Hospital Reviews(Rochester, NY) - Highland Hospital
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Surgeon: William O'Malley, M.D.
Tomorrow is the big day. I have done all my 'last meals' and have actually been craving fresh broccoli and peppers with dip these last couple of weeks. I thought I would want to eat candy bars and other sweets at the end but, other than real ice cream, no. I will be cleaning out my system today on clear liquids and it is really hitting home that I am really going to do this. Getting a little nervous this morning but have a full day of activities - including a big job interview - that will keep me going through the evening. I am hoping that I will get an early surgery time tomorrow so that I don't have to pace the floor tomorrow waiting for my time. Slightly scared but overwhelming excited - no backing out for me! WLS and Dr. O - here I come. I'm ready to start living life again!
Ten days out today and I am doing very well. I didn't realize that when I wiped out my initial posts in the comments that they would be deleted from my profile also so I will write about myself again in a later post. Anyways, there have been several changes in me already.
First, surgery went really well and I had no complications at all. I went in tuesday am, went into surgery around 11:30 am, out of surgery @ 2:15 pm, and out of the hospital before 10:30 am on thursday. I was surprised to wake up with a drain in me - I wasn't expecting that but it didn't bother me at all, even when they took it out. I was up and walking 8-12 laps of my hospital wing by wednesday am and had no gas pains whatsoever. The worst part of the experience was the first 12-15 hours after waking up from surgery with the extremely dry mouth (and only the swabs to deal with it), a very sore throat (I have lg. tonsils and they became very irritated), and a raspy voice. Once I was able to sip and the throat/voice were better, everything was a-ok. I was able to walk out of the hospital - they didn't make me take a wheelchair. The first week out, the liquid diet was ok but I was really happy on tuesday to be put on the pureed diet. My follow-up appointment went very well, down 11 pounds, and lost the staples. Since tuesday, I have feasted on cream of wheat, pinto beans, vegetable soup, tuna and egg salads, and yogurt in addition to the protein drinks. I have been wanting several other things and boughten them but, with the size portions that I now have, a can of something lasts 3-4 meals easily. Today I am trying to finish up the first round of food leftovers and tomorrow I am looking forward to trying some other new things. I have been lucky in that I have had no negative reactions to anything I have eaten yet except I did eat too fast once and it did just sit, sit, sit there. Uncomfortable and burping a little. But I have yet to have to take any of the nausea pills I was given. I finally made it back to the gym yesterday and did the treadmill - but no weight training for 3 more weeks and no abs for 6 weeks at least. (I also had an umbilical hernia repair.)
Medication wise, I stopped all meds and vitamins 5 days before surgery so they were cleaned out of me by my big day. Afterwards, the gave me 1-2 units of insulin 3 times because my glucose levels were slightly elevated but I left the hospital with orders not to resume any diabetic meds (I was on 2 oral meds) and my glucose levels which were ranging from 122-156 last friday, have steadily/daily been decreasing to where today, a week later, I broke the 100 mark with a 93. They have been hovering between 100-120 the last 3 days. I have never seen glucose levels like this - HORRAY!!!!!!!! At my follow-up visit they also took me off of my blood pressure meds because that was low also - 104/60. So, in 10 days, I am off 3 of 4 pre-surgery meds and down (as of today) 14 pounds. Now my prescriptions are for vitamins and supplements and not diabetic and blood pressure meds. Now the only one left to lose is the one for my triglycerides.
Prior to surgery, I was very surprised to have a number of e-mails and postings of support from other OH members. I want you to know that they really meant a lot to me as I didn't have a lot of strong family support and was relying mainly on myself, this site, my local support group, and a couple of friends. It really made a difference some days to see and read your advice, thoughts, and wishes. THANK YOU OH!!! Well, as a result, before I went in last week, I made a pledge to myself that I would try to daily send wishes to those who were also awaiting surgery. I have made it a point to do so this week and hope to find the time to continue doing it even when I get back to work in a week.
