I am 53 years old, married with 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren. My BMI is 43. I work full time as an Employment & Training Worker for Shasta County Social Services.
Surgeon: Edward Felix, M.D. (COE)
I have been researching this surgery for quite awhile. I started after my supervisor had it done in 02/01 and then really got going when a friend of mine had it done in 01/02. I think I was really just curious at that point because I didn't make any real effort to get started on the process.
I went to a "Day Away" at work on 05/22/02 and sat near a woman that works in one of our other offices who had the surgery nearly three years ago. She lost 122 lbs and looks great. We started talking and she showed me her picture on her driver's license...I didn't know her before the surgery, but even if I had I'm not sure I would have recognized her. WOW!!! She really got me excited...so much so that I called a surgeon the next day and scheduled my initial consult....06/04/02! I am so glad I was seated near her. She got me going again!!
06/04/02-Met with Dr.Felix today for my initial consultation. Nice man. He told his staff to schedule my surgery for 07/17 so that my friend and I wouldn't have to make so many trips to his office (nearly a 6 hour drive). I thought that was very nice of him.
06/06/02-Leaving tomorrow for a 2 week vacation to visit my husband's relatives in New Mexico! This means I won't be here to attend the seminar required by my surgeon. I will have to attend next month.
06/24/02-Home at last. Seems while I was gone there was some confusion in the surgeons office. Staff did not schedule my surgery for 07/17; the insurance company lost the paperwork so staff had to resubmit everything for approval (found this out when I called from New Mexico on 06/17); the chest xray report couldn't be found and had to be refaxed from the hospital here.
My co-worker, who made the trip with me for the initial consult is scheduled for surgery on 07/18. Good luck Terri!!
06/25/02-Got a call late this afternoon and I am scheduled for surgery on 08/01. Wish me luck!! Sure could use an angel and lots of prayers.
07/15/02-Tomorrow is my pre-op and tomorrow night I will attend the mandatory seminar. We have to leave about 5:30AM since it's a 5.5 to 6 hour drive to the surgeons office. The seminar is over about 7:30PM, so I may not be home before 1:00 or 1:30 Wednesday morning. I won't be at my best for work on Wednesday!! LOL (Like I haven't stayed up that late just reading posts from my AMOS family!) This will complete all the pre-reqs and then surgery on 08/01.
07/26/02-Today I go for my final bloodwork. Hope the results reach my surgeon by the 31st since I'm the first one scheduled on 08/01. Have to be at the hospital by 5:45AM to check in. Now it's starting to seem real. I got a call from an admitting clerk at Clovis Community Medical Center yesterday morning at work to get all my info so she could get my admission started. Just 6 more days and I will be on the losing side.
08/06/02 Just got home tonight. Surgery was on the 1st and all went well. No problems! Off pain meds less than 24 hours after surgery. Up and walking the same day and no pain! Those ice chips were a life saver for the dry mouth feeling. So good to have my family with me through this. Now my hubby can stop worrying about losing me and just watch me lose weight instead. Thank you Lord for holding me and keeping me safe.
08/09/02 WOW! Tomorrow I will be 54 years old and I feel great. I have a new lease on life!! I am losing about a 1/2 lb a day which at first didn't seem like much to me, but then I started figuring out how much I will lose in a year and I can live with that. No pain, no hunger! What more could a person ask for!!
08/25/02 Just got home from a few days on the coast at Patrick's Point State Park. What a beautiful park that is. The best of both worlds...forests and the ocean. Who could ask for more.
I was supposed to start on solid foods on Saturday, but every time I tried I got horrible stomach pains and instant diarrhea. I decided to stick to liquids and a few mush foods that I knew wouldn't give me trouble.
We all hiked down to Agate Beach to search for...you guessed it..agates! While everyone was searching I started feeling a little ill and decided I'd better head back to the top where there are restrooms. Ever notice how beaches don't come equipped with that luxury?! It is a very steep climb back to the top, but I made it all by myself. I did have to stop a few times along the way, but that's okay. It has never been easy for me with all this weight. At least this time I was 20 or so pounds lighter!!
I barely made it to the bathroom in time...but at least I made it.
Sure do hope eating gets easier soon.
08/27/02 Went to my PCP today for a follow up and to see how much I have lost in almost 4 weeks. Down 25 lbs! That feels great. He ordered some blood work and a bone density test for me. I call my surgeon's office in two days for my 4 week follow up appt by phone. I want to be able to tell them my weight loss and I don't trust the scale at home.
Still doing fairly well. Still not able to eat solid foods without the pain, diarrhea and nausea, but the mush food is satisfying so I will stick with that a little longer. Still not hungry. What a blessing that is!
08/29/02 Called my surgeon's office and had my phone follow up. Told the gal at the front desk that was taking down all the info about my problem with food. All she said was "Everyone heals at a different pace." I told her I went back on liquids for the most part because even the mush diet was causing nausea. She didn't seem concerned at all so I guess I am just worrying too much.
