Bob H.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Post Op - BMI: 26.6
Surgery Type: RNY
Member ID: H984352619
Surgeon: Philip R. Schauer MD


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Both myself and my wife are looking into surgery. I am trying to get into the lap band trials here in Pittsburgh and am waiting for some paper work from the doctor to get started. Thanks to Sharon Miller from Pittsburgh for having dinner with us. Wow she looks great!
She had bypass in April and answered so many questions.
Jen my wife is 4 foot 11 270 lbs so we both qualify.

I wish my PCP had informed me at how surgery helps and often cures diabetes. It would of probably saved me from some very bad diabetic complications. Does anyones PCP suggest this?

Everyone is welcome to email me, espically any local banders.

Dr Schauer just did his first band the other day, with help from a colleauge from Australia who has done 900. I will ask the doctor to pass our name and number along to the new bander, I would love to speak to them. I have told friends about ou plans, most of which feel were nuts, havent tried everything, tried hard enough, etc. My PCP says NO ONE ever looses and keeps off 100 lbs. Somehow this made surgery a easier alternative.

Update: March 29th 2001 I am a good lap band candiate.

I have met my surgeon and am in the pre op testing phase which hopefully will be done by mid April. Its more real now which is both good and bad, Good that its coming, but nevertheless its scary. This has also reopened for me what growing up fat was like, and that is tough.

My very best friend of nearly 30 years told me I am insane to do this. Unquote:( He says I havent tried everything, havent really tried hard enough and need professional help for weight loss and considering surgery. That was tough but I must do whats best for me.

April 6 update:

I have sleep apnea but dont tolerate that pig nnose thing at all. I will never wear that nightly for the rest of my life.....

The psych doctor cleared me, but talked only of bypass and perhaps didnt know anything about the band and said you will get the bypass.

I am REALLY CONFUSED on that subject.

Bypass is a tougher surgery with longer repueration times but perhaps greater weight loss.

typicaL weight loss: band 50%
bypass 70%

Diabetes cure: band 60%
bypass 85%

Biggest decision of my life and I really dont know what to do.:(
More pre ops next week.


Had my PCP exam today and checked out ok.
They believe that a 50% weight loss would cure my diabetes and recommend the band. This is really good news because the band is a easier surgery with fewer complications. I have to be rid of the diabetes and it appears the band should do it.

April 19th update.

I saw the nutronist and found that lap band patients get one year of free follow up visits for free, probably paid for by bioentrics. I didnt ask but she said they really want patients to be successful and good loss results are very important.

I have a visit coming up with the sleep apnea doctor to discuss my results and how the apnea will be handled immediately after surgery. I hope they will not require a follow up night of testing. I told the office I have no symptoms and will not wear that disquisting thing at night, it makes my nose run very bad, which upsets my stomach, and that keeps me from getting a good nights rest.

Hopefully all this will be complete by the end of April then it has to get insurance approval which can take 6 weeks or more.
I have to have surgery and be recovered by mid august because of my job servicing schools gets incredibly busy when school opens in september.

April 27th update

First after lengthy thought I have settled on the bypass because it will FOR SURE get the weight off. Most Lap Band patients do well and if it wasnt for my diabetic complications I would choose the band. I cant afford the risk of failure. My wife is getting this also, its better we have the same operation and that way the rules to live by will be the same later.


RANT MODE ON!

I met with the sleep apnea doctor, he tried to scare and talk me out of getting surgery. This bozo is totally uminformed and not aware of vital common information about WLS, like the 85% type 2 diabetic cure rate. I told him he should do some research befote scaring patients away from something that could save their life. I asked him to call my surgeon to learn more. I also called Bill at my surgeons office to inform him of what occured.

Needless to say I am not approved by this doctor. He insists on a follow up study and they are backed up untill the very end of may. By the time the study is complete and the paper work assembled for insurance approval it will delay my surgery till the end of summer, totally screwing up my life. My Job, business requires I be 100% for the opening of school in late august. I really dont knowq what to do. I was planning on a early summer surgery. I have a appointment in just over a week for a second opinion, from a doctor who aproves most of dr schauers patients.

I will never wear that pig nose nightly for the rest of my life. I have no symptoms so its such a waste and the apnea will likely go away once I loose the weight anyway.

Well here it is June 4th and I am waiting for approvcal, I guess.
I have done all the pre op tests and called the doctors office friday to see what happens next. It appears my doctor will submit me for insurance approval this week. My sleep apnea is very bad at a pressure of 17. I am trying to get used to the bipap machine but the adams thing makes my nose hurt, partial masks hurt my face and dont seal well as I am missing a few upper front teeth. Plus I am clastrohobic and that full mask:(

Today I read Melissa Janci profile who works at the same place as my wife, she is getting a reversal because of continious nausea for the last 8 months.

That scares me a lot.
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Well I have a date, Monday July 23rd with Dr Schauers partnewr, dr Ikoomeden. I will have to find the proper spelling. They originally wanted to schedule me for september but thats impossible for my job, and even this date is pushing it a lot.

Now to see if my wife Jen can rearrange her schedule for this date? I think it cncels a trip we planned but am not sure.

I also have gained 10 pounds so my bmi is up.

I want to have the surgery real bad, but right now afraid is where I am at.

Incidently I am getting the bypass.

More later from the scared zone....
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Here it is July 9th. By this time two weeks from now I will be a post op. Its amazing, I am scared AND excited.

Jen my wife has now started a profile here to. Although she said she has nothing to say. She is off work again with breathing problems made much worse by weight. Worse yet the had to put her on steroids which is one thing the morbidly obese really dont need. Really gives you a appetite:(

Her preliminary paerwork is at the surgeons office and hopefully she will get her first appointment soon. Nearly all her preop tests are done since she has spent so much time in the hospital in the last year. I hope she gets approved soon.

BTW UPMC insurance is great, approved in two weeks without a snag.
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July 14 update. Had my final pre op visit yesterday. Because of sleep apnea they want me to get a stress test before surgery. I am really worried something might delay surgery, this would devastate me emotionally as well as fiancially. I have to be recovered before school reopens.

So to go along ith fear of surgery I am now worried about this and my dad was hospalitized with a GI bleed in phoenix. He is 72 and although he is out of the hospital I am concerned about him too.

I just want surgery to be over..... scared bad.
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July 18th. Passed last minute cardiac stress test thank god and am set approval wise for surgery.
Still nervous but having spoken to Peg Shuffstal yesterday and today as a angel and hearing that she is doing well helps a lot.
My Dad is doing well too, and that helps. I feel sorry for my wife having to deal with me, the nervous wreck.

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July 21. I am about to begin the bowell prep and am a nervous wreck. No food today so I am very hungry and cant use my stress helper food:(

I planted some bulbs today that should of been in over a month ago. They bloom as soon as planted and hopefully I will see them when I get home.
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July 26th just a few days post op.

Surgery was very early in the AM and a feeling of dread hung over me as I took the last walk to change clothes and get into my hospital gowns. I remarked to my escort know I know how condemmed criminals must feel right before their execution. I felt that bad.

It got worse when anestalogy informed me I would have to be awake to be inubated. The pop sicles they made me hold in my mouth were very gross then they gave me the happy drugs laid me down and I remember with no real fear but curosity about them givng me a injection in my neck, hearing its in and he is out.

Next thing I remember was waking up in recovery hearing myself and others moaning pain and being told they couldnt give me anything more for pain as it would depress my breathing.

A short time later I really woke up, felt pretty good and was taken to my room. My wife had a friend visiting and I set in a chair for a hour and a half chatting till she left. I walked around the room and asked my nurse to remove the bladder cathter. They waited a couple hours and when I was still feeling good it got removed, painful burning moment.

I never used much of the moriphine pump, pain wasnt that bad a stuff made me to groggy to think.

I walked the halls 3 times on my surgery day but my nurse said I was overdoing and that I should get some rest.

