4/2/2004 I have been to the Bariatric Wellness Institute for my consultation on March 19. I cannot see Dr. Facundus until I meet with the nutritionist. His first appointment is 5/4/04. That seems like a long time to wait. I have filed my insurance with BCBS PEEHIP, and waiting for a response. I am considering finding another nutritionist and asking if it would be okay.? I teach school and have 2 small children. I was hoping to have surgery while they were in their "school" and usual routine, but it doesn't look hopeful. I called during my spring break and there were no cancellations for the nutritionist in April at that time. I was waiting for my insurance to approve me before calling again. Please keep me in your prayers that this will work out for me--I really want to become a healthy and active person.
Hospital Reviews(Huntsville, AL) - Crestwood Medical Center (COE)
Surgeon: Edward Facundus, M.D., F.A.C.S.
4/12/2004 I have been approved for gastric bypass by BCBS PEEHIP. I am scheduled to see the nutritionist on May 4, but I called and told him to please call if there are cancellations so that I could see Dr. Facundus, possibly sooner. No word yet. I hope this surgery works out before my kids are out of school.
4/17/2004 I met with the nutritionist today, Hunter at the BWI. My older sister went along with me. He did a wonderful job of explaining the diet after surgery. I have changed my surgeon to Dr. Foreman since he is scheduling surgery more quickly and I really need to have WLS before school is out and it would be helpful. Brandy, with Dr. Facundus office said that Dr. Foreman has branced out on his own now and right now he is scheduling surgery for the first week of May. My appointment is May 7th with Dr. Foreman, but Hunter said I needed to call Monday because I should be able to get in sooner since I have completed my nutrition step and have been approved by insurance. So, I'll keep you posted. I am really hoping for the 3rd week of May. I was thinking of asking to schedule a tentative surgery date before meeting with Dr. Foreman so that I could make plans, but when Hunter tried to call it was too late because Dr. Facundus closes at 4pm on Friday, he said. So, I'll call Monday and keep you posted from there. In my opinion, it is wisest to see the nutritionist far in advance of the surgery, so that you have time to stock your home with vitamins and supplements from Gloria's Good Health or GNC and various foods and protein supplement items you will need from Wal-Mart or grocery stores. I see now that the vitamins and supplements to stay healthy are going to be somewhat of an expense and people having this surgery need to be aware and ready for these new expenses, even though the reduction in health problems greatly out weighs the expense of vitamins, minerals and supplements. It didn't change my mind, but it is an expense that we all need to consider. Also, if we don't keep these vitamins going ahead of time, there will be problems as we age. These are preventative and helpful for looking and staying healthy. So, until Monday or Tuesday when I hear what is going to happen with my Doctor visit, take care and have a wonderful weekend.
4/26-2004 I spoke with Brandi at Dr. Facundus' office and she said that May 7th is the first day I can meet with Dr. Foreman, his associate. So, I am trying to call occasionally to check for cancellations. None so far. Ohhhh, this waiting is terrible! Anyway, as soon as I hear anything...I will post soon!
May 4,2004 - I have 3 days until I see the surgeon on Friday! I cannot wait. Pray for me please.
May 8, 2004 - I went to see Dr. Foreman yesterday (he is Dr. Facundus' partner and he isn't registered on AMOS website yet) I have a date!!!!! My surgery is scheduled for May 17 (NEXT MONDAY!) I had all my pre-operative blood work and EKG done yesterday right after I spoke with him. Dr. Foreman is very, very confident and thorough. I really liked his patience and calmness. He answered my whole page of questions with great ease. The staff was WONDERFUL and very sweet and supportive. I have to see him next Friday (May 14) for my final appointment. I am sooo excited! Rita, at his office, is supposed to call Monday with the results of the EKG and blood work. The nurse said my EKG was find (from her end). They said if my white cell count was up, the surgery would be cancelled until the infection was corrected. So, I should know more by Monday or Tuesday. Thank you for this website - it has made me feel so much better about this entire process. Thank you to the heavenly Father.
May 14, 2004 - Today, I visit the Dr. Office for my final pre-op visit. They will give me my surgery time, prescriptions and directions for my surgery on Monday, May 17th. I'm almost there!!!!!!