09/03/02 This was my first day back to work and by the time I got home I was wishing I had taken the full 6 weeks my surgeon offered. Lots to do after being gone for 4 weeks. My co-workers did their best to take care of my caseload while I was gone, but there are always things that need your own touch. Unfortunately, lots of things fell into that category! Oh well, that's life!
It was great having people drop by my desk all day to welcome me back and tell me how great I look. Several people asked me about the surgery and said they are considering it themselves. They'll have it a little tougher than I did since our insurance premiums are going up drastically for next year and they need to change to the EPO to have the surgery. That's a shame! Wish something could be done about the rising costs of good health insurance. I thank God I chose to do this now and didn't put it off any longer.
Still not able to eat solids without problems. Nausea is becoming a way of life.
09/06/02 Whew!! The end of my first week back and my desk is clear at last!!! Had to come home early yesterday because I got sick after eating lunch. I had soup and it didn't set well. I'm used to this with solid food, but not usually soups. I'm hoping I over ate or ate too fast and that it is nothing more serious. My friend that had surgery two weeks before me developed stenosis and had to go back to Fresno to have it corrected. She's worried that I am having the same problem. I pray that she is wrong.
At least the weight is coming off steadily. Down about 23 lbs in 5 weeks. Slow but sure and I'm not complaining since I've never done this well before on any diet plan.
09/19/02 My godmother passed away today. She was 84 years old and ready to go home, but that doesn't make the loss any easier. My husband wanted to see her one last time (she was like a second mother to him) so he left for New Mexico about 5:15 this evening. We got the call that she had passed away about a half hour after he left. No way to reach him to let him know or to have him come back home.
He was going to be going to New Mexico on 10/14 for his annual hunting trip and since we can't afford two trips, he will just stay there now. He won't be home until just a few days before Thanksgiving. What a long two months this will be!
09/24/02 My daughter, Sharlene, called me at work today to tell me she just called her surgeon's office and she has been approved. They told her she would have surgery either 10/17 or 11/07. They would let her know in a couple of days.
When I got home from work she told me they had already called her back and told her she is scheduled for surgery on 10/08/02. I am so thrilled. This is almost more exciting then when I found out my surgery date!!
Now the fun begins. She has to wean my 22 month old grandson and I have to find a way to watch him and his 8 year old sister in a motel in Fresno while Sharlene is in the hospital. It would have been so much easier if my hubby was here. Oh well, where there's a will there's a way. We will succeed in this and she will be joining me on the losing side in just 2 weeks!!
09/28/02-Spoke with my surgeon's office on Thursday from work and told his FNP what I have been going through for the past 5 weeks or so. About the only thing I can tolerate is water and juices. Anything thicker than water and I get nauseated. The nausea lasts for hours. She wants me to have an endoscopy to see if it is stenosis. She told me she would check with the doctor that does this for their office and call me back. She called back about 10 minutes later and said the doc could fit me in if I could come right down. When I told her it was a 6 hour drive she was shocked and said she'd call back shortly.
She called me back about 10 minutes later and said he would fit me in when I am in Fresno on Tuesday to take my daughter, Sharlene for her pre-op visit and bloodwork. I asked her what time I was to have the procedure and she said Dr.Chang's office would call me. Well, they didn't so now I don't know if I will be having this done on Tuesday or not.
If I don't hear from them at work on Monday I will call the surgeon's again and let them know. Then when I get home again I will call my PCP and see if he can schedule the procedure here at home. Two trips to Fresno in two weeks is enough for me! Six hours of driving each way. I haven't made this trip without my hubby before. Hope all goes well!
10/03/02 Well, I didn't have the endoscopy while I was in Fresno on Tuesday. I never got a call from the doctor's office to schedule it and when I called my surgeon's office on Monday to let them know it hadn't been scheduled the gal was less than helpful. As a matter of fact, she sounded like she couldn't care less. I told her if I didn't hear from the doctor by the end of the day I wouldn't be having the procedure done the following day while I was in Fresno with my daughter and she just said "Alright".
At least all of my daughter's pre-op stuff went well. She was really impressed with her surgeon. So was I since I got her to the appt 40 minutes late thanks to info I got from my brother-in-law. He told me it was only an hour from Gilroy to Fresno..yeah, right!! After we had been on the road for about 20 minutes we saw a sign that said Fresno 104 miles. It was already 8:35 and her appt was at 9:30. Even I am not THAT good! LOL
She explained what happened and they were great about it. They had her go to the hospital's pre-admission testing first and they saw her after she finished there. Everything is set up now for her surgery on 10/08/02! I'll need some prayers myself on that day since I will have my 8 yr old granddaughter and 23 month old grandson in the hospital waiting room from 11:30 until Sharlene gets out of recovery sometime late in the afternoon. Her surgery isn't until 1:00. Oh well, what are moms for!!
