
2/17/02 Well, I had a sleep study done last night to set the pressure on the CPAP for my sleep apnea. I suffer only from a mild case, but the surgeon wants me on the machine prior to surgery. I understand why, but hopefully I won't be on it for very long. Next Tuesday - the 19th, I have a cardiologist appointment to check my mitral valve prolapse, an EKG, Blood work, and a pulmonary function test. Boy, I guess I'll sleep well Tuesday night. After that, All I have left is the Psych exam and to wait for insurance approval. I'm one step closer...
2/23/02 Ok, So it's impossible for a person to rush into this procedure especially if they are using Dr. Ferrari. By the time you've had Blood work drawn twice, A sleep study, A pulmonary function test, an echo cardiogram, gotten clearance from the surgeon, clearance from the psychologist and seen a nutritionist, you've had ample opportunity to back out if you were going to. I think hospitals and the beaurocracy that they call Outpatient services are designed to deter anyone from having any procedures done "electively". Anyway, my letter should go out to the insurance co. this week. I'm at least a couple of steps closer....
Well, it's been quite a while since I updated. Due to my mother havng been sick and having surgery and my 10 year old having surgery within the last 2 months, my surgery got put on the back burner. However, today, I fulfilled the last step in the pre-approval process. I went through a psych screening interview. It was no problem. The 567 question test that I had to complete took a couple of hours and tested my mental patience, but I think I should be ok from the doctor's standpoint. Since I have been told that my letter has already been written and Dr Ferrari's office has just been waiting on the psych exam, hopefully it will go out the first of the week and I can get the ball rolling again. I am so ready! I'll update when I know more.
7/4/02 Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone remains safe.
Hooray! I got my approval day before yesterday from my insurance company. Finally, after all of the tests were finished, I called the surgeon's office back to say "when will my letter go out?" Blanca at Dr. Ferrari's office tells me that she actually sent it out March 31, because my condition fit my insurance's requirements, even without the tests that he had ordered. However, she had not heard from them.
I called the insurance co. and they said that the letter was never logged in as received, and the person that she had sent the letter to the attention of, was no longer with the company. Well, I guess we know why. After a little whining, they gave me a fax number so that we could expedite my request.
Blanca faxed all of my info to them on the 27th of June and can you believe that I had a letter of approval in my hand by July 2. Wow! Kudos to Aetna! So, I guess being as long winded as I am, I should get to the important part....
MY SURGERY DATE: SEPTEMBER 5,2002 CYPRESS FAIRBANKS MEDICAL CENTER, AT HWY 290 AND FM1960 IN HOUSTON.
I would feel much more comfortable in the Medical Center downtown, but Dr. Ferrari doesn't do surgery there. Oh well, I'll just have to put my faith in God. I'm sure he goes to all of the hospitals. That's more than enough for now. I'll post again later. Be safe!
Only 45 days to go! I can't wait. We just returned from a vacation to the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas visiting my brother-in-law. It was beautiful. Maybe next year I'll actually be able to hike on the mountain trails instead of staying at the house to prepare dinner. Next year, I want to ride the Buffalo River in a raft or Kayak. If anyone tries to tell you that their obesity doesn't affect the way they live their life, don't you believe them. Once you are larger than a 24W, your weight HAS to affect your lifestyle. You look at chairs to see how wide they are. Do they have arms? Are you blocking the aisle. Please NO booths! I can usually fit in a booth, but I end up resting my boobs on the table. I actually called an airline once to find out the exact dimensions of the 747 seats so that I could see if I could fit before I got there and was totally embarrassed. Luckily, I took my 8 year old son with me and the arm rest between us raised up. I would not have fit next to anyone else.
I'm tired of being a spectator and not a participant. Last year I stopped being directly involved at my son's school because I didn't want him to have to defend me. My husband does most everything with my son. I just watch. It's not that I'm not invited, it's just too hard. There are probably 15 pictures of me with my son in the past 8 years and probably 400 of my husband and him. It's completely my fault, but boy it sure is hard sometimes. So, I'm a little down today, but looking forward to happier, healthier times! 45 days and counting!
