Weight Loss Surgery

My Journal

Part 1 Pre-op

April 2002
Message 6803 of 9143
From: "willsrr" Date: Fri Apr 5, 2002 5:58 pm Subject: Sonoma/Santa Rosa Support Groups


I'm Will and have an appointment to see Doctor Rabkin on 24 April for an initial consultation.

I live in American Canyon and have travelled to Sacramento for one group meeting, but was hoping to make a connection with groups in Sonoma or Santa Rosa. I tried the email address in the calendar for a Santa Rosa contact and haven't received a response yet (about 2 weeks).

I've gone from skeptical to enthusiastic in less than three months; it helps that my primary care doc is supportive. (of course, my spouse is extremely enthusiastic). So, I'm looking into insurance issues and moving forward.

grace & peace
May 2002
From: willsrr Date: Thu May 9, 2002 11:44am Subject: Approval

I have't written much in this forum, other than an introduction.

I had my initial consultation with Dr. Rabkin on 4/24 I saw Dr. Hartman on 5/1.

Monique called today to say my surgery had been approved (The insurance company responded in 24 hours.).

My surgery is scheduled for July 29.

Now I need some helpful hints on what I can do to prepare.

I'm a 53 eyar old man, a senior computer programmer (sedentary work), and at 5-4 and 320 pounds, have a BMI of about 55.

I'm active, but get little recognizable exercise-other than walking a mile or so to the deli at lunch time and occasional physical labor for volunteer organisations.

Any wisdom that you can share would be appreciated.

grace & peace
From: ayasud Date: Thu May 9, 2002 4:43pm Subject: Re: Approval

Hi Will,

Congrats on your approval! I bet you are excited!

About exercise: I've found that I exercise alot by doing things I enjoy. I've not been a good one for working out at the gym, though i did quite often during the winter when it was too ucky to get out. As I've lost weight I find I enjoy doing lots of activities. This requires having an open mind and reframing your views about yourself. I always try to take the stairs and always park my car far away in the parking lot-- not so much for the exercise but just because it feels so good to bound up those stairs or jog across the parking lot. Before I had surgery it took alot of energy to get going- sometimes the reward wasn't big enough to warrant the effort I'd need to expend to get out there and do something. My activation energy point is very low now. It used to be that getting dressed and finding my shoes and putting them on to go for a walk could at times be a work out in itself.

Not to say I don't still have my couch potato moments, but really not so much. I think the key is finding stuff you really enjoy doing. For me its hiking and horseback riding. I also enjoy ice skating, swimming and biking. I also play softball. I'm currently looking for a soccer team to play on, but don't know if I'll find one. But in order to find what you like to do you have to be willing to get out there and try it.

Preparation for surgery? I don't know what to say. People will tell you lots of stuff: like what food to stock up on and what items will amke you mroe comfortable after. That after part kind of sucks, is different for everyone and frankly there is little to do to prepare for it imho. It is also over relatively quickly in the scheme of things.

For me, the mental preparation was much more difficult and necessary. I wrote a letter to my daughter in case I didn't make it through surgery. This, no matter how morbid, was something I felt I needed to do. I also spent a lot of time saying goodbye to all my favorite foods. Quite unnecessarily. I pretty much can eat all my old favorites now, though I'ver lost my taste for some binge foods like choclate frosting straight out of the tub. Heh heh.

Okay, thats all for now- but congrats on getting approved!!


--- In DS_PacificLaparoscopy@y..., "willsrr"  wrote:
> I have't written much in this forum, other than an introduction.
From: sfkevink Date: Fri May 10, 2002 8:42am Subject: Re: Approval

Hi Will,

First of all congratulations on getting approved. I am also a computer programmer type whose work style is very sedentary. I was 42 when operated on last July, I weighed 501# and a BMI over 75. I now am 43 (yes, sorry the surgery does not stop the aging process), I weigh 290# and a BMI of 44.

