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Goals

do what is necessary to have LBL surgery by May 2007!
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Surgeon Testimonial

Alfons Pomp
My first impression of Dr. Pomp was really good. He is a very down to earth man with a hell of a sense of humor who plays off the personality of his patients but works to ease any tension and make you feel like you've been his patient for a while. His office staff is highly trained and very professional. Genuinely nice people too, who seem to like their work. His offices are equipped with chairs wide enough for me AND MY HANDBAG so that was impressive and relief-giving. Dr. Pomp was very thorough in explaining the procedure and was patient with my Q&A period, although you can tell that his office is very very busy. They all try to accomodate you as much as possible but they do believe in \"let's keep it moving, folks\". Comparing him to some other surgeons, I find that he does a lot that they do and some things he doesn't do. He does leak tests during surgery, not after. He doesn't do drains any more. He said he did them with his first 100 surgeries but doesn't find them necessary any more. He does not give heparin for blood clots but prefers that you get up and walk as soon as you can post-surgery. He does give bile-thinning/reduction medicine to offset the risk of gall stone formation. No tubes in the nose or throat post-op either. He was very real about the risks involved in any surgery as well as this particular one. He was forthcoming with the fact that he had one fatality in a super extremely morbidly obese case. He was comforting and sympathetic when discussing sensitive or personal matters and was very easy going when discussing all others. So far so good and I am very happy that out of the 3 surgeons I was considering, I decided to go with Dr. Pomp and his staff.rnrn[DATED: 7/16/04] I really have to say how pleased I am with the professionalism and courtesy of the PAs, MAs, and Practice Manager of the Weill Cornell WLS Program at NY Presby. They are top notch in my book and after dealing with some VERY unprofessional people at a local area hospital, I am rejoicing in the difference.rnrn[DATED: 02/28/07] Still, after 2 1/2 years, I still sing the praises of Dr. Pomp and his top notch staff. I recently consulted with a P.S. who is a former colleague of Dr. Pomp's. Of course I needed to get documentation in order for insurance approval and asked Dr. Pomp to do a letter of support for me for the P.S. Not only did he agree to do it, he answered my email request quickly and had a fantastic letter drawn up within days. When I received a copy of the letter, I was very impressed and thought it would go a long way in the insurance company's review. I was right. I got approved within 8 days. Again, Pomp and his crew are the best and all his patients that I know really REALLY like him as a person and are grateful to him as their surgeon!
Member Interests
  • Animals - I am crazy about dogs. Big dogs especially. I love rottweilers!
  • Computers & Internet - I an a self-proclaimed message board junkie.
  • Humor - Who doesn't love a good laugh. Makes you wrinkle less! (Hahaha)
  • Poetry - Been writing poetry since I was a young teen. Love the floetry!
  • Music - Hip Hop, R&B, a little jazz, rock, reggae, soca...anything but country!
  • African - To appreciate where I am today, I'm interested in where I originated from.
  • Black American - For obvious reasons
  • Tattoo - Yes I have two and may get another down the road - maybe after P/S (???)
  • Basketball - Hoops! Yeah!
  • Reptiles - Yes, I am snake lover. Boas and boa pythons.

Latest Surgery Support Comments

  • Comment by Yankee 5/18/05 9:27 pm
    Wow! Your loss is really coimng along and your looking great! Keep up the great job! :D
  • Comment by Mamablack2k 9/14/04 1:57 am
    i just wanted to tell how much i enjoyed your profile. BEAUTIFUL PAGE! I almost chose Dr. Pomp as my surgeon 'cause my aunt worked at Mt Sinai but then he left there. I am very happy for you and your journey to a new beginning! CONGRATULATIONS! martine in harlem 453lbs waiting on consult 9/29/04
  • Comment by BK S. 8/26/04 3:38 pm
    CONGRATULATIONS NAE NAE!!!!!!!! XOXOXO
Click here for the surgery support page

I've always been a butterfly, but my wings got too heavy for me to fly. Thanks to my gastric bypass surgery, I can flaunt my colors.....

I'm flying...

QueenNae's Blog
QueenNae's Blog


April Check In
May 4, 2009 12:10 pm
Hello people!

Well it's been a few months. I'm doing ok, save a few complications. I had a breast lift, back fat removed, and arm surgery in February as planned. All in all, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but the arms - oy vey - the arms were the worst of the bunch. My arms were very large to start with. Some say it was hard to tell. I say bullcrap - my arms were LARGE and they were always that way - even before I got super big so I knew they would be an issue and they were. I will need a revision on them later in the year because they didn't heal well but they are smaller and that is a big plus. Overall though, I am happy wth the results. I still say my surgeon is a miracle worker and I would recommend him highly to most anyone.

Well I'll be 5 years out in August and sometimes I'm like where did the time go? But when I look at some of my before shots, I am still in awe over this whole process. Sure, I am my own worst critic (like so many of us) but when I get over my nit-picking and criticisms, I have to say that the difference between looking in the mirror then and now is like looking at another person's body. My abilities and stamina and confidence is also so much better than before as well. It is so amazing how much you compensation (and short-change yourself) when you are working around your obesity. It's crazy. This ride has been quite the trip - but with all of the good &bad of it - still no regrets!

Okay so now that I have unfortunately rediscovered the world that contains sugar, I have to get a grip and work my a---- to get some more of this weight off. I would really like to set an initial goal of 20 more pounds and see where we go from there. Need to get motivated and re-focused again. Need to get my mantra of affirmations going and realize that if I could go all out for the next person I love - then I need to go all out for THIS person I love, feel me?

I'll check back in soon and may have to take some half decent pics too.
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Quick Update!
January 15, 2009 8:48 am

Hey there OH!

Just ran in for a quick update and to check in on my folks on the PS boards.

So, I amscheduled for an upper body lift onWednesday, February 4th. Documentation has been submitted to the insurance company and creating the realityof a fast approval so that all falls into place according to plan.

If anyone would have told me a few years back that I'd be going for my third turn on the table with a plastic surgeon, I would have said "yeah right". I was so happy to have WLS and lose all that weight that I THOUGHT I wouldn't care about excess skin or flab or whatever. Now, I could have lived with it if I HAD to but given the choice, I would rather take the PS route.

I am scheduled for a breast reduction/lift, axilla, "back fat" removal, a little lipo above my butt and a brachialplasty. Another 7 hours under the knife but I trust my surgeon, I trust myself and mostly I trust God. I am anxious to be done with this round and doubt (for now) that I will be going for any more rounds in the foreseeable future.

