I have been struggling with my weight for years. My health is now failing. I am 39 years old, I have one kidney, high blood pressure, sleep apena, reflux, leg, hip and ankle pain. My kidney doctor finally brought up the idea of the WLS because with the kidney problems that I was having, he said that I would need to have a transplant within 5 years and with this weight I would never live through the transplant surgery. He referred me to a surgeon in Birmingham that does the surgery. It took me five months to get an appointment. I went for first visit and he filed the necessary insurance papers. After one week I called BC/BS to make sure that they received the paper work from my doctor since they were going to fax it over not mail it. They told me that they had not received it. I called the secretary at the doctors office and between the two of us we faxed BC/BS all of my paper work 15 times. They finally called that same day and told me that they had received it and wanted my weights from the PCP for the last two years. I called his office and it was faxed over within 15 minutes. I was then approved within 2 weeks.
That was in July. The earliest surgery date I could get for my is December 1, 1999. At this point, I am just searching for all the information that I can find on the surgery itself. I am scheduled for my preop testing on November 19, 1999.
I have a wonderful husband, we have only been married four years and due to happenings beyond our control (the ex-wife from Hell) we ended up with custody of his four children within months after we married and we have had no time alone. I am scared now that if I do not have this surgery I am not going to live long enough to do the things that we had planned to do before the kids came to live with us.
I have now been attending the chat room on this sight for about a month and it is great. Talking to others with the same fears and concerns that I have is wonderful. It is also great to hear the postop stories about the weight loss and how the surgery has changed their lives. I am no longer scared I am looking forward to my new life. I cannot wait unitl the day that I can walk without getting out of breath, have my husband hold me close, but his arms around me and squeeze me tight.
UPDATE 11/20/99, I went for my preop testing and doctor visit yesterday. All went well and I all is a go for Wednesday, December 1, 1999. I am starting to get scared now but I know that this is the best thing for me to do. I know that my life depends on this surgery.
UPDATE 12/01/99, Well the day is finally here. Weight 294, BMI 59.4. I cant sleep it is 1:57 a.m. on December 1, 1999, I will be leaving for the hospital around 3:30 a.m. surgery is scheduled for around 6:30. I will update again when I return in about a week.
UPDATE 12/14/99,well, I did it. I am 13 days post op and I have lost 42 pounds. I am really struggling with my food. I do not want to eat or drink. I am still very weak. I have had to go back to the doctor for other problems related to the surgery. I know that this is the best thing that I could have done for myself but at this point even with the weight loss, if I had it to do over again, at this point, I would not have done this.
UPDATE 01/04/2000. Well, I went back to work and all is going real good. As of today I have lost 60 pounds. I am still having problems with my food, about all that does good is organges and apples. Well that is not enough protein so I know that I am not getting enough. I am trying to eat more tuna and eggs so we will see how that works. Cottage cheese is also working pretty good.
UPDATE 02/16/00. I went back for a check up with my surgeon on Friday. I weighed 209. I have lost 85 pounds. He said that all of my blood work looked good. Come back in 6 months and keep up whatever I am doing because it is working.
UPDATE 4/23/00. I have lost 122 pounds. I am so excited. I go back for my 6 month check up in a couple of weeks and all looks good. Already people do not recognize me. I love it. My son is graduating from college next week. He has not seen me since my surgery. He will not beleive it. This is the smallest that I have ever been in his life.
UPDATE 05/10/00. I went for my six month postop visit and news was good. All of my blood work was great, no problems. Doc said that does not want me to lose but around 4 more pounds. I told him that he was out of his mind. Weight 150. I had this surgery done and I am going to get to my goal of 120 pounds. I feel great. I went to my son's college graduation. When he saw me he hugged me and told me that "for the first time his arms when around me when he hugged me." It was great. We went out and did things that we could never do before. Also for my 40th birthday my dear hubby and I rode our new Harley to Panama City Beach and spent the weekend. It was wonderful. I do not go back for another check up until December 1 (my anniversary date).
UPDATE 12/20/00: Well I went for my one year annivesary checkup and got a clean bill of health. Kindey function is up 80% (also went for a check up with Urogolist[sp]). I now have a new life. I have to go back every six months for the next five years but life is great. I am now trying to get a boob job and a tummy tuck. These are two things that are needed badly.
