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Surgeon TestimonialAndrew Aldridge M.D., F.A.C.S.My experiance with Dr. Aldridge, Dr. Berger and thier staff was nothing less that amazing. The first time I spoke with them on the phone to begin the process I spoke with Betsy who was informative, friendly, and very encouraging. She told me to join them at a informational seminar that they do every 2nd Tuesday of each month. Then told me what kind of information I would need to gather for my Insurance and where to download the paperwork for thier office. I went to the session with everything in hand and ready to be turned in. The session was quite informative and even had a few of their patients that had gone through the proceedure share thier experiances. After that they had a q&a with the Doctor's and staff for more personally specific questions.
A day or two after the session I recieved a call from Betsy to schedule my meetings with the Nutritionist & Bariatrician. I had those meetings then I was scheduled for a Psych eval, second meeting with the Nutritionist & Bariatrician. Once that was complete I then had a informational class and was scheduled for surgery. During this time I met with the surgeon to discuss my surgery, health conditions and Gall Bladder problems. He and his staff kept me informed, comfortable, and were ready, willing and able to answer any questions I had. They were always cheerful, courteous, and efficient. This in itself set me quite at ease. I would reccomend Flagstaff Surgical Associates Dr. Aldridge and Flagstaff Medical Centers Bariatric Program to anyone that is considering Weight Loss Surgery.
Thank you to all of them for helping me in my journey to save, improve and enjoy my life.
At the end of this update page it suggests that negative experiances are somehow necessary to validate my experiance...I disagree, and in my case there was no negative experiance involved unless you want to include the delay of my surgery of two weeks to re-address some health concerns the doctor had not yet cleared up...but I see that as a positive not a negative.
Update: I had my surgery on 2/22/2010 I have lost 132 lbs and frankly would not change a thing. I still have not seen, or felt any negatives with my experiance. I would not change a thing. The support and encouragement from the staff at FMC, FMC Bariatrics and Flagstaff Surgical Associates is nothing less than amazing and very genuine. They are available to you as often as you need, for as long as you need. The support groups are informative and a great go to resource for your ever changing body and needs.
Thank you for providing me the tools, support, and knowhow to succeed in this journey, and Thank you for helping save my life.
Starting over on April 4, 2013 7:39 am
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So depressingly enough I have gained back some of my weight. With some illness (Not WLS related) and lots of medications interfering with my ability to maintain my weight, as well as inactivity due to my illness, I have struggled the last couple of years. I had all but given up on trying to work on my weight let alone just simply living day to day but for a strong family support system kicking me in the hiney and telling me to get it together, I am going to give it a shot again.
10 1/2 months and 129 lbs lost! Woo Hoo! on January 1, 2011 1:42 am
Well, it has been 10 1/2 months since I had my surgey, and I have lost 129lbs. It for me has been a relatively easy and flawless process. I have had many ahh haa moments and lots of encouragement from family and friends. So as I begin this New Year I decided to share some of my thoughts, concerns ect... with you.
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So when I started out this journey, I did not really have a major choice to make on whether or not to have gastric bypass. At the age of 41 I had diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, living on oxygen, Sleep Apnea, Asthma, depression, High Colesterol, blood clot in my brain, cronic common illness' plagued me, major joint and back pain, mobility issues, and cronic headaches. My doctors told me that if I did not lose the weight, I was going to die. They said that for me to be 295 lbs in itself can cause problems, but with my health history he would be surprised if i made it through the year 2010. So my choices were lose the weight, or die. So, I sought out a surgeon, and had the surgery 3 months later. So,10 1/2 months later I have cronic headaches (due to a issue not related to weight), and thats about it...sooooo when people ask me do I regret having the surgery? Um hello.....NOT ONE BIT!!!