10/06/02 Busy day today getting all the laundry done and clothes packed for all of us to be ready to leave very early Tuesday morning to take my daughter to Fresno for her surgery. She is on liquids only today and tomorrow and doing pretty well with it. I keep reminding her it is only for 2 days and then she won't have to worry about finding it difficult or being hungry. I sure wasn't thinking about food after my surgery!
It's been quite a journey since we both had our initial consult on 06/04/02. I have to tell myself it is better than what some people have experienced. We were both approved the first time our paperwork was submitted and not everyone can say that.
Wish my hubby was here to help with the kids on Tuesday since that is going to be a very long day. We have to leave here by 5:00 to make the 6 hr drive. The kids and I will be cooped up in the waiting room for a very long time since she has to check in at 11:30 and her surgery isn't until 1:00. Hopefully I can find a park nearby to let them run around for awhile.
They're good kids so I'm not going to worry. Everything will work out fine!
10/18/02 Called Dr.Chang's office on Monday, the 14th after much prompting and scolding from my friend. He is the doc that was supposed to do my scope but his office never called to schedule it. That was two weeks ago. Spoke to Mary in his office and she went through all her paperwork from September and told me she never got anything from the surgeon's office about scheduling me. There is a big surprise. The only thing that has gone right at that office is the surgery itself. Some of his staff definitely need to be replaced!
Mary told me she would call his office and have them fax the paperwork over so she could schedule the procedure for today since I was supposed to be back in Fresno with my daughter for her follow-up. She said she would call me right back.
Right back turned out to be the following morning. When she called mid-morning she said she had just received the fax she had requested the day before. I know my surgeon's office is busy, but that's ridiculous!! Anyway, she wanted to schedule me for the same time as Sharlene's follow-up appt. I explained that it wasn't a good time because I would be watching my grandchildren while she was being seen by her surgeon. Mary said I should have someone else watch them. I tried three times to explain that there is no one else...I am it! I wasn't getting through to her so I finally told her that I had prayed a lot over this in the past two weeks and felt that I am in God's hands and He will take care of me. I thanked her for her time and hung up.
Lo and behold I got a call from my surgeon's nurse practitioner right after lunch the same day. She told me how important it was that I have this procedure done soon. I couldn't help but wonder why she wasn't concerned about the fact that the office staff never scheduled it for 10/01/02 when she told them to. Now two weeks later she is telling me that I need to make arrangements for someone else to watch my grandchildren or tell my daughter to watch her own children. That really ticked me off, but I held my tongue and just told her that if it had been scheduled when she wanted it done it would be over by now and it wouldn't be a problem. She had nothing to say to that or to my relating the conversation I had with the front office staff on 09/30/02 when I tried to get them to call the docs office and set up the procedure. Their lack of concern was almost frightening!
Now I have an appt with my own physician on 10/29 and I will see if he can get my records faxed to him so he can schedule the scope himself. That will also save me another 12 hour round trip drive! In the meantime, I keep trying to eat solid food each day and just pray that the nausea won't last long.
Sharlene's follow-up appt was rescheduled to this Tuesday morning and I probably could have had Mary schedule the scope for the afternoon, but I'm really tired of dealing with them and prefer to have my own doctor take over.
Oh yeah...I finally dropped another 4 lbs. Coming off very slowly but I'm sure it's because I can't eat anything except soups so my body thinks it's starving and won't let go of anything. I only eat once a day so that I don't have to deal with nausea 24/7.
10/22/02 Went to my family doctor yesterday to get the flu and pneumonia shots he wanted me to have and now I can barely move my right arm from the pneumonia shot! The nurse said my arm MIGHT be sore. What an understatement!!
On the up side I have lost another 4 pounds this week. It's like a gift since I had already stopped losing for so long. I know it's because I am not taking in enough, but I can't stand being nauseated for hours at a time so I just don't eat. I make sure I eat once a day and drink two protein shakes (morning & evening) to get in the protein I need. Lots of water and juices too of course. My one meal is soup. I eat a lot of vegetable beef and bean with bacon. I love both of them and figure with the one I am getting meat and veggies and with the other I am getting extra protein.
I signed a release at my doc's office yesterday to have all my records sent to him from my surgeon. Hopefully when I see him next Tuesday he will have the records and be able to schedule the endoscopy. I'm still not so sure that I have developed stenosis, but since the other 4 ladies that had the same surgeon as me developed it, I think there is a good possibility. If not, it's time to explore other reasons why I can't eat solid food except cheddar cheese and peanut butter! (I have a slice of cheese and a spoonful of peanut butter when I get home from work each day...plus a spoonful of peanut butter in the morning before I go to work.) I am really worried about the protein issue. I have very thin, baby fine hair and if I start losing it very badly I will be bald in no time!!
