THE NUMBERS - NOT THE STORY
Jul 19, 2009
|AMY MAURER 09/05/1970 WEIGHT LOSS PROGRESS|
|Heaviest Weight 08/21/08||404|
|Dr. Srikanth Consult 10/18/08||386|
|Ideal Body Weight:||142|
|Starting Excess Weight||264 / 246|
|Pounds Lost to Date||174 / 156||YOU'RE DOING GREAT!|
|% Excess Weight Loss to Date||65.91 % / 63.41||KEEP IT UP!|
|Personal Goal of 82.3 % EWL||Weigh 185 Pounds||YOU CAN DO IT!|
|Starting Pounds to Lose to reach Personal Goal of 185 lbs||219 / 201|
|Pounds Lost to Date||174 / 156|
|% Loss Achieved Towards Goal||79.45/ 77.61|
|Pounds Remaining to Personal Goal||45|
|BMI Tracking to Date||65.2 to 37.1 = 28.1 BMI Points Lost to Date|
|WEIGHT LOSS CHART|
|Date||Weight||Total Pounds Lost||Dr. Srikanth Pounds Lost||Bechmark Dates|
|10/18/08||386*||Consultation - Down 18 lbs!|
|11/19/08||364||Surgery Date - Personal First Goal Met - Down 40 lbs!|
|01/19/09||319||2nd Post-op Appointment - Down 45 pounce Since Surgery|
|02/23/09||302||***WELCOME TO THE CENTURY CLUB***|
|4/16/2009||279||> 50% EWL Since Consult / ARNP AMY VISIT|
|06/16/09||248||Dr. Srikanth "6 Month Post-Op" Appt|
|Total:||174||156||GOOD JOB, AMY|
|10/18/2008 DR. SRIKANTH FIRST GOAL: 10 % EWL (24 POUNDS) BY SURGERY 11/19/2008 - RESULT: ALMOST MADE IT 22 LBS/91.67%|
|11/19/2008 FIRST PERSONAL POST-OP GOAL: WEIGH LESS THAN 300 POUNDS - ACHIEVED 02/25/2009|
|02/25/2009 SECOND PERSONAL POST-OP GOAL: WEIGH 250 OR LESS BY MEGAN'S GRADUATION 05/22/2009 - RESULT: ALMOST - WEIGHT 252 ON 05/22/09|
|06/27/2009 FOURTH PERSONAL POST-OP GOAL: WEIGH 200 POUNDS OR LESS BY MY 39TH BIRTHDAY 09/05/2009|
UPDATE - 2 MONTHS POST-OP
Jan 19, 2009
Today was my 2 Month Post-Op with Dr. Srikanth. I was very nervous (my blood pressure was 155/115 when I arrived and I have no history of hypertension) and then very relieved when he told me that I was doing a super job!
I have lost a total of 85 pounds since 10/01/2008. I lost 40 pounds pre-op between 10/01/08 and date of surgery, 11/19/08. Since Surgery (almost 9 weeks) I have lost an additional 45 pounds (I had a stall week 3, but for the past few weeks have been averaging a loss of one pound daily).
I am very pleased with my progress and very happy that I'm achieving it with a purely restrictive procedure. I'm still on soft foods, but this Wednesday, 01/21/2009, I move to the period of virtual endless possibilities. Obviously, my new tiny tummy is doing its part in allowing me to "eat" only about 1/3 cup of most things thicker/denser than soup. I'm very pleased with my decreased hunger - I literally have to force myself to eat because I am just not hungry! As long as I continue to make healthy food choices, drink my protein, and take my vitamins/supplements I am confident that I can continue losing weight at a steady pace.
The exercise component is a burden for me due to osteoarthritis in both knees, chondromalacia patella, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. While I'm pleased with my weight loss, a part of me is also frustrated because I know that if I could exercise like a normal person; especially aerobic exercise, I'd be losing even faster. That said, I am exercising at least 30 minutes daily; I attend a "gentle yoga" workshop weekly, and physical therapy twice weekly for back pain. My last two PT sessions have been in the pool and I was told today that as a patient, I could use their pool free of charge to walk laps, etc..
