My journey begins like many others....overweight most of my life, stuggles with exercise, weight programs, diet pills. I am now 38 years old, a mother of a precious 2 1/2 year old boy and a wife to a wonderful husband of 4 years. By the grace of God and help from fertility meds and a great specialist doctor, we got the news we were pregnant and I was at an all time high weight of 307. I packed on 40 lbs. during pregnancy and have never taken off an ounce of it since he was born. I began my surgery adventure at 356. WOW!
I just can't believe I let myself get that heavy! I've always had the desire to be thin and attractive but my urge to EAT was stronger than my desire to be thin. Food made me happy, it comforted me. I loved to EAT and usually ate way more than I needed. I ate anything I wanted and as I did my weight climbed and climbed. The disgust I had with myself for being so heavy was huge, but obviously not enough to make me stop being so self-indulgent.
Through all of my efforts to be thin, I think this was the most stupid thing I ever did. Back in the mid 80's when I was in my 20's, my girlfriend and I went to Juarez, Mexico to a so-called doctor that a friend of ours referred us to. He prescribed diet pills to us and we were happily on our way. For the first few months we got across the border just fine. After that, we had to hide them because I guess they weren't legal. We could have ended up in a Mexican jail for all I know but when you're that young and STUPID it didn't seem like a risk. Aside from the jail part, we really didn't even know what kind of pills we were taking. The pounds and inches literally melted off in a matter of months and we were thrilled! It could have been speed for all we knew! I got down to a weight of about 165 and wore a size 12. That was pretty thin for me because I'm 5'7" and come from a big-boned German family. Anyway, I just thank God above for not taking me from this life for some stupid act that I committed by taking these ridiculous pills. I could have died, but I was lucky. What we won't do to be skinny, huh?
Well, now I'm so much more mature and I thought this through so much and I'm ready for Gastric Bypass. I knew if I didn't do something now I was headed to a life of high blood pressure, diabetes and God only knows what else! I want to live a long, happy life with my son and husband and be here for them.
I'm lucky I didn't have to deal with all the insurance related issues, as I had coverage for this surgery. I did my research and talked to references and found that Dr. Livingston is a very compentent surgeon and the VA Hospital of North Dallas is very lucky to have him. He came from UCLA and has been accredited with many things. I met with him and the Nutritionist and felt very comfortable with him. He advised me early on this will be no walk in the park. I knew he was being honest and I appreciated that. My date was set for Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006 at 6am. WOW! I couldn't believe it was actually going to happen!
My parents (as well as my hubby) have been SO supportive of me! My mom was all for it and happy I could have it done with no expense financially. My dad, however, was a little more skeptical (probably because he was scared to death of me going through the surgery). He couldn't understand why I couldn't just try a little harder and continue with Weight Watchers and exercise more. I explained to him I have tried and tried for years and aside from having a fitness trainer and a private chef I could never drop 100+ lbs. all by myself. He finally started to understand and gave me his blessing. I love them so much and they have always been right there for me - no matter how stupid or stubborn I have been throughout my life. I have the greatest family a girl could ask for. I thank God for that.