All my life I have been active but morbidly obese. I am married with 2 children. In 1995 I fell down a flight of stairs and hurt my knees pretty bad. There was no open mri at the time in my area and the orthopedic doctor chose to treat me with a brace and physical therapy. As I gradually added more activity back into my life, my knees got worse. In 1997 they were able to send me for a mri and knee surgery was scheduled. Basically they went in and shaved off 1/3 of one kneecap. Then after surgery, he told me I will probably still have to have a replacement but it depended on getting the weight off of the knees. Again I tried dieting, but with limited success since I was now unable to excercise. Water activities are about the only thing I could do without damaging my knee worse. Since I first hurt my knee in 1995, I have added nearly 200lbs of additional weight. No one understands the vicious circle my life is spinning in. In November of 2002 I was diagnosed with Adult Type II diabetes. Time for a change.
March 2003 I had a consult with Dr. Caylor who has started doing lap banding at our local hospital. I am not a candidate for having the surgery done locally because our hospital is only equiped with or tables that hold up to 400lbs. He said that he would locate a facility that was capable to help me. But I already had an appt. with a bypass doctor not to far away.
04/22/03 Had a consult with Dr. Steve Weinstein today. He was very helpful. My mother went with me. My husband seems uninterested. Dr. Weinstein told me and my mother that unless I take care of the weight problem now I will probably not live another 5 to 10 years. I had my mind to go through with the surgery before I saw him.
04/25/03 Surgeons office called today and said they had a cancellation next week did I want to go ahead and come in and schedule surgery? yes but don't I have to have some lab work done first? No just as long as it is done before surgery. What about medicare did they pre- approve. Don't need pre-approve for medicare. Yippee going to happen sooner.
04/25/03 Call from surgeon again. Must have lab work prior to scheduling surgery. Ekg, chest x-ray, blood and stuff. went from being so excited to pure depression. No problem I see the pulmonologist on may 12 and go back to schedule on June 3rd. Can't happen soon enough.
04/30/03 A little worried. Got to thinking about anesthesia. When I was pregnant with my daughter I had reconstructive surgery done on a hand. The local didn't take so they put me under. or paralyzed me anyway. Went the paralysis wore off I was able to tell them the whole conversation they had during surgery. And the pain was the worst thing I ever felt. Since then I never let any one try to put me to sleep. Not with kids or knee surgery. I know the pregnancy probably had a little to do with the anesthesia not working properly but I am still scared.[One thing good from that experience, hospital waived their bill :)] Dr. said to make sure I let anesthiologist know about that incident---Like I could ever forget.
05/01/03 Have a friend who started a weight loss surgery support group in my area. She is a great resource. She is good at fielding questions I might think are silly. Never makes me feel like any concern is ridiculous. I love Terrie Anne.
05/06/03 My husband is totally uninterested in anything. He has no questions, no concerns, no comments. I told him he better hope I live through the surgery because if I don't I am coming back to haunt him FOREVER. I even wonder if he will notice when the weight starts to come off. I have to see the pulmonologist in 6 days. I hope he gives me the go ahead. I wish I could put down these darn cigarettes.
05/12/03 Had an appointment with the pulmonologist today. He had a warped since of humor. Everything looked good but sending me for an echocardiogram tomorrow just to make sure that my heart is not the reason that I cannot sleep on my back. He did tell me that since I have taken the initiative to have a life changing surgery that I should quit smoking so I don't lose all the weight only to have to tote along an oxygen machine. Go back to Dr. Weinstein on June 3rd to schedule if everything is ok. Oh yeah the pulmonologist said the perfect way to quit smoking is to use some hedge clippers and start with one finger! I think he's nuts.
