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Surgeon TestimonialAlfonso Torquati M.D., MSciI am pleased so far with Dr. Torquati. His staff is wonderful. He went over the risks of the surgery and answered all of my questions without trying to rush me out of the room. I even asked him if he was a praying man and a Christian and he assured me his was. While bedside manner is important to me, I feel like Surgical competence is the most important characteristic when searching for a doctor and I believe Dr. Torquati knows what he's doing. I am very at peace with him being the doctor that God uses to perform this surgery on me. I believe he is Italian, and some may think he is hard to understand, but I didn't have a problem understanding him.
- Crafts - I have recently gotten into rubber stamping. It is alot of fun
- Pets - Yorkie named Ellie Mae(my baby) and a shepherd named Jasimine(Brian's baby)
- Poetry - Love to read poetry. Have even penned a few myself.
- Running & Jogging - I am so looking forward to doing this again. I ran track in high school
- Christianity - I am a Christian and am a member of Bethel Baptist church.
- Married - For going on 21 years to my soul-mate, Brian
TWO YR POST-OP: A TIME OF REFLECTION on February 21, 2008 10:54 am
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I will be two years post-op RNY on March 2. I haven't updated my file in months so I thought I would do some catching up today...
Old me New me
weight 320 weight 135(toggle between 135-142)
pant size 30/32 pant size 6
shirt size 3X shirt size s (4-6)
undies size 13 undies size 6
bra size 44 C bra size 34 B (not happy
about this one, lol)
shoe size 10 wide shoe size 8 regular
I have lost 185 pounds and feel great!! I actually enjoy cleaning my house now! Alot has happened since my surgery..My dear hubby of almost 21 years was critically injured in a motorcycle wreck on his 6 month surgiversary which was September 29, 2006. We spent 83 days in Vanderbilt hospital, and it was very touch and go for a long time. According to medical records, he shouldn't even be alive. He had a ruptured heart and most people with that bleed out at the scene. He is now a paraplegic as a result of the accident. God saw fit to allow me to have him on this earth a while longer. Had it not been for HIS intervention, I would be without my best friend and soulmate. We have come a long way, and still have a way to go, but I know with God's grace, we will be fine! Because of all of the doctor's appointments, I was taken off of my "salaried" position and put on an hourly rate. This has put us in a little bit of a pinch, but you know what? My God has not forsaken us or forgotten us. HE has taken care of us by making sure all of our bills have been met! Then, on October 2007, I lost the other best man in my life, my daddy. I miss him dearly and think about him daily, but again, because of God's grace and promises, I will see him again. I could go on and on, but I have no reason to whine. I am a blessed woman!! I thank God daily that he made a way for me to have this surgery. He knew that today I would be where I am and he knew that I could not have done it weighing in @ 320 pounds. I cannot express in words what God means to me and how much I've learned to FULLY depend upon HIM. He has proven himself to me over and over this last 2 years. People have said to me over and over again about how strong of a person I am and they don't know how I've handled things so well....I haven't...GOD is doing it through me..Before the accident, I only "partly" trusted him with my life. I can assure you that when I got that dreaded call, I gave my life to him 100% and I haven't been the same since. I do want to thank my immediate family, friends (especially Michelle who was my crutch through the critical times) church family, co-workers, Brian's co-workers, total strangers, and of course, my OH family for all of your prayers, well wishes and support. Sorry, if it sounds like I am a preacher's wife (which I am, by the way)but my cup runneth over today. I am so at peace with everything and only wish I could give it to each of you. Please, if you do not know this man called Jesus, search HIM out before it is too late. I have been asked if the surgery was worth it, if i would do it again. My answer to both questions is YES!! Thanks for taking the time to read this "book", and if I can help you in any way, please feel free to call on me! I will try to post some pics soon, I promise! I love you all!
ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY POST on March 29, 2007 11:47 am
I know this is a little late as I actually celebrated my one year anniversary on March 2. However alot has transpired in a year and I wanted to get my thoughts in order before I posted. First let me say that I know my whole profile is not here right now. I will update it as time allows. As some of you know, my husband, Brian, was critically injured in a motorcycle accident on September 29, 2006. That was about our 6 month post-op date. We spent the next 83 days at Vanderbilt hospital. He is now a paraplegic, but THANK GOD I still have him. I do not know why God allowed this to happen, but I know that it was for a reason and I am still trusting Him to live day by day. My hubby is the most important part of me and I don't know how I'd have made it if God had chosen to take him home. By all medical aspects, he should not be here. He had a torn aorta which most people die from before they ever leave the scene of the accident. Of the 10 % that do, only 3 % of those actually make it to the hospital in time. Brian also had various other breaks and fractures. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to adjust to this new lifestyle. I wouldn't trade it for the alternative. I will say that if we'd not had the WLS, he probably wouldn't have pulled through and/or I wouldn't have the energy that it takes to keep going. I am doing my best to take care of him and hold down a full time job. This has not been easy, but again, it sure beats the alternative. I am still 100% happy with my WLS, and can now say I am NORMAL again. Not even overweight, much less morbidly obese, which is where I started on this journey. My starting bmi was 50, now it's 24.4!! I have gone from 30/32 pants down to 10/12. From 3-4X shirts down to S/M. Shoe size has gone from 10W to 8 1/2. I am 6 pounds away from the 150 goal. I have lots more energy. I feel like doing things that I wouldn't even have considered a year ago. Would I do it again??? You betcha, without even batting an eye. I still see myself as big when I look into the mirror sometimes, but I know that is a mind thing. I do have to be careful that I am not doing too much "grazing". I will try to post pics soon, I promise!! I have met all of the goals I set out to meet. I am finally happy with me(except for loose skin issues, LOL). I could not have done it without first of all, my God, who has held me in the palm of His hands, my hubby who is STILL my earthly rock, my family who have been more than supportive, my surgeon, Dr. Torquati, and of course, my obesity family who have given my sound advice and suggestions over the last year. If you are reading this and are thinking about having the WLS, I cannot direct you as only you can make that decision. I can tell you that it is working for me and has been the best thing I have ever done for me. Just be sure you are ready for a lifetime commitment. God bless and keep you all in his care. Hugs!
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APRIL 2006 on April 3, 2006 12:00 am
So sorry I didn't get back on my one month post-op date. I ended up back in the hospital that morning. I was having severe nausea and vomitting. Turns out I had a stricture. Email me if you'd like to know what that is. They had to go in through my throat and dialate my opening to my new pouch. I went in through the ER and ended up staying in the ER all that day and part of the next day as there again were no beds! I felt better immediately after the procedure and went home the day after I went there. Brian is doing great..no complications. Hugs, Donna (2 Kings 20:5)
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MARCH 2006 on March 1, 2006 12:00 am
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March 12, 2006
Just wanted to let everyone know that I am home and am feeling great now. I did have some complications, but they were not related to the surgey itself. I will update more in a day or two. It feels great to finally be sitting on that loser's bench. Thanks for saving me a seat. A special thank you to my angel, Angela. Hugs,
Donna (2 Kings 20:5)
March 13, 2006
Okay...for all you that are just dying to know...here are the details of my surgery as best as I can remember them. I arrived at Vanderbilt medical center and was placed in a holding room. I was given my IV and was allowed to visit with my hubby, daddy and sister until they came after me. They actually came for me a few minutes early which is a rarity. Two hours later the surgery was over and I was back in the holding room because they didn't have a regular room to put me in. I had no pain whatsoever from the operation. Thank you God for hearing and answering my prayer! I was just a little sore and tender where the incisions were. I also was running a low temp, but otherwise felt fine. I was slated to go home the next day, but developed some nausea so they kept me until Saturday. I was so glad to get home and in my bed. I was getting in all protein and liquids and even went to church on Sunday night, one day after being home. Then on Monday I started vomitting. At first I thought I had just drank too fast or too much. But as the evening went on, I got worse. I wasn't being able to hold anything down. On Tuesday morning, it was back to Vandy I go. I was so dehydrated that Dr. T started me on Iv fluids while I was in his office. They ended up admitting me again.
/////(Side note: As they were fixing to get me off the elevator to take me to my room, the elevator didn't stop on the 9th floor as intended; it shot straight to the roof and a message came on and said, "code blue, please exit the elevator." Life flight (air transport) had arrived with a patient and I had to wait for them to get that patient in the elevator and taken to the ER before I could get back on and proceed to my room. The wheelchair escort kept apologizing for me having to wait. I told him it was fine, at least I was sitting up and breathing!)/////
Finally, they determined that it was a intestional flu bug which I caught while at the hospital the first time. They had several patients that had left come back with the same symptoms. They ended up giving me mega bags of potassium, thiacin, magnesium, B-6, B-12, fluids, and I can't remember if there was anything else. I was one sick puppy. I had 5 bags dripping through my IV at the same time. My veins were no where to be found. I ended up with an IV in 3 different spots. They had to take blood from my neck. Keep in mind that I had just had the WLS, got the intestional flu, now throw the monthly cycle in on top of that and you can imagine how I felt. Finally got my discharge orders on Friday.
