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I would like to first off say that I am a 36 year old woman and married with 3 of my own kids and 2 step kids. We have a 3 , 4, 10, 13, and a 14 year old. Yes we are a big family, but I love it!
I have been overweight off and on for a lot of my life. I can remember in the 6th grade the kids making fun of me and calling me names. A few years later I seemed to grow into my weight and felt "normal" for a few years. After high school my weight had slowly gotten out of control until one day I woke and up and realized that I was overweight. I got pregnant when I was 21 and this is where my weight became a real problem for me. At the end of my pregnancy I was 280 pounds. I thought that after I my daughter was born that the weight would just fall off. Not the case. I struggled for a few years at this weight and was able to lose some of the weight on Weight Watchers. I lost about 70 pounds. Over the next few years I had gone through a divorce and had been stuck in another bad relationship and again my weight went back up. I stayed at 295 for a few years. After my relationship ended, I started to try and get the weight I had gained back off. I managed to lose about 60 pound and was at 230. After a year or so I was in a relationship, got married, and was pregnant with my second baby. I went up to 260, but went back down to 230 shortly after I delivered. Three months after I delivered, I got pregnant again! I gained weight so fast with my third pregnancy. At the end of this pregnancy I was 265 or so. I was very unmotivated and sleep deprived at this point and could not lose the weight after being pregnant for basically 2 years straight. I ended up gaining more weight and here I am 3 1/2 years later at 289. It's very hard to lose weight now that I am older and have had 3 kids. My doctors warned me, but never did I realize that it would be this hard. I know I can lose this weight on my own , but I need something to keep me from gaining it all back. I understand that WLS is just a tool and that I will still have to do the work myself. I am ready for a change. My husband and I are both hoping to have WLS. It helps that we are doing this together. I don't feel so alone. He can relate to the struggles I have gone through with being overweight. So that's my story.....
So I am just beginning the process to be approved for WLS. I have already had a sleep apnea test and have been referred by my PCP to the Kaiser South San Francisco Bariatrics Center. With Kaiser I know the surgery is covered. I just have to see a surgeon and the surgeon will tell me if I qualify. My husband and I have already attended the Orientation class. Tomorrow we will be taking the Lifestyle class and the Nutrition class. We will also see the Nurse Practitioner who will give us an idea of where we are in this process. I am excited because after taking these classes we will get to schedule an appointment with one of the surgeon's. We will also schedule an appointment for a psych eval. The closer I get with this process, the more excited I get, but it's also very scary. I think to my self am I doing the right thing? I know I am the only one who decide what is right for me. It really helps to read everyone's story on here. It does give me hope. It also gives me a reality check and makes me realize that things do not always go exactly as planned and complications do happen. In the end though it seems most people don't regret the decision to have WLS, even through the bad times. It's such a hard decision because it effects my whole family, not just me. I know my husband wants to have this surgery and I worry about him. He weighs 600+ and I know he is considered high risk. The chance of him have major health issues however is very great without this surgery. The South San Francisco Bariatrics team seem to have a great system and I have faith that we can get through all of this. I will update tomorrow after our appointments. Until then.....
I am so upset. I was supposed to go to my Lifestyle and Nutrition class today, but in the middle of the night my husband and daughter got really sick. So we had to reschedule. I won't go back until 3/5/12 and that is if I can get the day off from work. Oh well, can't control these things I guess. Until then I will just work on getting my weight down.
Yesterday my husband and I went to our Lifestyle and Nutrition class. We were able to go a week earlier than I originally thought. I feel like Kaiser South San Francisco has a great program and we are getting closer and closer to our goal. We also saw the nurse practitioner and he did a quick physical. He said I made his job easy because I had done a lot of the tests that usually need to be done. He thinks my husband may have gallstones so he has an ultrasound on 3/8 so we will see. I don't have to worry about that since I have already had my gallbladder out. I'm excited because we have appointments with the surgeon set. We will both be seeing Dr. Li on 4/17. We are also supposed to have our psych appointments that day, but we were told that this may be canceled because we are not supposed to see the same person. We shall see what happens. It is 6 weeks away, but I feel like we are moving forward. I felt like we were at a stand still before. I got a surprise call today from Kaiser in Santa Clara. I guess I was referred to have a treadmill test in Cardiology. When I had my 3 year old son, my pulse went up to 200 and would not come down. They said that this was benign, but could happen again at some point in my life. I guess they want me to have this done to make sure my heart will be OK with surgery. I wasn't expecting this, but it makes me feel good that they check so thoroughly through my history. Well that's it for now. Hope these weeks go by fast!
I had to reschedule my psych appointment today. It looks like my husband and I couldn't see the same doctor. I am scheduled for 3/13/12. I can get that appointment over with.
