My Weight Loss Story... on October 5, 2006 12:00 am
Thursday, October 5th, 2006 ~ I just got home from an informational meeting about WLS at Abbott Northwesten Hospital. I am so glad I went ~ I only wish I would have gone years ago when I first started considering it. But I went now and by going to the informational meeting, I just completed the first step in the LONG process to have the surgery. Next, I have to talk to my insurance company, meet with a dietician, and have a psychological evaluation before I can meet with one of the surgeons at Abbott to get a surgery date. I've heard it can take anywhere from 4-6 months (or more) from the time you go to the informational meeting to the time you can actually have the surgery, but I am really hoping I can have it done by 1/1/07. This is one time in my life that I am not going to procrastinate. I have thought about this long enough and after going to the meeting today I am POSITIVE that this is what I need to do. First thing tomorrow I am going to call the insurance company and then I'm going to schedule all the appointments that I can and work on the paperwork that needs to be turned in. My weight today is 340 pounds.
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Friday, October 6th, 2006 ~ I am so excited about this! I talked to the insurance company today and they DO cover Bariatric Surgery if certain criteria is met. I definately meet the criteria. I set up appointments at Glencoe with Kari Knodel ~ Oct. 12 at 8:30am, Dr. Kroencke (psych eval) ~ Oct. 12 at 9am, and Melissa Trebesch (dietician) ~ Oct. 17 at 9am. I'm working on the paperwork but there are some tough questions that I'm not sure exactly how to answer. That isn't going to stop me though. I'm just going to be as honest as I possibly can. I want to get that paperwork in the mail TODAY! It was really kind of depressing yesterday. They handed out a chart to figure out our Body Mass Index (BMI). 20-25 is normal, 25-30 is overweight, 30-35 is obese, 35-50 is morbidly obese and over 50 is SUPER MORBIDLY OBESE. My BMI is 62 ~ not even on the chart! I am at a high risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer... and EARLY DEATH! I really need to have this surgery. Not only do I want to be able to do more things with Randy and the kids ~ I want to BE HERE for them. I feel like a walking time bomb ~ I really could DIE from being overweight.
Monday, October 9th, 2006 ~ The paperwork is done and in the mailbox! Unfortunately, there is no mail today (Columbus Day) so it won't go out until tomorrow. But, now I've done all I can do. I just have to go to all my appointments that I have scheduled and then wait for Abbott to contact me. I wish it wouldn't take so long ~ I HATE having to wait. But I want to make absolutely sure that this is the right thing to do so I am willing to go through the whole process. This will give me some time to take care of some things. I should really make an appointment (and actually KEEP it this time!) to go and see a dentist. One of the questions in the paperwork was "When did you last see a dentist?" I had to put "unknown" because I honestly can't remember when I went to the dentist last. They said that you have to have good teeth in order to have the surgery because you will need to chew your food really well once you start eating regular food again. I also need to start using that stupid CPAP machine again. If you have sleep apnea, you need to be using your CPAP machine for at least 30 days prior to surgery and you have to bring it along and wear it during surgery. Hopefully I won't need it anymore after the surgery.
Thursday, October 12th, 2006 ~ I had my psych eval today. ( My appt with Kari Knodel was rescheduled for Oct 18 at 10am.) I think it went OK, but it was kinda hard to tell. I have to go back on Oct 30 at 8:30am to take an MMPI Test and some other kind of eval that she wants me to take, then about a week after that she will have me come back to go over the results with me, then that should be it. I hated answering all those questions. I kept wondering what kinds of answers she was looking for, but I just kept telling myself to BE HONEST. Something I'm not really used to being, especially with someone like that. I figured I would only be hurting myself if I wasn't totally honest. I felt like she looked at me strange a few times after I said some things. I don't care how much schooling she's had or how good she is, no one can totally understand what it feels like to be me. I hope she doesn't recommend counseling before I can have the surgery or afterwards. Been there, done that and it's a complete waste of time and money. I don't care what ANYONE says, I will NOT be the same person I am today after I lose my weight, and I will NOT have the same kinds of problems. I'm not saying I won't have any problems, I'll just be able to deal with them better.
