7/30/06- Made the decision that I was going to look into getting surgery for MO. I have had enough of this being "FAT for many years and having to live with the limitations that it has caused me for many years.(See Below). Joined OH on the date below but just wanted to post this as my beginning point of deciding to get surgery for weight intervention.
8/1/06-First of all let me introduce myself to you. I am 22, 5'2" and right around 235 lbs(as of 9/2/07)(was 310 when started the bariatric surgery program at Adirondack Medical Center). I have been up to 330 lbs at my heaviest and have suffered with obesity for most of my life. I was always " very large" for my age and size in school and could not participate in sports or activities that required exertion(due to me becoming winded very easily and short of breath). I also seemed to take forever to do the "Physical Fitness" test and was always the last one to finish certain tasks. Could never run the "trail" outside the elementary school, but could walk it (even though it seemed to take forever and usually everyone else in gym class were back inside by the time I came strolling in). On occasion was picked on about my weight, but could usually ignore the remarks, even though they would bother me on the inside, but would never let anyone, and I MEAN ANYONE touch or poke me because of the weight problem. I did have that happen to me one time and trust me.....I let him have it!!! The kid who did it was VERY SCARED of me after what I said and did to him(gave him a lovetap(as I would call it) in the chest with my fist and told him next time would require a trip to the ER!!!!!!). Sorry for that, but I am the type that stands my ground if I get pushed "over the limits"!!! He pushed me to my breaking point because he was putting black and blue marks on me from poking me!!! He almost never put a finger on me again after that ordeal!! Only once can I remember that he did and all I had to say was "hey..... stop that!!!!!!!" to him and he did!!
Also had problems with standing on my feet at college for more than 6 hours(but sometimes less than 4 in which labs lasted this long so by the time I got out, I was in really bad pain(mostly the back and feet). Can't even imagine how I could stand it If I got a full time job in the Culinary field. Could go on forever like this but figure I have told you enough of my "problems"! Never really considered WLS(always put the idea out of my head because I never thought I would have to get it) until recent health issues as well as being sick and tired of being "FAT"! Also am sick and tired of being limited on what I can't accomplish at this age(ex. No drivers liscense, no car, no job, no family of my own, etc.(due to being uncomfortable and embarrassed with the circumstances of being extremely overweight).
So, I am currently researching my options for weight loss surgery due to having been diagnosed with a skin condition called Acanthosis Nigricans(A.K.A: AN). It is harmless, (but can sometimes can be related to an underlying condition such as a malignant tumor), but mine is caused by insulin resistance due to extreme obesity, and is a warning sign of the impending start of type 2 Diabetes. Acanthosis Nigricans is just a yellow-brownish darkening and thickening of the skin caused by hyperpigmentation of the cells in the skin and elevated insulin levels. My insulin levels are high (last check, 35.9- which is double the norm for my size and age from what I heard) and I have insulin resistance, however I am not diabetic at the present time. I would have been referred to a diabeties center in syracuse in november of last year(2006), but now that I have entered the surgical weight loss program at Adirondack Medical Center, it is not going to happen. I also have had mild hypertension in the past but was never put on medication since it has been good ever since. Have tried everything(ex: Weight Watchers, Dietition, home dieting-even considered Diet Pills, but talked to the doctors and they did not recommend them) but nothing worked. So now am looking into the option of having either Gastric Bypass Surgery or the Biliopancreatic Diversion with a Duodenal Swich as a weight loss option for Morbid Obesity. Pediatric Endocrine NP in Syracuse recommends that surgery would be the best option for me, as well as me having considered it for the past year and a half. She did warn though that it requires major commitment and a lifetime followup in which I knew already! LOL!! In the process of establishing a PCP and talking this over with them. Will keep you updated as I go!!
8/3/06- Got an appointment with a PCP. Will discuss my options for weight loss including the possibility of having surgery with them. Have to meet with dietition before meeting with my PCP, will get her opinion on my very determined idea to start seeking surgery as my weight loss option, as well as discussing what kind of post-op diet is necessary for my sucess.
8/15/06- Met with dietition today. Meeting went very well, she seems to support the idea of me getting GBS(SHE suggested it to me which was kind of a suprise, but then again not a suprise because I was going to tell her about me VERY HIGHLY considering GBS). She had me on a 1900 cal/day "plan" and I tried it for 2 weeks and then gave up on it because I thought it was no use and was not going to help me lose the amount of weight that I needed to lose. She agreed with me on the reasoning and said that she thinks that I need to get the procedure(gastric bypass surgery). She is going to send a letter to my new PCP. Will go and discuss this with her(Samantha Ludwig-My new PCP) at my appointment(8/29/06). Will post after I meet with her.
8/29/06-Well I went to meet with my new PCP(Dr. Ludwig) today. The meeting went very well. She supports my decision to get GBS done and is willing to send a referral for surgery to Adirondack Medical Center ( the center that I chose to go for my surgery) in Saranac Lake. Will be making an appointment with them after I attend the Informational meeting that is required for entering their program.
9/2/06- No update on when I can get a reservation.... Will be calling them on Monday or Tuesday to see if I can get a reservation to come up for their informational meeting on Tuesday September 12th(? on if this is the right date so I may change this date!). I will also be calling the nurse coordinator to set up an appointment with the NP to start their program.
9/5/06- Called Adirondack Medical Center today and made a reservation for their Informational Meeting on the 12th of September. Also called my Social Worker and was told that if the surgery was "Medically Necessary" that it would be covered(In which I already pretty much knew lol:-) Just wanted to be safe rather than sorry. AND SO MY JOURNEY BEGINS(most likely) after the informational meeting. Will be calling to make my first appt after I attend the meeting on the 12th. Will update after the informational meeting. Probably won't update until the 13th though cause the damn meeting is at 7:30PM!!!(lol) And I live quite a distance away...so as you can see it will be VERY LATE when I get home...