Here are 10 things that I want to share with you because I think they are either important and / or I was not prepared for in my journey:
1. I am cold all the time. I love that I have lost this weight and still plan on losing the aditional 26 lbs, however I have found that as a thinner person my fat did serve one good purpose...insulation!!!! In the big scheme of things, I would rather be cold than face the health issues caused by obesity that I was already dealing with. Besides...the fact that my hubby is warm and snuggling up to him next to a nice warm fire is always good for the soul. :-).
2. Constipation is a new and probably permanent part of my lifestyle. I knew it could be an issue, but always thought it would be temporary and infrequent. However this was just not the case...I take two Senna-S daily to keep myself regular. I get more than 64 oz of water daily so it is not due to dehydration. So in addition to my daily vitamins I take the Senna-S and probably will for a very long time to come...if not for life. Just another supplement to my long list of vitamins...lol.
3. You will need to purchase clothing regularly...Savers is a great place for that and every Monday they have thier grey tag 99 cent sales...I have bought several pairs of jeans that were nice and in style for 99 cents. They also have 50% off on one other color tag on Monday's as well...the kicker is that if you are going to go on a Monday to take part in the sales...be prepared to be there for a minimum of an hour because it takes time to go through all the clothes on the racks.
4. You will lose some hair, for me the saving grace was Taking my vitamin suppliments, also taking Biotin & keeping up on your protien, and water intake were the only way to slow down the hairloss. They tell you that you will lose hair, but guess what...it is not limited to your head. Boy was I shocked when I realized I lost hair elsewhere. I guess it makes sense...but I just didn't think about it that way. Sorry if this was too much information but this is a forum for learning so I figure I should go for the WHOLE truth. The other things that I have had to adjust too and it has been dificult..people I have known for years, but don't see regularly...don't always recognize you. The skin on my face is also sagging a bit and really loose, I cannot wear my wedding bands anymore, nor does it seem plausable to have them fixed to fit me until I reach my goal, Sleeping was a bit of a challenge as I no longer have my belly to contend with...so it makes sleeping on your stomach a whole new adventure and for the last one if you thought the above was too much information skip this next paragraph as it may be to graphic for you.
Graphic part begining...
So one of the other things that has been interesting is sex...your man may be well endowed, and sex may have been gratifying for you, your sex life may have been really quite satisfying prior to surgery. However, with your body changes there are some adjustments you might not be prepared for...first your energy level and desire for sex may increase, you may become more fertile *so be careful in the birth control area, but the one thing I didn't think about was the loss of fat in your personal area causing additional length to contend with. This said...look out, take it easy and don't hurt yourself, and if you are both losing weight well it is the same issue times two.
Graphic part ended...
5. Your doctors tell you that you need to exercise and maintain your muscle tone. What I did not realize was just how little muscle tone I had. My fat was holding my joints together, and as I lost it I began to have joint pain much more severe than I had before. I ended up dislocating my hip and one of my shoulders. So don't just maintain the muscle tone you have, build more as you exercies because your weightloss means you don't have the fat there to hold your body together anymore. Just a reminder Muscle weighs more than fat so when you are building muscle your weight loss may slow a bit, but it is important to build those muscles.
6. When you lose weight you lose it everywhere. No part of the body is excluded...even your feet, my feet have seriously shrunk in size, and amazingly I have gotten a little shorter. I am sure that is also because my feet have lost weight, as well as my head, but it was definately a shocker to notice it when I stood next to my children...they are all adults and I am about a full inch shorter than I have been for the last 20+ years.
7. Hormonal dumping...I am 42 years old and for about 3 months I thought I was begining menapause. I am always cold but I started getting these intense hot flashes, where I was sweating and just flat nauseus for a couple of minutes out of the blue...then back to the normal being cold. These spells got more and more frequent and finally I was told that it is basically excess hormones being stored in fat need to be dumped out of your system, thus the false menapause. I realize now that it is false because for the last couple of weeks...nothing but cold.
