May 25, 2004, Had my consultation with Dr. David Lauter in Kirkland, WA. Both the doctor and his staff were great. I felt valued and at ease in their presence. So begins my journey. I am a 55 year married female with 2 grown children. I want my life back. Like most on this site I've been through the gauntlet of diets, all ending in failure. I currently am 5'3" (that never changes!) and 340 lbs. If I was going to be able to lose and successfully keep off my excess weight I would have done it by now. My medical plan is Uniform Medical Plan. It has an "exclusion policy" but also has a "medical necessity" clause. I hope that my BMI of 61 with bilateral knee replacements, high blood pressure, and high cholesteral is enough to qualify me.
June 14, 2004. Still waiting. Called Dr's office yesterday and letter of necessity hasn't been sent to insurance yet. Two other people ahead of me. Practicing patience!! Have been reading lots of profiles and "listening" to lots of topics. I appreciate all of you who have gone before. I'm one of those people who stands on the edge of the pool ever so afraid to take the dive. You give me courage.
July 14, 2004. Wow, this is kind of like waiting for water to boil at 8,000 feet! As of yesterday my letter of medical necessity is in the hands of Uniform Medical Plan. Now I can begin the wait with them. They "promised" a reply within 5 working days. We'll see. In the meantime, I find myself wanting to devour everything in site.
July 16, 2004 Even though I was expecting a denial when I got it today I was so sad. My PCP has a letter ready and I will get it and anything else I can put together. I'm determined to follow this though. I know Uniform Medical would spend far more on me in the upcoming years than if they would approve this WLS for me.I would appreciate any tips from others with Uniform Medical. I will be persistent and give it my very best. Even tho I am very limited in what I can physically do, mentally I'm still strong and determined!
August 4, 2004. My appeal is in the mail. My PCP wrote a letter, I wrote one detailing everything that I could think of that impairs my life because of my obesity, I included relevant records and enclosed a recent picture. Now I wait. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I am hoping that the review team at Uniform Medical Plan will see me as an individual who deserves a chance to live a healthier life. Since I began this process in May I have gained about 10 pounds. I am anxious, frustrated with all of the paperwork, and I have fallen back on old habits.
August 23, 2004. Arrived home from a wonderful trip with a friend to find another denial letter in the mail. If I understood it correctly, medical necessity isn't even considered until the Level Two appeal which I wrote and sent immediately. I sent tons of info with the first level appeal. . . . hopefully it will finally get its chance to prove medical necessity. I guess I'm climbing the ladder. At the third level I will finally get an independent review.
September 26, 2004. Another denial yesterday. This was the end of the second level appeal. Now I will call Uniform Medical tomorrow and initiate the next step. I will request a case worker and an independent review of everything. I was so hoping that this last appeal would see an approval. Guess I'll just have to keep on. I also have a sleep study scheduled for early in October. I am just about positive that it will show that I have sleep apnea. Hopefully that will be more "ammo" for approval.
November 19, 2004. I'm still here. Still waiting. Still trying to be patient. Had the 2nd night of my sleep study one week ago and failed miserably. By that I mean I could not tolerate the mask. I've never been claustrophobic, but I do have an anxiety disorder. It rears its ugly head when I am faced with overwhelming new situations. I really didn't think this would be one of those but I guessed wrong. I felt like I was drowning. The longer I tried the more wide awake I became even with a sleeping pill. I go in on Monday to be "desensitized." After a couple of these sessions I will try again. Doctor says based on my first night that I have moderate sleep apnea and definitely don't even come close to getting a decent night's sleep. I didn't need a sleep study to tell me that! Anyway, the doctor is going to write a letter in support of surgery. Hopefully I will get it soon so that I can send off my Independent Medical Organization Review. I've done nothing but gain weight this fall. My "winter blahs" have set in. I really need to get outside each day for at least 30 minutes and I haven't been doing that. I just want to eat and hibernate. Not a good combination.
December 6, 2004 I sent my "Independent Review Organization" info off on the 3rd. Again I wait. Uniform Medical has 5 days to forward all of the info they have on me to the IRO. Then the IRO has about 25 days to respond. Should here from them by the first week of January at the latest. Now am up 25 pounds since May. This added stress just makes things worse. Please send your best vibes to the "powers that be". I so want to have this surgery soon.
