Hi Everyone! I am a 38 soon to be 39 year-old, single, African American woman with no children or pets! I hope to get a little dog after I have WLS and will be better able to take care of one. Anyway,I love shopping, reading, journaling, and doing things to better myself as a human being! For example, I want to go back to school to work in the health care field once I become healthier!! I feel that having WLS is a major step in the right direction!
I have struggled with my weight all of my life! I can't remember ever being a "normal size", although my baby pictures show a very "normal sized" little girl. As with most obese people I have tried various diets, pills, potions, weight loss gadgets and get-ups to no avail. I've been the proud card-carrying member of countless health clubs and gyms. I rarely used those memberships because as we all know, most of those places are not for the obese. They just want your money! Somehow, with each membership I'd purchase I would vow to use the particular facility. Pipe-dreams at best. Oh well!
Hi All! Today I went to my WLS support group that is offered thru my HMO! It's just awesome the amount of weight some of the ladies have lost and the wonderful changes they have made in their lives! I am looking forward to the day when I am post-op and can help those who are pre-op!
Right now I weigh about 350lbs.! My highest weight was 404 lbs! I figure the more weight I can lose before WLS the better! I have several health issues and am retired on disability from my job of 17 years. I have hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, IBS, GERD, diverticulosis, and major depression! I have a lot of shame around the fact that I had to retire! I am only 38 years old! I figure that if I keep doing what I've been doing, I probably won't live to see 50! I've been researching WLS on and off for about 5 years! I feel really prepared now and if everything goes according to plan, I should have a surgery date in March or April - GOD WILLING!
Hey there! I just saw two stories on the Discovery Health channel about a 17 year old boy named John, and a woman named Cathy, who both had WLS! The stories were very well done and they just reinforced my resolve to have the laparoscopic RNY surgery and make it work for me! I have heard so many times that WLS is the "easy way out!" People who say that don't know crap about what they're talking about! If it's so darned easy then anyone and everyone who had a lot of weight to lose would have it done! I know! I don't need to "preach to the choir"! So I won't! Anyway, I've decided not to let people "push my buttons" when it comes to the topic of WLS. All I can do is to try to educate them a bit on the subject and let it go.
I'm so blessed that I have an awesome support system in place for the journey ahead! I am so excited about hopefully getting approved for the surgery soon, it's almost unbearable!
Greetings!!! I am so excited about the OH.com convention today! My Mom is coming with me. She is doing her darndest to support me throughout this amazing journey. I just feel that the more educated she is about WLS the more comfortable she will be with it. I especially look forward to meeting so many members of the OH.com family! Blessings!
Hi All! I had a great time at the OH.com convention on the 15th! I exchanged e-mail addresses with three very nice and inspirational ladies who were at the convention -- Virginia, Leann, and Ms. CoCo. I haven't been in touch with them yet. I've been trying to post my photo on my profile so that they will be able to see who it is that they're exchanging e-mails with.
Besides meeting new people at the event, I really felt a lot of positive energy from the 200 or so participants in attendance! Bo McCoy, Dr. Gantz, all of the doctors and health professionsls who presented and those folks who worked behind the scenes did a marvelous job putting the convention together and pulling it off! The vendors who were there had a lot to offer as well. I look forward to the next OH convention here in Atlanta. I know it will be even bigger and better!
I have a problem! I was so "fired-up" about having WLS a week ago! Today, however, that old, ugly, "voice of doubt" crept back into my conscience and stole some of my "fire"! It's the same "voice" that has talked me out of staying on every diet or nutritional program I've ever been on! I know I should just tell it to take a "flying leap" but some of the arguments "the voice" has against having WLS are valid. Arguments such as "You could have complications!" or "You could even die from the surgery!" I know I not the only one who has gone through this mental tug-of-war, it just feels that way sometimes! I think I will post on the message boards to get some support around this issue. That almost always helps. Later folks!
Hey there Everyone! Well, I did end up posting messages about how I was feeling and all and as expected I received a lot of positive feedback from the wonderfully supportive members here at OH.com. Needless to say, I am "jazzed" once again about having WLS and I'm not turning back or changing my mind about going through with it! As a matter of fact, this week I saw Tammy Holcomb, my eating disorders therapist and she feels that despite my occasional case of jitters, I'm ready for the surgery! I've been seeing Tammy now for about 3 years. Words can't express how I feel about Tammy or how appreciative I am to her for all of the effort and hard work she has put into helping to make my life more worth living! She is an extraordinary therapist and human being! Together we've worked on my depression, food issues and relationship problems as well as a whole host of other challenges! My life has been so positively impacted by this wonderful woman and I am so glad God put her in my life! She is truly an angel!
