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A new member from the other side of the Globe



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Hi There,

My name is Kim and I'm a 36 yr old man from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I am 6.1 and my weight is 341.

After years of trying to convince myself that I was happy "just the way I was" my weight gain seemed unstoppable. Just like most of you I am very familiar with the "Fat is back with a vengeance" story.

Sometimes my wife would tell me that I stopped breathing in my sleep, I thought she was nuts. Maybe she didn't listen good enough... I surely didn't think there was anything wrong. Ok, I lack energy and have been fighting panic/anxiety attacks for a few years. But I guessed that the low energy had to do with being morbidly obese.

But my wife kept pushing the subject and I had it checked out. Of course she was right (a nasty habit that wifes seem to have, LOL) and it turned out that I have severe sleep apnea, AHI 68. That was quite the shock! I tell ya, it was scary to wait for my CPAP machine that would help me breath. Three weeks I had to wait for the CPAP, knowing that there are people out there that die in their sleep because of apnea.

From that moment on I couldn't lie to myself anymore. I've known for a long time that my big body isn't that comfortable anymore. The feeling of relieve when I sit down after a few hours of shopping. Putting on my socks while holding my breath. Sitting down on the floor to fix something, OMG. Run to catch a bus to the citycenter is an absolute no no (Amsterdam city center is not as car friendly as most places in the US).

I realized more than ever that I had to do something. I've had my weight steady at around 340 for about two years. The doctor from the hospital where I was tested for sleep apnea advised me to think about talking to the obesity clinic connected to the hospital. She explained that a lap band could really help me out. That planted the seed.

It took me a while to get ready for this decision but in early January I went to my GP to get a referral for the obesity clinic. It's insurance policy over here to get this referral. I got an invitation for a seminar with eight other people. Nothing new to learn there... I already found all that information on-line. Then you have to go through a screening. A morning filled with meetings with; a dietitian, a physical therapist, a psychologist and a GP.

These people have full authorization from my insurance company. They will decide if I'm eligible for a lap band. And when they give the Ok, I do not have to request permission from my insurance. So that saves a LOT of work, good system!

Now I'm at the point where I'm waiting for their decision, it could take up to eight weeks (no idea why this stuff has to take so damn long) but I'm already four and a half weeks in so... fingers crossed!

I hope to get my band before the summer and start a new phase of my life!

So now you know my story. I'm glad that I will now be part of this very supportive community! I've got your back! All the way from Holland!! :)

Greetzzz,

Kim

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Welcome and best of luck...I am almost 3 weeks post op, and it took me 8.5 months to get to the banding point. Fricking system! But seriously, good for you for making the decision and good luck! I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed for you!

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Thanks for the warm welcome Lady Dragyn! I hope you are doing great at around 3 weeks post. I'll check out your messages and see how you've been doing so far.

Lol @ the crossed toes!

Greetzzz,

Kim

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Thanks for your post

___________________________________________________

The Big Bang Theory

Navy NCIS

You're welcome :) This community provides me with so much information and it strengthens my motivation, I'm happy to be here.

I see you are a Big Bang Theory fan, me too... they started the series about three months ago over here. I love that show! :D

Greetzzz,

Kim

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You're welcome :) This community provides me with so much information and it strengthens my motivation, I'm happy to be here.

I see you are a Big Bang Theory fan, me too... they started the series about three months ago over here. I love that show! :D

Greetzzz,

Kim

Welcome aboard!!!! Hope your journey goes well! I'm in Germany and was banded in 2008!

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Welcome aboard!!!! Hope your journey goes well! I'm in Germany and was banded in 2008!

Thank you so much Meekie. So you're in Germany... that makes us neighbors! Well..almost anyways. :D

I see on your Ticker that you have done amazing with your band since 2008, congratulations on that!

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You're welcome :) This community provides me with so much information and it strengthens my motivation, I'm happy to be here.

I see you are a Big Bang Theory fan, me too... they started the series about three months ago over here. I love that show! :D

Greetzzz,

Kim

I love, love, LOVE this show!!! :) I DVR it every week (my busy life usually doesn't allow me to watch is "real time"). But I'm a bit of a geek myself (not nearly as intelligent or bad as the characters) and can so relate to many of the situations :)

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Me too. I'm not nearly as smart as the characters but I'm one of those multiple Discovery Channel addicts, read popular science magazines and such... used to be in technical support.... so I too qualify as a bit of a geek, LOL

The characters are so well written and the witty dialog is amazing. You just gotta love them :D

So where are you on this globe, you're from the US?

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Hi!

