OMG I am no longer OBESE -- how good does good get!!!!!!
Weight Loss Totals
Highest Weight ever mid 1990's- 350 (Ouch)
Two Years Before Surgery : 335
Just Before Surgery Feb. 4, 2004 307.4
First Doctor Visit 9days post op 295.4
Three Weeks post-op 287.8
Seven Weeks post-op 269.6
April 30, 2004 259.8
June 2, 2004 244.6
July 4, 2004 234.0
August 4, 2004 6 month post op 222.5
September 4, 2004 215.0
December 3, 2004 203.0
One Year Anniversary February 4, 2005 195.0
May 2006 195 and holding
June 1, 2006 189.7 (Day of 1st Reconstruction Surgery)
August 10, 2006 174.2 (OMG - I am no longer OBESE)


I began investigating the possibility of WLS in April 2003. I was motivated by a co-worker who had the surgery the previous July. Up until April, I had asked him far too many questions; but, like most posts-ops he was more than happy to answer every one of them. Once I decided on the surgery, I began looking for a facility and a surgeon. I was willing to travel in order to obtain the surgery. I interviewed with a surgeon and a facility in May. However, the problem was that my insurance company wouldn't cover the cost. That particular facility keep me hanging on until August. I finally took my fate into my own hands and began researching surgeons in the Baltimore area. I was disappointed at first to find that the waiting lists were so long. However, I did have a break through in September. My surgeon had an opening for an interview in November. If I could put everything in order, and if I was accepted, I could have the surgery as early as January. WOW!!! I was shocked. So, quickly I began finishing the process by getting my psychological evaluation. I finished it in time for the Novemeber 8th meeting. At that meeting, my surgeon made a very moving presentation on obesity. I wish that everyone could see it. It would answer a lot of questions people have about those of us who struggle with morbid obesity. I believe it would change many peoples' attitudes about the obese. Then, I finally met with the Dr. Roe in his office on November 24th. On that day I found out that he accepted me into the program. All of the paper work and medical "stuff" was turned in. I then made my appointment with the nurtritionist for January 12, 2004.

Next was the wait for the insurance approval. As I was waiting, I enjoyed my Christmas and anticipated a date for my surgery. After traveling to be with family for Christmas and the New Year, I received yet another Christmas gift. On my answering machine was the information I was waiting for -- my insurance approval and surgery date -- February 4th, 2004.

The days up to the surgery were nerve-racking. I was really nervous. Quite frankly, I was afraid I was going to die from the surgery. My surgeon was so wonderful -- re-assuring me of his skill and expertise. I will never forget his words --"what do you think -- that you are going to be my first??" I knew then that I was in good hands and that he would do everything in his power to pull me through. The rest was up to God and my body.

Everyone at work, my family and my friends really rallied around me the week before the surgery, the day of the surgery and the days following the surgery.

The worse part of the surgery was the g-tube. I was so glad the day they took it out. The second worse part was the blessing and curse of the morphine. The pain control was great but the itching was horrible. I itched for about about two weeks post-op.

I have funny story about my surgery roommate. You see, I am a middle school teacher and the last thing I would have ever wanted was a parent room-mate from the school. Kinda like being in the room with your pastor and/or doctor. Anyway as fate would have it, the mother of one of the 6th grade students from my middle school was my room-mate. Nice lady actually. In jest of course, I had to tell the daughter that she couldn't go back to school and say that she saw Ms. A in her pjs. Since then, the teaching staff and I have had great laughs about that experience. Who could have even planned something so funny.

Back to work: I went back to work 19 days after my surgery. I feel great. Sometimes my energy level wains -- but it is not too bad.

Medication: Since the surgery, I have been taken off most of my blood pressure medications. I am now 6 weeks post-op and I am able to get up and down the three flights of stairs with limited joint pain. At this juncture, I don't know how much damage I have done to my knees. Only time will tell.