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Next Round of PS: Shooting for Feb. 2009
November 30, 2008 12:15 pm
Well hey everybody. I don't have a lot of time to post and update these days but I do like to come back whenever I can think of it and check in with folks and update my profile. I've been doing ok. Not losing as much weight as I would like but admittedly, I am not trying as hard as I could either. I will most likely get my mind right and drop a few before my next round of plastics. I am shooting for the 1st week of February for basically a UBL - boob lift, arms and back roll removal. Honestly, I just want it done. I wish I could go in tomorrow - well, maybe not quite that soon but you all know what I mean. I used to get gassed up about surgery but now I just want this over with because I think this will be my last go-round. I want my fantastic surgeon, Dr. Thomas P. Sterry, to go aggressive but safe and get all three areas done in one surgery and that's that. Surgery is beautiful after you're healed and return back from Swell Hell but getting there is a b*tch! I pray that I get a fast approval from insurance, have a successful surgery, get good results and no need for further revisions. Wish me the best, folks!
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Okay so now I am "tweaked"
January 3, 2008 11:18 am
January 3, 2008

Okay so on December 19th, I went back in for a "scar revision" where my plastic surgeon corrected the slightly raised vertical scar from my fleur di lis (anchor cut) LBL incision, as well as addressed the muffin top and upper poofy thing going on in my upper abdomen.

This was done as an ambulatory procedure. I went in at about 9 something and was ready to leave by about 4ish. Of course, since I can't seem to leave Mt. Sinai hospital without an "incident", my drain wasn't working properly and it took 3 hours to rectify the situation. But other than that, everything went according to doc's plan, the poof is removed and that ridge and puffy thingy is gone as well. A successful procedure.

The recovery was good as well. A little soreness, some minor pain in the first couple of days. I took the vicodin a few times a day for 2 days and then gave it up. Took extra-strength Tylenol for another day and that was all.

Doc removed the one drain 5th day and was happy with the healing. I think I removed all the surgi strips by around day 10 and I like the way the scar is coming along. Whata difference in recovery from the LBL. That was a little rough for me at times. This one was a breeze by comparison.

Folks are asking me if I'm "done". I laugh. I doubt that seriously but I am in no rush to go back under anyone's scalpel any time soon. I have some other things on my to-do list for 2008 that require me to not be "recovering" from anything for a while so that's where my focus is. However, when I do decide to go under the very talented Dr. Sterry's knife again, I am hoping to go for the upper body and arms together. The jury is still out over whether I will do the breasts because I am very very uh...protective of the girls and the thought of having my nipples removed and reattached still freaks me out to the "Nth" degree and I am not sure I am willing to risk that everything (sensitivity and appearance) will return to "normal" after "a while". We shall see. But I do want the side fat, back fat and these big ol' grandmama arms done at some point so that will be down the road a little bit.

For now, it's a new year, I have some things on my agenda and one of them is to get back on the protein train, get the hell off the carb and sugar train, and get my self moving with regular exercise because my body hasn't looked this good since "Hector was a pup" - whatever that means - so I need to do what I can to preserve it and even to improve it a little more if possible!

What a trip this all is. But I am glad I'm on it!
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Am I going back for MORE???
October 15, 2007 6:15 am
10/15/07
Well now. After weight loss surgery and all that goes along with that for the first few years, I slid down the road to my first experience with plastic surgery with my LBL. I guess there was a part of me that was so thankful to get that done even though it seemed like it would never happen, I didn't give a lot of thought to "what's next" - if anything or any additional surgeries.

I tell you, that plastic surgery bug is like that tattoo bug but worse! Once you get one, you start thinking about WHAT ELSE you can do!

Anyway, I am one who is always lecturing about knowing when to say when and I am STILL preaching that. Too many folks I see are chasing this "I want to be (damn near) perfect" dream. Nothing wrong with being the best you can be, but there are limitations, I feel, and I see so much time, effort, money, and emotion poured into folks trying too hard to get to a place they never knew before and are highly unlikely to ever get to now. It's a little sad to me, but hey -to each, her reach, ya know?

As for me, well, it appears that I may be going back for a "scar revision". I had the fleur de lis or "T" or anchor cut incision (it's called everything but a cut up your middle) and since I had major upper belly fat pockets, I knew from the gate that my surgeon could "help" that area with the anchor cut but would not be able to make it totally flat. We discussed this in advance and I know I had major issues going on in that area that an LBL could not address fully. The scar is also a bit raised, It didn't heal flat like the others so it's revision time for me. I'm looking at going in right before Christmas since I always take off from work between Christmas and New Years anyway. *sigh* They assure me that the LBL was the worst of all the procedures that I had orginally considered so this one is ambulatory with a week-long estimated "downtime". I never stressed over surgery before but I think I am still a little to reminiscent of the emotional drain of my LBL. I'll get over it though. I know I'm strong.

Down the road? Hmmm....... I can't say for sure. I have a few other things going on besides the Renee Beautification Project so I may have to be easy for a while and tend to other things for a while. However, I will NOT rule out some boob and back work in the future. And even though I totally need thighs done (I swear these things it seems like my weight loss just IGNORED my thighs), I am deathly afraid of medial thigh lifts so I may just be stuck with the thighs from hell forever, but you know what? Considering where I came from, I can live with big, crazy thighs.

But check back with me on that if I hit lotto.
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My Story

*May 2004*

My hobbies include writing poetry and short stories, dancing (that is, when I COULD dance), hip hop, R&B, jazz and rock music, hanging out with my friends, movies, and internet message boards.

At this time in my life, I am in my early 40's, I feel very young at heart and in spirit, I am more confident than I've been in many many years - BUT, I feel like my body is what stops me from living actively. I feel like I would like to be a more "hands-on" involved person and this obesity disables me. My mother, who is 22 years older than I am with TWO knee replacement surgeries, has more energy and abilities than I do. This is not good. I'm happy that she is energetic and lively but I am unhappy that I can't even keep up with her anymore.

I was once afraid of the surgery out of fear of the unknown - but then I decided to get educated so that any decision I make is based on information I gathered and not just the hearsay of others. So far, I have decided on a surgeon to have a consultation with and I have made an appointment to speak to my PCP at length. I have Aetna HMO and a few people I know who had similar weight and medical issues were successful in getting approval. I hope to be one of them.

I'm glad to have a place like obesityhelp.com to communicate with others who are somewhere along this continuum.

AND I'D LIKE TO ACCEPT CHERYL G. AS MY ANGEL!

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*May, 19, 2004*


I've decided to post updates to my profile periodically. So for a little background, I originally wanted to go with Dr. Stephen Michalski of Einstein hospital. He did my "angel" Cheryl G. and also another friend of mine and they thought he was really great and that his staff was very responsive. I got on his calendar for the end of July - then found out that he doesn't do Lap RNY which is the type I am the most interested it. *bummer* I got over it and got back to researching.

