fI'm 29 and have battled obesity my entire life. I've never been an average/normal size. I've exercised and dieted since I was twelve. Up and down twelve fold and I'm tired. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired so I researched WLS after hitting 260 lbs. I'm now 281 lbs and I have severe back, hip, ankle, foot pain and I'm constantly tired and feel like sleeping or taking a nap. I really think wls could help me feel and look better. About two weeks ago I scheduled an appt w/ Dr. Cottingham and I have that appt this Friday 3/11. Can't wait to see if I may be a good candidate for WLS!
The visit went well. I am a candidate for wls. However, my insurance w/ BCBS of IL will only cover wls w/ 12 months supervised diet among many many other criteria. Ugh! Why would they want to put someone on such an extended diet and exercise regimen? Kindof defeats the purpose!! Great, I lose all my weight and then gain it all back plus some. They don't get it! I'm furious! I'm gonna have to figure some things out. I'm devestated :(
Update: Went to see a doctor to get started on my 12 month friggin diet. He wants me to start SOUTH BEACH diet! Is he kidding me? Been there done that. Not doing it again. I'll figure something out.
I started a new job last week and I was delighted to find that my new insurance covers wls! The approval criteria is 40 BMI and
>>>>>>>>>Multidisciplinary surgical preparatory regimen: Proximate to the time of surgery, member must participate in organized multidisciplinary surgical preparatory regimen of at least [b]three months[/b] duration meeting all of the following criteria, in order to improve surgical outcomes, reduce the potential for surgical complications, and establish the member's ability to comply with post-operative medical care and dietary restrictions:
Consultation with a dietician or nutritionist; and
Reduced-calorie diet program supervised by dietician or nutritionist; and
Exercise regimen (unless contraindicated) to improve pulmonary reserve prior to surgery, supervised by exercise therapist or other qualified professional; and
Behavior modification program supervised by qualified professional; and
Documentation in the medical record of the member's participation in the multidisciplinary surgical preparatory regimen. (A physician's summary letter, without evidence of contemporaneous oversight, is not sufficient documentation. Documentation should include medical records of the physician's initial assessment of the member, and the physician's assessment of the member's progress at the completion of the multidisciplinary surgical preparatory regimen.) <<<<<<<<<
So basically, that's 3 months pre surgical diet and exercise program!
I made an appointment to get started on that for November 18th but I'm going to change it for this Friday the 11th. If everything goes smoothly I could be having my surgery by March or April 2006.
Pre Surgical Prepratory Regimen:
November 14, 2005 --Initial Visit--
Outcome:White blood cell count high, ekg good, 100 temp, borderline hbp 138/?. Dr. McInnis put me on a balanced diet along w/ 10 minutes of exercise/day. My goal is to lose 10 lbs by next visit.
Well, the 3 month diet is over and my surgeon requested approval today. Keeping my fingers crossed....
3/25- I received a letter today from Aetna stating that they need more information specifically the following...
1. documentation of 6 mo. supervised diet
2. 5 year weight history
All of this should have been submitted through my surgeon's office but apparently not. So, with the help of an awesome new friend of mine, I have an excellent letter, weight chart and pre approval request ready to send out on Monday! I'm going to overnight on Monday so hopefully I'll know something by the end of the week.
This is so nerve wrecking!! I'm "wishing and hoping and thinking and praying" all the time these days! It's good for me though. Before I was unsure about the surgery. Now, it's the only thing I can think of that makes good sense. So, it's on! Well, I hope it's on anyway.
4/17/2006- UPDATE! Well, after my surgeon's office not sending the information in on time and then being denied, I submitted an appeal letter and I'm APPROVED!!! Yay! I think I should have a date by the end of May. :) I have to thank a girl I met on here named Malena. Her letters and weight chart that she made for me are definately what got me approved. I owe it all to her. Thanks so much Malena! You're my angel!