December 14, 2004 What a day! I worked from 8:30-2:30 then went to an appointment with my PCP. She wrote referrals for the gall bladder scan, cardiology consultation, chest x-ray and had an EKG done in the office. I just love her. She is so supportive. Then at 9pm I reported for the second night of my sleep apnea study. Actually, the third night as I had to "abort" on the previous attempt due to severe anxiety. I have had two "desensitization" sessions in the past two weeks and thought I was now ready. Not! At 2am after a Xanax and a Sonata I finally went to sleep. The attendent had to visit me bedside several times and remind me not to fight it and to just "go with the machine". Easier said than done. However, I stuck with it and she feels that they got enough from 2am to 6pm. Praises be. I knew I needed to complete the study, but sure didn't know if I would make it or not. What a major accomplishment. Also, at 2am I turned on the TV.It seemed like that gave me something else to focus on. Wish, in retrospect, that I had take my CD player and my soothing instrumental Cds that I use at home to fall asleep by. That might have helped. Anyway, it's completed! Yay!!!!
Required Tests or Proceedures Before Surgery:
Psych Evaluation - Done
EKG - Done
Cardiac Evaluation - Done
Chest X Ray - Done
Gall Bladder Scan - Done
Nutritionist Visit -
Sleep Study (sleep apnea) - Done
Blood Work - Done (will do again)- Done 1/24/05
December 29,2004 I'm adjusting to my CPAP machine. Last night slept from 9:30 to 5:30 just stopping the machine once for a few minutes. Feeling more rested and comfortable with the machine.Today I spent getting several tests done. Had chest x ray, gall bladder scan, and cardiac consultation. Will go back in 10 days for a nuclear stress test to make sure my heart is in good shape. Doctor thinks that most of the breathing difficulties and tiredness are directly related to my excess weight. (Too bad Uniform Medical Plan can't see as clearly!)
I have been "penciled in" for surgery on Thursday, Feb 17th! On Ja 28 and 29 I will have a pre-op visit in Kirkland and a visit with the nutritionist. Also may try to schedule a visit in Puyallup with "Vita Lady" to try some samples of protein powders and talk to her about vitamins. We have snow here this morning!
January 18, 2005 Put together a packet to send to Washington state insurance commissioner detailing Uniform Medical Plan's exclusion policy "even when a proceedure is deemed medically necessary." Don't know if it will help, but obese individuals are denied treatment that can save their lives. Uniform provides $12,500.00 per YEAR for drug/alcohol treatment but excludes any kind of weight loss surgery even if medically necessary. Talk about a prejudice that still definitely exists!They could care less about the co-morbidities and risks that morbid obestiy places on my life.
January 24, 2005 Called to check with Dr.'s office about results of tests. I had requested that results be faxed several weeks ago. Well, they weren't there so I called and had them sent again. Also was asked if I'd mind moving surgery up another day to February 16th. Fine with me! Will get results of Heart Stress test on 1-26-05. Head to Kirkland 1-27 for pre-op, nutritionist visit, hospital visit to check things out first hand. Can't wait! Have gained almost 30 pounds since May. Nerves, anxiety, insurance approval and denial frustrations.
January 27, 2005 Had pre-op in Kirkland with Dr. David Lauter. I weighed 377 lbs. I have gained almost 40 lbs since May. My BMI is 68. He is so reassuring and I am confident that I am in good hands. I visited the Bariatrics Unit at Evergreen Hospital where I will have surgery. It's nice to know where I will be. I even know where to check in etc! On Friday I had an appointment with a nutritionist. Got lots of info on diet, vitamins, nutrition. Kind of overwhelming but I guess I don't have to have it all figured out on the first day! I plan to use Fitday to help me keep track of my calories, liquid, protein etc.
February 8, 2005 One week from today! I think everything is done including my taxes! I am so ready to get the surgical part of this journey underway. One week from this morning I'll be getting ready for surgery at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, WA with Dr. David Lauter.