I then decided to check out Dr. Teixiera. I heard great things about him as a surgeon but some so-so reviews about how his staff handles the admin side of things. I think this COULD be that he is so booked up with new patients that the paperwork involved is probably too much for an over-taxed staff. That's just my guess. I'm really trying to give him the benefit of the doubt but my gut instinct is not so generous. Anyway, I was happy initially that so many folks had chosen Dr. Tex, but after attending a support group meeting at Montefiore yesterday, it seems like the entire Bronx and lower Westchester is going with Dr. Tex. That is just too many folks for my comfort level. This huge patient-base would probaby explain why it takes so long to get an appointment with him and even then, appointments are often rescheduled for even later dates (or his apprentice is offered to you so that you don't have to wait as long). I have been told that he is one of the best and I am trying to respect that, however, my desire was to have the surgery THIS year. I want an experienced surgeon but I don't want to feel like I am part of a HERD of patients. At the rate things are going with Dr. Tex, this is really not looking very promising.

Plus I also found out that his office is doing this new thing of charging patients $400 for that all-day initial consultation visit. WHOA! $400!!! The folks I know who are post-op or have surgery dates already did not have to pay this. The $400 is regardless of what insurance you have. I'm not sure what this is about and I am NOT feeling this. My friend and I discussed it and it may be a way to weed out the casually curious from the serious-minded. Also, it may be a way to help cover the cost of the nutritionist which I hear is not directly billed to the insurance companies. *shrug* This is still a bit steep and no one has specifically verified the need for this.

So....

Another WLS patient whom I ride the express bus to work with told me about the Weill Cornell Weight Loss Surgery Program which is a part of NY Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. I found out that Dr. Alfons Pomp accepts my insurance (Aetna HMO) and I found that a decent number of folks here at obesityhelp.com had him as well and had great things to say about him and his staff. I made an appointment for an initial consultation and they were able to get me a June 28th appointment. So basically, if I really like this surgeon and feel confident about him, I will go with him on the hope of getting the surgery no later than late fall. If I'm not happy with this consultation, then I will have more research to do. Perhaps I will consider Dr. Kurian at Lenox Hill. However, with all the great things I've heard about Dr. Pomp, especially his review from Pat Longmore, coupled with the good feel I get from his administrative/clinical staff, I feel very strongly about going with Dr. Pomp at this time.

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*May 21, 2004*


Well I've been busy. I had Dr. Pomp's office fax to me their instruction sheet which includes the standard tests that he requires as well as a list of additional ones should he deem it necessary after exploring one's medical history. I managed to get referrals and appointments for a cardiologist (not necessarily required by Pomp but I'm doing it anyway), a psychologist, a gastroentrologist and my PCP will do the endocrine blood tests. I have an appointment with nutritionist the same day as my surgeon consult. I have my PCP's office putting together a letter of medical necessity as well. I even faxed him the things that I feel should be included in the letter. I also contacted the Bolton Burke Weight Loss center that I have been an intermittent patient of since 1996. I figured a letter from them will also help support my case when the packet is submitted to Aetna. Now I just wait til my appointments and try to keep focused.

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*June 2, 2004*
Attending a support group meeting at Weill Cornell this evening. Don't know how to feel really. It ought to be interesting and it's a new group so I don't know what to expect really. Just ready to go. Feeling like it's taking forever to get to my 1st consult with Dr. Pomp but I know that's all in my head. Gotta just focus on getting all my ducks in a row and keeping it positive.

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June 27, 2004
Haven't posted in weeks but here are the updates. The support group meeting at Weill Cornell went very well for me. It is very different from the group at Montefiore. Smaller. More intimate, a bit more structured, different demographic. It was great to be able to attend them both, however, because I get a lot out of each. Most there were post-ops. There were two pre-ops including myself and one man and his wife who were just looking for information as he has not yet made a final decision. I heard such great things about Dr. Pomp and that eased my mind quite a bit. There have been some really questionable things going on with the surgeon I was previously considering and the hospital he is affiliated with has gone down in quality care drastically. I was so glad that I did the homework, networked with people, was flexible and made the switch.

As I wait for my surgeon consult, which is tomorrow afternoon, I have been busy getting my ducks in a row with some of the requirements. I got my letter of medical necessity from my PCP. I got the following tests done: endocrine, EKG, abdominal sonogram, stress test, psych evaluation. I have the following tests scheduled: chest xray and endoscopy w/ H. pylori, and nutritionist.

I really hope and pray that everything goes well tomorrow and that I am cleared for the surgery, that I have no problems with Aetna's approval, that all the documentation I have is sufficient, and that Dr. Pomp can perform a Lap RNY sometime early to mid-August. I would love to do this after my birthday in the beginning of August and have it done and be on the mend by the time school starts in September.

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June 28, 2004 - INITIAL CONSULTATION DATE
Well I had a chest x-ray to start the day which took no time and then 3 hours to kill before my surgeon consult with Dr. Pomp. I called about an hour and a half before my appt. and they told me to come on in. They took me immediately. There was also a doctor there who asked me to participate in a longitudinal type study to determine how gastric bypass surgery impacts one's life over the 1st year or so and how one type of surgery differs from another in terms of quality of life. The information is used but never the patients' names. I agreed. I think that studies of this type are important and could possibly be used to support or influence insurance criteria for approval of bariatric surgery. Anyway, everyone there was very nice, very professional and efficient. That means A LOT to me that the MAs and PAs are good to work with. These are the people you talk to the most anyway. I was very very pleased. LaWanda the medical assistant was great. Diana Gee, the PA, was great too. Dr. Pomp was so much more down to earth than I would have expected and had a hell of a sense of humor. I mean this man had JOKES. I guess he plays off the personality of the patient but he was very easy going with me. He was informative, and patient with my Q&A session. He's a light-hearted type of man and very confident, you can tell. However, he makes YOU feel confident in his ability and that is key. But he's not all grins and smiles, either, he can be very compassionate and when explaining to me how he did not want me to get pregnant for the first year or so of this surgery, he was very sympathetic to the fact that I had problems conceiving and carrying full term in the past and did not want me to go thru another painful situation where I have a mal-nourished baby from becoming UNEXPECTANTLY pregnant due to the estrogen rush women get when they lose fat quickly. (Guess after all these years I have to get on some birth control, huh? I am almost 43 years old and I am not really trying to extend my family at this stage of the game, thankuveddymuch).

So, he was especially impressed that I had so much documentation already completed and organized. I have letters, doctor records, recommendations, weight loss center documentation, test results for all but 3 tests that are pending and submitted them to him in a nice folder with a list of all the contents. He was duly impressed and said he wished that all patients came into the office well-informed. I was so flattered. So basically, he looked over my paperwork and said things look good for the lap RNY. He won't give me a date until all my results are received by his office. I estimate that to be no later than the middle of next week (considering the 3 day weekend and all). I can't WAIT!!!! I met with the nutritionist after the consult and things went well with her too. I'm cautiously optimistic. I hope things go as smooth with Aetna's approval. I asked Dr. Pomp if he had trouble with Aetna and he said he had experienced some problems with them but doubts that he will with my chart. I hope he's right. Well, that's all for now. I have to take some vitamin deficiency blood test and an endoscopy on Wednesday and that's all for the testing.

