God; it's been a while hasn't it. The world is changing and continuously moving forward; sometimes it's hard to stop and say Hi.
For those of you seeking pouch information go here: http://www.digitalhorsewoman.com/wls.htm - its very informative.
Well, I spent the entire winter doing nothing but taking care of other people, and basically ignoring myself. I have stayed at 192 for the past four months. I gain a pound, I lose a pound but basically, I stay at 192 lbs.
This past week the warm weather FINALLY started to fight for life, and I was able to start walking outside again. Hopefully, this will help getting me off this horrible plateau...uugghhh!
Because Im not working, I do not have the money to join a gym, and I have a treadmill that I absolutely hate so coming off this plateau has been horrendously difficult!
I love the fact that I have stopped gaining weight. But with the weight I have lost to date, my skin is really starting to sag. If I can get up to jogging a couple of miles a day like I want to, The skin will really be an issue for me. There is no pain but there is discomfort at this stage due to chafing and such.
My friend Erin, went through with plastic surgery, and had the excess skin removed; not only is she down to 135 lbs, she says she feels incredible. Im so happy for her because she found the love of her life, and she is getting married this year. He said he loved her even when she was heavy, but having her at 135 and healthy is a real bonus! :-)
If I can ever get off this plateau maybe I can talk to Dr Valin about what options I have with this issue.
Well everyone, I must get going for now. I will touch base soon and let you know how Im doing.
For those of you perusing the Lap Band, good luck and Yes, Id do it again in a heartbeat!!! You lose weight slowly; there is nothing scary about it. You get out of it what you put into it. You are in control of your success, with a great deal of help from the LAP Band. I absolutely love the place that I am at right now.
Be well everyone.
May 21,2002 = 226 lbs
July 01,2002 = 206 lbs
July 29,2002 = 205 lbs
August 26,2002 = 198 lbs
October 7,2002 = 196 lbs
November 20,2002 = 193 lbs
Well its been awhile but Im still here. I went to see Dr Valin today for my final fill regarding my LAP Band. I am now up to 2 ccs. I now weigh 193.2. I must admit, I am surprised that I actually lost three pounds
Yea :0) I explained to Dr Valin that I had been taking care of dad but starting next week, he will have home health care for 24 X 7, so I can step back from his needs and get on with my life.
My husband has been so patient through all of this; I just love him to death. He was the one that said it was time for me to let go of Dad because I was losing me. I was exhausted all of the time; I started smoking again because of the stress; I had stopped exercising, and I wasnt eating anything healthy at all. I had stopped drinking 8 glasses of water a day, and I found solace in ice cream. Ive become a regular mess actually. But as of next week, I will be back to taking care of me, and hopefully, Dr Valin should see a marked improvement when we meet again.
Dr Valin has a new toy to locate the ports for his Lap Band patients now; I had the honor of being one of his guinea pigs today. He now has an ultra sound machine that provides a clear, crisp picture of the port as well as the needle he is inserting the saline solution with. He had the ultra sound consultant / technician helping and training him on this new machine. He was filling the port and taking the imaging pictures of my port site as wells as the needle when it was being inserted. I bet hes fun at Christmas because he is the most inquisitive person I have ever met. He was asking the consultant all kinds of questions and poking and prodding around on my stomach. Hey, I had pain-numbing medicine on my stomach poke away good Doctor :0)
I have another appointment with Dr Valin in eight weeks and hopefully I will be able to drop a few more pounds by then. Once I am secure with Dads care, Im even going to try and catch a support seminar at Saint Raphaels when Dr Valin has the next one for Lap Banders.
So until next time, please be well. I wish you all safe and playful holidays. :0)
Well lets see, Its been a while since Ive updated my profile, and for that I apologize. I really had all the intensions in the world of being a role model for people pursing a choice of the Lap Band procedure. But I feel like I have failed in some way.
In September, my 87-year-old father came down with shingles in the eye. He has become frail and thin in spirit. Not only does he have shingles, but he also has cataracts in both eyes, so he cannot see. The doctors will not operate until the shingles are gone. Dad also has severe emphazema. (No, he never smoked a day in his life).
I have become his primary care taker. He is still living at home, (for how long I dont know. I am getting exhausted). He is still living at home but is too frail to be left alone, so I have taken on the huge task of being part of the caregivers team. I am at Dads from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, four out of the seven days a week. The night shift and the weekends are covered by home health aids. I take that free time and try to maintain my own household and family.
I regret to say, that I no longer have the time to exercise or eat right. I kind of grab what is in front of me and run from doctor to doctor with Dad. I have not gained any weight, but I sure havent lost any either. I was doing so good, I feel like Ive let myself down. I fought so hard for my life and now its on hold. I had an appointment with Dr Valin on October 11,th, which I canceled because I hadnt lost any weight (and I couldnt find a sitter for Dad). I have rescheduled it for November but that one isnt looking too promising either. I have to really start taking some time for me here soon
Yes. Im whining! I know, I know. Its not very becoming is it
. Oh well. God has given me this challenge for a reason and I should not complain about it. I will get a grip on this issue soon enough and be back on track before you know it.
