I hit my all-time low (funny, because of course that coincides with my all-time highest weight ...... 327 pounds) in December of 2011. I barely could get off of the sofa, where I spent the majority of my days, and many of my nights (because I hated going up the flight of stairs to my bedroom). My knees and ankles were in constant pain. I could hardly take care of my personal hygiene (if you know what I mean), and I had just had a family picture taken where I could barely recognize the person I was looking at in the photo..... ME !
So, I did what I did every January 2nd...... I went on ANOTHER DIET. I cut out sugar, flour, rice, potatoes, and pasta. Went through two weeks of withdrawals. At this same time, I received a letter in the mail from our insurance provider (Office of Group Benefits for the State of Louisiana) that they would be participating in a biomedical research study on the long term effects of weight loss surgery vs liquid protein dieting, coupled with therapy and support. They anticipated that 20,000+ people would volunteer for the study, and only 300 names would randomly be drawn from a computer generated lottery ( of which only 100 would qualify for the surgery) so I knew the odds were NOT in my favor. I signed up for the weight loss program, knowing that it was a long shot at best. I continued throughout 2012, restricting myself from those damn carbohydrates. I lost about 30 pounds that year, and to no one's surprise, my name was NOT chosen!
Continued on my journey in 2013, and my husband and I joined a gym..... yet again! I looked like a defeated little puppy walking into that gym the first few times....... I mean, when you weigh 300 pounds, who wants to move?!?!?! My husband pushed me through the first month, I tolerated the second and third month, and I actually liked it by the fourth month!
In January of 2013, I received a phone call from the LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Facility that the Heads Up Weight Loss Study had renewed for another year. Applicants did not have to re-apply, but all names submitted the previous years would remain in the potential pool of candidates. They were also opening enrollment for new applicants, and this time they anticipated close to 24,000 people throughout the state of Louisiana would be in the computer generated lottery...... Great, my chances of being one of the 300 randomly chosen computer generated lottery "winners" was now even lessened.
Well, guess who got a phone call in May of 2013, that my name was chosen for the screening process...... You guessed it...... MY NAME WAS CHOSEN...... I had won the GOLDEN TICKET! I headed off to Baton Rouge for a six hour screening process. I had to meet certain criteria, one of which was to go on a LIQUID PROTEIN DIET for TWO WEEKS, and return for a weigh in...... I had to lose EIGHT pounds or I would be disqualified for the surgery. The nurse actually told me that the woman she screened right before me had lost 7.9 pounds, and she was automatically disqualified. I went home with a two week supply of very nasty tasting protein shake packets. (Now, this was the same time period that my third child was graduating from high school. And along with that was a crawfish boil we hosted, two celebratory restaurant dinners, and two parties....... all during my two week LIQUID PROTEIN DIET. But, I was not going to lose out on this opportunity (GIFT) given to me.) I persevered throughout those two weeks, and when I returned to the research facility, I had lost eleven pounds!
Next, my packet of patient information would go before a board of surgeons to see which surgery I would qualify for. I only wanted the LAPBAND surgery, so I was scared that after all of this, the doctors would decided that the SLEEVE or BY-PASS was best for me; but, as luck would have it, the board of physicians agreed that I should have the LAPBAND.
I met my surgeon (whom I would have chosen to perform my surgery if I would have been able to afford it) on a Thursday in August, and I had my surgery the following Thursday, August 22, 2013. I weighed 271 pounds on the day of my surgery. I couldn't have been in a better frame of mind or in better shape.....so to speak. I mean, I was exercising now on a daily basis, and I had already taken off 56 pounds, and I was mentally into the whole process of becoming a HEALTHYNEWME!
I've not looked back since then. This was a gift given to me. I am not about to take that gift for granted.
As part of the research study, I was committed to going back to Pennington at 6 months out, one year out, and annually for the next five years. I hope to be privy to the data the research study provides. I will share this with you all, as it becomes available.
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Starting Weight: 327 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery: 271 lbs
Current Weight: 173 lbs
Goal Weight: 170 lbs
Weight Lost: 154 lbs
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 08/15/2013
Surgery Date: 08/22/2013
Hospital Stay: Outpatient
Surgery Funding: n/a
Insurance Outcome: n/a