True friends go through best of times and the worst of times together.  This describes the friendship between Allison Manning-Williams and Joddy Amerson.  We have been "Pearl" friends for over ten years.  We have been pregnant together and birthed our babies together and we have experienced sickness and death of loved ones together.  One of the many things that we have in common is our struggle with our weight which has made us even closer friends. 

Our journey on this path started this past summer when we both agreed that we had had enough of being overweight and miserable.  While knowing that we have a long road ahead of us, we realized that not only do we need to do this for ourselves, but we have to do it for our kids.  Neither of us have had the energy to run and play outside with our kids.  We decided to sign up for the Nash Surgical Weight Loss Program which started with an informational session.  We made a pact then that we would walk every step of the way together.  So far we have done just that.  Almost all of our pre-Gastric Bypass evaluation appointments have been together.  As Nash ER Nurses, we are both very familiar with HIPAA regulations so the first thing we did was sign release forms so that our cases could be discussed openly in the presence of one another.  We have helped one another birth our babies, so we have nothing to hide now.  Anyway, it has been quite an adventure.  Just to highlight a few of the adventures along the way, we had our Sleep Studies the same night.  While Allison slept like a baby all night, Joddy could do nothing but toss and turn only to get herself tangled up in all the wires. We still laugh about that night.  Another amusing appointment was our Endoscopies...again same day 30 minutes apart.  While Joddy was being a good patient and sleeping very well during the procedure, Allison put up a fight and was biting the scope.  So see...some nurses are good patients while others are bad.  Ha! Ha! As for the results of our Endoscopies…who knew we would both end up with hiatal hernias that need repairing which will be done during surgery?  Through all this and as Nash Employees covered by Nash's employee benefits we were required to go through a 12-week diet & exercise program where we had to meet with our RN Health Coach (Beth) once a week.  Each week we had to keep a diary of our diet and exercise and present it to Beth who also weighed us weekly.  This program really shows you how good or bad you eat which truly made us accountable to ourselves and each other.  We are both so excited we finished that part of the program.

We saw our Surgeon together last Friday.  We had to take our husbands with us as required by the program as they are also our support persons in addition to one another.  The four of us met with the Surgeon together.  Our husbands are excited for us too.  Actually, both of them were super impressed with the Surgeon and feel reassured after talking with him.  Currently, we are waiting on insurance approval so that Shannon and Christina can give us our date(s).  Notice we made that plural, but we are certainly hoping we can have our procedure done on the same day before the end of the year.  But before our surgeries we have planned to get our hair cut and colored and get manicures and pedicures.  Oh and by the way...we get our hair done together every month at the same time and we go to the same person. Ha Ha!  Even Shannon has been amazed on occasion as some of our lab results have been the exact same.

This journey is almost as exciting as being pregnant and anticipating the delivery date except we will be "giving birth to a whole person" and not a 7 pound baby.  Hopefully we will lose that much weight.  We can hardly wait.  This is what we talk about every day at work.  It is so exciting to go through this process, but even more so when you go through it with your best girlfriend. We will continue to support each other through the ups and downs on this journey.  Stay tuned for more from us as we draw closer to OUR BIG DAY!  "For good times and bad times I'll be on your side for ever more......that's what friends are for."