- HEALTH TRACKER
Before & After
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Edward J. Waits M.D.
I really love Dr. Waits, He was very honest with me from the beginning. As long as I stuck to the program I would loose the weight and I did. He has a wonderful bedside manner. Very caring. Karen is the person who handles the insurance. She is a real go getter. She had my insurance approved in just about 3 weeks. One thing you should know about Karen is that she is very busy and knows her job. She does not have time for tons of questions over the phone. Go to group get a sheet from Connie of the most commonly asked questions or talk to an Angel.
Dr. Waits and his partner Dr. Macik are starting a structured aftercare program in January. Anyone who is scheduled for a consult starting January 1st will be in this program. I really think it will be a good program. Because so many people need guidance to keep them on track with their diet, exercise and mental health.
I would rate Dr. Waits and his staff as excellent. I was very pleased with the care I received before, during and after my surgery. I think surgical competence and bedside manner are both very important and I received the best of both.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
I am 41 years old (written in 2002) I had been over weight since I was about 6 years old. I am 5' 7" tall. The RNY has changed my life. I had my surgery on March 27, 2001. I decided to restrict my diet of bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and sugar. I do eat natural sugars, that are in fruits and veggies. This is why I think I lost 244 lbs in just one year. Now that it has been almost two years it is so much easier. I am so used to not having the carbs that I don't even miss it. I also workout 5 times a week.
Now that I am at goal weight I enjoy going to ball games, dancing, (my husband and I took salsa lessons, I would have never done that at 398 lbs) traveling and I love to exercise. Especially jazzersize and stepp. I bike for 20 miles some days just for fun. (If you live near Atlanta, check out the Silver Comet Trail and you can find it on the web) When you are large and I was, almost all my life I hated to shop for clothes. You couldn't just go into any store and buy something nice. I had to go to the big lady stores. I hated it. Now I can shop anywhere. I wear a small top and a size 8 pants. I love to shop now!
Dr. Marisa Lawrence did my tummy tuck and hernia repair October 2002. Since I had no fat on my stomach just hanging skin my tummy looked pretty flat before the tummy tuck. But if you saw it with no clothes on, all I can say is GROSS! It hung down over my private area. Dr. Lawrence removed 7lbs of skin from my stomach. When you weighed as much as I did and you loose the weight, no matter how much exercise you do, the skin will not go back. It is like blowing a balloon up and letting the air out, it is never the same.
Up-date: on June 12th, 2003 I had my legs and arms done. Oh my gosh, I just love it! I can wear shorter skirts (actually show my knees) and sleeveless tops. There are scars, but they are looking better everyday. Also if you are thinking about having the legs done. I just want to tell you (know one told me and I wish I would have been more prepared) it is very, very painful. But it is so worth it. The first 3 days are the worst, then after that it gets better.
I am scheduled to have my breast and the continuation of the belt lift (butt and thigh lift) in December 2003. My insurance only approved my tummy tuck and hernia repair at first, but I appealed to have my legs, arms and breast done, and won the appeal. I also wrote our insurance commissioner a letter everyday for 30 days, he put an agent on my case and then I was approved 2 days later. Then I sent in for the continuation of the belt lift (after mailing and faxing it in 4 times and them saying they did not receive it) I was finally approved.
I want everyone to know that my plastic surgeon, Dr. Marisa Lawrence who is located in Atlanta Georgia is just wonderful. Her bedside manner is great and the work she has done on me (I had soooo much hanging skin) has just been awesome! You can tell she takes a lot of pride in her work and she wants you to be happy with what she does for you. I can't wait to have the rest done in December!
Up-date: On December 3, I had the continuation of the belt lift, breast lift and augmentation. It has only been one week so far, but I can tell you I just love my breast they are beautiful. There is still a lot of swelling there and also in my buttock area and hip area, but Dr. Lawrence took off so much skin. I just know when the swelling goes down it will look great because it already does.
