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Surgeon TestimonialJohn W. Baker M.D.My first impression of Dr. Baker is that he truly cares about obesity as an epidemic and helping obese individuals. That impression has stayed with me both times I have met him. His staff is very friendly in person. On the phone, they seem a little eager to get OFF the phone. (I understand that, they're busy.) I don't have anything that I dislike about him so far. Future patients should know that he is no-nonsense, direct and honest. (He has beautiful blue eyes too that almost hypnotize you if you look into them while he's talking to you. It's weird - I'm not kidding.) He really puts an emphasis on aftercare, even going so far as to say that he doesn't want you for a patient if you aren't going to do the aftercare. He does have a structured aftercare program that is really supportive. He is blunt about the risks of surgery in his seminars and in all the paperwork you have to sign. I would rate him a 10 out of 10. Both surgical competence and bedside manner are great. |
Great to be Home. on September 27, 2008 5:31 pm
Well, I just got back from work tonight. This should be the last weekend I have to work this year. I only had 5 this year, so that's not too shabby.
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My daughter has gone with my dad to Wal-Mart. Apparently, she was "hungry" which - for some reason - required a trip to Wal-Mart. Who knows.
I stopped by and saw my mom next door for a couple of minutes before coming home. I helped her learn how to use her scale. She is trying to get her protein and fluids in - but like most people initially, is having a hard time with it. I gave her some suggestions that I hope will help.
My hubby is on his way home. I made fajita chicken in the crock pot this morning that is ready for supper tonight. My son loved it and hopefully hubby will too.
I weighed in this morning at 126 even.
OMG - I found and HAD to order Citracal Creamy Bites (2 boxes of caramel and 1 box of lemon) via eBay. I had just heard too much whining over them being discontinued that I HAD to know what the fuss was about. Well I had one of the caramel ones after lunch today. They are pretty good. They were definately worth a try. I'll have to order these regularly when bariatric advantage starts selling them.
Mom Lived. on September 26, 2008 9:43 pm
Well, it is LATE Friday night (almost Saturday morning) and I am home.
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MOM'S SURGERY SUMMARY
Mom had her lap RNY on Monday. Things did NOT go as planned. She had been previously diagnosed with a hernia behind her belly button (actually a little bit behind it, but mostly to the side of it). Dr. Baker couldn't find it in the consultation with her, but told her to draw a circle or something on her stomach where it was the morning of surgery and he would find it and remove it. So the original plan was to do the lap RNY (along with removing her gallbladder) and repairing that hernia next to her belly button.
She went in at about 8:15 - 8:30 on Monday morning. He didn't finish with her until about 12:15. The lap RNY and gallbladder removal parts went fine. However, where her regular doctor had diagnosed a hernia, there turned out NOT to be one there at all. So he spent time looking EVERYWHERE for that hernia (because another doctor had diagnosed her with having one there after all - it wasn't something she just came up with on her own). But alas, her doctor had misdiagnosed her and there was NO hernia there. (There is a slight lump that has always been visible, but I guess she's just deformed there or something. Maybe it's one of those things where one side is a little bigger than the other naturally? Who knows.) But while he did NOT find what we expected for him to find, he DID find things we DIDN'T expect him to find. (Does that sentence even make sense?) He found a hiatal hernia and repaired that. He also found scar tissue resulting from her hysterectomy done years ago. Apparently the surgeon that did the hysterectomy didn't "tack up" or "mesh up" (however you want to say it) her organs well enough. Dr. Baker found the scar tissue and took pieces of that while he was in there so that he could have it sent to biopsy just to be safe. So, that's what took so long.
In any event, she did VERY well. She was walking the halls CONSTANTLY. They kept her from Monday all the way to this afternoon (Friday). The main reason for that was NO GAS. She could not pass gas for love nor money. I would have given almost ANYTHING to get her to pass gas sooner, but it did not happen. Finally, after I left today she did it. So they called and he immediately said she could go home. (That was all they were waiting for. She was doing FANTASTIC otherwise.) So she is home tonight.