Next day was the leak test, gross:( and a hall walk or two. Pain was a bit worse on day 2. I tried to talk the resident into letting me go home but they made me wait till wednesday morning. Got a refreshing shower when I got home with my wifes help wednesday.

Slept in my bed with minor difficulties and settled on having a couple pillows under my back so I can get out of bed easier myself.

Here it is thursday. I walked up the street and went with my wife to the bank and a couple stores today. Although I am tired and want to get enough rest.

I will post more soon but sitting here s uncomfy and I have lots of gas.

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July 28th. I am sore and move carefully but otherwise feel fine. I am off the roxicet and taking liquid tylenol. Roxicet was making me see things that werent there. I am trying to walk every day will try for a half mile today. The JP drain is a pain but its coming out thursday. I am looking forward to that and full liquids, this clear liquids is a real downer. I am trying to get more water down, its tasting better each day. So far no nausea except one passing moment from a truck exhaust on the way home from the hospital. I feel great considering I had surgery less than a week ago.

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July 30th update. Feeling great, off all pain meds including the over the counter tylenol. Went to the movies last night and sat all the way thru the movie Legally Blonde. Went for over a one mile walk after working for a few hours today. I was glad to do some work, boredom is my biggest problem. Not tired but a bit sore. That drain tube is torture. Got weighed 295 which is more good news. Blood sugar numbers dropping steadily, I have a appointment with my PCP for friday to discuss this wonderful state of affairs. I am taking just a fraction of my sugar meds and dont want it to get too low. Not sleeping the whole nite but will try some tylenol pm a nice poster suggested here. Stronger stuff scares me since I have bad apnea but dont tolerate the bipap at all. Walking is great as long as people arent using their charcopal grills.

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July 31st. Drain tube super painful, its getting removed a day early. I believe sleeping troubles are drain tube related. I am taking it easy today because of this. Got weighed and cheered another big drop. Concerned I might be loosing too fast. Feel awesome and now worrying that might change.

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August 1 Had that painful drinage tube pulled today, yeah removal hurt some but it was over very quick. Returned to Oakland for the support group meeting and had a GREAT time. It was so good to be post op. The OFFICIAL scale says I am down 20 pounds, mine 23. Either is fine as far as I am concerned. Tonight I can roll over because that drain is gone, finally a normal nights sleep.

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August 3
!!!!!!!!!!!I AM JUMPING UP AND DOWN FOR JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saw my PCP and he was very happy with my progress. 2 hours after eating my lunch of 2 slices of turkey roll my blood sugar was 131:)
He advised me to only use amaryl if my morning number is over 175 and it hasnt been that in 4 days. Now I will continue monitoring things but for the most part my blood sugar medecine days are over. Less than two weeks after surgery.

He asked me if I would talk to some of his patients that might be candidates for surgery and I told him I would be happy to help.
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August 5th
It just keeps falling off me. Weight today 285 pounds. Went to the flea market and visited a old friend too. Life is GREAT!
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August 10th
At the exact two week mark I was down 30 pounds. As of today 35 pounds. I may have my first complication:( Some of my ports sites are red, painful, swollen, and ozzing yellowish bloody liquid. I was seen yesterday but going back to my surgeons today for another look. My blood sugar numbers are up over a few days ago. I hope they give me antibiotics so this doesnt get worse.My wife Jen is a RN and feels I have a infection. I am doing so well I dont want anything to slow my recovery.

Food wise I appear to be able to eat anything in small quanties. I havent thrown up but get nauseaus if I eat too fast. Some foods sometimes make me feel warm. This comes and goes. I have tried a hamburger patty, toppings off a piece of pizza, and a variety of other foods. All without trouble.
Its been way too hot to walk, as my PCP said if football players cant take the heat we dont belong out there. I really miss walking. I really feel great other than my port sites. I would of worked some this week, but with the high temperatures and non airconditioned schols who are my customers I thought it best to take at easy.
Truly this has worked out way better than I expected and I hope everyone else has as much success.
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August 15 update. Down to 274 pounds. Less than one month since surgery down 39 pounds. I saw the doctor today. 3 of my incisions appear infected, or the fat is dying at the incision and ozzing out as a yellow puss. They opened the incisions by peeling off the scaps cutting and putting new gauze in the holes and patching the area. They are quite sore tonight and I nearly took some pain meds. But I dont want to mess with my brain, I am working and driving. Roxicet and driving dont mix. Have to pack them like this for a few days. On Kelflex a antibiotic.

Havent been walking much, incisions too sore.

Other than this problem I feel GREAT. My wife Jen is having more breathing problems and off work again. I have to get a part time job as our finances are terrible. I hope her paper work gets moving soon, she needs surgery too, and my weight loss is bothering her she is dieting without success.

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August 26th
269 pounds, the first I have seen the 260s since the 80ties

Doing real well, feel great. Walked nearly 5 miles yesterday but in near collision at a park with aggresive bicyclists and runners. Moved out of way fast, twisted left knee and ankle. My left knee that had surgery a few years ago is painful and I am going to take it easy for a few days. Something really needs to be done with north parks walking path. Its too narrow at 5 to 6 feet for all the traffic its getting espically with people going in both directions. It used to be marked with arrows to get everyone going the same directions, to prevent the sort of problem that occured to me yesterday. I finally couldnt walk anymore and waited for a passing police car and asked for a ride. The lakeside spot is scenic but dangerous, I will have to walk somewhere else.

My weight loss has slowed but that was expected. Plus I spent many years around 270 pounds so my body tried to hang in there. I HOPE the rate picks up. My incsions look a lot better and are nearly sealed after that infection scare. I struggle to eat enough, and am never hungry and have no appetite. I am not getting enough protein in but am trying to eat more, I dont want to slow my loss..... 8 glasses of liquids a day is a hard goal, am probably averaging 6 but working on it.

One problem is my blood pressure. I used to be on the high side but I checked a couple days ago at the grocery store and it was 110 over 70 after a long walk from the parking lot, If I stand up fast I get dizzy and have seen stars a few times. I am on a low dose of prinivil, a ace inhibitor blood pressure med 2.5 mg once a day, to protect my kidneys from the high protein diet I am eating. It was a lot less noticeable today without the pill and I guess I will call my pcp for advice. I dont want to faint and get hurt falling.

I really consider my problems minor and bought a new belt and some underwear from Wallmart. I am glad I can do that, the size I started at, they didnt have clothes that fit me. Others are now remarking on my loss but I honestly dont see it, other than my face looking a bit different. To me I am still 300 plus

I am happy to report Jen is out of the hospital again and although she is still off work with breathing problems and pulse ox number of 88 when walking she is stable and has her first appointment with the surgeon september the forth.
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August 28th
Just a quick update, down 46 pounds today. Saw my eye doctor yesterday, vision is improving. Diabetic Retinapothy better.
Left eye was 20 60 now 20 40 plus
Right eye was 20 80 now 20 60
I HOPE this continues to improve. Normal sugars are helping a lot. Unfortunately he saw some scar tissue on my retina that might cause a retinal detachment in the future, so I have to watch for any changes in my right eye. I would need a virectomy to treat this issue, I guess time will tell. My knee is feeling better after saturdays near collision at the park, but I am still taking it easy. I feel GREAT! Although I am going to have to break down and buy some dress pants for work, they are literally falling off of me, even with a new elastic belt.

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September 1st
Down 50 pounds:) PCP took me off my blood pressure pills. I am now off all prescription pills for the first time since 1985. I HAVE to buy some clothes, my pants woulnt stay up long enough to put on my belt. My customers who havent seen me since spring do double takes when I walk in, they see a big change in my appearance. Saw my reflection in a big mirror the other day, its just hard to imagine its me. I hope to post some pictures soon. I have so much more energy, its uunreal.

