My surgery date is scheduled for March 15, 2001, with Dr. Kenneth MacDonald at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, North Carolina. I will be having the open proximal RNY procedure. I am starting at a pre-op weight of 291 lbs. (Ugh!) My BMI is 47.0.
5/3/01 - I am now 7 weeks post-op and feeling good. I have lost 44 pounds and am well on my way. I've also experienced my first plateau. Prior to today, I had been on a plateau for about 3 weeks holding steady at 38 pounds lost. When I got on the scales this morning, I was so excited to see that those numbers had changed!! I still do not have as much energy as I thought I would by this time, but that is probably because I'm not as regular with my exercise as I should be at this point. I am going to make a stronger effort to be more disciplined with my exercising. I'll write again when there's more to tell.
2/4/02 - I'm sorry I've been so negligent in keeping up this page. Needless to say, there's A LOT more to tell at this point. I had a checkup with Dr. MacDonald on 1/29/02, and I've lost 135 lbs. thus far. I currently weigh 156 lbs. Everyone says that I don't look like I weigh that much, but I think that is because what's left is located in my thighs and calves of my legs. I now wear a size 4 or 6 blouse, size 8 or 10 in my slacks, and a size 6 or 8 dress. Boy, have I come a long way since I wore size 28 slacks. I never thought I would lose my butt, but I actually have!!! I started shots of B-12 today because my level is below normal even though I've been taking my supplements every day. Oh well, maybe when my levels get back up to normal I can try oral supplements again. The shots aren't that bad . . . just rather inconvenient. My husband and I are planning a big night out for dinner and dancing for Valentine's day. I can hardly wait to go out and flaunt my new figure! This has truely been a miracle - Praise God!
6/10/02 - I know. I know. It's been way too long since I posted, and I'm sorry. My weight loss has been going really great! As a matter of fact, I've finally reached my ideal weight of 137 lbs.!!!! My BMI is now 22.1 - NORMAL!!! I now wear a size 6 or 8 in slacks and skirts, a size 6 for dresses, and a size 4 or 6 for shirts and tops. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe I could wear single-digit size clothes! I've come a long way from Women's size 28 jeans!! All of my lab results are great. Even my B-12 level at my last appointment in April came back with a level of 550. I couldn't be more pleased with my results. I thank God every day for how He has blessed me. As soon as I can figure out how to post pictures on here, I plan to put them up. You won't believe the difference!! Let me know if I can help any others in their journey.
6/17/02 - I can't get over the responses to my pictures! Thanks to all of those who have e-mailed me with your comments and questions. I'm trying to respond to them all. Most of the questions I have received have been about plastic surgery for skin removal and about my exercise routine. To begin with, I have not had any plastic surgery done. I hope that one day I'll be able to financially afford to have something done to my inner thighs and my upper arms, but until then, I'll just have to learn to live with it. Clothes still cover alot of it (although I still won't wear shorts)! Now about my exercise routine. At first I had trouble getting started. I really had no energy to speak of for the first 2 months. Then all of a sudden it seemed to "kick in." I started by doing water aerobics at the aquatics and fitness center here. Then I worked with a trainer to show me how to use the exercise equipment, and I started working out on that as well. I have not been as diligent with my workouts as I should be, but I'm going to do better. I've got to see if I can tone up any of this loose skin. I can eat pretty much whatever I want except for sweets and fried foods--I still stay as far away from those as I can (except for special occasions when I'll eat a few bites of something sweet like Birthday cake). I still can only eat about 5-6 ounces at a meal, depending on what it is. I have never thrown up anything. I suppose I've been paranoid about the way I eat things. I want to be sure that it's chewed up well, but I will admit that I don't chew until it's mush any more. All in all, this has been the most remarkable experience of my life. I feel as though I've been given a second chance at life. To God be the glory!!
Hospital Reviews(Greenville, NC) - Pitt County Memorial Hospital
Surgeon: Kenneth G. MacDonald, Jr. M.D.
March 14, 2001 - The night
before surgery enjoying my
last piece of birthday cake!
June 10, 2002 - Down 154 lbs.
and at my ideal weight!
Praise God!! Life is SO GOOD!
Dr. MacDonald and his staff are extremely knowledgeable and very professional in every sense of the word. I am extremely pleased with every aspect of treatment I have encountered with this office. There is a rather lengthy waiting period, but it was well worth it. Luckily I live here in the same town with Dr. MacDonald and Pitt County Memorial Hospital so it has been very convenient. I respect a doctor who does not "beat around the bush" but talks to you as an intelligent individual and gives you answers "straight from the hip." He makes it clear that this is s serious surgery and expects you to take it seriously and to do your part (i.e., following instructions, exercise, etc.). Every aspect of the surgery was addressed and all my questions were answered. I knew what I was involved before I had the surgery. I especially like the fact that this center considers you a "patient for life." You will be monitored here for the rest of your life. That is very comforting for me. Also, the support group meetings that are held each month were of tremendous help during the months prior to surgery as well as after surgery. We're able to share our questions and answers and find out from those who have been through it what life is really like.
I would whole-heartedly recommend Dr. MacDonald to anyone who is looking for the top-of-the-line, excellent, caring surgeon committed to helping us combat this disease of morbid obesity.
Cigna Healthcare of North Carolina, POS
Cigna is absolutely awful! Their written exclusion states "any invasive treatment for obesity . . . including but not limited to . . . gastric bypass". This is cut and dried, and you cannot get around it. It is a non-covered benefit and "no matter how many times you appeal it, it will still be a non-covered benefit". Whatever you do, try to NOT get Cigna insurance! I have read where others are covered through Cigna, but those must be self-insured policies, not fully-insured policies. I am scheduled for an appeal hearing on March 1st. I'm challenging their denial based on the fact that their exclusion does not include "morbid" obesity. I understand that someone else has challenged on this basis and has won. Please pray that that will be the same result for me.
Good news! I won my appeal. They even actually called me the day after the hearing and told me that I was approved! Praise God!