Oh, there was a bit of other trouble. She is like me and has an allergy to some plastics. It's not ALL plastics and it's weird because it's not even all the time. It must be a dye in SOME plastics or an ingredient that is only in SOME plastics. It's weird. In any event, the tape that they put on her stomach over her incisions caused one or two places to blister up (like she was burned with a blow-torch). This allergy that she and I have is so weird too. Only 1 or 2 of the taped incision blistered. The rest were fine. But the ones that DID blister blistered BADLY. So that was gross. But since MOST of the taped incisions were fine, Lauren said to leave them on there until they fell off. So that's what she'll do.
The hospital stay at BMC started out HORRIBLY, but got much better after visiting with Lauren about it. Maybe she talked to someone about it or maybe it just felt better to get our complaints off our chest. I don't know for sure. Doesn't really matter I guess.
MY JOB SUMMARY
My job was the pits this week. Oh, not really. Most of it was actually just fine. Today sucked. I've lost something that I'm really worried about. I'm sure it's here somewhere at the house or at work. I haven't BEEN anywhere else with this item. But it is an important that I find it soon. I'll worry about it until I do.
I have to work tomorrow. That blows. I want so badly to spend some time with my hubby and kids. I need a vacation after the week I have had going back & forth to LR with my work (not to mention my mom, etc). But alas... I have no time for a vacation right now.
I'm told the alternative work schedule starts soon. I haven't had time to look at the email yet. But when that starts, I'll be working my butt off to get off every other Friday. Who knows whether or not I'll like it or hate it. I'll let you know I'm sure.
MY HUBBY SUMMARY
My husband got a call today that he was being promoted. When he called me to tell me, I seriously almost fainted y'all. I am NOT kidding. That is the only time in my life I have been so elated/excited that I have almost fainted. I'm serious.
It seems almost too good to be true. He gets to be a manager now (not just a co-manager) at the store he has already been working at. No move. No relocation at all.
However, it is weird the way that it was done. The took the manager out and told her she was going to LR. They told hubby that he was the interim store manager and that everything was on his shoulders - his responsibility and only his responsibility. They also told the exiting store manager not to try to interfer with any decisions that he made. But they told her that she did not need to relocate or clean out her office. This makes no sense since she is going to be a store manger in LR now. Why would they tell her not to clean out her office in the HS store? Very odd. I know I'm a worry wart - but that concerns me.
Even if it turns out that he will only be the manager there for a while and may eventually have to work in LR, it is still good news. He is a manager now and definately has been promoted. He also got a raise which is always nice.
I will obviously update more on this when/if more information becomes available. Hopefully there will be no update because he will be the store manager at the store he is at now for quite some time. I really HOPE that they are not going to move the previous store manager back here (into her office she is not cleaning out) and move him somewhere else. But it won't be the end of the world if they do.
The kids are still doing their thing in school. I havne't been around them enough this week to KNOW if anything great or terrible is going on. I'll have to update more about them after I get to spend the day with them on Sunday to catch up on their lives. I so hated spending so much time away from them.
The house is a wreck. It is seriously in a pathetic state of disarray. I must work on it at least SOME this weekend.
I'm so thankful to be HOME again so I can go back to eating normally. The granola bar, nuts, FF NSA ice cream and skim milk diet was really getting old. It's just not the same in the hospital as I'd make it. I'm curious to see what this "diet" has done to my weight this week. I feel no different, but as last week showed - what I FEEL physically does not have a lot to do with what the SCALE will tell. Oh well.
Mom's Surgery is Tomorrow. on September 21, 2008 4:19 pm
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This past week hasn't been any better. In fact, it has been terribly busy.
I didn't do the Walk From Obesity. I honestly think it was the best decisioin for me. I did get some stuff done that I needed to get done.
Mom's surgery is tomorrow. I'll be away for 3 days (with her while she is in the hospital). I also have a busy week at work coming up.