Well, it's just 12 short days to September 5. I'm staring at my journey to the other side, right square in the face. I'm ready. I had some time to be by myself last night, which is something that almost never happens, and I did some really deep thinking. I don't fear the future, no matter what it holds for me, at all. However, I do fear the total disruption that it will cause my 10 year old son and my husband. Even if the surgery goes off without a hitch and there's not a single complication, they will be affected. And heaven forbid, if the unmentionable happens and I don't survive, how will they get by? Then I thought, if I don't do this, the "unmentionable" will more than likely occur in a few years anyway. About that time, my husband came home and we talked 1/2 the night. He was so loving and supportive. Now, I know I have made the right decision. He knew just what I needed at that very moment. So, that's where I am today...Just 12 days out and more positve than ever that this is the right choice. See You all on the other side. Peace Out!
September 5, 2002
This is it! It's 7:15 and I'm leaving in 30 minutes for the hospital. Thanks to everyone who has wished me well and said a prayer for me. They are greatly appreciated. On a lighter note, I thought it only fitting that my last meal yesterday came from McDonald's. I did opt for the lighter fare and order the chef salad instead of the quarter pounder. I guess that in itself is a sign that change is inevitable. I'll see you on the other side! Peace Out! DeDe Griffith
September 9, 2002
Hey You Guys! I am writing this now from the other side. Yahoo! I came home yesterday on day 3. Can you believe it? I'm so fortunate! I have not had any complications so far. I had OPEN RNY on Thursday and came home yesterday (Sunday Morning). I feel great already. I'm pretty sore, but I'm getting around pretty good. I'm not up for sitting straight up very long, but I wanted to let everyone know how I was doing. I also wanted to thank everyone at this site for all of the moral support. It means so much. Peace Out!
September 11, 2002
God Bless America!
I am 6 days postop and feeling great. I'm having a little trouble with gas. It wells up in my stomach and esophagus after just a little water. I read in the Amos Library that that should pass in a couple of weeks. I went to the hospital today to have a venus doppler test done. I needed to see if I had a blood clot. I had a sore (minor) spot on my calf this morning and my doctor didn't want to take a chance. It was nothing. I'm trying like crazy to get enough protein, but it just isn't easy. I'm not hungry, plus this gassy stomach keeps me from getting very much at one time. But...Drum Roll...... According to the scale at the hospital I've already lost about 13 pounds. I'm not going to officially post a loss because I want to use the same scale eveytime. I'll see my surgeon September 27. That's when you'll hear me screaming from the Houston. Yeehaw!
Monday, September 16, 2002
Well, I'm Just about 12 days post-op and things are already fabulous. I'm feeling great and I went back to work this morning. I work a split day at the college, teaching morning and night,4 days a week. It was nice to be able to come home this afternoon for a little break.
I'm still on liquids and protein shakes. Last night was the first time that I felt any hunger. We had a large group of family over and I made gumbo. (My husband's from Louisiana)After standing over the stove for a couple of hours (I made the roux from scratch, of course)I actually started to get hungry. I don't think this was "head hunger". But I had 1/4 cup of gumbo with NO RICE and NO MEAT and that took care of it.
I am so happy that I had this done.
Now, I'm gonna whisper this because it's not official until I weigh at the Dr on 9-27, but I've lost 22 pounds so far. I am so blessed!
Monday, September 23, 2002
Well, I went to the Surgeon last Friday so that he could look at my hernia. I had the hernia prior to surgery and he just put a couple of stitches in it to see if it would hold. I don't think it's going to. The only pain I have at all is from this darn hernia. I have almost forgotten about the WLS. Well, not really forgotten, but it sure doesn't bother me at all. He thinks the hernia will recede a little. Maybe we will be able to wait for a while to repair it.
