Dawn B.
Huntington Station, NY, USA
Post Op - BMI: 27.5
Surgery Type: Duodenal Switch
Member ID: B989711942
Web Site: www.duodenalswitch.com/Patients/DawnB/dawnb.html
Surgeon: Jerzy M. Macura M.D.


Click here for Dawn's surgery support page
Click here for the 08/2001 Reunion Page
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I wake up in the morning. "Why does my back hurt? I've been in the bed for 8hours, I should be rested. My knees and ankles hurt too. Oh well let me get my day started." I roll over & realize my heart is racing. "How could my heart be beating this way when I was just sleeping?" It takes me 15minutes just to get the motivation enough to get out of the bed. I finally do it, and I make my way to the bathroom, limping from back & joint pain. I sit on my toilet & OUCH!!! It hurts because my buttocks is hanging off the sides. Not to mention the pressure I feel down below just from my weight. When I am done, I try and reach behind me, in front of me, I squat, bend at the knees, lift one leg... anything at all to try and clean myself. No good!! I have to once again give in and use the "toilet aid" that metal, curved, uncomfortable device to wrap the toilet paper around and clean what I can't reach.

OK, now I shower, I have to make it cool-cold, because I sweat so much a hot shower will make me perspire more. It hurts to raise my arms to wash my hair & back. I have to lift & move parts of my body just to ensure the areas are being touched by water and OUCH!! I forgot about my chronic fungal rash under my breasts, I just ripped it open when I lifted my breasts to clean there. That means It will be burning all day, and in a few hours, there will be a God awful smell. Whatever!!! So now I try & wash my lower legs & feet, Oh I forgot I can't reach them, so I sit on the side of the tub while the shower is going, so I can clean the lower part of my body. Fine, all done, and I am clean but sweating. Time to get out of the shower. This to most people is not a flicker of a thought, but for me, it's frightening. I know that if I slip and fall, there is no way I'll be able to get up on my own. I hold onto anything & slowly step out. I pat myself with a towel, just a little, and I make my way over to my bed. Place the towel on the edge and sit. I now turn on my fan(no matter the season.) I lay on my bed in front of it and gently lift my breasts to allow the air to dry underneath them. After about 10mins, I have to pull myself up and dry the rest of my body. I feel good and cool after the shower and fan, but as I dry my body, I begin to sweat again. How the hell am I ever supposed to feel clean?

OK, now I brush my teeth, once again, pain from lifting my arms. I will now try to put my bra on, I am still kind of wet, either from perspiration, of from water, who knows.... but I can't seem to put it on... I call my 11 year old daughter to help me get on my bra. Even though she's embarrassed, she helps her Mom. "please honey, don't leave yet, I'll need you to put my socks on and tie my shoes.." so she waits outside my door until I finish getting dressed.
Okay I now am dressed and it's time to get the kids ready for school, or should I say it's time for my 11yr old DAUGHTER to get everyone ready for school. I send them out & I am now off to work. I climb into the Mazda MPV which is embarrassing becuase I have to pull myself in by the steering wheel. I pray each time that I don't pull the darn thing off. I get in the seat & close the door "OUCH!!!" I always forget about the bruise on my hip from where the door hits me everyday. I drive to work but not before lifting my shirt up over my stomach, because the steering wheel rubs my tummy & leaves a mark on my white uniform. I have mastered driving with my fingertips,and tippy toes, because of my large stomach, I have to have the seat so far back I can hardly reach the pedals or the steering wheel. As I am driving, I notice that a minute ago I was in the other lane, I don't remember how I got in this lane. "I slept for eight hours last night, why am I falling asleep at the wheel?" I roll down the windows and blast the radio. Finally I am at work, I scan the parking lot to find a space close to the front door.... no such luck!! I park about 75 feet from the door & pray that I dont hit the cardoor next to me when I get out of this van. Now I am walking & stopping every 10steps to bend & stretch my back. By the time I reach the door I am sweaty, out of breath & extremley fatigued. I have only begun my day. I need help.

I have been obese for 16 of my 35 years of life. I was a chubby baby, and around age 9, I thinned out and remained thin until about 19years old. I, even as a thin,pretty, and popular girl had no self esteem. That is how I know that self esteem has nothing to do with apperance. I was considered very attractive. After a horrible teen love affair, ending in every bit of what little self worth I had, shattered,squashed,stepped on....I began GAINING-GAINING-GAINING!!!! I met my husband when I was 20years old & 190lbs. I thought he was wonderful!!! He thought the world of me, and still does. Now I am 35years old & more than 390lbs!!! I could blame my weight increase on having three children, but I know that's not true. I could blame it on genetics, I am sure that plays a big part of it. But the truth is, I have poor eating habits, and I can't live this way any longer. I have been on every diet around, as all of my peers will agree has totally done my metabolism in. The yo -yo curse has assisted in my upward climb to 390+. All I know now is, my back hurts all the time, my knees ache all the time, I fall asleep at the wheel of my car all of the time due to severe sleep apnea, I am doomed if I don't have this surgery. I am on my way having my first consult with DR. Pomp in NY on 7/3/01. Please pray for me. I need all the support I can get. Thank you all.
Dawn B
390+
5'4"
BMI 67.5
6/24/01
Hello every one. It's been long time since I've last updated, and so much has happened. I have chosen another surgeon. Although my 1st choice, Dr.Pomp is supposed to be great, he is not in my insurance plan, and I cannot afford to pay the amount needed to cover the difference. My second choice is Dr. Macura in Staten Island NY. I am moving right along after my first visit with his office. I met with his nutritionist Sandra, a lovely girl who knows her stuff. I was then given a list of all of the consults I would need & labs & so on. After leaving the office at 9am on 6/20... I was able to get appointments made to cover all of my pre-op stuff!! I will be done with everything by 7/3/01!!! that's when I guess the insurance approval & date wait begins... Hang in there with me guys. I need every bit of your support. Thanks again

7/7/01
Well, I still have some pre-op stuff to get through. I've done the blood work, psych consult,ekg, sleep apnea study, resulting in the need for a C-Pap machine, the last on the list is the Endoscopy scheduled for 7/17/01. I meet with the surgeon on 7/10/01.... I hope that it ends with a surgery date. I'll let you all know after the appt.

