I am 44 years old(as of March 27, 2002). Have been overweight just about my whole life. I am legally blind. My health is deteriorating and I am hoping for surgery to help alleviate or stop some of the symptoms I have. I have one daughter who is 22 and three dogs and one grandpuppy. I live in Newport News but also have a home in Doswell, VA.
Animals - I like almost ALL animals.
Travel - I used to love to travel some, but I cannot afford to do this anymore.
Pets - I have always had lots of pets.
Dogs - I have three dogs and two grandpuppies.
Dogs - Jessie is a 10 year old Pomeranian.
Dogs - Scoutie is a 3.5 year old St. Bernard, Wolf, Black Lab mix.
Dogs - Amber is a 3 year old tri-color Beagle.
Dogs - Angel is a long hair Chihuahua and Tara is a tri color tea-cup Pomeranian.
Collectibles - I collect Ty Beanie Babies, some dolls, trinket boxes, coins, DUST.
Cooking & Baking - I LOVE to cook for people.
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: Neil E. Hutcher M.D.
I have several comorbidities including sleep apnea, asthma, knee and hip surgeries, joint pain, osteoporosis, arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc....
I collect Ty Beanie babies, trinket boxes, coins(no value, just neat looking ones), dolls and lots of DUST!
I also care for my mother as my full time job.
March 4, 2006... WOW! It has been a long time since I checked in!
I am now 3 years and 8 months post op and keeping the weight off. I still have trouble eating meat and sometimes eggs. I live on beans, cheese, seafood, and eggs! I do not throw up as often as I did during the first three years. It has been a rough journey, but one I am glad I have taken. I have relearned my eating habits and I feel a lot better about myself and my overall health has improved too!! I do still get cravings for things I should not have but when I give in to them, it is in a managable way (one bite of a candybar instead of three whole candy bars!). I also found Pepperidge Farms VERY thin White and wheat bread and can eat that. I could not keep regular sized bread down. I had some pretty sever medical problems from August 2005 to November 2005(maybe not major compared to some people's problems, but pretty severe for me anyway). I was mal nourished, my blood sugars keep going down too low, my body was not making or utilizing calcium properly and I was in severe pain. I had pretty much lost the use of my arms due to the pain. Things are sooooo much better now! I have complete use of my arms again and only a small amount of pain in the upper left arm remains. I will check in again on my 4 year anniversary!
May 27, 2005...I got the drainage tubes out today!!! Amazingly it didn't hurt this time!!! I feel like somoen has taken off my ball and chains! lol Barbara Keys said the incision looked great and was amazed at how much I was doing already. Everyone told me this surgery was gonna hurt ten times worse than the WLS, but I have not had any pain at all from it except a sort of "pulling" feeling aling the bottom incision line. I am THRILLED!
May 13, 2005...I got to remove the dressings today and see my incisions and take a shower. Except they are scabbed over, the incisions look good...not a lot of bruising yet. I have a belly button!!!!! When they went in, Dr. Hutcher said I may not have one because of all the scar tissue from previous surgeries. I am excited!!! I don't care for the binder but will wear it as instructed :-(. JP tubes are a bit of a bother too..I am NOT looking forward to them taking those out in 4 weeks. The last ones I had removed only hurt for a moment, but they hurt like Hell for that moment!
May 12, 2005...I am home. Surgery went well. I have had no pain meds of any kind and I only hurt when I have to cough. Dr. Hutcher removed 7 1/2 pounds of skin. I get to see it tomorrow.
May 11, 2005...Going in for my abdominoplasty this morning!!! I am both scared and excited. The timing got messed up because of insurance companies changing when I moved so it is now or never. I will have to come home and stay alone taking care of 7 dogs and a cat.I sure hope I can do it!!!
May 5, 2003: I had my nine month post-op check-up last week. I have had blood in my urine for 5 weeks now and they can't figure out why. There is no infection or bacteria, no kidney stones, etc. My liver is inflamed and liver function is low. Again, they don't know why (they, being all four of my doctors, not just my WLS doctor). My potassium was dangerously low, protein was low, iron was low, etc....malnourished? I have had three CT Scans, an Ultrasound, chest xrays, EKG's, IV's, multiple visits to the doctors and a visit to the emergency room where I thought I was having a heart attack but they said it was not my heart. My pulse was 47, blood pressure was 104/50....they said the potassium being so low and the liver being inflamed could have caused the pain I was feeling. My WLS doctor wants me to schedule another Endoscope (YIPPIE!). I am still throwing up constantly after 9 1/2 months....I HATE this!!!! I can eat cheese, soup, scallops, shrimp, that will stay down and that is about it.I have lost 154 pounds now and am wearing size 14/16. I love the weight loss, just wish I could get my health under control!! I have started working now too. I have one full time job and two part time jobs. BUT, with all the medical problems, I have taken leave of the part time jobs and cut my hours on the full time job back to 20 hours per week (NOT enough to live on!!!!) Anyway, THAT is my update. I will update again in July for my one year post-op anniversary.
