Kym L.
Redmond, WA, USA
Post Op - BMI: 48.8
Surgery Type: Duodenal Switch
Member ID: L1012448500
Surgeon: Ara Keshishian


Click here for Kym's surgery support page
Click here for the 06/2002 Reunion Page
Click here for the DS forum
Click here to print Kym's cards
(You can print your own cards, and if you're good at it,
you can help print cards for your friends as well!)


I created a Malabsorptive Surgery Information Clearinghouse for postop Distal WLS patients. Click here to goIf you are interested please visit: http://wlsinfo.blogspot.com. (It will open a second window)


I started researching WLS after my sister was an RNY postop. I started out thinking that a Proximal RNY was for me. But after really looking at all the procedures, I have decided that I want a DS/BPD.

Why I picked the DS Procedure
Let me explain why I am choosing the DS over the RNY. With the DS you have a fully functioning stomach. It's smaller due to a partial gastrectomy. I will retain a fully functioning pylorus and part of the duodenum (these are important parts of digestion, and means no dumping syndrome as with the RNY). The pylorus is also important as it helps you to feel satiated. Because my stomach will function normally, you can eat normally, just less. (Doctors who do the DS make the stomach between 4-10 oz's in size.) I won't have to chew my food differently or worry about swallowing something a touch too large and it getting stuck in the stoma. My stomach will slowly over time (about 24 months) stretch to hold a normal amount of food. It won't be as much as I can eat now (thank God!)but it's will be *NORMAL*. Another reason I like DS is that you can still take NSAID drugs like Advil and Aleve because you have a fully functioning stomach. With the DS the entire stomach is accessible to endoscopy, with the RNY only the pouch is accessible. The non-functioning stomach that is left in the body is not accessible, there is no way to get to it without surgery.

Now on to part two of the DS. The rearranging of the small intestines. This is the part of the surgery that "Keeps the weight off". After much I thought, I think this is important to me because this is where I have had so much trouble in the past. I put weight on VERY easily. And when I'm not excercising, just eating 1200 calories can put weight on me. The DS has a distal bypass of the small intestines creating a malabsorbtion of the foods I will eat. I will only absorb food in the created "common channel" that can be 50-125 cm in length.
And after much research, I found that the DS/BPD surgery is more successful longterm then the RNY at keeping the weight off. This "malabsorption" part of the surgery is similar to a DISTAL RNY...but I think the Distal is more dangerous. With a 2oz pouch and severe malabsorption, I don't think you can get in the nutrition necessary longterm. Just my own personal opinion. To me... the DS makes more sense. And since I am a volume eater, I like the idea of my stomach being able to hold more. Again, this is just my personal opinion.

I do not begrudge anyone who chooses RNY. I think we each have to pick what is right for our own situation. For me, the DS solution seems to give me the best chances for a NORMAL and HIGH quality of life. I really like the freedom this surgery will give me... freedom to eat a normal portion in a few years, freedom to take Advil, freedom from dumping, and the freedom of knowing there is the highest chance for long term success.

If you would like more information on the DS surgery and to read patient profiles you can find more information at: Click here to go to the Duodenal Switch website. (It will open a second window)

I thought this was a good snapshot of the different surgeries. Click here to see advantages and disadvantages of the different surgeries (It will open a second window)


I am going for my first consultation with Dr. K in Delano, CA on 2/19/02. My surgery is currently scheduled for 6/5/02!

I'll write more after I get back from Delano! :)



3/3/02
Wow. Today I went to a local support group meeting for people who have had the DS procedure. It was held at the Olive Garden resturant. I, of course, wanted to go so I could see what everyone was eating.

The lady to my left was 2 years post op. She was a size 8 and at goal weight. She had a breadstick, salad, lemonade, and 3 pieces of Veal Marsala and few green beans. Oh..and half a piece of cheesecake.

The lady on my right, was about 11 months post op. She was a size 12. She had lost about 92 lbs. She had TWO breadsticks, some salad, iced tea, Veal Marsala (all of it!) and some green beans. She ate 3/4's of her cheese cake.

The lady across from me was only 4 months post op. She had lost about 80 lbs. She ate some salad, drank some ice tea, ate half a bread stick and half a plate of Calamari. She couldn't eat dessert as she was too full.

So.. what did I come away with? This is the surgery for me! I couldn't believe it. I mean I had read about this surgery and post op life, but I hadn't put two and two really together. I didn't really believe it. It sounded too good to be true.

Anyway.. it was pretty amazing. I'm so glad I went!

I am done with my psych consult. I have had my surgery consult and it went very well. I really liked Dr. K. I am proceeding and my date is set for June 5th. I am pretty sure that my insurance coverage will be denied but I am proceeding as a self pay.

I'm excited!

5/19/02
SEVENTEEN MORE DAYS! It's almost here! I am completely at peace and so very ready for this surgery. I am excited. I have had my psych consult, my preop testing, a gyno exam, my chest xray and blood work. ALL READY TO GO! I will be flying to Delano on June 3rd. On June 4th I will go for my preadmitting and meet the doctor who will keep my pain managed. And I'll meet with Dr. K. Then on June 5th, I will have surgery around 7:30am! I am the first one of the day. My sister, who is a postop RNY patient, will be my support person. You can read her story here: Click here

5/29/02
Well, by this time next week I will be switched! The PCA will be my BESTEST friend! I feel pretty peaceful about it. I am ready. I most worried about after I get home.... and a long recovery. I am hoping I bounce back quick.

6/02/02
63 more hours!!
Well, I leave tomorrow for Delano. Today is my last "eating" day. I'm trying to remember that with the surgery I am having I am not going to have "give up" anything permanently... but I am still planning on last suppering today :) I'm going to my DS support group meeting at the Olive Garden and I plan on eating lots of CARBOS and DESSERT .

I am most worried about not being able to sleep on my back, a long grueling post-op recovery, nausea, being able to take care of my three young kids (22 months, 3 1/2, and 5 years) and mourning the loss of "food volume" and comfort food. I know I can do this though. I know that three months from now I am going to be blissfully happy that I did this.... RIGHT?

I'd love to hear from other DS patients or preops... your support ESPECIALLY means alot :)

Please pray, think good thoughts, and send white light. And I'll be seeing you on the SWITCHED SIDE in a few days. I will have my laptop at the hotel.

Things I¡¦ll be able to do when I lose 100 lbs

1. Fit in a coach airline seat comfortably.
2. Buy bras from Victoria Secret.
3. Buy clothes at skinny girl stores.
4. Run up a couple of flights of stairs without being winded.
5. Be able to walk for extended periods of time without my feet hurting.
6. Have more energy to do stuff with the kids.
7. Have a lap for my kids to sit on.
8. Not take Diabetes medicine.
9. Go horseback riding
10. Clean my house in one day without being ready to keel over at the end.


6/14/02
I'm Post Op Now!


Ok... firstly... I was so scared. Scared simply because it's hard to sign yourself into a hospital to have them take out things, rearrange things, create a 7 inch incision and do it all ELECTIVELY! LOL But I did it. So firstly, I am so proud of me. I faced my fear and I conquered it. OMG!! I *really* did do it!

Surgery was on June 5th. I don¡¦t remember much of the first few days other then I pushed myself to walk the halls of the hospital ALL THE TIME. Now... Just so you realize, walking is no easy task. I had: 2 Ivs with a PCA Pump, Oxygen that had to be carted behind me, a catheter (yuck!), two Jp Drains that hung down from my incision like gonads, and a naso-gastric tube! It took at least TWO nurses to walk me just to push all the crap. I had to use a walker because I was so unsteady on my feet. People called me, but I really couldn't talk. I was O U T O F I T!!! Drugs are lovely.

