- Name: Dawn the Twinsmom
- Username: twinsmom1105
- Location: Worcester, MA, USA
- Member Since: 6/27/2007
- BMI: 26.5
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: RNY (07/30/07)
- Surgeon: Donald Czerniach, M.D.
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Surgeon TestimonialDonald Czerniach, M.D.my first impression of Dr. Czerniach, was that he seemed younger than me. After adressing that concern, He put me at ease with his excellent manner, and genuine concern for my well being. His office staff helped me fight my insurance company for approval after I was denied multiple times. The letters Dr C. & Dr. Kelly wrote on my behalf were wonderful, and caused me to win my appeal to the state. His Nurse practitioner, Robin, is absolutely wonderful, and I know that I can call her with any concerns I may have. Dr. Czerniack took time out of seeing patients at the weight center to calm my fears after staple removal, when I saw him in the hallway. I rate him very highly, and would go to him again, if I had to do it over again. rnrnYou would be lucky to have Dr. Czerniach and his staff caring for you!!
- Cats - got lotsa furbabies !!!
- Flowers - Gardening is Life !!
- Cake Decorating - been doing this since I was 16.. Love it !
MY battle with Obesity Part 1 on January 31, 2008 7:49 am
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By Dawn Stuller
I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment my addiction with food, and lots of it began. Yes, that is what it was, an addiction. One day shortly after surgery, I caught my teenage step-daughter smoking. To that I was told “you know nothing about addiction”. I was shocked and pretty much floored at that point. How could I NOT know about addiction? No, I was not addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, sex, or booze. I was addicted to the very thing that each and every being on the planet needed to survive. I was addicted to the one thing that is harder to quit than anything else out there. I was addicted to food.
Maybe it started when I was a child, and mom always told us we needed to be a part of “the clean plate club”. Maybe it was because being the oldest of six kids, and from a poor to middle class family, I was always afraid there was not going to be enough food to fill me up, and I would have to go hungry. I was always the skinny scrawny kid in the class, thin as a stick. That was, until I went to High School. One local school was a trade school, and our town was part of the district that could opt to go there. I chose that path, knowing full well that I wanted to go into the Culinary Arts program. As a freshman, we had to try out all the different trades the school had to offer. One week was academics, the next week was shop week. So, as a good student, I went from trade to trade, “trying them on” to see if any of them fit. I actually liked the Auto Mechanics shop. Looking back, maybe that would have been the less fattening choice for me. I also liked dietary arts, wood shop, and graphic arts. However, I could not shake the NEED to be in the food trades shop. When it came time to choose, that was my first choice. Can you imagine my elation at being accepted into the program??
Early on, they made us try out both sides of the house, and all of the stations the shop had to offer. As a freshman, we always got the crap jobs. You know, dishes, clean up, veggie peeling. The food trades shop at my school also ran a restaurant that was open to the public. We served breakfast to teachers, and lunch to anyone that happened in. We served patrons full meals, with soup and salad, main course, and dessert.
At the end of most days, when there really was not too much to bother saving, they would let us eat. In between the end of customers and clean-up, we got to eat - even the desserts. This was very dangerous for me, as I really did eat my fill, and did whenever they allowed us.
The end of freshman year, I showed interest in cake decorating. I had a wonderful teacher who saw my potential, but knew I was lazy, and lacked determination. He also figured out I was stubborn and pig-headed. One day he simply told me to "give it up, that I lacked the talent for cake decorating" never in my life did I become so intent of proving someone wrong. Needless to say, I was the only freshman ever to be decorating wedding cakes, and my obsession with pastries thus began.
By the time I had hit my senior year, I hat also hit 150 lbs. Going from about 95 scrawny pounds freshman year, to 150 senior year. I was hooked, good food, gourmet food, pastries, cookies, donuts, anything and everything, nothing was safe. I was addicted. No denying it, and you know, I did not think I would ever be considered "fat". You see,, all my life I had been told I had a fast metabolism, like my Italian grandmother. Something I now know is not true.
Once out of High School, I wish I could say things got easier for me, but they did not. I was away from the food environment, or so I thought. I got a job working at Burger King, and at the time weighed 150 lbs. I was madly in love with a boy I met at work. Let’s call him JJ. JJ and I dated for months, but it always seemed he was scrutinizing my every bite. Yes I was not the size 6 I once was, but was a 10 that much bigger?
Young and insecure about myself, and self image, my insecurities slowly killed that relationship. Never one to be kept down long, I quickly re-bounded into the arms of another abuser, who eventually became my first husband. He was a full-blooded Italian, with parents straight off the boat from Italy. Sunday dinners at their house were just heavenly, especially for me, a carb addict.
By the time we got married in 1990, I was about 170 lbs. I had yo-yoed prior to that, going to Weight Watchers to attempt to lose weight so I could look better on my wedding day. I had talked myself into a ritual. I’d go to my Weight Watchers meeting on Tuesday mornings, and if I lost, and more importantly, if I did NOT lose, I would treat myself to a D’Angelo’s steak and cheese sub, with onions and mayo. Let me tell you, it was a 20 minute drive from the sub shop to my house, and by the time I got home, the filling of that sub made the bread soft and squishy, and just wonderful. I always ate the whole thing.
