Month: June 2007

Prayer for Marisa

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I would like to ask everyone to please visit the following blogsite: www.marisavanderveen.wordpress.com and join me in prayer for Marisa and her family. We all know that Jesus is the Ultimate Healer and that He bore all our sickness on the cross and that His word carries Power and Healing. Charles Capps wrote a very powerful booklet entitled God’s Creative Power for Healing and I have taken a few prayers from his book. Please lift up Marisa and her family daily. Let us pray; Jesus, you bore the curse for Marisa on the cross therefore we forbid the growth of tumors to inhabit her body. The life of God within her dissolves growths, tumors and her strength is restored. (Matt. 16:19, John 14:13, Mark 11:23) Every organ and tissue of Marisa’s body functions in the perfection that God created it to function. We forbid any malfunction in her body in the mighty name of Jesus. (Gen. 1:28-31) Thank you Father that you have given Marisa a strong heart that beats with the rhythm of life. Her blood flows to every cell of her body restoring life and health abundantly. (Prov 12:12, 14:30) Every cell that does not promote life and health in Marisa’s body is cut off from its life source. Her immune system will not allow tumorous growth to live in her body in Jesus’ name. (Luke 17:6, Mark 11:23) The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus had made Marisa free from the law of sin and death; therefore we command that sin, sickness nor death will be allowed to lord it over her. (Rom. 8:2, 6:13,14) Lord, Marisa and her family are facing a very difficult trial and they strength, courage, and faith to see this through. We ask that you send your angels to watch over Marisa and her family and to cover them with Your peace. Father we speak these things with the authority given to us through your Son Jesus Christ, Amen.

My Journey Toward A New Life

Okay, I promised to post pictures and believe me I can only do this because of Jesus Christ who strengthens me. My intent is to post a new picture and my weight at least once a month in the same outfit each time.  (i didn’t wear the black outfit pre-op because frankly the top was too tight and I didn’t feel like fussing around with clothes at that time. )  I am also going to have an actual page for my pictures so that you can just browse the page rather than have to look at each individual posting.  Well, here goes – – be gentle!

These pictures were taken June 20th the day before my surgery.  I was about 350lbs here. 

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Now this next set of pictures were taken on June 28h, 1 week post op and I honestly do not know how much I weighed here because my bathroom scale does not go above 330lbs.  I will say that everyone said my face was thinner and I had definitely lost some weight.  I really couldn’t tell at first but one day I noticed it was getting easier to reach certain areas than before.  I will say that I weighed myself in the hospital and was down to 349lbs at one point, but when they had to put me back on the IV, I started to put water weight on.  Oh yeah, my husband says, pay no attention to messy room! Oops, my bad!

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So, I know it doesn’t look like much now, but as time goes by it will be really cool to watch the transition. I decided to post the pictures in my About Me page.

My Journey Toward A New Life

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!!!  Just a quick post to tell you that today, for the first time in about 7 months I was able to comfortably fit into a pair of my old jeans.  Now mind you, they are a size 28, but I haven’t even been able to get them past my mid thigh and today I got them all the way on and I could sit and bend and everything and there was no pressure on my tummy.  Hallelujah, praise HIM!!!  I am so happy I cannot even begin to express it.  I was also able to eat some instant mashed potatoes tonight for dinner and guess what, no pain digesting, no gassy bloated belly – it’s true when they say, what a difference a day makes!  I’ll post some more later, take care, God bless and may you be filled with the joy only the Lord can bring.

A New Look

I thought I’d try a new look and call  line for the site.  What do you think – like it – hate it – have any suggestions for the site or a topic you’d like to see something on?   Please take a moment to post your thoughts in the comments section. I look forward to  hearing from you.  Have a wonderfully blessed day and may God place His angels as a hedge around you and your family.  God Bless.

