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Helen the Cat

LAP-BAND Patients
  • Content Count

    347
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Helen the Cat

  • Rank
    Junior Guru
  • Birthday 04/13/1949

About Me

  • Biography
    Raised and lived in Iowa most of my life. Worked in California for a while, now bacvk in Iowa.
  • Gender
    Female
  • Interests
    Read, Bake/cook, travel.
  • Occupation
    Registered Nurse
  • City
    Goldfield
  • State
    Iowa
  • Zip Code
    50542
  1. Helen the Cat

    Its So Much Fun Shopping Now

    I an SO identify with you! I have always loved to shop and it has only gotten worse (better) since I have lost weight. I can't trust myself to go to a mall or store with clothing now, as I am always looking for something new to wear! My husband is APPALED that I love to shop so much and can't stop shopping. Tell me about the It Works Products. My home email is nota413@live.com Thanks! Kathy D (alias Helen the Cat)
  2. Helen the Cat

    " No Fear "

    Thank you for highlighting one of my favorite scriptures. I love 1st Peter 5:7 and try to live it as much as I can. Daiy I pray for strength to make this verse a reality in my life. Thanks for bringing it up today!
  3. Helen the Cat

    To Be Or Not To Be? That Is The Question! Cogito Ergo Sum.

    Dear Sandy, Was so interested to read at the end of your post that your husband was not supportive and didn't think you would go through with your surgery. My husband was also not supportive, but did accompany me to Mexico when I had it done. (Our insurance would not cover the cost, so I cashed in one of my retirement 401Ks to cover the cost.) Since my surgery, Bill and I have had increasing problems. We are both working hard to try and work them out, but some days it seems to me that I too married the wrong man. However after 42 years of marriage, I am not ready to let go of what we have! And I have to say, I love him so much more today that the day we married! I always tell him "I love you more than yesterday, less than tomorrow"! I too get frustrated and sometimes "Blow up" at him. Then a couple of weeks ago, in the midst of one of our fights, Bill told me he was thinking of suicide! REALLY scared me badly! I thought we were making progress, and then wasn't sure we had changed the situation at all. Currently we are talking with our family physician about it, and Bill is considering going on an antidepressant. I really feel that since I have lost 100 pounds, he feels threatened, that I might want out of our marriage. He is also about 100 pounds overweight, and I think he feels that I want someone who is slim and trim now. (So NOT the case! But how we feel doesn't always make sense or follow logic!) I wish I had some "wise words" for you. But all I can say is that I will remember you both in my prayers everyday! I have to say, that in spite of all the fights, problems, words, etc that we have had since my surgery, it is still THE BEST thing I ever did for myself and my health! I wouldn't go back to weighing 258 pounds for anything!!! Thinking of you and sending you all my best!!! Kathy D (alias Helen the Cat)
  4. Helen the Cat

    One Day And A Wake Up!

    Dear NaturalRhapody33, How I wish you lived close to me! I too clean when I am nervous or worried or frustrated, or whatever...... But I like to have someone to do it with! I usually try to corral my daughter or grand daughter to clean with me. We have just finished remodeling our bedroom, and there is plaster dust EVERYWHERE, and I could SO use someone to help me clean! I am at this minute taking a break from washing, dusting, vacumming, EVERYTHING in the house! I am SO exhausted, but feel SO good knowing that soon (well in a couple of days I hope) everything well be clean and spotless here!! But that is beside the point. I wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers, as I move around the house pushing my vacuum sweeper, singing as I go! Am sending you prayers and love and good thoughts! I hope everything goes smoothly and without a hitch. Please be sure and post again as soon as you feel up to it, so we all know how you are doing! In the meantime, I will continue to clean "for you"!!! Love and Hugs and Prayers coming your way!!!! Kathy D (alias Helen the Cat)
  5. Helen the Cat