The best thing you can do before surgery is start walking, however long you can , just to get those legs moving and you breathing. Another thing is breathing exercises to help the lungs expand and prepare for anestesia and such. I used some balloons to blow up back and forth just to get the lungs in shape. I know there is a device they gave me in the hospital (I think it is called a spirometer?, someone help me out here), which is used for breathing exercises and you can also measure how much you progress with it.

Other than that, from a physical point I did not do anything else to prepare. Mentally is another thing. I read the Preparing for Surgery book which was helpful. I also attended the Dr. Rabkins support groups and spoke to post-ops to help me figure out how best to get my house situated fror when I returned from the hosptial. The best device I had was a toliet seat riser, which made it less of a struggle to get up and down off the toilet. I was an 'open' DS-er so I had more of an incision that affected my movement in the beginning.

Feel free to ask us all any questions ...


--- In DS_PacificLaparoscopy@y..., "willsrr"  wrote:
> I have't written much in this forum, other than an introduction.
From: willsrr Date: Wed May 15, 2002 11:26am Subject: Some approval info.

As I mentioned before, I have been approved for surgery. I got the approval paperwork from my insurance carrier (Principal Life/Private Health Care Systems) and it will cover 80% of Dr. Rabkin's fees. The only small variant is that it will not cover the gall bladder removal unless my gall bladder is diseased at the time of surgery.

Still, not bad, considering the difficulty others are having with insurance. My carrier suggests that my share will be somewhare in the area of $3,000.

I'm looking forward to my July 29 surgery date. I won't be making it to the Sacramento meeting this month because I have a rehearsal for a concert on the weekend. I sing bass with the Napa Valley College Concet Choir and we will be doing the Hayden Mass in Time of War with the North Bay Symphony. This seems to be my pulmonary function exercise.

grace & peace
From: Angelica Grishaw Date: Wed May 15, 2002 8:50pm Subject: Re: Some approval info.

Hey Will,

I wish you well. I am a singer myself. First time after my surgery I went to sing Schubert's Ave Maria and I did just fine. Great pulmonary function exercise.

Just as a "note" I will tell you that I had my surgery on my birthday. I requested to Dr. RAbkin on the day of my preop to please sing "Happy Birthday to Me" as I lay in the operating table. Sure enough, the nurse lead everyone in the tune just before I went down. I tell you, those guys were singing in different keys and I thought it was wonderful!! I gave thanks to God for making me the singer and them the surgeons. We all have gifts in different areas. I was glad to confirm just before my surgery that their gifted area was TOTALLY focused on the surgery and NOT in the singing. I chuckeled and had a wonderful surgery. Hope yours goes well too. Dr. Rabkin's staff is wonderful.

4/9/02 surgery
-34 and counting!!
From: willsrr Date: Thu May 16, 2002 10:07am Subject: Re: Some approval info.

Hi, Angelica

Sounds like a great serenade.

A group I once knew sang a lot and someone wrote a ditty about their singing (mostly rowdy drinking songs) and one of the lines used the phrase, " each in their own key."

grace & peace

--- In DS_PacificLaparoscopy@y..., "Angelica Grishaw" 
> Hey Will,
> I wish you well.  I am a singer myself.  First time after my 
surgery I went 
> to sing Schubert's Ave Maria and I did just fine.  Great pulmonary
> function exercise.
7190 From: Angelica Grishaw Date: Fri May 17, 2002 10:55am Subject: Re: Re: Some approval info.

Hi Will,

It was so nice to receive an email from this group. I thought maybe you guys were not getting them or something was wrong. I can relate to any kind of singing. I just love to sing. LOL


>From: "willsrr" 
>Reply-To: DS_PacificLaparoscopy@yahoogroups.com
>To: DS_PacificLaparoscopy@yahoogroups.com
>Subject: [DS_PacificLaparoscopy] Re: Some approval info.
>Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 17:07:44 -0000
From: Will Jordan Date: Sat May 18, 2002 6:57am Subject: RE: Checking in


I sympathize with you. My surgery is July 29 and I'm not looking forward to the wineless year. I suppose tht this especially because I work for a winery and we even have regular tastings at the office. SInce starting there last year, I have increased my wine intake and have grown to like better wine (getting a case a quarter free and half price anytime may have some influence on that.