Food: I am eating pretty much a regular diet right now. I followed the Dr's. instructions to a tee for the first three/four weeks until he said I could add solid food. I add one food at a time. I am still trying to get used to consistency. Soft foods settles and passes through very well. Chicken and tuna has worked for me. Beef sits kinda hard on my stomach. This week I am even trying fresher fruits and veggies. Yum yum. The biggest challenge is remembering to eat slowly. It was definitely a different feeling in the stomach when moving to solid foods.



 I am amazed at the progress I am having post-op. I believe the real secret it not so much a secret after all. It is found in following through with my surgeons instructions. His words "this is a tool" keep ringing over and over in my mind. I remember the day he explained the different levels of success post-op based upon lifestyle changes made. EXERCISE!!!! I work really hard to keep his advice. I exercise on a regular basis. I go to CURVES right now. I started out at three times a week and now exercise faithfully five days a week. DO NOT GRAZE!!! Wow, now that I am on a full diet, this is perphaps the hardest not to do. I work very hard to just eat three small meals and two snacks on a fairly regular schedule. I also try to remember the three bite rule, eat slow and wait. I will admit, like every one else that I still have trouble with eye hunger and psychological hunger. When I want to chew, chew, chew I go for sugar-free gum and or carrot sticks. It doesn't take many carrots to feel satisfied. Apples skninned and cut-up help out too when I want hard and cruncy. I have found some great sugar-free candies which also take that edge off. KEEP UP ON THE WATER!!! Water has never really been a problem for me. But now, I can not just gulp it -- I have to nurse it more. Sometimes that makes it difficult. TAKE MY SUPPLEMENTS!!!! I am on the look-out for some more excellent vitamin supplements. My one-a-days just don't seem to be doing it. I think I will be investing in a vitamin which is better absorbed. Need to do some research before I switch. I am faithful with my B-12 shots with the doc. Next week I will be learning how to give myself my own B-12 injections. WHOOO HOOOOO.

Parties and other social gatherings can be a bit tough at times. I try to load up on my proteins before I go to the party. I make sure my eating is light and balanced. At the gatherings, I do eat a bit but work hard to make very wise choices. I have gotten sick a couple of times from not making wiser choices in what I ate; and for me, the dumping experience is not worth it - even though it has never been severe when it does happen. Besides, I don't like the feeling of being "drugged" by food anymore. I am fully alive!!!! I totally love my life and my new life-style. It feels great and it is nice not to have to worry about eating tooooo much any more.

To make a long story short --- I am very pleased my the results from my wls. And love my life-style changes. What a difference wls has made in my life.

MY FIRST PLATEAU - or was it????

Although from my stats (weight and measure) it doesn't look like I had a plateau -- but I did -- The last two weeks of June and the first week of July were hard. When I weighed and measured at Curves, I had not lost a pound nor an inch - IN THREE WEEKS!! But, I knew I was doing all of the right things - getting in my protein, drinking my water, exercising and watching my calorie count. By the end of the three weeks I was feeling rough!! During this time, I also kept in mind what my surgeon had said a week or so prior -- things are going on -- in the inside of you. And sure enough he was right. Just like a miracle the weight and the inches disappeared like magic.

I write this only because I know sooner or later we all will hit a plateau and will have choices to make. My advice: Stick with your plan and use your new tool. In the end, it all shows up. My loss for the month (June 2 - July 15) ends up being 14.5 lbls. and 9 inches. It looked like a plateau and felt like a plateau. But was it really a plateau??? Not sure. Will kept you all posted.

August 4th will be my six month anniversary. YEAH HOOO!!!!


September 4, 2004 Seven month out. I can't believe it. My how thngs in my life have changed in a major way. I can't keep myself in clothes. I am thankful for my sister's hand-me-downs. I can't believe that last year at this time, I started school carrying well over ONE HUNDRED and TWENTY extra pounds. As I teach this year, I find everything to be so much easier. I keep thinking about how I climbed the three flights of stairs every day and how I tried to SQUEEZE through the narrow classroom rows. How did the kids see me then? How was I able to do my job? How did I ever make it? Things are so much easier now. Mobility is not an issue. Oh yeah, once in a while I still have a few aches and pains but they are nothing.