    My Story

    Dear MrsTeacher, I loved reading your story! And I can SO relate to just where you are! I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I was the only one in my family who was overweight. My Dad would sometimes get a little heavy, but as a (former) Marine, he always had the dicipline to "make it right". He would "bear down" and adjust his eating habits, and before you knew it, he was slim and trim again! I never had this kind of will power or whatever you want to call it. (At one time, I was engaged to a Naval officer, and he wanted me to join up also. I was a nurse and could go in as an officer. But I couldn't meet weight requirement, and eventually we broke up. I think my being unable to join the Navy was a big factor in our breakup!) I would go to Weight Watchers (my favorite weight loss solution) and lose 40-50 pounds, and get bored, or lose my motivation, or whatever, and quit. Soon I would have gained 50 or 60 pounds back. Before I knew it, I weighed in at 258! I started investigating weight loss surgeries several years ago, when my cousin had WLS. He is a surgeon and after his surgery, decided to specialize in Weight Loss Surgery. (Unfortunately our insurance would not cover $0.01 of the cost of WLS, so I ending up going to Mexico also and having the surgery there and paying for it myself. Steve [my cousin] offered to do the surgery for free, but I would still have to cover the anesthsia and hospital charges myself, which he said would run close to $20,000!!! So I knew Mexico was for me.) He lost all his excess weight and has been very successful about keeping it off. I finally made a decision to do it myself. (This web site has been a huge encouragement to me, helped me make my decision, choose a surgeon, etc.) I am now almost 9 months post op. I have lost around 100 pounds (depending on the day, some days it is 98 lbs, others it is 101 lbs). I know I look and feel SO much better. Yesterday my husband and I decided to take my Mom out for Sunday dinner. She is 91 and still very healthy. She plays the organ every Sunday for church, leads Bible study at the local nursing home each week, holds a sing along for the nursing home residents weekly, etc. Very active. I worked all night Saturday night, so couldn't get to her church until it was over. I went in as they were dismissing to let her know we were there. I stopped to say "hello" to several of the members who I remembered from when I was a teenager and attended church there. I actually had one of them ask me for some ID! He didn't believe I was who I said I was! He told me he "knew Kathleen" and she was much heavier than the person standing in front of him! Wow! What a great feeling! I was so thrilled! I have to say, my WLS was THE BEST decision I have ever made for my health and well being! I am off of my BP medicine, my blood sugar medicine, my cholesterol meds, my anti-inflammatories and my allergy meds (I don't know what is up with that one! Why being fat made my allergies so bad? Who knows?) So keep telling yourself you are choosing to be healthier and happier. It was THe BEST decision for me! And keep posting so we all know how you are doing! Best wishes for a successful surgery!!! Kathy D (alias Helen the Cat)
  6. Helen the Cat

    300 Pounds Down: Cycle Of Losing And Gaining--Can You Relate?

    Holly, Thank you for a great post, and lots of great insight for me to "chew" on! I too have been on the weight loss "roller coaster" most of my life. And I too have experienced relatives (in-laws, friends, family, etc) who wouldn't say a word if I was loosing, but were the first to say something when I gained a couple of pounds. I remember once when I was visiting my in-laws. I was five months pregnant with our third child. My Father-in-Law's sister was visiting. She was a real looker, a knock out for her age (50ish). And had three model perfect looking daughters about my age. I was always so envious of her and her girls. I SO wanted to look that good! I hadn't seen any of them for a while, and she made a BIG deal out of the fact that I had put on "a few pounds". I didn't know what to say! I mean, I thought everyone in the family knew I was pregnant. We had had a really hard time conceiving the first time, and then when we got pregnant two more times (in the space of two years!) everyone inthe family was talking about how fertile I was, and how "didn't we know what was causing this?" (I'm a labor & delivery nurse, so everyone thought it was SO funny when I kept ending up pregnant every year!) At that time, I was 5' 7" and a fairly slim 160 pounds. And for Pete's sake, I was five months pregnant. My doctor had already told me he was worried, as I had only gained three pounds with the pregnancy, and he was concerned about the baby not getting the nutrition it needed (in those days we didn't know sex of the baby). I had been fighting constant nausea throughout the pregnancy, and couldn't eat without throwing up, so I just didn't eat, cause I hate to throw up! And here she is telling me how fat I looked! I was devastated, and finally just left and went home, crying my eyes out! What really frosted me was no one in my husband's family stood up and said "well, Kathy IS pregnant and has to gain a little to take care of the baby." or something to that effect! For years I resented everyone associated with that incident! And it ate me up! Everytime I thought about it, I ate something, sometimes a LOT of somethings! I was going to show her (them)! I finally prayed for the ability to forgive her (and everyone else) for her remarks, and after years of harboring a grudge against her was able to forgive her, for my own sake. (Unfortunately, she was dying by this time, and I couldn't go to her and tell her how hurt I had been and that I had forgiven her.) What I want to know, is why can't we all just love each other for what we are? Why are we so critical of how each other looks, how much they weigh, what they wear, etc? Now that I have had WLS, and am fighting the war, I hope successfully, I am trying to remember all the comments that have hurt me, all the looks I received when I was fatter, all the incidents that caused me pain, and am REALLY trying to forgive each and every person involved. I want to be free of the hurt feelings I have carried around for years and years. I feel that when I remember or experience an event that causes me pain about how I look, I tend to think "I'm going to show them..." and I eat to "show them". I want to be free of this hurtful, harmful behaviour! I want to love and accept each and every person who comes into my life just the way they are! And I want to know that I have done everything within MY power to re-affirm each person's self esteem, thereby re-affirming my own self esteem! And hopefully, as I make progress in my mission, I won't feel the need to turn to food for comfort (or revenge) anymore. I want to be able to stand tall and free and accept myself along with everyone else!
  7. Helen the Cat

