I started my WLS journey in June 2004 at Liv-Lite in Evansville, IN.
9-22-04: Got a call from Liv-lite...my surgery has finally been approved!!! It feels like it's taken forever, but it really hasn't. They want me to have more labwork done. I had my first appt. with Dr. Koehler (program's physician) back in June.
9-27-04: I got my labwork done today. They said they would fax it to Liv-lite tomorrow.
9-29-04: I called Liv-lite to see if they received my labwork. They did! They set up my first appointment with Dr. Burry for 10-7-04.
10-3-04...I can't wait! I was patient while waiting for the insurance approval...now that I've been approved I want to get things going.
10-7-04: I had my first appt. with Dr. Burry today. I really do like him. The entire office staff are really caring. Dr. Burry says that I'm a great candidate for the surgery. All I have to do is get the EGD and then I go back to see him again. I really learned alot during that first appt. We discussed doing the surgery lap. He said we would discuss that more as it gets closer to time. I will try to get my EGD scheduled Monday.
10-11-04: EGD is scheduled for this Friday and I go back to Dr. Burry next Thursday on the 21st.
10-12-04: Not feeling too well today. I had a dental appt. this morning and had to have a post put in a tooth and it will be crowned in a couple of weeks. Then to add to all the pain, I had my EGD scheduled for this Friday in Owensboro. That dr.'s office called and stated that my insurance will not cover the EGD. They stated they have approved the surgery but will not approve the EGD or liver biopsy. The insurance stated they have no documentation that I have GERD or any other symptoms. I called Penny and she said Tracy had spoken to my insurance co. and they stated they would cover the EGD. Penny told me who Tracy talked too and what they told her. When I called the insurance co. back, they said the person she talked was not working there anymore and that they don't have anything in their system stating they would cover the EGD. Penny said Tracy would deal with it in the morning because she was not in. Just be praying for me that this gets taken care of. I was so patient until I found out that I was approved and now I want things to move quickly and smoothly.
10-14-04: Still fighting with the insurance about the EGD. I sent an e-mail to them as well as faxed a letter today. They are telling me they have researched and says this is an unusual request. They said they do not believe it is medically necessary but if the surgeon requires this then they need documentation of it and why he requires it. Hopefully this will be worked out next week. Be thinking and praying for me!!
10-25-04: I spoke with Liv-lite on 10-18-04 to see if they had got the info. to the insurance company that they requested. They told me they would have to talk to the surgeon and would probably get to it this week. I feel like they have put it on the back burner for the time being! I haven't heard anything from Liv-lite or my insurance company about whether they are going to cover the EGD. I'm just thinking that if the procedure is required then information should be available to back it up. So, in the meantime, I have requested my records from Liv-lite and am looking at going to Georgetown instead. I have an appt. with the NP at Georgetown on 11/3/04. They've told me that I would not have to go through all of the testing that I've already completed. Of course I'll have to have more labs. I didn't think that I would come to a "road block" after the insurance approved the surgery. I've already started taking more vitamins. I was already taking B-12. I'm also getting in more protein before having the surgery. But on a different note...I want to say "THANK YOU" to Gina who spruced up my page! She did a wonderful job!
10-28-04: Well...wouldn't you know that there is another hurdle. I got a call from the insurance company today telling me they received the information about the EGD they requested from Liv-lite. However, they said they were not sure that Deaconess Hospital was in our network. I was told by them in the beginning that they didn't have a provider list for bariatric surgeries and to just pick one and they would approve it case by case. Come to find out, Deaconess is not on the network provider list. St. Mary's Medical Center is on there though. I spoke to Tracy at Liv-lite about this and she said I could call St. Mary's and if they want to talk to her then she would be glad to do it. I just don't know what to think. I just feel like it's one thing after another. It's getting real frustrating! I have an appointment with the Georgetown Bariatric group on Wed. Their hospital is on our provider network also. I know several people who have gone through their program. I know it's farther away but I'm willing to do it. I got my medical records from Liv-lite in the mail today. I should be getting a copy of my psychological evaluation tomorrow or Saturday. I'll have everything to take to my appt. then. Just keep praying for me!!
11/3/04: I had my first appt. at Georgetown today. They did an h-pylori test on me and it came back negative (Yeah!!!). They also did more labs. I met with the nurse practitioner. I need to get pulmonary function tests done. That won't be too bad. I met with the insurance coordinator and she said the doctors were out of network. I became upset at this point and came out of the office mad. Once I got out to the car, I called my insurance company. They stated they are very familiar with my case and said everything would be paid in-network no matter where I go. I took down the lady's name with whom I talked to and will e-mail it to Catherine tomorrow.
