69 Years and Overweight for 60 - Carrollton, TX

I weighed 10 pounds at birth, slimmed up as a...

I weighed 10 pounds at birth, slimmed up as a small child and then started being overweight at the age of 9. So for most of the past 60 years, I have carried around too much weight. When I was younger, I thought I was in the "Fat but Fit" category. In the past few years, my weight has affected my ability to go and do all I did in the past. I do take meds for high blood pressure and high cholesterol but am still in relatively good health. My BMI is 44.7 and my weight at the first surgeon visit was 252. I have passed the medical tests and been approved by my insurance. I start my two week liquid diet on October 8 and have surgery on October 22. I am looking forward to having less of me to haul around!

Recent Pictures

I don't like to have pictures made of me. The exception is with family.

Picked up Opti-Fast - Start Wednesday

Picked up Opti-Fast and RXs today. Start liquids on Wednesday. First visit to doctor was August 21 and weight was 252. Today I weighed 242. So lost 10 lbs in 6 weeks with plain diet. It's a start!

Now it begins...

Today is the first day of Optifast. I get 5 packets a day. I would like to know how others spaced them throughout the day.

Five days on Optifast - just nine to go

So far, so good. I have been satisfied by the Optifast. Strawberry shake for breakfast (which is usually not too early), chicken soup for lunch, chocolate shake for early afternoon, tomato soup for supper and vanilla shake for after-supper snack. Every flavor has tasted good. Went to brunch with my Sunday School class Saturday. I warmed the chicken soup, carried it in a thermos, and ordered coffee only. The soups are nice and thick (I use 7 oz water for the soups and 8oz water for the shakes).

I am near Dallas and we have had rain so there are puddles. My excuse for not walking this weekend was the rain - I have new walking shoes. At some point those shoes have to be just my walking shoes, rain or shine. With all that lead-up, the scales read 236.6 this morning. There is no rain in the 7-day forecast so I should be able to walk more. Today and eight more til surgery...

Pre-op today

Bloodwork showed slight dehydration and low sodium. Dr's office called with instructions to stop daily water pill for the dehydration and start drinking 2 cups of chicken broth for the sodium. Six more days...

Successful Surgery!

Had the surgery on October 22. Weight taken just before surgery was 236, so a loss of 16 pounds documented by Dr Vinenga's office. I had a hiatal hernia that was repaired during surgery. The worst part of the surgery was right after surgery through the next day. The gas pumped in the stomach cavity to expand the work area was very painful in my shoulders. Also, the dryness due to no liquids after midnight the night before surgery and then no liquids the next night in preparation for the barium leak test was a real test of fortitude!
My niece said that every days gets better and it is true. Today was the fifth full day after surgery and I am feeling very well. I had gotten the RX for pain and nausea filled before surgery but never took any of it. I did and still do take Mylanta for the hernia a few times a day. I was up walking about 4 hours after being taken to my hospital room. I have been walking around the house since getting home. I have a wonderful family and friends who helped me at the hospital and after coming home. Tonight will be my first night alone since surgery. I took each requirement/step toward surgery very seriously and with the great support and great doctor, it has been a wonderful experience. I am looking for it to be a life changing experience. Still on liquids only but am feeling full and satisfied. Stay tuned...

One week follow-up visit

Official weights taken by Dr Veninga:
Starting weight August 21 - 252
WeightOctober 6 - 242
Weight just prior to surgery October 22 - 236
Weight at one week follow-up - 232

Total documented weight loss - 20 lbs

My clothes are not as tight but would never be said to be baggy. My back, feet and legs feel so good, so happy to have less weight to carry. Very happy with results so far.

