The Journey...

I recently had an appointment with my PCP and he did not seem to even be open to listening to my desire to have gastric bypass surgery. He immediately began telling me how I need to lose weight "naturally". So, I have another appt w/him on 7/06/04 to discuss my recent Diabetes diagnosis. I plan to ask about the surgery again at the visit. I have a feeling that this Doc has some "personal" bias against this procedure (as many uninformed individuals do). I hope that I'm wrong. I'll keep my fingers crossed.


Well, I had my appointment today with my PCP and like I thought he flat out said that he will not give me a referral for WLS. We actually got into an argument in the examination room. I left Kaiser so frustrated today. When I got to my car I just sobbed for about 20 min. I feel/felt like just giving up, but I know that I can't (especially now since I have Diabetes). I feel so helpless right now  :(
My PCP told me that MAYBE he'll give me a referral in 6 months or so if I lose weight using a 1200/day diet. I tried to explain to him that I have already done the yo-yo dieting thing. I have lost and regained at least a whole other person over the past 10 years. He would not listen though. He more than implied that I just did not try hard enough. He even told me that what's wrong with waiting 6 more months for him to decide since I've been overweight "all this time". He seems to think that I have all the time in the world; but I feel like I'm dying a little bit at a time every day as it feels like my body/health is betraying me. 


Update: I found an understanding PCP! YES! I went in on 7/16 for my first visit with her, and she was very caring. She agreed to giving me a referral for WLS that same visit. It was so funny because I went in there all geared up to plead my case, but she ended telling me all about the possible benefits of WLS. I could not believe it. She has trully done her homework on this subject. I was so happy when she told me that she would give me the referral that I almost cried right there in the examination room. I did my initial blood work, so I'll keep y'all posted. 
BTW- In case you're looking for an understanding PCP @ Kaiser in the Downey/Bellflower area: My PCP's name is Dr. Jane Fealy and her office is at the Downey Kaiser on Imperial Highway. She's great! And very pro WLS 


Well alot has happened since I last posted. I have finished all my 
initial blood work and the 24 hour urine test(that was really gross!!). 
I thought everything would be smooth sailing because at my 7/16/04 appt my pcp told me to come back in 4 wks and by then she would have all of my test results ready; and that at that time she would put the test results and the diet history that I typed up together with my
file and send it over to the guy at Kaiser Sunset to be reviewed for approval/denial/follow up or whatever. However, I got a call from one of my Dr's nursing staff about 1 week after my tests were complete saying that the doctor would like for me to come in because of 
concern due to my sugar being really high....cont... 

Good News! I have met with my surgeon (Dr. Amir Mehran at UCLA Medical). He really impressed me with his knowledge about the procedure. I also met with UCLA's Bariatric Coordinator, Debbie(kinda upbrupt/not so friendly lady); and she said that my surgery will be scheduled for sometime in March 05. I will be attending the 4 required classes at UCLA in Feb 05, because the Jan 05 classes are already booked up. I have to do some of my lab work over because most of it is only good for 30 days, not the 6 months that I was told. The EKG is the only thing that is good for 6 months.

I'M BACK... It's been almost 2 years since I posted anything. Brief update: I completed/passed the classes at UCLA and had a tentative surgery date of  around March 12th (I don't remember the exact date). HOWEVER, I did not lose the weight that Dr. Mehran required prior to the surgery date, so my surgery was "postponed" a couple of times. So, eventually I got discouraged and stopped making the "weigh in" appointments at UCLA and just gave up :(  Eventually, my Authorization from Kaiser expired. I took that as a sign that maybe the time was not right for me. -------------->  So here I am 2 years later... with periodic thoughts of the "what if's?" but still not acting on starting the process for the surgery over (especially after all of the drama that I went thru the first time). So, I get this call from one of the nurses at Kaiser saying that it has been a year since I'd seen my PCP and that she was requesting that I come in for an appointment  after I complete the labs(Diabetes Panel etc) that she had ordered for me. Okay, so the results of my labs come back and everything was okay/normal EXCEPT for my HB1AC (sugar). I have non-insulin dependent Diabetes, but prior to this month, I was controlling it with "diet and exercise"(LOL). Oooops, sorry folks...TO BE CONTINUED A LITTLE LATER (I need to go run some errands...