I have been on a 7 day plateau where I bounced back and forth between 1 pound. Yesterday I really made sure I got my water in and my bladder was working overtime all day - like it was early out. Well, the scale began moving down again today - YEAH! I know I should not be a scale watcher but.... I also had increased activities/exercise for past couple of days to break the plateau and things finally started working. I didn't really freak out about not losing for a week because I knew that that is common but it is depressing. I can't wait to take my measurements in a couple of weeks - I want to do them 1x per month - and take my first set of postop pictures for my photo journal. So I am now down 19 pounds in 17 days. I feel so good and much more energetic rather than depressed and lethargic. My glucose levels for the last week have ranged between 95-115 - NORMAL!!!! I went out to Perkins wednesday night with a group after our support group meeting. My first time eating out of the house since surgery. I ordered 'real' mashed potatoes with ranch dressing on the side (first time I had tried either of these things post surgery and it was in public - a NO NO) and had a little dumping experience on them. Will wait a while before I try them again - hadn't eaten such a high 'carb' meal yet. Had to drive home (less than 5 min.) and all I wanted to do was go to bed - couldn't even tolerate thought of taking my bedtime meds. I have also had some problems getting protein drinks in - 1x/day no problem but a lot of days I never get the 2nd one in. So my goal this week is to get at least 2 (and try up to 3) protein drinks in along with the water. I went to a protein tasting party at one of the support group woman's home tuesday and tried several protein drinks I had not tried before. Conclusion so far - the Champion Whey Stack, Whey Fruity, and Nectars are the best. I had really liked Fuzzy Navel and Caribbean Cooler but they are almost TOO sweet. I tried the Strawberry/Kiwi and found that that was much better in that respect. So I changed a pending order to that from the Caribbean Cooler. Ordered more samples of others to see if making smoothies out of them will make them less sweet - love that pina colada taste though. Husband is leaving for (hopefully) 3 weeks sunday - YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately he'll be coming back. Looking forward to the rest of this month - can't wait to see what the wls results will be for the next few weeks.
I hit -30#'s this morning!!! My mini-plateau broke after 7 days and it's been downhill ever since. I took my 1 month out measurements yesterday and could document lost inches in every area - even my head and instep. Today I will take the pictures - 1 set in what I wore for the first pre-op set and another in clothes that NOW fit. I have gotten into some clothes already that I thought I wouldn't see for at least another month. My back-to-school outfits that I bought look like they might just fit by then. I have gone from 30/32's to 26's and I had bought some 22-24's for school.
I still am on an emotional and energy high - I have had no depression (maybe because I have had major bouts with it over the last 15 years - hint - been married 16 of them - any correlation?). I have been happier and more active than I have in many years. DH (and D does not = dear) has also been gone 2 weeks now for training to become an insurance salesman (LOL but he'd better learn to do it) and won't be back until friday. House has been a much friendlier place the last 2 weeks. He has not worked in over 2 1/2 years since he was laid off - also didn't do much serious job hunting for over 2 of those years - and has blown through all retirement funds - there is enough left for august's mortgage payment but not much else. He has pretty much laid on his BFAss during much of this time. He hasn't got much of a work ethic and during our 16 year marriage has easily been out of work for one thing or another (including long and short term disabilities for mental conditions) for over 5 years. Wish I were able to take some 'vacations' like that. Oops - got to get off this topic - feel that depression coming on again. Only 61 more months to go before I hit the road. (3 kids had BETTER be away in college by then.)
When I posted my 6/21 message, I managed to delete my previous posts. I had written about my personal history there. I have been overweight since 2nd grade. I was always the fat, ugly big sister. I focused on academics as a way to feel good about myself. I was involved in track/field and softball as a Jr. and Sr. in HS and was probably in the 170-180 range then. In college I weighed in in the 220 - 240 range and it went up to 240 - 260 while I was in my 20's. I did the usual - weight watchers, TOPS, fad diets, AIDS (remember those candies?), and OTC diet pills. In the 9 months before I got married (and pregnant) I did Nutrasystem and got back down to 170 (size 16ish) but ballooned up to 280 those 9 pregnant months with preeclampsia and 6 weeks of bed rest. I blame that on Nutrasystem making my metabolism go whacko - there is no way I ate enough to gain that much and I really had to watch what I ate after 3 months - low fat/salt. I had 2 more kids in the next 3 years and bounced between 260-295 with them - after birth with my last one I did actually lose from pre-pregnancy weight. For the last 13 years, that is where I have sat - 260-295ish - and looking like I was still pregnant. I did more fad diets and Jenny Craig. I was lucky in that, no matter how much I overate/pigged out at times - a lot of times at that - I never did break that 300 mark. My body has been happy at that 290-295 mark. I have now, with that 30 #'s down today, hit the mark where my diet's have stopped over the last few years. From here on down, it's all new territory for it since having those 3 kids in under 4 years. I can't wait to see how it reacts from now on down.