I am not getting enough protein in, but am trying to come up with some easy to eat foods to help during the day. Work is just too busy to take 1/2 hour to eat. Its my business so I cant complain to the boss.:(

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September 8th
Down 58 pounds. I am very busy these days, and feel great with exception of a achey back.

On tuesday I went with Jen to her first surgeons appointment. They are doing this in groups now and the staff was late arriving. We sat and chated with folks sitting nearby and I told them I was a post op. Well someone came up and said they were straining to hear me would I please stand up and speak to the whole group. So I talked and answered questions for a half hour. There were over 50 people there and this is the first time I have ever been not nervous in front of a group. I really enjoyed telling them of my experience and answering their questions. Showed them my incision scars too. They thanked me for my help saying I was a real person who had gone thru this, and knowing how they feel I really was glad to help.

On wednesday night the support group met and I wore this hawaiian shirt I got as a gift last year and was sure it would never fit. New outfit that night shows off my new dimensions!

Melissa Janci attended the meeting, she is feeling a bit better after repeated dialiations and fixing of her stoma ulcer. Her new gastroentrologist has helped a lot. Right now she is limited to fish and I introduced to a post op Tammy who will act like a eating buddy, on issues. Hopefully she will be able to have chicken and turkey soon.

Not dumping is a blessing and a curse.......
My great aunt died and on the way to the memorial service I ended up eating M&Ms. Craving was bad, I had hoped my chocolate addiction was gone. I only ate 1/2 of a vending size package but still it bothers me........ I have very nice memories of their home with a inground pool and the house on the lake. Spent my first night ever away from home without my family at their house. Her husband has altzhiemers and didnt know who I was, but I thanked him for all the great times, and we both cried. Its almost certain I will never speak to him again, he wants to die, and is very fragile at 88 years old.

I got dressed up for the service and because of my schedule ended up that way all day. Dressed up 50 pounds lighter is sure more comfortable and cooler too. I hated suit coats because I would sweat instantly, it wasnt bad at all yesterday.

2 years ago I thru out all my smaller clothes except a suit coat, sure glad I saved it. It fit just right.

OUCH my achey back:( Its really sore, of course I have moved around 20,000 of supplies in 20 pound boxes in the last couple weeks but its killing me.Fortunately all the big deliveries are over with for a while. The surgeon says its normal and will go away in time.I get some relief by lifting up on my saggy stomach.
Many years ago I fell on ice and had a similiar problem that has reoccured occasionally. At the doctors suggestion back then I wore a mans girdle, hope I dont end up doing that again, it was no fun but allowed me to get back to work.

If any of you emailed me and didnt get a response I am sorry, I got behind on my mail and then something happened during a storm and I lost much of my mail. Life is SO busy as a post op its unreal. Worse in my case since Jen feels so bad all the household chores are mine and my business is booming, what with the start of school. I fix school laminators for a living.

To close I REALLY appreciate all the support and guidance this site supplied me, both pre op and post op. I literally couldnt of done it without all of you.

YES, I would do it again, best decision I have ever made@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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September 10th. It appears I got a intestinal bug while attending the memorial service. The person sitting next to me vomited at the after services get together. I ended up with a 100+ fever, cramps, nausea and diarrea for the weekend. I just layed around and slept the entire weekend. I was very scared it might be something surgery related but I feel a lot better today and the cramps are mostly gone. Weighed in today down 60 pounds, might have been more if I had been my usual busy self. Went clothes shopping, waist size dropped from 54 to 48 snug. Had to get clothes for work, I looked like a rag muffin. Bought some XL shirts down from 2x and 3x.

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September 19th I am on a plateau. Been this weight for several days:( I didnt keep complete measurements but my neck went from 20.5 preop to 17.5 today. Waist and chest 54 to 48. Pants I bought 2 weeks ago are now baggy. I ran into a old girl friend who didnt recogize me. One customer didnt know who I am either. I see I am different, but not the big change others must see. Other than my aching back I feel great. I had blood work done yesterday and a PCP appointment friday. Hopefully my blood work wouldnt be too bad, as I am not getting enough protein in. I have missed some vitamins, some days they nauseat me. Overall feel great and just hope this plateau breaks soon.

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October 1st update. I am now at 245, which is only 2 pounds less than my last update. It was more fun reporting big losses but I shouldnt complain considering how much I have lost, 68 pounds. Up to this point I hadnt really had a plateau, but just a few days of slower loss. But this was my weight when I graduated high school, spent years around this weight. I have one old shirt from those days that now fits. I cleaned out my closet and everything is too large.:) My blood work turned out fine with the exception of my potassium being a bit low,I have a few more days of those pills. My cholestrol dropped from 250+ to 143. I FEEL great with the exception of a sore back, from my spine stratening.I am taking a muscle relaxer for that. This back problem is keeping me from getting enough exercise. On sunday I went to the flea market and cut my grass, lots of walking and exercise. Although I am not loosing weight my dimensions are dropping. My new clothes of a month ago are now VERY loose and ill fitting. I am now wearing 46 pants and they are getting loose. I am able to eat a bit more now, yesterday I ate slowly a whole corn dog. I am showing minor signs of being hungry, and am trying to eat more protein. Although because I showed signs of kidney damage when I tried the atkins diet last year, I try to balance things by eating some carbs, like the corn dog coating. I now have a taste for fruit and salads, which are healthy I suppose. I was around 210 in tenth grade and hope to eventually end up at that weight. My friends say I look good at my present weight and at 210 I will be skinny. Lets hope I find out if they are right.

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October 13th update. 240 pounds. Feel great excep[t for my aching back. Weight loss has slowed and I am upping my protein with carbolite. Mixed in milk its 30 + grams of protein and no sugar or carbs except whats in the milk. Not getting enough exercise because of my sore back and busy helping good friends who had a serious fire in their home. My vision has blured a bit lately, perhaps from allergies very irritated by the smoke at the burned out house along with my normal seasonal allergies.My blood sugar is now in the 90s in the am and low even a couple hours after eating. This is GREAT news. Now if my back would feel better...

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October 14 update. I generally wait awhile between updates but I had a great time at a friends wedding yesterday. My new size 17/17.5 dress shirt fitted just right. It stayed tucked in without a problem. Wearing long sleeves and a tie I used to be so hot and sweat immediately. I was actually chilly dressed up while everyone around me was sweating. I would of danced more but Jen wasnt up to it:( Heck even my 46 pants are getting loose. The jacket I wore september 8th for the memorial service was too loose, I intended to wear it but left it in the car, it looked bad. Post op is the place to be....

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October 16th update 237 pounds. I sure am glad that plateau has FINALLY passed. I have lost 76 pounds as of today! My blood sugar is 113 after I ate a oreo this AM. I have found eating one of something I crave usually makes the craving go away. But I try not to make a habit of this. I am trying to do better with the vitamins, some days they are really hard to get down. Pre op vitamins always made me ill, and I understnd this is a common problem. Its getting easier though.For pre ops reading this, dont dread surgery, look forward to it as a new life.

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October 18th update. 233 pounds, 80 pounds lost as of today:) I am SO happy. I have been getting lots of exercise helping my friends who had the fire. They are going to stay with us as their only alternative are homeless shelters, and me and Jen could not let that happen. I try to do things like this when able, in the hopes doing good spreads. Unfortunately my friends insurance doesnt cover contents or a place to live while their home is being rebuilt. I feel great with the exception of my back, and hope the loss continues.

