4-30-04 I am a single 34 year old. My PCP has been monitoring my weight for a long time, and suggested WLS to me at my last appointment. He also suggested another supervised weight loss attempt before he refers me to a surgeon. I chose Weight Watchers. I have been attending for a month and I've lost about 4 pounds. My highest weight was 345. I have been researching WLS and I'm so glad that I found this website! Last year I was diagnosed with central serous retinopathy which leads to loss of central vision. So if I loose more of my vision, it would help if there wasn't so much of me to get around! I also have hypothyroidism, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, venous stasis, osteoarthritis, and plantar faciitis.
5-11-04 I have an appointment with my PCP on the 24th. I hope he gives me a referral to Dr. Cox and writes my letter of medical necessity. I called Dr. Cox's office today to get the info packet. Wow, this is going to be expensive traveling to his office in Ft. Lauderdale! I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and kind words for Mamaw Matt. She is out of the hospital now, but the doctors couldn't save her ears. They will probably fall off sometime in the next three months.
5-12-04 Carey in Dr. Cox's office set my appointments for the cardiologist, pulmonologist, info class, etc. for the 26th and 27th. My psych evaluation is with Dr. Zimmerman on the 26th. My Mom is going to drive me down to Ft. Lauderdale and attend with me. Now, I just have to figure out how I'm going to pay for all of this!!!
5-15-04 I recieved my info packet from Dr. Cox's office. I have to get to work on compiling my diet history. I went to Weight Watcher's this morning and I've gained back everything that I'd lost! Bummer!!!
5-21-04 I finished filling out the forms for Dr. Cox and mailed them today. I also finished typing up my diet history and a suggested letter of medical necessity for my PCP to go by. I have an appointment with him on Monday.
5-24-04 I went to see my PCP today. When I handed him the sample letter of medical necessity that I typed up, he just handed it back to me. He didn't even discuss how Weight Watchers was going, he just checked to see if I went. He was in a FOUL mood! He kept telling me that just because he recommended the diets I had been on and weighed me and discussed the diet with me on my next appointment, it didn't mean that they were "medically supervised." He did finally say that he would write my letter of medical necessity, but didn't want to hear about what Dr. Cox wanted him to include. I just hope he does a half-way descent job on it!!! After I left his office, I went to have my bloodwork done that Dr. Cox requested.
5-29-04 We made it back from Ft. Lauderdale safe and sound. It was great to finally meet Michelle and Milton! Dr. Cox is such a caring giving person, and his wife Deborah rocks!!! She really knows her stuff! I was really impressed with their program. I am confident that I've made the right decision. I am now part of a winning team! Lisa, the nutritionists, was very informative. I made it to all of my appointments and even worked in two extra tests. I really liked Dr. Zimmerman the psychologist. I passed the stress test ordered by Dr. Flores (he prescribed a blood pressure medication for me) and had my PFT test at Northridge Medical Center before we checked out of our hotel. The examiner kept asking me if I had asthma. He said that my breathing was compromised. My Aunt Rita has severe asthma and is waiting for a lung transplant. Now, I just have to wait for all of the test results to be faxed to Dr. Cox.
Me with Michelle & my Niece Erin
06-03-04 I went back to see my PCP today. He was in a much better mood! He gave me my letter of medical necessity!!!!! Since starting my pre-op diet recommended by Deborah, I've lost 4 pounds. I've said goodbye to diet soda's, chocolate, and my beloved carbs. I'll remember them fondly. lol I was feeling really pumped until I got a bill from the cardiologist Dr. Cox sent me to for $538.00!!!!! If Medipass isn't going to pay for all the testing he put me through, I'm screwed!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to call tomorrow and see if I can get some answers.
06-05-04 I called billing, and they said it was a typographical error. Their typo almost gave me a heart attack! lol Well, I'm sticking to the protein diet. I've lost 9.8 pounds this week!!! I treated myself to the low-carb breakfast bowl at Hardee's. Yummy! I'm so worried about Momma Angel, her son posted this morning that she's in a coma now. It's just breaks my heart!!!!!