8/12/01
I haven't posted any new info in a while. I have been so busy with getting everything done that my days end with extreme fatigue. GOOD NEWS THOUGH!!!! I have been approved for surgery!!! I am estatic!! I expected so much trouble, but all has gone so smoothly. In two days the insurance company approved the surgery that I wanted, the Duodenal switch. I had heard that many insurance companies were denying that surgery, but Aetna approved without question. Well everyone, please pray for me, and I will let you all know how things are going. Thanks for all of your support.

8/26/01
Well, I am 2days away from my BIG day!! I feel kind of numb. I am nervous, but not anywhere near the way I thought I'd feel. I tell everyone how crazed I am, but I really feel kind of OK. I don't know when it will really set in, but I hope I am prepared. I will update once more before I go into the hospital. Take care, and please pray for me. Thanks.

9/24/01
I am so sorry that I have not posted in so long. I will fill in on all the details of my surgery.....

On 8/27/01, my husband and I stayed with my Mom. We would be leaving Long Island at 430am to head to Staten Island University Hospital. We arrived at the hospital at 530am, 1/2 hour earlier than expected. The only problem with that was I had too much time to think. I was nervous, but not anywhere near what I'd expected for 2hours before surgery. Once I was brought in & registered that previously mentioned pseudo calm dissapeared. I began to get nervous. Actually, I was out & out scared, pertrified, a complete wreck. I weighed in at 412 pounds!! I can't believe I gained more weight while waiting for this surgery!! My blood pressure was 170/106. I thought for sure the surgery would be canceled. But after the IV was started, and medication was given to calm my nerves, all went on as planned.
The surgery began at 840am, and ended at 1045am. All without any problems. I couldn't believe it when they woke me up. NOW.... Let me say that I have had 3c-sections, the last with a hysterectomy... I have never experienced the amount of pain I did after this surgery. Thank God for Morphine!!!!! I had to be the absolute worst patient in the world. All I remember about my recovery room experience was screaming "Oh my God!!! It hurts!!!" over and over again. The Nurse in charge of my care must have come to me 100 times to instruct me on how to use the self administering morphime pump. What's so sad about that is I am a Nurse myself. I must have been going through post op psychosis!!!

Anyway, I was in the hospital from 8/28 to 8/31. Not a long stay after having open surgery. But, thank God I was doing well, and had no reason to stay any longer. I went back to my surgeon on 9/4/01 to have my drains removed & to be weighed. The weigh in was great. I'd gone from 412.9 lbs to 369.3 lbs!!! After only one week!!! Then they removed my drains. I have always prided myself in having a high tolerance for pain, I GUESS NOT!!! I passed out!!! I have to say, this experience has either weakened me, or it is the most painful surgery on earth!!! Once again, thank God for pain medication. Although I am complaining about the pain, I would do it again and again.

My next Dr's visit is tomorrow. I'll post again with my results.

9/27/01
well I have lost 41.1 pounds to date !!!! I can't believe it!!!!!
10/9/01
This past Sunday I went to a friends wedding. I put on an outfit that I bought in Feb,01. Then it fit snug, now it looks better. I also put on some ultra sheer stockings one size smaller than I usually buy, and they fit!!!!
Cocktail hour.. I am feeling fine!!! Strutting around like a queen. I am able to eat 1slice of turkey, 2 small pieces of hawaiian chicken, and a small piece of sea bass. I am now Done!!
On to the main dinning area. I am dancing, I am acting like a hoochie!! Time to toast the bride and groom, I take one sip of champagne & off to the bathroom I run, and I do mean RUN!!!
I spent 2/3 of my time in & out of the bathroom, trying to let out something that was moving inside of me. I don't know if it was BM or gas, but whatever it was, it felt like a scene from AILIEN!!! Nothing would come out in the bathroom, which was good for the people in the next stall!!!
I then grab my spouse and demand that he walk walk walk with me.. I end up in the lobby of the country club,sitting on a lovely plush sofa... when all of a sudden... a windstorm came out of my a**... I tell you, my hinney cheeks were clapping for the bride and groom!!
I felt so much better, but I had to check and see if I had put a hole in the sofa!! All was good!!! Then onto the dance floor. Since I felt better, I was able to really shake my groove thang!!!
WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember those stockings I bought a size smaller?? They were making the mad dash for my ankles!!! When I realied what was happening, it was too late. They had rolled off my buttocks. Now girls, you know what happens then!!!! I am now dragging my husband off the dance floor, looking for a private place to re-group(or re-dress!!) Of course Hubby has no idea what is going on, and is asking "why are you walking like a priss?" Picture me with my knees tightly clenched together. I can't even speak, because I am concentrating on keeping my undies & stockings over my knees. He then comes to the conclusion that I have to GO!!! I make it to the bathroom, put myself together, get back to the reception area, and to my suprise THE RECEPTION IS OVER!!!
So there you have it... my first formal function and I spend most of my night in the bathroom of the Crest Hollow Country Club!!!! Better luck next time!!
10/23/01
I weighed in again!!!! Down 60 pounds. No back pain, no shortness of breath when climbing stairs, better sex with my spouse!!!!!!! I am beginning to feel free!!!!!!!

11/19/01
Well, yesterday was my 36th birthday... I weiged myself and was down to 322... that's over 70pounds GONE since my surgery on 8/28/01. I am so excited... Three months ago I was worried because I could no longer fit comfortably into the clothing from THE AVENUE, or LANE BRYANT... But now in am in a loose 26/28... I can't believe it!!!!! I can now be weighed at my PCP's office!!! There are still things I wont try, like sitting in a booth at a diner, but I soon wont have that to worry about!!! I wish I could express the utter joy I am feeling. My life has been saved by this surgery. After feeling this good, and being able to move, I can't imagine living one more day like I was living. Or should I say NOT living!!! I am so happy!

11/21/01
Reality check!!!!!! Here I am, feeling fine, walking, breathing, feeling like a new girl, when all of a sudden SMACK!
a blast from the heartbroken past!!!
I am a Nurse & I work in a nursing home. I usually work on a regular geriatric floor, but last night I was sent to the Alzheimers unit. I go to my station & notice one of the residents wandering. I offered my assistance to get her in bed & she refused. I invited her along to the nurses station with me, and she agreed. But not without telling me that "all the girls are going to call you a big fat pig!" Now, I know she's confused, and demented... but my 70 pound weight loss was no longer all that great. I was reminded in that moment how much weight I still have to lose in order for people to see me as normal. Oh well. Back to the old drawing board!!!

