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David Kam, M.D.
Barix is a wonderful palce. It is very welcoming and quite accommodating of people of larger size. The waiting room chairs are huge. Everything else I encountered was quite comfortable and easily manouverable.
Dr. Kam is a very nice man. He was quite thorough. He discussed my medical history and made mention of how some things could be affected by the surgery. He was friendly and easy to talk to. He was relaxed and had a good sense of humour. There was a discrepancy in my file that he picked up on right away and got corrected. Dr. Kam was very straight forward in explaining the surgery and exactly what happens. I am quite confident that I have made the right choice and am happy that Dr. Kam will be my surgeon.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
THE START OF MY JOURNEY
February 8th, 2006 298 lbs ~ BMI 51.1 I've read so many profiles on this site and I realize I am no different than anyone else. I have many of the same feelings about my weight and many of the same concerns as others. I am 32 years old, 5’4” tall and weigh 298 lbs making my BMI 51 (I never thought I’d be posting physical stats like that anywhere, EVER!) I’ve been considering WLS for over 2 years now but since the birth of my son somehow it seems even more important now that I get healthy and active. As a single parent it is so important to me that I set a good example for my son in everything including leading a healthy and active lifestyle. I want to be able to do all the things he wants me to do with him and I don’t want him to learn all of my bad eating habits. I think I still have it in my head that I can and should loose the weight on my own through a change in eating habits and increased exercise both of which I will need to do if I have surgery anyway. I have a family history of Obesity, Hypertension, Arthritis, Stroke, Heart Disease, and Diabetes but to this point have avoided pretty much all of them except the Obesity. I have some aches and pains from time to time, I have borderline high blood pressure and hypothyroidism. I don’t see myself as desperately unhealthy although I know my weight takes it’s toll on my body and that I am not able to do all the things I want to do. My mind and my body just don’t work together. In my head I want to be active and do all the things I used to do but my body just physically won’t let me. I have so many fears about choosing the surgery option. I am not afraid of the actual surgery but I am afraid of having any sort of complication and not being able to care for my son. I am afraid of failing, of not losing the weight or of gaining it back. I am afraid of losing the weight and not being any healthier. I am afraid of the changes I will have to make and that I will be even less happy than I am now. I am afraid of not being comfortable in my body even once I have lost the weight. I have gotten used to the way I look. I may not like it but I am comfortable in the body I have. I am afraid of the unknown. I do have the advantage of having a PCP that is supportive of the WLS option if that is what I decide I need to do. She will gladly work through the process with me and is the type of physician who will find out as much information as she can on her own to help me. My family is also very supportive but no one can make this decision for me so at this point I am still taking everything under consideration and trying to get as much information as possible. I know I need to be 100% sure and committed with my decision before I can proceed. Easier said than done for someone as indecisive as me. This will likely be the biggest decision of my life.
March 6th, 2006 286 lbs ~ BMI 49.1 Well, I have made the leap and changed my profile from Learning About Surgery to Hoping to Have Surgery. I have an appt. with my PCP on Friday March 10th to discuss things and give her the forms to sign etc. I have already written my own letter to include with the package and I guess I should cave and take some full length photos if nothing else as a reference. I have been much more aware of what I have been eating the past month and my Dr. put me on Xenical (fat blocker) and I have managed to lose 12 lbs. It doesn't seem like much compared to those of you on the losing side but for me it is a little baby step in the right direction. So for now just waiting to see what happens on the 10th. I know my doctor is going away next week so that might delay things a bit. I hope not too much though. Now that I am decided I just want things to move quickly so that I can get the surgery right away.
