I am a soon to be 37 year old happily married man with a wonderfully supportive wife and 5 beautiful children. However, I am unhappily approaching 400+ pounds with a BMI of 57 and have a great array of co-morbidities. I want to be around to watch those great kids grow up. It is time to try something that will work this time. I have tried the WW, Jenny Craigs, High protein, Atkins, Grapefruit, Cabbage Soup, Tabloid, diets just to name a few and guess what, they do not work for me. I feel like I am at the end of my rope and this is my last chance. As things progress I will keep you updated. Good luck to everyone else :)
Surgeon: Christopher Kaczmarski
8/21/00 Well it is official I have started the process. Called BTC in Grove City, Ohio this morning. I was expecting a date sometime in November or December like other places I called told me. Boy was I shocked when they said we can see you on Wednesday, just two days from now. I really thought they were kidding but they were not. Hopefully I can have my approval by Friday and be scheduled for surgery by next week, yeah right. I will let you know how things go.
8/23/00 Made the 3 hour drive today for my consultation. I cannot say enough good things about those people at BTC. I met with Dr. Kaczmarski and was thoroughly impressed with him. He spent a good 45 minutes with answering everyone of my questions, and beleive me I had a lot of them. I never felt rushed or hurried with him. After speaking with him I met with Diane, the dietician who lost over 130 pounds after her surgery, and she explained about the diet after surgery. Now the only thing we do is sit and wait for insurance approval. I will give them a few days before I start bugging them.
12/20/00 Its been a while since I last posted, I have been laid up sick since September so I was not calling to check on the approval. Just actually started thinking about everything the surgery again last monday. Then this afternoon out of the blue I get a call from BTC in Columbus to tell I have been APPROVED, what a great holiday present. Next step is a sleep study, once again luck was with me and the place I called had a cancellation for next Wed 12/28, so off to the sleep study. All of this has really made a nice holiday season into a great holiday season. HAPPY HOLIDAYS everybody....
3/11/01 Sleep study was done a few week ago, I got all stressed out over it for nothing. I was concerned that I would not be able to sleep and they would not be able to complete the study but everything went fine. I spoke to Lori at BTC and I should have a date by next week. I am praying for early April. I will keep you posted.
3/13/01 April 27th is the day my life changes. I was a little disappointed with the way the sleep study results were handled. BTC requires that if needed you be on the CPAP machine for 4-6 weeks before the surgery. When I was called to schedule the surgery I was asked "how long have you been using the CPAP?" no one had mentioned that I needed to be on it. So now instead of being on it for at least the last 2 weeks I have to start now and be on it for at 4 weeks. I know it is only 2 weeks that were lost but when you are getting so close to the surgery finally happening an extra two weeks seem a lot longer. I can't wait to get my life back and be a normal dad and husband again. My wife and kids have put up with me not being able to do things with them for long enough, just a little longer.
3/15/01 Happy again, I was able to get my CPAP machine sooner than expected and was able to change my date to 4/13/01. Yes, that is Friday the 13th and am I glad that I am not superstitious. Pre-admissions on 4/2/01. Just 4 weeks to go.
3/20/01 O.K. people still no angel, I know it might sound silly but I would love to know I have an angel there for me. Do not feel funny about applying all applications will be reviewed. Whether you are a first time angel or an experienced angel all will be considered. I promise to respond to all applicants. Sometimes I find a little levity helps with all of this, but seriously I would like an angel. Thanks :)
3/22/01 I Have my angel and am thrilled. Thank you so much Debbie.
3/22/01 MAJOR problem.....3 weeks before the big day and now CIGNA say because it is out of network they will not cover it. Nothing like waiting to the last minute. They have know since July 2000 that this was out of network and they have always assured me it was covered. Anybody have any sugesstions?
4/5/01 Thank you everyone for your suggestions about Cigna. Here is where things are at as of today. My wife just became eligible for Medical Mutual through her job I spoke with them and have faxed over everything they need tp process this. I am praying real hard they can get this approved for my suregery next week.
4/6/01 HALLELUAH miracles do happen...24 hours after getting everything over to them I have my approval. Because of a mix up with the phone operator at Medical Mutual I was mistakenly tranferred to the director of the Medical Review Board, from there I was transferred to the supervisor for reviews and four hours later I received a phone call saying I was approved. I just can not say enough good things abour Medical Mutual. Now the excitement is kicking in, just one more week and my life will be starting over again.
4/9/01 Pre admission test done this morning. Nothing to it, some blood work, x-rays, ultra-sound and I was out of there in about 3 hours. Just 4 days to go and I must admit I am getting a little nervous now, but I cant wait.
