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SherriS
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Fri 01 Apr 2016, 4:08 pm

Hey Glen,

I emailed the anaesthetist first actually, Toni said they would call me to make an appointment but I wanted to get an idea of costs, so I emailed them, they have a contact form online, and they called me back this afternoon which was really good!

Probably chase them up, or Dr Thomas, coz I have to go and have an appointment with them before the surgery. I haven't had to before with previous procedures, but I suppose every one is different and also different anaesthetic
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UsherG
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Fri 01 Apr 2016, 1:14 pm

Hi SherriS

the anaesthetist has already contact you! I have not heard from him yet.

Think I will be calling Dr Thomas's office on Monday.

Cheers,
Glen
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krakow57
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Fri 01 Apr 2016, 11:04 am

So surgery costs are similar in both States.

Seemes to be the standard fee.

You're so right re: medication costs, possible chronic illnesses costs .... Not only financial but emotional costs as well .....
Yes, looking at it from this angle, makes it so much better.

And, as you said, the enormous benefit in life, happiness, energy levels and better health! 

Super !!!

Yes, the count down begins, Yay !
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SherriS
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Fri 01 Apr 2016, 9:47 am

Thanks Margo,

I just had a call from the anaesthetist, my out of pocket cost will be nearly $800, which isn't too bad, what I was kind of expecting.

My surgeon I have to pay before hand, and they will do the claim forms after the surgery, which is a bummer... but I will get back just over $1000. All up the surgery is costing $4,293 out of pocket... which I am happy with, and as you say, I will be saving in the long run with food costs, as well as chronic illnesses and medication. Plus you can't put a price on quality of living can you :)

Ok, now the 32 day count down begins :D
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krakow57
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PostSubject: Congratulations SherriS!   Fri 01 Apr 2016, 9:25 am

Great news!

Not long to go now.

I think it is wise to wait after your partner's 40th, as the first week post op is still very soon to do much.

My aneasthtist was $500, I put it on a card, over the phone.
I had to pay my Surgeon's gap, $3,500 upfront too, few days before the op.

I have a very high cover with BUPA, still, unfortunately the excess out of pocket expense was high.
Also, had to pay $250 excess for hospital stay.

BUPA and surgeon's secretary organised all the paperwork, so I was able to claim straight away, before the surgery.

So, for me the total of surgery out of pocket outlay was : $4,250

Yes, my wallet is very skinny now, pardon the pun .....

However, I eat so little now, that over longer time period the cost of food will be so much less, I'll be happier and slimmer, and it is all good.

It works out $82 per week, over 12 months ( for myself )
I'll save more than that on weekly grocery shopping.
Already saved a lot by only buying soups, yoghurt, juice, mince and fish for purees, soft fruit etc

Have a great weekend too, Sherri 👍😃
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SherriS
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Fri 01 Apr 2016, 6:12 am

Hi All,

So had my appointment with Dr Thomas today, and... I am booked in for May 3rd :) Very excited.

I could have gone in a week earlier, however it is my partners 40th birthday the 29th April, and I wanted to be able to help him celebrate, not be tender and still recovering... plus, it is only a week extra, I can wait :)

It is definitely a bit real now, but I am so excited to get going :)

Just wondering how much the anesthetist is going to be out of pocket, and if I will have to pay the full cost up front, then wait a few weeks to get the rebate... my wallet is feeling a little lighter already :P

Have a great Friday everyone :)
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krakow57
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PostSubject: Feeling scared   Fri 01 Apr 2016, 1:59 am

Hi,

Feeling scared, afraid is a normal reaction to this type of surgery, as well as any type of surgery.

I was more afraid pre op, when I was waiting for the op day, than afterwards.

I did not have any post anaesthetic reactions, and the only pain I had was in my drainage site. Even the surgical gas pain wasn't bad. As for the stomach, I only had few "gurgles", and felt it if I drank my water/fluids too fast.

I soon learnt to sip it.

Once the drainage tube was removed, pain almost disappeared.

Your surgeon will ensure you get IV pain killers, and they work.

I only had 2 scares, 10 days post op:
1. Dehydration, which was similar to low blood sugar level symptoms (happened once)
2. Really bad acid reflux that I had to cough up .... so far happened once

As vmc 513 mentioned, the surgeon and his surgical team will do their best both pre op and post op.
Hence, many hoops to jump through pre op, such as blood and other tests, psychologist sessions, dietician sessions, and for me endocrinologist due to my thyroid issues.


Having said that, I am glad I went through with it.