Anyway, officially, last Friday at 15 days post-op, I had lost 23.5 pounds. Today, however, I am down 27 pounds. Only 1.5 more to go to be below 300. Wow, It's been a while since I've been there.
Friday, the surgeon was so impressed with my progress that he gave me back soft-solids 1 week early. I'll have to be on this 4 weeks instead of 3. I could live like this forever. It's great. I roasted vegetables Saturday and fixed chicken salad Sunday at noon and Mexican casserole with meatless chili, a tortilla chip, cottage cheese, and cheddar cheese and then baked it for supper. I only had about a 1/8-1/4 cup at each meal. But, it was so liberating to eat so little and be full. I'm talking satisfied and content. Amazing! Anyway, Good luck to all on the Gulf Coast. Here in Houston, we're getting ready for Isadore!
September 25, 2002
Well, here I sit at 301 pounds. This is where I've been for 3 days now. You don't think about the plateaus until you get to one yourself. Don't get me wrong, I know that the weight is coming off, but I would really like to move the big weight to 250 on my healthometer scale instead of 300. I'm anxious to be done with the 300 weight forever.
Food is going really well. I am still on soft-solids, but I haven't found anything that didn't agree with me yet. I eat very slow and basically liquify all food in my mouth prior to swallowing. If something doesn't quite get to the consistency that I think it should. I don't chance it. That's actually only happened twice when I was eating chicken salad. It just seemed too stringy and after chewing and chewing, I still couldn't get it soft enough. I spit it out. No problem after that.
I've lost a total of 27 pounds and I am really proud of that. However, I've always been able to lose 20-30 pounds with no problem. Once I get to 50-60 pounds off and people begin to notice, that's when I'll be getting really excited.
Good luck to all! DeDe
October 2, 2002
HELP! I'm stuck! I did finally make it below 300. I am at 298 right now and I have been here for about 4 days. Now I understand! I have read so many profiles where a post would say "I'm probably going to be the first person that this surgery doesn't work on." Boy, all of a sudden I have that feeling. Maybe this is all I'm going to lose. I know this is irrational, but how many times have I lost 30 pounds and stopped there. It's like I'm pushing a huge rock up a hill and the further I go, the heavier it gets and when it gets to about 30 pounds, I can't go any further and it starts to roll backward right on top of me, totally out of control. In my mind, I know that it has to come off. I'm probably not gonna lose as fast as some, simply because I'm not having ANY problems. Food is going great. I eat usually 1/2 scrambled egg in the morning and have a protein shake for lunch. Yesterday, I made a tostada for dinner with beans and cheese and picante sauce. I'm trying to drink all of my water. I'm doing pretty good. Yesterday, when I picked up my 10 yr old from school, he opened the door and 3 empty bottles of water fell out. He said, "Mom, you drink too much water." I said, "hey it could be worse, those could be beer cans..."
I have found that if I drink my protein shake for breakfast that I'm hungry in the afternoon. Generally, I don't have any hunger except if I cook a big meal. So the couple of days that I had my protein shake for breakfast, it was easy to tell what caused it.
I've got a really good friend starting her testing today. Way to go Saundra! You go girl!
Take care and I'll write more when I drop off of this apparent plateau.
October 20, 2002
Hey! I can't believe that it's been several weeks since I posted. My family schedule have been so crazy that I haven't been getting on the site very often.
So here's the latest stats:
At 6 weeks-3 days post-op, I have lost a total of 38 1/2 pounds.
I weighed this morning and I finally reached 289. It's been several years since I was below 290. In 1992, I weighed 236 and my weight has climbed steadily since then. I thought I was so big back then. Heck, I thought I was huge when I graduated high school weighing 145 pounds. Your mind can do really weird things to you.
No complications so far. No nausea, no vomiting. However, I did finally realize that I don't tolerate bread very well. I've read that on several fellow postee sites, but I didn't make the connection then. You see, it doesn't bother me when I eat it. It's about thirty minutes after a meal that I feel like I have a big rock sitting in my stomach. It passes after about an hour. It had to happen a couple of times before I found the common source since I had eaten something different at every meal, except bread.
