My Journey

Oct 14, 2006

I have been researching this surgery for a few years now. My sister had the surgery 9/03. At that time I had joined a gym and was dieting and so I thought I could do it on my own. I felt that I wasn't brave enough to have the surgery. I still feel that it is a very brave thing to do. I just hope that I can do it. It is so scary, but even scarier to think of the alternatives. Since my sister had her surgery I have gained even more weight and don't even recognize myself anymore. I can't even stand to look in the mirror and I hurt. So I am beginning this journey with high hopes. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I woke up 50 times in one hour...I'd like to know when I did sleep~ I am currently on a cpap machine and it has helped me immensely!!

9/06/05 I need to get approval and have the surgery before the end of the year or I need to change to an HMO next year. I don't want to change or wait.

4/14/06 I switched my insurance this year to Pacificare HMO with my group being Greater Newport Physicians. I think I have a better chance now. I completed my prerequisites last week and am now anxiously awaiting approval for surgery.

4/17/06 I AM APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I received my approval letter from my insurance group in the mail today! I am so excited, but so nervous, as I'm sure everyone experiences. Can hardly wait!! Sent in for approval on the 7th and got it back in 10 days.

4/18/06 I received a letter in the mail from my group today stating that they could not yet approve my surgery after all until my bariatric doctor sends in proof of my insurance eligibility. Guess they forgot that bit of information! Once they get it they will let me know of their decision in 5 days. What a drag...I was so excited and now this. I hope it doesn't turn into a long drawn out thing.

4/19/06 I called Greater Newport and they said don't worry, I am approved!

4/24/06 Didn't hear anything, so I called Smart Dimensions and they didn't have my approval, so they called Greater Newport who then faxed them my approval. I am still waiting all over again for a date!!!!

4/25/06 I got another call to tell me that I was approved and I should hear from the scheduler in a week to ten days......

5/01/06 I have a date!!!!!! One month from today. June 1, 2006. I am so nervous and excited!!!

5/09/06 I will be going to OCM tomorrow for my pre op tests. My darling daughter works at the hospital, so she will help me through. I'm only concerned about the blood gas test, heard it hurts. And away we go!

5/10/06 Went for testing today. Everything was fine except for having to drink the helped to drink water along with it. I didn't have to have the blood gas test. Thanks to my daughter Denise for being there to support're the best!

5/14/06 Happy Mother's Day! Well, I guess I have some sort of mass on my kidney and have to go for an mri. Needless to say I'm a wreck over it. I just pray that it is nothing serious. Don't know if I need to postpone or cancel my gbs or what to do. Having an hmo I need to get approved for the mri. They marked the request "urgent", so time will tell. Hope everything is ok. Until later.

5/18/06 Went for a CT scan on my abdomen and pelvis today. Am now waiting for what that showed. I have only two weeks until my surgery. I hope everything is ok and I get to have it.

5/23/06 Got word yesterday that everything is a-ok. I meet with my surgeon Dr. Ali today.
5/23/06 Just got home from my one-on-one with Dr. Ali. What a nice man...I have a renewed confidence in him. Met Carla Walden there and she was kind enough to give me her email and phone number in case I have any questions. Thanks, Carla!! Glad to see that she is doing great since her surgery.

5/30/06 I am so nervous right now I don't even know what to think about!! There is so much to do and I don't even feel ready. I feel like postponing this so that I can take care of some oral surgery first, or whatever excuse is next. Feel like I'm not even making any sense. I don't even have the necessary pre-op liquids for tomorrow. Two more days!! Not even!!! Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5/31/06 Well, I will be having my surgery tomorrow bright and early. I am the first one of the day. Been doing my "cleansing" today and it as been very easy. Got a call from Smart Dimensions to ask if I had my ptt test redone by my pcp. I told them no, I hadn't, and asked what that test was. They was it had to do with blood clotting. They said they will redo it in the morning. From reading the boards here I guess if your blood is too thin, you could hemmorage and if it's too thick you can clot and possibly get an embolism. It if is off, there is no way I am going to risk any of that happening!!! Just have to see what happens in the morning. I have already been so anxious today and on the verge of crying, so that didn't help. Gonna' say some big prayers tonight before I go to bed!!! See you on the losing side!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6/06/06 I am home. I went in on the 1st and came home today....I am doing much better. I developed pneumonia and so things took a while longer than expected. Will write when I have more energy. As far as the surgery, I feel almost as if I didn't even have it.

