- HEALTH TRACKER
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David C. Voellinger, MD, FACS, FASMBS
Dr. V is wonderful. He does really care about his patients. Many of his staff members have already had the surgery so the whole office is great. Having \"been there\" makes them particularly sensitive to what you are going through. They really want EVERYONE to succeed and that shows in their participation in support groups and in office offerings of products one would usually have to wait for an internet order on. I couldn't have asked for a better surgeon or supporting staff than SEB.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
According to my mother, my weight problem did not start to develop until around age 5. When the subject comes up, I tell people I have been fat since birth. I have always been the fat kid and I don't remember a time when I was anything else. I grew up with an older brother who sheilded me from a lot of the teasing, but he also dished out teasin of his own. When I was young I was painfully shy. I did what I could to stay off the radar. We never had a whole lot of money as we were raised by our single mother and my dead beat father did little to nothing for us. Even his every other weekend visists had dried up by the time I was 5. I grew up your average quiet fat kid. I always had good grades. The other kids were always happy to talk to me during class, but after class I never had more than just a few friends. We also moved around a bit, so that did not help matters much either. I could go through and list all fo the different things I had tried to loose weight, but those stories are all the same. A long list of minor triumphs and major disappointments. Most kids didn't have to worry aobut thse things. At lunch they were eating cupcakes and chips. I had fruit and pretzels. I was always a singer, but only as part of the chior where I could blend in with everybody else. The other girls groaned about how ugly the dresses were. I tried to hid the fact that mind had to be made by somebody's mother or sepcial ordered. There was no denying that I was different from the other girls.
Nothing really changed about that all the way up through high school. My friends all had boyfriends, I was everybody's "little sister". Guys that I had crushes on would come to me to ask me how to ask out my best friends. I was always a friend, never a girlfriend. As I got into my Junior year, I got tired of being a wall flower. I got tired of being less than a person and at the same time I discoverd Lane Bryant. I no longer had to dress like I was a 3rd grade school teacher. I had a choice. At that point, I started to accept myself the was that I was. This was a long process that still goes no today. But I took my first steps out of the shadows and stopped thinking that I deserved anything less than what everybody else got. Prior to this I had been so painfully shy that I would not even wear the color red because it drew too much attention to me. I started doing what I wanted to do, not what people wanted me to do. I acceptied that I was never going to be like the other girls, but I had to make the best of the hand that I was dealt. Anybody who has ever tried to travel this road knows that it is a bumpy road filled with setbacks, but I was determeined to do it.
Gradually, my self worth and self esteem grew. I could drive, I had a handful of close friends who seemed to value my freindship. I even had a boyfriend(future husband). He liked me despite my size. I graduated with a 3.75 G.P.A. (not too shabby). I was married by the age of 19 and owned my own home that same year too. I was a size 24 by then and the husband still liked the wya I looked. I had a good job and I was pretty full of myself by that point. Life usually comes along to knock you down just about the time that you start getting comfortable on your high horse. My husband lost his job and financial problems started deteriorationg our relationship. One good nudge and everything fell apart. My husband and I separated. My self estem had taken a crushing blow. My heart was battered and bruised. I got up to a size 26/28 at this point. I did manage to pick myself up and put my self esteem back in check. But knowing that the person that you live is not good for you is not an easy task.
Durring our separation, my husband and I stayed in contact, even though we both had somebody else at one point or another. I still loved him, and he still loved me, but too many things were in the way. I moved to another state to get away from the heartbreak. It worked. I loved my new home. I would have stayed there too, but my room mate wigged out leaving me with no other choice but to return to NC> I wasn't going to tell my husband that I was back, but his father stpotted me paying my car taxes and the door was back open again. After a two year separation and a lot of butt kissing, we reconciled. He has always loved me the way that I was.
Some moths later, we decided to have a child together and I went to the OB/GYN to talk about it. I had already quit taking my birth control pills. The OB totally crushed me. He told me that there was no way I could even thing of having a child. I needed a gastric bypass and severe weight loss before I could even consider it. I left his office in tears with a higher birth control dosage. I told the first pill in the car. This was 2002 and I thought that only movie stars and people on Springer who could not leave their house did that sort of thing. Boy was I wrong. I spent the next moth researching surgery and taking my pills relegiously. In a months time, I had gone to the seminar, got refered by my PCP, read 3 books on the subject and got approval from Cigna to see the surgeon for a consult. My consultation was scheduled and things were really progressing. Then one Friday night my husband and I went out for dinner. It was 7pm and I could barely hold my eyes open. They brought out his burger and the onion on his plate was the most offensive thing I had ever smelled. We stopped at the drugstore on the way home and sure enough, two pink lines. This meant that I was ALREADY pregant when the doctor told me that I probably couldn't get pregnant.
Pregnancy was pretty normal until the 7th month. I had some blood pressure issues and was put on bed rest. Durring the pregnancy, my weight went upa nd towards the end, they couldn't even weigh me because the office scale stopped at 300. But I had a healthy baby boy via c-section. I found out that you have to wait 6 moths after pregnancy for gastric bypass. I breast fed my son until he was 14 months (I had milk produciton issues and was only able to give a couple of ounces at a time). I started having migranes that had 'nueological side effects'. I thought I was having a stroke or something. I went to the ER and the ER crew had to 'find out' if the Cat Scan machine could accomidate my size. I knew it was time to persue surgery again.
I called Cigna to see what the policy was on the surgery only to find out that it was no longer covered. And unfortunately I was already locked inot having Cigna for all of 2005 as well. When 2006 rolled around, I chose United Health Care because I had reasearched and knew that there were no exlusions on WLS. I started going through all of the hoops. Doctor's appointments, specialists, quit smoking again (I had quit durning pregnancy and breast feeding). The whole time I was reasearching and studying my options. At first I was determined that the lap band was the way to go, then the RNY, then finally I settled on the Swtich. I had many reasons for making that choice and realized in the end it was a decision only I could make. My reasons for picking the Switch are the normal functioning stomach is still retained (just smaller) and the weight loss percentage is higher.
So here I am. My first step on the weight loss surgery path was taken on December 26th, 2002. My surgery was September 11th, 2006.