My name is Debbie, I weigh 260 lbs and my BMI is 49.1.
I was first referred to Dr. Ellsmere March 4 2010, I was told by Diana Lawler, MN RN-NP CDE of Capital Health Halifax (Obesity Network) to start he Stage 3 diet to prove I am willing and committed to having surgery. After losing 26 pounds and then becoming very ill, I stopped the diet.
Guess what happened next? I regained the 26 pounds plus another 15 pounds, so my total weight was up to 297 lbs not nice on a 5'1" frame. I began to see a nutritionist and lost, then gained, lost again and gained again but was able to get down to, 250 lbs.
After a personal loss that summer and a downward spiral of self loathing and depression, I started gaining again. I was also doing the Stage 3 diet again periodically. On February 18, 2011, I emailed Diana Lawler and Rachel Densmore (Administrative Coordinator: Partners for Healthier Weight of Capital Health). I wanted to know exactly where I was on the waiting list and let Diana know how successful I was at losing the weight while on the Stage 3 diet. I also wanted to know how long I should stay on this diet and should I move onto the Stage 4 to keep the weight off. I had to get this weight off; it was affecting my work to the point where I was unable to be a reliable worker any longer due to back and knee pain and depression.
These are the replies I got in return.
February 22, 2011
We always encourage family physicians to fax over any updates on your medical conditions over to our office as we try to assess things individually with each patient.
I will let you know that since March of 2010 we have only brought in 50 new patients and won't be seeing any more new patients until May or even June of this year. As we certainly encourage trailing the liquid diet, we DO NOT recommend staying on it for long periods of time (4 weeks maximum). Any time you are on the liquid diet you need to be monitored by your family doctor (labs, blood pressure, etc) and be taking a multivitamin daily.
At this time you are still looking at a year or more before being seen in clinic. I know this can be beyond frustrating, but unfortunately we have over 2000 patients on our waiting list, and many of them are in similar circumstances as you are.
If you have insurance coverage, I would recommend trying to get in to see a physiotherapist. They can work with you and develop a plan you can do even with back pain, as it sounds like you did really well when initially on the liquid diet.
In the meantime, ask your doctor to send an update on your condition so Diana can review.
I hope this information was helpful.
Partners for Healthier Weight
Halifax NS B3L 4P1
so I did go see a physiotherapist and she did get me back to work, with a limited work load. A limited work load came with consequences. I got scrutinized by coworkers, comments made about me and my weight and being too lazy to work. Little did these people, my so called friends and coworkers know, not being able to do the work was slowly killing me on the inside. I was there to care for the people who could not care for themselves, this job was my dream job, it was 1 of the three things that gave my life purpose. The other two reasons are my children. Also, since I was on a limited work load (working less than the allotted time required for Health Insurance) and my back problems weren’t as a result of injury from work, I had lost my medical insurance through work.
I had also done what Rachel Densmore had said, I went back to my doctor and had another referral for the surgery sent out. As I had developed Type 2 Diabetes and my sleep apnea went from being moderate to being severe since my last referral.
On March 10 2011, I received an email from Diana Lawlor and this is what she had to say:
I think you should go back on Stage 3....do it for a long time...it works as you saw. Take a Multivitamin and follow it to a T for ...months. If you do Stage 3 for a few months and are sick of it...go to Stage 4....and then do that for a few months and then Stage 5. Create behaviour changes...take the things that get you in trouble out (which is what these diets do if you follow them to a T).
Diana L. Lawlor MN RN-NP CDE
Nurse Practioner Obesity and Weight Loss Surgery
you can only guess what I was thinking after receiving this email. I don't think I will repeat what was going through my head as most of it was obscenities towards this woman and Nova Scotia's Capital Health Center. I also couldn't believe they had someone like this working for them. If I hadn't have gotten Rachel Densmore's email, I would have followed Diana's advice, I was that desperate. It wasn't long after I received this email from Diana that the waiting list went from two years to 10 plus years. I still have no idea where I am on this list, I may never know. I also know that for now, I will not be able to go to Mexico to get this surgery as it is not financially possible.
In the summer of 2011, I lost the most beautiful person in the world, my sister at the age of 47. She had the battle of her life, first with heart disease and then with Leukemia. And through this, she still lived her life to the fullest. It wasn’t until after she died, I realized that my battle with weight is just that, a battle. Am I going to let it tear me apart? Am I going to keep obsessing over it? My sister fought the real battle of life, this woman who lived life to its fullest before and after she got sick, she never ever let her illness get her down. I have learned so much from her.
I still have no idea as to where I am on the waiting list, and have given up hope that I will be seen within the next few years.
Here it is 2012, I am still here, and certainly trying to live life to its fullest even though some days I would like to crawl into a hole somewhere and hide for just a little while. I have a lot to live for! I have a beautiful 19 year old daughter who is in University, and a very handsome 15 year old son who is struggling with "life" in general. These two see me as "the best mother a kid could ever have", what else could I ask for? These two are my life.
Here is something that was recommended to me by a lady named Debra Simons, and would be well worth the watch if you haven't already. It is 16x9 The Bigger Picture - Weight Times this story features Lillian Coakley. This woman has been an inspiration to me. I think Lillian is very brave for going public with her story.
"Imagine knowing there was an operation that could save your life… but there was a ten year waiting list standing in your way. That’s the reality facing many Canadians who are morbidly obese and whose last hope is weight loss surgery. And, for some, those wait time could be deadly". Global News: Weight Times - 16x9 The Bigger Picture - Global News - 16:9 - Video