I am 51 years old and a single mom to two, a son age 23 and a daughter age 15. Son is on his own now. My history with obesity began as a very small child... I see pictures of myself at age 5 and I was a plump child. By the time I was 12 years old, I weighed 172 pounds. Graduation: About 235 pounds. Had first child at age 27. Weight at this time (after delivery) was 275. Gave birth to 2nd child at age 36. By this time, my weight was over 350 pounds. No real complications with either pregnancy. Began developing arthritis in both knees about this time, although I didn't know that was what it was at the time. Just knew my knees hurt when I walked too much. Eventually, two years ago, a major flare-up sent me running to the doctor in pain. X-rays confirmed severe degenerative joint disease in both knees... Was taking Vioxx, but quit after hearing of the risks with heart attacks. Plus it seemed I was gaining weight on the Vioxx. Now on Mobic and it still hurts terribly to walk. I also developed hypertension two years ago... I never thought I would even consider this surgery before now, but being in constant pain will make you consider new alternatives... so here I am. My highest weight (at home on two bathroom scales) was about 500 lbs... a BMI of 78.3.
I'm Approved!!! First letter to BCBS of Texas - Blue Choice POS, with the backing of my company's management got me to the review board and approval in less than a week!! Now I'm scared and excited at the same time!
04-03-2002 I have my appt. tomorrow at Medical City Hospital for my Dobutimine Stress Echo Test. I went to a Cardiologist, and they did the EKG, but he wants me to go to the hospital for the stress test. He didn't feel that his equipment was sufficient for viewing my heart. I've already had the psych eval with my psychiatrist who prescribes my meds for depression and PTSD.
04-04-2002 Survived the Dobutimine Stress Echo Test... barely. If I didn't have such bad arthritis in my knees that I couldn't do the treadmill walk, I think I would rather have walked. By the time they got all the dobutimine in the IV, my heart was racing at 137 beats per minute (they were trying for 143 bpm)... and every muscle was shaking in my body, and I felt like my heart was going to explode through my chest. Thank God that's over.
04-16-2002 Got call from Debra at Dr. Horrilleno's office. She has verified all insurance and gave me the total for my part of the surgery... to be paid before surgery.. Less than $1000 which was what I expected. My first consultation date with surgeon is May 2.
05-02-2002 Went to see Dr. Henry Horrilleno for first consultation. He said all my tests looked good, but he wanted me to take two more tests... A sleep study and a breathing test at the pulmonologist. After he gets the results of those two tests, then he said we could meet again and schedule a surgery date. Lost weight since my first weigh in at home. I started at 500 lbs in March, 2002. On April 4, 2002, at the cardiologist, I weighed 483 lbs. Today I weigh 466 lbs. I'm been trying to lose weight in preparation for this surgery. My surgeon told me that the less I weigh, the less risk. So I've been trying to lose....
05-03-2002 Ok, my sleep study is on May 7, 2002 at Mesquite Community Hospital. Don't know how I'm going to sleep with all those electrodes and on my back!!! I can't sleep on my back; I sleep on my side! Then have to go to work the next day too????
We shall see....
05-08-2002 My sleep study was a nightmare!! Electrodes everywhere and they kept coming unplugged. Couldn't get comfortable on hospital bed... finally, technician came in with a c-pap machine and hooked it up... that was horrible... the mask hit me in the corners of my eyes and hurt, and when I pulled it down, it smashed my lip against my teeth. The hose came undone (in the dark, of course) and I'm trying to re-attach the hose. At least five times during the night, my finger electrode came unplugged and the technician came to see if I needed something. Finally, after fighting with the c-pap mask for what seemed like forever, I must have dozed, because I woke up with a nightmare that I had this thing covering my face and was smothering and couldn't get it off. Ten seconds later the technician came in (he must have seen my dream on his computer equipment) and took away that awful c-pap machine. I dozed a little longer, couldn't get comfortable, pillows kept falling on the floor, etc.. then I looked at my finger and the red light was off again. I had ENOUGH!!! I sat up, and started ripping off electrodes from my finger, face, chest, legs, and wiggled out of the elastic band around my chest. By now, I had to use the bathroom. A few seconds later, the technician comes in and finds all the electrodes all over the bed. I came out and luckily he said my sleep study was over anyway... I couldn't wait to get out of the hospital!!! But due to lack of sleep, I couldn't go to work the next day.
