I was always considered to be a normal weight and height most of my life.  I had no problems with weight control during my pregnancies but after the birth of each child I put on weight while nursing them.   Each year another 5 pounds seemed to slip on until at the age of 59 I reached 274 pounds.  I had diabetes, severe arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression, hypertension, acromegalism (rare pituitary disorder) , asthma and MVP.   I was on 15 medications twice a day.   I had to have a hysterectomy in 2003 and in 2005 a knee replacement.  My diabetes was getting out of control.  I was on two medications a day and my HgA1c was steadily climbing.  About 7 years ago I approached my primary care physician about WLS and he quickly shot me down--too dangerous, wouldn't last, etc.    This year, in March,  the hospital where I work my second job opened a Bariatric Center.  When they became a Center of Excellence I researched the physicians and attended a seminar.   On April 1, 2007 I set a goal of having weight loss surgery during the summer while I was out of school (I teach Art at a local middle school) and could take my time recovering.   My second goal was to give up caffeine and sodas.    I started my work up for surgery with the goal for approval by my insurance company.   I ended up having to have a heart catheterization following my stress test, my gallbladder sonogram showed I had gallstones, and my upper endoscopy showed that I had a duodenal ulcer from all of the NSAIDS.  I was really becoming worried about getting approved by the surgeon much less my insurance company.   My primary care physician had changed during the last 5 years and when I very hesitantly approached him about the surgery he was very enthusiastic.  He said that of all of his patients that I felt that I would be the most successful and the most compliant with anything that I had to do following surgery.  His approval and encouragement has meant a lot to me.  I worried the most about my pschy eval but my Psychiatrist was very postive and encouraging.  She said that she had no doubt that I would be good candidate.  I perservered and was finally approved just a few days before my scheduled surgery.   The surgery took place later in the summer than I wanted but I was glad to finally get the date!   JULY 26, 2007--My new birthday!

My children were not very encouraging at first but once they saw how determined I was they did their research (thank God for the Internet) and they were behind me 150%.  My youngest daughter has become my mentor and my coach.  Skinny little thing that she is she wants to be able to trade clothes with me.  Cute huh!   Since my youngest daughter lives close by she went to my appointments with me, was there with me during surgery and camped in my ICCU room for the three days that I was there.  The nurses didn't even bother to argue with her since they could see her determination to look out for me.  My thanks to my son-in-law and grandson for the sacrifices they made while she cared for me at the hospital.  

I was scared to death while waiting in the preop area.  All the bravado was gone.  I kept asking myself--what are you doing? A little voice in my head kept saying -SAVING YOUR LIFE FOR YOUR DAUGHTERS AND YOUR GRANDCHILDREN!  I had some wonderful staff to get me prepared and keep the mood positive and light.   I was worried about anesthesia since I have awakened during the middle of surgery.  My anesthesiologist promised me that would not happen and that he would take care of me.    I awoke in the Recovery Room with a pain in my stomach.  I groaned enough that the nurses knew that I was awake and they placed my morphine pump in my hand.  After that it was a breeze.  I was sitting up (see pictures) a few hours after surgery and walking down the hall the next day.    I had the best care in the world and I would highly recommend Dr. Naziri and Nash General Weight Loss Center to anyone who is considering weight loss surgery in the NC Coastal Plain area.  

I went to my daughter's home for two weeks following surgery since she was worried about me staying alone.  I did not have to take pain medication after I came home and I had no nausea.   My big problem was my daughter who watched me like a hawk and double checked my at home instructions a couple of times a day to see that I was following orders. I was able to drive after my two week check up so I went home.  I had the usual aches and pains following surgery but I kept moving.  It has been a struggle to get in all of the protein and water every day.  I attempted to go to school and was able to make it through the "teacher workdays".  My doctor did not feel that teaching the first week of school was in my best interest so I stayed out.  The following week when I went back I had lost enough weight that the kids noticed that Mrs. H. is getting skinny.  Music to my ears!  

My thanks to my three daughters Melissa, Megan, and Meryn, to my Dad who worried way too much, to my sister who was my cheerleader, my wonderful primary physician Dr. Bello, to my fantastic surgeon Dr. Wade Naziri and his very kind and supportive Physician's Assistant, Shannon Hinkle.   All of you have given me a new lease on life!

PS--giving up sodas and caffeine was a breeze after the first week.  I still would like to have some--especially a cola icee but crystal lite has become my new best friend. 

This is a tough decision to make and for some a very rough road to get insurance approval.  I can assure you that it is very worth it and I have no regrets. 

About Me
Spring Hope, NC
Aug 09, 2007
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