Title: Journey to the (Th)inner me --- pre-op photos at bottom - I won't win any beauty queen contests for sure with them!

Assuming a reader will be more interested in WL progress that will be posted at the top.
Below wavy lines describes time before surgery.
            (postscript--. june 4,07 had LBL, wt before surgery was 182/185 depending on mood of scales--it is now 3 wks after LBL.  I have dropped 12 pounds.  PS says I may have 4 or 5 pounds fluid left.  I hope so because pants size is the same, but my waist line is way larger..........LOL.  I teasing accused PS of cutting out too much skin and stuffing fat uphill to make the ends meet, and that is why I no longer have a smaller area at the waist area.  Hopefully, my waistline will decrease etc. june 26, 07)

***April 4 SURGERY DAY*** WL progress & info here:
April 3 had to spend night at sleep clinic to get a cpap flow rate done. weighed and am 245. surgery tomorrow.

April 4 surgery- was scheduled for first, but ended up going second--- 1st 2nd --- who cares, but it seemed to freak out the lady who had to go first. (pre-surgery --first visit with surgeon was 251.5 with my shoes on-- they add 2-3 pounds on my scales)....... so I lost 4 pounds prior to surgery.

Woke up to them telling me to breath deep...... pain every time I tried,,,,, I am puffed up with air like a toad frog and can't inhale much. my mouth was dry but not even ice chips for me.

Ap5 went for leak test-- felt like I was going to throw up it was thick and hard to swallow, but I managed 3 sips without puking it up. no leaks.

Back at the room, still no ice chips, nothing until the Dr. orders it............. when I finally got a tray, it had 2 ketchup size cups of salty broth, and a large cup of syrupy sweet protein stuff. Maybe 1 hour later they brought me my next meal tray......... same stuff.......... and I only finished one ketchup cup of broth so far.

two hours later, my third tray arrives, it is getting funny now, I have used 2 ketchum containers of broth and sipped some syrup from the first cup. we are lining them up on the table. They say I am drinking fine....... 2 oz, right...... because they delivered 3 trays, I must have tanked up, yeah right!!! I have sipped and sipped, but so far 3 oz of water. it is now Ap 6 and I am another tray behind. I think they believe that I have guzzled oz of water or something because we moved the stack of oz cups out of the way. the tray table was too backed up with un-used liquid drinks. I am going home (2 nights in the hospital and hit the street Jack!) My poor Dr. had his gall bladder out, so he is off in another hospital......

Ap 12 Dr. visit......... Dr looks better........ he even showed me his boo boo. I am 7 pounds down. He says, a pound a day, in a year I will blow away..... actually, I would be gone before Christmas. I have another appt on Ap. 19

Ap 17 Home scales keep staying on 13 pounds down, no complaints here! But who can drink the amount we are supposed to.
week 1-- was any liquid that would go through a straw.
after Dr. appt on post surgery-- day 8, i was told I could add eggs, runny mashed potatoes, runny macaroni and cheese,cottage cheese (tried them, and I am sticking with liquid protein) Every thing tastes yuck so why eat it, the liquid protein is the best so far.

Ap. 19 Dr vist -- down 15 pounds (234.5) -- told to start trying foods slowly-- soft stuff like tuna salad first -- NO fibrous stuff like steak. can try tomato, apple, and so on, but chew well etc.

4 week visit-- down only 17 pounds.

6 week visit -- down only 20 pounds

June 2 (2mo)- down 23 pounds (226.5) not getting enough protein or water in. (since surgery)

Dr. implied I was eating too much. 1 canned protein drink, 1 low carb yogurt, & crystal lite & water.... most days an occasional few bites of protein that make my stomach hurt, the first bite. Some days (when I am able to buy it), I drink 1/2 of a bottle of 0 carb isopure (yuck!). My family laughed when I told them what the Dr. said. They told me, they had been waiting for me to drop dead from lack of nutrition.... and beginning to wonder if they should run a pool to see who gets closest...........LOL. Somedays, I manage to drink 5 oz of water with a scoop of protein powder in it, also yuck. (Eating is gross, & I am not losing...... and he thinks I MUST BE EATING TOO MUCH..... fat surgery Dr. with a Fat prejudice....... who would have thought!!! at least, that is what I felt like when I left his office. Actually, my weight was 5 pounds less up to the day I went to the Dr. so I think part of it is water retention or slow material in intestines!! But I didn't bother to tell him that.

