My name is Kelly. I am a 34 year old mother of six children. We are a blended family but I claim them all. I was born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in Texas all most of my life. I moved to Idaho almost seven years ago. I have not been overweight all of my life. I developed problems with my weight when I was about 27. I noticed that I gained about 20 pounds in about a month. I was very concerned and went to the doctor. I found out that I was hypoglycemic (unaware that hypoglycemia goes hand in hand with insulin resistance). My doctor didn't test for insulin resistance. She told me what I needed to do to keep my hypoglycemia under control. I did as she said. I noticed that I continued to slowly gain weight and then I got pregnant. At this point, I assumed that the majority of my weight gain was due to my pregnancy. After I had my daughter, I noticed that it was virtually impossible to lose any weight. I had never really had problems losing the weight in my previous 2 pregnancies. I then went to a different doctor, had some tests done and found out that I was insulin resistant. I really wasn't educated on problems associated with insulin resistance and I took it too lightly. I didn't take care of it as I should have. Of course, my IR continued to get worse. By this time, I had gained 75 pounds in just 5 years. My doctor put me on Metformin, but that didn't improve my numbers at all. In fact, when I retook the IR test one year later, my numbers were worse.
Becoming more concerned about my weight, I hit my diet and exercise routine strong and consistently. I was so dedicated to exercise and eating right. I worked my bootie off and ate mostly very healthy foods and I still was unable to lose weight. I tried diet and exercise attempts for years, even prior to gaining 75 pounds. I of course tried, Phen/Fen (which worked, but who knew it could cause serious heart problems), Dexatrim, low fat, low carb, Hoodia, Curves, Weight Watchers, you name it, we all have tried it. I just felt like a big fat failure. I tried so desperately to lose weight and lost a few pounds, but of course I gained it right back and then some.
Frustrated, I started researching gastric bypass. I saw a small ray of hope for me. I didn't dare let myself get too excited because there were so many hoops to jump through. I believe that if God wanted me to have the surgery, He would provide the way. I know in my heart that God doesn't want me to live the rest of my life trapped inside this body. I also know that He is in total control. Throughout this whole experience, I have taken comfort in knowing that God is the one who will make the decision, not the case worker. I don't want the surgery if God doesn't want it for me. I prayed about it and handed it over to God.
In the meantime, I did the 6 month diet and exercise program and really enjoyed it. I knew I wouldn't lose any weight, I did however, gain extensive knowledge about insulin resistance, gastric bypass, health risks and benefits of being overweight versus gastric bypass, etc. If not anything else, I felt armed with education. I scheduled appointments with other doctors and learned that I have neuropathy in my arms, legs, hands, and feet. That was kinda scary to find out. I also found out that I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (which is usually caused by insulin resistance), my triglycerides are high, cholesterol is high, insulin levels are almost 5 times too high (which is overworking my pancreas), and I learned of a lot of other health problems I had. I also suffer from sleep apnea. All of my health issues were directly related to insulin resistance and my weight. I suffer from excruciating back pain due to the excess weight and my job requires that I stand in one spot for hours at a time, which of course only makes my back pain worse. I strongly suspect I have sleep apnea because I have all the symptoms. My husband says I can out snore him (which is saying a lot).
I look at my family and I become very concerned. My Grandmother is so heavy, she can barely get out of bed. Her neuropathy is so bad, she can no longer feel her feet. My mother is so heavy that she had to have her hip replaced due to the wear and tear on her joints. My mother, maternal uncle, maternal grandmother and grandfather, and two of my maternal cousins have very high blood pressure. My maternal uncle had congestive heart failure and almost died. My great-grandmother died of a stroke. My dad has type 2 diabetes. The list goes on. Needless to say, I have good cause to be concerned. Of course, we grew up on good ol' chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and gravy. The more heart clogging gravy, the better.
I did the six month d&e, psychiatric evaluation(passed), diet history, physical therapist, monthly weigh ins and counseling. I followed the insurance requirements to the letter. I even wrote a six page letter to the insurance company explaining why I wanted the surgery, the risks and benefits of the surgery, risks of being overweight, health problems, etc. My insurance coordinator submitted the paperwork and I was approved in one week. Praise God!!! I know in my spirit that God is watching over me and has His hand in my life. I pray that I am able to glorify Him through this whole experience.
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