10/29/02 I saw my family doctor today and he will be calling around tomorrow to see if he can find a gastroenterologist here in Redding that will be willing to scope me and perform the dilation if necessary. He agrees that I am not losing weight right now because my body is in starvation mode because of how little I am eating. I told him I got totally fed up today and ate half a hot dog at the Target grand re-opening when I went there to see my daughter on her lunch hour (Sharlene started working there yesterday as a security person). The hot dog stayed down and I didn't end up nauseated. I could feel it just sitting in my stomach for a very long time, but at least I didn't get sick!! He just laughed. I told him my fear of going through all this only to find out that I don't have a stricture and he said it's not a big deal. They can't know if they don't go in and look so no harm done by looking.
He will call me tomorrow to let me know if he finds someone willing to take my case. He also gave me a lab slip for a whole range of blood tests prior to the endoscopy including checking my protein level. I will be interested to see the results of that one since I am now using Real Meals twice a day and that gives me 60 grams of protein a day. I have to drink the shakes really slowly and I do get nauseated (like I am right now with less than an ounce left to drink of a 6 oz shake I started over an hour ago), but at least I get my required protein.
More later when I hear from my doctor again.
11/01/02 My doctor finally called and left a message for me at work today...of course I'm home with the nausea and headache again. I left work early on Wednesday because I got sick from my soup at lunch and by 2:30 I felt like I was going to faint. I decided if that was going to happen, it would happen in the privacy of my own home and not at the office.
I also got a call from the doctor's office that is scheduling the endoscopy. I am to be at Redding Medical Center at 12:30 on Wednesday and the procedure is scheduled for 1:30. It's meant to be since my daughter has Wednesday off and will be able to drive me home afterward.
I hope that this will take care of the problem. I've lost another 5 lbs after not losing anything for 2 weeks, but I believe I would be doing better if I could eat. And, I am starting to lose my hair even with all the protein. A friend of mine told me to expect it at 3 months and I am 3 months today. Boy, did she call that one. I've always been one to find strands of hair on my clothes and furniture, but now I am losing it 10-20 strands at a time. I don't dare run my fingers through my hair. This may even break me of my habit of playing with my hair when I am stressed! My hubby would like that. LOL I twist my hair around my finger over and over and over, without even realizing I'm doing it. Drives my family crazy. If I did that now I would probably leave a bald spot. Bet they'd like that even less!! LOL LOL
11/06/02 Had the endoscopy today and it was nothing like everyone said it would be. The sedation didn't do anything to me and I watched the whole procedure. He found a mild stricture and dilated the stoma. I had told him before he started that if he found a stricture and had to dilate to leave the opening small. He said, "Why? Are you afraid you'll get fat again?" I told him yes and he told me the opening out has nothing to do with it because the pouch is still small and you can only put so much in there. I decided not to correct him since he was getting ready to put something down my throat and into my tiny pouch. Didn't want to piss him off or anything, but he sure doesn't know much about how this tool works.
The best thing about going in for this was that one of my nurses had lap RNY on 05/14/01 and told me she was nauseated for about the first 3-4 months all day everyday. A mild nausea, but nausea just the same. Well, that's what I have except that it increases from mild to nearly intolerable if I eat solid food. This nurse, Diana, is 12 lbs from goal and she even showed me her before picture which she carries in the pocket of her lab coat. WOW!! What a difference 18 months makes.
Well, this weekend I will try solid foods again for the first time in a very long time. Didn't want to mess with anything until the weekend in case I still get sick. That way it happens in the comfort of my own home. I'm hoping this did the trick and no more nausea!!!
11/09/02 Still nothing much in the way of food except the things I could eat before without a problem..a slice of cheddar cheese when I get home from work each night, a spoonful of extra crunchy peanut butter in the morning before work and teriyaki beef jerkey sometimes when I need extra protein or I'm out running errands. I did finally have a day free of nausea yesterday. WOOHOO!! Boy did that feel good! Can't remember when the last time was that I didn't experience nausea all day long.
I am so excited!! I weighed myself this morning and there is no longer a 2 in front of my weight...198.5!! I haven't been below 200 since 1992. What a glorious day. My hubby will be in for quite a shock when he finally gets home on the 19th! Every time he calls he asks how much I have lost and I have managed to dodge the answer every time. He can just wait and see when he finally decides to get himself back home!!
11/21/02 Well, my husband made it home on Sunday and he never said a word about my weight loss. At first I was upset, but then I figured it really doesn't matter. I didn't do it for him, I did it for me and my health so who cares if he comments or not.
I was helping him unload all his stuff and it was getting chilly so I told him I needed to get my jacket before I went back outside again. As I was putting it on I realized how loose it fits now and I mentioned that to him. His response was, "Yeah, we need to get you some new clothes." At least he noticed! LOL I am still wearing the same clothes I wore before I lost these 57 lbs and they all hang on me.