What made me really look seriously at the surgery (I always had a 'wish' for it for MANY years) was not my diabetes or high BP and triglicerides. It was my degenerative disc disease that was diagnosed last July. I woke up in mid-May with leg and back spasms and spent all summer regaining most of the strength/mobility in my left leg and foot. I still have some numbness/weakness in my left foot but I think that that has gotten better over the last month too. It was the knowledge that if I didn't take some weight/strain off my back, I might very well lose my mobility - that was my wake-up call. The diabetes and other's had me worried about the future but the back drove me to do something about it.
I called to make my first appointment last June thinking that I might be able to get it done before September - HAAA HAA HAA. First group consultation available was the end of January. So I did some research online in the fall, began going to support group meetings in January, began eating a lot of protein then too, did a little exercising, quite a few last meals, and got myself mentally and physically ready for the big day - 6/22/04. It was almost 1 year between my referral and call for an appointment until my surgery. I was very disappointed at first with the wait but look at it as a blessing in that I had all the time to get ready and educated about what I am facing for the rest of my life.
Time to end this post - it's a soccer mom weekend with 2 kids and a local tournament this weekend - 5 games in 3 days and a end of season picnic. Can't wait to get those pictures taken this afternoon though.
Almost 7 weeks and I broke the 260 mark this weekend (258, -37) AND I wore a size 24 pant to church this morning - YAHOO!!! I tried on a lot of the clothes others have passed on to me and most are fitting and the 26's might not be around for much longer. I didn't get my pictures taken on the 25th but did today when I got home in those size 24 pants - they're downloaded, printed, and ready to put in my wls picture journal. That was my big high for the day.
Otherwise, my depression is coming on strong again in correlation with someone returning to the house (and showing up 24 hours early on thursday instead of friday) with his positively negative attitude - 3 first big comments upon returning -
- why didn't I open up and pay his credit card bills
- I need to get my car inspected because it runs out on sat
- where's all his mail - was supposed to receive license info
from state a week ago (took a state test on sat and expected
to have response from state by the following tues or wed -yeah
right - lets get real here - showed up THIS week)
Tension is again rampant and I am beginnig to seriously question if I can take this for another 4-5 years. If I could somehow get another school job that makes 'real' money in the next couple of weeks, I might be able to afford to start the divorce process now. He hasn't done much with this new 'job' yet and he is once again sleeping in the couch most days. He hasn't been able to be bonded to get his insurance license because the state wants info from a bankruptcy in 1994 in order to bond him. So we still have no income from him, I am so depressed over the fact that I might have to seek out another part-time 2nd job and probably end up missing out on kid's sports and things and IT'S JUST NOT FAIR that he's NOT DOING A GD THING. Meanwhile, he has been taking himself and the kids out to eat at least every other day (they sure haven't been eating at home) as usual and throws me the various bills (water, insurance, electric...) because he doesn't have the money to pay them. Well, my teacher pay checks were $530 take home 2x's a month and this 6 week summer job is under $9/hr for 30 hr.s a week - that's not going to pay much and get anything for school. Then he returns home yesterday with 3 bags of stuff from staples - supposed to be school supplies - but did he ever (HAS he ever in 10 years) taken a look at a school supply list and figured out what was needed instead of walking into a store and just buying whatever he thinks would be good for school? NO!!! I long ago gave up wondering what goes on in his twisted brain. Reality doesn't exist there, that's for sure. This lame brain picked clean the kids bank accounts to pay bills and then, to 'repay' one goes and spends over $200 for a package of tickets for our a-league soccer team. So, do I go out and work a 2nd job while he continues blowing money, eating out, etc???? and stay in this house longer or do I pack me and kids up and go now? Then at least I am working for me and the kids and not for his fat belly. The art teacher was talking with me about how all the negativity eats you up and kills you - you need to get emotionally healthy - and I can really feel how much this person is killing me after being so happy when he was gone. Cruely, I have wished for a while now that he would hurry up and finish himself off - he's doing it slowly now with food, salt, diabetes, blood pressure, med upon med. He was never successful over the years with his past suicide attempts (he signed his will after ODing on pills) and I just have NO sympathy, respect, or love left for him - basically just contempt. But I'm stuck, there's no potential child support yet, and do I want to go to social services and agencies for help? Some big decisions that I have to make soon. That 'am I better off with or without him?' is starting to go more and more to the without side.
