The shared experience . . .


I’ve started following blogs by others who are at various stages of this bariatric surgery journey.  Everyone’s experience is different and the more we can learn from each other, hopefully the better our own experience will be.  One blogger “Bariatric Beginnings” posted this morning about her surgery which was done this past Monday.  Check out her blog and find out how she tolerated the surgery and how she is doing after 3 days!  There is so much support and personal information available, it’s like joining a club whose members give encouragement, information and humor to a shared experience.  Image


Nose running, still holding . . .


Still suffering sinus infection, cough and cold symptoms so waiting to have my blood work done.  One might think that this “holding pattern” awaiting appointments might give me time and opportunity to reflect on my decision.  Yeah, not so much.  All it does is irritate my impatience.  So to make the wait easier, we have booked a couple of days in Las Vegas with tickets for Cirque in mid-February.  Meanwhile, I continue to take off pounds and do good things to be prepared for the surgery.  Don’t look for frequent posts until we get closer to my appointment dates.  So we will be patient together and in the meantime, check out Dr. Billy’s website: www.drbillybariatrics.comImage

Holding Pattern . . .


As you might imagine, I am quite excited and ready to have the gastric sleeve surgery I have decided upon.  Dr. Billy is very meticulous in evaluating patients’ suitability for the surgery, as are insurance companies in determining coverage for the surgery.  So the initial process is lengthy and doesn’t get me in a hospital gown quickly enough for my instant gratification personality.  As I detailed in my recent post, right now I’m on an approximate 60 day schedule from my first appointment (1/3/13) to the date I meet with Dr. Billy to discuss the surgery and my testing results (3/1/13).   Ever optimistic, I am hoping that my surgery can then be scheduled in March.  BUT WAIT!  I just received an email from Dr. Billy’s office cancelling my 3/1 appointment due to a scheduling conflict.  WHEW! When I called to reschedule, his scheduler told me that his plans had adjusted and I would be able to keep my 3/1 appointment.  In the meanwhile, I am battling what seems like the world’s longest cold, losing weight to be in better shape for the surgery and awaiting my scheduled appointments.  Image

The First Steps


I’ve taken the first steps toward my gastric sleeve surgery.  In November, my husband Sid and I attended an informational meeting conducted by Dr. Helmuth Billy, a renowned bariatric surgeon based near us in Ventura.  After the informational meeting, Sid and I spent a few minutes visiting with Dr. Billy and Sid came away feeling as sure and almost as confident as I in proceeding with the surgery.  My first appointment in Dr. Billy’s office was on January 3 and spent a great deal of time with his nurse Melissa who was very attentive to each detail of preparing for the surgery, the surgery itself, and the post-surgery care.  I set appointments for blood work, x-ray, stress test, psychological analysis and sleep analysis all of which will take place between now and March 1.  On March 1 I will meet with Dr. Billy and get the surgery scheduled.  I am hoping the surgery will be scheduled no later than March.  I am ready!    Leading up to my appointment, I have been doing some visualization work with myself to prepare myself for the drastic change that will take place in what, how much and how often I will be eating after the surgery.  I will continue to do these visualizations as part of my surgery plan.    At this starting point, I feel confident in my doctor and in myself and I am ready for this radical change in my life.  I believe I have chosen the best and most skilled doctor available to me.  I have the best support system in my husband Sid, as well as the support of my children, family and friends.  I also met with my primary doctor and my acupuncturist this week and they are both supportive as well.  Between now and my surgery date this doughy doll will be on high protein-low carb to try to lose 20 pounds to make the surgery easier since I carry a lot of weight in my midsection.  Here’s a pic of my youngest son Ryan and me at a family wedding this past October.  Next time there’s a wedding, I plan to go sleeveless!  Oh . . . how much total do I need to lose?   About 75 pounds.  I’m just 4’11” tall, so that’s quite a lot!


Kat at wedding

First steps toward a permanent solution to a chronic problem . . .


Picture 74Hi, I’m Kat, 61 years old and I have struggled with my weight since my first child was born more than 30 years ago.  Over these many years of dieting, I have discovered that my body has several “set points” where my weight plateaus and my determination wanes.  During my twenties and thirties I enjoyed sports and did partake in what might now be called “extreme” sports.  Injuries were expected and I suffered my share.  I started our family in my thirties and limited my participation to team tennis and other less challenging recreation.  I started developing arthritis in my 40’s and now have severe debilitating arthritis in my knees, feet and back.  Certainly all this excess weight is no helping and I refuse to have joint replacement while I am at my top weight.  So after much soul searching and research, I made the decision to put a permanent solution on this chronic weight problem.  Yes, over the years I have succeeded and failed at many diets; in fact I could probably be considered a diet expert! At my age and physical condition, I have determined that the gastric sleeve procedure is the right choice for me.  My goal is to reach a healthy weight, have life-long healthy eating habits enforced by the surgery, to have replaced the joints that need to be replaced and live a long and active life.  Aside from the pain and disability caused by the arthritis, I am very healthy and should tolerate the surgery very well.  The picture you see at the top of the page was taken with my webcam today.  Throughout the process, I will post pictures of my progress so that if you are considering this or other bariatric surgery you can gauge what your progress might be.  I hope you enjoy my blogs . . . I promise they will be funny, truthful and informational.  So if you’re just curious or are doing your own research before making the decision to take this drastic-fantastic step toward a healthier, happier and slimmer you, let’s do this thing together!