On a good note. I am still 196 lbs, But I can now fit into a size 14 I through all of my fat clothes in the good will.
Oh well until next time friends
May 21,2002 = 226 lbs
July 01,2002 = 206 lbs
July 29,2002 = 205 lbs
August 26,2002 = 198 lbs
October 7,2002 = Target: 187 Lbs......We'll see :-)
Well, I went to see Dr. Valin today, and he gave me another fill adjustment. I now weigh 198.6 lbs. I told him that the only things I have really been struggling with is Fresh vegtables, bread, and chicken. Man if its not small enough, the food gets stuck, and I have to make my self-sick to get rid of it. I told Dr Valin that ice cream has absolutely no problem going down though. :-)
I have another appointment with him for October 7th; he said he wanted to see me at 186 lbs when he sees me again.
I have been walking 4 miles almost every day, and I try to watch what I eat, but this has been quite a struggle. I feel like I am on some sort of plateau. I am fighting for every pound I lose. Dr Valin said it was very important that I do not judge my self by others that I have been talking to and have had the RNY Bypass operation. The Lap band procedure is different when it comes to losing weight. I have to keep remembering this. I keep thinking Im not doing this right, because I seem to be losing more slowly than the other people I know.
Ill update more in a while, I just wanted to let everyone know, Im doing fine, and loving every minute of my new life. I feel so much better. Im able to exercise for about an hour every day; my stomach doesnt have intense sharp pains when Im hungry. I no longer have heart burn, I can breathe so much easier, and I like the lose fitting clothes too :-)
Take Care Everyone,
May 21,2002 = 226 lbs
July 01,2002 = 206 lbs
July 29,2002 = 205 lbs
I went to see Dr Valin today to experience my first fill. This is a term that is used for filling the Lap Band with Saline Solution for the first time. I have to go back in 4 weeks to see if it needs adjusting.
I had to put on a Johnny for my test because the pants that I had on, were Dockers, not stretchy like sweat pants. If I had worn stretch pants, Dr Valin could have just rolled them down below my port location; the port is located on the bottom rib on the right hand side of my rib cage.
Dr Valin said I had pretty tough skin because he was having a little trouble entering the port sight.
I had to drink some yucky chalky stuff and they took X-Rays to assure that the adjustment was working properly. (That was Cool) I was instructed to go up and see Deb Valin at the office, and get weighed in.
I lost a whopping One-pound since the last time I had seen Deb, She didnt holler at me or anything. Of course I didnt tell her that I was just getting back from vacation and I had been eating things like lobster and ice cream and fry bread, you know all the stuff you eat when youre on vacation. Hell, I was incredibly surprised I lost One pound. Now that Im home I have to hunker down and get back to work on walking and eating correctly. Hopefully with this fill procedure, eating will become less of an issue for me now.
I want to try and lose the six pounds so I can get under the 200 mark : -)
Talk to you soon, Take care
May 21, 2002 = 226 lbs
July 01,2002 = 206 lbs
I went to Dr. Valins yesterday for a check up and I am down to 206 lbs from 226 (at the time of surgery), I have lost 20 lbs since May 21st, 2002. I feel so much better. My clothes are getting loose, and I feel I have so much more energy. Deb Valin and I talked about diet, problems, questions, concerns, issues etc. I have another appointment for July 22nd for my first fill. I have to report to Radiology where they will inject saline solution into my LapBand through the port located just under the skin on my side; I think they also run tests to make sure there are no issues with this step. Then I have to report to Dr Valins office for a weigh in check.
I was feeling so good about the weight I had lost, that I went home and cooked roasted chicken, summer squash and twice baked potatoes for my husband and son, for supper. I thought this was a relatively painless dinner, and so long as I was careful I could have it as well. WRONG!!!!! People with LAP Bands, Stay away from the fresh summer squash! Oh my God, I didnt cut the squash small enough for me to eat, and when I swallowed it, it felt like the squash was stuck. I could not spit it up, nor could I get it down into my stomach all the way. The pressure was really uncomfortable, and it took about an hour to get it down all the way, but not before I fought it down with sips of water and spitting up pieces of what was stuck inside the pouch. Just when I think I am ready to go out and conquer the world, I find a way to slap myself up side the head for a reality check. I am being very careful today. Im drinking coffee, water, eating yogurt etc. Ill get the hang of this yet youll see. Take care everyone talk to you soon :-)
Well, I finally got to meet Deb Valin in person today. She has helped me through so much. It was so nice to actually meet her.
Today was my two week check up and I have lost 12 pounds!!!!! When I left the hospital, I weighed 225 lbs, (I had lost some weight before I went into the surgery because of the cleansing diet they make you go on before surgery). When Deb weighed me today, I weighed 214 lbs. Honest to God, I havent weighed this little sense Moby Dick was a minnow!
