- HEALTH TRACKER
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Christina Li, M.D.
Dr. Li at Sinai Hospital was great! From the start, she was very professional, meticulous, yet also very friendly and agreeable. She was very staright-forward as to what needed to be done at each of the steps, both in pre-op and post-op.
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I am now 26 yrs old. Pre-surgery, 6'1'' 380 lbs BMI about 50. Never in my life did I think I would get to the point where i would have gastric bypass. I only really learned of the surgeries for the first time 2 yrs ago. Even 9 months ago (Summer '07), when i started the hospital and insurance program i was thinking LAP BAND. Mainly because it was the least invasive and i had one friend who appartently had it and went from over 500lbs to 250. If you would have told me last summer i would have gastric bypass, i would have laughed.
My life story: I HAVE BAD GENES on my father's side. It probably starts and ends there. Most people don't want to admit to that as a reason for getting fat, but lets be honest with ourselves, it's huge. My grandfather (a man i never met) died of a heart attack at 50 and unfortunately in Fall of '04 my Father passed away at 61. Both of them were morbidly obese and had many co-mobidities late in life. I grew up through the years with a father who was generally "fat." Sometimes, in tears, i would tell him, "I'm fat because you're fat." The wierd thing is for both of them was that they were realatively thin until several years into their marriages. My dad also smoked heavily (which i have never done) and he started becoming bigger when he was around 35. He was several inches shorter than me (I am 6'1'' he was about 5'10'') and he probably topped out at 375 lbs. When he died, he was more like 340. The wierd thing here is that they were thin early on, I'm almost looking to do it the opposite way around. No doubt in my mind. if i continued at the same weight I would not even last as long as my dad or his dad I would have a lethal heart attack in 5-10 yrs.
How did my family and I get to this? Going back to the genes, unlike some obese people, we are exactly what we eat. There exists a major obsessive compulsive eating disorder along with a little bit of depression. Eating massive amounts of food at a sitting and eating even more when not in public. The amounts of food i could eat in front of the TV (I got hungry mainly late at night) were enormous. Not eating anything all day then "going to town" at nite. I like to call it a "hoo-rah" (binge)
Growing up through elementary, middle, and high school I was always the "fatter, husky" kid. I was bullied, in high school wore about a 40 inch pants, and always thought my social life was hindered because of all of this. At this point, health wasen't really an issue. That was until my FRESHMAN year. WHOO-FRESHMAN 15- dude, try FRESHMAN 60. This is when my eating habits and weight gain really started to go to shit. I ate and ate and ate, mostly emotional (under stress with school, celebratory, depression, you name it) Went from within 250 which i considered a "fat" but safety zone all the way up to 300. When i went home for winter break, i started experiencing sharp chest pains i never had before and i went to my doctor who told me of course i needed to lose major weight; he ordered an echo and EKG, everything was "alright." I actually transferred schools during that break up to New York where I continued to eat like a horse- going into that summer i was still at the 300 mark. This is when i decided to take a stand. With social reasons (girls) being my main motivator, i signed up for a gym membership worked with a nutritionst and dieted and excercised my ass off. Big part of my regimen was almost no carbs, lots of protein,no fast-food, and cycle-reebok (spinning classes) By the end of the summer I was proudly at 230 lbs, felt great and took myself into my Sophmore year. People were amazed looking at me; i continued to eat less and avoid the fast-foods, but my habits slowly became too much and bad. I wanted to hit 200 so bad, I barely ate and stopped excercising, However, by October, I was at 200 lbs the thinnest since probably elementary school with a size 34 pants.
School stresses caught up with me over the next year and a half and my eating went back to my old self. By the middle of my Junior year, i was back to 300 lbs. This was when i started to experience side affects again of my rapid weight re-gain. In Feb '03, i started to have minor panic attacks which were associated with sharp chest pains and nausea. The night it began i felt i needed to go the the ER because i didn't know what was wrong with me. I ended up going home to Baltimore for a couple weeks before going back to school. This is when i began taking Klonapin which i would be on until my gastric bypass to this day. When my father died in Oct '04, I was weighing 340 lbs. A few months later after having lost 40 lbs, i ate my way back up to 375. My father's passing was a junction in my life; i quit my medical sales job and ended up pursuing a life-long dream on spending a year overseas in Israel. There, i spent the first few months at a kibbutz, where i performed a lot of tough manual labor, excercised, and ate very well. Once again, I lost close to 100 lbs and was back at 285.
However, once again, lifestyle changes took over as i left the kibbutz and persued a hardcore sales job doing retention for America Online. Six months later, i was back at 375 again. Over the course of the next year and a half, i went back to Baltimore, back ton the Israel again, and finally, in the Spring of '07, started the insurance process with Sinai Hospital's Bariatric program. I was tired of the weight going back and forth. Over the last several years, i had lost over 100 lbs twice only to gain in back and then some on the top. Something more serious needed to take place.