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About this blog

As you can see in the pictures I am the lady that can hardly stand let alone walk. :sad_smile:I use 2 canes to hobble real short distances and a scooter to do anything in the community. Even though I have lost 140 pounds

Entries in this blog

 

Three years later on my Journey to walk again

Hi Everyone It has been 3 years since I last posted. During that time I had 3 more Plastic Surgeries despite the fact that I never got to my goal weight. The Dr felt that with all the excess skin from having lost 280 pounds it was best to get it off and see if maybe I would be able to walk again. So in May of 2018, I had an extended Brachioplasty. Within 1 hour of waking up, I was sent home and within less than an hour of being home, I was rushed back to the hospital as I had blood pouring out of my left upper arm. The Surgeon's assistant was called when I got to the hospital at about 9 pm. He came right away and said I had a baseball size hematoma and c would have to go back into surgery. No room was available until 4 a.m. so I remained in the ER until an Operating Room was available. I remained in the hospital for 3 days and almost have to have a blood transfusion.  I was released but was told I immediately had to go to the PS office. As I was being loaded into the van my arm started bleeding again.  The Dr greeting me at the door and I was immediately taken into a room. I remember him saying I looked like death warmed over.  He called insurance and they approved for a nurse to come every other day to clean and rewrap my left arm. It took me  10 weeks to recover from that surgery.  I must say I am glad I had the surgery but even though he took off 7 inches of skin from each arm he could have taken off more.  I have Micheline Tire Baby Syndrome and the excess skin removal did not take all the rings away. I still have one roll on each arm and some excess skin as my arms are 14 inches instead of 21. To this day I still cannot wear sleeveless shirts and added sleeves to my bathing suits.  Insurance will probably never approve another surgery on my arms. After this surgery and complications, I had two more. In early Dec of 2018, I  had my panniculectomy and a second hernia was repaired. I had no complications with this surgery and was thrilled to get 10 pounds of skin off my tummy and not have the huge overhang any more.   Wearing the binder was not fun as it kept riding either up or down my butt. By the end of January, I was able to buy my first compression garment and was back to work 2 weeks later. Despite the 10 pounds being gone I still was not able to walk without a cane or a walker. All this excess skin being removed is not helping my 6 herniated discs, yet there is one more surgery and this I am told this one may be the one that allows me to walk.  In late May of 2019, I had a belt lipectomy. The first week was very painful but by week 3 I was doing great. Two days I had terrible pain on the V spot on my back all the way around to my left groin incision. I was in terrible pain, my skin was hot and I had become so swollen I could not sleep on my left side and I had developed a blister. The Dr had been called the weekend I had terrible pain and felt so sick but I was not able to see him until Wednesday.  He Popped the blister and over 5 Emesis Basin of fluid came out. He sent it for testing and 2 days later I was told I had to go to an Infectious Disease Doctor.  The Doctor had no appointments on Friday and by Sunday  2 more blisters developed and I was so scared I went to the ER. It was determined I had MRSA and was in the hospital in an isolated room for 5 days. I had to have a MIdline put in as my veins were collapsing. OMGod that procedure hurt like you cannot believe, I was told I had rolling veins and it took them over 40 minutes to get that midline in. To make matters worse I still had a lot of excess skin in the area they wanted to put the midline. I could not move my arm for at least 2 hours after that procedure. For the next 8 weeks, I had 2 hours of IV Vancomycin 2 times a day. Finally Mid August I was well enough to return to work.  This surgery did not help my ability to walk any better.  I started going to a pain management clinic and he tried all kinds of procedures I can not even remember what they all were.  By January 2020 the pain management Doctor thought that radiofrequency ablation might work. So in late February, he stuck me 4 times on each side of my back with the heat probe that cuts the nerve.  I knew within weeks I had not worked and then Covid19 hit us all and I was in South East Florida a very bad hot spot. Even today as I wrote this we are still under phrase one. With my body the way it is I am afraid to go anywhere. My last day of work in the office was March 12th. I have been out of the house 3 times since that day.   Thank God I can do remote Zoom lessons with my blind clients otherwise I would be homeless. So where do I go from here? I do not think the pain management Doctor who I went to for over 6 months is someone I would want to return to. In Jan I will be 65 years old and even though I have been on a  Medicare advantage plan since 2008 I could change insurance companies and get all new Doctors. The only problem is I have no idea what kind of a Doctor to go to or whether or not these Florida Doctors would do anything for me. I am still obese despite having lost 250 pounds and have another 80 pounds to lose. I am over 4 years post-op for my sleeve surgery and barely manage to lose 5 to 8 pounds a month if I am 100% on plan. I was hoping to be walking by my 65th birthday but it does not look like it will happen.  I wish I could say losing all this weight was the cure to my being able to walk but it was not.  I am so totally disappointed that it did not happen. But I suppose when you have  6 herniated discs losing weight is not going to help them.  Yes, I am thinner but am still in a great deal of pain and cannot do anything without a walker or a scooter. Some Golden Years I will be having. Am so tired of being like this.  Jan 2021 will be 27 years since I was so badly injured at the Quiet Waters Park Kiss Country Chili and Band Competition. I wish I had never gone it was the ruination of my life. 

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

7 week PS followup

Had my 7 week PS followup on Monday! Dr is very pleased the boobies are healing nicely. No incisions opened up which is great!  However  my left nipple still has not popped out yet.  Was told to keep massaging it, which I will do. Told I could finally wear a regular bra. However we did discussed the fact that I bought the B cup bra in the style I use to wear  and am smaller than that B cup bra. Yet, my friend gave me her padded B cup bra  and the cup part fits over my boobies nicely. The padding comes out. The Dr and I discussed  sewing those paddings into my B cup bra as I need the back and sides higher which is my bra style. I do sew so I was pleased to hear to go ahead and do that for now. Good News! The Dr wants me back on Sept 11th for the next consultation for PS which will be my arms. I was hoping for my tummy but I still have about 27 pounds before I get to goal. The Dr felt that the arms were ready to be worked on and the extra 27 I have to lose wouldn't really affect the arms as much as the tummy. Plus I have a hernia so he needs to coordinate with another surgeon  for the hernia repair and tummy surgery at the same time   This will  be done next year.   I am able to go back to swimming and can go to the gym if I wish to do so. I have been walking with my walker and also my cane and have been riding my bike. I am feeling great and have so much more confidence and am becoming more involved in life. I am looking forward to finding out about the arm lift and how long of a recovery period I will need. I don't know if getting the arm lift will help with my ability to walk better but I do know it will help with the types of blouses I will be able to wear. No more long sleeves!