May 20,2004 - I made it home from the hospital and everything went wonderfully. I had a heital (sp?) hernia repaired and that was the only pain I could feel - I have been feeling that pain for years. I am trying to write down some things about the hospital and surgery experience to share before I document on-line. So, I will write again later. I just wanted everyone to know that everything was great. God really blessed me.
May 24, 2004 - I am back to work today. We have 4 1/2 more school days and then I will write about my hospital experience.
June 3, 2004 - I have had a couple of interviews and my children have been keeping me busy. I thought I would update about my surgery on May 17. Since I had two vertical C-section surgeries, gallbladder surgery - this surgery was a snap. I had a hietal (sp) hernia repaired and that was the only pain I felt. When I arrived they got me all fixed up (IV, Stockings, Leg massager cuffs, gown and net hat). They gave me every possible drug imaginable before I even got to surgery. I took one look around the operation room and I was asleep. It took me a little while to wake up and when the nurse brought me back to the room, she took out the catheter that was placed during surgery - which I was thankful for. I walked three times the afternoon of surgery and was able to take off my cuffs - RELIEF! My mom made me wear the circulation stockings and they were tight! I slept well except for the blood pressure and vital checks and vampire (who drew blood around 4am). Then the barrium swallow test and honestly this was the only bad part. It was nasty! The first drink was really nasty and the second was not as bad, but NASTY! Then they take 8 million x-rays and I had so much anti-nausea medicine I could barely hold open my eyes. So, after I received the no-leak all clear...I went back to listen to the bariatric counselor tell me all the things that I had learned at the Bariatric Center. I could barely hold open my eyes and after she left, the nurse from Dr. Foreman's office brought me a gift which was really sweet. Then, I took a nap before leaving because I was so tired from all the meds. I admit, I slept pretty much all day on Tuesday since they gave me Tylenol with Codeine for the ride home. Wednesday was a great day! I did laundry, cleaned house, made supper. Thursday and Friday were diarrhea horrible!!!! I felt so drained. But I began eating broth and laying on my side to allow the nutrition to absorb a little longer and I got over it. Now, I am 2 1/2 weeks post-op and feel great. I went back to work after 1 week and I begin my summer school teaching position this coming Monday. I will update my weight loss and any further details after I see Dr. Prickett (my physician) on June 11th. Everyone is already noticing my weight loss so it will be exciting to see my actual weight. More to come.... :)
6-14-2004 I went to see my Physician Friday and I had lost 30lbs. I could NOT believe it. I am having some trouble swallowing and he said that he wanted me to try REGULIN, but if that didn't work a GI would have to stretch my Esophagus. YUCK. Anyway, I don't feel like eating anymore, but my clothes have come down a size, two sizes in some clothes. I am taking some of my old clothes to the clothing exchange at the BARIATRIC INSTITUTE tomorrow and maybe I can trade some for some smaller sizes - I am not sure exactly how it works. I see the surgeon tomorrow and I will post any news, changes or information. God bless.
6-17-2004 I went to see Dr. Foreman Tuesday (6-15-04) and the nutritionist. The new nutritionist that is working with Hunter now is Natalie. She was really sweet. The visit was a repeat of everything I have heard and read in the manual. The Doctor said not to panic about my esophagus and the swallowing. He said give the body a couple of more weeks to heal and eat softer foods for a while then try meats and dryer food again later. I have to MAKE MYSELF EAT now. It's crazy! But, I forgot to take my clothes to the Bariatric Center to trade. I'll try to remember next time. Happiness and God's blessings to everyone and I'll update again soon. (ONE MONTH POST-OP - 30 lbs. gone!)
6-30-2004 I have been going to water aerobics for the past two weeks. There was a scale in the locker area so I weighed and I wouldn't normally do this. I had lost 45 lbs. and I couldn't believe it. (Assuming that the scales are compatable) I haven't weighed since then but I am really enjoying the water therapy. I am using the visits BCBS will pay for and then I am going to do standard water aerobics. It is really helping my legs shrink and I am feeling much better. I would not have ever thought I could lose 45 lbs. in less than 6 weeks. AMAZING! My clothes are two sizes too big now. I guess I need to trade them in. Everyone is asking me for my clothes. It's funny. I return to my doctor on August 5th. I return to Kristy (the bariatric counselor) on 7-15-04. I'll update again very soon.
