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Surgeon TestimonialChristopher YouMy first day meeting Dr You he gave me a date!!
However, I have completed everything post op including 6 months of classes, nutritionist appointments, sleep apnea test, endoscopy, all except for the pre op labs and physical.
He answered all of my questions and told me information specific to VSG patients.
All of my classes were addressing RNY patients more than VSG so there was a ton I needed to know and he helped me out with that too.
I was tempted to hug him but I didn't LOL
Dr You was awesome!
My fiance only knew what I told him about the surgery and care after surgery etc and wanted more informed info and Dr You came in to check on me after surgery and stayed for a little over an hour explaining everything I learned in 6 months to Will in 1 hour lol. He's so great and has a awesome bed side manor.
I have had to go to the ER a few times for non surgery related issues and upon finding out I was there he stopped in to check on me.
- Family & Friends - Becomming closer to my parents since I've become a mother.
- Fitness & Exercise - Joined Ballys TF March 2007 goal size 12
- Museums & Art Galleries - I like the gift shops.
- Parenting - My daughter is 2 1/2 Sarah Suzanne Nelson 2/7/05
- Dancing - I go out dancing on the weekends it's good cardio and my BF is a male stripper.
- Music - My bestfriend was Proof from D12 he passed away in 06. I miss my
- Home Improvement - Just moved into a 5 bd brick colonial home.
- Dating - Will and I are doing really good.
- Geeks & Nerds - My boyfriend is a total geek but I love him.
- Tattoo - SarahSue (left outer), Proof (right inner ancle), star dust (my right ear)
Loquacious Laura (Laura Crowe)'s JourneyClick Here To View
Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
I was teased most of my life and at this point I had accepted that this was my life and I just have to deal with it
Approved for tummy tuck w/muscle reconstruction... on September 21, 2011 4:27 pm
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My surgery is in nov not sure of the date yet but very excited!!!
I have been exercizing more to loose as much tummy and thigh fat tissue as possible before then. Pole dancing exercise class is fun i suggest everyone try it at least once. I also am doing chair dancing exercise classes btw very tough on legs and thighs...and belly dancing too. wonderful. i also go dancing at night clubs with friends thurs fri and sat 10-2 4 hours of non stop cardio. i'm down 178lbs now and feel great!!
Waiting on Pre-Authorization for Plastics on June 29, 2011 4:04 pm
Lots of insurance companies do cover plastics after weight loss surgery. They must be medically necessary so have your pcp write a referral to a surgeon, Have your pcp document any issues related to the loose skin...rashes (keep receipts for creams too) or neck and back pain, etc. photos of the rashes are very helpful in getting approvals. Do not refer to it as plastics or cosmetic surgery, it is body contouring after massive weight loss.
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I went to a plastic surgeon Thursday and now waiting for pre-authorization from my insurance co for plastics. Passing along the cpt codes... you can call your ins co and ask if the codes are covered...if you ask about the procedures the operators always say no cause they don't know any better. Mastoplexy (breast lift) "cpt code 19316", Brachioplasty (arm lift) "cpt code 15836", Thigh lift "cpt code 15823", Panniculectomy (tummy tuck w/no muscle reconstruction) "cpt code 15830". Again don't call there and ask "is plastic surgery covered" the operators are not the ones who know...they simply are call center operators that can relay info from your file or their computer and can change pcp, address, etc info in your account. They are not experts they use a intranet to search for the answers to your questions. A middle man so to speak. They do not make the decisions they can pretty much only change your pcp or give you info based on what is in your file. Pretty much all you do is call get a rep and say "i am interested in finding out if some procedures are covered, i have the CPT codes" They will be more than happy to give you the answers because you have done half the work by having the CPT codes ready for them. Let me know how it goes. Be sure to ask the % covered some are 80/20 mine is 100% with a $250 co pay after my high deductible is met which it is my daughters are having their tonsils removed this year.
I am pursuing brachioplasty and mastoplexy and my surgeon is going to zig zag the scar in my armpit so he can pull the bra back skin into it and make it one long scar from my inner elbow into my armpit and down under my breast and up to center so it's back breast and arm all at one time. One procedure one long scar on either side which i am fine with. better than 3 different procedures.