February 21, 2005 I'm home! Surgery was 2/16 in Seattle. Out of Hospital 2/18, staying in Seattle area until Sunday. Came home yesterday. Tired but feeling great. Very little pain, no complications so far. I'm sip, sip, sipping, and "eating" soup, pudding, popsicles, jello. Will start serious nutrition now that I'm home. I am so amazed and relieved to be at this stage. I was beginning to wonder if it really would happen. I'm hoping that my before pictures will be posted soon. I need to take measurements this week so that I will have those to use when the scale doesn't seem to be moving as fast as I would like!
March 9, 2005. Three weeks post op and down 19 pounds first week, another 11 lbs last week and 5 more today for a whopping total of 35 pounds since right before surgery. I feel good. Had a bad experience yesterday but it was my fault. I tried to eat crackers and peanut butter and it was too early. I hurt really bad for about 4 hours. Lesson learned. I'm back to work tutoring 4 hours a day and feeling great.
March 24, 2005. Five weeks post op and down 45.5 lbs. Feeling good. Had my 4 wk post op with Dr. Lauter in Kirkland last Thursday. He was pleased and said to just keep doing what I'm doing. He wants to see me in 3 months with lab work done before I go over. I'm still having trouble getting in enough calories and protein. Meat tastes like cardboard to me. Most things that I look forward to trying just don't taste the same as they used to. If I'm just going to eat small amounts I at least want them to taste good! I'll keep trying. I'm getting in all of my vitamins, two protein shakes a day, and 4 small meals. I just don't have much appetite and could care less about food. Strange!
April 2, 2005. Six weeks post op and down 50 lbs even. Meat, pasta, and bread all taste bad to me. Protein shakes, and vegetables taste better than anything. Having a little trouble with constipation. So. . .I've added three prunes a day to my diet. They taste good and seem to help. Clothes are getting very loose. Amazing how far knits can stretch as I'm still wearing the clothes I was 50 lbs ago. . .but not for much longer!
April 23, 2005 Nine weeks post op and down 64 lbs. Went to the beach for spring break and was able to enjoy several walks on the beach without being out of breath and hurting with each step I took. I'm continuing to lose 4-5 pounds per week. I'm finally joining a gym this week. I promised my nutritionist that I would join before I talk to her next Wednesday! So. . . I'd better keep my work. Still don't have much taste for most foods. Wonder if my sense of taste will ever return to the way it was before surgery? Other than that I'd doing great. And if that's the only side effect then I can handle it. The pluses far outweight the minuses!
April 29, 2005 Ten weeks post op and down 66 lbs. Just lost 2 pounds this past week. I've been used to clipping them off 5 at a time. I'm not eating too much so this must be a bit of a slow down or plateau. I joined a gym this week and have my first meeting with a trainer later to day to set up my program. I'm looking forward to adding this to my schedule. I'm going to try to go early in the morning, the gym opens at 5am. I'll go about 6. That will give me plenty of time to shower and get ready without rushing. Feeling good, starting to really notice the difference.
May 15, 2005 Tomorrow will be 3 months post op and I weighed in at 299 last Wednesday! That's 78 pounds gone! I haven't been in the "200s" in about 13 years! I've been to the gym 4 mornings a week the past two weeks and will try to make it five this week. I'm gradually increasing my speed on the treadmill and my repetitions on the weight equipment. I go at 6am each day and really feel better for the rest of the day.
July 4, 2005 What a difference 4 1/2 months has made in my life. I am down 105 lbs below the 377 lbs I started at on 2/16/05. I feel so much better. I have an abundance of energy, a positive attitude, and I look forward to getting up, exercising, and doing something productive each day. I sleep much better, my sleep apnea is gone, and I have so much more energy. I've packed up and given away most of the clothes in my closet and am able to find a few things at the thrift stores to carry me over the next few months as I lose more weight. I still don't like a lot of the foods that formerly produced cravings. I don't like most meats, bread, pasta, or rice. It's hard getting in enough protein so I drink a protein shake each day. My labwork in Seattle last week with Dr. Lauter was good. He says I'm doing great and to just keep doing what I'm doing. I give him a lot of credit. He knows what he is doing and did a great job with me!