I was talking to my angel Erin Falmen and she was asking me how I was feeling. Its hard to explain how you feel after surgery; Its kinda like having a baby for the first time. You have pain (Only higher :-0)
You come home and you walk slowly because you have stitches, you have to maintain a special diet, with certain liquids, you feel scared and unsure. You never know if you are doing the right thing or not. You have to stay on a stricked-eating schedule and you are only allowed so many ounces.
Every day there is a new discovery and a new feeling of confidence. Then one morning you wake up and notice the birds are singing outside your window, and you have never noticed a truly beautiful your childrens eyes are. Everything is gentle and alive and you have a claming peace that comes from with in. It truly feels like a new life, or a re-birth. Only YOU are the new life. You are the new Babe. It is such a joyous feeling.
Ill be in touch, Take care every one : -)
Well here I am. Im finally on the other side. Im a little sore, but Im doing just fine. I never went into surgery until around 1:00 on Tuesday because my cardio clearance was not with my file. It appeared to be MIA; they had to accept a verbal ok with a promise of sending the record over by fax from Dr Nathan Valins office.
The surgery I remember being wheeled into the OR and this little tiny nurse saying Ive given you something to make you sleepy - I woke up in recovery around 5:00 that evening. I remember my husband Scott leaving around 10:00 that night and Dr Valin had told him that everything went well. They found a hiaytal (SP) hernia that they did not see before.
Wednesday - I was really stiff and very nauseous. They took me down stairs to do a special X ray to make sure my Band was in the correct place. The tech's name was Al, and he said that this stuff he had to give me would probably wind up being a little rough on my system. It was yellow and tasted like bitter lemon oil. Al was right; I was sick as a dog after that. Take special note here people, they will not let you have any water or ice chips until this point, so you drink that oil pretty quickly. I was absolutely dying of thirst!
After I went upstairs, I was allowed to have water, but I was too sick to drink it; so it was a real struggle to get to this point. Scott came in to see me around 6:00 that night, But I was too nauseous to talk I felt awful. I had an IV for a nausia medication, which kicked in after a while.
Pain Assistance - After you pass this special X ray test, they stop your morphine pump. I didn't really use it it all that much. When I did, I felt awfully hot, and I slept much more than what I wanted to. I always felt like I had a raging fever but my temp was normal. I didn't like the morphine pump at all, so I didn't care if they took it away or not. Yucka!!!
Pain - If you've ever had the pain of baring a child, you can take this procedure. You don't really need a lot of pain support. If I had to rate it between one and ten, (ten being the most awful pain to mankind) I would give it a four on Tuesday, and a three on Wednesday.
Today, I felt much better. I was up and walking. I wanted to go home. I had, had just about enough of this hospital stay. Dr Valin released me about 9:00 in the morning, and I was home by 11:00. My husband Scott has been such an angel. He went and got my prescriptions and he went and got my stage three foods, Yogurt, Jell-O, Instant breakfast, and broth. Deb Posta called me just before I left the hospital to make sure I was ok. Thank you so much Deb. Im doing just fine.
I will check in with all of you in a while. I just wanted you all to know. Im ok. And although a little stiff from the staples, Im doing just fine. Thank you all so very much for the hugs, and the prayers and the kind words. What a family we are! But, I want to say a special Thank you so very much to My Angel Erin Falmen, and especially to Dr Valin , his incedible wife Deb , Cecile, Elizabeth Baxley and to his whole incredible Team. Wow!!! You gave me my life back. Thank you.
Ill talk to you all soon. :-)
Ok, So here we are. Its 11:11 pm and Im off to bed. I have to be at the hospital tomorrow morning for 9:00; my surgery is scheduled for 11:00. I want to take a few minutes to thank every one of you for all of your prayers, hugs, smiles, big shoulders and support through all of this. I cant wait to start my new life
. Im so ready.
I have such a strong trust in Dr Valin; I know Ill be fine. I feel so peaceful. I feel a gentle calm. I know my angels are here, and Im going to be ok. Ill touch base with you when Im on the other side. Be well my friends. Talk to you in a day or two.
Well; riding home from work on Friday, my husband commented" Well here we are, this is the closest we have ever been to your surgery date before being cancelled. The last time, it was Friday when we got a call saying the surgery had been cancelled for the following Tuesday." When we got home there was a message from MaryBeth, from Oxford Insurance on the answering machine............. Unbelievable!!!! Needless to say, I didn't call her back. I'll wait until Monday.
I truly think that God is picking on me here. I have always believed that we, as humans, being given the gifts of thought and choice, are all born to this earth to learn a lesson in life. Apparently, my lesson from God is perseverance and patients. What do you think my chances are for failing the class and having to repeat it!!!!! Oh well, hopefully MaryBeths call is nothing more than a sanity check for the pending surgery.