I am not ready to buy any new clothes yet. Well, actually I will be buying one new outfit this weekend because I have a promotional interview on Tuesday and I am not going to that in clothes that hang on me. If I get the promotion I'll be able to afford new clothes when I reach my goal. Speaking of my goal, I passed the half way mark this morning! After nearly 2 weeks of nothing I finally lost one pound. Every pound puts me closer to my goal, so I'll take it!
We were in Fresno yesterday to be with my friend Debby Bass for her lap RNY with Dr.Felix. We left at 4:00 and arrived in time to spend about 15 minutes with her before they took her back. Since we had the grandchildren with us we didn't get to go back and sit with her until her surgery time, which was my whole point in going. I did get to talk with Dr.Felix at 3:00 when he finished her surgery and he told me she did great, but would probably be in recovery until as late as 6:00 if they couldn't find a bed for her. We waited until just before 6:00, but the hospital operator told me she would probably spend the night in recovery due to a shortage of beds so I didn't get to see her again before we left. We didn't get home until 11:00. What a long and disappointing day.
11/25/02 Tomorrow is my interview day. My husband went shopping with me yesterday to find a new outfit and I actually tried on the clothes. It's been years since I was in a fitting room!! I am between sizes. I can wear an 18 and a 16, but the 16 was a little more snug than I like...especially for an interview where I need to make a great impression. I went with the 18, but I know I won't wear it much. The top hangs on me a little too much. The skirt is straight so I'll be able to wear that in my next two interviews next month, but I'll definitely need a new top by then. I will be interviewing for two supervisor positions on 12/10 and 12/11. Good thing it will be different people on the panel so I can wear the same outfit!! I will probably fit the 16 just right by then, but I still don't want to buy two different tops when I may only be able to wear them for a month or so. This is getting exciting!!!
11/28/02 Thanksgiving day and I have so much to be thankful for! My husband is home, my first of three promotional interviews is behind me and as of this morning I am .5 lbs below my 4 month target weight and I still have 3 days to go before I am officially at 4 months!!!!
I use the Pacific Bariatric post op planner and set the weight loss goal at 100% to see if I am on track with my weight loss. At 4 months it shows I should weigh 193. This morning I weighed 192.5!! WOOHOO!!!!!! What a great feeling. Especially after nearly a two week plateau...again.
I tried something new this morning. I have been using vanilla Real Meals shakes for my protein because it has 30 gms per scoop, but ran out of them and right now I can't afford the $56 for another box so I switched to the chocolate IsoPure I got for my daughter (I prefer vanilla), but it only has 25 gms of protein per shake because I use one scoop instead of two. I'm not crazy about the flavor, but I get it down anyway. This morning I tried mixing a scoop of French Vanilla Slim Fast with my protein shake and it actually tasted good. It also didn't foam like it usually does and it added 5 gms of protein to my shake! I think I will make it this way every time. The total calories are 310 per shake, but since it's a meal replacement for me that isn't bad at all.
12/04/02 I got my results from last weeks interview and though I would have liked to do better, I am trying to be satisfied with my ranking. I scored 92 and rank 5th on the list of about 20 people. At least this means I will get a second interview and a chance at the promotion.
12/05/02 Got a call from the Admin Secretary today and the second interviews will be on Friday the 13th in the AM. No times yet, but she said she will probably have those for us tomorrow. Next week will be a busy week for me. I have a promotional interview on Monday morning; I am the orientation presenter for our new clients on Tuesday morning; I have a promotional interview on Wednesday morning; our annual Holiday luncheon is on Thursday and that will keep me jumping since I'm on the committee that puts it all together and then on Friday my second interview for a promotional position. After next week I should be a wiz at interviewing wouldn't you think?
If I do well on the Monday & Wednesday interviews (I have to rank in the top 5) I will get second interviews for those positions also. They are both for supervisor positions. The one on Friday is for an analyst position which pays the same as one of the supervisor positions. It's a good thing interviews don't scare me. LOL This will be a waiting game similar to the one we all have to do when we are awaiting approval and again when we are counting down the days until our surgery.
12/24/02 Well, I didn't get either of the promotions I interviewed for in the last two weeks, I didn't rank high enough on the Employment and Training Worker Supervisor list to get a second interview and I tied with two other people for 6th on the Eligibility Case Manager Supervisor list so I will get a second interview there. Doubt I will get that promotion either as they have a tendency to hire from their own building and I don't work over there anymore. That's okay though. I have enough to worry about right now and a promotion is the least of it.
My husband told me on Friday that he is moving back to his home state of New Mexico at the end of April. We will be married 32 years on April 17th. Guess he figures that is long enough to be away from the "home" he loves so much.
He's been saying for years that he wanted to retire there and I have been saying I won't move there. He is from a very small town in the mountains of North Western New Mexico. It is very beautiful there, but there is nothing to do. I would have to drive to Taos, Santa Fe or Albuquerque to work and we sure can't survive if I'm not working since he hasn't worked since 12/02/02. He receives social security disability which will be plenty for him to live on, but not enough for both of us and our bills. Guess I'll be stuck with all of those. Time to find a second job to get as many of them paid off as possible before he leaves.
