I am a 44 year old female whose BMI is 37, but I have diabetes, GERD, joint pain, fibromyalgia and high cholesterol. I also have a terrible family history of diabetes and heart disease. My mother died at 62 from these diseases. I have Federal Blue Cross insurance.
Hospital Reviews(Alabaster, AL) - Shelby Baptist Medical Center
Weight Loss Survey ResponsesClick Here To View
Surgeon: Rex A. Sherer M.D.
I finally have an appointment with Dr. Rex Sherer, who is one of Dr. Richard Stahl's partners. My appointment is scheduled for March 21. I was told that since my insurance does not require pre-determination, I will be able to schedule my surgery at that time.
3/15/02 My appointment date with Dr. Sherer is next Thursday. I am nervous. I just hope he will agree to do the operation since I have significant co-morbidities.
3/23/02 Well I had my first appointment with Dr. Sherer on the 21st. Wow. I feel like a load has been lifted off me. I was afraid that since my BMI was not 40, he might not do the surgery. He did say I am almost 100 pounds overweight and since I have diabetes, he felt there would be no problem with my insurance. (I have Federal Blue Cross and they don't do predeterminations.) Susie in Dr. Sherer's office is concerned that my BMI is not 40 and my insurance might not cover it, but I am fairly comfortable. Dr. Sherer is comfortable. I called my insurer and while they would not give me any hints on whether they would cover my situation, they did give me some guidelines they go by and I feel I meet them. So, I go for my pre-op on April 2 and have my surgery on April 9. Wow!
4/3/02 I had my preop work done at the hospital yesterday. Also, I met again with the nurse at Dr. Sherer's office and we went over instructions for preop and once I get home. I am NOT looking forward to the bowel prep, but you know they say that we need a good "cleanse" every now and then! They recommend the Flintstones Complete vitamins and the chewable calcium tablets (Caltrate D). Doesn't sound too bad. I'm getting so excited (sounds crazy to be excited about surgery!). I am though. I believe this is my best chance of becoming healthy again and, if the Lord wills, living a long life. Well, I'm counting down the days till April 9!!!
4/8/02 Countdown! Tomorrow's the big day. It's strange, but I have had a few nervous moments but now I am so calm. I'm really glad. Well, next time I post, I will be postop!
4/12/02. I got home from the hospital yesterday. It was great to sleep in my own bed. The pain is pretty significant but not unbearable. They have given me Lortab Elixir for pain and it keeps me comfortable. I'll describe my hospital stay for you. I was in surgery for two hours and it went very well. I was in recovery for about an hour. Dr. Sherer came in late Tuesday afternoon to see me. He is really great. He gives all credit to God, and that is something I really like about him. Anyway, they gave me morphine which helped a lot. No liquids, nothing, the first day. Wednesday at about 9am I went to radiology to get an x-ray to make sure there were no leaks. Everything was perfect. I then was able to start on a little liquid every two hours. I had apple juice, cranberry juice and water. That was wonderful! Thursday morning I could have unlimited liquids. Dr. Sherer released me Thursday and told me to take it slow but that I should just try different things to eat. I don't have to stick to pureed foods because he said I will chew food so much that it will be pureed anyway. I have been craving chicken salad. My daughter made some and brought it over. I had a couple of bites of it and it was great. I chewed it very well and had no problem at all. I'm not going to go crazy with food but I was just craving that. I will probably start with baked or creamed potatoes and soups. Anyway, I will update soon. Oh, by the way, as of now, 10 a.m. on Friday, I have actually lost 10 pounds! That's awesome!
4/19/02 As of today, I have lost 20 pounds. I cannot believe it. I am feeling good, a little tired, but that's to be expected. I haven't had any trouble to speak of and have had no problems with food. I went to my post op visit with Dr. Sherer yesterday. He said I am doing great. I told him that I am not having any kind of psychological issues and that I am surprised about that. I thought I might be depressed by now about not being able to eat, but I am just determined. He said that was great, but that I should still consider counseling of some sort or a support group because the issues could still come up, and some probably will. So, I think I will follow his advice and find someone who has experience with eating disorders. He hasn't steered me wrong yet, so I will just follow his lead!