After the last Dr. visit, I decided if I was not going to lose anyway, I might as well eat a little more occasionally and enjoy it. I did and see the next weight.

July 5 (3mo yesterday) (215.5)down 11 pounds----during 3rd mo
this is a total of 35 pounds in 3 months. Dr. got called to hospital, but I weigh anyway, and will go back in 6 months.

August 3 My scales show me as 210-212. I don't have a Dr. appointment until the 6 month point-- until then I will use home scales to guess my progress.

Sept. 4 (5 months after surgery) My sneaky scales suddenly have me as 205 this morning. They have been playing with me (208, 210, 211, 208.... forever). But today they were suddenly down to 205. 45 pounds in 5 months....... 9pounds/month But I am wearing size 18 pants & 18/20 shirts---- walmart type...... who knows what size in other clothing lines I would need.

Sept 9 (ended up in the hospital NOT RELATED TO WLS) they asked my weight and I told them 205........ they brought in a scales to weigh me......... and cranked it up much higher. I told them that it was too high............. if I was over 205, then it would be between 205 & 210. They had it up around 235 or so, and to measure me they went down, down, down, oops......, down, and finally ended up on 201.......... that was my "Yeah, cool!" moment. I weighed less than I told them, the next day my WLS Dr dropped in to see me, and said he had found out that I was there and came by to say hi........ Turns out that the on-call GP that had admitted me the night before was his wife, and she was working a clinic with Katrina Storm victims, and going to be very late. So he came up to release me, so I didn't have to wait 5 hours for her to be able to come up there. When he walked in he, told me, "Well, look at you in your baggy jeans, and baggy shirt......... you must be really losing weight" I have not seen him in 3 months, there was a surgical emergency when I was in for my last visit, and the next one was to be 3 mo later. So he has not seen me in 3 months, and still wouldn't have seen me for another month if he hadn't come by.

Again, my trip to the hospital had NOTHING to do with WLS, and was NOT a complication of the surgery either.

Sep 29, my daughter recently got cute and decided to zero my scales. since then I have no idea exactly what I have lost.... if any. Then a week ago, we had to flee from hurricane rita. We gave the hotel the info that we were evacuees when we checked in..... they didn't do anything with the info and when we were finally able to get online tonight and then talked to the hotel again, basically we can't get any help for the week we have already paid for.... tonight is the 8th day......... Basic info for anyone who has to flee from a disaster in the future. You better have a credit card with plenty of credit available. We are ok for the present, but I hope my credit card company loves us....... because if not we have a big problem........ LOL Anyway, back at last estimated weight taken I was 201. That was at 5 1/2 months.

Oct. 7 -- 6 mo came & no checkup because of hurricane rita. i am still stuck in meridian ms. it is a nice town, but i would rather be home.......... can't go because of no power to my house. they had to order more transformers. no way to know if I am gaining, losing, or staying the same.

Oct. 17 -- finally back home........... nutty scales cannot decide what I weigh........... 199 or 203........??? of course, who knows, since my daughter played with the zero awhile back. guess, I will figure it out when I go back to the Dr. to make up for the 6 mo check up that the storm cancelled for us.

Oct. 19 at PCP-- 199.2

Oct. 20 at surgeons office -- 199.8

Nov. 15 had lab work done, & have not heard anything so I assume it was ok. My weight bounces back and forth between 199 & 201........ I have not lost anything in a long time. I am exercising, and if anything undereating. It is sort of depressing!!

Nov. 21-- sat in the Dr. office 30 minutes just so I could weigh on their scales...........LOL..... it is official 195.

jan 2 2006 --- 193 in Dr. office 2 months lost 2 pounds --now that is depressing, but better than gaining. But I am wearing a size 18 top, and size 18 pants, some are size 16.

Jan 9 2006 --- in surgeons office 191.

