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Laura Choi MD
Just a follow up...over 3 years later. Again..the staff (and Dr. Choi ) never cease to amaze me. So helpful and caring. I am so happy I put my life in her hands..Continue to follow up here. See mostly APRN Juanita and the dietician.
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This story is the same just the names have been changed. I'm sure my story is like most others out there. Heavy most, if not all of my life. Tried just about every weight loss option out there. I have been down this road twice before. In 2005 I was a few days within having open RNY in New Haven with Dr. Valin. I had some medical issues so I had to back out. I have to admit I don't think I was ready and was relieved. I went again in 2006, this time to Danbury and was within a few days of having the Lap Band surgery done. I couldn't sleep for weeks leading up to the surgery date and backed out. Making my self believe that I might be able to do it on my own.
I joined weight watchers and went from 340 to 299. Went on a cruise and went up to over 370. ( no...not just on the cruise....just went wild for the next few months. I'm only 5'8" and could barely breath and could barely dress myself. I started to think about the surgery again and I knew this time there was no backing out. I would be dead if I did.
I'm 48 years old and sometimes wonder ...why...why..why? Why me? This is the biggest problem of my life and so many people don't have to give food a second thought. I can't think about that anymore...just have to think about getting healthy.
Went to see Dr. Choi (In service) and was still unsure about which surgery to have. I was leaning towards Lap Band probably about 80% sure this was the way to go. The more I read and the more I talked to the staff and the Dr. I knew that RNY was what would be best for me. I was really scared to death of RNY but knew this was a one time descion and wouldn't get another chance to get it right.
I first met with the staff of Danbury Hospital in November of 08 and was tentatively scheduled for surgery on Jan 5Th 09. The staff was just incredible. Everything was done in a professional manner. Meeting with Dr. Choi also made me feel at ease. The only part I thought was not needed was meeting with the LCSW. I understand the reason for a Psych consult but I never felt the therapist even touched on my eating habits and just wanted to get the meeting over with. It was OK by me because I was ready for this and I didn't need to be told I was.
I met with the Dietitian twice ( both extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I had to meet with a Cardiologist, as well as my PCP twice, the last time for the two week final checkup. I also met with the AP RN twice and she was so helpful and kind. Gave me great advice.
The office was set up for bigger people to feel comfortable. Large chairs, gowns and even the blood pressure cuffs. You never had to feel the embarrassment of someone saying..."wait, let me get a bigger one".
Their office handled all of the insurance issues. ( thank you anthem ) and I never had to do one thing in that area. Since I was scheduled on Monday , Jan 5Th the office said I would be getting a call from the Duracell Center where my procedure would be preformed.
I was called on Friday and was told to be at the center at 11:30 am. I got there just after 11 ( 11:11 to be exact ). I waited about a half hour before I was called back into the interview room. They took a medical history and gave me a gown ( which fit ) to change into. Went over the procedure and told me I would have to wait to be brought into the pre op area. I was taken there about a half hour later. Once there I was told Dr. Choi was still preforming surgery and it might be a while. I had to wait probably about another 45 mins to and hour. Dr. Choi came in to see me with a smiling face and asked me if I was ready. I was. My wife had a few questions and off I went. They gave me something called Versa..( i think that is the spelling ) and could not have felt any better.
A few mins later I was out..next think I knew I was in the recovery area and felt pretty good. They wouldn't let anyone see me for two hours. I was worried about my wife and son because they had waited such a long time already. The surgery took about two hours and I was told it went well. My family was finally allowed to see me. I was still waiting for a room to open up anyway. I was taken up stairs and was put in a private room.
The nurses and staff and Danbury Hospital were excellent in every way. My pain was managed well and was kept informed at all times. Dr. Choi came to see me twice. I was discharged on Wednesday the 7Th. I felt extremely good consider my insides were just rearranged.
Getting home in my own bed was nice...but it has been pretty hard as of now to get my fluids in. I feel blessed to have the support I have of my family and to have to had to deal with insurance issues. I sure that is a difficulty for many people. I know some people have been waiting for years for approval and many have been denied. From the day I went to the in service to the surgery date was about 7 weeks. I couldn't asked for anything better than that.