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

6 weeks after PS went back to work

Went back to work this past Tuesday and Thursday 6, weeks after PS. The staff was so happy to see me and stated I looked good. This was the first of four excess skin removal surgeries, so it will be a long process. My breasts were made smaller for the ME I will become, so right now they are not in proportion to the rest of my body.  I didn't even fit into the B cup bra that the Dr told me I would be wearing.   I spent the weekend looking for bra enchancers to put fill out the B cups. Even though they adhere to the inside  bra side I do not feel comfortable with them in. However I do look better.  I only work 2 days per week so during the other days I will not be wearing them.    A few weeks before I returned to work I was out walking with my walker each day. I only used the electric mobility device to shop. Last week I walked into the WLS office with just my cane. He was so impressed. He figured it out that I have lost 89% of my excess weight. I am only about 27 pounds from goal and I told him I would have 100% gone by Jan 26 2018, 2 years after my 3 procedure surgery.   When I went back to work on Tuesday I was able to use my cane several times while in the building to take short walks. Still used my electric mobility device for the longer walks as we have a huge building. The staff was surprised to see me using my cane. After work on Tuesday used the walker to go to Bingo and again on Wednesday to go to Michigan Rummy. Had to use the scooter on Thursday as I was all over the building. Come Friday I was extremely tired and rested most of the day. However for the PS I had being back to work a week earlier than expected, I think I did pretty good.  I go back tot he PS this Monday for my 7 week followup. We will be discussing a few things I am seeing that I am not real happy with, but I am sure he will tell me things will get even better when the next PS is done. I just have to keep it in my mind that my body is still in the transition stage  and the final outcome of what my body  shape  may not take place until late 2018.  I am not a 497 pounder on a 500 pound limit electric scooter anymore. In fact the Vocational Rehab Department is in the process of trying to get me a smaller scooter as I  the one I currently have is very old, and difficult to load into the van because it is too big and I don't need that big of one now.   I shall continue to use my walker but will try walking more with just my cane, so by the time  my next PS   is over with I may not need the scooter any more.   Some day soon I can say I am walking without any aids and  I DID IT!  Please continue to read my blog and celebrate that day with me when it happens. 

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

1 1/2 years post op

On July 26th it will be 1 1/2 years ago that I had my 3 procedure hernia repair, gallbladder removal and sleeve surgery done. I have lost over 280 pounds from my highest weight but was still not able to walk without excruciating pain in my back. . 18 days ago I had the first of 4 excess skin removal surgeries. The Dr felt that I was low enough to be able to have a breast reduction and free nipple graft. I was suppose to have this surgery in March but the day before surgery, they canceled it due to finding microcalcifications in my left breast. I had to wait over 6 weeks to get approved for a biopsy and it proved to be benign. Than I had to go through all the preop testings and get approval again . Finally on June 26th I had my breast reduction and FNG.  Today is the 18 day after surgery and I just walked 1/4 of a mile with my walker without any back pain. It felt so great to be able to do this walk without pain. I was and probably will continue to be hunched over as I still have a huge amount of excess skin on my tummy and lower half which needs to be removed as well. Despite being tired from the walk and sweating like crazy in this Florida sun I was able to do this walk. I am thrilled and just pray to God that I continue to be pain free on the rest of the walks I plan to do this weekend and in the future. I have a goal to do in Sept 2018 the  WLSFA Stamp Out Obesity 5K walk. Would love to do it this year but I doubt I will be ready for it in time. But come 2018 I am sure I will be able to do it if there is a group in South Florida sponsoring it.   

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

10 months post op

Hi folks I know I haven't written anything since June. That is mainly because I am finally living a life I should have been living all along. It has been a little bit past 10 months since I had my 3 procedure surgeries for hernia repair, gallbladder removal and the sleeve. In those ten months I have lost 95 pounds for a total weight loss of 277 from my highest weight. I am still 40 pounds from my goal. I still can't stand for more than 5 minutes without pain. I must still use a cane to walk for a short 5 minutes until the pain starts. The back surgeon doesn't want to do any operations on my 4 bulging discs and spinal stenosis until I have gotten to my goal and had skin removal surgery. Why I really do not know.   However despite the limited time I can stand and walk I am able to do so much more than I ever could before losing 277 pounds. In March of this year I became the social director of our community and (with the help of many wonderful volunteers) have been able to plan and implement many wonderful Summer, Fall and Seasonal activities for our community. I have also been able to finally assist my room mate with bringing in the packages from our shopping trips. This year I was able to assemble the Christmas tree string the lights and put the ornaments on by myself while my room mate decorated the outside. What a wonderful feeling that was! In years past all I could do was tell him which branches to put the ornaments on. I have started attending Bingo on Tuesdays, Friday Morning social and Trivia nights. I have lived in this community for 26 years and this year I have met some of the wonderful people who live here. I have also taken on some new and different teaching responsibilities at my work with longer hours.   I am not at my goal yet, but I know I will get there. The weight loss has started to slow down but I am going to increase my exercise and do more than riding my bike and swimming. In 2017 I will probably join a gym and hopefully be able to do some sit down exercises of the circuit. I meet with my back surgeon again on Monday Dec 5th to review the x-rays and nerve conduction tests they were finally able to take. There is some talk about me getting an epidural in my back and seeing if that will reduce or eliminate the pain. If it wasn't for this horrible back pain I know I could do so much more than I am all ready. However I am thrilled to be doing what I am and to have finally had a life outside of the house.   Until I write again Have a wonderful Holiday Season, Stay healthy and happy! I know I will!

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

Started my liquid pre-op diet

Hi Everyone NOTE****** This posting was written Jan 26th 2016 not July 9. Somehow it never got published and when I clicked to publish it today it came up after my 1 year posting. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused. ******   Today Sunday Jan 24 is my birthday and I had to start my 2 day liquid pre-op diet. We celebrated last night with a Wine and cheese fondue party. I had 2 small glasses of wine and some vegetables, meats but the fondue was a flop. It isn't as easy to make fondue as it seems. I guess we should have made some fondues before we had the party. However my favorite the ice cream and the cupcakes were great.   This past Tuesday during the pre-admission workshop I was told to stop taking my Meloxicam for my arthritis as it will affect me during surgery. I was also told to stop taking all the vitamins and supplements I take for various problems. Well about an hour after the party ended I started getting my horrible leg craps. OMG! I had such horrible leg cramps in both legs in various locations throughout the night from 10 pm until 6 am. At 3 am I couldn't take them any more and took one of my Clonazepam. I am hoping taking the clonazepam doesn't affect me in any way for surgery. I had a few more cramps after the med but they were not as intense as the ones that happened between 1 to 3 am. Around 3 am I thought I could have a bottle of Powerade Zero which would help as it restores electrolytes. I finally fell asleep around 6 am and slept till 10 am, Today I had 3 protein soups, a SF Jello and popsicle and of course plenty of Crystal Light. and Powerade zero. I mostly just sat around the house but did do 2 loads of wash, started getting my hospital bag in order, and froze all the vegetables and meats left over from the party. This evening my body is feeling badly mainly due to not being able to take my Meloxicam. Only being able to drink I am peeing every hour and am really sore from all this standing up and down. Despite having protein in my soup and drinnks my tummy is growling at me this evening. But I am staying busy. I hope tomorrow will be better. Will continue writing more tomorrow. I am basically calm now but who knows what will happen tomorrow. Ihope I don't have any more leg cramps tonight. Wish me luck as I don't know if I could stand another night like last night.

