My struggle with weight really began in 2004. I was 20 years old and being in my first serious relationship, everyone gains a bit of weight I guess...mine was a bit different, along with the weight gain, I had started to feel more fatigued and had hair growing places i never had...lower back, face. At the time my family doctor was not very cooperative, he kept saying there was nothing wrong. For the next 2 years or so, I gained more and more weight..i was probably up to 260lbs by then. Then finally I changed family doctor and they diagnosed me with a thyroid disorder. God knows how long I had it before I started medication to stabilize it but in my eyes the damage had already been done. Now about 2-3 years into my relationship it started to get abusive...he made a lot of comments on my weight and we didn't have intimacy like we used to. I then started to suffer from major depression for the next few years. I felt trapped inside with no confidence to get out. I felt the struggle with obesity getting worst than it had ever been. I was now suffering from high blood pressure, stomach disorders, panic attacks, sleep apnea...I was taking 8-9 pills a day. I remember a phase where I spent nearly every night for a year awake with panic attacks so severe that I felt I was dying. I had tried several diets/programs to lose weight...nothing had worked for me. In September 2006, I finally decided to ask for a consult for weight loss surgery...I knew the wait was very long but I couldn't see any other way out. Finally in May 2009, I had worked up the strength to get out of my poisonous relationship...went back to live at my Mother's after I had left in 2004.
My weight was around 300lbs and still trying to lose weight on my own without success was hard on me. I tried the best I could to manage a normal life but I had a hard time with the simplest things. I had major back pain and I still do to this day...I have knee pains...I have a hard time walking up steps and even going for a short walk hurts. Nobody seemed to understand me really, I felt alone and a prisoner in my own body. A while after, I met Dave. He has been my savior in all of this. We met when I weighed around 300lbs, I never imagined meeting someone that would understand me as much as he did. We try to live a normal, simple life together but it is very hard with my obesity. He has always been interested in fitness/bodybuilding and live a healthy lifestyle. I didn't quite understand at first why he would fall in love with me...sometimes looks really aren't everything. He has always told me from day one how beautiful I am....i guess he must see something I don't! I have a hard time seeing the beauty in my face with all this weight on me. In the last year or so, I have had a very hard time finding work....I felt like I was being judged for what I looked like, being 300lbs. This surely was a financial stress on our relationship. We got engaged in April 2011, I also had fertility problems that was associated with my weight..my cycle was always irregular since 2003-2004. I never thought we would be able to get pregnant and that scared me. I started seeing a OBGYN in February 2011 for possible fertility issues and after several tests/procedures everything was normal! I guess it was really all my weight that had caused these irregular cycles along with my thyroid disorder.
May 2011 is when my life changed forever! I received a call from the bariatric clinic for weight loss surgery...honestly I had given up on everything since I didn't think it would ever be my chance to go. I was excited and scared at the same time. Not knowing what to expect and being obese for 8 years now, I didn't believe I would ever be small and healthy again. My first initial consult to see Dr Sylvain Beausoleil was May 17th, 2011. I was quite nervous and having my mother by my side helped me a lot. We sat down with him and discussed the last 8 year struggle with my weight, my health issues and my options toward surgery. After evaluating me, he confirmed I was definitely a candidate being 27 years old and having a BMI of 51.5. He suggested the Vertical sleeve surgery for me. I honestly did not know a whole lot about this procedure at that moment and had a lot of research to do! But deep inside I was EXCITED!!! Someone was going to HELP ME :)
The next step was an information session on all the different weight loss procedures and after care, nutrition etc. This was on June 16th and was quite long! 8am-4pm is a long day to be sitting in a chair. We were 6 women at the session and I was the youngest by far. Now I had a decision to do..which procedure I wanted done. I was going back and forth between the lap band and the sleeve, coming to conclusion that the sleeve would be more beneficial for me since I have a lot of weight to lose. This surgery is not reversible but is also a tool to help me lose weight. Dr. Beausoleil and his staff made sure patients understood that this procedure was a TOOL to help you lose weight, if you don't work along with it you will not succeed. Everyone has this evaluation prior to surgery to make sure you are stable and in the best possible health mentally before surgery. I was told this was the longest wait between seeing the psychologist and having surgery date. Well...this week, I got THE call!!! Psychologist called me on Wednesday to scheduled my session on Aug 23rd. I am quite excited to go and have this step done.