Day three I was mucho better. Cath and Naso tube came out. Day for I was unhooked from everything else. I was going stir crazy so I made them call the doctor so I could get discharged. After being VERY persuasive, he let me go.

My biggest advice to you preops is to WALK as much as you can after your surgery. It really helps with pain control. Do not WAIT for them to ask you. It makes a huge difference.

Fast forward to day before yesterday. Got the drains out. That hurt like hell. One of the drains wrapped around inside me to back and sat on the back of my tummy. When they pulled the one drain, the suction created muscle spasms that were really really really painful. Not fun. But I made it. I also got my staples out.

I have three major milestones to report:

1. I have lost 20 lbs in 7 days!
2. I am completely off ALL Diabetes Meds
3. I can now take two GULPS of water, vs. sips!


I¡¦m not hungry...but I am having to "start over" learning how to eat again. It's kinda cool.... I'm just like a 7 month old baby learning what solids work well...trying them, then if they don¡¦t work trying them again. I am currently LOVING tuna fish and Deli Sliced Roast Beef . I'm craving protein. Which is good.

Things that aren¡¦t going so well:

Got my period on day 7. Not fun.
Incision opened and is draining in two spots.
Got a UTI infection from the Cath¡K currently on Cipro.

Still¡K it was SO worth it !!!

So there it is. I am so happy. I am on the other side and my "risk" is paying off. If I didn't lose another pound, I'd do this again. Totally worth it for me. Those of you who know about my dad's issues and my mom's mobility issues understand exactly what I mean.

And thanks to everyone else for the good thoughts and good wishes and support. I love this place. I really could feel all the prayers, white light, good thoughts.... I believe it was crucial to my recovery. SO KEEP IT COMING

More later¡K.


6/15/02 Day Ten after Surgery

I slept good last night. I've had trouble since I have been home finding a comfortable way to sleep. But I think I have it down now. I bought a double bean bag chair I use in my bed. I moved a couch and lazyboy into my bedroom (I have a big bedroom) and between the three, I can try different positions.

Today is a more fatigue day for me. Not overly bad, I just know I'll end up napping this afternoon.

Since people who email me are mostly preop, the question is always what I am eating. So far today I have had some roast beef and swiss cheese, half a container of peach yogurt, 2 oz of tomato soup and (almost) a half a grilled cheese sandwich with no crust. I think I'm doing very well.

I emailed my doctor a picture of my incision and although I think it looks really gross, he says it looks great. Go figure.

I'm off to go take a nap...


6/17/02 - Sleep is a wonderful thing!

I feel pretty good. Pretty good and tired! LOL Other then this hazy fog of wanting to sleep all the time, I feel pretty great. I am taking a morning and an afternoon nap. I am eating what I consider to be very well. I have a protein shake for breakfast, some string cheese for a snack, some soup, crackers and protien for lunch, some cottage cheese for a snack, and then dinner. I do not feel hungry at all. I am starting to want some crunchy foods, but I dont want to push it yet with my healing tummy. I'll wait a few more weeks. I can do that.

There really isn't much to tell. I'm taking some SMALL walks. I'm eating well. I'm sleeping. Thats about it in a nutshell. I have no pain. My incision is draining in two spots. Otherwise... Im peachy :)

Oh wait I do have a little news... I've lost 5 more pounds! So now my total loss is 25 lbs! How could I forget? :)


June 19, 2002 -- Coming out of the dark -- Two weeks!

Feel a little less tired today. But man I am sleeping a lot. I think the scale was also down a few pounds, but I can't really be sure yet. I don't know if I just dont BELIEVE it or what. But I hate my scale. If I lean one way or the other way, I can make the damn thing adjust by ten pounds. It's very frustrating. But I am not going to go out and buy a $500 scale. Maybe I can get a cheaper one when I am below 300 lbs.

I can eat more and drink more. Still sorta frustrating at meal times because my tummy gives out before my mind does. I want to keep eating, but I can honestly say that I am not hungry. This really isn't that bad. But I do wish I could sit down to a half a pound of spaghetti or a half of a pizza. It's the volume of food --- especially carbos, that I miss. I had some french toast this morning and it was HEAVEN. I used just a couple of drops of syrup... but it was just what I needed. Tasted so good. I know I need to be doing those stupid protein shakes to get the protien in.... Im just ready to HURL at the thought of them.

Foods I am eating a lot of: String Cheese, Peanut Butter and Saltines, Michellinas Chicken Marsala Frozen Dinner (I can eat one piece of the chicken!).

Ok thats it for now... I'll write more later and update when I'm sure that stupid scale is actually showing a loss :)


June 20, 2002

Quick update. Last night I took my measurements and I was down 10.5 inches. The biggest drops were between 1.5 and 2 inches off my waist, hips and breasts. WHOOO WHOO.

Then this morning, I was able to confirm that I have actually lost 30 lbs! (I later found out that my scale was off and I actually did not lose this much weight) Not bad. I acutally think it's even closer to 34 lbs... but that just means It wont be too long till I can post another five pound drop :) It's really hard to tell on my scale.

Anyway... just wanted to share. Best news is.... I'm not suffering and I'm not hungry!


June 22, 2002 -- I slept an hour in bed last night!

By far, the hardest part of this surgery for me has been sleeping in an upright position. I am a tummy sleeper and man has it been a hard adjustment sleeping in a recliner. But last night I was able to sleep a little over an hour on my side. I awoke to some muscle spasms...but it was still worth it!

The other thing that is bothering me is this stupid UTI. I am over it...but CIPRO makes it feel like my ureathra lining is stripped away and when I sit a certain way, or pee, it hurts. I had a UTI treated with Cipro before I had surgery and I had this same symptom... only thing that makes it better is time and lots of water. Its just so irritating. LITERALLY. Least it helps force me to get my 64 ozs in.

Today I feel sorta tired again. Seems to be an every other day thing. Yesterday I didn't even take a nap! Guess I'll be making up for it today :)

Weight loss is going well... I'm pretty sure I'm down some more just going to wait to be "sure". Old habits die hard I guess. I must admit that I spend a lot of time daydreaming about what my life is going to be like when I'm under 250!!!

June 23, 2002 -- OMG 35 pounds lost!

Enough said! (I later found out that my scale was off and I actually did not lose this much weight)

June 24, 2002 -- End of the honeymoon?

Well... I am having very watery diarrhea. It's still predictable but very annonying. Happens at night before I go to bed, then during the night, then EARLY in the morning a few times. Looks like this is pretty common for people in the 3 weeks out period and it can last a few weeks. I'm trying to keep happy by remembering what comes out is not being absorbed.

The other thing is that I started on my multi-vitamin today and I got heartburn. I don't know if it's related or not, but I bet it is. My vitamins have some sort of pepper extract in them to help with bioavailability and I think the pepper might have made me have heartburn. Probably should have GULPED more water down at the same time to take the edge off. It wasn't bad, it was just suprising because I have had no problems or complications other then the UTI thing. (Which is almost gone btw! whoo whoo)

In other news, I slept at least 5 hours in my bed last night. LOVELY! I hope I can continue to build on that. I'm sick of sleeping upright.

June 25 -- 20 days post op

I feel really good today! I slept most of the night in my bed. I did not have watery diarrhea yesterday. I think the culprit on the dirrhea was too much Mayo. I had an "eggsalad/potato salad" for lunch and I think it was simply too rich for me right now. So when I didn't have Mayo yester... VIOLIA! No more problems.

