- Username: lisaweisenbach
- Location: Jonesboro, AR, USA
- Member Since: 2/15/2005
- BMI: 63.5
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: VSG (03/17/08)
- Surgeon: Armando Joya
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Surgeon TestimonialArmando JoyaI felt that Dr. Joya was very nice. He had a nice, warm smile and vibe about him. He is very quiet but seems very competent. I didn't have as much interaction with him as I would have liked, being that he was my surgeon. rnrnHis staff were all really nice. They all spoke English well. Some of the hospital staff didn't speak much English, so that was a bit difficult. rnrnHe spoke to me for a little while before my surgery..explaining the surgery, risks, etc. He never spoke of aftercare or anything else really. He left that for his assistant to tell me about. rnrnI did have a complication - an accidental lacerated liver due to its size. It was fixed properly, I think. However, I don't feel I received enough care afterward because of this. I was really scared but none of the doctors talked to me about it afterward. They only told my husband what had happened..but after that, nothing was ever said again - until I got an additional bill for all the extra care.rnrnNow that I've had time to reflect, I am glad that I went to Dr. Joya. I have my Sleeve and recovering well. rnrnThank you, Dr. Joya....and your staff. You have changed my life!rnrnrn
- Books & Literature - I love to read - John Saul, Dean Koontz, James Patterson
- Family & Friends - I am very close to my family and friends
- Cats - I have a cat named Chance
- Dogs - I have a dog named Sammie
- Movies - I enjoy watching movies; action and horror
- Music - I love music; pop rock and the 80s are my favorites
- Jewely Making - This is new, just learning, but enjoying it.
- Married - I am married to Larry. We have 2 children: Joshua and Jillian
- RN - I am an RN, now disabled
- BMI over 50 - I am hoping that one day, this will not be the case.
lisaweisenbach's JourneyClick Here To View
Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
I was a very depressed person. I had always been overweight. I was looked down upon and discriminated against. I felt useless, hopeless, like my life was not worth living. I tried so many diets, nothing worked. I found that I couldn't stick to them for the long haul. This led to more depression and more weight gain. It was a tragic cycle.
A New Life - 2 1/2 yrs post op (almost) on July 27, 2010 11:08 am
It has been almost 2 1/2 yrs since my surgery.
I have gone through many changes since my surgery in March of 2008. My first year was difficult, but the weight loss was pretty easy most of the time and very steady. I had many ups and downs, but I did ok. I lost about 100 lbs that first year. After that year, the weight loss pretty much stopped. I started yo-yo'ing again. I could always eat larger portions of food than everyone else. That was really hard to deal with. After all, that is why I had surgery, to shrink my stomach so that I wouldn't be able to eat as much. Now, mind you, I can't eat nearly the amount I did before surgery, but after awhile, my body got used to what I could eat, so it stopped losing. I've always had a problem with junk food - I still do, when I allow myself to eat it. I do still eat it on rare occasions. I've never totally deprived myself, which saved my sanity - almost lol.
My health improved vastly over the time since surgery. My diabetes is totally controlled with only 2 pills a day (as opposed to 6 pills and 2 shots of insulin, before surg). I was on High Blood Pressure meds, now I take none. My sink no longer looks like a pharmacy shelf. It's great.
Now, I am to the point that I am now. Life has taken a downhill slide. My husband decided he didn't want to be married anymore. So, he moved out and I filed for divorce. Our divorce will be final the middle of Aug. We will have been married for 23 yrs at that time. There are some advantages to the divorce. We no longer firght and argue, which we did. We didn't have much of a marriage, more like roomates, but I knew he was there when I needed him. That is hard to deal with - being alone. I really hate that part. I am now totally responsible for my house and my young daughter. That's alot of responsiblility that used to be shared with him. The upside, I am losing weight again. Although, it's not from eating right - it's from doing without. For now, it's what I need to do, to get all of the carbs out of my system and decrease those cravings. High Carbs have always been my enemy.
I am now up to 122 lbs lost. I know I need to lose at least 100 lbs more to be at a good weight for my stature. I have no idea how far I will be able to go. I wish I had a crystal ball sometimes....it would make things easier.