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November 1st update 227 pounds, closing in on a 100 pound loss. I find myself thinking a lot about becoming a century club member. Although my real goal right now is 90 pounds by next wednesday, for the support group meeting. I feel great and folks who havent seen me for awhile are shocked at my appearance. I tell everyone I meet about surgery to inform others that might know someone who could use WLS. Besides many are afraid I have cancer or other disease. I got the pictures back from the wedding we attended and was stunned at my appearance. Its hard to believe its me.I have a song for weigh in times, its corney but fun. I am a big looser, I am a big looser, as the scale goes down, down and down. XXX pounds down. Jen is finally approved for surgery, and awaiting a date, hopefully before the end of the year, when our insurance runs out. My back still hurts, probably related the the apron of skin on my stomach, TT is definetely in my future. Looking back having surgery, once the pre op tests and actual surgery is over, is way easier than dieting. Post op is the place to be. Dieting I always felt horrible and deprived, not the case at all now. On a worrisomne note, with halloween I ate a couple candy bars. They were good, but I dont want to make a habit of that. Sometimes I wished I dumped. For you post ops reading this, embrace and look forward to surgery, life post op is SO much better.
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November 3rd update 224 pounds. I usually wait longer between updates but with so much good news I had to update! Jen has her surgery date, December 10 with Dr Schauer. She is thrilled to get surgery and start the rest of her life. This news came on her birthday, the best birthday present she ever received. I was at Target yesterday buying her a present, and tried on some shirts from the close out rack. Large is now my size, I actually cried when I discovered this. Its so wierd to buy clothes off the rack, from a regular store. Post op life is so great, and it appears I will be down 90 pounds for wednesdays support group meeting. I am watching my BMI drop and looking forward to it being in the twenties, now that will be another reason to celebrate.

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Mini update November 4th. I had a wonderful surprise today putting up a black iron pipe for our houseguests in their basement apartment. The 6 foot long pipe is to act as a clothes rod. I attached it to the beams with metal strapping wrapped around the pipe. In a attempt to see if it was secure, and get it level I lifted myself off the floor. I was stunned and tried it a few more times. Although it wasnt a chin up its the first time since I was in elementary school that I could hold my own weight. I am so happy. Later the son of a good friend said if he saw me on the street he wouldnt recognize me. Today was a great day. Monday I am going to visit a friend who is 485 pounds, so he will know WLS works. Then me and Jen are having dinner with Wanda Smart and her husband. She is a nervous pre op and hopefully I can calm some of her fears and concerns. If you read the beginning of my profile Sharon Miller did the same thing for me and I KNOW how much our meal together helped. I am looking forward to meeting Wanda.

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November 21st update 219 pounds. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to everyone! My weight is dropping slower, and that frustrates me so I am not getting weighed as often. But I am THRILLED with the results! Jens surgery is December 10th and she is the normal, excited, scared, and depressed that surgery is necessary. I had hoped my success would make it easier for her, but am not so sure it helps much. Last week I drove to Charlotte NC, returned some bad equiptement to a supplier of mine, visited a old friend and drove home the same day, over 900 miles. It felt good that I am able to do this but could of been fun if Jen had gone along... She was to have gone but didnt feel up to it at the last moment. I had planned a 2 day mini vacation spending some time at Mt Airy, the city that the Andy Griffith show was patterened after. They have some sort of museumn and I heard commercials for the Mayberry Mall and such on the radio. Sounded like fun. I hope we get to do this in the future. We are supposed to go to Jens sisters in maryland thanksgiving morning for a day or two. This way jen will get to pig out one last time for a holiday. I really hope she tolerates ALL food after surgery like I do. My craving for turkey hasc subsized. I made a fresh roasted turkey with all the trimmings last weekend. Been eating lots of turkey, it tastes great and is a good protein source. Actually this was also a attempt on my part to avoid eating too much on thanksgiving and getting sick. I want to make a good impression on the family gathering. I have only thrown up 4 times since surgery, but eat a bit less when in a group setting. Again Happy Thanksgiving. I feel blessed and have so much to be thankful for.....

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December 3rd update 217 pounds. My loss has slowed but although its frustrating I am feeling great. I may be gaining some muscle mass. Spent all day saturday raking leaves and sunday leaning up after having a neighbor trim a big tree in our yard that was endangering our power lines. My back aches bad but its showing improvement when I am not doing heavy work. A friend helping with the leaf project commented that I just kept working without a break. I have lots more energy! Jens surgery is one week from today and she is the normal scared, excited, nervous, etc. We are doing the last suppers this week for her. I am glad she will be getting surgery and on with her new healthier life. We are getting some pictures taken so they can be put up here soon. I really enjoy answering questions and helping pre ops. Its about giving back something for all the support others provided me as a nervous pre op.

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December 9th update 215 pounds. I am very excited about becoming a century club member, its so close.... We are nervous here, about Jens surgery tomorrow. She is naturally a bundle of nerves. I am going to finish putting up the christmas tree and clean the living room today. Somehow nothing is getting done right now and I want this straightened up so Jen doesnt return to a messy house after surgery. We have a annual discussion about the tree, clear vs colored lights. This year I am trying something different, putting on two complete sets of lamps, 300 clear and 300 colored. Each day we can pick which one to iluminate. I hope this compromise works. Its hard I tell Jen I KNOW what she is going thru, but she says you dont because were not the same person. Well I have been there and done this, its scary, I just wish my presence could help more. My surgeons group says it will be better post op, and I hope they are right. I wondered how it was for Jen before my surgery and now I know, and its tough. I want to help but really am powerless.... Pleasec say a prayer for Jen and all those going thru surgery.

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December 12. Weight? Been TOO busy to check, probably the same.... Well Jen came thru surgery fine, with the exception of a tough time being intubated while awake. That took 1.5 hours, the same length as the LAP surgery. Fortunately she doesnt appear to remember how long it took. Jen also takes after her dad, and became disoreintated in recovery and tried to get up and leave. They had to put her in restraints. Her dad now wakes up in a straight jacket after surgery for safety reasons. He is a big powerful guy and Jen follows his lead and became combative in recovery. She spent one night in ICU for observation where they never got her up and moving, which creates a blood clot risk. ICU for observation because of the intubation problem and swollen throat. The following afternnon they took her for the leak test and she hadnt been out of bed so they didnt do it. Well they rescheduled her leak test for the next day. I was not a happy camper and spoke to radiology... ranted might be a better word. By this time the GREAT nurses on the 12th floor of presby had Jen up and about. So she was taken back down and passed the leak test. It was funny, radiology trying to explain how the test is done till I said I had this exact operation and have been ALL thru it myself. Pulled out my before picture, said lost 98 pounds since July. I understood she HAD to be able to stand for the test. Well fortunately thats behind us now she got home wednesday afternoon. I left a sheetcake that said 12 is GREAT for the staff of that fine floor and am going to write a letter to the hospital about how nice the staff is there. Along with some questions about ICU not getting Jen out of bed, if theres a medical reason thats fine but she definetely wasnt disoreintated at 11pm when I went home and it was 2 pm the next day before 12th floor finally got her walking when she arrived there. It sure is good to have her home, we snuggled a bit then I left her get some sleep. The BAD news, YEP, I still crave chocolate / junk when under stress. That 15 hours of waiting around for surgery, recovery and to get a room took a toll. M&Ms, chips, hawaiian punch, Mounds bar, french fries, did eat 1/2 of a cheeseburger patty. In all honesty most was from vending machines during times I couldnt really leave the waiting area, espically after the attendant went home for the night from the rooms office. Stll it wasnt good. I did watch that Dr Schauer didnt find me eating junk when he came out after surgery to let me know how it went. That wouldnt of been good. I am just glad this part is over! Now we can BEGIN THE BEST PART OF OUR LIFE! I tell all our friends the following and I admit it embarases Jen:( Loosing so much weight is a turn on, and I am waiting for my sex crazed teenage wife to join me:) This brings down the house but is really true. We want to have kids and hopefuklly surgery will ake that possible. Of course we will wait a year so its safe for mother and baby/s I want to thank everyone for ALL the support this site provides and may be reporting in someday on another patient. Jens dad surely qualfies for surgery. It will be interesting to see if her loss motivates him to do the same thing.