05-10-2002 This should be my last test. I had to visit with the pulmonologist to see if I can breathe right... I guess I did... I passed his test with flying colors!!!
All pre-op tests are finished and just awaiting call from Dr. Horrilleno's office to schedule 2nd consultation and set a surgery date!! Yea!!!
05-21-2002 I received a call from Dr. Horrilleno's office this morning and they want to schedule my surgery on June 3. I'm so scared... I started crying. I hadn't expected it this soon. I was thinking sometime in July... but through my tears, I told her to schedule me..
05-25-2002 Surgery has been re-scheduled for June 4, at 7:15 am. One more day and an early morning wake up call!! Pray for me and wish me luck making it to the other side.
06-18-2002 Successful surgery and now I'm one of the 'losers'!! Yippee!!!
07-12-2002 Happy Dance!! Happy Dance!! It's been one month and one week since my surgery. I have lost 53 pounds since my first visit with my surgeon on May 9, 2002. My highest weight was 500 pounds at 5'7" tall. I began losing on my own before surgery. On my first appt. with Dr. Horrilleno, I weighed 466 lbs. I now weigh 413 lbs... Feel wonderful and no surgical problems.
09-12-2002 I thank God for the technology and the surgeons that give us back our life!! I have broken the 4's and now weigh 381 lbs... total of 119 lbs from my highest weight!! What a difference in the way I feel... and the way I feel about myself. People at work all know about my surgery and constantly congratulate me on my success. What a boost to the self esteem. I still feel great and now have joined 24 Hour Fitness and go swim laps for exercise due to the severe arthritis in both knees. I am doing great physically... no hernias, no closed stomas... just a little stomach pain when I eat something that my body isn't ready for yet. LOVE salads.... and they agree me my new tummy!!
11-07-2002 It's been five months since surgery and I now weigh 354 lbs. I haven't weighed this little since I gave birth to my daughter, who is almost 16 years old. So in 5 months, I have turned back the calendar almost 16 years!!! I am 'outgrowing' my clothes faster than I can buy them and have lost 5 dress sizes in 5 months. I know my weight is way more than some of you even begin at.. but consider that I started at 500 lbs and am now 354. I can't believe it!!! Dr. Horrilleno told me to come back on my one year anniversary.... so I guess I'm doing great. He does want blood work done so he can check and make sure I am getting all the protein and vitamins I need. I just wish this technology (with this success) was available 30 years ago!!!
01-23-2003 I can't believe my eyes!!! I started off the new year going back to the gym (hadn't been since before Thanksgiving) and working out with a personal trainer. While there, he took measurements and weighed me. I now weigh 325 lbs!!! My grand total weight loss is 175 lbs. since about April, 2002. My highest weight was 500 lbs. Sure does feel good to be in the 3's!!! Now for breaking the 3's and hitting the 2's.... That will be a day of celebration!!! Thanks, ObesityHelp.com for all the good information I have received from all the wonderful members here!! God bless every one of you on your journey to your new life!
It's been one year and 2 weeks since I had my RNY. Sometimes it seems like a dream... what most people take for granted every day. Just getting up in the morning and not being tired by the time I get dressed. Walking from the parking garage to my building and not having to stop twice to catch my breath. To arrive in my office in the morning not dripping in sweat.
I began my education on this surgery in March, 2002. At age 51, with early death in my immediate family from heart attack and uterine cancer (mom and dad, 56 and 51), it was actually a miracle I was still alive.