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2 Year Surgiversary on March 17, 2010 12:27 pm
It's hard to believe it has been 2 years already. I remember my surgery date like it was yesterday. I remember all the feelings that I hag going into surgery....fear, elation, purpose, joy.. I wish I could really connect with those feelings and apply them to my life right now.
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I have had a really rough year. I remember my first year after surgery was pretty easy. I had plenty of problems, but the weight loss came pretty easy when I ate what I was supposed to, and for the most part, I did that. But now, it's all completely different. I feel different. I don't have that control over myself anymore. I don't have those happy feelings that I did back then. I just don't feel much of anything right now, except shame and the always-present low self esteem. I haven't felt this low since before my surgery, months before, when I thought that I would never get it done.
My total weight loss is 112 lbs, but I still toggle up and down about 5 lbs. I feel like a yo-yo again. I rarely get on the scale. I just can't bring myself to face the scale.
WLS has not been the cure that I thought it would be. I was so foolish and naive. I had huge plans for losing the weight, getting my life back, resuming my nursing career, and just being happy and healthy. I really wish I could go back in time and kick my own butt and tell myself how it really would be....perhaps then, I could change my own outcome. But, alas, that is not possible. I can only go forward with my life as it is.
I have tried antidepressants (several of them). None work because they don't get to root of my problem, which isn't chemical....its all about how I feel about myself...my inability to get on track and actually lose this weight.
I have tried couselling. That didn't work either. I think I probaly chose the wrong counselor. I need one who specializes in weight disorders and I can't seem to find one in my area. I actually think there is one here, but she doesn't accept my insurance (Medicare) and I simply can't afford that bill.
Nutritionist - tried that too...didn't work. I just can't eat what they tell me to. I know what I'm supposed to eat as well as they do. Being a nurse gives me that advantage...but getting myself to do what's neccessary...that is the problem.
I'm under alot of stress. My homelife is a mess. I've been so sick the past 6 months or so. I'm really looking forward to Spring/Summer...hoping some of my problems will go away for awhile (I'm always sicker in the Winter months). My daughter, Jillian, goes to private school, which is quite expensive. I've decided to homeschool her next year. I haven't decided if thats going to add to my stress or help it in some way....at least I wont have the tuition bill every month, but I will have to put up with her all the time. There's just alot going on at home that I wish I could change, but it's not really in my power to do so...not sure what the solution is. I'm really hoping a few things will change in the next couple months, I'm counting on it actually...but also afraid to get my hopes up.
Support - that's a tough question. I think I have the support around me but when I'm the only one around who is trying to diet and everyone brings in junk, it's really hard. There's extra people living with me right now and I can't tell them not to bring it in. I just need the willpower to look the other way....and sometimes I have that willpower. I've said NO to alot of junk, but some of it just finds its way into my mouth... grrrrr. When I actually lose a pound, etc....everyone is really happy for me and says they are proud of me, but when I say nothing, they do the same. I don't get any encouragement to get on track and stay there.
I'm not looking for sympathy. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me....... afterall, I did this to myself and have no one to blame but me.
Ok, for the Positives.....I've lost over 100 lbs! I've gotten off all of my Blood Pressure meds, I've stabilized my Blood Sugar with just 2 pills a day (I was taking 6 pills, plus 2 Insulin shots before surgery). I can do most anything I want or need to do. I can walk around stores and the Mall. I haven't been swimming since last Fall, my health just hasn't been up to it. I keep telling myself I'm going to get back to that and I will. Jillian and I will be starting that up real soon. We both enjoy it too much not to do it. It's also something that she and I do together. I can fit into smaller clothes now. I can even buy things in some stores now....thats cool. I usually shop online thru Lane Bryant mostly though, but I can still choose smaller sizes and I love that! I can do housework with pretty much ease....even tho housework is not something that I enjoy. *smile*
Wow, I only have one little paragraph of Positive things....but I honestly can't think of anything else to add to it.
I guess that concludes my 2 yr update. As always, I'm here to help anyone that I can.....I may have screwed up my own loss, I think I can help others...at least with experience and What Not To Do's..
hugs 'n love,
17 month Update on September 3, 2009 10:20 am
It's been awhile since I posted an update or really participated here on OH. It's been 17 1/2 months since the day of my surgery. My total loss is 111 lbs, but I'm not there right now. Over the past many months, I have lost/gained the same 5-8 lbs. over and over. I even came close to reaching the 300 lbs again. I was devastated and so ashamed.