Friday, October 13th, 2006 ~ I HATE WAITING!! I feel so fat and so ugly ~ I don't even want to go anywhere anymore. I don't even want to get out of bed. I don't care how I look ~ I don't think I brushed my hair this morning, I KNOW I didn't brush my teeth, the pants I have on are pants I wore when I was pregnant with Jackson (4 years ago!), I'm not wearing any socks because it's too hard to bend over to put them on, I ate donuts this morning, chips while I was making lunch, more donuts while the kids were eating lunch, 3 pieces of lasagna and 3 cans of pop. I'd blame it on "Friday the 13th", but it's not just today. This is my life ~ everyday. I cannot live like this anymore. I HAVE to have the surgery. The house is so messy and I just don't have the energy to clean it up anymore. I can't stand it being this way, but I JUST CAN'T DEAL WITH IT. It's not fair to Randy and the kids, but I can't help it. I cannot keep up with everything. I feel like I am doing the best I can, but I WEIGH 340 POUNDS ~ that's almost 3 TIMES what I should weigh! I am SO DISGUSTED by my weight. I have so much to do ~ laundry, dishes, cleaning, paperwork, bills... Randy just came home with a dozen roses for me ~ I SO do not deserve him.
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 ~ I met with Melissa Trebesch (dietician) today. That went pretty well. She said she thought WLS was a good option for me. I'm feeling a little better about myself today than I was the last few times I wrote. I just get so depressed and discouraged about my weight and not being able to control my eating. But, for the first time in my life I feel like I am really doing something to change. I have a really busy week, but I will try and write tomorrow after my appt with Kari Knodel.
Wednesday, October 18th, 2006 ~ I had my appt with Kari Knodel today. She is behind me 100%! She wants me to come in and have a complete physical (bloodwork and pap, too) just because it's been 2 years since my last one and to make sure I am in tip-top shape for surgery. I also HAVE to start using that CPAP machine. There is no getting around it. My physical is scheduled for Nov 1 at 9:30am. After that I just have to wait for the results from my MMPI and other psych eval and then I should be good to go. I am really going through with this! My weight at the clinic was 342 pounds today.
Monday, October 30th, 2006 ~ I took the MMPI Test today. I cannot believe some of those questions! I will be very surprised if I passed. I think I might have been too honest. Dr. Kroencke will go over the results with me in 2 weeks (Nov 13) then I will find out if I am crazy or not. I probably am. I talked with her about my past alcohol problem (I've been sober 12 years) and how I feel I may use food the same way I used to use alcohol. RED FLAG RED FLAG! I assured her that I realized I needed to find a new POSITIVE way to deal with things after I have surgery, but she just kept acting like I was in DENIAL. I hope she doesn't recommend counseling. I REALLY don't want to go through any more counseling.
Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
Well, I had my physical with Kari Knodel today. First she went over the results of my bloodwork with me. Everything was good except my blood sugar was a little high. So she wants me to go to Diabetic Education classes. Next she said my blood pressure was also a little high so she gave me some samples of a BP medication to try. Everything else was good. She wants me to get my BS and BP under control before I have the surgery. I understand why she wants me to be in the best possible health before going into surgery, but won't having the surgery and losing some weight help my BS and BP? I don't know... I'm not a doctor, but I would think that having these two conditions that are more than likely a direct result of my being overweight would automatically qualify me for surgery ASAP. Oh well, I guess I'll just keep doing what I need to be doing and eventually I will be able to have the surgery.
Monday, November 13th, 2006
Well, I met with Dr. Kroencke (psychologist) so she could go over the results of my psych tests with me this a.m. I really don't know what to think. It could go either way. She went over my scores with me and basically told me that she felt that I hadn't been totally honest with some of my answers. I thought I had been TOO honest! After going over my scores, she asked if I had any questions. I said yeah, I guess my big question is if you are going to recommend that I have the surgery or not? She thought for a minute and then said that she believes having the surgery and losing weight could greatly improve the quality of my life however, since I have not been real good about following dr's orders in the past she had some concerns about me following through with the food and lifestyle changes that are necessary after surgery. I guess that was fair enough. I AM bad about following dr's orders. I realize that if I am able to have the surgery that I will have to make some MAJOR lifestyle changes and that it will not be easy. How can I prove that unless I am given the opportunity? I guess all I can do now is wait and hope that I get approved.