I feel "almost back to normal" today. My energy is good and I am loving this beautiful Seattle summer weather we are having. My energy is so good, I started potty training my 2 year old this morning! LOL So that should tell you something.

June 27, 2002 -- Down 38 pounds!
(I later found out that my scale was off and I actually did not lose this much weight)

Well I have gone grocery shopping and I have gone to the bank. It's nice to be able to drive again. Last night I slept in my bed the entire night. I woke up a lot because I was cramping in certain positions....but it was nice to sleep in an almost prone position.

I'm really itchy. My whole torso is itchy. The incisional site is itchy. My stomach where I used the adhesive tape is itchy. Between my fat folds are itchy. IM ABOUT TO GO NUTSO! Going to try some hydrocortisone creme and see if that helps. I'm about to go up the wall.

I seem to still be having some bladder spasms. Whenever i empty my bladder, it seems to hurt more. It's also worse when I am low on fluids and haven't taken in my 64 ozs. I do NOT want to get a cystoscope so I am reluctant to ask for a referral to a Urologist. I guess I should at least tell my surgeon. I think I'll give it a few more days. I see my PCP on July 1st.

This morning when I got on my scale it showed a huger drop then 38 pounds...but IM not sure it's accurate. I really need to go buy a digital scale that will give me accurate readings no matter which way I lean!

Life is good. Not hungry at all. Totally happy with this surgery and the way my new life is progressing :)

June 28, 2002 -- OMG 41 pounds lost! (I later found out that my scale was off and I actually did not lose this much weight)

Ya know... if when you read this, you think "what she's so surprised about? She knew she was going to lose weight with WLS!" It's because I never expected to come off THIS EASILY. Do you know what I had last night? I had Haagen Daz Butter Pecan Ice Cream (has five grms of protein! LOL) and i mixed some peanut butter with it. I had maybe 1/3 of what they call a portion and it was sooooo yummy. I repeat... I do NOT feel like I am suffering at all. For Dinner, I had half a sloppy joe on half a whole grain bun. Snacks were pistachios. I mean... I am NOT SUFFERING. And everytime I eat I get this wonderful full feeling that lasts for 20 mins. That never happened preop.

So I am gushing. I love this surgery. I can't believe how easily the pounds are falling off me. WHAHOOOOOOO!!!


June 29, 2002 -- How I picked my surgeon and hospital

This is taken from a post to a yahoo group list I am on. But it's concise and I thought many folks who are considering DS and thinking about "what surgeon" might be interested in it.

If you want Lap and have your heart set on Lap, Dr. K probably isn't for
you. He's still learning... He will do it, but you have to convince him.
He prefers to get in there and feel your guts. I started out wanting lap
too, but I decided that in the grand scheme of things it wasn't that
important. I was right.

Dr. K has lost one patient. He doesn't have to "count" this patient because
it was more then 30 days out, but he does. This person was over 600 lbs and
had a trach and developed lung issues or something. Anyway... they were
definetely in the "high risk" category.

I did lots of research on different surgeons and their hospitals. Firstly,
Dr. K has a program. This includes everything from having a limo pick you
up at the airport, to having a bariatric recliners in hotel rooms after you
are out of the hospital. They have a lower negotiated rate with the Shiloh
Inn just for Dr. K patients with rooms that include the recliner, fridge and
a microwave. They do patient education, they give you a binder of info to
read, a nurse is available to talk to 24 hours a day. You pay your program
fee, and you don't pay for another office visit. The doctor is available
by phone and email... and he really does return his messages!

I researched the hospital and checked their JACHO ratings. THe hospital
not only has a brand new Bariatric Wing with hand selected Bariatric
nurses...but they even have recliners in every room. They also have murphy
beds in the room for your support person and will feed your support person
for free 3 times a day. I can now tell you after the fact, that the
nursing care in DRMC was the best I have ever recieved. The nurses were
AWESOME. The hospital, as a selfpay, was and did cap my costs upto 6 days.
This was very important to me.

Dr. K did his residency in MI. He went to school in the caribean -- and
thats the only strike I found against him. I think all told he's
done/assisted over 500 surgeries by now. I think he's done close to 400
himself, but you could ask his office. Check my numbers.

I talked to 10+ postop patients before I decided on Dr. K. I read countless
profiles on AMOS (obesityhelp.com) and did not find one negative comment.
I also checked his license and standing with the CA Medical Board. All
good.

I called DRMC and spoke to OR/Recovery room nurses (can't remember which
Department right now) and asked their opinions on Dr. K. All thought he was
great and would recommend him to their family members.

His office staff is incredible. They return email and phone calls. Dee
his nursing coordinator is very practical and willing to answer questions.
Dawn, Dr. K's nurse and wife, is also incredibly supportive and very
efficient. The folks who work with the insurance companies are awesome
too.... Since the office staff is who you are going to work with half the
time... make sure you can tolerate their attitude and practices!!!

I can tell you now after the fact that I am MOST impressed with Dr. K. He's
someone I would choose as a friend. He's very caring and has a great sense
of humor. He believes in pain control and he really believes in the
surgery. He doesn't do any other bariatric type of surgery anymore
because he so strongly believes in the DS. (I spoke with other surgeons
who have to be "talked into" the DS).

I could go on and on. I am thrilled with my surgery and my selection of a
surgeon. I have been in email contact with Dr. K sending him pictures of
my incision and letting him know how I am doing. He's been AWESOME to me.
I really feel like he cares about my outcome and about me a a patient. He
does not have that "surgeon arrogance" -- or if he does...he hides it well
.

If you have any questions about my experience or surgery...I will happily
share information. It was so much better then I expected. And I am so
happy with my choice of DS and the surgeon and program.


June 30, 2002 -- Kym's Lesson

I was so proud, so smug about never throwing up. I thought I was past the "danger zone". I mean I'm almost a month out. I understand the "rules". HA.

Today I went to the mall and walked around. I've been so hungry all day. I stopped and had maybe 1/4 of bowl of clam chowder but it didn't really satisfy me.

I picked my daughter up from her birthday party. I felt so hungry. REALLY hungry. My tummy hurt. (Note to self, put a jar of nuts in the glove compartment)

I get home, run to the fridge and munch on a string cheese. I figure 7grms of protein will do me good but I am STILL hungry. Must wait for dinner. (bad move)

We have steak. I dont get enough. Hubby in his "helpfulness" figures I only need about 2ozs. Uhhh...HELLO! So I scarf down some veggies. Still hungry. Scarf down some potato. Scarf down some more cheese and luncheon meat.

All of a sudden it hits me. I think I might have over eaten. My mouth FLOODS with liquid like I am going to puke. I do not want to puke. So I stand at the sink letting the spit drip out of my mouth. I argue with myself... Should I puke or should I just pray for a burp. I dont want to "rupture" anything so I decide to pray for a burp. I break out in a cold sweat. I feel my intestines rumble. OH NO I HAVE TO POOP NOW TOO! CRAP. Literally. I close my eyes and wish for a cold wet wash cloth. I scream at my kids to get the hell out of the bathroom so I can suffer in peace. I am still standing there... knowing that if I stop the spit from drizzling into the sink that it's all over. My tummy can not even handle one swallow of spit.

Then...mercifully... I burp. The crisis passes... and I sink onto the toliet because my body decides if it can't rid itself one way, it will another.

Geesh. I can't let myself get that hungry again cause I fall right back into my old habits. I almost lost it. Yuck.