8. Just because one person has a symptom, issue, success, failure, ect... does not mean you will. Every person is different, and although some things can be predicted in your weightloss journey, most things cannot. Some people dump, others do not. Some people get moody and others do not. Ect... Don't let people bring you down, be overly criticle, or even stick thier noses in where you don't want them. Remember why you chose to have the surgery...it was not for vanity (although your will catch yourself looking in the mirror more frequently..it is just a perk to the real reason), it was not to make weight loss easy (because even though the weight comes off fast it is far from easy to change your entire lifestyle) ... it was for you to feel better about your health, self and well being. Don't lose site of that and all will be ok.
9. People think that by keeping it a secret it will keep people from asking questions...Wrong! You are publicly going to lose weight very fast. People are going to notice and ask! If you tell them it is none of thier business...well they will come up with thier own reasons...they will think you are sick, dying, on drugs, anorexic, suffering from serious depression, ect...and if you are not careful...if they truly care they may want to start an intervention process out of concern for your health. Because lets face it, no diet and exercise program out there will make you lose weight as fast as this surgery does. So the best solution is to tell the truth and deal with it. You will get good and bad opinions that is ok...but be aware that there are negative nellies (people who will just keep comming at you negatively and destructively over and over) ...just tell them they are entitled to thier own opinions but they are not entitled to push them on you and frankly you don't want to hear it. Surround yourself with the positive people and avoid the negative nellies. I do caution you though, if a person has a concern and expresses that to you or simply does not agree that does not make them a negative nellie...it is when they become obsessive and overbearing, and emotionally abusive and destructive about it that I would consider them a negative nellie.
10. Number Ten and the biggie... It is ok to be shocked by your body, to learn about it, to learn it's physical and emotional limits, strengths, and weakness'. Because the weight comes off so fast your adjustment is non-existent. So try to take the time out to become reaquainted with yourself. You will change both physically and emotionally many times over the next year. Take some ME time at least once a week to go into the bathroom strip naked and look in the mirror. Get a journal and put it and a pen next to your bed and another one on your desk, and write how your doing each day. Good, bad or indifferent, tomorrow will be a new you. Whether you are a man or a woman you will experiance physical changes and hormonal changes which cause emotional changes. Realize that no major changes in relationships should be made until a minimum of a year after you have reached your goal (unless there is physical violence in the relationship...then get out now) and if you have plastic surgery...the time clock starts up again...1 year after you are healed from the surgery. The reason is that when you go through a major emotionally life altering or physical altering change you and your partner have to adjust to the new you. With weightloss you are changing so much that you cannot expect your partner to not have adjustment issues...you are, so it is common sense that they are as well. If ongoing changes are still happening you have to let the dust settle before you can be sure ending or altering a relationship is for the best...that is why you need to wait a year after the dust settles before you consider relationship changes. I have been fortunate so far that my relationship is stable and I never take it for granted...but I have seen my best friends sister totally drop off the deep end, she had the lap band and after reaching goal she had a breast augmentation shortly after that and a day apart from each other her mother died and her best friend committed suicide...3 months later she decided to give up her marriage, push off her kids (she has 5 of them) on her soon to be ex, and start acting like a 20 year old when she is 40. Partying, hanging out with groups of men and women in their 20's. She will look you in the face and tell you that she has no issues with her husband...he is a good man that would do anything for her, but she wanted to be free and she liked the attention she was getting from others, she has also ended her friendships with many people and her relationship with her sisters and other family members has become strained because of her odd behavior. I tried to explain what I did above to her and she refuses to discuss it with me. She is not someone I have known for just a couple of years I have known her for about 25 years. So when I tell you this I tell you from the heart...let the dust settle before you make a relationship change because you may regret it in the long run as I firmly believe she will. She was always a responsible, loving, kind person who was committed to her husband and her children. Now, I don't know who she is, but what I do know is that she is making decisions that when her dust settles may be devistating and will be life altering in themselves.