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June 30, 2004
Tic Toc Tic Toc
My life has become a series of waiting. Like the rest of you don't know this. *smile* I got up WAY EARLIER than I would have preferred because my PCP said I could come in at 7:30 (gotta love a doctor who will see you that early in the a.m.) to take my blood for the vitamin D and parathyroid testing that my nutritionist now requires. This was the ONLY test that my surgeon/nutritionist require that I did not anticipate. Frankly, I've never heard of any nutritionist requiring it. Ah well. It was just a blood test (damn he took like 6 vials of blood!) and it was all over in like 15 minutes.

While I was there, he told me that my EKG, Echocard, chest xray, and stress test results from the cardiologist came in yesterday and he made me a copy. I see from the cover page of the fax that the cardiologist already faxed the results to my surgeon as well. Wooohooo. And he's clearing me for the surgery. Yeah boy!!! Another test down and two more to go.

So hopefully (knowing Quest Diagonostics) I should get some type of test results back from this newest blood work by Tuesday of next week, considering the long weekend, or Wednesday at the latest. I have that *yuk* endoscopy for the H. Pylori in a couple of hours. I'm actually leaving here in about 1/2 and hour to go on down to the hospital. I had some time to kill between appointments so I came home to post this. If the results get to my surgeon by next Wednesday as well (I hope, I hope) and if there are no signs of weird bacteria or ulcer causing agents, then I should get a date next week.

WISH ME LUCK! Then it's the Aetna approval process. *Good lawd* What a time not to be able to drink, smoke, or eat a bucket of chicken! *sorry, old habit die hard!*

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July 8, 2004
Well yes, yes! I got a surgery date of August 19th and I am very grateful that things have been going as smoothly as they have. Praying hard that the good luck continues. I am now awaiting approval from Aetna and well, let's just say I'm trying hard to leave it in the Lord's hands.

I had personally faxed the last 2 test results to my surgeon's office today but didn't think I'd hear back from anyone as yet. Then when I looked at my G.I. report, I saw that he said I have a hiatal hernia and some erosion in my stomach from taking too many pain relievers. I was concerned about that for a minute too. But everything else was ok. We were just waiting for the H. Pylori results. But the PA called me before the H. Pylori results were in and gave me my date. About 2 hours later, the H. Pylori test (negative) came in. YEAH!!!! I was really hoping for a date during the week of August 16th so this is really a blessing.

I'm now filled with a combination of excitement, nervousness, anticipation.

Lots to do to get prepared.

Trying to stay focused and positive.

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July 16, 2004
Well I'm stuck in a holding pattern as I wait for approval from Aetna. In the meantime I daydream of some of the simple things I'd like to do post-op like:

cross my legs
be able to squat or kneel
walk up flight of stairs without my knees buckling
to be able to sit down dainty-like instead of plopping down
to be able to strut sexy again
to be able to wear an all-in-1 without the need for an oxygen tank
to be able to see the shock on my ex-husband's face
to surrender up one of these chins
to be able to wear a small heeled shoe without feeling the pressure on my ankles & feet
to give up blood pressure medication
to be able to deal with NY summertime humidity and still be able to breathe
to give away clothes I'm wearing now
to not have to have an extender peice on an airline seatbelt
to be able to fit my behind in a chair with arms
to sit for more than an hour without ankle swell
to be smaller in my second wedding pictures than i was in my 1st
to be able to advise pre-ops from the OTHER side
to one day be a centurian (well 150 lbs. lost would be even BETTER!!!)

But for now, I am sleepy and delirious. I hear my other half getting up to check on me so let me go on to bed. I think I have low-grade anxiety because I don't go to bed at 11pm like I used to. I come online and try to type through heavy eyelids and lazy fingers...

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July 16, 2004
Aetna, Aetna, Aetna. They are sticklers for detail, I tell you that. With all the documentation I gave, they are still asking for the actual chart from the medically supervised weight loss program I belong to since 1996. I should have known. *sigh* Praying that once I get them that information, they will be satisfied and give me my approval so I can really feel like this will be a reality in a month!

Do butterflies in the stomach count as protein???

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July 23, 2004
Well YEAH!!!! I got approval from Aetna! Even though I was a little antsy about the process, I have to say that it really didn't take that long. But you really have to document EVERYTHING for them and medically-supervised weight loss attempts carry a lot of influence with them. So now my August 19th date is real! Soooooooooooooo relieved!

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August 18, 2004 - DAY BEFORE SURGERY
Well less than 24 hours to go. I had been experiencing low-level anxiety for a while but right now, I feel pretty good. You know making this journey has a way of putting you closer to God and I feel good that He is watching over and protecting me. He always is but you know there are times that you need to REALLY KNOW this. I am very thankful (yeah, my heart is full) for all the love and support that I have received from my family, my friends and my new family of friends on obesityhelp.com. This place has been so great for so many reasons but the sense of family and community is the bomb! I also feel very lucky to have a mother who has always been my #1 cheerleader and supporter. This woman is TRULY my best friend and this is no cliche. My mother is MY GIRL and I love her like crazy. My sister from another mother, Cheryl G NYC, was the catalyst for me taking this weight loss surgery seriously and she didn't even know it. We've been sisters thru the fire and I love her for just being herself. Also, I want to say that my other half, "G" (as we call him), has always been one of the sweetest, most loving and attentive men that I have known in many many many many years and his support of me through this and his willingness to rearrange his life to take care of me with this is immeasurable to me. After many years of trying to make where I was a "home", I finally got with G and "home" was automatic. I love you baby. Ooops. One more thing. Last night, my baby girl Diamond (G's daughter and the daughter I didn't give birth to), gave me one of those hugs that truly made me forget that she is not of my womb. Children just have that way, you know? She was afraid for me, naturally, and I just had to let her know that when we're scared, we have to learn to pray on things and surrender it up to God and HAVE FAITH that He will take care of it all. I also told her that with a little ball of fire like she is, I HAVE to make it back from this to keep her IN CHECK as she grows up. LOL!

So make room for this big butt on that Loser's Bench all you post-ops because Renee is on her way.

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August 23, 2004 - FIRST POST-OP POSTING
Well I made it. I was strangely calm going down to the hospital at 5:00am on Thursday the 19th. I never got nervous or freaked out. Just went thru the motions of getting ready for surgery and before I know it, the anesthesiologist was knocking me out and the next thing I know, I was waking up to my other half and my mother's smiling faces. Dr. Pomp told me that the surgery went smoothly, no problems and that I was doing fine. That morphine is a beautiful thing because I felt like it was NOTHING to have these 7 little holes in me. hahahahahahahahaha. But with the exception of one new nurse who pissed me off, the care at NY Presby/Cornell was really good. My surgeon came to see me 3 times, his associate came once and even my cardiologist (Dr. Warschauer, you are the man!) came by twice and he wasn't even required to.

So many friends and loved ones came to show their support and it was so touching and moving. The love and support that came from obesityhelp.com is so amazing, I can't even tell you. My New York possee represented for me BIG TIME and I love them so much for it. Amazing how close folks along this journey can become in so little time. My surgery sister, Debbie Pleasic, was also my roomie and it was really really nice having a friend in the next bed.