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

One Year ago today- Down 98 pounds this year-total 243

Hi Everyone It was 1 year ago today June 15th 2015 at 1 P.M. that I went to see the surgeon for a hernia, gallbladder and possible sleeve surgery. I had to use my mobility device as despite having lost 145 pounds on my own since 2004, I still was not able to walk into his office building. That right all, my highest weight was 497 pounds. I was pretty much housebound and in so much pain I cried every night. Any how 1 year old ago at 352 pounds, my surgeon told me I had to see him for the next 6 months as he was putting me on a HPLC supervised diet. After that more than likely I would be able to have the 3 surgeries all at once. On Jan 26th 2016 he performed the 3 surgeries with me weighing 314 pounds. A 38 pounds lost in those 7 1/2 months I had to wait. Since surgery 5 months ago I have lost an additional 60 pounds for a total of 98 pounds in this past year.   I am only able to eat about 2-4 oz of meat and still have the feeling of being full before I even get to the vegs. I never knew feeling full could be so painful. I am tracking calories around 800 to 900 calories and getting in 60 to 90 proteins and 41 to 80 carbs and all my water each day. I am biking 4 to 6 miles 5 days a week and started water aerobics 2 days a week. I am 5 pounds away from being able to go to a back surgeon to see what they can do to help me to walk again now that I am almost below 250 That was their magical number before they wanted me to get to before they would help me.   I was sitting here pulling out seams to to cut down and take in my clothing, but have taken a break from it as there are many pants I have to take in. I am thrilled to be doing this but it is a lot of work for my CTS hands to be doing. When I do stand to transfer to a chair my pants are falling off of me and I am stepping all over my pants legs. I can't afford new clothing but am thankful I know how to take in clothing. Since my highest recorded weight I have lost 243 pounds. My BMI has gone from 80 to 41. I haven't posted any pictures since the day before surgery. But once I get below that magical number of 250 I plan to take some more pictures. When I do get there I will be sure to post. I still have 102 pounds to lose but because of the sleeve and all the hard work I am doing I know I will reach my goal.   I plan to be here over the next year as I just today renewed my Bariatricpal VIP Membership.

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

8 weeks post op and haven't lost weight since March 8th.

Very discouraged as it has been 18 days since my last posting and I haven't lost a single pound. I guess I am in my 2nd stall since weight loss surgery. I like to see the scale go down, however I have been trying to focus on Non-Scale Victories. About the only things that I see changing are 1. this week I finally am able to eat without that horrible pain I was having. 2. my overall body measurements, have decreased which is resulting in my clothing fitting better but still not in the next size down. 3. my ability to bike a farther distance in less time. 4. am still trying to hit the 60 grams of protein an eat no true carbs. Over the last 18 days I have hit the 60 gram goal only 5 times of which 3 days this week were 60 or over. So I finally think it is happening. I haven't had a single true carb you know like bread, pasta etc. 5. I have no hunger but know I have to eat. I am still not that great with establishing an eating routine but I am getting better. I only work 2 days a week and when not working I have a totally different eating and exercise schedule. 6. I am hitting the mark every day and having no problems with drinking my water.   So overall I am seeing changes and will continue to work on them all. I hope this 3rd month will show better results than the 6 pounds I lost in month 2. I see the Dr again on April 20th and hope to see at least 10 pounds down this 3rd month. Hope whom ever is reading this blog is doing well. Please feel free to let me know your following my progress towards getting healthier and being able to walk again without mobility devices. If you want to be friends feel free to send an invite.

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

Day after surgery until now 6 weeks out

Hi Everyone It has been awhile since I wrote the last posting in my blog. The day after surgery Wednesday was the day I was suppose to go home but it turns out I didn't leave until the following day. I was still way to weak, in the morning to even get myself off the toilet without the PT lift belt and three people pulling me up. By about 1 pm the PT finally got me up on my feet with the walker to do a little bit of walking. That afternoon I was able to eat some of the Jello. Later that night they changed my IV meds to Tylenol. Come Thursday morning I was anxious to get out of the hospital and was home by noontime. The 35 minute ride home was ok only because I had my little bucket with me in case I got sick. Thank goodness it never happened.   Once I got home I change into my nice warm Mumu and went to my recliner chair and got on the computer. I hardly had anything that day to eat but I was drinking water and by Friday I was finally able to drink a protein shake. It took me over 4 hours to drink it but once I got that first bit of protein down I really started to feel a lot better. Each day was getting better and better and by my 1 week followup I felt great. Everyone at the surgeon's office said I looked great for just 1 week post op. My surgeon was very happy with the way my incisions were healing so nicely. I had no bruising, redness or itching like I had read a lot of people had. In one week I had lost 13 pounds. I was hoping for 15 so I would have been below 300. However 2 days later I did drop down 6 more pounds and was finally seeing a 2 for the first time in over 35 years. There I sat at 295 for over 17 days not losing another pound. I had come to the dreaded stall and I wasn't even 3 weeks out of surgery. But I stayed positive and kept telling myself I am still healing and my tummy is in shock and trying to adjust. I tried my best to "Embrace the Stall" as I had read that thread over and over again that a follow Bariatric Pal had written.   Finally by the first month's post op followup I had lost another 3 more pounds.The surgeon was pleased with my 22 pounds loss since surgery. We discussed how I started riding my trike again and how I did in the one egg a day stage and liquid protein. I told him I had terrible pain under my left breast area when ever I ate the egg. He told me that was my signal that I either ate too fast or I was full. I tried to tell him I ate very small amounts and very slowly, but he didn't seem to think it was a problem. With drinking the protein shakes and soups I was able to get to the 60 grams of protein. So he just told me to slow down my eating even more. He said I could move on to the next stage and introduce a variety of foods. I was so happy to finally be able to eat more than an egg. I asked him how many calories should I be eating now and he said don't count calories just protein. So I asked where should my protein be at now. I was expecting him to say to increase it to 80 grams. I got the shock of my life when he told me 41 grams of protein. I said what? I thought I had heard him incorrectly as everything I had read for the past 8 months said to increase not decrease the protein. He said since I had lost 38 pounds with the 6 months preop and 22 with the surgery that now I should be getting in less protein and to stop drinking the shakes and soup. This surgeon's office has no NUT. He has been doing this WLS for the past 16 years. I don't know if his NUT left the practice or what happened but during the 6 months pre-op diet I saw the Hospital NUT once and that was during the first month. All the nutrition info was coming directly from the surgeon. Since Feb 17th they hired a NUT and they are still working out her schedule and the insurance plans so our insurances will cover her visits. I tried to see her during the one month followup but she was not even there that day.   I left the office on Feb 26th weighing 292 pounds. I tried for a week to follow what the surgeon said and I lost another 5 pounds and got down to 287. However I saw a decrease in my energy level and felt so tired that in the past week I went trike riding 1 time compared to 8 times during the egg and 60 gram protein stage. I tried for the second week at that protein level and within 5 days I GAINED back up to 292. I immediately got online to BP and posted what the surgeon had told me to do and what my results were. I also told everyone I still had that terrible left under the breast pain. I got over 20 replies telling me they had never heard of decreasing protein and maybe I was also constipated. They suggested I up my protein and my water. The day I wrote that thread I was so discouraged and wondered What did I do to myself. Up until that time I was very positive and encouraged. However the 2 1/2 to 3 weeks of this pain when eating was really getting to me. After reading all the postings I came to the conclusion that my surgeon is an excellent surgeon but I think he is off his rocker about nutrition. So since this past Sunday I upped my protein back to 60 grams and started to drink more water and took something for the constipation and within 2 days I was back down to 287.   I am so grateful to all who replied to my post and helped me through this difficult time. I am going to keep my protein up and even try to get past 60 grams. I am still drinking at least 1 shake a day and have been back on my trike and managed to go 3.81 miles on Monday. Oh the best thing is yesterday when I ate my 3 small meals and a snack I had no under the breast pain. I think I may have finally turned this around and am heading down the right path and am looking forward to what the future will bring. I see the surgeon again on April 20th and we shall see how much more weight I lose my then. I am kind of interested in seeing if he will reduce my protein again. However if he does I think it will be falling on deaf ears as now I know better thanks to all my friends on BP. Hugs Everyone Till I write again stay Healthy and Happy! I know I will thanks to all of you, my friends!

