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The Metamorphosis of the Angelic Butterfly

WELCOME to the Metamorphosis of the Angelic Butterfly. 
You may be wondering who is this Angelic Butterfly I speak of.  It is me. 
That is how I see myself. 
I wrote my life story in the form of an allegory back in 1995,
and entitled it, The Story of the Angelic Butterfly. 
If you want to read my story, my friend Cryssy honored me
by putting my story on her website:
Cryssy's Ascii Art .  
I see weight loss surgery as a metamorphosis for me. 
This is my WLS journey from the cocoon of obesity
to the splendor of the Angelic Butterfly. 
I want to share my journey with you.  I hope you enjoy my site.

Hi there!  I am Katie, AKA the Angelic Butterfly. 
I am a 45 year old homemaker living in Lansdale, PA.,
a suburb of historic Philadelphia. 
I am married to my life partner of 19 years, Allen
and we have 2 fur babies (our cats) Angel and Peanut. 
I have a lot of interests, some of which are
writing poetry, singing, playing guitar
and learning how to be a gardener
with green thumbs instead of brown ones.

I am creating this site because
I am beginning to embark on a journey
that is really a major lifestyle change for me. 
I am in the pre op phase of weight loss surgery, or WLS for short. 
I am having the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure sometime this fall,
as soon as I get a date for surgery scheduled. 
I want to share my journey,
all the highs and lows with those who may consider WLS. 
If I can help just one obese person,
I will be fulfilling my goal.

When I was 9 years old, my battle with weight began.
  On September 30, 1966, both my parents died. 
My maternal grandparents adopted my 2 younger sisters and me. 
Since I was the oldest,
I felt that I wasn't getting the love I deserved from my grandparents. 
They seemed to dote on my younger sisters. 
As a result, I turned to every kind of junk food imaginable
for the love, comfort, and nurturing
I "hungered" for, but didn't get, or so I felt. 
I became, at the age of 10, what I have called a "junk food bulimic." 
I would binge on junk food and do it privately...
in a closet, in the garage...
anywhere I could gorge myself without getting lectured about it. 
Afterwards, I would purge then begin the cycle all over again.

For the past 35 years since the death of my parents,
I have ballooned as high as 275 lbs. 
My highest weight was 295 lbs in 2001. 
I have tried every diet known to humankind. 
I would lose for a while only to have
the lost weight come back with lots more.

When my parents died, I was the big sister,
parent to my grandparents,
and was care giver to everyone but me. 
It seemed that I didn't exist for Katie! 
The stress was unbearable. 
As the stress grew, so did I. 
I was called such horrible names by the kids at school
and in the neighborhood,
and I began to turn to food for love, comfort...
everything I wasn't getting from my family.
  I just began to isolate and withdraw from everyone and everything except food. 
I had an obsession with stuffing my face every chance I could. 
I was, in fact, "living to eat, not eating to live."

In December of 1981, I was a homeless street person
through some unfortunate circumstances. 
Just a few days before Christmas,
my depression was so bad that I decided
to act on my thoughts of suicide. 
I took a massive overdose of some prescription medication
and began sinking into a coma. 
The police thought at first I was drunk. 
When they finally came to check on me, I was nearly dead. 
At this time I was down to about 180 lbs.  I was a really sick girl! 
I was hospitalized for 8 weeks and once I got out into the "real" world,
my bad eating habits started up again, and my weight was well over 230 lbs!

It was at this time that I met the man who would become my husband. 
I was so ashamed and humiliated about my looks. 
I didn't even have any self-esteem to talk about. 
Allen looked beyond all that
and must have seen something of value that I wasn't able to see. 
A year and a day after we first met, we were married. 
That was 19 years ago!  Not a day goes by that Allen,
in some way, doesn't remind me of just how special I am ON THE INSIDE!

In my attempts to lose weight,
I have gone through a lot of the major ones known...
Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Richard Simmons to name a few. 
At 5'3" and at 265 currently I got sick and tired
of being sick, tired, depressed, and in constant pain. 
I was at the point of anything...then WLS began calling out to me. 
I figured, what have I got to lose except for the extra 130 lbs I am carrying. 
I have been researching WLS for about a year
and one night the advertisement
for the
Bariatric Treatment Centers  was on television. 
I copied down the web address and logged on to BTC's web site
and found what I thought I was looking for. 
I got information from the site that really got the ball going. 
I have found a lot of useful and helpful
information from other sites online as well. 
I finally got the literature from the Bariatric Treatment Center. 
I shared the brochure with Allen. 
He was the one who urged me to make the call
for an appointment for an initial consultation with a bariatric surgeon.

On June 20, 2002,
I had an appointment at the Bariatric Treatment Center in Langhorne, PA. 
I had paperwork to fill out. 
I first met with Amy, one of the medical techicians on staff. 
She took a complete health history
as well as my diet history, comorbidities and all my vital signs. 
We had a good rapport, and it was Amy who broke the ice for me. 

Then I met Dr. Neil S. Marymor, the man who will be my surgeon. 
I don't know why I was so nervous. 
Dr. Marymor was through in his explanation of the RNY procedure. 
All the questions I asked were answered
and I came away from this inital consultation with Dr. Marymor
more confident of my decision to go ahead with WLS. 
Dr. Marymor's manner was straightforward with no punches pulled. 
He was calm and reassuring in his explanation of the procedure
and calmed whatever fears I had. 
I was of the mindset that it wasn't a matter of "IF" I had the surgery,
it was just a matter of "WHEN."

My day wasn't finished yet. 
After I met with Dr. Marymor,
I met with Joyce, a patient counselor on staff at BTC. 
Joyce is a post op wls patient herself. 
She gave me a no holds barred picture
of what life will be like after I have surgery from her personal viewpoint. 
She showed me her "before" picture, and wow, what a big change!!! 
Talking with Joyce gave me hope. 
I will see Joyce at the monthly support group meetings held at BTC.

June 20, 2002 was the beginning
of a wonderful journey for me! 
I took the first step on a journey
that will see a wonderful transformation take place for me. 
It's just another chapter in the
Story of the Angelic Butterfly (that's ME!) 
I don't know what lies ahead,
but I will definitely look forward to the road ahead of me.

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