9/12/06- Going to Informationional meeting tonight!
9/13/06- Went to informational meeting last night(9/12/06), was very interesting and convincing. AMC's Bariatric Program sounds very structured and very tough, but I am more determined than ever to get this surgery and will be continuing this process. I recieved a lot of paperwork that would have to be filled out before my initial visit. Will be calling very soon(within the next week) to make my initial appointment with the bariatric staff at AMC.
9/18/06- Called AMC today and got my initial appt. I would have to say that that phone call was probably the hardest phone call I have ever made (even though I had to leave a message on the answering machine.....LOL!!!) to this day because I knew what I would be getting myself into by making it. I have to do this for my health and life though, so I did it!! I will be going up for a evaluation (history and Physical) on October 5th. So I can say that the JOURNEY HAS NEARLY BEGUN!! Also called my dietician and asked her for a letter of support as well as sending out a letter to my PCP requesting some things from her(Physical Therapy Request Form, as well as a letter requesting Medical Records, etc from her) as well as a personal letter asking her too for a letter of support. Also called the my Ped. Endocrine NP from Syracuse(who called me back while driving back to syracuse from Ithaca)(BIG NO NO.......LOL!!!). She was really SUPRISED and VERY PLEASED that I "took the bull by the horns and did this" (as my mother would say!! lol.). She was really proud and impressed on how much research that I have done and is willing to support me in getting this surgery as well. I asked her for a letter of support as well. Can't wait to see her in November because I know that she is going to be very pleased to hear that I have started the process towards getting GBS. She has been mentioning it to me for the past year and a half now!! (Sorry, I like to ramble on and on.........lol)
9/23/06-Happy Birthday to me today! Very important birthday for me because this is the year my life will change forever(hopefully if this program doesn't go for 2 years as what some people I have heard of had happen to them)!!! Will update after my initial appt with AMC Bariatric Center.
10/05/06-Well, Now I can say my journey has OFFICIALLY BEGUN. YAHOO!! The consultation with Karen and Dr. Hixon went really well. Both are very supportive and and offered a lot of encouragement. Both are very nice, caring and compassionate individuals to meet with.
When I met with Karen Hixon, she asked a million questions( As expected...LOL!), did the medical history as well as a dietary history. She then described the program to me a little more in detail, then did the physical part of the evalutation and then told me that she was going to get all the paperwork filled out for my testing that has to be completed before surgery which I expected anyways. I found her to be very straight forward with what the program requires and what she wants you to do. She was very interested in helping me out with my weight problem and offered me some great tips on things that I could do to increase my execrise output and ways to start good eating habits(ONE WAS CUT THE SWEETS OUT!!!).
When I met with Dr. Hixon, he asked me some questions, and described what he wants me to do over the next few months(LOSE weight). He also described the two prcedures that would best fit my case(the RNY Gastric Bypass and Duodenal Switch). Then he told me that I should try and lose 10%, but he wants to at least see me losing weight and is not going to push that number. Basically put, he wants me to lose as much as I can before surgery, so I wll have to buckle down and get exercising! Haven't told him that I would prefer the GBS, but am not going to rush it. Have heard that the Duodenal Switch is a much better surgery than the GBS, so am researching that type of surgery currently to see if I would want either the GBS or the Duodenal Switch. Other than that it was a "get to know you" type of meeting and it just went really well and I enjoyed meeting with them.
I have been scheduled to go back to AMC on election day(November7th) for a number of tests and evaluations.
Tests for Nov 7th are as follows:
-I have FASTING bloodwork drawn between 6-7am(don't need an appointment for this.)
-a Gallbladder Ultrasound(which requires a "non-fat" diet 24 hours before and fasting from midinght on) at 8am
-chest x-rays to follow that (about 8:30am)
-then have to meet with the Physical Therapist at 9am( hear that this is a pretty rough evaluation!!!
-after that have to meet with the dietician at 10am
-then after that have to go to the Cardiopulmonary Department and have a EKG(POSSIBLY) and PFT tests done at 11:00am
WHEW is that going to be a LONG day for me! If it doesn't get any worse(lol) than that, I have to go to Syracuse on the 9th of November for a check up with my Endocrine NP, then have to back to visit Dr. Hixon on Nov. 16th. NOVEMBER IS SHAPING UP TO BE VERY BUSY FOR ME!!!! LOL! But I am ready for it! Have to be since now I am committed to doing this!!!
Also I have to get a Stress EKG(This is going to be REALLY FUN(YEAH RIGHT!!!!), if you know what I mean....... LOL!!) and a Sleep Study done here at home(Gouverneur-stress test)(Sleep Study will be at Canton-Potsdam Hospital) as if the upcoming testing up at AMC wasn't enough already, and then have to complete a mental health evaluation with a mental health professional qualified in dealing with Bariatric Patients. LOL! The next couple months are going to be like going to hell and back, but I am prepared to do so since I have to now that I am in with AMC's bariatric program. I will update more later when I find out the dates that I can have the testing done here at home. As well as the date for my evaluation with a psychiatrist to see if I am nuts or not!! LOL!! Until I update again....keep posted for further updates!
So far I would highly recommend anyone with this type of problem(MO or SMO) to look into going to AMC for their program. I know it is early yet but I think that I will get along with the staff at AMC very well!! It is a very good program to check out if you have severe obesity and need some help losing weight through surgical means.