6/15/06 I am finally getting around to updating. Just a little about myself....I am 55 years young, married to a wonderful man for 34 years and the mother of 3 beautiful daughters. Now about my surgery experience... I had my surgery on June 1 at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center. I don't even remember being "put under", I just remember waking up in pain, but could tell everyone was scurrying about and within a very short time, I felt better and was out again.
The 1st day I was in ICU and what a busy day it was! I tried walking, but couldn't get up because I was shaky and felt clammy and on the verge of getting sick. I was pumped full of fluids to avoid dehydration, but they didn't want to drain fast enough, so I became full of fluids. I also received pain medicine, and nausea shots and/or medicine every day.
On the 2nd day, I went to my own room. I once again tried walking, but was very weak. I found out that I had lost some blood and they were watching my blood count. I had blood drawn a couple of times a day and received xrays.
On the 3rd night I started getting pain in my chest when I inhaled. Went down for a ct scan at about midnight. Had trouble sleeping that night worrying about what was wrong and I was also still having pain every time I inhaled.
On the 4th day, I fianlly asked in the morning about the scan and they said it came back normal. I found out later that day that I have pneumomia. They started me on breathing treatments and oxygen and what a difference! The whole thing was very scary and I was glad that something was finally being done. I guess there was a fear of a blood clot, but thank goodness there wasn't one. I was also given diaretics to help with the fluid buildup. That, also, made a big difference. Also had to take potassium which is was sickening!! I was still very weak and was given a blood transfusion. I walked short distances, but without the oxygen, couldn't go very far. I had to get more chest xrays.
Finally on the 5th day, I got a portable oxygen and walked up and down the halls.
I went home on the 6th day. I was weak, but feeling so much better. I have been trying to get my lung capacity back to what it was and I am almost there.
It is 2 weeks today since my surgery and I have lost around 16 lbs. Funny thing is, in the last 3 days I have only lost 1 lb.!! I admit, I am having trouble getting in all my protein and liquids. I have started drinking a lot of non fat milk. This is easy for me. Most things available, I don't like the taste of. I am feeling pretty much back to normal, but not quite. I have to force myself. I went on the treadmill yesterday, for only 10 minutes, but I am just taking things a day at a time.
I almost forgot....the actual surgery results...I hardly felt any pain. I guess maybe because of everything else going on, but it was almost as if I didn't have the surgery. I felt some pain on the left, where the stapler went in. I took pain meds every day and nausea meds every day also. By the time I left the hospital, I was completely off them and have taken nothing for pain since I got home.
When I got home, I began to feel as if I had maybe made the wrong decision. I was depressed and on the verge of crying all the time. I was feeling sick and also full of gas. I think that was because I tried using my cpap machine and because of my diminished lung capacity, it was somehow filling me with air or something. So I stopped using the machine and by the next day I was feeling a lot better. I am starting to listen to my body more. It's almost as if my body is talking to me and thanking me. It's like it senses that I did something to make it better. I am not feeling any of my old aches and pains. It's already so much better!! So now I am coming around the a better way of thinking and maybe it was the right decision. I know the alternative was going nowhere. It's going to be an ongoing struggle and I just hope I can make it through with a positive attitude and positive results. Best of luck to everyone out there who may be reading this. I hope it helps in some way. I know we all need all the help we can get!

6/20/06 19 days post op and -21 lbs. Things are going better. Still a little sore and somewhat weak. I am not going to push things, but take it one day at a time. Had appt. with Dr. Ali today and he feels that I got pneumonia because I didn't do my breathing exercises the very first day out of surgery. Only 2 more days until stage 2. Can hardly wait!

7/13/06 6 weeks post op and -35 lbs. I think I am doing well as far as my weight goes. I am still having trouble getting in my protein and water, but I am exercising more and feeling great. I went for a 2 mile walk along the beach today with my dog. I then went to the mall and bought some hand weights. Just small ones to begin with and I am looking into joining a water aerobics class. While my daughter and I were at the mall, I was telling her how, before my surgery, it would have been so hard to walk at the mall....she saw I was emotional and said, "You're not going to cry, are you?" and I said, "I think I am." Sometimes it's hard for others to realize how hard things are when you are obese. Don't get me wrong, she, and all my family have been soooo supportive from the very beginning. But, I won't ever forget what it was like, and I will always appreciate this second chance. Back to food-- I have gotten sick a few times, but I just have to slow down and watch my portions...even though they are small, I guess not small enough. I am now on "solids", but afraid to eat anything new. Dr. Ali said that it should now take 45 minutes to eat 1/2 cup. I am so glad I chose Dr. Ali. He is so kind and understanding and always has time to listen.

