- HEALTH TRACKER
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Howard Simon M.D.
I liked him alot...great bedside manner and seems to care about his patients.rnStaff seems nice..rnthey all seem to have a good program and want to make sure you know EXACTLY what is involved. Tho they are a business....rnDr seems very knowledgeable and has lots of experience. Well so far..I'd give him a 10. I liked him alot. I trusted him and his staff. The group of newbies were addressed as a whole and classed in nutrition , the procedure and after care. Then one on one with nutritionist and nurse for weight etc. I originally wanted another Dr who worked int his group--then found out my Dr actually trained the other one. That made me feel better about my DR. rnrn9-29-08 Dr Simon has been great. He is a very compassionate man. He wants his patients to succeed and seems genuine in his concern. I like the staff very much! They are easily accessible by phone and will answer anything they can for you. Have had a wonderful experience thus far! rnrnMy only negative thing was in the hospital...some of the nurses weren't as helpful as others....One actually had me suffer with a morphine headache longer than I should have...but over all I had a good stay. One nurse even helped me when I had trouble-fear- of falling asleep. She offered to come into my room until I fell asleep. I didn't take her up on it. but it was nice of her to offer.
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so here is my story...I was working as a cashier at a dollar store and boy did my feet hurt! The excess weight I had put on was really taking toll on my feet and knees. I would basically stand in one place for 8 hours at work. It was awful. Then one day someone came in and was standing in my line and heard me complaining about my poor feet and knees and said to me..get bypass surgery not foot surgery. And he said he had Dr. Cunningham in Syracuse. That was all the info he gave me, other than to say he was a bariatric patient and look at me now. He was not overweight. I forgot about that conversation for some time. Then the following summer, my feet still hurting and unable to get into the frame of mind needed to diet, I started a search on the web for bariatric surgeons. First, I googled Dr. Cunningham. Nothing came up that said any of the many Dr Cunninghams were bariatric surgeons. So I forgot about it for a few days. Every time I got online I tried another search. putting in surgeons in the syracuse area, weight surgery, etc. I didn't know it was called bariatric until I got into the program. lol Anyways, on July 19th of 2007, I found OH and through OH found my Dr Simon, who co-incidentally worked with a Dr, Cunningham!!
So here I was, armed with this info and not sure what to do with it. I sat on it for a few days and started receiving the Q&A part of the OH website. What great inspiration comes from that part! To hear people talk of having normal lives and feeling good. I wanted that!! I wanted to feel normal again. It had been years since I felt that way. I always had felt like the biggest person in the room. Like everyone was staring at me. I was embarrassed for my husband, and kids. I hated it! So, the Q&A's inspired me to one day (Sept 07) call the clinic where Dr. Simon worked. I called and said I was interested in finding out more info on the bariatric surgery and would they have info for me. They said they had a packet for me to fill out to see if I qualified for the program and that they would send it via the mail for me. I received it, looked it over and left it a few days. I was not a proponant of the surgery in those days, and was scared of the unknown. Then one day, after my knees and feet hurting..I filled out the paperwork and sent it in. I saw my pcp in the meantime and talked with her about my actions. She said she had had patients who had the surgery and it was something to consider, but with an informed mind and a commitment to altering the way I see food and eat, FOREVER! And she sent a letter of necessity to my insurance and to the bariatric center where I had submitted my packet.
In October of 2007 I got a call from the bariatric center saying they made an appointment for me to come to an orientation in January 08. I was thrilled! I told my husband what I had been up to , and he was not happy. He was afraid of all the bad things you hear of surgeries,..people die, its a risk, etc. He said no, and I said I am going to go get into the program and see what it's about. If I don't want it, I will drop out, but lets see what its about!
Jan 20, 08...orientation... A group of us were instructed to go to a classroom and there, we were joined by a nutritionist who proceeded to give us a class on the correct ways of eating. After a while we were joined by Dr. Simon who went over the procedure step by step and answered questions. My husband asked a few questions, as did I, and we left feeling very at ease about the whole process. Then I had to meet with the nitritionist one on one and then Dr. Simon. I had been assigned DR. Simon , tho on the paper work I had requested DR. Kim, as I learned he did the operation laproscopically and I wanted that. So while waiting for the nutritionist to come in, a student Dr was taking my info and asked why I looked dissappointed...I told her I had requested Dr. Kim and wanted the laproscopic procedure done and she said Dr. Simon did it lapro also and in fact, she said he taught Dr. Kim! I was happy about that and felt at ease ever since. Dr. Cunningham, the founder of the bariatric center at SUNY hospital, was the only one in the clinic who did the procedure strictly open. He was not an option. lol
I did the whole one on ones and asked my lame questions and started the 5 step "new way of eating foods" and met once a month with Dr. Simon to see the progress of my dieting. I was to lose 5% of my body weight , or 12 lbs, before they would do surgery. I had my psych eval with Dr. Griffith, passed. I slowly lost weight, I had all the testing done and did all I was suppose to. I started attedning a support group in Clay, NY and learned a LOT!! I still go twice a month. Anyways, I got a surgery date! June 5th 2008!! yippee!!! I was so excited. I was about to start on this wonderful new life. I had such hopes.