Just out of curiousity, which surgeon/hospital/wherever are you going to? I'm a New Zealander who moved to Amsterdam last year, I got banded 5 years ago but I've been considering checking out a surgeon here just in case something happens (a 33 hour flight with a band-related problem is not my idea of a fun two days, though my surgeon in NZ did tell me one of their patients flew from the UK to NZ to see them just because he wanted to see 'his' surgeon, not an overseas one...). Just wondering what your thoughts are on whoever it is you've been going to.

For what it's worth, 5 years post-op and I definitely don't regret getting the band done. It's so much more prevalent here than back in NZ, though, that's for sure. Seems almost common in comparison! Good luck and hope the decision comes out in your favour!

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Me too. I'm not nearly as smart as the characters but I'm one of those multiple Discovery Channel addicts, read popular science magazines and such... used to be in technical support.... so I too qualify as a bit of a geek, LOL

The characters are so well written and the witty dialog is amazing. You just gotta love them :D

So where are you on this globe, you're from the US?

I am from the US. I am from just outside Portland, ME. The very northeast portion of the US.

As for my geek credentials...I am a mmorpg gamer (mostly reformed, I've made the commitment to get healthier so actually shut all my accounts down), very avid member of the SCA (see my signature for a link for explaination if you care to), live and breath to learn anything new, love to cook and bake and read some anime/comics and play strategy games regularly :) So not too bad :P

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Hi There,

My name is Kim and I'm a 36 yr old man from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I am 6.1 and my weight is 341.

After years of trying to convince myself that I was happy "just the way I was" my weight gain seemed unstoppable. Just like most of you I am very familiar with the "Fat is back with a vengeance" story.

Sometimes my wife would tell me that I stopped breathing in my sleep, I thought she was nuts. Maybe she didn't listen good enough... I surely didn't think there was anything wrong. Ok, I lack energy and have been fighting panic/anxiety attacks for a few years. But I guessed that the low energy had to do with being morbidly obese.

But my wife kept pushing the subject and I had it checked out. Of course she was right (a nasty habit that wifes seem to have, LOL) and it turned out that I have severe sleep apnea, AHI 68. That was quite the shock! I tell ya, it was scary to wait for my CPAP machine that would help me breath. Three weeks I had to wait for the CPAP, knowing that there are people out there that die in their sleep because of apnea.

From that moment on I couldn't lie to myself anymore. I've known for a long time that my big body isn't that comfortable anymore. The feeling of relieve when I sit down after a few hours of shopping. Putting on my socks while holding my breath. Sitting down on the floor to fix something, OMG. Run to catch a bus to the citycenter is an absolute no no (Amsterdam city center is not as car friendly as most places in the US).

I realized more than ever that I had to do something. I've had my weight steady at around 340 for about two years. The doctor from the hospital where I was tested for sleep apnea advised me to think about talking to the obesity clinic connected to the hospital. She explained that a lap band could really help me out. That planted the seed.

It took me a while to get ready for this decision but in early January I went to my GP to get a referral for the obesity clinic. It's insurance policy over here to get this referral. I got an invitation for a seminar with eight other people. Nothing new to learn there... I already found all that information on-line. Then you have to go through a screening. A morning filled with meetings with; a dietitian, a physical therapist, a psychologist and a GP.

These people have full authorization from my insurance company. They will decide if I'm eligible for a lap band. And when they give the Ok, I do not have to request permission from my insurance. So that saves a LOT of work, good system!

Now I'm at the point where I'm waiting for their decision, it could take up to eight weeks (no idea why this stuff has to take so damn long) but I'm already four and a half weeks in so... fingers crossed!

I hope to get my band before the summer and start a new phase of my life!

So now you know my story. I'm glad that I will now be part of this very supportive community! I've got your back! All the way from Holland!! :)

Greetzzz,

Kim

Hello, Kim! I have many family members living in Holland (and a few in Norway). It's funny, this morning I was listening to a song by a Dutch DJ and I was thinking about how Holland is one of the best countries in the world. I was born in a neighbouring country, Belgium, and we moved to Canada when I was a toddler. But, when I was older, I visited your country twice and I really fell in love with the people, the culture, and the architecture. And, yes, Amsterdam is not very car-friendly compared to North American cities, but that's what keeps European streets so beautiful and lively.

I'm glad that you've made the decision to change your life for the better and I wish you the best of luck.

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@PaleoKris:

So cool you moved to Amsterdam, I hope you like it out here. Such a big step to move to the other side of the world.