11/15/04: I had an appointment with my pulmonologist today. I also had my pulmonary function tests. They gave me a copy of the results. My doctor was pleased with the results. It had been a while since I had the tests done. He compared them to the last one's that were done and said that the numbers show that my asthma is improving. He said it shows that I don't have permanent damage to my lungs from all the trouble I've had with my asthma over the past several years. I also mailed off a letter to the cardiologist I went to last December and requested results from all of the tests that were done.
11/16/04: I faxed the results of the pulmonary function test to Catherine today. I really wish things would move alittle quicker but I'm going to be patient! Just keep thinking about me. I met a lady who lives not too far from me who is going through the Liv-lite program. I met her on obesityhelp.com. We e-mail one another frequently and it helps because she is someone I can talk to and she is going through the same thing I am. So thanks to Christina for listening to me and giving lots of encouragement!!
11/20/04: I received the records in the mail from the cardiologist. I will fax them to Catherine on Monday. That should be it so I should be getting an appt. with the surgeon soon!
11-24-04: I got a call from Jo at Georgetown today. She spoke with the surgeons about my case and agreed that it would be best for me to have the lap band done instead of the bypass. They said this because of my asthma being complicated. Jo wants me to think about it over the weekend and let her know what I want to do on Monday. This is just a tough journey as all of you know. One thing is for sure - God and I have become alot closer through this. This surgery will happen in God's time not mine! I'll keep updating as I know something.
11-29-04: I called the insurance company this a.m. They told me that the lap band would be covered. I called Georgetown and left a message for Jo. She forwarded my chart to Catherine after that. This evening, Catherine called to let me know that she is working on it. She said just because the insurance company told me they would cover it doesn't mean they always will. She said we would talk soon. I'd really like to get this done before the end of the year. If I can, I won't have to pay as much out-of-pocket. I guess we'll just wait and see!
11-30-04: Well...wouldn't you know!?! Something else has come up...this time re: insurance. My husband talked to his employer a couple of weeks about our health insurance. They called him today and informed him that the county's insurance will be changing at the end of the year. At that time, I began to panic. I e-mailed Jo and Catherine at Georgetown to let them know about this.
12-07-04: Got a call from Catherine. She talked with my insurance company and got approval for the lap band! YIPPEE!!!!! She said that I should hear from Tracy (pre-op nurse) really soon. I'll be waiting!!!!
12-08-04: Tracy called me today at work! She explained that if I plan to try to have this surgery done by the end of the year then things will move very quickly. She said that I need to have a chest x-ray, labs, and another EKG. She said they would need the results of all of them by Friday so that I can come in next Tuesday to meet with the surgeon. No problem...so I took a few hours off from work to go get that done.
12-09-04 Today I faxed the results of the labs and EKG to Tracy. About an hour after faxing them, I get a call from Georgetown to schedule my appt. with them on Tuesday. I will meet with the internist and surgeon that morning and have a
pre-op class in the afternoon. I'm so excited, yet somewhat nervous if that makes sense!!!! I think my husband and I will travel to Georgetown on Monday and stay all night since I have to be there early.
12-14-04: I had my "all-day" appointment today. I met with Dr. Lyon (internist) first. He's a very nice man. He went over my medical history with me. He said to take only half of my insulin dose the night before surgery and then take my blood pressure medicine the morning of surgery. After that appt., I went to meet with Dr. Oldham. He said I have a hernia around my belly button that needs to be fixed as well. He said it would be no problem. After meeting with him, I finally got a surgery date!!!! 12-20-04!! WOW!! I never thought this day would come!! It's not here yet so who knows what will happen between now and then! I have to be at the hospital at 10:15 a.m. I attended a pre-op class with Cathi that afternoon. I met some really nice ladies - Marlita and Stephanie. They are both having the lap band also.
12-15-04: The doctor's office called this morning and my first thought was that something is wrong and the surgery can't happen. That would just be my luck! But they just wanted to change the time of the surgery. They moved me to the first surgery of the day. I have to be there at 5:15 a.m. (my time). We will probably travel to Georgetown the night before and stay the night.
12-19-04: I went to church this morning with my family and then left to travel to Georgetown for my big day tomorrow! I've become more nervous everyday. But I'm still excited that this is finally happening! I had to go to the hospital when I got there for some labwork. My husband, mother, and sister went with me.
