Thursday, June 11, 2009

This is me

Hello. My name is Amanda. I'm 24 years old, 5'8" and currently weight 307 pounds. I wear a size 22/24. I've thought about, researched, and put off initiating gastric bypass since I was 18. I've been overweight for as long as I can remember. It wasn't until late 2008 that it really hit me. And it hit me with this photo. My sister-in-law took this photo. All I could think was "Who is that person, and what are they smuggling under their shirt?!" That person was me. On a day that I thought I looked pretty fantastic. My pre-diabetic, insulin resistant body was putting on more and more weight. My joints hurt, ached, and throbbed. My headaches were more sever than ever. I was training to become a massage therapist, eating healthier, and was more aware than ever of what I was putting into my body... Still the pounds piled on. From August 2008, to March 2009 I had put on nearly 40 pounds, despite my best efforts.

It was in December of 2008 that my boss secretly had gastric bypass surgery. When she told me about it... I just needed to know all of the details. She gave me her surgeon's number, and before I knew it I was calling the Beaumont Weight Control Center. I set up to attend their seminar in late December. I gave myself a month... double checked with my insurance and gathered up $600 for their lifetime program... by February 2009 I was ready to meet with the doctor and start my process.

After 13 vials of blood, several EKGs, a stress test, a sleep apnea test, a psychological evaluation, and a meeting with both the dietitian and exercise specialist, I was approved by my doctor to undergo gastric bypass surgery. My file was then sent to my surgeon. I had to wait 6 weeks for that appointment... meet with a group, then one on one, and was then approved by my surgeon. Then I waited for another month for my surgeon's office to get everything sorted out with my insurance company. Then they submitted my file...

I received my rejection for surgery in May 2009. I was devastated... My prior medically supervised diet, and the time I had been with the weight control center added up to 8 months of documentation... when my insurance company only required 6 months... I was told that we would wait, and start an appeals process. my surgeon's office resubmitted with additional medical, and it almost worked like magic. On June 4, 2009 I received a call from my surgeon's office saying that I was approved!!! I was absolutely ecstatic!! We scheduled right there, and now I'm simply at the end of my waiting!!!! July 20, 2009 is my surgery date.

My plans, and hopes for this blog is to put my experience out there. When I was researching, I was pulling up as many photos, blogs, and forum postings as I could!! Each and every one helped me!! I know what works and what to absolute avoid!! I hope to post meals and recipes that work well for me, in hopes that it may help someone else considering this. This is a life changing experience and I'm very excited to document it.

I have been lucky to have tons of supporters!!! My boss, and friend at the office have been so kind to give me clothing to help in my transition. I currently have more clothes that are way to small (at the moment, but not for long!!!) than those that I can wear. I'd like to put thanks out to my supporters... My biggest fan, Steven, my boyfriend. He has been at my side for almost 3 years, and has always been a positive force. I am very lucky to love, and be loved by such a wonderful man. Second, my parents!! Lynn and Angie. Mum, and Da!! Thank you for worrying about me... but thank you for supporting my choices in life... even if you didn't always agree.
My best friends at Irene's! Kira, Justin, Heather! I love you all! This would have been much harder (though I would still make the same decision) without people who love me, and cared about me more than to just say "Uh huh" They all love me enough to ask questions... quiz and even drill me to make sure I know the answers!! That I'm a unofficial expert before I go through with this. Just... THANK YOU!!

As I said prior... I weigh 307 pounds. My BMI is 48(point something). Other than the pre-diabetes, insulin resistance... I'm really healthy! No sleep apnea, no blood abnormalities. Clean! Which makes me a great candidate for this! I hope, when all is said and done, to loose 140-150 pounds. Today... that is my goal.

I will keep you posted!!

XO - Amanda

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