June 5--go to hospital to do presurgery stuff and am waiting to be taken in. Surgery scheduled for 1:30 pm. They wheeled me into the O R and I looked at everyone and said, "My audience" . Last thing I remember...hahaha. Next thing I remember they are calling my name. I said , Its over? They said no...they couldn't get the tube down into my lungs before the lungs were to shut down and had to wake me up. I kept telling them to keep trying...try a smaller tube.... anything!!! I was so dissappointed! I cannot tell you. I went to support group that night and blew off some stream. I was also starting to get scared....The 'what if's' came into my head. What if I wasn't suppose to die that day, but next time? ..On the 5th I was excited and hopeful , never had a moment of fear..Oh I did the few weeks before surgery, but then it all came down to excitement. I get a call from the head anesthesist (spelling). She tells me to call the dr's to reschedule..I figured they would do that for me, but nope...so I get a new date...June 19th..two weeks away!! How am I suppose to live with myself for two weeks? My thoughts were of fear. I was not excited, but scared, nervous and started to eat regularly...not doing the steps to prepare for after surgery. I saw Dr. Simon the following week and he came in , took my hands and stood in front of me and told me how awful it was that day..the 5th.. He was ready to do the surgery and the anesthesiologist (sp) told him I was ready..He told me fluids started to come out of the tube in my lungs...he said to the anest. that the tube was in my stomach, and he said it wasn't...well it was...and as my lungs were going to stop working...they needed to get it into the right place or wake me up. Now the story I got from the head anest. was that my neck was too short...too much fat..they couldn't get it in. And that I would have to be awake when they did the tube next time...yuk!! See all the fears I had were warranted!!
ok so ...the 19th--go to hosptial ...I am first for the day...be there early...we go..I am a nervous wreck. I am thinking that when I look at my husband and daughter and mother, it was the last time. I hang onto my thoughts and don't let on. I am ok with it If it is. I am ready to leave, to meet with Jesus, but of course, don't want to. I pray. ..I am given 'happy juice shots!! yea!! I know nothing after that second shot. I wake up in my room ..hurting a bit, but alive! Happy happy joy joy! Everyone is there to greet me. I ask for pain meds..lol go to sleep. I was told later that my family, who had been in the waiting room, was told after a 3 hour wait that the procedure was just getting under way. It took them 3 hours to get the tube in!! But God willing, they got it in. I had a good hosptial stay thanks to some very nice nurses. I wish I could remember their names. There were a few who really stuck out for me and made the stay tolerable. One incredible nurse offered to stay with me one night when I was having a hard time falling asleep. I didn't take her up on it, but the fact that she offered meant the world to me. Thanks for that!! I did sent them a thank you note..and mentioned the ones who helped me by name. God Bless them all. I was on oxygen and something collasped...when my muscles relaxed the sinuses or something in my throat...anyway they were afraid that if I slept it would collapse and I would stop breathing...giving me the paranoia about sleeping...I would start to fall asleep and then feel myself not breath. It was hard. I wanted to cry, but I hung on. Finally I slept and all was good.
Jump ahead 4 months- I am down 63 pounds. I work out 3-4 days a week at curves and walk as often as possible..weather permitting. It's getting colder and will need a new place to walk. I currently walk in Phoenix with my mom. Or I need a new activity. I am considering the Y for swimming. I started this journey at 237 lbs..on a 4'11" body. I am still 4'11...well ok....4'10 1/2 "but I feel good at 165. I wonder what 127 will feel like?!