At least part of my busy work schedule will be over after this week. I'll still have the project until the end of the year and maybe the other project into next week. But 1 of the 3 will definately be over with at the end of this week.
I weighed yesterday (a day early) and I had lost more weight. I honestly would have bet you MONEY before weighing that I had GAINED. I was having one of those days where you FEEL heavier. But I got on the scale and saw 126.2 and I was like
OMG y'all. I put on a pair of "skinny" jeans at JCPenney earlier today when I was out with my mom. OMG I looked skinny. I'm not bragging. I'm stating a fact. I looked TOO skinny. It was.... well.... weird.
As far as the loss goes, I really don't think it was a "real" loss. I've not let my calories drop or anything. I think it was just one of those normal fluctuations. I'll obviously keep weighing once a week though, so I'll keep an eye on everything as usual.
Past 2 Week Update on September 13, 2008 9:14 am
Well, I feel about an inch high for not updating for the last almost 2 weeks. That's terrible. I'll try to do better. I really SHOULD get back to doing it daily the way I used to. Oh well... maybe.
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So what's been going on with me? Well, lots of stuff that really isn't that interesting at all. It's just been a TIME-consuming 2 weeks (as opposed to a really interesting 2 weeks).
I have been working a semi-seasonal schedule for my job which has put me to working some weekends. (NOT cool.) Someone stole a hubcab off my company car, so of course that involved photos, memos, etc - all of which NOTHING came of BTW. (We're obviously not talking chrome spinners here... this was the ugly old plain chevy hubcap that CAME on that car.) So now I drive around with one hubcap gone. (It would almost look better if they had stolen all 4, you know? At least then all the wheels would look the same.) Oh well. It could be worse.
I went to LR last week per the head honcho manager's request to work on a special project. She asked for me specifically because I'm so fast and accurate (something they learned about me when I used to supervise our unit before I asked to voluntarily demote to the position I am in now so I could get a company car and not have to drive to LR every single day anymore - which BTW was TOTALLY one of the BEST decisions I have EVER made in my LIFE).
So anyway, they KNOW that I can do this project and they KNOW that I'll be fast and accurate and the 2 people who were doing it were not getting it done. It makes me proud every time they ask me to do a project like this (because it's a compliment that they would give me the work of multiple people, etc), but it also is more pressure which I really NEVER need. But actually my normal work is a little slow right now, so I'm not upset about it or anything.
So I'm started that on Friday and will continue to work on it this week. It WILL be more slow going than I had originally thought though which does worry me. I've got to keep my reputation as the miracle worker. Oh well, I'll do the best that I can.
My daughter's clarinet was ready a day or two ago, so I went and picked that up. It looks GREAT. I am really pleased with it. I bought her a box of reeds too and she has been playing it the last 2 or 3 days. She really seems to enjoy it and I REALLY REALLY hope she sticks with it. The scholarship potential in band is SOOOO much higher than ANYTHING else in school that that is really the ticket. I mean, a football team has 11 people, a basketball team has 5, etc. A college BAND usually has 100 - 300 depending on the school. And if she gets good enough to make all-state (which is also easier to do in band than any sports, etc), that's automatic full tuition to any college in AR. So I'm really hoping both she and my son stay in it for the long haul. (Although my son has never really been interesting in being as good as he CAN be, my daughter seems to be REALLY interested. That makes me happy because I really loved band too in school.)
My daughter also wants to try out for cheerleading this coming February, so we are putting her into a local cheer/gymnastics class, etc starting probably next week. She'll enjoy that and I probably will too.
My mother had her pre-op appointment with Dr. Baker on Thursday and started her shakes. She is not loving them. They actually gave her "if you must cheat" instructions. They never did that with me. But now apparently they do. If you MUST cheat, apparently you are supposed to cheat on pickles. She "cheated" and ate 2 pickle slices the first day. So I'm really proud of how good she is doing.