The saga continues ...

    My New Journey...


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MONDAY 06/04/07
Update: My journey has started again. I still have Kaiser as my                insurance carrier and have been approved for surgery (well technically I guess). Kaiser in my region has now made it a requirement to enroll         in/complete a 6-month program called Options before you are referred     for surgery. I was initially pissed because I went through so much the     1st go round and I am anxious to be on the other side. However, I am     determined to remain positive and stay focused. Hopefully, time will fly by fast, and Oct. 9th (last Options class) will be here in no time! I have already gone to the Orientation and completed the first 5 classes (tomorrow will be class #6, then there will only be 19 more to go *smile*). So wish me luck on my new journey.  :)  

WEDNESDAY 07/04/07
Update: I just completed my 10th Options class yesterday. Now only 14 more to go . I am so ready to get the show on the road as they say. I really feel like this program is unnecessarily long. However, I am trying really hard to not get discouraged and just bare with it. We'll see how I do. Please send out some positive vibes for me. LOL


WEDNESDAY 08/01/07
Quick update: When I started this WLS journey over earlier this year my BMI was about 63.7, now I am dowm to 60.7. Technically I am still well into the Super Morbitly Obese catagory but I happy that I am a little closer to my goal of being <50 at the time of my surgery! I guess it's the small things


WEDNESDAY 08/22/07
Went to Options Class yesterday and I'm down another 4 1/2 pounds. Yay! Only 13 more to go then I'll be down the 10% required for surgery. 


Quick Summary of Weight Milestones:5ft 5in

At the time of (1st) referral- 388 lbs (highest)Actually I think I was a few pounds heavier than this but 388 lbs is my highest weight to be documented by Kaiser.

At the time of (2nd) referral - 375 lbs

At Options Class Orientation- 383 lbs

At First Options Class- 379 lbs

As of 08/21/07 Options Class- 355 lbs

As of 11/21/07 pre-op appointment- 346.5 lbs

At surgery weigh-in on Monday 11/26/07- 348.5 lbs

As of Tuesday 11/27/07 (one day post op)- 356 lbs

As of Sunday 12/02/07- 342 lbs

As of Wednesday 12/05/07 (1 wk f/u apptmt w/surgeon)- 338 lbs

As of Tuesday 12/11/07- 331 lbs

As of Tuesday 12/18/07- 328 lbs

As of Tuesday 02/19/08- 303 lbs

As of Tuesday 06/17/08- 276 lbs

As of Tuesday 08/19/08- 264 lbs

As of Friday 09/26/08- 251 lbs


FRIDAY 09/07/07
5 more Options classes to go :  09/11(my birthday-woohoo), 09/18, 09/25, 10/02, & 10/09. 
It's taking soooooooooo long...

SATURDAY 09/08/07
Random thought: I am determined that NO MORE THAN 3 months post op I will be able to FLUSH all of the crappy medication that I have to take right now! Diabetes??? Hypertension??? Edema??? What's that??? ...LOL


THURSDAY 09/20/07
3 more Options classes to go! I'm getting very ANXIOUS!

MONDAY 09/24/07
Quick update:
In our week #20 Options Class we were asked to choose which facility we would like to have our surgery. The choices were UCLA Medical or Pacific Bariatrics in San Diego. I chose Pacific Bariatrics of course (LOL)


TUESDAY 09/25/07
I completed most of my lab work today!! Yay! They took 12 tubes of blood though. I also did a urine sample and a stool sample (one of the grossest things that I've ever had to do). Yuck! I'm so glad that part is over! . I only have to do 2 more things as far as tests go; and that is an EKG(which I was told only takes about 10 min) and a gallbladder ultrasound. 2 more Options classes! OMG...

WEDNESDAY 10/03/07
Well folks, next Tuesday 10/09/07 will be my last Options class! WooHoo!

