- HEALTH TRACKER
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Daniel Stickler, M.D.
Though I didn't know it at the time, the first time I saw Dr. Stickler, he was working out in the Medabolix gym before starting his day seeing patients. When I met with him and realized that it had been him I had seen coming and going from the gym, I was impressed that he certainly \"practices what he preaches\" as my Momma would say! He seemed very interested in my thoughts regarding the surgery. He was extremely attentive to my needs and questions. And, I did not feel like I was rushed as I have so many times in the past with other doctors who book 10 or 15 minutes per patient and rush you in and out the door as if on a conveyor belt. He fully addressed the surgery, possible complications, and made sure that all my questions were answered. AND, he told me about obesityhelp.com! The office setting was pleasant and relaxed. The employees were friendly and wore a smile at all times. It was obvious that they enjoy working with Dr. Stickler.rnrnHe did emphasize the post-operative process and what I should be doing now to be best prepared for my post-op experience. His office does offer a structured follow-up process for your first year post-op. I'm quite happy with my experience at this point! If his bedside manner is anything like his office personality, I'll be happy then too!rnrnUpdate 1 year postop:rnI've been very happy to have chosen Dr. Stickler and Medabolix for my surgery. Their followup program is unbeatable and the staff really do seem to care about how we progress on our WLS journey!
Latest Surgery Support Comments
:: WEIGHT LOSS CHART ::
:: BODY MEASUREMENTS CHART ::
July 20th, 2006: I'm a 39 year old woman with a BMI of 62.8 which is down from 64.2 on July 13th. I am hypothyroid, hypertensive, I have arthritis, and I have some degenerative disc damage in my lumbar spine. I am from a family with a horrendous history of hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, so I am at an awfully high risk of all of those. I'm waiting for my surgeon and insurance company to get me approved and off to the hospital for my pre-op so that they can set my surgery date. Thankfully, I have no cardio or pulmonary issues to stall my surgery. I've never had any apnea indications either. But, I need this surgery so that I can drop this weight and take back control of my life and health. I make candles, soaps, lotions, and other body products. I also sell raw materials, packaging, and other supplies to other folks who do the same via a website (http://www.candleandsoapstuff.com/) which I designed and maintain myself. I've been working for like FOREVER on a site to sell finished products, but just seem to spend ALL my time on the supply business instead. That is at http://www.almostheavenhandmade.com/ We live on a farm in central West Virginia. We have horses and other pets including sheep, dogs, cats, and pet birds (parakeets & cockatiels).
I enjoy reading and learning! I am currently immersed in learning all I can about life after bariatric surgery. I was told by my bariatric surgeon that he saw no reason for my insurance company to deny me approval for the surgery, so my fingers are crossed there! If all goes well with the approval process, he said that I could be post-op before my kids go back to school on August 25th of this year!
Here's what I have at this point:
1) Ride horses with my hubby.
3) Take my kids to Washington DC and spend our days walking around historic locations. When I was in 7th grade, my Beta Club group went to Washington, DC and took a week long sight-seeing trip. I loved it as I am a history buff anyway. I want to take my kids and do it all over! But I want it to be on foot and not in a wheelchair!
4) Take my kids to an amusement park and spend all day riding rides with them. Gosh... I can't remember the last time I was even ON a ride at an amusement park! And, I think the one it was would have been one of those boats like in Pirates of the Carribean at Disney World--no seat restraint involved, so size wasn't an issue....
5) Weigh less than 300 pounds. DONE!!
6) Lose 100 pounds. DONE!!
7) Weigh less than 200 pounds.
8) Lose 200 pounds.† DONE!!
9) Be able to walk 1 mile down our road and all the way back home (which is partially up hill both ways) without stopping for resting.†† DONE!!
10) Work a full 8 hour day again. I am a certified teacher for social sciences in grades 5 through 12. I've been unable to work or even secure a teaching job in the last 6 years due to my health and prejudice against obese people. In that time, I have built an online business selling supplies and raw materials to folks who make handcrafted soaps, lotions, candles, and other assorted body products/scented items. I'm currently way behind on my order processing shipping time because I'm just so darned tired all the time and have no get-up-and-go! DONE!!
11) Get off high blood pressure medicine. I've only needed it since late 2005, but I hate having to take it! DONE!!
