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Barry Greene, M.D.
I have a consultation with Dr. Greene on 2/24/05. So far his office staff have been very helpful and very nice. His informational/support meeting was excellent. His program seems very structured and very strict - which actually makes me confident in his commitment to his patients.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
12/31/05 - Just sitting here contemplating the past year. There are so many things that have changed....I changed jobs in May of this year, had the surgery (obviously), have a whole new social life (although I'm sitting alone at home on NYE, lol) and best of all am happy!
12/08/05 - I am at my 6 month surgiversary and there are things that I just realized have changed in my behavior: for one thing, I was hungry this afternoon, and instead of reaching for pretzels or chips, I made a protein drink. Tonight, I told my girlfriend that we couldn't get together until after I worked out (which is new for me anyway - the working out). I have brought my lunch every day this week. Who am I??? Have I been replaced by WLS aliens??
Other things that have changed:
I used to isolate at home and never go out - now I'm hardly ever there. My cat has put my picture on little kitty milk cartons looking for me.
I used to only drink diet coke...now if there's not water around, I panic. In fact, I now have a case of half-liter bottles of water in my car.
I used to have to sit down after standing for only 20 minutes...last night I was able to stand through a 45 minute presentation without a problem.
I can sit on the floor and play with my nieces and nephews. My niece has said to me "when you were fat, you couldn't do that..." It just made me laugh.
I like to wear jewelry, make up and keep my hair (what's left of it anyway ) looking good. I NEVER used to care about that stuff...what's up with that???
I make sure that I prepare my lunch and get my protein drink ready every night for the next day. Another thing that I NEVER would have dragged my butt away from the tv for.
Oh - and tv? I used to watch hours every night..now? maybe one hour a night - if that.
I've taken my life back, and this board has become a big part of it and I love you all! Thanks so much!!!!!
oh - and my weight? highest: 323 current: 229.6 goal: 160-170 How about them apples?
10/25/05 - It's been quite a while since I updated my profile. My total lost is 85 lbs. I am dating (very weird - it's like whose life did I just step into???) and having a great time!!
I did have an interesting revelation last night. I am down to 238 – the lowest weight I’ve been in over 15 years…and I feel great and very happy with how I look I was trying to remember the last time I was at this weight, and immediately thought of how unhappy I was that I had gained so much.
It struck me that if I had been able to feel this same way back then, I might not have gotten up to 323! ..and my life would have been very different! Now, I get so much positive feedback about my weightloss, and how good I look, but THEN all I got (from myself and others) was how much nicer I would look if I lost the weight.
It reminded me that we need to treasure ourselves TODAY and not waste our time wishing for the future or longing for the past in a way that wastes the present. Each day I’ve gotten back as a result of this surgery is a gift…and I’m just sorry I didn’t learn this lesson earlier in my life. But then again – I’m glad I did learn it now, instead of never.
Just my thoughts…or as I hear on the radio now and then, “Not a sermon, just a thought.”
09/26/05 - Update
I moved into my apartment last year…but still have TONS of boxes in my apartment packed up. About 6 weeks ago I bought several pieces of shelving-type furniture but they needed to be assembled. Well this past weekend I actually put it all together!! I am so proud of myself. My next task is to unpack the boxes and actually put the stuff on the furniture!
I got on the scale this morning and was down to 245 ..that puts me at 78 lbs. down. Another 2 lbs. and I’m halfway to my goal! Yay me!! I had a couple of wow moments last night, too! I went to my brother’s house, and my SIL commented on my weight loss – “Who’s this skinny woman walking into my house??” . My brother said he couldn’t see it..and my SIL said incredulously “She’s lost half her butt..how can you not see it?!?” Then – to make it even better, I got on the floor, sat cross-legged and played Uno with my 8 year old nephew for about half an hour..and had no problem getting up!!! The little things I never expected when I decided to have this surgery!!!
08/07/05 - New photos - 60 lbs down!
6/16/05 - I had my first post-op appt...and I am down 9 lbs. from surgery date, and a total of 34 lbs. from my consultation weight (which I'm going to use as my starting weight). My incisions are healing well, and I am cleared to drive! I can't start the next stage of food (pureed/mushy food) until day 21 (6/29)...but still doing well.
6/10/05 - Okay, so here’s my story. ... My mom and I got to the hospital on Wednesday (6/8/05) at 8:20 a.m., even though my surgery wasn’t until 2:30 p.m. At 10:30 a.m., I was called back to pre-op so I could meet with the dietician. Then, I had to undress, put on the gown and get my IV. At around noon, my mother and sister-in-law came back to keep me company.