She also bought some fruit to mix with the HMR shakes to give it some variety. (This is okay and not cheating per the NUT.) She also bought some flavored protein powders that I told her would probably be okay to substitute INSTEAD OF an HMR once a day to give more variety. She has done that too once to try that blueberries & cream protein powder I told her she should try. (Everyone should try this - it is OH SO GOOD). I don't consider that cheating either... I mean... it's a liquid protein shake for pete's sake! In any event, I'm REALLY proud of her.
My husband has worked out his schedule where he can go to most of the football games this year. I'm SOOO glad about that I can't even express it. I love to go with him too rather than just my daughter and I. She usually sits and talks to friends and I have nobody. So it's nice to have him there.
My papaw accidentally took some nitro a day or so ago. His blood pressure bottomed out and they had to run him by ambulance to the hospital. He got discharged the same day though and is fine.
My parents' daschunds had puppies again. They are probably going to get Ruby Red fixed after this because they don't WANT puppies and they never catch Ruby Red in time to seperate her from Rusty Red when it's time. So that's probably best. This is the 2nd set of puppies she has had this year. So they need to get her fixed.
I don't weigh until tomorrow (when I will hopefully update again). But as of LAST Sunday, I was still losing. However, I "only" lost from 128 to 127.4 - so that could have just been water weight or something. That week we were out of power a few days too and I ate differently than I normally do - so maybe that was it.
Actually my pants felt TIGHTER a day or two this week (although yesterday and today they have felt looser again so who knows). I'm staying right around (and usually under) 1500 calories a day - so I shouldn't really be gaining or losing. I should be "maintaining". SOOOOO I will weigh again tomorrow and see what happens.
Whether I show a gain or lose tomorrow, I'm going to stay around 1500 calories for a few more weeks to see if this is just a trend or fluke. It could also be my body just releasing a little more because I'm finally giving it a few more calories? Who knows. I'm going to stick with it a little while regardless.
My foot is still acting up sparadically. I'm really discouraged by that.
OMG I stepped in a nest of fire ants a day or two ago by accident. They got into my pantyhose and stung me 6 or 7 times before I could get them out. So I have big beautiful blister sores (I'm REALLY allergic to fire ants.) on my feet and ankles. That was a couple of days ago and they STILL itch so bad I could scream. (Yes I'm using anti-itch cream and NO it's not helping.) I really hope that they heal soon. Surely they will have to.
Oh well, I guess that's all for now. See how that was all time-consuming but not really that interesting/exciting?
I have to work tonight (yea, on a Saturday in the hurricane weather), but maybe that won't take long. I'll try to update again tomorrow after I weigh.
Happy Labor Day Monday!!! on September 1, 2008 9:29 am
I feel like it has been FOREVER since I updated. 7 days really does feel like forever anymore.
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So... what's been up with me since last week???
Well, nothing with regards to weight loss. I weighed in yesterday at 128 even again. I'm getting used to no loss (as I should because it's time for me to stop) but I am still terrified of gain. This is especially true now that I have increased my calories.
I saw Dr. Baker for my 1 year post-op check-up on Tuesday or Wednesday (I forget which.) and he agreed with the RD that Susan & I had our MedGem test through that I should increase my calories to 1500. In fact, he suggested 1500 even before I told him that I had had a MedGem test and that that was the # suggested. Just another example of how he is a genius IMHO.
He was in a really good mood it seemed and invited me to walk with the Obesity Walk which I confirmed I was doing. I really need to remember to actually go online and register for that. In fact, I need to do that today before I forget. But back to my updates.