March 15 2006 ------ 190 I am right at 11 1/2 months past surgery, and I have lost 60 pounds. I wear a size 16w jeans, and size 18 top. My health is fine. It seems that I have more energy every day. I can also wear size 18 misses pants. I don't regret the surgery for a minute. I would do it over again in a heart beat, only sooner!!!!

March 31, 2006 weighed 188 on my scales today--- 1 year out

April 8--------- If I lose 3 pounds, I will no longer be obese. I will just be overweight..........LOL Can't wait, that will probably be 3 months...... from now...LOL

april 24 --- 1 year 20 days--- dr appt & I weighed 184, so now down a total of 66 pounds. am doing blood work & will have results later.

May 24 --- scales here have me bouncing between 188 - 190. The 184 before at the Dr. office only happened that one day.... LOL I must have been dehydrated or something..... oh well. I am exercising a lot, but it doesn't seem to help. I guess this is what I am left with..

june 12------ went by Dr. office for B-12 shot and to weigh. weighed in (181.5) 182 , that is a 2 pound loss in 7 weeks........ with lots of exercise. LOL another 5 years and I should hit my normal weight.

Oct 7-06- went to pulmonologist, and weight holding at 182.

Feb 17, 07................ still at 182, still wearing size 16. Guess that is where I will stay. (my scales still show me at 190-192, but Dr offices show me at 182......... sometimes up to 184 --- )

April 30 07-- appt with surgeon today, I called about having lab work done on the way in to make sure Iron levels are ok.

Did not weigh. I have a surgery date june 4. Need good labs or no surgery.
What happend before surgery:
1.Sept. 2004. I began WLS info. search.
2.Signing up for WLS info seminar took awhile. Went in late Nov. 2004.
3.Called for surgeon appt. got Jan 4, 2005.

Jan 4 '05 Surgeon Appt. decided to apply for approval.

Jan. 18-- checked in with Dr. Off. & they couldn't find a copy of approval request letter in my file.

Jan 24 or 25 --checked. told request submitted - Jan. 19

Feb.4 --checked ---nothing from the insurance co.

Feb.7. Called BCBS & requested a coverage booklet last week. BCBS called on Mon. --get booklet copy at work>

I asked BCBS ----how long is was it going to take for them to approve WLS. WE discussed it, and she pulled up computer--- surprise, surprise, I am not in it for review for surgery.

--no paperwork at BCBS. --told them --sent on Jan. 19
How long does approval take? BCBS--> surgery date?
ME--> Dr waits for approval to set a surgery date.
BCBS--> approvals are NOT worked by arrival date, but by surgery date. ^^No Date^^ go on the bottom of the stack....

Me--> "So I could wait 3 or 4 hundred years for approval, because no surgery date is listed?"
Her--> "Well, not 3 or 4 hundred years. Those with a date are worked before those with no date and it could be a long time.... HER--> have the doctor fax the paperwork, & put an "estimated surgery date on it"

CALLED off. ---they got ugly --said that the insurance company was lying---she knew my papers had been sent ---her initials so she "actually sent them when she initialed it".
--too busy blaming insurance co to hear me.

ME--> BCBS processes the surgery approval requests by surgery date, & BCBS wants my papers faxed & to put an estimated date on it (and why).
SHE--> they NEVER put a date and BCBS never told them that. ME--> we need to put a date to get faster approval & I was told to get the office to fax the papers to them, because they didn't have them.

SHE--> again we NEVER put dates before and always eventually get approval.
ME-->You complained it takes 6 weeks for approval, that's why.

doorbell rang - I had to sign for a package-- she hung up, called back got answering machine--left message & ph number.

Feb. 10.(4 am--Th.) Dr. off never called me.
I can now see why approvals take forever.

Feb. 10-- I called Dr. off-- they took my number & said that the person who works with insurance would call. (I asked to check if the fax was sent--no one called so I never got a chance to give them the fax number.)

Feb. 10 --girl called me back to get the BCBS fax number --- "just in case they need it!" translation -- NO FAX SENT!

At least she was willing to pull files & check, & call for fax #.

It bothers me that they have given me several different stories about my paperwork. (Couldn't find it, dictation messed up, had to redo it, no we sent it this date, no we sent it that date.)