Another wonderfully sensitive, professional, caring therapist I've been working with is Andy Dishman! I've been seeing him a bit longer than I've been seeing Tammy and he too has had an enormously positive impact on my life! I know that I am a much more calm, happier, smarter, and motivated individual from having worked with him these past few years! Together, he and Tammy have totally enriched my life!
This week Tammy, and Beverly Washington, my nutritionist extraordinare, are sending letters to my endocrinologist Dr.Barzilay, stating that I'm ready for WLS! Goody for me! From there everything is sent to get approval from my insurance company, Kaiser Permanente. I should hear whether I'm approved or not by the end of February at the latest, and if everything goes according to plan, I should have a surgery date for sometime in March! Woo hoo! Finally, things are beginning to happen! I am so excited!
Goodmorning All! Lately I have been very active on the message boards here at OH.com. I think I was really out of line when I replied to this one man's post though. His name is Joe and he was really needing to be supported in his struggles. Instead I read him the riot act and basically told him to suck it up and be a man! I was way to harsh and critical! I'm especially kicking myself in the butt today because this sensitive man posted another message in which he explained that he lost a dear friend about the same time he had his surgery! No wonder he was so distraught! All of his feelings around the death of his friend and the end of his relationship to food as he knew it - gone! No wonder Joe felt the way he did! I can really be such a b---h at times! I certainly jumped to a lot of conclusions about Joe! I will post an apology and hope he accepts it! I certainly need to learn to be more tolerant and humble when people are in obvious need! Okay! I'm off to eat some humble-pie!
Okay! I'm back! Mission accomplished! I e-mailed Joe and I hope he's okay with that! I won't bother him ever again! Boy did I learn my lesson! Don't be so critical and judgemental! You don't like it when people do that to you! DON'T DO IT TO OTHERS! Point well taken!
Hey All! I am rather disturbed by some of the messages posted on several boards! I appears as if many - too many people are not prepared for WLS! Questions are being asked such as what to take to the hospital, what to eat after the surgery, etc... This almost leads me to believe that some doctors' offices are not attending to the details of the patients, the patients are not preparing themselves for all of these "little" details, or maybe it's just a pet peeve of mine that one should be prepared as much as possible for any elective surgery! Hhhhhmmmmmmm! Just wondering!
Yesterday I took part in the chat with Dr. Terry Simpson that OH.com had scheduled! That Dr. Simpson! Besides being an excellent surgeon, is such a "card"! I don't know how he answered so many questions and cracked jokes with many of the participants at the same time! I'm certainly going to purchase his latest book! It sounds like it's "fun-tabulous" as well as very informative! Well, bye for now! Everyone take care!
Hi everyone! I'm still playing the "waiting game" as far as getting approval for wls from my insurance company! This is the part that I hate the most! Kaiser has up to 30 days in which to make a decision. I've been attending the wls support group thru Kaiser. It's really been very interesting and informative. I've learned alot from the post-ops who are always willing to answer questions and provide other resources. i've also gotten a whole lot of support from several ladies who attend the support group. There are about 5 people who want to come see me in the hospital after surgery. I feel so blessed to have that kind of support! I've also gotten a lot of support here at OH. There are so many people who have supported me that I regret I cannot mention them all here. But they know who they are! Catch ya later!
Greetings! I phoned Kaiser today to inquire as to if I have been approved for wls. I was told that my approval is still pending and to call back next Tuesday! This waiting game is torture! I don't know why so many people with other insurance get approved so quickly! It's seems like it takes an act of Congress for Kaiser to approve wls! What up wit dat? I want, what I want, when I want it! Blah, blah, blah! Whine! Snivel! Snort! (Tapping my fingernails on the edge of the desk, contemplating throwing a general temper tantrum!!!)
YAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!! I WAS APPROVED TODAY!!! (Please excuse me while I do the "HAPPY DANCE"!!!) Okay, I'm back!!! I'm so elated! I posted the fantastic news on THREE different boards and got alot of awesome replies!!! I am so incredably thankful and blessed!!! GOD IS GOOD!!! YES HE IS!!!
Hi Peeps! I am scheduled to see my surgeon on Monday (March 14th) of next week! Things are moving right along! I should have a surgery date on or around April 18th! Later!
Good evening everyone! Today is my 39th birthday! It has been a most wonderful day!!! Actually, this entire week has been just fantastic!!! I met with my surgeon, Dr. Paul E. Macik at Northside Bariatric Surgery Center on Monday the 14th. My meeting with Dr. Macik and his staff was very short, sweet, and to the point! I found the whole experience to be very reassuring! I was actually practically "giddy" when I finally met Dr. Macik! I really didn't have many questions for him because of all of the research I've already done. Almost all of the post-ops in the wls support group I attend had their wls done by Dr. Macik or by his semi-retired mentor and partner Dr. Waits. So I'm very familiar with his work and know what he requires of and expects from his patients. In return we receive his very best care and attention! So, I have a lot of faith in Dr. Macik and his abilities as a very compitent surgeon!