Coming home was a little difficult at first. Still a little hard to get comfortable at times and I'm not trying to take that vicadin much at all. It's so funny that no matter how much you study and how many folks you speak to, you still second guess if you're "doing this right". But I'm trying and staying in contact with more experienced post-ops as well and hopefully I will share some of the same successes as so many before me.

I always say that I am good now, but I am trying to be even better. Always a work in progress!

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September 11, 2004
First of all, I want to take a minute to bow my head for all of those who were lost in the events of 9/11/01.

Yesterday I went for my 3 week post-op appointment and it was more like a social gathering than a doctor's appointment. I am really cool with my surgeon's medical assistant and we were just talking and kicking it. Another patient of my surgeon who I became friendly with (Ronnie) came out to get me and I sat with her in her exam room while she waited for him to get her. We were laughing and having fun. Then the woman that had her surgery after me and also ended up being my hospital roomie (Debbie) had an appt. after me so she came in the room with me while I waited and we chit chatted and caught up for a while. Then a young man who was also in the hospital the same time we were was across the hall in another waiting room with his mom and we spoke to them as well. An older woman I had never met but was nervous as hell, asked me some questions about my surgeon's abilities and I ended up consoling her and giving her my cell # to call me when she gets stressed out. *whew* And still I haven't said a word about the EXAMINATION!!!!

So overall, he said I am doing great. I have two incisions that still pull because they are located in a fold in my tummy area so they are annoying sometimes but nothing big. I am down 31 lbs. as of yesterday and 32 as of today from my top weight at my pre-op testing date. I have an appointment with my nutritionist on Monday and she's going to have to give me some new ideas for food because the eating challenge is real and food gets really boring at this stage of things.

Dr. Pomp also gave me some prescription iron and some gall bladder meds to take. Told me to wait another month and then I can join a gym. Told me that resuming sex was at my own discretion but to take it easy. (hahahahahahaha - ok, I'm gonna just leave that alone! Folks who really know me, know that I could have a FIELD DAY with that advice but I'll keep this rated at least PG13!) Anyway, things seem to be progressing nicely.

ALSO! Do you like my new profile? Well I love it and I just want to thank MARICHA from the HTML Volunteers at obesityhelp.com for responding so quickly and working with me to achieve this theme.

One more thing - I think I am ADDICTED to sugarfree ice pops. I love the Popsicle brand. Flavorice Lite tastes too much like splenda overkill and Lifesavers brand are too something. Thick maybe. Or too tropical tasting. No, POPSICLE IS THE BOMB! (I am so strung on these things, I may need to go to some MEETINGS or something soon! *whew*)
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September 14, 2004
Went for my 1st post-op appt. with my nutritionist, Liz Goldenberg. She is good at what she does but could definitely use a tablespoon of warmth in my book. I personally don't trip off such things as long as she does her job BUT I can see how some more sensitive folks can find her to be a little impersonal and at times, maybe a tad condescending (hidden behind that empty, meaningless face stretch that some may mistake as a smile).

Ok having given her a character smack, let me just say that she did her job about giving me the particulars on what I should and shouldn't be eating and corrected some of my misconceptions. She is REALLY pushing this prescription strength iron and says that all the over-the-counter iron pills are ok for pre-ops but that post-ops have absorption issues and that requires special dosage and specially formulated iron. Since I have a tendency to be borderline anemic (sp?), I better go ahead and do their iron and see how that goes. I just hope I don't get the typical iron problems. But I have Colace on the nightstand if needed.

She got on me about my protein intake bigtime. She's not wrong though because I know I have to try to choke down more of these damn shakes but I can barely stand these things. I couldn't get down even an OUNCE when I first came home - but now I can push maybe 4 - 5 oz. before I feel like I am going to burst so that is some progress. I'll keep plugging along....

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September 25, 2004
Ok, so I took my butt back to work this past week. It was cool to get back into a routine again but the challenge came in when I had to eat. It can be difficult at this stage because I am not ready for some foods and other foods I am sick of (like yogurt, cheese, applesauce, fruit, and other soft things). I am also used to taking a little nap in the afternoons so this took some adjusting to. All in all though, I am not going to complain because it has been A LOT worse for others so I am just going to count my blessings along with the 40 lbs. I have lost so far. This is no easy road (right now I want some fried chicken so bad I can TASTE it) but it is a necessary one for me and I have no regrets.

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October 4, 2004
Well I guess things were going a tad too smoothly. Last week or so (maybe more) I started getting very fed up with food but I thought it was in my mind. Not much seemed to taste right or go down well. I backed up and started eating more softer foods again. Then I noticed that I was just not feeling like eating at all. The THOUGHT of food was making me nauseous. I thought this was psychosomatic as well. Then I noticed that I really wasn't eating and even drinking became a problem. I felt full constantly and even after a teaspoon of food or a sip of water, I felt like I was going to throw up. I was getting weaker by the day and called my surgeon's office. They all felt that I had possibly developed a stricture. Damn! Just went things were going so well.

So I had to go this morning for another endoscopy (oh joy - just how I wanted to start my week - with a tube running down my throat once again). But hey, I do try my best to be a trooper about things and look at them in the grander scheme. I am aware of the problem. My doctors are aware of the problem. This is not an unusual problem for gastric bypass patients. And they know what they have to do to correct it. So I had the endoscopy - it really wasn't all that bad anyway. Dr. Arthur Harris at NY Presbyterian Hospital is really good and a very nice gastroenterologist. So it turns out that my passage from pouch to intestines was more narrow than it should have been. Not by much - but just enough to cause the problems I had. So he stretched me a little bit and HOPEFULLY I won't have to go for a 2nd stretching in a couple of weeks. But if I do, I do. I mean I don't LIKE this but what can I say? It's not like I have to get cut open or anything so I look at things from the glass-half-full approach. So right now I'm tired, a little sore from the tube, and weak from not eating. I am on liquids only for 2 days and then I can go back to soft foods. I hope to be on the mend by the weekend.

Even with the minor glitches, I still am happy that I did this surgery. I am 6 1/2 weeks out and down 48 lbs. and I never could have accomplished that on Weight Watchers - believe that!!!

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November 6, 2004

Hello all - It's been about a month since I updated. It's strange because when I made the decision to have weight loss surgery in May 2004, it really consumed my life. The last month prior to my surgery date in August was REALLY all about the surgery. I was ALWAYS online - either here or a few other obesity support type of sites. I talked about this constantly. All my new friends were folks who were pre-ops, post-ops or seriously considering the surgery. I was constantly watching all the TV specials about it. Everyone and their mother was emailing me every damn article about bariatric surgery they came across and I really didn't realize how much of me was wrapped up in this until recently.