4/22/2006- I have a date :) June 15, 2006! I spoke to my boss about it and she wants me to try to get it pushed back to July because it's end of 2nd quarter and we'll be busy. Not to mention the other lady who does what I do just quit so it's only me now. I'm hoping they hurry and hire someone so that I can do it on June 15th. I'm supposed to call Dr. Cottingham's office Monday and try to get a new date. Ugh! Pisses me off! I'm already bummed that I have to wait until June.
04/29/2006- Great news, I'm still having the surgery on June 15th! I had a dream last night that I was a day post op. It felt so real. In my dream I was already weighing on the scale. It's a crappy scale so in my dream I was getting ready to go to Wal-Mart to get a new digital one...lol! Anyway, I'm getting so excited to have this surgery. You know, I, like most other fat people, have been trapped in this body for sooo long. My true self has never presented itself to the world. It's been hidden by fat and always being self conscious. I can't wait to be free! Please June 15th, hurry up and get here!!!!
5/7/2006- Getting closer and closer! I'm trying to keep myself busy so that time goes by faster. I just checked out the "Memorial" page and it was pretty sad. It also made me a little nervous. I just hope and pray everything goes smoothly.
5/18/2006- I'm feeling bummed today. I feel really fat and I'm friggin depressed about it. I'm just so over this shit. I kept seeing my reflection and it sucks. I'm huge and miserable. My dog chew up my heels today thank God. I was just saying earlier today how painful wearing heels is. Last week I was really nervous about the surgery. This week I'm just ready for it. I'm ready to be on the losing side. My face is so fat. My arms are getting cellulite in them. My legs hurt and I have nasty sweat boils on my inner thighs. The only thing that keeps me sane is knowing that it'll all be over soon. The years and years of misery will soon be coming to an end and I'll be well on my way to being happy.... normal. God, that's all I want... to be normal. No more beating myself up over everything. No more telling myself how ugly and fat I am. No more not finding clothes to wear to work in the morning. June 15th, hurry up and get here!!
One of our managers took 5 of us ladies out to lunch today. It's a cute little mexican restaurant with a patio where lots of corporate types sit out and soak up the sun for an hour or so looking at the pretty ladies walk inside. So I'm inside eating and talking and listening and all I could think about as I spoke was, "I look fat". As I listened I thought, "I look even more fat from the side". I felt trapped. I mean, who gives a crap... we're all having a nice lunch and no one but me cares about my fat ass. I'm self absorbed and egocentric. All that aside, I just wanted to leave and get back to my office and hide under my desk... especially since my feet were starting to swell from those god forbid strappy sandals (made for skinny feet) cutting off my circulation. So we finally leave and we're walking to the car and I look over at a table of hot young "suits" and every one of them are acting like monkeys over Charelette, one of the girls with us. She's definately a looker and actually becoming a really good friend of mine. But how she must feel having the ability to make men behave like idiots over her every single time she walks out the door. I got a huge kick out of it. Then reality set in and I realized I wasn't just witnessing this but I was invisable. People just don't SEE fat people and that saddens me. It makes me bitter and when I lose weight and become a "Charelette" I will have nothing to do with these shallow asses. I'm practically married anyway but hey, gawk over me and you'll get your ass shot down! Other than that, I'm counting down the days til my surgery as usual and trying my best not to think about Lane Bryant.
I went to my preop today, mom went with me. First I spoke with the surgeon about what to expect during and after surgery. I was surprised to learn that I won't have to be on a liquid diet right after. He said I can eat anything I can squeeze in my hand and it gushes through my fingers. Also, he doesn't do the barium leak test. He tests for leaks during surgery. He said he trained at Baylor and was taught by one of the front runners in bariatric surgery so he's on the "cutting edge"- pun intended...hehe! At any rate, I'm so excited! And I'm getting a little nervous. My birthday is the day before surgery and I have to do my bowel prep that day so my boyfriend's family is taking me out this weekend for whatever I want! They do that every year but this year I'm getting my drink on!
