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VelvetKiss

LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by VelvetKiss

  1. VelvetKiss

    Newly Banded Need Advice

    Thanks for all the wonderful advice. I will definately try cutting the Isopure with water and I did get some CIB but I want to try some of the other suggestions as well. I appreciate all the help!
  2. VelvetKiss

    July 2006 Band Crew

    Well this will be my last post before surgery, once I post again I will be a newbie. We are leaving in a few hours to drive to CA for my surgery which is scheduled for Tuesday July 25 with Dr. Cirangle. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. Good Luck to the New people getting banded and the ones who have already been banded. I can't wait to join you.
  3. VelvetKiss

    July 2006 Band Crew

    I will be banded on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 with Dr. Cirangle in San Francisco, CA. It will be a 5 hour trip from my home in Oregon but worth it since he is a good surgeon and handles higher BMI and higher weight patients. I am nervous and excited all at the same time.
  4. VelvetKiss

    Docs in Oregon to do a fill?

    I am not banded yet and I will be using a satellite office of my surgeons who are in CA, BUT I live in Medford Oregon and I know that Ashland has the southern oregon bariatrics I believe there called and they do the lap band surgery but I dont know anything about them, but you could check them out as well as Ashland Community Hospital may do them as well. Also Dr. Mirande in Klamath Falls is a possibility I have heard good things on him, but dont know much about him either. I have heard negative things about Dr. Tersigni in Coos Bay and I was not impressed with them when I did my research for lap band surgeons. I hope this helps alittle. Nice to see another Southern Oregon Bandster on here.
  5. Hi Falice, Wow life below Eugene, I thought I was the only one from Southern Oregon! I am not yet banded and will be banded in California, but I have not found a support group in Southern Oregon. Just wanted to say Hello to you! Tonya
  6. VelvetKiss

    Happy Birthday Princess n Thep

    Happy Birthday Jenna, I am glad you had a great day and that your family treated you so special. Sounds like 33 will be a great year!
  7. VelvetKiss

    Happy Birthday Nikkee !!!

    Happy Birthday Nykee! I hope you had a GREAT Day!
  8. VelvetKiss

    Advice Needed!

    Hey All, I am scheduled as a Self Pay for surgery on May 2nd and well Friday I found out that I was approved for Social Security Disability and that I will become eligible to get Medicare, no later then September 2006, so my question is: I am borrowing the money for self pay for surgery on May 2nd, but now that I have been approved for Social Security Disability and will be getting Medicare, and the hospital I chose and the surgeon I chose in CA Medicare will pay for since they are consider a Center of Excellence and I meet the basic guidelines of a BMI over 35, at least 2 co-morbidity of Diabetes and Hypothyroidism and other diets havent worked, even though I dont have that documented so I hope that isnt a problem. Should I postpone surgery till I get Medicare and then apply to have them pay for the surgery and pay what they wont pay? I feel like I should because I would be saving money and if there were any problems I would have insurance to cover it, so I was wondering what you all thought since I trust your opinions and also has anyone been approved under the new Medicare Guidelines and what has been your experience with them? Thanks for any and all advice!
  9. VelvetKiss

    Advice Needed!

    Thanks Alexandra, Yeah it would kill my budget because my parents were going to borrow the money and I pay them back so it would make it easier all around. I would even be ok with if Medicare would just pay for the hospital part and I paid the surgeon. Anything saved is good, I just hate waiting and I hope I dont have to meet alot of guidelines either. Thanks again!
  10. VelvetKiss

    May 2006 Band Crew

    I am part of the May Group. I hopefully will be Banded on Tuesday, May 2, 2006 at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
  11. VelvetKiss

    Illude - NOT a newbie!

    Illude, OMG, Your Beautiful and What an AMAZING accomplishment! I have to say you posting was just what I needed. I have a surgery date and I have been obessing over not losing enough weight by choosing the band as my wls choice and you have just inspired and given me great hope that I can reach what ever goal I set my mind too. Thank You!
  12. VelvetKiss

    Happy Birthday Vinesqueen

    Happy Birthday Crystal! I hope you had a great day! Thanks for all your wonderful support and post on LBT!
  13. VelvetKiss

    Need Some Advice?