Them-->letter done Jan. 10 & sent Jan.19 --when signed

Office staff--> "Well, you only came in on Jan.4, and the letter was done on Jan. 10, and was signed on Jan.19, then mailed."
They don't understand why I expect BCBS to have the papers by Feb. 10 & am concerned when BCBS doesn't have them.

Feb.11--(Fri.)-----didn't call Dr. off or the ins. co. --- Why waste my time?

Feb. 14 (Mon.) Called the Dr........ nothing. Called the insurance--- no paperwork ----BCBS told me......... HAVE them to CALL us, so we CAN APPROVE it.

--called Dr. off.ME-->"BCBS has nothing, BCBS said call--they will enter me in computer & so they can approve me."
Dr. Off--> it would be a first if they took the call --then, told me my ins. co. is UHC--- could this be why BCBS has no paperwork?

ME--> call them, & if they refuse--call me back ---I'll get a specific name & # to call. -- (NO CALL BACK!)

Feb. 15(Tues.) I am approved for surgery and have a date!!
--called BCBS--> "You are approved and you have a surgery date! We got your information yesterday, when they called us, and put it in the computer, and approved it immediately in 1 day"

--called the Dr. off. to set up the required appointments.
DR Off.--> "You do those yourself."
me--> "I don't even know what appointments to make!"

Pulmonary appt. --this week... Cardiac appt--next week... 1st Psych. guy didn't call me back --waited 2days I called another psych. guy.

Feb. 17 Th. Saw pulmonologist.
The test made me cough & raised my blood pressure.
He put me on 5 medicines --- to insure I don't have lung problems during or after surgery & gave an appt. for sleep specialist & a return visit with him & and sent me for a blood test to see if I have an allergy enzyme in my blood that makes me react to all kinds of stuff.
He cleared me for surgery but wants to imporove my lungs for surgery. That works for me-- I am tired of respiration problems!

Feb. 20(Sun.) Pulmo. last Th. - one of the medicines you suck powder into your lungs from a compact-- ($163/mo ins. pd-$43)... I didn't want to know total cost for all, I just paid.

He has me taking reflux med. 2X a day. --ins. co. would only authorize filling 1/2 of months reflux medicine.
Dr. is trying to improve reflux, to improve my lungs before surgery--but ins. co is acting illogicall--like the problem will go away if they only give me 1/2 of the medicine & approving 1 day hospitalization for WLS.

Feb. 23--I saw the cardiologist today.... he wanted me to have a chemical stress test.......... yuck! I hate those!! It is next Thurs. It is better to be safe than sorry. He was too funny. I told him I saw him 3 years ago, & he asked me what he found. I told him, "Evidently, nothing that you were worried about because you didn't tell me I had to come back."

Tomorrow I go to the psych. guy. More after that.

Feb. 24 --Psych. test-- Dr. told me I appeared to be ok for surgery....... and report will go to surgeon in 3 days.

March 3-- Chemical stress test -- if this doesn't kill me nothing will. I felt like I was about to suffocate last time I had this test and I wasn't having lung problems at the time. Now I am....... I CANNOT WAIT! YEAH!! NOT!!!

March 3 ---I went to my cardiologist's office today to do a chemical stress test. If I never have to do that again in my life, it will be too soon. In 7:45 am - out 11:45.
Off and on the rest of the day --terrible abdominal cramps so I am siiting with hot rice socks on my stomach. Test -- (chemical part) 4 minutes --'painful, I can't breathe, and I hope I don't throw up, who hit me in the stomach, woo my abdomen hurts.'
** 4 years ago --it was 10 minutes.... I thought I was going to die before it was done.

Today the poor girls that were doing the test were freaked out afraid that I would suddenly have an asthma attack during the test. I finally told them, "Hey, don't worry about it, if 10 minutes didn't cause asthma or kill me last time, then 4 minutes won't this time. (I keep having chest pains too... I think my heart is pissed off at me!!) At least it is one more test down.

March 4 --I got the other 1/2 of this months prilosec prescription like the insurance required-- it cost $40--- naturally---- how much did they pay??? $0! I returned call to PCP office -- they will call back.