THURSDAY 10/04/07
~Saturday 10/06/07- Abdominal Ultrasound @ 11:00am @ Bellflower Kaiser-DONE
~Tuesday 10/09/07- Final Options class-DONE
~Thursday 10/11/07- Pacific Bariatrics Seminar @ The Anaheim Hotel @ 5:30pm-DONE
~Anytime between today 10/04/07 and Tuesday 10/09/07- Walk in and have EKG done-DONE
~Anytime between today 10/04/07 and Tuesday 10/09/07- 2 day Food Experiment-DONE

TUESDAY 10/09/07
Last Options class was this evening. I can't believe that that part of this journey is FINALLY over.Initially I was very resistant to the whole Options Program requirement because I felt that it was just another “hoop” put in place by Kaiser to discourage people from pursuing having WLS because of the hefty cost of the procedure. HOWEVER, I am truly glad that I went through the program. I feel like I am waaaay more prepared this time around. I learned so much about the procedure itself, the dangers of compulsion, accountability, emotional readiness, the importance of PROTEIN PROTEIN PROTEIN after surgery and I could literally go on and on...  

THURSDAY 10/11/07
This evening I attended the seminar/orientation held by Pacific Bariatrics at 5:30 at The Anaheim Plaza Hotel. It is mandatory that you attend one of these informational sessions if you are having your surgery thru PB. The host was Dr. Tanaka. He was very informative (of course- he's done 1000's of surgeries, open and lap). I hope that he is the surgeon that I get when I go down to PB. The session lasted for about an hour; and while there we were weighed in and given a folder of information and lots of forms that need to be completed (including a quiz about the surgery). Luckily, only one of the sheets was due that evening before we left. The rest will need to be sent on to PB (once I get an official authorization# from Kaiser). 

FRIDAY 10/12/07
I got a call from Johnnie H. from Kaiser Bariatrics Dept this morning. She was calling to give me ....... drum roll ........... MY AUTHORIZATION NUMBER!!! Yes! Things are moving along just as they should! I'm so excited (but at the same time a lil scared to get too excited cause I don't want to jinx anything- crazy huh??-LOL)


MONDAY 10/15/07
Since I got my authorization # from Kaiser on Friday, the next thing I need to do is complete all the paperwork from Pacific Bariatrics (which includes a 50 question Quiz about WLS and before and after care and a page to document your diet history for the last 5 years- yikes!). I am trying to get some work done today (so my supervisor does not get in my azz), but I am determined to get this package of paperwork completed and faxed to PacBar before I leave here at 5:00pm today! Wish me luck...

Addendum: I got my packet completed and faxed over to PB at 6:15pm... oops I really did not plan on being here that late; but I'm glad I finished. Yay! I'm on my way...


TUESDAY 10/16/07
Status update: I called PB to make sure my fax/info from Kaiser had been received. YES! it has. I spoke with Sheryl, who was an absolute doll (I really did not expect the office staff to be that nice/friendly/helpful- but that's what I get for assuming). Anyhoo, I'm currently waiting for my 3 consult appointments to be set after all my paperwork is reviewed. I am so anxious.
 Hopefully, I hear from them by Friday so I don't drive myself nuts this weekend... Per Sheryl, the appointment notification goes out to your email (so yall know that I'll be checking my email 1500 times/day until I hear from them... LOL

FRIDAY 10/19/07
Well, I have not heard from Pacific Bariatrics. Not a peep! So what did I do? I called them of course. LOL… I got a hold to the patient coordinator Myla(very nice young lady). It just so happens that she is the one who is setting up/scheduling my appointments. She said that she will be sending me an email detailing all the info for the appts (the when, wheres, whos… etc). Per Myla, the email will be sent out this afternoon or the latest on Monday (10/22/07). She did however give me the date and times; and they go as follows: 
Wednesday 10/24/07
1.   11:45am with the Internist (Dr. Khehar)
2.   12:45pm with the surgeon (Dr. Tanaka) He’s the doctor who led the info seminar* 
3.   2:00pm with the Psychologist (Dr. Olmstead)
So, I guess I’ll be waiting on an email with the addresses etc... I will feel a LITTLE more at ease once I see everything in writing.