06-21-04 I haven't posted since the passing of Momma Angel. It was such a stressful time for everyone. Well, I've had an emotional rollercoaster of a day!!!! I found out why my letter of surgical clearance was delayed. The thyroid scan they sent me for showed a growth on my thyroid! I have to have a biopsy to determine whether it's cancer or a goiter. They told me to call Dr. Cox's office and let them know that I couldn't be cleared for surgery. I called Carey and told him. I asked him if this delay would mean getting all of the test done again before I could be approved for surgery. Carey said, "Sweetie, you've already been approved!" He said to let him know when I was scheduled for the biopsy and got my results. The hospital will have to send Dr. Cox a letter clearing me before he can schedule me for WLS. I don't know whether to celebrate or to cry? After all of the support I got from my posts today, I feel like celebrating! The biopsy I'll put in the Lord's hands...
06-28-04 Carey called and I have a surgery date!!!!! My re-birthday is July 14th! I have to be in Ft. Lauderdale July 1st for pre-op testing. Wow, this is fast! I just wish I had the whole biopsy thing over with. Wow, I've never been this excited about being a loser!!!!!!!!!!!
06-29-04 Michelle got approved and her date today!!!!! I'm so happy for her, Milton , and their kids. She SO deserves this. I will still be in the hospital when she comes down for pre-ops. I'll still be down there when she goes in for surgery. We have made this journey together. Soon, we'll be a couple of big losers!!! I bought a food processor and and Rival sno cone maker for after surgery. I found the Rival sugar free syrup at Walmart, yummy.
07-02-04 My preop testing went great! Cindy at Northridge was so helpful. I just had my chest x-ray and PFT test a month ago, so I got to skip those. I had the bloodwork, EKG, and the gallbladder ultrasound. I had my consult with Dr. Cox. I made a 100 on my test, Deborah would be so proud. Carey was out that day, so I didn't get to meet him. He's such a sweetheart!!! I did get to meet Lisa, she rocks! They set my goal at 199lbs., I hope to get down to 170. I finally got an appointment for my thyroid biopsy, it's on the 9th. Thanks Neil for your support, I hope you get approved soon!!! Happy 4th everyone!
07-10-04 I went for my thyroid biopsy yesterday. I'm so swollen and sore! They tried to numb the site twice with little success. They aspirated the mass 5 times trying to get enough cells for the pathologist. I was screaming through the last four!!! It hurt SO bad when they would get the needle down into the mass! I hope I never have to go through that again. Now, I get to worry all weekend if I have cancer and if they'll get the results in time to clear me for WL surgery.
07-12-04 I made an appointment with my PCP and sat there until he got my preliminary results. He called the hospital and they told him that the pathologist wasn't going to read it until tomorrow. I told him that I was leaving for surgery tomorrow, I need the results now!!! My doc convinced them to read them right away. It showed that the mass was benign and "non-functional". I probably won't have to have it removed unless it grows. He cleared me for surgery!!! I called Dr. Cox's office to see if they got the fax clearing me, they said no. I called my PCP's office manager and she said she hadn't even typed it up for him to sign yet, but should have it ready in a few days. I said, "Well get busy, I'm leaving tomorrow!!!!!!!" I'll be in Ft. Lauderdale for 2 weeks. I'll update as soon as I can.
