My Story - 144 lbs overweight and in need of help. Mother, Grand-mother, widow.... early 40's. High blood pressure. Having Lap RNY on December 15th, 2004. Entries posted here are chronological, with the most recent ones at the end of the document.
The journey begins.....
August 17, 2004 - Have provided my PCP with all necessary documentation to apply for out-of-the-country surgery through provincial health plan, OHIP. Awaiting decision of OHIP regarding approval to proceed with surgery. Have selected Dr. O'Malley in Rochester as preferred surgeon. Dr. O'Malley came recommended by several Canadian patients. Apparently the surgeon has a 6 month wait, too. This means even if I get approval from the insurance company by October of 2004. I am still looking at next spring before I can have the surgery. In the meantime, my right knee is very sore and my excess weight is the culprit of this aggravated condition. I am constantly dieting. I even use a Resist-a-Ball as my office chair, to try and strengthen my muscles.
I pray for a quick approval and short wait.
September 3, 2004 - Heard from PCP, and all forms have been sent to insurance provider OHIP. Now I wait. Apparently it is a 4-6 week wait. I pray for approval. I really don't want to go through the appeal process. My PCP believes he has done a good letter to accompany the application and I am qualified under the OHIP guidelines. Lets hope his letter is enough information for OHIP to provide an early approval. My birthday is Sept 29th, all I want for my birthday is approval from OHIP.
September 20, 2004 - Still haven't heard from OHIP (insurance) regarding my approval. Called to check and was given the brush-off, as they are over-whelmed with backlog right now.
September 29, 2004 - Today is my Birthday. All I wanted was my OHIP approval. I am still waiting. I called my PCP office this morning and the nurse is going to contact OHIP to check on my claim. The long waits are so frustrating.
September 30, 2004 - My PCP's nurse contacted OHIP and the news was not good. They are holding all gastric bypass applications. I am unhappy with this news and I am trying to confirm if this is a regional or head-office decision of OHIP.
October 8, 2004 - I have contacted the Ministry and my MP, in an effort to find out if OHIP is really holding all applications for gastric bypass surgery. I know of one OSSG member who was approved July 29th and another approved August 12th, but none since. My doctor is still trying to get a further update on the status of my application, but I have not heard back from his staff today. It has been 5 weeks since OHIP received my application.
October 13, 2004 - I am APPROVED !!! Yahoo. Got a call from OHIP, advising that my letter of approval was sent directly to the surgeon's office in Rochester. I called and I have my consultation booked for Wednesday, October 20th. I am so relieved and excited to have passed the insurance hurdle.
October 14, 2004 - Faxed medical history and clearance from my PCP to Dr. O'Malley's office in Rochester. Called to ensure that the documents were received properly. I am all set now for my pre-op consultation on Wednesday, October 20th.
October 25, 2004 - I have returned from Rochester with my surgery date and pre-op testing dates. Surgery is December 15th, 2004. My testing dates are November 19th and 30th. If all goes as planned, I will be at home, resting over the holidays and back to work in the new year.
I wish to thank everyone who helped me with my pre-approval application, especially the members of Toronto Area OSSG. They are the best support group you could ever hope for. If you are considering WLS, be sure to join a local support group.
October 28, 2004 - Only 48 more days until my surgery. I am so excited. Next year I will dress up for Halloween again. I gave up the idea of dressing up when I got too large for most costumes. I hope I can get into those "one size fits all" costumes again next year. I own some, but they are all too small right now.
November 5, 2004 - Only 40 more days until my surgery. 14 days until pre-op testing date. I am so anxious and excited. I am learning about post-ops diets / recipes / protein drinks and vitamin supplements. I am ready to embark on this new life.
I want to:
* Walk my basement stairs without pain - DONE
* Ride a bike - DONE (bought a bike in April 2006)
* Ride a horse
* Wear a bathing suit without embarassment - DONE
* Sunbathe without embarassment, on a public beach - DONE - WASAGA BEACH, JULY 11, 2005...GOING AGAIN JUNE 19, 2006
* Ride a roller coaster - DONE August 2006 in PEI
* Sit on any lawnchair without worry that it will break - DONE
* Play ball with my grandsons - DONE
* Play baseball on a mixed league team
* Make my family proud of me
* Live a long and healthy existence
* Be an inspiration to others looking into WLS - WORKING ON IT.
