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The Solution, The Answer, and Medical Intervention of the Year! - Washington, DC

I'm no youngster, and I'm certainly no stranger to...

I'm no youngster, and I'm certainly no stranger to the medical field! Yes, I'm a medical professional. I'm a Nurse. We are supposed to be the ones on the "other" side of the bed, providing the care, not receiving it!

This was an experience of being on the patient's side, being the one vulnerable to the health care providers, and experiencing the "good, bad, and indifferent" within the healthcare industry. I did experience all three, in different situations, but the final word..This procedure was a lifesaving, life-sustaining SOLUTION for a woman who was quickly advancing in Type II diabetes, ADVANCED Coronary Artery Disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, 20 years of acid reflux disease, (chronic respiratory infections from the acid reflux, as well!) and in general, depression from a sad life hiding away from people due to a poor body image!

I don't know what finally inspired me to just make the decision to do this final act, or just make the "jump" into having my insides "sliced and diced"..as you will.. but I do remember watching some videos of a long-lost singer-performer named Alison Moyet, (of an 80's group that I used to LOVE, called Yazoo)..since she disappeared off the radar, she re-appeared, little by little, from 2009, 2010, then, in 2011 she really made a major comeback.

The dramatic change in her appearance was SO obvious to me, and was also being discussed on some of the weight loss forums..I kept looking at her pictures and listening to her interviews, watching her move, watching what she was doing..and it was like a light went off in my head when she mentioned something about "not wanting to be dependent on people" later on in her life..that was it!! I was going to do it too! I could tell by her thinning hair, this was not going to be easy, and that she was SO brave, getting up in front of all those people, obese all her life, then melting down to that gorgeous self-assured self that she is now..


I started this journey in August 2011. Half of all the tests I needed done by the bariatric group I decided on, were already done from the cardiac diagnostics the year before, my cardiologist really WAS upset with me, said I had 5 yrs., at best, if I didn't take off 75 lbs. NOW! But it just wasn't happening. Metabolic syndrome doesn't work like that! This surgery works for it! It's the ANSWER for metabolic syndrome, because dieting, exercise, and meds just don't cut it. I KNOW, I've been there, and done that, for umm..how many years? I'm starting this at 205 pounds. That's not all THAT obese, is it? It's bad enough to kill me, though! My right coronary artery is 100% blocked at 57 yrs old? Hey!

I decided on Washington Hospital Center, and the Bariatric Medicine Group, associated with the hospital, purely because my cardiologist practices there, and in case I had a cardiac event during the procedures at any time, I had him around. Thank goodness! He's awesome! Of course, even though this was my complete choice and decision, he's still asking me if he can take credit for it! My Bariatric Surgeon is Dr. Timothy Shope. His group is very large.

There are some crazy women at the front desk who get things mixed up, and an RN case manager who loses records and messes things up as well. That's another story. I won't get into the "bad and indifferent" parts of the surgery, because that might discourage you from doing it. Nothing is perfect in life, least of all, in the present medical systems, in these huge corporate profiteering organizations! My hospital stay at Washington Hospital Center was ok in the recovery room, but after that, it was 4 days of pure nightmare! I was alone, and if it wasn't for the fact that I'm a registered nurse, aware of what the recent grads were doing to me, on that understaffed unit..I'm wondering if I would even be here, right now, writing this expose'! LOL!

I AM here, and I'm going to be 60 years old in November. It's so awesome seeing myself in a size 8-10 slacks, like my old self 25 yrs ago, breathing easy again, half the meds I used to be on, and no longer a diabetic. EVER. No more sticking my finger, no more metformin, no more blood pressure pills, and only one prevacid a day! I am no longer having acid reflux, and had NO colds or infections for a whole year. Is it a miracle? YES! My surgeon repaired not just ONE complicated huge hiatal hernia, but TWO, while he was in there, re-creating a new digestive system that acts like NORMAL people's digestive systems.
I have to eat like a woman of my age. I'm 60, for heaven's sake! Small portions, and no junk! That's what messed me up in the first place!

This surgery should definitely be considered the medical intervention of the year. It will save my insurance company many many years and procedures worth, of so many complications that WOULD have occurred had I remained sick with Type II diabetes and continuing cardiovascular disease, which, by the way, appears to have arrested..so my cardiologist says! And he still wants to take credit for my choice of getting this surgery!

Today's photo, (before coffee)

You'll have to excuse my early morning "rolled out of bed appearance".. but I didn't have my coffee when I took this photo, I just snapped it quickly, without thinking.. It's been 15 months since my surgery, so this is how I look now! I'm going to be 60 years old in November, how about that?
Dr Timothy Shope

Awesome. His specialty is complicated hiatal hernias. That should tell you something! I had two huge ones, and he had to repair them, in addition to my major surgery, laparoscopic RNY

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (10)

Well done at losing all that weight, you must feel amazing! Alison Moyet has been talking to the press here in the UK, and has recently said she feels too thin and wants some 'more chub on her'. I think she must have had some weight loss surgery, but she vehemently denies this, all she will admit to is a breast reduction. Elective surgery is far less common here and gastric surgery is ridiculed as cheating, I wish we had the US view on it :(
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OMG is that really you? You look Incredible. Only question is do we have to get cosmetic plastic surgery to remove the excess skin or is there a way of preventing it. You don't seem to have it, how did you do it?
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Hi Bgarze2003,

Almost everyone who loses more than 100lbs is going to need some kind of surgery to remove excess skin. The body just can't spring back from that kind of weight loss, especially when it's done in such large amounts over a relatively short period of time.