I started to get a little nervous last night about going into the unknown stage of surgery. I really started searching for Pre-op statements to help me through this nervous stage. I received an email this morning from someone who had had the LapBand procedure and she explained what she went through. I feel so much better now more peaceful. I now know I can do this.
Thank you all so very much for your kind words and prayers. I am reading them, and I am ok because you have all been there with your hugs and prayers.
Take care Every one, Till next time :-)
Can you believe this??? Deb from Dr Valin just called and said that another Doctor already scheduled the operating room, and the date of June 6th was not available for my procedure................ So.............. Debbie Valin, "My New Bestest Friend Ever" gave me the date of May 21st!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Debbie was concerned that I'd be a little upset about the date change, but I can't thank her enough for getting me this far.
My New Best Friend Debbie Valin just called and said that she literally just got off the phone with Dr Gupta's office and everything is fine. Dr Gupta has cleared me for surgery. He wants to see me for a follow up check up in 6 to 8 weeks, but Im all set. So Debbie, My new best friend, gave me the date of June 6th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Debbie said she had to secure the date with the OR, but we should be all set. What a feeling; It has been confirmed that I'm not dying and I have a date to boot. Thank you God! Im back on track!
I never want to do that ever again. If there is something wrong with my lungs, I'm gonna die! Screw that Biopsy surgery stuff.
I went in yesterday to have the biopsy done by Dr Gupta at Saint Raphael's. It was awful. I wouldnt wish that procedure on anyone (well
There is that ex biker boyfriend from years ago who left me for his bosss wife
I would probably wish it on him for sure)
The GI Lab was running late, and Dr Gupta had to squeeze me in as it was. The nurse couldnt find a vein for an IV, and had to poke me three times before she found something to work with; I didnt mind that much; Im pretty good with pain. But then they wheeled me into the back room where all the torture devices were.
Dr Gupta gave me morphine like painkiller, which did not work. He tried to give it to me twice, and I still felt everything he was doing. I became combative, and they had to strap me down because I was choking and I was in some damn serious pain. He had to try to scope down into my lung through my nose twice before he could get all the way down. I was sobbing and gasping for breath. I was a mess. So much for being Tough! Finally Dr Gupta gave me something that worked and we were able to finish the biopsy. He wheeled me out into recovery where I started to get really sleepy and stupid. And I couldnt stop crying. You could have shot my cat and I wouldnt have cared much. They came in and took a chest X-ray while I was in recovery, and then put on a non-rebreather oxygen mask on me. Apparently, there was a situation where after the procedure, I was losing 10% of my air. They waited another hour and took another X-ray; I was only losing 5 % of my air then. They said I was ok to go home then, but if I started to have shortness of breath or I started bleeding I should call right away. Boy you betchya!!! No worries there!
I was in so much pain; I didnt care what they did to me. I just wanted to go home.
My poor husband Scott was so patient; He took me home and took such good care of me. My throat was so sore, and I was so thirsty, so on the way home, we stopped at Wendys and got a Frosty, which is like a soft serve in a cup. Well
I cant have ice cream it makes me sick. So, by the time I got home, and I laid down, I got sick. I started to throw up. Of course there was blood, but I didnt care. I just wanted to lay back down and sleep. I was too tired to panic. In the morning I had no voice, and my throat was really sensitive, but I was alive and kicking.
I went back down to New Haven to get one more chest X-ray, and check in with Dr Gupta. He said that he was so surprised, He has not had anyone not respond to the morphine like drug. Apparently I was one of the chosen few. But my chest x ray was fine. Dr Gupta said he would have the results of my biopsy tomorrow but he would be surprised if it should anything other than sarcoldosis. If that is all it is, I can be cleared for the LAP Band surgery. More updates to follow
Well lets see where are we today. I went back to see Dr Gupta today. My Tine Test (for TB) was negative. Now, I have to be at Saint Raphaels in New Haven for a biopsy this coming Tuesday. I dont think there will be any more obstacles after that, but if there is one thing I have learned about this surgery, something always comes up and smacks you on the back of the head when youre not looking.
Ive decided to take my 19-month-old grandsons philosophy on life. Dylan is going through this stage of taking off all of his clothes and climbing up on the kitchen table, naked as a jaybird, singing la la la la with a big smile on his face. He hasnt got a care in the world when he pulls this shenanigan. Mind you, I dont think it would be as cute if I do it, but a lot of this stress and heart ache would roll right off my back :-)
Ill update this page next week when I get back the biopsy results. :-)
I went to see Dr Nathan Valin and Dr Gupta today,
Dr Gupta did not have my chest x-rays from Dr Elmer Valin yet, so he could not see what was happening. He asked all kinds of questions and did a tine test for TB. He wants to do a biopsy of the lymph nodes in my central chest area to see what is happening. He said the chances are I might have sarcoldosis. There is no reason why it appears, and there is no cure for it. Its just swollen lymph nodes. Dr Gupta said it is usually found in Hispanic people, so for me to have it would be a little unusual but not unheard of. After I spoke with him, I went back with the respiratory therapist and did a breath test. I dont know how I did with her, I think I did ok but she did not say. I am an ex smoker so I know Im not up to the level of a non-smoker. She was very patient and really easy to work with. She explained everything to me.