Ok, in September, I went back to work. In a few weeks the intense interest and the curious questions began to decrease and overall I have to say that all the things that I put on the back burner so that I could "do me" started to boil and demand my attention. Sometimes I feel bad now because I really realized how much I had going on in my life BEFORE I began my weight loss journey and how much of it I had to get back to once I started to get back to my "normal life" again. It's crazy because I am constantly attempting a balancing act between my new bariatric life, my life with my family, my life with my old friends, my work life and fighting for some "just me" time. It's hectic as hell. But the last I checked, there is no "S" on my chest, so I do the best I can and folks just have to accept it.

Overall though, I do okay. I have some very challenging days with this new pouch though. I think folks who are on the older side (over 40) may tend to have more issues with this surgery - like we have with anything else. My pouch can be very temperamental and I still have a hard time getting in my nutrition the way I need to because there are times that she is not in the mood for ANYTHING other than light fruit. Then there are times that she is feeling magnanimous and will allow me to eat lean sausage, salmon cakes, potatoes, protein drinks and beans. On the average, though, she is still pretty fussy.

I am now 10 weeks out and down somwhere between 65- 68 lbs. I am happy about it but it still seems surreal in some ways. Of course, I don't think I will be really amazed until I hit 100 lbs. down and I am hoping that will be somewhere around the first of the new year. I have to say that it does feel good to know that next summer (my favorite time of year) I will not be waddling around, barely able to breathe in the NY humidity, and trying to stay cool while trying to hide all these rolls of fat. It feels good to actually look forward to summer without feeling like "oh damn, another year that I swore I'd be thinner than last summer and failed at it AGAIN!" Yeah, that does feel good.

A friend of mine who is a year and change out came by on Halloween and gave me a bagful of clothes. (Thank you Kerrilicious!) I started out this journey wearing size 32 and 34 in Jessica London clothes and fitting snuggly into 30/32 in stores like The Avenue. I had to buy a lot in catalogs or online with Lane Bryant and Roamans. Ashley Stewart stores, Lane Bryant stores, Dress Barn Woman and New Woman were stores I could forget about because they only carried sizes up to a snug 24 (or maybe 26) or maybe 26/28. Well Kerri dropped off outfits in sizes from 18 - 26 and I was amazed to see that I could get into some of them. More of them that I could imagine and that really felt good. I was holding things up and thinking "I can't get my a$$ in this yet". But my Honey was like "Go ahead and try it on - you never know". He was right too. I always go through this whenever I lose weight. I never think that I have lost enough to go down a size or two or three. I guess that's because it has happened so infrequently in my life. *shrug* Funny thing though, I noticed that I even WALK different when I am wearing an outfit in a smaller size than to be flopping around in my old clothes that just don't fit anymore. 65 lbs. is a lot of weight to smaller people but when you once tipped the scale at 387 lbs., it still doesn't seem like a WHOLE HEAP of weight. But I have to remind myself that it IS significant, it's the most weight I have EVER lost at one time and I am still going! Whoa! What a journey!

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December 3, 2004

HEY HEY HEY!!!! Just stopping in to say that I am about 3 1/2 months out and lost 87 pounds and finally hit the 300 pound mark! Woooohoooooo! Will I be a centurian by the New Year??? I can only hope but it does look like a possibility!!!
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January 10, 2005

Well, Happy New Year to all. The holidays were a mixture of excitement, comfort, exhaustion and definitely a challenge. I hosted and cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 15, then I did the Friday after Thanksgiving for 11 people and then did Christmas for about 8 and New Years' Eve for about 6. And in my family, when I say they expect me to THROW DOWN in the kitchen, I kid you not. And I rarely disappoint if I say so myself. It's wild to make all that food - I'm talking turkeys, ribs, pork roasts, apple pies, triple chocolate threat cake, etc. and not be able to do more than taste some of this and pinch some of that. I find that even if I can't eat all this food, I still enjoy cooking and having others enjoy it. I can't help it. My love affair with good food of all kind didn't die because I had the surgery. I still love the creative side of cooking.

Anyway, today is January 10th and I'm a little late on the update but I made it to the Century Club (I think that's what it's called). I am down to 285 which is 102 lbs. from my pre-op top recorded weight of 387 and I am very happy. I noticed the weight loss has slowed down somewhat so I have to jump-start it with more physical activity and increased protein. But I am so thankful to be able to have reached this milestone, I can't even tell you. But then again, so many of you already know what this feels like and so many of you will know in due time.

I still miss some foods and I really don't like being cold all the damn time - but I'll take it over being 387 lbs., scared and miserable!!!

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02*24*05
Hello Everyone!

I'm just running thru quickly to report that I am doing fine. I am down to 265 - a loss of 122 lbs. and it feels good. I decided to join a "real gym" - Bally's - and my angel (and very close friend of 18 years) Cheryl G NYC is going to officially take me to join on Sunday. For me, exercising at home is a good SUPPLEMENTAL work out, but there are too many distractions there for me to rely on it as my primary regiment. I need to get out the house and exercise!

I did notice too that the weight loss has slowed down a bit. Not halted - but slowed down. My surgeon told me that would happen anyway. But all in all, I have to say that I keep on keeping on and am very happy with my progress at 6 months and 1 week out!
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*05*11*05
Hey there folks! Well, lately I've trying to be a good girl and stay in better contact with my online brothers and sisters in WLS. Life was busy and hectic before WLS but it is amazing how much things kick up when you have more energy to do things. I still don't have the energy I WISH I had but I have a whole lot more than I did a year ago.

I used to dread the summertime in some ways because even though I am a summer baby, every year it was the same thing. Damn, I swore I would lose weight before the coats came off and I didn't do squat but managed to maintain the same weight (as best) or even put on a few winter pounds. I always tried to work with what I had - even at 387 pounds - but it was getting harder and harder. Plus, the summers in NYC are brutal. High humidity is a b*tch when you're too fat, with edema and asthma. But this year, even though I know the humidity will still be hard to deal with, I can't wait til summer. I am loving all these flowy tops that are in fashion this year. They're very feminine and off the shoulder and halter and all that. Can't wait to show off the newest addition to my "body art". I expanded the pattern on my back tattoo and I want folks to see it.

On the flip side of things, I'm at the stage where I can eat certain stuff that's not always the best choice. Funny how I can tolerate certain "unwise" foods better than I can the recommended ones. I still have problems with eggs. Sometimes even the Lactaid milk gives me gas like crazy. I can tolerate water better than I did in the past (it used to come right back up) but I still can't swig it like I would like to. I'm doing better with chicken and red meat but for whatever reason, my tummy is funny in the morning and doesn't tolerate "breakfast food" all that well. I also noticed that I must eat regularly. At least a little something in the pouch. If not, the acid pumps in my stomach go crazy and produce so much acid that when I do eat, I get a sick and full feeling. I still take Prevacid or Prilosec but it's best to just not let it get to that point.

