- HEALTH TRACKER
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He is fantastic and is so charismatic. I am looking forward to having my surgery done by him and his associates. I attended the seminar today (Nov. 6, 2006) and the staff I have met so far are fantastic. I have my first appointment on Nov. 13, 2006 and will let you know any other thoughts then. Dr. Strickland's office staff is fantastic and so happy for everyone who gets their dates and reaches their goals. They are extremely supportive and helpful. What do I like least about Dr. Strickland - hmmmmm - can't think of a thing lol! Aftercare is a really big thing with Dr. Strickland. I cannot think of a thing he has not addressed or some member of his staff addressed for him. I am ready to do this and he is the one I trusted to do it and I have no regrets!rn
Latest Surgery Support Comments
Born into a middle class family on January 12, 1953, I was the oldest of 7 children. I grew up in a broken home, with an abusive step-father. At an early age I was taught you ate what was put in front of you and you did not leave anything. You were not allowed to leave the table until you had eaten everything on your plate. I managed not to have a problem with my eating until I hit my teens and then the abuse became more pronounced. Food quickly became my solace. I would sneak food and eat when no one else was around. I would stay home by myself so I could eat when the rest of the family went on visits or to town. By the time I was eighteen I weighed 120 pounds. I was 5 foot tall with a large frame so at that time it did not look to bad.
By this time I had already put one bad marriage behind me with an abusive partner and was fast heading towards another one. I was beginning to gain weight but not much at this time – I was very active during this time and think the activities counteracted the overeating. I would fix a potato salad at home while my husband was at work and then eat the whole potato salad before he came home and then fix a large supper and eat that too. As the abuse in the marriage grew so did my overeating. I finally left the marriage when he tried to kill me, but not before my self-value had been compromised. I thought that I was not pretty or deserving of being with anyone who I perceived as being a good person. I did not realize that I was depressed or that my self-image had been so sabotaged.
I left the state of South Carolina and went to live in Mississippi where a friend had invited me to visit. While there I met my third husband, he seemed like a dream come true. At this time I weighed about 127 and was still not admitting I had a food problem. When nothing else was available I would eat a piece of bread with mustard on it. But of course, I hid this from everyone. When I remarried I got pregnant almost immediately and of course I told everyone I was “eating for two” now. That gave me the excuse I needed to eat more in front of people and for the weight gain that blossomed to over 56 pounds before my baby was born. I did not lose back down to the size 12 I was when I got pregnant, instead now I was a size 14. During the next year I got pregnant with my second daughter and gained over 70 pounds during this pregnancy and was a whopping size 16 when she was born. I gained even more weight during the next year and a half. All the time denying to myself I was eating so much. My husband did not ask me to lose weight he instead derided me for how big I was and that I was no longer very attractive to him. This caused me to turn to food even more. I became pregnant with my third daughter and gained only 35 pounds but I was already a size 18. When I had this child I had to have a hysterectomy due to female problems and I soon found out I could eat and blame the weight gain on this.
By the time my third marriage ended I had gained enough weight to have to wear a size 22. I became even more depressed and knowing I had three children looking to me for support I let myself go even further. I did enroll in college (Midlands Technical College) and took the courses for Licensed Practical Nursing. I was 36 years old at this time and already feeling the effects of the weight I was carrying around. It was becoming increasingly difficult to walk anywhere without getting a backache and my legs hurt. It soon became apparent that I was going to have to have surgery on my left knee for a torn meniscus that was due to weight I was carrying and the damage I was inflicting on my body.
I was only able to stay in nursing for approximately 10 years before my body gave out on me and I had to start doing something else. I went to work for my brother and learnt the ins and outs of an office. I worked for him for two years and then decided to move back home and went to work for a real estate and construction company as a secretary. I was doing nothing but sedentary work and eating all the time. I had a drawer with all sorts of snacks in it and would eat all during the day and go out to lunch and buy enough food for two people and consume it all. I soon topped at 295 pounds. I still did not admit to myself or others how much I was eating. I was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, depression and a multitude of other illnesses directly stemming from my weight gain.
In 1999 I had to go in the hospital to have a heart cath done and some other tests done for my breathing and so forth. I could not walk very far without having to stop for a few minutes to catch my breath and I was having pains in my chest. I was okay by God’s grace but was told I really needed to lose weight. I went home and did not change a thing about the way I ate or exercised. I just kept to the same old habits.
By the time July of 2006 rolled around I was no longer able to walk down the aisle of a store on my own – I had to use a mobility cart and when I was able to walk use a cane for support. Health issues had multiplied. I was not able to continue working and so I filed for my disability (still ongoing) and started staying at home. Even then and knowing I was now over 300 pounds I still ate. I was even sneakier now – I would eat after everyone was in bed or while they were gone for the day. I would lie to everyone about food and where it had gone and what I was eating – I would tell my family that I was actually losing weight and I knew I was not.
When would I admit to myself that I had a problem – not until October of 2006. While driving home from shopping with my daughter I started to have severe chest pains and they were bad enough that we went to the Medical Center for evaluation. My EKG was showing some slight abnormalities and they did not want to take any chances and sent to Palmetto Heart Hospital. While there I had a stress test done and then a heart cath. There is a slight abnormality with a stenosis of the left artery and this was enough to make me realize I was damaging my body beyond redemption. I came home determined to change things. Alas, my good intentions did not last for long. Food, my old comforter, seemed to call my name even more louder and more compellingly. I now weighed 329 pounds and looked gross (at least to myself). I was no longer happy with anything or anyone and found fault with everything around me. I would cry all the time and just feel so sorry for myself. Of course none of this was my fault or the eating causing this! Of course not – I could always find a reason. Nobody understood how hard it was for me to sit at home, or anything else – these became easy excuses to use to keep from putting the blame squarely where it really belonged.
My brother and sister then called and offered me some help – but only if I was willing to admit the problem and really work at straightening it out. By this time I was finally beginning to look at the problem and realize maybe I did have a problem. I talked with my brother and sister and we decided to check into weight loss surgery and see if it was an option for me and what it would entail for me to be able to use this tool. My daughter and I researched the different surgeries diligently and found a Center of Excellence here in West Columbia with an excellent rating. We attended the seminar on it and was so impressed we made the first appointment immediately with Dr. Strickland. We decided on the Lap Band surgery with Dr. Strickland’s guidance and then informed my brother and sister what we had found out. My two angels then sent me the money to pay for this surgery which will be performed on April 10th, 2007. As I said this is just a tool and I am having everyday to educate myself on the proper eating habits and the proper foods to eat. This will be a life change that will last forever if I do it right and keep to the guidelines that are there. All my family and friends can do is give me support but the final resolution rests on my shoulders. As of right now I have lost over 30 pounds in preparation of the surgery.
Will I ever beat this disorder? I doubt that I will ever be free of it but I can control it with the correct tools and support. For this I am grateful. I now freely I am a binge eater and it is really hard right now as a pre-op patient to completely the old habits but so far I have done well. I rely on the support of others with the same problems and my family and on my own desire to watch all of my grandchildren reach adulthood. There are so many wonderful things out there I want to be able to do and share with them and that means utilizing this wonderful tool that is being given to me to the fullest.