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What about pain relievers... Can you take them after surgery? I've had 2 hip replacements+ one knee, so now & again I need ibuprofen.

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Hi ocdgirl2000. I am also a RN and I think I want the surgery too. I live in RI and am a single mother of two school aged girls. I am 44, 5'8", 264.2lbs and want to see them grow, graduate and so on. I have always thought of the surgery as a cop-out with negative reprecussions but I have recently changed my mind. After a recent DM II followup appointment with my primary doctor, she increased again my Metformin to 1700mg a day with Glyberide too. That's 700mg more than the recommended daily dose. Not to mention the 2 anti-depressants, the narcotics 3X a day and anti-inflamatory meds for the joint pain, Lisinopril even though I don't have elevated blood pressure, Pravastatin without elevated cholesterol. Don't forget the Klonopin just so I don't feel uncomfortable in my own skin. That's 9 prescriptions before I leave for work. Then I take OMNItrim diet pills, three pills three times a day, fish oil three times a day and cinnamon two times a day. "HOW DID I GET THIS WAY?" I ask myself. I just want to throw away the bottles. My 8 year old gets all the medicine ready every morning for me. I NEED HELP! I went to a concert with my mother the other night and had trouble sitting in the seat. I felt as though my rolls of fat were pushing up under my breasts and making it difficult to breathe. Not to mention that my beautiful blouse was all bunched up tight where it shouldn't be tight. After the show we walked two blocks to her car and by the time we got to it I was out of breath. I called the surgeon's office the next day. They are sending me the packet of information on how to get the ball rolling. I feel like a weight has been lifted but scared at the same time. Not scared to have surgery, but scared of the unknown. Will I be able to enjoy life without eating? I know the answer but food is my passion, and my poison. I know you can't drink alcohol after which isn't a problem for me, but what if I want a margarita once in a while? What happens? No more Thanks Giving Dinner? Tell me more. Please
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poo on all those meds! once you get this surgery, you'll get to drop almost ALL of them! YAY! I'll never have to look at metformin EVER again! yippee! (unless I'm administering it to someone else..oh well? LOL!) I hear ya about the breathlessness. I too, was breathless, but didn't suspect heart disease, nor did my physicians until I was so exhausted, and had chronic UTI's and upper respiratory infections, that he finally took an EKG and saw a little slight ST depression..which, as you know, is NOT a very good sign! I was immediately sent to the first set of cardiologists, who I still didn't take seriously figuring they just wanted a piece of my awesome health insurance..which, they DID, but the cardiac defect WAS there..only it had been there for a long time, as was discovered later on by my present cardiologist, who I trust with my life. The first one I went to told me I better get in and have angio immediately, before my daughter's wedding (across the country..duh) or else I would die!LOL! What a joke! I told him he had no choice but to give me meds and send me on my way, I would discuss it with him when I got back. When I returned, I retrieved my records and went to my present Dr who did a whole list of non-invasive testing which was much more thorough, but revealed a long time development of advanced disease process. Now, mind you, I had 2 children, only started gaining weight after I started working for local county gov, in the year 2000, and had quit teaching aerobics which I had been doing professionally, (certified aerobic instructor!) after 13 yrs, while my kids were growing up. I had no history of obesity or overweight until then. My average weight before 2000, was around 135 lbs at MOST. All my early years I weighed in the 120's without a problem. When I hit my menopause at age 45, all heck broke loose, and things just went downhill quickly.. I think without the hormones, my metabolism changed into one similar to the males in my mother's side of the family, which were early heart disease, and clearly the typical metabolic syndrome. All I can say is this: This surgery cures it. I don't care what anyone else says. Don't wait. Don't waste time and let your arteries get clogged like mine. The naysayers are simply frightened of the unknown.. once you adjust to this, you feel perfectly normal. other than you can't eat sweets any more. why should you? ask yourself that. ask it many times. our society has conditioned us to be sugar and carb addicts. we need to put a stop to it anyway. Good luck to you, and I hope you find the solutions that make you well and whole again.
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margarita? why would you want that? you'll be too busy shopping for size 8 jeans, no time for alcohol!LOL! (jk. ;-) )
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Welcome and thanks for sharing your journey with us!

Firstky, you look awesome in your before/after! You've obviously worked really hard to get to where you are! You're story is definitely going to be an inspiration to so many others who are lookng for WLS advice!

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Thank you! I feel so awesome too. My only problem is that I lost my best friend and companion throughout this whole journey, my Black Lab, Star, who had been my comfort and my protector, sleeping with me, barking at the invaders at my door, and all in all, made my life worth living.. She passed away at 10 1/2 yrs old from canine cancer, after 6 months of "fighting the good fight". I miss her badly.. I really do!
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Aww, I'm so sorry! I know how I'd feel if my dog, Maggie, were to pass away. It's a sad, awful thing to have to go through! At least she's not in pain anymore and she's probably looking after you, even now! :-)

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