05/15/03 Does anyone else think fat hurts? Not just what is happening to your body but what any nurse wants to do to your body. I swear that even though my bP is only slightly elevated they always try to pump up the cuff to more than 300 before they let off the pressure. Yesterday I had the echocardiogram done and it hurt. The lady who did the test pushed in so hard to get a good reading its a wonder I did not have a heart attack on the table. then you have to breathe a deep breath and hold it? which is nearly impossible since she is trying to force the wand under your ribcage. I don't remember an ultrasound for my children being that uncomfortable. Well the doctor will read the test today and forward the results to the pulmonologist and hopefully he will sign off on the surgery. Husband still has not asked any questions.(Is he dead?) June 3 is when I am scheduled to go back to Dr. Weinstein for scheduling if approved. Take care all.
05/15/03 My 13 year old daughter went to the Alan Jackson concert tonight. It was her first concert. I so wish that I had been able to take her. I know that I have made the right decision to have this surgery.
05/16/03 My 11 year old son was invited to go to Six Flags over New Orleans tomorrow. I really hate how I am not physically able to take the kids to stuff like this. Especially since this is his first theme park. Next year I know that I can take and do much more with them.
05/18/03 Well yesterday was my daughter Morgan's birthday. We had a picnic and swimming at the state park. Thank goodness for my family that helped cook and feed all the kids. We had fun but my feet and legs were so swollen that I thought that my skin would split wide open. Since Christopher is still in New Orleans I let Morgan have several of her friends come over. Where has all the time gone. I never realized she was such a teenager. Giggling, laughing, and just talking. The girls were just great. They had so much fun. I am glad they enjoyed it because I was miserable.
05/22/03 I began to wonder if surgeries were being scheduled as far off as appts. with Dr. Weinstein so I called and found out that when I go back on June 3rd, provided all tests were ok they will schedule surgery for 3 to 4 weeks later. So around July 4th I will be celebrating my own independence. (wooohooo)My husband decided to show a little interest. He asked if when I lose my weight if I will trade him on a new one? I told him I already had and didn't need to lose weight to do that! He didn't think it was funny. But at least he is noticing something is going on now. I did tell him that he should dust the cobwebs from his ears and get with the program. Last day of school for the kids. They want to go swimming today. They don't know how physically demanding it is to go to the beach. No matter how hard it is I will take them because most of my summer will be tied up getting healthy.
05/29/03 yesterday the surgeons office called and said they had not received the pulmonary results and I did not need to come in next week without that in hand. After many phone calls back and forth I found out that the pulmonologist office faxed the results on the 16th of may nearly 2 weeks ago. So the appt. to schedule surgery is still on. I would hate to have come this far and then be detained by lack of communication.
06/03/03 Today I got a date July 16,2003. I have to check in the day before. yipee!!! The hospital has started a new program that all WLS patients must attend prior to surgery. You see a nutritionist to go over exactly what and when you can eat after surgery. She will also be at the hospital after surgery. Then the nurses did a physical evaluation to see at what level our exercising will start at after. I go back for pre-admit on June 25th. Dr. Weinstein also wants me to go back to the pulmonologist that day just for a final clearance. I met another future "loser" like myself at the BEGIN program and her surgery is scheduled the same day as mine. I hope and pray we both succeed with no complications. And the best news today was when I weighed, I had lost 7 lbs on my own. woohooooooo! I told the doctor and nurses it was the fluid pill I took yesterday. lol
06/06/03 The hospital called yesterday and did some pre- admit info over the phone. The hospital rep told me that I would need to pay my portion of cost on day I pre-admit and labs. $840 and yes they take credit cards. The quitting smoking is so hard. Every night I go to bed with good intentions and then I wake up and the cravings take control. I need to get a grip.
06/11/03 I have been fighting the sniffles and congestion for a few days. Hoping to make myself better before surgery. This morning my knees were in so much pain I did not know if I could walk. Between the weight, the arthritis, and the humidity, I am suffering. I think today is the day I quit smoking also. If it hurts to walk and get them and I am congested, then why don't I just do it. I tell you why, I have been up for about 4 hours and haven't had one. I am so anxious. But I am going to keep resisting because I want to go into surgery in the best shape possible and being a smoker is not it. I bet I add some pounds today trying to keep from having a cigarette. I will try to remain positive and keep the brass ring in my vision. A healthy new me is my goal.