Life on the losing side is sometimes challenging at 7 months out. Sometimes I break over and have a soda or a cup of caffinated coffee rather than decaf. For no reason, I sometimes find myself "pressing" the envelope. I don't know why -- it seems so very silly when I think of it. I still only eat sugar free snacks - once in awhile. I have made banana bread and zuccini bread with "splenda". Tastes pretty good. I may even practice baking a batch or two of cookies with the sugar substitue --- But I must remember that I must exercise control -- remembering to be aware of the calories. I haven't been as careful over the past month (except for watching to get in protein, water and vitimens). It has been somewhat of an experiment to see if I can exercise control and to see if the surgery "really" works. It seems to - I continue to lose at a good clip for being 7 months out and I did not keep up with my exercise at all this past month. I just try to listen to my body. So far so good. I know now that if I am not careful, I could fall back into bad habits. It seems that this month that is exactally what I have been struggling with. But the surgery "tool" has helped me keep everything in check. As long as my tool keeps working - and I listen to my body, I believe that I will be ok.

People are asking me now how much weight I want to lose. I don't have a number in mind -- I just want to be healthy and at a healthy weight for me. It feels so very good to look so very normal now. I am so very thankful for my WLS - it has been a matter of life and death to me. It feels so very good to be so fully alive. Thanks Dr. Roe for your healing hands.
The Journey Continues - Over Two Years Post-Op

Where does one begin when one looks over the past two years. I guess, I just want to say that I am so thankful for the return of my health as a result of my surgery. In addition, I am amazed that I have successfully maintained my weight loss for the past two years . That alone is hard for me to believe. Prior to surgery, that would not have ever been possible. However, I must admit that maintaining my weight does take some work as I am still working on my issues which cause me to (at times) eat things that I should not eat. This happens purely for emotional reasons. Please be aware that the surgery is not a fix for what is going on in ones head. These issues MUST BE delt with or else you will not be able to use your tool effectively. Unfortunately, old habits are sometimes hard to break. The good news is that I do exercise on a regular basis at a local gym. This newer habit, I believe, has been one of the keys for the maintenance of my current weight. Even though I am not at my personal weight goal, I am content with my current pre-plastic surgery weight of 195. I was never trying to become a "Barbie" nor did I have unrealistic expectations for myself. In a few short days I will be having a hernia repair along with muscle tightening and skin removal from my middle section. Even though I am looking forward to this change in my body and have a great surgeon, I am a bit nervous about the process because I am really a big chicken. I do plan to follow up later with work being done on my butt, thighs, arms and breasts. I anticipate this to be a slow process because I will have to pay as I go. My prayer is that I will be done by the time I am 55. At least that is my magic number. This gives me 5 years for the over-haul.

As I look back, it is hard to believe how my life has changed for the better over the past two years as a result of WLS. Aside from all of the fringe benefits of the surgery, as I stated earlier, the GREATEST accomplishment for me has been the return of my health. For that, I will for ever be thankful. 


A week ago today I began my reconstruction journey. My goal is one reconstruction surgery per year. The morning of my surgery I weighed 189.7 lbs. Surgery number one was to repair my ventral hernia and take care of some excess skin issues in my abdominal area. My surgeon used the anchor cut one me. He removed 9 lbs of tissue and created a new belly button. At first we were not certain that my newly formed naval would make it. But it has survived.

Truth telling times. I must be honest to admit that the first three days were quite tough. No one has ever been bold enough to say how painful this proceedure would be so I will. It hurt like hell. However, my pain was mananged quite effectively with medication. The first time I got out of bed, the moring after surgery did not go so well. I tried to sit in a chair in the restroom to wash myself but just about passed out from low blood pressure . I had a very poor attendant who left me in that condition alone with the bathroom door closed. It took the nurse and doctor assistant a good 30 minutes plus to get me back to bed. I was never so horrified in my entire life. I could not call for help as I could not reach the call button. It took what seemed like an eternity for someone to come to me. I believe that the nursing staff thought that the attendant was with me. I will be making a formal complaint to the hospital. Other than that one bad experience, my care was very good. I continued to try to get out of bed and was doing much better by that evening. The following afternoon I was released from the hospital.