March 7-- PCP office called to schedule mammogram --- called back it is wed. called back... has to be April or insurance won't pay.... called back Ap 29 to avoid surgery date.

March 7 -- Called Surgeon's Off. today to see if all the reports were in and if insurance company had extended approval for 3 days in hospital. I didn't want to get to surgery date and find things not done. She informed me that 'I don't have a surgery date.' I told her --insurance company said approved & date is Ap4. She said, Nope, your date has come and gone.... we gave them Mar.4, and that was only a tentative date... they couldn't schedule a real date without written approval -- they got nothing. BCBS told I was approved & sent me a letter--- DR. never got a letter. I called BCBS ---put on hold for long period-- multiple times .

I asked why the DR. office never got an approval letter as it was needed to get a surgery date. The tentative date had come and gone, because of NO letter.

BCBS girl said ----I didn't have approval for surgery.

I asked, "why did you send me a letter saying I was?"

She said, "You don't have approval for surgery, you have approval for nonlife threatening hypertension."

I informed her that BCBS had just given me permission to have high blood pressure, and that I didn't need their approval because was high already, thanks! Her answer? You guessed it, she put me on hold.

Finally she came back and said, "You are approved for 1 day."

I told her, that one day would be life threatening, and 3 days were required. She said, go for one day, and if I needed more time call and have it approved. I told her, it takes 3 days to make sure you don't have leaks, because leaks can kill you.... approve 3 days. She said get Dr. to call approval dept. I said, I will call the approval dept. she said "you can't"

I demanded that they immediately fax my Dr. a approval confirmation that they had, and insisted that I wait until they did it and told me it was done. They told me that they couldn't possibly do that it would tie the phone lines up too long. I told her they didn't mind tying the phones up leaving me on hold forever and demanded a supervisor. They came back and told me that the supervisor would get back to me, and I said no she won't cause I am going to wait!!!!

At some point they said they needed information for approval anyway, so while on hold I picked up the other phone and had the doctors office fax them the papers again -- then when the girl came back and started the needed info stuff again, I told her the Dr. off. had just faxed it again.... and made her go check!

The Dr. office called me to say they just got a fax for one day approval and that the insurance girl was on the line with BCBS as we spoke. I told her to pass her a note to tell them that it was a 3 day minimum stay so that we didn't have to go back and call again.

When the insurance supervisor came back, and told me they needed information to approve, I told her they just faxed it, call the approval depart. & check. She came back and said they had it they would have to review it, and I asked how long will it take? She came back and said 24 to 48 hrs. I told her I had been waiting since Jan. 19 and there was no excuse for the delay. That the approval depart. said they could take care of it in a few minutes once the girl walked back into the office.... so why would review take up to 2 days. I told her that I expected an approval fax to the Dr. and a letter to both of us, all sent out today. (I think WLS people lose weight because of insurance co. stress, not surgery......LOL. I think I will demand a wig when my hair falls out just to jerk their chain..... they need it yanked!!)

Called Dr. off. & said call me with a surgery date so I can reschedule mammogram.

Honey, I am sending this to Reader's Digest.

Cardio. off. called letter will be faxed to Dr. on Wed. --Cardio. out of office on Tues. and not dictated yet!

PCP off. called --come get letter my job wants-- they did it once already, but misunderstood the date. job wants full time period off so they can hire to fill whole period instead of 1/2 now and then more later. can't blame job.... at the rate I am going with the surgery, I may be out even later.......LOL.

March 8 -- BCBS is making me crazy! yesterday they said that as soon as the lady came back they would approve 3 days and fax it to the Dr. office. Well today, they say that they checked with the hospital, and it accepts 1 day as the standard for the surgery!!!! The hospital isn't doing the surgery!!!!
So now I am approved for 1 day. I told the Dr. office that I had scheduled my mammogram around this surgery, and that they need to actually get a date so I can reschedule the thing again to avoid whatever is going to end up the real date!!! If I don't hear from her tomorrow I am supposed to call them.