July 2, 2002 -- Nausea

Well... It's not bad nausea. I dont know why I have it. If I "push food" it goes away. Guess I'm just in another phase of my tummy healing. But I wanted to be sure to put down the "good the bad & the ugly" here so people know what to expect.

I ordered a Tanita Body Fat scale so I can measure my percentage of body fat and also make sure that my weight is similar to what my surgeons scale says. The scale in my doctors office was OFF yesterday and it put me into a depression. LOL Damn scales. I should just avoid them.

July 5, 2002 -- One Month Postop Today

Well you see all that above about that tremendous weightloss? FERGET IT! LOL I got my scale today and I have lost 27 lbs in 1 month. Not 41, not 38, not even 30!! Yes it is very depressing. How could my scale have been so wrong? I guess that's why it says only accurate upto 330 lbs! Oh well...

I've lost 18 inches from my fat body. 5.5 inches from my bust, 3.5 inches from my waist, 3.25 from hips and 2.5 from my thighs and various other places. I mean... I can't complain about that!

I feel good. I'm happy. I'd do it again.


I'll write more later this week....

July 6, 2002 -- Scale partially redeemed me

This morning, before I ate, I weighed 33 lbs less. So I feel a little better. I guess this madness is why they tell you to not weigh yourself everyday! LOL

July 9, 2002 -- Heartburn

Well, I really haven't had much gas or heartburn till yesterday. I finished my Nexium Rx and I guess I needed to still be on it. I'd get two symptoms. I'd have a burning whenever I ate anything salty and I would get a "rolling burp" feeling that never seemed like it could make it out of my mouth! My doctor is calling in a perscription for me for more, so I know I won't have to suffer much longer. It's not bad... I've just never had reflux or gas before.

I've lost 34 lbs. I am getting in 64 ozs every other day. I KNOW I need more water then even that. I am really trying to get myself up to 75ozs a day. Ha. It's a noble goal. I just can tell that I am not peeing very much and my urine is strong so I know my body really needs more fluid.

It's amazing how differently I feel about food now. If it wasn't for the pain in my gut... I'd forget to eat. When I want something sweet... I eat some protien first, then have it. I am still very happy with my surgery.

It's beautiful here in the Pacific NW... I'm going to go set up the sprinkler for the kids!!! More later....

July 14, 2002 -- Wow its still working!

I got my period a few days ago and actually gained some weight. I didn't freak out cause I know I hold water during my period.

Yesterday I was RAVENOUS. I don't know if it's because of my period or what... but I ate ice cream, shredded wheat, noodles... you name it. If it was a carb, I wanted it. Today hasn't been much better... and low and behold...this morning I got on the scale and I had lost not only the two pounds I gained, but also lost 2 lbs! WHOO WHOO! So my total loss is 37 pounds so far!

The weight coming off is more erratic now. It's not smooth like .5 a lb a day...but it is averaging about that maybe a bit more. I just hope it keeps on going. I don't feel like I'm being deprived at all.

My incision is getting pretty close to being closed... I can't wait for that to happen. I can now sleep on my stomach. Day before yesterday I rode 2 miles on my bike. And Im going to try to do some excercise every other day or so.


July 17, 2002 -- The Dress and Proselytizing

This morning, just for fun, I took out a cocktail dress I wore to my sister's wedding about 6 years ago. It fit! Everytime over the last few years when I have dieted, I have tried on this dress. It's like the ultimate measuring stick for me. I've been able to get it on and zipped, but I could see the rolls of fat. Today... it fit nice. It really made me feel good.

I went and got my haircut today and my hairdresser was surprised I had the surgery. Even though I've lost almost 40lbs, they are the same 40 lbs I have lost and gained over the past 6 years several times. So people just don't see it. She was surprised how "up and about" I was.

What was weird, is that I seem to have this need to proselytize that I had the Duodenal Switch and not that "Carnie Wilson" surgery. It's like I want people to know that I am not suffering. That I can still have ice cream or a krispy creme. That I can eat pretty normally. That I don't dump. And yet... these skinny real world people, and truthfully half the fat world, just don't care. I mean... to everyone else, weight loss surgery is weight loss surgery. What difference does it make? Well...this girl is here to tell ya... it makes a difference. And as weary as I am about explaining the differences... I will keep doing it. Cause I think the DS is the wave of the future.... and I hate to hear the way RNYers (including my sister who is VERY happy with her surgery) have to deny themselves.

Wow lots of people are reading my page... where are you all coming from? LOL


July 20, 2002 - My first plateau

This is definitely a right of passage I would have prefered to skip! I am pretty sure I am plateaued because of my period, but it still sucks. Since I don't know of any DSers that haven't lost at least 70% of their excess weight, I am trying to not feel freaked about it.

My bladder issue is S-L-O-W-L-Y getting better. I found out that muscle relaxers are helping a bit, so I am sure it's ureathris. I can't wait till it is completely gone. It's the one thing that is keeping me from feeling a 100%.

Energy wise I feel really good. I now have actually more energy then I did preop.

Eating wise is a daily surprise for me. Some days I feel really hungry and other days I don't eat much at all. I can now drink 3-4oz's of water at a time which greatly helps with getting in my 64ozs. I can eat a chicken thigh and a few bites of veggies. I can eat half a sandwich. All in all... it feels pretty good. I have also learned to slow down my eating, so that helps too.

What I am not sure of is how exactly this malabsorption really does work and how effective it is yet. I ate some Taco Bell Nacho's Bell Grande (20 gms of protein!)... and I can't help but think maybe that is the reason I am on the plateau! I dunno... it's strange... I guess the old habits die hard and I keep expecting this to fail.

July 24, 2002 -- Finally Forty lbs Down!

Well I can finally say I am down forty big ones as of yesterday! It's about freakin' time!!! I must say, I love my surgery, but I am not the most patient person in the world. I find myself wishing away my life thinking ... wow... I can't wait till the new year when I can say I am down 100 lbs! I'll do this, I'll do that...

I figured out if I can continue to lose 3.5 lbs a week I will make my 100 lb goal by Dec. 5th. That's a highly agressive goal... but one I would LOVE to hit.

I'm trying to decide if I want to join the YMCA or not. It's a matter of motivation. No matter how much better I feel, I don't see myself ever loving excercise... and I am loathe to join another gym who's membership I don't use....

Meanwhile I am riding my bike 3 miles every other day....

Till next time...

August 7, 2002 --- Down 45 lbs

Well last week I had to head down to my mother's in Florida. She is diabetic and contracted MRSA and had to have part of her foot amputated. It was stressful. I didn't do a very good job of getting in my protein and water -- but I managed to eek out a 2 lb loss anyway. God I love this surgery.

I also went shopping and was able to get on several pairs of 22/24 pants. Granted they were too tight but it was a miracle I could even pull them up! That was very rewarding!

I fit in a coach airline seat! I didn't have to ask for a seatbelt extender. This was also a huge milestone. Very cool.

My bladder issues are GONE GONE GONE! YAHOO! I can now say I feel 110%. I have lots of energy and I am not "exhausted" at the end of the day anymore.

I feel really good. I am able to eat a small meal and do not feel deprived at all. This surgery was a real gift for me.


August 11, 2002 --- Down 50 lbs

Well it's a big milestone. Tomorrow is my ten week anniversary and I am down 50 wholloping pounds. I am giddy with joy over this accomplishment.

Example of what I eat in a day:

1 or 2 pcs of wheat toast with Cream Cheese and Shaved Deli Black Forest Ham --open faced for breakfast (have trouble eating both ... sometimes can only finish half of the second one)

Some nuts or cheese and crackers for snack

Wendy's Chicken Breast Filet sandwhich with half the bread thrown out for lunch.

