- HEALTH TRACKER
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Excellent technical surgeon, very caring and very much interested in educating his patients.rnrnHe spent as much time with me as I wanted him to. He answered ALL questions, and the few he couldn't, he called in another person to answer.rnrnI have dealt with physicians for over 40 years as a Registered Nurse, and as a Rehabilitation Counselor. I have to say, he was among the best I have ever had contact with.rnrnI am NOT impressed by most physicians and medical clinics. I have to say, the Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Vanderbilt University impressed me a great deal!rnrnBy the way, this list has him under two different names. His name is David Barret Williams, and he is listed under both his first and his middle name.
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Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
Hating myself for being fat. Hating looking at myself in a mirror.
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I grew up in a very abusive home. My parents divorced when I was 2, and I never saw my father again until I was 15. My mother married repeatedly, and most of my step-fathers were abusive in some way. My mother used to go into drunken rages, and would beat me, put Tabasco sauce in my eyes as punishments, etc. We moved constantly (I went to 28 different schools, in 5 states, between 1st and 11th grade). I never finished High School, because my mother forced me to drop out to work full time, so she could use my money to buy more whiskey. I ran away and joined the Army at 16.
I initially worked as a Registered Nurse after leaving the Army. I worked weekends in emergency rooms, to help pay my way through undergraduate and graduate school. Once I had earned my Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, I stopped working as a nurse (but I maintained my license until 2000). I am one of the few people around with an Ed.D, but no High School Diploma!
I maintained my weight between 215 and 250 for the next 20 years. Then, I began to gradually put on weight. In 2003, I weighed 305. I was still walking a at least a mile every day, and did NOT have any co-morbidities.
On December 10, 2003, I fell off of my garage roof, landing on a concrete driveway. I dislocated my right shoulder, and sustained two compression fractures to my spine (greater than 50% loss of height of both of the vertebra). I also tore both rotator cuffs, broke 7 ribs and had assorted & sundry other minor injuries.
I was unable to talk more than a block or so after that, because of severe pain. Most of the time, walking from my house to the car was almost all I could stand. I had to use a cane to walk at all, because it hurt so badly. My weight shot up to 412 at its peak. That's when I told myself that I had to do something about my weight, or I was going to die.
I began an exercise program in a heated swimming pool at the VA Hospital in San Diego, CA, got into their MOVE program and got down to 354 lbs. But, I had to drive 35 miles each way, and couldn't afford to continue driving there twice a week, with the price of gas. I had to retire in September 2005, because of pain, and the need to take significant amounts of prescription pain medications.
We moved to Kentucky in late 2006. It took 8 months to get referred to the MOVE program at the VA Hospital In Nashville, TN. In that program I underwent Psychological Evaluation, Cardiac workup, etc., in preparation for bariatric surgery. All along, they told me that I would have to go to the VA Hospital in Huntington, WV for a gastric bypass.
To my surprise, they referred me to Vanderbilt University for bariatric surgery. To my even greater surprise, they authorized the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery, which the Veterans Administration paid for. Yahooooooo! I had my surgery on September 15, 2008.
My goal was to get to 190 pounds or less, and I reached 180 pounds on 1/26/2010. I am able to put on my old Army Uniform (which is almost 50 years old), and it is loose on me.
I have found the Sleeve to be such an easy journey. I don't rigidly follow my diet, I do cheat a little. But, never very much, and never very often. I primarily stick to the approved foods, and I can't ever cheat by eating too much.
I hit my goal (which I had revised downward) of 180 pounds in January, 2010. I subsequently went into maintenance, and have maintained my weight between 171-174 pounds.
I underwent a panniculectomy on August 8, 2010, which consisted of having the fat "apron" which hung down in front of my belly removed. Unfortunately, they "goofed" a bit with htis, and I am now lumpy, have a very uneven suture line, and will require a revision surgery to even things out.
I am grateful for all of the support that I have received from the people here.