Next I went to Dr Nathan Valin. He is the cardiologist. He smiles quickly, and hes really kind and patient. He introduced himself by saying Hi, Im Dr Nathan Valin; Im Dr Valins better half. Dr Nathan Valin has less gray in his hair than his brother Elmer, but man, I couldnt tell them apart other than that. (They are identical twins if you havent figured it out yet).
I had an IV put in and then I had a CT scan done. After lying perfectly still for 12 minutes, he had me walk at three different speeds on the treadmill for nine minutes (It almost killed me!!!!) I have a treadmill at the house, but its sole purpose is to hang clothes from. I didnt know you had to turn the damn thing on. Dr Valin almost killed me I swear! After I did this treadmill torture, I had to sit for 45 minutes and then have another CT scan; but he gave me a clean bill of health as far as my heart is concerned. So he said that Dr Elmer Valins office would be calling me to reschedule
So at this point in time, Im still working with Dr Gupta, the pulmonalogist, If he releases me after the biopsy, I should be good to go for my LapBand surgery with Dr Elmer Valin one more time. Updates will follow
Dr Valin (himself not Cecil, you know youre in trouble then!) spoke with me Friday night, and told me he was canceling my surgery because he found some abnormalities in my CT scan. I now have to have a stress test and see a pulmonalogist. Dr Valin said I had some swollen lymph nodes, and displaced protein build up in the chest area. He would not tell me what is going on, nor would he give me any insight to what was happening.
I took the liberty to do some research on line. (I research everything) and it would appear that he might be concerned with anything from cancer to emphysema, or maybe a lung infection or... well, basically, I drove myself crazy. Also, I sat down and thought about this after speaking with Dr Valin and I remembered that I never told him that my father is on oxygen for emphysema, (It's not a weight issue and my Dad is 87 years old. I associated this with age not weight) so maybe that is what he sees also. Needless to say, it's been a rough weekend.
When I get wounded, I have a tendency to shut down and stay quiet, which is what I've been doing. I'm driving my husband Scott nuts :-)
I took a three-week leave of absence from work and now I have to go back and say sorry, I lied. Everyone is going to want to know why, and I have to tell them something?! Its non-of their business; hell I didnt even tell them why I was having surgery in the first place. I just told them I was having "elective" surgery; now I dont know what to say.
I want to be upset with Dr Valin because he waited so long to tell me. (My surgery was supposed to be this Tuesday April 30th) I have to keep reminding myself that he couldnt have possibly done this earlier; I know its not his fault. I suppose this is a normal reaction and I should get a handle on it. I should actually be thanking him for finding this out before surgery and not after. I know there would have been some major complications if there were any abnormal stress on my heart and lungs; But right now, Im sulking! Ill come around soon enough; I just need time to absorb this all.
I feel like Ive been shot right between the eyes here, and Im having a tough time staying positive. I'm feeling way to sensitive and I need to get a handle on what is actually happening before I can talk about this. If I talk at this stage of the game, my imagination will run wild and itll get the best of me. I want to be at the point where the doctor sits me down and says Lyne you have stage T2 cancer or you have emphysema, or sorry, someone was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when they read your x ray (Id really like that one)
Take care everyone and good luck on your journey.
Dr Valin's office (Cecil) called today and told me they found something on my chest x-ray and I need to come in for more tests. I need to have a Catscan of the chest; Plus, I also have to have another "cardiocheck" with Dr Elmer's twin brother Dr Nathan Valin tomorrow too. I'm so disheartened because up until about 1 1/2 hours ago, I thought I was healthy as a horse. It looks like the obesity might have won.
One of my biggest fears is to die like my mother did. Mom was so heavy, with high blood pressure and kidney failure, and she also had an aneurysm and congestive heart failure.
Hopefully, this will be nothing more than a sanity check and I will be able to go through with this surgery on Tuesday.
I have to go through with this. God, I'm so close, I can't fail now... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, today I had a sonogram, a cardiogram, Chest x-ray, and an Endoscopy, and about a gallon of blood work done. Dr Valin sure is through. Im so glad my husband was with me. The last procedure was the Endoscopy and believe me, make sure you have someone with you for this procedure. You will be sleepy and stupid for about 5 hours. The only thing I couldnt tolerate was this Endoscopy procedure. I was so sick to my stomach after it was over. Ashford is long way from New Haven and my stomach rolled over and over all the way home. I couldnt eat anything until about 8:30 tonight. My Stomach is still kind of saying, Just what the hell was that all about anyway?