My Journey Toward A New Life

Sorry I missed my Friday posting.  I had an awful headache and did not get any sleep Thursday night so I spent Friday catching up on my sleep.  I do have Tylenol with Codeine for pain, but I got sick from it in the hospital so I try to avoid it at all costs.  By 5am Friday morning I was desparate so made an ice bag for my head and took a tablespoon of the codeine – yucko – and yes I gagged it down which put me into a coughing spell for about an hour.  I sucked on a few sugar free life savors (they are sooo good and have really been helpful when I feel like I need to put something in my mouth) and about an hour later I drifted off to sleep.  I spent  most of the morning waking and dozing and later in the afternoon I felt better so I decided to call a few friends and do some catching up, and then I did a few sudoku puzzles when I nodded off again.  I didn’t wake up again till around 830pm when my husband woke me up to eat something and now here it is 130am and I am awake while everyone else is sleeping.  I really need to get into a better sleep routine!  I want to let you know that while I do not regret having this surgery, I am having difficulty adjusting.  I find myself thinking about when I will be able to eat “real food” and I am getting really tired of jello and broth.  In fact, the mere thought of having broth as a “meal” gets me upset sometimes and even makes me feel nauseaus.  This is the single most diffuclt thing I have ever had to go through and unfortuneatly my family doesn’t really understand what it’s like, how could they?  I try to stay in my room when they eat or watch tv shows because most of the time they are about food/cooking and then I find myself focusing on food which is not good.  I spend a lot of time wondering when I will be able to really “eat” something without fear of throwing up, or trouble digesting it, or getting horrible gas pains and bloating.  Right now, every time I try to add something new, I get sick and have the most awful pain in my chest and stomach.  To describe the feeling, it’s like accidentally swallowing something whole and then feeling it move down then into your stomach.  No amount of expanding your chest or rubbing your tummy will take away the pain or make the process any faster and you can’t drink anything.  Usually the situation ends up with my belly getting very bloated and then throwing up.  I am really looking forward to speaking with my doctor and nutrionist on Monday so they can help me during this transitional phase.  I know the ONLY way I am going to get through this is my faith, prayer and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I also know that it  has only been a little over a week and I did not get this way overnight and neither will I overcome it overnight.  I have to keep remembering not to beat myself up over it and to focus on Jesus and His healing power.  Lenore once told me that she had to keep busy and I totally agree, the busier I am, the less I think about my sitation – thank you Lenore and God Bless you for keeping it real.  If anyone has any questions, please please please ask me.  It is my hope that not only will I find healing by putting my journey into words, but that others will also learn from my experience.  I thank God for all of you and your prayers, may God Bless you according to His wealth and riches and pour out His healing upon you.  Take care, God bless.

My Journey Toward A New Life

Wow, today marks 1 week post surgery – and what a difference a week has made in my life.  Okay, I know that I am a bit behind in updating my journey and I will do my best to get caught up but today is probably the first day that I have actually felt up to doing anything aside from sleep or lie down.  I had no complications or problems during my surgery and my doctor said that it went great but since then I have had a few setbacks which I’ll talk about on future posts.  I am so happy to report that for the first time in a very long time I was able to walk for more than 5 minutes without being bent over in pain.  My son, Justin, took me to one of my favorite stores, Bed Bath and Beyond today.  I walked the entire store, up and down the aisles and not once did I have cramping in my back or pain in my knees.  I did walk a bit slow and at one point I did start to overheat and get sweaty but I made it and I truly enjoyed myself.  I broke down in tears a few times, happy to be getting my independance back and sad for all the time I have spent confined to my house.  I will say that I am catching up on lost sleep, I can almost sleep on my tummy and I no longer have the pain associated with the anesthesia.  I am still a bit tender in a few areas, I get gas build-up after I eat or drink so I burp often and I need to be near a potty within 10-15 minutes after “meals” (if you call jello or broth a meal).  I still crave my old favorites like burgers, steak, grilled cheese, spagetthi and stuff like that but oddly enough I don’t miss the sugary stuff like I thought I would and believe me, I loved my sweets!!!  I look forward to adding other things to my diet and can’t wait till I can  have something that actually requires me to CHEW!!!  I’m now into the second half of my Phase II diet which means I can add cottage cheese and cream soups – yippee!!  I drink Pink Lemonade Crystal Light and a lot of Smart Water, I love it because of the added electrolytes which helps when you have, pardon the expression, montezuma’s revenge!  I have one or two popsicles and servings of jello and pudding every day.  I also like instant mashed potatoes but they have to be very thin.  I had 2 saltine crackers and kept them down no problem but the second time I had them I also had a sip of water  – – – big no no!!  I forgot to wait 15 minutes and when the water hit the chewed up crackers, it made a ball of dough and the most excruciating pain I have ever had in my life.  Worse than labor, believe me, it also lasted almost 6 hours, so suffice to say I will NEVER make that mistake again.  Well, I’m gonna go for now, I’m just a tad bit sleepy.  I have my first follow-up visit on Monday so I will post my updated stats and pictures then.  Take care, God Bless.

Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Joy

I’ve been trying to catch up on my email and I came across this message from Joel Osteen and knew I had to share it because the enemy will try anything and use anyone to take away your joy and get your focus where it should not be. God bless and have a great day!

A message from Joel Osteen

Keep the Joy

Today’s Scripture

“I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” John 16:22 (NIV).

Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria

Your life is probably so fast paced that it seems to be swirling around you at times. In the midst of a hectic schedule, there are plenty of opportunities to lose your joy. But you don’t have to let any circumstance rob you of the joy that is rightfully yours in Christ. Once you decide to follow God and listen to Him, alone, nothing can take away that joy that is within you. And when your heart is set on joy, no one can wrestle it away from you unless you allow it. Your enemy is roaming around like a lion – waiting to devour, destroy and rob you of joy (1 Peter 5:8). But he can’t steal what Jesus has given to you in the first place. Today’s verse is a promise from Jesus, Himself – so hold on to the joy that He has put in your heart!

A Prayer for Today

God, thank You for giving me unspeakable joy in my life. Help me today to hold on to what You have given me and not allow anyone or anything to take it away. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

My Journey Toward A New Life

Hi everyone!!  Well, I had my surgery on Thursday, June 21st and my doctor said that all went great!  I felt pretty good considering I had major surgery, and thought I would be home sometime Friday, however I had a lot of trouble with the anesthesia and gas build up which created some complications.  I was in so much pain that I had to be put back on the IV, I also had to stop oral meds because I became extremely sick.  I just got home yesterday afternoon and I am trying to catch up on sleep and get into a routine for getting my fluids, vitamins and medications in and timing potty visits.  I am so excited about the future and what life holds for me and I thank God and praise Him for seeing me safely through the surgery and getting me back on my feet.  Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes, I will be in touch with you all very soon.  Right now my main goal is to stay hydrated and get my strength back.  Before I go, I wanted to let you know that I lost almost 9 pounds in 10 days during my pre-surgery phase diet.  I am not sure how much I have lost since the surgery since I was taking in a lot of fluids via IV and didn’t really do much potty.  I was also able to walk without pain 4-5 times a day around the entire floor and I haven’t been able to walk more than 20 feet without my knees and back stopping me in my tracks with crippling pain.  Well, I gotta go, getting a bit tired and it’s time to get more fluids in.  Love and kisses to everyone, God Bless you all.

