Blog Before & After DS with Josh

Before & After DS with Josh, down 370 pounds!

October 27, 2020

Before & After DS with Josh - Why I Decided to Have WLS!

Before & After DS with Josh: I had a Duodenal Switch on October 10, 2018. From the time I can remember, I have always been a heavier set person. Growing up in Las Vegas with a lower-class family, eating healthy wasn’t a priority, and a lot of the time, the cheapest choice was all we could afford so early on in life I developed some pretty bad habits. Also the factors of having hypothyroidism didn’t make things easy.

As I grew up and began to see the effect my weight was having on me, I would try different diets and workouts through middle school and high school, trying to curb the weight gain which worked for a little while and would then fade as I settled back into my old ways. I didn’t really see a drastic increase in weight until I graduated from high school and went to college. 

By my freshman year in college, I had gone from 320 lbs to almost 450. After that, it was an up and down battle with several hospital stays, a heart attack at age 22, and a life and death battle with a respiratory illness that ended me at my heaviest weight off 606 lbs in January of 2018. I also had sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension.

In early 2016, my primary care doctor, James Ford of Wrens GA, had stressed to me the need for me to make a drastic change and had suggested weight loss surgery as an option. I didn’t think much about it and when on with my life as a 600 lb man. However, that changed in 2018, with another heart scare. It was at that time he sat me down and said, "Son, this is either going to be our last visit or you're going for a consultation with Dr. Mike Blaney of Live Healthy MD in Augusta GA. I agreed to go to the consult.

From the moment I went into my consult, I was hesitant and a little apathetic. I decided to go through with it and thought that having a consult wouldn't hurt. From that first visit and setting up my follow- up to begin the process was a surprise because I knew this was it.

Dr. Blaney was real with me just as Dr. Ford had been but in a manner that you knew they actually cared for you enough to want to see you succeed at life. I felt sure that they would give me the best care and afford me the best opportunity going forward toward my own goals and success.

My journey wasn’t just with the doctors alone. The team that Live Healthy MD has established allowed me to get to know them through the pre-op process. They made it easy for me and treated me like family.

From the team that files the claim to the psychiatrist to the nutritional dietician, they are all there to make sure you have everything you need to achieve all pre-surgery goals so that you can get the approval for the surgery.

Before & After DS with Josh

Before & After DS with Josh

Name: Josh
Weight Loss: 370lbs.
Surgery Type: DS (Duodenal Switch)
Surgeon: Dr. Michael W. Blaney

My Surgery and Post Op Life

The day I got the call to schedule my surgery, I was so ecstatic. I had completed the 6-month diet regiment to qualify for surgery. I went from 606 to 499 lbs. on the day of surgery which is no small feat. When my surgery date rolled around, I knew this was the best chance at a second life.

After surgery, my recovery was a breeze. With my DS, I was out of work for 5 weeks to heal. It wasn’t really painful but more of slight gassy discomfort at times. You HAVE TO WALK, WALK, WALK after surgery. If you don’t, then it hurts. Once recovered, I learned what I could eat, what my body could stand, and that sat well in my new stomach over time.

It is important to set goals through the process as they keep you motivated. For me, it was to be able to ride a bike, hike the Zion Narrows in Utah, and to kayak for an entire weekend during the summer. These are considered non-scale victories. I set some scale goals but I didn't focus on these as much. I knew the weight will come off, it just took some time and hard work. My only scale goal was at the end of 1 year from surgery was to weigh 275 lbs.

With all surgeries, there are risks such as infection and complications. I ended up having the 1 in a million. It was around my 6th-month mark after surgery. I had noticed that for about a month I hadn’t been able to really hold food down and decided to finally go see Dr. Blaney. I thought it would pass but I learned to listen to my body because it knows best.

I went to the office and they sent me for an upper EGI and a CT of my intestine. They ended up having to do what was thought to only need to be a 30-minute exploratory surgery to see if something was wrong. Come to find out, the entire intestine had tied itself in a knot and the surgery went from 30 minutes to around 6 hours of untying it.

I was discouraged, to say the least, as I thought this was going to set me back another 6 months from reaching my goals that I had set for myself, but NOTHING and I mean NOTHING was going to stop me.

To this day of writing this article, I can proudly say I have accomplished more than I thought I would!

I hiked the Narrows, flew on a plane comfortably, rode a bike, and CRUSHED my 1-year weight loss goal. I currently weigh 236 lbs. and feel GREAT! The benefits are astounding. Not only do I feel better, but all of my secondary issues like sleep apnea and diabetes are gone and no more hypertension.

To say that this was the best decision I have ever made would be an understatement. But here is a forewarning. This journey is not easy. You will have to work at it from start to your goals and then until you take your last breath as it’s a life long journey and some just are not cut out for it.

Really think before committing. I can only tell you that if it were me reading this, I would say I appreciate the candid nature of being told not everyone succeeds, but if you give 110% and then some, you will see a new world unfold before you with so much.

I know that because of my bariatric surgery, my future is so bright that I need sunglasses to look at it! Trust me, even with the ups and downs, it is worth living your best life.

My take-away is that each persons' pre and post-op journey are not the same. We are all different people and some struggle more than others with different things both mentally and physically. so to please take my journey with a grain of salt. You may not lose 100 lbs before surgery but you also may not have the same issues that I have had after surgery. That’s when the real fun starts because that’s when you have the tool, but now you have to learn to use it and to keep at it as it’s a forever journey, not a sprint and quit.

Share Your Before & After Success!

Celebrate your own Before & After WLS Success, milestones, non-scale victories, and inspire others! The OH team wants to hear from you to share your weight loss surgery journey. Visit our Before & After Submission page for details.

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