I can imagine that a 33 hour trip is not at all appealing when you'd have a problem. When it comes to hospitals in Amsterdam I'd suggest the VU hospital (Vrije Universiteit) or the AMC (Amsterdam Medisch Centrum). Those are really good when it comes to all round care.

Because of my insurance and my Obesity Clinic my surgery will be at the St. Lucas Andreas Hospital in Amsterdam. They have several bariatric specialists.

I'm so ready for the band, but.. I'll have to wait for the specialists to give the all clear insurance-wise.. that part sucks! Great to hear it's done you so much good.

@Lady_Dragyn:

You have excellent geek credentials! The pictures on the SCA website look amazing! And now I see where your nickname has found it's origin, nice! I know that we have some very active groups in Europe as well but over here in The Netherlands it's really hard to find the place to have the really big events. Those are being organized in the surrounding countries like the UK or Germany. They have some amazing countryside and beautiful castles, you'd love it! Portland seems like a really nice area. There is still so much to discover for me in the US. I've only traveled trough NY, NJ and CA so far.. all with their very own vibe and amazing people. I've got a lot more traveling to do, LOL!

@Birinak:

Thank you so much for your kind words!

Belgium is also an amazing country, I love visiting over there. So cool that you have family over here. A lot of Dutch people moved to Canada at the end of World War II and our countries (as well as the USA) have something of a special bond because of WWII. You guys saved our asses big time!

For years now Canada has been on my "OMG I just have to go there" list. And in December my dream is finally coming true! My wife and I will have our 12,5 year anniversary in December (married for three years) and we will be visiting Vancouver early December. I'm soooo looking forward to that! My wife wanted to go to Toronto but I wanted to see Vancouver first, and I won... this time, LOL. You are a Torontonian, when is the best time of year to visit Toronto? And... how did you come by the name Birinak... that's a beautiful name

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Amsterdam is a really nice, relaxed city! Enjoyed it here so far. My boss keeps apologising for the weather but it's so much like home sometimes it's scary. Except for the fog. Can't get over this city and fog. And the lack of hills. Haha.

Seems like it's doable from what my surgeon said, but better to deal with it here seeing as I'm paying all this health insurance. Of course, hopefully nothing happens whatsoever - haven't had any problems so far, but better to be prepared than suddenly freak out if something does go wrong! Thanks for the head up about VUMc or AMC.

That's actually another thing, it's awesome that your insurance is paying for this! Mine wouldn't because it was 'preventative'. I'm 25, got banded just after I turned 20, and they wouldn't pay because I didn't have diabetes (yet, according to my gp back home!), sleep apnea, or any other obesity-caused problems. Oh well, still, not a cent wasted really!

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@Birinak:

Thank you so much for your kind words!

Belgium is also an amazing country, I love visiting over there. So cool that you have family over here. A lot of Dutch people moved to Canada at the end of World War II and our countries (as well as the USA) have something of a special bond because of WWII. You guys saved our asses big time!

For years now Canada has been on my "OMG I just have to go there" list. And in December my dream is finally coming true! My wife and I will have our 12,5 year anniversary in December (married for three years) and we will be visiting Vancouver early December. I'm soooo looking forward to that! My wife wanted to go to Toronto but I wanted to see Vancouver first, and I won... this time, LOL. You are a Torontonian, when is the best time of year to visit Toronto? And... how did you come by the name Birinak... that's a beautiful name

Actually, I'm glad you won that debate! Toronto can be very cold and snowy in the winters, and I think visiting the city would be uncomfortable in December. Vancouver, though, is one of Canada's warmest cities (It's still Canada, so you might still need a sweater and a jacket) and it doesn't have snow that often in December. I think you'll have a good time in Vancouver! Still, Toronto can be a great place to visit during the late spring (late April or May) until mid-autumn (October). Snow doesn't really fall in Toronto until mid-December and stops mostly in February (although we just had a sudden snow-fall a few days ago). Visiting Toronto in the summer is good because we have quite a few events and festivals then (like the Caribana parade in July).

I usually recommend that visitors see Montreal, but, since Montreal is a very European city and you're from Europe, you probably will want to see something different from home. If you decide to return to Canada for another visit, you might want to consider going to Newfoundland (and Nova Scotia) on your next trip. People usually really enjoy the maritime provinces.

Haha Actually, "Birinak" is just an anagram of my Iranian last-name. My background is Iranian (my family came to Belgium as political refugees from Iran, which is another reason that I love Europe so much!) But my real name is Irene. The name was given to me by a Belgian woman, who was helping my family at the time. My parents say that Belgium is lovely too. I was too young when we left for Canada to remember it, but it would be nice to see Belgium the next time I visit Europe.

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