My last fear pre op was of spending 3 days or more in the hospital .....
LOL, I was so out of it for the first 2 days, that my 3 days stay was ultra quick!

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vmc513
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Thu 31 Mar 2016, 1:54 pm

Hi SherriS

We have seen a surgeon for my husband and he is booked in for August this year. I am looking at having surgery February 2017. He has a few health issues and WLS is his best option healthwise. We have had to book months in advance to enable me to arrange annual leave as I plan to take some time off when he has his op as well as for myself.

It is a huge decision to make this choice, but hopefully a life changing one for the positive. I've read excellent diaries on this site, including a person who had WLS to enable her to fall pregnant. Good luck with it all.

Hi UsherG

Thanks for the head up on the show Fat Doctor on Foxtel, I definitely will check it out. 

I think it is only human to be nervous, this is a big deal. However, these surgeon's are experts at what they do. They and their team are used to operating on bariatric patients. They don't want things to go wrong either. I know my husband's surgeon is having tests performed on my husband to make sure he is stable enough to have the operation. He's not rushing into it. He explained the options available, and why he recommended the procedure (omega loop, mini gastric bypass) over the sleeve. We were both very happy with him at that meeting. All the best.

Vanessa
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UsherG
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PostSubject: Hi Sherri   Thu 31 Mar 2016, 2:29 am

Hi Sherri,

I asked Dr Thomas for my date as I had work commitments but I think he was ready to go asap. I do know that he is going on holiday shortly after my surgery for a couple of weeks.

I know he will be back for my follow up appointment.

I have never had the test for sleep apnea. But all my doctors recon I have it based on what my wife and I have describe to them. I haven't slept in the same room as my wife for nearly 2 years :( but hopefully that will change soon :)

I am scared S***less of the surgery as I do not do well coming out of the sleep and I am afraid that I will wake up with tubes down my throat but Dr Thomas assures me he will not let that happen.

I have been watching a program on Foxtel called Fat Doctors and they doing Gastric Bypasses. The changes that are made to those patients lives is amazing.

Let me know how you go at your appointment.

It is very good to chat to you about this knowing that we are in the same area and under the care of the same doctor.

Glen
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krakow57
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PostSubject: SherriS   Wed 30 Mar 2016, 11:39 pm

Hi,

yes, the thyroid issues messed things up and created a long delay, however this would have gone un-noticed if I did not go to my gastric surgeon to enquire re WLS.
Thankfully his team's endocrinologist picked up on it, through extensive/detailed blood test, and later through scans, and radio-active iodine uptake tests.

Funny, for the past 25 years I thought I must be an anxious person, often waking up with anxiety, thumping heart, racing pulse .... painful leg spasms, heat intolerant, etc ...

When I lived in Sydney, my then GP picked up on it, but said I was slightly Hyper (overactive) thyroid, so nothing was done. And I forgot all about it.

Initially (last year) I was on close to 20 tablets a day! Anti-thyroid drug and Beta blocker for my heart issues (damn thyroid).

I then decided I did not want to take so many tablets daily, and decided (after researching) and together with my endocrinologist to destroy my thyroid via radioactive treatment.

Now, taking just 1 tablet (Thyroxine) daily is soooooo much easier.

I made it less annoying by leaving it at night by my bedside, and when I first wake up early, I take it. Then I fall asleep again.
This way I can have my coffee or allowed brekky soonest I get up, without waiting for 30 mins to an hour after my Thyroxine med.

Yes, it was horrifying and demoralising to have this rapid weight gain. 
I looked in the mirror and a stranger looked back, I hated this look.

Thank you for well wishes, and best wishes to you too   
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SherriS
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Wed 30 Mar 2016, 6:37 pm

Hi Glen,

Thanks for sharing your story! Wow, 12th April, not long at all! Can I ask, did you have a long waiting period from when you had your last appointment with Dr Thomas? I'm so excited about my appointment on Friday and finding out when my surgery date is... But I'm trying not to get my hopes up incase I have to wait a month or so for the operation :-/

It must be so hard for you at the moment with the sleep apnea, I recently had a sleep study to check if I have it, my partner says I am a very heavy breather and I know he doesn't get a great nights sleep at the moment because of me. I couldn't imagine not being able to sleep next to my partner at night. 

Just imagine all the extra energy you will have to play with your daughter, it really is a life changing thing to do, and although it will be hard, I'm sure none of us will look back :)

Sherri
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SherriS
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Wed 30 Mar 2016, 6:28 pm

Hi Vanessa,

Thanks for your message, I'm glad you are looking to better your health too, and your husband is lucky to have such good support from you, and it's lovely you're looking out for him. 