My Journey Toward A New Life

So, after I got the all clear from my breast surgeon, I waited to hear from my doctors office to let let me know when I should start my pre-op diet and when I would have my surgery.  So, I waited…and waited…and waited.  It was now mid February so I called the doctors office to make sure they got the information from my breast surgeon and you can imagine my shock when they said, yes, we got the information but you are not scheduled for surgery, your insurance company has denied your coverage.  What?? There must be some misunderstanding, I have already been pre-approved, I personally spoke with the insurance company back in November 2006, and your office also got pre-approval!!  I was told to call my insurance to see if I could clear things up, which I figured would be smooth sailing – – -WRONG!!!  I cannot begin to tell you how incompetant, unprofessional, misinformed, argumentative, inconsiderate, uncaring, untruthful and ignorant the people I spoke with were.  I got a different answer, or should I say excuse every time I spoke with someone.  I got the run around every time I called, I was put on hold, hung up on and promised returned phone calls that never came.  Over the next 4 months I was told, they did not have a request from the doctors office, then they said I did not use a referral, then I was declined because I had an HMO, then I was told HMO was okay but the doctor was not participating, then it was the doctor was participating but the hospital he operated was not and then it went back to your policy does not cover this procedure, then they finally said they would approve it once they reviewed the medical necessity so they requested my records from Dr. Dallal.  Whew, I knew once they reviewed my medical files it would be a no brainer especially since my family doctor had been recommending the surgery for years and my surgeon felt I was an excellent candidate for the surgery.  Imagine how I felt when I opened my mail 2 days later to find I was rejected because my BMI was 60.  They stated that there was no evidence that operating on someone my size would be beneficial to  my health.  What??  If I was 1″ taller or 15 pounds lighter it would be okay because my BMI would be 59, but since it was 60, rejected!  I sunk into such a deep depression it worried my friends and family.  I lost all hope and thought God was telling me not to have the surgery.  My doctor called one day to tell me that there was no reason for them to deny me coverage and he recommended Obesity Law, a firm in California that helps people in my situation fight the insurance companies, so I began to check them out.  The manager of employee benefits at my husbands job also called to say that she was requesting an independant consultant to review my case and I should hear something within a few weeks.  As far as I was concerned, I didn’t have a few weeks, I needed an answer now, I needed something to bring me closure one way or the other.  I went to obesitylaw.com and checked out their site and filled in the request to have them represent me.  It would cost me between $400 and $800 depending on how fast I wanted them to procede and they were fairly sure they could get the denial overturned.  I was literally about to press “enter” on my computer when I got a phone call from the insurance company stating they reversed their decision and my surgery would be scheduled for June 28th and I needed to have pre-admission testing done on June 4th.  WHat???? Was I dreaming, did I hear correctly??  No I was not dreaming and yes I heard right.  They never admitted they were wrong, they simply said they reconsidered their decision and approved my surgery.  WOW!!!!!!  I began to get everything I needed for my 2 week pre-op diet and had it all planned out and then the phone rang again.  It was my doctors office asking if I would like to push up my surgery date – – uh – – yeah!!  So, I’ve been on my pre-op diet for 10 days (short notice) and I followed the plan with only some minor oopsies. Today, the day before my surgery is all clear liquids and I really thought I would not make it, but oddly enough I did.  Lenore, a new buddy from the doctors office told me to stay busy and she was right.  When I kept busy, I forgot about food, except for when my stomach would tell me to put something in it.  I put a few things in an overnight bag and my daughter came over to help shave my legs and paint my toenails; can’t go on the table with funky feet ya know!  So, now I am going to get ready for bed, I have to be on the road by 630am to be in Elkins Park by 730am.  I’m nervous and a bit scared.  I haven’t slept well the past couple of nights but I made up for it by sleeping most of the day.  I’m going to miss my doggie Biskit and my family and my computer and my own bed but God willing I will be home by Friday night.  The next time I post I will give more details about the pre-op diet and I’ll have a true “before” picture.  My goal is to post an update to the picture every month and to list my weight.  Well, gonna go for now, God bless you all and please lift me up in prayer.  ^i^

Jehovah Nissi – The Lord Our Banner

What do you think The Lord Our Banner represents?  What does it mean to you?  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of God as Jehovah Nissi?  Until I studied the Word, I had no true understanding of The Lord Our Banner aside from knowing that God was always right there with me.  As I did further reading and research I was directed to Exodus 17:15 with the reference that it declares God on the battlefield as lifting us up.  If you read Chapter 17 in Exodus, it tells how the people after leaving Egypt are thirsty and want Moses to bring forth water.  Moses, never really feeling he was the one who should have led them out of bondage or be the one the people looked to, wanted the people to seek God for their provisions instead of always making Moses go before God.  Moses knew by faith that God had brought them that far and had made provisions for them throughout their days.  He wanted the people to have and understand the same faith that he had, have access to God the same as he did, to hear Him and speak with Him just as he did.  He felt the people were simply testing God, blaming and using Moses to do it but he wanted no part of it.  Not knowing what else to do, Moses cried out to God and asked Him what to do as he feared the crowds would stone him and God told him to take his staff and strike the rock and that He would go before Moses and stand with him at the rock.  You could say that the people at that moment were the enemy to Moses and that the land between them and the rock was his battlefield.  He knew the people were angry and ready to kill him if necessary so trusting God and putting his faith in Him, he went to the rock knowing that no harm would come to him because God was with him, and that God went before him to prepare the way for him.   When I think of a banner I think of a big sign or flag waving on display for all to see.  For example, in a parade you will see people carrying a large banner with the name of their group on it so that everyone knows who is following them.  However in the case of Exodus 17, God went before Moses as his banner so that the people knew who Moses was following and who was leading him!  In this instance, The Banner is more important than what is following it.  If we follow God, let Him be our banner, and carry Him before us at all times, He will direct our paths, He will make a way for us, He will lead us on the battlefield and He will stand with us always!