    I Definitely Regret Surgery.... So Far!

    jasleeve, Don't have the words to tell you how happy I am for you that things have FINALLY turned around and you are feeling better! I know it was a LONG Haul for you when you had the stent in. Am SO glad that you are doing so well now! Keep posting, keep encouraging us! Love you! Kathy D (alias Helen the Cat)
  8. Dear LitaSoFly, I think you are doing something really positive to change your life for the better, making a Permanent change! I know that is why I had the surgery! I had tried EVERYTHING under the sun to lose weight and Keep It OFF! And nothing worked as far as keeping it off. I joined Weight Watchers 17 times (that's right SEVENTEEN times!) I lost weight every time, not just a couple of pounds either, 50 or 60 pounds, once 78 pounds! But the problem was I would get bored, or tired of the diet and think, "well I am almost to goal, I can eat now". And those pounds would come right back on, with a couple extra ones, just for good measure. I also went to T.O.P.S. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), went to Diet Center, Jenny Craig, NutriSystems, Weight Down Workshop, Overeaters Annonymous, Overeaters Victorious, Optifast, MediFast, Adkins, South Beach Diet, and many more, to numerous to name. I mean I did everthing! And nothing worked on a permanent basis. That is what is so beautiful about my sleeve, it is permanent. It is working and will continue to work, because I have no choice! I have lost 100 pounds, and am loving my new life!!! My BP is now normal, my cholesterol is normal, my blood sugar is down to normal, I have been able to go off the anti-inflammatories that I have taken for almost 20 years! It is great, and I feel SO good! I have more energy than I know what to do with. I feel like someone has given me back my life! And I am so thankful to have it. I only wish this option had been available 30 years ago! You are not paranoid, you are not crazy. You are making a choice for a better life! You are doing something positive to make your life healthier and better! Good luck and keep us posted! We (I) love to read success stories! Let me welcome you in advance to The Loser's Bench! Kathy D (alias Helen the Cat)
  9. So Helen were you satisfied with hospital and the recovery house? It seems outdated compared to the other. It would be nice to be in a newer hospital but TJ seems safer than Juarez if traveling alone to me. Dear Southerngirl, I thought the INT hospital was sort of old, but it was very clean. I really can't complain about it at all, with the exception of the one nurse who yelled at me. There was no recxovery house. I was sleeved on a Saturday, and stayed in the hospital till Monday noon. Then was discharged from the hospital and transported back to San Diego. We elected to stay in San Diego for two days, to give me a chance to recover a little, as we had a long flight back to Iowa with one three hour layover in Dallas. Then a two hour drive to get home from the Des Moines airport. As it was, my main problem after the surgery was fatigue, and so I was glad to spend two days in San Diego just laying in the sun and relaxing. My husband went out and explored the city a little, but I slept, napped, watched TV, laid by the pool and slept some more! All in all was very satisfied with my experience at the INT hospital. Kathy D (alias Helen the Cat)
  10. Helen the Cat