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

My Jan 26th 2016 three procedure surgery experience

Hi to everyone who is reading my blog. I see it was viewed over 1,000 times and I thought it was time for an update. I am writing this posting 23 days after my surgery. I have posted on many threads during these past 23 days about my surgery and recovery but some how neglected writing in my blog. So today I am taking the time to post about my surgery experience. Sorry this is rather lengthy, but should offer you all in the pre-surgery stage another glimpse into what happened at least to me during my surgery. Each person's surgery is different, so yours may not be anything like mine. If in some small way it helps just one person to understand how to prepare for their Weight Loss Surgery it will be worth it to write this. Plus next year when I am at goal I would like to have the posting to read back on.   I was called on Monday Jan 25th 2016 and told to report to the hospital at 11:30 am Tuesday Jan 26th. My surgery took place 2 days after my Birthday. Sunday, my Birthday I started my clear liquid diet even though I didn't need to start it until Monday. However the night before my 60th Birthday we had a Wine, Fondue and Cupcake party so I wanted to be sure all that junk was out of my system for surgery day. After midnight on Monday I was not allowed to eat or drink anything. On Monday I had photos taken, took my measurements and packed my bags.   This is my first surgery and I was a bit nervous of the unknown, whether or not I would wake up from the surgery. How bad would the pain be and how long would I be in the hospital. However everything I have read on line for the past 8 years has shown me that this is the right thing for me to do. Over many many years I have lost 180 pounds on my own and the last 160 do not want to leave my body. After Jan 26th I knew that the numbers would go down a lot faster than the first 180 did. I was thrilled to finally be able to have this much needed surgery that was denied me in 2008 when I first joined the site.   Come Tuesday my roommate drove me to the hospital. I remember on the 30 minute drive how thirsty I was and how much my throat hurt from not being allowed to drink even water. They took me in to the preop area within 10 minutes of my arriving at the hospital. I changed into the gown and they put on the nonskid booties as I couldn't do it. Then they put on those white support stockings and the velcro leg compressions. I have a history of lymphedema and neither one of us wanted to deal with that on top of surgeries. They tried to get an IV line started on my left hand but as soon as they put the tourniquet on me the vein they had found disappeared. So the nurse located and got one on the right hand. After that I complained I was cold on my shoulders so they put on a few blankets and even had a heater hose under the blanket at my legs. Next they hooked me up to the EKG but they were having problems getting it to register. They asked me all kinds of questions about the meds I had taken and when I last ate or drank anything. They moved the EKG pads, replaced them twice and finally replaced the lines. After about 20 minutes they had a good reading. It was about 1 o'clock when I was wheeled into the operating room. I remember thinking wow there are at least 6 to 8 people in here who were going to be there for me. Within another minute I was asleep. I don't even recall a mask being put over my face. I was the first one for the day as Dr Vaughan starts in the afternoon on Tuesday. Dr. Vaughan started the bariatric surgery program at Jupiter Medical Center in 2000. He is highly regarded among his peers for his technical skills, excellent outcomes and low complications rates. In addition to bariatric surgery, he performs an entire range of general surgery, including gallbladder removal, hernia repairs, heartburn surgery, colon and intestinal, stomach and skin cancer surgery.   Since the surgery I have gotten reports as to what Dr Vaughan did in the 2 hour surgery time. First he repaired a hernia that we both knew about. I had 6 visits with dr Vaughan before he did the surgeries. During that time he thought I might have an umbilical hernia and if I did he was going to leave it in. He said during weight loss they grow back so better to leave it in and get it taken out when I have skin removal surgery. However it turns out the hernia was not an umbilical and he had to repair it After that he moved on to do my sleeve and the last thing he did was removed my very badly diseased gallbladder. I never had an problems with the gallbladder. However he told me it was a porcelain gallbladder and had to come out.   According to my room mate the hospital provided a computerized following of me that day. He told me I was in the operating for 2 hours and in recovery for 3 hours. In recovery they had a very hard time getting my pain under control. I have read that people woke up with tubes in their throats and remember everything they said. I have no memory of the 3 hours in recovery.   The first memory I have is being wheeled through the doors of my private room. I remember asking for ice chips as my throat was as dry as a bone. Those first ice chips in over 18 hours felt so good as they melted down my throat. I slept off and on the rest of that night. The only pain I had was right under my breast on the left side. I remember holding onto that area for most of the night and being cold. I also remember not liking that my feet were still restricted and asked of all that stuff could come off and they said no. I asked if they could at least expose my toes so they did take off the nonskid slippers and pushed the open toe support stocking up just above my toes. Oh what a relief that was as I never wear socks. So once I felt more comfortable I drifted off to sleep again until they came to take my vitals. I don't remember when but at one time in the night I saw my blood pressure bottom number had dropped down to 38. I have no idea if that wa good or bad as I drifted back off to sleep. However all the hospital staff was wonderful so I am sure they took care of the situation as they needed to.   Since this turned out to be so long, I will end it here and start another posting about the Day after surgery. Feel free to ask any questions, leave a command or two or become friends with me.

