Apr 19, 2007

I am still in shock!! I am approved!! My date is June 21st! I am so excited and nervous!! I have all of my pre--op calsses lined up and now the waiting begins. My husband is so excited for me and so supportive. I will update after I take the classes in the beginning of  June!!

my 5th weigh in

Mar 08, 2007

i had my 5th month weigh in today- i had gained 3 lbs. hmmmm... kinda depressing but my doctor said don't worry because my BMI is just right at 40- so i have some room to go up and down
 I have a regular gyn appt. next wed march 14th and will ask her to write a letter too
my chiropractor that i see monthly for joint pain and adjustments will write a letter also 
my appointment  with the social worker- for the psych eval- on march 21st and then my last  weigh in is in april-
i think this is funny because i am also a social worker and have my LCSW - my husband jokes that i should do my own psych eval on myself-  NOT! :-)
i am also meeting with a dietician on my own and will go grocery shopping with her and get more educated about appropriate portion sizes and food groups
 i am getting really impatient and and want this waiting period over with.... i am really nervous about insurance approval --- (I just have to trust in myself that i have done everything necessary and gone beyond what Aetna insurance has asked of me-- i am attatching my personal letter at the bottom of this post-  more next week

To Whom It May Concern:


I am writing to tell you about myself and to request approval for the Lap Band procedure.


My name is Angela Gregory, I am 5’3” and weigh 233 pounds. That puts my BMI at 41.3.  My weight has always been an issue in my life. I knew from a fairly early age that I would struggle with my weight and my metabolism, as both of my grandmothers, aunts and my own mother are overweight as well as many other first-degree family members. The ravages of type II diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, asthma, arthritis and countless other medical issues have already heavily taken their toll on these same family members, all undoubtedly attributable to their inability to maintain an acceptable weight. Therefore, I am rightfully concerned about how my weight has and will inevitably continue to affect my overall health in the years to come.


Let me elaborate on my diet and weight loss attempts.  I have been overweight most of my life.  Actually in retrospect, what was presented to me as being overweight as a pre-teen, I would love to be now!


The first time I realized I had a problem was in 1987, I was 14. I was going to Weight Watchers.  I would lose a few pounds, only to regain them, plus 50% of what I lost. By the age of 16, I had been to numerous programs including Weight Watchers (twice), a Nutritionist, and Physician's Weight Loss. I was also prescribed low calorie diets and exercise programs by my pediatrician and a nutritionist.

By puberty, it was evident my weight would have serious impact on my physical and emotional health.


After graduating high school at 17 years old, I weighed 175 lbs while all my friends weighed about 115 lbs. My weight didn't stop there, over the next few years during college I put on another 25 lbs to bring me to an even 200 lbs. I have been on numerous diets and took countless diet pills over the years to try and control my weight.


Finding desks I could fit in created additional stressors in my transition to college. Additionally, my low self-esteem and insecurities prevented me from attending some parties or social gatherings while in school. What should have been the most exciting time in my life was hampered by my obsession with people's perceptions of my physical appearance and fears of being judged and teased.


In 1992, at 19, I had a bilateral breast reduction. Insurance did approve this surgery and covered all expenses. Four pounds were removed from my breasts total.  I was amazed at the first time I could wear normal tops that buttoned.  It did wonders for my self esteem.

In 1996, at 22, I was in my Masters of Social Work program at VCU.  I was wearing a size 18 and it was then I made the decision to do everything in my power to lose weight. I joined a gym, New Fitness for Ladies. I was starving myself consuming only 10 fat grams or less per day.


In 1997, by the age of 23, I was engaged and excited about the upcoming wedding. It was then that my weight reached a major plateau. I began taking diet pills, including herbal supplements, Phen-Phen. I tried various fad diets including, but not limited to slim fast, cereal diet and low/no carbohydrate diets. Within eight months I was at my all-time lowest weight of 150 lbs. and wearing a misses size 14. I was starving myself so I would not be considered a “fat bride”. The wedding was beautiful but by the end of the honeymoon I had gained back 10 pounds.

After the wedding, I watched in horror as my weight began to steadily climb. Each pound I gained caused me increased pain and humiliation. I felt like a failure, which resulted in depression. This created a vicious cycle of over-eating and decreased physical activity. In 2001,by the age of 27, I was back up to 200 pounds.


My weight has always been an issue in my life. I tried every diet out there with some success, but I always gained it back and then some.