Once i have that surgery I will get approval for the others. one at a time...
just started writing and couldn't stop... on April 21, 2011 8:54 am
I am no longer pre diabetic, no longer have sleep apnea, my depression is in remission so Dr's call it.
I think overall the quality of life has improved for me and my family, i now want to do things for my kids rather than HAVE to do things for the,. When they use to ask something of me like needing a drink I would think "i cant wait till you can get yourself a drink" I feel terrible that I was rushing them to grow up because doing everything was more effort than someone not obese. So I missed out on enjoying them at the ages they were prior to my weight loss.
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My obesity is a result of many things but the major reason why I believe I got that far is becuase I developed breast very young I was a DDD cup size in the 5th grade. With that said in PE I would get teased, as early as the 2nd grade I was being teased in PE by the other students. I had negative feelings associated with exercise and in school refused to participate because I was being publicly humiliated. I was not exercising and was gaining weight, I was then being teased for being obese, I went from the biggest kid in class to the biggest kid in my grade, eventually the biggest kid in school. So I was not exercising to avoid being bullied and teased and gained weight which caused me to be bullied and teased. I developed depression and anxiety disorders and by high school felt like going to school was torture, I hated it, I tried in private to loose the weight, in highschool I needed a PE grade to get the credit so instead of PE I took weight training which I loved cause there was no cardio jumping around but outside of school had no intertest. School was unbarable but I had to go and couldn't wait to graduate for it all to be OVER. My grades were slipping, and I was lucky to graduate with my class. It was finally over! Or so I thought. I searched for employment and finally settled in an office position as a customer service rep. where a relative worked and honestly she got me the job. Every new employee that was hired was thin and pretty and did 1/2 the work I did but got treated twice as well. I felt like I did not fit in and sought out approval in them which backfired, I was teased at work, every day. I had a daughter at this point so I felt as if I had no choice but to stay and deal with it and go in to work knowing that I was going to be teased and tortured by my co workers. I can count a dozen times that I ended up in my bosses office crying because I just wanted it to stop. From cruel jokes to threats it didn't stop. I started reading self help books and improved my confidence. I realized that I am better than that and I wasn't going to let them hurt me anymore. However they tried even harder to upset me, testing the new me trying to make me break character as if it was a game. A few months later I found another job and quit. So my thinking that the bullying would stop because I was grown was false.
So here I am with new found confidence, feeling great! I was now proud of my size and considered myself a BBW or Big Beautiful Woman. It was great! Then after my 2nd daughter my health started to take a dive. My back had not healed from a previous work accident in 1999 and suffered with chronic back pain. I was always in pain, it would get worse, and when I would take meds that worse pain would go back to the normal pain but i was always in pain. I did not like taking meds and the cloudy feeling it gave me. I don't even like to drink alcohol. So I just suffered. Adding to the depression and the chronic back pain, I had sleep apnea, and high blood pressure but when I was told I was pre diabetic I knew I had to do something. In 5 years what are my current medical conditions going to be like and what additional medical conditions would I have.
I pursued weight loss surgery because the many attempts since middle school to get the weight off failed. From liquid diets, to weight loss medications, to intense exercise, as soon as I stopped or eased off on the intensity of treatment the weight would come right back.
I found the Bariatric Institute at Franklin Square Hospital Center. They got me educated on all of the weight loss surgery options and the lifestyle change in all aspects not just physically but mentally as well. I felt confident having my surgery and knowing it would work.
When I heard about weight loss surgery I assumed that you get the surgery and when your recovered and cleared to go back to work you go back to normal but loose the weight. I had no clue how much work is involved.
Ok so if your obese and reading this, what I just wrote is giving you a negative thought right? Yeah my throat still tenses up when I talk about how hard things are or how much work is involved. It is because every day life for an obese person takes effort. A lot more effort than someone a normal or even over weight. So when you say work, everyday living is WORK so to an obese person WORK means hard labor. Trust me it does.
