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Three years ago, at 450 pounds, I had a hard time walking from one end of my house to the other without becoming exhausted. I never went into the basement because it was too hard to get back up the stairs. My doctor told me that on a scale of 1-10 my chance of having a heart attack was a 9. I was taking 18 pills and 70 units of insulin daily. I was mentally and physically thinking about, and preparing to die.
My journey began when I was just a teenager. I struggled with my weight going up and down, and then it would go up higher than it was originally. I found myself in my 30′s with back problems, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. I knew at that point, I needed a permanent solution. I decided to have a Gastric Bypass, with Dr. Richards as my surgeon.
I have never been a skinny person in my whole life! At birth I weighed 9 lb 13.5 oz and was 24 inches long. Neither of my parents are short, skinny, or small-boned, so I just figured that I was meant to be large-boned, tall, and overweight.
My story begins with my marriage in 1955. I was a slim (125 lbs), 5’ 7” tall, young (18) and very happy to have found the man I wanted for my lifetime. We began having babies, and after twenty years we had produced eight very healthy children. But, along with that came the weight. I had trouble losing the extra weight after each pregnancy, and consequently I retained at least seven pounds after each one–so you see, that adds up.
I can’t describe how wonderful I feel since I had my gastric sleeve! Before surgery, my health was not good. I had Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, knee and lower back pain. I was not able to get up off the floor without having to scoot over to the couch and push myself up with my arms. I could not get down and play with my Grandchildren. I had tried many ways to lose weight over the past 30 years: Weight Watchers, liquid diets, Nutra-Systems, Phen-Phen and many others. The weight would come off and then creep back on again, plus more.
At my highest weight, due to years of lying in bed from a back injury, my weight had climbed to 626 pounds. It came on slowly and I didn’t even realize how big I was until the doctors couldn’t weigh me anymore. I was not about to lie in bed and die because of my weight problem. During this time I was accepted to Law school, something I had always dreamed of doing, only to realize that I couldn’t get out of bed and walk 10 feet without a cane, so how would I be able to take the rigors of law school? I basically had to put my entire life on hold, never knowing if I would ever be able to fulfill my dreams.
Hi! My name is Lisa and on April 5, 2010 I had gastric bypass surgery. I truly believe it was the best personal decision I have ever made. I would like to begin by saying I have actually GAINED! I gained a new birthday one day after my original birthday and yes, I celebrate them both! I gained self-confidence, energy, a better lifestyle, and the ability to truly enjoy and embrace life. I love being able to hold my head high and look people in the eye as I pass them by, but the most important one I can look in the eye is the one staring back in the mirror.
My lifestyle before I had weight loss surgery was normal as to most that have a weight problem. I have been on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach, Atkins, Nutrisystem, Medifast, (insert diet plan here) you name it I’ve done it. These all worked in the beginning, lose 20, but I would gain 50 and so on. I have been to the doctors on numerous occasions to see if they could help me. I was put on many different drugs for weight loss. Finally the doctors got fed up and told me that there was nothing else they could do. I eventually got so frustrated, I developed Binge Eating Disorder. I would eat food in mass quantities and then hide the wrappers or packages in the garbage so no one could see what I had done.
I had the lap band surgery in October 2008. I am so grateful for all of the things that I can do since having the surgery and losing weight. I can now bend over to pick up something off the floor or get down on my knees to work in the garden and then get back up without having to crawl to a bench. I’m kind of a klutz and occasionally lose my balance and fall flat on my face. The first time I did that after losing a significant amount of weight was outside my dog groomer’s shop. I tripped on a rubber mat and was flat on my face before I knew what happened. My first thought was, “I hope nobody saw me.” My second thought was, “Hey! It’s okay! I can get myself back up!!”
After a herniated disk ruptured in my lower back, I lost function of my right leg and could not get the weight off from my recent pregnancy. I ended up having surgery to clean off the disc, which relieved pain, but an MRI showed that there were 2 more herniated discs, at risk of rupture. My physician told me that I needed to lose weight to improve the back problems, but re-injury to the back would result from trying to exercise.