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Decenber 14th 213 pounds! I finally made the centuru club! Things are going GREAT here. Jen is recovering nicely after surgery monday. In fact some ways she is better. She somehow rolls over in bed and sleeps on her stomach.... I know I couldnt do that. She lost 8 pounds since her pre op weight. 293 became 285 last night thursday, surgery was monday. Typical post op she commented thats not much. Now how would you loose 8 pounds in in just 4 days? I am so happy for her! Now back to me, near as I remember I weighed around 200 or 210 in tenth grade which makes me now well under my high school graduation weight. I WISH I had weight records for back then, they no longer exist. I HOPE to end up just under 200 pounds. Most folks say I look less than that weight now. I really have NO idea, I dont see what me how others see me. This couple pounds should me from obese to overweight, and exciting moment. I seriously have to invest in new clothes, we are going to Target tonight so Jen can do some walking and I will look at clothes. Warm but rainy weather today not good for outside walking. I am SO HAPPY!

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December 19th 209 pounds. WOW was I stunned when I got on that scale today! My weight continues to drop despite some bad food choices mentioned above. I bought a MEDIUM shirt the other day. Its not quite loose enough but close to fitting. ME? in a medium shirt... Unbeliveable!!!! Jen is doing well and gets her drain pulled tomorrow. I KNOW how bad she wants that pulled. Her eating has expanded the meaning of clear liquid to cottage cheese and other easy to eat soft foods. I dont believe her cheating will cause her a problem, its better to cheat responsibly than gobble something really bad in a moment of weakness. People who havent seen me in a while dont recognize me, my appearanxce has changed that much. Heck I dont recognize me either.... Its unreal looking in the mirror at a stranger. I guess this will pass in time, but still its wierd and unsettling. I tell everyone about my surgery to hopefully get the word to others. I refer lots of people to this site for info and support. I wouldnt of had surgery without the help of
post ops who went before me, and I am forever grateful to them. Happy Holdays!

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December 24th MERRY CHRISTMAS and happy holidays to all. I was shocked to find I had lost another 3 pounds so fast. I enjoy the scale dropping SO much I will have a tough time when it finally ends. Hopefully that will be something under 200 pounds, a exciting possiblity. My back is sore today, some of that may be stress related. Jen was back in the hospital overnight for dehydration and low potassium. She hasnt been complaint and I have been scared and worried. Hopefully she will drink more fluids to avoid another trip to the hospital, and start taking her vitamins. I am admittely a fix it type person and have tried that to no avail with Jen. Professionals recommend a hands off approach when it comes to my post op wife. My concern is only her safety and well being. I dont like seeing her ill, thru dehydration or run the risk of a blood clot from sleeping 18 hours a day. I hope later posts on this profile have glowing reports on her progress.......

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December 31st, 204 pounds. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Well the year has finished with my loss of a 109 pounds, truly unbeliveable! I feel great with only a few minor problems. My back still aches sometimes, but its improving. My back side has lost ALL its padding and sitting on anything but a padded chair is very uncomfortable. I am FROZEN, cold has me shivering uncontrolably. I really hope these minor but annoying problems improve in the future. Its a fair trade for feeling so much better overall. Jen is doing well down 21 pounds in 21 days as of today. I get on her case to update her profile, it will make interesting reading years from now. She is drinking her liquids and working on the protein. I think her night in the hospital motivated her a lot, she hates IVs. We are having a quet new years eve, with 2 old friends coming over, and our two roomies. I am in a cranky mood every december 31st. It reminds me SO MUCH of my step father who was hospalitized new years eve and died new years day about 5 years ago. He was a diabetic double amputee, and died of kidney failure. I shudder to think I was on the same path, and am lucky to be alive... must admitevery time I get weighed I still worry about regain or the loss stalling out altogether. Perhaps this will help keep me in line in the future, I STILL crave chocolate under stress. Anyhow again a HAPPY NEW YEAR to EVERYONE!

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2002!

January 11 202 pounds. We had our regular visit with our surgeon today. Jen has lost 31 pounds in 31 days, we are all very happy for her. Doc Schauer says I get the award for being the fastest patient to get to goal, in 6 months. I must admit its been a lot of fun watching that scale drop. Being a post op is wonderful, and its great to finally be a normal weight. A lot of my excess skin has shrunk back, although Jen says I still look like a deflated baloon:( Now mt achey back is still there, no pain in the morning but some evenings its preety bad. Other than that and my painful bum I am feeling great! I hope to loose a few more pounds, Doc feels another 15 might be possible with lots of work. I will be happy to get under 200 and stay there. EVERYONE I know say that I look good at this weight, since my lower body muscles and bones are extra heavy from carrying all that blubber around all those years I will likely never get to my chart weight. I will be getting bloodwork soon, and hope its OK. Figure that feeling good like I do it cant be too bad. Me and Jen plan on joining a gym when finances permit. The exercise will do us both a lot of good. I want to be able to do a chin up, my entire life I couldnt do that. I am almost able, its so close. For preops reading this, just wait you too can loose that weight and FELL WONDERFUL! Post op is THE place to be.

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February 21st 191 pounds.

January 19th 199 pounds! Well I was truly SHOCKED and surprised to see my weight continue to fall! Espically after my surgeon said I was at goal, and he felt I was the fastest he ever had do that, in around 6 months. He told me I might loose another 10 to 15 pounds with a lot of work.... Me and Jen are going several days a week swimming at our local high school pool. $75 for now till June was a bargain price. Its not crowded at all. Water could be a couple degrees warmer but other than that is great! We go for around 1.5 hours. which is enough time for 40 or more aggressive laps. I have noticed that as well as helping the loss its given me a appetite. Hungry all the time I ate a lot more and still lost 3 pounds! My friends are now concerned I am getting TOO THIN! I would of NEVER thought anyone would ever tell me that! When asked how low I want to go I really have no answer. I guess chart weight would be nice. I am not sure what that weight is. Different charts say something between 165 and 185. It appears a inexact number. I am still a big boned guy and dont want to be so thin I look ill. 185 would be fine. Truthfully any number not over 200 will be fine! I must admit I am going to miss loosing, I LOVE singing that song. I AM A BIG LOOSER, I AM A BIG LOOSER, AS THE SCALE GOES DOWN AND DOWN, ALL THE WAY DOWN, 114 POUNDS GONE! If your a pre op, you are about to have the most memorable and fun experience of your life! Once you get thru surgery, POST OP IS THE PLACE TO BE.....

The lady at the pet shop where I get weighed is now mad at me. At 199 I weigh less than her! People get irritated when me, the fat tub of lard, get below their weight. I have seen this comment by lots of friends, and even my brother who is several inches taller than me. I said but your taller, their response.... but still.... One MO friend disappeared for awhile, and is now again friendly, and showing signs of getting surgery.
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January 30th 198 pounds, and feeling great. I have made some bad food choices lately, by 45 birthday was January 27th and I had some cake and ice cream. It appears eating that increased my craving for MORE. Now I didnt have much and am just about done with the leftovers, but still it concerns me. The cake was good but the ice cream too sweet!:) Which is a good thing. On birthdays this is around when I first heard of WLS a year ago, so a second happy birthday for me. Life has improved SO much since surgery. Sure were still broke, the house is a mess, not enough hours in the day, but health wise were a big improvement! Jen still has some eating issues, but is doing better and lost another 3 pounds. I WISH she would update her profile more. Its been a ROUGH journey the past year, but like I tell everyone POST OP IS THE PLACE TO BE!

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February 11th 196 pounds! Had ALL good news! First I had my 6 month surgeon check up and blood work. ALL GREAT! My blood work was amazing.........
cholestrol 275 now 143
HC1A 11 to 12 now 5.8 thats normal for a non diabetic, at 6 or below.
Blood pressure 160 over 110 now 110 over 70
All this is with NO prescription pills at all!
I feel GREAT, have TONS of energy, and really enjoying life!
I dont know how much more I will loose, I am at goal and weigh now about what I did in 9th grade. I can eat ANYTHING! But have developed a appetite. I wonder if this is my bodies way to stop the loss? The more exercise I get the more I am hungry:( I am blessed to have done so well. POST OP IS THE PLACE TO BE!!!