That was where I encountered my next issue. Feeling guilty after eating that sub, I would drink as much water as possible, and then force myself to throw up as much of that sub as I possibly could. This became an addiction for me. Overeat, throw up. Too much Chinese greasy food? Throw it up. I was bulimic, and my self-image got worse and worse. You see, I did not lose any weight doing what I did. I kept gaining. My marriage at that point was one of abuse. My husband spent all his time either at work or out drinking and shooting pool with the boys. He got me a TV for my bedroom so I would not have to sit in the living room, and possibly hear him and his girlfriends playing around down in our cellar. At one point he yelled at me “you are fat stupid and ugly, and I would not touch you with a 10 foot pole”. As depression got worse, the Bulimia did too. Finally a friend got sick of catching me purging in the bathroom at work, and sought out my supervisor to get me to seek help. I was now about 190 lbs, and was at the lowest point in my life, or so I thought. I entered a counseling program, got on anti-depressants, lost a whopping 5 lbs., and was starting to feel better about myself. That was until New Years Eve 1995. A date that changed my life forever. My husband came home drunk, and because I turned him down for sex, he proceeded to pin me to the bed and rape me. That was a turning point for me, and I decided at that point to put aside all the money I could, and get the hell out of there. My weight dropped down to the high 160’s. I met a boy who saw me for me, and loved me anyhow. Although nothing sexual happened between us, just his believing in me was the strength I needed to just walk away from the marriage, the money, the secure life I had convinced myself I needed to stay in.
I moved out on MY Independence Day, July 1st. It shocked my then husband that I could just walk away like that. He begged me to come back, but I was free of that situation, and becoming happy again. Yes, I was still depressed, and started binging and purging again. However, I was never going to be abused by my abuser again.
I spent the summer following my Independence Day Hanging out with friends, drinking and smoking pot. Although I am not proud of this. I did it anyhow. It was my summer of freedom. My weight was stable in the 170's. I have no idea how it remained stable, but it did. I was living on my own for the first time in my life. A little 3 room apartment was all that I could afford. It was filthy, cockroach infested, and probably unsafe, but it was all mine. I cleaned it, and de-infested it, and made it home.
Pre-surgery measurments on July 29, 2007 7:28 am
I thought it would be good to document my body's pre surgery measurments. I want to be able to see what I lost :)
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Kneck - 16 1/2
R Upper arm - 15
L Upper Arm - 14
upper chest - 43
bust - 47
under bust - 20 1/2
Gut - 46
waist - 47
Hips - 50
R Thigh - 24 1/2
L Thigh - 24
My journey to Gastric Bypass Surgery, has been a long one to say the least. It started a year ago when my diabetes doctor suggest that I look into Surgery so that I can loose weight, and avoid having to go on insulin shots. The decision to call the Umass weight Center was a hard one. I am not HUGE by any sense of the word, but, I am considered Morbidly obese, weighing in at 230 lbs, at a height of 5’2”. I attended the informational sessions, like a good patient, and even attended the session that followed that, the intro to gastric surgery.
After completing the initial steps, I called my healthcare provider, to inquire about coverage. I was told that I was fully covered, and if I chose, I could go ahead and start the procedure to get into UMass’ program, which I had resolved myself to do. I attended appointments with a nutritionist, a behaviorist, and behavior modification and pre surgical skills classes. At the end of the classes, I had gained weight, through fault of my own, because I was eating as if I was having a “last supper”. So I had to book another nutrition appointment with the nutritionist. In the meantime, I became a regular staple at the gym, ate a lot less, and followed the slim-fast diet plan. After my appointment with nutrition, I was down to 224.5 lbs. and was now given a date to meet with my surgeon, Dr. C.
I was elated to say the least. So on March 12, I went to the appointment, taking time off from work. When the Nurse Practitioner came into the room, she sat down and said, “I have bad news for you.” My heart sank, as I was sure she was going to tell me that I had not lost enough weight, and was no longer a candidate for surgery. She then told me “I am really sorry to tell you this, but a few days ago your insurance decided to no longer cover this type of surgery.” I was hysterical, sobbing incessantly. Begging to find out what I could do. They told me to appeal the decision. I called my insurance, and was told that it had to be denied approval first before it went to appeal and grievances.
A month later, I was told approval was indeed denied, and I went to the insurances internal grievance dept, and filed an appeal. Again, I was denied, based on the fact that I had not completed THEIR program!!! I had already completed a program, I was supposed to get booked for surgery on the day I was to meet the surgeon, on the day I was told what the insurance company did 6 days earlier, without ever informing any of the people that they KNEW were in programs such as I was.
I again appealed the decision, this time to the state of MA, who sent it out to an outside, impartial agency. I was told not to expect a decision from them until August. Well, 2 weeks ago, I got the letter that they overturned the decision of my insurance, and that they would HAVE to cover the surgery!
So, now I have my date, and am working hard on getting the last few pounds off of me. I am very determined. I did not fight this so hard to fail. I will Prevail!