Two Months Post Op

Went to doctor December 9 for 7 week check. Weighed 211 but was dehydrated due to having the flu the week before and blood pressure showed low. Sent to the ER for an IV to rebuild fluids. Advised to see primary doctor as soon as possible for RX check. Saw primary on December 15 and had blood work. I am off blood pressure medication. On January 7, 2014, my total cholesterol was 216, now it is 125. HDL went from 62 to 44 and LDL from 118 to 62. Re-check in two months to see if I can come off Rx for cholesterol. Triglycerides went from 174 to 94 and glucose from 115 to 96. BMI from 44.7 to 37.4. Bought new jeans and could have gotten 16W but legs (especially knees too big) so got 18W, still down from the 24W I was wearing. All in all, very happy with progress.
My children and grands usually come on Christmas Eve. This year TCU plays in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve but they leave on Christmas Day for the week of bowl activities. My son is the Video Coordinator for TCU. Every year he invites me to go with them. Every year I decline. I did go with them to the Thanksgiving Day UT game in Austin. That trip let me know I am nowhere ready to go with them for a week. That said, we had our family Christmas last night. I cooked ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, broccoli salad, rolls and sugar cookies for dessert. I ate some of everything and it was all good. I also made snacks for before we ate since some came at 5 and some not til 7. The snacks I wanted to taste were Mexican relish and California cheese ball. Had guacamole and queso for the kids. Anyway, shared the cheese ball and sugar cookies with my Sunday School friends. Then sent the kids home with food so that there is a little cheese ball and a little relish in the fridge for the next couple of days. (Another plus was that I still had energy to clean up the kitchen before going to bed). Having some friends come for Christmas morning breakfast and then I will get back into the groove of eating only good for me foods.
Life is good and getting better. Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

In too big a hurry

My December 22 entry was premature. This past Monday and Tuesday (January 5 and 6) I was very light-headed and dizzy. I called my Primary Physician and she told me to resume my blood pressure meds. All symptoms are gone with the meds. Since I first went to my Primary July 29, I have lost 52 pounds. I just need to be patient and continue on this journey. I am still very happy with my decision to have the gastric sleeve.

3 months post op

Surgery on October 22. It is now January 24 and I went below 200 this morning. High weight in July was 257. My greatest need is to get really active.

6 month checkup

Saw Dr.Veninga today. Current weight at office was 184. First weigh-in at office was 252, so officially have lost 68 pounds. BMI was 44.3, now 33.6, still obese but a lot better! Had blood work in prep for visit and primary physician had me stop taking cholesteral med. I still take blood pressure medication but that is the only RX I currently have. So happy I was able to have the gastric sleeve!

Happy Birthday to Me

Just had my 70th birthday and have been taking more liberties with my eating habits. Since April 21, I have lost only 8 more pounds. I have had had way too much ice cream (it is so hot in Texas, right?) After I use all my restaurant birthday freebies, I plan to get back down to business. On June 25, I adopted a rescue beagle. She is 12 years old and her owner went to the nursing home. She was taken to the city shelter to be put down. She is a well mannered lady and takes me walking every morning. Things are just at a stall right now but I plan to get back on track. My weight is now 176 and when I first started, I thought "If I could only get to 175, I will be happy". I am happy but want to get back on plan to see where this will ultimately lead. If 175 is the final weight, I will still be happy and so much healthier.

2011 and 2015 pictures

They are getting taller and I am getting smaller.

Belated one year checkup report

Surgery October 22, 2014. Had one year check up on November 12, 2015. Down from weight of 252 at first visit with Dr. Veninga to 170, loss of 82 lbs. I will be happy if this is as low as I go but will continue to follow the program. No problems of any kind from surgery. Best decision ever!!!!

My "AHA" moment picture

This is the picture that caused me to have gastric sleeve surgery. I was using a cane for balance and stability. "Weebles wobble and they DO fall down". Everything from my hips down hurt and it was hard to walk. Occasionally, I was using a walker. So glad that everything worked out so that I was able to have the surgery. No regrets!

Two Year Sleeve Anniversary

October 22, 2016, was two years from surgery date. My weight is now 180 (low was 170) which is wonderful for me. No health issues. BP, lipids, glucose, all numbers are good. So pleased with sleeve surgery.
Dr Frank Veninga

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
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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