My actual birth date is August 7, 1963, but I am now also celebrating July 9,2001 as my new birth date. That was the day I had an open Roux-N-Y gastric bypass by Dr Robert Cooney. My life has changed so much in the past year. All for the better.
I have been overweight my whole life. The only time I remember not being overweight was when I had a growth spurt at age 12. At 5’7" I was 150 pounds and I thought I was heavy at that weight. Within a few short years I hit 200 plus pounds and would yo yo up and down for the next 20 years. I had been on every diet imaginable. Losing the weight was not the problem it was keeping it off. I figure I have gained and lost hundreds of pounds over the years.
I first heard of gastric bypass surgery in 1998 when one of my friends had it done. At first I was very skeptical of this type of surgery. I talked to her about the surgery over the next 2 years. I saw what a difference it made in her life and that led me to start researching the surgery and to pursue having it done.
By the middle of 2000 I had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my spine, hips, knees and ankles due to the wear and tear on my joints from my excess weight. I also was diagnosed with sleep apnea which is another problem associated with being obese. Both of my parents have diabetes and I realized that at the rate I was going, it would only be a matter of time before diabetes caught up with me.
I was married with two teenagers and I was scared that if I didn’t do something right then and there to lose weight, then I would not live long enough to see my future grandchildren.
In February 2001 I had my first consult with the dietitian, Janelle McLeod. I weighed 302 lbs and had a BMI of 47. By April, my insurance company had given approval and my surgery was scheduled for July 9th.
I was blessed that the surgery was uneventful and I was back to work in 6 weeks. As of today, July 9,2002 I have lost 140 pounds. I used to wear size 26-28 clothes and I now wear size 10-12’s. My sleep apnea has completely disappeared and my joints are thanking me everyday.
This surgery is not for everyone. It is a tool and you can abuse it and gain your weight back. The surgery and nutrition plan are a life long commitment and only you can decide if this is a commitment you are willing to stick to. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.