Gosh, time is flying by! I'm so nervous! I can't believe it's happening. A good year and 3 months of trying to get insurance approval/supervised diet and it's finally here!! In just 6 short days I'll be seeing ya'll on the flip side! I'll be on my way to being a normal person. I've waited a lifetime for this. I've gone through hell and back with this weight struggle of mine... and all I ever wanted was to be normal. Not overweight, just normal..... and it's finally here! Go me! :)
June 11, 2006-
Well, I'm on my way to McCormick and Schmicks for my birthday/final indulgence dinner. No more celebrating special days around food. I'm having Pecan Encrusted Catfish, Fried Green Tomatoes, Steamed cabbage with Creme Brule for dessert. Oh, and lots of wine! 3 days until surgery!! Hoorah!!!! I can't wait!
June 12th- I had a great birthday dinner. My sister in law bought me a new digital scale! Yay! I'm getting so nervous.... butterflies like crazy! Two more days and I'll be hatin' it in the hospital. But I've waited so long for this day and I already have accomplished so much. I've got to work the day before my surgery which is the day I have to do my bowel prep..... I hope I don't poop on myself!
June 14th- Happy 30th Birthday to me! I think everyone I know called me today... that's never happened before. Dad, Ivan, Mom, Stacia, David, Betty, Stacy, Dale, Charelette, Jaclyn, some lady from the tire dealership who was very nice. It's 10:15pm and I'm getting a little nervous. I have to be at the hospital by 4:30am and my surgery begins @ 6:30am. I have received wonderful support from this website and I'm grateful to have so many prayers coming my way. Next time I write in here I'll be on my way to a healthy lifestyle and being FREE! BTW, the bowel prep wasn't too bad. The magneseum stuff wasn't TERRIBLE but I did gag a little. I pooped about 10 times...lol! Good stuff! Anyway, I'll be out of the hospital on Saturday so not sure when I'll be updating. I'm going to try to remember to keep a journal in the hospital. See ya'll on the flip side!
June 18, 2006
Surgery went well. It's not particularly painful, just really sore, and mainly on the second day. I came home from the hospital on Saturday afternoon and pretty much slept until Sunday morning. Walking helps a lot with the gas. I mean, as soon as I stand up I belch and it feels so good. I started eating mashed potatoes and cottage cheese today...MMMMMM! I am having a little head hunger I think. I keep picturing myself chomping down on some shells and cheese or corndogs. My boyfriend ate Ravioli and warm cookies in tfront of me today... that was really hard! I did chew 1/4 of a cookie and spit it out. I won't be doing that again. I haven't smoked since Wednesday and it's not bad. I haven't even wanted one. Actually, my senses are so much more sensitive now. When David comes in from smoking... it makes me sick! Anyway, I'm getting all my fluids in. I keep a sippy cup of Propel by my side and try to take lots of sips every 15 minutes. I took my Flintstone chewable vitamins this morning... yuck. Let's see, what else? Oh, I've lost 15 lbs! The day of my bowel prep which was Wednesday June 14th I weighed 281. Today I weighed 266! Yeehaw! More later.
June 22, 2006
Today I weighed 262. That's 19 lbs in one week! I'm feeling much better. The soreness is pretty much gone. Yesterday I met up with mom and we went shopping. I bought a couple of goal outfits. My first goal is to fit into a size 18 misses. I bought a really cute pair of size 18 shorts, a blue sundress and a meditarranian (sp?) loungy strappless sundress. Shopping is already so fun! I can tell I've lost weight in my face, ankles and legs. This is so exciting!! :)
June 25, 2006
Well I threw up for the first time today. I ate a whole piece of baked fish for lunch and it was apparently too much. Only a little came up but I have to make sure that doesn't happen again. At the same time, it's also good to know the "max" amount I can eat. I've been fluctuating between 263 and 264 for the past 2 days. :( I'm going to start walking this evening. Maybe that will speed things up! I have my first followup w/ Dr. Cottingham tomorrow at 2:30. I'm sure he'll be pleased w/ my progress so far.
June 26, 2006
I'm holding at 263-264...wth? I started walking yesterday. Not a lot but I did 15 minutes today and then went shopping and walked all day. I hope the scale goes down. I hope something happens! I called and rescheduled my appt w/ Dr. Cottingham for Wednesday 2pm. I'm hoping to lose at least 3 lbs by then.
