My Journey to a Healthy Happy Me! - Michigan

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I have always been on the heavy side since a young...

I have always been on the heavy side since a young child. So saying the word diet came natural for me. I would lose 20 to 25 lbs at a time and then gain 30 to 35lbs back. I had never thought about weight loss surgery during my past diets, for I didnt think at 230 lbs I would meet the qualifications. One of my co-workers had the lab band surgery and had done very well losing over 100lbs, so I decided at this point that I was gonna start doing some research on the band for I had never even heard of such a surgery before. I spent hours researching and watching videos on Youtube of people who were posting their journeys online. I had decided right then that this was something I wanted to go further with.

In October of 2010 I made and appointment with my family doctor who had nothing but great things to say about the lap band. We talked and decided to go forward. For my insurance I needed a 6 month record of weight loss attempts before they would approve me to even see a surgeon for the procedure. So my journey began! Once a month I saw my family doctor to check in on a diet that we had decided on in attempts to lose the weight on my own. I started to lose the weight and then i developed a huge road block. I began to slowly have problems with my lower back. I thought that it was just your common pains and strains until one morning I couldnt even get out of bed. I drove myself to the walk in clinic where an MRI was recommened. From there I was adivised that I had a ruptured disc. I was sent to see a specialist for treatment but while i was waiting the weight came on fast on July 7th I weighed in at 249 lbs. The pain from my back and legs made it difficult to do any daily activities. I finally had to break down and have surgery my rupture disc and blown into my spinal canal and my nerves were exposed. On 10/10/11 I weighed in at 265lbs when I checked in to have my back operation. I was mordified! I could believe that this was me! 265 lbs where did it come from! I was an emotional wreck! I decided that i was still going forward with getting my life back. I was not going to be defeated from being FAT!

Right after my back surgery I got all my paperwork in order and was approved for weight loss surgery by my insurance. I made an appointment with the Grand Traverse Surgery Center and they helped me through the entire process. Seminar, pre-op appointments to answers all questions regarding which surgery I decided to have. I never really thought hard about VSG or RNY I was sold early on the lap band even though it was a slower losing process. On Dec 22nd 2011 a year and a few months after I started the process of looking into wls I was finally banded and on the losers bench. I weighed in prior to my pre-op diet at 262. Date of surgery 12/22 I was 252lbs. I was excited to get this journey going, couldnt wait to start following the rules. There are rules for wls, anyone wls patient will tell you that.

The rules are simple:

1) drink 64 oz of water daily

2) at least 210 min of exercise weekly -30 minutes of some sort of exercise daily

3) eat protein base meals at least 80 grams of protein intake daily.

After surgery I was sore but it wasnt that bad. I was so excited to get up and get moving. I started right out of the gate 12/28 I was on the tredmill. I made a goal that I was not going to focus on the scale, but just follow the rules for I new that if I did the scale would show it. I exercised everyday after 12/28 by the end of january I was doing 60 minutes and squeezing over 4 miles in daily, I was feeling good! My body was changing.

On 2/7/12 I had an appointment to get my first fill. My doctor didnt get give me any fill during surgery so my band has been empty this entire time I had been working out. I was excited to see how I did so far. I got on the scale and weighed in at 236lb. Hell ya! All by myself I did all that! My doctor was really pleased and advised instead of a 2 cc fill which he would normally give he was only going to give me 1cc because I was doing so great so far. He had me jump up on the table and numbed me up. He was pushing and pushing and then finally he said I think your port has flipped. So he sent me over to the hospital for a fluroscopy. Yup that baby was upside down. 2/16/12 I had port revision surgery. During this surgery he gave me a 1cc fill.

The port revision surgery was alot worse that the original surgery. Very tender and sore but Im tough and managed. My doctor advised me that the port had flipped because some how i managed to rip 3 of the 4 sutures out. Maybe 6 days after surgery and jumping on the tredmill was a little to soon! :) I healed up great and went back for another fill on 2/28/12. I had lost another 3 lbs since my revision surgery. Today 3/5/12 I weighed in at 230.0. Thats a 32 lb lost since my pre-op diet and I am very pleased with that. The journey has not been easy! This a tool not a magic wand! I have had to work hard even through my set backs to lose the 32 lbs that I have. I am only in the beginning of journey and look forward to new goals and non scale victorys. you can follow my journey on youtube : "cowgirl9821" or on facebook look me up under twist_tie best of luck to all on your own wls journey and I hope this helps.

Traverse City Bariatric Surgeon

I chose Dr Featherstone from the Grand Traverse Surgery Center because he came highly recommened along with the rest of his partners and staff. Dr Featherstone takes time to answer question, is a gentle giant and his staff follows directly behind him. When I go for follow up visits I wait no more than 5 minutes in the lobby before one of his staff is bringing me back. The staff is always positive and comments on how good of a success you are having, which helps push me even harder for that next weigh in appointment. The office is always clean and I would recommend this crew for anyone in northern Michigan.

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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