12-20-04: Now I'm on the losing side!!! Got to the hospital at 5:00 a.m. (my time). They took me on back to get me ready. Started I.V., gave me a shot of blood thinner, met with the anesthesiologist, and Dr. Oldham. They took me to surgery around 6:25 a.m. (my time). I was in surgery for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Went to recovery afterwards and the nurses said everything went fine. Then they moved me to the floor. I was going to stay all night but I was feeling pretty good and wasn't having any problems. The nurse checked with Dr. Lyon and Dr. Oldham and both came in to see me and said I could go home. Dr. Lyon wanted to see how my blood sugar and asthma was going to do. I wasn't having any problem with either. Dr. Lyon took me off my Glucophage for now and I am to half my Lantus for the time being. I got home later that evening. Everyone was really nice at the hospital. I didn't meet anyone I didn't like.
When you've eaten too much and you can't write it down,
And you feel like the biggest failure in town.
When you want to give up just because you gave in,
and forget all about being healthy and thin.
So What! You went over your points a bit,
It's your next move that counts...So don't you quit!
It's a moment of truth, it's an attitude change.
It's learning the skills to get back in your range.
It's telling yourself, "You've done great up till now.
You can take on this challenge and beat it somehow."
It's part of your journey toward reaching your goal.
You're still gonna make it, just stay in control.
To stumble and fall is not a disgrace,
if you summon the will to get back in the race.
But, often the struggler's, when loosing their grip,
Just throw in the towel and continue to slip.
And learn too late when the damage is done,
that the race wasn't over...they still could have won.
Lifestyle change can be awkward and slow,
but facing each challenge will help you grow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
the silver tint in a cloud of doubt.
When you're pushing to the brink, just refuse to submit,
If you bite it, you write it....But don't you quit!
- Author Unknown
12-31-04: Happy New Year!!! I'm feeling pretty "blah" today. I went to the doctor yesterday and found out that I have an upper respiratory infection. Got on the scales this morning and am down 15 lbs!!! YEAH!!! I was up late last night. I haven't been able to sleep. I got on fitday.com for the first time. Never knew this site existed. It's really neat! Try it sometime. I won't be going back to work for another week because of me being sick. I still can't drive. I did yesterday and it was painful - turning around and twisting. Still sore, particularly around the port area. Well...good day to everyone and don't party too much tonight!
It's a new year! 2005!!! I'm slowly losing weight. I just have to keep myself from getting discouraged. Tomorrow, I'm going to a fitness center to inquire about membership. I'm really excited about this. It's fairly close by and easily accessible. I'll let everyone know how it goes. My sister called me today and invited me to a scrapbooking retreat in April. She's trying to get a group together. I'm looking forward to it. I haven't got to scrapbook in a long time.
2/9/05: I haven't update in awhile...Sorry!!! I've been really busy with work. I feel like it may slow down soon though...hopefully. My post-op appt. at Georgetown was on 1/25/05. I had lost 21 lbs at that point. I had my first fill also. It went great...didn't feel anything. They put 3 ccs in. I go back in 6 more weeks unless I feel like I need to come in before then. It's going to be a long journey. I have felt up and down again lately...just like the weight! I'm hanging in there though! If I mess up one day then I just pick up and go on with it. I know longer feel like I have messed up my entire weight loss. You've got to learn to pick yourself up and go on with it!! That was not easy for me to do before...but I have come to know that's what you've got to do. Last weekend, I got a great phone call from one of the ladies in our Emmaus community. She asked me to help on our next women's walk. I didn't hesitate...I was so happy!! I went on the walk about 2 years ago. I didn't help on a walk until last Oct. and I had the best time! I was hoping they would call me!! Well...until next time!
2/18/05: I went for another fill yesterday and they put in 1.5 ccs for a total of 4.5 ccs (I have the 10cc band). I had not really felt any restriction so I had to do something. I felt like I was eating everything. I've done really well today. It took several times before they could find the right spot in the port for the needle. Finally, they got it with me standing up! I need to exercise more. So that was the first thing I did this morning...got on the treadmill...and walked, walked, and walked. Made me feel better afterwards!
4/16/05: It's been a long time since I have updated. I have hit a plateau and haven't moved for a few weeks. I go for another fill on the 27th. I could move it up but I'm supposed to see my internist and the dietician on the same day. I've been trying to exercise more. It was so pretty today. The boys had a baseball jamboree and my husband is coaching. We had a good time. We went grocery shopping and I've been doing some housework and planting flowers. I am probably going to the park this evening to walk. I will try to update more often!!
