Sunday, July 5, 2009



I write to all of you today simply as a Mother. I ask for your patience and understanding as I tell the most difficult story of my life. Even more painful for my daughter to endure. Chrissy was 19 years old, beautiful, intelligent, and yes overweight. I am giving only a brief part of Chrissy’s struggles in the hopes to discourage those considering weight loss surgery.

She was always scared of surgery so you can imagine our shock at the announcement she decided to have gastric bypass surgery. I went with her to the surgeon’s office expecting some nutritional and psychological evaluation process. Instead, we got a brief PowerPoint presentation. Chrissy was otherwise a very healthy young lady. (no serious medical conditions) The Surgeon had her surgery approved by her insurance company and a date set very quickly. Regardless of my feelings, as her mother. You see the 100 lbs. overweight was enough for him to perform the surgery. Chrissy regretted it from the moment she woke up.

The pain never ended. She went back to the surgeon who said her pain was all in her head. We took her to another surgeon, who said her gall bladder was diseased and he removed it. This did not relieve her pain. She was given pain pills to try to ease her pain, vitamins, B12 shots, iron infusions, you name it Chrissy had it. We went to Dr. after Dr. all either reluctant to treat or just baffled with all the complications occurring. Chrissy had a stroke (some said stroke, some said complex migraine, some simply did not know) She went through rehab and returned to work. First day back she fell and sprained her ankle. The ankle never healed and we knew something was wrong. This is when they discovered not only the normal B12 and Iron deficiencies, but everything was deficient. Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, you name it.

Now of course vitamins were increased to huge doses. We already knew at this point Chrissy could not absorb pill forms of vitamins, as well as, many medications. Everything was tried from liquid, injections of A, infusions of Vitamin D and Iron Infusions. Chrissy was just not absorbing anything and the numbers just kept going down. She was diagnosed with Osteomalacia and hyperparathryroid. Not for one minute can you tell me these were not caused by WLS.

The cruel joke was she looked great two years out of the surgery, but never felt great or even good. 5 – 5 ½ years out Chrissy started losing her teeth, was completely deficient, in a wheelchair, under pain management and could barely eat and our one saving factor was that she was not losing weight, so we thought we stood a chance. Everything was deteriorating, she was in constant unbearable pain, her muscles had begun to atrophy, and emotionally and physically she was drained. She was losing her eye sight and even her memory. On December 3, 2008 our last monthly visit to the endocrinologist she lost 50 lbs. I said at this time, as I said to every Dr., on every visit, I was having trouble keeping her comfortable. Even under pain management they could not keep her comfortable, because they refused to give her higher doses to allow for the malabsorbtion. The Dr. said go home enjoy Christmas and we will talk in January. We never had that Christmas, Chrissy died on December 21, 2008.

You see the cruel part of this whole story is that Drs. Do not know how to treat WLS patients with these types of medical issues and emergency rooms are a complete waste of time a because they don’t know what to do. What this means for the patient suffering theses very serious medical issues is no treatment, no pain relief, and no answers.

To date I am still fighting for this surgeons records which he refused to give to Chrissy . Imagine my daughter is dying, I am begging for records and this Dr. refuses for 6 ½ years.

My opinion is when you agree to bypass surgery you do not know how much absorbable intestine will be bypassed. These Surgeons are simply guessing as to how much a patient will absorb after surgery. TALK ABOUT A LOSE/LOSE SITUATION…..

I watched Chrissy die the most debilitating, deteriorating, and humiliating death possible for a 26 year old to have to face. She did it with dignity, strength, and courage. She even tried to prepare us for what was ahead.

Knowing and living, and dying as she did, she said even if she had medical conditions she would never have done this surgery had she known this was possible.

When Chrissy passed we already knew others had suffered and died the same awful way. I would like people to understand this may be a “death sentence”, not the “NEW LIFE”, described by surgeons. You may survive this surgery and live for many years, but your old medical issues will be replaced with other medical issues that are not as treatable. They simply cannot make your body absorb once the chemistry of your system is changed.