Then we waited... and waited... and waited.... and waited. My surgeon stopped by, and we discussed his removing my gallbladder, and we decided that he would make the determination once he saw the size of my liver. He also told me that he was going to bypass 100 cm. I had talked to Blanche - a woman who has my surgeon, and was scheduled just before me. She stopped by my preop area to introduce herself. I had requested she be my roommate, and she was! But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
At 2:30 or 2:45, the physician’s assistant and OR nurse asked me if I was ready (I answered not really – but let’s go! Anxiety to the end! LOL) and wheeled me into the OR. The OR was pretty cold, and the last thing I remember is them putting a blanket on top of me, and the anesthesiologist messing with my IV. I never saw my surgeon before the surgery.
I woke up in recovery. The surgery took around 2.5 hours. Dr. Greene told me that he hadn’t removed my gallbladder. The nurse (at some point) told me she was removing my catheter…and it wasn’t comfortable…no pain, just discomfort.
When I got to my room (at around 8:30), my mother and brother were there. They also were able to give me ice chips – that stuff was like manna from heaven!! I kept fading in and out…and my nurse introduced herself. Around 11 she asked me if I could pee…then told me that if I couldn’t pee within 8 hours, I would need another catheter. Believe me…I kept praying!!! Finally, at 4 a.m., I was able to pee! At some point in the night, I took a short walk…but mostly slept with the leg compression wraps on. Boy – they were hot!! (and I mean temp-wise – just so you know!) ;-)
Blanche and I went down for a leak check. It wasn’t as bad as some I’ve heard about…2 gulps of bitter clear stuff, then pictures, and 2 gulps of other sweet stuff, then more pics. I was told that everything looked good. I got back to the room, and at about 10:30 they brought breakfast up for both of us – chicken broth, very sweet strawberry protein shake, tea, crystal light packet, 8 oz. water, and some sort of orange gelatin. This was to be the contents of every meal until I left!
Fortunately, for Blanche- she was doing very well, and was able to go home that night. I, however, wasn’t able to eat very much at all. They had disconnected my IV, and by the end of the day, it was clear I wasn’t really well enough to go home. I started having those “What the F have I done to myself??? I hope I can do this…there’s no turning back, etc. etc” Kind of freaking myself out!
They reconnected my IV – so I could get re-hydrated (which happens pretty quickly) and I did take two walks around the nurses station. By this point I was voiding regularly and passing gas like a champ!
I felt so much better after they re-hydrated me…and went to sleep with my trusty CPAP machine around 7 p.m. I woke up a few times throughout the night…for vitals, and to go to the bathroom. I woke up for good around 6 a.m., and went for a walk around the nurse’s station with the nurse, then I was determined to eat and drink enough to get home. I talked Chona, the nurse, into unhooking my IV by promising to stay hydrated.
The discharge nurse came in around 9, and told me I looked much better…and let me go home! After talking to her about how overwhelmed I was, and she was able to reassure me, I felt much better, and I was home by 11:00 a.m.
My surgeon requires that his patients inject heparin 3x a day for 30 days after surgery. I went to give myself an injection…and couldn’t figure it out! So, I called my doctor’s office and his Patient Coordinator (Julia – who works her butt off for all of us!) told me to come in and she would walk me through it. Soooo…at 1 p.m. my mother and I trudge out to the office (which is right next to the hospital – but only 15 minutes from my home) and it turns out I was missing the plunger! No wonder I couldn’t inject it!
So, now - I am keeping track of my liquids, protein grams, carb and fat grams (req. by my surgeon) and all my meds. It’s a HELL of a lot of work! But – it’s getting easier!! I am in little, if any, pain…and don’t need any pain meds. I have them if I need them…but so far I’m okay!
That’s about the whole story! :-)
5/30/05 – It’s been too long since I’ve updated. My date has been moved up to 6/8 – only 9 days away! Ahhhhhh! Okay – I feel better now. LOL
My doctor requires a liquid diet for the 2 weeks prior to surgery – since my original date was 6/15, I was preparing myself by doing a 95% liquid diet, and was going to go ALL liquid on 6/1. I went grocery shopping today – and purchased TONS of broth and soup, tomato soup and jello…so liquids here I come! I’ve done pretty well today. ..and of course I have protein shakes. I have some pre-mixed to take to work..as well as soup. I even bought ramen noodle packages (not a real fan of the noodles, so I’ll use the broth….not too bad at 10 cents each!) so I could be prepared. I’m just going to take things day by day!