I have made many attempts to lose weight, including:


  • Weight Watchers 1987, 14 yrs old., 1997, 2000, 2006-present


  • Herbal Life 2005


  • Atkins diet 2003, 2004


  • Mayo Clinic Diet 1990


  • Physician Weight Loss Program 1989 and present 2007


  • Nutritionist consults  1989


  • Acupuncture 1999- present


  • Gym memberships  1985–1991Raintree Swim and                                            Racquet Club,  1996 New Fitness for Ladies


  • Richard Simmons  1999


  • Redux  1997


  • Slim-Fast 1997


  • Phen-fen 1998


  • Xenical prescribed to me by my PCS Katherine Smallwood in 2002


  • ...and many of the over-the-counter diet plans and diet medications.


 Most recently, I have been on a diet prescribed to me by my PCP from November 2006 through today (low portion, low fat and exercise).


I now weigh enough to be considered “Morbidly Obese”. As a            Hospice Medical Social Worker, I know what that means. I know I have to do something. It is scary that I get shortness of breath from simply tying my child’s shoes. My joints hurt every day and I am beginning to get really scared, scared of being incapacitated and unable to care for my family.


Not a day goes by that I don't feel the physical or emotional effects of my obesity. I am limited from standing or walking for long periods of time because of the tremendous pain I encounter in my hips, knees and ankles. There are nights I am startled awake choking on acid that floods my esophagus and throat. I suffer from acid reflux and take 30 mg of Prevacid a day. I also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, diagnosed in 2003. I have frequent severe headaches and dizzy spells. I sometimes avoid new places because I fear the humiliation of being made fun of or not fitting into a chair, or booth. New situations cause me anxiety that it often puts strain on my relationships.


I will give a rather graphic description of some of the more aggravating problems that hinder me constantly to illustrate that daily living like this is NOT fun or desirable:

1) Hygiene issues: Washing my pubic area or wiping after a BM are difficult to get myself really clean.

2) Skin rashes: Yeast skin rashes develop in the folds of my skin  folds between my belly and vagina. It smells, is red and I have ingrown hairs. My breasts get rashes underneath.  I use Lotrimin or Monistat cream.

3) Back, Neck and Shoulder pain: I have been seeing a Chiropractor for treatment of the back pain since 1999. Please see the enclosed letter from Dr. Michael Spagnolo.

4) Knee and hip pain: This pain is beginning to restrict my mobility and I have difficulty tying my shoes, putting on socks, cutting my toenails, shaving my legs, crossing my legs, sitting for long periods of time, the list goes on. Of course, all of these things I can do when I am thin.

5) Snoring: Nightly – My husband has to gently urge me to turn over so the snoring will stop. I wake up frequently choking on stomach acid.


6) Incontinence: I wear a pad daily- when I bend over quickly, cough or laugh really hard I leak. I keep a spare change of clothes with me at all times.

7) Other annoying issues: Increased hair growth- everywhere.


I try to be a happy person in other aspects of my life. I am an intelligent, good humored, and an attractive “pretty face” woman with a terrific husband and two healthy children. I love being a mom.  I neither drink alcohol, do drugs or smoke. I have a zest for life that is being hindered by my health.


These obstacles, combined with my genetic predisposition have caused me to search for a permanent solution to my obesity. I see the future I am facing, and it terrifies me.  It is now, after 20 years of being obese, obvious that many co-morbidities including diabetes and coronary problems are headed my way unless I take matters into my hands and make a lifestyle change.

I have researched the Laparoscopic Lap-Band Procedure, and believe it is my chance at a normal life. I want to experience playing with my children without getting out of breath and saying, “Mommy needs a break”. I want to experience the confidence of walking into a room without fear of meeting a stranger or sitting in a chair. I want to go through a day in which my weight is not the first thing I think of when I wake up, and the last thing I think of before I go to sleep.


I am prepared to make any and all necessary changes to my lifestyle and eating habits in order to make this successful. I also have an excellent support system of my husband, family and friends. I want to live a long happy life.


In my research, one of the aspects I love about the LAP-BAND is that it does not go away; it does not allow you to “fall of the wagon”. It is a constant reminder that I am making a decision to live a healthy lifestyle.








March 2006

Mar 01, 2007

July 2006-----I am exploring weight loss surgery- i think i am leaning toward the lap band- I have so many questions and I am scared - if anything should happen to me - I have a wonderful husband who is super supportive and two children Ben 5 1/2 and a girl 1 1/2-- sigh- I just need to read more--

November 2006 --I attended a seminar at St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond, Virginia-- Commonwealth Surgerons- Dr. Martin presented-- it was very informative and really inspired me to go forward with the lap band-- I have aetna insurance and they require a 6 month weigh in and supervision b y a dietician and physician-- sigh
so begins my 6 months--- i can submit to the insurance company in April-

About Me
Glen Allen, VA
Jan 03, 2007
Member Since

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Latest Blog 3
my 5th weigh in
March 2006