Since Chrissy’s death, I am being called and told of numerous stories of people suffering and dying trying to get help….

Sunday, July 05, 2009


QUITE SIMPLY NOTHING IN LIFE IS AN EASY FIX ESPECIALLY WLS SURGERY. Believe it or not I have only given a brief description of Chrissy’s 6 ½ year struggle. God knows there is so much more. I just want everyone to know how this surgery can completely ruin lives forever.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kimkins Class Action Lawsuit

Proposed Notice of Pendency of Class Action

This is NOT an official notice. This notice is proposed to the court by plaintiffs’ counsel June 26, 2009. If you choose to duplicate this notice on any blog or website, this notice MUST be included.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Action Alert

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) of 2009 (S 493/HR 1205) has been introduced in both the Senate and House. The ABLE Act will give individuals with disabilities and their families the ability to save for their child's future just like every other American family, and help people with disabilities live full, productive lives in their communities.

The ABLE Act will allow individuals with disabilities to create a disability savings accounts or 'ABLE Accounts' that would accrue interest tax-free. The account could fund a variety of essential expenses for the individual, including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. The legislation prohibits amounts held by, or paid or distributed from any ABLE accounts from being treated as income or assets when determining eligibility for benefits provide by any Federal benefits program.

Asset development is one step toward improving economic self-sufficiency, and the legislation's focus on encouraging asset development will greatly incentivize people with disabilities to live more productive lives through earning and saving resources for their future.

Action Required:
If your Representative and/or Senators are not already a cosponsor of S. 493/H.R. 1205, please call them to cosponsor this important legislation (a list of Members who have already signed on to the bill is included below).
Talking Points to Call Your Senators and Representative:
  • I am calling to ask my [Senator/Representative] to cosponsor the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) of 2009 (S 493/HR 1205) led by Senators Casey (D-PA), Hatch (R-UT), Dodd (D-CT), Kennedy (D-MA), Brownback (R-KS), and Burr (R-NC) and Representatives Crenshaw (R-FL), Meek (D-FL), Kennedy (D-RI), and McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).
  • The legislation encourages persons with disabilities to save in order to live an independent and meaningful life while reducing their dependency on public benefits.
  • This legislation allows for the establishment of tax-exempt financial security accounts for individuals with disabilities to pay certain expenses, including: medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation.
If your boss is interested in signing on as a cosponsor, please contact:
Bryn McDonough (202-224-6324) in Senator Robert Casey's office
Dustin Krasny (202-225-2501) in Representative Ander Crenshaw's office
House ABLE Act of 2009 (HR1205) Cosponsors
Rep Crenshaw, Ander [FL-4]
Rep Akin, W. Todd[MO-2]
Rep Andrews, Robert E. [NJ-1]
Rep Bachus, Spencer [AL-6]
Rep Bean, Melissa L. [IL-8]
Rep Berkley, Shelley [NV-1]
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7]
Rep Blunt, Roy [MO-7]
Rep Boozman, John [AR-3]
Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU]
Rep Brady, Kevin [TX-8]
Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3]
Rep Brown-Waite, Ginny [FL-5]
Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5]
Rep Campbell, John [CA-48]
Rep Cantor, Eric [VA-7]
Rep Carson, Andre [IN-7]
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9]
Rep Davis, Geoff [KY-4]
Rep Diaz-Balart, Lincoln [FL-21]
Rep Dreier, David [CA-26]
Rep Ehlers, Vernon J. [MI-3]
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51]
Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4]
Rep Gordon, Bart [TN-6]
Rep Graves, Sam [MO-6]
Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17]
Rep Harper, Gregg [MS-3]
Rep Heller, Dean [NV-2]
Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17]
Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12]
Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1]
Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3]
Rep Kirk, Mark Steven [IL-10]
Rep Mack, Connie [FL-14]
Rep Marshall, Jim [GA-8]
Rep McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [WA-5]
Rep Meek, Kendrick B. [FL-17]
Rep Mica, John L. [FL-7]
Rep Moore, Dennis [KS-3]
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8]
Rep Neugebauer, Randy [TX-19]
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC]
Rep Nunes, Devin [CA-21]
Rep Olson, Pete [TX-22]
Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14]
Rep Paulsen, Erik [MN-3]
Rep Pence, Mike [IN-6]
Rep Platts, Todd Russell [PA-19]
Rep Roe, David P. [TN-1]
Rep Rooney, Thomas J. [FL-16]
Rep Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [FL-18]
Rep Roskam, Peter J. [IL-6]
Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9]
Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-17]
Rep Schmidt, Jean [OH-2]
Rep Sessions, Pete [TX-32]
Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4]
Rep Tauscher, Ellen O. [CA-10]
Rep Thompson, Mike [CA-1]
Rep Wolf, Frank R. [VA-10]
Rep Young, C.W. Bill [FL-10]
Senate ABLE Act of 2009 (S493) Cosponsors
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA]
Sen Brownback, Sam [KS]
Sen Burr, Richard [NC]
Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT]
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT]
Sen Kennedy, Edward M. [MA]
Sen Specter, Arlen [PA]
Sen Wicker, Roger F. [MS]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Action Alert: Help Rescind the Bush Conscience Clause Rule