12/9/01
I went to the Mall with my family this weekend!!!!!! I walked without back pain!! I can't believe it. We decided to go to the movies to see Monsters Inc.(what a cute movie) As I was walking in to get the tickets, I noticed two young children looking at me, and whispering back and forth.. I don't know if they were looking at my stomach, or my breasts. Whatever it was, it was obvious they were discussing my weight. I was so hurt, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking, If they only knew how much weight I've lost. But they don't, and I will continue to get the rude stares, and snide remarks until I am at a size that is not considered "freakish" I also had a Baby shower for my sister in law this weekend. Everyone was so supportive. They all commented on my great weightloss. I felt wonderful... THEN, my brother took a picture of me, and I saw for myself what I STILL look like. I almost died... I look and feel so much better, but I have such a long way to go. It's getting hard to keep my chin up. I am trying.

12/14/01
I can't believe it!!!!!! I am now down 81pounds!!!! I stepped on the scale & almost died. It is amazing how the scale seems to give me this great news, and I look in th mirror and see the same FAT girl. I know I am still FAT, but I thought I'd see a difference. I deffinatley feel the difference, but I can't see it. I know it takes a while for the head to see what the body is doing, but it is killing me. After weighing myself, I went back to the Nurse station (I was at work) and I sat & cried. My staff thought something terrible had happened to me. I am usually the comedian.. I just sat and cried. I have said it before, and I'll say it again, THANK GOD FOR THIS SURGERY!!

12/19/01
One of lifes most embarassing moments..... I am on my way to visit a few friends that I haven't seen in about 4years. I see them all waiting in the lobby of the local TGI Fridays, I am so excited to show off my 81pound weight loss. I am so much lighter on my feet, I am floating into see them when I forget that my feet are supposed to hit the ground, I trip, and that moment came when you realize you cannot recover & you're going DOWN!!!! I land flat on my face, on the walkway of Fridays entrance... Thank God my friends were so engrossed in converation that they didn't see me. BUT I layed there, kissing the concrete for a minute, trying to decide whether or not I should get up & shake it off, or play dead!!! I decided to get up!! Whew!!!!! But the night wasn't a total loss, I had a beautiful time with good people, I ate an appetizer & drank 2 glasses of water. I laughed, joked, and felt so good. I left the party & went straight to work. I decided for some reason to get on the scale.. and guess what!!!!???? Another 7pounds gone!!! That's right... I am now down 88pounds!!! I may just be under 300 by the New Year!!! I can't wait. I am waiting to weight myself until 1/1/02. I'll let you all know.
12/30/01
OK, I couldn't wait until 1/1/02... I weighed myself & guess what??!! 94 pounds gone!!!!!! yes I am in the 200 club!!!!! 298.5 pounds!!!! I can't believe it!!!!! I am a new woman!!!!! WHEW!!!!
1/2/02
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
I am feeling so good. First of all, everyday when I log onto my computer, I have an E-mail from a new friend that's read my story. I love the fact that by my putting my feelings and experiences down, I can inspire a peer. That is what this site is all about. Thanks AMOS!!!!!!!!
Secondly... a few funnies....
I am at my Mom's for the hollidays, and I am just bragging about all of my success. I am going on & on about my loss, and how great I feel. WELL!!! My eight year old chimes in with "Mommy, you tell everyone how much weight you've lost, but I don't think you look any better!!!" OKAY!!!!!!!
I then pick up the phone, call Child Protective Services, and advise them they'd be getting a call from my kid in about 30 minutes!!!! Seriously though, I didn't know how to take it. After my sister came to his defense & asked a few simple questions, we then realized he was TRYING to say that I have always been PRETTY, and he thinks I still am!!! He has a way with words doesn't he? A typical man in training.
Next, I am at work on the 11p-7a shift. About 3am, a very confused but alert man comes out of his room, wearing a beautiful nightgown, you know the standard white, with blue dots, and the back out.... ALL OF THE BACK OUT!! He is waltzing around the dinningroom baring all, swinging a few things to and fro... I lock my med cart & go to assist him, and all that's hanging, back to bed.. when he looks HARD at me and says "I remember you. I haven't seen you in a long time" I was flattered that he remembered me, I hadn't worked that unit in almost 8months... He then states "you've lost weight!!!" YIPPPPEEEEEE!!!!! A confused,demented but alert man noticed my loss!!!! I was in shock. So was my supervisor, she said "MR. So and SO, it's great that you noticed that" He then adds, "well she brought those things to my attention" As he is staring at my 52 double I's.... SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE!! The one thing that I don't like about my weight loss is that my large breasts are taking thier time getting smaller... My stomach has flattened some & the BOOBS are just OUT THERE!! I know I have to wait at least 18months before I can have breast reduction, but I have a chain saw in the shed out back that's just calling my name!! Anyway, thanks again for all of your support out there.

1/4/02
I had the most interesting conversation today. I was speaking to a friend of about 15years... She commented on how she watched my weight gain through the years, and always thought that I'd just "Lose it one day" We began to discuss the whole "DIET THANG" and for the first time I expressed to someone other than my mother, my true feelings during my worst time.
I was 393 at my highest. I couldn't walk, climb stairs, make love to my spouse (one position was all I could do, and I am sure he got tired of looking at the back of my head!) I couldn't play with my children, I couldn't wipe myself after using the toilet (I had to send away to a medical supply company for something called the 'toilet aid' just so I could reach my backside) The list goes on and on. My good friend asked if I felt better sicne the surgery. I have tried in the past to put into words how I feel, but no matter what I say, I feel it doesn't express my TRUE feelings. I can say this.... I never wanted to get out of bed, I didn't want to bathe, because it was so painful & tiring, I never left my house but to go to work, my job was effected resulting in a demotion from a position that I loved, my children never felt loved because I was too tired to show any affection, my children also took on too much responsibility, because I couldn't do anything on my own, ALL of the housework was up to my husband, death to me was peace. I am not saying that I was suicidal, but I definatley felt it was easier to die than to exsist the way I was. Today, I have a life. After 94 pounds I see a future. I know that I can live. If I had not had the surgery, I'd today be dead... I don't know what the turning point for me was, I don't know what the final straw was that pushed me to the decision of surgery, but whatever it was, I am so glad I did it.