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

Getting my surgery Jan 26th

It took a lot of phone calls, complaining and even threatening to sit in the lobby of my PCP's office till I got it - but I finally got the medical clearance and got a real not a dummy date from my surgeon for my surgery. Jan 26th, it is 2 days after my 60th birthday and I am so ready. On Jan 19th I have the Pre-admission 4 hour workshop which includes: 1. a weigh in haven't seen or been weighed in since Nov 23rd the last 6 month supervised diet visit. Trying to maintain this weigh during the Holidays was not easy at all. I wasn't told I couldn't gain but felt it was important for me not to do so. However I proved unsuccessful with all the various activities around here. Yes I did gain 10 pounds and have been trying to get off every pounds gained plus more these last few weeks.We shall see tomorrow how I did. I hope I am at least back to the weight I was on Nov 23rd. 2. An hour long workshop with the nurse to remind me of what the surgery will entail, what I have to do this last week to get ready for it and the pre-op 1 day diet I must follow, what I must eat and the vitamins I have to take, breathing exercises I have to do after surgery. 3. Meet with the nurses and the Dr that will put me to sleep. 4. Plus ant tests that are now out of date because I had to wait over 2 months for the Doctors to give me clearance. They were so slow I was hitting the punching bag with their faces on it every day. People who started after me already have their surgery and have lost 35 to 50 pounds already. But at least this time around I have a surgery date unlike 2008 when I was told the insurance would pay for the lapband but not the fills. This time around I decided on the sleeve which was not allowed in 8 years ago.   I have been thinking about my life after surgery and what I want to do with the new found freedom I hope to get. I hope and pray that this weight loss will allow me to walk again despite all the medical difficulties I have with my back, hips and legs. I hope that I will not need surgery on those parts but if I do there better not be a single Doctor who refuses to do what is needed for me to walk again. I can't have gone through all this to still be using a electric mobility device to get around.   GOALS I WANT TO ACHIEVE 1. Whether I can walk again or not I will still be doing my exercise of riding my tricycle, using my arm peddler and pulley and doing the sit down circuit at either Youfit or Curves. I like the equipment at Curves but the lady that owns and runs it is a gossiper. She has told me about others who had surgery and things about their personal life that she had no business telling me. Makes me wonder if she told any one about my personal struggles. I like that Curves as it is close to my house and easier for me to get into with the scooter and walker. I will not tell her about my surgery but if she asks how I lost the weight from the time I left her place (as it has been over 5 years) till I get back, I'll just say high protein-low carb and leave it at that.   2. If possible in Feb after I have recovered from this gallbladder, sleeve and possible hernia surgery I want to go to the monthly support group the Doctor offered. I didn't feel right going before and thought it might make me too anxious. However, once I have the surgeries I know I will need the support as I have told no one as I only have one family member left (my brother who is 8 years older and doesn't ever call me or keep in touch) and when I called him I told him it was gallbladder and exploratory surgery for the nodules I have in various parts of my body.. I didn't lie as I do have numerous nodules, which I hope will not prevent the surgery from happening. The doctor is aware of them and I had 2 catscans done so he knows where they are.   3. I also want to engage in life again and do the things that other do, which haven't been possible to me. a. I want to join a bowling league. I use to bowl in college and was on several leagues. I didn't bowl well but I had fun and it was exercise. b. I want to go to the movies. It has been years since I have been able to go to see a movie. At one time I was able to fit into the stadium seating but the painful walk up the steps and the side stepping to get to a seat was beyond belief. I can't even remember the last movie I attended but I know I stayed on my scooter in the handicap section. c. I want to go on the Fair rides and all the attraction rides in Orlando. For many years the Wednesday before my Birthday a groups of us supersized people would go to the Fair. Of course none of us could go on any of the rides so we did all the shows and other things available. Next January I want to go on the rides. WOW this makes me think of all the weekend trips I could make to Orlando for all the different attractions that are there and really enjoy myself by being able to go on all the rides. What a wonderful world would open up to me. To be able to take a cruise, ride a jetski, skydive in one of the domes, do a zipline. These are all things on my bucket list and some how I plan to do every one of them.   4. If I am able to walk again, I want to leave the current job I have working 2 days per week with the Blind teaching them keyboarding and braille to become a Zumba and Bowka instructor for the elderly. I love to teach and what better way to combine my love of teaching and exercise as the same time. Of course I will have to take some classes in these two exercises and get certified but I do believe it can be done here in Florida as I have researched where the various training programs are located and a few of them are in Florida.   I also have a goal of riding my tricycle (if I can't ride a bike) around Lake Okeechobee in Feb 2017 for the Loop around the Lake for Literacy. No not the whole Lake as that is 115 miles but I want to do the 14 mile ride up on the dike. I already checked into and am allowed to ride the tricycle if I can't ride a bike. I told the lady (in charge this year) that it would be a milestone goal of mine. I am hoping to be below 200 when I take this ride. The only bad thing about it is it will cost be $85.00 to do so. However if I can use it to raise money and I raise $200.00 I will get back my $85.00. So once I have the surgery, see where I am weight wise in 6 months then I will start thinking about how to turn this into a Pay it Forward kind of thing and raise that $200.00 so I can ride for free.   I know this was long a long winded entry but only those who have been close to 500 pounds and have just existed not being able to really live their life the way they wanted to will understand what this surgery will do for me. Granted I lost 180 pounds on my own over the past 10 years but I am now 60 and do not want to wait another 10 years to get off the remaining 160 pounds. I know this is not the magic cure and only a tool. But it is a tool that will help me lose the remaining weight and allow me to LIVE, LAUGH AND LOVE. By the grace of GOD I am going to do this by my 61st birthday.   Since my surgery is in about 1 week my next posting will be after I get home and have had some time to recover. No doubt it will be about the surgery, recovery and how well I am doing. I hope that my posting these entries in some small way helps others who are just beginning their journey and will provide encouragement to all following this new way of life.   For all those who did read this posting please let me know how you are doing and feel free to become friends with me as I am sure we need each other's support to accomplish all our goals. Stay Happy and Healthy!!