Update on Melissa Janci. I lost track of her and just found out she is doing much better. She moved from Pittsburgh to near Lake Placid NY. With Jen off work I didnt know about her move. She says she now tolerates all food with the exception of some meats. Her hubby says she is doing great, although Melissa says she still gurgles sometimes. I will post a question abut that shortly. She is very happy with the weight loss. I am glad she is doing better and hope for continued improvement.

Update on Jen, down more than 40 pounds she isnt enjoying post op life as much as me and really misses eating. She struggles to make good food choices, and I struggle to get her motivated to exercise. Her breathing and health have improved a LOT! Off the GERD, and blood pressure meds her BP is normal for the first time in years. I think she will show even bigger improvements in the months ahead.

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February 15th 195 pounds. My weight loss is tempered by Wanda Smart. I am her angel, and inspiration, ( her words ). She had surgery February 11th and is gravely ill,completely sedated, with bleeding, a leak, and breathing problems. She is on a vent in ICU, and at minimum will be there for a week. Please pray for her. Updates on her condition are on her surgery page.

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February 18th 193 pounds. 120 pounds gone! I am very pleased Wanda Smart is improving. Her problems tormented me so much. Although I have gotten a bad ear infection with fever I did manage to get lots of exercise in last week. I helped my friends with their fire damaged home haul away 4 HUGH trailer loads of brush and one load of building debris and trash to the landfill. I worked so hard, I could never of done that all day with hardly a break 120 pounds heavier. Today I bought a 50 pound bag of dog food. Its amzing I was able to live my life with over 2 of them on me all the time. Jen is doing well but needs to get weighed. Her dimensions are definetely dropping. She is getting around much easier! I must report that under the stress of Wandas problems I craved chocolate bad. I got that icky feeling a couple times and was glad, it remined me not to overdo it. May of still lost weight since I had very little appetite for anything other than chocolate. NOT a goods way to loose weight but hey I will take pounds gone however it occurs.

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February 21st 191 pounds. I am VERY happy my loss is contiuning. I think its largely caused by my ear infection. Augmentin the antibiotic my PCP gave me nauseates me and I have no appetite taking it. Unfortunately it hasnt cleared up the infection, and I have finished the pills and am using prescription ear drops too. I see my PCP tomorrow for my 7 month post op check up and follow upp on my ear. Hopefully he will have something to clear this up. I am tired of my all day headache, and slight fever. Other than that were OK, but I continue to worry and pray about Wanda. She is supposed to be moved to a step down ICU tonight. Once she gets in a regular room we will visit. Take care, bob
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March 1st 189 pounds. A lot has happened since my last update. MY PCP tells me I am NO LONGER DIABETIC! with a HC1A of 5.8 which is normal for a non diabetic! He cautioned me to not loose too much more weight.. Thats a first, a doc concerned I might end up too thin... My ear infection is gone, and I feel great. I had my eye doctor appointment today, he is happy with my progress and feels the bad effects on my eyes have stopped since my sugars are normal. Although I am his first WLS patient, so they have no previous experience with folks like us. I am troubled by Wandas contiuning problems, and pray she gets out of ICU soon. I am going shopping for some 38 pants, size 40 are getting way too big. Jen is now down 47 pounds and looking good! She was excited after work testerday. Her hospital UPMC North Hills Passavant now has a surgeon doing LAP RNYs. The surgeon thanked Jen for helping his patient so much. We will get him added to the find a surgeon page here. Hopefully this will help with the backlog of folks waiting in the Pittsburgh area. Jen says he is a nice caring surgeon. I called the Pittsburgh Post gazette this lasr week, and suggested they do a story on WLS. They tell me they are going to do the story, and the reporter is planning on attending this wednesdays support group meeting. Anything that gets the word out is fine by me. There are so many who surgery could help. I am unsure how much weight I should loose. Its hard I ENJOY getting thinner but dont want to end up too thin. Anyhow have a great day, Bob

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April 8th 186 pounds:)

I am so sorry I havent updated this earlier. Post op life is SO busy:) I tried a couple weeks ago but the update was lost in the tech troubles here:( As many of you may know I am a moderator here for AMOS for Q&A and the message board. It takes a lot of time but I am doing it to help others. I am getting lots of healthy exercise helping gut a house of our friends staying with us. They had a fire and at this point the contractor has been fired and were attempting to fix the homes damage ourselves. Its in sorry shape right now but with at least 8 months work they will be back in their home and out of our basement. I will miss them when they leave, and have half suggested they rent their home after its fixed and stay with us permanetely. I didnt believe I would loose any more and was stunned when I lost 2 pounds in a week. No doubt tearing out walls and cielings with hauling rubble is the cause of this nice surprise. I do struggle to not get into loosing and drive myself underweight. This appears to be everyones concern. I also struggle with chocolate and my appetite. Both are on the rise, I wonder if its my bodies way to prevent too much loss? The article I suggested to the paper came out nice and one has our photos here are the URLs
http://www.post-gazette.com/healthscience/20020326hoverview1.asp
http://www.post-gazette.com/healthscience/20020326hvitals2.asp
http://www.post-gazette.com/healthscience/20020326hhallers.asp
Hopefully the links will work for awhile one includes our picture:) Both before and after!

Jen has now lost over 65 pounds and looking great! I am seeing outfits including dresses and even high heels I havent seen sibce we first started dating over 6 years ago! This is GREAT! A neighbor is having a nauty nightie party and I hope Jen is able to attend!
I am sure theres more and PROMISE I will update again soon. Updates were driven by weight loss, I want to make it a habit even if I dont loose another pound. Theres a big part of me that would like to see the 170s. I have a friend my height / build who is 175. This may not be a healthy desire I just dont know.....

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April 12th 180 pounds:) 6 pounds lost in 4 days!!
The shock of this loss and speed amazes me. True I have been working my butt off 4 to 5 hours a night of hard physical labor gutting a house and shoveling debris. Come home I look like a coal miner:)Avoided carbs to... But I NEVER expected to loose this much so fast. I must say I could of NEVER worked this hard pre op. 300 pounds it would of been impossible... Other than some minor aches I feel fantastic. I called my surgeon they recommended I up my protein, so I will do that. I saw my shadow on a UPS truck today and realized I am getting skinny. I have adjusted my personal goal to 175. I dont think less than that is a good idea. Sure wish I could remember when I last weighed so little, perhaps 6th grade, but thats only a guess. I half joke with Jen that I know she will at some point weigh less than me. But I am not going to make it easy for her. She is a foot shorter so she should weigh less.She was down 65 pounds the other day. My fast loss frustrates her...
I got a nice E mail the other day from a long term post op wondering how to get the last 30 pounds off. I hadnt replied yet, having no idea what to say. Well my experience now suggests that those wanting a real work out could volunteer for habitat for humanity or other needy organizatrion and do some good while loosing weight and improving their health.
Now if Wanda could get better and be out of the ICU. Her contiuning problems trouble me so much....
HAPPY SPRING TO EVERYONE, signed the big looser.