If there is anyone out there that has doubts about this surgery, if you don't know if it's worth it... let me say that it IS. I could NEVER have lost the weight without this tool, and today I'd be dead. I am certain of it. If you ever need to chat, if you need additional support, feel free to E-mail me anytime. I will respond ASAP. Thank the Lord above that He gave me this chance at life, the way He wants me to live it. Free Free Free!!!!!!!! I am FREE!

1/06/02
I went to the movies with my husband, my cousin & her husband. I had a really good time being out & not feeling selfconscious. My cousin is a beautiful woman, and she is the type that doesn't hold her tounge. If she thinks you need to hear something, she'll tell you.... no matter what. Well, she complimented me. She told me how good I look now, and how great I'll look when I reach my goal. Coming from her, that was just about one of the best compliments ever. She doesn't give them too often. I felt like flying... BUT, (yes there is always a BUT!!! And in my case a BIG one) We get in the theater, we're about to give our tickets in & I see my first love. Or should I say the guy that broke my heart, my spirit, my soul. Crushed me & changed me forever. Yes, that a$$hole. All I could think about was the day we broke up & he said "look at you, you have the body of a 65 year old. No one will ever want you" And at that time I was only 180 pounds. All of a sudden, my 94pound weight loss meant nothing. I might as well have lost only 5 pounds. I was so glad that he didn't see me!! I can't wait to reach my goal. Help me GOD. This is Killing me.

1/10/02
A pretty good day.... I went up to my job this afternoon, for a babyshower of a dear friend. I saw so many people that I'd not seen in ages. Working on the night shift really keeps you away from a large bulk of the staff. I didn't realize how much I'd missed everyone, and the compliments were never ending. I felt great!!!! The thing that amazes me the most is how people comment on how my face has changed. I had always been considered a pretty girl, but I guess when your face is surrounded by fat, the beauty is dulled. Anyway...it felt so good to be noticed that way. I was able to move, and not be embarassed. I was able to walk around without perspiring. I even had a small piece of cake without guilt. I didn't feel like everyone was watching the "fat" girl eat.
Later on in the day, I saw an old school friend. She was telling me of a mutual friend that had put on a large amout of weight. This mutual friend is a beautiful woman, with a beautiful family. She lives in Georgia, and is very successful. She opened up her own Christian French Acadamy Day Care center. The business is doing well, her marriage and children are wonderful, and she is depressed because of her weight. It amazes me that obesity can destroy every aspect of your life. No matter how successful you are, obesity will make you feel that you are nothing. I know how difficult it was for me to get out of the bed every morning. I know that I thought of death often. I know that there were days that I would not get out of the bed, nor would I care for myself or my children. If not for delivery, they'd not eat. I had been on Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Pamelor, Effexor, and finally Wellbutrin... I have tried them all. I am so much better now. I still feel waves of depression, but it doesn't consume me. I will win this battle. I am on my way..... Thank GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1/21/02
Okay my friends, I have some news... I have been changing, and growing (not literally) I am becoming the person I think I am meant to be. But it is scarey. I have no tolerance for BS anymore, and I think I am borderlining "bitchy" I speak my mind, and no longer let people take advantage of me. I also don't wait around for people to advocate for me. I want someone to understand something, I tell them myself. FIRMLY!!!!
Another thing is, I am stuck in a serious plateau. I haven't lost any weight in almost three weeks. I am stuck at 297pounds. I wont stress over it though, I think I may be losing inches. People still comment on my weight loss. I LOVE IT!!!! NOW!!! I went into a store that I frequent, and bought a pair of pants... I used to wear a 30/32... I bought and fit a size 20!!!!! YIPPPIIIEEE!!!! Can you believe it?? I can't. But the funny thing is, I have only gone from a 30/32 top to a 26/28... The boobies aren't going anywhere!!!!! That chainsaw out back is looking pretty good!!!!! I had a cousin of mine say "from the back you look so skinny, then you turn around and BAMMM!" Thanks Bee-y-otch!!! I gotta love her honesty though. And now for my last bit of news..... I am so freaking HORNEY!!!!! I can't stop thinking about sex... I want it all the time... That is something totally new. I remember feeling like my huband was crazed because he wanted it once a week. Now I swear, he's walking around with a grin all the time. The scarey part of this is I am becomming such a flirt. I feel like the better I feel about myself, the more I want to FLIRT. Sure, today it may be innocent, but I don't know if I'll be able to keep control. I love the fact that I am getting so much attention. OH BOY!!! Am I in trouble!!!!

3/6/02

WOW!!!!!!!
I haven't updated in 36 days!!!!!! What is that all about????
I really began to get down because that plateau I spoke of in my last post, lasted 7weeks!!!! But it finally broke and I am down a total of 114 pounds. YIPPPIIIEEE!!!!!! I feel great!!! The things that I can do now are amazing. I no longer feel like a sloth.
I am considering a career change. As in opening my own business!! A friend of mine and I are looking into some new ventures, and for once in my life I actually feel like there's a world out there for me to live in!! I can't wait to get started.
I for the first time in YEARS went to a club!!! My husband and I joined some of my family in celebrating my cousins birthday, and I had a great time!!! I stood on my feet without pain for 5hours, and I danced like never before. Again, no back pain. I have found my new workout plan. The "get on the floor, and shake your a$$" plan..... Stay tuned for my infomercial!!!!!!

