Monday, April 19, 2010

Seeing Results of a Decision

So this is the only before picture I could locate. It's not the greatest, but it will have to do.

OK, so after quite some time of battling my weight and having no success, I started looking into other options like the lap band or the sleeve and the gastric bypass. The first thing I checked was the possibility of the insurance paying for it. If the insurance wasn't going to pay, there was no way for me to do any of it. After my research, I discovered that Medicare would in fact pay for it as long as I had 2 qualifying sicknesses and had tried other things. Well, believe it or not, with all of the docs I have seen over the past 3 1/2 years, no one was tracking my regular health. I had been told that I did not have diabetes, that my blood pressure was unregular, but they figured it was from anxiety, and a list of other things. I decided in December that I was going to find a new primary doctor and have a physical. I needed one anyway, and if things worked out, then we could maybe push through some kind of help.

I went to see Dr. Darryl Stacey in mid December. He did a physical and a full work up on me. He knew of my previous history and issues that I deal with. The conclusion came back that I had pretty bad diabetes, and that my blood pressure was so unregular that I needed to be medicated for both. He then wrote a letter to the surgeon that I had asked to do surgery and told her what was happening. By the end of January, I had appointments set up for the surgeon and was well on my way for the surgery. I had originally planned to get a lap band, the least invasive of the three, but after further study and talking with the surgeon, we decided to go ahead with the Bypass. I went through the Surgical Weight Loss Center, Doctors Christina Richards and Daniel Cottam. This is one of 2 places that were available with Medicare. They did everything. They wouldn't schedule surgery until the insurance had cleared and it only cost us $500. I started the process the first of January and by mid February we had surgery scheduled for the end of March originally. The process going so smoothly and easily really gave me a peace of mind that I was doing the right thing.

The surgery didn't actually happen until April 12th because of some unforseen problems with my health, but it did go forth on the 12th. I had been on a liquid diet for 7 days before. This amazed me that I actually did it. The doctor reported to Dan that the surgery went "perfect" and then promptly put me in the ICU. I have always had an unusually high heart rate. This apparantely concerned the doc so I was put there as a precaution and spent 2 days there. I live in Orem and the hospital and doc are in East Downtown SLC. She didn't want me to have problems and be that far away. If I could just convince people that the ICU was a precaution, it would be good. Many don't understand the changes that have happend with this surgery over the past several years and have been very concerned.

As of this morning, April 19th, exactly 7 days, I am down 22 pounds and Dr. Stacy took me off of all my meds. My BP has regulated well and my Blood Sugars are pretty great. It is soooo nice to see results from working hard to do something. I have struggled with meight for years and just couldn't make it happen. This gives me renewed strength to go on now that I know I'm having success and can actually see it. Hopefully soon I will post a new pic so you can see the progress.

Thanks to all of you who have helped and supported Dan and I and the kids through this. I am well on the mend and doing well.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Christy Surgery

I'm sure that she will tell you more later, but Christy's surgery went perfect (according to her doctor). She had to stay an extra day in the ICU because she had an elevated heart rate and so she didn't com home until yesterday. She had the surgery at Holy Cross Hospital (now known as Salt Lake Regional Medical Center) in Salt Lake. A creepy place where a homeless guy met us at the door when we arrived. Salt Lake Regional Medical Center was formerly known as Holy Cross Hospital, which was the only Catholic Hospital in Utah for over a century. The hospital was sold by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1994 and renamed. The hospital is built on a block that was a hill and the whole set-up is just weird. The main entrance is on the second level of the parking structure. Christy would not let me take pictures of her in the hospital, but I took some pictures of my kids and have been playing with my iPhone - Pictures below.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Break Update

Kyler is doing his roading for driver's ed.

Jake and Aubree have been fighting - we got them to stay still and smile in order to get a few shots:

We've been trying to keep them out of trouble

Christy is enjoying her liquid diet week and having the kids home

Megan has been babysitting and I have been taking pictures.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm Surprising Even Myself

Today is day number 2 of my liquid diet. It really isn't as hard as I thought it might be. So far anyway. I'm sure about Thursday or Friday it might get a little tough. Really though, as long as I chew my gum and drink my shakes like I should, I feel OK. I even prepared a meal yesterday and didn't sample anything. I surprise even myself!! This surgery is something that is going to change my life in many ways and I am really determined to get it right.

Dan and I had Chinese food for lunch last week. They put a bunch of fortune cookies in with it, so I took 2 of them. The pic to the side is what they said. I know that these aren't real and I am not really superticious, but 2 of them in a row?? I am holding on to this. Waiting for these good things :-) I know they have to be coming, it's about time!!
Last week we also found out some other things. Not so good, but manageable. We found out that Megan has an auto immune disease called Hashimotos Thyroid. This explains why she can't seem to lose any weight. They have started her on some medication so we'll see how that works. The issue now is that it's not just a thyroid problem, it's an auto immune issue. The doctor says she will likely have others that just haven't surfaced yet, or we haven't caught. Poor girl, she never had a chance.
Also, we have had Kyler in for some testing. They so far have determined that he has a processing disorder that is very closely tied to a memory problem. There is more testing scheduled. We will be waiting to find out what the results are from that. It does explain a lot. Poor guy. He just turned 16 last week. Can't be very easy on him.
Speaking of Kyler turning 16. This was a weird thing for Dan and I. It seems very unreal that we have a 16 year old child. We still don't feel old enough to be at this stage of our lives. It has been a real dose of reality for us. Middle age is upon us, whether we believe or like it or not. SCARY!!
It appears that Dan has managed to escape the layoffs once again. He really doesn't enjoy his job and would like to be happy in a job elsewhere, but this one is a good one and he is feeling a little less worried now, at least for a while.
Anyway, life continues to surprise us around here. Not really any dull moments. We are just trying to get through it. Thanks to all of you who care about us. It's nice to know we have friends.