    I have been wanting to get the band now for awhile and well due to bad credit was not able to take a loan out for the band and I have no insurance at this time as I have not been able to work for the last 2 years due to complications health wise and from 2 car accidents which were not my fault. What I need advice on is this, I spoke with my mom and step father and they agreed to either co-sign a loan or lend me the money and I will pay them back. All was good and I am choosing to go with Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco and using Dr. Cirangle and I even got my surgery scheduled for April 11, 2006, since my mom said march was too hetic for her. Problem is she doesnt want me to have the band and just thinks I should do it on my own and now she is giving me MAJOR stress over it, she is now telling me that if they pay for the band that they will not pay for a wedding for me when or if I have one, they will not help me out financially if I need it for anything and if I wish to travel home to Ohio to see them then I will have to pay for it my self. All that is fine and good with me and that is what I said but she now keeps saying cant you just do this yourself I dont want to have to help you, why dont you just let me pay for nutrisystem and you can lose weight this way. It is stressing me out so bad, I dont know if I should go with the band as I would like or give in and cancel and do nutrisystem like she would like me too? What do you guys think? Oh this is very typical for us, my mom had me young so she has always felt i was an inconviece and a burden to her and my step father has never liked me in the picture and has always hated that I was over weight, but there daughter my sister is thin and they treat her great, I have always been treated like a second class citzen in my immediate family. Sorry to give out so much information, I am just so stressed and unsure of what to do and I am suppose to be starting to lose some weight before surgery and all the stress is making me want to eat. Thanks for any help!
  14. VelvetKiss

    Music - Whats your flavor?

    I am an HUGE MUSIC LOVER!!!! I am open to all types of music, but get into Rock and Country the most. I love 80's hair bands, winger, poison, whitesnake, etc, plus ozzy, rob zombie, danzig, kid rock, loraine mckenna, ani defranco, no doubt, aerosmith, guns and roses, journey, david allan coe, waylon jennings, trace adkins, gary allan, tim mcgraw, alan jackson, george strait, faith hill, reba, martina mcbride, brooks and dunn, kenny chesney, chris ledoux, tom petty and too many more to name. My all time favorite is Bon Jovi, I am a HUGE fan and spent many of my youth following them from town to town on tour and it was a blast. I still love them to this day. I am a rock and roll girl! Just had to chime in on this one as I love music so much!
  15. VelvetKiss

    Self pay / How much?

    I live in Southern Oregon and I chose to go with Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco for my surgery and I will get my fills at there satellite office in Chico, CA which is about 2 hours away from me. I am a self pay and will be paying $14,000 and that is for the surgeon, 1 night hospital stay, anesthesia and includes 1 year of office visits and one year of fills. They have a 5 year plan for $16,500. I belive it is alittle cheaper with them if you have the surgery at there day surgery center but it depends on your health and if you have any special needs. I also know there is a Dr. Mirandi in Klamath Falls who does Lap Band and Dr. Tersigni in Coos Bay. Hope this helps.
  16. VelvetKiss

    How long in the hospital?

    I am not banded yet, but my surgeon did say I will be in the hospital overnight, as long as there are no complications. I do know some surgeons use a day surgery center where you can go home the same day, so everyone is different and it also depends on your surgeon as well.
  17. VelvetKiss

    Need Some Advice?

    I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who responded and thanks for the great support. It helped me ALOT with this situation. I have been trying to retalk to my Mom about the surgery and seeing if she needed more information then what I gave her and if she had any fears and we are now talking about trying to do it my way of where she just co-signs the loan for me and I pay it back and leave the wedding and other stuff on the back burner for if and or when it comes up. She isnt thrilled with the idea but I am hoping it will work. So now I just need to get started on the pre-op diet and all my pre-op test and maybe now I can finally get excited about my surgery date of April 11, 2006. Thanks again to the LBT Family! You guys are truly the best. Tonya
  18. I am considering using the Laporscopic Associates of San Francisco as my surgeons for the Lap Band. There is a place in WA that I am looking at also because they handle High Weight and High BMI patients. I wanted to know if anyone who has considered or had there surgery at LapSF thought they were good surgeons and what there over all opinion of the Doctors and Staff were like. Also did you have a stay in an actual hospital? Did you feel like they tried to talk you out of having the Lap Band? I would also like to here from any patients of there's who may have been High Weight or High BMI as well. Using LapSF would be the best choice because I have family in that area I could stay with after surgery and when I would have to travel down there to get my fills or after care since I live in Oregon and it would make it easier for My Mother who would be coming out from Ohio for my surgery to be able to stay with family too. I trust your guys opinions, you have helped so much with other questions I have had and so I again am turning to you for your opinions. Thank You!
  19. VelvetKiss

    I dare U 2 beat my NSV... I rode the bull!!!