I suggest you develop a routine to keep you anchored and steady. Here is an example of my routine:
Every morning I get up, use the facilities, then I strip and get on the scale. I view myself in the mirror and start my mind to thinking of how I feel about who I was yesterday, who I am today, and who do I want to be tomorrow. As I start my shower I continue to build my daily expectations, make a mental list of what my thoughts, concerns, success', and failures are so that I can discuss them with my husband later that day, after he goes off to work, I take the time write my thoughts in my journal so I don't forget them. Throughout the day I jot down thoughts that I would like to discuss at some point with him...not always weightloss related, or even that important, but it keeps the lines of communication open. Sometimes when we talk I tell him there are no changes from the previous day...sometimes there are major changes from the previous day...but I also make sure to ask him how he is doing, feeling, and dealing with things, because he is an important part of our partnership and his thoughts, concerns, success' and failures matter also. Every night from 8:30 pm to 9:00 pm the TV's/ Computers/ phones go off and we have US time to just talk. Every Friday at 6:00 pm we balance our checkbook together and discuss finances. Every other Saturday is Date night. We do a lot of things that are not structured, and that is important, but life is so busy that if we don't put at least some of it on our schedule/Calendar and follow through with those schedules time flies by and months and years later you are asking yourself why is it that you don't talk to each other and your lives are so separate.
I suggest you come up with your own routine, but that is what we do to keep ourselves/myself anchored and the lines of positive and proactive communication open.
So those are my top ten thoughts and ramblings for the begining of the year 2011. Happy New Years to you, I hope these help you and I wish you a prosperous, happy, successful, healthy and fun year to come!
9 months post op and time for an update. on November 7, 2010 2:59 am
Well folks the time has flown and it has been nine months. I have lost 120 lbs. I weigh 175 lbs and have 35 more lbs to lose, however if I never lost another pound I would happy, so from here on out it is just a bonus.
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For the most part I have been very lucky and this process has been fairly easy. I watch what I eat still, and read, read, read the labels on everything. I do have one weakness food wise and that is Goldfish crackers. So I do indulge occasionally on those, but as for the rest I do very well.
So i did state that for the most part it has been fairly easy so hear are my down side issues...
My biggest challenge has been constipation, it does not matter how much I drink, my body just is inevitably and permanently constipated...sorry if that is too much information. I have tried a multitude of solutions and frankly I just live with a twice daily dose of Senna-s with a weekly enema to take care of the rest. So if anyone has any suggestions please by all means I will give it a shot.
Another issue seems to be sagging skin. I know we all deal with this but the worst for me coping with has been the sagging of the skin in my face. The wrinkles around my mouth are becoming quite pronounced/deep, and my upper eye lids are drooping very badly, and I don't know if there is anything I can do about it. I do have lots of sagging skin all over but I can hide it pretty easily...but my face is a different story. Any suggestions???
Lastly, I cannot wear my wedding bands any longer because my fingers are too small and they fall off... I guess that isn't really a super bad thing but I do feel wierd not wearing them.
The rest has been fun and positive. I have experianced the giggles at times when I can look down and see my toes, or put on a size 11-12 pants. I find that I desire to do my hair and makeup which I have not made an effort to do regularly in 20 years. So my self esteem is definately improving.
Savers has become one of my favorite stores to browse through for clothes purchases because I flat refuse to buy anything new as I won't be able to wear it for long.
I was worried with all the stories of marital discourse following major weightloss for my marriage, but amazingly I see no changes in our relationship. We have talked a couple of times about our concerns, his being I will get skinny and not want him anymore...and mine being I will get skinny and he won't want me anymore (he married me when I was at my biggest). Frankly we have stayed strong and one of the things the surgery has done for us is we communicate much better now because we agreed prior to surgery to bluntly discuss our concerns as they arose and that is exatly what we have done.
I still have my headaches, and I am still working on healing those, but otherwise I am doing very well. Thank you all for your support. It has been and continue to be an amazingly exciting and positive journey.
So that is my update...I wish you all well
Time for another update... on May 3, 2010 6:08 am
Well, I went through a month long stall that I associate with a downword spiral of health issues (non-WLS related). Between getting a bad cold, having a brain angiogram, severe headache, and general mental funk, I did not meet my dietary and fluid needs regularly, I fell way short.
