38 Year Old, Single Mother of 2 - Needs Weight Loss Help - Margate, FL

I have had a rough couple of years. Starting in...

I have had a rough couple of years. Starting in December 2011, I was three months pregnant and lost job. My eldest son was 15 at the time so my pregnancies with really spaced apart. I had 1 C-section in 1996, a myomectomy (fibroid removal) in 2009 and a C-section and tubal ligation in 6/2012.

The day before I had the C-section in 2012, I was weighing in at 271lbs. I am 5’8 and have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember, just not this badly. I breast feed for a year for 1.5 years, and tried to eat very healthy, without obsessing about food. However I was really depressed and ate to feel better even when I wasn't hungry.

While pregnant and nursing, I was off of my antidepressants. This was huge for me since when lost my job in 12/2011, I lost my “boyfriend” as well; when the money went, so did he. I don’t take picture, I don’t look at myself in the mirror, in short I am disgusted with myself that I allowed myself to become who I see in the mirror. My eldest son graduated from HS in June of this year and I was too embarrassed to post any of the pictures we took together.

I started taking Qsymia, and lost minimal weight, I've done the green smoothie challenge. In the past I've eaten raw, taken phentermine and Xenical (that is another crazy story), joined LA Weight Loss and Weight Watchers. I hired a personal trainer, did 5:00 am boot camp sessions, and the list goes on; yet the end result is always the same, I lose some weight, gain back even more. Today, I am 263 lbs (dangerously close to my weight at the time of delivery in 2012). I need help, and was convinced that Lap Band would be a great tool for me.

My quest for knowledge had begun and thus I embarked on what I have dubbed as my Lap Band research project. I went to an informational seminar with Dr. Paul Wizman and instantly liked him. I started researching him and lurking on this site :-D. I have found the experiences of everyone to be so informative and helpful, but now I am confused. I am now unsure if the Lap Band is the best option for me of if I should “go big” and get the sleeve. My insurance covers either procedure and tonight is my psychological evaluation. I am nervous but excited as well!

I would appreciate the feedback that any of you would like to share. By friends and family are all supportive in a sense. The consensus is that whatever I decide, they will support. However most just tell me to work out more or harder, etc. They don’t understand the personal hell that life is when you have a love/hate relationship with something you need for sustenance and life. It probably don’t help that I am big in stature and in the past have been able to hide my weight pretty well (now I just hide a lot of my fluff in a faja aka a really really tight corset).

Anyway, I think a have rambled along long enough. Thanks for reading my post.

Stay encouraged, I know I am try to do the same.

Two out of Three Done!

Since my last post, I have successfully completed my psychological evaluation and nutritional counseling appointment. My only holdout is the letter of medical necessity from my PCP. In July, my insurance changed and my new carrier does not cover my old PCP. In an effort to expedite the process, I contacted my old PCP and advised that I would pay for the appointment out-of-pocket in order to get the necessary letter, however when I showed up the office, the doctor had already left for the day; very annoying.

I hope that my new PCP will be willing to write the letter for me. Their office has all my prior medical records and has seen me recently. I also have an appointment with them set for next Monday morning, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be successful in this current hurdle.

Dr. Wizman (prospective bariatric surgeon) will not see me for a surgery consultation until I have all three of these documents submitted to his office. My hope is to have the consult ASAP. My oldest son is leaving for Army Basic Training on 11/17 and I would like to do the surgery before he leaves. Speaking surgery, if everything goes well, I feel like I am now pretty set on having the Sleeve rather than the LapBand.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to email me as well as post encouraging messages. I am so happy to know that I am not embarking on this journey alone; RealSelf has become such a wonderful support system for me as I embark on this journey. I am grateful for each of you.

Stay encouraged! :-D

Feeling excited...

Well after the debacle with trying to have my former PCP write the letter of medical necessity, my new PCP has agreed to write it for me! Yeah!!! What's even better is that I did not have to pay out-of-pocket for the visit. Double Yeah!!!!

On a whim, I called Dr. Wizman’s office yesterday to inquire about scheduling my consult with him. They advised that he would not have an appointment available until early November and that they couldn’t give me that appointment until they received the letter of medical necessity. I advised her of my goal to have surgery in November and that was going to pick up the letter today from my PCP. After putting me hold, she came back and advised that it was my lucky day and that they had just received a cancellation for the next day! She reiterated that they are usually never able to get a patient in so quickly; now I am off to see them in an hour.

For the first time in forever, I feel like everything thing is starting to fall into place and I am so excited about the prospect of new beginnings. Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and wish me good luck!

Until next time! :-D

And the waiting game begins...

On 9/30, I picked up my letter of medical necessity and headed to Dr. Wizman for my consultation. I had to be weighed in and spoke with a few of his staff members. Everyone was friendly and helpful and Dr. Wizman was very funny and pleasant. He put me at ease and basically stated that I am great candidate and that he would be happy to help me.

When I finished with him, the person handling the insurance authorization came in. She advised that she was waiting on the notes from my nutritional counseling session and that once she received it, she would submit my file to Humana for approval.