On a brighter note, I have lost an additional 5 lbs since Friday! Big surprise. Everything I try to eat upsets my stomach and gives me stomach cramps, so why bother. I make myself drink my protein drinks though. I had a half a taco all day yesterday and applesauce the day before.
We're driving to Lewiston tonight to have our traditional Christmas Eve dinner with a childhood friend. I will do my best to keep my spirits up so I don't spoil the evening for everyone. Tomorrow we drive down to Gilroy to have Christmas dinner with my family at my little sister Cheryl's house. That will be tough to get through. They can read me like a book. I will tell them before we leave though since it will probably be the last time they see my husband and they all love him very much. I want them to have a chance to say good-bye to him.
Happy Holidays to everyone. May God Bless us all.
01/07/03 Things have settled down some finally. I have accepted that my husband is leaving and I think I will be okay on my own. I love him enough to want him to be happy and if he thinks he will be happy living in New Mexico, then that is what I want for him. His depression is so severe that he is suicidal much of the time. I hope being "home" will alleviate some if not all of his depression and allow him to be happy and at peace.
I went with him last night to see his psychiatrist and I told him that James is leaving at the end of April. He agreed that if he thinks he will be happier there than he needs to go there. He also said that he could come back every three or four months to spend time here with me and our family and my husband agreed that he may be doing just that. We'll see. I'm not getting my hopes up for it. That's a pretty expensive trip. My husband also said that he doesn't know what he is going to do for sure. He may stay there and he may not. He's hoping to be able to work at least part time with his cousins at the local high school. They are custodians there and they are going to get him on the sub list for now until there is an opening. I wish him well.
I am still losing although not as much as I was at first. Just so I keep losing and don't end up gaining from all the stress. I did find myself slipping back into old habits a couple of nights ago, but I paid the price. I ended up throwing up for the first time in a long time. Won't make that mistake again. I am a baby about throwing up!
I went to a local thrift store last week since all my clothes are way too big for me and I came away with some real bargains. The first three business days of every month all their clothes are 1/2 off. I got 3 skirts and a lovely 2 piece outfit for $6.97. At this rate I will be able to get new things as my size changes. I still wear most of my skirts since they have elastic waists and I don't mind too much that my tops hang on me, but every now and then it's nice to wear something that fits properly. Besides, when my clothes fit everyone notices the weight loss and compliments me...and who doesn't enjoy receiving compliments!
I have another promotional interview next week. I don't expect to get this job either, but I will still give it my best shot. There are two positions available and most people feel they already know who will get them. That's okay, at least I am in the running and that feels good all by itself. It isn't a job I particulary want anyway. I just want to promote because it's the only way I will ever have a chance of fulfilling my goal of being the Program Manager for my division. I believe in dreaming big and always reaching for your goals. Can't win if you don't try.
01/13/03 As of today I am exactly 40 lbs from my goal weight. One of my co-workers came back to work today after her two week vacation and wanted to know if I was trying to disappear! LOL That was nice to hear. I don't notice the loss as much now that it's just a pound or two a week. It's nice when you hear it from someone that hasn't seen you in awhile.
I know I'm losing inches like crazy because I keep changing dress sizes every couple of weeks. Unlike some people, I didn't take my measurments before surgery. I never have been someone that does the measurment thing anyway. I just know I'm going down because even when the scale doesn't move, the clothes feel loose. That works for me!
Off to prep for the interview on Wednesday. It would be nice to get this one, but I'm not holding my breath. If I don't get chosen this time, it just isn't my turn I guess.
One of the supervisors in my building may be leaving in the next few months. Her husband took a job down south and has been commuting on the weekends for nearly a year now. He's tired of the commute and told her they need to make some decisions. She's thinking she may be resigning in another few months if their home sells so she can relocate to where he's working.
I would really like to get her position. I would still be in the top 5 and get a second interview, but there is some tough competition. Three of us in my building are on this list and interviewing on Wednesday. We all want the supervisor position in our own building if she leaves. It would be a tough decision...glad I don't have to make it.
Things are not going well at home. My husband has shut down emotionally. We've always kissed goodnight and when one of us leaves the house or gets home from somewhere and he doesn't do that anymore. When I kiss him, he doesn't kiss me back. That really hurts. He doesn't tell me he loves me anymore either. We used to end all our phone calls that way and just for no reason at all. Not anymore. Guess this is just preparing me for when he isn't here anymore. Sure does hurt though. I don't think I've ever felt this lonely before.
02/01/03 Six months today since my surgery and I feel great physically. Still on an emotional roller coaster over my husband moving to New Mexico, but learning to cope. Now he says he may leave the middle of April instead of the end of April. I sarcastically told him maybe he could leave on our anniversary and he said, yeah he could do that. Jerk!