4/20/02

Wow, almost 2 months!!! I can't say I've been away for good reasons. I have just been through some things. It just goes to show you, problems will exist even as the weight falls off. If we think we'll be problem free, and life will be wonderful because we're getting thinner, we are wrong. I know I just need to find a new way to cope. It aint easy!!!! I am down 125 pounds!!! Yippee!!! But I must say the novelty has worn off. People still approach me, telling me how great I look, and I feel wonderful, but it's not consuming my every thought like in the past. I don't know if it's healing, or what, but I don't think about the weight, and the surgery, and my eating constantly anymore. I guess it's a good thing.
I am learning that this is a cruel, and ugly world. I am seeing so many terrible things in people, and it's making it so hard to stay away from the cookies!!! You cannot trust anyone, and I am beginning to think that people had something vested in my obesity. Now that the weight is coming off, I believe people are envious. Not that the wish they were me, or even that it is a conscious thing. I think people have a real problem with the fact that I have found the answer, and I am no longer going to be the "fat" girl. All I have to say is "TOO BAD FOR ALL OF YOU!!!!!" I am going to succeed, no matter how many obsticals are thrown in my path. I am better that all of the manipulation, the lies, and the underhanded tricks people pull. I am better than all of that!!! I can't believe that I now pitty those people. The ones that have felt so sorry for me because I was Fat, not genuine caring, but pitty. The kind of pitty that makes them talk about you, judge you, base your ability on the fact that you're obese, not just what yo do. Those people now have nothing to use against me. I have won the battle, and they are forced to deal with me, just as they have to deal with everyone else. The difference is I am stronger, I am holding my head up, and I don't back down from the nonsense people try to give me. I am assertive and confrontational. I am not negativley confrontational, but I don't let people get over on me anylonger. It's a new day!! Watch out, because what goes around, comes around!!!

5/2/02

OK gang!!! Let me tell you the news. I am having a ball!!! I am working the day shift again, so I get to see alot of people that I haven't seen, or don't see on a regular basis. The compliments are never ending!!! It feels sooooooooo good. I notice that people treat you differently. I don't think they even notice it, but as an obese person, no matter how good you are at what you do, you are never taken seriously. There are not many obese people that are given the respect they deserve. If they are being treated well, they must be 10times better than the next guy/gal.
I have had many people come to me to tell me how jealous they are of me, how, if I keep losing weight they "wont talk to" me "anymore". One girl even said she'd start bringing in snacks for me!! I think that's hilarious, but I wonder if there are some hidden feelings in those statements. The difference in the way I handle these statements is amazing. I don't dwell. I don't change who I am to make other people comfortable. If you don't like who I am, so be it!!! I'll lose no sleep!!! I am a much happier person, and I plan to stay that way!!

5/31/02
I am now down 148 pounds!!! I am in shock!! People continue to tell me how much thinner I am, but I am at the point where I think it's just talk. Then I get on the scale, and another 3,4,7,9,12 pounds is gone. It's truly amazing.
I must tell you all that there are still days when I am so sad, I don't want to move. Once again, weight loss doesn't change the world. I have these episodes much less often now, but they do still hit me. I haven't been to a therapist in ages, and I know that I need some type of support. I know as a health care provider, that depression isn't only situatonal, or environmental. It's not only behavior modification, or coping mechanisims. There are so many cases where depression is a physical phenomenon. Something that needs medication along with therapy, and support. It angers me though, that I need to be medicated to feel whole. When I am in my "grown up" mind, and I am thinking rationally, I realize that there are people that are angry because they need medication to keep their heart beating normally,or to keep breathing normally, or to keep their blood sugar normal, or to keep their blood pressure normal, or to keep their cells normal (not malignant)... once I think about all of those people, I am still angry, but I know that I am in good company... So, I guess I feel less guilty for feeling angry.
I hope that everyone that is considering this surgery, and everyone that is having or has had the surgery, really understands that life is still so very difficult. Being thin is NOT the answer to our problems. Being thin just helps us face our problems. We are able to get closer to those problems, because there is not as much padding to sheild us. And we all have to remember that without our padding, every problem hits harder, and hurts more. Be prepared folks... It hurts!!!!!!

6/12/02

Down 153 pounds!!!!
Life is good. My work life is better, my home life is better.....my SEX life is better. DAMN! Is it better!!! I don't think I have ever done the things I am able to do now. Watch out Pamela Anderson, there's a new "Whore" in town!!! That's right. I am so flexible, I think I should change my name to "The Rubber Maid" Tee Hee Hee!!!! Seriously though, I am really becoming a sensual woman. I have often said that God knew what He was doing when He chose me to be fat. He wanted to keep me away from the few good boys left on this earth. He could not have me & my fresh self corrupting them. OH well!!! It's a good thing I am married!!! If not for my vow before God, all the good boys left on this earth would be at my door!! Once again, Tee Hee HEEEEEEE!!!!

6/26/02

What a wonderful life.
Let me tell you about my weekend... I have not gone to the beach, or been in a pool in YEARS!!! I not only got up early Sunday morning & made breakfast for the family, (real breakfast, where we sat at the dining room table, with real plates not plastic, real siverware, not plastic, no TV just the stereo playing Jazz)We usually either eat in the kitchen, one by one, or in front of the TV in the livingroom also one at a time, whenever anyone gets good and ready to eat.
I also packed a picinic lunch, & took the family to the beach. I was in the water, enjoying my kids, and my husband. It was amazing. the next day I went to a friends house with the kids & swam in her pool & had dinner with her. I am enjoying my life so much. This is the same friend that invited me over for a swim while I was at my heaviest weight. I had a good time just wallowing in the pool, feeling weightless!! Not an easy task for nature to do make something that weighs 412 pounds to feel weightless, but the pool did that for me. The problem happened when it was time to come out of the pool. I didn't realize getting in that the same hard resin plastic ladder that allowed me to slide into the pool would have to help support my weight on the outward climb. Well, with every attempt to get out of that pool, I became more and more embarrassed. I heard that plastic moan groan, crack, and snap!! I did not have the strength to pull myself out. I'd been in the water so long, I was water logged & felt 100 pounds heavier that usual!! So there I was, stuck in the pool!! There was no getting out!!! My kids were petrified!! they thought I'd be in the pool forever. All I could think was that Donna was going to have to call the fire department to get me out of her pool. But then her husband came home from work. THANK GOD!!! he had the brilliant idea to take a wooden picnic bench & throw it in the pool. That gave me something to step on and that assisted me in my climb out. I have never been so embarrassed in my life!!
So as a result of the weight loss I have been able to the little things that are so small to some, but are great accomplishments to me.
My son graduated from kindergarden, and my daughter from elementary school. Had it not been for the surgery, I'd have made my husband take off from work, and go alone. I remember going to a concert for my daughter and barley having the strength to walk from the parking lot into the auditorium. It was the spring concert, so the weather was hot. I was so uncomfortable sitting there squeezed between my husband and a woman who was obviously disguested by my size and persiration. I remeber my daughters schoolmates saying "That's Alycia's mom, my god she's FAT!" I never went to another function for any of my childre again as an obese woman. But because I am now able to walk, breath, and move I was able to go and not miss out on these important events in the lives of my children. I've gone on a school trip with my 5yr old to a farm in May. That is something I'd never even consider before surgery. There's no stopping me.