So I was talking with a friend today and I'm not sure if I want to tell anyone else about my plans for WLS. I really don't like the way people react. They really don't understand why I am doing this. How can they understand though? They have never been at the weight I am at. I feel trapped in this body and I refuse to stay at this weight. I hear things like have you ever tried Weight Watchers? It's hard to hear that because I didn't come to this decision over night. Do they really think I have never done Weight Watchers, or Jenny Craig, or Atkins, and the list goes on and on. I have fought for years and years with my weight that has brought me to the decision to have WLS. I just don't think many people around me can relate to me. I'm not ashamed, but how do you get people to hear you without judging you?
So I had my psych eval today and I think things went OK. I answered his questions the best I could. I think I "passed" since he didn't tell me otherwise. The people in the program that I know didn't pass were all told that he was not passing them. He really didn't spend too much time with me and before I knew it he was saying that we were done. I thought to myself, that was it? That's what I was stressing about? He did give me some suggestions of books to read and told me to keep a log of the foods I was eating for the Nutritionist appointment that I have in a week. Things are moving along and before I know it I will have my appointment with the surgeon.
I had my a phone appointment with the Nutritionist yesterday. She went over what I have been and should be eating and the vitamins that I need to be taking. I have slow made changes to my diet and have quit drinking coffee which was really hard. It's definitely gotten easier day by day. She said that I am eating the right things and that was good to hear. Just 3 more weeks until my stress test and then the appointment with the surgeon. That's exciting!
So I had a phone appointment with the department Nurse Practitioner. He went over my health history and what to expect next. He asked me what my weight was and I told him my scale said 278. He said that I was doing great and I would probably need to lose about 25 pounds from the start. I have already lost 10 pounds and if I lose 10 more before my appointment with the surgeon than he may just schedule my surgery. That was on 4/3/12 and I haven't gotten back on the scale and I'm not sure if I will be there by 4/17/12. I also had my stress test recently. It wasn't as bad as I though it would be. I was really tired after! The treadmill would make a noise when it was about go up and faster so I knew it was coming and in my head I was saying, no not faster. I got through it though. Had to go to work right after and I was wishing I could go home and take a shower all day. Oh well. Can't wait until my appointment on Tuesday. I will write more after.
Well I saw the surgeon on 4/17/12. After talking with him, I am sure I am doing the right thing. I knew before, but now it all feels real. He was going to schedule me for surgery, but May is a bad time for my work for me to be off so he scheduled a follow up appointment on May 18 to come back and then I can hopefully schedule for June sometime. I felt like my appointment went well. He went over my health history and the different types of surgeries and asked which surgery I wanted. I told him I wanted the VSG,but that I had couple of concerns. He listened to my concerns and answered all of my questions. I walked out feeling confident about my decision and very excited at the possibility that I am so close to getting a surgery date. My husband has the same surgeon as I do. He will have to lose about 100 more pounds. He has already lost 50, but as the surgeon explained in order to be safe he needs to be able to get his instruments in safely and his liver needs to be smaller for surgery. He actually took that very well. I am happy to hear that he is so safe even though he will still be high risk, at 100 pounds less it will be safer. My husband was told to do 2 replacement shakes and eat 1 regular meal a day. He lost the 50 pounds very quickly so I'm sure he will lose the weight within the next 6 months or so. I'm so proud of him.
I saw the my surgeon on 5/18/12 and I was scheduled for surgery on 6/21/12! I am so excited. At first it didn't seem real, but it has hit me now. I'm glad that I have some time to get things together. I have to figure out all the little details, but I have a date. I know this is going to go by so fast. I am so ready for this. I have told my family and they are not thrilled, but will be there for me and that's all I can ask for. My husband of course fully supports me. His surgery will be in the near future. I guess the surgeon didn't realize how much he had lost and when he talked with the Nurse Practitioner he said he will only need to lose another 20 pounds or so. We will see when he goes back in. Everything is coming together for us. I can't wait until we have both had ours surgeries.
So I have a surgery date! I'm having surgery on 6/21/12. I have already had my pre op appointment and blood work done. I am starting to get nervous and exciting all at the same time. Tomorrow my surgery will 1 week away. I am just trying to get myself and my family ready for while I am at the hospital. I can't wait to start my WLS journey.
I went to my pre-op class today and about half way through one of the patient said that Dr. LI, my surgeon, had hurt his hand and that Dr. Le was going to be taking all of his cases. What a way to find out that the surgeon you thought was doing your surgery was not. I then looked at my cell phone and had 2 messages. I had a feeling that this call was to reschedule my surgery and it was. I'm upset but you just cannot plan for these things. I can't be mad that he hurt his hand. They gave me two options, to reschedule with Dr. Le on 7/5 or wait for Dr. Li in mid July when his hand should be OK. Well I didn't want to have to reschedule again so I scheduled for 7/5, even though I wanted to stay with the same surgeon I trust I am in good hands. I don't have to redo my pre-op class or pre-op appointment since it was within the guidelines, but I do have to redo my labs. I have to drive to South San Francisco and it's 1 1/2 to 2 hours from my house. Oh well, that's life it will work out in the end. Just a little bummed I guess....