In classes at Franklin Square learned about fitness too. "I was thinking in my head, how the hell can i do a hour of cardio a day. I'm beat just walking up the stairs." But they encouraged walking to the mailbox and parking further from the grocery store. Adding a little bit more and more each day. They talked about fitness after weight loss surgery and talked about cardio 1 hour a day. I was thinking in my head "yeah right" I was thinking that as a 355lb woman with health issues related to obesity. The thought of anything being effortless never crossed my mind. I knew I would loose weight after having weight loss surgery but the thinking that I had was not that of a person with normal weight or even overweight.
So NOW with that said after loosing 163lbs in the 1st year following weight loss surgery (VSG). My everyday life is now effortless and in fact doing WORK feels effortless cause it is actually not as hard as regular life WAS when I was obese.
An interesting comparison:
My day to day life and the activities I currently do day to day feels like less effort to me now than the same amount of activity done by someone a normal weight who has always been a normal weight. I have people who have always been a normal weight asking me how I am able to do so much in one day.
I know that this is probably temporary while I settle into my new life. However I am taking advantage of this while I can setting up opportunities for myself for my future. Interesting concept. Future...I dont feel like "this is my life it is what it is" like I have all my life. I now think "this is my life it is what I'm going to make it", I think about every thing I do and how it will directly effect my future, maybe not for 10 to 15 years but I am considering running in the county election to be a councilwoman. Again maybe not for 10-15 years but I have to think about my persona and what it has been in the past and what I want it to be in the future. I am also thinking how my pursuit of becoming a councilwoman could benefit weight loss surgery and how I could use that to really make positive changes in not only support of community but also have a platform to stand on when fighting childhood obesity.
to be cont... yes there is more ha ha ha
My story... on April 18, 2011 7:52 am
I can tell you about my story, I had sleep apnea, high blood pressure, depression, and was prediabetic and was afraid of what my quality of life would be in 5 years and my children's quality of life would be too. I have 2 daughters I was a good mom before loosing the weight but felt like i couldn't wait for them to be able to do it their selfs, get a drink feed them selfs ....everything. I took very good care of my kids It wasn't that i dont love my kids either, it was just very hard and took more effort than I had being morbidly obese at 355lbs more effort than someone that's just overweight. So really I was missing out on their lives.
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I want to talk about the medical side of it too from a patient's perspective. I had a newer bariatric surgery that rarely makes the news it's only been done for 7 years so still considered investigational, and will until there is 10 years of research. When you think of bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery and you think of the RNY or gastric bypass like what my sister had in PA by Dr Monk in 2007 or the lapband but I had the VSG or Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy performed by Dr Christopher You at Franklin Square Hospital Center here in Baltimore. He staples your stomach in the shape of a tube or sleeve and disposes the rest of the stomach. Dr You also required patients attend an educational program for 3 or 6 months prior to surgery. He's passionate about making sure his patients are educated about all of the suegery options so his patients can make a educated decision on what they really want and also information on your life changes physicaly and psych. You don't just get surgery and that's it, the Bariatric Institute at Franklin Square follows you forever following weight loss surgery. If you need more or less support they are always there and passionate and will help you directly or will give you the resources, so you don't gain the weight back over time like we tend to hear about.