March 16th, 2006 286 lbs ~ BMI 49.1 Status:Consult with Surgeon Planned, Waiting for Insurance Approval. I went to see my family doctor on the 10th and she was more than happy to sign my OHIP forms and provide a strong letter of support. It cost me $50.00 but was well worth it and I picked it up yesterday. I added my own personal letter, a diet/exercise history, family history and some photos that I must say are absolutely awful. I can’t believe how fat I have really gotten. I guess I have a misguided sense of what I really look like because I don’t feel as fat as I look in those pictures. They were so humiliating to look at. All I can say is they better be worth it so that I get approved. Now it is just a waiting game I guess. I was told by a Ministry of Health rep that they are no longer accepting calls enquiring about status of claims and enquiries must come directly from the referring physician. They were apparently getting swamped with calls. She also said that typically it took 6-8 weeks for a reply to the request to be issued and could be even longer than that depending on the volume of applications. DARN IT!!! I really don’t want to wait that long. I went ahead and booked a consultation appointment already with Dr. David Kam at the Barix Clinic in Ypsilanti, MI next week on Friday March 24th at 11:00 am. Hopefully after getting the go ahead from the surgeon that will speed up the OHIP process. I can only hope.
March 21th, 2006 284 lbs ~ BMI 48.7 Status: Consult with Surgeon Planned, Approval with first letter. My head is spinning. I can't believe it. I got my full approval already. It has only been 3 working days since I submitted my forms. Either someone is smiling on me or the folks at OHIP know something I don't and think I need this surgery ASAP. I'm excited and I'm so glad I don't have to wait. I still have my consultation with the Surgeon at Barix on Friday. I guess I will now be able to move through the next stages pretty quickly and should have a surgery date soon. I do have a few things planned in the next few months that I can't really change (weddings to perform) but I think I will be able to work around them. I feel like shouting from the roof tops. I have read my approval letter about 10 times and call half a dozen people to tell them. It is a little bitter sweet as Mark is still waiting for his approval but I am keeping my fingers crossed that his will come in before we leave for Barix Friday. I'm really on my way. WOW! I'm not sure it has really hit me yet.
March 24th, 2006 283 lbs ~ BMI 48.6 Status:Consult with Surgeon Completed, Approval with first letter. Whew, what a long drive. 9 hours in the car and I am exhausted. My consult went very well. Mark and I went together and are both good candidates for surgery. I have to have a baseline EKG and as soon as Barix gets those results they will book my surgery date. I made an appt. with my family doctor to get the requisition for the EKG and will be seeing her on Thursday March 30th. I am told it takes about a week for the results to come back on the EKG and as long as everything is normal I can proceed. If there is something that is abnormal I will have to do a stress test as well. I’m hoping everything will come back fine and that I can get a surgery date for the end of April or beginning of May. Since getting my approval I have told my parents, my brother and sister-in-law and three friends that I am moving ahead and that I have already been approved. They have all been wonderful. There have been a few questions but for the most part nothing negative. It makes such a difference to have that support behind you. I’m really very lucky. Just waiting for that EKG now.
April 5, 2006 283 lbs ~ BMI 48.6 Status:Surgery Date Scheduled, Approval with first letter. I went to my family doctor to get my requisition for my EKG. I waited FOREVER which is not typical but eventually got to see her and then went next door for my 5 minute EKG. My doctor asked for me to receive a copy which I delivered to her office. She sent it directly to Barix Clinics the following day. Did I mention how terrific she is!! The next day I got a call from my administrator at Barix to say they got the EKG and that Dr. Kam would review my file on Monday. On Tuesday the scheduling office called me to book my pre-op and surgery dates. PRE OP – Monday April 17th at 10:15amSURGERY – Wednesday April 26th time TBD Click Click Click – just like clock work. It is hard to believe that since actually making the decision to go ahead with surgery and getting my surgery date it has been under 1 month. Some more good news ~ Mark got his OHIP approval the same day I got my surgery date. I am so happy for him. We think that he will be getting a call next week to schedule his surgery date which will probably be the end of May. He still needs to send Barix his EKG but as far as we know everything is fine as soon as that is done I’m sure they will be calling him as well.