August 7, 2005
I now weigh 258 lbs. I continue to be amazed at the difference in my health and energy. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I have gotten my life back. I've been tent camping three times this summer. I get get up and down from my air mattress and change clothes easily inside the tent. I can again enjoy nature, hiking, setting up camp etc. Even in the August heat I go out and do some shopping. I'm no longer a prisoner in my house. My doctor took me off of my high blood pressure meds, and cut my cholesterol med in half. My sleep apnea is completely gone! I feel very good. I still don't like meat. I continue to try new things, but still prefer fruits and vegetables. I make sure I get enough protein in through shakes, beans, cheese, peanut butter, almond butter. I can hardly believe that I am down almost 120 lbs from the date of surgery on 2/15! Truly amazing. My confidence level rises with each pound lost. I am more positive than I have been in years. I am rediscovering my old self!
August 27, 2005 Just returned from a two week absense due to vacations. I am now down to 248 lbs. It's wonderful to have broken into a lower 50 lb segment. I thought maybe my weight loss would slow down by now. I believe I've only had one week where my loss was under one pound. I continue to exercise at the gym during the week. On weekends I don't worry about it. I'm up to about 45 minutes of aerobic exercise and do weight training daily; one half of the program one day and the other half the next. I've been taken off of my high blood pressure medication and my cholesterol medication has been cut in half. My thinning hair seems to have stopped falling out. It never did get too bad as I had very thick hair to start with. I am finding a few more foods that I tolerate well. Black eyed peas, beans of any kind, especially my friend Lynn's homemade refried beans, 1/4 of a small chicken salad sandwich, most fruits and veggies, baked potatoes. Still really don't like almost any kind of meat. If the meat is in soup it's not too bad. I also had a couple of fries and a piece of cod in Canada. I can again eat a piece of regular cheese. I slice apples and cheese for a snack. Life is good.
September 18, 2005. I'm now 7 months post op. I weigh 239 for a loss of 138 lbs from a high of 377. Unbelievable and amazing! I feel so good. I've completely cleaned out my closet passing on my old clothes to a friend who had surgery 3 months ago. Another friend who is 1 1/2 yrs. post op gave me a new wardrobe. Worked out great. I had a wonderful summer and fall is going well. I can handle my work and play oh so much better. I'm enjoying life so much. I have the energy to do a lot more than last year and I look forward to even more in the months to come.
October 14, 2005. Eight months post WLS. I weigh 233. Weight loss has slowed a lot. I'm still exercising a lot. Unfortunately old demons have not totally died. I made Oatmeal Pecan Bars and managed to eat (in small amounts) way too many of them. They were loaded with calories and I'm paying the price. Trying to get back on track eating just healthy things. Foods are starting to taste better again and I find myself wanting to graze. Grazing is a weight loss killer for me. I need to nip it in the bud and get back to basics. Other than that I feel great. I get up early, go to the gym, get cleaned up and head off to a full day of working with the two students that I tutor. They are both a challenge and a joy to work with. I feel like I provide a positive role model in their lives.
I can now buy a size 18 regular in the stores even inexpensive stores like Walmart. It's fun to be able to find something cute and cheap that fits!
November 5, 2005 Weight 226 lbs. I'm headed to Seattle today. I have my almost 9 mo post op appointment with Dr. Lauter on Monday. I've had labwork done and am excited to see the results and to see Dr. Lauter and staff. I'm so grateful to him for this surgery. The results so far have been amazing. I still find it hard to believe that I am over 150 lbs lighter than I was 9 months ago. On a daily basis I have a lot of energy, I can walk miles without getting tired (MILES!) I hope to be off of my cholesterol meds soon. I will schedule a followup with my PCP the end of November. I still haven't resolved my calcium issue. I've been taking Viactiv but feel that isn't the best choice. I haven't found a calcium citrate that I can "stomach." They are taste really chalky to me. I'm planning on trying a capsule form. I need to find out the dose requirements.
November 12, 2005.Had my almost 9 mo checkup with Dr. Lauter in Seattle last Monday. I weighed 224 lbs for a lost of 153 lbs in a little less than 9 months. He was delighted with my progress. My labwork was excellent. He says to just keep doing what I'm doing. He'll see me again in February at one year and then yearly after that. I have an appt with my PCP on 11/28. I'm going to ask her about having a bone scan done. That way I will have a baseline to follow. Don't know if insurance will cover it or not. I'm having some lower back pains. Dr. Lauter and the chiropractor say that all of the hanging stomach skin can cause that. I'm sure Uniform Medical Plan being the wonderful, caring (NOT) insurance plan that they are will "not even if medically necessary" cover PS either. But I'll document anyway, just in case. I'm not even considering it until at least next year. I'm continuing to exercise and do weights hoping to strengthen and tighten up as much as possible.