MONDAY 10/22/07 
Ok, so why I have I still not received an email detailing the appointments that I have scheduled for THIS WEDNESDAY (10/24/07)???? Remember “no later then Monday”…So, because I had that promise I had a stress free weekend (thank goodness). Well what in the heezy happened? C’mon now Ms. Myla(Patient coordinator)! You were sweet as pie (food reference…LOL) when I spoke to you last week, but I need FOLLOW THROUGH. Well, since it’s well after 7:00pm I’m certain the PB staff has gone home for the day. So, I will humbly wait for tomorrow and call (AGAIN) and see if I can just be given the addresses over the phone. Urrrggh! Deep breaths… Deep breaths… It’s going to be okay…


TUESDAY 10/23/07 
8:30am- T/c to Pac Bar. Transferred to 3 different people; then finally to Myla… She had not realized that I still had not been sent the email directions… Hmmm… Breathe Shaana, just breathe… So I gave her my work email address in addition to verifying that they had my home email address correct. Per Myla, they will be sent right now; however, there may be a 15 min or so delay because of their computer system. Not sure why I just could not be given the addresses right there while I had her on the phone. But she said that the info will be sent out, so I’m not going to trip (yet).
10:00am- Well, it’s over an hour later and still no email! Even with a 15 min delay it still should have been received at at least one of my email addresses by now. So, instead of calling back (AGAIN), I sent the following email to the email address that is listed on the Business card I have for PB ([email protected]):
I have my 3 consult appointments tomorrow. However, I never received the email confirmation at either of my email addresses. So, I was wondering if I could be provided with the addresses of each appointment before I head down to
San Diego
tomorrow (in the event I need to MapQuest the directions). Thanks 
My Info:
S***** B*****
Kaiser Patient
(562) ***-****- Cell
(714) ***-****- Work
(949) ***-****- Home
Email 1:
Email 2: ********************



Eugene W. Rumsey, Jr. MD, FACS         Laurence K. Tanaka, MD, FACS

George G. Zorn, MD, FACS

Appointment Sheet For: ****** ******

Surgical Evaluation     

Date: 10/24/07                              Time: 12:45pm                              Co-Pay:$  15.00   

 Doctor: Dr. Laurence Tanaka

 Location: 4060 4th Ave. Suite 330  San Diego, CA 92103_(619)_298-9931

Psychiatric Evaluation

Date: 10/24/07                        Time: 2:00pm                               Co-Pay:$  0.00

 Doctor: Dr. Judith Olmstead

 Location: 4105 First Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 298-9122

Internist Evaluation

Date: 10/24/07                        Time: 11:45am                                  Co-Pay:$  0.00

 Doctor: Dr. Bhupinder S. Khehar

 Location: 4094 Fourth Avenue Suite 103 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 291-9285

If you are unable to make these appointments
, you must contact the Pacific Bariatric office at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointments at 1-800-267-7212.   

·     You will be notified by your patient coordinator with the status of your case approximately 21 working days after your consult.  If you have not heard within this time frame, please call for an update.  Thank you for your patience. 

·     Please be prepared to take off shoes and socks during you surgeons consultation.  You will be required to get on a body fat analysis scale.  We recommend wearing easily removable shoes, such as: sandals, flip-flops, clogs, ect..


FINALLY!!!!! DAYUM Here it is!!!!!!!!!!! 


WEDNESDAY 10/24/07

Well it is the morning of my 3 appointments down in San Diego... But guess what????? Southern California is burning! Literally. Some NUTBUCKET has decided to start randon fires all over southern Cali. WHY people. Of course one of the places that is being affected is ... DRUM ROLL.... SAN DIEGO, which is where all of my appoinments are and where the hospital that I will eventually have surgery is located. Hmmmm.... just breath Shaana.... just breath... So, of course I've been up since 5am watching the news to check the status of the freeways as I have received several text messages from different folks this morning telling me that the 5 Fwy is closed in both directions! God has a really strange sense of humor... LOL. Before I went to bed last night the news was reporting that the 15 Fwy was shut down until further notice due to the fires, so I thought cool because we were planning to take the 5 Fwy down to SD. But I wake up this morning to this???? What is really going on. So as of 6:45 am (per all the news reports) the 5 Fwy (SOUTH) headed to San Diego IS SHUT DOWN DUE TO THE FIRE. Breath Shaana, breath...


