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Question; can I document an entire six months as it happens? The only way I can tell the journey is as it happens.

How I got here; Hi! My name is Johnnie, and I am morbidly obese, and I am also a food addict. 27-years ago, I was a dope smokin, cigarette puffin. soon to be alcoholic. This is when god sent me one of his purist angels, we will call her Elizabeth. This angel accepted me for who I was, but loved me for who I am. When my destructive lifestyle began to corrupt her, she gave me an ultimatum; lose the pot, or lose me... I cannot have both. 27-years ago I quit the destructive habit of smoking dope. Elizabeth and I were also married.

Retaining the other two bad habits of smoking and drinking, I had also started to pack on the pounds. My married weight some 27-years ago fluctuated between 195 to 200 lbs. Over thsee years I tried the Atkins diet, which worked initially, but not before the steadily gaining back the weight. Fast forward to 2002, my weight blew up to 260 pounds. This was also the time my doctor started me on my first of many high blood pressure meds. At this time I also wanted to quit smoking, so my doctor prescribed Welbutrin, and within a month I became a non smoker. This about the time that my drinking got worse, and my weight started to soar again. A brief try at Atkins again proved futile, as my metabolism was not as young as it used to be.

At 300 +/- pounds in 2008, I quit drinking and started dieting again; this time it was the 1600 calorie diet with a daily dose of Phentermine. I managed a measly 50lb loss, before reversing direction. I tried Phentermine a couple more times, and even tossed in the 1200 calorie diet. Nevertheless, my weight was now getting out of hand. I have been plagued with plantar faciitus, sore knees, accompanied by a (un-)healthy dose of low self esteem, it became clear, I need help.

2017 arrived, and I decided to change occupations. In April I started a new career as a professional truck driver. I do not need to describe a truckers lifestyle, accept to say, 2017 was not my best year for decision making. July I came off the truck with a kidney stone. It took 2-attempts to get the stone out, but that little bugger came out. Three days after the last kidney stone procedure, was rushed to the emergency room and diagnosed with multiple pulmonary emboli (blood clots). It was deduced that I got deep vein thrombosis from the truck driver life style, producing the clots that nested in my lungs. Weight in July and August was 298.

I should note here, that through all of the years I also suffered from acid reflux, which I treated with baking soda and Water. But the acid reflux became severe about 5-years ago, before I managed to get a grip on it. I have been reflux free for the last 4-years. This was about the time I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and put on the CPAP machine.

If you skipped ahead in this story, just know that I suffer like so many here, with many of the issues surrounding those two nasty words; Morbid Obesity.

Elizabeth, has never left my side, she has been my rock, my angel, my best friend for life, even now more than ever! With my background story out of the way, I can begin my journey now...

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From August 2017 to January 2018 I gained 22 pounds. I was meeting with my hematologist, when he recommended that I seek weight loss surgery. For you see, like so many here on the forums, I have edema of the lower legs. I have been meeting with my Hematologist, because he has me on a dose of Xeralto to keep my blood thin. The thinning of the blood over the course of a year will help to inhibit the formation of new clots... but that darned edema of the legs has the doctor concerned for me. He said I need to lose the weight, so I can reduce the edema, so he can take me off the Xeralto. This is when he recommended the weight loss surgery.

Admittedly, I had been researching the surgery option, probably going back to 2012. But during this time, I was doing the research and making the inquiries, and I just could not get it in my head... I scared myself away. It is different now, this time a doctor recommended it to me as the best option for the situation at hand.

Another week or two goes by, and I decide that I am going to lose the weight on my own. First stop was a visit to my family doctor for a wellness visit, I was on top of the world. At this visit, I topped the scales at my highest weight of all time, 325 lbs! The world deflates below me, and in an instant I decided that I am going to seek surgery. I had concluded in an instant, there is no other way for me.

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February 23, 2018 Initial Consultation Day

Stats:

Weight: 321lbs

BMI: 44.8

My doctor of choice is Dr Todd Foreman of the Alabama Surgical Associates. Dr Foreman has 15 years experience as a bariatric surgeon. 10-years ago he performed gastric bypass on my mother, and the lap band on my sister. After researching a number of the local surgeons, I selected Dr Foreman, and set my appointment.

The appoint seemed to take for ever, as this visit also doubled as lab day to get the blood work and H-Pylori test done. To prep for the big day I pulled together 28 questions to ask Dr Foreman. Upon his entry into the room, he answered most all of my questions in the first 20-minutes. He is a straight shooter, telling it like it is. I was afraid he was going to try and sell me the surgery, but instead he informed of the surgery, and talked at length about my options. After nearly an hour together, he confirmed a recommendation of the gastric sleeve being the best option for me.

