- HEALTH TRACKER
Before & After
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Gerald A. Cahill M.D.
I had my 1st consultation with Dr. Cahill and it was great! That was in May. Since then I have had the opportunity of working with his staff. Not only is Dr. Cahill wonderful, but he has a top-notch staff. Dr. Cahill's group is the 2nd group that I have worked with and I can tell you personally the attention to details and the personal approach that this staff has beats the other group I was working with hands downs. I really believe that things happen for a reason and me changing groups was the best choice I could have made. I am still amazed at how personal Dr. Cahill's group is with their patients. After attending a few of their support group meetings, I could tell right away that I would be taken care of and that they would do their best to help me to reach my weight loss goals. I never felt this with the previous group I dealt with. They are so hands on, so organized, and caring and I have not even had my surgery yet!! You really get the feeling that they all really care about you personally. I could go on and on about the differences but no time. Just know that Dr. Cahill and staff are EXCELLENT and if you want a group that cares and treat's you like a person instead of a number, you will be more than satisfied with Dr. Cahill's group....:-)
Latest Surgery Support Comments
5/31/2004 (BMI 80.9)
My surgery has been scheduled for September 2004 and I am scared and excited at the same time.
It has been a while. My Surgery has been scheduled for 10/22/04 and I am so ready for a new life!!! October 22nd can not come soon enough.
Well here we go, for the next 2 weeks I will be undergoing all sorts of test for surgery. I am so happy. I can't believe I am finally ready. After at least 3 years of researching this surgery I am finally really ready to do this. It is my only chance at a new life and I will take full advantage of it.
Well my surgery date was changed to October 26th. Good and bad, now I have more time to tie up loose ends. Very excited and counting the days. 21 more days. By end of the week I will have completed all of my pre-surgery testing!! It has been a busy 2 weeks. Some nights I can't sleep I am so excited about the surgery. I know life will not be perfect after surgery but it can only be better than it is now....:-)
19 more days before surgery.....:-) Time is flying, but I am sooo ready. It is hard to believe this day has finally arrived for me. I have only been researching and waiting 2 and a half years to have the surgery. Now that my surgery day is almost hear I realize that last year I was not ready to have surgery like I am today. I am ready for whatever struggles and successes that lay ahead of me. Last year my head was not in the right place, this year it is different.
Well my surgery has been moved back a few more days. Now my surgery is scheduled for October 26th....:-) Which means I have 16 more days to wait!! It seems like it is coming too fast for me. Still very excited! Tomorrow I have my last rounds of test hopefully. The last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of seeing specialists and taking tests. I am looking forward to a 2 week rest from Dr appointments!
Well, I have one more week before I have another chance at life. I just realized today that I will now have 2 birthdays, because 10/26/2004 is going to be like my second birth and I can't wait to be reborn. No matter how rocky the road may be, it can only get better....:-)
Tomorrow I go into the hospital!! And today is not as bad as I thought. I have never fasted before in my lifetime unless I was sick! REALLY SICK....:-)
Anyway I have set my goal. I have been thinking about a realistic goal for me at my current size, which is well over 500 pounds. I would like to get to 200 pounds, but I don't know if that is a realistic goal. So my 1st goal is to lose 300 two years from my surgery date. If I were not doing this surgery that would have seemed like a very impossible dream. I have lost over 100 on my own 2 times in my life. So I figure the surgery will give me approx. 200+ and I will do the other 100+ within the second year. Then when I reach this goal I will shoot for my dream weight of 200 or less. But if I lose 300 pounds I will be more than satisfied. When this is done I will never go back or look back. I can't. So all while I am losing I will be structuring my life so I will not gain back a pound. I do realize that some weight gain is predicted but once I get under 250, I don't ever want to weigh over that again and I will do everything in my power to make sure that is a fact.
I am not sure what really lies ahead for me in the next 2 to 4 weeks, but when I make it past the rough stage of this surgery I have my work cut out for me because I know I have made myself an aggressive goal, but I know it is a goal I will attain. At age 39 I am really mentally ready to do this!! I don't know how many more years in life is promised me but I am going to make sure the quality of the second part of my life is going to be much better than it is today. When I travel on a plane I don't want to worry about the seats, when I go anywhere I don't want to worry if they will have seats to accommodate my size. When I go on a trip I don't want to have my sister do my shopping because I can't do it myself. When I sign up for a tour I want to really enjoy the place I am visiting without being uncomfortable. Too many ways to mention, but there are many uncomfortable situations when doing a tour.