I have not really been hungry since the surgery but that doesn't mean I don't want to eat. The smells of food trigger the desire to eat. I think once I've been off sugar for a while that will subside. I also need to deal with my emotional eating. I know this doesn't go away after surgery or even losing a lot of weight. I know all of my troubles won't be solved by losing weight. But I feel like I can get back in the game. ( life ) I've been just watching it go by for many years. I know I 'll regret the time I've given away but I have to cherish the time I've gotten back.
I'll try to update as often as possible as I know in reading all of these stories helped me to understand how this whole journey would / could play out. I've read so many wonderful success stories and I know if I make the right choices I can be one of those.
January 11 th. Well six days since the surgery and it has gone well to this point. I am doing better with getting fluids in but I must say I'm finding it hard to find a protein drink that I like. ( I do like the Carnation Instant Breakfast ( no sugar ) Very difficult yesterday watching the NFL playoffs. This is where I used to do my most damage. Eating and drinking...eating and drinking. A few people were over and were eating pizza and drinking beer. Don't crave beer now but the pizza looked and smelled incredible. I haven't been hungry once since the surgery but I do still want to eat. Had to believe I have 16 more days of liquids. There is no way I could stick to this without the surgery.
January 13 th. Getting the fluids in continues to get easy. Feeling kind of depressed, I know this is the right thing to have done but I do miss food. I know it will get better with each passing day. I know I'll have my ups and downs, but just a little bit of feeling down has set it. I still am having trouble drinking anything for protein other than Carnation ( no sugar added ) instant breakfast. There are worse things in life than that I guess. 14 days till the next stage. Watched a few movies at home, but I should be exercising more. It is freezing outside but I have many other options.
I've had a history of blood clots and have to take coumadin ( blood thinner) and have also been taking shots of Lovenox to keep blood thin. I feel a slight strain behind me right knee and worried it might be a clot. I'll take it easy and wait till tomorrow. If I call the Dr. now I'll be off to Radiology.
I have to say that the days are getting better and the cravings are decreasing. My family has been so supportive. My wife is amazing. I love he so much, she has worried about me so much these past few years I would like to change that and let me take care of her for a change. I feel things are going to change for me and I know I have to be the one to make them change.
January 14th I called my PCP and he wanted to see me after I told him I felt knot behind my left knee. But he also found cellulitis on my abdomen. So...I had to get a IV for Rocephrin for the rash and go to radiology for a venus duplex to see if I did in fact have a clot in my right leg....I fortunately did not have a clot and went on to see Valkryie with Tom Cruise. ( I liked the movie a lot....I did miss having Pretzel Bites....just had a Boost and two waters.
I'm about halfway though the liquids and it is getting a little better each time. I do feel kind of depressed and I think it has mostly to do with not eating what I want. It's still about the food, and maybe it always will be. I look forward to bed so another day will be gone and I'll be closer to eating "normally".
January 21st Well....I wound up back in the hospital on Friday the 16th to Monday the 19th. It really had mostly to do with the fact that I have a history of blood clots and take cumadin. They had to stop that before the surgery and give me Lovenox (anticoagulant) which I continued after the surgery. It just looks like I got to much and was bleeding ( most likely from sutures ) So the it was really more of a precaution and also to make sure I did not get dehydrated. It was fine for me but just more of a stress I'm sure for my wonderful wife.
I got out on Monday and I'm doing great. I really have had no pain to speak of since the surgery. I was given morphine in the hospital and dilautin to take at home. I was supposed to take two at a time but it made me loopy.....and I really didn't need them anyway, so I just stopped taking them the first day home.
Everything seems to be healing well and I feel great. Except for the incisions I wouldn't even know I had surgery right now. I hope the incisions heal well the less scaring the better. I should be exercising more but I don't. Been to the movies a few times since I got out and shopping. Not sure what restrictions there are as far a lifting but I'll ask the Dr on Tues.
Went to see Gran Torino last night and I loved it. Clint Eastwood was amazing. He also wrote and directed it. I should do what ever he does to stay in shape. He gets around better than I do and he's almost twice my age.
Don't feel as depressed the past couple of days. My blood pressure is pretty low so I should be off my blood pressure med soon.
