My story

Feb 22, 2008

February 22, 2008
I weigh 138 pounds and I am doing well. I am eating and drinking. If you read my story you will see everything I have been through. It's ALOT I don't even remember much of 2007. I do know I all most passed away and
I am alive to tell it. I am trying to get back into the swing of things and wanted to get back on to hear and see how my friends are doing. Please get in touch when you all can. I want to Add this so everyone knows when my weight loss journey began. I had a wonderful journey up till October 25th, 2006. In 2000 I had the VGB (Dr. Rupp) ( I weighed 311 but b4 surgery I lost 30 pounds on my own. In fact Dr. Rupp asked you sure you want to do surgery you been doing a good job on your own?!!! lol as you can see I went ahead with surgery and YES I would do it all over again.) and then in 2002 I had my tummy tuck (Dr. Rupp) and then in October 2006 (Dr. Overcash) I had my revision and then last but not least June29th 2007 ( Dr. Sarr & Team) I had my life saving surgery at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Please read my story. Bless you all, Dawn

History:   My staple line had dehisced, and I had a revision to convert to RNY with a EEA stapler (oct.25th 2006). In Essence, they converted me to a disconnected 100-cm long RNY gastric bypass with a EEA stapler. Postoperatively I developed a leak which required a reoperation (18 days in hospital). The site of the leak could not be determined: therefore, drains were left in me (3 to be exact, not fun) A feeding tube was put into place on Nov. 2, 2006 in my stomach (moss tube)  along with a pick line and I also had the life line in my neck which they took out b4 i left hospital with pick line staying in)and for the last 9 months there has been a constant trial to see if this leak would close. I had a number of upper GI's (let me tell ya ton's of them) all of which show a rather prominent leak to the midline, some contrast going down the Roux limb, a smallish-looking pouch. I had a endoscopy done at the Mayo Clinic on April 16, 2007 it showed I had ulceration and irritation near the gastrojejunostomy. They were unable to pass a scope down this as well as a sign of a fistula that looked like it was at the squamocolumnar junction, probably at the rostral site of the staple line (every swallow of saliva went out the hole thus not being able to eat or drink because it came right out me). I wore a bandage or cath bag on the hole site (had to change constatly, nurse or my husband i also did once i was well enough). I have/had been fed through a G-tube. So, on June 29th 2007 here's what happen to make me back to what I am today.. Thank you to all who was a part in this. You are all in my thoughts more than you know. Dawn

Her goes My Story:
 My esophaguss was sewed to  my intestine and thats how I eat. I do not udelize what's left of  my stomach to hold any food what's left of it creates the bile which goes into my intestine to digest the food. Basically a bypass without a pouch??? This is what I had done June 29th 2007 per my Doctor Sarr  They found the fistula from my pouch not from the anastomosis. Interestingly, i had a tight stricture of my anastomosis which probably predisposed to a pouch blow out. This was a difficult operation. There was quite a bit of scarring, in the region of the pouch with chronic cavity on both the right and left pouch. They had difficulty with the lateral edge of the left-sided cavity which was made by the spleen, and my doctor (Sarr) said I had some intraoperative and postoperative bleeding in this region. In essence Dr. Sarr and his team did an esophagojejunostomy. To get at this they had to remove the gastrostomy tube and put in a new one, and then close the gastrotomy where the previous gastrostomy had been. My postoperative course was complicated with me just not feeling well,  I had a midly elevated white count and had a CT scan and there was some fluid in the peri-anastomotic region.  So with this all said lol I went in the operating room June 29th 2007 and underwent exploratory celiotomy, takedown of my gastrocutaneous fistula, proximal pouch gastreomy and creation of a new end to side esophagojejunostomy. The previous gastrostomy site was closed and a new tube gastrostomy was placed in my remanent stomach. So if ya all understood that then you get a A+ because I typed word by word what my Dr. (Sarr)  had typed up as my clinical documents. Everything I had done at the Mayo was stemed from my revision on October 25th 2006. I didn't think a complication would happen from the 2% risk. It would have been 1% risk of complication BUT since I had surgery all ready it bumped me to 2% and that went right over my head when Dr. Overcash told me the %, because why would I worry 2% is not much. WOW did I learn. You never know.. It's great to be a live.  Ask questions and be prepared as I didn't and NOT being prepared if something would happen is not good. My husband and I as well as my family were in for a shock and a rollercoaster of a ride for the next 11-13 months.......Dawn

