to raise money for me to have bariatric surgery when our insurance refused, despite letters of medical necessity from several of my doctors. Feel free to like the page, no one is asking for funds, it is now just a page to keep up with me on my journey before, during, and after my Vertical Gastric Sleeve surgery. It's a place to watch me bloom!
It was anticipated that it would take about a year to 18 months to get the money raised, starting this past January. It's been such a whirlwind of activity! There was direct gifting on one funding site in January and February, a humongous rummage sale that so many San Antonio sparkers, friends and family donated to and worked in April, and the selling of Save the She Beast t-shirts in March and June. One beautiful Spark member, GOLDENDOMER00, donated all of the profits from one very successful Premier Jewelry party in February to the cause. Another friend who sells Avon did a fundraiser. A local musician who went to high school with my husband donated all of the tips from one of his gigs to us. What took us to our goal in only five months were two extremely generous gifts from benefactors who wish to remain anonymous. All together it equaled us getting the $15,000 needed for the surgery.
Melissa (GOLDENDOMER00) and some of her gorgeous jewelry from the PremierJewelry Fundraiser, and Melissa and me!
We were invited to appear on a local tv show, Great Day S.A., to talk about the campaign:
Me and my daughter goofing on the set:
Our group of San Antonio Sparkers and family with some of the cast of GDSA:
Here's some folks in their Save the She Beast t-shirts:
Pics from the rummage sale:
These are some of the volunteers at the rummage sale: Debra (HEALTHYHABITGAL) holding my granddaughter, Heidi (HEIDIJUNEBUG), me, Sarah Marie, my son-in-law Colin, and my daughter Carly. There were a lot of other volunteers, as well!
As soon as all of the money was pledged, I got busy scheduling what I needed to have done before surgery could be scheduled. I got clearance from my cardiologist and my primary care doctor. Here is my awesome heart guru and life saver after my heart attack, Dr. Kuri, signing the release:
I think my primary care doctor was as happy as me to find out I would be able to get the surgery soon. He's by far the best PCP I've ever had. My husband and I went together to see him (we are both his patients). Dr. Jaafar told us the doctor who will be performing my surgery was THE man to do this particular procedure and that he was the best of the best. That was incredibly reassuring. Here's a pic my husband snapped of me and Dr. J.
Tomorrow I have the first of several dietary consults, as well as a bone scan. On Tuesday I have an endoscopy to ensure that I have no active ulcers, gastritis or H. Pylori bacteria in my stomach. I also will have a psychological evaluation so any pre-surgery psychosocial factors are identified and dealt with. A person who has bariatric surgery is going to face permanent changes in eating and dietary habits, altered body experiences, changing body image issues, new feelings and a new lifestyle. There are a lot of unexpected changes in relationships possible as well. This evaluation should help pinpoint both my concerns as well as what a skilled professional might see as areas of concern such as unrealistic expectations so they can be worked on.
After all of the testing, I need to pay the anesthesiologist, hospital, and of course the surgeon. When I take care of this my surgery date will be finalized. Surgery has been tentatively set for July 28th. That's just FIVE WEEKS AWAY! I'm excited, scared (which is normal), and READY. I have a lot of faith in the bariatric center I'm working with, BMI of Texas, and with the doctor who will perform my surgery. Dr. Duperier comes highly recommended, not only by my own physician, but by three people I know, one of whom is a San Antonio Spark team member! Dr. D's associate, Dr. Seger, did the procedure for another friend and fellow SA Sparker. All of these folks are doing well and their results so far are wonderful.
I hope everyone reading this understands and believes how grateful and appreciative I am for what I've been given. So many people pitched in with money, purchases, and their time, love, good thoughts, and prayers for this to happen for me. I will never, ever forget for a minute. When I struggle, I will remember how many people had faith in me and loved me enough to make this happen for me. When I am finally in less pain and able to move more I will feel the gratitude anew. As the amount of medications I take get less and less I will be giving thanks for all that has been done for me. When I climb the stairs to my bedroom at night and don't have to pause to catch my breath several times I will be mentally sending love and praise to everyone who cared. When I can finally get down on the floor and roll a ball back and forth with my grand baby, tears of appreciation for what was given will flow. For every milestone, big and small, I will remember and be grateful.
I am especially grateful for my beautiful, talented, driven, and dynamic little fairy princess hippie child, the mother of my two littlest grandbabies, and the force behind the Save the She Beast campaign. Without her determination and hard work, this wouldn't be happening. Thank you, Carly. I love you so very much.
Here's a picture of Carly at Halloween before she cut her hair short. She was a midnight fairy.
There are so many others I haven't mentioned who were so helpful and instrumental to the cause. If I didn't mention you, please don't hold it against me. You are so loved and appreciated!
Stay tuned. There is a new, improved, twice as loving and just as fierce She-Beast in the making! As always, I love you all.