Monday, November 27th, 2006
Well, I said I would wait until after Thanksgiving and if I still hadn't heard anything from my surgeon's office about getting approved or not then I would call. I called this afternoon and I am SO MAD! The lady I talked to asked what ins. co. I had and I said BCBS and she said oh, didn't you get your letter and I said what letter and she said that 2 WEEKS AGO, BCBS changed their guidelines for approving WLS and that instead of 1 visit to the Dietician I now needed 3 and also I needed to follow a 3 MONTH PHYSICIAN SUPERVISED DIET! I said you've GOT to be kidding me and she said no. I said that I have been going to Diabetic Ed. classes and that an RN has been weighing me each time and that the Dietician has been helping me with my meal plans and monitoring my blood sugars and this lady said that BCBS is VERY specificic with what they are now requiring and that possibly my classes will count for the Dietician visits but that I need to follow a 3 month PHYSICIAN supervied diet. So, I set up appts. for Dec. 27th, Jan.29th and Feb. 26th with Dr. Chute. What else can I do? The ins. co. has all the control.
Wednesday, December 27th, 2006
I had my first appt. with Dr. Chute today. I got there, I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork, the nurse weighed and measured me (I was 5'2 and 356 lbs.) and then she took my picture. Then I was called back into another room where she took my measurements and then I finally got to meet with Dr. Chute. The first thing he asked me was if my knees bother me. I said yeah, sometimes I have problems with them and then we talked about my blood pressure, my blood sugar and my reasons for wanting to have the surgery. He explained the surgery in detail to me and said that after my ruptured apendix/appendectomy 3 years ago, that I probably have a lot of scar tissue and that an open RNY would probably be my best option rather than the lap RNY. I was really hoping I could have it done lap. since the recovery is so much easier that way, but he is the dr. and I guess he knows best. So, I am expecting to be able to schedule my surgery sometime in March or April after I meet 2 more times with Dr. Chute.
PS He said that it is RIDICULOUS for BCBS to make me follow a 3 month diet (he said he could put me on a diet for 30 years and it wouldn't make much difference!) and that if I wanted to try and get them to change their decision it might be worth my time and effort. I don't know ~ fighting with the ins. co. is not really something I'm interested in doing so I think I'll just let it go and maybe in 3 months I can take off a few pounds which will make my surgery and recovery a little bit easier.
Friday, January 12th, 2007
OH MY GOSH!! Dr. Chute's office just called me and said that after my appt. on Dec. 27th, Dr. Chute had put in a request to BCBS to skip the part about requiring a 3 month physician supervised diet based on my past dieting history and my obesity related health problems and THEY APPROVED MY SURGERY!! I am scheduled to have surgery on JANUARY 29TH!! That's only 3 WEEKS AWAY!! I am SO FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW!! I'll write more later...
Monday, January 15th, 2007
I had to start my liquid diet today. We spent the weekend going to my favorite restaurants and eating all my favorite foods. On Saturday we went to the Chinese Buffet in Mankato and then we stopped at Baker's Square and picked up a Carmel Pecan French Silk Supreme Pie which I ate over half of myself by Sunday night! Sunday we went to Hutch and we ate at Culver's and I had a Double Butterburger w/cheese, Fries and a Carmel Cashew Sundae. I feel so sick today that I was actually GLAD to start my liquid diet. 2 weeks to go...
Thursday, January 18th, 2007
I went to the WLS pre-op class at Abbott today. Randy went with me. It was kind of a disappointment. The letter said that there would be a dietician, a pharmacist, an anesthesiologist, a nurse from Station 40, and the Bariatric Program Coordinator there to talk to us and answer any questions we may have. The only one that was there was the Bariatric Program Coordinator and then this guy who talked to us about ways to manage our pain without pain medication after surgery (relaxation techniques, massage...) I did learn more about the surgery and what to expect before, during and after, but it was kind of a wasted trip to Abbott and then to pay Cindy to watch the daycare kids. They could have just mailed the info out... Oh well, now I just have to have my pre-op physical at Glencoe and then I will be ready! I still can't believe that I'm going through with this. What I especially can't believe is that I am really not very nervous about it... YET...