November 6, 2004 - Found out that I have a wedding to attend in October 2005. Yahoo. I have almost a whole year to work on my weight loss and my health. I hope I can dance all night long. Just being able to buy a dress from a normal dress shop will be a big thrill. I am so excited. Only 39 more days to go.
November 10, 2004 - only 35 more days to go. Whooo Hooo. Only 9 days to pre-op testing and nutritionist appointments. Spending time getting organized for the trip. Looking into Protein Drinks and supplements to take with me. Time can't pass fast enough for me. I would have the surgery today, in a heartbeat! The timing of my surgery is so perfect. I will be home for Christmas and get to spend a couple weeks at home, before returning to work. I can enjoy the holidays with my family and get used to my new lifestyle. My boyfriend's family is going to be a big part of my Christmas this year. I am so looking forward to entertaining them at my house. I know everyone will help out and it will be lots of fun. My last "fat" Christmas.
November 11, 2004 - This day is a holiday in Canada, for government employees, at least. It is Rememberance Day.
November 12, 2004 - 33 more days. WLS Meeting tonight in Mississauga, organized by one of our local members. I can't imagine making it through this without the support of our OSSG members.
November 15, 2004 - 30 more days. Went to WLS Meeting in Mississauga on Friday and met more WLS before and after patients. Will be attending the Barrie meeting on Nov 20th. So anxious, it is hard to wait. Looking forward to getting my pre-op and nutrition appointments over this Friday.
November 18, 2004 - 27 more days. Tomorrow I am off to Rochester for my Nutritionist and my Pre-op Tests. Nutritionist is at 11 am and Pre-ops is at 12:15 pm. I will be driving there and back, alone.
November 19, 2004 - 26 more days. Today I attended my Nutrition and Pre-op Testing appointments at Strong Medical Centre / Highland Hospital in Rochester, NY. Nutrition was a 45 minute counselling session, where we reviewed Dr. O'Malley's 4 diet stages. The Pre-op Tests were just blood work, EKG and chest exray. I arrived in Rochester at 8:30 and was home for dinner.
November 20, 2004 - 25 more days. Today, I attended the Toronto Area OSSG meeting in Barrie, Ontario. I brought my Mom with me to the meeting. She is both nervous and excited for me, as I start this journey. I have talked about my GREAT support group to my family, but this was the first time I ever brought any of the family to the meeting. As this was my last meeting, before my surgery, I wanted my Mom to meet my new friends and be comforted in their successes. From here, only 10 more days to my psych eval (Nov 30th)and then, Rochester.... here I come. Yahoo !!!
BEAR UPDATE - My supportive Toronto Area OSSG friends thoughtfully gave me a surgery buddy. A little copper coloured teddy bear. I have christened him Mini and he will be travelling with me to New York, to help me through my surgery. Thanks so much, my Toronto Area OSSG Friends.
November 22, 2004 - 23 more days to go. Yahoo.....
November 25, 2004 - 20 more days to go... HAPPY THANKSGIVING to my American Friends and my American Surgeon. Less than 3 weeks now. I am so excited.
December 1, 2004 - 14 days today !!! YAHOO. Yesterday, I passed my last pre-op appointment. My psychiatric evaluation. The evaluation was not nearly as detailed as I anticipated. I am happy to have passed all the hurdles necessary to be ready for my operation.
December 2, 2004 - today is my friend Darlene's WLS. Please keep Darlene in your thoughts and prayers for today. Speedy recovery Darlene !!
December 8, 2004 - 7 days today !!! WOW. Time is flying by. I am trying to get my Christmas shopping done and my work completed before next week. I have so much to do to be ready for next week. We are leaving Tuesday and will be staying at the Econolodge on Jefferson Road from the 14th to the 21st. They called last night with my hotel confirmation number. I have made lists of what to pack and am starting to pull the stuff together now. My WLS friend, Darlene, arrived home safe from her surgery on Sunday. Lots of new WLS friends are undergoing WLS in December and early 2005.