June 30, 2006
I woke up this morning 4 lbs lighter(257) for a total of 24 lbs total since June 15th! I'm so happy!!!
So I woke up and the scale said 254. I weighed twice and it said 254 both times. So I weigh about 30 minutes later and it says 258! WTH? So all day it's said 258 and even once said 259. I'm not worried about it but it's crazy how the scale can fluctuate so much. Oh well. I'm looking forward to the 240s :)
July 5th 2006
Today was my first day back to work. I did pretty good most of the day and then about the last 2 hours I got sore. Sore like the day after surgery. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better. I found out at work that my insurance didn't accomodate the hospital as "in network" like they told me. I have to write an appeal letter and that has to be approved. Otherwise I have to pay 1/2 of $64000! I'm totally bummed that I'm still having to deal with this shit. They were supposed to pay 90% and they paid less than 50. Anyway, my weight is holding at 255. I seem to plateau every week. Hopefully I'll wake up 4-5 lbs lighter like I did last week when I plateaued. I'm depressed about my insurance so I'm getting off of here. More later.
One month post op. I've been holding between 254-255. Woke up this morning and I'm 253. I must be plateauing. It's pissing me off! I hope this surgery worked for me. I definately don't eat much and I always eat protein first. I haven't started my b12 or protein shakes yet. I'm definately going to get those this weekend. I have a followup visit w/ Dr. Cottingham today. I'm down 11 or so since I saw him two weeks ago. Wait, maybe I'm not plateuing. I guess I can't lose everyday! Just wish I were farther along. I'll update later.
I have been bummed about my insurance company not considering the hospital that the surgery was performed in as an in network hospital. So I decided to deal with it today and write an appeal letter. I'm almost finished with my appeal letter and as I was checking the exact numbers on aetna website, it has changed to instead of oweing 34000$, that I owe only $1000!!!! What a huge weight off my chest!! SO RELIEVED!
Now, onto my weight loss. I'm finally over my little plateau. I'm down to 249 this morning for a total of 32 lbs in 4.5 weeks! I'm very pleased so far and definately plan on kicking up my exercise. I have to confess, I really haven't been exercising that much. Yesterday we went to the mall and I walked all over that place. I was really tired when I got home. So I'm positive that it helped me get over the plateau. I also bought my b12 sublingual and some protein shake mix. I can tell that the b12 gives me a lot more energy.
We're planning on a trip to the beach on Oct 1st so I'm hoping to be in the 220's by then. I think I can do it! I feel high on life already and I'm really getting used to my pouch and how much I can eat. So far I have been able to eat everything. Nothing has bothered me. I'm hooked on Mott's Light Apple Juice w/ calcium. Only 60 calories and 1/2 the sugar. I've been a bit constipated lately so I'm going to start taking a stool softener that I bought at GNC. Anyway, today is a good day and I'm going to go use some of this energy to clean my house. It's HORRIFIC! More later!
July 27th- Well, I'm hitting another plateau. I got down to 243 and all week I've been fluctuating between 243-245. Weighed this evening and I'm 242. Yay!
August 11th- I got sick twice this week. The first time I ate too many tater tots and my stomach HURT. For those of you who have had the surgery, it's like that feeling if you drink on a full stomach but like 10 times worse. OUCH! The second time was today. I'm pretty sure I was dumping. It was like diahreah pains but worse! It lasted for like 2 hours. I've been really constipated and I now have hemmies I think. Ouch again! On a more positive note, I'm losing and everyone is noticing. I still have a LONG way to go but my clothes are all too big now and I feel great! I can cross my legs comfortably and they stay without effort! Yay!!
August 31- I seem to stall toward the end of the month. I guess I'm losing about 10 lbs a month which is normal. I was fluctuating between 233-235 for a good full week. Finally I'm not fluctuating anymore and am a solid 233. I am in some 14W/16W tops and definately in a 18W dress. So I'm very happy about that!