I will have seen my surgeon three times this week. On Wednesday, I had my first drain removed . Just so you know, it does not hurt to have drains removed. It is a week ago today that I had my surgery and I am quite mobile. However, I am taking it slow and easy. I have only had one day since returning home that I did not feel well. That day, I just slept and in the evening took a brief walk in a near by State Park. Tomorrow I will visit my surgeon again.

I am now two weeks out from my surgery. Every day I feel better. However, I do swell a bit in the evenings. I am still trying to take it slow and easy. This is a HUGE challenge for me because I am so independent and like to keep moving. I am still faithfully wearing my binder 24/7 (except when I sit at the pool for about an hour or two). Shhhh don't tell my doctor. :) I see him again on Monday and plan to ask him when I can get into the water. I also hope to go sailing and trail riding in a couple of weeks. I sure hope that that will be possible. It appears that my brother wants a doctors note before he will let me sail with him and he won't let me take my nephew trail riding (horseback) unless I have the note. LOL!!! He has room to talk, as after a surgery on his ear, he went diving in the Red Sea. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

To all who are reading this --- the journey is still an awesome journey.


August 10, 2006 - update
OMG - I went to my Weight Watchers meeting this morning for my weekly weigh in - 174.2 . I have now lost 30.8 pounds since March 3rd. How good does good get especially for a person 2 1/2 years out.

I AM NO LONGER OBESE!!!!! God how I hate that word -OBESE -OBESE -OBESE. I have hated it every since the very first day I heard it spoken, in reference to me, wayyyyyy back in the late 70's when I weighed only 10 pounds more than what I do today. All I heard and internalized that day -- wasn't the word OBESE but rather O-BEAST!!!! Who me??? What??? I am a BEAST for weighing (at that time) 180 lbs. That experience - that day with -that insensitive doctor has lingered and impacted the way I had viewed myself for over 29 years.

I fought hard and worked hard during my "obese" years to maintain my own since of self-worth. I even went to therapy at one point during my "morbidly obese" years to make sure that it was ok to love myself even though I was morbidly obese. I wasn't in denial - but I wasn't going to let anyone tell me that I wasn't a person of value and self-worth.

Even though I am kissing my "obese" years away - I do so with some sadness. It was during those years that I have faced and accomplished some of the greatest obstacles in my life. I married, I had two beautiful daughters, I divorced - more than once, I raised my daughters as a single parent while attending college. I graduated from college with high honors, I ran a community center, I obtained a Master's Degree, was a successful community leader for almost a decade, and once again re-entered the public education sector as a teacher.

I have had and I have had not during the time I fought with the disease of morbidty obesity. I even endured a house fire which took everything but the life of my youngest daughter and myself. So when I reflect back it is so hard to kiss this phase in my life good-bye because I will always look to this years with great fondness. They will always be a part of who I am and I AM NOT ASHAMED of them. Neither am I ashamed of what I looked like during that time.

I have begun a new phase in my life. I enter it with some confusion. Could it also be because I am turning fifty in a little over a month from now? Since I have lost all of this weight (and turning 50), I am wondering what is left for me to accomplish?? I am asking myself - What meaningful new areas can I explore? How much further can I press myself? Is this a time in my life where I can and need to be more selfish - and put myself first - rather than put the concerns of others first? And then I ask myself - Do I really even have that capacity to even do just that? Or would doing that just hurt me ??? ????? Only time will tell. Right???

Here's to Journaling!!!!!

About Me
Baltimore, MD
Surgery Date
Feb 20, 2004
Member Since

Friends 5