The only challenge I see thus far is when I explained to the insurance person that I am hoping to have the surgery prior to my eldest son’s departure to boot camp on 11/17. She advise that that would probably be impossible since she has a patient who received insurance approval that day and the earliest they could offer her surgery is 11/19.

Anyway, I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it; in the interim I am waiting on baited breath for the insurance approval. I have also started taking a hot yoga class, I suck at it, but I am really enjoying it. Plus I think it is something that I can continue post-surgery.

So please keep me in your thoughts and I will continue to keep you guys apprised of my journey. Yeah me. :-D

Thanks for all the positive posts and good thoughts. - PW

This is really happening...

I’m a bit behind in my updates but things have been progressing really well. Three weeks ago, I started working out in an effort to jump-start my post-surgery activity requirements. I started first with hot yoga and for the past two weeks have added 6:00 am kickboxing classes, 3x per week. Funny enough, I already feel this sense of relief, and dare I say enjoyment, as this is the first time in my adult life that I am working out purely for the sake of my health and am not obsessing about my weight or the scale.

Knowing that this surgery is a tool and not quick fix, I am really trying to implement as many “required” changes in advance of surgery; hoping to making my transition less difficult. Speaking of surgery, I have a date… drum roll please; November 26th, AKA the day before Thanksgiving (insert laughter here) is when I will be having my Sleeve.

Now that I am in the thick of this process, it seems like it has moved rather quickly. I received a call from Ashely in Dr. Wizman’s office starting that she was submitting my file to Humana for approval on Wednesday 10/8, I received a call from my insurance company advising of the approval on Tuesday 10/14 and yesterday Ashley called me back and offered a surgery date. I’m a little disappointed that I cannot receive the surgery before my eldest son leaves for boot camp, mainly because I am nervous about the 10lb lifting restrictions (which may be a little challenging with a 32lb toddler) but I am confident that things will be fine! These butterflies that I am feeling are not going to stop me, this girl is on a mission. :-D

I picked up my surgery packet from Dr. Wizman’s office this morning and now I prep for the next stage in this process, which entails all my pre-op tests, appointments and homework. And here I thought all I had left to do was have surgery.

Anyway, thanks for reading my post. I will continue to ramble about my process in future postings; hopefully, you will continue to read them!

Until next time, be well, stay encouraged, and know that I am trying to do the same! - PW

6 Days to Go...

Wow, next week this time I will be on the other side of my VGS. I’m simultaneously nervous and excited. To date, I have completed ALL the numerous lab tests required (including stool samples)…why stool sample? I have no idea. Anyway, I had a chest x-ray, did breathing tests, had an EKG, gave enough vials of blood to satisfy Dracula, plus Cardiologist and Pulmonologist clearance. So far, everything came back fine. Yeah!

Now I feel like I am on the home stretch, today I have to attend a three hour nutritional education class at my surgeon’s office. This weekend, I plan on finishing my household chores and laundry (ugh) and packing my hospital bag. And then, I guess I wait.

Emotionally, I am glad to have the distraction of prepping for surgery. My eldest son left for Army boot camp on Monday and I already miss him terribly. I pray that when he comes home we will both have made transformations, for the better. In the interim, I have the two year old to keep me busy and help keep me distracted.

As always, thanks for listening to my ramblings. Stay encouraged.

Recovering...

I had my sleeve on Wednesday afternoon and was released from the hospital last night. I'm feeling pretty good but struggling to get the fluids down. I've been sipping all day but at the most have only consumed 32 ounces.

I'm not in pain, but feel tired. The first two days, I was totally out of it. I felt like I could barely keep my head up. I'm not sure if it's the recovery process or the B 12 shot that has given me the boost, but whatever it is I'm grateful for it.

My incisions look really good. Two of them are almost invisible already. Today I had a shower and it felt like the most amazing thing in the world.

Otherwise, I don't really have much to add. I'll keep you posted as my recovery progresses. ????

Progressing well...

I’m feeling really good thus far. Still struggling a bit to get 64 oz of fluid down, but I feel like I am doing great with eating the 3 “meals” and getting in the required protein. I had my 7-day post op follow up visit Dr. Wizman and it went well. Everything this is healing nicely. I’ve attached some pics of the five incision site. Two of the steristrips have not fallen off yet, and the other two may be hard to see because of all my numerous stretch marks! :-D

Anyway, currently I am down 13 lbs since surgery which is exciting.

I went back to work on Monday, which was 5-days post op, and I feel fine. Towards the end of the day, I am tired, so I am trying to go a good job of listening to my body, going home when tired, and getting to bed early. I still have been working a 6 hour day, so I have no complaints.

The hardest thing I have to contend with right now is not lifting my heavy 2-year old. Other than that. I am extremely happy and looking forward to the changes that are coming.
Margate Bariatric Surgeon

I am considering Dr. Paul Wizman. So far, I really like him. Hopefully my opinion does not change as I get further into this process.

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