    Bull Riding and Belly Dancing OH MY! I love it! This is also on my wish list of NSV's to come once I am banded. How fitting Gretchen came on at the same time. I admire your spirit, you are an inspiration. What fun Bandsters have! Tonya
  20. VelvetKiss

    Biggest Loser or South of France

    Congrats on choosing the Biggest Loser! I agree you have to at least apply and see what happens, you should never live with the "What If's" and like everyone you can always still go to Cannes and fly back if your picked, but this way you are still doing something for you and still supporting John. Sounds like the best of both and I wish you luck in being picked and will be cheering for you! Tonya
  21. VelvetKiss

    Paying for Lap Band?

    I am a newbie here to the board and Well I have been researching WLS for a few years and have been keeping an eye on the Lap Band as I feel it is the best choice for me. I am a larger then most Bandster and I am researching 3 surgeons in Oregon, Dr. Emma Patterson, Dr. Steven Tersigni and Dr. Raul Mirande, I am at the point of consultation and payment options. This is where my problem lies. I am out of work and have been for 2 years due to a disability but Social Security is fighting me and I am in appeals and my loving boyfriend supports us, he has a low income job, but does the best he can, I have no health insurance, in oregon I am not eligible for there medicaid program as they have made it for people with children only now and they do not cover WLS or so I was told and I was going to apply to what oregon calls OMIP which is Oregon Medical Insurance Pool, that is underwritten by Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon and cost alot and they have all WLS excluded for morbid obesity and I do not own a home we rent, we have 1 car and both of our credit is shot due to me being out of work and some past mistakes on him so I dont think we would qualify for a medical loan or a bank loan. So my question is does anyone know of a way to pay for the Lap Band that I may have not thought of? Our families cant help they have little income and I need this surgery in order to be able to drive again and get out of the house to work. Sorry for the long post and any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thank You!
  22. VelvetKiss

    LapSF are they any good?

    Hi Kelli, I havent been banded yet either and I am hoping to have Dr. Cirangle as my surgeon, but it isnt definate yet. I just talked with the coordinator about which band they use and what the extra rate is for a private room at CPMC is because I read it can be noisy if you dont. I saw your a medical transcriptionist, I am thinking of going into that field myself. I am thinking of atteding M-tech. Thanks for sharing your experience with them I just wanted to make sure they were as good as I had read and heard they were at this surgery. Thanks, Tonya
  23. VelvetKiss

    Lap Band in the News!