Anyway, I'm down 74.5 lbs as of this morning. That feels so good. I have become a thrift store junky. I go to several near my office at least once or twice a week. It's a great way to rebuild my wardrobe. Last week I bought a pair of jeans. I haven't worn jeans for over 10 years! It feels wonderful to wear them again. At home I still mostly wear my old baggy sweats, but when I go to class or shopping I wear my jeans now.
I decided to go back to college to get a degree and I'm loving it. It also keeps me too busy to feel sorry for myself and that's a really good thing. I'm working six days a week and usually 9 hours a day during the regular work week to get as much overtime as I can so that I can pay for college. I'm in an accelerated program so that I will have my AA degree in transferable general education in 5 semesters. I go one evening a week and every other Saturday. Right now I'm just taking Psych 1A, but the next 9 weeks will be two classes and then I have to take English 1A in the summer over the internet. When the next semester starts I will be caught up with everyone else. I couldn't take the English class with the Psych because this month it would have meant going to school every Saturday and I wouldn't have gotten any overtime this month except the extra hour each day. That wouldn't have paid for my tuition and books next semester so I put that class off until this summer.
The supervisor in my building that has been talking about moving down south to save her husband that long commute put her house on the market Friday. Hopefully I will do better on this interview when the time comes and get this position. I better start praying now and maybe I'll have asked often enough by the time we interview that it will finally be my turn!
03/23/03 I can't believe how long it's been since I updated my profile. All this time and I've only lost another 4 lbs. Oh well, with all the stress I have been under I guess I should be thankful I lost anything at all!
My husband finally told me the date he is leaving..the weekend of April 19th & 20th. That will be right after our 32nd anniversary on April 17th. Just proves he really doesn't care about anyone but himself anymore.
I had an interesting phone call from one of his cousins tonight. She called to tell me that when my husband was in New Mexico last fall (when he stayed for two months) he was seen without another woman. She also told me he was drinking again. He hasn't drank since 03/84. Well, I guess I knew all along but it was easier to pretend to myself that I didn't. I thought knowing this would make it easier to let go of him, but it doesn't. I just need to keep busy and let God help me through this.
Now I understand why he's been so generous lately. He is going on as if nothing has changed for us and I couldn't understand that either. He's happier than I have seen him in a very long time. Now I know why.
I keep telling myself that life goes on and I know it does, but I sure hope it gets better real fast. This heartache is a real killer! I'm trying to keep up with my school work and raise my grandchildren and study for my promotional interview on Wednesday and this really knocked me for a loop. Guess I'll get over it eventually.
I will say to all of you going through this same thing, hang in there and put your faith in God. He will see us all through these bad times and on to a better life.
03/24/03 I confronted my husband with what his cousin told me and he adamantly denies both the drinking and the other woman. I don't know why I spent even one moment believing her. He isn't the type to cheat. As he said, if he wanted another woman he would tell me and be done with it. He even said if that happens after he moves there I will be the first to know because he will call me himself to tell me.
I talked to my sister about this and she doesn't believe what his cousin said either. As she pointed out, he isn't a romantic person so how could he woo another woman. She said she's never understood how he got me! At least she made me laugh. I haven't done much of that for a very long time.
04/26/03 I can't believe today was finally the day. My husband left me this morning at 2:30 AM. He packed as much as he could in the back of his Durango and moved to his home state of New Mexico. We just had our 32nd anniversary on 04/17. Even though he told me the Friday before Christmas that he was leaving at the end of April, I guess I didn't believe he would really go. Anyone seeing us together these past four months wouldn't have known anything was wrong. I refused to let him see my grief, so I have carried on as if everything was the same and he's been happier than I've seen him in years.
After all these years together all he could say to me this morning was, "See you. Remember that I still love you. I'll call you." Not much after giving him 32 years of my life and my love. I still can't fathom that someone would leave the person they say they love just because they want to live in the state where they were born. I think I could accept this better if he was leaving me for another woman, but the fact that he left me for a piece of ground hurts me to my soul.
I have nurtured him and taken care of him and loved him throughout his 20 year depression. He has been suicidal for the past 10 years or more and I stood by him through all of that. Now he just packs all his belongings and calmly drives away.
God give me the strength to get through this pain and grief. I need you by my side more than at any other time in my life.
I guess with all I have gone through it's isn't surprising that I haven't lost a pound in nearly two months now. Maybe that will change now that he is finally gone. Being in limbo for 4 months was horrible. I know in my heart I kept thinking he wouldn't really leave me. Now I have to stop fooling myself and get on with my life. God help me.
05/20/03 I just read Lois' email about Sally's passing. I can't stop crying. I never met her, but I felt like I knew her. She was a great friend to me from the time I first responded to her post on the message board. We emailed each other on a regular basis. I felt like I could tell her anything.