The next time I go to a foreign country I don't want to be the main attraction. Each time I have left the country and even here in California, I have felt like I am the main attraction because people have wanted to take my picture.
When I was in Taiwan in 1991 for a religious convention, this was just one of the most humiliating experience of my life, when it should have been one of best times of my life. The trip was great but it was definitely marred by my weight. It could have been much better. At that time I only weighed about 420. My lowest weight of record is 383, that was in August of 1990, so by January 1991 I had gained about 40 pounds. So this was one of the times I had lost a lot of weight. But when you are in Taiwan where there is hardly any obesity I was a phenomenon to these people. I could not even get mad at them because I knew they meant no harm at all. When at the convention I took on literally a movie star status. I had to pray on the last day that I would have to patience with my Taiwan brothers and sisters not to snap. Because I was so tired of smiling for pictures and being nice at the same time. But I just kept it all in. I could not blend in, they had never seen anyone like me, I fascinated them. Being black and morbidly obese and looking nice, just caused a frenzy for them. See they were already fascinated with seeing blacks as it was, but if you tall or in my case tall and huge they were in awe of me. And it want not just the Taiwanese, but it was the same with the Japanese, and Chinese friends who were at this convention. I was 25 then and I remember the friends from Japan. At that time video cameras were new and everyone from Japan had a video camera for sure. Not many from USA had the video cameras. Maybe 1 out of 30, but the youngsters from Japan had them in spades and they were all hammering to get interview me with their video cameras. Their new toy. They had to interview me. Find out all they could about ME! If it were for any other reason it would have been a compliment. And many thought it was a compliment, but it was not a compliment to me. That was in 1991 and I could get around just as good as the next person. These people were amazed and thinking back on this time, who could blame them and I am so glad that I did not get mad at them, but I don't want to ever go through something like that again.
Back then my highest recorded weight was 535. It was probably more, but it took me a while to go to the mail room of the hospital to weigh myself. Yet another demeaning experience. The list just goes on and on, but I am looking forward to better experiences. I am looking forward to people just saying I am pretty or beautiful vs. you are beautiful or pretty if only you weren't fat. People don't come out and say it quite that bluntly but you hear it or see it in their eyes. Or it is a backhanded compliment and it is true so again no reason to get upset with people, but it still hurts. It hurts a lot, especially since I know they are so right, I would look so much better if I lost weight. You have those people who are cruel on purpose and you have the many more who are being cruel and they don't even realize it. And the people I encounter usually are the ones who don't do it on purpose. So again I look forward to new and better experiences. I can't wait to be post-op! I took this time to do this because I wanted to remember why I need to fast today....:-) It makes the time go by and it makes it so much easier to do. I guess around 10 o'clock tonight when I have my last drink of water I will recall this if I want something to eat...:-) I will talk to you again on the other side and working on my 300 pound goal...:-)
11/5/04 (BMI 76.6)
Well here I am and I am recovering pretty good as far as I can tell. I go back to Dr. Cahill Monday to have my staples removed and I see the dietian on Monday also. I think my surgery went a lot better than everyone expected. So far no complications. Hopefully this will be true 4 weeks from now. It has not been a full 2 weeks and I am restless already. I am ready to go back to work, but I am not going back yet. I can not even keep juices down yet, so I don't know how I am going to keep down pureed foods next week. This is all expected, so I am not discouraged at all. So far I have not experienced this depression that I have heard and read about. I don't know if I will get this because I was so ready for surgery this time around. Anyway so far I have lost 31 pounds in 6 days. Amazing!!! So far I can't even tell because I am house bound and can not wear my regular clothes. (girdles, etc) This has not hit me yet, I know it is amazing but I don't feel as happy as I know I should. Maybe that is a form of depression....:-) Any way it will hit me soon enough!! I have lost 31 pounds as of today.
11/27/2004 (BMI 69.2)
I have lost 84 pounds so far!!! Sort of excited....:-) I am getting there....:-) When I feel better I will be much more excited!
12/21/04 (BMI 65.6)
I have lost 110 pounds.
1/31/05 (BMI 62.9)
I have lost 129 pounds. I am feeling so much better. The 1st 2 months were terrible. But I am feeling very good and definitely feeling lighter and reaping the rewards of being 129 pounds lighter....:-) Fitting into chairs I use to have problems with. Finally able to wear a regular trench coat. Pulling my smaller sized clothes out of the closet. I actually feel like making my face up daily. I could go on and on, but no time.
