Jump to content
Are you looking for the BariatricPal Store? Go now!


LAP-BAND Patients
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Jodi_620

  1. Three years later and I just got an email from Dr. Merchia's practice, apparently named SleepHeart now. The email says that there is some sort of subpoena, I think maybe he is fighting insurance to pay these denied claims. I am not sure what to make of it but if anyone contacts me about it, I will speak out against Dr. Merchia based on the way he tried to bill me for dropping off records. Here is a copy/paste of the email: ********************************* Dear Ms. XXXX * SleepHeart is investigating whether your insurance company may have wrongfully denied claims (bills). * SleepHeart has requested information from your insurance company(s) regarding their processing of claims via a subpoena. * SleepHeart has NOT requested information from you by this subpoena. * Our understanding is that the Commonwealth of Virginia has sent (or will send) you notice that this subpoena has been issued to your insurance company and informing you of your rights. * We do not believe that you have been asked to provide any information. Instead, we believe that your insurance company has been asked to provide information explaining their denial of claims. * If you have communicated with your insurance company regarding the services we delivered, please write to us with any details of these communications that you may have or recall (scan and email, photo and email, fax, or paper mail). Specifically, the date and whom you spoke with and what you or they said would be helpful. * Wrongful denial of claims by insurance companies represent a substantial burden to patients such as yourself. Please contact us with information that you have regarding wrongful denial of claims by your insurance company. Sincerely, __________________________________________________ SleepHeartVA info@SleepHeart.com Central Voice 703-348-7857 Central Fax 703-444-4308 www.SleepHeart.com Appointment Address: Serving many states
  2. Jodi_620

    should I feel my port?

    In the beginning, I would have to lie on my back and lift my feet up so that I or my fill doctor could locate it. Doing this pushes those abdominal muscles forward thus your port moves closer to the surface. Even after losing 100% of my excess weight mine is still not visible but very easy to feel.
  3. Jodi_620

    should I feel my port?

    Stands for "Non scale Victory" it is something positive from weight loss besides what you see on the scale.
  4. Jodi_620


    For some reason I have experienced the opposite effect. I rarely burp now.
  5. Absolutely not! That would definitely be crossing the line and when and how a person deals with their weight problem (or any other problem) is for them to decide. And I don't believe that surgery is for everyone. It takes dedication and a willingness to make sacrifices and permanent changes and not everyone is willing and/or able to do that long term.
  6. Jodi_620


    I feel the same as M1aman. I don't know why, but it has always bothered me when people would comment about my weight loss. More so now that it has been a few years. I tend to change the subject when it is brought up.
  7. Jodi_620

    best scale

    Mine is a Weight Watchers brand digital scale. I bought it when I had my surgery five years ago and as an obsessive weight tracker, it has held up to religious daily weigh-ins and is very accurate. I just recently had to replace the battery. I believe I bought mine at K-Mart.
  8. Jodi_620

    Hungry all the time?

    I have had that off and on since banded sometimes it is temporary. If it continues and you stop losing and/or gain then schedule an adjustment.
  9. Jodi_620

    Diet reccomendations?

    You especially want to watch your carbs if you are not working out. Lean protein, fruits and green, red and purple veggies (avoid starchy veggies)
  10. Jodi_620

    5 Year Anniversary

    Well, I am coming up on 5-year anniversary and it was recommended by Alex that I update everyone. It has been an amazing, life-changing journey for me. There have been some ups and downs along the way but it all was well worth it. I went to a seminar with Dr. Eric Pinnar in Reston VA on April of 2008 at 5'4" and 234 lbs. and immediately knew that I wanted to get this done. I had been overweight since I was a small child. It was always hard for me and my self-esteem was always so low. I remember the psych asking me what my goal weight was. I said 150 pounds thinking that was aiming much too high. I was already 160 pounds in the sixth grade and my lowest adult weight ever was 175 and that took a lot of starving and so it was short-lived. The psych’s response was “You can do better than that”. So I chose a goal that would put me dead center normal BMI which for me was 137. I was sure that I would never reach it though. Within 3 months of surgery I had already hit “one-derland” losing 35 pounds. Within 5 months I was half-way to my goal and in less than a year I reached my goal. At that point I was thrilled with the new me but kept saying one day I will reach 120. I settled in happily at 137 and maintained that weight well for a year and a half then got another adjustment to see if I could finally do 120 and I did around 2 years ago, I had stayed at that for two years. During that time I felt like I probably could have my band loosened just a bit but unfortunately, right after my last fill, Dr. Pinnar closed shop and moved to Florida so I was left without a doctor. I managed the two years eating smaller more frequent meals and usually skipping Breakfast (I have always and still am tight in the mornings). But my thyroid has been giving me fits for more than a year now. I wondered if perhaps I was not absorbing my meds fast enough due to the tight band. So just a couple months ago, I found a surgeon who would take me in and he ordered a barium-swallow and blood work. My blood work was fine, Iron just slightly low. The swallow was scheduled first thing in the morning when I am at my tightest and the radiologist gave up trying because the barium was just flowing too slowly. So yes I got an adjustment. That was 5 weeks ago and I am starting to feel like my thyroid is back in business though my weight is up to 130 and it is more of a struggle to keep it from going higher. I will go back on June 6th. I hope to see if we can’t tweak my band a little more to make it easier to maintain my weight without being too tight. So five years later I continue to require band maintenance, good diet and exercise but with the band it has been possible and I am so grateful for having it! So I am happy to be celebrating my 5-year Bandiversary! (Oh and I also quit smoking the night before surgery so I have two successes to celebrate!)
  11. Jodi_620