I am loving the weight loss so far, although it's hard for me to fathom that I have lost 140 pounds in less than a year. But I still have some ways to go. If I could get to 200 pounds, I'd be floored, really. Funny how your mind plays with you. I'd been so big for so long that I still fight to rid myself of those larger images of myself - AS WELL AS - the underachieving thoughts of "I can't (won't) get to __________ weight". Hell, I was glad to just lose 100 pounds though so everything over that has been a plus for me.

I know that I need to get back on track and get back into regular exercise, increasing my water, and upping the proteins, and limiting the carbs. I want to break this current plateau. Kinda stuck in the 240's and I want to break out of it and get into the 230s. I take it in 10 pound intervals, I guess. All in all though, this is still just an overwhelming but fabulous ride and even with the downside of WLS, I would not hesitate to do it again.

At this point, I am looking down the road a bit to a tummy tuck. I know I have a lot of homework to do on this subject but want to get started to see if this is an option for me in 2006. Can't do it unless insurance pays for it so I already know you have to damn near convince them that you're tripping over your hanging stomach as you walk in order for them not to see it as "cosmetic" - so I know I have my work cut out for me. (Anyone who has gone thru it, PLEASE FEEL FREE to share your stories, advice, etc. with me - It would be MUCH appreciated!)

Well, I see I'm getting some emails from a couple of my obesityhelp.com folks so let me go check them out and check out the BAF and New York boards before I go back to work.
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***AUGUST 19, 2005***

YEAH MAN!!!! Today is my one year surgiversary and I feel so many different feelings. Naturally I am happy and feel like a milestone has been reached. In some ways, it seems like yesterday that I was leaving for NY Presbyterian Hospital to have the most important surgery of my life. In othr ways, it seems like that was light years ago. Those early post-op days of not knowing what to eat, being scared, a little frustrated, etc. seem so long ago. I don't miss them. But I do miss those days of being able to lose a pound a day!!! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Well I started out at 387 miserable and unhealthy pounds. Feeling twice my age and missing out on doing even the most simple and common activities. Today, I am 159 pounds lighter and I really just stand in awe of the whole thing sometimes. I STILL have problems wrapping my mind around losing the weight of a good sized person in one year's time. It is an unreal experience - after battling this weight loss issue for so so so so SO many years of my life.

I am so thankful to my surgeon, it's ridiculous. Everyone loves their surgeon and I guess I'm no different. He made it possible for me to live normally again. I feel blessed to have had such a wonderful support system in my family (Ma, you are the BOMB - and G, you have been the best partner) and I don't even need to talk about my great friends that I had before this journey and oh my goodness, the friends in the online weightloss community have been --- damn, I can't even find an adjective to describe it.

Even though I am so happy and grateful, this journey is not without its down side and sometimes, I admit, I resent having to be so preoccupied with my new insides, what I eat, how much exercise I'm getting (or not getting), worrying if my stomach is going to act up today, etc. Yes, it can be a pain. But when I get too stressed out about it, I think about the way I lived before when I didn't worry one bit about what I put in my mouth and rarely considered exercise, and was unconscious about grams of sugar and saturated fats, etc. THAT, is how I blinked a few times and ended up 387 pounds and if that does snap me back in to reality, well.....need I say more?

I went into my closet earlier and picked out one of my favorite dresses from early last summer. I tried in on and just stared in the mirror. It was surreal. I swear, I may be sounding dramatic but it was like an out of body experience. Actually I guess it was! HAAHAHAAA - it was an out of the old body and into the new one experience. That thing looked like a sheet on me. I looked at the label and the dress was a size 32. Mind you, I had to make sure to wear a minimizer bra AND an all-in-one back then when I wore the dress because I didn't want all the rolls to show. Then I tried on the newest dress I bought. It's a straight column dress - cut very similar to the old favorite and that dress is a size 18.

I also looked at a wrap top I used to wear - a size 5x/6x (32/34) and the other day, my office was so cold, I had to go out and buy another top at a store I would only GLANCE AT before and bought a similar style top in a 1x which is a 14/16. Was that a happy anniversary gift for me or what! A 14/16 top???? Get the hell outta here. Well, yeah, I do miss the DD boobies that used to fill out that 5x/6x but well I can so get over that now! A couple of weeks ago, my fiance took me to Mohegan Sun Casino for my birthday weekend and I put on a bathing suit for the first time in years and for the first time in DECADES I was not self-conscious about anything more than batwing arms. It was a great feeling.

Well, I can go on and on but I won't. Just wanted to update on my progress and thank all of those who have been with me through this amazing journey and wish all of you the best in your journeys as well!
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9*28*05

Hello again. Not a whole lot to report. I did get to see my surgeon for my post-1 year check up. I know everyone loves their surgeon (well, almost everyone) and I guess I'm no different. That guy cracks me up sometimes. On top of being a very well qualified and experienced surgeon, he's basically just a nice guy with a quirky sense of humor whom I really like. He just plays off the personality of the patient and that's real cool with me and we have a great rapport. He liked my progress and gave me good advice regarding KEEPING the weight off that I've lost. I have to go next week and let the vampires take 50 million vials of blood from me for (yet again) ANOTHER round of FULL bloodwork but hey, it's part of the game so I do what I have to do. My BMI is down from like 56, I think to 31.8. That excites me. My surgeon said that my BMI is close to his now! Yeah! I still want it to be below 30 but hey, I'm SO within reach now.

Overall though, things are still basically good. I still have my days when the stomach wants to act up or I don't feel like eating anything or I feel like eating everything. I still have challenges - that doesn't change - there will always be some type of challenges. I still fight to exercise more. I still fight to reduce carbs and eat more protein and vegetables. I still have an ulcer so I have to stay on top of taking my Prevacid and not allow too much time between meals so that the acid doesn't build up in my pouch. I still have issues with water, though not NEARLY as bad as they once were. I am more critical of the jiggly body now that I have gotten more used to it. That may sound odd but it's true. Before I didn't give a damn about the jigglies too much because I was so happy not to be 387 pounds and a size 32/34 anymore! As long as things didn't get so bad that I was tripping over my panni or my boobs were peaking out from the bottom of my skirt, hell, I was good to go! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! But now that some of novelty of the new body has worn off, I am more conscious of how weight is redistributed in my body. But even with my personal scrutiny, I have to say that this is probably the best I've looked and felt in many years.