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April 20th 179 pounds. In my dreams I would of NEVER imagined getting to this weight! I am still loosing, undoubetdly from my daily workouts doing demolition. Its hard dirty work, but it feels GREAT to be able to do so much physically. On a somber note my good friend and adopted mom Mary Ellen died and was buried yesterday. It was so hard attending the funeral. Like my real mom dying again:( Surgery does NOT fix all the bad things in your life.... But it does help you feel better and be better able to cope with the problems. Jen and me went to the grove city outlet mall last saturday. She had been unable to go there, physically she wasnt up to the walking. We did thew whole thing, although its mstly boresville for me Jen had a wonderfukl time. We split a lunch in the food court and stopped for some sugar free ice cream on the way home. Nice way to spend a day off not doing demolition:) I hope everyone is as happy post op as I am. More later, bob

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January 17th 2003. Sorry its been so long since I updated. I bottomed at 179 pounds but bounced back to around 185. I remained there till late fall. I started stress eating and did gain to about 193 but my official scale got moved to the other side of the pet store. Employees report EVERYONE gained weight when it was moved:( It appears to be a calibration issue. The stress eating largely was a result of my dad being very ill. With hereditary based diseases. Pagents disease (weak Bones) broken hip from walking, divertelocis bleed, and lots of other bad stuff. He lives in Phoenix, me in Pittsburgh, although we did get to see him for thanksgiving. It was tough with him in such bad shape. With winter I am not nearly as active as I would like to be. Hopefully we will be going to Orlando Florida shortly. Sun, fun and Disney helps a LOT! I suffer from seasonal effective disorder SAD, and a break in the winter really helps. Although my SAD is not nearly as severe as when I was MO. Truly its not nearly as much fun posting updates when you quit loosing. I miss those days. I am happy with my loss. My PCP didnt want me to get under 190 pounds. Both Dr Schauer and Dr Singh ( my PCP) said I was at goal at 192. For awhile I was trying to loose even more. Thats not a good idea getting underweight,it leaves no body reserves in case of illness. I never want to go over 200 pounds. I can and do eat anthing. But try to limit carbs and sweets. Found some excellent sugar free low cal cake mix. I experimented turning it into brownies tonight. My life is VERY busy. As many of you know I am a moderator here for the MB and Q&A. I approve mostly Q&A stuff. Pre op I promised myself if I survived and did well I would give something back. Moderating is my contribution for this. Jen is doing well too. Lost about 110 pounds so far. Joined a gym, I hope she goes often. We went on a cruise in june for our 5 year anniversary and had a FANTASTIC time. It was only 4 days on Monarch of the Seas, a royal carribean ship. Thats how I found out about the sugar free bake mix, it was used for desserts onboard ship. BTW not everyone eats like a pig on a cruise. Thin folks eat normal meals. I ate about quantity wise what other thin people do. Theres tons of stuff to do onboard, cruising is definetely a wonderful vacation for everyone, including us post ops. Once your out a few months or so. While in the one egg is a full meal it could be a downer. But that stage doesnt last long.Arent our photos unreal? Hard to believe the change. We sent the santa photos out together as our christmas cards this year. We do have a couple problems now affecting both jen and me. We are both cold ALL the time having lost our permanent winter coats. Its wonderful in the summer, hardly sweat at all. But these near zero days are rough. Last winter Jen laughed at me for being cold, this year she understands what its like:) We both now have sore backsides, all my fat cushion is gone and Jens is much less. I look for nice soft seats and avoid hard benvches at all costs. Again sorry for the long time for the update, were both doing well.

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July 23rd 2003. WOW ITS BEEN TWO YEARS, that amazing!
Our lives are much better but not perfect. My blood sugars are very improved but not perfect. My surgeon says if your diabetic less than 10 years the cure rate is better than folks like me diabetic for at least 15 years. We both feel good but crave some BAD food choices. I miss the never hungry days. My appetite has returned, not as bad as pre op but still I prefered never hungry. I would have surgery again in a heartbeat! This is still the best decision I ever made. On weight my surgeon said at 192 or so I was a goal. I then bottomed for a short time at 179 doing heavy exercise helping gut a friends fire damaged home. I bounced back and settled in the mid 190s but gained some over the last terrible winter and now weigh about 200. Everyone says I look better now than at the low weight and actually feel GREAT! I just DONT want to regain any more. I now have a treadmill, I like walking but last winter was horrid. I would love to move to a warmer climate like Florida. I am always cold in the winter but comfy in the summer where before I would of been soaked in sweat! This and my sore backside from no padding are my only WLS troubles. Were broke but I think that will get better. WISH WLS fixed finances as well as it does weight. I am a volunteer moderator here to give something back for all the support this site provided me pre op. Been doing this for over a year. I promised myself I would do something helpful if I survived surgery. Glad I am able to help out. Jen is doing well too. She lost over a 100 pounds without much exercise. She is healthy and happy with surgery but still 85 pounds over goal.For you pre ops scared of surgery I want you to know its very unlikely to die during the operation. I feared dying on the table thats really very rare. Perhaps that knowledge will help a bit. Bloodclots are the big killer get up and GET WALKING right after surgery to be safe.

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September 14th 2003. 201 pounds. Now at first glance thats bad news, since I gained a pounds since my last update. But that really good news since I had gotten off track and thanks to junk food and oreo cookie bars weighed over 205 not long ago. I fight stress eating. I cut way back on junk, went with protein first, increased my exercise and lost 4 pounds fairly easily. Getting over 200 REALLY scared me:( It was my pre op goal, and once I got below it I swore I would never get heavier than that. My goal is a bit underweight according to my PCPs standards, at 183 pounds. My PCP said dont loose anymore at about 195. Jen weighs 191 so if my weighing less bugs her perhaps she will try top loose more. Had a couple funny experiences. Went shopping for sugar free sweet and low cake mix at giant eagle. Found a lady holding the box. Told her its very good as long as you add more water than the box calls for, and I had WLS. Found out se did too, our surgeons the same. Only thing was she got embarased, her cart had many boxes of duncan hines brownie mix in it. I said it didnt matter, and we eat some junk food too. Hers she assured me was for co workers party. Another funny occured at Disney world while we waited for a show. Jen bought cotton candy. I waited just a moment and yelled HI DOCTOR SCHAUER HOW ARE YOU DOING????? Jen about died, I am a jokester:)He wasnt there. I then cleaned this story up, by not mentioning Jens name and told it at a support group meeting. We had our support group picnic in august and had a wonderful time. We took our new sno cone machine ands a car power adapter since the picnic grove didnt have electric. Everyone loved it went thru the bags of ice we brought and ALL the ice cubes in the entire place. It was a big hit with the yummy sugar free syrup. Well I guess thats it for now hopefully my next update will find me lighter.

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October 10th 2003 197 pounds. Just a brief update. I am a big looser again:) Dropping the oreo cookie bars is paying off. Down to 197. I still eat a limited amount of junk mostly chocolate. I crave that bad under stress, and sadly our finances are pretty bad. They should improve with time at least I hope so. Anyhow this may gross some folks out but I accidently stumbled onto a low calorie chocolate drink thats really rich and chocolatey. If any of you try this and like it let me know. One night I was making sugar free cook and serve chocolate pudding but added water rather than milk by mistake. figuring it was junk I tasted it cold and uncooked. It was really tasty. I am going to add some of that tasteless protein powder to see if I can make my own proten shake. As I said it sounds wierd but tastes good to ME. I added some ice cubes and blended it. Just 120 calories/ I DONT recommend this for brand new posties, who need to loose as much as fast as possible early on. We are adding a new member to our family, Sassy. We applied to a dog rescue group and will be foster parenting a poodle mix for awhile. It was scheduled to be put to sleep.

