- Name: Crystal M.
- Username: fiera121
- Location: El Paso, TX, USA
- Member Since: 8/18/2011
- BMI: 24.3
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: VSG (09/06/11)
- Surgeon: Benjamin Clapp M.D.
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Surgeon TestimonialBenjamin Clapp M.D.I liked Dr Clapp from the first moment I met him at an informational seminar. He is very down-to-earth (a rare trait in a surgeon!) and truly cares about his patients' well-being. When I had a complication a few days after my surgery (no fault of his), he came into the ER to see me & run tests, even though it was a Saturday night & not his on-call weekend; most doctors would have let the ER and on-call doctors handle it, but he came in and took care of me. I highly recommend Dr Clapp!
I also want to say that most of his staff members are bariatric patients themselves, so they really understand your needs. I find all of them very helpful!
- Dogs - I love dogs, especially Chihuahuas!
- Photography - I'm an amateur photographer.
- Harley Davidson - My Harley is my main everyday vehicle.
- Reading - I read a lot. Fiction, nonfiction, whatever.
My Story on October 28, 2011 5:58 pm
I was born weighing nearly ten pounds, and spent my childhood taller & heavier than all my classmates. When I got into my 20's I slimmed down (it was easy when I was young) and stayed thin by working one full-time job, two part-time jobs, going to college, and partying every night. Who had time to eat?
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When I was 30 I had my daughter, but I still didn't have much of a weight problem. When she was a toddler and started eating regular food, I started gaining weight because I've always had trouble throwing away food and would eat my own meal plus her leftovers. This bad habit continued, and I gained weight gradually.
The real trouble started when I was in my mid-30's and quit smoking; I gained 40 lbs. A few years later, I gained another 40-50 lbs when the doctor put me on Prozac as a preventative for migraine. By the time I was 40, I was obese, although people said I carried it well, because I was tall.
I tried a low-calorie diet, but I was always hungry. I tried a low-fat diet, but after 3 months of being miserable because I couldn't eat anything I liked, I had lost very little weight. I tried all sorts of diet pills - over the counter and prescription - which worked well for a few weeks until I built up a tolerance to their stimulant effects. I did WeightWatchers with some success but had constant hunger. I did well with Atkins (lost 42 lbs in 6 months) but couldn't stay on it because there were too many foods I couldn't have. After every failed diet, I gained back everything I had lost, plus some extra.
In my 40's, I started to develop some health issues which, while they may not have been caused by my weight, were certainly aggrevated by it. Nothing life threatening (yet), but things that greatly impacted my ability to enjoy life. The worst is a very painful chronic back problem ~ bulging & torn discs and arthritis in my lower back. I realized that my back problems were forcing me into a more and more sedentary lifestyle. The more my back hurt, the more inactive I became, which just lead to more weight gain. It was truly a viscious cycle.
I found myself at my highest weight ever this spring & summer (2011). After seeing a local bariatric center's TV commercial showing several before-and-after pix of patients, I went to a seminar the day before Easter . I admit, I was terrified & humiliated the day I walked into the conference room and listened to the doctor and his staff's presentation. I went home and mulled it over for a few days, then registered on their website. They called me a few days later, and the ball was rolling. I decided on the VSG (sleeve) surgery.
Within a week of that fateful day, I received a horrible blow: After 26 years with my company, my position was being eliminated and I was being laid off. Fortunately, I received a very generous severance package which included continued medical insurance. If nothing else about the lay off was good, at least the timing was, as I now had time to go to the weekly classes and bi-weekly meetings with the nutritionist, as well as have all the necessary medical testing done. By the end of August, I was ready, and after receiving approval from my insurance company, I had my surgery on September 6.
My surgery went well. I had very little pain. But a few days later I was back in the hospital; I had a reaction to the blood-thinners they gave me after surgery; I was bleeding internally, went into shock, and had to have a transusion. I had a swollen belly that was covered in dark purple bruises due to the blood that accumulated inside the abdominal wall. Not that big a deal, although I was plenty scared at the time. It took several weeks for my body to reabsorb & get rid of that excess fluid.
As I write this, it's been seven & a half weeks since my sleeve surgery, and I've lost nearly 50 lbs. The first few weeks found me tired a lot, probably due to eating so little. I was never hungry, though. Many days I didn't eat at all, but the nurse told me that was fine, as long as I was staying hydrated, drinking my protein shakes, and taking my vitamin supplements. Now I am eating tiny but healthy meals, and I have more energy than I did before surgery, by far! I find myself tackling household projects that I've been meaning to do for years but could never find the energy for.
At nearly 50 years old, I think I've finally found the tool I needed to end my decades-long cycle of gaining, losing, and re-gaining weight!