12) Get off pain meds. I know that the surgery won't cure my arthritis or my degenerative back problems. But, dropping the weight and being able to exercise and, thereby, strengthen the muscles that support my knees and spine will make a huge difference. With my high pain tolerance, I should be able to get off the pain meds.† DONE!!
13) Reach my goal weight of 185--235 pounds less than my weigh in at my surgeon. I'm not sure yet what my surgeon's goal weight for me will be, but this is what I've worked out in my head...† I'll be happy at 185!
14) Find a sexy nighty and matching undies that fit and make me feel sexy and show hubby that I MADE IT! He has been very supportive and wants me to be healthy again. He tells me all the time that he loves me just like I am but that he'll support me in anything I do. I can't ask for more than that! He pays the bills AND he supports me emotionally... He's a great father and a good provider.
Some of it sounds silly to some folks. Some of it seems normal for this journey. None of it sounds too extreme! But, these are where I'm starting!
SO, for now, I've been sampling the different ones--Matrix, Unjury, Protein Delite, Nectar, etc, and looking for some that I like. I've used Unjury's unflavored protein in creamed soups and couldn't even tell it was there unless you took a really deep whiff of the stuff. You could smell it a bit at that point, but you cannot taste it. I plan to try the Any Whey sold by GNC this week as it is another unflavored protein powder. You can add unflavored protein powder to just about anything you eat or drink--pudding, jello, soups, beverages, anything that is moist enough to absorb the protein powder. I'm thinking that unflavored protein is going to be a big must for me as I don't care terribly much for the chocolatey drinks and you can only tolerate so many glasses of vanilla. The flavor syrups may be an option, but none of the SF ones are available in my area. I'd have to pay shipping on those....
Though everything turned out okay, it was pretty stressful as every time I blinked, I was stuck waiting again... I have two surgery buddies (folks having surgery the same day by the same surgeon at the same hospital) who will be along for the ride when we have educational workshops at our 3, 9 and 18 month checkups. Other checkups will be just me and the doctor or his staff. We're very fortunate that we didn't have any sort of long specified diet to follow for days or even weeks before surgery. We only do a clear liquids day the last day before our surgery and nothing to eat or drink after 9 pm the night before surgery. No bowel prep! How lucky is that?? I still remember doing the bowel prep before my tubal in 1995. NASTY!
On a good note, I am now down to 386 and have lost a total of 24 pounds! My surgeon is happy about that and I am too! For my surgeon, it means an easier time doing the surgery. For me, it is a great start towards my weight loss goal and Dr. Stickler says it is a good indicator of future success.
We got a list of the diet plan for the weeks immediately post-op. We are on clear liquids only while in the hospital. As soon as we're released, we move to full liquids. There are a lot of food options but, as you all know, our number one goal is to stay hydrated and get our protein in. I picked up some of the liquid ProtiDiet today for those first few days post-op (while in the hospital), but plan to pretty much go with an unflavored protein powder that I can add to most anything as my primary protein source for that full-liquids phase. I have ordered several sample size proteins and will use those to figure out what I like as I am healing from surgery... Who knows what my tastes will be by then! Just 6 more days till surgery!
My hubby ended up not making it home for my surgery. I knew it was working out that way several days in advance. But, I refused to postpone my surgery as it was terribly possible (he is a trucker) that it would happen all over again for my rescheduled surgery, so it was on! A couple who lives near us and works in Charleston, where the surgery would take place--an hour from our home, gave me a ride to the hospital on 8/29. I had to be at their house at 5 am to catch the ride. I was supposed to be at CAMC by 7:30 am, so I was there a whole hour early. I spent that hour sitting in the lobby reading... Even this extra time did give me a chance to get nervous, anxious, or worked up about the surgery. I was perfectly calm and know that this was my fate. I was destined to have this surgery. At 7:30, I signed in at the pre-op window. Then, I waited some more! Finally, about 8 am, they called me in to start getting ready. They weighed me (175.8 kg or 386.7 pounds--no weight lost since my pre-op day) and I changed out of my clothes into the robe and slipper socks. Then, I sat and waited some more! I was getting good at waiting! LOL A transport person came to get me with a gurney about 8:30. Not bad, could still make my 9 am appointment for surgery! LOL This, however, was just a transport to the waiting area outside the ORs. I sat and waited long enough that I had to get a nurse to take me to the bathroom! Then, the anesthesiologist came to talk to me, I signed the final consent, and he put in my IV. He gave me "something to take the nerves away" which was just a mild sedative. Then, about 9:30 am, they wheeled me into the OR. I remember sliding over onto the operating table from the gurney and then nothing until recovery...not even the counting backwards as the anesthesia kicked in. I must have gone under immediately after they started it!
