Right Wing Spiritualist

Just because I'm a practitioner within the Church of Religious Science (founded by Ernest Homes) it doesn't mean that I'm a tree-hugger, liberal! Some of us in the New Thought movement still beleive that while we are trying to change the energy of this planet - WE STILL HAVE TO LIVE ON THIS PLANET !!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

WLS Testimonial to McClellan & HHS

October 22, 2004

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Attn: Administrator Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D.
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore MD 21244-1850

RE: Weight Loss Surgery / A Real Life Saving Story !!

Dear Mr. McClellan:

I have been given to understand that you are in the process of eliminating Medical Weight Loss Surgery coverage under the Medicare and/or Medicaid umbrella. Please read the following testimonial and consider your decision carefully. I am only one of millions of individuals that had no further medical or personal options available to save their own lives !! Thank you!

In the beginning of this journey - I was just 40 years old and I found myself in a conundrum. Common medical "wisdom" says – If you are fat Eat Less and Exercise More. That’s what I’d been told for 20 years. I was at 320 lbs. and at my wit's end. I didn’t lead a sedentary life! I was an Actress, Singer and Public Speaker. However, after an adulthood of dieting, my pancreas had failed (I’d become diabetic), my kidney’s were dying (flushing protein), and my heart was throwing PVC’s (extra, abrupt beats) that were so bad I couldn’t sleep (even though I was exhausted most of the time). I was suffering from Sleep Apnea, which would soon require a C-Pap and I as an embarrassing topper I was incontinent! I exercised like a maniac – even though the pain I experienced walking 2 miles a day was excruciating. Wanna hear the funny part? My Primary Care Physician (PCP) told me that I would need a double knee replacement in less than 2 years if I didn’t take it easy with my exercise routine! I’d already blown my right achilles tendon and she wanted me to take it easier. So much for the exercising more advice!

My Brother and his family and my friends, although loving and supportive, had stopped asking me to do things with them because of my physical limitations – things like going to Disney movies with my nieces was impossible because of the movie theater stairs and the size of the chairs. When I went dancing with my friends they knew to get a table so that I could sit often. When I was in rehearsals for a play or musical everyone knew that I would need to rest more than others do. It was humiliating and painful to know that I’d tried every dietary avenue available (Liquid Diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Adkins and South Beach) and still couldn’t "get control" of my weight. My employment was a problem – Although I was one of those very rare morbidly obese women who didn’t have trouble getting or keeping a job – but only because I type over 120 words per minute and was VERY good at my job. However, I was seldom, if ever, asked to represent any company to the outside world. I was not allowed to relieve our receptionists, I was not allowed the opportunity to speak in public, I was denied the chance to advance out of the secretarial role – not because I was uneducated or unskilled … Hey, personality doesn’t often overcome the stigma of presenting an obese face in a corporate world!

Why surgery? Hmmm … have you read the first 5 paragraphs? I was dying and at a physical limitation dead end! I knew surgery was a drastic & dangerous choice – However, after doing my due diligence both on the Internet and attending several doctors’ informational sessions it became apparent that it was now my final chance to live a healthy life. I had to caution on the side of saving my own life – and I was willing to go against any fear or arguments that may have been presented to me by friends or family. I had my way out of the darkness that had become my health !

Post Surgical Results – I am now 1 year, 2 days post surgical. I have lost 166 lbs. and my BMI is now 23.8 (down from 47). My diabetes was cured during my hospital stay, my knee pain resolved more and more as the weight dropped off. I sleep through the night as my PVC’s and Sleep Apnea are resolved. I’m no longer incontinent and I can walk and sit anywhere I wish! I’ve been offered two promotions at work, but am considering a career change that would take me out from behind a desk and allow me to live an even larger than before.

Mr. McClellan, my weight had to be reduced to save my life! Millions of individual lives, who are currently in more dire medical need than I found myself 1 year ago, will certainly be forfeit without a surgical option. It would be a crime to allow them to die simply because you may not have experienced their plight. Well, I have experienced it all – please do not eliminate Surgical Weight Loss from the Medicare and/or Medicaid plan!

Thank you,
Ms. Colista Lich


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