5-17-04 RNY-lap -45
7-13-2004 I have been attending physical therapy in the water. I graduated from that program into the wellness program. I am now beginning water aerobics for gastric bypass patients at the Decatur General Rehab Access by the Colonial Mall in Decatur, AL. It is $30 a month and you get full wellness center usage, free aerobics classes plus, independent use of the equipment, plus the gastric bypass class at 5:30pm on Monday and Wednesday. I so enjoyed meeting other gastric bypass patients. Plus the workout is taylored to your individual abilities. I weighed last week and I had lost 57 pounds. I am still teaching EXCEL in the afternoons so I will have to cancel my nutritionist appointment for Thursday (7-15-04). I have bought clothes in size 18 and they are already too big. However, my stomach hurts almost every time I eat or drink. I am considering returning to my doctor. However, I would do this surgery 100 times over again. I feel great and my water therapy and walking feel so great to me! I did this for me and I am enjoying it thoroughly!
5-17-04 RNY-lap -57 :) :) :)
8-25-2004 Wow, it has been one whole month since I have written. I apologize. The beginning of the school year is difficult and I have been extremely busy - you know the life of a school teacher. Prior to school beginning, I had a repeat barrium xray swallow (Yuck awful gross-way worse than the one in the hospital) and then was referred to a digestive specialist about the pain in my stomach. I had an endoscopy at the end of July. I had to go back to eating mush and I am also taking a medication called Aciphex. I am now slowly re-introducing solids into my diet. Sometimes I still have a great deal of pain and sometimes it doesn't hurt. Fruit, mashed potatoes and yogurt and soup never hurt. The endoscopy was fine, a little redness in the pouch...but no stretching of the throat or stomach as he expected. I excercise every single day now and I am teaching so much better than I have in years. I am so thankful for this surgery. The last time I went to my doctor was August 5th, right before school began and I had lost 64 pounds at that time. I have come down to a 16 since that time. Everyone at school calls me slim and skinny and it makes me feel soooo good. I am sorry I haven't updated in a long time. I hope I can weigh soon and give an accurate update for my weight loss. The doctor for the digestive system was Dr. Dohrenwend in Madison, Alabama and he was great, not to mention extremely handsome. :) My prayers are with you my AMOS family.
Philomena Jones 5/17/04 -64lbs. RNY-Lap
September 14, 2004 - I am able to eat a little bit more now and I am slowly feeling more energetic. I weighed today and I have lost a total of 85 pounds. I am wearing a 14/16 or extra large in the regular women's department...if you can believe that. I return to see Dr. Dohrenwend on October 13. I am about to leave for church and wanted to update everyone. Thank you for all your sweet e-mails!
Philomena Jones 5/17/04 -85lbs. RNY-Lap
Dr. Foreman is Dr. Facundus' associate and he was my surgeon. He is not registered on this website yet although I told him he needed to! Dr. Foreman is special. He is very patient with all my many questions and informative. He was very professional, even when I was pushy about a surgery date as soon as possible. He is very confident and I really liked that! He really wanted to see me before Memorial Day weekend because he was going to be out of town for a week, but I had returned to work and had to reschedule. (I hope he isn't angry) but I wasn't having any problems. I see the nutritionist right after I see Dr. Foreman and then the bariatric counselor and he was really emphatic that I do that. Dr. Foreman was totally honest about deaths and risks related to the surgery and he will not operate until you are totally aware of all risks (which I already knew from this outstanding web site). I give Dr. Foreman a 10 - thumbs up! Surgical competence is the most important thing to me, but I'll take Dr. Foreman's kindness and sweet face to go with his confidence!
I have heard mostly nice things about BCBS. I have PEEHIP. My paperwork was sent in on March 23,2004. I check to see that they had received it. They said it could take up to 30 days and I am waiting on the nutritionist anyway. (May 4) Anyway, I asked the requirements and basically - you must be obese for at least two years, followed diets supervised by your physician, failed at non-surgical diets in the past 5-7 years, approved by your physician, recommended by the surgeon, BMI 40-50. Those were the main approval requirements. I'll let you know as soon as I receive my letter - the date and answer. :)
4/5/2004 - Called and checked with BCBS today. Still no approval yet. :(
4/9/2004 - Good news! I called BCBS today and I was approved for gastric bypass. My paperwork was received on March 23, so it took about 2 1/2 weeks to become approved.