4/12/01 Less than 24 hours to go and I am all set to go. After being a nervous wreck the start of the week I am suprised at how calm I feel right now. Once I got an e-mail from Melissa who had her surgery last thursday and sounded great it just put me at ease from that point on. Also knowing I have an angel has helped me, thanks Debbie. All of the notes from everyone help tremendously, the more the better. The most important thing these last few days are the support my wife and kids have given me. I am so thankful that I have this chance at a new life. I'll be back in a few days, thanks again everyone.......
4/23/01 I have arrived I am on the other side. The surgery was great and the recovery has been even better. It is absolutely amazing to me how good I feel. BTC was incredible I just cannot say enough good things about them. The difference I see in just over a week is incredible. I have ankles again, my feet a had been swollen for so long I forgot what my ankles looked like. I walked up a flight of stairs without feeling like I had just run the Boston Marathon. I am just so happy about the way things are going, thank you everyone for your prayers and good wishes.
5/2/01 2 1/2 week post-op visit today and I have lost 42 pounds, I still can not beleive it. Everything is going great except I am one of the lucky 5-7% who develop problems with there thighs. It has something to do with inflamation of the nerves in the thigh area. They have me on meds for it and I am hoping they work. If anyone else has had this problem please let me know about it.
6/1/01 6 weeks post op and I am down 60 pounds, I just can not beleive it. From 398 to 338 in just 6 weeks I feel like a new person. My personal goal is to lose enough weight so I can ride the roller coasters with my kids this summer. Thanks everyone for your support.
6/23/01 Just past 9 weeks post-op and weighed in this morning at 313 pounds. 85 pounds gone forever and I still can't beleive it. My 13 year old told me yesterday he was glad I had the surgery. He likes his new dad better than the old one. I have become so active and am so full of energy the family has to keep up to me now. Those roller coasters are getting closer and closer.
7/14/01 Had my 3 month check yesterday and I am down to 306 pounds for a total of 92 pounds in 3 months. I cannot say enough about this wonderful surgery and the new lease on life it has given me. The things I can do now that just a short time ago were so difficult or impossible, like put on a pair of socks, tie my own shoes, walk up a flight of stairs, now I do without a second thought. People who have not walked in our shoes just cannot understand where I am coming from. So far I have had a great time and will let everyone know when I hit that first 100 pounds.
7/30/01 104 pounds gone forever down to 294 pounds. This is the first time in years I have been below 300 pounds. I actually can now get into XL clothes and shop in a regular store. No more specialty stores and I am thrilled. Just a few more pounds and I will be able to do those roller coasters, that is my next big goal.
4/25/03 As you can see it has been a while since I have posted and I apologize. Well I guess I am the exception, the weight has been creeping back up on me along with fun things that go along with it. So I am sitting here seriously thinking about going through it again, afterall I know what to expect this time. My concern is going through it again and having it fail again. Well I will keep everyone posted, maybe I will make it around to those roller coasters next year.
4/29/03 My journey begins again...A little more than 2 years after my first surgery I have contacted another surgeon about doing it again. I did lose almost 125 pound the first time but over the last year put half of that back on. My 1st appt. is 7/21, I know it will be here before I know it.
03/14/04 Coming up on 3 years since my surgery and there have been a lot of ups and downs. Things were not going too well last time I posted. I was back up to 340 this pass November and was not very happy with the situation. I had to go back to the basics and start over.
I used to think some of you went from one obsession before the surgery, to becoming totally anal, and yes obsessed, after the surgery about every aspect of food and nutrition. It took me along time to realize that for me, I have to get like that. As of today I am back on track and am down to 297 as of today. I used to think after I passed that magic 18-24 month post-op mark I would never lose anymore weight. Well I am happy to say I was wrong.
I also want to thank everyone for their words of encouragement and support these last few months, especially Amy. I have met some pretty amazing people on this journey and hope to hear from all of you again.
I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Kaczmarski, of Bariatric Treatment Centers, for the first time today. He spent a good 45 minutes with me and took the time to address every question I asked of him. At no time did I feel rushed or hurried by him. The staff I met today were extremely friendly and helpful. My only concern was with the aftercare program. The only thing it seem to consists of is 3 - 4 office visits during the first year. When deciding on this kind of major surgery you need to be comfortable with your surgeon and the center that you will have the surgery done in. I had the option of going to a center just 15 minutes from my house or going to BTC 3 hours away. After speaking to both centers and reading this great site I know I made the right choice going with BTC.
Three months to get the approval but I had not pursued it at all. The last time I had actually spoken with them was early October and they still did not have any request from BTC. I am sure it would have been done quicker had I been pushing at that time. Well I am finally over being sick so things will start moving faster now. I have been very pleased with Cigna and the way they have treated me during all of this.
Well you know what happened with CIGNA and how disgusted I am with them. I ended up getting the surgery approved through my wifes insurance. Just 24 hours after faxing everything I had into them I had my approval. I realize things were done a little different because of my situation but I cannot thank Medical Mutual enough.