06/12/03 ARRGGGGG I think I did good yesterday with not smoking for a little while anyway. It is so darn hard maybe I should take the pulmonologist up and use some hedge clippers.
06/21/03 I am craving all the foods that I know that I may not be able to eat ever again. Food Network is my favorite thing right now. I hope to overcome these cravings after surgery. I go Wednesday to pre-admit and final pulmonary clearance. The time seems to be moving steady towards becoming a "loser."
06/26/03 Yesterday I went to hospital for pre-admit. I have fianl pulmonary clearance. yipeee! The ultra-sound wasn't bad and the Upper GI was ok except for drinking the nasty stuff. Who ever thought I would be drinking strawberry chalk and enjoying it? Now I guess is the time for jitters. Pulmonary embolisms, DVT, anesthesia, and dying. No problem, I just won't think about bad possible outcomes and only think of how positively wonderful I will feel afterwards. I am going to live and that it cause for doing a little happy dance.
06/28/03 18 days to a new ME. I am so excited that I know all of my family and friends are probably sick of hearing me talk about my upcoming changes. Yesterday I was talking to my mother about the shrinking breast and eventually plastic surgery. Since I can shove them into a 56FF and they almost hang to my belly button, as the fat disappears they are so streatched out already they will probably go to my knees as they get thinner. My mom said I will still wear the same size just have to fold them up to stick them in the cups. We were laughing so hard we were almost crying. Well its rainny today, and I need to go buy some post-op supplies.
06/30/03 I spent yesterday at my niece's birthday party. I had a great time there and even went swimming. It was fun but my sister's pool nearly killed me trying to get out. She has steps built in but with the pain in my knees trying to climb out on them seemed very hard. It took about 3 minutes to walk up four steps. They seemed so tall and trying to pull 500lbs up them made me breathless and achy all over. Three hour drive home with severe knee pain. Thank goodness I know that my life will soon have a turn around. A calmness has seemed to settle over me about the surgery. I am not worried about anything. I don't know if that is normal, but I am not worried about anything at this point. It is like I know that everything will be alright.
07/08/03 One week to go and I don't know if I should laugh or cry? It has been a long time living with pain and I know my journey is just beginning in my new life!
07/09/03 I did not sleep last night. I think it may be some anxiety thinking about the upcoming surgery. Yesterday I had a sore throat and ear pain and was concerned, but this morning I woke up fine (must have been just some sinus congestion). I have got to stay well so they will still do the surgery. My mom and sister's will all be there for support. I can not thank them enough.
07/14/03 I have been so busy time has been flying by. The surgeon's office called and said I do not have to check into the hospital tomorrow. Now I take an extreme laxitive tomorrow night and check myself into the hospital at 7am on Wed. morning. All I know is they are not cutting on me until I talk to the anesthesist. Maybe if I threaten him/her with bodily harm, they will make sure I wake up.LOL Just a little touchy about that part of the surgery. I am having a big supper with my family tonight. My choice- T-Bones and Shrimp! Yummy!!!!! We will have salad on the side and butter pecan ice-cream if I make it that far. Tomorrow a normal breakfast and lunch. Light supper and laxitive for dessert (yucky) Tomorrow morning I go to an attorney's office to sign guardianship papers for my kids. Just in case their father who has never supported them changes his mind and tries to get custody should any thing bad happen. He has promised that he will leave them with my family since he has never been an integral part of their lives, but who knows what will happen? Gotta run and start my husband on the grill. Supper is going to be great!
07/15/03 My husband cooked a fabulous supper last night. Not only was the steak perfect but he actually peeled my shrimp. Today seems almost unreal. I cannot believe that tomorrow at this time I will officially be on the other side. As soon as I get home from the hospital, I will update my profile. I am going to spend time with my kids now so see you soon:)
07/21/03 Well the last few days have been exciting to say the least. Surgery went well and lapro procedure was no problem however, I had a problem breathing trying to come off of anesthesia so it was a ventilator for me. They kept me on that for 24 hrs post-op and then another 24 hrs still in SICU. Finally they put me in a room after I had walked ICU several times and my oxygen saturation level went up to 98%. I did not mind the constant awakening by nurses or walking. Pain was minimal for me so they sent me home with only liquid Motrin. The gas was not unbearable but kind of uncomfortable until I started passing it and shortly after I had my first bowel movement. I don't know if I have lost any weight yet but I can tell a difference. My hands and feet are wrinkly! That's right this is the first time since I don't know when that I did not need a fluid pill. Hoorah! Back to bed still getting kind of tired easy. I hope that doesn't last long either.