I still have this headache that never seems to go away (again not wls related), and it is frustrating and very hard to deal with on a daily basis, I know I need to walk daily despite it. After almost 2 years with this headache you would think I would be used to it, but frankly I am not and it does wear on a person at times, and definately interferes with daily functions of life. It sure can consume you if your not careful.
That said, I am back on track with my goals and the stall seems to be broken. I realize how important it is to make your goals for your protiens, fluids, vitamins and exercise, the rest kinda just falls into place. Once I started making these four goals again the weight just started falling off again.
I cannot express how important it is to meet those four specific goals. Protien, fluids, vitamins, exercise.
Good Luck to everyone!
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Phone application syncs with computer for tracking... on April 14, 2010 10:59 am
I have the Motorola Droid, so my app might be a bit different than what you would use, but the website is called fatsecret.com, you need to register…it is a free site, I was not able to find the link for phone apps easily, so here is the direct link for instructions for the phone… fatsecret.com/connected I love this site and the phone app. With my droid I can actually scan upc codes to get nutritional info as well as direct entering items. It keeps track of calories used/burned, calorie counts, protein counts, fat counts, carb counts, weight tracker and an exercise diary. You can sync it with your online account and it sends data from online to your phone and visa versa.
I stumbled upon this while playing with my phone and I feel like I hit the jackpot…lol.
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Quick update. on April 6, 2010 9:36 am
Well, I am hoping that todays weightloss begins the end of my stall. I have not lost any weight for the last week or so, I attribute that to my lack of proper nutrients, fluid and exercise as I have been sick. I truely am loving my antibiotics right now.
I had to reschedule Mondays Brain Angeogram due to illness and they will be doing that on April 19th now. I am still quite nervous about being awake for the proceedure, but I know it is necessary, hopefully I won't remember it.
Because my body is still somewhat of a foreign object to me in what, when, how much I can eat, it has been an interesting and constantly changing adventure.
I have also noticed that my body rebels against itself a bit, I think it is releasing some of the toxins that it has retained in fat, because I have noticed I am breaking out with acne like a teenager, and of course if I touch any of the acne spots they turn into this discusting mess of a sore...so I am learning..don't touch!! I know that is TMI, but hey this site is for learning, and I think people should know that is a possibility.
The other thing I have noticed is that I apparently don't have enough muscle tone to compensate for the loss of fat that was holding my body together... All of my joints ache as well as my tail bone does not have the cushion it used to and feels like it is broken.
As for my suppliments I take Centrum Silver Chewables twice daily, Slow release elemental Iron once daily (remember not to take this with the calcium), Citrical petites 2 tablets twice daily, biotin 5000mcg once daily, and B-12 2500 sublingual once daily. I keep Papaya Enzyme on hand for emergency food blockage but so far I have not had a need to use it, so I could not tell you how well it works.
If I had to evaluate at this stage if I would do it all over again the answer would be a resounding yes. Although I have had some of the issues above I know that they are temporary and well worth the potential outcome. I am still hoping for a resolution to my severe headaches.
Food has been a best friend to many of us, a boredom resolver for some of us, and frankly a mood altering substance for most of us. Do I at times miss some of the things I cannot eat anymore?? Absolutely, but I make it my challenge to find a healthier substitue that fits the dietary guidelines or an exercise that will take my mind off of it. That challenge seems to be a good replacement for those times that I really miss specific types of food.
Well that is my quick update, I am wishing you all well, and success with your weightloss adventure! Take care!
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Post surgery update. on March 26, 2010 8:08 am
Well I was told it is time for me to update my profile and let everyone know how things went. Ironically I was stalling and not doing this update because I had heard some tough recovery stories and knowing my own health issues I kept waiting for the doom and gloom to happen...I am a just over a month out now and so far so good.
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February 22nd, 2010 I got to the hospital after having my surgery canceled just two weeks before and was a bit nervous that something would happen and we would not be able to move forward, but things went smoothly.
