Jesse Chancey

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Obesity & Me

Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.

My name is Jesse Jay Chancey. I'm 21 years old. I was born in Augusta,Ga. I was overweight all my life. In third grade I weighed about 170-180 lbs. I was always teased about my weight growing up. I would be in class and hear the kids around me call me names and talk about me behind my back. Even some family members have teased me about my weight (Won't mention any names). It's hard to go to school and be teased and then have some family member tease you also. That's one place you are supposed to feel safe is at home. I've been called "Fat A**,Tubby,Chunky Monkey,Fat Albert,Peter Griffin,etc.", you name it I have been called it. The Problem with people is they think,"Hey I'm not hurting anyone, So what's the big deal?". Well, they don't know that name calling and teasing hurts emotionally and sometimes physically. The person they pick on may have never been so called skinny in their lifetime. They may have been dealing with their weight since childhood. To sum it all up if you are reading this and you are one of those people that like to tease and bully someone you know, Think about what you say to that person next time. That may be the last thing you get to say to that person and never get to see them again to apologize to them. Also, in the while I was in the 3rd grade, after school my family and I, went out for some Mexican food. I choked on a chip and it was the most scariest thing I have ever experienced in my life. I quit eating for a period of 4 months. All I would eat was Ice Cream and drink Sweet Tea. In those 4 months I went from being 180 lbs to just weighing 90 lbs. I remember it as if it was just yesterday, I was working with my dad, He cut yards for a living and had his own lawn business, I was with him and I was real weak. The lady's yard we was cutting came out and she just so happened to be a RN. She told my dad,"This child is dehydrated and his eyes are in the back of his head. Get him to the ER quickly." So, my dad called my mom and they took me to the Medical College of Georgia (best known as MCG here), they quickly admitted me and started giving me IV liquids. I was in the hospital for two or more days. My mom and her co-workers from Kroger encouraged me to eat, when I did eat it was a bite of Ice Cream and a taste of a banana. The hospital released me and ordered me to see a lady that would teach me, "How to Eat Again" and that "Eating was safe", she got me to eat a banana. After that I stopped seeing her. I ended up going back to the same Mexican spot, that I choked on the chip and they waiter there bet me $5 dollars to eat a beef burrito. I started eating again. Man oh' Man did I ever start eating again. I gained all my weight back plus more, when I could have kept it off. Growing up a heavy overweight child hurts. I mean you look at someone normal size and wish you could do half the things they do like run,ride rides at fairs or amusement parks,etc. The most hurtful thing is that you are considered not healthy and they are. You may even eat the same things they do and they not gain a pound, but you do. It's also hard to make friends and have relationships when you are overweight. I did have friends and a few best friends. My best friends growing up would had to have been Kevin Wall and Whitney Noel. We could talk about anything. They seen me for me and did not judge me about my size. They seen me as a regular person and not just another fat kid wanting friends. I was shy growing up which also made it harder to make friends, because I would only talk to people I knew. Most of the time if you had a class with me you could hear me breathe that's how quit I was because I was so shy. Growing up I did not do much extra-curricular activities or social activities. I did not play any sports for a team. I did not like to go to the dances at school. I did however compete in Field day every year when it came around. Which most of the kids in the school did also. Field day is something school should have everyday and not just one day out of the year. Kids are so excited about field day. They get a chance to let all that extra built up energy out of them. I liked baseball growing up and wrestling too. I just never chose to participate in them. If I got a chance to play baseball or basketball, I was always last to be picked for the team. Most of the kids didn't want the fat kid that can't run ,or hit or shoot the ball on their team. Moving on, I was always taught growing up to finish my food or clean my plate, which was not a problem for me at the time, considering most of the time I was the first to finish my plate anyway. My Paw Paw Chancey, always said," take little bites", and "chew your food slowly". Mom would also say similar things like, "No one's going to take your plate from you" & "slow down". I loved to eat. I would eat even when I wasn't hungry. Which leads me to believe I was an emotional eater growing up. I was always encouraged to eat fruits and vegetables and good stuff like that, but most kids consider those types of food junk. If it isn't Fried Chicken or some Fast Food Hamburger, I am not eating it. I did like Bananas and Apples growing up and I loved corn too. We never ate out to much when I was growing up. We mostly cooked at home meals. When we did go out it was almost always "All you can Eat" places, which was a big No No with me. I could eat up to 4 or 5 plates when we ate out, which consisted mainly of Fried Chicken and Macaroni. By the time I reached 6th grade, Middle School, I was 14,I now weighed 270 lbs. So from 3rd grade to 6th grade, I gained almost 90 lbs. I also had recently that past year lost my Paw Paw Chancey. Which caused some major emotional eating. Around this time I started going to a family Doctor. I