November 30, 2005. Weight 220 lbs. Going slow now, but still going in the right direction. People comment that I look like I've lost a lot of weight in the past couple of months. It's really only about 15 lbs, but I'm exercising a lot at the gym and going for walks with Maggie around the neighborhood. Must be firming up. This Thanksgiving I had so much to be thankful for. First Thanksgiving in memory where I wasn't absolutely miserable at the end of the day. And I enjoyed what food I did eat. I just had a couple of bites of whatever I wanted and that satisfied me as much as the "whole thing" would have last year. I'm thinking that I'd really like to be at 199 lbs by my birthday on March 7. At the rate I'm losing it's possible, but not a sure thing. I'll just keeping doing my best, trying to get the nutritious food and supplements in and the weight loss should continue.
December 8, 2005. Finally made it to 219 lbs. Feels good to be there. I'm having a bit of trouble staying out of the Christmas goodies. Unfortunately I don't dump on sugar. I bought some little candies. Bad move. . . I need to forget about those if I hope to see the scale go in the right direction. I'm trying to focus on the "reason for the season", friendships, family, getting together. In my family that always involved lots of good food. . . .It's hard to not focus on that. I'm wearing zip up jeans almost every day. They are so comfortable and warm now that I'm cold this winter.
January 8, 2006. Weighed 213 this past week. Can't believe I haven't posted in a month. The holidays were busy but fun. My focus wasn't food for the first time ever. On December 17th my son and I participated in the Cable Bridge Run. He ran the 10K, I walked the 5K. It felt really good to complete the walk and to realize that this time last year I had to stop to rest just walking into the school building where I work! So many positive changes. Just two more months until I will celebrate my one year WLS anniversary. I'm enjoying shopping in thrift stores for bargain "finds." It's so much fun to be able to find clothes that fit and look nice. I'm continuing to exercise at the gym. Was sick this past week, so just walked during my break at work, but I'll get back to it on Monday. I know it is the main reason that I have had such continued success. I've only had one week that I didn't lose and none that I gained in over 10 months!
February 27, 2006 I've been so busy enjoying life and being active that I forgot to post on my one year WLS anniversary. I now weight 207 lbs down from a starting weight of 377 lbs. That's 170 pounds gone from my 5'3" frame. What a difference it has made. I no longer have sleep apnea or acid reflux. My high blood pressure is gone, my cholesterol levels have plummeted and I just take 1/2 of the med that I was taking for that. I hope my PCP will eliminate that pill soon. I can do so many things that I could not do one year ago. I can tie my shoes without losing my breath, I can take care of all of my personal hygeine needs effortlessly. I can once again sit on the floor comfortably. Today I worked in the yard for 3 hours doing spring cleanup and actually enjoyed it because it didn't hurt and I could do it all! I no longer fear going into restaurants because I can sit anywhere I want to without worrying. I'm enjoying shopping for clothes as I can now buy them in regular stores and they don't cost a fortune. I think most of all I enjoy just being able to go anywhere and do anything I want. Where I used to sit in the car or on the bench somewhere and wish I could participate; now I get out there and walk. I'm taking classes in stained glass and basket weaving. I've participated in a 5K walk/run and have signed up for a 7.5 Mile walk/run in May. I plan to take a kayaking class this spring. Life is good and I have mine back. I plan to make the most of the years that I have left and live it fully. Too much time has been spent not living life just existing. No more of that for me. This has truly been a miracle for me. I still want to lose about 50 more lbs. It's going very slowly now, but that's ok. I'll get there if I just keep doing what I need to do. I exercise at a gym 4-5 times a week, take my supplements, eat as much protein as I can. I will admit that I have the occassional cookie or piece of candy. . . However, in the past I would have had the whole batch or box! Life is good!