07/24/03 I feel great! Should I though? What if this was a failure for me? So many things crossing my mind right now. cannot wait to go in next week for follow up visit to see if I have lost any weight yet.
07/29/03 I just got back from the Dr. and I have lost 25lbs since I started seeing him. I don't feel like I have lost any but the scales don't lie. I can start water aerobics next week. This week I start a multiV and B12 shots. Its nice to know I am normal and tried foods I was not ready to try.
08/06/03 Pureed foods do not taste the same. I am sure it is because the texture is funky. Grits and Egg is delicious though. My kids start school next week and I want to be able to spend a little time doing fun stuff with them. My family is being very supportive.(Even my husband!) Today has been a lazy day and I have only walked around the house. Tomorrow I think I will take the kids to the beach and go swimming.
08/14/03 I just cannot get myself to post any more frequent right now. It is hard trying to adjust to this new lifestyle. Not being able to drink liquid with my meal is the hardest thing. I have always been a drinker of water, tea, cola, etc. and trying to not drink anything while I eat is difficult. I have forgotten a few times and made myself sick. Not bad, just throwing up any liquid I try to get down. Pork makes me sick in the whole of my new little stomach. Tried it twice and both times I had this horrible feeling that lasted well over an hour. I will not try it again for a few months. I also have been noticing some moodiness in myself the last week or so. I snap aat the kids and husband very easy. I think it might be from my body starting to realize it is being denied all of the food it was used to having. I am trying to keep my protein level up but it is hard to get in enough. Water is still no problem. Family is still supportive and trying not to eat in front of me.
09/06/03 Well I had a 6wk check-up and had lost 50+ pounds already. I could not believe it. I could tell I was not having the fluid retention anymore but that much weight I was amazed. I have not started any exercise program yet just walking on the treadmill everyday. I have been spending alot of time with my kids and enjoying every minute. It is still hard adjusting to not being able to eat what I think I should be able to. I am drinking lots of water and trying to get in as much protein as possible everyday. I have a hard time sitting still long enough to post more often. All this extra energy is great.
10/23/03 Well I have lost 80lbs so far. Its great! My energy level has soared. I actually went to a casino over this past weekend and walked for miles and miles. (I even came home with the same amount of money I took.) I forget to post because my life has become so active. I still need to start an excercise program at the local Y or gym. It's kind of hard to get myself to stop going just to excercise.
02/04/04 It has been a while since I updated and I wanted to let you know how I am doing. As of today I have lost 135 lbs. I cannot believe it. I feel great. I no longer take any meds for co-morbidities. I still am not exercising too much, but it gets better every day.
Weight Loss Survey ResponsesClick Here To View
Books & Literature - I read anything I get my hands on.
Crafts - start crafts all the time rarely finish them lol:)
Sports - at over 500 lbs who's athletic?
Theater - I love theater productions and can't wait to fit in the seats again!
Scouting - I have loved being a Girl Scout leader but I am taking a year off for me
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: L. Steve Weinstein
taken a couple of weeks prior
I had heard good things about Dr. Weinstein prior to my consultation visit with him. He was very helpful. My mother is very worried about me having this type of surgery. I took her to my visit with me and Dr. Weinstein was able to reassure her about some of her concerns. I had researched different weight loss surgeries and he was able to answer any questions I had about my options. He went ahead and gave me literature on the aftercare program he advises. When you have a good surgeon with good doctor-patient relationships, the outcome is sure to be great. The only bad thing is his scales in the office only go up to 350 lbs., so I had to walk miles and miles( it seemed like anyway) to the scales in the hospital.