I want to offer Kathy Roat a very special thanks. Here is her
My name is Kathy Roat. I am 49 years old. My highest weight was
240 pounds and my height is 4'10". I started my journey toward
weight loss surgery just because I needed to lose the weight but
couldn't. I would diet with my husband and he would lose 30 pounds
and I would lose 4.
After going to the doctor to try to get approval for weight loss
surgery, I found that I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol,
acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, arterial plaque buildup in
the main artery of my leg, and sleep apnea. The doctor told me that
I was fast on my way to a heart attack or a stroke.
They gave me a C-PAP machine but I could never adjust to it so they
could never get the sleep apnea under control. When they did my
sleep study, they found that I never went into the restful sleep
mode. My sleep apnea was so severe that I was a walking zombie. I
was physically and mentally exhausted from lack of good sleep. I
knew that I would not live another year unless I made a change in my
I started my journey toward surgery in 2003. I was turned down by my
insurance company due to lack of dietary notations by my doctor. I
went to my general practitioner and he was glad to help and stated
that he would notate my dietary plan and resubmit my claim in 6
I was turned down again because my general practitioner did not
notate my dietary plan in my chart or in his letter to my insurance
company. I even went to the Insurance Commissioner with my
situation, because I did the dietary plan for six months. It was not
my fault that my GP did not do what he had promised. In essence,
they told me to jump thru the hoops that my insurance company had
given me and I would eventually get approval.
At the time of my denial, I was going to the Holzer Medical
Comprehensive Weight Loss Program in Ohio with Dr. Canady and Dr.
Grandi. Dr. Canady's office personnel are the best. They did my 6
months dietary plan at no cost. They have an approval rating with
insurance companies for dietary proof for weight loss surgery
patients of 99% and the 1% was because someone lost so much weight,
they didn't need the surgery. It was well worth the 4-hour trip to
and from home to Holzer to get the care that I received.
At the time of my surgery I was taking 9 medications and using a
C-PAP machine. I knew that this was my one chance to make a
difference in my life. I finally got my letter of approval in Nov.
2005. My surgery was scheduled for Dec. 19th. I was excited, yet,
terrified. My doctor offered to do my surgery laparoscopically, but
I opted for open surgery.
I was up and walking the evening of my surgery. I walked out of
Intensive Care after my surgery to my regular room. I only had
minimal pain with my surgery. I did great!!!!! I went home after 4
days in the hospital.
I am now one year post-op. The first time I noticed the difference
in me was when my grandson, Joey, came to visit from South
Carolina. I caught myself running and playing with him, something
that was impossible before. I no longer take all the medications. I
take my prenatal vitamins and my calcium tablets. My energy level
has gone straight thru the roof. My husband now says that he can't
keep up with me. I feel that I have a new lease on life. I recently
drove to Tennessee to vacation with my mother. I would never have
been able to do that with my severe sleep apnea.
I went from a size 2 XL to a size 8. I now weigh 133 pounds, one
pound less than when we got married 25 years ago. I love it when my
husband teasingly tells someone, “Have you seen my “little wife?”
I never liked shopping for clothes because I always ended up in the
dressing room in tears. Now, you can't keep me out of the mall. I
recently helped my husband remodel 2 rooms in our home to make way
for a new grand baby due in March. My advice to anyone thinking
about this surgery is this:
1. Never give up!!!!! No matter how
many times the insurance company turns you down. If you have to,
change your job or your husband’s job and try another insurance
company. If you really want to change your life you can.
2. Read Barbara's book, “Weight Loss
Surgery; Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You,”
http://www.wlscenter.com/Announce_Book.htm and then, after
surgery, pass it on and help someone else on their journey toward
weight loss surgery.
3. Listen to every detail that the
doctor and staff give you. This surgery really is a tool not
a miracle cure. If they tell you, "Don't do this", then don't do it.
4. The support of family and friends is
so important. My husband has been my biggest support. He has cut
down his portions with me and has lost over 60 pounds and his
diabetes is under better control than it has been in years. It has
been a journey we have traveled together.
5. Always read Barbara’s newsletters,
they really give sound advice!!!!
6. Always offer to help others on their
weight loss surgery journey.
7. And enjoy your new life!!!!