Pre-op - 254
Surgeon: Robin P. Blackstone
Post-op (left hospital) - 260 - +6
12/21 (1 month check up) - 216 - -44
1/27 (2 month check up) - 198 - -62
2/27 (3 month check up) - 185 - -75
4/6 (4 month check up) - 170 - -90
5/7 (5 month check up) - 165 - -95
I am a 30 year old woman with one son who is 5 years old. And like 99% of the people considering WLS, I too have been overweight ALL my life. My earliest memory of recognizing that I was "bigger" was when I was 6 and my mother had to order "regular" sized jeans. All of my friends always wore slims. I also remember being in HS when I would dream that I would come back from summer break skinny! As you can imagine I never went to homecoming or prom. I didn't have a boyfriend until I was 19 and at that time I was starving myself to be thin. Of course that didn't last and I gained all the weight plus more. Well he dumped me after 2 1/2 years because of the way I looked. At that time we were engaged and he told me "he couldn't have a fat wife". It took me 3 years to undo the mental abuse of my ex when I met my husband of today. He loves, respects, and supports me through the thick and thin. When the second love of my life was born, my son, I had just been through a tough pregnancy. I had gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. My son was born via c-section because he went into fetal distress and spent his first night in this world in ICU with water on his lungs. Now he is 5 and wants a little sister sooo bad. I know I can not have another child being this over weight. So with that and other health concerns I am starting my journey.
4/13/03 - I attended a seminar held by Dr. Robin Blackstone today. I have been waiting to go for over 2 months. Dr. Blackstone was really informative and passionate about what she does. This is the first time i have talked to a doctor about this procedure. I can't wait until I can meet with her one on one.
5-5-03 - I just met with my PCP today to get a "letter of support" . He has never written one for Lap. Gastric Bypass before so he wants me to draft up something for him to sign. He is very supportive. I was really worried that I would have to pull out the gloves for a fight. I think he knows that I have tried everything. He gave me a list of weight loss avenues I could try. I have tried Weight Waters, Jenny Craig, Fit for Life and prescribed medications such as Xenical and Merida.
5/6/03 Cindy, at Dr. Blackstone's office, just called. I have my Psych test and my first consultation at the office on June 2. I have been waiting to hear from them since April when I sent in my new patient package. I know that I am embarking on a journey for a better life. I am scared with the What Ifs right now. I have been to tons of profiles on this site and the horror stories associated with the insurance companies....! I am hoping mine will not put up a fight. I have checked, double checked and made numerous phone calls to them. I have a benefit if I am proven to be 100lbs overweight. NO PROBLEM, right!?
5/29/03 I just received my "letter of support" from my PCP today. It is a great letter! I will send it to anyone who needs a template. I have my appointment on Monday, June 2nd with the Psychologist and my consultation with Randy at Dr. Blackstone's office. I am really excited to take the next step.
6/2/03 - My appointments went real well. I am a good surgical canidate and now the waiting process begins.
7/1/03 - Just got news that all my information has been sent to my insurance company. Lets pray for APPROVAL!
7/18/03 - I just found out I have been approved. Actually they approved me back on the 7th of July only 3 working days! I am waiting for my letter of approval to set up a date.
7/25/03 - Got my letter of approval and set the date for 11/12/03. However, I was hit with the news about the out of pocket fees that I have to come up with - close to $7000, just for Dr. Blackstone's office. This does not include my testing, sleep study or all other surgery related costs. I am very happy to be fortunate enough to have an approval and a date selected.
8/11/03 - Well I got my postcard in the mail with all my classes that I have to attend on it. I am starting to get excited. I have to get on the ball and get my preadmission tests scheduled. I only have a few months to wait. What is going to be weird is that I am going to be only a few weeks post op when Thanksgiving dinner is served. I don't have to gorge myself with turkey and mashed potatoes. As for my last post I feel grateful for my approval and that I have to remember that I should want to do this for myself. I can't believe I let myself get upset of the cost. I should be thinking of the benefits. So, when the Kohls opens by my house I will just have to get a part time job...I am going to need the discount for my new wardrobe anyway! HeHe
9/9/03 - I thought I would give an update. I have been keeping myself busy. My husband and I decided to sell our house. We have always wanted to have a bigger and with the market being the way it is right now we thought this would be the perfect time. So if anyone is looking for a home in the Surprise Area.... We also agreed that this would be easier financially on us and my recoup time will be easier since we will be living at my parents.
