I am 52 yrs. old, married since 1971 and my husband and I have a daughter age 24 (who was married in 2001 the picture on the left below is from her wedding) and a son age 19.
I have had problems with my knees since I was 16 yrs. old. In Feb. 2002 I had knee replacement surgery on my right knee. The left one needs to be done but the doctor wanted to wait a few more years.
Between November 2002 and April 2003, I was hospitalized four times because of severe asthma. Before these hospitalizations my doctor suggested WLS. I did a lot of investigation and decided to go with the surgeons at St. Vincent Hospital in Cleveland. After many attempts to get to appointments, I had to cancel because of my hospital visits; I finally had my consultation in April. It took a while but I received my approval from the insurance company in August.
I am an administrative assistant to the school psychologists in a neighboring public school district. Because of all my past illnesses I only have a few sick days, so I set up my surgery during my holiday break in December; December 15 to be exact. Many people may think, why wait? Why then? But I believe I am giving myself and my family a great Christmas present. I will be on the road to a healthier, thinner person by the time Christmas and the New Year arrive!
My surgery date has been changed from December 15 to December 19. :(
After ten days of nothing but liquids, yesterday I progressed to pureed foods!! I never thought I would be so happy. Now I sit in amazement that 1/2 cup of food makes me full!! :-)
Only 18 days of pureed and then on to one week of soft foods. After that I am free to eat just about anything I want. My doctor prefers you to stay away from red meat for 4-6 months. That shouldn't be too hard, I hope.
Well, I am progressing along fine. I will return to work on Monday and am actually looking forward to it. I am starting to get bored at home.
I do not own a scale but had to go see the doctor one week after my surgery because of sciatica. I had lost 13lbs. :-)
Been back to work for one week and am doing quite well with my new tool. However, my back ache has moved from sciatica to the middle of my back and then down to my waist. It is extremely painful and I was not able to work today. I continually get spasms which send me straight through the roof!! I am awaiting a call from my PCP. I went to see him on Friday as a follow-up but it got worse over the weekend. One good thing is that I had lost another 10 lbs, so officially as of 1/9 (three weeks) I have lost a total of 23 lbs.
If you've seen my posts you would know that I had a horrible time at the ER on Monday night. Good thing--absolutely nothing wrong. All tests showed my new pipes are working as they should and I guess back pain is just something I will have to deal with for a little while longer.
Got a good report from my surgeon on Wed. and my weight is down 29lbs since surgery.
I have been told by my co-workers not to wear some of my clothes anymore because they are falling off me. LOL That's a good thing!
Just sitting at home enjoying my second snow day. :-) I am so glad I do not have to travel in this weather!
I don't have a scale but the last time I was weighed I was done a few more pounds. Total loss of 32lbs.
I am now saying good bye to some of my meds. I am officially off my nebulizer!! I went from placing two meds in it twice a day to not needing it at all. Wow! This was all worth it just for that reason! I am so much healthier and feeling so much better it is hard to believe that just 32 lbs. could make a huge difference, but it has.
My back is feeling better and I talked to my chiropractor. He told me as soon as I was six weeks out from surgery he would adjust me and see if that relieved my back pain. I think it will work, because I still believe that the pain was caused from lying flat on my back for 4 hours in surgery. This just isn't a natural way to lie.
Wow, I haven't updated in quite some time! I am thrilled with my weight loss. I am down 50lbs in 3 months. My husband said he has a hard time seeing the weight loss because he sees me every day. Well, he found my before surgery picture and was amazed at the change in my appearance.
The best part is the way I feel. My energy level is up and my breathing is almost normal. I can now walk with little or no pain in my knees. This surgery is a life saver!
I am a slacker when it comes to this update stuff. Oh well, down 62lbs as of yesterday. Feeling better and better everyday!!
Asthma is under control, breathing is normal and my blood pressure meds have been cut in half. All in all the last 5 months have proven to be a life saver.
Ok, I am now down 66lbs, that is 53% of my excess weight. Pretty good for only 5 months. My BMI went from 48.5 before surgery to 35.1. Just a couple more points and I will no longer be severly obese, just obese. And of course I am no longer morbidly obese. :-)
About 2 months ago my PCP reduced my blood pressure meds in half. On Tuesday he took me off them completely!!!!! One more medication gone!!
He told me he was extremely happy with my weight loss and the quality of my health. And although I am still obese (I still need to lose about 50 more pounds), he said if I never lost any more weight I already accomplished the best part of this surgery, I have added years to my life.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to have had this life saving surgery.
I hope to post my pre-surgery meds and post-surgey meds so anyone reading my profile can understand the changes that have occured.
I am now 6 months out from surgery and am down 70 lbs. That is 56% of my excess weight. Wow! I didn't think this would be as wonderful as it is. My BMI has dropped to just OBESE. I was originally, as 99% of us were, Morbidly Obese then went to Severely Obese and now I am just Obese...Although it is amazing because people keep telling me I am skinny...I thank them and then say, I am skinnier than I was but still have a way to go to get to my ideal/healthy weight. This is an incredible tool we have been given and I am thankful everyday for it.
