- HEALTH TRACKER
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Raymond L. Drew M.D.
I am a two year post-op patient of Dr. Drew's. Why did I choose him? Well, in my five years of research I compiled information regarding surgeon's, hospitals and staff. I also interviewed with three different surgeons to help me decide who I should put my "Life's hands" in. Dr. Drew and his staff were extemely attentive and thorough!! (A note for his scheduler's would be on the initial visit - schedule more time for him) he is very attentive and spends A LOT of quality time with EACH person which means he may run late.
I choose Dr. Drew and his team because of his experience. I knew in my heart I'd be safe in his hands. His team is amazing and just as attentive and wonderful.
If I had the choice I'd do this surgery (RNY) everyday again with Dr. Drew and his team!!!
Latest Surgery Support Comments
Hi there - I've read 100's of stories here on OH and have found them very helpful in my quest for WLS. I've been heavy yes all of my life. I do want to add that I had and still have the most amazing parents a child could EVER ask for. I also have two amazing sisters that I love dearly. I can not say enough wonderful things about my family and my childhood. God Blessed me with the family I have!!
My First diet was in 3rd grade (WW). I came within 3lbs of my goal then and quit as I thought I was cured. High school I stayed active and had a fun social life. I was teased more in high school than I was in grade school. I knew I was "different" by second grade but I wasn't made to "feel different" by my classmates. I was way harder and meaner (if that's even a word) on myself than any one else was on me. Senior year quit sports in order to work and that was the first time I'd seen a significant weight gain in a short amount of time. After high school I went to school for massage therapy. Loved it, but wasn't emotionally ready to have that kind of career where I needed to give of myself 100% of the time. I wasn't mature enough really. Ended up waitress/bartending and met a nice fella. I moved to southern MN for almost 3 years. I was away from family and friends and was bored out of my mind and my only comfort was food. This was in 1999-2001. In 1999 I was also diagnosed with PCOS but was not given any direction. My triglycerides were also really high but again was not given any direction. (I look back and wish I would have taken a bigger investment in my health at that time) At that same appointment I had asked the doc why the area between my legs were so dark and she said because I was too heavy and my thighs rubbed together. After deciding the relationship in Southern MN would not go well I moved back home in Sept. 01 right before my sisters wedding. Looking at the photo's from that wedding I believe I was around 280-290lbs. I started a new job OCT of 2001 and met some great people including my boss at the time. He decided he needed to get back to the gym and I decided I wanted to be his partner at the gym. We worked out every night for almost 2 hours focusing more on the weight lifting since he was a guy and I hated cardio at the time. I lost approx. 40lbs working out hard and I mean hard. In April of 2002 I put up 235lbs on the bench press. I wanted to be able to lift my own weight and I did it but with consequence. I herniated a disk in my low back from that lift as well as softball practice that evening when I was hitting pop-flies to my girls. I cut way back at the gym and maintained the 230lbs until Nov. I remember the owner of my company betting me $500 if I could lose 30lbs before Thanksgiving. I never lost another pound. 2002-beginning of 2003 I did well with maintaining and enjoyed life tremendously - probably a little too much if you get my drift. I felt good and at 230 I looked good. At my five year HS reunion (July 03) I was probably 240-250lbs I reunited with an old friend - he told me he was going to marry me that night and I believed him and in Sept. 2005 we tied the knot. I was back up 260-270. In Nov. 2005 I met someone who had had the BPD/DS and boy did that get my attention. I dove into research and was gun-ho to have this surgery. It sounded way too good to be true. I went through it all to get approved the 3mo. diet. The psych eval. the appointment with the surgeon etc. DENIED. I was determined so I appealed. DENIED - again and again DENIED. I wasn't heavy enough, I had Medica ins. and their requirement for this surgery was a BMI of 55 or above. I knew this going in but still thought with all of my information I would be able to win the battle. I was wrong. November 2006 I believe depression sunk in. I was never clinically diagnosed with it but I believe this is when it truly hit me. I went and visited my pastor at church - what a great man, set me on a path of spiritual healing. I also decided to seek counseling with a wonderful woman. I made a pact that I would try again on my own and not seek the surgery, instead put all of the time and effort I had spent appealing the surgery into discovering what made me tick and getting healthy both physically, mentally and emotionally. I decided that surgery was not an option and it would not be an option for me unless it was determined that there was something medically wrong where it would be nearly impossible for me to lose the weight and keep it off. I also invested myself into a new OB/GYN. Jan. 07 I met with her. I explained some of the symptoms I had been having and