I am doing my will and living will so that they will be in order. I can’t believe it’s coming up so soon! It’s unreal…and I’m going through the “should I really go through with this” questions…and I’m SOOO emotional!! The fact that my period started today has nothing to do with it! LOL Well – I guess that’s more information than you needed! LOL
Well – I’ll update soon!
4/26/05 - Well, I decided not to go to the cardiac rehab exercise place for financial reasons. I haven't been good about going to Curves, either. :-( Oh well - next week will be good for that, since tomorrow I have my EGD, and Sherri is out of town until next week. I also start my new job next Monday. Guess I didn't have enough on my plate!! (pun intended! LOL)
I have made contact on the phone with two great women from OH board, and am looking forward to getting to know them! I also connected with a woman from my surgeon's support group. She's 11 weeks out and 50 lbs. down! Yay, Cheryl!! We go out to eat after every meeting, and it's nice to eat with the post-ops and see how each person deals with their food. It's unique for everyone!!
I got my CPAP machine last week, and have been sleeping with it. I only made it through part of the night for most of last week, but starting with last Friday night, I made it through the whole night. I really am feeling more rested! Who knew?? LOL I'm not feeling like I need a nap during the day. All this time I thought I just liked napping! LOL
Well, I guess that's about it for now! Will update again soon.
04/11/05 - Well I got the surgery date!! I do have a few more pre-op appointments - CPAP Titration study on 4/14, consultation with the sleep doctor on 4/19 and then my EGD on 4/27. Then - all that's left is the surgery itself. Everything is in motion....can't believe it's only 9 weeks away - I'm sure it will go by fast! I'll update again soon with some thoughts.
03/26/05 - It's been a while since I updated. I have had all the preop tests known to mankind! I have had an EKG, bloodwork, abdominal sonogram (found out I have gallstones), pulmonary function test, nutrition consult, exercise consult, sleep test and consult. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, so I will have to have another sleep study and consult to get my CPAP machine. Then I'll have my EGD. On Tuesday of this past week, Dr. Greene's office submitted my file for approval - and I was approved the next day! I guess they figured I really need the surgery! LOL I haven't had a date set yet...but I'm guessing the first week in June. I am currently on a low carb diet with one protein shake a day. Dr. Greene puts his patients on a strict regime, but that's part of the reason I chose him. Yikes! I'm getting a little nervous abut the surgery - but much more excited than I thought I would be! It's a hard doing the low carb thing..but I'm getting used to it. I'm going back to exercising at Curves with my friend Sherri this coming week - Monday and Wednesday. I'm also going to the hospital cardiac exercise program on Tues - Thursday. This should keep me pretty busy!
I’ll update again soon!!
03/07/05 - I had my consult on 2/24 and really feel like this journey is starting! I have made a sh*tload of doctor's appointments for this week, and hope that I can get them all completed and the results sent to my surgeon's office by 3/25. That way they can get them submitted to the insurance. Today I had a consult with the nutritionist, and an appointment with the hospital's exercise program. Tomorrow I have a gallbladder ultrasound, and a consult with the gastroenterologist. I'm seeing more doctors this week than I have in all of 2004! I'll update again when they're all completed and we're submitting to the insurance!
02/15/05 - went to Dr. Greene's informational meeting last night. Because I had been there in September of last year, I was able to get a consult for 2/24 with Dr. Greene. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. My major concern is that the notes that my PCP has been keeping since September are complete enough to satisfy the insurance company. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! I'll update again after my consult appt. :-)
12/22/04 - I was approved by Aetna, but could not confirm that my employer had purchased the necessary rider for 2005, so I was forced to change insurances. Consequently, I have to find a new surgeon since Dr. Vanguri doesn't accept my new insurance. I'll have to start with new appointments after the first of the year.
11/30/04 - I had my consultation with Dr. Vanguri. It was pretty routine. He did a mini-exam, and then met with me and 2 other patients, and explained the surgery. He seemed very nice and competent. His office will submit my paperwork to the insurance this week or next, and then we'll see what Aetna has to say. So - I guess now is the waiting game!
09/04 - I am a 43 year old, single woman who (like many others) have been overweight all of my life. My pediatrician diagnosed me as obese at the age of 18 months. And (also like many others) when I look back on pictures of when I was a teenager and in college, I see that I wasn't as grotesque as I had thought. I now weigh about 310 lbs. (last time I checked).
I have hypertension, and at the end of August I was put on a third medication for it, and that sent me into researching this surgery. One of my closest friends is also pursuing this surgery, so it makes it easier that someone else is going through the same stuff.