10/25/06- Was Scheduled for a Stress test with the Heart Center at E J Noble Hospital in Gouverner from what I thought, but I did NOT have the stress test, was just a consultation visit and EKG(Do not know why they did it, probably because of me saying that this consultation was for cardiac clearance.) My PCP set this up as a consultation visit, and not for a stress test I found out at the appointment. WAS SUPPOST TO HAVE AN EKG AT AMC, but oh well, mabye I won't have to have another EKG at AMC, but it won't matter if I do or don't). Meeting with Dr. Slezka went well, he seems a little hesitant about me getting this surgery though. I think that he was this way because he may have thought I have not done much research(Truth is, I have done EXTENSIVE research and thought about this for quite a while) and was worried about the potential complications that are assoicated with such a extreme procedure. He did tell me to think about it a little more in which I have already done this(but still have plenty of time to think more on my decision) and decided that must get it(the surgery) for my future health and well being!!! EKG was normal and no heart problems(such as a Heart Murmur, etc.) as far as he could see(from checking my heart obviously...lol). He did tell me that he thought I did not need a stress test, but did not know I had a perscription for it(MY FAULT FOR NOT TELLING HIM THAT THE FIRST THING.....OOPS!!!) until I said something to him about it and showed it to him. Stress Test Date TBD. Next in line is my psych test to see if I am nuts or sane!! LOL!! Will place that in my story soon!!
10/31/06- (8:30AM appointment) Mental Health Evaluation at Samaritan Behavioral Health Services in Watertown. Meet with Dr. Richard Oman. Will update tomorrow when I get home, if I am too busy to update tomorrow I will update Wednesday.(This was updated as of Monday Oct 30, 2006!) KEEP POSTED!!!
This will be my biggest "hurdle" to jump over as of yet, and is the appointment that I am most nervous about going to. Will be glad when it is over!! LOL!!!!!
UPDATE:(10/31/06 7:15 pm)- It is over! YAHOO!! My mental health evaluation is complete and I am not nuts I am pleased to say. LOL!! I did not think that I would be anyways. My meeting with Dr. Oman went well. He is different I must say. He is the quiet type that likes to look you over from head to toe to see if you are uncomfortable answering his questions(and kind of nuts himself, I think...LOL). He was hard of hearing(always would ask me to repeat myself, and was the type who is very difficult to convince!! He was also the type that could be a jerk when he wanted to and got me and my mother riled at some points of the meeting (More toward the end when he brought my mother in to meet with him regarding me). He was a nice guy though, I can't say that he was all that bad. He was just different as I stated before in this update.
My meeting lasted about 2 hours, and boy was I glad to get out of there(lol), and so was my mother(she came in at the end(due to some confidential concerns that he had) and helped me convince Dr. Oman that this surgery was for me and that I could make the changes necessary to lose weight)!!! Basically all that I was asked about was about my life, my family, medical history, eating habits, potential stress factors and how I deal with stressful situations, what I knew about the surgery, what I knew about the complications of the surgery, and just the usual things that most mental health professionals evaluate when doing an evaluation. For anyone who is viewing this update and have upcoming appointments for your psych evaluation, my advice to you is to be prepared to answer a LOT of questions and be prepped to be stared at to see how your behavior is when they ask you questions. Also some encouragement, just be honest and don't act like you are crazy or talk to yourself(lol- doubt if any of you would anyways) and you should do just fine. Make sure to be persistant that you DO want this surgery and show( either verbally or visually-with documents) them that you have made every effort possible to lose weight without good success. I am sorry about this, but I am not going to go into any more details about my appointment today because some of the things that we talked about were confidential and personal to me and I do not wish to give out any more information than I already have. All I can say is that I am glad it is over and that I can continue the process towards getting this surgery.
My next appointment is next Tuesday, and I will update soon... Until then.... KEEP Posted for further updates!
11/07/06-(UPDATED 11/8/06) My testing at AMC went very well. I first went to get bloodwork. They drew 8 vials of blood out of me! WOW! I was used to this so it did not bother me to get bloodwork done. Plus I have to get it done on the 9th as well. I also had to have a urinalysis test done as well. My gallbladder Ultrasound went fine, it was interesting to go through a new procedure that I have never been through before. Was suprised at how quickly this test took. I was expecting to get changed into a hospital gown for this test and I did not have to. It was fairly quick and the technician who did it was an expert and found my gallbladder immediately and told me that it looked good and that there were no gallstones. After getting my gallbladder ultrasound, I had my chest x-rays which went did not take too long. For this they just had me stand in front of this special wall and put my chest up against it and took a picture, then they had me stand facing sideways and put my arms in front of me above my chest and took a picture. After that I headed for the Physical Therapy Department. My meeting with the PT staff went well. Did not get to meet Brendon Olsen who is listed as the PT for the bariatric program, did see him though in the department. I met with one lady(can't remember her name) and did a few routine things with her. She took some measurements, had me do a few activities such as marching in place for 2 minutes, stretching exercises, etc. Then I had to meet with a lady named Donna, she had an assistant with her( I believe his name was Carl, but I am not sure on this). Basically we just talked about my current exercise routine and discussed a few things about the program. Donna showed me some strength training exercises, and gave me this thermaband to do the exercises with. After this I went to meet with my dietician. I did not meet with Sharon Sorgule who I expected to meet and got a suprise. She was not the one who I met with, the lady who I met was Beth Morgan. She was a very nice lady and helped me to understand the importance of changing my eating habits. She also discussed the after care eating plan and gave me some protein samples(UNJURY Strawberry Sorbet, and Uflavored). After this meeting I went and had a Pulmonary Function Test done at the Cardio-Pulmonary Department. Basically all you have to do for the PFT is take a DEEP Breath in and then put your mouth over this mouthpiece and blow as hard as you can until you cant do it anymore. Since I did not have to have an extra EKG(since I had one at the Heart Center in Gouverneur) my testing was complete and I was out of there!! I was glad to get out of there and was totally exhausted. Slept most of the way home since I have transportation to and from my appointments(thanks to my mom). Will update again soon on my next appointment...