The Dr. Aldridge came in to see me, went over what he and the neurologist had discussed again, and asked me if we had any other questions. Then he shook my hand said we are set to go and he would see me again when I woke up after surgery.
The surgery was both the RNY and a Gall Bladder removal, the proceedure went picture perfect and it seemed like only a couple of seconds to me and I was out of surgery. I don't remember recovery at all and the next thing I know I am in my hospital room.
I was up and walking within a couple of hours and the pain was minimal. Surgery was on Monday and Wednesday I went home with a fist full of pain meds. I ended up only taking 1/2 of a pain med and that was it for me, no more after that, I felt much better when I was of the pain meds. Friday my hubby and I went to the club to walk on the treadmill, and we have walked daily since then.
The only bump in the road along the way...I did develop a rash on my tummy that the doc's think was a delayed alergic reaction to meds and tape...I am aparently alergic to most of the pain meds they gave me in the hospital and the tape on the steri strips, based on the way the rash appeared and my symptoms of itchiness after taking the pain meds.
That said, it has been the only bump in the road so far.
I still have the neurological symptoms and headaches that I had prior to the surgery, but it is still my hope that the weightloss will help decrease some of that. I go have another surgery on my brain on 4/5/2010, to determine if my stents are doing well, and what the next course of action will be. So that is just around the corner, I am quite nervous about this proceedure as they are planning on keeping me awake for it...they are doing a angiogram, they go up through my femoral artery, through my heart and into my head...I really don't want to be awake or even remember any of that. So I am a bit anxious about it. When they placed the stents in my head they knocked me out...ugh I am nervous!
At any rate back to WLS... So I started out pre-surgery at 295lbs and lost 21 lbs before sugery. Surgery day I was 274 lbs, and today 1 month +4 days after surgery I weigh 234 lbs for a post-surgical loss of 40 lbs.
At first I had a hard time getting all my protien and fluids in, but now I am doing very well at this. I know there will be stalls and slowdowns during the process but I think I am prepared for that.
All in all the surgery went much smoother and less painful than I expected, and I could not be happier with the choice to have this done. I am posting my 1 month picture update, although I can see the change in my face, I don't see it elsewhere, my family says they CAN see it though.
I wish you all the best!
My surgery has been rescheduled and the new date... on February 17, 2010 3:47 pm
Well after having last weeks surgery cancelled, we have cleared things up with my neurologist and my new date is this comming Monday 22nd of February! I am sooooo excited!
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Keeping my fingers and toes crossed! on February 16, 2010 12:48 pm
Well I talked to my surgeon today and he said that we might be able to do my surgery on the 22nd of this month. That is this comming Monday, after last Monday's attempt I need all the support and prayers I can get! I will find out for sure tomorrow if they are going to be able to do it then or if it will be another month before it gets done. I have my fingers and toes crossed as well as praying, maybe I will knock on some wood. Does anyone else have any ideas on what else I should be doing to make this happen!!!! Aaauggghh, I thought the first time was bad now I am on pins and needles!
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Pouting, Depression & Poor-me's on February 9, 2010 8:01 pm
Well, I took a day of pouting, depression, and poor me's, but I finally have myself pulled back up by the boot straps and ready to tackle this task again.
I will call the Doc tomorrow and see if he has spoken to my neurologist yet, and find out what the next step is.
They are wanting to be careful and I appreciate that, because I just had a surgery on my brain in August of 2009 due to a blood clot in my Left Transverse Sinus. They put in three stents and it has only been 6 months since that was done. The next surgery is the same as the stenting surgery only they are not putting stents in place they are viewing the current stents and checking pressures in my brain. This will put me back on Plavix and Asprin for another 6-12 months. So if the delay is going to be longer than the two weeks, I am going to go ahead with my brain surgery and re-address the Gall bladder and Bariatric surgery a year or so from now, I hope my Gall bladder will hold out until then if that is the case.
