I am a very overweight person who would just like to be normal. I am also a very private person; I don't like to be the center of attention, or stand out in a crowd. I don't care about being a size 5 or a size 10. I just want to be a healthy woman, who loves her family. My daughter fought many battles in defense of her mom when she was in school. I am very proud of her; she's one tough cookie. My son is more quiet turned. I have avoided my son's school and school activities so I won't embarrass him. That's not the kind of mom I want to be. I have tried and tried to lose the weight--I feel like a failure. I don't know why I can't control my weight. I wavered on my decision to have the surgery, have even put off calling a surgeon, but I know that if I am ever going to have a normal life that I have to proceed. I am scared to death to have the surgery and scared to death, literally, not to.
Hospital Reviews(Georgetown, KY) - Georgetown Community Hospital
Surgeon: Randall J. Bolar M.D.
May 14, 2001--I have made an appointment with Dr. Bolar in Georgetown, KY for May 17. I hope this process moves quickly because I'm a big chicken. I hope to have the surgery before football season starts.
May 18, 2001-GUESS WHAT!!! I just had my initial consultation with Dr. Bolar and I am already down over 100 pounds to what I THOUGHT I weighed. I haven't been able to weigh since about 1993 and then I was told I weighed 423 pounds. Well since I know that I have only gotten bigger I figured I had to weigh 500 pounds or more. GUESS WHAT!!! I weighed 410 pounds. I just couldn't believe it. I even told the nurse she had better check it. While I know that 410 pounds is nothing to be happy about, I feel that it reduces complications of surgery to a degree. If I could lose 11 pounds I would even be under 400. I liked Dr. Bolar and his staff. The only down side was I talked myself right into a colonoscopy. I asked about a colonoscopy after the surgery because I have a family history on both sides of the family. BIG, BIG MISTAKE. Now he won't do the surgery until I actually have the colonoscopy to be sure that I don't have any indications of colon cancer. YUK!! I have to have this done before we can proceed.
May 26, 2001--I haven't heard from Dr. Bolar's office yet. I don't want to be a pest but I will call Tuesday and see if the insurance (Aetna) has contacted them. I can't wait for this to be over. So many things keep playing in my head--me at the beach in a bathing suit, me at Disney World with my kids, me six feet under--and I just want it to be over.
July 10, 2001--Catherine from Dr. Bolar's office called today to tell me I have a date-July 30. Now I am really scared. I wish today was August 1 so all this would be over with. I go the week before for all the pre-op tests.
....I'm back. My mind keeps whirling around in circles. I tried to chat with Sylvia Browne the physic tonight but couldn't get on. Just wanting a little assurance. I know it sounds like I have misgivings about having this surgery, but I really know that it's the right thing for me to do. Have you ever seen the movie Anaconda? This giant monster anaconda is eating people and it swallows this one man whole. You can see the imprint of his body and his face as he is squeezed down through the body of the anaconda. Gross!! Well I was sitting on the side of my bed one day and happened to look in the mirror, I mean REALLY look. Usually its a glance to make sure my hair is not doing its own thing, but I saw me as others must see me. I saw what is left of my face, swallowed up by fat. My own personal anaconda monster, fat. That is when I decided to have this surgery. I have lived all my life gaining weight, more every year. I have never felt the freedom of movement, or the freedom of going somewhere without being aware of my weight. I always try to shrink (funny choice of words) into the background. I dodge children to keep from embarrassing their parents when they make the normal honest comment. I have limits and roadblocks in my life and now I have decided to remove my safety net. It is a scary thought. My surgery is in twenty days. I won't sleep a wink.
July 29, 2001--Today I start my clear liquid diet for my surgery on Monday. I have to be at the hospital at 6:30 and I plan to go in looking for something to knock me out cold. I have had my ups and downs thinking about this surgery. I really can't wait for it to happen but I guess it is natural to have second thoughts and worries about complications. I trust Dr. Bolar, but this old body might throw a few little fits into the mix. I wish it was all ready over.
I will leave my two kids in bed sleeping; that will be the hardest part. I plan to get up as soon as I can because each step will get me home to them. My husband will be with me during my hospital stay, and my Mom and sister will be there during the surgery. I have already challenged my son to a race next July, plus a week in Myrtle Beach, SC. My daughter is coming back home to take care of her little brother and get him to football practice. So I think I have everything ready to go, just getting in the car will be so hard.
But this isn't the time for crying, I have done enough of that being fat. I have made this decision with a lot of thought and research. I know what I have to do to make this a success. But I will be crying when I leave home.
August 16,2001--It has been over two weeks since I updated last and a lot of things have happened. I had my surgery on July 30 and everything went wonderfully. Other than the soreness from the incision I had no complications. I went into the surgery room asking for anything to knock me out because I did not want to be awake when they wheeled me out of my room and into surgery. No such luck, but everybody was so nice and reasurring. I was so nervous and so scared. After my husband left me and they came to get me I was crying all the way to the OR. When they strapped my arms down, the anesthesiologist and nurses would wipe my eyes for me. Everyone was just so thoughtful. I remember the mask and deep breathing and then waking up in ICU, which is standard procedure for Dr. Bolar.