THURSDAY 10/25/07

Well, after I watched the news(Fire Coverage) until about 6:55am, I decided to go back to sleep and get up at 8:15am like I had originally planned. It made no sense to sit there all stressed out staring at the t.v. screen, because my stress was not going to make the Fwys open back up any faster. So… by the time we were ready to get on the road and head down to SD the 5 Fwy reopened(southbound), and to make it even sweeter, there was hardly any traffic (Probably because most “normal” folks were indoors somewhere trying to AVOID the smoke- I never claimed to be “normal” though… LOL). Oh yeah I took some awesome pictures of the fire that was still burning on the other side of the 5 Fwy(which was still closed at different sections).               
Anyhoo, on to the bizness…  The actual doctors’ visits were pretty quick. They all pretty much just asked the same questions (about medical/family history, allergies, addictions… etc… etc). The Internist did another EKG also. All 3 said that they will clear me for surgery J and that I should be getting a call between 7 to 21 business days from now with my surgery date. Is this really going to finally happen???????????

Addendum: FYI- For anyone going down to Pac Bar, be prepared to pay for parking. The office will validate, but this is only to get the reduced parking rate. Luckily, 2 of my appts were in walking distance from each other, so we just left the car in the structure for the duration of both appts. The 3rd appt(Psych) was in a “residential-type” neighborhood, so it had it’s own free parking in the back(whew). There is no parking on the street during business hours M-F unless you have some “A” permit.


FRIDAY 11/09/07

Guess what yall????????? I've got a date!!!!! 11/26/07 will be the day of my re-birth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SATURDAY 11/17/07
Today I received my pre-op packet in the mail. It contains lots of info/forms and also 3 prescriptons that I need to get filled at Kaiser before I go down to SD for the actual pre-op appointment at the hospital. One med is for pain, one is a gallbladder med that helps prevent gallstones due to rapid weight loss, and the last one is a med that works to prevent the new pouch from getting ulcers. **Plus side: These are NOT on-going medications... yippee!


WEDNESDAY 11/21/07
Went for pre-op today in San Diego. All was well. I lost a few more pounds. I am now at 346.5. WOW!! I'm kickin ass at Bally's Gym!! Not to toot my own horn... BEEP BEEP , but this is the first time in life that I have CONSISTENTLY been on an exercise program with enough results to keep me motivated to keep going. I can ALMOST say that I love the gym... LOL. 
Well, Thanksgiving is tomorrow... and there is sooo much that I gave thanks for!!!! 

THURSDAY 11/22/07
Happy Turkey Day OH Family!!! I really had a nice Thanksgiving. I spent it with folks that are like family to me in Riverside. And true to form, my girl threw down. Everything was delicious! (To have never have been fat, she can really cook... WONDERS NEVER CEASE... LOL)  
Surgery in 4 days!

SUNDAY 11/25/07
Been on clear liquids and MILK OF MAGNESIA all day.
That M.O.M. is nooooooooooooo joke. Stay really close to a bathroom... LOL. 
Surgery is tomorrow... Is this all real??????

SATURDAY 12/01/07
I'm home from the hospital yall!!!! Yaaaay!  Actually, I was released from the hospital on Thursday 11/29/07. I am going to keep this short for right now and update a lil later because my bed is calling me AGAIN... LOL.
We really missed each other.
***There's nothing like sleeping in your own bed!!!***
But, I just wanted to let my OH family know that everything went well with the surgery and to also say thanks and much love for all of the prayers, well wishes, and positive vibes that were sent my way.
Peace and many many many many many Blessings to you all!

1:06pm-Still no response to my email. So, I called again and spoke with Myla, but this time I firmly asked for the address info over the phone.   So, of course she complied (LOL)...                                                          
BUT 19 minutes later I get the following email:                      





About Me
Southern, CA
Surgery Date
Jun 25, 2004
Member Since

Friends 555

Latest Blog 70
Nov 20, 2008 (almost 1 year out)
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Update Time!!! 10 Months out Today!!!
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