Gastric Bypass Surgery Patients
People always ask me what made me decide to have weight loss surgery, like being 25 years old, over 300 pounds, and miserable wasn’t reason enough.
I guess what they really want to know is what my breaking point was…that one moment that all of us post op-ers have when we decide “this is it”; when we decide to change our life forever.
For me, my biggest goal in life was to start a family. One day as I was working in a doctor’s office, a woman brought her 11-month old son in for an examination. I asked her to have a seat on the exam chair and put her son on her lap. This woman was about the same height and weight as myself and when she sat on that exam chair, there was no lap for the boy to sit on. In that woman with no lap for a child, I saw my future. That was not the future that I wanted! In my mind I had always seen myself as the type of parent that my parents were.
Down on the floor, or out in the yard, and active with a child in every way, participating in their lives and not observing from the sideline. I decided I would not be a sideline parent, and that was it. I made the decision to have surgery. It was worth the risk to undergo surgery to really LIVE my life.
As a heavy person, I was absolutely miserable. I let my weight affect me emotionally. I was a person that wanted to fade into the background because I knew my size stood out. I was an observer of life, not an active participant. I never walked with my head up, never looked people in the eye, never was one of the people you would pass on the sidewalk that smile and greet everyone. Because of my weight I was terribly self-conscious and had absolutely no self-esteem. I thought I could make up for my appearance by being extra nice and I always ended up being walked all over. The bigger my size got, the smaller I let my world become. The bigger I got the dimmer I let the light inside of me become.
My weight was also beginning to affect my health. I would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for breath, my hands and arms would go numb if I tried to sleep on my side to breathe better, and I was always tired from lack of sleep. My joints ached, I had to rest if I went anywhere that required walking, like a mall. Every day activities became difficult and that brought me even farther down emotionally.
I had laparoscopic Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass surgery June 4, 2002. I lost 160 pounds. Losing this weight has opened up my world, my life, and my spirit. The biggest transformation to the naked eye is my outward appearance. I went from a size 28 Women’s to a size 8/10. But, in reality, the biggest transformation has been emotionally. I walk with my head up and greet people. I smile all the time. The light inside that had been dimmed by the layers of fat now shines bright and the world has opened up to me in ways that I could not have even imagined.
I am now proud to say that my biggest surgery goal has come true. I have enjoyed all of the benefits of increased health, quality of life, and a smaller size, but now I have the family that I have always dreamed of! In 2007 I gave birth to healthy twins; a boy and a girl! They are the light of my life and I am able to do all of the things that I envisioned doing as a parent. I am constantly down on the floor playing with them. And, I can get up off the floor by myself! I know that my pregnancy was so much easier and safer because I was at a healthy weight. I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am and what a dramatic life change weight loss surgery has provided me.
Because of the wonderful changes this surgery has helped me to make, I decided I really wanted to work with people considering weight loss surgery. I get the opportunity to share my experiences as well as guide and support those considering surgery. My greatest pleasures are sharing the joys of other patients when they reach milestones that “skinny” people take for granted. I love to hear people tell me they crossed their legs for the first time, or buckled the airplane seatbelt! I have been very blessed and touched by each of the people I have gotten the opportunity to work with. I am excited every day for the people that I may be able to help and see their lives transform as my own has.