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Highest Weight Before Surgery: 300 lbs.
Date of Surgery: Dec. 2004
Most Recent Reported Weight: 170 lbs.
It is not the 130 pounds I lost from my body that is the biggest relief; it’s the 130 pounds that have been lifted from my soul. Before surgery two years ago, I felt like my soul was trapped inside of an overweight body, but gastric bypass surgery has set me free.
For the first time in my life I feel normal. I had been overweight for as long as I can remember, but I now weigh less than I did in junior high. What I lost in weight, I gained in character. It’s been an emotional journey, but I have arrived as a better mother, wife, and friend to those I care about.
Every single thing I do throughout the day has become easier—getting out of bed, showering, dressing, walking to my car, buckling my seat belt… I could go on. The dietary changes haven’t been too difficult either because I was ready to go through whatever I needed to do to be healthy. I don’t even miss the harmful foods anymore. I look at the foods I used to eat, and I am truly thankful that I no longer eat like that.
I hated to search for a picture of me taken before the surgery because it brought back all the bad feelings associated with being overweight. But now I have new pictures—ones that remind me that I can do a lot of the things I always wanted to do.
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Highest Weight Before Surgery: 361 lbs.
Date of Surgery: Nov, 2005
Most Recent Reported Weight: 199 lbs.
It was a decision that I did not make lightly, to have this surgery. In fact, I had been looking into it for about 2 years. My wife and I even went to a seminar, but upon studying up on it, found that just having the surgery would not guarantee success! You still had to watch what you ate. So, figuring I could save some money and the discomfort of going through a surgery, I would just limit my eating and do what the program called for, without actually going through with the cutting! I should have known better because it didn't work. I was always unable to keep myself on track. I have been overweight since I was in third grade, and had tried EVERY diet and trick known to exist (yes, even though we are not supposed to admit it, and it's not "macho" we guys DO care about our weight and what we look like!). Well, since doing it on my own didn't work (big surprise huh?) we decided we needed to do something drastic! So on November 29, 2005 I underwent surgery at Rogue Valley Medical Center by Dr. Traul. It was scary (I had never had ANY surgery before) but I had the right frame of mind. I KNEW that I was doing something that would help me (and I would later learn that my family would benefit too!) for a lifetime. It was a piece of cake (oh, should I say that???)! I was up walking the same day and have never looked back. I was a-typical (everyone calls me that!) in that I was only in the hospital for Tuesday (day of surgery), and Wednesday and went home Thursday late afternoon. I did sleep the next 2 days in my recliner at home, as my bed just did not feel comfortable to climb into (ok, so it's high!). I went by what the Dr. and his assistants (and the book!) told me to do and I never had any problems! The weight started "melting" off me and I NEVER felt hungry! (I asked Dr. Traul in a follow-up visit if he had cut part of my brain out too...because I never craved food the way I had before!). Of course, a lifetime of HABITS had to be changed (goodbye Diet Coke, my old friend...it was good while it lasted!) and I am still struggling with some of those demons/habits, wanting to crop-up again. In 6 months I went from 361 lbs. to 221 lbs.! -140 lbs. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT???? I still cannot! I was asked for ID at the bank the other day from the teller who has known me personally for 5 years! My son is upset because he can't pick me out of a crowd anymore! My Mom didn't recognize me until I started talking! My wife was depressed because she can't loose weight as quickly as I can! I have to buy new clothes every 2 weeks (started in a size 60 pants currently in 40's)! Oh, these are just a few of the "problems" of having the surgery...but what great "problems" to have!
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! It was the best thing that I ever did for ME! And now...I actually feel like a worthwhile person! And nobody yells at me when I walk down the street! How kool is that?
Look out Southern Oregon, in April 2007 I’m running in the Pear Blossom Run. This summer I am going water skiing, climbing to the top of Table Rock, (I already learned to do cart-wheels in the front yard!)
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Highest Weight Before Surgery: 235 lbs.
Date of Surgery: October 29, 2004
Most Recent Reported Weight: 128 lbs
I am very happy with my success. I have gone from wearing a size 26 pants and 3X tops to wearing a size 6 pants and a medium ladies top. I am shocked at how quickly the weight came off in just 7 months!!
The change in lifestyle has made my life more complete now. I have the determination to also change other aspects of my life for the better! My blood pressure is normal and I have perfect Cholesterol levels. I can out-walk my sister who has always been in great shape.
Losing weight has helped me feel good enough to get through the day without being tired. I don't even have to lay down for daily naps...I have more energy than I have ever had!! I never imagined in just 7 months I could feel this GREAT!!
This is a serious decision that should be thought out carefully, but I am very glad that I decided to go ahead with the surgery. The Program has totally changed my life for the better. The support from the Southern Oregon Bariatric Staff is the finest and most complete all the other programs I looked into. You are not left alone to figure out what to do. They always have an answer for whatever you may need during post surgery.