May 24, 2006 Last week I finally made if under 200 lbs. I had to take off my pants at TOPS weigh in to make it. The scale read 200.2! No way was I going to stay there. My pants weighed over 1/2 lb so that put me under just barely. On May 7th I completed a 12 K walk (7.4 miles) in Spokane, WA. What a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Prior to WLS I couldn't even walk 1/2 block without having to stop to catch my breath and rest. May 19th I received an award in Seattle at the TOPS State Recognition Days. I lost the most weight in the state of WA in the WLS category. I got all dressed up, strolled down a very long aisle in front of thousands of people, stood on stage, did not feel uncomfortable. My self confidence has grown so much. Not sure what my next goal will be. I have set a final goal of 160 lbs. That will take a while as the weight is going so slowly now, but that's ok. The goal at this point is to just continue in the losing direction not gaining. Shopping is becoming a new compulsion! To be able to find cute clothes that fit is so much fun! Also, in April Mike and I flew to St. Louis. I didn't need a seat belt extension and my lap trap would fit all the way down with room to spare. I just continue to be amazed! I can sit anywhere in restaurants or auditoriums without the fear of not being able to fit. I don't take it for granted but am so grateful.
August 26, 2006
Wow, you know the saying "Time flies when you're having fun?" I can't believe that I haven't updated this profile since late May. And school starts this week. Suffice it to say that I am living life fully and making up for lost time. My weight loss has really slowed down. Part of that is my fault. I haven't been going to the gym much the summer. Just got way too busy and haven't been making that a priority. I know that I need to get back to it and will make that a part of my morning schedule again this fall. I now weigh 194 lbs a loss of 183 lbs since surgery on 2/16/05. The middle of June I flew to St. Louis, rented a car, and 23 days later returned to St. Louis having put over 5000 miles on the car. I had a wonderful trip and it just confirmed that I can do anything I put my mind to. I visited family and friends, toured historic sites, met about 8 of the friends I've met her on the OFF (Over Fifty Forum), walked on beaches, collected shells, endured the heat and humidity with no problems. That alone used to do me in! Since I returned home July 7th I've been on a camping/hiking trip to the mountains and to Lake Tahoe for a family reunion. Life just keeps getting better. I had bloodwork done this week for an appointment with my PCP next week. At that time I hope she will tell me that I can continue to NOT take cholesterol medication. At this point I still take a small thyroid pill and one for restless legs syndrome. Nothing else except my supplements. Life is so good! I truly feel that I can do anything that I want to. I wear size 14/16 and would like to still lose about 35 lbs. I know that it will take work to do it. I just feel so much better and healthier than I did. This was truly a life saving proceedure for me. I highly recommend it.
January 17, 2007
Haven't updated my profile in ages and have to idea where this will show up. May be at the beginning or the end. Hope it's in order at the end but with the date maybe people can figure it out. I'm fast approaching my 2 yr WLS anniversary on 2/15/07. I now weigh 194 lbs. down from a high of 377 lbs. I'm just 5'3". I stil lwant to lose about another 30 lbs. I hope to have an upper thigh life and lower body "something". Will have a consultation this spring to see what the recommended plastic surgeon thinks. I have a lot of stretched out skin but hey it's not full of 183 lbs of excess fat anymore~! My daughter got married last weekend. How wonderful to not be hiding from the camera. I actually enjoyed being in the center of things. Even lit a candle in the ceremony and felt like I looked nice! What a change. Two years ago I would have been so uncomfortable with any part of that. Still don't like the way I look in pictures. I need an "Oprah" team to get me ready and then another person who can make me feel comfortable in front of a camera. To all of you out there researching WLS this is among the very best decisions I have ever made! No regrets. I can participate in life again and I'm doing exactly that. On Ja4-8 I flew to San Diego. I met Janet W, Nancy B, Ruth, and Melody from OFF. What a time we had. It is so much fun to meet these wonderful people in person. If you get a chance do it! Most of us have people on the Over Fifty Forum or our state forums within a few hours drive of us. Take the initiative. Meet someone for lunch or to shop. It has added so much to my life. Wishing you all the best.