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I am a 41 year old female that has been morbidly obese for the last 20 years. When I developed a spontanious spinal fluid leak in June 2008. It made me extremely ill and it took a while to diagnose. I ended up being told I needed to see a neurologist, and the neurologist here in Flagstaff was on vacation for a month, after being seen a FMC multiple times I ended up seeing the nearest neurologist in Prescott. He hospitalized me in Prescott and told me I had menengitis...which was an incorrect diagnosis, and after a week of every test under the sun being run on me to no avail he sent me to Barrows Neurological / St. Josephs in Phx.
I was again hospitalized for a week and after determining that my spinal fluid pressure was very low, they did a blood patch above my spine in hopes of clotting whatever was leaking...it was amazing, within seconds of the proceedure I felt great...got out of the hospital and went back to work the next day. By the end of that week I was miserably sick again along with some additional neurological issues ie: memory loss, balance, hearing and vision changes. So they thought I had another leak...tried a blood patch again and nothing.
They started comparing the scans from before the first proceedure and the second proceedure and determined that I had developed a blood clot in my brain. Six months of blood thinners and other medications later no changes...since the clot was stable they opted to treat my symptoms and leave the clot alone...nothing seemed to work and after several months of trying, many hospitalizations in phx and me finally getting tired of having had a headache for over a year they decided to remove the clot and put a stent in my head. Well they could not safely remove the clot so they put three stents over the top of it. They did that Aug 20, 2009. They had to do the surgery laproscopically by going up through my femoral artery up through my heart into my brain.
When they unplugged the dam in my head, it seemed to cause a plethura of other problems...Since the surgery I developed hypoactive thyroid, high blood pressure and pulmonary hypertension. I came back to Flagstaff and ended up in the cardiac wing at FMC with congestive heart failure for another week until my heart rate stopped dropping down to 28 and low 30s. So now all of that has been or is being treated, I still have to sleep with oxygen and sometimes I still need oxygen during the day.
The headaches have changed...I seem to have a couple of days a week where I don't have a headache at all and when I do get them they seem to only be on the right side of my head and behind my left eye... they still get pretty severe, and I am still having memory lapses and balance problems intermittently. So I just went in Saturday to have my head scanned again so they can determine if I have developed another clot. Which is possible as one of the things they also discovered is that I have a genetic blood clotting disorder called factor five leiden..meaning .I clot too easily...so I live on daily doses of plavix and asprin among other medications.
I bruise very easily because of the anti-coagulants so I look frequently like someone has beat the tar out of me, and of course you know how clutzy I am...I dropped a shampoo bottle on my foot in the bathroom and bruised the whole top of my foot, stubbed my toe on a chair leg and looked like I had broke three of my toes by the time it quit throbbing...bumped a wall with my arm..oh yeah that one was pretty...made the mistake of clapping during the football game and bruised my finger...bumped a box at my best friend Lisa's house and got a horrible bruise on the side of my leg...yeah the bruising part is very frustrating...lol
I also started getting sick and having major abdominal pain and they determined that I have a gall bladder that is failing so I have to have it removed sometime in the near future... but because I have to have bariatric surgery they were waiting to do both at the same time.
So needless to say that my health sucks and I am doing everything I can to get that corrected...It all sounds pretty daunting but I have a great support system so I don't get down very often and definately not for very long.
It is difficult to plan things because from day to day my health and ability to accomplish things changes. It is funny because some days I need oxygen and / or a walking cane for balance just to get around and others I don't need either one.
I also have to have the same brain surgery again, but this time it is just to check the pressures in my brain they will not be putting any more stents in place. We will probably do that a couple of months after the Roux-en-Y / Gall bladder surgery. At any rate my Roux-en-Y / Gall bladder surgery is scheduled for February 8, 2010.
I am quite excited about the idea of being able to move better and enjoy my family more. I am a bit scared because of the high risk considering my health history, but it is either this or die a slow miserable death. I chose to live a long happy one.