8/12/05: Traveled to Georgetown this morning for a fill. I had been thinking that I may have a leak. I had gained 6 lbs. at this visit. I asked the nurse how much I had in and she said 8ccs. I told her that I think I have a leak because I had gained during the last 2 visits and I've been able to eat anything and lots of it! So, Libby (nurse practitioner) came in and talked to me before today's fill. Before she gave me the fill she flushed it out and checked 3 different times how much was in there. She was only getting 3ccs out everytime. She went to talk to Dr. Oldham about it and he came in to talk to me. He said it looks like I have a leak and they will need to replace the port. I was frustrated because I felt like I have wasted alot of time going for fills. Sooooooo.....I am now scheduled to have a port replacement on the 17th.
8/20/05: The port replacement surgery went well. It was about a 20 minute procedure. I came home about an hour after waking up. I'm very sore right now. I didn't go to work on Thursday but I was determined to be at work on Friday...and I made it! I am sore though and it is swollen where the incision is. I plan to take it easy over the weekend. I think I've been trying to do alot too quick. So I will be resting this weekend and slowing myself down. I do feel some restriction. Dr. Oldham had put 5 ccs back in the band and I go back in a couple of weeks for a follow-up and another fill. Weight loss is the most difficult thing I've ever done. It has been an up and down battle since my surgery. I guess I expected it to be more smooth and I was wrong about that. It is still hard, particularly when you haven't made it to your "sweet spot". I think I was close to my "sweet spot" right before my port replacement. Libby had put in 8ccs until my port replacement. I had lots of restriction with 8ccs in there and it was almost too tight. So I need to be right around 7 or 8 ccs.
11/14/05: It's been so long since I've updated. I went back to get a fill last Monday. I had lost 5 lbs. My blood pressure was good (108/72). Diana gave me another fill. I had 6ccs in from my last fill and she had gotten 6ccs back. She added another cc for a total of 7ccs. I was afraid that my port was flipping but it wasn't. I was just the way it felt. Diana did a wonderful job. It took one try and she hit the port just right. I think I'm at my "sweet spot" right now. I'm not able to eat half as much as I did before this fill. But I am learning what a hard time this can be. It's been a very difficult journey for me to lose weight. It takes so much discipline that I had never had before. I'm still trying to discipline myself. If you're thinking about having weight loss surgery then please know up front that it's just a TOOL! A tool to help you lose weight. I knew it up front but I really thought it would have been easier. I don't think I'd feel like it was so difficult if it wasn't for the port replacement. I had lost 30 lbs. and then I started gaining again and that's when I knew something was wrong. Sure enough...I had a leak. I have now only lost 19.5 lbs since my surgery including the port replacement. I'm going to give it all I can at this point and use it as like I'm starting it all over again.
I have joined the Health Park in Owensboro. A co-worker and I have joined and we try to work out together when we can. Alot of times, I go workout before going into work. I walk on the treadmill more than anything. Well...I guess it's time to go for today and I will try to update more often.
1/11/06:I traveled to Georgetown today for apointments with Dr. Lyon and with Dianna to get a fill. Dr. Lyon was "less than thrilled" with my progress and he could see that I was as well. He stated that I had lost a bit and may have lost more than that because I have just finished taking steroids for an infection I have. I'm on my 3rd round of antibiotics since Thanksgiving. It's sinuses and bronchitis. They eventually put me on the steroids because I was having more difficulty breathing. Needless to say, the steroid do not help with the weight loss. They make you retain water and swell as well as make your blood sugar go higher. Dr. Lyon wanted me to get some labwork done and I did. He will probably have to adjust my insulin.
I also got a fill today. According to their scale, I had lost .5 pound. They did say that the steroids have probably put a couple of pounds on me. Dianna gave me another 1cc for a total of 8ccs. I have pretty good restriction right now. Dianna also referred me to an allergist that she worked for in the past in Lexington. I've been having frequent infections that require antibiotics and they do not always work. The doctor specializes in Immunology also. She could probably do something to boost my immune system.
All in all, I haven't had alot of progress on my journey of weight loss. However, I'm not giving up by no means. This is the beginning of a new year and I will just start fresh again! I have said before that this is not easy for me. I do more fighting with myself than anything. I plan to beat this thing...the weight. It's definitely a very slow progress but I'm going to stay strong and pray, pray, pray!!!!