Friday, January 19th, 2007
I had my pre-op physical today at Glencoe. First, a gall bladder ultrasound ~ why they call it a GALL BLADDER ultrasound, I don't know. It was 45 minutes of poking and prodding my whole entire body. I probably have bruises from how hard the technician was pushing! I suppose she had to push that hard to get through all the FAT. Next was bloodwork, an EKG and then the actual physical. Kari (PA) was a little concerned about my blood pressure. She said I NEED to take my BP medication. If I can't get my BP under control they may not be able to do surgery. My white count was a little elevated too. I've been fighting a sore throat all week. Another reason that surgery could be delayed. Ten days til surgery ~ PLEASE God, help me be OK to have surgery...
Friday, January 26th, 2007
Back to the clinic today for a BP re-check (still high) and a blood test that they forgot to do at my pre-op. My white count came down a little bit but Kari is still concerned about my BP. She called Dr. Chute and he said it's got to come down a little. So she increased my BP medication (Toprol) from 50mg to 100mg. Can this actually work in just 3 days? Please God, can't you see how badly I need this surgery?
Saturday, January 27th, 2007
Back to the clinic AGAIN today for a BP re-check. THANK YOU GOD ~ it came down enough for them to tell me that SURGERY IS ON FOR MONDAY!! Two more days until I can begin my new life...
Sunday, January 28th, 2007 (11:45pm)
Oh dear God... am I doing the right thing? Just 4 more hours and Randy and I will be on our way to Abbott. I honestly have not been real nervous about this until tonight. It really hit me when Randy brought the kids over to Connie's to spend the night. Right before I was about to say goodbye to them, I realized that if something went wrong tomorrow, this would be the last time I would be seeing my children. I was able to say "goodbye" and "I love you" to each of the kids and give them each a hug and a kiss without crying, but as soon as they were out the door I completely lost it. Please God, let everything go OK tomorrow so that I can come home and start being the kind of wife and mother that Randy and the kids deserve...
Monday, January 29th, 2007 (3:30am)
SURGERY DAY!! Can't write much ~ we need to be on the road in 15 minutes to make sure we get to Abbott by 4:45am. Surgery is scheduled for 7:00am but I need to be there by 4:45am for prep. I am feeling so many emotions right now ~ excited, nervous, scared... Oh God, please help me calm my nerves and please help reassure Randy that everything will be OK, and please be with Katelyn, Tyler and Jackson as they each try and deal with this in their own ways. Be with my mom, dad, Lynette, and anyone else who has concerns about what is going to happen to me today... Also, please be with Dr. Chute and the others who will be working with me before, during and after my surgery... Well, here I go ~ ready to start my new life...
Thursday, February 1st, 2007
Oh my, what have I done? I came home from the hospital today. Thank God ~ I could not stay in that awful place another day. I missed Randy and the kids SO MUCH and the nurses/nursing assistants were absolultely HORRIBLE! I am in SO MUCH pain that I can hardly stand it, but I am SO GLAD to be home where people actually CARE about me. I really can't sit hear any longer ~ it hurts too much. I will write more when I can.
Monday, February 5th, 2007
1/15/07 Began liquid diet ~ 356 lbs.
1/29/07 Surgery day ~ 345 lbs.
2/5/07 One week out ~ 340 lbs.
I can't believe it's only been one week since my surgery and I went back to doing daycare today. I am feeling a little better but my incision still really hurts. Randy is helping me with daycare in the mornings and Cindy is coming at 12:30pm to help me after Randy goes to work until Katelyn and Tyler get home from school. I just had MAJOR surgery ~ it would be nice to be able to take a few weeks off but life goes on and the bills keep coming in... Lynette and Scott took the kids all weekend so that really helped ~ Randy and I just sat around and watched movies ALL weekend. What a treat!
Monday, February 12th, 2007 ~ 332 lbs. (down 24 lbs.)
I'm feeling much better but the place where my g-tube is hurts worse than my incision does now. I can't wait until that can come out. One more week... I'm still on liquids which is getting real old ~ I thought they said you wouldn't feel hunger for at least six months but I feel like I am STARVING! I can't wait til I can eat again! (I started my period today ~ YIPPEE ~ I thought maybe I'd get a break from that for awhile after what I just went through but OH NO ~ I get to deal with that too!