I went shopping for pants yesterday. Being tall and still having a sizeable butt, I have issues with pants. I can always find my size now, but I am particular about the way I want pants to fit. They can't just hang. The legs can't be too wide. They have to have some shape to them. They have to hug my butt right in a way that shows it off nicely and doesn't flatten it out and attempt to hide it. They can't be high waters either. They can't ride too high on the waist and look like "Steve Urkel" nerdy pants. They can't ride too low because, hell, I don't have the typical hour glass figure and that muffin-top crap these women have going on when low-rise meets belly fat is just plain ridiculous. Yeah, I lost 165 pounds but I'm not in denial of the fact that I'm still a "thickella"! Hahahahahahaha. Anyway, I have such a hard time with pants but FINALLY I found some at Lane Bryant that I like. They're pants I can wear to work as well if I'm going out somewhere and they do the "butt thing" nicely AND THEY'RE TALL!!!!!! HURRAAAAAY! I was so excited, I bought 5 pair in 5 colors. Prior to this, every pair of pants that still fit nicely were all black. Damn. I always had to add the color in the top or the jacket. But hey I'm learning. This new size thing is still a trip for me. I used to just go for the catalogs and get the biggest size they offered (which was usually a 32 or sometimes a 34) and that did the trick basically. Now I have to think about sizes. A new thing for me still - but I just stand there in the fitting rooms sometimes and MARVEL over the fact that a little more than a year ago, I was shuffling around in size 32/34 pants and today, I wear an 18 or even a 16 stretch jean. I know folks who are bariatric patients that are much smaller than me so to them a size 16 to 18 is not a big deal. But considering where are started and where I am now? Shoooooooot. I have two words: Incredulous and Grateful!!!!

Well, that's all for now I guess. I need to get back to work. I took some pics recently and I have to get around to posting them soon. I think my face has gotten a bit too small though. I mean I have like NO FAT on the face at all and I always had a chub-chub face so this is taking some getting used to. Anyway, take care all. Newbies and pre-ops, STILL FEEL FREE to email me. It's important for post-ops to continue to share their experiences.
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*May 17, 2006*

Well it's been a while since I updated but I am basically doing fine. Work and homelife keeps me busy so I really don't have the time to be online the way I used to. Still, I like to check in when I can to see how folks are doing and to update as well.

It's been a year and 9 months. I've basically stabilized now at between 208 - 211. I can't get down to 207 to be able to say that I cleared 180 pound weight loss FOR NOTHING!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA - but the summer is coming so I know a few more pounds will come off soon. I know that there are times that I eat stuff I shouldn't so I'm really not surprised. I would like to get under 200 pounds for the first time since I was around 17 years old - even though folks like my mother say I don't need to lose any more weight. Maybe I don't but that is my goal so I will keep that in my head until I get there.

Overall, things are good. I feel good and I am grateful to have taken off this weight and feel "normal" again. (Well not "normal" yet - but at least just "moderately overweight" which is a far cry from "super morbidly obese", right?)
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*August 10, 2006*

I was on another site and folks were discussing their "list" of things they wanted to be able to do after they had weight loss surgery. I forgot that I had posted my list more than 2 years ago and wanted to just update how I've done with that list so here goes:

CROSS MY LEGS
I can do this now and never miss an opportunity to strike that pose

BE ABLE TO SQUAT OR KNEEL
kneeling I can do fine – squatting is still a little bit of an issue due to SHOT knees

WALK UP FLIGHT OF STAIRS WITHOUT MY KNEES BUCKLING
I even tackle subways stairs now. Haven’t or wouldn’t do the subway for YEARS!

TO BE ABLE TO SIT DOWN DAINTY-LIKE INSTEAD OF PLOPPING DOWN
Yup – this is done automatically now

TO BE ABLE TO STRUT SEXY AGAIN
Well, yall know me…..so…..I’m struttin’ away!

TO BE ABLE TO WEAR AN ALL-IN-1 WITHOUT THE NEED FOR AN OXYGEN TANK
This one cracks me up but I can slide in and out of tight fitting garments now with ease

TO BE ABLE TO SEE THE SHOCK ON MY EX-HUSBAND'S FACE
Actually, he has been very kind and supportive of me so I won’t say anything bad about him.

TO SURRENDER UP ONE OF THESE CHINS
I am still amazed that the fat left my face without leaving jowls and waddles behind!

TO BE ABLE TO WEAR A SMALL HEELED SHOE WITHOUT FEELING THE PRESSURE ON MY ANKLES & FEET
My other half just bought me a pair of 2 inch heel boots. This is a big deal for me.

TO GIVE UP BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION
No more lisinopril. No more water pills. No more atenolol.

TO BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH NY SUMMERTIME HUMIDITY AND STILL BE ABLE TO BREATHE
Even when we had the 105 degree heat and 90 percent humidity, I still walked around and did what I had to do --- INCLUDING LAUNDRY!!!

TO GIVE AWAY CLOTHES I'M WEARING NOW
I have to say that this was very emotional for me. I must not have done anything but eat and shop in my “former life” because I had clothes on top of clothes in sizes from 26 – 34. I gave them away to some very worthy and appreciative people but emotionally, it was a TRIP to give away ALL MY CLOTHES! That was crazy for me!

TO NOT HAVE TO HAVE AN EXTENDER PEICE ON AN AIRLINE SEATBELT
My first time on a plane after surgery was a trip to ATL. Sat comfortably in that seat and no need for an extender. I have NEVER had that experience before. NEVER!

TO BE ABLE TO FIT MY BEHIND IN A CHAIR WITH ARMS
It was horrible not be able to squeeze into dining room chairs with arms on them. Now I don’t even think about it.

TO SIT FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR WITHOUT ANKLE SWELL
Water retention was a big deal for me. It’s great not to have chronic ankle and feet swelling and to know my TRUE shoe size without factoring in the swelling.

TO BE SMALLER IN MY SECOND WEDDING PICTURES THAN I WAS IN MY 1ST
Haven’t jumped the broom for the 2nd time as yet, but we just may do it in 2007. So considering I was 28 years old and about 280 lbs. when I got married the first time, I am sure not to be anywhere close to that for my second!

TO BE ABLE TO ADVISE PRE-OPS FROM THE OTHER SIDE
It feels good to be able to tell my experiences to pre-ops. Support is so important and a lot of folks don’t have the support of loved ones so it’s important that they have someone around who understands what it’s like. I had so much support as a pre-op and feel that I want to give back as well.

TO ONE DAY BE A CENTURIAN (WELL 150 LBS. LOST WOULD BE EVEN BETTER!!!)
It’s funny but when I originally typed that, I was FAIRLY certain that I would make 100 pounds lost but felt I was pushing it with saying I’d like to be down 150 pounds. But here I am almost 2 years out and I am down 175 – 177 pounds so I consider myself very blessed! (I’d still like to knock off another 20 pounds maybe).

**March 15, 2007**

Well, I'm at the point of this journey that I never gave put too much stock in until recently. I think I always had it in the back of my mind somewhere that I might go for plastic surgery one day down the road but never really had that concrete plan in my head like so many other folks I know. But here I am a little more than 2.5 years out and yup, I got it together and pushed up for this lower body lift. I asked the Lord that if this was right for me and if I had His blessing on this, to make is so; to create the path for me and He did. I got my letters done, got my copies of medical records, saw the doctors I needed to see and got approval from my insurance for at least the tummy tuck portion of the body lift. He even made a way for me to get the finances together so that I can pay for the entire lower lift. I feel excited and blessed and anxious and sometimes even doubtful, I have to admit. This is very unusual for me because I am not a doubting person. I mull over things internally for a