5/3/05 (BMI 60.0)
Total weight loss for me is 181 pounds and I feel great. (150 pounds since surgery) Had some bad news about a family member, but I am coping well. I have started working out regularly and starting to actually enjoy it again, despite bad knee. (since March 28th) I plateaued for about six weeks. (Feb-Mar) Then I had a gain the last 2 weeks of March. Finally in April I got it together.
6/7/05 (BMI 58.3)
I lost another 13 pounds in May. That is a total weight loss of 193 pounds. (162 pounds since surgery) I am up to 4 times a week at the health club and ride stationary bike 40 minutes a session and I do strength training also. I am feeling great about things in general. Last week, during memorial day weekend, I cleaned up my entire apartment and I was not exhausted like I usually am when I do that and cooked while cleaning. It is amazing the energy I have now. The weight loss is slower than I would like, but that is OK. I am really starting to enjoy working out again. I am losing inches like crazy and that makes up for the weight not coming off on scale as fast as I would like!
6/16/05 (BMI 56.5)
Total weight loss 206 pounds!! (175 pounds since surgery) I am too excited....:-) I went to the eye doctor this week and I did not have to lift the arms on the chair to get into the chair!!! I am loving it!
7/4/05 (BMI 56.6)
In June I lost another 13 pounds.....:-) Inches still coming off. A friend gave me a dress Sunday and I am happy to say it is too big! That is a regular occurrence these days. I am on my second set of clothes. Threw and gave away the 1st set of clothes.
I was able to fit into a size 26 dress this pass Sunday and it was such a wonderful feeling!!! I have not been in the twenties in over 20 years. I use to have my clothes made to order or custom made......:-) Which was very expensive. Another expense that will be cut in half.
8/2/05 (BMI 53.3)
Total weight loss 230 pounds!! (200 pounds since surgery) I am up to working out 4 to 5 times a week--an avg 35 to 45 min on stationery bike and I do weights also. I am looking forward to our convention coming up. Had 2 dresses taken up for this 3 day event. One of the dresses is like a whole new dress!!! I am so excited because many have not see me since last summer.....:-) Until next month.
10/3/05 (BMI 49.7)
Total weight loss is 255 pounds! (224 pounds since surgery) I have had a great summer! The convention was great and I am feeling great despite struggling in August with my eating, now that I can eat most things. I gained a few pounds in August--7 total. I was up and down in August. But got back on track in September. I lost over 25 pounds in September. Eventually I will have to go shopping. I am trying to wait until January. I am in the smallest sizes that I have in my closet now. I am getting into new territory. Last month I was able to fit a size 24 dress that my sister gave to me. I was too excited about that! Actually on my top half, I bet I can wear a 22 or 20. My hips is what will still be big overall. But they are MUCH smaller than they use to be! My Mom gave me a trench coat earlier this year that fits me just right now. The exciting thing about being able to wear this coat is not the size. See it is a size 32, but a A-line coat. I was never able to wear a A-line coat because of my size. IT FELT SO GOOD to wear that coat and I looked so slim to me, because I am still having that issue....:-) Still seeing myself at previous weight. I am getting scared about going to the stores. I am so use to mail ordering or custom made clothes. If I got something in the store my sister and/or Mom would pick out for me and bring over. If too small or I did not like, I or they would return. So I have not actually shopped myself in YEARS. At least 15 years!!, so it will be a definite challenge.
**One more thing I have to celebrate this month! Before surgery my BMI was right at 80, now my BMI is 49.7 and I can say that I am no longer SUPER SUPER SUPER MORBIDLY OBESE! Is that silly or what, that I am happy to say I am just Morbidly obese now? Probably so, but I can't wait until I am just overweight and my BMI is in the thirties!.....:-) Until next time.
11/8/05 (BMI 49.2)
Total weight loss is 258 pounds! (227 pounds since surgery) For the month of October I lost 3 pounds. I will take it, but I have been messing around. My goal for the next 2 months is to lose 30 pounds total, 15 pounds in November and 15 pounds in December. This is definitely a reasonable goal. My Dad finally admitted to my Mom that he was glad I had the surgery! I have raided my Mom and sister's closets. I have enough clothes to get me through the winter. Hopefully by the spring I will be in the stores. Shopping for clothes will be a new adventure for me!!! I am looking forward to it....:-) Until next time. I am shooting for monthly but that does not always happen.