I plan to check with the doctor about the just tasting wine -- and not swallowing it. Getting the tase of the fine wine might be enough to help.

grace & peace
pre-op 320
surgery date 29 July 02

-----Original Message-----
From: offtheb10track [mailto:offtheb10track@y...]
Sent: May 18, 2002 12:47 AM
To: DS_PacificLaparoscopy@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [DS_PacificLaparoscopy] Checking in

Hi all, just want to say thanks for all the great info and support I
absorb when I visit. I'm four months post-op and you all help me keep
it in perspective, which is the best way to view our crazy world! I'm
teetering on the brink of 200lbs now, soon I will weigh less than my
drivers license says- I may have to *accidentally* lose it so I can
go get a new pic :)

Just thought you might enjoy one of my experiments; I really miss the
taste of wine and recently almost fell off my chair when I smelled a
lovely fruity merlot pass by me at a party, so thought I would try
some de-alcoholized wine that I found at BevMo. GAGHKKKK! It's fine
to cook with, but jeez, anyone who's ever had more than Boones Farm
will find it pretty unpalatable. Both the red and white were pretty
bad, so I'll just keep toughing it out for next 8 months I guess.

I'm also enjoying all of my food experiements, despite some of those
classically gassy reactions. Oatmeal is not my friend anymore, but
luckily my lover has terrible allergies and can hardly smell a thing
anyway. Who knew allergies could be a blessing in disguise?

From: Will Jordan (actually Laura wrote this one) Date: Tue May 28, 2002 0:21pm Subject: RE: Wine

This is a comment on a much earlier conversation about wine and doing without.

I am support person and cheering squad for my husband, Will, who will have DS surgery on July 29th. I have been lurking for some time but he said it's all right to jump in.

Anyway... I was severely disabled for a number of years with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. One of the side effects for me was that beer, wine, and cider either didn't taste good or I over-reacted humongously. One day when we were eating in a Greek restaurant and I was whimpering at having to eat dolmathes and souvlaki without retsina, I tried something different. I took a thimble-full in my glass and before a bite I would just stick my tongue into the wine enough to get a taste but not enough to swallow. Believe it or not, it worked for me! The flavors still mingled. Don't know if this will help anybody else, but I thought I would share it.


From: Will Jordan Date: Sat Jun 1, 2002 9:21pm Subject: RE: Re: Hospital visits

I agree that there is a need for confidentiality as a default position. I know that I will invite visitors when I go in the end of July. What I expect to do is put an invitation on this list with the caveat that I am mature enough to tell people not now if they show up when I'm not feeling like visitors. I'll probably leave word in the office as well.

It's strange, though, while welcoming others I really don't want my spouse to camp at the hospital for the duration. Sometimes I need to be left alone and at other times I welcome company.

I'll figure it out sometimes.

Grace & peace


-----Original Message-----
From: autmrane [mailto:autmrane@a...]
Sent: June 1, 2002 4:52 PM
To: DS_PacificLaparoscopy@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [DS_PacificLaparoscopy] Re: Hospital visits


About two weeks and counting....I guess the subject of visits is a
touchy one..at least with me. Not wanting to step on good intentions,
my feelings are if your not invited, don't come. Think of how awkward
a visit from a stranger could be even if the visitor is a post-op
patient of Dr. Rabkin's. A sign up list in Dr. Rabkin's office is a
good idea so post-ops can indicate if they want/need a visit. I feel
that posting a list of post-op in-patients without permission is a
violation of privacy and should only be done on a "need to know"


--- In DS_PacificLaparoscopy@y..., "Angelica Grishaw"
> Hello Everyone,
> I just came back from my 7 week post op appt.  I remembered how
special it
> was for me when I was having my surgery that some of Dr. Rabkin's
> came to see me and gave me some encouraging words.  Well, I thought
I had
> not much to offer since I am a very recent post op patient, but I
did it
> anyway.  I went to visit 2 ladies who had had their surgery the day
> It was so nice for them and they asked me how I had felt the first
day after
> surgery and the following weeks. They were very glad someone had
> them.  I encourage everyone that visits Dr. Rabkin's office for any
post op
> appt. to visit the patients that are in the hospital. It sure made
them feel
> good and I had a good feeling for having done that too.  Can we
have a list
> of patients that are in the hospital availble at the office for
> purpose?? Thank you
> Angelica
> -37 and counting!!