Sept 23rd- Stalling again... well, I say stalling but it's just not coming off quickly. I've fluctuated between 224 and 226 all week. Mostly I've been 225. Not to worry though. I feel SO much better. I am in an 18W dress which is almost too big! I am remembering how fun it is to shop for cute clothes and look good in them! No hair loss as of yet... knock on wood. I have a LONG way to go but it's cool to think that 25 more lbs and I'll be in Onederland!!! OH I CAN'T WAIT!! I'm going to the beach for a week on Thursday with two other couples. We're staying in a really nice condo and I can't wait to just relax and have a good time. I so need a vacay! I'm happy that I'm going down 56 lbs lighter. I'll look better, feel better and be able to do what everyone else does. However, I went to Six Flags last weekend and I thought I'd die. First, I still have to squeeze into the seats on the rides... which wasn't cool. We walked walked walked and I know it was good exercise but I didn't have that kind of energy. Hell, when you don't eat you don't have energy. Plus I was getting dehydrated and drank a coke and I felt SO much better. I dunno, it made me realize how far I have to go still. It's all good because it'll come. I had a followup w/ my surgeon and he was very pleased. I've lost 39% of my excess weight!! When you put it like that it makes it sound like such a huge accomplishment. I don't exercise or eat enough protein or take my vitamins like I should. I have to work on that for sure!!
was asleep dreaming about Two-A-Days and I was telling Kristen how my stomach was killing me and that I thought I was having a heart attack. The dream wouldn't end and finally she lost interest.... bitch.
Anyway, I woke up and for real felt a major tightness like right below my sternum (sp?). Now, I'm no stranger to gas and since the surgery I have it often. I pop my gas x and walk around. So that's just what I did. But this time it was worse and I was sortof in a panic because the pain kept getting worse and worse. After about 30 minutes of me pacing my house at 3am I finally belch but it didn't help. So I thought I should try going to the bathroom because hell, maybe I needed to take a shit or throw up or something... when you've had your stomach cut into pieces and your intestines rerouted.... who knows?! So I go to the bathroom, sit on the pot and wake up on the bathroom floor with my head pounding and still feeling like I'm having a heart attack. I FRIGGIN FAINTED!! So that really had me in a panic and I went up stairs to try to lie down again. I started having a hot flash so I stripped down naked and put the fan right on me. Well, then I got really cold but couldn't put the covers over me because I was pouring sweat. My bed was soaked. I tried to get David up but he was out of it and just told me I was tripping. I almost called an ambulance!! I had the phone in my hand ready to dial 911 but held off hoping the pain would go away. I went back and forth telling myself "It's just gas" to "Lord, please take me to heaven and forgive me" to "Please don't let me die". Well, the pain persisted for about another 30 minutes and finally I just fell back to sleep.
I woke up this morning with some type of burn on my face and there's a big like scuff on the bathroom wall.
So, I went to see Dr. Cottingham today and got labwork done. My liver enzymes were high so he ordered an ultrasound to check for Gallstones. I have them and will have to have surgery soon. I had a "gall attack" last night and I never want to have another one!
On a happier note, I weigh 217 and am in a size 14/16 top and some 16 pants!
November 7th- I'm fluctuating between 214-216 for the past 2 weeks. I still haven't worked out :( I'm getting better with my vitamins and no more Gall Bladder attacks..... knock on wood! I feel great and I'm getting so much attention from everyone but I really like that men actually notice me now! I feel like a hot momma! I went to target today and bought a junior size 17 jeans and junior size 18 dress pants. I'm in an XL to an XXL top (target). I bought a size 16W coat. Not bad considering almost 5 months ago I was in a 22/24 and some 26 pants! Go me!!
December 11th- I swear the weightloss is SLOW. I've been reading that this is very common and normal. Just sux. I'm working out more. NOt a lot but something is better than nothing, right? I'll be SO happy to break this plateau! I just want to be under 200 lbs. I pray everyday that this isn't all I'm going to lose... there's gotta be more! I'm addicted to the scale also. I need to cut my weighins down to 2/wk as opposed to twice a day! I'm upping my protein and water and exercise and that's all I know to do. More later.
