Stacey M.
Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Post Op - BMI: 30.1
Surgery Type: RNY
Member ID: M1027475213
Surgeon: Myriam Curet, M.D.

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My journey starts here….

I am 32 years old, single mom with one child (12 year old son). I am 5'2½” and weigh 278 pounds. I have been over-weight just about all of my life. As a kid, I was “chunky.” Being about 30-50 pounds over weight. For the most part I never let it bother me but sometimes I just hated how I looked and wished that I were “skinny” like the rest of my friends. When I was in high school I weighed between 160-180lbs. After high school and after I had my son… the pounds just kept piling on. I would try this diet and that diet - and with every diet I tried I would lose weight but then ended up gaining it all back, and then some. Now, here I am in my early 30’s and 100lbs heavier.

I don’t have any health problems aside from my weight or because of it. However, it is only a matter of time before it will eventually happen. That is unless I have Weight Loss Surgery. My mom recently had WLS and shortly there after suffered a major heart attack and even more recently had to have a triple bypass. She is now back on the road to being healthy once again but the history of family illness doesn’t start there. From what I can remember…here’s what runs in my family – Diabetes, Heart problems, Hypothyroidism, Sleep Apnea, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Arthritis, the list just goes on. This is something I do not want to face in another 10-20 years.

I had started looking into WLS a couple of years ago but thought that my insurance would never cover it and so I left those thoughts as just that... "Thoughts!" Then my mom started looking into it and her insurance approved it - so that got me back on track. But then I had this problem… My doctor wouldn't put in a referral for me. She said I was too young yet and that I would have to try to lose the weight on my own (Yeah, right - like I haven't tried that already). Needless to say I didn’t take “NO” for an answer. I eventually switched doctors and while I couldn't get a referral from my new doctor right away (he said that I would have to do 6 months of a doctor supervised diet before my insurance would consider it), he referred me to a nutritionist who worked with me for a while (with no success). After a year and ½ or so, I submitted another letter to my doctor asking him to please give me a referral to a WLS doctor. That was back in October 2003.

And here’s how my journey has gone since…

10/13/03 - Well, after much debate with myself, I have finally submitted a request to my doctor for a referral to a Gastric Bypass surgeon. My doctor has agreed that I am a good candidate for this surgery and so; he is submitting a referral for me. In conjunction with this referral, my doc is also requesting that I have a sleep study completed. Keeping my fingers crossed that my medical group will approve both requests.

10/21/03 - My medical group – who are well known to decline referrals for this surgery, has received my referral. No approval yet; STILL keeping my fingers crossed.

10/28/03 - I have completed my sleep study - which is required by the surgeon for WLS. What a surprise... I have moderate sleep apnea.

11/12/03 - WOW!!! My referral to see the surgeon was approved with the first request and it only took a couple of weeks. Woo-hoo! I could just about jump up and down... well, in spirit I am.

12/03 - Well, this month I have felt like I spent the entire month in doctor’s offices. Having gotten through almost all the tests required by the WLS doctor. (Nutritionist, EKG, Endoscopy, X-Rays, Stress Echo, and all the blood work - WOW!)

1/14/04 - Had my appointment with the WLS doctor and much to my surprise, I have lost 15lbs since my last weigh-in and so... I have been scheduled for surgery (June 21, 2004). WOO-HOO!! Go Me!! I know it seems like a long way away but my surgeon has told me that once I have my psych evaluation done - I'll be put on a waiting list for any cancellations and that the likelihood of my surgery being sooner is very great. Wow, I can hardly believe it. I have my psych eval set for late next month. All I need is for them to let me know that I'm really not crazy. hahaa.

2/18/04 - Well here I am, one week away from my psych eval and growing more and more nervous as the days go by. I'm not nervous about the evaluation itself (I already know I'm crazy ;)) but because once that is complete and the info is forwarded on to my surgeon... I will then be put on a waiting list for any cancellations - which means I can be called up at any given time between now and June 21st, for surgery. Don't get me wrong; I'm excited as all get out but still a bit nervous. I'm also working on the last 5% that I need to lose before surgery. Wish this part were easier. Anyway... have a wonderful day. I'll post again soon!

2/26/04 – I finally had my psych evaluation done yesterday. It was actually very painless. I was out of the appointment within a half hour (not including my waiting time). And as suspected… I’ve been deemed clinically (in)sane. Woo-hoo!! Now, I’m waiting on confirmation that the surgeon’s office has received the report from the psychologist. Once they receive that, everything will be submitted to my insurance for approval. My next appointment with the surgeon is on March 9th. I’m hoping that at this appointment – I will get a sooner surgery date. I have been told by not only my surgeon but the ladies there at Stanford, that I will more than likely get my surgery pushed up to a sooner date. Can you imagine how IMPATIENTLY I’m waiting for March 9th to come around?? Anyway, I’ll post again after my next appointment, until then… you all have a wonderful day and may you have much success in your WLS.