Before I left the office on Monday, I was given a list of referals I had to get thru Dr. Barzilay's office at Kaiser! I was told it would take from 14 to 30 days to get the referals approved. Well I called in the requests on Tuesday of this week and they were approved as of today! It took a total of 3 days! What a wonderful birthday present! So, almost all of my pre-op tests are scheduled! The rest I will schedule next week. The tests include a stress test with the cardiologist, an appointment with the pulmonologist, an upper GI and an abdominal ultrasound! I hope and pray I pass all of these tests with flying colors so I can proceed with surgery!
Another thing that has been on my mind is my finances or the lack there of. Well, one of my prayers was answered and I was blessed with a very unexpected gift! Although most people would think the amount of the gift was small and insignificant, I feel like I won the lottery! There is a big difference between having no money and wondering how you are going to pay bills and having just enough money to pay those bills! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!
Early, this morning I had another superb session with Tammy. Then I went to one of her groups, where I was once again reminded of how far I've come and how fortunate I am to just be alive and relatively well! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME !!!
The weather today was just awesome! It wasn't too hot or too cold for my liking! As the day progressed I started getting excited about my birthday dinner at a great Italian restaurant over by Perimeter Mall! It was just us "girls"! Me, my mom, and my sister! (She just turned the "big 4-0" in February! HEHE! :0)) Dinner was fantastic! We ate and laughed and really enjoyed ourselves! One of the very talented opera singers sang happy birthday to me Italian style! Everyone applauded for me and the wonderful singing! A good time was had by all! I could not have asked for a better birthday! Goodnite everyone!
Hello there! I haven't posted here in a little while because I was so certain that I would not pass my treadmill stress test! Well I just returned from taking the test a couple of hours ago and I passed with flying colors!!! Wooohooo! GOD IS GOOD!!! I just knew that that test would be the thing I wouldn't pass!! But low and behold I passed!!! The folks at Northside Cardiology are just wonderful! Especially Dr. Weisman, Cassandra, and Jamie! Those are the people I worked with! They were all very kind to me and very knowledgeable not to mention professional yet laid back!
It looks like my wls will be on April 21st afterall!!! Can I get another Woooohooooo!!!! All that's left now is my pulmonology appointment on Monday. Everyone has told me that that test is a breeze! I will still worry about it until I actually take it, and pass it. No!!! I will leave it in God's hands instead of worrying about it! Right now I'm going to take a nap because I did not sleep very well last night! So, I'll catch ya later! :0)
Greetings! It's 12:38a.m., early Thursday morning and I'll be leaving to have my surgery in just 4 short hours! I haven't journaled here at OH in a few weeks because I've been so busy getting ready for my surgery. I passed my pulmonary tests and went for my final visit with my surgeon Dr. Macik this past Tuesday. I also had an appointment with anesthesiology at Northside Hospital where I'll be having my wls. I'm really too excited to sleep! Funny thing though, I promised myself that I would not be one of those folks who cleans their home like a mad person right before they have their surgery. Well, I did just that! Washed three loads of laundry, cleaned and straighted and mopped the floor! I think besides wanting everything in order, we tend to have a lot of nervous energy right before the "big day."
A really great thing that happened after I knew for certain that I'd be having wls is that Dame Tooter(a.k.a. Toots or Tooter), graciously agreed to be my Angel! And what a fabulous Angel she's been! I'm usually a good judge of people's character... and what an awesome character Tooter is!
I am so very blessed!!! I thank God for this incredible journey!!! Okay, it's now 1:00a.m. I'm finally getting sleepy. So, I'm going to see what's going on on some of the boards. I may just stay up til it's time to go. I can always catch up on my sleep later. Be well and I'll be back here on Sunday at the latest. Later! :o)
Okay!!!! Where to begin? Long story short - to date I've lost a total of 165lbs.!!!! YEA!!!! I had some minor problems after having the surgery! Nothing I couldn't live with though! I'd have this surgery all over again in a heartbeat!!!!
Having gastric bypass surgery really saved my life in more ways then one! Back in October of 2005, I was diagnosed with breast cancer after having my very first mammagram! After 2 surgeries I ended up having a 3rd surgery which was for a Bilateral Mastectomy!!! It's been really rough at times, but I thank God for my family, friends, and ALL of the doctors, nurses, therapists, etc. that helped me get through having surgery in November, December and January (2006)!!! I've had to have 2 other biopsies on other parts of my body and now I may have to have a third one! This time on my liver! I'm also facing possible neck surgery, back surgery, and removal of my thyroid gland! I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and have a pretty big nodule on my thyroid gland that appears to still be growing despite my taking medication in hopes of shrinking it! On top of all of that I may or may not have a problem with my liver and/or a peptic ulcer!!!! Yeah! That's a lot to deal with!!!!
