I started thinking about having WLS in 2005 after I saw an ad for St. Vincent Charity Hospital Center for Bariatric Surgery in our local newspaper.  I did the research and attended the seminar May 24, 2005, really interested in having the adjustable lap band procedure. At the time, SVCH had not done any lap bands but that didn't bother me.  I went ahead with the consultation with Dr. Ben Meir and was really excited about the procedure.  I spent alot of time researching and calling the insurance company (why do you get a different answer every single time you call) only to find out my insurance didn't cover it.  No way, no how.  I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I was.  I hadn't told anyone that I was considering WLS, so I didn't really have anyone to lean on (except my husband...who is wonderful).  Talk about hopelessness!! I never want to experience that feeling again. 

My husband and I decided to check out his insurance, to see if WLS would be covered on his plan....AND IT IS!!!!!  Good news and bad news........I had to wait until open enrollment in July 2006!!!!  Another setback!! During this waiting time (was it really only 6 months....not 6 years???), I developed a weird pain in my side and after the appropriate testing was scheduled for gallbladder surgery July 10, 2006. 

I switched to my husbands insurance in July 2006, and had to attend another WLS seminar since it had been over a year.  Immediately after my gallbladder surgery, I started on the required 6 month diet plan with my PCP and my psych valuation (oh what an experience that was!!!). I lost a whopping 12 lbs on the supervised diet.   I had my second consultation with Dr. Ben Meir on December 2, 2006 and had decided the LAP RNY was more for me. The constant maintenance of the lapband, coupled with the "not so restrictive" rules helped make my decision.  During my consult, they decided that I probably had sleep apnea but needed a sleep study to verify it. My sleep study was December 20, 2006 (what a cute technician!!), my last diet supervised required appt. with my PCP was January 10, 2007.  In the meantime, I had to be fitted for a CPAP machine and get used to sleeping with it on (why do I wake up with the tubing wrapped around my neck TWICE!!) since they assured me if I didn't bring it to my surgery they would slap my butt in ICU for a few days.  My insurance letter was written and submitted on January 24, 2007 and then the waiting began.....and waiting......and waiting......I think I called AND emailed every single day!!!  I think I drove them nuts!!  I got my approval on February 9, 2007!!!  YEAH!!!  They scheduled me for my PAT on February 16, surgery on March 7.  The only stumbling block from the PAT was a creatin level that was one point too high, but required a letter from my PCP approving me for surgery.  I held my breath.......and everything went through. 

I decided at this time, that I needed to tell some family members (besides my husband and niece, a nurse that has been unbelievable through this whole thing).  I told my 2 sisters, asking them to please keep "my secret" and 2 girlfriends.  I did not tell people in general for fear they would not support my decision, or worse yet give their opinions on what I had decided to do. No negativity!!!! I have heard people say that the surgery is "the easy way out" but if there is anything easy about it I don't know what it is. From the insurance "hoops" you have to jump through, to the Dr appts, tests, and getting rid of old bad habits....NONE OF IT IS EASY.

My surgery was uneventful (thank GOD) and about what I expected.  I stopped the pain meds 2 days after surgery, not really needing them anymore.  I walked alot in the hospital and slept more than I wanted to....I kept saying, "keep me awake...I'm excited and want to talk"!! Can I just say....I have never had such a DRY MOUTH in my life!!!! I think that was more uncomfortable than the surgery.  I came home on March 9, but I was off work (again....no one knew about the surgery) for 12 days during which I ate more soup than is humanly possible.  By the time I went back to work I was eating pureed foods, concentrating on getting in all the protein daily. The pureed food stage went on until day 28....and I was so glad to start chewing again! 

I am now almost 8 weeks out, have lost 49 lbs (since my December consult) and feel great.  I feel so great, in fact, that I forget sometime to eat slow and chew really well which resulted in a puking incident that I am oh so proud of. I've had a few episodes where food "got stuck" and boy is it painful.  I am learning slowly, but surely to take it easy on my new insides.  I eat around 1000 calories a day and 70 grams of protein (mostly from food, but occasionally I need a protein drink), chewing my vitamins, chewing my pepcid, chewing my calcium, chewing, chewing, chewing............

My work clothes are big (can you say nice clown pants!!!), my pants too long, and my bra is down a size.  It is so much more fun to have big clothes than to try something on and have it be too tight.  Erasing 43 years of bad eating habits is a definite challenge everyday.  I have to constantly remind myself not to pop stuff in my mouth!!! I'm learning something new every single day.






About Me
Southwest Cleveland Suburb, OH
Surgery Date
Feb 24, 2007
Member Since

Friends 22

Latest Blog 12
Erin is engaged!
Fat and Sad
Size 16??
Today I am grateful......
Today was a great day!!!
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Changes, changes
Panic Attack! Not really
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Rich is approved!!!!