August 26, 2007
Wow, I can't believe that I haven't updated this profile since the beginning of the year. But then again, what a year it has been. Those of you who have been with me on this journey for a while know must of it, but I'll do the short version for those new to OH or OFF (over fifty forum). I started the year with the trip to San Diego to meet up with several of my OFF friends. The week after I returned on Ja 13 our daughter, Erin age 28 married Josh a wonderful young man that we've welcomed to our family. Then the downside. . . I've had two major personal losses this year, not unexpected but still life changing. My Aunt Fae, who had been going through many different treatments for an ever advancing form of cancer passed away on Feb 5th. She had no children so my two cousins and I were her care providers from 60 miles away. We over saw home health care, took turns staying weekends, and made the decision of when she had to go into a full care facility a few weeks before she died. About 6 weeks after she died my dear 95 year old mom fell out in her yard while pulling weeds. She broke her hip and to make a short story even shorter her heart was so weak that this extra burden on her health was just too much. She died on April 19 one day short of the day 20 years before when her twin brother Ray died. In the couple of months before she fell she realized two life long dreams. She published a book she had written years before and started a pre school reading program in honor of her first born son, Max Ray Clark, who died of tetanus at age 3.5 in 1938. I think she got her "stuff" done and was ready to go if she couldn't be in her own home, on her own two feet. She was still living alone in her home on the day she fell. Her mind was still very clear and what an awesome roll model she was for me. Her strength of character amazes me daily. I often think "What would Mom do?" when I reach a fork in the road. The main answer that comes back to me is "Just make a decision and go with it. Give it your best and then do it." This summer has been spent in settling two estates, trying not to bring everything home with me that no one else in the family wants, selling my mom's house, watching someone new move into my childhood home that my parents built in 1956. . . . Not all has been sad. My mom was so pleased about the outcome of my WLS two years ago and so proud of me and my return to good health. She "loaned" me the money for the surgery and was so afraid of a bad outcome. I like to think that she gave birth to me twice. We have taken a couple of short trips this summer the most recent to Vancouver Island to visit my brother's summer place with my cousins from St. Louis. On Monday Aug 27 I head to Seattle to have a lower body lift. The doctor anticipates removing about 10 lbs of excess skin and hopefully I'll lose another 10 lbs from surgery. I'm anxious, excited will be glad when it's a done deal. I usually handle things well when I'm in the thick of it; not so good before hand. I'm staying busy and that helps. I have gained back a few pounds. No excuses, letting bad habits come back. Hope to get back on track this fall with a good exercise routine. I'll venture to Dallas for the Great Texas Slumber Party in October to see old friends and meet many that I haven't met in person but feel like I know well from this wonderful on line forum. OH and OFF are my main support systems. If you're just researching this site and contemplating WLS I encourage you to dig deep. Only you can decide what is best for you. I have absolutely no regrets unless that it would have been to have had this surgery years ago. But then again the outcome might not have been as positive as it has been for me. I'll update again after my upcoming surgery.
(Kirkland, WA) - Evergreen Hospital
Travel - Went on my first cruise to Alaska in 2003.
Dogs - I am the mother of a 3 yr old Yorkie named Maggie.
Genealogy & Family History - I can get lost for days in family research.
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: David Lauter M.D.
I'm now one week post op from LAP RNY with Dr. David Lauter in Kirkland, WA. He is personable, professional, very competent, and reliable. His office staff was great. I often had to leave a message but they always got back to me within a day. My hospital experience at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland could not have been better. I saw Dr. Lauter at least twice a day, had excellent care in the hospital, and was released after two days. I felt so confident in his professional experience. He has a 90 day follow up program. I will see him in 3 weeks after following my "liquids" instructions closely. Dr. Lauter doesn't say a lot, but is very thorough and had plenty of time when I was there to see him. I highly recommend him.
uniform medical plan
I'm still working on this. I'm now at the Independent Review Appeal stage. It's a long, drawn out process trying to show "medical necessity" with Uniform Medical. I've been working on this since May of 2004. Don't have anything good to say about Uniform Medical Plan. They are still in the dark ages. They will pay $12,500 every two years for drug/alcohol treatment but won't cover any of this surgery. I know that I treat food exactly like an addict treats drug/or alcohol. And to really slam the door in my face the policy reads, "Even if Medically necessary we won't cover it!"