I want to offer a special thanks to Nicole
Stein. Here is her story:
I am 30 years old,
and live in Wisconsin. My weight
gain started when I was in the 6th grade. It seems the minute I hit
puberty my weight spun out of control. By the time I was in 7th
grade I weighed 175 pounds.
My mom knew the
risks of being overweight, and through out my teenage years she
would try to get me to eat healthy.
I would take diet pills without my parents knowing, I went to the
gym, I was up and down with my weight, and my periods were irregular
to say the least. I would go 2 to 3 years without one.
After high school I managed to lose 50 pounds
and get down to 190 pounds when I was a certified nursing assistant.
I was walking 8 hours a day in a nursing home and only eating one
meal a day. I managed to drop some of that weight, but it came back,
plus like everyone else, I gained even more once I left that job.
While I sought answers to why I wasn't getting
my period, no doctor ever took it seriously enough. I finally found
an ob/gyn who listened to me, and suggested I see an endocrinologist
and see where my hormone levels were. I later found out that I have
poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), type 2 diabetes and my
cholesterol levels were through the roof.
I then met a wonderful man in October 2001.I
had been so used to being treated like a doormat by old boyfriends that when he
came along and he was so genuine and sweet, I couldn't handle it and
broke his heart many times. By March of 2002 I finally came to my
senses and realized how good he was to me and I could be myself and
he wasn't going to leave. As a matter of fact, the harder I pushed
him away, the harder he pushed back and refused to leave. I knew he
was my angel.
I had tried in February of 2004 to get
approvals from my insurance to have weight loss surgery, but they
had so many hoops to jump through that I got discouraged and walked
away from the possibility. I was completely heartbroken and
devastated. My soon to be husband even offered to take a loan out to
pay for the surgery. I knew that wasn't feasible and I said no and
pushed the thought out of my mind (with food of course!!).
On March 27th 2004 my husband and I were
married. I was pushing 235 pounds at that time. We bought a house
and my husband got a new job. With his new job came new insurance
and one night I was going through his policy and came across the
weight loss surgery information. Sure enough it was covered.
I called the next day to verify with the
insurance company. I was told what I needed to have sent in by my
doctors so I started doing what I had to do with a lot of phone
calls and doctors’ appointments. At this point I was nearing 255
My diabetes was not under control, and I didn't
really care. My asthma was horrible and I could barely breathe. I
had not gotten my period in about 3 years at this point. I knew that
if I didn't get this surgery I would die very young.
Not knowing how to take the next step and find
a surgeon, I asked the insurance company if they knew of anyone, and
they told me about Dr Zane Prewitt at Community Memorial Hospital in
Menomonee Falls, WI.
I called Dr Prewitt's office and his nurse got
me in within a week for a consultation with him. We started the
paperwork process. I saw a nutritionist, Laura at the hospital who
has been wonderful and an awesome support to me. We submitted
everything to the insurance company and once they got it, I was
approved within 2 weeks and I had a surgery date of November 27,
The day of the surgery I was terrified. I
honestly thought I was not going live through the surgery. The
surgery was 7 hours long. They thought I had a leak so I was on ice
chips for a week and I had to stay in the hospital. Once the leak
test came back negative after 7 days I begged Dr Prewitt to let me
go home, and he agreed. I came home and started my new life.
Within a year I had lost over 100 pounds. I
walk 3 to 4 miles a day. I didn't need diabetes medication 2
months after the surgery and I had never known until then what
energy felt like!! I get up at 6am and keep going until 11pm.
Oh and my periods came like clock work too. My asthma has been much
better also. My weight dropped to 135 pounds.
On March 4th, 2007 my husband and I found out
our lives are going to take a different twist. I found out I
pregnant. I had to ask my husband 4 times that the test really
showed it to be positive.
I went to a new ob/gyn who works in the same
office as Dr Prewitt since I am his first post-op patient that has
gotten pregnant. My ob/gyn, Dr Prewitt and Laura, the nutritionist,
have rallied with me. Dr Prewitt even called me back himself to
congratulate me when I called his office to tell him about the
My husband and I are expecting a little girl in
November. She is healthy and growing like the doctors wants her to.
I have upped my calories from 1200 to 1800. And I have gained 7
pounds so far with the pregnancy. I keep walking and don't use the
pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy. I know my limits.
I feel I have been so blessed, and I know
someone up above has got to be watching over me to let all of these
wonderful things happen.
I look back now and realize I am an emotional
eater. I lived for 25 years with a father who was an alcoholic and
who physically & emotionally abused my siblings and
me. The only way
he rewarded us was with food, never with love, and that has been the
hardest part of this journey. My parents divorced in 2001, and
knowing I had no more excuses for the way my life was, I have had to
take my life and control it now. My father and I have been estranged
for 6 years now, but I feel it’s for the best. My mom, brother and
sister are also happier without him.
And I know - I will never ever treat my child
the way my dad treated me. I am breaking that cycle. It empowers me
more then anything to make that commitment to my husband and my
unborn baby. I will never do what he did to me.