March 9 -- called Dr. (still no date) the two docs were discussing their vacations and when they would be available, I mentioned that we would have to let the ins. co. know of the new date once we got one, and they are to call me back...........

March 10--Dr. off. called this morning --I have a surgery date April 4 is my date after all. The hospital is to call with pre-op testing date, and the Dr. off. will call tomorrow to schedule my Dr. visit prior to surgery. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am ecstatic. I am finally really on my way!(Dancing around room...)

March 15 -- attended 2nd support group meeting. another Dr. will have a support meeting next Tuesday. There was one other woman who had not had surgery there tonight. My son is starting to tease me about the number of days left until my surgery. I see the sleep Dr. tomorrow. The papers said I need to bring a chest x-ray.......... Pulmonologist office has it. I will post after OV tomorrow. Surgeons office was supposed to call Friday to schedule pre-op visit, and I haven't heard from them. I guess, I will call tomorrow. I need to check if they sent anything to UHC for secondary approval. (They probably didn't because UHC said the only thing they got was original stuff and a letter to disregard the stuff sent. My husband told them that they are secondary insurance for surgery, but I bet they do nothing without Dr. office contacting them again.

March 16 -- I called the Surgeons office to schedule a pre-op visit date...... and found that I already have one...... I just didn't know it -- (March 29 naturally this was the date and time that the sleep office tried to give me for my results).

March 16 -- Sleep Dr. appt. -- I have sleep apnea & got scheduled me for a sleep study right before surgery(then someone canceled, got earlier date). Based on questions - Sleep Dr.said it is possible that I have a tumor on my adrenal gland, (but not his specialty). He said if doesn't mention it later next time, to remind him - it needs to be looked into.
He told me to buy a blood pressure cuff and check for ups and downs.

March 18 -- Hospital called to schedule pre-op tests. Got a
letter from eye doctor -- time for exam --ummm think
I will wait... got enough appts. for the moment.

DH 2 funny. He is sending me vacation information.... no time!

March 22 -- Pulmonologist 2nd appt. --- Dr. checked my lungs, approved me for a second time for surgery, then scheduled me for an office visit in 3 months.
March 22 -- Sleep study. The technician at the sleep study office was very nice. The goo that they use to attach electrodes to your head is thick, white, and hard to dissolve. The next morning, it was very much like having taffy stuck in your hair -- you leave looking rumpled. I had not been told prior to going in, but I could shower there the next morning...... I found out too late. So schedule your study for a night when you don't have to work the next day.

March 24 -- Dr automated machine called to remind me of pre-op appointment. I wanted to laugh......... who could forget.

March 29 - Pre-op surgeons visit -- I am clear to go for April 4.
March 30 - Pre-op tests at hospital -- 2 hrs. mostly waiting, 2 sessions to input info into hospital computer, and 1 minute to draw blood.
March 30 -- Sleep study results - got results-- mild to moderate sleep apnea. I wake up 32 times per hour, and spend most of my sleep in the light stage instead of the restful stages. I went really tired, wonder how much rest I would have gotten if I had not been tired?? I reminded Dr. about checking for an adrenal tumor -- we will do it after surgery. I have to go back for another sleep study to determine the correct flow rate for cpap -- night before surgery!! Maybe a cancellation will move it to April 1 or 2, I can always hope.

March 31-- reading last night online-- my heart palpitations may be due to wellbutrin. reading drug interactions info it may be due to synthroid & chemicals in allergy medicine. I have enough surgery stress without these complications. I took 1 wellbutrin instead of 2, and 1/2 of synthroid tablet. Someone I am talking to online told me that steroids can make you slow to recover from anesthesia.... I know it can slow healing. Pulmonologist told me I don't have to use nasocort if sinuses are clear... I am skipping it today, but taking the advir.

Ap 4 --- My surgery date
Ap 29 -- mammogram date scheduled late to avoid WLS date........ mammograms are yucky, so I cannot say I am sorry to put it off!


pre-op photo

5 months post-op

Weight Loss Survey Responses
Click Here To View

Surgeon Info:
Surgeon: Richard Shimer, M.D.
Insurer Info:

About Me
Southwest, LA
Surgery Date
Jan 18, 2005
Member Since

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