Last September, the Secular Coalition for America and our supporters lobbied the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to protect our rights to medical services from religious objectors by withdrawing the so-called "conscience clause” rule proposal. Now, as the Obama Administration attempts to rescind this rule that inappropriately places the religious beliefs of health care workers above the medical needs of their patients, we need your help.

Tell Obama’s Acting Director of Health and Human Services--Charles E. Johnson--that it is unethical for our government to encourage health care workers to deny important medical information and services to patients based on the perceived needs of a worker's religious beliefs. Moreover, it would be irresponsible for the government to permit religiously motivated workers receiving federal funds to compromise federal programs by refusing to carryout their responsibilities.

While the HHS has proposed to rescind the rule, it has also asked for comment "on whether the objectives of the ... rule might also be accomplished through non-regulatory means." Instead of trying to accomplish the same objectives through other means, urge Secretary Johnson to completely rescind the rule and not to attempt to find middle ground that placates religious conservatives.

Please take a moment to send a message to HHS Secretary Johnson telling him that you oppose the privilieging of religious beliefs over the rights of patients.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

NAMI: Grading the States 2009

Full Grading the States report online at:


National Average is a D
14 States Improve Grades; 12 Fall Backwards

State Budget Crises Threaten Ruin

Washington, D.C. - The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has released a new report, Grading the States, assessing the nation's public mental health care system for adults and finding that the national average grade is a D.

Fourteen states improved their grades since NAMI's last report card three years ago. Twelve states fell backwards.

Oklahoma showed the greatest improvement in the nation, rising from a D to a B. South Carolina fell the farthest, from a B to a D. However, the report comes at a time when state budget cuts are threatening mental health care overall.

"Mental health care in America is in crisis," said NAMI executive director Michael J. Fitzpatrick. "Even states that have worked hard to build life-saving, recovery-oriented systems of care stand to see their progress wiped out."

"Ironically, state budget cuts occur during a time of economic crisis when mental heath services are needed even more urgently than before. It is a vicious cycle that can lead to ruin. States need to move forward, not retreat."

This is the second report NAMI has published to measure progress in transforming what a presidential commission on mental health called "a system in shambles."

NAMI's grades for 2009 include six Bs, 18 Cs, 21 Ds and six Fs, based on 65 specific criteria such as access to medicine, housing, family education, and support for National Guard members.

"Too many people living with mental illness end up hospitalized, on the street, in jail or dead," Fitzpatrick said. "We need governors and legislators willing to make investments in change."

In 2006, the national average was D. Three years later, it has not budged.

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

Full Grading the States report online at:

Monday, February 23, 2009

NEDAwareness Week 2009: February 22-28

2009 NEDAwareness Week Theme:
...until eating disorders are history

I've talked about my history with ED for some time now. I felt I needed to retell my story of recovery, so here goes.

