Before & After Revision to RNY with Sherrie!December 21, 2015
Celebrating Sherrie's Revision to RNY Journey!
If you look at photos of me growing up, I am overweight in all of them. The chunky toddler, the "husky" girl in elementary school, the chubby wallflower in middle school - you get the picture. In college, the "Freshman Fifteen" was really the "Fifty." I used to dream about going away to fat camp over the summer, and coming back thin and popular. I tried every diet I could, low-carb, low-fat, Weight Watchers, the Grapefruit diet - the blood type diet...diet pills and any other gimmicky weight loss plan I could try. If I ever lost any weight, I always gained it back and then some.
Then, in 2005 I saw a TV commercial for the Lap-Band. It took me about five minutes to decide this new"less-invasive"procedure was for me and I was "banded" on October 5, 2005. It was an epic disaster. I was 250 pounds when I was banded and my lowest weight was 223. Yep, major surgery for 27 pounds! I hated it so much. I was un-filled in 2009. I cried a lot over my failure. I went to therapy. I gained MORE weight. I weighed even more than when I had my Lap-Band - 286 pounds.
On July 1, 2012, I was blessed with new insurance that would potentially cover weight loss surgery revision. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I had all of my testing done and was scheduled for surgery in September 2012. One week before my surgery date, my revision to gastric bypass was DENIED. I was devastated. My doctor did a peer-to-peer review and they denied me again. "Non compliance" with the Lap-Band was the reason for the denial. I was so angry. I was compliant. I did try. I decided not to give up and wrote my own appeal letter.
In my letter, I pointed out how many failed bands were out there. I sent them my gym membership contract. I detailed all the diets I went on with the band in place trying to make it work. I talked about the pain from the band, the reflux, the choking, the hunger and the stuck food. I pointed out the cost of obesity vs. surgery. I begged. I pleaded. BCBS had 30 days to make a decision on my appeal. On the very last day BCBS had to make their decision, at 1:00 pm they called me, and gave me the good news. My second chance was granted!!!
My Revision to RNY
The band was successfully removed and I was revised to RNY - Gastric Bypass on 2-6-2013. That is when my life changed forever!
The ObesityHelp community was there for me every step of the way. I actually joined OH in August of 2005, and then faded into the background when I failed with the Lap-Band. When revision was a possibility, I came back and scoured the boards for hours. I visited the Revision Board and the RNY forums nightly. It made such a difference knowing that I was not alone. There were others out there with my same struggles and the potential for success was right there in front of me. The Before & After pictures were so inspiring. I finally felt like I could do it.There is a lot of "tough love" on the boards from the "veterans" - but looking back, the advice was real and what the newbies and honeymooners need to hear. I felt totally prepared for my revision and my second chance at success, thanks to ObesityHelp!
I am not quite three years post-op, and maintenance is hard. The surgery was on my stomach, not my brain. I still want to eat. I still have to make healthy choices. If I eat junk, I gain weight,and I have to work hard to get it off. I know now that it will be a lifetime commitment to stay at a healthy weight. Surgery got me here, but I have to do the work to keep me here.
My Milestones & Non-Scale Victories
Fast forward to today. I am normal. I shop in the "ladies" section instead of the "women's." I fit into any booth. I am not ashamed to go to the doctor and step on the scale. I do not fear plastic chairs. I ride roller coasters. Bath towels wrap around me all the way. I do not get short of breath walking to the mail box. I have actually stood in the front row of pictures.
I just had the most amazing NSV... LAST NIGHT!! I was at a magic show with my family and the magician asked for a "lovely assistant" from the audience. Surprisingly, he chose me. I was escorted on stage where he proceeded to "saw me in half"!! Before WLS, I would have never fit in the box!!
In May of this year, I did all of the obstacles at the Dirty Girl 5k Mud Run, including sliding down the firepole! My list of NSVs goes on and on.
Weight loss surgery has given me a life I never knew I could have. I would do the revision again in a heartbeat.
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