January 26th I go to see the Surgeon and Dietitian tomorrow. I can't wait to get off the liquids. I must say the past week really wasn't that bad. I just want to taste something different. Again, I really haven't had any exercise at all. I can't explain it but this isn't a good start at all. I can say it has been freezing out the past 3 weeks but I could have walked the mall or rode he stationary bike at home.
I have been getting in most of the protein and fluids that I need to. Still the Unjury is the only protein shake that I can stomach. I tried EAS and can't stand that either. I guess I should be grateful that there is at least one that I can drink. Hopefully I can now get a substantial portion of my protein from food. I'm going back to work on Thursday the 29th. I could have gone back to work last week but I didn't want to go back while I was still on full liquids. Man...January has been one cold month this year.....
January 27th Went to see the surgeon. Everything was fine. My weight was 341.4 so I'm down about 32lbs in 3 weeks. Can't complain about that. I haven't really exercised at all. Was disappointed that I didn't get to see the dietitian today but she wasn't in. She will call me tomorrow. I did have an egg with a sprinkling of cheese for lunch and pureed ground turkey and pureed chick peas for supper. Didn't do well with fluids and protein today. I can't be that casual about that. Hope to get exercising soon.....
March 1st Well, February flew by. Things are going great. Except...no exercise at all. I don't know what is up with that but I need to change my lifestyle. That is what having this surgery was really all about. Everything couldn't have gone better. Tomorrow I go to stage 5 which is really what I've been eating for the past few weeks anyway. I really didn't stick at all to the puree. I was eating soft food after 3 weeks. The Dietitian just said to me it was OK as long as I didn't hurt myself. Going to have a big snow storm tonight. Maybe up to 14 inches of snow. I still haven't weighed myself since Jan 27th. I think I will weigh myself on the 5h of March. My clothes feel much loser. I have been getting up earlier these days and feel somewhat less tired.
Tried pan fried salmon with olive oil and onions. Something didn't agree with me because I felt sick for almost two hours. I didn't throw up but it was close.
I was a little disappointed the other day because I had three wontons from wonton soup. I ate it fast too. I need to slow the eating down. I did better in the beginning.
March 16th Everything has been going well. I finally weighed myself the other day and have lost a total of 63 lbs from Jan 5th. Today is exactly 10 weeks out. I have to say I am somewhat disappointed in the number. I really can't say what number I had in mind and I know that 63 is a lot to lose is 10 weeks. I really feel so much better now. I am so much less tired. I have St. Paddy's day tomorrow and I'm kind of sad I won't being doing my usual activity but I do keep in mind there will be so much more I can do then just eat and drink. People at work are noticing more and more about my weight loss. My family continues to be so supportive. I could not have done this without my wife. She has always been there for me. I still feel like I have some of my old habits and that does scare me. This surgery is almost on autopilot and its hard to mess up at this point. I go back to the Dr's office on April 8th. I would like to be under 300 lbs by then which would give me a total of 74 lbs lost. I was doing pretty good on the bike for about a week and then I just slacked off again. My feet still hurt a lot or I would be doing some walking...( always excuses )
May 8th Well its been a while and I've had my 3 month check up and I'm now about 4 months out. I've weigh about 280 now. Down about 93 lbs. I've been eating a lot of carbs lately. For some reason it's hard for me to eat regular food. Really have not been exercising at all. I can't explain it. I feel like I could have lost a lot more weight if I did. I also have stopped journaling my food in "dailyplate.com". It's time to get back on track.
June 4th Things are going OK. I'm down to 268 which means I've lost about 105 in about 5 months. I could have done a lot better and still have not exercised. I've still been eating a lot of popcorn and carby kind of stuff. I did find out today that the Protonx ( acid reducer ) taken in the morning ( which for some stupid reason) I hadn't been taking it early made me feel kind of sick when I was eating without taking the pill. Even when I was eating salad my stomach felt kind of weird. The carb stuff didn't make me feel weird. I think that is what led me to start eating the carbs stuff to begin with. No carbs stuff today so far. I really can't explain the lack of exercise. I feel great and should be doing something. Still have not journal ed my food.