Before my surgery and for awhile afterward, I would hear of post-ops re-gaining their weight or at least gaining back some, etc... I never could understand that until now. It's really quite easy, physically speaking. Also, depending on what is going on in your personal life, that can be a big hindrance too. I have so much stress and worries in my life that I find myself eating more. I've never really been a true emotional eater - I eat out of boredom and cravings, regardless of my mood. When I'm depressed, I usually retreat within myself instead of eating.
I have plenty of options to counteract my boredom - however, my physical body just doesn't cooperate, at least not lately. Some days, I feel so bad that it's really difficult to get up. I have so many headaches and nerve and muscle pain. My doctor hasn't found a physical cause for this, which leads back to my stress and worries.
I guess it sounds like I'm making excuses and I guess I am, although these happen to be legit for a change.
Excercise - I've always hated to excercise...not going to lie about that. Do I make myself do it? Lately, no. With the headaches that are with me almost 24/7, the best I can do is my daily things. That's not to say that I don't get excercise at all. I do walk my dog out in my yard, I do my shopping, and I've been on a huge cleaning spree in my home. But as far as getting outside and walking around the block....nope. Going to the Gym... I haven't done that in awhile either....again because of my headaches. I've tried working through that pain and doing things, but they get worse. I've been putting off seeing a specialist, but it has gotten to the point that I can't do that anymore...so I will have to update on that later.
Medication update - I no longer take any High Blood Pressure meds - YAY!. The only meds that I take are for my Diabetes and Neuropathy, plus my Multivitamins and Iron supplements. Even my Diabetic meds have been cut down to only once/day for each one. I take so little, it's hard to remember to take them.
Food Intake - I don't measure out my food, I don't track it in a journal, etc. However, I do read labels and I watch what I put in my mouth all the time - even if it's that chocolate bar that I've been craving.... *sigh* My intake is nothing compared to pre-VSG, thankfully. To give a sample of what I can eat at one time - Mcdonalds double cheeseburger with a couple of fries - and I'm comfortably full (as long as that was a totally empty stomach - like the first meal of the day). Some days, I can eat more of the fries, other days, I can't finish the whole burger. Ok, I don't eat this often - it's just an example - since I don't actually weigh out anything, etc..
Appetite and Cravings - I have these in a major way. I get hungry, even when I shouldn't be yet. I have horrible cravings - mostly for chocolate. I keep almonds and Southbeach Diet protein bars (chocolate of course) around all the time. I limit the protein bars to once/day - but I don't have one every day. When the cravings get really bad, I indulge. I buy those Hershey's kisses or the bite-size chocolate bars - to give me that chocolate, but in a small dose. It makes me happy and it's much better than eating the whole super-size chocolate bars (I can do that, by the way *sigh*). My VSG never really helped my appetite. Sure, I would fill up faster - still do...but I have always had my hunger and appetite, unlike some people who have to make themselve eat (I hate you. LOL, not really, but I do envy you).
I guess that is everything I can think of to say at this point. I am struggling, but I'm still in the game - the game of life. I have too many depending on me to quit - most of all myself. I came to conclusion a long time ago - I have to do this for me - not others. Otherwise, it just will not work.
Please keep me in your prayers..
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One Year Surgiversary on March 17, 2009 11:22 am
WOW! I made it! I cant believe its been a year. One year ago, at this time, I was lying in my hospital bed in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, waiting for them to come get me for surgery. I was absolutely petrified.
I had conquered my fear of flying and made my way to a foreign country....now I had to get past those fears and get the life saving surgery that I desperately needed. I did it! I have no idea how I managed all of that bc basically, Ive never felt that I was a strong person, always afraid of the unknown and never took chances like that. But I made it through, despite my surgical complication.
Would I do it again? Absolutely, without a doubt.
One year and 103 lbs gone! Amazing.
Regrets? Yes! Why didnt I do it sooner? I wasted so many years of my life as an obese person. I lost so much time, not to mention my career as a Nurse (although Im hoping to rectify that someday soon).
Although I have lost 103 lbs, I regret not losing more by this time. It is my own fault, my own failures, my own food addiction...that has kept me from losing more. However, I cant be sorry with 103 lbs! I am quite proud of myself for that.