My Journey Toward A New Life

Okay, so I left off at the point where I found Dr. Dallal and Einstein Bariatrics.  I completed the gigantic pre-screening packet and went to office depot and faxed it to them at like 930pm, that’s how eager I was to get the process started.  I must have called their office like 3 times in 2 weeks to make sure they got the packet and if they were considering taking me on as a patient.  The week before Thanksgiving I got the call and I was officially one of their patients and had my first appointment Dec 8th, just 3 days before my 47th birthday, what a great present I was giving myself!!  Just a few days after I got the call, I got another call from my stepmom saying my dad had suddenly passed away—pause—WHAT???—no way, I just talked to him last week he was fine, what happened???  I was devastated, my dad apparently had a blood clot that went to  his brain and he died instantly.  I was upset because I was not able to say goodbye, but thankful that he did not suffer.  I pretty much shut down for a bit, and then the day before my appointment with Dr. Dallal, I got a call from their office stating they had to reschedule my appointment because his wife was in labor.  Ugh, I mean really, something was conspiring against me and all I could hear was my husband saying, maybe this is God saying he doesn’t want you to have this surgery.  He never actually said that to me, but I know he was thinking it, and I was kinda thinking maybe God was trying to tell me not to do it.  Needless to say I bound the enemy and the thoughts that were in my head, rescheduled my appointment and moved forward.  I finally had my first appointment with Dr. Dallal the week before Christmas and if I had any doubts about him or his staff, they were blown away.  I knew I found the right doctor, he was everything I had hoped for and more, and what was even better, my husband really liked him and got behind me 200%.  My next appointment was with the nutrionist, physical therapist, physcologist and Dr. Dallal’s assistant.  It ended up being about a 4 hour appointment but I was just thrilled to have met everyone and to know that I had the best team of doctors, nurses and support staff.  I spent the next month getting all the tests they wanted me to have and had a bit of a scare when they found 2 lumps in my left breast during a routine mammogram.  Linda from Dr. Dallal’s office called me early one morning to tell me I had a lump and they wanted me to see a breast surgeon.  She referred me to Dr. Jablon and she is the best there is, trust me.  I had to battle my doctors office and the insurance company to get the referral to see Dr. Jablon but it was worth it, she is thorough and let’s you know exactly what she is doing and why.  Dr. Jablon said because the 2 lumps were small and connected, she would just remove them and then do a biopsy to avoid having to  make another trip.  I had everyone praying for me and praise God, when they did the Needle Location both the lumps were gone – only God could do that, and the entire office was so happy and excited and praising God with me!  I have to get follow-up mammo’s every 6 months but I don’t mind, better safe than sorry.  I’ll stop here for now, take care and God Bless.