Monday, February 19th, 2007 ~ 328 lbs. (down 28 lbs.)
I had my three week check-up today. I didn't see Dr. Chute ~ my appointment was with Ryan. The best part of the whole appointment was that he took out the g-tube! WHAT A RELIEF! I thought it would hurt but it really didn't. He just told me to take a deep breath and before I knew it, he just yanked it out. THANK GOD that's out! He was pleased with my weight loss so far. I had my first B-12 shot which I have to take monthly and I will be starting a medication (Ursodiol) which I have to take twice a day for six months that will help prevent gall stones. Then I met with the dietician. She was also happy with my weight loss but said my portion sizes were too big. TOO BIG?!?! I feel like I'm barely eating anything at all. She said I should only be eating about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of food at each meal. I really don't know if I can do this...
Monday, February 26th, 2007 ~ 319 lbs. (down 37 lbs.)
Not much to report ~ things have been going pretty well. I don't regret for a second my decision to have WLS, but it is NOT as easy as some people think. It is definately not the easy way out. And whoever said you wouldn't feel hunger for at least 6 months must not have met my stomach. I am only 1 month out and I feel like I am STARVING sometimes. I suppose it's just "head hunger" but it is still really hard to deal with.
Monday, March 5th, 2007 ~ 316 lbs. (down 40 lbs.)
I've only lost 3 lbs. since last week ~ what's up with that? Well, I'll tell you what ~ I got my period AGAIN today. I just had it 3 weeks ago. ( It ended 18 days ago to be exact.) You'd think after all my body just went through with the WLS, it would give me a little bit of a break and I wouldn't have it for awhile BUT NOOOOOO ~ it's gotta come back FULL FORCE and TWICE in less than a month!
Monday, March 12th, 2007 ~ 311 lbs. (down 45 lbs.)
I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster. Everything is going great ~ I'm pleased with my weight loss so far, Randy and the kids are VERY supportive, I've been feeling pretty good, etc... BUT I am sitting here BAWLING! I don't know what's wrong with me. Sometimes I just start crying and I can't stop. I never thought it would be this hard...
Monday, March 19th, 2007 ~ 308 lbs. (down 48 lbs.)
I've been throwing up a lot lately ~ every day practically. I take a few bites of something and then I puke and puke and puke... I don't know how I can throw up so many times from just a few bites of food. I don't know if I'm eating the wrong kinds of foods, eating too fast, not chewing the food enough... or what. I'm getting real tired of it though. I'm afraid to eat anything anymore. Everything seems to disagree with me. Hopefully this will be a better week...
Monday, March 26th, 2007 ~ 306 lbs. (down 50 lbs.)
Yeah ~ I FINALLY hit 50 lbs. I am actually starting to feel it now. My clothes are starting to fit looser and some of them I cannot even wear anymore ~ they are just TOO BIG! Linda Nichols (a VERY generous woman from the OH messageboard) GAVE me 2 garbage bags full of clothes, most of them sizes 18-22. Some of them I can wear right now and some of them I will have to lose about 25 lbs. yet before I can wear them. Plus I still have all that clothes from Val that has been in storage. So I should be set for awhile.
Monday, April 2, 2007 ~ 300 lbs. (down 56 lbs.)
Saturday, January 12, 2008 ~ 208 lbs. (down 148 lbs,)
It has been less than a year and I absolutely can not believe that I have lost 148 POUNDS! I cannot even BEGIN to describe the changes that I have gone through. Not only physically but emotionally and spiritually as well. I feel GREAT! I have so much more energy and I do not hurt all the time anymore. (at least my body does not hurt.) Another change has been in the way I feel about Randy. In the beginning he was so supportive about me having the surgery. He loved me when I was 356 pounds and he said he would love me no matter what. He gets so jealous though and his insecurities are really being pushed to the limits lately. When I first started all this, I knew that after some women lose a lot of weight, they start changing in other ways too. They either start drinking excessively, gambling, chasing after men, going out to the bars every night of the week, etc... I NEVER thought that any of those would happen to me. Well, I guess none of those really have happened to me. My relationship with Randy has changed big time though. And not for the better as I had hoped it would...