11/09/06- Well My meeting with my Endocrine NP( Her name is Susan Shaw) went VERY well. She was VERY pleased with my progress and was VERY impressed with how organized I am for this. Basically we just talked about what I have been up to this summer and what I have completed so far as far as finding a job(NO LUCK YET), meeting with the dietician(My former Dietician) and how far I have come in the program at Adirondack Medical Center. Then we just went over the basic check up questions that she usually asks me in which was good. Since I have had a bout with my blood pressure being 144/100(most likely due to anxiety as my former pediatrician said) I have always been kind of nervous about having it taken. It was 125/71 which was really good! I have also lost about 10 pounds since going to see Susan in May. She said that was fantastic and I was really pleased to hear that from her. She did not even mention anything about sending me to the diabetes center and told my parents that she was not going to pursue that option since I have entered the bariatric program at AMC.
After talking with her for a while on what I have been up to this summer, she did a physical on me and got my bloodwork form ready for me to take to the lab. Yes I had to have more bloodwork done. Had to give them 4 more vials of blood so that is 12 that i have given to AMC and Upstate Medical Center this week! LOL!! She was glad to hear that I have found a new PCP. She did mention for the first time to me about finding a Primary Care Endocrinologist in which I had plans to do next year. Funny thing is the person who I mentioned to her about having as my PCE was the same person who my Doctor(Susan Stred) had mentioned. Her name is Claudia Fish(the person who I mentioned to Susan Shaw) I am probably going to go only 2 more times to them and then that will be it. I will then go to Claudia.
Other than asking questions and going over the basic check-up paperwork, the meeting was one of the best meetings that I have had with her since I started going to her in 1998. She gave me a BIG HUG and told me to keep up the good work in which I plan on doing. My next appointment with her is next April. I would have had it May, but since I expect my surgery will be in that month sometime, I decided that I better have my checkup with her before the surgery since I will probably be very busy in May with having the surgery and then recovering from it. My next update will be next week after I visit with Dr. Hixon at AMC.
11/16/06- My meeting with Dr. Hixon went really well. He is such a nice man. I really enjoy meeting with him. Basically he just asked me how I was coming along with the testing and told me to keep up the exercise and good work! Other than that it was a great meeting and I am to go back on the 12th of December for my next follow-up appointment.
11/23/06- I just wanted to wish everyone who reads my profile a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
11/24/06- Had my sleep study at Canton-Potsdam Hospital. It went well, I only wish I could have been a little more comfortable and could slept a little better. I only got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep so I am a bit tired today. From what sleep I did get, I did not have any signs of Sleep Apnea. I was suppost to have a CPAP Titration study, but the technician said that first they do a sleep study, then if necessary, they will do a CPAP titration study as a second night event. My technician thought I did not need one so that was good to hear. For those of you who read my profile and do not know what happens in a sleep study, you are hooked up to several electrodes which monitor your sleep patterns. I think that I had 23 electrodes(or sensors) attached to me if I have calculated it right. I had 2 on my chin, 2 on each leg, 6 on my head, one behind each ear, one by each eye(no they do not touch your eye in any way), one on my lower left side of my back, 2 on my shoulders, and one on my lower neck area. I also had a type of sensor that monitors my breathing and 2 elastic belts that I had to wear as well. Don't remove them or your technician will be right in to put it back on. I had one come off my chin and my technician was there in about 5 seconds to put it back on! The lady who I had as my technician was absolutely wonderful. She helped me get comfortable in bed, got me all "hooked up" to the sensors, came in to check on me at times(or to check on the sensors that were attached), etc. I absolutely loved her as my technician and would highly recommend Canton-Potsdam Sleep Lab for those having to have a sleep study. It is so nice there and is just like being at home! I can't say enough good things about the place. My only negative thing is that I COULD NOT SLEEP- and that is not their fault, it is mine!! LOL!
My next update will be sometime next week. I will update for the first week of December! WOW.... I can't believe how time is flying!!
12/05/06- I have completed Part 1 of my Nuclear Stress Test. It went well(except for the 3 pokes I recieved!!LOL!!). The only thing that I had to do was get a nuclear radioactive (Cardiolite- was only a small amount though (comparable to what a CT scan or X-ray would give you) "tracer" injected into me. After 3 pokes with a needle, I finally got the injection. The first and second time, the lady could not get a vein, so she had to call in the technician to do it. She felt bad because she said that usually she can get veins very easily. I guess that mine were not cooperating today...LOL!! When the Technician came in, he got it on the first time (even though my hand is a little swollen from it.) After that I was allowed to go home and get something to eat, and then had to come back at around 10am and get 30 minutes worth of pictures taken. The "Gamma Camera"( or so what I hear is the name of the machine) has a little table that you lay on and have to put your hands in back of your head. I also had this foam thing that went under my legs (probably for elevation). After that the test started,( when the pictures were being taken) in which this is the part of the test where all the machine does is move around you. Even though I so badly wanted to move after about 15 minutes, I didn't because you have to lie very still for the pictures to be taken. I was very stiff(in both my back and upper arms-WOW I think I used muscles that I have never used before in my arms.... LOL!!) after that(the pictures) was over with. Glad to get this part over with, now on to part 2 of it which will be on Friday. Keep posted for update on how I make out.
12/08/06- My Pre-op testing is complete(for now). I had part 2 of my stress testing today and I must say that it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Other than getting 3 pokes with a needle again(LOL- my veins did not cooperate again!!), and feeling a little weird when the Adenosine was administered, it went well. I feel bad for the nurse who tried to get my IV in for the test, she tried so hard to but did not manage to get the IV in. She felt bad for having to poke me so many times last time so she only tried once today, then called in the Nuclear Technician to do it. He had to poke me twice before getting the IV in place- LOL what a week it has been. My poor veins are swollen and bruised(LOL). Oh well, I'm tough and you have to be if you want this surgery bad enough.