The recovery room was another story! I remember that well! I remember the nurses saying that it was 11:05 (not sure if I'd just gotten there or if I was just finally conscious enough to remember) am and that I was "an easy intubation" (guess that was someone from anesthesiology!). I was shaking soooooo hard! They asked me my name and date of birth. They asked me what type of surgery I'd had. I had been told in advance that I'd have to answer some questions to make sure I was okay before they started any pain medication. Then, they told me that my pain meds were on the way and asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10. I think I said NINE! And I could not stop the shaking. They started putting warmed blankets over me and asked me if I was sure I wasn't cold. I said I didn't know. By the time they got to the 3rd blanket, the shaking was letting up, so I guess that was part of it! The pain meds were in me by then, the blankets had warmed me, and they asked me to relax my body. I then realized that I was tensed up from my head to my toes. When I let go and layed back, it was quite a relief. By this point, I guess the pain was about an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. But, as I relaxed and the pain medication began to work, I went to sleep again. The next thing I remember was being moved from the gurney into my bed in my own room. And, being asked about my pain level at that point. I told them 8 again and was given more pain medication in my IV. Then, I slept on and off for about 2 hours, being woken every so often for vitals checks.
Finally, they came in, pulled the covers off of me and said it was time to get up! I had also been warned about this! LOL But, I had no idea how unready I'd be for it! They had me sit up on the side of the bed for a minute. Then, they sent me to the bathroom. Then, they had me go out in the hallway with my IV pole and walk a ways before I could go back to bed to rest again. For the rest of that first day, each time they came for vitals, they encouraged me to get up and walk again. It was hard and extremely painful, but I tried to walk even if just to go to the bathroom and back (maybe 30 feet total). The nurses weren't quite happy with me, but it was all I could do...
On the second day, I woke up and was told that they wanted me out of bed at least once every hour. And, they wanted me to walk the hallway and back at least every 2 hours. They also informed me that when I had gotten in 20 oz of fluids on my fluid intake log, they'd pull out my IV. They also stopped the IV pain medications and started me on Oxycodone. Dr. Stickler said it was important to do so in order to be sure they could control my pain with the pills so that I'd be okay once I went home... The first day of taking pills, I was taking 2 tablets of 5 mg Oxycodone every 2 hours. I was only down to about every 3-4 hours by the time I left the hospital on Thursday afternoon. I was in so much pain that I wasn't able to walk enough to appease the nurses. But, I kept at it and was told I was doing better by the latter part of Wednesday afternoon.
They gave me 2 injections of a blood thinner on Weds and a third on Thursday (to help prevent blood clots). I was given 2 suppositories on Weds in order to stimulate a bowel movement. Thankfully it happened after 2 or I was getting a 3rd! Having the bowel movement and starting to pass gas was truly the beginning of feeling better. I even had gas pains in the front of my left shoulder! Having a bowel movement hurt. Passing gas hurt. But, living with all that trapped gas in my body was even more painful!
On Thursday, I was woke up at 7 am with a SCALE by my bed! "Ms. Burnside, we need to get your weight..." I must say that this was like living out a morbidly obese person's worst nightmare! To wake up from a dead sleep to a scale by your bed and being forced to get on it! And, to make it worse, I had gained weight due to the IV fluids! I was up to 178.1 kg (391.8 pounds). Then,they tell you that the only way you get to lay in the bed for a nap is if you are ahead on your fluid intake by one full hour and have been up and walking. I was in a lot of pain again, so not walking nearly as much as I should have been, but I did manage to get ahead on my fluids. I was then allowed a whole HALF HOUR nap! By closing my door before I took it, I was actually able to get a full hour in before they realized I was still asleep! And, by the time I was woke up, it was time for my next pain meds thankfully. The rest of the day was fairly quiet until time for my ride home... When my girlfriend showed up to get me, we got my stuff rounded up and a nurse took me down. We got all the way to the lobby before either one of us realized that they never took out my IV spike! SO, we went all the way back up to the bariatrics floor for that to be done and then all the way back down to the lobby. The ride home was uneventful, but sore... Thankfully it was mostly interstate and somewhat "smooth" or at least as smooth as rural 4 lane highways can be... The last 5 miles to my home were the worst due to potholes, sharp turns, and rougher roads...