December 14, 2004 - 1 more day. Off we head to make the trip from Toronto to Rochester.
December 15, 2004 - Arrived at the hospital at 10:30 am for my 12:30 procedure. Don't recall what time it was when I woke up, but I was in my room and it was all over. Everything went perfectly. I was tender in my stomach, but was able to go it without any additional pain medications.
December 17, 2004 - Released at 10:00 am and went directly to the hotel, where I convalesed until December 22nd. I went mall walking, got my nails done at Walmart, did some last minute Christmas shopping and then attended an evening of Karaoke, Tuesday, Dec 21st at the Blue Moon Bar on Alexander Street. There are some good Karaoke bars in Rochester, for those who are interested.
December 22, 2004 - Got my staples out at 9:20 am and was on my way home from Rochester by 11:00 am. I have my first follow-up appointment scheduled for January 25th. We got out of Rochester just in time to avoid a huge snowstorm. I was home, resting, by 3:00 pm. I was down 13 pounds on checkout from Highland Hospital this morning.
December 26, 2004 - I made it through my pureed Christmas dinner, without a hitch. Conviction of spirit has been high and has kept me from feeling like I am missing out. I focus on how great next year's Christmas will be and it keeps me on a constant high. I am now going to provide only monthly updates. Next update is following my January 25th appointment.
January 1, 2005 - Happy New Year. I had the best New Year ever. My favourite local pub hosted a New Year's Party. Because I couldn't eat regular food, my ticket was at a special discounted price. They served me Crystal Light to drink (my choice of 6 flavours which they bought just for me) and my dinner was a pureed vegetarian surprize. It was delicious. I am so thankful to have the owners of this pub as my friends, they made me feel normal and provided an evening of entertainment as well. I was celebrating the New Year, but secretly celebrating my new start and the 25 pounds that I have shed since December 15th. To all my new found WLS friends, Happy New Year and God Bless.
January 10, 2005 - I returned to work today. I am about 30 pounds lighter. I took the train to work and am getting my walking in from the station to my office building.
January 25, 2005 - Off to Rochester today for my post-op check-up. Left the house at 7 am, for my 11 am appointment. Made it back home, just before a snowstorm rolled in. What a stroke of luck. I am down 40 pounds. I have graduated from pureed foods to soft-cooked foods. I had chicken and vegetables for dinner.
February 1, 2005 - Down 44 pounds now. Doing more walking and light weights to firm up loose skin. Today was my friend's weight loss surgery date. Everything went great for Tammy and she was in recovery when I called. Will call her tomorrow. Congratulations Tammy !!!
February 15, 2005 - Milestone !!! Down 50 pounds on my two month anniversary since Lap RNY with Dr. W. O'Malley.
March 1, 2005 - Travelled to Rochester, through a horrible snow storm, to have my two month check-up. I am down 54 pounds and I am free from Hypertension. (high blood pressure) My next check-up in Rochester is scheduled for July 5th. I just began the final lifestyle diet, which includes red meat, carbonated sugar-free drinks, raw vegetables and moderate amounts of alcohol. Routine and exercise become the focus points for success at this point in the journey.
March 4, 2005 - On Angel duty today. My friend Judy had her RNY with Dr. O'Malley this afternoon. Got to speak to her around 7 pm and everything went well. She is very tired right now, which I can certainly understand. Please join me in wishing Judy congratulations. Her profile is Judy B from Whitby, Ontario.
March 15, 2005 - Today is my 3 month anniversary. I am down 57 pounds. I have begun regular gym workouts and have started taking dance lessons on Saturdays. This Friday (March 18th) I am on angel duty again. This time, my WLS friend Hans is having his Lap RNY at Georgetown Bariatrics in Kentucky. Please join me is wishing Hans good luck on his surgery.