Bascially what I mean about feeling "Weird" when the medicine was administered(to raise my heart rate) was that I began to feel this warm sensation all over, began to sweat a little bit, face became a little red from what the doctor said... so they knew it was working, and got a somewhat nauseating feeling. It really was not bad at all and only lasted about 6 minutes. After that I felt "normal" again(within a minute of them stopping the Adenosine- was suprised at how fast I felt a lot better from when they started to when the test was finished) and went home for an hour(they wanted me to get something to eat and drink before pictures were taken(they say that this moves the "tracer" through your system and allows for better pictures. After that I went and had the pictures taken( same as before for procedure, but this time I had 3 electrodes that were hooked on me). The only thing now is I Am a little tired out right now which is one of the things that happens sometimes with this.
Other than that, that is what the test is basically like for those of you who have to have it, please contact me and I would be glad to explain my experience a little more with you if you need to know more about it. My next appointment is with the bariatric center in Saranac Lake again. That is next Tuesday, so I will update on soon on this. Until then.... KEEP POSTED!
12/18/06- My meeting with Karen Hixon went well on the 12th. I am sorry that I did not update this sooner, have been really busy getting last minute christmas shopping done.
I found out at the meeting with Karen that I have lost 8 pounds since my visit in november which was GREAT to hear. (May have been caused by being sick a couple days before going to my appt. Had the stomach bug- and you know what that does to you....LOL). I don't think that I could have lost 8 pounds of fluid though, I have been working really hard on this and think that some of it was fat. Other than that good news, it was just a basic check up on how testing was going( is complete for now), etc. My next appointment is with my PCP so I will update then and let you know how that goes.
I just wanted to wish everyone who reads my profile a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year since I probably won't be updating again until after the first of the New Year.
12/25/06- MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
1/01/07- HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
1/04/07- My meeting with my PCP went well today. It was just for a checkup and to see how I was coming along with the program at Saranac Lake.
1/9/07- My meeting with my nutritionist went well today. I will probably meet with her once or twice more before I get the surgery. Now all I have to do is to get some weight off. I have been struggling with that part of this process. I have remained just about the same weight since I began the program in October! GRRR....... Getting a little discouraged now! But have to remain positive on this! I will have to increase the exercise!! Hopefully I will be able to lose a little weight before I go next week... Will update you next week and let you know how I make out...
1/18/07- Well My meeting with Dr. Hixon went well today. I have lost 2.5 lbs since going to the center last tuesday(1/9/07). That was great news and I was pleased to be back on the losing side of things. Basically all that Mr. Hixon talked with me about is keeping up the exercise and following all the dietary guidelines. He did tell me what preferance they had for the type of surgery would be. He mentioned that they want to do the Proximal Gastric Bypass. That is fine with me, but I still am going to discuss this with Dr. Hill when I meet with him. Other than that, we did discuss a potential surgery date being set after my next visit which will be on February 20th. Very encouraging news......... I will keep you updated on this.... Keep posted...........
2/20/07- Well my meeting with Karen is pretty much self-explanitory on how it went from the above info in my blog. It went so GREAT!! I did have a 5 lb weight loss so that was really great news! Basically all we talked about was the usual keeping up the exercise and sticking with the dietary guidelines. She did ask me what Dr. Hixon told me at my Jan. visit. I told her and she seemed to agree that I was ready to have the surgery scheduled. She did have to talk it over with him though because she can't refer me for the surgery until it is agreed by both the director and her that you are ready to have it scheduled. They thought I was ready and I was given the OK to get my surgery scheduled. April 26th is my NEW BEGINNING, and now I have a lot of preprations to make for when I get home from the surgery. I have to meet with the dietician once more before the surgery. I am SO EXCITED, but am also very nervous about my upcoming surgery!!!! I will update again soon!
3/13/07- No update on nutritionist meeting.... Meeting was rescheduled for next tuesday at 11:30 am due to a new nutritionist coming to AMC. Will update next week on how the meeting went.
3/20/07- Today I met with my nutritionist at Adirondack Medical Center. I have a new nutritionist. Her name is Elizabeth Delisle. She was very nice and very informative and answered all my questions. I did have quite a few since this is the last time that I would be meeting with her before my surgery. Basically all that we went over is my current eating plan, my exercise plan, and talked about the post-op eating stages. I still need to get some things for Stage 4 of the eating plan(that is the pureed stage). I have all the things necessary for the full liquids stage so I am ready for the first 2 weeks after my surgery.
Other than that, I did get some protein samples from her today too. It was a good meeting and I am sooo looking forward to the next appointment at AMC. Stay posted for an update in a couple weeks. My next event is a check-up with my Endocrine NP in Syracuse. I will post again after that meeting.
4/5/07- Well I met with Susan Shaw today for my endocrine checkup. Made out well. She was very proud of my progress since beginning the bariatric program at AMC. I weighed 301 which was great! That puts me down about 9 lbs since visiting her last year, but only puts me down about 1.5 lbs since visiting the bariatric center. Other than that, basically all we do is talk about what I have been doing since our last visit, the basic physical and questions... blah blah.... You know how Doctors/NP are...lol. After my meeting I had to get my usual bloodwork done(fasting too). Then we went shopping the rest of the day. My next update will be in a couple of weeks after I visit AMC again for my Pre-Admission Meeting and get to meet with Dr. Hill. I can't wait! I am so close to getting the surgery! Keep posted for another update soon!
4/18/07- Well Today I went to my Pre-Admission meeting and also had my surgery consultation with Dr. Hill. Both meetings went really well. I will provide some description from both meetings... DAY OF SURGERY: APRIL 26th 2007 1st DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 27th 2007 2nd DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 28th 2007 3rd DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 29th 2007 4th DAY AFTER SURGERY: DISCHARGE DAY!!(April 30th 2007) 6/06/07- Well today I got to meet with Dr. Hill for my 1 month appt. He was amazed at how much weight I have lost so far. I have lost 35lbs since surgery and 42 lbs total so far. Basically all we discussed is my eating habits, I did mention the problem with the spitting up foam(since I had had a very bad episode that last monday night... YUCK!! :( was not fun! Dr. Hill thought that I may have been eating a little fast and told me to eat slower and that if it continues to be bothersome or gets any worse to contact him asap. Other than that, we just went over my meds and my weight chart, then that was it. He is such an awesome doctor and I really enjoy going to meet with him. My next update won't be for a while now, not until the beginning of july so keep posted for another update then.