I guess you could say I am "Body by Lawrence" now. She has taken all the redundant skin off my body and she has done an AWESOME JOB! I am very pleased. For me there is not a lot of pain with this surgery. but everyone is different. I was off the roxecet by December 6th and taking a much more mild medication now. I am not saying it is not uncomfortable it is. But it is not terrible painful.
Up-date: I started hemorrhaging from my hip 10 days out from my butt and thigh lift. I bled all day and by that night blood clots were coming out and I called my surgeon back. She had me go to the emergency room. While i was waiting in one of the triage rooms of the emergency room I had a really bad headache. It felt like a headache that I would get if I didn't eat. I had my husband go get me some protein. He cam back with chicken fingers from McDonald's. (I usually didn't eat them but I did this time) McDonald's was the only thing open this time of the night. I ate 4 and the nurse came in and said, "Don't eat anything you are having surgery in the morning." I told her what I had done. (Remember you can't eat before surgery.) Because I did I had 2 anesthesiologist and was initibated while being awake. They were afraid I was going to throw up. I had lost so much blood; they had to give me a blood transfusion. My surgeon opened my hip up and repaired the problem and put me back together again. I was told if I had not gone to the hospital that night I would not have woke up the next morning because of all the blood loss.
Because of everything I have gone through, I tell people who are thinking about having the redundant skin removed to remember this is "Real Surgery", it does hurt and there can be complications. Make sure you have a good plastic surgeon (I loved mine!). I do not regret anything I have been through and I would do it all over in a second!
I have to tell you that this surgery (the gastric bypass) by far was the best thing I have ever done for myself. I would do it all over again, in a second. I am soooooo much happier at this weight than I was at 398 lbs. I have dieted and lost 100's of pounds in the past. But I would get tired of it and go back to my old eating habits and put it all back on plus more. I think the surgery works for me because I am never hungry. This doesn't mean that I don't miss food and want it. You just have to learn the difference in wanting it and being hungry.
Many people have e-mailed me about hitting a plateau and want to know what to do or what my secret was for loosing so much so fast. All I can say is you have to move and move alot. You have to always drink your water. I drink even now 100 plus oz. of water a day. You have to eat your protein first and then your fruits and veggies. And stay away from bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and sugar. They are really just empty calories anyway. Also stay on a low fat diet. I only eat red meat or pork maybe once a week if that. Stay away from alcohol until you reach your goal weight and drink very little after you reach your goal weight. It has a lot of calories and carbs. Listen to your doctor and do what he tells you. You can, if you try, figure out how to cheat after having surgery. But what is the point of it. Why did we have this surgery. This surgery can work for you if you work at it. But you have to continue to work at it for the rest of your life. Not just until you loose the weight. Otherwise you
will put all the weight back on. If I can do it, you can. You just have to want it!
If you live near North Fulton Regional Hospital, in Roswell there is a support group that meets once a month. It is on the 1st Tuesday of the month from 5:30 - 7:00. If you do not live near Roswell, find a support group in your area. It really helps to spend time and share with people who are getting ready to have the surgery or who have had the surgery. We are all in the same boat. We can help each other in so many ways. I wish you the best and hope and pray for your success.
To be thin you have to make
Have you ever noticed when you write the word "think" the first four letters are "thin"? To be thin you have to think thin. Don't let food get the best of you! You know the saying "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels"? Well I think it is true. I'm not saying that I don't love food, because I do! There is still a fat Virginia inside me and probably always will be. But the thin Virginia that you can now see will not let the fat Virginia win, like she has done for so many years. The thin Virginia enjoys so many things that the fat Virginia could only dream about. Buying clothes off the rack at any store (even the Junior Dept.)and the clothes actually looking good on her and not like something her grandmother would wear. Going to ballgames, concerts and other sporting events and not having to worry if her butt would fit in the seat. Going to a new restaurant with friends and fearing that they would only have booths and she could not squeeze into it. Can you believe that even going to a funeral once I could not fit between the pews. I forced myself thru and ended up bruising my hips and thighs. I know that many of you have been thru similar situations. Thin people have no clue what fat people go thru daily. So you say why don't you do something about it? The truth is I did many times and failed so many times. I am really not sure why it worked for me this time. Except that I am never hungry ad I feel full and satisfied. True, I do enjoy what I eat now, only in smaller amounts and I make sure I make healthier choices. Why shouldn't I enjoy the food I eat! It has been two years since my surgery and I am so glad I did it. It does seem to get easier and more normal as time goes by. I consider myself a "normal" person now. And also a much, much happier person.