I had my sleep test done at the end of July and the results came back a few weeks ago - Just as I expected - severe to moderately severe sleep apnea. I have to go back in Oct. to do another sleep study so they can fit me with a Cpap machine. I also had my gall bladder ultra sound done. Boy, did that hurt!! They jam that sensor thing up under your rib cage OUCH! I have not heard anything back on that yet...I guess no news is good news. That is about it.
At the end of Sept. my work is sending me to CanCun with my assistant for an off-site meeting. This sounds like fun but I have to buy new clothes (last years are to small) and I just feel like a whale. I know I am going to have to wear shorts and most likely a swim suit and I just have no desire on feeling this way anymore. All I keep telling myself is ...wait until next year!!
10/14/03 - Well made it back from CanCun. It was the worst experience EVER! 5 hours into the trip my co-workers decided that we needed to get the "fat girl" into the pool. I had enough time to get my watch, sunglasses and purse thrown on a chair before I was soken wet! It was fun at the time but within a hour my purse, camera, sunglasses and watch were GONE! Stolen! Not only did my purse have ALL my money it had my birth certificate and driver's license in it. I had to go 3 days with nothing!! I also had to spend 5 hours looking for a police station that would help with a police report so I could get out of the country. This was an experience...anyone know what downtown CanCun Mexico looks like? I do! Anyway, I made it home and all is good. Time to focus on my surgery.
I have been trying to kick the Diet Coke addiction. I have allowed myself one can a day and then hopefully I can get rid of it in a few weeks. I have also started to cut the "garbage" out of my diet. I am also starting to walk at night since it is cooler. I just can't believe that it is coming sooo fast!
11/14/03 - Back home again
Well I made it to the other side. After I woke up from the operation I honestely thought I made a mistake. The pain, fear and overall realization of it all consumed me. The nurses tried getting me up at around 5 p.m. I sat on the edge of the bed and had a panic attack! My first walk, I made it the hall and back before I started to get sick. I was sooo made at myself because I saw all these other people just walking around like nothing was wrong. It didn't help that night that the staff came in every hour to check everything.
Day 2: I felt like a new woman. Did my swallow test (gross!!!) and everything looked good. I got back to my room and made it a point to get up and walk every hour. By the end of the night I had my IVs out and off most pain meds. I could not beleive the difference. I now know why all post ops say "WALK" it really does help.
Day 3: Discharge day - had all my tubes removed and IV taken out. I am at home now and just checking in. I want to take the time and thank everyone for their support and well wishes. THANKS
Happy Holidays!! I has been a rough month for me. I have been nauseous non stop since the beginning of Dec. Everything makes me gag, even sounds on the radio. Last week was the final straw. I called the Dr. office and got a perscription for Zofran. The best stuff in the world!! However, I still have a real hard time with dinner. About a hour after I try to eat dinner the frothing sets in! I'm not talking a little frothing I am talking uncontrollable! It will come up all the way until I go to bed. Julie thinks it is my body trying to clean itself out since I have terrible sinus problems. The good news it is that it might not last forever!
Anyway, I had my monthly check-up yesterday and I am down 38 lbs! All my blood levels are great. I guess that is what this is all about. I just hope that everything else passes and I can get back to feeling half way normal.
Well I joined a gym last night, Fitness One. I can't wait to get started on an exercise program. I also went in my closet and pulled out my size 16 work suits. To my surprise they actually fit! I know that I have lost weight but I never thought that I would ever get back into these outfits. It has been over 4 years since I had them on last. Much to my dismay my size 18 jeans are still really tight. I have not been on the scale but I think that I am close to -50 lbs. My 2 month check up is on the 27. We will see.
I am feeling alot better. I still have issues with frothing but the nausea has gone away. I found a wonderful protein bar at Target called EAS Advant Edge - chocolate chip brownie. Of course it is so rich that I can only eat a little at a time. I have tried protein shakes but I can't find any that I really like. Well, that is it for now.
2/9/04 - Everything is going great. I had my 2 month check up on the 27th of Jan. I have lost another 18 lbs. I am running out of clothes really fast. I do not have the emotional confidence to go and buy new clothes yet. I am also have a real hard time getting myself to the gym to exercise. I think because I have exercised soooo much in the past with no success that I once again have NO confidence to go again. I know in my mind that "this time it will work". My heart just doesn't want to be broken again.