believed I had the best doctor there is. Dr. Riaz Rassekh, was always so kind and straight to the point. He watched me gain most of my weight. He tried to help me lose weight with the help of my parents, I mean we tried everything Diet pills,Exercise,Gym's,Depression Pills,Thyroid Pills,etc., almost everything. Not everything though, when I turned 17 he informed of the RNY surgery (Gastric Bypass Surgery). Most Doctors will not perform the surgery on a 17 year old. I had to wait a year to be eligible to have surgery,because of my age. I mean I already had at this time a fatty liver,high blood pressure (hypertension),high cholestorol, and just found out I had sleep apnea. So, I had to sleep with a mask to help me breathe at night. When my 18th Birthday came around I weighed 468 lbs. I gained almost 200 lbs in 4 years. I was recommended by Dr.Rassekh to go see a Gastric Bypass Dr. I was thus introduced to Dr. Michael Blaney at Midtown Surgerical Specialist here in Augusta. He said, I was a very good candidate for surgery. I was also looking into the Lap-Band surgery, which Dr.Blaney stated that if I wanted the best results to go with RNY surgery. I had to go through a 6 month process of going to workshops on Gastric Bypass Surgery and visiting a psychiatrist. I also had to see a nutrutionist Bryn Hamilton, about my eating habits. She gave me a chart of what I should expect to eat after surgery and how much to eat at each meal. Connie Stapleton was the phsychiatrist working with Dr.Blaney. I had an overall mental evaluation with her to see if I was indeed ready for a major change to my lifestyle. She talked with Dr.Blaney and let him know that I was not ready for surgery. What do I do now?, was going through my head when I got called to let me know the news. So, I called up Dr.Rassekh and let him know about the evaluation and he without hesitation, faxed a letter to both Connie Stapleton and Dr.Blaney,letting them know my life was at stake and that he would ask them to re-think the decision made. So, after all this happened I finally got yet another phone call stating that I could indeed go ahead with surgery and set up a date. I was under my mother's insurance at the time which covered the surgery. I now had a date, 12-14-2009. Was I Ready? Would it work? Will I make it out of the surgery alive? All these kind of thoughts running through my head. I got my head straight and was now ready to do this, or was I? So, the day came around I had to be at Trinity Hospital of Augusta, at 6:30am. I got up and got ready for my big day. My family surrounding me, I was not ready to go through this life changing journey. They took me back, I was under the knife as they say, for about two to three hours. I came to and don't remember anything from the first day of my hospital stay due to the Anesthesia. I was in the hospital for three days. I got sent home and had to start my liquid diet for three weeks. All I could have to eat was liquid tomato soup or plain ole' chicken or beef broth. It was tough to not be able to eat solids for about 5 whole weeks, but on the other hand I could have all the Popsicle's a young man could want. I also had to drink a protein shake during meals,but without a straw, because drinking through a straw caused gassy symptoms. I had my first Dr.'s visit after surgery and lost about 30 lbs in the first three weeks. I could now move up to soups with potato chunks and a little noodles. Then after week 6 you could start introducing new foods into your diets and continuing with protein shakes during each meal. After my first 6 weeks I had lost about 50-60 lbs, which is very good for most patients depending on your weight and size. I was told at my next Dr.'s visit about the support group, affiliated with Dr.Blaney's staff. Augusta Weight Loss support group was the group name and it was an awesome group. When ever you would lose weight up to 25 lbs and so on, you get a Star with your weight loss on it. I loved this. We can all meet with the support group and share our feelings about life after surgery and the Do's and Dont's that comes with it. The support group meets every first and third Thursday of the month at 7PM. They also started a clothing closet for our old clothes. With the support of family and friends and the Augusta Weight loss support group and my awesome Dr.'s Blaney and Rassekh, I am proud of how far I have come on this journey. I am almost 2 years out and have lost a total of 262 lbs and am now in a pant size 32 when I was in a pant size 48. I'm in a Large shirt,but was wearing a XXXXL shirt. Not to forget the most important part and my whole reason of doing the surgery, I no longer have a fatty liver,high blood pressure (hypertension),high cholestorol, or sleep apnea. I have done what so many overweight people dream of, which is "Being healthy". I truly believe that if it wasn't for me having the gastric bypass, that I would have been dead by now. It's safe to say the Gastric Bypass has changed my life for the best. I'm not done with this and I don't have a Goal weight ,because many people stop at their Goal and say I'm done. Truth is it's an addiction that we will all be struggling with for the rest of our lives.

What was (is) the worst thing about being overweight?

Being made fun of because of my weight!

If you have had weight loss surgery already, what things do you most enjoy doing now that you weren't able to do before?

Shop in a normal clothing store!

Before & After
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before photo after photo

ARE YOU READY TO PAY IT FORWARD & SHARE YOUR JOURNEY? Your journey will help highlight the many ways weight loss surgery improves lives and makes a difference in our families, communities and world. EACH JOURNEY COUNTS as a voice towards greater awareness.

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