I think it is a really positive step to be able to admit that we need some help to better our health, unfortunately by the time we realise we are not coping, whether it be physically, emotionally or psychologically it is too late and our health is already suffering. 

That was the big thing for me, I started getting food intolerances the past year and had to do a lot of diet changes. It makes for quite a miserable life when you can't even eat a simple meal without fear of reflux, pain, cramping, diarrhoea etc. 

The other big reason I chose to act now rather than another 5, 10, 15kg down the track is I want to start a family. I have fertility issues and know someone with a similar age and circumstance who has been trying for two years already. I know I have a few years left of trying as I am only 32, but my partner is 40 this year and we don't want to be starting when he is too much older. 

I think this way it takes one less nail out of the coffin and allows us a bit less stress. We can focus on us, our family and not have to worry about diabetes, heart disease, and all the other fun stuff that comes with obesity!

Have you made an appointment yet to see a surgeon? What about your husband? It would be such a journey of you could both do it and support each other!

Cheers, Sherri :)
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SherriS
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Wed 30 Mar 2016, 6:16 pm

Hi Margo,

Thanks for sharing your history with your thyroid, it sounds like you have been through a lot the past few years! It would have been terrible to gain so much weight over a short amount of time and not know why?! 

I am glad you are now on the road to better health! My dad is on thyroxine and has been for years... Although it is annoying being dependent on medication daily, it's a small price to pay for better health!

Keep up the good work, and all the best for the coming weeks and recovery!

Sherri :)
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krakow57
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PostSubject: Hi Glen   Wed 30 Mar 2016, 4:59 am

It is wonderful that both yourself and SherriS are in the same city.
You can give each other support.

Health is so important!
Other people's opinions really don't matter, if they have not been in your shoes.

Even some professionals can have differing opinions, hence finding a good one pays off.

You know, I only told very few, trusted friends/family members about my surgery.
With others, I just say I had a hernia operation (part truth, as I had hiatus hernia 15 years ago). 

Good luck Glen!

Having a normal, active, healthy life is really important.

I am slowly getting back on my feet, 3 weeks post op.
Easy does it is my motto

Margo
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krakow57
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PostSubject: BMI etc   Wed 30 Mar 2016, 4:48 am

Hi vmc513,

Vanessa, I agree, it is a big decision to have this surgery.

I made it last May 2015, because I had enough.
I had such huge, rapid weight gain, that it scared the heck out of me.

At initial consultation, May 2015, I weighed 87.5 kgs, and my BMI was under 35 (32).

My surgeon decided, together with his team meetings to proceed, mainly for my health reasons and also for the psychological effect this rapid weight gain had on me.

My blood works showed at first Hyperactive (overactive) thyroid (Graves disease), so I was deemed unfit for surgery due to possible fatal Thyroid Storm. Basically heart could stop, very high temp could fry the brain, stroke, death, etc.

I was advised to see his team Endocrinologist, sort thyroid out, come back months later.

So, in August 2015 I had Radioactive Iodine treatment, this destroyed my thyroid, then 4 months later I became Hypo (underactive) thyroid. Still could not be operated on.

I had to go on life time Thyroxine (thyroid hormone) replacement.
My thyroid finally stabilised mid Feb 2016.

So far, so good.

Vanessa, I see you are also on the Gold Coast.
If you wish, pls pm me.

I don't know who is your surgeon, mine is Dr. Jordaan. Pindara Private hospital.
His team psychologist organises monthly support group meetings, and of course individual bariatric surgery counselling, both pre and post op.

It would be great to keep in touch, and try and find more gastric sleeve surgery people.

I know there is one group on the Gold Coast, however I think they had mainly Bypass done. It worked for many of them as well, I hear.

I had to have the sleeve, due to my medications. With the Bypass, there is strong malabsorption possibility.

So, good luck Vanessa! 
Great to hear from you

Margo
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UsherG
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Wed 30 Mar 2016, 4:12 am

Hi SherriS, Karkow57 and Vanessa,

I am also going with Dr Alan Thomas. My sleeve is booked in for the 12th of April.

Most people I have talked to have said I am not big enough to have this done. But when I tell them I weight 117kgs, starting to have Liver problems, sleep apnea and have failed so many diets they seem to understand.

I am so looking forward to a living a more active life, playing with my little girl and being able to sleep in the same bed as my wife without keeping her awake with my snoring.

Hope all goes well with your appointment. You never know we maybe booked in on the same day.

If it is after mine and you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.