8/19/02
Wow, so close to my year mark.... 8/28/02 is my 1st birthday!!!! So let me tell you what I have been doing.....
Work is great. I have a new position. I had written earlier that my obesity had cost me a job that I loved, that was about three years ago, well now I have the opportunity to show the world that I am capable of doing that job. I just have to pray daily to keep up the pace.

I have lost a total of 168 pounds. I am 225 from 393. After another 50 pounds, I'll start looking into plastic surgery. I need to have my breasts put back where they're supposed to be, and remove the apron I have hanging over my thighs. I can't wait!!!

But wait!!!! There's more!!! We all know that when we are obese, we are talked about behind our backs, right?? Well, now that I have lost this weight, people think it's ok to tell me what others are saying about me!!! I actually had a guy come to me and say " I just want to let you know what people are saying about you behind you back, they say you act lke your 'shit' don't stink" I had to tell him, I beg to differ, since the surgery, my shit really stinks!!!!! And I turned away!! Can you believe it!!?? Can''t anyone just understand that I am happy. I walk with my head up now. Is that a problem?? Well you know what? F&%&#%#&*^K them!!!! I love my new life!

Take care & you'll hear from me soon.
Dawn

9/18/02
I'm back everyone. I have to make mention of two people very dear to me. I spoke once before of not knowing when or how I finally came to the decision to have weight loss surgery. After much thought & remenicing, I now remember the exact moment.
As you all know I am a Nurse. I was at one time the Unit Supervisor of a 60 bed geriatric unit in a nursing home. Due to my obesity I'd lost that position. The Administration could of course not state it was my obesity, but there were so many things that I could not do, and so many personal things going on with me that it was impossible for me to be effective in that spot. They did me a favor & allowed me to go back on the floor as a med nurse. They offered me the floor that I wanted, they made changes in order to make things easy for me. Thank God for them. The first person I want to mention is my cousin Chevel. She too is a Nurse & she worked with me for a short time in the Nursing home. She would always tell me what an amazing Nurse I was, that I was so smart, and she respected me so much. Well one day she came to the floor I was working on to invite me to lunch. She found me in my usual spot. In front of my Med cart, sitting on a rolling stool, handing out medication. I could not even walk enough to push my cart & dispense meds. Chevel said to me, "Dawn, you have to do something, you look so unprofessional" That was the first jab to my heart. She was so honest, and not in a bad way. I was so shaken by the fact that I was unprofessional. I take pride in being a Nurse, this really troubled me.
I was so distraught that I went to see my very best friend Donna. I have been friends with her for over 20years. She watched me gain & become more and more depressed. Our friendship changed from a mutual love and support thing, to her trying her best to keep me from being depressed. It had become an unfair friendship, all she did was give support& all I did was take it. So anyway, I went to her after my conversation with Chevel. I told her of Chevel's harsh but honest comment. I cried, sobbed, and tried to make my usual excuses. Finally I guess Donna had heard enough, she asked me one question. "Dawn, where do you see yourself one year from now?"
I had never really thought that far into the future. I couldn't answer her. She then told me what she saw. She said...
"Well, I'll tell you what I see, I see you losing your job, I see, your husband resenting you, because he'll have to take full responsibility of everything, I see your children resenting you because they wont have a mother, I see you ending up alone, and basically I see you dead." BAMM! The truth right out there. Hits me in the face. Now before you say she was mean, before you say she was cruel, please understand that Donna and Chevel are the only two people that could have said those things and actually have an impact. If anyone else had said those things I'd have brushed it off, made light of it or gotten angry & called them every name in the book. They saved my life. I had heard so many things from so many people, trying to get me to lose weight. So many people had tried to love me into it, scare me into it, shake me into it, and so on. My Doctor even once said to me "Dawn, you can either go to your daughters high school graduation, or you can be a picture on the mantle" That's harsh, but all it did was send me to the nearest "drive through" Everyone has a point of enlightenment, it's different for everyone. It took these two wonderful people to care about me so much that they were willing to hurt my feelings with the truth. Again, others have been painfully honest with me in the past, but for some reason they were able to get through. I just want to say Thank you Chevel and Donna. I love you two so much & I live now because of your support. Thank you, thank you.
By the way, I am now down a total of 175 pounds!!! 60 to go!!

9/21/02

I am a little confused. I really don't understand what people think. I went through all of the trouble of having surgery, losing 175pounds, physical pain, emotional changes, the possibility of life long severe flatulence, the list goe on. Why do people think it's ok to comment on everything I put in my mouth. I have no intention of puting this weight back on, but if I choose to eat a small bag of potatoe chips, so be it. The reason I opted for this surgery instead of the gastric bypass, is so that I could live a normal life. If everyone else can have a small bag of chips, then why can't I??? Do they realize that prior to this surgery I would eat an entire family sized bag of chips & dip, with a side order of cookies, and for desert a side of beef? I am so much better now & I am not obsessed with food. I am able to say "no more" Leave me alone.
The other side of my confusion comes from the fact that I now am doing what I hate for people to do to me. Does my losing 175pounds give me the right to tell people that taking weight loss pills are "bad for them" I damn near killed myself with every morsel I consumed, but now that I am at a almost healthy weight, I can do exactley what I am complaining about in my previous paragraph? Who the hell am "I?" We humans are a strange breed. I should leave THEM alone, as they should leave me alone!! What a hypocryte!