January 27, 2003: I missed updating after my 3 month post op visit for some reason, but today, I had my six month post op visit and figured it was time to update. I have lost 119 pounds so far!!!!! I am STILL barfing all the time. I have had a couple of endoscopes done and there is no closure. I have to schedule another one now. There is a chance the band they put at the end of the pouch/beginning of the small intestine is too tight and that could be causing the vomiting. I also seem to have formed a hernia just below where my gallbladder used to be and will get an ultrasound to determine that. I have to have a bone density test on February 19th. I am also still malnourished (I was at my three month post op visit too). I am wearing a size 18/20 now and that feels good. I go back in three months for new labs. I will update again at that time. I hope you are all doing well.
September 17, 2002: Went for my two month check up today. I have been released to eat any foods now except beef, corn and rice. I can start water aerobics again and do other exercises as long as I don't do abdominal ones. I still am not allowed to lift over 10 pounds for 2 more months. When I go back, they will do lab work and see if I am holding foods down any better. If not, they will have to determine why I am not keeping them down after so much time. I have lost 67 pounds!
September 9, 2002: I was supposed to go for my two month check up today, but my mom died this morning so I had to take care of things here at home. I will reschedule. Life will be hard without my mom here.
August 29, 2002: I went to the hospital today for my endoscopic proceedure. I am so glad y'all (chat friends) were right. There was nothing to it!!! I went in and was too dehydrated for them to find a vein to start the IV so they finally used the one in the crook of my elbow. They had me lay there from 9am until noon absorbing IV fluid. At noon, I went in, the doctor explained the proceedure and told me to turn on my left side so they could begin......then I woke up and was told if I could sit up for 20 minutes and drink a cup of water, I could go. My openings had narrowed to the width of a thread and he used the balloon thingy to open them. I have had soup and a Diet Snapple Peach Iced Tea today and it all stayed down....THAT is a good feeling!!!!!
August 26, 2002: I went for my six weeks post-op check-up today. It will be 6 weeks tomorrow. Anyway, I have lost 59 pounds. I am still not keeping food or drink down, so I have to go to the hospital this Thursday at 9am to have an endoscope and dialation done. I am NOT looking forward to that! At this point, I would still NOT have the surgery done again. The weight loss is great, but not worth the pain and trouble so far. I go back in two weeks.
August 5, 2002: I had my first post-op check up today. I was surprised they did not check my incision or ask if it leaked or got infected...nothing! I met with the nurse practitioner and not the surgeon. I have lost 39 pounds from my highest weight leaving the hospital)and it will be three weeks tomorrow since surgery. I told the nurse about calling them and still not getting a call back and I was told she ALWAYS returns calls by midnight the day they came in. I said no one called me and I was told I must have dialed the wrong number....She told me everything I was eating was wrong and I am NOT supposed to be eating any meats yet. I should eat stuff like Cheerios, oatmeal, pasta, cheese, yogurt, potatoes, cottage cheese and canned fruit in natural juices. BUT it is essential to get 50 to 60 grams of protein in each day. I asked her about the pasta and potatoes because in the dietary class they sent us to, they told us to stay away from "white" carbs. She said "just do what I tell you". It was not a very pleasant visit at all. I didn't get to discuss my dumping and vomiting, and all she said about my throat is, "it is getting better" this she diagnosed without even looking in my mouth!!! I have another appointment in three weeks. And one other thing....the did not do ANY lab work!
July 21, 2002: I had my two surgeries on July 16th and it sucked! Besides being painful beyond my imagination, I had some panic attacks set in and was not a happy camper. On discharge there was one EXTREMELY caring nurse who helped me with discharge and getting unhooked from hoses and tubes and such. I need to write a note to her and the hospital!! I would not have made it through this surgery at all had it not been for my daughter. She has truly sprouted her guardian angel wings now. I came home Friday and physically I am doing okay except there seems to be a blockage to my airway. I will call the doctor about that tomorrow. I have passed several pieces of my own intestines (or some cut body tissue pieces) which was not only scary but GROSS! Too late now, but I wish I had not had this surgery done....not for the physical so much, but while I was in the hospital, my whole home life was turned upside down and I am not sure where anything in my life stands right now. Also everyone says plastic surgery hurts 10 times worse than WLS and there is no way in Hell I could endure more pain so I guess I will go through life looking like a big flabby pear!!! I need to take time now to sort out what is what and get a direction in which to travel. More later.
