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Jacobo Joffe, M.D.
My doctor's name is Jacobo Joffe, and he works out of the Scarborough Grace Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Actually, I got his name through an e-mail that came to me from someone on this site -- thanks, Rosanne!
He was very adamant that I understand everything about the surgery and make a completely informed consent, up to and including the fact that there is a very small (less than 1%) risk of death from the procedure. His office staff was friendly and knowledgeable, and supportive -- I didn't feel rushed at all.
I can hardly wait to start my new life!
Cheryl Denomy's Journey
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Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
I've always been taller than everybody. In the first grade, I was taller than the teacher. From the age of 12 on, I fought the battle of the bulge. I was anorectic in 1980 (age 23) -- I dropped 50 pounds in less than 6 weeks, ate less than 150 calories a day, existed basically on gallons of black coffee and three packs of cigarettes a day, and spent the next two years in therapy getting over it -- and by 1990 had GAINED 150 pounds. I lost 100, promptly got pregnant with my second son, and over the next decade gained back about 180. Lost some, gained it back, lost some, gained more back. It went on and on. In those years, I tried every diet -- low carb, high carb, low protein, high protein, Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, fasting (a popular...
Latest Surgery Support Comments
For as long as I can remember, I had a problem with my weight. I was always taller than everybody else -- in the first grade, I was taller than the TEACHER, for crying out loud -- and, once I hit about age 11, I began the lifelong struggle with my weight that still goes on, on some level, even after the surgery -- although it's not the pitched and frantic ("oh, my God, I've got to lose 50 pounds by the weekend and it's already Thursday!") battle of the past.
Over the years, I've probably gained and lost the same 150 pounds twenty times. In 1980, I hit rock bottom -- I was anorectic, 5'8" and large-boned (my hands and wrists are bigger than my husband's) and weighing all of 128 pounds. I looked like an advertisement for a week in a prisoner of war camp, you could see every vertebrae and rib, my hip bones jutted out, and I couldn't sit on a hard surface for more than about five minutes before my bones started to hurt. My hair was falling out in handfuls, my teeth were getting loose. I was wearing size 8 clothes (my shoes and rings are bigger than that, for crying out loud).
I was living on about 150 calories (one of the few very clear memories I have of that period was of having contests with myself to see how little I could eat without fainting, and that was about as low as I could go), two to three packages of cigarettes and about five gallons of coffee a day -- and I was completely, and utterly, out of my mind. I knew how many calories there were in the glue on a postage stamp. I perfected the art of pushing food around my plate so people (at least those who didn't know me well) would think I was eating when the fork never made it within three feet of my mouth. I have no idea how I kept a job or why I'm still married -- if my husband had turned up as completely flipped out as I was, I would have RUN to the nearest divorce lawyer.
Within about five years (about two spent in therapy) I was back up to about 250, desperate to get pregnant (we'd been trying and trying) -- and then I got pregnant, and got gestational diabetes (really severely -- two insulin injections a day) -- had a beautiful 10 pound, 1-1/2 oz (!!!) baby boy, and slid into a post-partum depression that lasted for about two and a half years.
So what do you do when you're depressed? You eat, of course. By the time my son was three, I had eaten my way up to about 280 -- not bad, about 10 pounds a year, but still. Then I went on a diet, lost almost 100 pounds, took one look at my skinny self and BOOM! got pregnant again right away.
I didn't get gestational diabetes that time -- I got hypoglycemia and high blood pressure, which made for an extremely stressful pregnancy in a completely different way -- and had a second son who weighed 9 lb., 13-1/2 oz. So much for the gestational diabetes being the cause of my first son's large size.
When you think about it, my father's birth weight was 11 lb. 2 oz., my mother's was over 9, my husband's was 9-1/2, and I was the (ironies of ironies) "lightweight" of the bunch at 8-1/2 -- so is it really surprising I had a couple of toddlers?
This time, the post-partum depression lasted long enough to turn chronic. For most of the next decade, my weight went up and up and up and up. I topped out at about 350 and simply lacked the will to diet anymore, even as I was eating my way out of the largest size (5X) at the local plus-size shop. Could hardly move; forget about turnstiles, movie seats, and bathing suits; got winded tying my shoes; simply didn't give a damn, thank you very much. Tried my hand at becoming one of those "Fat Acceptance" people, but never really bought in.
April 2000 - had the surgery, and never looked back, had a tummy tuck the next year. Was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes (can't fight the genetics) in 2006; even that didn't phase me, really. I just test my blood and watch my diet and it's working well, overall.
No regrets -- not even for a second. What a fabulous opportunity this surgery has given me, and what a difference it's made to how my life turned out.