Elizabeth was with me through the whole visit. She is my conscientious objector. At the end of the day, we downloaded our emotions and began our discussion. Much to her dismay, I have decided to proceed with surgery. She stated she will support me all the way, but asked that I please consider her reservations. I agreed, and weekend we had a number of heart to heart conversations, we discussed more in-depth about the journey that lies before us.

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February 28 2018 Stress Test Day

Stats:

Weight: 319

BMI: 44.5

What can I say, stress tests suck! This was much better than my last test in terms of surviving it, but I believe that I good results have been recorded.

Now is a good time to get in the list of prerequisites that my insurance requires. This is a 6-month journey per the insurance. his so that I am given the chance to lose weight while under medical supervision. The following list will be updated with each event recorded:

Colonoscopy - Done!

Blood work - Done!

Stress Test - Done!

1st Visit with Primary Care Physician (six consecutive visits required within 180-days) - March 8

1st Visit with Dietician (three recommended, but only the first visit is required) - April 11

The process continues...

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Good luck on your journey! Having someone to support you is a blessing for sure :)

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Charity will be watching you. So will I. You have 2 Bari-sisters in your corner, she'll be watching from Illinois, I'll be watching from Ohio but there will be many many more before you're through. Best wishes to Elizabeth and you tonight. We know if you set your mind to it you will be a success.

Sent from my VS880PP using BariatricPal mobile app

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Thanks all, I am really looking forward the time when I can say "finally"

A couple days ago I was searching for silverware to use as a bariatric patient. There is some cool stuff coming out of England, but it was kind of pricey to get across the 'big pond', but Amazon had these Bariatric/toddler training untensils. I just got them in today, what do you think:

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$14 and some change shipped, you get two sets and two carry pouches. They seem well made... and smaller than you think. These are supposed to help with slowing down your eating, and of course eating smaller portions. I will test them out from here on out... probably give them a rest when I start the liquid diet...

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Looks good,remember to get some smaller plates, bowls etc. I intend to,invest in a new blender my last one went "pooof" and a small food scale. Last time I looked they were each about $15 at WalMart. I like your silverware, I found one in my drawer that must have belonged to,my youngest, a Donald Duck, mind you he's in his 30s. So think I'll start with that one. See I guess I never throw things away. That probably means I'm a hoarder or something. Oh well as Popeye says" I yam what I yam". Have a peaceful night my friend.

Sent from my VS880PP using BariatricPal mobile app

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The silverware looks good. I actually just bought toddler silverware and bowls. I also use the tea plates rather than a normal sized plate. It's all worked well for me after surgery.

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Congratulations on beginning your journey!!!

Sent from my SM-G930VL using BariatricPal mobile app

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February 28 2018 Family Doctor Visit (1 of 6)

Stats:

Weight: 36.8

BMI: 44.2

Visit was nominal, other than discussing my weight loss goals for the next 6-months. My doctor was pleased to see that I have lost weight since we last met, and I explained it was all part of the big plan to get healthy and take my life back.

Small changes I have made:

1) Eating only when hungry (stomach hungry, not head hungry).

2) Eating smaller portions (strictly watching portion size).

3) Removing most all sugars from diet, a very slow and cumbersome process (everything has a sugar of some sort in it).

More on this journey as it unfolds, otherwise everything is clear sailing!

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A quick update between the first and second of six required doctors visits; I appear to be maintaining rather than losing weight at the moment. Upon the initial visit with my surgeon, he asked that I try to lose some weight over the next 6-months, but most of all he said; "try not to gain anymore weight". Ugh! The temptations are there... I don't know how many times I have told myself that since I will never be able to seat some foods again after surgery, that I should just binge every weekend on the foods I will miss the most. But alas, I know all to well that these kinds of thoughts are setting me up for failure, should I give in.

So, for the next five months I will be far more diligent at watching what and how much I eat, so that after surgery, I can thoroughly enjoy the life-style changes I am making now.

For the month of April I will have two doctor visits that pertain to my upcoming surgery; on the 6th I have my 2nd of six required visits with my family physician, and on the 11th I will meet with my nutritionist for the 1st of three visits.

Seriously though (how am I really doing?) the magic is wearing off, 5-months feels more like 5-years away. My wife rolls her eyes when I bring up the surgery subject, and my kids leave the room... so five months out I feel like I am adrift in space, and losing my focus...

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The truth is after you have your surgery, you will still be able to eat what you want. You will have to maintain control of that by making choices every day, just like before your surgery. It's just that the surgery will help you to feel full quicker and longer. Having said that, make no mistake: the surgery is a lifesaver. You won't have any regrets. If more people knew how much it helps those who struggle with their weight, more people would elect to have it done.

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I used Contraive, Protein Shakes 2x day and one meal of 600 calories. Really helped with the nighttime snacking. I lost 25# in 6 weeks


SIPS procedure 12/11/17
SW 307
CW 214 GW 160

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