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Highest Weight Before Surgery: 312 lbs.
Date of Surgery: November 9, 2004
Most Recent Reported Weight: 181 lbs.
My weight problems began nearly 30 years ago with a string of miscarriages, then a divorce. I have two grown daughters who have only known me as being obese, until now.
I have been a registered nurse for 13 years so I knew well the health implications of being this heavy, not to mention the health problems I was having such as: sleep apnea, asthma, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, severe arthritis, and an unstable gait.
Similar to many other people walking this path, I tried every diet that came along and any medication that might help. Some did for a while but only to yo-yo my weight. I also had many sessions of physical therapy to alleviate the arthritic pain I was in. I avoided family photos, when walking I would always look down in case there was an uneven surface, to avoid an embarrassing fall as I was prone to do.
I avoided sitting in a booth in a restaurant because I might not fit, I avoided stairs and hated social occasions because of my weight. As an adult I was never able to cross my legs because they were so large. I love to travel but it had become very difficult to take long trips. That was me then. Today this has all changed, thanks to Southern Oregon Bariatric Center.
I had only dreamed what it would be like to have gastric bypass surgery, like many after the notoriety of Carnie Wilson's surgery. That dream became a reality for me in November 9, 2004. That was also the day I became reborn so to speak. I was home in two days and back at work in one week.
Since then I have lost 120 pounds, with my highest weight being over 300. I feel absolutely fabulous. I walk with ease and a spring in my step, I can cross my legs (I know this is silly, but not if you've never been able to), a smile is always on my face, I go to the gym three days per week, I swim three days per week. I now can shop in the same departments as my daughters. I have gone from a size 3x/26 to a lg/14 so far. I now gladly get rid of clothes that are getting too big, without the fear of gaining weight back, as in the past.
I now have the tools to continue to be a success, knowing that it takes diet, exercise and an understanding of behavior and the regular attendance to a support group. This particular program with S.O. Bariatric Center provides all that and more. The help of their coordinator, dietician, personal trainer, physical therapist, social worker and the talent of the physicians are what set this program apart.
I am no longer on many previous medications, no longer do I have sleep apnea, I can walk at a fast pace with my head held high, I can travel with ease and do not have to squeeze in an airplane seat with a seatbelt extender, I can sit anywhere in a restaurant. This has opened up a new world for me, I want to go camping for the first time, I want to go horseback riding, and go see the world. I am very proud of what I have accomplished. Thank you Dad. I only wish he could have lived to see the new me.
Highest Weight Before Surgery: 310 lbs
Date of Surgery: 7-26-2000
Most Recent Reported Weight: 170 lbs
As a child who grew up in show business in New York, I went on my first diet at 8 years old. I was always 10 pounds too heavy for the camera. So, I learned to sneak food at an early age. Although I was an average-sized kid, when I turned 15, I gained 120 pounds in 6 months. Food was my companion, my best friend…or so I thought. From that point on, it was a constant yo-yo of losing and gaining about 50 pounds. I had a variety of health-related problems because of obesity, as well as a lot of accidents from falls related to being so heavy.
The most extreme weight loss occurred when I moved to Oregon and lost 150 pounds. I was in my early 30s and wearing a size 7 jeans for the first time in my life. I was living out in the country and did a lot of physical activity daily. I also had very healthy eating habits at the time.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the emotional maturity to handle this extreme change. I moved back into an urban environment and started dating for the first time ever. All of the conditioning that I hadn’t worked through came back.Within 3 years,so did all of the weight and more.
By age 38 I was 310 pounds. At that point, I got the flu and it never seemed to go away. Walking just a few blocks was a major ordeal. It made me sweaty, out of breath, and embarrassed. A good friend told me about Carnie Wilson’s surgery and I looked into the procedure. I had the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass July 26,2000.
After surgery, I lost the weight right on schedule. The freedom I began to experience was incredibly different than how I had been living. Now, I can actually bend over and tie my shoelaces and breathe at the same time! I can go to a restaurant and not worry whether the chair will be strong enough or whether I will stick out too far. I can fit in a booth now. I don’t need a seat belt extender when I fly on an airplane. It’s such a relief to be able to negotiate a crowded room gracefully or ride on an elevator without being self conscious! On top of all that, all the co-morbidities I had are gone. I’m healthy!
Obesity is a disease – gastric bypass is one of the greatest tools available to resolve morbid obesity. It makes such a difference in my life being healthy. I used to twist my ankle all the time because of the weight I was carrying. I was terrified of walking at a fast pace or in places where the ground wasn’t level. Now, I can walk quickly, not worry about falling, and carry on a conversation all the same time. Best of all, I met the man of my dreams and got married June 12, 2004!