PRE-OP TESTING April 19th, 2006 279 lbs ~ BMI 47.9 The pre-op went well. Mark and I left very early in the morning (5:00 am) and arrived at Barix in time for my 10:15 appointment. I was at Barix for about 3 hours and this is what I had/did. -signing of admission, surgery, disclosure, financial forms-blood tests (5 or 6 vials)-X-ray-Ultrasound of gallbladder-Urine test-Weight and blood pressure-Review of all medical history with nurse-Discussion of pre-surgery routine and post surgery requirements-Talk with respirologist-Talk and exam by Internist and again discussion of medical issues-Talk with Dietician-Sampled some protein drinks All the testing was normal and other than having to go on blood pressure meds everything was fine and I am scheduled for surgery on the 26th. I will apparently get a call on the 21st with my surgery time.YEAH!!!!!
April 25th, 2006 Mark and I are leaving for Michigan today. We are planning on staying overnight in Windsor and driving over in the morning for my 10:00 am admission time. I'm excited ... and nervous ... but mostly want the surgery done and over with and to get back to my little boy. I'm more worried for him than for me and a little afraid of the recovery and limitations in being able to care for him. I will be staying with my parents when I return and they will help with his care for the first few weeks until my restrictions are lifted.ONLY ONE MORE SLEEP!!!!
DAY OF SURGERY
April 26th, 2006 (Posted May 1st) 277 lbs ~ BMI 47.5 Everything went even better than I had hoped. I arrived in the morning and was taken for a pregnancy test. Apparently they don't want you to be pregnant when you have surgery. Go figure. :-) I was then taken to the pre-op area. Where I spent about 2 hours. I was "suited-up" in my hospital gown and party hat!. I have a lovely picture courtesy if my sweetie. I had someone with me the entire time and they went over my medical history (AGAIN) and put on the leg massagers (to prevent blood clots) also hooked me up to monitor my blood pressure, heart rate etc. I had my IV inserted and the anesthetist explained everything that would happen just prior to surgery. Dr. Kam came out to talk to me just prior to going into surgery. I’m really pleased I got to see him beforehand and am just as confident in him as I was the first time I met him. Then they gave me the “happy drugs” and the “amnesia drugs”. I don’t remember a thing after that until waking up in my room. I was in a bit of pain initially mostly a dull ache with the odd little “grip” of shooting pain but not too bad at all. I was of course still on LOTS of meds and very groggy. Things continued to improve and the pain lessened and I got more lucid and more mobile. I was up and walking that first evening but initially very nauseous. I weighed in at 279 not too much of a gain. I think the worst part was the THIRST. I was so thirst. I had such dry mouth and nothing to relieve it. Only swabs of water and tiny ice chips and neither of those were cutting it. I walked again later that night because who can get any sleep with somebody waking you to either take your vitals or to make you do breathing exercises or to ask about your pain . The second walk was much easier although with all the tubes and things connected to you it is hard not to get yourself all tangled up. The next day everything but my IV was disconnected. FINALLY. Getting around after that was much easier. I was sent down to have an X-ray to check for leaks and everything looked good so I got to have a Popsicle. It was like liquid gold!!! I got Jello and broth and dilute juice and another Popsicle for lunch. I could only get down a very tiny bit though. I had the same thing for Dinner and did only marginally better at getting things down. It wasn’t painful and I wasn’t sick I just wasn’t hungry and had no desire at all to eat/drink. That evening my hand started to swell from my IV and it had to be taken out. OOPS. Too bad!. :-) Without having that IV pole trailing after me I was on my way. Lots of laps of the floor and in the morning even more to eat/drink. Dr. Kam saw me and said I was fit to go home. YEAH!! Barix is great but I missed my little guy and really really wanted to see him. I wasn’t looking forward to the 5 hour drive home but getting there would be worth it. Mark arrived at the hospital about 9:45 am and we waited until about 11:30 to get all my instructions and prescriptions etc but then we were on our way. We made a quick stop at Walmart to get a few sugar free things and my prescriptions filled. I was home by 5:30 pm
Here are my incisions the day after my surgery – not too bad at all.