My ED began unconsciously at around the age of 10yrs old. My dad was a firm believer in the "clean your plate" philosophy. I remember being forced to eat so much until I threw up. So you see where my bulimia began. After throwing up so much I learned to throw up after a binge. I held on to this behavior for years, never calling it an ED. My son finally put a name to it. We were going through some family counseling after his father died. One night we attended a workshop on addictions. ED's were presented as part of the topic. When we got in the car ready to return home, he turned to me and said you are bulimic. Until that time everyone, including myself, always said I had a nervous stomach. I continued with the behavior for years after that night. I just got better at hiding it. I became a closet eater. Binging on anything in sight then purging. I wasn't doing it to consciously lose weight. I soon ballooned to nearly 400lbs. It wasn't until I had my WLS that my ED became an issue where I finally got some help. I lost my weight very quickly. I couldn't binge or purge any more after the surgery. It was next to impossible. So I began just not eating. The closer I got to my goal weight the less I would eat. I still saw myself as being 400lbs. I still wore all my old clothes even though they were falling off of me. When I reached the 130 lb mark my family spoke up and said enough. This is when my son finally spoke up about the bulimia. My mom talked with my therapist about everything. So I then began my long road of recovery. I still did not want to eat. I was afraid of gaining any weight that I had lost. Fast forward 2 years. My lab work shows I am literally starving myself to death. So I began working more closely with my therapist and a whole team of doctors. I have since regained 50lbs. My lab work is finally on track after a long hard year. I still find myself freaking each time I get on the scale. I'm not happy with the gain. I'm back to hiding in clothes 3 sizes too big. It's a daily struggle to make myself eat. I just take it one day at a time.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Medicare's idiocy


Vitamin D Council Newsletter

Friday the 13th, February, 2009.


On Friday, February 6, 2009, Medicare announced its intention to stop paying for vitamin D blood tests in many Medicare districts. If this rule passes, the change will quickly extend to all Medicare districts. Private insurers will then follow suit, denying payment for vitamin D blood tests, even for the diagnoses of vitamin D deficiency. Medicare proposes to pay for vitamin D blood tests for only few limited indications, such as rickets, osteomalacia and chronic renal failure.

Draft LCD for Vitamin D Assay Testing (DL29510).

This rule change flies in the face of an enormous amount of research, some of it published in the last few months. For example, several weeks ago, the British Journal of Cancer reported that in men with prostate cancer, those with highest vitamin D blood levels were 7 (seven) times more likely to survive than were men with the lowest levels (RR 0.16). If any media stories appeared about this amazing discovery, I am unable to locate them.

Association between serum 25(OH)D and death from prostate cancer

Apparently, Medicare's reasoning is not understood in England. A week ago, researchers at Oxford discovered the long-sort genetic link vitamin D has with multiple sclerosis. According to Medicare's new rules, if you have MS, or don't want your unborn baby to develop it, or have a family history of MS, or just don't want to get MS, you will have to pay for the blood test to decide how much vitamin D you should take to optimize your 25-hydroxy-vitamin D level.

MS link to vitamin D deficiency hailed by politicians as giant leap forward

If you are pregnant, and want to reduce your risk of caesarian section by four-fold, you will have to anti up.

Low vitamin D may increase chance of a caesarean delivery

Patients with diagnosed colon cancer are 48% less likely to die if their vitamin D levels are high. If you have this dreaded cancer, how do you know if your levels are high?

Vitamin D May Promote Colon Cancer Survival

If you fear getting demented, pay up. Recent research indicates people with impaired cognition are twice as likely to have vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D is mental health aid

If you have Parkinson's disease, or don't want to get it, get our your wallet.

Study finds link between low vitamin D and Parkinson's disease

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics recently stated,

"Given the growing evidence that adequate maternal vitamin D status is essential during pregnancy, not only for maternal well-being but also for fetal development, health care professionals who provide obstetric care should consider assessing maternal vitamin D status by measuring the 25-hydroxy-vitamin D concentrations of pregnant women."