We gave our parents a surprise 40th anniversary party yesterday and it was a smash!!! They were surprised! I was a smash also, because there were many friends and relatives there who had not seen me since surgery and they made me feel great about my success!!! I wanted to cry! But I smiled enough and it was a great experience, one I want to never stop. I know it will when every one get use to the new me, but I am never going back to the old me, NEVER!
I went to Catherine's and TJ Max over the weekend, my 1st store experience in AGES! It was great!! We had a ball! me and my sister. I was wearing 1x (20 and 22 tops) and 24 and 26 skirts depending on how they were made! I spent way too much but that is OK, I deserved to splurge as a treat to myself. I refused to buy anything even slightly too big......:-) After I went to stores and found out my new sizes, I ordered a few skirts because of course the stores did not have a lot of skirts in my size. They actually had the larger sizes! (LOL) We left around 1 and did not get back home until about 11 o'clock! I feel sooo good now despite being completely broke now!
12/6/05 (BMI 47.7)
Total weight loss is 269 pounds! (238 pounds since surgery) For the month of November I lost 11 pounds. Goal for December is to lose 19 pounds. I am going to exercise 5 times a week this month vs. my usual 4 times a week.
1/2/2006 (BMI 48.0)
I did not lose any weight in December, I actually gained a pound which I don't count as a true gain. Well I was given a clean bill of health by my surgeon on December 20,2005. I have another appointment in six months. My blood work was fine. I am still going to have to take potassium pills, but that is cool. They finally took me off blood thinners and I am feeling great! Had Lasik surgery yesterday and threw away my glasses.....:-) January is looking better already. I have lost 9 pounds so far since the 1st.
1/16/06 -- 2006 weight and fitness goals....:-) My 1st goal of the year is to lose 300 pounds since surgery (which would be 331 pounds total weight loss. My 2nd goal is to reach my goal weight of 248 before June 30th.
Last year I had 15 weeks where I gained weight. In 2006 my goal is for this number to be less than 10. Within those 15 wks., there were 4 weeks where I gained more than 5 pounds. In 2006 my goal is to make that 2 wks or less.
My fitness goal for 2006 is to be exercising on avg. 5 days a week and averaging an hour plus cardio per session minimum. I am also going to change the way I record my weight this year in this journal. I will have weight loss since surgery posted 1st and total weight loss in parenthesis.
2/6/06 (BMI 46.7)
I have lost 245 pounds since surgery. (Total weight lost 276 pounds) I lost 9 pounds in January. It is definitely getting harder to lose weight, but I am determined to reach my weight loss goals.
3/6/06 (BMI 44.4)
I have lost 262 pounds since surgery. (Total weight lost 293 pounds) I lost 17 pounds in February! I am so proud of myself. I set a goal of losing 15 to 20 pounds for February and I did it..:-) This month I want to lose 15+ pounds again. My 2006 goal is 100 pounds, so I have 74 more pounds to go for this year. Really I want to reach that goal by June 30th. If I keep doing 15+ a month, I may reach that goal! If not I will be close enough and I will take whatever I can do by June. If I don't get there by June I have another six months to work on my 74 pounds. I FEEL SO GOOD. I have to decide when I want to update my pictures for this website. When I have I have lost 300 pounds since surgery I will update this milestone with another photo!
4/3/06 (BMI 43.5)
I have lost 268 pounds since surgery. (Total weight lost 299 pounds) I lost 6 pounds in March. March was not good but it was not bad either.....:-) Could have been better but I can not complain, I am still going in the right direction and I know why I did not lose as much as I could have. I am not beating myself up, because I am not perfect. I will focus more this month for sure and will get my 15 pounds plus this month.
5/9/06 (BMI 43.5)
No weight lost in April, but I still had a great month. I participated in a missionary work last month. Put in 50 hours without pain. Was so excited spiritually speaking and had a wonderful time. I am excited about doing this work at least twice a year now. I use to do this annually before my weight started to interfere. I have a convention coming up in June and I want to lose 20 pounds by then. Time to focus, my eating is getting out of hand and I have to get a handle on it to continue to lose. No use beating myself up because I am not perfect, just have to stay mindful of my goals and rejoice over the milestones I have already made. 32 pounds lost so far in 2006 is not bad at all. I have 7 more months to lose 68 pounds....:-) and I am going to do it!! Until next month.