If you are having problems such as a pouch blow out or leak as I had both, PLEASE get in touch with me OR
Call DR. MICHAEL SARR at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, Minnesota
at 507-284-2511 ( you can look him up under Mayo Clinic Gastroenterologic surgeon) He has been at the Mayo since 1985, he saved my life.......... His secretary and staff are awesome!!!! 
I also recommend
Dr. William Rupp from the Saint Paul Surgeons Ltd. in Saint Paul Minnesota he 
has a office in Saint Paul and Maplewood. The phone numbers are 651-227-6351 Saint Paul office or Maplewood office is 651-770-2205 He is awesome too as well as his staff. Please call them if you really are sick as I was need a revision or consultation. They are the best. If you are in Florida Dr. Todd Overcash from the Bariatric Center/ Surgical Associates of Marion County Florida is another awesome man who can help with revisions his phone number is 352-368-2828 wedsite is    Please let them know I sent you, I get nothing for this but they know me and my story very well. Please don't be afraid or think you are bothering them or there staff, I use to think that when I was so sick but thats what they are for. I just wanted to put this on my site for anyone who may be very sick from a pouch blow out or to needing a revision to really anything.  Thanks.. Dawn Kowarsch 

I will be having surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota on June 29th  2007. I have not ate nor drank in 6 months. The surgeon there says he will remove stomach and sew intestine to asophogus together, when I say stomach it is the pouch and it is full of ulsers and inflamened. My other stomach is stapled to the other side. I had revision October 25th 2006 and ended up with a absess leak in my cavity in my stomach and had emergency surgery and then all hell broke lose. Fiscula will not heal and hole in stomach won't heal. The pouch/stomach wont heal to bad so has to come out. Please wish me luck. I wont  beable to eat and enjoy life. I never thought the 2% risk would get me but it did. Thanks to all my friends that have helped with words and prayers..Dawn =)
Weight as of April 28th, 2007 145 pounds
Weight as of March 13th, 2007 164 pounds
Weight as of March 24th, 2007 160 pounds...don't want to lose anymore. I still have not been able to eat for all most five months now, or drink. I am not sure what will happen. I get fed through my feeding tube at night. I thought it was healing the hole in my stomach but then it went bad again. Will up date later. DawnI 

I had revision surgery october 25th 2006 was home one week and ended up with a temp of 103 and went to the emergency room in Ocala after talking to Dr. Overcash.  November 2-3 2006 was a blur. I all most passed away and the Dr. in the ER was treating me wrong he thought I had a bladder infection or a kidney infection. He would not call Dr. Overcash he said he was treating me first. I layed in the ER for hours till Dr. Overcash called and found out I had been in ER and he came in and did emergency surgery on me. I was in hospital for 18 days. I then was sent home and had a feeding tube. I could not eat or drink. I had my staples still in and then taken out two weeks later and ended up with a fiscula. I had stuff coming out of the site she took the staples out. The nurse came in and i ended up back in Ocala to ER over night. I then had tests done every two weeks or so to see if I could drink. I had a nurse in my home every day 3x a day to 1x a day then to 3x a week before I was sent to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for a consulatation with Dr.Sarr in March 2007 and then he could not do surgery on me till June 29th 2007. I then was able to eat July 1st 2007 after not eating for 9 months, yes nine months no food no drink. I also had to be put on a tapering program to get off of the peracet drugs which I followed to a T and got of those dang pills. 
I had my feeding tube all the time and was fed  three cans of food a night for 8 hours as thats how long it took to get the food in me.
This was a nightmare let me tell you. I will go into more details later. I did however type it all out and somehow lost it all so now I have to go through everything again It's hard to type all this. I  went from 211 as I gained fluid weight in hospital but 211 to 123 was my lowest through all this. They did not think I would make it and I did. It was a long struggle for my husband, family and myself. I seen and had stuff done to me that I never thought one would have to have done. I went into a depression for awhile also. This went on from October 25th 2006 through August 2007. Me having no food or drink, lost all the skin on the bottom of my feet, I just was so uncertain of what was going to happen. My husband worked his day job and we also had our own business. We own our own electrical business and so my husband was working the two jobs and taking care of me. My mom stayed at out home for 3 months. I had the nurse's from 3x a day to 1x a week. It was so much. I am so happy to be alive and to be who I am. 2-23-08  Dawn ~~
This is the quick way to tell it but there was so much to it. I just wanted people to see what can happen, comlications happen. I was sent home with a leak from my revision and it got worse and I kept thinking I would get better and was going through so much pain thinking it will all go away but when i ended up with the 103-104 temp. I new something was so wrong. I also had a phemonia and they took 600 cc's fluid out of me that was around my lungs. If anyone has a revison or just the rny make sure yo are NOT sent home with a leak.... The leak ended up getting so bad I had the abcess in the cavity of my stomach and all the food and drinks and vitamins and ptotein shakes all of it was going where it shouldn't. I put up with all this for 5 days at home before I had to go to ER.. i will add more to tell more of my story but I have to take a break. Thanks for reading. Dawn