    Hair Loss

    1. Started losing around 3 months out 2. It was mostly just noticeable to me, I was freaking! 3. I was/am taking a multi, Calcium plus D and a hair/skin/nails B complex with 3000mcg of Biotin 4. The loss slowed down within three months 5. I was back to normal after six months. I can tell you what I was told and what seemed to ring true for me. In our case the hair loss is not always related solely to Vitamin deficiency but you need to eat well and take your Vitamins because regardless of whether you lost due to deficiency or not, the vitamins will help your body recover and help your hair to grow back. Often the hair loss is simply due to shock. You suddenly changed your diet, likely ate an extremely restrictive pre-op/ post op diet. On top of that, anesthesia and surgery can stress your system and now your diet is still restricted and you are losing a lot of weight. With all of this your body sort of goes into a shock mode. Your body puts all of its focus on processes necessary for survival and hair is not one of those things. Hair is on a 3-month cycle. So hair loss typically becomes noticeable at around 3 months. Once your body recovers (vitamins and a good diet aids in this), your loss will slow down and will begin to grow back within 3 months (again proper diet and supplements help it to grow and makes regrowth nice and healthy). My doctor assured me that not one of his patients went bald due to surgery and I found that all that he said was true for me.
  12. Jodi_620

    I am a failure

    I agree with all of the responses, you ARE NOT a failure. There are three things necessary in order for the band to be a success, 1.) Proper Diet 2.) Sufficient adjustments 3.) Supportive Doctor. Based on what you have posted, you are doing your part but your doctor is failing you. I was never questioned when I asked for an adjustment. I was reasonable and followed the rules, the rules were simple, eat the way I was directed to and if i was feeling hungry between meals and/or not losing weight then I needed to come in and get a fill. If your doctor won't support you, stand up to him and/or find someone who will.
  13. Jodi_620

    My Bandiversary!

    Happy Anniversary!!! Congratulations, you are doing fantastic!
  14. First I would like to thank you for this thread. This is something that has been weighing heavily on my mind. My surgeon left the area two years ago and after two years with no follow-up, I found a doctor who, don't get me wrong, so far he seems to be a wonderful doctor but he has very little faith in the Lap Band. Though I am a band veteran I was required to attend his webinar and he kept talking about he low success rate and high rate of complications and I have been sweatin' it every since. When I finally met him, he appeared to be quite surprised at my success with no complications but maintains that I am an anomaly. His view seems to be that the amount of tightening required to reach a normal weight will eventually create complications. I am 5 years out and have been normal weight for more than four years. No complications just the typical adjustments.
  15. So no doubt while he was performing surgery on you, he already knew damn well that he wouldn't be there for you for the aftercare. That is so messed up! At least Eric offered us alternatives albeit half-assed ones. I truly wish you the best and hope someone here can recommend a good doctor there.
  16. I am sorry to hear that Jewel. How were you informed of this? Are they providing an alternative for their patients? I truly hope that this goes better for you than it did for Eric's patients here in Northern Virginia.
  17. Jodi_620

    need help

    Honestly, I lost most of my weight without any major exercise. I was almost to my initial goal when I finally added the gym to tone up after I lost so much weight. You can certainly still lose weight with calorie restriction alone, it may be slower if you are completely immobile so try to move as much as allowable.
  18. I am so with you on this! They are my absolute favorite. The good thing is you can buy just one egg. So I will buy one and allow myself to indulge without having a whole package in my house calling out to me.
  19. Jodi_620

    Where are all the banders;