6/9/06 (BMI 42.4)
I have lost 276 pounds since surgery. (Total weight lost 307 pounds) I lost 8 pounds in May. I am not losing the weight fast anymore but I am losing inches like crazy. Feeling great and plucking away the pounds and enjoying my workouts. Losing the inches is helping me stay motivated to exercise 4 to 5 times a week, 40 to 60 min cardio workouts and 30 min on weights. I am starting to try on slacks and loving the way I look in them! My sister gave me some overalls that I could even see the weight loss in. I am still having issues with veiwing myself thinner!! But when I wear slacks I can definitely see the differnce.....:-) I am looking forward to my convention this month. Have my new outfits and can't wait. Suppose to be a great convention this year and I need it.
7/4/06 (BMI 43.2)
I have lost 270 pounds since surgery. (Total weight lost 301 pounds) I gained 6 pounds in June. Strangely enough I still feel great. Convention was great. Felt good to be able to cross my legs while at convention. I feel spriritually and mentally refreshed. I am having so much fun right now and I feel I can do anything I set my mind to! Words can not explain. Some at my convention did not know who I was. Rumor has it I am getting too thin. I do not know if I believe these rumors especially since my BMI is still 43.2 which means extremely obese and I still qualify to have surgery. So the people who are saying that I am getting too thin are just too funny! I am no way near too thin! lol!! I guess some people are not use to the new me, well I am here to tell them they better get use to it because I am going to continue to lose......:-) and get as thin as I CAN! As one good friend told me I will never get too thin! I tried on a size 14 jacket and it fit, snug but it fit. Was too expensive to purchase but I felt great that day!! I am feeling more comfortable wearing pants now. I see Dr. Cahill this month. I want to lose 15 pounds by the time I see him on July 25th. I can do it now that my family reunion is over and convention is over. This years family reunion was one of the best ones we have had!!! July is pretty uneventful so I should be able to focus on good eating habits. Exercise is never the problem. Eating is and will always be a problem. Surgery does not fix that but it is still a GREAT tool if use and maintained properly. I would have never accomplished this without it and I thank Jehovah every day that I was able to have the surgery and continue to use this new tool properly.
I have lost 254 pounds since surgery. (Total weight lost 285 pounds) It has been a while since I have written and a lot has happened. I have gained 16 pounds which I am not going to fret about. I am getting back on track. My 2 year anniversary was October 26th! It really went fast for me.....:-)
Just got back from Vegas and it was great not having to worry about seats on the airplane, seats in general and I was able to go to the washroom on the plane twice when I usually never go to washroom..:-) I brought me a new condo in August and moved Sept 1st. 1st time owner. In the midst of shopping for a condo and doing my research on buying a condo, my lymphdema started acting up or worsened and I had to go to a wound specialist and have my legs wrapped, which for me was very discouraging, because I was told that if I lost weight this would go away and these doctor's tell me once you have lymphadema it has to be treated and it never goes away. I would have not taken my legs swelling seriously if it had not been for the bruises.
My Mother had colon cancer last year and has breast cancer now, which is in the process of being treated in the next 2 months. She has known about this since the end of June and because she loves Cook County doctors this is just now being treated which to me is way too long but that is her choice.
On Oct 6th I ordered some compression hose that I have been told I will have to wear for the rest of my life. In the next 3 or 4 months I will be seeing a vascular specialist on this subject. Anyway this put a big crimp in my exercise regimen, because I had to change my work schedule in order to accommodate therapy at hospital twice a week and I had to get used to exercising with the leg wraps too. So I am averaging 2 to 3 times a week at heatlhclub and trying to do more walking to accommodate for less time at the gym. Walking is better than nothing but I would have to do A LOT of walking to replace what I was doing at the gym.......:-) So needless to say I am making a lot of adjustments. I have not given up on losing another 80 pounds.
12/19/07 (BMI 43.8)
Well it has been 3 years since I had my WLS surgery and felling great! I exercise approx 5 to 6 times per week at home and health club. My life has really changed for the better. I would not change anything. I am still struggling with my weight and I have come to terms with this also. I still want to lose more weight and will do it. It will just take some time.
3/16/10 (BMI 53.5)
Hello, I am back. I have gotten off track and getting back on track now. See my blogs for updates.