I went shopping a day or so ago for my daughter a clarinet. That is what she has decided to play in the band. I think she'll be a good one. She definately has the mouth structure for it. Just looking at her bite, she's a clarinet player all over. So I think it's a good choice. At local pawn shops (shopping at those places was an experience - I tell ya'), I found 3 or 4 places that had clarinets. The last place we stopped had a wood Yamaha for $175. It needed repadded which I didn't notice when I bought it. But $175 for a wood yamaha (a horn that goes for over $1000 new) could not be beat. I had priced one that morning on Craigs list for $375. So I figure even if it needed work, it would be worth it. I talked them down to $150 plus tax and bought it. Apparently most pawn shops only deal in cash - they didn't even take DEBIT!!! So I had to drive to the bank and get cash out of the ATM. But then I went right back & got it for $150 plus tax. I immediately took it to Crooks in HS to get it cleaned. He pointed out that it needed repadded (and after he showed me where 2 pads were completely missing I felt like a complete idiot because I should have noticed that - I did PLAY the sax for YEARS afterall). So anyway, turns out getting it completely repadded and cleaned is $150 and takes about 2 weeks. So I told him to go ahead and do it. I told him what I paid for it and that I had figured it may need work - he agreed that I did VERY well on price (even including fixing it). So that made me feel much better. $300 was still cheaper than I could have gotten a used one online and the other pawn shops wanted $250+ for brands that were not as good as yamaha. So I feel good about it.
Monday I took my son to buy basketball shoes. That was about $125 for those. But I think he likes them and I think they fit well.
This week I paid $200 to the school to start the kids out for lunches this year. I paid $150 to the BGClub for after-school. Having kids is expensive around the time school starts.
Most of the size 4 pants in my closet no longer fit. They are nice pants too. I had already hung them up for when the weather started turning cooler. Most I try on now fit right at the waist but hang like a tent off me below the waist. So I went shopping again. I hit Goodwill and Abilities Unlimited over the last couple of days. I spent about $50 between the 2 and got a few good pants (and shirts I couldn't resist) for me. I also got some stuff I can resell with my consignment stuff. I'm not spending as much this time because I want to get that CHECK back. (Last time I would have gotten about $300 if memory serves, but I only got a check for about $80 because I spent $220 of it buying clothes out of the resale shop. LOL) I got some cute leather sandals that look new for next year too.
So anyway, creative shopping is definately required after WLS. I have all that extra skin that hangs just below my belly button which can make it hard to find pants that fit perfect. But I have learned that I definately CAN find pants that fit properly if I just keep looking.
The sizing thing is weird too. I don't have ANY size 6 pants that fit. However, some 4s still fit if they are cut right. But mostly, I'm wearing size 2 pants. I've found that pants with spandex in them ("stretch" fits) work best because of that extra skin below my belly button. The pants are snug through there but do NOT hang like a tent over the rest of me. So for ME, that kind has worked best.
I am off today (happy holidays to me!). I am going to spend the day cleaning house which I have already started. I am also going to sit down and pay this month's bills while I have the time. I also need to get my stuff together for work tomorrow (although I will probably put that off until the last possible moment tonight) because Tuesday through Thursday this week are going to be nightmares all day long.
OMG - THAT reminds me... I am also going to have to start planning what I am going to carry me for lunch/snack. Right now... I don't have a lot of ideas. So I need to make out a list of acceptable things today to kind of prepare.
OMG - also... my MOM has a date. I called for her this week (she was driving at the time, but puts most of her doctor appointment stuff off on me anyway). They gave her a surgical consult date of 08/11/08 and a surgery date of 08/22/08. I think it SHOCKED her that they gave her a date over the phone LOL. But I think it was just that shock we all get when we realize OMG IT IS FINALLY HAPPENING. LOL. Who knows.
I am terrified that she will have complications. So far, noone in my family has had complications from their RNYs. But I am terrified she will. She's self-pay and it would be horrible to have complications she may have to pay for out-of-pocket. But even worse than that, she's my mama... I don't want her to have complications, you know? I'd rather have a complication than have her do it and have one. I'd feel responsible if she had a complication too - like I should have tried to talk her out of it or something. I'd also feel guilty for helping her get RNY in the first place, even though I know she wants it. I mean, have I been open enough about possible complications? Have I downplayed them to her? Does she really know what she is getting into? Or is she just looking at us and just assuming it's that perfect for everyone? I don't know. I don't even like to think about that so I will stop now.
I need to make my kids clean their rooms. They are out of school today too afterall. They need to take that time to do something constructive.