When Dr Valin was doing the Endoscopy, he said, were you accepted or did you have to appeal first? I informed him that I was denied first. He smiled and said that, that was their way of scaring you off. But were all set now.
Today was a long day, but Im all set for the 30th, I cant wait!!!
On Wednesday, April 10th Debby from Dr Valins office called me at work and left voice mail saying it was important that I contact her as soon as possible. We played phone tag a couple of times until we finally connected. She playfully said How dare you not be available when I have news for you. My heart skipped a beat, I thought she was just trying to provide me with the cholesterol results from the blood work I had done. Debby had a tone of excitement in her voice and lets face it Nobody gets excited over cholesterol counts unless your hearts about to pop. I said Debby whats up. Debby said I know you havent got this yet, so Im going to read this to you over the phone:
Dear Lynette Devlin:
Oxford Clinical Appeals Department has completed its review of the request to appeal the decision to deny coverage for Gastroplasty for obesity. Coverage was initially denied by an Oxford Health Plans Medical Director as not medically necessary.
After reviewing the information received, an Oxford Health Plans Physician reverses the decision to deny coverage and has APPROVED a Gastroplasty for Obesity.
As Debby read these words, I started to cry with relief. I dont think anyone knows what it means to me, to finally find help for this horrible battle. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders.
After Debby and I talked for a few minutes and I started to calm down. She said that my surgery date is April 30th for the LAP BAND Procedure. Debby said that Cecile would be calling me with the details.
Debby, Dr Valin, Elizabeth Baxley, Dr Brodie, Cecile, and Erin Falman, But especially my husband Scott (for putting up with me) Thank you all so very much for getting me to this point. God bless all of you. Im ready for the next step!!!
Well, First off, I would like to thank everyone who sent a hug via email. I really needed them this past week. Oxford stated that Im just over weight and I only have sleep apnea and Acid reflux. That was why my surgery was denied. There was no life threatening diseases.
I sat here and cried in total devastation for two days
And then I got mad.
I wrote a five-page letter of petition to my insurance company. I told Oxford all of the horrific things an obese person has to go through. My problem is I dont have high blood pressure, diabetes, or anything that is Life Threatening at this point in my life. But its coming.
I explained my complete family medical history; all of the congestive heart failure, the aneurysms, the diabetes, the high blood pressure, the kidney failure, the cancer, the incontinence, tacicardia, arrhythmia, I referenced articles about obesity I had found. I referenced percentages of how much all of the disease are lowered once the obese person loses weight. I begged them to reconsider their judgement and overturn their original decision to deny my surgery.
I faxed this letter to my PCP, Dr Gordon Brodie in Manchester as well as Dr Valin, asking them both to send a letter of appeals to my insurance company asking them to reconsider their decision of denial.
Dr Brodie sent his appeals letter Friday and Dr Valin is working on his. So right now, I am waiting to hear something from someone.
Thank you all so much for being there for me. Once I hear something I will update this site Take care
I just spoke with Debbie from Doctor Valin's office. Oxford Freedom Plan has denied my petition to have surgery. Some idiot by the name of Daniel Dimuro who has never met me, never understood all of the Physiological pain I have had to go through, All of the horrible self-damnation just said no to saving my life. I am not obese enough; I am not dying; I have no complexities great enough to warrant this surgery. I do not have high blood pressure; I do not have diabetes; I do not have an aneurysm; I do not have massive spider veins; I only have Reflux and I'm 100 lbs over weight, and I have sleep apnea where I lose 71% of my oxygen when I sleep. I only have a mother, a grandmother, two aunts three uncles who died after long-term illnesses brought on by obesity complications. That man has signed my death warrant! And he doesnt even know my name
I'm really trying very hard to be patient here, but I guess I'm a little nervous because I still haven't heard anything. The last time I spoke with Cecile, which was last week, she said she would be submitting my paperwork with six other people who were having surgery as well, and then she had to wait for the charge nurse to call her back. Cecile said that my surgery date was still set for March 7th and there should be no problems. I still have to tell me employer that I will be out at that time. Id hate to have to tell them, and then not have it happen. I guess Im just getting impatient. Hopefully Ill hear something next week.
Well, I called Dr Valin's office today to find out what was going on because I haven't heard anything. I spoke with Cecile; she said she had forgotten to submit my paper work so now I have a surgery date set later than what I was expecting of 03/07/02. This should give the hospital and Dr Valin tons of time to get my information secured for this surgery. Does it sound like I'm pouting? It does, doesn't it; I am pouting aren't I? I'm going to go find my wobbie and suck my thumb!!
I went to see Dr Valin again today. He has moved to the hospital, Orchard Medical Center, Suite 330. I didn't know that and went to his old office.... Whoops.