At 6 weeks my dr. removes the limitations on your diet, so I started adding regular foods back one at a time. I have tried 1/4 cup shrimp gumbo with rice, 1 piece bacon, 1/4 cup sauerkraut and bratwurst, 1/4 cheese enchilada and 1/4 bean tostada, 1/4 Cup Vegetable soup with hamburger meat, and chicken and dumplins, all at separate meals of course. The cool thing is that I eat so little of each one of these things that my doctor says don't count calories or fat grams. He just wants me to get plenty of protein. He says this should be easy and let the tool that I have been given do the work for me.
There are no restrictions, except alcohol, caffeine and carbonation. I accidently had a shake last week that contained caffeine(I should have read the label closer). Wow! I will never do that again. Not only did I stay awake all night, the next day I felt like I had the worst hangover I have ever had in my life.
I don't feel deprived at all. I have not craved anything sweet yet. Yesterday, my family went to the "Oriental Gourmet" buffet and I had the THAI soup. Oh my gosh! I brought some home for today. That is the best soup that I have ever eaten and the chicken in it just falls apart. Then, for dessert I had 1 tiny slice of watermelon. WOW! Amazing that my taste buds have just been magnified. It tasted so good and sooo sweet. I've eaten that soup before, but pre-op, I guess my taste buds were dulled somehow.
Anyway, Life is great and I'm in a really awesome place right now. Before surgery, when I would lose weight, the process was all consuming. I had to literally, eat, sleep, and drink weight loss, just to be successful for my regular 30 pound loss. Now, it takes care of itself. I just go about my business everyday. I carry a bottle of water in my hand all day, eat at regular times and have regular foods(just tiny amounts) and act just like a "normal" person. At work, no one even notices that I don't eat very much. Most poeple are so consumed with their own lunch that they pay no attention to me.
So, in closing I just wanted to thank everyone for all of the support. My family has been amazing. I actually think that the surgery has brought my husband and I even closer together. He has shown me that he cares about me in ways that you can't just say in words. It takes something traumatic like this to see someone's true colors. He has gone above and beyond the call of duty and I'm glad to give him this gift too. He deserves a healthy wife, friend, and partner that he can go and do things with. My son also deserves a healthy Mom. It looks like that's what they are getting. Just be careful what you wish for!
October 20, 2002
Yes, I just posted a terribly long post, but I wanted to add something. My Mom called to tell me that a friend of ours is considering surgery and she is going to use a local doctor at a local hospital and plans to have banding done. First of all, San Jacinto Hospital (local facility) was on the news a few weeks ago as having the highest mortality rate per patient in the entire state of Texas. Second of all, Dr. Alahi does a combination stapling and banding procedure on anyone over 200 pounds. My cousin, used the same doctor and hospital and the same procedure and while she has lost 220 pounds, she hasn't done very well health wise. I spoke to her last week and she cannot eat ANY meat! After 18 months she has stopped losing and she gets all of her protein from shakes. She says she eats alot of sugar free ice cream, because almost everything else makes her throw up. She still has 150 pounds that need to come off. That is no way to live. Peggy, another friend of mine, also used the same doctor and she wishes she would NOT have had it done. She only had 80 pounds to lose, which she did lose, but she says she can't keep any meat down either. She says she lives on mashed potatoes, oatmeal and soup(all carbs). I also feared the "cutting" part of the surgery for the first year that I considered the surgery, so I thought I wanted the adjustable LAP banding. Then, I started really researching the different procedures. I used this site library and message board and chat and went to several other online sources. Many of the most prominent doctors see the banding and stapling as "temporary". I know that my doctor does. That's why the stapling procedure that was started in the 70's didn't last. Through staple-line disruption, high calorie liquids, pouch stretching, etc. they failed.