I had VBG surgery Nov., 2000. I then had a tummy tuck Sept, 2002. I have had no complications till this year 2006. I couldn't understand why I was gaining weight and could not lose, I was trying hard too. I found out in June 2006 that I have a stapleline breakdown and will have a revision done to a RNY. I weight 200 now, I was down to 151 in 2002 and got married in August 2003 at 163-165 then moved to Florida in January 2004 with weight at 178 from then I have put on the rest to make me 200lbs. This is by my scale.. 205 by Dr. Overcashes office.

I am 37, married have a 19 year old and a 16 year Old.( two daughters), 3 cats and 2 dogs. I enjoy alot of things such as Nascar racing, derby's, thrift shops, reading, flea markets, animals, family and friends mean a lot. I enjoy going to it is a wonderful site with soooo many wonderful, caring and kind people.  Please e-mail me if anyone would like to chat or has questions, advise or to just say hi.. Thanks and bless you all as we all go through the wls together...Dawn

my current weight as of Feb. 17th 2007 170lbs.

Hello, August 23, 2006
I found out today that my husbands work has a exclusion on the policy they carry with United Healthcare and that is NO WLS . The kicker to this is they will pay for a reversal, to take the band off and my stomach will be back to what it use to be. Wow thanks Del-Air elecrtical you will give me my old stomach back which will more than likely not be a good thing and in turn will make me more obese, so ok lets not allow the RNY, but since she has problems with the band after 6 years we will take the band(reverse the surgery) for her and even pay for it???? Won't that cost a bundle? Gee, I am confused, why help me at all??? I don't even know what to do at this point. Just had to share this. Take care all, and best wishes and hugs to all the WLS people out there. You all will acheive your goal and then some. I have been lucky to have not gained all my weight back. I steadly am holding at 200, I started the journey 6 years ago at 311, then 278 to 151 then up 178, and now 200 by my scale. Dawn =)

September 10, 2006
I have spoke to my surgeons office last week and Patrice told me that United Healthcare will pay to have a reversal done, which means they will take the band off. This is called a breakdown. I will be coverd insurance wise for this with the hospital stay, so my surgeon while doing the breakdown procedure will go ahead and do the RNY. I will be paying the diffrence in regards to this, but feel this is the blessing I am blessed with to at least have my breakdown paid for and hospital stay. I guess with the WLS exclusion on our policy there still was a ray of light to help get most of the surgery paid for. It has took several days for everything to sink in, but at this time I feel good. I am still scared to have surgery but am blessed to beable to read and hear other WLS stories on this site. This site has helped me in a lot of ways. I also have made several friends through e-mail and posts. We all have the same goal and that is to be healthy and enjoy life with less of the weight we have carried around. Hugs to you all. =) Dawn~~~~~~~