On to more happier things. My house finally sold!!! Now I can pay off this stupid surgeon bill that has been haunting me forever! So over the past few weeks we have been packing and getting ready to move. We had a garage sale this past weekend. I had tons and tons of clothes that I sold. It was a success....we only have 2 boxes of things going to big brothers and sisters.
Oh, funny story...my husband had some of the guys come over to help us move our stuff into storage. This one guy that came over just gave me the impression that anytime I was around he was disgusted by the way I look, in fact he would make the comments in front of my husband like "how is it to be married to a big woman. I bet she cooks good fatty food". Anyway, I have not seen him since last July. He came walking up the drive and I said "hello Chris, Dave (my husband) is in the back" he looked at me like I was crazy!!! I found out later that he didn't even recognize me. He asked Dave who the cute girl was out front, he thought I was Dave's sister or something. Dave told him that it was me and he couldn't believe it. That made me feel good!
3/2/04 - Well I had my 3 month check up last week. All is good. My blood tests came back normal. I found out that my cholesteral is at 128 which is excellent and my protein is finally going up. I am low on potassium which would explain the worst charlie horses I have been getting in the middle of the night in my calfs.
On a personal note - I have fallen off the gym wagon. I was going on a regular basis but life just happened. Within the the last two weeks we have sold our house, moved into my parents, bought my parents house and moved them into their new house. We are now in the process of moving everything from storage into our new home. On top of that my son, who is 5, took 1st and 3rd in the state karate tournament and now we have been invited to go to nationals in New Mexico. So on the weekends the dojo is holding events to raise money...car washes...crunchie thon...raffles. It has been very hectic. But, I have realized that I have TONS of energy now. I am finding myself being able to eat a few bites more at every meal and I am starting to feel normal again!!
4/7/04 - Not a good doctors appointment. Even though I lost 15 lbs last month, it all came off in the wrong places. I lost 23 lbs of muscle and gained 7 lbs. fat. I need to get my butt back to the gym but "life" just seems to be going by so fast these days.
Personal note: in my last post my family was heading to a karate tournament in New Mexico. Well, I am so proud of my son...he is the national champ, for his age group, in kumite (fighting) and he placed 3rd in his kata (forms). We had a great time! Also, I found myslef shopping for new clothes. I thought I would start out in the biggest size they had since I was still wearing my size 18 jeans. Well 16 turned to 14 turned to 12. I couldn't believe it. I was so excited that I wouldn't have to shop in the plus size section ever again!!! I actually bought myself some shorts for the summer. My legs are sooo white because I don't think they have seen the sun in 5 years, I think they might even glow in the dark!!
5/10/04 - I had my 5 month check up on Friday - even though it is closer to 6 months. Anyhoo, last month I was discouraged about the fat gain and muscle loss that I had taken. I have been attending the gym regularly since then and on the days I can't make it there I make it a point to use our bowflex. Well good news and hard work pays off...I only lost 5 lbs last month but I lost 26 lbs of fat and gained 21 lbs of muscle!!! I was amazed. I thought I lost more weight becuase my new pants are ready to go to the goodwill so I was surprised when it was only 5 lbs. but I was not prepared with the muscle gain and the inches that are coming off! Good month for me!!
12/29/04 - Wow, I have not been here for 7 months. Life is just so good right now! I am currently at 140 lbs. Actually, I fluxuate between 140-145. I am a size 8 and loving it. I found a new job, more money and more responsibility. Things I did this year: I dressed up for halloween, went to our holiday party in a smashing outfit and I have more confidence in myself than I have ever had before.
I will have to post a new photo when I get one.
12/29/05 - Well alot has happened in the last year. I most recently went through a divorce. I understand that the stats on this is high. We had poor communication. The divorce became final in October. We sold everything! I started a new way of life on Nov. 12, 2003-I just had no idea it would be a totally "NEW LIFE".
CCN, Carpenter's Health and Welfare
I did not have to deal with them at all. Approval came within 3 days but took a few weeks to get the letter. The only stipulation to the benefit was that I had to be 100 lbs over my ideal weight.
The people, Terry and Karen, that I have talked to on the phone have been wonderful in answering all my questions. I am however in a bind due to the fact that Dr. Blackstone is an out of network doctor. I am faced with a hefty out of pocket costs. That has been the only draw back.