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LAP-BAND Patients
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About willowcat

  • Rank
    Bariatric Evangelist
  • Birthday 12/24/1962

About Me

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  • City
    Colorado Springs
  • State
I was a normal-weight, active child.  My teen years brought depression and body obsession.  I was not overweight at 120 lbs, but I wasn't as thin as the other girls, and I saw myself as "fat".  I started dieting at 13 and continued for the next 30 years. Up and down and up and down...until finally at 43, I said "enough!"  I wasn't going to diet anymore.  If dieting worked, I would be Twiggy-thin by now (but I wasn't, I was well over 200 lbs)!  I decided to make peace with my fat and to make peace with me.  I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full (usually).  I ate whatever I wanted.  I was going to eat like a "normal" person.             Through the years, I had heard on and off about bypass surgeryand had decided that I was NEVER going to have weightloss surgery.  To me wls was insanity masquarading as a rational decission! No matter how much weight I put on, wls was never an option in my mind! Now having said that, when the lapband was first approved in the US, I did see some commercials on TV for the lapband.  At the time I acutally thought that maybe I could live with that--but I didn't understand that the port was under your skin (I though that it came through some hole in your chest and was on the outside of your body!).  I decided then that the lapband was not for me--no way was I going to have something sticking out of my chest!  Just another form of insanity that was!                 Around 240 lbs, I went to visit my friend who was living in Africa at the time.  I was lucky on all of the flights--I could always find a seat next to an empty seat and switch to it--except for the last flight home.  The plane was booked solid.  The lady I sat next to eventually told me that people "like you" should have to buy two seats! She said that everyone felt sorry for her because she had to sit next to a fat person (I told her that now everyone feels sorry for me because I have to sit next to a b*tch!)  Could I really be that fat?!  I had stopped seeing myself as having a weight problem.  My body dismorphia had made a complete 180 degree turn from my teen years. I was fat, but I didn't really see myself that way.             Except that my body knew better--it knew I was fat!  I had problems with my knees and my feet.  I was insulin resistant and taking medicine to prevent me from becoming a diabetic. I had high cholesteral and was taking medicine for that. I was exhausted all the time--the sleep study found out that I needed oxygen at night. My hormones were wreaking havoc with me emotionally and cosmetically. I felt OLD and not very healthy to say the least.  I was having trouble keeping up with my job as an elementary school teacher--my body hurt all the time.             Because of a change in insurance coverage at my job, I had to find a new doctor.  I had been going to my previous doctor for the past 14 years and was really sad to have to leave him, but I couldn't afford to stay.  My new doctor waited until my second visit with him to ask me if I had ever considered wls? "ABSOLUTELY NOT!," I told him and he dropped it.  But he continued to bring it up.  Finally, I broke down and cried. How could I ever accept the idea of wls?! I went online and looked into lapband again.  Wait a minute...the port ISN'T on the outside of your body...how come I had thought that?!                 I talked it over with my husband.  My dear, sweet husband (whom I had met at 135 lbs--I told him that I was thin when I needed to be!) had never really noticed me gaining weight all these years!  He said that he just wanted me to be healthy and to be able to grow old with him. It's a tough thing to go from "NEVER" to "ok." But I did.  I want to be healthy. I want to be able to keep doing the job that I love.  I want to grow old with my husband.                  It took from November to June to finally get banded.  While in post-op recovery and while still under the effects of the anesthesia, the first thing I wanted to tell the nurse was, "I'm not going to be fat anymore."  I thought it but it didn't come out--instead, "my stomach hurts" is what came out.  I bought a special bracelet post-op that I wear all the time now.  It is my promise-to-myself bracelet.  Whenever I look at my bracelet I hear myself saying those words in my head: "I'm not going to be fat anymore."  There will have to be a Part II to this story.  But then, that really is the rest of my life, now isn't it?

Age: 60
Height: 5 feet 2 inches
Starting Weight: 285 lbs
Weight on Day of Surgery:
Current Weight: 196 lbs
Goal Weight: 135 lbs
Weight Lost: 89 lbs
BMI: 35.8
Surgery: LAP-BAND
Surgery Status: Post Surgery
First Dr. Visit: 01/13/2009
Surgery Date: 06/05/2009
Hospital Stay: n/a
Surgery Funding: Combination
Insurance Outcome: 1st Letter Approval
willowcat's Bariatric Surgeon
2222 North Nevada,
Suite #5017
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80907

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