On a more positive note - I'm only taking 8 medications now instead of 18!!! My diabetes is under control! My A1c was 5.4 which is very good!!! My cholesterol and triglycerides are also well within normal range and the pressuer on my CPAP machine has been lowered from an all time high of 21 to a low of 8!!!!
As far as my experiences go - it has been one fun, crazy, mixed-up, frightening, interesting, uncertain, exciting journey so far!!!! I didn't even mention the fact that once my weight stabilizes ( I want to lose 40 more pounds) I will be having reconstruction sugery on my breasts and a tummy tuck!!! Now that's really something to look forward to - new perky boobs and a gorgeous, flat tummy!!! YAHOO!!! Be Well!!!!
Well!!!! On Sept. 6th, I had major back surgery! (Posterior Lumbar Fusion) My recovery from this surgery has been steady but really painful at times as expected! My weight keeps fluctuating up and down as much as 10lbs! I still can't tolerate meat, poultry, or fish that well! Thanksgiving dinner was somewhat of a nightmare! I tried the turkey! It tasted fine going down but not so fine coming back up! YUCK!!!!
Unfortunately, in Oct. my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her diagnosis came almost one year to the day of my breast cancer diagnosis! My wonderful mother, who is a breast cancer Thriver, was also diagnosed in Oct. 9 years ago! Some might say Oct. is an unlucky month for my immediate family what with ALL of the women having been diagnosed with breast cancer in that month. The way I look at it, Oct. is a pretty lucky and blessed month for us because all of our breast cancers were found at an early stage and the prognosis in each case has been very favorable!!! YEAH!!!!
Now! Hold on to your hats folks! I'm going to be having yet another surgery!!!! Yea, that's right! This time I have to have a large nodule on my thyroid removed! Depending on what the surgeon finds, I may have to also have part or all of my thyroid removed as well! The biopsy was negative for cancer! So was the biopsy on my uterus! Yea, I'm having "female" problems on top of everything else! But, I still consider myself very, VERY blessed!!! As a matter of fact, I'm going to be tested for the BRCA 1 and or the BRCA 2 "cancer gene(s)! If the test comes back positive, I will have to consider having my ovaries removed!!! At 40 years young, it's a bit late to think of having any biological children anyway!!!!
So!!! That's what's been going on in my world right now!!!! Please keep me and my family in your prayers tonight!!! GOD BLESS!!!!
Until next time folks!!! Take care!!! :0)
In this picture, I am still pre-op but I have lost 36 lbs.!
- (Atlanta, GA) - Northside Hospital-Atlanta
- Music - Love that '70's music!
- Black American - I have been - ever since I was born!
- Christianity - God/Jesus answers ALL prayers!!!
- Support Groups
- Science Fiction - I just adore Stargate SG-1!!!!
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - I was diagnosed with PCOS in 1997.
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: Paul E. Macik, M.D. F.A.C.S.
03/30/05 When I met with Dr. Macik for the first time, I found him to be warm and personable! I especially took notice of his firm handshake and reassuring smile! I didn't have a lot of questions for Dr. Macik as a pre-op, but I'm sure I will have more questions once I am post-op! From the information I've gathered from a few reliable sources, Dr. Waits and Dr. Macik are two of the finest Bariatric surgeons in the South! The office staff is very precise and efficient! I heard that the staff is very busy but not to busy to answer your questions! I also found this to be true. I will be actively participating in Drs. Waits and Macik's support group post-op. From what I have learned and experienced thus far, I would rate Dr. Macik and his staff a solid 10++! 04/26/05 Now that my surgery is completed and I've met with Dr. Macik a few times throughout my hospital stay, my opinion of him and his office staff remains the same! Both are top-notch!!!
Kaiser Permanente Georgia
IMHO Kaiser Permanente is one of the very best health insurance plans especially when it comes to Bariatric surgery. It's taken me almost 3 years to get approved for wls. When I first applied I didn't get past the psych eval! I was severely depressed and I had an uncontrollable eating disorder! Now almost 3 years later I continued the process of getting approved for wls. Kaiser has a pretty stringent process that everyone must go through before they can get approved for wls. Unlike most insurance companies, Kaiser wants its members to be carefully screened! That's why it takes longer to get approval and an actual surgery date. After going to individual counseling, wls support group meetings and nutritional couseling, my paperwork was submitted to a medical review board. It took about 12 business days before I was approved. With all of the additonal tests that wls patients have to undergo it took a week to get all of my referrals approved. I got an actual surgery date after all of my tests were scheduled. All in all, the waite was nerve racking but well worth it.