Cup of 4% cottage cheese for snack

4 ozs of Steak, Tablespoon of rice, Tablespoon of Veggies for dinner

1 oz of Frosted Shredded wheat for a snack with skim milk
Some raw baby carrots

I never would have expected this to be this easy. I am AMAZED. I do not feel like I am dieting at all. And every couple of weeks it just keeps getting better and better.


August 23, 2002 -- A Whole New World

I have noticed as I shrink that I have so much more appreciation for my size on the way down then I did on the way up! Last night I squeezed my big butt into a pair of size 24 stretch jeans at Lane Bryant. YAHOOO! I couldn¡¦t believe it. I haven¡¦t worn a size 24 anything since college. It was quite a milestone. And as I looked into the mirror in the dressing room, staring at the thinner me who was looking back, I realized that I really don¡¦t look that bad. That at some point, if I had just APPRECIATED myself at this size, maybe I wouldn¡¦t have ballooned up to a size 34+! Hindsight is 20/20.

I have had several weeks of losing 5 lbs a week. I am one happy camper. I am now down to 56 lbs. Four more pounds and I will leave the 300¡¦s forever. I am thrilled. I also have lost an additional inch and half from my hips and an inch from my waist and an inch from my arms. So I really am shrinking. I almost have to write these words down because I can¡¦t believe it is happening to me.

I can now see parts of my body I couldn¡¦t before. That¡¦s weird. Sex is WAY WAY WAY better. It¡¦s amazing what 55 lbs does for that! I can now carry things up the flight of 16 stairs in my house and not be out of breath. I was able to buy a size 44 bra last night instead of a 52!!

My life is more active and I have tons of energy now. I am so happy I did this surgery. I know I say that in about every posting but I am just so giddy with joy over this whole process. I can now eat very normally. I was frustrated right after surgery with the fact that I could only eat 7 bites then be done. Now I can eat a small meal. I have learned to slow down and savor my food more. I can now eat about half a meal. I can eat 2 scrambled eggs and a piece of toast. I feel normal. I guess that¡¦s the part I really can¡¦t believe. I actually feel like a normal person.

Milestones I am looking forward to:

***Getting under 300 lbs
***Hitting the weight it says on my drivers license 290
***Being in a size that ends in ¡§teen¡¨
***Being a weight lower then my husband has ever seen me 267
***Dropping under 250

Till next time campers¡K.

September 9, 2002 -- Goodbye 300's Forever

I'm sorry I haven't been updating as much but what is there to say really? Life is normal. I don't mourn food. I eat whatever I want and I still lose weight. I feel so *GIDDY* with joy that I am bordering on obnoxious and people are going to slap me.

I did have a hellacious plateau for 3 weeks where I bounced around the SAME two pounds. That sucked. But since I had lost so fast the previous 3 weeks... who cares? My body is showing a half pound loss a day on average. I am not going to complain about that since I am probably not excercising like I should be!

I also now fit into 24's. That's pretty cool. And you can see from the picture below I have gone from "YOU BIG FAT CHICK" to "Pleasantly Plump". I feel more normal. I have more energy.

***************** Life is good! *****************

Till next time cowboys and cowgirls....

PS. If you are overweight, I am selling a lot of my fat clothes on Ebay under the Userid MILTONTHETOASTER. Check it out!

October 28, 2002 -- Slow and Steady wins the Race?

Life has been incredibly hectic and busy for me lately. We are just about to complete our vacation home in Cape Coral Florida and I have been very busy going over final details, working on advertising and confirming bookings. You can can check it out here: http://www.capecoralfamilyhouse.com

I am down 78 lbs. I wish I was down more, but truth is that I am not low carbing it as much as I should be. I'm a little sick of protien. I like to eat baked goods. You would think after shelling out all that money on surgery I would be more compliant with my diet. But I guess if I was really complaint then I wouldn't have needed this surgery to begin with.

I am working out 3 times a week so I think that is pretty good. I am now wearing a 20/22 depending on the brand and cut of jeans. That is amazing. I actually bought a pair of size 18/20 sweat pants at the Avenue and they FIT! I about cried in the dressing room. In my mind's eye though, I'm still the same weight. I just don't see much of a difference between size 34 and size 20. I know logically it's there...but it's really strange the way my brain plays tricks on me.

My energy is soaring. It was amazing the other day I went to Costco THEN went grocery shopping. Before surgery I could barely make it THROUGH Costco and I would pay for it with exhaustion and my feet aching the next morning. Now I can do Costco PLUS!

My hair is falling out more then I thought it would. I've always had a lot of hair so you can't see the thinning but the amount that is falling out is pretty alarming. It reminds me that no matter how "normal" I feel, my body isn't getting enough of SOMETHING and so my hair is paying the price. I have bought NIOXIN products and they do seem to be helping after only a few days. I'll let you know how that goes.

I can eat a lot of food. More then I think I should. I went to Red Lobster the other day and was able to put down almost the whole ULTIMATE FEAST. I ate 3/4 of the salad and had TWO cheese biscuits. OINK OINK! I get so irritated with myself that I don't have much willpower. I can say I am grateful though that at least I am not dealing with a one ounce pouch. My RNY sister can't each much but she aint losing much anymore either. At least I'm still losing. Thank God for Malabsorption.

I dont think I'm going to make my 100 lb goal by Christmas. Thats ok. Im still going to be close.

I just wanted to post my quick update because I haven't been around much lately.... Nineteen more pounds and I will be a weight my husband hasn't ever seen me at.....

November 3, 2002 -- I'm 35 today and thinner then I was at 25

I updated my picture for posterity. I can see it in my face but I really do have a tough time seeing the difference in my body. I mean logically I know it's there, but I look at it and think "i feel thinner then I look".

It's amazing I have lost so much weight this past week considering how much sugar I ate. Guess that working out really helps take the edge off.

In five short months I have:

Got off all Diabetes meds.
Gone from a size 34 pants to 22 jeans.
Gone from a size 5x shirt to a size 18/20 shirt.
Gone from a BMI of 49 to a BMI of 37.5
Feet dont hurt anymore.
Can and do excercise regularly
Have energy through the roof.
Sleep requirement dropped from 10 hours a nite to 8 hours a nite.
Regular periods. (if you can call this a plus!)
No more seat belt extender needed.
No more sore knees.
I have a lap for my kids to sit on.

December 30, 2002 -- A member of the CENTURY Club

Today was the day. I have now officially lost 100 lbs. Wow. I expected it, but I still can't believe it. It's been a wonderful experience.

Not that much has changed in my life. I put protien first, but I still eat lots of junk. More carbs and sugars then I should. I guess I also work out now and am pretty committed to my 3 times a week with weight training and cardio. But the rest just feels so.... normal.

I have a hernia. I expect I will now actually have a TT. Why not right? If I have to suffer with another abdominial surgery I might as well get a flat tummy out of it. And I rather suffer for a few weeks for the lifetime of "better". The DS has really shown me how "worth it" it can be to go under the knife :)

I know I look a lot better but I still feel pretty fat. I'm thinner then my husband has ever seen me... but i still feel fat. I'm not sure how to convince my mind about the changes in body image. I think part of the problem is that my body image was so screwed up before when I was REALLY fat. You see... I think I have always seen myself about size 20/22. Now that I am a size 20... there just doesn't seem to be a big difference in my minds eye. Truthfully, I'm not sure how important it is. Who cares what my minds eye thinks anyway?

People ask me all the time if people treat me different. No I dont think they do. Not the ones that matter to me anyway. I do see a difference with strangers....