I volunteered for a long time with my surgeons office visiting patients in the hospital and answering questions from the patients. Now I work at North Fulton Regional Hospital in Roswell, GA in the Bariatric Surgical Weight Loss Center, as a Bariatric Program Assistant. Every day I get to assist people with their weight Loss Surgery journey. I just love it!
Well, March will be 5 years out for me. Life is a whole lot different these days than I ever imagined before having gastric by pass. You think....I am going to have the surgery and everything will be the same, I will just be smaller. What a joke....everything has changed....I have changed. I am so much more confident and I feel like there is almost nothing I can't do. When I was almost 400 lbs. the reaction I got from other people was many times hurtful. I was a good person, loving, giving, caring and wondered why people couldn't see that in me. But in that body strangers would say things that were very unkind and almost act as if obesity was something they could catch like a cold. It is kind of funny now when I reflect on my past experiences. Maybe funny is not the right word. I am sure other Bariatric patients understand where I am coming from. Now in this body, a body that I work very hard to keep in shape, the changes in my personal and professional life are just incredible. Although the changes are not in many ways what or where I thought I would be almost five years later. I do look forward to this year with great anticipation of what lies ahead for me. It think...what doors will open for me? Will I make the right decisions? Can I keep my head on straight or accept the changes and attention that I now receive? Well going to support group every month and being with other Bariatric patients going thru the same changes and challenges does help. I feel like know one else can really understand me as much as someone who has lived in an obese body and under gone Bariatric surgery. So I tell you all....look forward to the New Year like a wide eyed baby looking at the world for the very first time. Life is what we make of it....we have wasted far to much of it being obese.....Life is also far to short....now that we are on the other side lets jump in with both feet and live it to the fullest!!!
Happy New Year
I am now 6 years and 5 months out from surgery. I still continue to go to support group, workout and I have not had bread, rice, potatoes, pasta or sugar since the surgery. As the years go by I can, like most other bariatric patients eat more. So, it is a challenge to keep the weight off. I want to remind people who are newly out from surgery to create good healthy eating and exercise habits that will last for a lifetime. This is the only way to keep the weight off. There is nothing magical about it. Whatever goes in the mouth you have to work off. I thank God for the opportunity to have had the surgery to give me the tool to help me lose the weight and I vow to keep it off. Like I have said so many times before......"Live is so much better in this body than the other body!" I feel like there is nothing I can not do now.......remember you only get what you put into this journey........and I wish you much success in your journey.
Post Date: 3/27/09 8:57 am
TODAY.....today I am 8 years out from surgery.....am I where I thought I would be at this time....not quit......but where I am is really good!!!!! However, I know it can be better and I plan to work hard and get there!!!!
I am 48 years old.....I feel better than I did when I was 25....I thank God every day that I had the opportunity to change my life by having gastric bypass.
I remember when I was in middle school praying...GOD please help me to have an athletic body and long blond hair...well...he waited until I was in my 40's but God did make my prayers come true....and I thank him...
LIFE IS SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!! There is nothing I can't do in this body....Please whatever you do....do what your surgeon tells you to do....use this tool to its fullest!!!! YOU CAN BE ALL THAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE.....YOU CAN DO ALL THE THINGS YOU ONLY DREAMED ABOUT DOING!!!!!! Make your dreams come true...get where you want to be....don't give up....BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!!! YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!! YOU JUST HAVE TO WANT IT MORE THAN ANYTHING......BELIEVE!!!!!
I hope you get to your goal...I hope you do all the things you never thought you could.....I wish for you all the happiness in the world.....But above all.....
I WANT YOU TO LOVE YOURSELF!!!!!!