    I found this article on another one of my Lap Band boards and I thought it was a very good article and so I thought I would post it for our Members to read. Angeles Times COLUMN ONE On a scale of Life or Death He weighed 578 pounds; his sister, 579. They chose to take decisive action, despite the cost and sacrifices, but would it be too late? By Valerie Reitman Times Staff Writer January 4, 2006 It started with a terrible dream: Cyrus Tehrani had died. At the funeral, his wife and six children wept over his outsized coffin. That nightmare jolted Joe Guarderas awake. He knew that if his best friend Cyrus, 34, didn't take drastic action, the dream would become reality. Cyrus had grown gargantuan. His girth had destroyed his knees, spiked his blood pressure, sapped his breath and landed him in the hospital for several days with severe leg swelling. Cyrus' older sister, Sheila Tehrani, 37, was just as big, and just as imperiled. Only a pound separated the siblings: Cyrus weighed 578, Sheila 579. Guarderas hatched a plan. "If you knew Cyrus was going to die," Guarderas recalled asking the healthier Sheila, "would you give anything to get him back?" "In a heartbeat," Sheila replied. "Would you give up the house?" "Of course," Sheila replied. Well, said Guarderas, "that's what you may have to do." That conversation late in 2004 launched the Tehranis' last-ditch attempt to shed the weight that was slowly smothering them. Surgery to slash their food intake would cost at least $25,000 each. With no health insurer willing to pay, the only recourse was to refinance the house they had inherited from their father. Sheila still lives in a studio apartment behind the house. Sheila researched options on the Internet and made an appointment with one of Los Angeles' most experienced bariatric surgeons, Dr. Carson Liu. Liu wondered if it was too late. Had the siblings become so huge that the surgery was too risky? Vast numbers of Americans face a similar predicament. They have outgrown the weightiest medical description: morbid obesity. About 725,000 to a million people fit in this "super-obese" category. But even that term is no longer expansive enough for the Tehranis and a fast-rising number of others. Between 140,000 and 400,000 Americans are believed to weigh more than 400 pounds. Liu dubs them the "super-duper" obese. With a few hundred extra pounds severely straining every bodily organ, they appear to have one last hope: bariatric surgery. But that surgery poses such grave risks for huge patients that many surgeons refuse to operate on them. "They are at the end of their lives," Liu said. "They are being operated on much too late. These are the patients that have bad congestive heart failure — their hearts can't keep up with their bodies, which are falling apart." By the time the Tehranis consulted Liu in early April 2005, they could walk only a few yards before becoming winded. Their arms puffed out like basketballs. Their distended bellies draped to their knees like sandbags. Restaurants with booths, chairs with armrests, airline flights, even clothes from shops catering to big and tall people — all were out of the question. (Cyrus jokes that labels on his clothes couldn't accommodate all the Xs: he wore 7X shirts over 78-inch-waist pants.) Stares were as painful as stairs for Sheila. A pudgy child, she had grown quite heavy by high school, despite the attempts of her father — an engineer who immigrated to the United States from Iran — to police what she ate. When she was 11, her father sent her to the now-defunct Schick behavioral modification center in Pasadena, where she received tiny electrical shocks as she took bites of a Hostess apple pie. Like the diets before, it didn't work. By her late 20s, she no longer could fit behind the wheel of her Toyota pickup truck. She sold it and gave up driving. She grew more sedentary, rarely leaving her studio apartment in the back of the family house. Instead, she earned money baby-sitting the children whom relatives would take to her home. Grocery shopping required exercising only her index finger — to dial Vons for delivery. Cyrus, who as a husky teenager had biked and lifted weights, wedged himself behind the wheel of his Ford Windstar minivan ("thank God for tilt steering," he says) to commute to Santa Ana, where he still makes DVD masters used to mass-produce movies and music. The Vietnamese immigrant owners and workers there affectionately rub his belly and call him their Buddha. He calls the men there — and everywhere else — Slim. Other potential employers snubbed him because of his size, he says. Caring for six children — three of his own with Karen, his wife of seven years, and her three children from a previous marriage — kept him busy. But his stamina had dwindled. By the time Joe Guarderas talked to Cyrus' sister, he could barely get out of bed or bend over to tie his shoes. To ease his aches and lower his blood pressure, he downed prescription and over-the-counter pills by the handful. When he was in the hospital last spring with his leg problems, a cardiologist told him he'd be lucky