I have decided on a BPD/DS. I don't know whether it should be done laparoscopically or open. I have several co-morbidity factors and a BMI of 67.5. Due to the fact that I am unemployed, but covered by insurance, anything I can do, to get the surgery done soon, would be good. I am highly motivated because I want desparately to start living again. During the 30+ years I have been fat, I have tried everything - WW, OA, Optifast, Diet Centers, Diet-to-Go, Phen-Fen, Hospitalization for compulsive overeating... I even enrolled in a government trial for the Garrin Gastric Bubble for 9 months. And the end result after it all has never been anything but an eventual weight gain. Now, I have no life. I am out of breath after walking only a few yards. I cannot even move around my house without getting out of breath. I have to sleep with a machine to keep my airways open. And recently, I broke a bone in my foot just walking normally. Every normal activity is limited by my size.
I like to play the piano and the guitar. Unfortunately, my stomach makes it hard to hold the guitar comfortably or even to sit a comfortable distance from the piano.
I like to read and watch videos. AND I am looking forward to one day riding a bike again. I also like to swim, but the thought of a putting on a swim suit is hard to get past. I can do it. It's just hard.
My surgery was almost 1 year ago. Today I weigh 250 pounds, having lost 254 pounds. I feel like a different person. My energy levels are higher than I can ever remember them being. And I am able to do everything I want to do. I am no "movie star" but that was never the reason I had the surgery. I wanted quality of life, not a particular body image.
I am currently looking for an indoor pool to join with the idea being that I will swim during the winter months this year to get more exercise. Although I have been walking, I really love to swim.
I also might get myself a bike for Christmas. I would love to start riding a bike again.
Hospital Reviews(Falls Church, VA) - Inova Fairfax
Books & Literature - I love to read, especially mysteries, and high tech thrillers.
Computers & Internet - I'm a "mainframe" programmer, re-learning programming for the PC
Birds - I have a 9 year old female conure (small parrot), named Rajah. She is a joy!
Aerobics & Aquarobics - I love to swim! That's the most fun way to get exercise.
Movies - I like all kinds of movies. I like to watch DVD's at home too!
Music - I play the piano & guitar. I like lots of music, but at heart I'm a folk-rocker.
Radio & Television - I like to watch TV, especially medical shows, police dramas and SCIENCE FICTION
Computer and Internet Surfing - I love to play with my computer!
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: Hazem Elariny, M.D.
A close friend who takes
photos took these pictures of
me to document my pre-surgery
weight. I wanted to look as
nice as possible.
I still don't look thin, but I
feel soooo much better!!
Dr. Elariny is wonderful! He is kind, caring, honest, and very knowledgable. He treats the whole person. He also views his relationship with you as a long term one. For instance, if you have emothional issues around food, he includes taking care of that as part of your pre- and post-op care.
His office staff is also knowledgable. They are able to answer questions and help with any issues. Unfortunately, they are overworked and often don't have time to return phone calls. The best strategy is to keep calling until you actually get the person you need to talk with on the phone. Also keep track of your insurance approval, pre-op testing, the arrival of your pre-op test results at Dr. E's office, take care to ensure that you get a surgery date scheduled soon after insurance approval comes through, and followup on every communication with the office. They are very busy and things can get forgotten or misplaced. In fact, the best advice is to have all your pre-op test results sent to you, and fax them to the office. That way, if they don't get into your file, you still have the original.
Aftercare is a very important part of Dr. E's program. In addition to having monthly support groups attended by at least some of the office personnel (Dr. E is usually there), the post-op patients have formed their own very active network of support. It is wonderful! There is a yahoo group for Dr. Elariny's patients, and support group meetings all over the region on weeks when there is no formal support group. Dr. E's patient group actually has an "out-of-towners" kit of things you might need when you're at the hospital but would be difficult for someone coming in from out of town to bring.
As for Dr. E and his office, the aftercare program is very thorough and structured for the individual. For instance, I need to see the nutritionist 3 times before my surgery and at least 3 times shortly after my surgery because I connect emotions and eating. And I need to have appointments lined up with a therapist who knows eating disorders before and after surgery.
His explanation of the surgery options is very complete. Every patient must attend an informational session in which Dr. E explains all the varios surgery options and the reasons one might choose each as well as the downside afterward. He explains surgical risks completely.
Both Dr. E and his office are tops!
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, National Capital Area BC/BS
I got a result when I called the Dr.'s insurance person twice a week from the moment I had my information to him until insurance approval was granted. I also started calling the insurance company's pre-certification number and was very persistant after two additional weeks. I got my approval during the fourth week after my information was to the Dr.'s office.
On the plus side, I got approval with no fighting. The dr.'s office gave them everything they needed to make a decision, and the review nurse granted approval as soon as she got the fully researched file on me.