we did the physical and standard blood work etc. July 07 - depression hit me again and something fierce. I couldn't believe that I was feeling so hopeless when I had so much in my life to be thankful for. Part of my problem is I am way to hard on myself. I felt guilty for feeling hopeless and sad, I thought I was just a sorry excuse for a Christian and human being for having these feelings when life is SOOOOO good. I decided this was not like me at all and took my mom with me to my OB/GYN. This is where things started coming together for me. We did a ton of blood work and found I was low on Vit D and B12. I started taking those immediately and within a week the sense of hopelessness was gone for me. She also suggested I see and endocrinologist. This was the turning point in my life. When I went to see her with my mom, she looked at me and grabbed my hands and said sweetheart how can you NOT be depressed with all of these things going on. I started growing facial hair on my chin and neck, I was putting weight on in my belly area. The dark area of my thighs were darker and I was now getting dark rings around my neck and areas under my breast and arm pits. I have never had regular periods ever, tried all the hormone therapy for that and was not able to tolerate it. On top of all of this my emotions were a disaster and I was a mess. Blood work revealed high triglycerides, low good chl. high bad chl. DHEA askew and insulin levels out of whack. I say it was pivotal simply because all of these things that were wrong were NOT in my head. I was validated by this doctor and the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders. I also had some pretty negative thoughts about the doctor who 7 years earlier told me the dark patches were because my thighs rubbed together. I have insulin-resistance which is caused by the lack of function in my ovaries which is caused by PCOS. I had renewed faith in myself and my health and how I would attack obesity. Needless to say it was a pivotal year for me emotionally but not physically. 07 and 08 were not my years to get physically healthy. Nov. 08. 290ish lbs. deer hunting or sitting in a lawn chair in a field waiting for a deer to walk by. My husband and I get into a tiff about my weight and it's the first time he supports WLS for me. I didn't like the way we got to this point but hearing that he was "okay" with me having the surgery gave me what I needed to look back into it. I felt guilty for not being able to do it by myself but also renewed in admitting I needed the help, tool and jump start to get this weight off. Because Medica still had the BMI requirement of 55, I decided to pursue the RNY. This in itself was a difficult decision as I was pretty set on the BPD/DS. I wanted the high malabsorbtion for the simple fact that I wouldn't be held as accountable for what I put in my mouth. Don't get me wrong now with the DS you are still accountable for many things and I was willing to be accountable for those things as I felt that it would better fit my life style. I also have to admit though that with the BPD/DS I wanted to keep my life style as similar as it was at the time, I also feared re-gaining the weight and with the BPD/DS I had more security in maintaining. I was lying to myself BIG TIME about what WLS is, what it means and what it means to me and my lifestyle. Boy I had myself fooled before. I was ready to be truthful to myself. Here is the end of 08 and the beginning of 09 and the start of the rest of my life. Dec. 11th. met with a Psychologist to start the evaluation process. Dec. 18th went to a seminar in Shakopee with Judy Schwartz from Abbott. Dec. 22nd met with the dietitian, Dec 23rd met with Dr. Drew. January 4th second visit with Psychologist and review of the eval. January 15th Abbott receives evaluation approval. January 16th Abbott sends off info to Medica. I met with my mom for lunch on Jan. 28th. I voiced my fear of weight regain. We discussed my "failed" attempts in the past and the "why" I failed. I truly never had it click for me why I have never lost more than 40lbs and then why I never kept off those 40lbs. It wasn't because the program didn't work, it's because I didn't work the program. I think of the program or life-style change as a wagon. I ride the wagon for awhile and then I fall off. The part where I personally failed in the past is I thought that fall was 500 feet down and it wasn't worth the climb back up to the wagon so I said to heck with it. Then the past few years I never even got on the wagon at all as I simply convinced myself that history would repeat itself and why do I want to go through all that again. That SHAME, that FAILURE, that DISGUST. What a light bulb lunch that was for me to recognize what has been keeping me from being successful in MANY MANY aspects of my life, not just weight loss. The failure doesn't come when you fall which literally is only a couple of feet, it's the failure to jump back on. You only fail when you quit trying, or shall I say. "I only fail when I quit trying". I felt like I was in a 12 step program and made it passed the first step of admittance, what a sense of Joy to take that step. January 29th - the day after my light-bulb moment. Krista calls from Abbott. I've been approved. A coincidence - I THINK NOT. Join me in my journey and follow along as I go - thank you for all the support from my family, and beautiful friends. Without you and my faith in my Almighty Father this would not be possible.