Cheers,
Glen


Last edited by UsherG on Wed 30 Mar 2016, 6:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : missed word)
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vmc513
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Wed 30 Mar 2016, 3:46 am

Hi SherriS and Karkow57, I have been reading posts on this forum for months now, and I am finally starting to post. It has taken me a while to make the decision to have WLS. For me I have a BMI of 35 but I am concerned about my long term health, and although I was researching for my husband who has health issues now, I now think this is an option for me.

Karkow57, good luck with your weight loss, I don't know anything about an underactive thyroid, what did your surgeon advise you before the operation.

SherriS, congrats on making the decision to a healthier life, that is what we are all looking for on this forum.

Vanessa
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krakow57
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PostSubject: Best wishes   Wed 30 Mar 2016, 1:54 am

Hi SherriS,

Great, op date this Friday, yay!

Pls let me know once you have your date.

I was 87 kg when I first had my gastric sleeve consultation, May 2015

After all the blood tests, I was found to have Graves Disease ( ironically, it kept me slim all my life till 2014 ).
Because this was a serious Overactive Thyroid disorder, I had to treat that first, and come back once it was stable.

Well, 9 months later, Thyroid nuked, went Hypo/Underactive Thyroid.
Here, you pile on weight even quicker!
I got up to 101 kg!

Anyway, today I am 93.1 kg, 3 weeks post op

So, it takes time, but results happen.

I am glad you have a friend who had the op 2 years ago, and is doing well!

Yes, definitely inspiration and support.

Healthier and happier is a wonderful goal/result to look forward to and to stay motivated

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SherriS
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Perth    Wed 30 Mar 2016, 1:21 am

Hi krakow57,

Thank you for your message, best of luck with your journey, hope you are recovering well :)

I am so looking forward to finding out my surgery date this Friday and starting to get my health back on track. 

I'm also glad I'm not the only one who is going through this at the lower end of the BMI scale. I know if I didn't do something now I would ultimately end up putting on more weight, getting sicker and struggle to have a family in the future. 

A friend of mine went through the process a couple of years ago, she has lost 50kg, had a little boy and then lost the baby weight again. She is such an inspirational person and so much healthier and happier!
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krakow57
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PostSubject: Welcome !   Mon 28 Mar 2016, 5:30 pm

Hi Sherri,

welcome and good luck with your journey.
I was also under the typical BMI for Gastric Sleeve, however I also was accepted due to my health reasons.

I am now 3 weeks post op and  I still have long journey to go through.

Baby steps for now .....

Best wishes to you    :)

Margo
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SherriS
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PostSubject: Hello from Perth    Fri 25 Mar 2016, 4:56 pm

Hi All,

Want to introduce myself, I am Sherri, 32yo from Perth.
I have an appointment next Friday to find out my surgery date with Dr Alan Thomas, he seems really nice, and very genuine!

A bit about me... I have always been on the chubby side of things growing up, but not obese by any means. Looking back, I would be more than happy now being the size I was when I was in my early 20's!

I have Poly Cystic Ovarian Sydrome PCOS, and didn't have bad symptoms until about 6 years ago when my hormones went crazy, my weight ballooned and I haven't been able to get control since.

I put on 17kg in 6 months, acne, periods went MIA, and I was miserable. I have suffered depression the past few years quite severely so wasn't really in an emotional position to help myself, and the past 12 months have struggled with insulin resistance, irritable bowel and reflux. All of which I think can be attributed to my weight.

So the stats... I am 165cm, 87.5kg (Max 89kg) with a BMI of 33. Although I fall slightly short of the typical criteria of 35 BMI, I am still eligible for surgery as I have other comorbidites being the PCOS, insulin resistance and my bloods are showing I may have non alcoholic fatty liver as well.

I am really lucky to have a lot of support from my partner, family and friends, however a lot of people don't think I am big enough to warrant such drastic surgery.

The way I look at it though, I have struggled with my weight so as long as I can remember and have never been in a healthy BMI, not matter what diet/exercise I do, I yoyo back to what I was, or bigger. My health is starting to be affected because of my weight and I want to start a family soon. I cannot see it being an easy task to fall pregnant in my current situation. I don't want to spend years going through fertility treatments, gestational diabetes etc etc. I don't want to get type 2 diabetes later in life.

I am not actually doing this to look slimmer, or for my body image. I am doing this for my health and for my future. I know I carry my weight rather well, and that my partner loves me for all my curves. But I want to live a long, happy life, I want to have a family and be around to see them grow up. And I think this is the right decision for me.

I look forward to starting this journey with other like minded people, who understand the struggles we all face from day to day.

Happy Easter to you all xxx
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