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

Frustration Setting In

Hi everyone. Nov 23rd was my 6th visit to the WL surgeon. I lost another 7 pounds for a total of 35 pounds down in what is really 5 months but my 6th visit. While there I asked if my PCP had turned in the medical clearance form and the medically necessary forms. He had not. The records lady told me the PCP wanted to get my cardiac clearance and my pulmonary clearance before he did the 2 above mentioned forms. My breathing test wasn't to take place until the day before Thanksgiving. My 2 day chemical stress test was scheduled for Dec 2nd and 3rd. On December 7th I called my PCP to schedule an appt for the medical clearance etc. I was told the first day I could get was Saturday Dec 12 and I also needed to get updated blood work as the June blood work was no longer good- too much time had passed.   I got there today and the staff was totally different and I had to pay $25.00 which I never had to pay before. When the person called me in, I was brought into a totally different room. Then he asked me loads of questions which should have been on his computer screen. When I told him I have been coming here each month for a year you have all this information and I am here for blood work and medical clearance, He asked me who my Dr was and who was doing the surgery. I swear it was like I had never been there before in my life. I was getting madder by the minute. When he asked what surgery I was having I told him and he said to me well you need to have this test and that test. I told him I had all those tests and my Dr and the surgeon have been working together for the last 6 months and that I wanted to see my Dr. He then tells me my Dr isn't there and wasn't scheduled for today. I told him that is not what the office staff told me on Monday that is why I was here today. I asked, Who is here? I was told, The Dr that supervises my Dr and that person went to see if that Dr would clear me for surgery. NO! That Dr knows anything about me and I had to come back. He told me the days my Dr would be there. So now I have to wait until Thursday so I can see my Dr and get the blood work and medical clearance. Before I left I asked to speak with the office manager who wasn't there either. She will be getting a phone call first thing Monday morning. I just thought this whole situation was unacceptable. Don't you agree?   I don't know if everyone else goes through all this crap that I have had to go through. Nine visits with the Psych, 3 Catscans, EKG, 2 day stress test, breathing test, blood work up, 6 visits with the surgeon, a visit with the Nut. My papers were submitted the week of Thanksgiving. As of Dec 12th I still do not have a surgery date and have a 4 hour workshop I have to attend, additional pre-op testing, pre-op diet, etc the week before the surgery date i don't even have yet. Will this never end? I am getting so frustrated and am stressed out with all the crap going down with insurance. I just wanted to get a date scheduled in Jan so I could enjoy the Holiday. I have a feeling I will be stressing out during the holiday waiting on pins and needles for this surgery date. Everyone that started the same time I did are having their surgeries this month and some have had it already. Here I sit waiting. This insurance of mine is taking forever and so many weeks waiting for referrals for the tests and waiting for Dr appts. I would change but I am afraid that would mean I would have to start all over again and I can't do that. I need to get this surgery so I can start losing even more weight and get the surgeries I need for my hip, and back so I can walk again. Plus the surgeries for my shoulder, elbow and hand so I can use them again. Being like this at age 60 is very difficult and I have to have the surgeries to be able to live a more normal life. This surgery is not for vanity or fashion issues. I am hoping the next time I write I will have medical clearance and a date for surgery. Till next time I hope you all have a happy and healthy life and a wonderful Holiday!!

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

Supervised Diet 4th & 5th months

Hi Everyone reading this blog. It has been 2 months since I last wrote. Not really sure why that is. Maybe because as one of my colleagues said to me yesterday "your a private person." She is 1 of 2 people at work I told about my upcoming WLS. Others at work believe I am having gallbladder surgery only. Anyhow in our discussion yesterday, I mentioned the Dr expected me to lose about 95 pounds the first 6 months. She brought up the fact that other colleagues will notice the change and ask what is wrong with me. So I guess at that time is when I will say "I told the Dr to take part of my tummy while he was in there for my gallbladder. She also asked if my insurance will pay for the skin removal. Nope! She stated she would help with fundraisers like you care and other online sites. I gave her my other blog as I don't think she can access this one unless she joins. It will be so nice of her if she follows through. I have put a lot of hard work in getting down from 497 to where I am today 320. Even more hard work is ahead of me and it will be nice to know that maybe when the time comes I do not have to worry about the money to pay for the surgery. Being on disability and only able to work 2 days a week not much money comes to me. I try to sell my 3-dimensional bead work but no one seems interested in purchasing anything now-a-days. Was at a craft show this past Saturday and sold $26.00 worth. $20.00 was for the space so a profit of $6.00 isn't much. I am seriously thinking of selling the beading supplies.   Anyhow onto the title of this blog. Last Month Sept I weighed in 7 pounds down and saw the surgeon again. He asked if I had any questions. I have discussed with him and researched a lot so I really didn't have any questions except when the surgery might be. He stated in Jan. I had a rash going under my muffin top so I had him look at it. He gave me some kind of powder and did document it. He said maybe if we document enough of these rashes, insurance will pay for part of the skin removal.   This month I just saw the Dr on Monday Oct 26th. I was disappointed as I only lost 2 pounds this month. So my usual routine of slowing down has occurred. The Dr wasn't mad as he said this is one of the reasons for the surgery. We talked about a goal weight and expected weight loss. He stated I should weigh around 150 to 155. I had set my goal for 155 so we were in agreement with that goal. He expects me to lose about 95 pounds in 6 months. The rest within the next year. 95 in 6 months seemed kind of high for me but I will shoot for it. It would be so nice to see the scale go down a significant amount each month, month after month. He also said when I get down to about 200 I should start looking for the plastic surgeon as I will have a lot of skin to be removed. He was saying somewhere around 35 to 40 pounds in various places. My biggest concern about skin is my arms and my breasts. They are hanging so badly now from the 179 pounds I have lost, I can't even imagine what they will look like when I lose the additional 170 after surgery. I would love to wear sleeveless shirts and a normal size pretty lace bra but skin surgery will need to be done before I can even think about those things. My tummy I can hide as I do not wear those kinds of shirts or bathing suits.   I am hoping and praying despite the 2 herniated & 1 bulging disc and half of the right hip bone that I will be able to walk again. I am so tired of being on this electric mobility device and just existing and not really enjoying life. I want to be able to do the activities I use to do like bowling, swimming, dancing, miniature golf. I want to laugh, live and love again. Oh to be in love again with someone and have them love me. I forgot what love feels like.   I see the surgeon again on Nov 21st. I am hoping that the Psych and Pulmonary Doctors have their evaluations in by then. They should have turned them in this month but on Monday I was told the surgeon still didn't have them. The surgeon's staff got on the line to the Doctors and also sent letters saying how important it is to get those evals in. My insurance is extremely slow in getting approvals and I want a surgery date before the Dr leaves the country in Dec for his Holiday vacation. I know it will not be until Jan that I have the surgery but to have the date would help me to mentally prepare myself. A week before the surgery on a Tuesday I will have a 4 hour workshop with his staff about the 24 hour pre-op diet, the things that need to be done before the surgery and after. This workshop is on the day I work, so I will have to take that day off of work. My boss is real good about things like this and knows it needs to be done. Since I only work 2 days per week I never take any time off. She understands the situation and that I need this and the recovery time off so I can be physically better and thus do a better job.   Well not much else is new. I will do another posting after the 6th visit to the surgeon in Nov. Hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to the Thanksgiving Holiday. Enjoy the Turkey!! Stay Happy and Healthy