Patient perspective: People also assume that having surgeries like this you will have a large scar but my sister and I had our surgeries done laparoscopicly meaning we have only a few tiny scars some smaller than a pencil eraser. Some are afraid of loose or hanging skin and can not afford plastic surgery this is actually mine and my sister's case so we have become very creative in clothes shopping. You also have to when you are changing sizes so often. I wear body shapers every day they are like very high waisted hose and are available in panty style or shorts style and to hide my arms a shrug if i want to wear something sleeveless. I am very fashionable and people who don't know me or that I was obese compliment me on my clothes all the time, they cant tell i was obese, they can't tell i have loose or sagging skin following massive weight loss. Unless you tell them they would never notice it. Would we like to have the reconstructive surgeries? sure but were financially not in any position to do so and even if we were we both would like to have more children so not for several years anyway. Fact is we are happy, medical conditions that we had related to obesity are gone or what we call in remission. Our famalies are happy. Things that we always dreamed of doing, we are doing now. I got to ride a horse at hawks hallow farm for my surgiversary (surgery anniversary) see pics. I feel like I have been in a coma my entire life having nightmares of what my life is like being limited in everything from sports to friends, teased and picked on as a child, not fitting in not just socially but in chairs too, but also having dreams (skinny fantasies) of what I want my life to be like, and just finally woke up to live it. Mine was always to be not just popular but as a kid I dreamed of being a perfect wife and mother, thinking of TV moms like Donna Reed. Now I really am doing that, learning how to cook for my family and playing with my kids opposed to watching them play. Kids remember the things they do and the people they do things with, they wont remember mom sitting on the bench at the park watching them play because she cant cause she's 355lbs but they will remember me going down the slide with them and playing mother may i and red light green light. It's amazing! I thank Dr You and give him credit for this and he reminds me that it was me who did it. I made the decision, I made it happen for myself. Dr's wont say we have to operate on you NOW or your going to die, they say you need to loose weight here are your options. It's not like having your gall bladder out tho it has the same mortality rate .3% it's not like you have an attack and they HAVE to do surgery on you. You have to agree to do it, have to have a support system, be determined to do it, get educated on it, follow a plan, and have the courage to do it for yourself, and all this forever. It is not easy a lot of people that can not relate assume that you get it done and after recovery when your all healed and go back to work that you go back to normal and that the fat just goes away on it's own. Not the case at all but some of us make it look easy because it's much much less effort doing everything you need to do when your not obese so I can personally say in my own opinion the hardest part was getting the surgery but the hard work doesn't start until after you get it and tho the work is harder more intense it is easier because your not 355lbs exercising a hour a day your loosing and the more you lose the less it feels like your putting effort into it. So in classes again 355lbs they are talking about exercising 30 mins to 1 hour every day and I actually had anxiety associated with that. How do you expect me to do that? I have back pain, my knees hurt, i dont have time. Well I was still in the mine set that i would be 355lbs doing that. I had never been a normal weight not even overweight i had been obese since kindergarten. How could I do that. Well I am happy to say that my back pain has improved, my knees don't hurt anymore, and I am faster moving now so I get everything done in half the time I did before loosing the weight and actually have a lot more time to exercise and spend my kids. So all of the stuff that I thought was unrealistic was only unrealistic because I had the morbidly obese thinking. It is realistic! And my kids, I'm also no longer rushing them to grow up, I'm growing up with them and by that I mean I'm doing things with them that I wanted to do as a kid but physically couldn't or was embarrassed or afraid to do because I was obese like riding a horse last week.
Also wanted to say as a kid I was always picked last to play a game, now I am picking the game.
I now am aspiring to be a motivational speaker to help others struggling with the same thing. I want to be an inspiration, It feels so good when you help someone else. Please leave me feedback and comments. It motivates me to keep writing knowing that my blogs are not all done in vain.
My name is Laura Crowe 29 yrs old Baltimore MD mother, 5 yr old and a 2 yr old
I have battled my weight forever.
My mother had no clue how to dress her obese children, see she was a cheerleader in high school, dating the qtr back.
Well she had no clue how to dress her kids fluffy bodies other than to put us in stretch pants and long oversized shirts.
The first time I can remember putting on a pair of jeans. I was 11 yrs old. I was playing i my mothers bedrroom and for some reason I put on a pair of her jeans and they fit...Size womens plus16!!! It was an amazing moment forr me!! Finally I can look like a normal kitd running around in jeans!!
I look back now and frown, I was 11 in size womens plus 16!!! I remember being so happy to wear jeans like all of the other kids. My confidence was amazing and I flaunted those jeans well. But I really should have been ashamed to be in such a big size.
Another thing I struggled with was my breasts. I think I should have been in a regular bra in elementary school, as early as 3rd grade. I was at least a dd in the 5th grade and in sports bras. I stayed in them till at least 8th grade.