At my pre-admission meeting, there were 2 nurses who held the meeting(One's name was Sue, and the other was Dani(I believe but am not 100% positive on this). Both were very nice ladies. They went over all the procedures that would happen the day of surgery and in the post op recovery period in great detail. They also went over all the pre-op prep procedures and the bowel prep too. There is just a lot of information that I got, but it would take me a week to describe it all out to you so I will just leave it at that... LOL! I also got my incentive spirometer yesteray too. Have to practice with that and build up some lung strength for deep breathing during my hospital stay. Other than that, I will say that I am sure going to be on good pain meds.... LOL! I will have the ON-Q pain medication catheter(inserted in the incision site during surgery) as well as the PCA pump, and other medications if I need them.
At my appt with Dr. Hill I do have to admit I was a little nervous because I he was a new doctor, but as soon as he stepped in the door and introduced himself I immediately felt a lot better. Everyone who has told me this was so correct! He is really a great guy and an awsome doctor! I really do like Dr. Hill and am so greatful to have him as my surgeon. He does seem to have a LOT of energy though and that is good! After a firm handshake and introduction he proceded to go over the procedure that I would be having(open rny) in GREAT detail! He even drew pictures for me to make sure I was understanding what he was telling me. He also went over the risks and potential complications of it in great detail too. I do have a lot of trust in Dr. Hill and am so much more confident now that I have chose the right Dr. to do my surgery and that if anything goes wrong, to know what to do about it.
Other than that, I did also get some great news yesterday from my Endocrine NP. My bloodwork came back and she is lowering my dose of growth hormone(this is not the great news, but is a good thing because with the weight loss, I won't need as much growth hormone). The great news that I recieved was that my Fasting insulin is down to 18.7 which is NORMAL!!! YAHOO!! At it's highest it was 35.9 or double the normal. Also my glucose has dropped from 94(highest but is normal) to 83 which is good! I did ask her about it because here I was thinking the worst. I was really pleased with that and am sure that things will continue to go well after my surgery! Keep posted for my hospital stay update coming soon!!!
My Hospital Experience: In Hospital from April 26th-April 30th ( I wrote this as if I was writing it when I was in the hospital…:)
I was scheduled to be at Adirondack Medical Center for 6:50am sharp for my surgery. I arrived at AMC at around 6:30am and waited in the lobby for 20 minutes before reporting to the Keet Ambulatory Surgery Center at 6:50am. I was extremely nervous as to be expected, but was so excited to be losing weight and becoming a new person after the surgery. At 6:50am my parents and I went to the KASC to get signed in for the surgery. After signing a few papers, they took me right in and placed me in one of the surgery waiting cubicle areas. I was in cubicle # 13. Then I had to change into my gown and get on the stretcher bed that was in there. The nurse was so nice and so helpful. I cannot remember her name though. Another nurse who’s name was Jennifer came in and started my IV and got me all set go. Then another nurse who’s name was Tim came in and started me on a bag of fluids and gave me a lovonox shot(blood thinner that is used to prevent the blood clots after surgery) and just monitored me from then on. He also gave my mother and father a beeper, and told them that as soon as my surgery was over with, they would hear it go off. Finally my parents and I got to visit with Dr. Hill and he just told my parents and I that they were going to be taking me in very soon and asked if we had any questions. He said that the surgery would last 1-1.5 hours. Soon after meeting with him, the anesthesiologist came in and just asked me a few simple questions. Funny guy, but very nice. Said he just got done riding his bike to the hospital! LOL! Don’t remember his name though. Then Jennifer and Tim came back in and told me that they were ready for me in the OR. After that, the anesthesiologist told me that he was going to give me some Versed just to take the edge off the nervousness a bit, and told me what he was going to do when I went into the OR. He then gave me the Versed and I said goodbye to my parents and we were off to the OR. In the OR, Since I was on this special mat on the bed, I did not have to move much. They just picked me up off the stretcher and placed me onto the operating table. After that, my anesthesiologist placed a mask(with Oxygen going through it) over my face, and they started getting everything hooked up to me. Soon after that, my anesthesiologist told me he was going to put me to sleep, and not 2 minutes after that, it was lights out! That was the last I remember until waking up in the recovery room. I really was very groggy when I woke up and do not remember much. I do remember asking for pain meds about 5 times. They were wonderful pain meds. Instant relief and I had such wonderful nurses in the recovery room. Really after that I do not remember being transferred to my room, but soon woke up after being transferred there. I felt awful sore and my mouth was VERY dry, but I was fine. I also had my morphine pump in which the morphine only added to the grogginess. I also had my JP tube as well as a G-Tube(tube that keeps the old distal stomach flat) in me too. I really do not remember much about my first 2 days after my surgery, but heard that I went for a very good walk the first night. I will describe some of what I do remember on the first and second days after surgery though.
Still very groggy and sore. That morphine is GOOD stuff. It has really helped my pain level to stay to a minimum. Even though I was groggy today, I did try to sip some water since I could start that now! You never thought water would taste SOOO good, but it did! The nurses who I have had so far are all wonderful to me. They helped me in and out of bed, brought me my medications(protonix-acid reducer), checked my urine output, gave me my lovonox shots, etc etc. I got up to walk a few times but did not walk far cause I was so groggy and sore that all I wanted to do is sleep. Other than not being able to pee and having to have my catheter re-inserted…….. not something I will explain as most of you out there should know what happens! LOL!!