I have outgrown most of my clothes. I've been living in clothes that other WLS patients provided to me. In Oct 2008, I was wearing at least 32/24's. I had to purchase a pair of black slacks for a function in Seattle tomorrow night and found that I could fit into pants ranging in size from 22-26 depending on style, manufacturer, etc. I'm wearing size 24 jackets. My regular shirts have gone from 5X to 2X. One of the hardest things to get used to is clothes touching my body. I was definitely of the mind that baggy would camouflage my girth. I am very much looking forward the OH WA Forum members meeting this weekend; to both get rid of some clothes and hopefully find some new ones.
It's not been a bed of roses these past two months. I've dealt with fatigue and exhaustion brought on by both over exertion too quickly and not getting my protein/liquids/supplements in every day with 100% compliance. I'm having issues with rashes under my breasts and in my abdominal folds. I developed a series of boils (I have a history of cystic skin issues) under my arms and around the sides of both breasts which had to be lanced and required antibiotic treatment.
Even given the above, I have never, not for one second, regretted my decision to have WLS. At minus 85 pounds I already have more energy and feel better overall. Each day is a blessing and each day provides a new opportunity for success. I will continue to take advantage of the gifts I've been given and thankful for the support I receive from my family, my friends, my surgeon, and members of this forum.
It's only going to get better!
ps: MY NSV's are too numerous to recount here, but I will tell you that several weeks ago I took a bubble bath; something I'd not done for almost 10 years!
WASHINGTON FORUM GET-TOGETHER ON SATURDAY 01/24/2009
Jan 18, 2009
1) All Procedures Welcome. Pre-Op’s Welcome. Support (spouse, partner, friends) Welcome.
2) Healthy Snack Potluck: Please bring a snack that can be shared by the group. The only requirement is that each "dish" be accompanied by a recipe or list of ingredients and includes nutritional information (protein/fat/sugar/calorie content) so that every person, regardless of WLS procedure, can make an informed decision as to whether or not to eat the snack. Beverages will be provided.
3) Protein Shake Swap: Got a great tasting shake that you think others should try? Bring 10 servings, each in an individual baggie with nutritional information, to swap with others. A blender and cups will be available so that shakes can be tasted at the meeting.
4) Clothing Swap: Is your closet too full of clothes that you can no longer wear because you've lost weight? Are you near the end of your ability to "shop in your own closet" for smaller sizes? Does the idea of spending money on clothes that you'll only be able to wear for a few weeks or months just turn your stomach? Bring your now too big clothes (please make sure they are clean and in good shape) to the swap (no underwear, please - but bras and swimwear welcome). You'll be helping someone else and in all likelihood find a few "new" outfits for yourself.
5) Product Giveaway: Did you buy a canister of that new protein shake that everyone raved was so delicious and discover it made you gag? How about chewable vitamins that you found unpalatable? Are you stuck with a whole lot of baby spoons, sippee cups, etc. that you want to give away? Bring them to the meeting! One person's junk is another person's treasure!
6) Door Prizes: Like they say, you have to be present to win!
7) On-site childcare provided.
Short & Sweet Update
Jan 10, 2009
BABS & ME
Dec 04, 2008
LAST NIGHT MY HUSBAND AND I WERE VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE HAD THE
SHE IS VISITING THE
BARBARA IS A PHENOMENAL WOMAN AND WE GOT ALONG VERY WELL. IT WAS EXTREMELY NICE TO SIT FACE TO FACE WITH A PERSON WHO, AT 81/2 MONTHS POST-OP, HAS LOST A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF EXCESS WEIGHT AS A RESULT OF PURELY RESTRICTIVE WLS. SHE IS HAPPY AND HEALTHY! AFTER COMPARING “FAT” STORIES, THE CONVERSATION EVOLVED TO INCLUDE WORK, FAMILY, AND EVEN RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.