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November 5th 2003 195 pounds. Well I am contiuning to loose weight, and thats great. I believe I am back to my surgeons goal or a bit below it. I really want to get back to 180, I know it will be work but I am honestly so afraid of regain I will be more comfy a bit low. I feel good at 195. Actually Jen weighs 191 at last report. I want to weigh less than her. Mostly because I like clowning around and her goal was to weigh less than me, so I hope my being motivated might encurage her some. We have a new addition to our family! Her name is sassy, a cocker spaniel poodle mix. She is very sweet and well behaved, well trained too. Its sad her owners dumped her off and she was scheduled to be put top sleep if she didnt find a new home. We were going to foster her, but Jen fell in love with velcro dog thats our nickname.. When Jen is home sassy is constantly at her side. We will be getting a new christms photo soon showing our entire family. Things are going good except I think Jen is getting a cold and were going to mss tonights support group meeting:( More later, bob

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November 8 2003 191 pounds! Well I am stunned. Look what happens when your a postie over 2 years out drink 2 protein drinks a day, eat one protein filled meal, and try to get more exercise. The weight dropped off me like a rock. I helped my puppet friend set up for a show. At least 8 hours of moving furniture big tables and equiptement. Volunteer for something not only does it feel good to help but the side benefit is EXERCISE! Jen helped out in the evening I had FUN! Sadly I have been hungry:( But its not the gnawing hunger of pre op. Honestly I stood on my official scale at the pet shop and didnt nearly believe it. The only bad sde effect of less eating is I am FROZE:( Burr, and for that reason I decided to eat som extra calories today. The good news is I now weight the same as Jen. I tend to be a competitor and HOPE she will join me on loosing some more. Life in the loosing zone is fun, even over 2 years out!

I AM A BIG LOOSER I AM A BIG LOOSER AS THE SCALE GOES DOWN DOWN AND DOWN ALL THE WAY DOWN!:):):) My official song yes I go around singing this!

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March 21st 2004 My how time flies. This winter was tough here in pittsburgh. Seemed like the snow would never end:( Long nites short days made bob a lazy person:( I watched my weight begin to creep back up and decided more exercise was in order. So I got a part time job as a stockperson at the new festival grocxery store by my house. Boy have they been busy, espically with the grand opening give away prices. One week I worked about 28 hours. Its GREAT exercise moving tons of mostly fattening high calorie foods. One day I moved 4 skids of pop one holder at a time by cartload onto its display where it literally disappeared. I am tired at the end of the day, and lost some weight but am gaining muscle mass. My best friend bill is over 70 and can easily do a chin up. Something I have NEVER been able to do my entire life:( He harasses me on this and part of this exercise program is to be able to finally do a chin up! I stand on a scale under the bar and pull for all I am worth. Cant lift myself off the ground but I am making progress. Before startuing festival I would weight 45 pounds doing this. A few days ago we checked and its down to 25. Hopefully soon I will weigh zero and be able to lift myself off the ground. I am happy with my weight I got to just under 200 pounds earlier this winter but lost it fast at festival, although it then started creeping up but thats muscle and heavier than fat. Having lost the weight so fast I lost muscle too and am glad for the improvement. It bugged me I wasnt as strongf as pre op. People ask me about Jen! She is doing well! Sadly she never got even close to goal:( But health wise her problems like astma have disappeared. Recently she began exercising with our good friend Linda Dovey at her church 2 nites a week. Jen reports she lost 2 pounds. Jen got a new job in a doctors office with regular hours! Its a bit less money and a futher drive:) But the steady 8 to 5 hours appear to have given her more energy. She is a lot more active than before this will help her keep the weight off. WLS saved both our lives, I wish jen would of lost more but healthy is more important than a number on the scale. I will AGAIN ask her to update her profile. Things are going well and I am looking forward to spring. I am truly a summer person and although yesterday was the first dayu of spring its snowing here right now:( I want that to be GONE. Espically since as always I am cold! I am looking forward to some temperatures in the 80s:)

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April 17th 2004. My weight is back where I want it:) well a few moere pounds off might be nice... Got weighed today on my official scale at pet supplies plus, the 191 number was great. I fear regain so much and work to prevent it. the two nights a week at the grocery store and improving weather help so much! Today saturaday I am getting my work out helping trim trees at my rental home. Been working on the yard there, yesterday we made a sad discovery. One of the trees is infested with ants and rotted out badly, including having cavities filled with water:( Looks like it may have to be removed entirely. I stick to mostly the ground work cutting up the limbs that are down, piling up the firewood I will be hauling to a friend etc. All excellent exercise:) I miss Jen she is away this weekend at a womans retreat with another postie friend of ours Linda Dovey. Lindas family is so nice I will get her kids to help later once the tree job is futher along boxing up the debris for disposal. They are hard workers. I have fond memories of the first retreat she went to before we were married. Gone for several days she hadnt called and I was bummed. She returned and never left after that weekend away, kinda unofficially moving in:) I think thats when we realized how much we missed one another:) If anyone knows Jen ask her about this, that you read this here. I have told all our friends this story. Go on a womans retreat move in with your boyfriend:):) Well its time to get to work on those trees, happy spring to everyone!!!!!


Yippee Yahooee!!!:) and ll that great yelling from the weigh in zone......

Pre op 313 pounds a couple days before surgery.
Surgery monday after 2 day bowell prep.
thursadays weight just 4 days after surgery 303 pounds
Todays saturday weigh in 297 pounds.
I would jump up and down for joy if I wasnt so sore.

Preop 313
Surgery july 23
July 30th 295
July 31st 291
August 3 288.5
August 5 285
August 10 278
August 15 274
August 26 269
August 28 267
September 1 263 my 50 pounds goal.
September 8 255
September 10 253
September 19th 247
October 1st 245
October 13th 240
October 16th 237
October 18th 233
November 1st 227
November 3rd 224
November 21st 219
December 3rd 217
December 9th 215
December 14th 213 A 100 pound loss! I am a century club member:)
December 19th 209
December 24th 206
December 31st 204
January 12th 202 111 ponunds gone! Lost pounds during holidays!
January 19th 199
January 30th 198
February 11th 196
February 15th 195
February 18th 193
February 21th 191
March 1st 189
April 8th 186
April 12th 180
April 20th 179 134 max pounds lost, looked bad at this number
January 17th 2003 185
July 23rd 2003 200
no date bad eating got me to 205:(
September 14th 2003 201
October 10th 2003 197
November 5th 2003 194
November 8th 2003 191
March 21h 2004 194
April 17th 2004 191

Starting measurements

Neck 20.5 now just under 15 1/2
waist 54 now 38 pants
Shirts 4X and 5X now replaced by MEDIUM.

Useful resources:

Barb Thompsons great WLS book http://www.wlscenter.com/

Jen, My wifes really out of date profile
http://www.obesityhelp.com/morbidobesity/profile.phtml?N=H994605860

My surgeons online support group meetings shown on realplayer with audio and streaming video. Hopefully I will get on camera soon. Be patient to give it time to load, all on line meetings are archived here. Lots of info.
http://www.upmc.edu/obesitysurgery/monthlySupportGroup.htm



Photos







Surgeon Info:
Surgeon: Philip R. Schauer MD
A kind knowledgable doctor with a great caring staff. Has excellent support group. Office visits can be delayed as others have posted before, allow lots of time. One reassuring note. He was asked at a support group meeting how many lap bypasses he has done. 600 with one death of a very high risk patient. Looks like I should survive. I am thrilled with him although his backoffice paperwork can be a problem at times, least it was for me. He is adding another partner and is doing 12 bypasses a week presently. Magee Womans hospital has gutted a floor for bariatics only, to help meet demand. November 21st 2001 update. I am still very impressed with doctor Schauer and am very pleased he will be operating on my wife Jen. I have spoken to him directly about some of the issues raised about his staff, espically the back office group that handles the insurance stuff. He is now aware of the issues and is working hard to increase staffing and adminstrative functions to make things better. The HUGH increase in demand for surgery has overwhelmed his staff. He cares very much about his patients and tries to give the best service possible. Dr Schauer is GREAT in my opinion.. January 17 2003 I am pleased to report Dr Schauer has improved his office dramatically. Originally they saw patients at multiple locations and their main office was none of these. Now they have a nice new consolidated office at Magee hospital. This should help the lost paperwork a lot. They have added staff including 2 additional surgeons and numerous back office staff. Wait times for surgery are down too. Anyone selecting a surgeon from the pittsburgh area should choose this group even if getting surgery takes a bit longer. You will receive excellent care from a fantastic staff
Insurer Info:
UPMC HMO
Great approval in two weeks with no hang ups