They got me up and into a chair twice in ICU and the next day I was moved to a private room. I just can't say enough about the staff and Georgetown Community Hospital. They were nice to me and even provided a bed for my husband one night. I could have went home Wednesday night but I didn't feel ready, so I stayed till Thursday morning. I feel like I haven't even had surgery.
Besides the RNY Gastric Bypass I also had a hernia repair. I didn't know that I had a rupture but they fixed it while I was in there. I don't have any trouble drinking. I am on pureed foods now till I go back on August 30. At my first post-op visit on the 20th of August, I had lost 26 pounds. Just couldn't believe it.
September 10,2001--I went back to the surgeon on August 30 and had lost down to 389 pounds. I was a little disappointed because I had lost 26 in 12 days. I am doing wonderfully. I can eat what I want just in smaller amounts. I eat when I am bored and I have to be careful about snacking. I have crushed ice with me all day and eat on that. My energy is returning and I can do more. It still hurts to walk alot but I am moving around better. I have gotten sick a few times by not chewing and eating slow enough and I have to work on that alot.
I weighed on a another scale, not the doctor's official scale and it showed me at 378 pounds. I am now starting my seventh week. I do need to try to increase my activity and protein.
October 8, 2001-I weighed 362 on Sept 30. That is a total loss of 53 pounds in 2 months. My energy is returning and I feel great. I have had no problems and can eat a little bit of anything I have tried so far. I saw my PCP for the first time and she was delighted with the way I looked and moved. I have much more mobility. I am off my blood pressure medicine and all I take is my Flintstone vitamin. I can't find a protein drink I like so I am trying to get my protein in with food. Just 12 more pounds and I can weigh on my PCP's scales.
December 30, 2001-On Christmas Day I weighed 324 pounds, down 91 pounds. It has been 5 months today since I had surgery, and I feel like a new person. I can do things I couldn't do before. I still have a lot to lose and I still need to work on proper nutriton and exercise, but the difference in my whole outlook has changed. I don't dump on sugar so I have to watch my intake and I have cheated a little over the holidays. But the difference is I know my limits and it is not hard to stick to those limits. I am so ready for a new year to begin. I have such great things going on now and I am planning for the future, and not my funeral arrangements anymore.
April 10, 2002--I went to the doctor for an official weigh-in and weighed 302 pounds. That's a total of 113 pounds lost in eight months. I am little discouraged because I need to lose a lot more. But on the positive side I have had no problems whatsover. My incision healed well, no dumping (which isn't a very good thing for me), and no ill health. I feel wonderful and I am very active now. I am exercising but I can eat more than I should. I lose about 15 pounds a month so I probably won't reach my goal, but anything lost is better than where I was. I don't feel true hunger, but sometimes I eat just to be eating. I try not to, I don't want this to be a failure. I fight it every day. But the best thing is that I can do things I haven't been able to do in a long time. I no longer can lay in bed half of the day. I have plenty of energy. I did lose a lot of hair and it is starting to grow back.
July 30,2002--I went for my one year checkup and I have lost 139 pounds. I weigh 276 pounds, with still about 100 to go. So now comes the hard part. I have to really concentrate on the protein, and exercise. Some of the excess is a lot of hanging skin that will have to be removed, but that will be next year. I didn't take advantage of the year as I should have and losing as much as I could while I still had the tight feeling in my pouch, but I can not eat no where near the food I could before. As always, its the salty snacks I have to be aware of. I finally found a good protein drink I can tolerate and even enjoy. Extreme Pure Protein has about 45 grams of protein, no carbs, and 170 calories and tastes like a Kool-aid or juice drink. I sip on 1 a day. Sometimes I even put a few grains of Splenda in it. I have my health and mobility back, now the vanity is trying to make a reappearance. Now I am thinking about prettier clothes whereas before I was just so grateful to be able to move and breathe. I have had no health problems and have a more positive outlook. Anyone reading this though, I want you to know, and I mean really realize, that just the surgery alone won't take off all the weight, you have to really follow the doctor's diet and work on it. It is not easy but it is so worth it. My doctor told me my "window of opportunity" to still lose weight will probably continue for another six months. I plan to see that it does.
Open RNY--July 30--415 pounds
August 10--389 pounds -26 pounds
August 30--382 pounds -33 pounds
Sept. 10--378 pounds -37 pounds *
Sept. 30--362 pounds -53 pounds *
Nov. 30--336 pounds -79 pounds
Dec. 25--324 pounds -91 pounds*
March 30--302 pounds -113 pounds
July 30--276 pounds -139 pounds (ONE YEAR)
*Unofficial-not my surgeons scales
May 18, 2001--I met Dr. Bolar and he went over the procedure, and thoroughly discussed risks and complications. He has performed many surgeries of this type and has had excellent results. I asked him questions about colon cancer in which I have a family history on both sides of my family. Well, I talked myself into a colonoscopy. He wants to see if there is anything indications of cancer because that would affect my reasons to have this surgery now. I think this indicates the dedication to his patients and though I tried to talk him out of the colonoscopy he insisted it was in my best interest.
August 16, 2001--I had surgery on July 30 and I can't say enough good things about Dr. Bolar and Georgetown Community Hospital. Dr. Bolar is a skilled, competent, and caring surgeon who really cares about you as a patient. And the staff in his office and the staff at the hospital are just beyond nice. My family commented on how well they were treated; my husband was even provided with a cot for a night.