Me & Dr. Cox
07-23-04 I made it to the loosing side!!! The morning before my surgery, I went to my PCP's office to make sure they faxed my letter of surgical clearance and medical necessity. It still hadn't been faxed!!!!!!! After some begging and pleading on my part and some negotiating by Carey, the office manager typed the letter. She faxed it down to Carey in Dr. Cox's office, he called me on my cell right away. She hadn't worded the letter the way he requested! She stated the results of my biopsy, not "cleared for surgery". She also stated "medically beneficial" instead of "medically necessary". They negotiated by phone and she finally agreed to type the letter properly, what a biddy!!! Well, I finally got the okay from Carey and headed for Ft. Lauderdale. The bowel prep wasn't as bad as I'd imagined. I had to be at Holy Cross at 5am. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be during admitting, but my Mom was a wreck! I gave my sample for the pregnancy test and struggled to pull on those lovely tight socks. Getting the IV and blood gases was stressful, but not horrifying as I'd imagined. The first time he stuck me for the blood gases, a cramp went down my hand and thumb...ouch!!! He hit a nerve, it still tingles sometimes. The second stick wasn't that bad, he hyperflexed my hand before he started. I really started to get nervous. I got my bloodwork, met with the anesthesiologist, then started to panic. I managed to deal with my fear of death. Dr. Cox came to see me before surgery. He's such a good man. They gave me my knock-out shot and I was off to dreamland. My surgery took a little longer than expected, 3 1/2 hours. Dr. Cox discovered that my gallbladder was covered with adhesions. I didn't have any complications and woke up in my room. I don't remember recovery. My Mom had bought me a stuffed kitten, it was adorable! That evening, the nurse got me up to walk. I was too dizzy, so they just let me stand a while. The second day, I got a roommate. It was a lady named Michelle who I'd met in the info and nutrition classes. She had her surgery the week before and was back due to dehydration. Later, we got another roommate named Diana, who was also a Dr. Cox patient. The day nurses kinda sucked, but the night nurses were better. I was so happy when they let me drink something. Cold water hurt a little at first. I managed to walk the second day. My angel Michelle Long and her sister came to visit me! I just love her!!! I improved when they switched my from the morphine to vicodine. I was released 4 days post-op. The only major problem I had recovering in the hotel was with sprinkling the potassium capsule over my food. It made me gag!!! I vomited the 2nd day. I kept trying to call Dr. Cox, but couldn't get him. Finally, Deborah called back. She said to swallow the capsule whole with warm liquid. That did the trick. I didn't get as sick that way, and kept my food down. My angelette Michelle had her surgery on the 21st. I went to Holy Cross to see her. She wasn't on the 4th floor and they said she'd been taken to ICU. I panicked!!! It turned out that she hadn't had any complications. They took her to ICU as a precaution due to her sleep apnea. I came home last night. It was a hard trip and I'm sore all over. I'll update more after I rest...
07-26-04 I went to see my PCP today. I'm 297 lbs. That's down 15 pounds in 12 days! My blood pressure was perfect.
09-03-04 I had a check up with my surgeon yesterday. I weigh 278lbs. My blood pressure was 122/80 and I haven't had a migrane since surgery! Dr. Cox removed my g-tube. I can't wait to go swimming again!!! I got my first B-12 shot. I feel SO much better...
09-10-04 I joined the Jacksonville Weight Loss Meetup Group after Michelle hooked me up with them. Thanks Michelle!
Jacksonville Weight Loss Surgery Meetup Group
09-30-04 It's been an interesting month. I survived my first post-op cold, a killer plateau, and several hurricanes. I'm losing again!!! I even went to the beach last week. It was so much easier walking in the sand without the extra pounds. I'm 2 1/2 mo. and I'm down to 270lbs.
10-14-04 Well, today I'm 3 months post-op and I've lost 47 pounds. I have went down 4 sizes in clothes. My shoe size has went from 11W to 10M.
11-14-04 I'm 4 months out today. I've lost a total of 60 pounds! I now weigh 252lbs. I swim 4 times a week and I walk every day. I have to go down to Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday for a checkup with Dr. Cox.
11-20-04 I had my checkup Thursday. I weighed 250lbs. That's down 70lbs. from my pre-op testing weigh-in! He said to keep up the exercise, it's working. He also said the prenatal vitamins I am taking are a good choice for me.
12-14-04 I'm 5 months post-op today! I've lost 81 pounds since my pre-op weigh-in. Yea Me!!! Merry Christmas everyone...