Dr Valin was much more relaxed and laid back at this visit; Poor Cecil was trying hard to keep up with the phone calls. (Poor thing, Dr Valin should give Cecile a raise and an assistant) We talked allot about my options. Dr Valin stated that I am all set for the RNY Bypass surgery, but because I am not that much over weight, I should really consider the LAP BAND Process. I told Dr Valin that I really have to ask for his advice here because I want to do what is right for me. I have no opinion of which procedure is selected either way; I only know I cannot go on like this. Dr Valin said that he has never asked Oxford Insurance for approval for the LAP BAND Procedure so I will be breaking new ground for him. He assured me that if Oxford does not approve this, I could still go with the Bypass procedure. If Oxford approves the LAP BAND procedure, my surgery date is tentatively for the second week in February. YEA!!!!!!!! Updates will follow as soon as Cecile submits the paper work. Bye
I went to see Mark Gaynor today to have my psychological evaluation done. He was very nice and very informative and we covered a lot of ground in 45 minutes. We discussed what life would be like with the lap band Vs the RNY Bypass procedure. The Lap band will let you eat sweets and fat without the dumping that you would get from the RNY; so, the Lap Band will take more willpower to stay in line with the weight loss goals. With the RNY, you have no choice, if you cheat ¡V you get sick.
There is definitely less fear of complications with the Lap Band procedure, than with the RNY Bypass. We both decided that Lap Band was the correct choice for me. OK - Next stop Dr Valin for consultation again. Bye
Erin talked to me and told me she took another friend into meet Dr. Valin. He had mentioned me again and sat Erin down and explained the Lap Band procedure to her.
She said she found this procedure really interesting. I smiled and told her that Dr. Valin explained this process to her for MY sake, not hers (She had the RNY By Pass last June). Dr. Valin knows that Erin is my God send; She is walking me through all of the questions and insecurities that you have while researching this major step in your life. Don't worry Dr Valin; I will be asking you for the LAP Band Procedure after all. I have to make a point of thanking him for taking the time to explain something that would benefit me, to my mentor. What a remarkable and caring man Dr Valin is.
I survived the Ketone diet all right, and I got through the sleep apnea testing OK. The technician stated that although I don't completely stop breathing when I sleep, my oxygen level was so low, they could not read it properly. They came in a re adjusted the monitor about 10 times through the night. The technician said that this is a very good explanation for the headaches I have when I wake up.
Ok, So all I have to do now is talk to Dr Gaynor and then back to Dr Valin for another follow up meeting. Bye.
Well, I'm on a diet for Ketones. I have to take potassium pills and work with a special diet. That's been fun. I'm scheduled for a sleep apnea test on 01/06/02 and a visit with Mark Gaynor, the Psychologist recommended by Dr Valin's office, on 01/15/02. Things are going slow but they are going. Bye
Well, I met Dr. Valin on 12/19/01. My appointment was for 5:15; I never got into to see him until 6:20. Someone came in with a deep crouping cough and she was in such pain. He never thought twice about taking her first. I felt so bad for her; she had just had the surgery and every time she coughed it practically killed her. I didn't mind waiting at all.
Dr Valin finally brought my husband Scott and I into his office. He said that I am probably not a candidate for the RNY bypass procedure because by government standards, I am not heavy enough by 10 lbs. Do have any idea how odd I felt, not being able to see my feet, and being told you're not heavy enough?
BUT Dr Valin stated that I am a candidate for the Lap Band procedure (see http://www.obesitylapbandsurgery.com/dietmain.html to find out more about the Lap band procedure). We talked about all the steps I need to take for this. He answered all of our questions and concerns. He was very patient even though you could tell this poor man at 7:00 he was exhausted.
Ok, after I got out of his office, I met with Elizabeth Baxley who started me on my way for nutrition counseling. We went over my medical history and she answered every question I had with a smile.
The next day, I scheduled a meeting with Mark Gaynor the Psychologist for January 9th. I have to schedule a sleep apnea test and do a 3 day diet next weekend to measure my Ketones. Things are rolling; hopefully this will go smooth.
While waiting, I found these sites to research:
Erin emailed me today and told me she had gone to Dr. Valin for another monthly check up. Dr Valin was asking about "me". I asked her how he knew that she and I were friends. I think it's amazing that he would take the time to mention me to her. Wow! I can't wait until next Wednesday; it will only be my First appointment.
My husband Scott is starting to ask questions about this procedure. I'm so proud of him. He wasn't real happy about the negative side effects that "COULD" possibly happen, like blood clots, leakage, abscesses, infections, even death, but he'll be all right. He's very supportive of what ever I chose to do. I'm so lucky to have him in my life. See you all next Wednesday...
11/21/2001 I've decided to go with Dr Valin's recommendations for the nutritionist and physiologist, so this will be much easier on the process of having the RNY surgery rather than being easier on me. I want this to be done with as soon as possible.
I still have to wait until December 19th to have the FIRST initial meeting with Dr Valin; but, right after my meeting with him, I have a meeting with Elizabeth Baxley the nutritionist he recommended. She is in New Haven as well.