I then stayed in a DDD from 15 until I finally met a friend Jen who was just as busty and found out she was a G well if she's a G I must be an H. I went online and bought a plunge bra from lane bryant, it was 2007 and OMH wow I been stuffing myself in a DDD and I'm actually a H!!!! DAMN!!!!
Wel when you a size 26W and your mother is a size 14 and complaining that she is too fat it kinda makes you feel like. Well if you think your fat I wonder what you think of me. Then when your mother tells you your beautiful it means nothing, it actually makes you feel worse.
I know there are others out there who have had experiences like me, even worse, I'm just here because I'm making a change!!!
When I met Will October 2007 it was just after loosing 45 lbs I was a size 18 and 265.
I felt great!
In Dec we got pregnant with my 2nd his 1st Natalie.
I had Natalie in August 2008 and went from 300 fully pregnant to 275 and felt great again.
I am not sure what happened, depression anxiety or what but I went from 275 in October of 2008 to 355 in April 2010 just before surgery. 355 was my highest weight!
My WLS story
Back in 2006 I decided on getting RNY surgery I had a plan, I would start my classes in August and be ready by tax returns to fork out the deductable. My sister was not happy with my decision and made it clear. It kinda turned me against getting it done.
Sometime the end of 2006 beginning of 2007 my sister tells me she's in classes to get RNY ! I was like WTF but supported her fully. Aparently someone from her work showed her a before RNY pic and my sister asked who that was and the lady said it was her. My sister worked at a physicians office and ins covered the surgery. That's great news. She sucessfully had the surgery in Aug 2007 and even better news had a healthy baby girl Aug 2009.
Now after finding out my sister was in classes I kinda felt like I lost my opratunity to get surgery, I hated my job because of people teasing me about my weight amongst other things I need not mention.I was feeling pretty damn low.
My mother wanted to take my daughter to the pool at ballys and forced me to go. I had a membership she had gotten me for x-mas thanks for the hint!!! Anyway I had an attitude I did not want to be there. The girl at thr front desk was flakey and couldn't find my membership in the system and called a guy over to help/ Well he had a even bigger attitude than me. I told him look I have a membership I've never used it I'm too damn busy with work and my kid to use it I just want to take her to the damn pool!!! Well he set me strait by saying everyone has time for exercize and I dont know...it got to me so the next day I went there by myself and spent 2 hours eventually I was there working out from 5:15-pm to 8:15 pm working out, I went for 4 months strait everyday and lost 46 lbs. I was 265 and in a size 18 jean. I stoped going to the gym honestly this is the first time admitting this to myself but because I felt like I was getting just lbs away from not being elligable for WLS and felt as if I could get to a bmi below 40 but could I ever get out of the obese catagory on my own without surgery. I guess I felt like I couldn't ever do it. I felt like all of my efferts were for nothing because in the end I'm still obese. I also was not getting home until 830pm in time to tuck my 2 yr old into bed but only seen her on the weekends. WTF I used that as an excuse to quit and not feel bad about it.
After having my daughter Aug of 2008 I ballooned up depression anxiety and boyfriend who loved to take me out to not only dinner but breakfest and lunch too didn't help.
I had medical assistance while pregnant with my daughter and thought it would end after having her but in maryland they changed the medical assistance laws, if you are a parent or guardian of a child and are low income you are elligable for medical assistance. Here was my chance. I contacted my pcp and he wrote the rx for WLS. I got into a 6 month bariatric weight loss managment program and before I knew it I got my date.
I did decide along the way to switch from RNY to VSG.
My PCP moved to another Dr's office and so I got a new PCP
I switched surgeons a month before surgery.
however, I had no insurance problems which I thought I would.
Now I am to date 80 lbs down, 5 months out today.
I still think as if I'm always going to be obese...like I am the acception, this surgery has been sucessful on everyone but wont be sucessful on me I guess it's hardwired into my brain.
I dont quite know how to change that.
Today Aug 5 2010 I put on a size 18. I have never in my adult life been smaller than a 18, Christ I never in my life ever wore a jeans smaller than a 16 and I'm almost freakin there!!! It's freaking me out !