I was 94 pounds when I met my husband 26 years ago. We celebrated our 25th this past May. He has always been there for me and has never complained about the weight gains as they came and went over the years. I appreciate him more with every passing year.~~ * I love you Bryan!! And thank you for being there to share this journey.*~~ hugs to all, Kim
June 5th,2009...welp..almost a year out and been at goal for several months. I am feeling very good , wonderful in fact, but think i over do at times. My lack of muscles are giving me aches these days. Trying to do yard work is not easy. I am slowly regaining my strength, but darn it if muscles aren't hard to build! lol I am at 121 these days. Still eating 4-5 ounce meals because I choose to, and I eat 4-5 meals a day. I drink tons..at the very least i get my 64 ounces. some days go over the 100 mark. but my average is 75 or so. I eat pretty much anything I want, but I avoid sugar, and white stuff...whole wheat only. Ok so sometimes it isn't available...like at some restaurants and I may have 1 bite of white bread. But we do not go out much, so it isn't very often. I am going to my sons this weekend for a week and am looking forward to the warm weather and seeing the grand baby. She is 1 1/2 now. Fun age! I pray she remembers us! :-) Feeling good and into a size 8. I own mostly 12 and10's, so that sucks, but I am not buying more until I absolutley have to!..spent too much now...have tons to give away...
On june 15 my daughter is having the RNY surgery. I am excited for her, but scared too. It is a major operation and if anything happened to her, I'd just lose it. She is my baby and I love her more than myself. I feel this way about both my kids, but she is the baby! And she lives at home when she isn't in grad school. We are close. I am excited she thinks the surgery will be good for her. I pray she can do it all. I am not disiplined at all, but she even worse. i have learned to be...you have to be with this, but she is not of my mentality,so i hope she is successful . She has seen what I went thru and wants to be healthier too. She is VERY over weight and sad about her body image. How she let herself get so far overweight. She has many health issues that has made losing weight very difficult. So I pray and ask anyone reading this to pray also, that she is safe before and after surgery and successful on her journey. Best of luck to all of you and God bless! hugs,kim
June 20th, 09 welp..my 1 year was yesterday! yay! I weigh 122ish and just bought my first pair of size 4 's (capri pants) It felt good to be able to do that...but I am not about the size I am. I am about feeling good and being healthy!! My daughter's surgery went well and she is doing great! I am very proud of how well she is doing and dealing with it all. She can get over 60 ounces in already!! I was dehydrating by this time! lol I pray she feels better soon and is as successful as I have been. I pray its as easy for her as it was for me. I love her so much. I want her to be healthy and live a good long happy life. I don't think she would have been happy being so over weight. I wasn't. So, I made it so far...now if I could get passed this darned gas...it really hurts and makes me feel very weak and drained. I am not sure what is causing it. It usually happens when I am bent over for extended peiods of time...gardening usually, but last night I wasn't bent over...lol I just got the bad pain and took some pills to help, then went to bed. But when I get them I can barely move. And I am a pain tolerant person, but these HURT!! okay then...thats all for now. Love to all and God Bless! huggies, Kim
March 25, 2010. End of March already! Can't believe it! I am hoping to get out gardening soon, tho its cold today in Central NY. But the birds are all coming back and the flowers are coming up! I am still at 120 lbs and feel great. Went to Aruba this past January and tho it was a work oriented trip, not many knew me heavy, and it was nice to not feel judged. I wore a dress!! And a bathing suit! lol This is a huge deal to me! I did drink a lil bit...I had say...a pina colada and would drink, say half and then BAM..feel fuzzy...lasted about half hour..then sober..then I would drink the other half! lol I didn't gain weight and I had quite a few drinks every day. Say 4 on average. Not that I am bragging.I don't think one should drink while losing the weight and I know there is a good chance of developing an addiction since I would be trading one vice for another, however, I was never much of a drinker and it was Aruba! Live and have fun! Any way..to get back on track..I am having a few difficulties..I get light headed or fuzzy eyed..can't really describe it. I would say I have a hard time concentrating at times and focusing with my eyes, but not my vision if that makes sense. I don't know what it is, I saw someone post a question about it once and looked for others answers..they said maybe folic acid needed. I will have labs soon to see. I also heard mercury poisoning could be it. And since surgery I do eat a lot of fish scallops and shrimp. Other than that, I do well. I am still a size 4 but I have noticed that since I do not do circuit training anymore, my belly has gotten looser. I weight the same and everything else, but i like to do the ellipticle at the gym to burn calories, but it does nothing for my mid section, so I need to try to add that again. I want to start walking again soon too. As soon as we have 3 days in a row with temps above 60 I am out there! My daughter has lost 121 lbs ..almost to goal. She has another 15 lbs to go. She looks so good. I wish I were her age and having this done. She will be able to do things for the first time in her adult life. I am very proud of her accomplishment with this surgery. I do hope she can make the life style change permanant. I love her very much and am glad to have been a positive influence in her life..finally! One more thing...I run a support group now. I really like helping others. I wish more people came, but in time I am hoping for it to build. Besto f luck to everyone out there! I want everyone to feel as happy as I do! Hugs and God Bless! Kim
p.s. check out my pics of my daughter on here...she looks great!!