    Due to a recent situation I have the same worries about the band now. My surgeon moved out of the area a while back and I have not had any follow up care for more than two years. I am doing fine and at goal. Lost 100% of my excess weight and have felt fantastic about the band. But I realized I needed a doctor for follow-up care. I finally found a doctor and part of his requirement to become his patient is to attend one of his seminars. I didn't and still don't think it was much use for me to sit through two-hours of discussion on the benefits of all three surgeries (bypass, sleeve and band) when I already have the band five years now and am at goal but I respect his requirements and appreciate his willingness to take me on. So I sat through the seminar. By the end I felt much less fantastic about my band. He seemed to think bypass is the best way to go and the band is a poor choice though he does do band surgery. He talked about the lower weight loss averages compared to the other two surgeries, the difficulties learning to eat and the need for discipline and the band needing much more follow-up for adjustments and to check placement. A much higher rate of complications after five years and a recent study saying that the band's life expectancy averages out to be around 7 years before needing repair or replacement. The only positive thing to him was the fact that it can be removed easily and converted to one of the other two surgeries. It has left me worried that at five years post-op, my good fortune with the band could come to a screeching halt any time now. I will see him on Monday and I have been freaking out about it.
  20. Jodi_620

    Another causality.....

    Out of five WLS couples that know personally, including my own, I have seen two marriage failures and I guess both could be partly attributed to the surgery. One where the wife lost weight and the husband couldn’t handle the fact that she was attracting so much attention. And one where the woman lost weight and came to the conclusion that she had been settling because she felt couldn’t do any better and now that she looked better, she went out and found someone new. For the most part my marriage has gotten better. My husband trusts me and loves that men look but can’t touch. Intimacy is much better now that I feel better about myself and am more physically fit. Five years out and so, far, so good for my marriage. But you can't blame the WLS 100% in these failures. I completely agree that if your marriage is strong enough it will endure this change. If the marriage fails then there were issues to begin with.
  21. Jodi_620

    How I Live with the Band....

    Almost five years now and I do relate to your perspective. I do not feel physical hunger anymore, ever. I never kept a diary, measured, weighed or counted calories or fat grams either. All of the "slider food" and drinking with the meal never really rang true for me either. Eating slowly and chewing well of course is a must. There really isn't anything I can't have ever but there are some things I can't have on certain days. After all this time, I can read my band and know when I should go for something softer or lighter or when I should probably skip the bread. From the start I listened to my body, my new "hunger" is the need for nutrition not the tummy rumbling sucking feeling I used to feel when I missed a meal. Now, as far as head hunger (the want, not the need for food). I do have that from time to time and my band keeps me from losing that battle too lest I want to throw up.
  22. Jodi_620

    still getting hungry....

    I agree with pretty much all of the responses. After years of grazing all day long it was difficult for me to understand and deal with this feeling. The first step is identifying the difference between real tummy rumbling/empty tummy hunger and head-hunger/cravings. Also hydration plays a huge role in all of it. And of course keeping active combats the boredom eating and combats stress which is a huge eating trigger. If you are careful about what you are eating, good healthy Proteins and fresh fruits, veggies and dairy and avoid processed carbs and sugars it goes a long way to combat the cravings. Eating processed low quality foods just makes you want to eat more. When it is not mealtime and you want to eat, you should first drink a good amount of Water. Hydration makes a huge difference. Take a walk if you can. If there is a specific food that you want or crave, tell yourself that you can have it but not until your next meal. If you still want it then, you should go ahead and have a little but I have found that the craving would often go away before my next meal. It is very hard at first but with time you can condition yourself to identify types of hunger and not give in to unnecessary eating.
  23. Jodi_620

    Which Cold Meds can we take?

    Mucinex made me terribly nauseous with a ton of phlegm backing me up. You can take most of the liquid forms of cold meds. My favorite is Tylenol because they have custom versions for your symptoms (sore throat, fever, cough etc.).
  24. Jodi_620


    Vitafusion multi, Vitafusion B-complex both are gummy form and Calcium plus D the Viactive type chocolate chews (but I get the store brand version) taste like tootsie rolls.
  25. Jodi_620


    I would ramp up on Protein and cut back on the carbs. Protein will fill you up faster and keep you full so you eat less. Eating carbs and not moving is a bad mix for weight loss I had a pretty bad hiatal hernia repaired while getting my band as well. I was not able to lift more than 10 pounds for a while after surgery but I certainly was able to walk and move around. But most importantly, don't stress too much about weight loss right now. You are in the healing stage, focus on that, the weight will come off with fills.

PatchAid Vitamin Patches