ASIDE FROM HOW MUCH I PERSONALLY ENJOYED THE EVENING, I KNOW THAT MEETING BARBARA WAS ALSO EXTREMELY HELPFUL TO MY HUSBAND, JOEL. NOT ONLY IS SHE LIVING PROOF THAT VSG WORKS, SHE WAS FULL OF GOOD “ADVICE” FOR HIM IN TERMS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPPORTING ME. IT WAS ALSO NICE FOR HIM TO BE ABLE TO SEE THE WAY SHE LOOKED AT THE MENU, MADE HER SELECTION, AND ATE SO THAT HE COULD GET AN IDEA OF THE WAY, ONCE I AM ABLE TO RETURN TO A “
ALL IN ALL, IT WAS A VERY GOOD EVENING INDEED!
lS YOUR SURGEON ALWAYS RUNNlNG LATE, TOO?
Nov 30, 2008
EVERY SO OFTEN, l'LL SEE POSTS FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE ABSOLUTELY LlVlD ABOUT HOW LONG THEY SPENT WAlTlNG FOR THElR DOCTOR TO SEE THEM. l USUALLY DON'T EVEN READ THOSE THREADS. HOWEVER, l CAME ACROSS ONE SUCH POST TODAY FROM A PERSON WHO ALSO SEES DR. SRlKANTH. BECAUSE l KNOW THAT DR. SRlKANTH HAS A REPUTATlON FOR BElNG HABlTUALLY TARDY, l READ THE POST AND ALLOWED MYSELF TO GET lRKED. MY REPLY TO THE ORlGlNAL POSTER lS BELOW. l THOUGHT l'D SHARE lT WlTH A WlDER AUDlENCE BECAUSE THE lSSUE OF WAlT TlMES lN DOCTORS' OFFlCES SEEMS TO BE AN ALMOST UNlVERSAL COMPLAlNT. ONCE AGAlN, THE POWER OF A POSlTlVE ATTlTUDE CAN SAVE THE DAY!
"DR. SRlKANTH CARES ABOUT HlS PATlENTS; THElR HEALTH, THElR SUCCESS, THElR HAPPlNESS, AND YES, EVEN THElR TlME. l DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT l'VE BEEN TO LOTS OF DOCTORS WHO SAW ME AT THE APPOlNTED TlME, WHlCH lS GOOD, BUT MOST ALSO SEEMED RUSHED AND MADE ME FEEL LlKE l WASN'T MUCH MORE THAN A NUMBER TO THEM. THOSE ARE THE DOCTORS WHO NEVER TOOK THE TlME TO TEST ME FOR lNSULlN RESlSTANCE, LUPUS, HYPOTHYROlDlSM, SLEEP APNEA, OVARlAN CYSTS, ANEMlA, ETC. ETC. AND WHO USUALLY ElTHER THREW PRESCRlPTlONS AT ME OR TOLD ME THAT EVERYTHlNG UNDER THE SUN FROM A SlMPLE COLD TO ADENOPATHY WOULD BE TOTALLY CURED lF l WOULD JUST LOSE WElGHT BY EATlNG BETTER/EXERClSlNG BEFORE HANDlNG ME A GENERlC LOW CALORlE DlET AND HURRYlNG OFF TO SEE THE NEXT PATlENT.