Enough - I'm down 37 pounds, do have a job interview monday (PLEASE!!!), and can get back into my interview suit again!!! I need to celebrate these things and go update my picture journal.
I hope my next entry can have some more positive items in it - reading this back makes me realize how depressed and lost I am in this house.
Just over 10 months out, down 123 pounds, within 25 pounds of my initial goal of weighing in at 145-150. I am a comfortable size 14 and can also get into a lot of 12's depending on their cut. I would like to take off at least another 10 before my 1 year anniversary but it's coming off much slower and harder. I'm fighting the carb and sugar monsters, doing my protein drinks, protein bars, vitamins and supplements very faithfully. When I stay on track, I'm fine. When I get off track, I stall my loss. But I am so much healthier and have so much more energy that all I seem to want to do is get out and GO!!!
I have taken the initiative to begin the separation/divorce process and that has helped boost my outlook and emotions. It is so good to allow myself to become emotional again instead of locking everything up inside my old ugly, fat body. I'm feeling both good and sad emotions but I'm FEELING them and that makes me feel free and happy. I've got a lot of changes happening in my life right now - job, marriage, kids, home, relationships..... my life is so topsy-turvy and like a rollercoaster. I really need to find a good, self-supporting job and then many other things in my life will begin to fall into place.
I still exercise at the gym - become somewhat of an exercise junkie - YEAH!!! That has a lot to do with my success along with my supplementations in protein, vitamins, and minerals. People don't recognize me anymore. New people I'm meeting have no idea of what I was like before - thank goodness. I want the newly discovering me to be free and begin living a fresh, new life. May it be so.
My impression of Dr. O'Malley is that he is very busy and has little time for becoming personally acquainted with his patients. I am not one who really cares about personal connections but if someone else is and wants to be able to sit and talk I don't know if he has time for that anymore. He has recently taken on a partner because they are so in demand. The longest I saw of him was in his group seminar where he addresses 50 or so of us. My 1:1 with him lasted barely 5 minutes. I had a 3:30 appointment and never got called back until 4:45 and was in my car by 5:00. The next time I saw him was in the holding room and our conversation lasted 1-2 minutes and again covered just some basic information. He did visit me 3 times while I was post-op and his troop of residents visited me several times also. My follow-up was conducted by his office PA and that is who I will probably end up seeing from now on.
His office staff seem efficient and knowledgeable. Dr. O'Malley has done over 1,200 lapRNYs so they are very well acquainted with what needs to be done insurance and care wise.
Dr. O states right up front that aftercare is required for this surgery - from the first 3 visits within 6 months to continual annual visits after that. He does a good job of explaining surgery, complications, and risks in his monthly group presentations. He is a very good, competent doctor - very experienced and knowledgeable with over 1,200 surgeries and 0 deaths from surgery. If competence is more important than bedside manner - he is a great choice. Not that he isn't personable or have a good bedside manner - he's just too busy to devote a lot of individual time to his patients. If you need a doctor that has the time to 'hold your hand' throughout the processes pre and post surgery, you might want to look at some of the other local doctors (although they only do open at this time) or his new partner Dr. Boss who is still building his patient list and you can get a faster surgery date.
Blue Choice HMO, Blue Choice Select