Prevention of rickets and vitamin D deficiency in infants, children, and adolescents.

That is, the American Academy of Pediatrics now suggests vitamin D blood levels be measured in all pregnant women. Expectant mothers, concerned about their baby's "fetal development," will soon have to pay for the only test that will do what the American Academy of Pediatrics now advises, tell them if their unborn baby is vitamin D deficient.

I could go on and on. Now is the time the Vitamin D Council needs your help. I want you to do two things:

1) Email the person taking comments, Medicare's Ms. Gina Oliveri, at, and tell her your feelings about this proposed rule change. Include your reason why this test is crucial for the health of Americans.

2) Send an email to your Congressperson and ask them to investigate Medicare's "Draft LCD for Vitamin D Assay Testing (DL29510)." Tell your representative not to let this happen. Simply click on the link below, fill in your state and zip code, go to your Congressperson's website, and then click on "contact."

Write Your Representative

Of course, this rule change will help the finances of the Vitamin D Council, as it will increase sales of ZRT's in-home Vitamin D test, which generates ten bucks per test to us. However, this rule change will end up killing Americans. We cannot let it happen.

I can't stress enough how important this is for the public health of the United States. On February 21st, in just nine days, Medicare will not allow any further input by citizens, so email both and your Congressperson right now.

John Cannell, MD
The Vitamin D Council
9100 San Gregorio Road
Atascadero, CA 93422

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Weight Bias

The Rudd Center has created an online course to help medical professionals reduce weight-bias stigma. They recently came out with a series of YouTube videos about the same subject. For this, I applaud them. Check them out below. One is weight bias at home and school. The other is weight bias at the doctors. I'm sure plenty of y'all have experienced weight bias at one time or another. It's just another form of discrimination in my book.

From the Rudd Center website:

To increase public awareness about weight bias, the Rudd Center has released two new videos demonstrating the nature and extent of weight bias at home, in school and even at the doctor's office. The videos are hosted by former supermodel and activist Emme and feature Rudd Center experts including Rebecca Puhl, PhD, Director of Research & Weight Stigma Initiatives. Each video uses both expert commentary and dramatic representation to address the obstacles obese individuals face with weight bias in American society. The videos also present strategies to help combat this rapidly growing problem.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Something to remeber after the inaugruation

"We hear so much these days about how traditional religious family values are necessary for raising moral children who can grow into accomplished adults," said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, father of two. "But we humanists have known for a long, long time that ethical humanist values build character. The number of moral and accomplished humanists is legion. We've been honoring the greatest of them every year since 1953 at our annual conferences. Now Barack Obama has given us the opportunity to share this truth with those from around the country who come to our nation's capital to share in the inauguration experience."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Women’s Self Empowerment Week.

This week is Women’s Self Empowerment Week. What better way to start the year. This is a time for women to reflect on and feel good about their accomplishments, role in society, as well as establish new goals for the future. Too many of us have fallen into the habit of depending on others for what we think, what we do, and who we are.

Check out the following links to help you on your journey to self empowerment:

Whose Life Are You Living? Why You May Be Living Someone Else’s Life and How You Can Take Back What’s Yours

I am More than My Appearance

Overcome Fear to Reach Your Full Potential

Cutting Cords to Toxic Relationships

Friday, January 2, 2009

Another year........

So another year is over and another has begun…

I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions as such. I prefer to set goals: to have aspirations that are achievable and realistic. The first one is to treat myself well. No self hatred, no unattainable resolutions, continuing to improve my health.

2008 was a long and difficult year for me. I have faced many health crisis and have finally turned a corner to feeling and doing well. I want to continue to build on the solid foundation I have carefully built this past year. Which means feeding my body what it requires each day. Not falling for some arbitrary number on a scale. Moving my body to keep my fibro pain in check. Taking my meds and supplements as prescribed. Making and keeping follow up appointments with my team of docs. Attending therapy sessions routinely. Not isolating myself from the outside world.

All this I do for my optimum health.

Thursday, January 1, 2009