SO, YES, YOU MAY HAVE TO WAlT A BlT LONGER FOR YOUR APPOlNTMENT BECAUSE DR. SRlKANTH SEEMS TO BE PERPETUALLY TARDY BUT MAYBE YOU CAN BE THANKFUL THAT HE'S THE KlND OF DOCTOR WHO, ONCE HE'S lN THE ROOM WlTH YOU, WlLL SPEND AS MUCH TlME AS NECESSARY TO NOT JUST PERFORM A PERFUNCTORY EXAM , BUT ALSO TO ANSWER QUESTlONS, LlSTEN TO YOUR CONCERNS, AND TAKE ANY PROBLEMS SERlOUSLY. lF HE'S LATE, lT'S PROBABLY BECAUSE HE WAS GlVlNG ANOTHER OF HlS PATlENTS THE CARE THEY DESERVE OR MAYBE THERE WAS A COMPLlCATlON WlTH A SURGERY. REMEMBER, JUST AS YOU MAY HAVE TO WAlT TO SEE HlM AN HOUR AFTER YOUR SCHEDULED APPOlNTMENT TlME, HE HAS TO SEE ALL OF THE PATlENTS ON THE BOOKS FOR THAT DAY WHlCH PROBABLY MEANS HE'S NOT GETTlNG A LUNCH OR STlLL SEElNG PEOPLE WAY BEYOND THE 4:00 PM CLOSE OF THE OFFlCE. l THlNK l DlSCOVERED ONE WAY HE TRlES TO MANAGE HlS TlME; ON THE DAY AFTER MY SURGERY HE SHOWED UP AT THE HOSPlTAL AT 4:30AM TO MAKE SURE l WAS DOlNG WELL. HE WAS AS CHEERFUL, KlND AND OPTlMlSTlC AT 4:30 AM AS HE lS AT EVERY OTHER TlME OF THE DAY! WOW!
lN THE END YOU CAN SlT AND SEETHE OR COMPLAlN LOUDLY lF YOU WANT. HOWEVER, THAT DOESN'T HELP YOU OR ANYONE ELSE. YOU COULD ADVlSE THE OFFlCE MANAGER OF YOUR (AND OTHER PATlENTS) PERSONAL TlME RESTRlCTlONS AND SUGGEST THAT THE ENTlRE SHEDULlNG SYSTEM BE REVlSED TO ALLOW FOR LONGER APPOlNTMENTS SO THAT THERE'S NOT THE HABlTUAL BACK-UP (BUT GlVEN DR. SRlKANTH'S POPULARlTY, l DOUBT THAT'S A POSSlBlLlTY) AND THEN WE'D HAVE THE PLEASURE OF LlSTENlNG TO PEOPLE COMPLAlN ABOUT HOW THERE'S NEVER AN OPENlNG FOR AT LEAST 6 WEEKS. MY SUGGESTlON lS TO TRY TO SCHEDULE THE FlRST APPOlNTMENT OF THE DAY OR THE ONE RlGHT AFTER LUNCH. ALSO, YOU COULD JUST ACCEPT THAT THERE'S PROBLABLY GOlNG TO BE A WAlT, PLAN ACCORDlNGLY, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD BOOK OR MAGAZlNE TO KEEP YOURSELF OCCUPlED, AND BE THANKFUL THAT YOU HAVE A SURGEON WHO CARES MORE ABOUT YOU AND ALL OF HlS PATlENTS THAN WHAT THE CLOCK SAYS."
TRUE OR FALES: HIGH BMI PATIENTS SHOULD ONLY CONSIDER BYPASS
Nov 26, 2008
This entry is not intended to be contentious nor is it my claim to know what is in anyone's best interest other than my own. I don't care what WLS anyone chooses; I do care that people make informed decisions based on medical evidence. Every WLS has its pro's and cons and every WLS can be eaten around. While it is true that VSG is a solely strictly restrictive procedure, it is very unlike the Lap-Band in terms of surgical modification to anatomy, post-op complications , and success rates. Factually speaking, for persons with BMI's over 50 and significant co-morbidities, the VSG can be an ideal "first step" weight loss surgery (when coupled with the bypass portion of a DS at a later date) due to decreased surgical risks and complication rates and there is growing evidence of its success as a stand alone procedure for high BMI patients. Please see
OBESSURG VSG for morbid obesity 07/2007
SURGTODAY VSG vs. LAGB for BMI > 60 04/2008
Every person considering WLS should compile both medical and anecdotal (experience-based) evidence as well as consult with a qualified bariatric surgeon in order to choose the procedure that is best for him/her alone. It's not as easy as saying low BMI's "only need restriction" and all high BMI's "need bypass". I started with a BMI of 65.2 and chose VSG. Since my highest weight of 404 lbs on 08/21/2008 I have lost 50 pounds (including 10 pounds since surgery one week ago today).