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

Third Dr Visit

Hi Everyone Aug 24th I saw the Dr again for the 3rd visit. I lost another 10 pounds and I was very happy and so was the Dr. He asked me if I had any questions and he answered them all. He asked if I had my Psych Eval yet and I told him it was scheduled for the 26th. It took me awhile to find a Dr as the first 3 names I was given by the insurance company didn't do WLS evaluation. However I remembered the Dr's name from 2008 when I tried for the lapband and was denied. She remembered me and said of course come on back and let's chat. In 2008 she wanted to see me 3 times and did the same this time. I believe my last visit will be Thursday Sept. 17th. The Dr asked me to have another catscan. This time he wanted it of my lungs as a nodule was found in my right lower lobe during the first full body scan when he though all I had was a hernia. I am still waiting to get the results of that catscan. I already have to worry about a hernia and a porcelain gallbladder and now a possible damaged lung. I just hope and pray that the nodule they saw the first time proves to be nothing this time. I see the Dr again Sept 28th for the 4th visit and I am trying to lose even more weight. I really would like to be around 300 before the surgery so I have a good chance of getting to goal by my 61st birthday. I am a bit scared as I was reading a posting about older women and the struggles they were having with the surgery. I just hope and pray I don't have the same problems. I have enough pain in my daily life. I know there will be some pain with the surgery but after the surgery pain I don't know how much additional pain I can handle. I will continue to read and post on the site. Not much else is new so I will close for now. Have a Healthy and Happy Month

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

June & July 2015 visits

Hi Everyone I saw the WLS surgeon and his staff for the first time on June 17th 2015. They all seemed to be very nice and attentive. I was the only patient there which was good as my scooter took up most of their narrow hallway. There was no way I was able to get it into the examining room so after they weighed me I had to wall across the narrow hallway to the room. Adrienne asked me for all my paper work which I had to fill out from their online site. She took the names of all my meds and my medical story. She told me I had to follow a six month supervised diet and get a whole bunch of tests done before they could even send in the paper work for approval. The Dr came in and explained the surgery to me (which I already knew about because of all the research and the reading of Alex's sleeve surgery book.) gave me his blue book that explained everything and said I would have to see the NUT and that Adrienne would schedule that for me. I told him about Nutrisystem and the hernia and other medical problems I had. He told me to stay with Nutrisystem for this first month and to keep a food diary. He wanted a Catscan of the lower part of the body to see where the hernia is and he would see me again July 22nd. I did see the NUT on June 29th. Why I have no idea, as what she had to say to me was exactly what I had read in the blue book. So as far as I am concerned it was a wasted 3 1/2 hours of my time.   On July 22nd I was weighed in again by Adrienne. I had lost 10 pounds. Again I was the only patient there. I asked her to look into why I was being charged $250.00 for the NUT when I was under the impression she was part of the Dr's staff. She said she would. I also gave her all the copies of the NS bills for the food I had gotten from them over the last year. Also gave her the Catscan results. The Dr came in and was happy I had lost the 10 pounds, looked at the food diary and said I should get off of NS. I told him I had at least another month's worth of food I still had to use up as I was not about to throw away that money. He said don't order any more and try to eat protein first then vegs, then fruits and carbs last. He told me I had an umbilical hernia and a porcelain gallbladder. He would take out the gallbladder if and when I had the WLS. As for the hernia he wants to leave it in as he said it could come back again if he removed it. He would rather wait until I have lost weight to take it out. Besides he thinks that taking out three things might be too much time in surgery for me. I am a bit concerned as the hernia I believe is located in the area directly above my belly button which is one of the locations for an incision. I will need to discuss this with him in more detail when I see him again Aug 24th. He told me I only had 4 more visits with him as the first visit counts toward the 6 months supervised diet. That also sounded odd to me and will have to discuss that with him a well.   I will post again after the 3rd visit on Aug 24th. Have a Happy and Healthy life till then.