By the time I was home, I needed pain pills and a nap! I had no pain pills but I could at least get that nap in before my girls were due home. When my girls got home from school, I sent my daughter to get my prescriptions filled (pepcid AC and Oxycodone). That first evening home was touch and go. I was so sore and so tired. I finally got and was able to start taking my medications. I was allowed full fluids, but was sticking to clear liquids. I still didn't feel ready for "food" in my pouch... During the hospital days, from day one, they brought us 3 meals a day that consisted of the following: a styrofoam cup of hot water with a decaf tea bag and decaf coffee packet, a styrofoam cup of broth, a styrofoam cup of juice (apple--cut 50/50 with water), a protein packet (YUCK!), and a cup of diet jello and bottle of water. The first meal tray was lunch on Tuesday. I never touched the first bit of it. They brought it in and took it out! By that evening, I was still sipping water only and the nurse encouraged me to try something else. I agreed to try the jello (lime) and was sort of disgusted by it (not real fond of lime!). She offered a different flavor and brought me a cherry. I was actually able to eat about 1/4 of it. She also advised me to pull off the protein pouches and the bottled water and save them in my drawer. On Weds, that was all I did--pull off the protein and bottle of water and tuck them in the drawer. When they came to take my breakfast tray, they set all the stuff off of it onto my cart and left it there! I did eventually try the apple juice. It wasn't terribly disgusting, so I asked for a cup of ice to put in it and actually drank it all as part of my fluids that afternoon. But, I didn't touch the dinner tray. Finally, one of the nurses dumped out all those cups they were leaving behind and threw them away. I did eat a couple of sugar free popsicles that evening... Thursday was much the same--I didn't eat the tray items, but I did eat another popsicle. I was getting my fluids in, but it was mostly water.... This continued after I got home.
On Friday, 9/1, my girls went to school and I was home alone again... Being here alone made it hard to stick to getting up and walking instead of just napping and resting, but I did it! My hubby got home around 1 pm Friday and he kicked into "sick" mode--treating me as if I was an invalid and needed to stay in bed and rest.... I had to explain to him again that it was imperative I get up and walk some every hour or so... I continued to do clear liquids throughout Friday too. By Saturday, I was feeling well enough to want to try something thicker... I had a tablespoon of refried beans with a dash of salsa and shredded cheese on top. It went down well and stayed down. I had no queasiness or uncomfortable moments from it. SO, for that first day, that was my "real food" and more clear liquids. Over the course of the weekend, I tried a few different things that we hit for a minute with the hand blender/stick blender to blenderize it. One was a bit of chili. We blenderized it with a bit of cottage cheese, warmed it and then dropped in some shredded cheddar cheese. That went well. Another time was a ground hamburger patty blended with some jar spaghetti sauce and cottage cheese. That went down and stayed down. I even managed to nibble at and keep down (chewing very, very thoroughly) a sausage patty!
On Monday evening, my hubby had to head back to work. So, with more time on my hands, it was time to get a bit creative for dinner.... I had a small bowl of that burger/spaghetti sauce/cottage cheese blend from the night before. Here's what I did with it.
Beef, Broccoli, Cheese Bake
Brown some ground beef or use a pre-cooked hamburger patty (about 4 oz pre-cooked weight). Place in bowl with about 2 tablespoons of small curd, lowfat cottage cheese and about 2 tablespoons of a spaghetti sauce from a jar. Blenderize. Put a bit of broccoli cuts (small pieces) on to boil. Next, take a small casserole dish and pour some spaghetti sauce on the bottom as you would to start a lasagna. Then, spoon in the blenderized burger/cottage cheese/sauce mix and spread it out well. When broccoli has cooked for about 3 minutes, remove from heat and drain the water away. Spoon the broccoli pieces (about 1/4 cup total) over your casserole. Spoon in some lowfat ricotta cheese and spread it around. Spread on some more of the jar spaghetti sauce. Then, layer on some shredded cheese (mozarella, cheddar, asagio, whatever!) and some parmesan cheese. Bake this mini-caserole at about 375 degrees till all is bubbly hot and the cheese is melted on top.
I was only able to eat about 3 tablespoons of this and made sure to chew the broccoli especially well... My daughter tried it too and liked it even though it was blended to a paste... This dish would probably feed me dinner 2 1/2 to 3 times...