I want to offer a special thanks to
Sheila Howard. Here is her story:
I have been overweight since I was 17 years old. Iíve tried many,
many diets and all to no avail. Then I started having more and more
health problems and knew I had to do something if I wanted to live a
I started my weight loss surgery journey at a
weight of 283 pounds. I received my letter on November 1, 2004 that
I would be having my consultation with Dr Taewan Kim at the State
University of New York, Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse.
I went to my first appointment on December 2,
2004. When the day came for my consultation, I was very nervous. The
nurse practitioner came in to see me first and she told me that I
would have no problem having the surgery. There were some tests that
would have to be run, EKG, psychological evaluation, and an upper
endoscopy. The nutritionist came in next and she told me what I
would and wouldnít be able to eat after surgery, which was a good
thing because I wanted to stop eating the "bad" foods well before my
I had my first part of my psychiatric
evaluation on December 28, 2004. The psychiatric evaluation was sort
of hard. The psychologist asked me some questions and then I had to
answer 550 true/false questions on paper. I was scheduled to go back
on January 5th for part 2 of the psychiatric evaluation.
However, because of being admitted to the hospital on January 1,
2005 with Influenza A, I had to reschedule part 2 of the psych
evaluation for January 26th.
My endoscopy was scheduled for January 21st.
They found numerous polyps in my stomach and they put me on the
medication, Protonix for the next 8 weeks. Then I had to have
another endoscopy done to see if the polyps were gone.
The second part of my psych evaluation lasted
only15 minutes and the psychologist told me I was a good candidate
for the surgery. My second endoscopy was scheduled for March 15th.
My surgeon submitted the paperwork to the
insurance company on March 3, 2005 and on March 14, 2005 I got a
letter from my insurance company stating that Iíve been approved for
weight loss surgery. My surgery was scheduled for June 17, 2005 at
7:30 am. My pre-testing was on June 9, 2005.
I started out at 283 pounds and when I went in
for my surgery I was down to 243 pounds. Itís been a long rough
road, but Iím very glad that I had the surgery. I do not take any
medicine other than my daily dosage of multi-vitamins,
When I first starting eating I could not
tolerate beef at all. Now I donít really have a problem with any
foods. I eat more chicken and fish, but I did before surgery as
well. I drink lots of fluids.
I was one of the lucky ones and had no
complications at all after surgery. Well, I did have one bout of
"bowel impaction". And believe me after you have that once, you will
make sure to get all your liquids in because you wonít ever want to
feel like that again! Believe me!
So I had the surgery on June 17, 2005 and itís
now October 1, 2006. I weigh 130 pounds. I canít believe how good
it feels to wear normal ladies clothes and not the ďbig clothes.Ē I
was wearing size 3x when I had surgery and now I can wear size 6 to
8 pants and size small blouses. Even my feet have shrunk! Itís just
I would do this again in a heartbeat! However,
now that Iíve been through the surgery and Iím where I want to be
with my weight, I would never let myself go back to the way I was
before the surgery. But in order to maintain the weight Iím at now;
it does take hard work and determination. Your hunger definitively
comes back and you must have the will power to stop eating when you
feel full. And believe me, one bite too much will have you running
for the bathroom!
Best wishes to everyone!
Sheila M. Howard