I don't profess to be an expert, but I do know that surgery is surgery. I don't want to go through it more than once if I didn't have to. I wanted the surgery that would result in the highest amount of weight loss which was the RNY, and I wanted the one that had the highest long-term success, again the RNY. I did consider the duodenal switch. That actually made more physical sense to me, but my insurance excluded it. I am however, very happy! I would do it again in a heart beat!
October 31, 2002
Happy Halloween! Just wanted to update and let everyone know that I think the plateau has ended. I finally dropped 2 pounds this morning. I've been the same for nearly 10 days. But today, I am 8 weeks post-op and I hae lost 42 pounds! I'm very happy with my progress. For some reason my tail bone has been bothering me for the last few days. It hurts worst in my van. Last night I added a pillow and that seemed to help. I guess I'm starting to lose my padding back there. I adjusted my seat and that has seemed to help. It's amazing how the weight loss will affect things that you never even thought of.
November 11, 2002
Oh my gosh, I can't believe that I haven't updated in almost 2 weeks. Ok, here goes. I went to the doctor on the 1st for my 8 week check up and had lost 42 pounds. He said that he wanted me to eat every 2-3 hours now. It needed to be something nutritional, for example, a few bites of yogurt or a small piece of ham, etc. I really didn't want to do it because I am free of compulsive eating. I don't want to get that started again. But reluctantly, I did it for the next 2 days. I LOST 5 POUNDS IN 2 DAYS!!!!! You better believe that I'm doing as I was told. I am
9 weeks post-op and 50 pounds lighter. YAHOO!!
I had some steak a couple of days ago and did just fine. It took me a while to chew it to the point where I was comfortable swallowing. We went to the local steak house and I had about 1/4 cup of chicken and dumplins from the salad bar and about 4 bites of steak. I used to love steak but now it just doesn't do very much for me. I don't seem to have any food intolerance at all. Soft bread makes me feel kind of icky about 30 minutes after I eat it, but at this point I could care less. I could go for the rest of my life and never eat another piece of bread.
I still have never thrown-up or been truly nauseated. I feel safe in saying that this was the best thing that I have ever done for myself. I am starting to have my life back again. I decided to enroll in University of Houston in the Spring and head down the road toward a Master's degree. I am letting my hair grow out now. I don't know what I want to do with it yet. I just want "Chip" my colorist/stylist to have plenty to work with when he gets started. I'm probably going to wait until just before Christmas to cut it. I'm thinking about going blonde again like I was in High School, but with much smaller hair. Those of you who are not from the South may not realize this, but 20 years ago, we all had BIG hair in Texas. I'm going back to contacts and I need to go get new makeup. You see, weight loss affects everything.
I went into my closet this morning and put on a suit that I wore last Christmas to a Christmas Party. I looked like a rag-a-muffin. Not only was it too big, the pants were 6 inches too long. Did you realize that losing weight will make your pants longer? It makes sense, but I never thought of it before. There was no way that I could even think of wearing that suit today. So I started a little pile of "things that I will never wear again". I've had these piles before but they were always started during times of deep depression when I had totally given up ever losing weight and keeping it off and they were always clothes that were too small. Times they are a changin!
I guess that's all, I will try to do better with my updating. Take care and keep the faith!
November 26, 2002
Happy Thanksgiving! It's been 2 weeks again since I posted. I'm sorry, but my life just keeps getting better and better and faster and faster. Ok, this morning I had lost 58 pounds and December 5th, it will be 3 months. Wow. This is just the best thing that I have ever done.
It's gotten really easy now. I love steak, pork, bacon, chicken, etc. and I do really well with them all. I took a trial run last week making a new recipe for Turkey and Dressing. I wanted to make sure that it not only tasted good, but that I could also tolerate it before I took it to a party. It was great! No problems whatsoever. I'm making desserts too this year. They don't even interest me, but then they never really did. It was the heavy foods that I preferred.