UPDATE 06/29/01: Well, I had my tummy tuck done on Tuesday, June 26, 2001. To be honest this is more painful then the WLS surgery.
UPDATE 09/08/01: Finally have recovered from TT. Had some healing problems but now it had finally healed. I am down to 105 pounds which for me is unbeleivable. I finally heard from the insurance company and they did cover the TT 100% which that made it nice to get that money back so that I can proceed with other procedures. I still want to have my thighs, boobs, arms and butt done and then I will be finished.
UPDATE 12/07/01: Things are going ok. I am still losing weight. I am now down to 87 pounds. I am dreading my 2 year post op visit scheduled on Decmeber 21, 2001, because when I went for my 18 month check up he and I weighed 123 pounds, he chewed me a new butt and told me that I BETTER weigh 140 when I come back in December. Oh well, I guess I will just have to suck up on this visit and get ready for it. Hope everyone has a great holiday season.
UPDATE 01/18/02: I went for my 2 year post op visit and doc was not happy with my weight. I had gained from a low of 80 to about 95. He said that I should try to maintain around 100. I also went for the consult on my breast lift with implants. I am hoping to do that around the first of March if all stays on schedule.
UPDATE 02/04/2002: Went to the doc this past Friday for a weight check in and for him to give me some results from some test that I had done a few weeks earlier. He said that I have Fibromyalgia and Sjogren's Syndrome. Well this was two new things that I had never heard of so he tries to explain, but being blonde and have a brain fart at the same time he finally gave me two booklets on these conditions, along with 5 new prescriptions to start taking and sent me on my merry way. I go back in a month and we will see how this pans out. I just hope that these new Rx's help with all the pain that I am in right now. It is driving me crazy.
UPDATE 01/06/2003: Well I went for my 3 year post op visit last Friday. I had actually gained up to almost 120 pounds which my doc was thrilled. He did blood work but I do not have the results back from that yet. Hopefully it will all be good. The only problem he found was that my left (and only) kidney seems to be swollen. He wanted me to get in to see my urgolist as soon as possible. I called to day to make that appointment and the first available is 02/11/03 - glad it is not a real emergency. I will post again when I have that appointment and get my blood work results.
UPDATE 02/16/2004: Well, I have finally gotten around to updating my profile after almost a year. Thanks Ann in Tex for the encouragment to do so. I went for my 4 years post op visit and all blood work is great. I do have another hernia (third one) and we are just going to watch it for a while and then decide what to do about it. My weight is steady right now. I do go up and down quite a bit but usually stay between 95 - 120.
Hospital Reviews(Birmingham, AL) - University Of Alabama-Birmingham
Harley Davidson - Got my 1998 HD 833 when I lost my first 100 lbs. LOVE it.
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: John J. Gleysteen M.D.
Night before Surgery
minus 172 pounds
It took me five months to obtain an appointment with Dr. Gleysteen. I was very impressed with the time that he took with me, answering questions and asking a lot of questions about my health and concerns about the surgery. He took the time to explain the surgery and the risk involved. He told me that he does not usually do people as "small" as me. lol...but due to my comorbs, he would do my surgery. He is honest and will tell you like it is. I know other people who have gone to see him and he has told them just to push away from the table that he would not touch them simply because he does not thing this surgery should be your first choice of action but the last effort to lose the weight. His staff worked very closely with my referring physician in obtaining necessary information so that my claim could be submitted to my insurance company to see if they would cover this procedure. I go back on November 19, 1999 for my pre op visit. I can update again after that visit.
11/20/99 - Well I had my preop visit yesterday and if I was going to chicken out this would be the time. He has scared the crap out of me now. He told me that this is my last chance to get the weight off. I had better take advantage of this tool or I would more than likey be dead in five years. All is a go for surgery Wednesday, December 1, 1999.
09/08/01 - I went for my 18 month check up and got some good/bad news from Dr. G. First, all blood work was good. Then he started chewing me a new ass because I had lost "to much weight". He said that I was the first paitent that had actually reached my "idea" weight and gone below. He told me that he wanted me to "gain" 25 pounds by December. No offense, I told him that hell will freeze before that will happen.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Two weeks after the intital submission, I was contact by BC/BS requesting additional information. The additional information that they needed was my weights for the last two years.
My insurance has changed. I now have First Health. They covered 100% a hernia repair and so far they have covered my TT. We have submitted for a breast lift with implants so we will see if they will cover that.