Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
My emotional and behavioral battle with weight control. I have been overweight my whole adult life. During my school years and through my teen years not such as struggle as I was very active in sports. Once I had children and my life became more sedentary then the weight problem started to surface. I would diet and lose weight and gain it all back plus more, diet again and lose and continued on this journey for many years. I am an emotional eater and that created huge problems for me as life is a roller coaster of emotions. I had no CONTROL over what I put into my mouth, I loved food and food loved me. I ate all the wrong things when I was sad, happy, bored, stressed or any other emotion that came a long it was just a good reason to EAT. I hate exercise but love to play sports so instead of finding a sport that I love to do I sat on my TUSH and ate. I ate until I weighed 286 pounds and my health was out of control. I was taking 5 kinds of medication because of my obesity and had to take control of my life if I wanted to live longer. Now things were serious and it was time to do something about it.
What was (is) the worst thing about being overweight?
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, this is a tough one as there are so many things. I would have to say the way people look at you and whisper when you walk into a room. The low self-esteem and not thinking that you are worthy of anything. Not being able to play, run and have fun with kids and grandkids, not being able to bend over and tie my own shoes, Not being able to walk and share outdoor time with my husband. Hating to have to buy clothes because I had to shop at the fat lady store and nothing ever looked good but having to buy clothes anyway. Not being able to sit in an airplane seat comfortably or any chair with arms. People not wanting to sit beside you on an airplane and asking to be relocated (how humiliating). Going into a restaurant and feeling the eyes on you and sure that they are thinking what is she coming here for she certainly doesn't need anymore to eat. Not wanting to attend any family functions and knowing if you do the camera was going to come out. Trying to hid behind others in the back row so no one would realize how large you actually are. Being the largest in the family and not wanting to stand beside any siblings.
If you have had weight loss surgery already, what things do you most enjoy doing now that you weren't able to do before?
I must say the number 1 thing since I had my surgery is the improvement in my health. That was always the number 1 goal was to become healthy. My energy level, being able to walk with my husband and not have to come home after only half a block, shopping for new clothes, not being embarassed to be seen in public, feeling like I belong with my husband, being accepted for who I am not what I look like. No more depression AND THE MOST IMPORTANT HELPING OTHERS TO BE HEALTHY, HAPPY AND DECIDE WHETHER WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY IS FOR THEM.
HOW DID YOU FIRST FIND OUT ABOUT BARIATRIC SURGERY AND WHERE WERE YOUR INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF IT?
I researched the net about WLS for about 4 years and then a company started up in our hometown and I pursued it further through them. My husband and I talked about it and we were still very skeptical however it was my health and we decided to try it. I remember sitting on the plane and both of us looking at each other and saying what if we are going to some BACK LITTLE SHACK? We both decided at that point if we didn't like what we saw we could just have a holiday and come home. (Mighty expensive holiday) We got there and I had my surgery with Dr. Liza Pompa and at first did really well however ended up with many problems. I tried to contact the company I went through and they really had no answers for me so I tried to CONTACT DR. LIZA POMPA herself and she WOULD NOT answer my EMAILS or my PHONE CALLS and my doctor at home did not know what we should be doing. I HIT THE PANIC BUTTON and started researching other doctors on the internet. I FOUND DR. JAIME PONCE DE LEON and his MEDICAL TEAM and I am so happy I did. They told me first of all I needed a BARIUM SWALLOW completed to see what was wrong, I flew back to Mexcio and they did a barium swalLow for me, they found 2 PROBLEMS WITH MY SURGERY, one my opening at the bottom was to narrow and the second was my whole stomach was left in tact at the top forming a pouch where all the food was going and just sitting fermenting in my stomach. THANK GOD THEY CAN FIX IT. I have already had the narrow bottom part fixed the day after they did the BARIUM SWALLOW and will be undergoing surgery again in MARCH TO HAVE THE TOP PART FIXED AS WELL. Instead of a SLEEVE I HAVE A Y and that is now why I can eat more than I should be able to and am starting to GAIN WEIGHT BACK. (THIS CANNOT HAPPEN I SPENT $12,000.00 FOR WHAT)?
Dr. Liza Pompa is not willing to do my surgery correctly and would I trust that it would be done correctly now? I don't think so as my trust is lost. I WILL HAVE MY SURGERY REDONE BY Dr. JAIME PONCE DE LEON AND HIS MEDICAL TEAM. He has many years of experience and my fault for not researching my surgeons further before deciding to take the LEAP. The good thing is it can be corrected at a cost of course but at least I WILL HAVE MY LIFE BACK.
WHAT SHOULD YOUR EXPERIENCE BE LIKE?
If you are researching especially on the internet be careful. Check thoroughly before you book. Talk to others. I have now opened a company to help others on their journey as I want them to be safe, happy and healthy as I am now. Ask lots of questions and DO NOT LET ANYONE push you into something you are not ready for. ENSURE THERE IS a follow up support group that you can lean on and who will be there for you no matter what the issue is. THIS CAN BE A VERY POSITIVE EXPERIENCE FOR YOU AND SHOULD BE.
WHAT FEARS DID YOU HAVE ABOUT HAVING COMPLICATIONS OR EVEN DYING FROM THE SURGERY, AND WHAT WOULD YOU TELL OTHER PEOPLE HAVING THE SAME FEARS?
My fears. Would be exactly that DYING AND COMPLICATIONS. I guess I must honestly say i knew it was major surgery and there are always risks involved no matter where you have your surgery and I was DESPERATE as my health was totally out of control. I just kept my faith that all would be ok.
HOW DID YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS REACT TO YOUR DECISION? WOULD YOU HAVE COMMUNICATED ANYTHING DIFFERNTLY IF YOU COULD NOW? HOW SUPPORTIVE WERE THEY ARE YOUR SURGERY?
My husband was totally against the surgery at first however knew I was determined and was going to do it anyway so he supported me even though he was very skeptical that it would work. I did not tell anyone else in my family until I was HOME SAFELY. I have lost some friends because of the surgery and for the most parth my siblings have been very supportive. I have helped many others go on this journey since and have a SUPPORT GROUP running to help others as well.
WOULD I MAKE THE SAME DECISION TODAY?
I would still decide to have my GASTRIC SLEEVE SURGERY however I would have researched my doctor more and asked for more contact with other clients that had surgery through the company I went through. MORE TESTIMONIALS and more specificaly make sure that I was going to GET THE SUPPORT BACK HOME that I was promised.
DO YOU NOTICE PEOPLE TREATING YOU ANY DIFFERENTLY NOW?
Absolutely I do. If I am walking into a mall and there is a man in front of me he stops and holds the door for me now. (THAT NEVER USE TO HAPPEN). My whole attitude has chagned as well. I am more outgoing now because of my weight loss. I am more positive about life, I am happier, confident and people pick up on that. There are people that are aware now of my weight loss and I am the center of attention for questions now on my experience and how I feel. I am a strong and happy person now and LOVE MY LIFE. I NOW EAT TO LIVE NOT LIVE TO EAT. LIFE IS REALLY WORTH LIVING ONCE AGAIN.
THANK YOU DR. JAIME PONCE DE LEON AND YOUR MEDICAL TEAM FOR HELPING ME ON THIS JOURNEY.