My Journey Toward A New Life

I want to let everyone know that my decision to have Gastric Bypass surgery was not entered into lightly.  I have been looking into having this procedure for about 10 years when I learned there was a doctor who had developed a modified version of the Gastric Bypass which was less invasive and laproscopic.  The procedure was only being performed in North Carolina at the time and the cost was about $12,000 and only some insurance companies would cover it because it was considered experimental.  In fact, any weight loss surgery was considered high risk and most insurance companies did not offer coverage.  It was also very controversial, hospital stays were about 7-10 days and recovery was 6-12 weeks.  There were so many reports of complications and people dying that the risks seemed greater than the benefits.  I knew I wanted the surgery, but I also wanted to make sure I did all my research and got the best possible surgeon at the best possible hospital.  My family was divided in their opinions about my having the surgery and I knew without my immediate family’s support, I would not be able to follow through with the surgery.  My husband was totally against my having the surgery because he feared it would be too dangerous, but I felt that sometimes his objection was because he did not want me to lose weight for fear I would change or perhaps even find someone new.  So I tried other methods like Weight Watchers, OTC diet pills, doctor assisted diet pills, injections, laxatives, binging and purging, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Grapefruit diet, Cabbage soup diet, Water diet, and many many more all with no success and if I did lose any weight I would just gain it back plus some.  I never stopped researching doctors, methods and insurance coverage and I was just about to give up hope of ever finding a doctor I could put my faith in but in November 2006, I found Dr. Dallal at Albert Einstein Moss Rehab Center, Elkins Park Pa.  I knew the moment I began reading about him, his philosophy, how his practice was set up, his staff and all the information he had posted on the website that I found what I had been searching for all these years.  I truly felt led by God to find him.  I made sure my insurance company covered the procedure and that Dr. Dallal was an participating doctor before I began the pre-screening process.  I’ll stop here for now because putting into words what I have been through the past 6-7 months will take more time than I have right now.  God Bless. 

What Are You Thankful For?

 I got this in an email from Lenore, a new friend that I met through my doctors office and I wanted to share it with you.  God Bless!

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

FOR THE WIFE WHO SAYS IT’S HOT DOGS TONIGHT, BECAUSE SHE IS HOME WITH ME, AND NOT OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE. 
 
FOR THE HUSBAND WHO IS ON THE SOFA BEING A COUCH POTATO, BECAUSE HE IS HOME WITH ME AND NOT OUT AT THE BARS. 

FOR THE TEENAGER WHO IS COMPLAINING ABOUT DOING DISHES BECAUSE IT MEANS SHE IS AT HOME,  AND NOT ON THE STREETS. 

FOR THE TAXES I PAY BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM EMPLOYED. 
 
FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTY BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS. 
 
FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT. 
 
FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE.

FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING, WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING, AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME. 
 
FOR AL L THE COMPLAINING I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE IT MEANS WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH. . 
 
FOR THE PARKING SPOT I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM CAPABLE OF WALKING AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH TRANSPORTATION. 
 
FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILL BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM WARM AND THE HUGE COOLING BILL BECAUSE IT MEANS I CAN STAY COOL.
 
FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH WHO SINGS OFF KEY  BECAUSE IT MEANS I CAN 
HEAR. 
 
 FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR. 
 
FOR THE WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES AT THE END OF THE DAY BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD. 
 
 FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS BECAUSE IT MEANS I’M ALIVE. 
 
AND FINALLY, FOR TOO MUCH E-MAIL BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE THINKING OF ME. 
                                                                                                                                                 Author – Unknown

My Journey Toward A New Life

You could say that I’ve been overweight most of my life, but I was always very active and usually wore size 12/14.  There was a very short time when I was actually a size 5 right after high school.  I got a job in the Christmas department of JC Penney and my mode of transportation was my legs and the bus.  About a year later I was a size 8 and then I became pregnant with my first child.  I spent my days alone in our apartment with no car; no friends or family nearby; no phone and nothing to do but watch TV.  I did a lot of walking and took vitamins, but I craved chocolate – a lot of chocolate.  We had very little money and no real health-care aside from my initial visit with the doctor (mind you I was about 5 months pregnant at the time) and the day I went into labor (my exact due date).  I gained about 80 pounds and later learned that I had developed toxemia and the chocolate I ate only made it worse.  I lost about 50 pounds over the next 2 years and then became pregnant again.  I only gained about 30 pounds but 3 weeks after my son was born I was in the hospital suffering from a severe gallbladder infection.  My gallbladder actually ruptured inside me which forced them to perform emergency surgery.  I never got to meet with the surgeon and when I woke up from surgery I had an incision that went from one side of my stomach to the other.  It was about 14″ inches long, my stomach muscles were severed and I had no feeling in a large portion of my belly.  I was so depressed, my stomach literally hung down just above my knees and to this day I still have numbness at the incision.  Add to that 2 more children, lots of stress, too much work and not enough play, bad eating habits and so on, and here I am, too big to support myself to walk or stand so here I sit.  I have stopped living, I simply exist.  When I saw the doctor June 4th for my pre-admission testing, I was horrified to learn that I had ballooned up to 358 lbs.  I gained 28 pounds in 6 1/2 months.  I did not change my eating habits, I actually began eating healthier and taking in extra protein however I had become so sedentary, I was not able to walk or stand so my days were spent on the couch or in the bed.  I was so embarrassed and felt so defeated I wanted to just burst into tears but my doctor was so comforting and non-judgemental and his staff is so supportive I have been able to focus on getting ready for my surgery.  Well, I’m going to stop here, I don’t want to end up depressing myself, I’m in a pretty good mood today and I don’t want to spoil it.  Oh yeah, before I go, just 4 more days till my surgery!