At that time, I tried losing some weight, in anticipation of this life-saving surgery that would save me from becoming immobile from severe degenerative arthritis of both knees. By the time, I had insurance approval and had gone through the routine of pre-op tests and had made it to my surgeon, my weight was 466 lbs. My highest weight was 500 lbs. I now weigh 269 lbs and still losing. Slower than in the beginning... but still losing. I am no longer sweaty or out of breath by the time I get dressed and get to work. Sure, I still have the arthritis in both knees; nothing short of surgery is going to 'cure' that. But it's now bearable pain, not pain that had me in tears with every step I took. I went from expensive, custom-made clothes for about (???) a size 70 to a size 26/28 today. I feel so much better physically and mentally. I no longer look down while walking, but hold my head high. Compliments on my looks are coming from all sides from my co-workers. I thank God (literally) for giving these surgeons the skill and knowledge to give us back our lives as productive, happy people.
Thank you, Dr. Horrilleno, for giving me my life... for I was never 'normal weight.' Always the fattest kid in my class, even through high school... no one ever asked me out and I was too shy and too low self esteem to have any friends at all. My AMOS comrades, teach your children to be kind and loving to ALL that may be different. Words and name-calling, for whatever reason or difference, can hurt for a lifetime.
I love you all...
WOW!!! I NEVER thought I'd see this day again... The day that I weighed 266 lbs again... I had RNY on June 4, 2002. My highest weight was around 500 (weighing at home with 2 bathroom scales). My surgeon's "official" weight was 466 lbs. Thirteen months later, I've lost 200 lbs!!! And still losing... I am a totally different person.. one with self-esteem, who doesn't hold her head down any longer, but who looks people in the eye now. I am healthier than I've been in 25 years (because this is my weight 25 years ago)... and I feel great!!! I wish the same success, health and happiness for all my "loser" brothers and sisters!! Hugs to all, Sharon
Just an update... I weigh 246 now... YIPPEE!!! It's slow, but it's still coming off.... I need to up the water and protein intake and exercise more... but I am still losing... and that's the main thing!!!
Look out, world!! Here I come!! And the great thing about it is... I would no longer qualify for the surgery... my BMI is below 40.
Hey, I'm still losing!! I finally broke that 240! I now weigh 238.8 lbs! Yea, ME!!! It's sure not as easy as it used to be, but I'm still working on it and still losing!
I'm now at my sophomore high school weight. Who would have believe this possible? I never would have thought I could do this in 1 1/2 years! I am so proud and happy!
Surgeon: Henry Horrilleno, M.D.
How did I ever get so big and
not know it?
Thirteen months after RNY.
Thank God and Dr. Horrilleno
for my life back.
My first impression was that he was quiet, professional and very skilled in this type of surgery. He patiently answered all my questions. His office staff were especially wonderful. Debra, his insurance lady, comforted me as I began crying in fear of the dying during the surgery. Leo, his nurse, has been a welcome source of information when I had questions. Both have been cheerleaders all the way. How could I be down with both of them cheering me on? Dr. Horrilleno has rules that might differ from other surgeons' rules, but he emphasizes that you follow his rules if you want success. He has a once-a-month support meeting. Debra and Leo also attend this support group meeting and continue to be our staunchest supporters and cheerleaders. Dr. Horrilleno was especially careful not to let me leave the hospital too soon. His surgical competence is not to be questioned. I was one of his largest patients and I came through the surgery with flying colors. He continues to be very caring about all his patients. I would highly recommend him for RNY surgery. I have total confidence in him.
BCBS-Texas, BLUE CHOICE
My company has a BCBS rep on site here and I sent everything to her. She personally took my papers in and gave them to the medical review board and I was approved in less than a week!!!!! A high level manager in Human Resources told her to 'expedite my papers' (I also work in HR and this was my manager's manager). Now all I have to do is call my PCP for a referral to a surgeon, have all the pre-op work done and set a date. Wish me luck!!