    I Have To Brag About My Dr. Garcia

    Dear Momofthree, Congratulations of being sleeved! And welcome to The Loser's Bench. A 14 pounds weight loss already? That is fantastic You are doing great! We are all looking forward to hearing your progress reports, so please keep posting and let us all know how you are doing! It is so encouraging to hear from other sleevers about their progress! It helps to keep me faithful to my own program! So thanks again for posting and welcome, glad to have you on the Losing Side! Kathy D (alias Helen the Cat)
  11. Helen the Cat

    Dr Research

    Today seems to be my day to preach a sermon on physician research and JCAHO. So here goes...... There have been lots of things said, lots of accusations (founded or unfounded), lots of conclusions (just or unjust) lots of hot tempers on a couple of other threads that are currently active about which surgeon to use for a planned surgery. These were posted in response to someone asking who is the better surgeon? Dr. X or Dr. Y? I don't have any inside information about any physician. But I would like to offer one suggestion to any individual doing research to help them make a decision regarding who will preform their surgery and where they will have the surgery done. Especially if they are planning on surgery OUTSIDE of the United States. JCAHO is the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Health Care Organizations in the United States. Any hospital that is JCAHO certified meets at least the minimum standards to be considered a safe facility. JCAHO also does accreditations outside the United States (internationally). JCAHO is a United States based, not for profit organization that is continually working to improve healthcare for the public. One of their main goals is to improve patient safety and eliminate mistakes in hospitals. Mistakes that could cost a patient their life. To participate in ( translates to "receive money from") Medicare and/or Medicade in the United States, a hospital HAS to be JCAHO certified. Since almost every single hospital in the United States receives money from Medicare and/or Medicade, JCAHO certification in the United States is almost universal. Not so in other countries! If you are doing research to decide who will preform your surgery, don't forget to research the facility that the surgeon will use! Check to see if they are JCAHO accredited. Regardless of WHO is doing your surgery, you want the facility that is going to be used to be SAFE. It the facility is not safe, it does not matter how good the surgeon is, he can only control his portion of the whole experience. You (I) want a facility where everything is certified to be SAFE, the lab, the nursing staff, the radiology department, the housekeeping department, medical records, the surgery department, the central supply department that sterilizes the instruments used in surgery, etc., etc., etc. So when you talk about researching a doctor you are considering to preform your surgery, check out the facility where he practices. Is it JCAHO accredited? If not maybe you want to address this issue with the surgeon you are considering to preform your surgery, OR look for a surgeon who practices at a facility that IS JCAHO certified. For further information about JCAHO, look it up in Wikipedia. They have a good article on JCAHO.
  12. Helen the Cat

    "liquid" Food On The Plane?

    Other things to consider taking with you when you have surgery 1. Chapstick 2. Heating pad (feels SO good on the sore tummy!) 3. Extra pillow to support your tummy when laying on your side in bed. (the hospital in Mexico where I had my surgery said they didn't have extra pillows, one to a patient.) 4. Comfy jammies (I hated those hospital gowns that "gap" in the back!) 5. laptop, I Pad, etc so you can communicate with friends, family back home 6. Kindle or book to read (the hospital where I had surgery had no English speaking TV!) 7. Chargers for any electronic devices you are taking with you! Of course, if you don't want to have to check your luggage, this makes it a problem to take some of these things. I just have NEVER mastered the art of "traveling light" much to my husband's dismay!!!
  13. Helen the Cat

    Taking Medications After Sleeve

    Southerngirl said "I take a little pill that helps keep me from killing my husband since I had a hysterectomy. I shouldn't have a problem then. " I love it! I need to get some of those pills, he is sure I am going to kill him someday, after some of the smart remarks he makes! He would probably even buy them for me!
  14. Helen the Cat

    Dr Garcia & Mi Doctor Hospital

    Congrats on being sleeved, and Welcome to The Loser's Bench! Keep us posted on your recovery, we all want to know how you are doing! Kathy D (alias Helen the Cat)
  15. GULP! I just tried clicking on the link that I posted just above in my previous post, and it takes you somewhere really weird! Not the tutorial. BUT if you copy the link and put it in your address bar at the top of the page, it DOES take you to the tutorial. Sorry about the hassle~! Kathy D

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