My Journey Toward A New Life

Following the advice of some friends, I’ve decided to keep a journal of my Gastric Bypass.  I’ll try to update it daily and keep it as real as I can.  The first step to keeping it real is showing you a recent picture of myself and giving you my weight – this is where I stop and pray and ask God to give me the strength to do this and help me to not become full of anxiety or sink deeper into depression.  So here goes:  This picture was taken Thanksgiving 2006 and I don’t know my exact weight but it was around 330 lbs.  I’m the one in the pink sweater.

  thanksgiving-31.jpg

My Stats:

Height – 5’1″  

Weight – 330lbs

BMI – 60

Judge Roy Moore

I received this today from a dear friend who felt it should be posted on my site.  I whole heartedly agree and I ask each of you to Pass It On!  ** Please note I have revised the picture that was listed as I have been advised by Lee Caldwell-Owens that it was not a picture of Judge Roy Moore.  Thanks Lee!

 A  Great poem by a Great American..

Moore listens as the ruling removing him from office is read Thursday.
Some of you may be wondering what Judge Roy Moore has been doing since he was removed from the bench for refusing to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom wall.  Please read the poem he wrote. It’s below his picture.
 
The following is a poem written by Judge Roy Moore from Alabama. Judge Moore was sued by the ACLU for displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom foyer.  He has been stripped of his judgeship and now they are trying to strip his right to practice law in Alabama.  The judge’s poem sums it up quite well.

America
the Beautiful, or so you used to be.  Land of the Pilgrims’ pride; I’m glad they’ll never see.
 
Babies
piled in dumpsters, Abortion on demand, Oh, sweet land of liberty; your house is on the sand.
 
Our children wander aimlessly poisoned by cocaine, choosing to indulge their lusts, when God has said abstain.
 
From sea to shining sea, our Nation turns away, from the teaching of God’s love and a need to always pray.
 
We’ve kept God in our temples, how callous we have grown. When earth is but His footstool and Heaven is His throne.
 
We’ve voted in a government that’s rotting at the core, Appointing Godless Judges; who throw reason out the door.
 
Too soft to place a killer in a well deserved tomb, but brave enough to kill a baby before he leaves the womb.
 
You think that God’s not angry, that our land’s a moral slum? How much longer will He wait before His judgment comes?
 
How are we to face our God, from whom we cannot hide? What then is left for us to do, but stem this evil tide?
 
If we who are His children, will humbly turn and pray; seek His holy face and mend our evil way:
 
Then God will hear from Heaven; and forgive us of our sins, He’ll heal our sickly land and those who live within.
 
But, America the Beautiful, if you don’t – then you will see, A sad but Holy God withdraw His hand from Thee.
 
      ~~Judge Roy Moore~~
 
This says it all.  May we all forward this message and offer our prayers for Judge Moore to show our support and be blessed.  It’s time for America to wake up and realize what we need to do to keep OUR America the Beautiful. 
  
                                                                        
IN GOD WE  TRUST
      

Julia

Please join us in prayer for a sister in Christ; Julia.  She took a very bad fall in February and she is still recuperating.  We know that as we age, our bodies are not as strong and recovery tends to take longer but I stand on God’s word and believe by faith that His word has the same healing power for everyone regardless of our age.  Please lift Julia up in your daily prayers asking God to renew the strength in her body; mind and soul and mend her bones so that she may continue to be a witness and living testimony for the healing power of God and His love and mercy for us all.