/////(Side note: When the nurse took out the IV before I left, she stuck a band-aid on it and we thought we were good to go. As I attempted to put on my shoe, I noticed blood on my sock. I looked up at my wrist where the IV had been, and blood was flowing freely, it was everywhere. The nurse took off the band-aid and when she released the pressure, blood spurted all over that side of the room. What makes this funny is the fact that they had such a hard time getting any blood from me when they needed to, and now it's just free-flowing. Go figure!)/////
I think I am back on the right track now, although it is a bit harder for me to get in all of my liquids and protein now. Again, I want to stress that the 2nd hospital stay had NOTHING to do with the surgery itself. So don't let this discourage or scare you if you are considering this surgery. I have already reaped some benefits. I am down 25.5 pounds since the liquid diet. Sometimes I can see it, sometimes I can't. As far as the list of stuff that I needed for the hospital...I only used the chapstick, baby wipes, and my hubby. The MOST IMPORTANT thing you can carry with you is your support person. YOU WILL NEED ONE! Brian was there with me (both times) every step of the way and helped with some major chores that we won't discuss here. Funny thing is it was the little things I needed him for...wetting a wash cloth, brushing my hair, answering the phone, and the list goes on. Brian stood up to the challenge and passed with flying colors. He was at my every call. Every time I moved he was right there asking me what I needed. I only hope I am as much help for him as he was for me. I felt so bad that he had to spend all those nights in a hard chair. It reclined, but it wasn't a recliner. Don't bother asking for a cot, they are not allowed to have them on the 9th floor due to fire codes, at least that is what we were told. You guys please keep Brian in your prayers. He starts his liquid diet Wednesday and his big day is March 23rd.
He almost backed out when he saw what I was going through with the virus. He is ok with it now that he knows it had nothing to do with the WLS. Enough typing for now. Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes. Good luck to everyone regardless of where you are on your journey. Donna (2 Kings 20:5)
March 22, 2006
Hello all. Just thought I'd let everyone know that tomorrow I will be 3 wks post-op and have lost 38.5 lbs. so far! I actually have shin bones that I can see again! I am having a bit of a problem with my energy level. I can do a little something and then have to sit down til I am rested and then try again. Is this normal for 3 wks post-op? They gave me a B-12 shot the last time I was in the hospital but I haven't really noticed any real benefits from it yet. I guess it just takes time. Brian goes for his surgery tomorrow. He has lost 12 lbs. on his liquid diet. Please pray for him that he will have a pain-free uneventful surgery. Good luck to all the March re-births and to those of you still awaiting your approval. Hugs, Donna (2 Kings 20:5)
March 27, 2006
Just a quick drop-in to let everyone know that Brian came through his surgery. He did experience some severe nausea and vomitting. He came home on Saturday and is doing great. I will update more on Thursday which is my one month post-op date. Can't wait to share the news with you all. Good luck to you wherever you are on your WL journey. Hugs, Donna (2 Kings 20:5)
My name is Donna and I am 36 years old. I was not overweight until after I got married. When I married my hubby, Brian, 18 years ago, I weighed a hefty 105 lbs! Right now I am pushing 320 lbs. I cannot tell you when I started gaining, but I believe it was after a major surgery in 1992.
I have a very supportive hubby, Brian. He loves me unconditionally and loves me no matter how big I am. Next to God, he is the best thing that has happened in my life. He constantly tells me how pretty I am and gets upset because I don't feel like I can be pretty looking like I do. I am not happy with me. I have no self-esteem, no self-confidence, and am tired of having to go to the "plus sizes" to buy clothes. I have a hard time believing anybody who tells me I'm beautiful, or I look good. I hate the fact that I can't ride on an airplane without asking for a seatbelt extension. I hate not being able to ride amusement park rides. I hate standing because I am afraid the chair may not hold me. I can't walk far without being out of breath. I cannot climb stairs very good because of constant knee pain. I also suffer from recurrent stress fractures and have been prescribed inserts in my shoes due to fallen arches in my feet. I have just recently been diagnosed as having sleep apnea.
I know that I cannot lose this weight on my own. I have come to the decision that the benefits of the GBS far outweigh the risk for me personally. I have done quite a bit of research and am ready to have the surgery. I am not scared at all. I know God is on my side and whatever happens will be his will. I also know that this is not a magic cure and that it is going to take alot of work and a huge committment. I am not looking for an easy way out, just a jump start to a new life. I am so looking forward to doing things that I won't do now, like dancing, because I think that everyone is staring at me because of how big I am. I have to do this...for myself.