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

Hello Again

In 1990 I weighed about 320 pounds and was very active at that weight. I went bowling, swimming, played mini golf, pool, belly and ballroom danced. Each weekend I was doing something with the South Florida group called NAAFA. I met a man in that group who years later became my husband. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let's go back to 1990 as it was that Thanksgiving holiday I got hurt. I had attended a chili cook off/band competition with Sharon (a NAAFA friend) and I was physically hurt. A complete stranger who was drunk was running as fast as he could (why I do not know) and he tripped over one of the tent stakes and I was the unfortunate one that was in front of him. With both hands he used my back to stop him from falling and kept right on running. I had just stopped a minute before this happened to move the folding chair I was carrying with my right hand and at my side to the front of me. So I was standing still when he did this and the upper half of my body bent right over that folding chair. It knocked the wind out of me and my friend and those around me got the chair opened and sat me down. Asking was I ok. I said yes as I thought I was. We still had to continue through the park to get to my friends car and about 15 minutes into the drive. I told Sharon I felt a great deal of pain in my back. She immediately called her chiropractor and he said to get me immediately to his office.   Upon getting there before any x-rays or other tests he asked me to put my back up against the wall and told me you have Lordosis also known as swayback. (I later found out it is a condition in which the spine in the lower back has an excessive curvature. The spine naturally curves at the neck , upper back and lower back to help absorb shock and support the weight of the head. Lordosis occurs when the natural arch in the lower back, or lumbar region, curves more than normal. This can lead to excess pressure on the spine causing pain. People with Lordosis often have a visible arch in their lower backs. When looking at them from the side their lower backs form a defined "C" shape.) Once the Dr did some testing he discovered I had 2 herniated and 1 bulging disc. He set me up with months of chiropractic treatments and over the next 4 years I also had prolotheraphy, epidural injections and other treatments I can't even remember the names of, none of which helped.   From 1990 I progress from walking without any problems to walking with one cane, then 2 canes, then a walker with a seat. In 1994 my insurance paid for an electric mobility 3 wheel scooter. During these 4 year more and more depression set in because I was losing all the things I use to love to do because of the pain associated with the conditions I had. In 1995 weighing 420 pounds I did marry my boyfriend, despite being in the scooter. He didn't care as he loved this obese physically handicapped woman, or at least I thought he did. By 1998 I weighed in at 497 pounds, had to use a tow rope attached to my window frame to get me out of bed and into a rolling chair my husband made for me.   That was when I told him I had to get my life back and had to lose some weight. I wrote him a 3 page letter as to how he could help me and he flatly refused to do any of the things I asked of him. I tried to lose weight that year but with him bringing in all the foods I loved and me not having the will power to say no I only lost 20 pounds. Over the course of the next 7 years with Weight Watchers and various other diets I tried each New Year I did manage to lose 95 pounds. Oh yea I divorced that man in 2005. In that same year in October I lost my brother Oct 1st and my mother October 29th. In November I was hospitalized with Lymphedema and was out of work for about a month. I was weighed in a hospital bed and it registered 402 pounds. In December I lost my job of 18 years. I am surpised I didn't wind up in the mental ward with all that happened in 2005.   The New Year 2006 was approaching, I had gotten a nice severance pay from my lost job, so I decide to started NS at 402 In about a year I got to 308 and ran out of the severance pay money and was trying to get disability. I did get the disability but Medicare wouldn't kick in until 2008. I was told I could still do some work if able to and get the disability. I did manage to find a new job (12 hours a week) but it paid half of what I had been earning. Even with the disability pay and the work pay I still couldn't afford to continue with NS. By 2008 I was back up to 344. The Medicare advantage plan started and I looked into the lap band.   I had to have a Dr that was associated with a Medical Center of Excellence which meant a 1 1/2 hour trip one way down south. Turns out the Medicare advantage plan was willing to pay for the surgery but not the fills, so I didn't get the surgery. There was no way I was able to pay for fills. I had been on this site and others and read it takes many tries before you find what people were calling the sweet spot. In 2009, I was back at my old job of 18 years as the agency reopened and wanted me back. I told them my condition had gotten worse since 2005 and I could only work 2 days per week and they were fine with that arrangement. Once again I tried to lose weigh and lost maybe 20 pounds and each year gained them back   By June 2014, I gained back up to 390 pounds. I was not going over the 400 mark again. So at 58 years of age I went back to what worked before and that was Nutrisystem. But the program had changed and was not working as well as it had before. Within one year I only lost 38 pounds and felt that it should have been a lot more. In June 2015 at 352 pounds once again I decided to try for WLS with this new medical insurance I had gotten this year.   That leads me to where I am now and the next entry will start this journey to WLS as I have to follow a 6 month supervised diet. So surgery will probably not be until 2016, if the insurance approves it.   I am writing about this over a decade journey in hopes of providing some inspiration to at least 1 person who feels he or she can't do it because they have a BMI of over 50. When I started this long journey in 1999 my BMI was over 80.2 Now it is 56.8 and I am striving to have a normal BMI of 24 which puts my weight at 152 so I need to lose another 200 pounds. I hope you will join me in this journey to lose weight so I can walk again for more than 3 to 4 minutes. I am tired of this cocoon I am in and am ready to turn into the BUTTERFLY I know is deep inside me.   If you are reading this blog, please leave me some comments as I am on this journey alone. This group and a few other WLS groups on the internet know about my decision to lose weight. All my friends are obese and always state they would never have WLS so I can't share this journey with them. Thank you all for reading this. Have a Happy Healthy Day!!

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

A good candidate

After waiting for 6 weeks I finally saw the Surgeon on July 22nd. He felt I would be a godd candidate for the Lapband. He wants me to take 2 Nutrition classes, get a Psychological Evaluation, a cardiac evaluation (I have no heart problems so not sure why) and bloodwork done. He also wants me to get with my PCP and find something other than Voltaren to take for the pain. Plus I need to get with the Pain management Dr to get off of Lyrica. It seems the Lyrica causes weight gain.   I already had the Psychological Evaluation this week. Next Monday I can get the blood work done and Thursday will be the first Nutrition class. I will need to call for a Cardiac evaluation and schedule the 2nd nutrition class. When the Surgeon's office has all the evaluations I will be able to see him again, get a surgery date, final insurance approval and attend the preop class. When I asked how many more weeks he stated about 6 to 8 weeks. So we are looking at a possible Sept surgery date.   In the mean time on July 17th I had three Thoracic Facet Joint Injections in my spine and have been finally able to do things for the first time in over 10 years. I still have some pain but not the knife stabbing, take away my breath kind of pain. I am walking about 6 to 9 minutes with 2 canes where as before I could barely walk 1 to 2 minutes. Instead of rolling around on the desk chair in the house I am now walking. I have been swimming and in the hot tub as I can finally lift my leg high enough to get up the stairs. I have taken day trips down to Fort Lauderdale and loving every minute of the drive. I am finally living and not just existing. I just hope and pray the pain does not come back as I will be even more depressed and upset if it does. Till next time have a great journey!   If you noticed the date, this was written in 2008. It is now 2015. The pain came back in a matter of months and the weight went all the way up to 390. I am starting over again in 2015 to be approved for the sleeve. So anything after this date is my journey for the second try at WLS.

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

 

Starting the process

I started this WLS process as soon as I became eligible for Medicare in May of 2008. I got a list of Lapband Doctors in South East Florida and the first Dr I contacted was on my plan but the hospital was not a Center of Excellence. Medicare demands that this surgery been done in such a hospital. Ok, so I kept looking, found a hospital they would approve but the Dr is not on the plan. There doesn't seem to be any Dr and hospital in my County that meets Medicares approval. Thank goodness for that Lapband list, as I used it to search for Doctors listed and where these Doctors performed the surgery.   Over Memorial weekend I finally found Dr. Bass and The Regional Memorial Hospital in Hollywood, which is a Center of Excellence. I was able to not only register on line but I filled out a 9 page profile. Two days later Tiffany (Co-ordinator) called me. She got the profile and told me about a information seminar on Thursday I needed to attend. Great the ball is rolling. So come Thursday I get in the van and head down to Hollywood but never made it there. About 30 minutes into the trip I developed van trouble Being handicapped and traveling alone I couldn't take the chance that something would happen even further away from home so I turned around and headed back home. The next day I called Tiffany and told her of my van troubles. No problem she would get Cindy to send me 5 on line videos I needed to watch and when I did let her know. Well I did watch those and have finally been given my first consultation visit with the Dr. for July 22nd. In the mean time Tiffany sent me a sample of the medically necessary letter to give to my Doctors.   Dr. Alshon was not willing to write me a letter of medically necessary even though he had a sample letter with all the things he didn't know about me filled in. I find it extremely odd that he would not do this.:thumbup: During my first visit with him for pain management of my back, hip and shoulder he commented "NO Dr. would touch you for surgery on your hip, have you thought about WLS". during the second visit when I asked him to write this letter, He said " I don't have the time, you are here for pain management so let's deal with that." However he did send down a prescription for WLS. Never heard of that being done and I guess Dr. Bass will submit that to insurance.   Dr. Rogovin my PCP is more than willing to write a letter of medically necessary. :biggrin2: I suppose that is because he has seen how I have struggled over the last 14 years with all my problems and he had mentioned WLS many times but my insurance would not allow it at the time.   So now I sit and wait until July 22nd. I suppose that will be he next post I write. Till than Have a Happy Journey Everyone!

ssflbelle

ssflbelle

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