I did go to my PCP and talk to him about it. I also talked to him about quitting smoking. He's all for it. He said whatever he needed to do to assist me with this will be done. He only asked that I keep him in the loop and ask Dr Valin to forward him a copy of any paper work and test results. Erin told me that Dr Valin is famous for working with the PCP.
Erin Falman has kind of adopted me. She had her surgery in June 2001 and she looks beautiful now. She is the one who started talking to me about this surgery. She has been such a godsend. There is a saying I picked up along the way: When the student is ready, the teacher will present itself. I've worked with Erin for over a year and I never really sat and talked to her. Now, Every time I have a question, I go running to her.
I've got nothing to do but wait, so I thought I'd really start to research this procedure. So far, the scary parts are knowing what could possibly happen should something go wrong; for example, blood clots, pneumonia, hemorrhaging, or toxic shock poisoning to name a few things. I've also done a considerable amount of research with Three Rivers Community College Library, and the UCONN Library, so I feel pretty comfortable with knowing the pros and cons about this surgery.
I know that I can't go on like this. I can't carry this weight; I have a job that makes me sit at a desk all day. I can't stand without getting a Pressure Headache. I'm exhausted all of the time. I can't do anything for long periods of time without getting pain in my lower back; I couldn't do a sit up if my life depended on it.
I just want my life back. I used to be thin and active. When my kids were little, I used to be able to keep up with them; now, I couldn't keep up with my thirteen-year-old cat.
One good thing about researching this surgery - it is plastered everywhere, that you have to quit smoking if you want to seriously pursue this procedure. I only smoked about a pack a week before. Now, I only smoke MAYBE if someone else is smoking. These days, the only one who smokes around me is my sister in law, and I hardly ever see her. My struggle is not to smoke when we do see each other. If I can conquer that, I should be all set.
The name of the doctor I am researching is:
Elmer L. Valin, M.D.
Phone Number: 203-776-8164
Erin Falmen recommended Doctor Valin to me. She recently had her RNY surgery in June 2001. She looks incredible!
11/14/01 Got a call from an Elizabeth Baxley today. She is a nutritionist affiliated with Doctor Valin. She said my BMI is too low; I probably won't be able to have the RNY surgery.
Erin recommended that I call Doctor Valin's office and ask; so I called Dr Valin's office and spoke to Neana. I asked if Dr Brodie choice the physiologist and nutritionist, and if my BMI too low.
Neana confirmed that my BMI is fine, and I am in line with this surgery. She also said that I could select a nutritionist and a physiologist through Dr Brodie, so they would be closer to where I live. Yea!!!! This is working out way to well; something has to go wrong before I'm through.
I just spoke with Erin again; She said her Physiologist was a Mark Gaynor from New Haven. Dr Valin recommended him. He is supposed to be very nice.
I can't stand the waiting
I have made a DR's appointment with Doctor Elmer Valin, in New Haven CT for December 11th, 2001 at 5:15.
Hospital Reviews(New Haven, CT) - Hospital of Saint Raphael (COE)
Weight Loss Survey ResponsesClick Here To View
Surgeon: Elmer L. Valin, M.D.
I cannot beleiveThis is me;
I've never been this heavy in
Well, I met Dr. Valin on 12/19/01. My appointment was for 5:15; I never got into to see him until 6:20. Someone came in with a deep crouping cough and she was in such pain. He never thought twice about taking her first. I felt so bad for her; she had just had the surgery and every time she coughed it practically killed her. I didn’t mind waiting at all.
Dr Valin finally brought my husband Scott and I into his office. He said that I am probably not a candidate for the RNY bypass procedure because by government standards, I am not heavy enough by 10 lbs. Do have any idea how odd I felt, not being able to see my feet, and being told “you’re not heavy enough”?
BUT Dr Valin stated that I am a candidate for the Lap Band procedure. We talked about all the steps I need to take for this. He answered all of our questions and concerns. He was very patient even though you could tell this poor man at 7:00 he was exhausted.
I sent a five page appeal letter, referencing every diet and diet pill I had ever tried, every piece of exercise equipment I had ever bought, every illness anyone in my family had ever had. I mentioned my parents, siblings, aunts uncles, cousins, and grandparents. I reference statistics from the news articles I found on Association for Morbid Obesity Support web page. Dr Brodie, my PCP, sent an appeal letter on my behalf. Elizabeth Baxley found a report from Oxford Insurance Company. What was stated in the research report is the following: Oxford determined that for every dollar they spent on obesity surgery, they would save around ten dollars on illness issues that would be avoided. Dr Valin's office not only sent an appeal letter but had additional blood work done to back it up. It took about three weeks for the Insurance Company to send the Appeal’s Acceptance letter.
02/28/02 I have been denied. Debbie from Dr Valin's office, stated that she would assist me in the petition. Oxford said I was not suffering from any life threatening illness that would warrant this surgery.