I am hoping that I can continue to lose rate at least 8 lbs a month. But I am not sure. It does seem to be slowing down a bit. Could be all that chocolate I can't stay away from...

I'll try to update my pics soon......

January 4, 2003 - My hernia hurts

I'm down 101 lbs and just finishing up my period. It's been very painful. It felt like my ovaries were going to explode each night. Sometimes when I would pee or have a bm, I would feel pressure. Sometimes when I would be going to sit down I would get a very painful pinching and severe cramp. At night, my belly would ache.

Remember when I had the pee issues after my surgery? I thought it was all because of the UTI? I am now convinced that it was the beginning of a hernia. And I am now even more convinced that I either have one big one or two. One seems to to the left of my uterus and the other is at my belly button and extends upward halfway up my incision.

I didn't have the incision one I dont think till a few months ago. But I think the one that is playing havoc with my female organs is from the get go.

I dont knwo what I am going to do. If this pain sustains itself even after my period cramps go away (it seems to be a little better tonight)... then i am going to try to hold out till I am closer to my goal to get my surgery. But if the pain keeps up like it has the past few days... I'll have no choice but to get the surgery now. The question will be whether I get ONLY the hernia repaired... or get the tummy tuck as well. I dont think I can muster up the courage for TWO more abdominal surgeries. I think they'll either have to do them all at once or i will never get the TT. I dunno. How important is the TT? Do I really care? I mean... I am happily married...what's a little extra sag?

I'll write more later... I'm sick of thinking about it.

I updated my picture below. I'm down 101 lbs.

January 13, 2003 - Life is unpredictable isn't it?

Well turns out the pain wasn't just from my hernia. Several days ago after mucho pain... I had a pelvic CT done and it confirmed that I have a mass on/around my ovary that is about 5 inches wide. Thus explains part of the pain. Also they determined that my hernia is impacting my small bowel.

Understand that once I realized i had a hernia, I knew that when I got my hernia fixed I would have a tummy tuck. Well I'm 70 lbs from goal. But I know that if I dont do the TT at the same time I do this hernia repair, I'll never have it done. Plus I figure that since I am looking at a partial hysterectomy ... they are going to give me a bikinni cut anyway...how's that ever going to heal with my big pannus? AND...with them slicing me down the middle for the hernia repair... I figure why not?

Also..>I have 3 kids and I have a nanny for a few more months. So I figure that I might as well take advantage of the "help" I have now and go ahead and do it.

I am not excited by the thought of another major abdominal surgery only 7 months out from the DS. But I know I have no choice so I might as well throw that TT in for good measure.

I am meeting with Dr. Egrari in bellevue on Wednesday and hoping to have my surgery scheduled for the beginning of Feb. I'll then have to find a OBGYN to do the hysterectomy after I verify with DR. E what hospital he prefers to work with.

Thats it for me... I'm down 104 lbs..... I'll update more after my doctor appointment. Oh... and if this cyst on my ovary is cancer... there will be no Tummy tuck....

January 23, 2003 -- More surgery

I¡¦ve now had an appointment with my plastic surgeon and I have had an appointment with my GYN doctor. Im going to go ahead and have a combined hernia repair, hysterectomy and tummy tuck.

I think what surprised me most about my PS consult, is that he said he thought I would lose 4 to 5 sizes! Geesh. Considering I am a size 20 now¡K that would put me in a size 14. That was my GOAL size. LOL Maybe I¡¨ll actually get down to a size 12 or a size 10.

I am a little nervous about the whole going under the knife thing again. But I feel good about combing the surgeries. The reasons I am combining the surgeries are:

ƒÞ I still have a nanny now that can help with my kid care after I am done.
ƒÞ If I do have a complication, the chances are the insurance will cover it because they wont be able to directly link it to the abdominoplasty. Gives me a little more coverage in case something disastrous happens.
ƒÞ I¡¦ll be linking my recuperating time into one fell swoop¡K no multiple goings under the knife.
ƒÞ My ¡§in stay¡¨ hospital care will be paid for by the insurance and covered because of the hysterectomy.

Then negatives of combining the surgery:
ƒÞ My hysterectomy could probably be performed laproscopically if I wasn¡¦t having a Tummy tuck so it would be faster recovery time.
ƒÞ Increased risk of Pulmonary Embolism with combing the procedures. The big vein that goes into the leg deals with increased swelling due to the combination TT and Hysterectomy which can cause blood clots.
ƒÞ Not as good results with the TT because I am 60 lbs from goal ¡V but since the hernia has to be repaired ANYWAY¡K I don¡¦t have much choice.


The things I am most worried about are simply coordinating all this and keeping my family life running. Who¡¦s going to answer emails on the house we rent? Who¡¦s going to take the kids to school? How¡¦s my husband going to get to spend time with me at the hospital without taking days off of work? Can I get our taxes done and our house refinanced before surgery? We lead busy lives and I wonder if my family can thrive without me. Ha!

Weightloss wise I am in a plateau right now. Still down 104 lbs. Could be all the donuts I am eating. I¡¦ve been pretty stressed out and in pain with this stupid thing and I haven¡¦t been eating really well. I¡¦m eating TONS of food¡K. And not making great choices. They need to get this surgery scheduled quick so I can get back on the bandwagon.

Big milestone yesterday was that I realized I fit into an Old Navy XL shirt. This is amazing to me because as you all know¡K Old Navy is a skinny girl store! I fit into all my hubby¡¦s XL shirts and I about cried¡K.

I am hoping that this surgery gets scheduled before the end of February. Actually¡K I¡¦m hoping that it¡¦s scheduled the week of Feb. 10th so my kids are off of school the next week and I don¡¦t have to worry about driving --- although the doctor¡¦s PS schedule looks particularly full¡K.

Oh well¡K lots to worry about.

January 29, 2003 -- There wont be a tummy tuck this time

They did a CA125 test (blood test) that tests a cancer marker and mine came back elevated. I am now having a hystrectomy with an oncologist and will not be getting my tummy tuck at this time. On the off chance I need Chemo... I don't want to be dealing with healing from a tummy tuck.

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. I am very scared... but I know I will be ok. It's probably just Endometriosis... but it's very scary.

Anyway... that's my update.

February 8, 2003 -- I'm in a size 16 jeans!

I was feeling depressed about the possiblity of having cancer and I was feeling even more depressed about not being able to get my tummy tuck if it's not cancer. So I did what every warm blooded american girl does when shes depressed: SHE SHOPS! I've updated my picture below with me in my size "OMG I can barely breath-size-16s!" I can't even remember the last time I wore a size 16. I know it's not in the past 15 years!

My weight loss slowed down this month because of all the crap I am eating. You wouldn't BELIEVE the crap I have eaten and STILL lost weight. My God... I feel like I have stumbled on the "fountain of youth" for weight loss with this surgery. Who have thunk you could stil lose 7 or 8 lbs in a month where you scarfed down donuts? Surgery has done nothing to replace my crappy eating habits....

Surgery is scheduled for the 14th of Feb. I'll post more afterwards.

February 26, 2003 -- Down 120 lbs and still not a Normie!
Well the good news is that I don’t have cancer!!! I can’t tell you what a weight that is lifted off my mind. Thank God. The bad news is that as I was getting up from the couch on Sunday, my incision literally “split open” 3 inches in my abdomen and is quite “deep”. YUCK! Lot’s of fluid burst forth too, so I am pretty sure I had a seroma building there. At least it’s not infected, but it’s been pretty depressing. Depressing because even though I have lost 120 lbs, my body still doesn’t heal like a normie. I mean, I have this pannus and it just doesn’t heal like the rest of me. I hate it. And I don’t feel like I want to go through another abdominal surgery to get the tummy tuck, and yet… if I don’t I am never going to be “normal”. I am always going to be grossly disfigured with this huge flap of skin that never heals right.