Do I always eat right? LOL... NO, unfortunately. But Im learning a balance between eating better while giving myself some indulgences now and then...thats what keeps me sane.
Ive had alot of problems this year. Ive had so much depression and have felt like giving up so many times. Im glad that I havent. I think the thing that keeps me going on is that I have lost 103 lbs.. I havent been under 300 lbs in over 10 yrs, so Im loving seeing the 200's on the scale.
Do I think I made a mistake with the VSG? NO! yes, Ive had alot of hard times, but those problems were not bc of my Sleeve, they were my own personal problems with food, etc. I started out with a BMI of 73, now its in the 50's. I still have a very long way to go and I dont know if I will ever meet my goal. But I do know that I will keep trying and that I havent felt this good since before my daughter was conceived (she's almost 11yrs now).
Ive had lots of doubts over this past year, regarding my surgery choice. But I finally reconciled those doubts and realized that it was never anything wrong with my Sleeve..it was all inside me. I kept holding myself back...I still do. Its hard to counteract 40yrs of living a certain way and eating all the wrong foods whenever I wanted. All of my past "diets" resulted in failures. That is why I chose surgery. For me, the VSG was the simplest and safest. It gave me what I needed - restriction. When I think about the amount of food that I ate pre-VSG, it sickens me. Its hard to believe I stuffed that much into my mouth. Im glad I cant eat that much now. Although I can eat quite a bit, it doesnt compare to the pre-VSG amount.
I am very thankfull for my Sleeve. It gave me back my life. I love being able to do things with my family again. I love buying smaller clothes. I have even been able to buy a few things "off the rack"....instead of catalog/internet ordering.
I have my good days and bad days......but overall, Im happy with how things are now...and how things are still changing.
Thank you Dr. Joya, for my Sleeve!
and thanks to all my awesome friends here on OH. I couldnt have made it without all of you.
I love you all!
love 'n hugs
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100 LBS GONE! on February 6, 2009 5:18 am
There was a time that I thought I would never make it. But I did.
I have lost 100 lbs in 10 1/2 months!!!!
I can't even describe the feeling. Its amazing. I can't really think of anything to say.
To the pre-ops and those thinking of surgery... It can be done! You just have to stick with it and stay focused on your goals. For some people, its really easy to do...for others, its very difficult. I havent had an easy time of it. The most difficult part is curbing my 40yrs of bad eating habits. I am a long way from doing that, but I have found a balance that allows me to eat some of the foods that I want, while losing weight. I have to pretty much constantly analyze what I eat, but its all worth it.
I have alot more weight to lose...will I get there? I have no idea, but Im not going to give up. For the most part, I feel absolutely amazing. All of the things that I can do now, that I couldnt a year ago, makes this journey worthwhile.
I want to thank all of my good friends here.... you all have supported me when I have been down and depressed...and thats been alot of times. I cant say I wont feel that way again, but I can always look back on what I have accomplished and be proud of myself for that.
love 'n hugs
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I've always been overweight. The lowest my weight has ever been was 150 lbs. I was 18yrs old at that time. So many times I have wished I could go back in time to the point where I began gaining weight again and slap myself into reality. LOL. But alas, that can't happen. When I got married in 1987 at 19yrs of age, I was at 200 lbs. Two years later, I had a child and my weight blossomed up to 290 and stayed there for many years. I was still working at the time. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse. I had dieted so many times. Nothing ever worked until the wonder drugs came out..the Phen-Fen sensation. They were awesome. So many of us took them. I lost 30 lbs in 3 months time. I was feeling fantastic. I was working out every day of the week, eating healthy, and I was weaning myself off of the drugs while still losing weight. I thought I was on my way to a healthier, more fullfiling life. Then, I got pregnant again. I had thought my baby-making days were over...had hoped they were. So, I had to stop the meds. I began eating whatever I wanted...my thoughts were....I will eat what I want while pregnant, then after I have the baby, I will go back on the meds and lose it again. Well that would have been fine, except that within a few months, one of the drugs was taken off the market for being unsafe. So, I gained up to an all new high of 398 lbs, then I had my daughter. I lost about 30 lbs with the birth..but have not seen under 300 lbs since before the pregnancy.