Ok, here is what has been going on in my life. I am back to work and trying to get acclimated to the schedule again. It actually helps with the eating; as I am so busy I do not even have time to think about food. Now, evenings are another story altogether! That is my most challenging time of day.
We are working hard to get my 20-year-old son ready for school down in Florida. He will be moving into an apartment so we have been accumulating furniture for him at garage sales. The problem with this? I have extra furniture sitting all over my house!
I have decided that the insurance chart's weight for me is just not going to be attainable at my age. It says that I should weigh 115 lbs. well; I don't think I've weighed that amount since I was a pre-teen. I figured if I could lose enough weight to be the same weight I was at the time of my marriage in 1971, I would be soooo happy. So, MY goal weight is now 135 lbs. That means if I base my weight loss on this amount, then I have already lost 75% of my excess weight and only have 26 more to go before reaching that goal. Anything I lose after that will just be icing on the cake. I have already gotten my health back and just being in the overweight category after being morbidly obese is certainly not a bad thing.
"THE TRIP FROM HELL"
Well, last week we took our son down to Florida. He is attending Full Sail Real World Education, a school strictly for the entertainment industry. He will be studying film. In one calendar year he will have earned his associate's degree and nine months later he will have a bachelor's degree. The school is very intense and he attends classes 8 hours a day with labs added at all hours of the day or night and even weekends. The reason for the strange hours has to do with the industry. If you are working on a film, you may just be doing some of the work in the middle of the night. The school is great and we thouroughly enjoyed the tour of the facilities. In fact my husband, who is a sound man at our church, wanted to go there for their sound engineer program...
Now for the trip part...we have a Ford Escape with a hitch but found out the trailer we needed was too large for our car to pull. So, we put out a letter to all our friends at church and asked for help in finding a vehicle to use for pulling a trailer. One of our closest friends came through for us and lent us their Astro Van. The only bad thing was the car had over 100,000 miles on it and we were a little leary of taking it on the long trip. Well, my husband went to pick up the trailer and the first obstacle was the guy telling him they didn't have the trailer there. Then he said well, lets go look in the back. So they did and they found a trailer. Next obstacle, it needed a larger ball for the hitch then we had on the van. Ok, so we had to buy a new ball. They couldn't get the old one off! It took them one hour to switch the ball on the van. While all this is going on, we have friends waiting at the house to help load the trailer. (remember, we have an apartment full of furniture to move) Needless to say once my husband gets back they have to hussle to get the trailer packed because these guys have to get back to work. Now my husband is exhausted and decides to take a nap. Well, I fall asleep too and once we actually get up we are rushing around to get done so we can get on the road. I am packing last minute things like my vitamins, meds, something to mix my protein in etc. I take my advair and then instead of putting it in my luggage I put it back where I keep it at home! I do not realize it until the next morning when I can't find it! That means 4 days without my asthma meds. I also forgot to pack the protein powder...ahhhhhhh
We get out on the road and my husband realizes that the car is very difficult to maneuver with the trailer because of the "loose" steering and we determine that neither my son nor I will be able to control it well enough so that means George has to drive the WHOLE trip. (My son tried but only made it about 20 minutes before he gave up) Next problem, we are only getting between 8-9 miles to the gallon...ouch! At $2 plus a gal. this became a very expensive trip!
So, we're plugging along on interstate 77 when at 3:30 am outside of Charlotte, NC we get a flat tire on the trailer. Luckily we have a four axle trailer and are able to "limb" off the interstate. We get to a gas station that is open 24 hours and the attendant is very helpful. He pulls out a phone book and even lets us use his phone. We call every number that says it has emergency service and no one has a tire for a trailer. After about an hour, a man comes in and tells us of a tire place down a side road about a mile or so away. Driving around 5 miles per hour we start heading toward the tire place. We are driving down a very rural road and do not see anything when we are stopped by police. Of course the first question they ask is if we are carrrying any weapons. Then they want to know how far we think we are going to travel on the bad tire. We explain that someone told us there was a tire place up this road. He says after 20 years in this town he's never heard of the place. URRRR...so he tells us of a large tire place that is just a few miles down another road and he arranges to have another officer meet us and lead us to the place. Well, this place doesn't open until 7:30 so we sleep in the van in the parking lot until it opens. They actually get us in there just before 7:30 and they just happen to have one trailer tire that matches. By this time I am hungry and this is when I noticed I do not have my advair. We go get some breakfast and get back on the road. I must rely on my rescue inhaler for the next four days.