to live 10 years. But until Sheila convinced him of the serious health risk after Guarderas' dream, Cyrus preferred to look at the "funny" side of being fat. He reveled in his young son's riposte to an unkind remark by his kindergarten friend: "Wow, Gavin, your dad is really fat." "My daddy's not fat," Gavin shot back. "My daddy's full of love." The Tehranis certainly overate. They loved heaping portions of calorie-rich Persian foods — breads, rice, cheeses and kebabs. Cyrus often ate super-size fast-food combos for lunch and had a weakness for Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey and Chubby Hubby ice cream, at about 600 calories per cup. "If I knew I'd buy as much Ben & Jerry's as I have, I'd have bought stock," said Cyrus, who really packed on the pounds after quitting smoking in his 20s. The siblings also ate to soothe bouts of depression after the deaths of their parents and a half-sister. But the siblings and friends insist that they weren't eating near the Costco-size quantities one would think necessary to be 400 pounds overweight. "It's not like we were pulling up to a food trough," Cyrus says. Sheila said she did none of the things she heard others report at Overeaters Anonymous meetings. "I thought these people were sick, because they were eating out of the trash and were closet eaters," she said. All it takes to gain a pound a week is a 500-calorie surplus every day. That's two Mrs. Fields Cookies or a large order of McDonald's fries. A pound per week totes up 52 pounds annually. In five years, that's 260 pounds. The bigger the Tehranis got, the less they restrained themselves. At their size, what did one extra Krispy Kreme doughnut matter? Surgeon Liu attributes two-thirds of super-obesity to genetics (many members of the Tehrani family are heavy, though not super-obese) and one-third to eating habits and lack of exercise. Yo-yo dieting can make it worse. "There is something that happens when fat cells starve," Liu said. "It makes people extremely hungry, and they fall off their diets and gain the weight back so fast — and then maybe add an additional 20 pounds." Above 300 pounds, the weight seems to accrue even faster, Liu says, without "the patient — or anybody — realizing exactly why." Few doctors have a scale that goes beyond 350 pounds. So Cyrus was shocked in April when he stood on Liu's and it registered 150 pounds more than his last weigh-in four years earlier. "I knew I had gotten fatter, but I never thought I would break that 500-pound mark," Cyrus said. "And when I saw 578, I got sick to my stomach." Standing 5 feet 11, Cyrus had a weight-to-height ratio, or body mass index, of 81, more than triple the maximum 25 considered healthy for most adults. At 5 feet 2, Sheila had a body mass index of 106. Cyrus' health insurer refused to cover weight-loss surgery. Insurance companies typically want documentation that patients have tried dieting. The insurers blanch at the procedure's mortality rates, and also fear that too many of the 20 million obese patients nationwide will sign up for their plans if they offer the surgery too readily, Liu said. Sheila has no insurance. By the time they saw Liu, the Tehranis, inspired by the huge weight losses of NBC weather forecaster Al Roker and singer Carnie Wilson, were convinced they needed a gastric bypass procedure. But Liu told the Tehranis gastric bypass was too risky for them. Super-obese patients are 10 times more likely to die from bariatric surgery than those who are morbidly obese. And he warned that a serious complication necessitating hospitalization for a month could easily cost $300,000, virtually all the equity in their childhood home. The only procedure he would do for them was the Lap-Band adjustable gastric banding system, in which a synthetic ring is attached to the upper end of the stomach. Liu has performed more than 1,700 gastric bypasses and 350 using Lap-Bands. He said he prefers the latter because it is far less drastic and, unlike the bypass, is adjustable and reversible, though weight loss is slower. If they still wanted a bypass, Liu assured the Tehranis, he would do it — after they each lost 150 pounds with Lap-Bands. He instructed the siblings to lose 28 pounds, about 5% of their weight, before the surgery to show their determination, shrink their fatty livers and make the surgery easier. The Tehranis delayed the start of their diets for a week until after Sheila's birthday party. After that, they stuck to two Protein shakes and one healthful, low-carbohydrate meal a day. In six weeks, Sheila dropped 28 pounds and Cyrus lost 19. But Liu said he was worried that swelling in Cyrus' legs might indicate the right side of his heart was failing. He was concerned that Sheila's fast pulse might mean her heart was starting to give out. Liu said he needed to conduct tests for congestive heart failure. The overnight stay in the intensive-care unit at Olympia Medical Center, near Beverly Hills, cost the siblings $5,000 each. On the last day of solid food before the operation, the Tehranis pigged out one last time. Cyrus downed a Tommy's triple cheeseburger topped off by Chubby Hubby. Sheila had higher standards. "I'm not investing my last meal on Tommy's," she recalled telling Cyrus. She opted for rice and kebabs from Shiraz restaurant in Glendale. Liu dubbed such binges "last meal syndrome." Sheila barely slept the night before she and her bother entered the hospital. Cyrus' children clung to him as he prepared to leave. "Any questions?" Cyrus recalled asking the kids. "When you come home, will you be skinny?" 