Hereditary wise, I have no idea where my weight comes from. None of my family members are anywhere near my size. Theres a few overweight ones, but only by about 20 lbs at most. So, my weight comes from me. What can I say? I love food and I love the wrong foods. If only I enjoyed eating healthy foods, I wouldn't have as big of a problem. Its kinda hard to make yourself eat foods you despise. But at this time in my life, Im willing to put more effort into a weight loss endeavor. I know I can't do it alone. That's why I turned to WLS. I'm praying now, that I have found the right surgeon and I will get my surgery within in the next 3 months. I'm hoping that is realistic, if not, I will give it longer. I'm thankful that I have a supportive family and friends who are willing to be there for me. This will be the most difficult thing that I ever do in my life..but the most important for my life!
This has been such a long journey for me. I decided back in 2002 that I would get the WLS. I didn't know which one at that time, so I began researching a little, but not alot. I was in the process of trying to get my Disability and wasn't able, financially, to really pursue the surgery. It took me 2 yrs to get the Disability and begin receiving Medicare. This is when I really started looking into WLS. I looked online some, I talked to my doctor. I then found OH and became a member in 2005. This is where I found a doctor near me in Memphis that accepted Medicare. I went to his seminar and decided that I wanted him as my surgeon. The first appointment was a huge disappointment and set me back quite awhile. I was told that my BMI was too high and that I would have to lose 50 lbs before he would even consider the surgery on me. I was devastated and slipped into a deep depression. A few months later, I came back and began looking again. I went to a surgeon in my hometown. He didnt accept Medicare, so he wouldn't accept me as a patient. So, I was back to square one. It just seemed I was meeting roadblock after roadblock.
November 14, 2007 - I am back in the running for the Bariatric surgery. I saw a surgeon today, here in Jonesboro. He will do the surgery, if I lose some weight. I guess I can see the rationale in that, but I seriously don't know how I'm going to manage it. I will be starting a 3 week liquid diet on Monday. I guess I will just do my best, which is all I can do. I have lots of support from my family and friends. This is going to be a hard endeavor, but nothing in life is easy. I found that out long ago. I turn 40yrs old in 3 days...I guess this is my birthday present to myself, although it will take me several months before I am able to get the surgery. I am really nervous, scared actually. But I have to do it. For me, for my kids.
Nursing is so important to me. I haven't been able to do it for many years now. I have maintained my license. I am praying that one day I can return to it.
Here is a webpage that compares the major WLS. I found it quite useful when deciding on the VSG.
Check out our photos from my surgery trip to Puerto Vallarta ---- http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v11/ladiesassie/Puerto%20Vallarta/
WHY I CHOSE VSG (over the other Bariatric surgeries)
After much research, I decided on the VSG - Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. It was the simplest of the procedures. Done laprascopically (most of the time), the surgeon goes in and detaches approximately 80% of the stomach and removes it from the body. You are left with a small tummy, roughly the size of a banana, which resembles a "sleeve", hence the nickname. Having this smaller tummy allows us to eat a much small amount, resulting in weight loss - provided we follow a healthy diet of course. Most post-ops with the VSG (and the other surgeries I believe) follow a high protein, lower carb diet. We can eat virtually anything that we want. We don't have the problems seen with the other procedures: no metabolic disturbances, no malabsorption, no dumping syndrome, no slippage or erosion from a foreign object inside our bodies (lapband) or fills/unfills on a regular basis.
For me, the VSG does what I never could - portion control. I would eat literally tons of food. I would stuff myself until I was sick. It's sickening to think of the amounts of food I was able to consume pre-VSG. I'm so thankful for my "tool".
The VSG may not be for everyone. Making the decision for WLS is very difficult - then you are faced with the decision of which surgery that will fit you and your lifestyle best. This is a very personal choice. You must do your research. Read as much as you can on the procedures: learn what to expect pre-op, during surgery, immediately post-op, and long-term. Talk to others who have gone before you. Go to search engines, look up the procedures. Discuss your options with a doctor. Attend seminars. Ask questions. This is your LIFE! Let no stone be unturned. You owe it to yourself to be well-informed.
Good luck with your journey!
Highest - 397
Lowest - 150 (age 18)
Pre-op Diet Day 1 - 396
Day of Surgery - 385
No Matter what situation's life throws at You.
No matter how long and treacherous your journey may seem.
Remember, There is a light at the end of tunnel.................