3/3/04 – What a morning I’ve had so far. I was contacted by my surgeon’s office today - canceling my appointment (yet again) for next week. After speaking to this person and that person (each of them telling me that the other would be calling me to reschedule) and finally a 3rd person… who finally told me that my next appointment would not be until my pre-op – “Well, now why couldn’t they have told me that in the first place?” Now I’ll just sit back and wait for “THE CALL” (call saying that my surgery has been pushed up to {blank} date) for a pre-op appointment. So, until then – I’ll keep hoping and praying for a sooner date. Hope you are all having a beautiful day.

3/18/04 – Well, here it is a whole 15 days since I last posted and there has been no substantial change in my journey. I talked to Rochelle (from the Surgical Specialties dept at Stanford) over a week ago at which point she told me that she would be submitting my info to their pre-certification dept to send out for authorization, and that I should call her back in about a week or so to check on the status. As of yet, my medical group has not received the auth. They tell me to call Stanford but when I do it’s very rare that I get a hold of a live person and if I leave a message – it’s days before I get a call back. Well, I’ve figured out a way to get what I need… I’m going to slip in the back door (so to speak). I will be joining my mom at her next follow-up visit with the surgeon and I’m sure she will ask me how my surgery status is coming along (which she has done in times past). That appointment is set for next week. I hope I can get more info at that time as to when they expect to send out for approval. Until then, I’m staying positive and hoping for a great outcome. Hope you are all having a wonderful day. I’ll post again soon (after I sneak in to talk to the surgeon).

3/30/04 - I have a bit of good news, this may not seem like a lot, but to me it is…. I just talked to someone from my medical group today and they have FINALLY received the authorization request for surgery. I was told that I could call back on Friday (April 2nd) to find out whether the request has been approved or not. I guess my efforts helped a little. Now, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that I get an approval. If there’s anyone out there reading this… I could use all the prayers and well wishes possible. I want to thank everyone for all your thoughts and prayers. Every single one of them is very much appreciated. Much love to you all. Until Friday...

4/2/04 – Today I got the news I’ve been waiting for-for months – I’M APPROVED!! I never thought I would be so happy to hear those two little words “You’re Approved.” Now, with a surgery date way off at the end of June, I’m of course now waiting for a hopeful call telling me that my surgery date has been moved up. FINALLY, most of my wait is over.

4/13/04 – Ahh, another day of great news. Today I got a little bit more wonderful news – my surgery was moved up!! I have been given the new date of May 17th. Woo-hoo! I have my pre-ops set for May 12th. Wow, that’s about a month away. I’m so excited!!

4/19/04 – MORE good news today. I got a call from my surgeon’s coordinator asking me if I wanted an even sooner date. Of course I accepted and so instead of May 17th, I’m now set for May 10th. That means my surgery is only 3 weeks away!! I’m still waiting to find out when my pre-op will be but I’m assuming it will be either next week or the week after. I think the reality of this is really starting to set in. Not that I’m nervous but just the excitement and constant thought of surgery coming up soon. I’m so happy!! I wish you all as much luck with your journey, as I’ve had (lately) with my journey. Happy day to all of you.

7/22/04 - Wow, I can't believe it's been 3 months since my last update. Life has been really busy since surgery but all is well. I'm down 50lbs in the last 2.5 months (not too shabby). Eating is still a challenge but I'm coping. Better to have the weight lost.

1/26/05 - Now it's been 6 months since my last update. I'm still doing really well. I have not experienced any bad side effects to the surgery (with the exception of making myself sick a few times). I am now 8.5 months post op and am down 100lbs since surgery in May. The weight loss has definitely slowed down but the scale still keeps dropping. I'm looking forward to being able to talk to my surgeon in June (for my 1 yr follow-up) about skin removal surgery. Anyway, just a quick update... gotta run for now.

4/5/05 - I'm trying to update a little more often. I know that when I was a pre-op I read other people's updates - regularly. It helped me better understand what to expect. I am one month shy of my 1 year anniversary (surgery) and am down a total of 106lbs since surgery (not including the 20lbs I lost before surgery). I just came off of a killer plateau, lasting about 4 months or so. And just like that (snap), 6lbs have come off within the last week. Part of the reason for this LONG plateau has to do with the fact that I've really slacked on working out. I'm going to get better with this (hopefully before summer). But aside from all that, I do feel healthier and happier than I have been in years. This was one of the best things I could have done for myself. I just wish I would have done it much, much sooner.


Feb '04

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    Surgeon Info:
    Surgeon: Myriam Curet, M.D.
    In my opinion, Dr. Curet is very thorough. She took the time to make sure I understood everything and answered any and all questions I had. Dr. Curet is very easy to talk to and the staff there at Stanford are friendly (with the exception of one or two people who tend to be a little rude). I guess they have recently gone through some changes in staff - Lorna, who was just as sweet as can be, has moved to the Cancer Center. Her replacement isn't quite as on top of things as Lorna is but I do have to say that Rochelle is awesome. Very patient and very friendly.
    Insurer Info:
    Blue Cross HMO, California Care
    I was approved for a consult with no problems. Same thing with the approval for surgery. Stanford handled everything. I have not had to deal with my insurance at all. Thank goodness, it was all a breeze.