5-year-old Jillian piped up. He reassured them it wouldn't be long before he could ride the rides at Disneyland with them — something he's been too big to do since age 21. At the hospital, Cyrus and Sheila nervously poked fun at each other. The only children of parents who divorced when they were 3 and 7, they have always been close and see (and tease) each other constantly. "I told [wife] Karen I have atrophy of the jaw because I'm not chewing nearly as much," Cyrus told Sheila. "But you're still talking," Sheila shot back. A nurse asked Cyrus if he had any valuables with him. He looked at Karen. "Just her," he said. "Do you have an advance directive?" the nurse asked. "She knows what I want," Cyrus said. As they were wheeled separately into their intensive care unit rooms, the Tehranis realized they wouldn't see each other for a while. "Bye, Fat," Cyrus said to his sister. When Liu looked askance, Cyrus explained that "fatso" was a name they fondly split. "Bye, So," she said. Liu worried as he walked out of the hospital that night, not so much about Cyrus, whose health had improved with the weight loss, but about Sheila. Her liver hadn't shrunk much. So much fat still swathed her overburdened lungs that he worried she might not wake from the anesthesia. The morning of June 7, their hearts were beating at triple the normal rate. But test results revealed no permanent damage. Liu gave the go-ahead for both. Sheila was first. As music from David Gray's "White Ladder" album poured into the operating room, Liu inserted an instrument equipped with a tiny camera into her navel. An image of her insides flashed onto monitors above the operating table. He inserted three more tong-like cutting and suturing devices into her abdomen. The long hours that Liu, 40, spent playing video games while growing up chagrined his Chinese immigrant parents, but they paid off professionally. Eyes glued to the monitor, he maneuvered the tools. It took more than an hour to work through the hardened fat, which looked like yellow gel on the screen. Finally, Liu saw the left lobe of Sheila's liver, swollen to the size of a five-pound steak from what is normally the size of an orange. The surgeon assisting him pulled it aside to reveal the stomach. Liu positioned the inflatable Lap-Band so it cinched her stomach into an asymmetrical hourglass shape, with 98% of the stomach below the band. At 11 a.m., Liu finished the 2 1/2 -hour procedure. It had taken five times longer than usual. "I'm hungry," the fit, 6-foot, 1-inch Liu declared. He repaired to the hospital's cafeteria for a two-hour break. Cyrus' abdominal wall was softer and his liver much smaller. Liu finished his procedure in just 50 minutes. The Tehranis went home the next day. The Lap-Band, which narrowed the stomach opening from the size of a silver dollar to the size of a dime, made the siblings feel stuffed. At first, they could down just liquids, then soft foods, like tofu and yogurt. For the first month, Sheila was depressed. "I don't know what it was — whether it was that food was always my outlet and now it was taken away or if it was because, being healthy all my life, this was the most I'd ever seen a doctor," she said. But she dropped 22 pounds by the time they next saw Liu, two weeks after surgery. At a family cookout soon after, Cyrus and Sheila could eat only about one-third of a chicken breast and some green Beans each. By mid-July, Cyrus began to pull ahead; he had dropped 48 pounds in five weeks, 83 pounds total. Sheila had dropped 28 pounds, for a total of 61. Sheila mentioned to Liu that she had eaten Pasta and bread, albeit in tiny portions. He reacted with horror. "You ate bread?" He told her it was time to tighten the Lap-Band. "He's punishing me for eating bread," she joked as Liu filled a syringe and pumped saline into the barely visible port opening in her chest, which was attached to the Lap-Band device. Cyrus began walking more around the neighborhood with his children. Two months after the surgery, both Tehranis had dropped below 500 pounds. Cyrus had lost 97 pounds and Sheila 85. The whole family rented an RV and went camping at Lake Perris, the siblings' first camping trip since they were kids. At their October appointment, Sheila told Liu she needed "a Lap-Band for my mind," something to choke off the emotional issues and the habits that drove her to eat. Sheila considered it a victory that she got by with just one tiny box of Junior Mints for Halloween. Cyrus carried his children's trick-or-treat bags but abstained. On the eve of the family's Thanksgiving potluck dinner, Sheila made chocolate chip and