September14, 2006
Hi Everyone, I am still waiting to hear back from the coordinator at Dr. Overcashes office.  She will be calling me to let me know when my revision will be scheduled. I still am scared. It really helps to go on this site and read and chat with others. I want to let Linda C. from PA, know I am thinking of her, she had her revision done today and I send her hugs.. =) She also had the VBG surgery and now is having the revision to RNY...Bless you Linda.
I am still at 200 lbs. I get on the scale everyday same time, I guess sometimes I think it will just I did hit 199 last week and then it went back to 200.. Well I thought I would update today and just say hello to all who read my profile. If anyone ever wants to chat please e-mail me. I also want to say way to go Jennifer on your 100 lbs loss, you got your card. I e-mailed you and hope to hear back from you. Your a shining star. I think you look fantastic. Hugs to you also as you sent info my way and posts which helped me out in ways. Thank you Jennifer.. Good luck on your Obesity Support Leadership. Till later all, Bless you and Big hugs to all the WLS friends I have made. DAWN ~~~~

September17, 2006 I really don't change anymore with staying the same weight. I hope to hear from my surgeons office this week and see when my revision is to be scheduled. I have not told really anyone about it as I was not going to go ahead with it, my husband had said to just go and get my access skin taken care of on my legs and not worry about it. (The revision) I thought about it, but with being sick because of it (the breakdown) and more than likely the weight slowly creeping back the best thing to do as my surgeon also said is to have the RNY revision done. I have maintained my weight steady since really January (200lbs.) and I think I will do well with the RNY also. It is just the whole process of it all, hospital, aftercare and home from work you know all the things we hate to Will keep you posted, if anyone reads this or cares. I enjoy putting things in this journel . Take care everyone. Enjoy the day and hugs to all...Dawn~~~~~~

September 18, 2006 I hope everyone is doing well, I have been praying for my friend I met on this site since the day of her surgery which was on Thursday and I still have not heard from her. Her name is Linda C. and she lives in PA. I hope she is doing well. Please say a prayer for her if you are reading this. Thank you. Her and I both had the VBG surgery and both are having revision to RNY. She got lucky and got to have hers before I am still waiting to here from my surgeons office on the date. I don't call them, I hate to bother them. There are days when its hard, but I get through it. I will keep you posted on what I hear for a date. Hugs to all ....Dawn~~~~~

September 26, 2006
I am happy, I came home from work yesterday and the call was on my voicemail from Patrice to have me call, so I did and we discussed some things and she explained some things and then she said so do you want to talk to Monica about a date? I said "Yes", then no, because I have to call my husband and see what date would be best to prepare and all, she laughed and said ok, call back and talk to Monice. Which I did 5 minutes later and October 25th is the day. I could have went that minute thats how good I felt as well as strong. It is setting in more now and I think I have so many things to prepare. I also have not told anyone but my friend from this site Linda. I don't want to get everyone up in a fizzy.. lol I will tell them, but not yet. My mom is not in the best of health and I don't want to bother her with this and get her to worried. I also have two daughters to tell, one was living here and went over the weekend to Minnesota for her fathers wedding and she had her boyfriend call me and tell me she was not coming back. She is 16 soon to be 17. I am deeply hurt and sad by this and fear that I won't bother to even tell her. My oldest daughter who is 19 I will tell soon. She also is a worry one.. I am blessed with her kind words and e-mails all the time. Her fiance's mother is having WLS on October 23rd, in Minnesota. I know she will have a lot on her with us both having it so close. She also works two jobs and is a busy girl. I wish I could have her out her with me. I will however have my husband. (All my dear friends are in Minnesota) I am hoping to just get this done and not make a big deal of the whole thing. We live a little over a hour from Munroe Medical Cenetr in Ocala. We are going to be spending the night there in Ocala on the 24th, my husband and I. We won't have to drive the drive in the morning hours there. Well, I wanted to post my date to all that may read this. Take care and bless you all. Hugs,~~~~ All most on the losing side again. I can't wait.