7/21/06 7 weeks post-op, - 40 lbs. woohoo!!!!!!!!!

8/10/06 10 weeks post-op -48 lbs. Things are slowing down a bit, but I can't complain. I think things are going pretty well as far as the weight goes. Yesterday I got really sick. I ate two cherries and I guess the skin must have gotten stuck, but I couldn't even keep water down. This lasted for about 6 hours. My daughter told me she was going to call the dr. and insist I have an upper GI. If this continues I may have to. It seems that I can only eat soft foods and once in a while "normal food". Hope anyone reading this is doing well.

8/31/06 3 months -49 lbs. It seems that my scale is a couple pounds in my favor compared to the doctor's. Went to see Dr. Ali today and I have been losing really slowly, but he seems to think that I am doing very well as far as the weight loss goes. It will be 3 months tomorrow! I have to go to get an upper GI because I am having trouble eating certain foods, especially any kind of meat. I really don't know if they will find anything wrong, but at least I will know if there is a problem and what can be done about it. I also went to Curves today, but not sure about it. The monthly fee seems a little high. I am walking a mile or so 3x a week. That isn't really too much. I am getting my protein in and am working on the water. My clothes are getting looser, so I think I am losing inches, if not pounds. Best of luck to all who are on this ride!

10/01/06 4months -56 lbs. It's been a real struggle this month to lose any weight. I joined a gym and have been to the dog beach with my dog a few times and playing with her. Not long ago I could barely walk down there. I have been getting my vitamins, most of my protein and am still having trouble with my water. I find that when I drink all my liquids (I have better luck with CrystalLite) I tend to begin losing weight. My upper GI came back fine. I find I am able to eat ground beef (Main stay is Dennison's 98% fat free beef chili). Constipation has been another major concern, and am working of that too..(sorry about that). I also have times when I get sick and can't keep food down, but I think that's the meat. I guess some people can't eat meat for a long time post op.
Support group is tomorrow night and I hope to go. I really need to, but it seems that something always comes up. I am feeling so much better than before my surgery. It is like night and day. Everyone needs to decide what's best for them and I think I made the right decision. Although right after surgery, I kept crying and saying that I wished I never would have had the surgery. I think that was because I was trying to use my cpap machine and the air was too strong and making me sick. Anyway, that didn't last too long and things have only been getting better.
I have been painting all week and my legs were so sore from going up and down the ladder, but then I thought about how a few short months ago it would have been so hard to even do what I'm doing now. Until next month...happy losing!

10/15/06  4 1/2 months -60 lbs!!  Finally!  Since I just switched over to the new format I figured I'd update my profile.  I don't know if I'm doing this right, as I am totally a computer dummy!  I still get sick when trying to eat meat.  Most of the time, but not all of the time.  I never know when it will happen.  I still think I may be eating too fast too.  It is getting to be a struggle to lose any weight, but at least it is coming off.  I ordered some Achievone drinks and they have been a life saver.  They are really good...I have the hazlenut and have ordered some cappuccino.  I also drink Unjury protein and make smoothies with it.  Hope everyone is doing well...just keep on keepin' on!


Pre-Operation Front View

Pre-Operation Side View

Surgeon Info:
Surgeon: Mir Ali, M.D.
I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to have Dr. Ali as my doctor. He was confident, caring and kind. I wouldn't have had it any other way. He was there for me every step of the way and continures to provide my after care with time to listen and discuss what concerns I may have. All the while being very encouraging. Thank you, Dr. Ali!!!!!!!
Insurer Info:
Pacificare Signature Value, HMO;Greater Newport Physicians
Surgeon's office handled everything. Just had to give diet history and have a sleep study done to confirm sleep apnea. They have been great so far! Thanks to my pcp Dr. Soni for referring me.



About Me
Fountain Valley, CA
Surgery Date
Sep 06, 2005
Member Since

Friends 6

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My Journey