gingerbread cookies, without sampling any batter, and ate only a few the next day. Cyrus ate some turkey and splurged on a dollop of homemade cranberry sauce. He has become downright militant about sweets and starches, much to Sheila's chagrin. She believes that eating a little of something she loves will prevent her from feeling deprived, then binging. Cyrus has become zealous about going to Bally's gym in Pasadena several nights a week to lift weights and walk on the treadmill. His children are asleep when he returns home. "Every day I wake up and look into the faces of my motivation," Cyrus said of them. It has been six months since the surgery. At their most recent appointment, early in December, Cyrus registered the loss of 19 more pounds, while Sheila showed a gain of 1 1/2 pounds. All told, Cyrus had lost 146 pounds and Sheila, 101. Sheila was disappointed but refused to let Liu tighten the Lap-Band. She already had trouble eating meat and told him it was painful to down more than half a cup of food at a time. "There's only so much you can eat, even if you do eat crap," she said. Liu told her she must start exercising. She vowed to get a treadmill. Cyrus suggested an elliptical trainer. "Are you kidding?" she replied. "I'd start a fire with my calves" rubbing together. Cyrus, meanwhile, complained to Liu that he was losing muscle as well as fat, despite his workouts and increased protein intake. " 'Boohoo, I'm losing weight,' " Sheila mocked. She later said she felt "like we're having two completely different experiences. He stands up at support group meetings — and he happens to be wearing a T-shirt that says 'I had an IQ test and it came out negative' — and he's saying, 'It's all mental.' He's like, 'Don't eat it, don't do it.' I don't know if it's because he's a man and I'm a woman, but I'm much more emotional." Though everyone praises her accomplishment, Sheila said she still imagines them thinking, "Oh, my God; you're still so fat." The one thing the siblings — who were down to 432.6 and 477.6 pounds as of Dec. 7 — do agree on is how much the weight loss has changed their lives. "It's amazing how much more energy I have now," Cyrus said. "I've lost a whole person." Their faces look healthier. Sheila walked up a steep hill at Eagle Rock Hillside Park on Thanksgiving with the rest of the clan. She played in the inaugural Tehrani kickball game — though her 3-year-old niece served as pinch runner. For the first time in years, she went Christmas shopping, spending a few hours walking around the Glendale Galleria with her best friend. Cyrus has lost 20 inches from his waist. He no longer needs medications and his blood pressure is nearly normal. A few weeks after the operation, Karen called Guarderas to thank him for saving Cyrus' life. On New Year's Eve, she reflected on how much better life is now that Cyrus can join the rest of the family in so many activities. She choked up as she recalled the cardiologist's grim 2004 warning that Cyrus wasn't likely be around much longer and how she tried to protect the children from that prediction. They sensed the looming threat, she believes: Jillian hated to leave Cyrus' side, not wanting to go to kindergarten, sometimes even trying to sneak home. Now, she loves school. And so the Tehranis don't mind paying $730 more each month for the next 30 years to pay off the $100,000 home-equity loan they took out to pay for their transformation and the surgery they may need in the future to cut off the folds of skin. Said Sheila: "Oh, my God, we are so lucky we had the option…. How do you put a price on your life?" *The Times will follow the Tehranis' progress with occasional articles in the paper and on latimes.com. The writer can be reached at Valerie.Reitman@latimes.com.
  24. VelvetKiss

    Star Jones

    I agree she has a right to keep it to her self, BUT not use it to get Media attention or sell her book and on that 20/20 she implied that her book was about her journey and that it would include her weight loss which I have been told she doesnt tell in her book either. I guess she thinks people must have forgot but back in 2003 she did tell and she did have Gastric Bypass, it was not only on Entertainment Tonight but also that NY Post had an article in 08/25/03 that stated Barbara Walters was thinking of doing a documentry detailing Co-Host Star Jones Gastric Bypass Surgery. Just my 2 cents worth!
  25. VelvetKiss

    Self Pay Question?

    I wanted to know if anyone has gotten financing through that e-financing that someone posted in another thread? and if they were any good and if they new if they worked with people who dont have the best credit? My other question is when going the Self Pay route, what did you do first, I mean after you choose which Doctor you want to use did you go and secure your loan first or did you attend your first Dr consult and then apply for your loan? I am new at this and I wasnt sure how to proceed now that I have decided that I want the surgery and will need to take a loan to pay for the surgery. Thanks!

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