September 28th, 2006
Hi everyone. I hope everyone is doing well. My friend Linda from PA. is doing well. She really has had a blessed recovery. I am thankful her and I have become friends, she and I have found out we have so much in common. It has a been a blessing to have found her, or did she find me??? I forgot, lol but shes great and someday I hope her and I can meet. I have my money all together for the surgeon, it's not to be to their office till October 16th, but will take it to them early. Get that out of the way. It is fall and it's my favorite time of the year, my birthday is October 3 and I have always loved the fall, I miss Minnesota where you can smell the leaves and all. I am still having a hard time with my 16 year old daughter not coming back from Minnesota. I posted earlier that she flew up to her dads wedding and decided not to come back. I am trying to deal with that right now and it's hard. I hope all is well with everyone and thanks for reading my journal. Always hugs, Dawn~~~~~~

September 30, 2006
Well last day of the month and three days till my 38th Birthday...I am still surfing on this site reading all about prepping for surgery. I still have not found a protein powder but i have some input from people and will give them a try. I guess really just getting everyday things in order before I have my surgery. My mom is wanting to start her packing as she is moving back to Minnesota. She still has no idea I am going in on October 25th. I will however tell her in the next week or so. She has been worried sick about getting her house listed and sold. Let her get over that for a few days and then I guess drop another worry on her. ( I am sorry Mom) I know she will however worry no dout, BUT she will wish me the best as well. I look forward to it being over as I am sure all of you did, so we can move on and start our life again. For me I honestly never thought I would be here doing this. When I had my vbg in 2000 I had no idea that a leak or anthing would/could happen. I guess I had a lot of anger about that in which i am over now but I never wanted to have to prepare for this whole thing again. I have a healthier mind and clearer mind than I did then. I was depressed terribly and was getting out of a 18 year or so relationship with a man who totally verbally abused me for years. I think I was numb to a lot of it. I look back and think of things and a lot of it I don't remember. I am hoping to sometime get a pic. of me from when I was 300 pounds on here. I have a digital camera now and I put the pictues on the comuter and transfer that way, so now I have to scan and then somehow get it on here. I will do that sometime after the surgery. I have to have my husband help with that whole I hate the pics. but feel it is important to show what I looked like back in 2000. I also have some pics. not on digital from when I was down to 151pounds as well. I hope everyone is having a great weekend. the fall is here and Halloween on it's way. I love the fall. hugs to all~~ Dawn~~~~~

October 5, 2006
Hi Everyone, I thought I would post a short note. I had to call today to get my instructions for the night before surgery and what time I am to be at the hospital on October 25th. My surgeons office had mailed it out and well it never made it here to my house.. I am to be at the hospital at 6am, I don't even know what time my surgery is..... I have been trying to find protein mix and drinks. I was going to order some that are premade you just add water or I think milk to them, but not sure if any good. I will post on message board and see if anyon else has tried them. They are from nice site. If you have tried them and are reading this please e-mail me and let me know what you thought. It is the Protein tasters pack and the premixed ones are protein drinks in the plastic bottles.
Well, I told my mom about my surgery last night and told her not to worry, she is getting her house ready to sell and I don't want her to worry. We found out today she has diabetices and a high hatia hernia..(sorry about the spelling). She had enough to worry about and then I dropped the "I'm having surgery" yesterday and today we find out at the doctors all this... She has took it all well. I am glad for that. I love her to death and her health is so important to me, even though I have my own health issues. I have a lot on my mind and a lot I have to keep to myself and that's hard. I have anxiety issues that I deal with everyday and it gets tough. When I go to bed at night I lay there and many nights I feel my heart just racing and jumping because of this. I also have times when so much is racing in my head I can't sleep. I myself worry about others and not wanting them to worry about me. I think of others more than I think of myself. I've been told I have a heart of gold and I am too good hearted. I am sure a lot of people have been told this. I know it is true. I don't want anyone to fuss over me, well I shouldn't say that I would at times I guess.
I am not sure if anyone has did this before surgery, I am sure some have but I am going to write up letters to my daughters Ashley and Aleeisha, my mom, my husband and of few of my closest friends and have them in my drawer. If something would happen I want to beable to tell them what I feel in the letters. I know it sounds weird but the more I have thought about it the more I want to do this. Well, I have really laid out a lot today. One of those days..... Thanks to all who have taken the time to read this and care. Bless you all. Good luck to all in the WLS and WL journey. 20 days till my day to be on the losing side. Hugs.... Dawn~~~~~~