I will miss her so much. I am angry at myself right now for not calling her when she was in the hospital to let her know I was thinking of her and praying for her. I'm such a procrastinator. I hope losing her will make me change that about myself. Never put off until tomorrow.... Now it's too late to call and surprise her. It's too late to send her the teddy bear I've been carrying around in my car for over a week now. I'm thankful I sent her the card, at least. She will be in my heart always. I know she is with God now and finally free of pain. My prayers go out to her family and friends. What a loss this is for so many of us. She was such an inspiration.
I love you Sally. Soar with the angels my friend!
08/04/07 August 1st was my 5 year anniversary and I'm sorry to say, I did not keep all the weight off. A lot has happened since my last post in May of '03. I started college right after my husband told me he was leaving me. I found out that he had in fact cheated on me when he went to New Mexico for my godmother's funeral in the fall of '02. He left in April, '03 and came back that November. He only stayed two weeks and then moved back again because he missed his girlfriend. My mother died 02/05/04 and he called to tell me how sorry he was. That was the first time I had spoken to him since the previous December. He came back for her memorial service and begged me not to divorce him. He said he loved me, not his girlfriend and asked me to take him back again. I agreed, but he didn't move back until after his elk hunt in November. That should have told me how unimportant I was to him. He stayed that time until June 20th, and then left once again for New Mexico. I earned my AA degree in May, '05, and the day after graduation he told me he was leaving again. I have no desire to try again with him.
I finally promoted to a lead worker position in March, '04 and then to supervisor in Feb, '05. I am interviewing on Wednesday, Aug 8th for another supervisor position. I'd love to get this one since it would put me back in the building where I was working when I had the surgery.
I finally started dating at the end of April of this year. I was seeing a coworker that I've known for over 20 years. We'd become good friends in the last 4 years or so since my husband left, and we finally started going out together. We had a very intense relationship for about 2 months and then on July 2nd he asked me out to lunch, walked me to my car afterward and then told me we couldn't see each other any more. I was devastated... still am really. I love him and don't understand any of this. Not only did he not tell me why, but he hasn't spoken to me since. We used to call, email or IM each other every day, several times a day and now nothing. The hardest part for me is losing his friendship. I can live without him loving me in return (I managed that with my husband), but not hearing from him at all has sent me into the worst depression of my life. This is worse than when my husband left me and even worse than when I found out my husband was cheating on me. The only good thing to come out of this is that I have lost 28 pounds in the past three months. First I was losing weight because I was newly in love, and now it's because I'm not eating or sleeping much. I eat something every couple of days and I'm getting about 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night in 15 - 30 minute naps. This week I started making myself eat something at least once a day so that I don't end up ill. I know that isn't the best, but it's better than going two or three days without eating anything. I do still drink my protein shake every morning and take my vitamins faithfully. Thanks to Matt, the man I was seeing, I am drinking water again. He always has water with him so he got me back in the habit of drinking it too. I have always been very bad about not getting enough water. I believe that contributed to my gaining back 48 pounds after the surgery.
As of today, I am 21 pounds away from the lowest weight I reached after my surgery. I never did make my goal. My weight loss stopped the day my husband told me he was leaving me in 12/02 and I didn't lose any more for quite awhile after that. After he actually moved out, I never lost another pound. I hope I will finally make it to my original goal now that I'm losing again. My birthday is next Friday and I would love to be less than 20 pounds from my lowest post-op weight by then. That would be a wonderful birthday present to myself.
I will try to remember to come back here and update my profile as I continue this weight loss journey. It's disappointing that I gained so much of the weight back, but I have no one to blame but myself. I didn't care enough about me to take care of me and I paid the price. Now that I'm losing again I realize how important it is to get all the excess weight off for me and not for anyone else. Matt may be the cause of me losing weight again, but he isnt the reason for it. As long as I keep reminding myself of that, I will succeed!
Best of luck to all of you just starting out on this journey. I hope that sharing what I have been through will keep you on the path you need to be on for continuous weight loss. Don't let outside influences take that away from you like I did. You are the most important person in the world to someone, and you need to get healthy for them and for yourself...even if you don't know yet who that someone is.
God Bless you all...
I thought he was funny, kind and caring. Most of his staff are caring, but one in particular could use some instruction in customer service.
He says he is tough but that's good because you know up front that he expects you to do what you need to do to make the weight loss happen.
His aftercare program is very involved. He lays out all the risks up front in his booklet and tells you to read it and re-read it so that you know exactly what you are getting into.
I have only met him once, but I was really impressed with his knowledge and with the way he talks to his staff and his patients. He has a great sense of humor and that's important to me.
He gave us his stats at his mandatory seminar and the death rate is well below the national average. That really impressed me!
Blue Cross, EPO
Everything was submitted to the insurance on 06/17/02. I believe the approval was rec'd on 06/20/02. I was on vacation and didn't find out until I returned on 06/24/02.