My Testimonial - I hope you get something out of it. God Bless
Mar 17, 2011
I’m a 46 year old married mother of six, grandmother of three, Army Veteran. I’ve been fighting the obesity battle since I had my first child in 1983. I sustained injuries while on active duty and was medically discharged from the Army in 2002. Being in the Army helped me keep my weight in check. Once discharged, I began eating my way through life, which brought me to Morbid Obesity and a BMI of 46+.
My highest weight was 286 lbs. My highest doctor recorded weight was 272 lbs. I am 5'5" tall. I wore a size 30 pants and size 4X top.
I have degenerative disk disease in my cervical and lumbar spine with permanent nerve damage. I have had two surgeries to replace discs and was looking at having more surgery, including a hip replacement within five years. I also have osteoarthritis in my hips, neck and right shoulder, bursitis in my knees and osteoporosis.
I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, GERD, sleep apnea in which I would stop breathing 96 times in a ½ hour and was a level 18 on my CPAP machine.
I was constantly tired, depressed and I felt worthless. I was actually envious of my own family because they had a ‘life’ and I didn't. I wouldn’t go to my kids’ games, track meets or matches at school or go visit friends. I was always in too much pain. Food was my only solace; my way to escape. It was the only ‘friend’ that allowed me to sit on my pity-pot and not judge me.
I was ashamed. Life was too much of a chore. I always had to use a cane and lean on someone's arm to walk anywhere. Some days I would have to walk with two canes just to get to my bathroom. And others my hubby would have to help me get into the shower. I couldn’t walk two houses down my street without having to sit down.
In January 2008, my husband came home with news that my insurance would cover the Lap-Band. My physician, my Neurosurgeon, Orthopedic Surgeon and Chronic Pain Counselor all agreed that instead, RNY was the better way to go because I would get faster pain relief if I were to lose the weight more quickly.
I had my Lap RNY (Gastric Bypass) with Dr. Dieter Pohl on June 4, 2008.
I still regularly attend support groups each month. I follow-up with Dr. Pohl and my nutritionist as suggested and diligently follow the ‘pouch rules’. Until I reached maintenance, I recorded my weight, food intake and exercise daily in an online journal. I am a member of www.obesityhelp.com/forums/ri which gives me added support.
All together, I have lost 154 pounds! I reached my original weight loss goal at nine months out from surgery and have lost another 15 pounds since then and have maintained for over two years now.
I no longer have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, GERD or sleep apnea! No more CPAP machine! NO MORE CANE! I walk without assistance!
I'm not tired and depressed all the time. I go out and do things with my family and friends and volunteer my time helping others help themselves. I’ve discovered that I Have a Desire to Inspire!!!
I am a Certified Bariatric Support Group Leader and have started and run several WLS support groups that meet each month at Roger Williams Medical Center where I had my surgery. The first group focuses on Post-Op Living and is aptly named the “Living Life Group”. Since then we have added a Bandster (LapBand & Realize Band) Group, a Men’s Group, a Day-time Group, a full Spanish Speaking group & a 2+ year post-op group!
I hosted the first ever Rhode Island Walk From Obesity event in October 2010 and with help from my friends in the bariatric community, raised more than $12,000 our first year. The years to follow will only get better and better!
I can only imagine where I would be right now if I had not had the surgery. I believe having gastric bypass gave me a once-in-a-lifetime tool that has saved my life in more ways than I can put into words!
I feel freedom I’ve never felt before! I love sharing my desire to inspire and my experiences and optimism with others who are traveling the same journey (no matter which path(s) they choose to follow).
Today…I AM TRULY Living Life!