It’s all very frustrating to me. I guess I can admit I sorta used to “look down” on people who had plastics when I was fat. I viewed them as simply “unable” to accept themselves and having poor self esteem. And yet, here I am, realizing that my weight loss journey is never going to be “truly complete” unless I remove this big ole pannus and have my mons lifted. I’m never going to experience “being normal” without taking this final step with one more surgery! UGH! I don’t want another surgery!

The good news is that I am down 120 lbs. That’s amazing. And I still have a lot of swelling so I am sure it’s going to continue to go down. I was on liquids only for 5 days so I am sure I lost a ton of weight then. I was starving. They wouldn’t let me eat till I passed gas! Between that and the bowel prep…. I was on liquids for TOO LONG!

Things are going well otherwise… like I said, I think I can deal with anything now that I know I don’t have cancer.

March 5, 2003 -- Nine Month Anniversary Down 125 lbs!

Not really that much to say that I haven't said before. I find this surgery to be a miracle. I feel like it's one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I feel almost guilty that I can continue my love affair with food and not pay the horrible price of obesity anymore! I literally get to have my cake and eat it too.

My first goal is to get to 199 so I am only 36 lbs to goal. My second goal is to get to 185 and then have a tummy tuck. So my ultimate goal is only 50 lbs away. That amazes me. At this point, all weight loss is gravy really. I am happy. I am healthy. Life is good.

And since I have lost so much weight after my hystrectomy, I am expecting one helluva plateau any day now I'll post pictures when more of my abdominal swelling goes down. I can really see a change in my face.

May 19, 2003 -- down 130lbs

I haven't updated in awhile since life has been so busy. There just isn't that much to tell. My weighloss has slowed down a lot. There are reasons for this. First, I lost 18 lbs in 3 weeks after my hystrectomy. Then, for the first 4-6 weeks after my surgery my body was thrown into hormone hell. As I adjusted to HRT, my body stopped losing weight. I think I was and am still losing, but its harder to see it reflected on the scale because I put on about 7 lbs of water. 7 lbs is about a month of losing. Soooo.. I dont know. Maybe I'm just rationalizing everything.

I got my one year labwork and that was amazing. My total cholestrol is 95. NINETY FIVE. Amazing. My triglycerides are: 98. Everything else was fairly normal.... (liver stuff is still a bit whacked out, but since iM still losing, I'm not concerned). The only thing that didn't look well was my Vitamin D. It's pretty low. So my doctor started me on some prescription Vitamin D. You know, I almost wonder if some of this isn't related to the fact I live in Seattle where there is no sun till late May! :)

I just got back from three weeks in Florida. I saw family who haven't seen me since I was preop. They were impressed. The big milestone on the trip was going to Target to buy another bathing suit and being able to fit into a MISSES size 18. Totally amazing.

My biggest struggle is with still making fat girl choices with regards to physical activity. I was on the beach with my cousin and she was talking about us walking to go get lunch a few blocks away. In my head, I was like "no way!" But of course I did it...and it wasn't hard at all. Even going to my mailbox, which is down a hill and not that far... I still find myself almost dreading it.... and yet, it's no big deal anymore. I know that I am not as active as I should be because my mind still thinks I am 360 lbs. Very strange. Guess this is the body image stuff everyone talks about.

I will be having a tummy tuck. It's only a question of when. My guess is that it will be next year sometime... I'm thinking maybe around March of next year.

I am currently wearing some 16's if they are stretchy and mostly 18's.

I am eating way to many carbs. I have found BEANO to take care of the gas problem of eating too much white food. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.

I figure I need to drop another 20 - 40 lbs before the tummy tuck. But truth is... if I didn't lose another pound and had the tummy tuck now, I'd be ok with it. I'm happy with my arms and legs.. its my torso that needs the work.

I also expect that this last 35 lbs is something I am going to have to work at. That means getting my butt out excercising and eating right. I have been making crappy food choices and I need to get myself together. I figure I have a 7 month window left... If I could lose 5 lbs a month....

I am still VERY happy with my choice in surgery. I can eat VERY normally. I feel great. I'd do this all again in a heartbeat!

June 17, 2003 -- down 130lbs -- Gonna have PLASTICS!

Well sorry about my 1 year anniversary coming and going without posting. Life has been really busy. But I wont bore you with my excuses. I am celebrating my one year anniversary with an incredible gift to ME:

I have decided to go to Brazil for plastic surgery. I am having an extended tummy tuck with mons lift, breast lift and some lipo at my jawline. I'm VERY excited.

I was all set to do it here in the states, but then found a surgeon in Brazil who I believe seems more ARTISTIC then even the famed Dr. Egrari here in Bellevue. So I decided to go for it.

I found out about the surgeon on MEDNETBRAZIL at Yahoo Groups. The total cost will be less then 7K. THe same amount of plastics here in the states with Dr. Egrari would be around 25-30K. It's a great deal by a TALENTED plastic surgeon! (Brazil is world reknown for their plastic surgeons!)

In an ideal world, I'd like to wait another 8 months or so till I am outside my weightloss window, but truth is, my husband is off of work right now and I need to do it while I have someone to watch my three kids.

My mom is going to travel with me. I am flying down on August 13th. I will psot more when I know my surgery date.

I'm still losing weight, it's just slow, slow, slow now. I'm hoping the tummy tuck will jump start things :)

August 2, 2003 -- down 133lbs -- Leaving soon for Brazil!

You know, if you had told me before I started my weightloss journey that I would be getting ready to have plastic surgery, I would have laughed at you. I mean, really... I'll admit to even looking DOWN on people who have had plastics. I saw them as "vain". And it bothers me a bit that people will think I am doing this simply for vanity.

I never had a self confidence problem when I was fat. I dont have one now. If I didn't do things, its because I felt horrible doing them. My feet hurt, I didn't fit, I got out of breath... but I always believed I could do anything. I decided to have weightloss surgery and go through this process though, based on HEALTH reasons. That's where I started in my head.

Now with plastics, I have to justify in my mind why I am doing this because I can't say its just for health. Plastics and their reasons are not quite as quantitative as the health reasons for WLS. This huge flap of skin is prone to yeast infections and chafing. But I have to admit I could probably control it all with creams and such. There are no real reasons to get my boobs lifted. My stomach gets in the way of clothing fitting right. I feel deformed. So I still "feel" different. And that's when it hit me. It's not just about HEALTH... it's about being NORMAL. Health really isn't the end all anymore... now my goal has shifted to being NORMAL. Just healthy was enough when I was fat... now it's not.

And as I have gone through this weight loss process, what started out as a goal of "health" has now become a goal of "Normalcy". Amazing transformation all this is. I thought I was normal FAT...but I was making up my own lala land to get by and accept my altered state. I dont want to do that again. I realize now that I want the GIFTS that normal AND healthy have to give me. Being normal, not just healthy, gives me more choices.

I wonder what other transformations will come with the plastic surgery. I wonder if I will be "happy with me". I wonder if I will keep wanting more. I wonder if I will ever feel "small" or "normal sized". I mean I still feel like an amazon. I am six feet tall and I simply still have a whacky body image. I have NO IDEA how I will define NORMAL.

I leave for Brazil on Aug 13th. I arrive on the 14th around 1pm local time. I have a leg dopplar done at 5pm then my consult with the doctor. The next day on the 15th is surgery. I will arrive home back in Seattle on Sept 1st.