Still on the morphine. Still very groggy and sore. Pain seems to be getting better everyday, hopefully tomorrow I will be able to have my morphine taken off. I am going to miss it but hey I don’t want TOO much morphine!! Dr. Hill came in to visit me as usual to check and see how I was coming along. I did get up and walk a little further today though which was great. Am having some trouble with water, don’t drink enough and nurses are starting to bitch at me about getting those fluids in!!! Boy this is tough!!! Due to that I still have my IV’s in. I also am still having trouble peeing so I had to have another catheter put in… UGH… these things are getting annoying, but at least they are not as bad as what I had heard. Other than that, everything seems to be going fine.
Feeling much better today. Got my morphine pump taken out this morning and got my IVs removed since I am doing a lot better with getting in more liquids. Did not get to see Dr. Hill this morning, since I heard that he took today off to be at home with his kids. Dr. Roland came in to see me and check my incision this morning. I also started the stage 3 of my diet this morning. This is the full liquids stage which allows me to have a protein shake, jello, water, etc. I also went for a few walks today, but had to ask for Tylenol w/Codeine to keep the pain levels to a minimum. Even though I had to ask for pain medication, the pain is much better today and I am not so groggy as what I was the past couple of days. Also I was finally able to go pee in which I have not been able to do the past couple of days due to the anesthesia. That was a big relief to not have to have my catheter in anymore. Hoping that tomorrow I will be able to go home since I feel a lot better today than I have the past few days. Keep your fingers crossed that I get the go ahead for discharge tomorrow!!!
YIPPEE I get to go home today. Dr. Hill was a little late coming in this morning, but I was feeling great and when he asked me if I felt like going home today, Of course you know the answer was “YES!”. He told me that I could go home and that he would remove the JP tube before I left. I had to wait for him to remove the JP tube before I could get dressed to go home. While I waited for Dr. Hill to remove my JP tube, I got cleaned up a little, got all the discharge paperwork signed and my prescriptions for pain medication (Tylenol w/Codeine), my protonix(turns out it was Priolsec OTC-Acid Reducer to prevent ulcers), and Ursodiol (Actigall-gallstone prevention). Soon after getting all the paperwork done, Dr. Hill came in and took my JP drain out. Felt a little weird, but was over in 10 seconds. After that, he told me he would see me in a couple of weeks, then took off to attend to another patient. I only wore pj’s home since my belly was still quite sore. After this my parents came and we got packed up, and got to heck out of there.
Well that is my full hospital experience, I hope that everyone who has Dr. Hill and chooses to have their surgery at AMC really has a great experience just as I did. I will always be thankful for the wonderful care and doctors at AMC! It is truly a awesome place to deal with!
5/08/07- Going to my first Post-Operative Support Group meeting tonight. Have to be there for 6 pm. UPDATE: They were really suprised to see me there with only being 2 WEEKS out from surgery! Basically all we discussed is any problems that anyone was having. Other than that, I did learn a lot of new suggestions on what to eat during my puree stage which hopefully I get Advanced to tomorrow!!!!
5/09/07- Met with Dr. Hill today for my 2 week check-up! Made out great and have lost 20lbs already! WOW! Dr. Hill was very pleased with my progress. I also got my G-tube out today too. What a relief it was to have that damn thing out. I was also cleared to begin purees and could start having some THINLY shaved deli meats too. Next appt is with the Dietician on the 24th. Keep posted for another update soon!
5/24/07- Well I met with Liz Delisle today for my 1 month post-op dietary evaluation today. It went well, but for the past couple of weeks I have been having some problems with spitting up a lot of foam. Turns out I think it may be caused by my eating too fast. Liz seemed to agree with me and told me to eat really slowwwwww. I also have been having problems with getting in all my protein and liquids and liz told me some great suggestions for getting that in. Other than that, we just discussed what I have been eating and daily and what I have been doing for exercise. My next update will be after my 1 month appt with Dr. Hill. Keep posted!
6/12/07- Post-op Support group meeting at AMC. 6 pm meeting.
7/9/07- Well I got to meet with my new PCP today. His name is Timothy Moon. He is a very nice guy(much better than my other PCP who seemed in quite a rush all the time and did not seem to care much about her patients...). All I had to go to see him for was a checkup and physical. The only problem that I have with this PCP is how much he likes to talk! LOL!!! I had to wait over an hour just to get to see him!! LOL. But hey, that is what I like is a doctor that is very caring and willing to help their patients out in any way that they can. Not too much more to mention on this so my next update will be after my appt with Dr. Hill on August 8th. Keep posted as I will update again soon!
7/10/07- POST-OP Support Group meeting at AMC. 6 pm meeting.
8/08/07- Well today I met with Dr. Hill for my 3 month checkup. I have lost 60 lbs since my surgery and that is AWESOME!!! Basically all we talked about is if I have had any problems in the past 2 months and what I was eating and doing for exercise. Then Dr. hill checked my incision site for any hernias and told me that he thinks that I am doing awesome and to keep up the good work. He also told me that my next appt will be with the Bariatric Center and lab studies would be performed at that time as well.
8/14/07- Post-Op support group meeting at AMC. 6 pm Meeting.
8/31/07- Met with Sue Shaw for the last time today. I will be transferring to a new Endocrinologist soon. I am going to miss going to see her, but am also glad that I do not have that long drive to Syracuse anymore. I have now lost 68lbs and am doing great! My blood pressure was fantastic(117/75). Last time I went to see them it was 135/85 which is kind of high... Other than the usual checkup questions and physical, I had to get bloodwork and my DEXA (bone density) test done. My next appt is not for another month and a half so I won't be updating until then. Keep posted for another update coming soon!
9/11/07- Post-Op gupport group meeting at AMC. 6 pm Meeting.
10/23/07- 6 Month Appt at AMC's Bariatric Center. Bloodwork will be done at this appt.
12/17/07- Next meeting with my PCP. Scheduled for 10am.