March 20, 2005 - Had to post my success. I hit a milestone today. 60 pounds gone FOREVER. Yahoo. I am at 234 now. My friend Hans was successful in his WLS surgery on Friday. Thanks to all those who sent him well wishes. I will post again in April. I am loving losing, loving my workouts and loving my dance classes. Keeping active is my key to success.
April 4, 2005 - Weight loss has slowed to an almost stand-still. I have increased water, protein and exercise, in an effort to jump-start the loss again....but still it is very slow. I am at 231 pounds now. A total loss of 63 pounds since surgery. I really want to be below 200 pounds. I know it takes time, but I am so anxious. On a lighter note, I am now fitting into size 18 jeans and ladies size XL tops. I have become a regular at Value Village...picking up some vintage clothes that actually fit, while I lose the weight. I attend regular support group meetings and I highly recommend that anyone having WLS take part in these meetings. They are uplifting and a great source of information regarding the WLS process, both before and after surgery.
Spring has sprung !!! Yahoo.
April 25, 2005 - I am at 223 pounds. A loss of 71 pounds to date. Now fitting into a tight size 16 pants. WoooHooo !!!
May 2, 2005 - I am at 222 pounds. A loss of 72 pounds to date. Things are slowing down considerably. Only 1 or 2 pounds per week. I sure wish the weather would warm up, so that I could get more walking into my routine. I finished my dance class and need to add some more weekend exercise.
May 15, 2005 - Down by 74 pounds to a total of 220 pounds.
May 30, 2005 - Down by 76 pounds to a total of 218 pounds.
June 15, 2005 - Down by 78 pounds to a total of 216 pounds. Six month anniversary today. Size 16/18 now.
July 15, 2005 - Down by 84 pounds, to a total of 210 pounds. Seven month anniversary of surgery today. Was able to get into size 14 pants this month. Just returning to work, after two weeks holidays. Time to get back to the gym.
August 4, 2005 - I haven't weighed myself in two weeks. Just been too dang busy helping my mother-in-law to get moved from Ontario to Prince Edward Island. I drove her and her car to PEI over this past weekend. I was to have flown back on Tuesday, August 2nd, but a crash at Toronto airport changed my return date to Wednesday, August 3rd. I got back at 9 pm. Was totally exhausted and went straight to bed. I am at work today and just starting to get back into my routine. I don't think I have lost any weight in the past two weeks, as I had some alcohol during the going away parties. Today, I had a bagel, swiss cheese and a power bar. Power bars were my saving grace during the long drive across Ontario, NY, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, NB and PEI. I stayed overnight in Bangor. I just love it down there. The people are wonderful. Found a lovely little Italian Eatery and Bar. Had three Italian Mudslides before toddling off to bed. What a great trip. I will update my weight on August 15th.
August 15, 2005 - Nothing exciting to update. Only two pounds down from last month. What a horrible plateau I have been on for the past 4 weeks. I just started back on the protein shakes. One shake every morning, to start the day. Switching up my routine, to try and jump-start my stalled weight loss. I really want to make the Century Club by September 29th. (my birthday)
August 21, 2005 - Week one of my increased protein diet and SUCCESS already. Two pounds gone this week. 7 pounds to ONEderland, 12 pounds to the Century Club and only 56 pounds to GOAL !!
September 15, 2005 - Today is my 9th month anniversary of surgery. The loss of 90 pounds is considerably less than what I anticipated, but still a significant achievement. Still working on the increased protein, increased water and increased exercise routine. Its been four weeks and only four pounds gone. Four more pounds to "Onederland", 54 more pounds to my "goal" weight of 150 pounds.
September 29, 2005 - Today is my 44th birthday. I should be happy. I have gone from size 28 to size 14. I am 93 pounds lighter than last year's birthday weight. Why do I feel so down? My emotions are frazzled. I am feeling like the changes in my life are almost overwhelming me. All the things I loved pre-op are changing. Now, I don't know where I am headed or where I belong. Today is a Thursday. I don't weigh-in on Thursdays, so I guess I won't know if I made my goal of Onederland for my birthday. I will weigh-in on Sunday. Lets hope I made it... I need something positive in my life this week. I'm gonna dream I made it, just to help me get through this day.