In an effort to help those interested in researching WLS procedures or any medical issue online, I am posting this link to an article from the NIH "How to Evaluate Health Information on the Internet" http://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/How_To_Evaluate_Hea lth_Information_on_the_Internet_Questions_and_Answers.aspx
I wish success for every person who makes the courageous decision to undergo WLS, regardless of procedure chosen, in an effort to lead a longer, healthier, and happier life.
Supporting an Obese Person
Nov 24, 2008
Even in the short amount of time I've been a member of obesityhelp.com, I see threads every several days where members are wondering who they should tell about their decision to have WLS and/or having to deal with unsupportive "friends". Today, one member wrote about her "best friend" not supporting her decision get VSG. She indicated that this person thought she was making a mistake and couldn't understand why diet and exercise alone are not enough for many people for many reasons. This was my response to her:
"...I chose only to tell those people whom I knew would be supportive. I've been "sick" for a very long time and my close relatives and friends have all seen me go from a happy fat person to an extremely depressed fat person over the course of 12 short months. My medical issues, for the most part, aren't caused by my obesity, but they're certainly exacerbated by it. It was towards the end of August of this year when, after literally seeing either my personal physician or a specialist every few weeks for months on end and finally being told that I'd have to learn how to manage my pain, lack of energy, sense of declining mental acuity, worsening depression, et al that I decided to take matters into my own hands and get WLS. I knew that it wasn't going to be a magic bullet in terms of either making me skinny or resolving all of my medical issues. I also knew, however, that it was the only way for me to take back considerable control of my own life.
I've weighed over 300 pounds for over ten years and on 8/21/2008 I hit my high of 404 pounds. Obviously, we've been inundated with messages about the obesity epidemic and have grown quite accustomed to commercials for various weight loss products, including surgery. However, as I said, I was a relatively happy fat person and none of my worsening physical ailments was going to kill me anytime soon and so I, too, am guilty of having thought that WLS was at best a sign of defeat and at worst a cop-out for people only interested in cosmetic change. It was only when I accepted that WLS was actually my best chance at success, not just in terms of significant weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight, but more importantly in terms of my mental and physical health, that I decided to get surgery and tell others of my decision.
Perhaps if you were to explain to your friend all of the reasons why WLS is in your best interest and that you'd appreciate her support but don't require it, she'd begin to understand that your first job in any endeavor is to make yourself happy. Perhaps she's not accustomed to you actually standing your ground. Perhaps she doesn't realize just how many aspects of your life are affected by your obesity or the struggles you face daily. Perhaps she thinks you're choosing a quick fix and doesn't have the real facts about the procedure (if that's the case, I'd be happy to share with you a list of online links to research articles) or understand that any procedure is just a tool that will requires a lifetime of commitment to first lose weight and then to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps she is afraid for your safety. I think that asking her to join you at a seminar is a fabulous idea and an invitation that she should eagerly accept if she truly wants what is best for you.
It's rare to find a person who will turn a blind eye to the needs of another, especially a friend, when they are presented with the truth. My only advice is to be completely honest about your needs and expectations. I sincerely hope that she is your best friend and will ultimately support your decision.
I'm sending you lots of good vibes! Be honest and be brave. Do what you have to do. Ask her to join you. If she declines, it is her loss..."