I wonder how much fat will be removed?

I am having an extended tummy tuck (anchor incision) that wraps around to my butt. I am having Lipo in four zones. I am having a breast lift with part of my breast tissue being anchored UNDER the muscle so I can I have superior pole fullness like you get with implants. And I am having my chin lipo sucked.

Wish me luck! I'll post more after I get back.

October 19, 2003 -- down 157lbs -- Complications from Plastics

Well... ya know, I think I did too much. I went to Brazil and had extended tummy tuck, boob lift, lipo to my jawline and mons lift. (no additional lipo since I had so much skin to remove) For me, having the hernia repair and total hystrectomy in Feb and then having this in August... I think I just did too much. Maybe that contributed to my crappy recovery?

I had several complications:

Crappy pain control in Brazil. (They dont use the same level of narcotics like percocet or vicodan there! No pcas, etc)
Small eraser size piece of necrotic tissue on my belly button
Opening at the "T" of the anchor incision
The belly button and open at the T got slightly infected but cleared up after a couple weeks on antibotics.
Lost the bottom 3rd of my areola on my left breast
Slight opening in the T of my left breast under the aereola (surface but the scar is going to suck)
Major necrosis (dead fat tissue) inside the right breast which required 5 weeks of bi-weekly debridements with scalpel. (SUCKED AND HURT!)
Right breast completely opened along bottom suture line under breast and I am still packing it twice a day. I lost about 1/2 cup of breast tissue. Hopefully my body will fill it in. I will probably need reconstructive surgery but Im not even thinking about it for a year. I am DONE with elective surgery!

Let me give the normal disclaimer: It's not the surgeon's fault. I think he does beautiful work and he's a sweet man. I would not choose to go back, nor would I make the same choice to have it done there...but I don't begrudge other's their choice. THe price was right and if I didn't have the complications... I'm sure Id be THRILLED! But the complications could have happened to me here too... (except I do believe I would have had better pain control in the states).

THe T opening is closed now. My bellybutton is 95% healed. My right breast still looks like it went through a meat grinder and is DISGUSTING looking since he had to scrape off the bottom of the nipple... but it's healing. In another 6 weeks, it should be pretty good. THe huge opening on the left breast probably wont be healed up till after Christmas.... It's in the shape of a rainbow. The good news is that it wont be as visable as the other aerola scar is, because it's under the breast really.

Ok... so they removed 15 lbs of fat and skin with the tummy tuck. I am still swollen but I am really shrinking in clothing sizes. I love the way my tummy is concave when i lay down and the fact I can see my whoo-ha without lifting up a flap of skin!!!

Something else about surgeries... is that when I am coming off pain drugs, I have about a week or two of bad nausea. Has anyone else noticed that? Gosh nausea sucks.

I am only 19 lbs to my ideal weight. I am wearing a Misses large now. Which is pretty stinking good for someone 6 foot tall. I'm happy if I dont drop another lb... but I will be THRILLED when I lose another 4 lbs and drop below 200. 199 was my first goal...and Im only 4 lbs away! 19 lbs to my ideal weight of a bmi of 24! Amazing.

Nov. 15, 2003 -- Nothing new to report -- still healing

My right breast is healing very nicely. The huge gaping wound is now only about half an inch deep and only about 2 inches wide. It's healing fast. My left breast still looks horrible, although both plastic surgeons say it's healing nicely. I dont know why it's healing so much slower... but it is. I will most likely need a graft at some point in the future, but I am not going to have anymore surgery for awhile. I can live with whatever scar I will have. I simply want to give my body at least 12 months between surgeries.

The sucky thing about this is that I am going to Florida for several weeks and I am not going to be able to swim. It's still an open wound... and I risk infection if I go in. I'm bummed about that. I do not want to sit on a hot beach and not be able to go into the water.

Monday I am having laser treatment for hair removal on my upper lip. I'm just becoming the total extreme makeover lady . Dont you love that show?

My weight is the same. Still bouncing around the same five pounds. However I have lost over 90% of my excess weight, so if I dont drop another pound, I'm still ok with it. I suspect that I will lose more, but not until i stop eating all the crap I have been eating. I am going to "get back on the wagon" after the holidays and try to diet my last 20-30 lbs away. We'll see how that goes. Maybe if I write it here I will actually do it? Ha. Problem is with the DS< I haven't had to diet at all... and I really dont WANT to. I love that i dont have to deny myself anything.... but I think I may have to to lose this last 20 lbs....

March 31, 2004 -- Maintaining

Nothing much to report. I am now completely healed from my plastics as of two weeks ago. YIPEE! Now I just have peeling scar tissue on the breast. It's on the breast where there was no debridement and it didn't open up, so I am figuring that the necrosis and blood supply was so bad in there that is why it was so slow healing. There are HUGE marble and golf ball sized balls of scar tissue I can feel in there. My surgeon says they will go away eventually.

I am maintaining my weight. I bounce around the same eight lbs. I tried dieting for two months but still couldn't get out this range so I figure i am just going to be happy where I am at.

I'd like to have some more skin removed, but I am too chicken to go through another surgery.

Not much else new in the WLS part of my life now. If you would like to keep up with my life on a more day to day basis you can read my blog at: http://emundane.blogspot.com

May 15, 2004 Not much new

Still maintaining in the same 8 lb range. Still thrilled. Started a new WLS website.

I created a Malabsorptive Surgery Information Clearinghouse for postop Distal WLS patients. If you are interested please visit: http://wlsinfo.blogspot.com


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Photos

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A preop pictures of me at a DS support meeting PREOP!

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DS 6/5/02 -- down 160lbs - postop Plastics- 19 lbs to ultimate goal


Hospital Reviews
  • (Delano, CA) - Delano Regional Medical Center

  • Surgeon Info:
    Surgeon: Ara Keshishian
    I met with Dr. K and his staff on 2/19/02. They were really great. I am most likely a self pay and I could have gone anywhere in the country. I really researched my surgeon and I will share the highlights with you. The only negative I have about Dr. K is that he is still learning to do the DS laporscopically and when I started this adventure... I figured that is what I would like. But I have decided to go and have the open with Dr. K at Delano Regional Medical Center. I researched the JACHO records of the hospital and they have done well. I called the hospital on 2 seperate occasions and spoke with OR & Recovery room nurses who have worked with DR. K. Both had only good things to say about him. (It was hard to get them to open up!) I checked Dr. K's credentials with the CA Medical Board. I spoke on the phone and in email to 10+ of his patients. All which raved about him. Dr. K is one of only a handful of surgeons in the country who has done this procedure over 400 times! His support staff is the *best*. Dee Tinkle is who I have worked with the most and she has had the surgery herself, her daughter has had the surgery and she is very practical, down to earth, and an excellent teacher. They have an excellent out of town program that includes a negotiated rate at local hotel that has a microwave, fridge and bariatric recliner for post op patients. The hospital has a new Bariatric "wing". (which means you don't have to worry about them "finding a gown to fit you", etc) All rooms are private and your support person can stay with you in the hospital in their own bed in your room. They will also get complimentary meals three times a day. (Hospital food: but still very nice to know its there) I personally liked how detail oriented Dr. K is. I was impressed by his attention to detail. This came across in our consult visit. I WANT someone like that. Ok..thats all I can think of off the top of my head. I highly encourage people who are considering WLS to look into the DS procedure. It's incredible. And if you are going to travel for the surgery...consider Dr. K! His website is: http://www.gr-ds.com/