DAY OF SURGERY: APRIL 26th 2007 1st DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 27th 2007 2nd DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 28th 2007 3rd DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 29th 2007 4th DAY AFTER SURGERY: DISCHARGE DAY!!(April 30th 2007) 6/06/07- Well today I got to meet with Dr. Hill for my 1 month appt. He was amazed at how much weight I have lost so far. I have lost 35lbs since surgery and 42 lbs total so far. Basically all we discussed is my eating habits, I did mention the problem with the spitting up foam(since I had had a very bad episode that last monday night... YUCK!! :( was not fun! Dr. Hill thought that I may have been eating a little fast and told me to eat slower and that if it continues to be bothersome or gets any worse to contact him asap. Other than that, we just went over my meds and my weight chart, then that was it. He is such an awesome doctor and I really enjoy going to meet with him. My next update won't be for a while now, not until the beginning of july so keep posted for another update then.
1st DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 27th 2007 2nd DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 28th 2007 3rd DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 29th 2007 4th DAY AFTER SURGERY: DISCHARGE DAY!!(April 30th 2007) 6/06/07- Well today I got to meet with Dr. Hill for my 1 month appt. He was amazed at how much weight I have lost so far. I have lost 35lbs since surgery and 42 lbs total so far. Basically all we discussed is my eating habits, I did mention the problem with the spitting up foam(since I had had a very bad episode that last monday night... YUCK!! :( was not fun! Dr. Hill thought that I may have been eating a little fast and told me to eat slower and that if it continues to be bothersome or gets any worse to contact him asap. Other than that, we just went over my meds and my weight chart, then that was it. He is such an awesome doctor and I really enjoy going to meet with him. My next update won't be for a while now, not until the beginning of july so keep posted for another update then.
2nd DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 28th 2007 3rd DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 29th 2007 4th DAY AFTER SURGERY: DISCHARGE DAY!!(April 30th 2007) 6/06/07- Well today I got to meet with Dr. Hill for my 1 month appt. He was amazed at how much weight I have lost so far. I have lost 35lbs since surgery and 42 lbs total so far. Basically all we discussed is my eating habits, I did mention the problem with the spitting up foam(since I had had a very bad episode that last monday night... YUCK!! :( was not fun! Dr. Hill thought that I may have been eating a little fast and told me to eat slower and that if it continues to be bothersome or gets any worse to contact him asap. Other than that, we just went over my meds and my weight chart, then that was it. He is such an awesome doctor and I really enjoy going to meet with him. My next update won't be for a while now, not until the beginning of july so keep posted for another update then.
3rd DAY AFTER SURGERY: April 29th 2007 4th DAY AFTER SURGERY: DISCHARGE DAY!!(April 30th 2007)
4th DAY AFTER SURGERY: DISCHARGE DAY!!(April 30th 2007)
6/06/07- Well today I got to meet with Dr. Hill for my 1 month appt. He was amazed at how much weight I have lost so far. I have lost 35lbs since surgery and 42 lbs total so far. Basically all we discussed is my eating habits, I did mention the problem with the spitting up foam(since I had had a very bad episode that last monday night... YUCK!! :( was not fun! Dr. Hill thought that I may have been eating a little fast and told me to eat slower and that if it continues to be bothersome or gets any worse to contact him asap. Other than that, we just went over my meds and my weight chart, then that was it. He is such an awesome doctor and I really enjoy going to meet with him. My next update won't be for a while now, not until the beginning of july so keep posted for another update then.
Things I hope to achieve from this surgery: Will add more as I think of them!!
1.) LOSE weight and have more self esteem as well as improvement in my health and lifestyle, as well as live longer than what I currently would being Morbidly Obese.
2.) Be able to fit into regular sized clothes and not have to "Special Order" them from a catalog or go to a "BIG and TALL" store.
3.) Be able to fit into airplane seats, narrow chairs, etc. without being uncomfortable or worrying about breaking them.
4.) Be able to walk up and down stairs without becoming winded, as well as walking further and enjoying exercise instead of hating it!!
5.) Have a better appearance and get comments like "WOW, you have lose a lot of weight" or " You look great Clayton", etc.
6.) Be able to return to college and stand on my feet for over 8 hours at a time without pain in back, knees, and FEET!!
7.) To have a LOT more stamina during the day and not want to sleep or sit around and do nothing. Will always want to be on the go and do something to keep myself busy.
8.) NOT BE ABLE TO EAT AS MANY SWEETS AND JUNK FOOD AS I CURRENTLY DO!!!(will miss this(early on) but I know it will benefit me in the future, so will have to MAKE myself not eat them due to not wanting to experience the unpleasant symptoms of dumping syndrome!!!!!!)
9.) Be able to get into and out of a car without difficulty, and also to get a job related to the culinary field and not have to worry about not being able to standing on my feet for 8 hours.(WILL HAVE TO BE CAREFUL OF THIS JOB THOUGH BECAUSE IT INVOLVES MY BIGGEST ENEMY!! FOOD!!!)
10.) Be able to fit into the front seat of a car (with seatbelt on) and NOT have that tight uncomfortable feeling. Also be able to get my liscense and get my own car(unable to because of the current weight and not being able to fit very well in the front seat)!!
11.) Not have to go on medication for Diabetes.
12.)Be able to do basic Personal Hygiene things, like clipping toenails, washing feet, tying shoes(don't even know how long it has been since I have done this!!), putting on socks EASILY!!!, etc.
13.)Fit into the Bathtub and not have to take a shower everyday! Used to love taking a bath, now am too embarrassed because of NOT being able to fit into tub.(TOO TIGHT!!OMG!!! How embarrassing!! To not be able to fit into even a bathtub!!!)
14.)Not be the biggest person in the room when company comes and not have to worry about them asking what I am going to do about my weight.Very Embarrasing!!! INSTEAD OF THIS, GET COMPLIMENTS ON HOW GREAT I AM DOING!!!
15.)Get married and have kids of my own and be able to play with them and not be so winded that I have to sit down every 5 minutes!!!! No am not looking for a partener yet ladies!!! Mabye after surgery!! LOL!!