I'm just moving into a Women's Plus size 24. It's been great reaching back in the closet to try something else and finding that it fits. I have so many dirty clothes these days. I used to have just 3-4 outfits that I could wear and I would wash and wear them over and over. Now I could go 2 weeks and never wear the same thing. It makes for alot of laundry to be done. Oh well, the maid will just have to suffer. ha ha.
I am so looking forward to the holidays. This is the first year since my son (he's 10) was little, that I am in the spirit. I have a sense of hope this year. This WLS thing is just amazing. It affects things that aren't seemingly related to the actual surgery, like my personality and confidence and desire to achieve things. I submitted my application to University of Houston today. I'll be going back in the Spring heading toward my Master's degree. I've started setting goals for myself again. I hadn't done that in years. I absolutely LOVE my job at the college. I think I may have said that before in a post, but it's true. Jobs just don't get any better than this.
I'm also looking forward to spending some time with my son during the holidays. I've got one contract job in-house to work on, but we should have plenty of time together. I actually get about a month off for Christmas and my son gets 3 weeks. It's going to be great! We'll be making Martha Washington Candy, I know. That's a family tradition!
Ok, so, what do I eat now? I usually have breakfast sausage w/ an egg for breakfast. I usually don't finish the whole egg. about 2-3 hours later, I'll have a couple of pieces of celery with peanut butter for a snack. I like soup for lunch. I don't even eat bread anymore, unless it's melba toast or crackers. It just doesn't even sound good. For dinner, I like cube steak cooked in a little butter and some veggies. As you can see, I really don't have any trouble with food.
Sometimes I will go for a whole week and don't lose an ounce and then I will lose 5 or 6 pounds in 2 days. However, the inches are still moving consistently. There's only a couple more things in my closet that I still can't wear. BUT, I'm sure I'll conquer those by Christmas.
That's enough for now. Good Luck! Happy Holidays!
January 20, 2003
Wow! has it really been that long since I updated?
Hi all! I didn't update because mostly I didn't quite know what to say. I've held off posting my most recent info until I could get my bearings and sort of come to terms with everything myself. Ok, so if you don't know me really really well, then you aren't aware that I"M PREGNANT!. Oh my gosh, I can't believe that I said it out loud. Shocked and confused, I found out early December and it has taken me several weeks to get used to the idea. I'm seeing a high risk specialist and he seems to think that everything will be fine. I see him every 3 weeks and he does sonograms in his office. Finding out that I was pregnant and only 3 months post-op was a frightening experience. I still haven't gotten over the shock, I mean, I was on the pill! I am almost 6 months post-op, I've lost about 75 pounds and I'm 12 weeks pregnant. Other than the apprehension about the pregnancy so close to surgery, I couldn't be happier. My weightloss has slowed to 1 pound per week, but the good news is that the baby is normal size and development for the age. My friends at OSSG-Pregnant Yahoo Group, assure me that the weightloss will pick back up after the baby. I am very fortunate to have gone thru RNY with no complications and ended up with no food intolerance. So, I eat my vitamins daily and my 4-5 meals per day and I make sure that they are good healthy meals. I wanted to wait until I had seen the specialist and found out the real status of the baby before I posted anything. Those of you who are wondering, "Yes. It has been well worth it. I would have this surgery again in a heartbeat. It has changed my life!"
September 20, 2003 - Saturday
Hello! I can't believe it has been so long since I posted to my profile. Good news is just flowing over around here. I just celebrated my 1 year anniversary 9/5/03 and I've lost a total of 102 pounds. I delivered a healthy 6 lb-12oz, baby boy July 14 and his name is Evan Cole Griffith.
I stopped losing weight in Feb and gained 6 pounds just before the baby was born. I lost 28 pounds in the first 3 weeks after he came and it stayed there for a couple of weeks. It has now started to go back down at a rate of about 2-3 pounds per week.
I love this surgery. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever imagine that I could lose 100 pounds and have a baby in the same 12 month period. I mean with my first child - 11 years ago, I gained 65 pounds and never lost it until Surgery last September.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know things are great!