- Name: Erica Alikchihoo
- Username: Womyn42
- Location: Denver, CO, USA
- Member Since: 9/2/2008
- BMI: 26.0
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: RNY (03/02/09)
- Surgeon: Michael A. Snyder
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Surgeon TestimonialMichael A. SnyderMy first impression of Dr. Snyder is that he passionately wants to help obese people become healthy. That impression never changed. He gives you all the tools you need to be sucessful in his program, right down to employing a registered dietician and a notebook of things to expect, things to do to prepare, a shopping list of things to have on hand for after the surgery, a list of expectations as to what you should be doing after surgery to become healthy, and many more tabs.rnrnThe office staff was very helpful, although I sometimes had trouble getting calls back. I just had to be my own advocate and keep calling and leaving messages, and emailing when the calls didn't work.rnrnI didn't dislike anything at all about him. He is high energy, and sometimes that's a little intimidating to someone who is basically sedentary like me, but I hope that as the weight comes off, my energy levels will go up, too.rnrnHe demands execellence of himself, and he demands it of you, too. Make sure before you have your surgery that you KNOW what you are going into, and the side-effects you could experience because of it. Make sure you follow his eating suggestions BEFORE surgery so that you know how you'll eventually be eating after surgery. LOSE WEIGHT before surgery, it helps him be able to move around in your belly. He does address the risks of the surgery, both physical and emotional, and warns you that there will come a time you'll wonder \"why did I ever do this?\" I told him that time would never come.rnrnHis aftercare program is excellent. There are several different support groups you can attend at the hospital, and he requires visits to his office the week after surgery, then 3 weeks post-op, then 6 weeks post-op, and then again at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, and thereafter once a year. At the first 3 appointments, you also attend nutritional classes so you know what you can be eating and how to transition to the next steps.rnrnI would rate Dr. Snyder a 10, extremely competent, enthusiastic, personable, helpful (he even gives you his personal pager number in case you panic or have problems). And his bedside manner is great, along with his surgical competence.... both are wonderful!
- Books & Literature - I LOVE to read, will read any genre, but tend to stick with particular authors
- Cats - We've got 4 - all
- Theater - I live near and LOVE the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and go often.
- Music - Goddess music, and country-western
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender - Lesbian
- Beadwork - Goddess rosaries, earrings, and bracelets
- Grandchildren - I've got 3, all boys, from 9 months to 5 1/2 years
- Reading - Autobiographies, science fiction, historical fiction, comparative religion
- Mind, Body and Spirit - I create ritual to implement change in my life, I also do spiritual healing
Erica Alikchihoo's JourneyClick Here To View
Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
I was always "lush" - "curvy" - no skinny-mini for me. I look back at pictures of myself, and I was NOT fat, but I was constantly TOLD I was overweight, and my parents constantly had me on "diets". I was 5'9" and weighed between 140 and 145 most of the time. But my relationship with my parents was not the best, and I ran away from home at age 16. Ended up being kidnapped, raped, beaten and held hostage until I believed that I deserved to be where I was. Took me nearly a year to get out of that situation, and only then because he killed two of my pets. I was so afraid of him that I left the state, made some bad decisions, ended up pregnant, and had to come back home to my Dad and Stepmom's. I had the baby, and then to prove to my...
So Frustrated and Angry I Could Cry on April 13, 2010 7:07 pm
Okay, here’s an update on Erica. As many of you know, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has denied all appeals for me to have the minimally invasive back surgery called the X-Stop, which would have been an outpatient procedure, performed under local anesthesia, and with little or no post-op rehab needed.
I saw my neurosurgeon today to find out my other options. It’s not good. I am not a candidate for the Aspen Fusion (which would have been similar to the X-Stop), because of the instability of my spine. And my spine is at the point where the Stenosis is considered SEVERE. If I don’t want permanent nerve damage (and there may already be some), my only other option is to have a laminectomy and fusion, where they will remove bone from the back part of my spine, push the spinal cord out of the way and enlarge the passageways for the nerves going down into my legs, then they will take metal hardware and screws and position them on my spine and screw them in. I guess they glue or somehow attach some of the bone they removed to some parts of the spine so that it will fuse later on. Right now, they are only planning on fusing one level, but I’ll need to double check with them next week at my pre-op appointment, because she was concerned about a tipped vertebrae at our last meeting, but it is not visible on the MRI (only on the X-ray) and she did not mention it today when looking at the MRI.
They want to do it right away. So, the surgery is scheduled for April 26th at 7:30 a.m. at Rose Hospital, and will take a minimum of 5 hours. I will be in the hospital for at least 3 days. I will be fitted for a hard plastic brace prior to surgery, along with something called a bone stimulator. It is a good thing I lost all that weight. I will not even be allowed to BEGIN physical therapy for 3 months.
I am trying to look at this in a positive light, but it’s hard, because I am so ANGRY that I could scream. I feel that I am being forced to have a massively invasive, massively expensive surgical procedure that I don’t want and don’t need, and which will force me to take a distribution from my 401K to help pay for….when a much less expensive and invasive procedure would have accomplished the same result (releasing pressure on my spine and the nerves leading to my legs). I have done everything I can think of to do, contacted everyone I can think of to contact, and now am sitting here trying not to cry with frustration. The only thing I can compare how I’m feeling to is being dragged kicking and screaming into a dark alley, where I will face the virtual “rape” of my body, which I will then be expected to pay for.
I’m sorry….I know this sounds awfully self-pitying, and maybe it is. But that’s just how I’m feeling, and I can’t change it. If you have a connection to the Divine, you might include a little request that I find a way to gracefully accept what I cannot change, and which hopefully, will relieve my pain.
Blessings to you,
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