We're plugging along and realize that we need to call the apartment complex because they usually close at 5 and we need to be able to get the keys. I talk to the woman who is working in the office and she tells me they are only open until 5 and then says that we also have to sign a lease. I inform her that the lease was signed and faxed into the office days ago by my son and his roommate so we wouldn't have to worry about both of them being there and either one of us could get the key. She then reminds me that she will only be there until 5. I then tell her I will call back when we are closer to the city so I can give her an idea of when we will arrive. I call back a few hours later and she again tells me she will be leaving at 5 and again mentions that we have to sign a lease.....was she not listening? I ask her if she could stay a little while longer since we didn't think we would get there before 5. She tells me she will wait a "few minutes" but that is all she can do. By this time I am really frustrated. We have been on the road since 4:30 the previous afternoon and I am tired and cranky. I then try and explain that we have traveled 1000 miles and have slept in the car and been on the road almost 24 hours and ask her to please wait. She just keeps saying she will only be there until 5. I then make some remarks about how she was going to force us to put the three of us up in a hotel, not be able to get the key until Monday because they are not there on Sunday and that we would not even be able to unload the trailer. She did not offer any assistance and by this time I am very angry! I ask her if she is a manager and she says no so I ask her for the name of her manager. I write the name down and hang up. Now, I have no idea what good it is going to do me to have the managers name but I do know that when I asked her for the name her voice changed. My son then said, let me call her and he tries and the phone is busy...hmm...could she be calling her manager? He tries again and gets hold of her and she is a totally different person to him. She explains that she didn't get a chance to tell me that she could leave the key with maintenance. Yea, right! She called her manager and she told her to leave the key. But I must say she is dense because she then asked my son about whether or not he had signed a lease. We arrived about 5:30, get the key and move into the apartment.
I am exhausted and so are my husband and son. We find two other guys that live in the apartment downstairs from my son and pay them each $20 to help us unload the trailer. Best $40 bucks we could have spent. I am looking around at the complex, not realizing that most of the "unkept" look is from hurricanes, I am crying because I thought we made a mistake by picking this complex for my son. The actual apartment is nice and they have totally painted the whole place and replaced all the carpet. We were planning on staying at the apartment but because of our 24 hour ride we decided we needed a good nights sleep and found a hotel to stay at. We wound up staying all three nights in the hotel. We don't eat dinner until 9 that night and I get a salad from McDonald's and can't even finish it. Too exhausted, frustrated and just plain emotionally spent to care about food.
We then do a little shopping for some of the things my son needs that we did not anticipate or realize he needed until we actually got into the apartment. More money spent. After it was all over we decided it would have been cheaper to send him on a plane with a check to buy his furniture. (But of course we wouldn't have been able to see the school or have this wonderful adventure.)
Ok, so updating my profile is definitely not a strong point. I have been extremely busy lately. I now fix dinner for my mother and aunt every Wednesday evening. My sister lives with them but she needs a break. It is a 45 min. drive from my house and I am usually there by 4 or 4:30. (I get off work at 2:30.) While there I usually pay bills and go over their mail too.
I have reached 80% of my weight loss. I feel like a different person and apparently look like one too because I have run into people who don't recognize me. :-) Only 21 lbs. to go to my goal. I probably won't reach it by my one year anniversary, 12/19/04, but I am not stressing about it because of how good I feel. Now, I must say having to buy all new clothes is VERY expensive...but fun!
Ok, here's the slacker coming on again. I have been so busy I haven't been able to get on the board. I miss everyone here and hope to get back on more often. I am now only 12 lbs from my goal...YEAH! It has been a wonderful experience and I really don't miss anything (food wise). I am a clothes fiend now and hopefully I can get some pictures taken and sent in to show off the new me. Take care everyone and remember, water is essential to life....
Hospital Reviews(Cleveland, OH) - St. Vincent Charity Hospital
Cats - I have two, Male-Torrie, Female-Spice
Motorcycles - Have one but no longer ride due to bad knees
Crossword & Word Games - Love word games over crosswords but am always looking to expand my knowledge
Christianity - Born-again Christian
Education - Secretary to school psychologists
Science Fiction - Love all Sci-Fi movies and TV shows
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: Aviv Ben-Meir, M.D.
My daughter's wedding 8/18/01
227 & 190
My first impression: April 14, 2003 He was thorough and even pointed out the risks for me with my severe asthma. He joked with me and other patients waiting because he was stuck in surgery and so all our appointments were delayed.
The only negatives I have to say concern some of my communications with the office staff of the hospital. However, I did not base my decision on the office staff but on the qualifications of the doctors and their successful record. If I had to do it over I would still choose this hospital.
Met my surgeon again at the Hospital's Christmas Party for their bariatric patients. (A plus in my book!) I introduced my husband to him and told him he would be operating on me in one week. (I hadn't seen him since April)
I don't remember seeing him the morning of my surgery but he came to my room that evening, almost 12 hours after my surgery, to check on me.
Because of the holiday I did not see my surgeon again but one of the others on staff. I was impressed with all the doctors and would recommend this hospital and these doctors to anyone looking for competent bariatric surgery.
They are definitely Top-Notch!! Kudos to the hospital and it's staff.
Medical Mutual Super Med Plus, Third Party-Employee Benefits