October 15, 2005.... well, my 10 month anniversary came and went, without a pound. YUK. I just can't seem to jump-start the weight loss. I think I will just focus on my routine and keep away from the scale for awhile. Perhaps its the "watched pot" syndrome.
October 23, 2005 - I made it !!! I am finally in Onederland. Yahoo. 199 pounds. Next goal is the Century Club. 5 more pounds to the Century Club.
November 23, 2005 - Another month has passed and the loss is very slow now. Only 3 pounds gone in one whole month. YUK. On the brighter side, I attended the London Ontario OSSG Christmas GALA last Friday night and had a wonderful time. Met lots of great WLS folks. WOW. Anyone making this journey, stay tight to your support groups. Support truly makes a difference. My upcoming events include my first annual post-op visit, which is scheduled for December 13th in Rochester New York. Then I have my anniversary coming up, on December 15th. What a year. WOW. I highly recommend weight loss surgery. Just follow the plan and take your vitamins. Life can be great.
December 15, 2005 - Happy Rebirthday !!! Today marks one year since the day of my surgery. I had my annual check-up in Rochester on Tuesday, the 13th. Everything went great, except their scale shows me heavier than my scale, which is kinda depressing. Mind you, in Rochester, I was weighed with all my clothes on... including my coat and winter boots, so it of course impacted the numbers. I will continue to stick only to my home scale for keeping track of my progress. Tonight, I am meeting a very special friend for dinner. It is our Christmas get-together, but for me, it is also a very personal celebration. I have gone from size 28 to size 14. I don't want to be finished. I still want to reach my goals. I now have to work much harder to achieve my goals. I still can't believe how great this whole adventure has been. Why make people jump through hoops for this wonderful life-saving surgery. Tuesday, my blood pressure was 107 / 72. WOW. Thanks to everyone who has supported me through my weight loss journey. If you are reading this, and are post-op, best wishes for a very successful journey through weight loss !!! Cheers !!!
December 15, 2005 ... part two... I had a great celebration of life dinner tonight, with my very best friend. We have known each other for over 40 years now. WOW. It was so much fun, reminiscing about our youth and lamenting over our stresses. In retrospect, we were both able to admit that we have good lives and are thankful for our many blessings. Losing this weight, has allowed me to see a much longer life in my future and I hope to be able to enjoy many more years with my dear friend. Cherish your friends and family, for without emotional support, life can be difficult. With support, you can achieve greatness. Love you, my friend !!!!
December 28, 2005... Well, soon it will be 2006. I hope that will be the year of "goal" for me. I have banished the scales until January 15th, but not losing sight of my goals. I have enjoyed an entirely sugar free Christmas. My only treat was 1/2 glass of white wine with Christmas dinner. I had the best Christmas ever. Got lots of beautiful sweaters and some new pyjamas too. (warm ones, LOL) I am back at work and back to my regular routine. The weather has warmed up enough that I was able to get some walking in, over the holidays. Next week, I will be back at the gym, too. Cheers everyone. Loving life !!!
January 15, 2006 - Happy New Year !!! I finally made the Century Club. What a wonderful way to start off the new year. I have 43 pounds to go, to reach my goal weight. I sure hope I can get there. Will update again, in mid February.
January 20, 2006 - Michelle Randall, a volunteer at obesityhelp.com, has added a Century Club card to my profile. Thanks Michelle !!! It looks great!! It feels great to be 100 pounds lighter.
February 15, 2006 - Oh, Man !! How I was hoping to break into the 180's this month ! Major disappointment to have only lost 2 pounds in a whole month. YUK. But, it is 2 more pounds closer to goal, so I'm not complaining too much. Hopefully, the weather will start to improve and I can resume my evening walks. I think my body is really missing them. 14 months post-op today and I've gone from size 26/28 to 12/14. I bought the cutest size 12 jeans this month. What a WOW moment to be able to fit into size 12. With 40 pounds still to go, I really need to step up my exercise.