From: Will Jordan Date: Wed Jun 19, 2002 9:47pm Subject: RE: Off topic: Men's Rules Re: It is good to be a woman

Thanks, Phil.

You saved me from having to pull the rules from my archives.

grace & peace

-----Original Message-----
From: ds4pmitch [mailto:phil.mitchell@e...]
Sent: June 19, 2002 1:32 PM
To: DS_PacificLaparoscopy@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [DS_PacificLaparoscopy] Off topic: Men's Rules Re: It is good
to be a woman

We now hear the guys' side.

Note: the last entry is a pre-op comment  8^D


 These are our rules! Please note ... these are all numbered "1" ON

 1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put
it down.

 1. Birthdays, Valentines, and Anniversaries are not quests to see if
we can find the perfect present yet again!

 1. Sometimes, we are not thinking about you. Live with it.

 1. Do not ask us what we are thinking about unless you are prepared
to discuss such topics as antiterrorist combat battle tactics, navel
lint, the shotgun formation, and NASCAR.

 1. Sunday = sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the
tides.  Let it be.

 1. Shopping is NOT a sport, and no, we are never going to think of
it that way.

 1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is
fine.  Really.

 1. Crying is blackmail.

 1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints
do not work. Strong hints do not work. Obvious hints do not work.
Just say it!

 1. We don't remember dates. Mark birthdays and anniversaries on a
calendar.  Remind us frequently beforehand.

 1. Most guys own three pairs of shoes - tops. What makes you think
we'd be any good at choosing which pair, out of thirty, would look
good with your dress?

 1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every

 1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it.
That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

 1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

 1. Check your oil!  Please.

 1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In
fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

 1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect
us to act like soap opera guys.

 1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the
ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

 1.Let us ogle. We are going to look anyway; it's genetic.

 1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it
done - not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it

 1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during

 1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions, and neither do we.

 1. The relationship is never going to be like it was the first two
months we were going out. Get over it. And quit whining to your

 1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.
Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit.
We have  no idea what mauve is.

 1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

 1. We are not mind readers and we never will be. Our lack of mind-
reading ability is not proof of how little we care about you.

 1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like
nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the

 1. I'm in shape. - ROUND is a shape

--- In DS_PacificLaparoscopy@y..., "Angelica Grishaw"
> Hello everyone,
> A dear friend send this to me and I'm forwarding this to yoou,
> Hope you enjoy it.
> Angelica
> >>WHO
> >>It is good to be a woman:
> >>1.	We got off the Titanic first.
> >>2.	We can scare male bosses with the mysterious gynecological
> >>excuses.
> >>3.	Taxis stop for us.
> >>4.	We don't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.
> >>5.	No fashion faux pas we make, could ever rival The Speedo.
> >>6.	We don't have to pass gas to amuse ourselves.
> >>7.	If we forget to shave, no one has to know.
> >>8.	We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her
rear end.
> >>
> >>9.	We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our
> >>are still there.
> >>10.	We have the ability to dress ourselves.
> >>11.	We can talk to the opposite sex without having to picture them
> >>naked.
> >>12.	If we marry someone 20 years younger, we are aware that we
will look
> >>like an idiot.
> >>13.	We will never regret piercing our ears.
> >>14.	There are times when chocolate really can solve all your
> >>15.	We can make comments about how silly men are in their presence
> >>because they aren't listening anyway.
> >>
> >>Send this to all the bright women you know and make their day!!!!!

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