12-21-04 I did it! My BMI is "obese", not "morbidly obese", not "severely obese", just "obese". Next goal: "overweight"
Me with my Dad
12-31-04 WOW! What a year of change 2004 has been. I started this year weighing 335 pounds, and ended it weighing less than 235 pounds! No more high blood pressure, asthma, migraines, and aching feet. Thank you so much to all of my OH friends on the Florida Forum. I can't wait to see what 2005 brings...
01-17-05 Well, I was 6 months post-op on the 14th. My weightloss has really slowed down, but I expected that. I lost my cat Kiki, she would have been 15 on April 15th. I'm going to miss my Boo Boo Kitty.
In Loving Memory of Kiki 1990-2005
01-22-05 I went to the Orlando Meet & Greet today, I had a blast! It was wonderful to see everyone. Marta & Chazlin looked INCREDIBLE!!! It was so good to see my girl Tina again. Her friends ROCK. Amy you are such a doll! I met so many people that have shared this journey with me like Tracey and Flavia. Mom, thank you for taking photos for us!!!!!!!
01-30-05 I did it!!!!! I made it into the Century Club, lost 100 pounds. I've been doing even better lately, getting in more water and protein.
02-13-05 I had a busy week! I got my 6 months bloodwork done, and had a bone density scan. Saturday was our Feb. Meetup. It was a blast!!! Tomorrow I have a job interview, I'm SO nervous. I only lost 1 pound this week, but at least it was a loss, not a gain...
02-16-05 I start my new job tomorrow and the scales are moving again! Post-op life is good...
03-26-05 I've had intestinal flu, yuck! Air got trapped in my fobi pouch and the intense pain sent me to the ER. I was dehydrated, so they gave me two bags of saline. I'm on full liquids. My pouch still hurts when I eat or drink...
03-28-05 I had a ONEDERFUL Easter, that's right I'm under 200 pounds!!!
04-19-05 I'm 35 today! I've come a long way in a year!!!
05-14-05 10 months post-op! I've been stuck at the same weight for a few weeks. I'm beginning to think I'm done losing. I'm 15 pounds from goal. I could accept staying at this weight. I just started this to get healthy, not thin.
06-01-05 The scale finally began to move again. I'm only 13 pounds from goal!
10.5 months post-op / 183lbs.
08-08-05 I'm at goal!!! 170lbs, I've lost 150lbs. I'm working full time now as an office manager. I'm not disabled anymore!!!!!!!! I guess my next goal will be to save enough money for plastic surgery.
14 months post-op
Orlando Meet & Greet - Oct. 2005
02-09-06 Update: It's been too long since I updated. I've been SO busy at work. I've been at goal and maintaining for about 6 months now. I stay around 160-161. I dropped down to 155-156, but I increased my calories and carbs and gained it back. I look and feel better at 160. I never thought I'd be working at keeping weight on!!! Since I last updated I went for a check-up at the FL Retina Institute. The Dr. said that my health had improved so dramatically, he didn't think that I'd lose any more of my vision until I was much older. Last month I went to see Bon Jovi in concert with my cousin Paula. Before surgery my health was too bad to go to concerts. I never got to see Bon Jovi and they are my favorite band. We had a blast!!! We danced the whole time, before I wouldn't have even been able to stand. Jon Bon Jovi even grabbed my hand as he passed by us, he rocks!!! I also went to the meet & greet in Orlando. It was great to see everyone again. I finally got to meet Ruth and Sharon, what wonderful ladies they are!!!!!!!
I finally met Dr. Cox and his wife Deborah. He is a caring, giving man and Deborah rocks! She really knows her stuff and is very strict, which I like about her!!! They have a comprehensive program. I was very impressed with all of their safegards. I am confident that I have made the right decision, and I am now part of a winning team!
I had my preop consult with Dr. Cox. He's so down-to-earth!!! His staff is super caring and sensitive. Lisa put me at ease, even during the measuring. He answered all of my questions. Dr. Cox is truely a blessing from God.
I was approved very fast! If your co-morbidities are well documented, there won't be a problem!!!