March 15, 2006 - Another milestone passed today. I finally weighed in at under 190. Yahoo. My loss is really slowed down. Another month with only 2 pounds gone. Hopefully, with spring on the horizon, I'll get more exercise in this month and can start to increase my loss.
April 4, 2006 - This is not a weight update, but I am excited to tell you that I bought a bicycle today. It's a used ladies mountain bike. Cost me $60 at the local second-hand cycle shop. I rode for an hour today and my legs were like jello when I stopped. It's going to take some practice to rebuild my endurance levels. I am so looking forward to spending the summer cycling. Now, bring on the warmer weather, please !
April 15, 2006 - Well, I lost a few pounds this month. The loss is very slow, but I'll take anything that I get. I had my bike out a few times over the Easter Holiday and have started back at walking to the train station. Thank goodness, winter has come to an end.
May 8, 2006 - Just a quickie update to let you all know that I now have a gym in my home. I bought an elliptical trainer this weekend and was given a treadmill and stationary bicycle. I already had free weights and a resist-a-ball, so my gym is pretty complete. I may purchase an exercise mat, but the room is carpeted, so it is not a big rush. I have 7 days left to my next weigh-in. I hope I can get the scale moving with more exercise. I have been very restrictive in my eating habits, but my body just seems to adjust to the lower caloric intake. Upping the exercise might make the difference. I have a wedding in 90 days (August 5th) and I would like to lose some more weight before I have to find an outfit for that wedding. Wish me luck. See you on the 15th, for the monthly weigh-in.
May 15, 2006 - Well, this is the first month that I haven't seen a stick of progress. I have upped my exercise and my protein levels, but it didn't result in any change at the scale. Hopefully, this plateau won't last long. Yeck ! See you next month....with better results.
June 15, 2006 - 8 weeks and only two pounds lost. That is way too slow. I have some major stressors in my life right now and I'm finding it challenging to stay on my exercise program. The stress tires me out. I am still able to stick to my eating regime, which is why I haven't suffered any regain. I don't allow junk food or sugar in my life anymore, but that is not enough of a change to exact the type of progress I need. Only 6 weeks to my vacation and I was so hoping to be down another 10 pounds. Alas, that seems like a pipe dream today. :(
July 15, 2006 - Hooray. Finally a good month. Don't know what the difference was, but I'll take the loss. I am working hard to get to 175 before I go on my summer vacation. We leave July 31st and my August 15th weigh-in will be delayed until I return on August 20th. (Unless I have access to a scale where we are staying)
August 23, 2006 - Well, since I missed my August 15th weigh-in and I really don't want to find out how bad I did on vacation (LOL), I am delaying my next weigh-in until September 15th. I am back on track with my eating plan, now. Hopefully, I can get back below the 178 that I was in mid July. The vacation was fun, but I was not really counting calories. I had several alcoholic drinks and two big juicy lobsters. (LOL)
September 15, 2006 - Well, no gain is good news ! After my holidays, I worked hard to get back into my routine and I am down 2 pounds since July. Not a great loss, but no gain is good news !
October 15, 2006 - Still hanging around the mid to high 170's without much success on the weight loss. Of course, celebrating my birthday with alcohol probably didn't help my weight loss. I have my annual check-up on Tuesday, October 17th and I know the doctor's scales will show me much heavier than my own scales. Especially with the heavier seasonal clothing I will be wearing. It kinda gets me down, thinking about it... but the annual check-up keeps me focused. I'll update after the check-up.
November 15, 2006 - Well, I almost forgot to update. I weighed in early this morning and just haven't found the time to add my post. I'm still plugging along slowly. Lost a whole two pounds this month. The good news on that is that I can now say I am down 120 pounds in total. Only 24 pounds more to reach my goal weight.
(all shown in pounds)
01/15/06........193 .......... 101
|How to make a Karen G|
1 part intelligence
5 parts humour
1 part beauty
Stir together in a glass tumbler with a salted rim. Top it off with a sprinkle of emotion and enjoy!