5-15-02 Wow. I cannot believe it has been so long since I updated. Sorry about that. I have now lost 34 pounds and am at a little bit of a plateau. I probably am eating the wrong things, not too much food, but the wrong food. Also, I haven't started exercising yet. That was a problem for me before the surgery and I am not having much luck getting started now. I know I have to but I need to find a way to get motivated. I have had no problems with foods except for Chinese -- and what a problem. Got really sick. I may try again later, much later. Otherwise, I am eating regular food. My energy level is good. I have not taken my Glucophage since surgery, nor have I needed my acid reflux meds. I am thrilled with my decision to have this surgery. I cannot believe that I had such peace about it, but I guess I just knew this was what I had to do. It really wasn't very bad for me. I guess I just do surgery well. For some reason, I haven't even missed overeating. I am really surprised by that because I felt I would probably have some real emotional issues. I may still have a problem in the future, but certainly not now!
6/5/02 I am feeling great and as of today have lost a total of 45 pounds. My energy level is normal and I have just had no problems at all. I feel so blessed. I am eating normal foods, even beef. Of course, I can only eat very very small bites of beef and small amounts of it. Chicken and fish are the easiest. What I am truly enjoying about this is that I am not missing food like I thought I would. Before surgery, food was something that was extremely important to me. I would eat when I was hungry but also when I was not. Now, I only eat when I am hungry and I can enjoy what little I do eat. I know my stomach has relaxed a little because I can now eat maybe a half cup of food or a little more. I've started playing softball again, and it's amazing how much easier it is after losing some weight. I am so glad, so glad, that I did this. I will keep everyone posted.
6/25/02 Well, I am at 50 pounds finally. Things are still going great. I feel good! I am eating more now - not too much - but definitely more. Keep you posted!
10/2/02 I cannot believe I let this much time go by without updating. Sorry. Wow, so much has changed for me. I have lost 73 pounds. I am just 7 pounds from my goal. Actually, I could get by without losing anymore, but what the heck! I am feeling great. The only negative thing I've experienced is the hair loss. It hasn't been too terribly bad, not devastating or anything, but definitely noticeable. I think it has stopped though, or at least has slowed down. My energy level is normal. I am eating what I would call a child's portion of food now. I can eat practically anything I want. I never thought it would happen for me, but food isn't the most important thing for me anymore. Eating is now just a thing -- a thing I can still enjoy, but it doesn't rule me now. I know I didn't have as much to lose as most folks who have the surgery, but the health benefits are so wonderful for me. My diabetes is -- well, it's no longer with me. My sugar stays normal -- except it gets a little low sometimes, but never high. I'm so grateful. Anyway, I'm rambling. I will check in again when I reach my goal.
My husband and I met with Dr. Sherer on March 21. We both were very impressed. He spent a good deal of time with us and was very happy to answer any questions we had. We both really like him. His office staff was very nice. We did have to wait for two hours to see him though. He was in surgery. I guess if I had been the one in surgery, I would have wanted others to be patient while they were waiting. Not much aftercare emphasized at the first meeting but I am supposed to meet with the office staff again on the date I have my pre-op visit to discuss aftercare. He was very open and straightforward about the risks of surgery.
Post-op: He was absolutely great. I feel I have had excellent care from Dr. Sherer. He spent a lot of time with me during my post-op visit and answered all my questions. I would definitely recommend him to anyone.
Blue Cross (Federal)
It scares me a little that I can't get a pre-determination that they will cover my surgery. Otherwise, in all other aspects of our dealings with them, for example with my husband's cancer, they have been fine.
They denied me first but paid after resubmission by the doctor. I had no problem with them. The only good thing about not being able to get a pre-determination is the fact that I was able to schedule my surgery within two weeks after my first visit with Dr. Sherer.