I truly wish that everyone who thinks that WLS is somehow less respectable than diet and exercise in every instance could spend a just a few days in my shoes. I want them to feel pain as they struggle out of bed after taking off the CPAP machine that literally ensures they won't suffocate in their sleep. I want them to feel the workout that just taking a shower and preparing for the day gives. I want them to have to carefully powder or put ointment in creases of fat so that yeast infections or dermatitis doesn't develop or worsen. I want them not to be able to comply with mandatory seat belt laws. I want them to struggle to get in and out of the car. I want them to have to always ask for a table when they walk into a restaurant. I want them to be forced to stand in public places because seating that will accommodate them may not be available. I want them to have to special order clothing and pay upwards of $50.00 for a quality basic t-shirt or $15.00 for a single pair of pantyhose. I want them to avoid social interactions for fear that someone will make a remark about their weight or go to social functions where others, sometimes strangers, think it's ok to discuss what foods they are putting in their mouths or shamelessly give them diet and exercise tips. I want their knees to go out on them when they are simply walking a straight flat line. I want them to have to buy first class airplane tickets and reserve at least a full-size rental car just so that they can travel in some semblance of comfort. I want them only to be able to shower because getting in and out of the tub is impossible. At the end of the day, I want them to be physically exhausted and for their joints to ache so badly that all they want to do is to sink into a warm bath and realize they can’t because their standard size bathroom tub isn’t big enough. I want them to do all of this as a relatively healthy fat person. Once they've accomplished that I would add additional restraints that come from the myriad of physical ailments and diseases that are common amongst obese people. I would bet that they would be mentally and physically exhausted after just a few days. I want to ask them how they will be able to lose more weight than they'll eventually weigh at goal through diet and exercise and exactly how long they think it will take them to lose over 200 pounds. I then want to tell them that the one medically proven method of achieving long term weight loss shouldn't be considered because they should be stronger than that.
Nov 22, 2008
I just wanted y'all to know that I posted an update in both the VSG and WA forums and uploaded some surgery photos to my profile.
I need to thank you for all of your support and encouragement. It was a key factor in my success pre-op and will continue to play an enormous role in my continued success. I feel so lucky to have stumbled across obesityhelp.com when I started my research and blessed to have been welcomed into a community of such extraordinary people. I'm a relatively private person and I didn't know if I would do well in this type of setting given that it's forced me to personally confront and share my struggles about the biggest secret shame of my life; my obesity. Happily, though, it's turned out that this site and the friendships that I've made have allowed me to not only confront, but also to start dealing effectively with what has evolved from my secret shame to my publicly recognized formidable adversary. I truly appreciate everything that everyone has done thus far, from making me laugh to allowing me to cry. I have a sense now of what Sally Field must have been feeling when in her Oscar acceptance she uttered the words, "you like me, you really like me." It's such an awe-inspiring feeling to be part of this community.
And, now, just typing this, I have begun to cry. My feelings, normally carefully guarded, have been given free reign and it's just so amazing to feel, to the core of my being, the light of hope and the possibility of success. Thank you. I only hope that I can be as good of friends with you as you've been to me.
OFFICIAL PROCLAMATION FOR 18NOV2008 - 1 DAY PRE-OP
Nov 18, 2008
Here ye Here ye, let it be known that by special order of the Supreme Ruler and Grand Duchess of Excess, Amy, it is pronounced that this day, Tuesday the 18th of November in the Year of Our Lord 2008, has been declared “ ’Amy is Princess for a Day’ Day” in the Kingdom of Fanciful Imagination. This celebration shall continue for 24 hours or until Amy has successfully undergone surgical removal of 85% of her stomach. Observance is to commence immediately.
On this day, Amy’s subjects (many of whom exist only in her mind) are required to cater to her every whim happily. There shall be no mention of any perceived excess, whispered or otherwise, of her demands regardless of frivolity or hardship in accomplishment. “Princess Amy” shall be pampered in every conceivable way by her smiling and suppliant subjects.
At 12:00 PM Pacific, Amy will embark upon a journey to an enchanted village known as Gene Juarez Salon and Day Spa. There, she shall be pampered like a pretty, pretty princess while having a facial, manicure and pedicure. On her way back to her
Upon her return to the castle, Amy will indulge in a lengthy nap followed by many hours of procuring music for her I-pod, reading, playing with Sir Maximilian and generally lounging about. “Princess Amy” shall eagerly await the arrival of the Queen Mother later this evening.
Let it be known that failure to properly celebrate or assist Amy in the realization of her duties as Princess for the Day shall result in immediate punishment, known simply as death by a thousand sharp tongue lashings and possible exile to the land of invisibility. His Highness, Duke El Butthead is on special alert to be on his best behavior.
Go forth and be happy!