9/24/02
I think there should be a disclaimer that goes along with weight loss surgery. It should read " be prepared for every aspect of your life, and the lives of your family to change...And not always for the positive"

Now for the reason......
I went to my cousins wedding this past weekend. What an experience. The planning of this event was tremendous. I am not speaking of the Bride & Grooms planning, I am speaking of MY preperation!!! First of all, I for the first time since "EVER" I actually went shopping for a dress. Please understand, that I have gone shopping in the past. I have bought clothes for special events and so on, but "NEVER" have I done the "girlie shopping thing." I had always run out the day of the wedding, or whatever event, rushed into the one store that I was actually able to buy& fit things from, quickly picked out whatever outfit I was sure I'd be able to fit, never try it on, just purchase & run (or roll) out of there. I'd then pray that when I got it home, it would a.fit, and b.not make me look like a fool. This special occasion I went shopping with my two sisters, my Aunt, and a dear friend of the family. Five women with an agenda!!! Understand also that there were only two of us that actually needed to buy something, the other three were there for support. I felt like "Julia Roberts" from pretty woman. I was in the dressing room (a totally new experience for me) trying on dresses, not feeling insecure about undressing in the presence of other women, allowing someone other than my mirror to see my choices, and oh yea, I actually had choices!!! My shopping mates kept bringing me different outfits to try on. It was amazing. I was used to going into the store, spending maybe 20mins to make a decision, buy & leave. Now I am spending hours trying outfit after outfit, size after size. The fact that I didn't have to go directly for the BIGGEST size & hope it fit, is an experience I can't describe. I really can't put into words the feeling. I tell you though, that just writting the event down now, is causing me to well up with undescribable emotion. The fact that I could try on a dress, have it fit, and actually be told that "maybe you should try a smaller size" is amazing. I ended with a beautiful black gown,with rhinestone SPAGETTI straps!!! Yes, I said spagetti straps!!! So you know there's more to this story.
Part two of this story is I now have to purchase a STRAPLESS BRA!!!!! This is a Major ordeal considering I was a 52ii bra size a little over a year ago. I go to a corsett shop in Woodbury Long Island. This place you put your name on a list, you're placed in a curtained stall, and you wait for a seamstress to assist you. As I am waiting, I again am getting emotional because this is all so new to me. The owner aproached me to see if there was a problem, and I confessed my 175 pound weight loss. Well, this woman just could not give enough encouragement. She approached my husband, asked if he was proud, discussed every aspect of the surgery with him, he went to the car, and took out my "American Express" weight loss photo book, you know "I just don't leave home without it!" The owner tells every seamstress, every customer, EVERYONE!!! about my sucess. I felt like a celebrity!! My seamstress takes out the "bra of choice" and you guessed it, she had to get me a smaller size, and then she had to "take in" the smaller size so that the cups weren't TOO BIG!!!!! Where is my NITROGLYCERIN? I am about to have a heart attack!!!! A smaller bra, taking it in??? Words I'd never thought I'd hear when discussing MY breasts!! Anyway, after selecting and altering the perfect undergarments, I tried the dress on with my appliances, and all I could do was look at myself & cry. Yes, I'd made a scene. I sobbed as though I'd lost my best friend, when the truth is what I've lost was no friend. The tissue's were handed to me & I even got free stockings (not pantyhose!!! I wore a garder to keep them up & felt like the sexiest person alive) UPSIDE- lose weight, get free stuff!!!!! So again, emotional time.
And now the wedding day! I am in the church, seeing people I haven't seen in years. If I had a dollar for every time someone said "oh my God!" I'd never have to work again. One of my cousins kept repeating, "You're so pretty, I'm so proud of you!"
I was supposed to be crying tears of joy for the Newly weds, but I cried because I still have a hard time with so many compliments. It's so hard. Anyway, I am at the reception, having the time of my life, and my husband is begging me to dance. I'd danced with him earlier, and planned to dance with him later, but at that moment there was "Salsa" music playing & I wanted to watch those on the dance floor "do thier thing" I love to watch people dance the salsa, I think it's an amazing dance, and when done by people who'd been doing the dance since birth, the display of talent is something to be seen. I told my husband I didn't want to dance but I wanted to watch. He asked over and over, and I said no over and over. He finally got disgusted and turned away with an attitude. I also had "the Tude" After the song was over, a young, very attractive Rico Suave, Ricky Martin type came & asked me to dance, I told him no, not because I didn't want to, but because I knew there'd be hell to pay!! This sex-pot would not take "no" for an answer, and he literally yanked me to the dance floor. So there I am trying to keep myself from doing the "Lombada, the forbidden dance" while mister latin lover shook his groove thang al around me, I waved my husband over to come & save me, but he flipped me the subliminal bird!! He refused to even acknowledge me. After about 45secounds of pseudo dirty dancing my sister came to my resue & took over with Mr. "Livin La Vida Loca" I of course run directly to my spouse, who firmly states through clenched teeth, "don't ever tell me you don't want to dance, then a minute later dance with the next guy" i tried to explain my side & he said "I don't want to hear that S&%*" ALLRIGHTY THEN!! That was 9/21 and as of this morning, I think we've spoken maybe 5 full sentences to each other. Is that something?
I know this is an ajustment for him, I know it's hard for him because he's always felt safe, having the Fat wife. There was never a threat of me leaving him, or chosing someone over him. But Damn it!! He'd better get used to men asking me to dance, if not asking for more than a dance. I have always been a flirt, and I will alway be a flirt. The same goes for him, he is an attractive, funny man with charisma. I am not expecting him to ever change, I hope he doesn't expect me to. Whatever!!! Get over it buddy. I love you, but I love me too. And that is something he's just going to have to deal with!!!
Thanks again for listening guys!!!

1/1/03

What a few months I have had. I just want to get a few things off my chest. I am still amazed at how the world is. CRUEL, CRUEL. I am reminded everyday why I allowed myself to get fat. Sheild me from the world. I need my cushion. I am having a hard time dealing with the hurt. Help me!!!

1/27/03
I am tired. I have had an interesting few months. I am trying my best to find some passion for my husband. He is a good guy, and he's dealt with me at my worst. He didn't make things easy for me. I mean he was not always at his best behavior. If I left him today I'd be just in doing so. But I have to think about my children, and my future. I know what I have, i don't know what I'll get. Right? Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind later. For right now, I know he loves me, he'll do anything for me, and I am satisfied with that. FOR NOW!!