October 8, 2006
Hi sad news is Dale Jr. #8 was knocked out of the race what a dissappointment.. He was doing so well. His birthday is Tuesday and I was hoping this would be a win for him and a great birthday present.. Well I thought I would update. I have been getting things ready for after surgery as well as before. I have my shopping list ready and will do that next week. I have been helping my mom pack and trying to get as much done for her as I can. Thanks to all the people who have e-mailed me and have kept in touch, your kind words have been nice. I have really satyed in touch with my dear friend Linda and she is doing well, she had some issues with nausea and all but hopefully she will pick up and start to feel so much better. I wish her the best on her WL journey and I know her and I will someday get the chance to meet. I feel it. We have shared a lot of common things. Best Wishes to you Linda if you read this. I told my daughter about my surgery she actually took it better than I thought. Her fiance's mother is having the surgery and she had said she told her fiance Tommy that they should be there for her at the hospital. My daughter is in Minnesota and I am in Florida so that's why she won't be here for my surgery. I wish she could be though. I wish Sara Tommy's mom the best on her WL journey as well. I have told my daughter to tell her to check out this web site as she will find so much information and also meet new friends as well as ask questions if she wanted. is a great place and hope she finds the chance to experience it. Well, what else can I say.. lol I did order some products off of the wedsite. I got the "Tasters pack" as well at "Buttercream Toffee" Elite protein. I did e-mail my dietitian and I guess I should have before hand as she said I need to check the sugar and all on the products, I guess since the lady Susan who owns the company is a WL patient I assumed all of it was fine. I guess we will see. I did try my Hanks protein chocolate drink and I did like that. I could always order that. I also was thinking of trying one from Target. Everyone take care. ~Dawn~~~~

October 15th 2006
Wow I don't know where to start to get this all transfered over to the new profile, so I will just add here and when I have more time to try and check things I will. I got my stuff the other day from and wow, nice. I tried a little of the buttercream toffee aand yes thats nice. I have not tried my items that came in the sampler but they all sound good. They are all things I can have the labels read what I can have. Well not long now and I will be on my way to the losing side. I am ready and looking forward to the time for myself. I am getting fully exhausted with taking care of all my moms packing and health problems and perscription problems adn listing the house making the arrangements, dealing with a realtor in Minnesota. Trying to locate a place in Minnesota for her, having my daughter go ook at some we looked at on the computer through the realtor. Going to work coming home and going up to my moms to start packing again same thing every day and I am really exhausted. My husbands working soooo much as we own our own electrical business and then he also is a supervisor at a electrical company during the day. I don't see much of him. I am just so tired and feeling sick worring about all this stuff with my mother. I wanted to get it all done prior to my surgery but it sure is a lot for one person. I have been doing all this since end of September and running out of energy and all. I am feeling down, would love some rest and all. Not sure what to do. I hope everyone else is doing well and spirits are high for you all on your weight loss journeys. Smooth sailing to you all and may this day be the best day for you all. Big hugs to all.... Dawn~~~~

Well this is the last time I will post in here till I am on the losing side. I am excited but most of all grateful I have been given the chance to have this band taken off and have the bypass. I am tired of the vommiting and my stomach hurting, plus the acid reflex after everything and anything. I am also blessed to have the life I have but look forward to a healthy one again. The last two years being sick and not knowing why has been hard, i was so down on myself. I knew I had not changed much in the way I was eating and I was working out, but couldn't figure out why I was sick and couldn't drop any weight. I found out in June 2006 that I had a stapleline breakdown and food dysplasia, which is why i vommit. I was to the point I would not eat much because I was so afraid of gaining more weight. I have gained 50 pounds of the 157 pounds I lost. I had my vbg surgery 6 years a go. I know now this is NOT my fault and has been a big relief. I also found out what I was eating I was burning off but never getting any where because what I put in worked off. I have however maintained the 200 pounds since January 2006, but like I said I was scared of gaining. I am glad I got that all off my chest. LOL..... I hope everything is doing well. I send my prayers and thoughts to my good friend Linda. I met her on obesity and she has been through a lot also. Thanks to all who read my profile as well. Bless you all and hugs to everyone one who I have become friends with on here. Thanks for all the advise and support. It's wonderful. Good luck to everyone on the weight loss journey. I pray all will go well for me tomorrow. Take care all.... ~~~DAWN~~~~~"> border="0" src="" alt="Hit Counters" />Hit">">Hit Counters

About Me
Clermont, FL
Surgery Date
Jan 03, 2006
Member Since

Friends 29

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