January 20, 2007- Ok, so I haven't worked out more or upped my protein or watched my carbs. I have stopped grazing and am trying to eat 3 meals a day and one or two low calorie snacks. I have been drinking a little more water. I think I may have broke my plateau!! I'm down to 208. 20 days ago I was in Gatlinburg and weighed at this amusement park and it said 216 (which was 4 more than I thought I weighed but I did have clothes on). So I've lost 8 lbs since then....but only 4 according to my scales. Whatever, I'm losing again and I'm SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!! I'm really starting to catch the attention of men a lot more. It's so much fun! Just how I remember before I balooned up to 281 lbs! About 5 years ago I lost about 25 lbs on phentermine and got down to 223. I tried on some jeans that I wore at my lowest weight and I can fit into them. Although I'm 20 lbs lighter than I was then, those jeans are really snug on me and fit me differently. So I'm assuming the weight gain caused me to have a lot more skin... which sux. I really need a Tummy tuck. I'm gonna start looking into that really soon. Wonder if insurance would cover it???
Target- Shirt- XXL, Jeans- 17 junior/misses, Pants- 16 or 18 misses depending on how they're made.
Dress size 14-16. 18's are too big!
5/9/07- I can't believe its been almost a year since my surgery. I'm not as far along as I had hoped, but I'm still making progress. I've been taking phentermine for the past week and I've lost 4 lbs. Almost in Onederland!! No problems with the gall bladder lately.... knock on wood. David sister gave me a bunch of size 12 pants and I can wear a couple of them. Still mainly in 14-16 though. 18 everything is too big now.
6/15/2006- 281 (day of surgery)
6/22/2006- 262 (-19 lbs) (Week 1 post op)
6/30/2006- 257 (-5) (-24 lbs total)(Week 2 Post op)
7/06/2006- 255 (-2) (-26 lbs total)(Week 3 Post op)
7/13/2006- 253 (-2) (-28 lbs total)(Week 4 Post op) 1MO
7/20/2006- 244 (-9) (-37 lbs total)(Week 5 Post op)
7/27/2006- 242 (-2) (-39 lbs total)(Week 6 Post op)
8/04/2006- 240 (-2) (-41 lbs total)(Week 7 post op)
8/11/2006 -235 (-5) (-46 lbs total)(Week 8 Post op) 2 MO
8/19/2006 -233 (-2) (-48 lbs total)(Week 9 Post op)
8/27/2006 -233 (-0) (-48 lbs total)(Week 10 Post OP)
9/07/2006 -230 (-3) (-51 lbs total)(Week 11 Post Op)
9/14/2006- 226 (-4) (-55 lbs total)(Week 12 Post Op) 3 MO
9/23/2006 -224 (-2) (-57 lbs total)(Week 13 Post Op)
10/05/06 - 221 (-3) (-60 lbs total) (Week 15 Post Op) 4 MO
OMG, 21 more lbs til ONEDERLAND!!!!!!!
10/12/2006- 217 (-4)(-64 lbs total)(Week 16 Post Op)
10/28/2006- 215)(-2(-66 lbs total)(lost count)
11/07/2006- 215 (-0) (-66 lbs total) stalling :( fluctuating between 214-216)
11/14/2006- 212 (-3) (-69 lbs total)(5 months post op)
12/11/2006- 212 (-0) (fluctuating between 212-214)
01-20-2007- 208(-73 lbs total)(7 months post op)
03/25/2007-206 (-2)(-75 lbs total (9 months post op)
5/9/2007-201(-5) (-80 lbs total)(11 months post op)
Hospital Reviews(Birmingham, AL) - Brookwood Medical Center
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Surgeon: Kevin Cottingham M.D.
-59 lbs in 4 months
Taken at my brother's wedding
in October 06
Dr. Cottingham is great! I haven't had any complications other than gallstones which is very common. He'll be taking my gallbladder out soon. I LOVE Dr. Cottingham!
Aetna, Choice POS II