I have so much energy now, that I have taken on a second job. I decided to take a part time gig at another Nursing Home. So far so good. I like all the attention. It's funny, I said I wanted to be in a place where no one knew that I was ever fat, but it seems that that's all I talk about. I have only been working there for 3weeks, and most everyone knows that I was 400 pounds. I still like the attention though. I also like being told how GOOD I am. It's amazing the difference the weight loss makes. I have always known that I was a good nurse, but I guess now that I can move, I am living up to my full potential.

My children are so happy now. I am spending some real quality time with them, and it makes such a difference in thier behavior, and overall attitude. When I was obese, I never really paid any attention to them. I pretty much let them do whatever they wanted. Anything to give me sleep time. Now I am playing with them, daning with them, doing homework with them. Helping them clean thier rooms, it's a whole new world for them. They now have a mom.

There are so many things that happen on a day to day basis, that make me stop and thank God for my weight loss, and I have to learn to take the time to write them down. I want the world to know how every detail of my life has changed as a result of my becoming healthy.

By the way, I must share one of the happpiest moments of my life with everyone. It happened Christmas eve. My family celebrates on Christmas eve. I was at my Mom's house with my husband and kids. It was the typical Xmas eve. Music, laughter, food(and lots of it) so on, and so on. The family picks a Grab bag name on Thanksgiving for who we get a gift for for Xmas. I picked my Dad. I knew that my Nephew chose me, I don't remember how I knew, but I knew. I was sitting in the den with my Big sister, my Dad, and my little sisters new boyfriend, when Big Sis says "Dawn, I have something for you" She pulls out this beautiful gold bag, with a box inside, and a card. I immediatley felt weepy, but I tried to hold my composure. I open the card, and it says... Congradulations to someone special. Inside she writes... " I don't know if you remember, but when you first decided to become healthy, I told you that if you succeeded, I'd but you a diamond ring...well you've succeeded, and I am so very proud of you. It just goes to show you that you can do whatever you set your mind to do. I love you" WELL!!! the tears began to flow, I couldn't even open the box to see this gift of a diamond ring!!! When I finally gained control, I saw the most beautiful 1 1/2 carat diamond ring. It is 1 1/2 diamond begets weaved in 14K gold. GEORGOUS!!! I later thought about how my obesity effected my family & those who love me. They feared for my life more than I did. Once again, another reason to be thankful.

6/3/04
Once again, I can't believe that I have been away so long. I have been through so many changes. Some good, some bad. All interesting. One of the changes was a change in carrer. I was offered a position as a Quality Assurance Directer of a Nursing Home in Queens NY. That was a big jump in salary and responsibility. I was afraid I would not be able to handle it, but I have been doing it & loving it. the opportunity has allowed me to see just how blessed I am. God has given me the abiltiy to do anything I put my mind to. I have also learned even more about just how cruel the world is, and how difficult it is to maintain sanity amounst the wicked. and yes the world is wicked.

I am now 178 pounds. I am considering going for my plastic surgery to have all of the excess skin removed. It NEEDS to be done. I can't walk around naked without thinking some one is applauding me!! It's the sound of my excess skin slapping around. It's disguesting. All in good time though. I can't sit now & chat too long, but I am still available for anyone who needs my support. eMAIL ME AT dwnbrwn@yahoo.com ANYTIME!!! Good luck everyone!!

Dawn

8/6/04
I wish I had the time to sit and fill you all in on my progress. The one thing that I think everyone needs to know is that this journey is not all it's cracked up to be. We the obese spend so much time blaming all that is wrong in our lives on the obesity, when it really has absolutley nothing to do with our weight. I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I took the time to figure out how to deal with and handle things instead of eating. I wasted the best years of my life being fat, and now that I am ready to play catch up.... there is too much to be done. I don't have time to waste. I need to put my life together. It's funny how much of a mess I really am, and that is coming from someone who is no longer obese. If there is one thing I could impress upon my peers it is to stop worrying about what the world thinks of you, says about you, does to you. JUST STOP IT!!! Put the food down, go sit alone and think think think. slow down, and take the time to realy analyze things. Know that no one in the world can do to you what you wont let them do. It's not about changing what's out there to conform to your needs. It's about reaching out to and for those things in the world that are already what you need. And put those things to good use. The world has everything you need you just have to know yourself well enough to identify what it is you REALLY need and only those things & GET THEM. There is no perfect man,woman,relationship,job,friend. Everything that is worth something takes effort AND work. The work is not in changing things to be what you want, the work is figuring out what you need, finding it and putting it in place. It's not easy, but it can be done. I am beginning my NEW journey. The one that I think will make me a better, happier person. Once again, hang in there with me.

DAwn

1/28/06

It is funny that I am still struggling. I am now 160 pounds, and more miserable that ever. I am writting at a bad time. The truth is I have found the answer. I really have, but I need to be disciplined enough to apply it. Every SINGLE THING I HAVE EVER THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT WAS WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!!! So many things have happened over the last 18months. Each of those thing have taught me something I did not want to learn, nor was I prepared to learn. God has a plan & I need to stop getting in the way of His plan & let Him lead me. My flesh wants to make me sit back & say "Why did you do this to me Lord??" or "Why did You let these things happen to me Lord??" But what I see now, here today is that every thing has happened for a reason. Everything that I have been through has been to lead me to my purpose. I still don't know what my purpose is, but I know that God will reveal it to me when I am ready to receive it. Once I am there, I will let you all in!!

Dawn

Photos

390 lbs
Here are pictures of my 3 angels. They are a big part of the reason I decided on surgery. At the bottom, it's me, at work after a BAD haircut. I'm 74pounds less, and my hair has grown 4inches!!! Thank Goodness!



Surgeon Info:
Surgeon: Jerzy M. Macura M.D.
Insurer Info:
Aetna US Healthcare
My insurance experience was amazing. My surgeon's office faxed over the info on a Tuesday, and on Thursday, that's right, two days later, I called to see if they'd received the info & they stated that I was approved!!!! I couldn't believe it. I had no trouble at all. I thought that I would have a problem because my husbands Insurance had changed over to Aetna right after I'd began the pre-op requirments. But I had no trouble, they paid for every Dr. visit & every test.... I must say, they were fantastic.