July 15, 2002: I just got a phone call and my surgery has been moved up from 8:30 am to 5:30am...I am soooooo excited...that is 3 less hours I will have to wait!!!!
July 1, 2002: At 2pm today I had my physical. We went over my blood work from the other day and I was told my iron is low and to double up on my vitamins and my oxygen levels are low so I am to start using my spirometer now and hope they are up the day of surgery. At 5pm, I had my informational class and tour of the bariatric floor of the hospital. There, they showed us how to get into and out of bed after surgery along with the remote for the bed, tv, nurse call, etc. Seventeen laps around the nurses station and hallway is equal to one mile. Now everything is done for WLS. I have to meet with the OB/GYN on the 12th for his pre op stuff.
June 26, 2002: Today I had my pre admittance and pre op labs at 1pm and my Behavior Modification Class at 5pm. It is now 8:55pm and I am JUST getting home from the hospital after being there since 1pm. They did chest xrays, blood gasses (OUCH!), EKG, and general blood work. The Behavior Modification class was fun because we got to discuss stuff, but otherwise it followed the book so if people would bother reading it there would be no need to sit through it.
June 20, 2002: I had my dietary class tonight. We got a book called, GASTRIC BYPASS PATHWAY TO A LONGER AND LIGHTER LIFE. It is a sort of handbook with information from making the decision to have surgery to what to expect, dietary and nutrition needs, behavior modification and even some ways to cope post op. I think this book should have been given to patients at the initial consult with the surgeon. Anyway, the class was pretty basic and went over what you will eat the first two weeks after surgery and how you and your doctor will decide how and when what foods are added into your diet. She talked about sugar and dumping a little bit too.
May 23, 2002: Change of plans. Let's try "one more thing". My OB/GYN is going to do an endometrial ablation instead of the hysterectomy. IF it does not work, we will do the hysterectomy, but IF it does work, then that will be better.
May 22, 2002: I had to go to the OB/GYN today because of some ongoing problems. He examined me and we talked. He is going to do a hysterectomy. He wants to do it at the same time as my WLS(actually about 30 minutes before that). He will talk to my WLS surgeon and see if he will approve that. He will call me tomorrow.
May 13, 2000: I had my psychological evaluation today. Seh asked lots of questions!!! But she says I should do fine with the surgery. Glad that is over with!!!
April 28, 2002: Psychologocal Evaluation scheduled. May 13th at 10 am.
April 28, 2002: I got my schedule of required things before surgery. On June 30, at 5pm I have dietary class. On June 26, at 1pm I have pre registration and lab work. On June 26 at 5pm, I have behavior modification class. On July 1, at 2pm I have my physical with the nurse practicioner. On July 1 at 5 pm I have informational class. I also have to call tomorrow to schedule a psychological evaluation. I guess THAT should keep me busy until my surgery date!
April 26, 2002: I HAVE A DATE!!! Surgery is scheduled for July 16, 2002.
April 22, 2002: I got more good news!! My YMCA Membership went through and I start there tomorrow morning at 9am and will go 6 days a week at 9am and meet with a personal trainer. I am so happy right now!!!!!
April 22, 2002: I called the insurance company and I got my approval!!!!!! I was officially approved as of 4/19/02. I owe that lady at the insurance company an apology. Tomorrow, I will call the surgeon's office to see if I can get my surgery date.
April 19, 2002: The lady from the insurance company called me back! She had found my paperwork and hand delivered it to the director and he was reviewing it as we spoke and I should have my answer on Monday. Another polite brush off?
April 19, 2002: I called the insurance company again and spoke to a supervisor. She said no paperwork had been turned in so I told her the paperwork had been faxed over three times now and two phone messages had been left by the surgeon's office an no one had returned the calls yet. I told her what the lady told me the other day too. She apologized and said she would look into that and would call me back. I thought another polite brush off.
April 15, 2002: I called the insurance company. They said there was no paperwork there and if I kept calling (this is my second time calling) my approval WOULD be delayed.
April 11, 2002: was asked to re submit paperwork to insurance company. Surgeon's office called and left them a message for a return call.
April 10, 2002: paperwork submitted again.
April 8, 2002: pre authorization paperwork submitted.
April 1, 2002: Saw Dr. Hutcher for the first time.
February and March: gathering documentation, doctors notes, letters of necessity, writing letters, etc.
Sentara, Family Care (?)