Hello, I’m Pat and I have been fat or I should say “Obese” all my life. I was born over 10 lbs. and it just continued from there. I’m sure I don’t need to tell a lot of you what it is like growing up and all the ridicule that goes along with it. My weight was not just a physical battle for me but also a mental war. I always said that I was the “queen” of dieting as I had tried so many over the years. I remember my first was when I was about 12 years old, my mom put me on a cranberry juice diet and the life time dieting began. I would generally always lose some weight but then proceed to gain it back and more.
We moved to Utah in April of 2001. My weight really began to take its toll then. Trying to get up and down ladders to paint our new house and unpacking just about killed me. My knees were hurting so badly and I would continually have to stop and rest. After about a year of living here, I thought I had a stroke. It started slowly but eventually it got worse and my whole left side would hardly work. My obesity made everything so much worse. I kept thinking; how will I be able to lift myself if it would come to that. After 10 mos. of tests, I was diagnosed with M.S. I don’t know how much you know about M.S. but heat, fatigue and stress are the worst things for it. It makes the symptoms and progression worse. Carrying the weight made me tired and exerting myself would cause me to overheat and then knowing that I needed to get the weight off would stress me which in turn I’d eat more due to the stress, which then would make my M.S. worse. It became a vicious circle. I continued to gain more weight which got to the point where my knees and back would ache all the time. I was at my son’s and I fell on my knees on the sidewalk. There was nothing for me to grab onto and I could not get up. That was the final straw. (I should probably also throw in at this point that my husband was also obese.) My husband and I began the research into Gastric Bypass Surgery. Our insurance had so many hoops to jump through and I did all the foot work but was turned down. I was devastated!
Two years of suffering, I truly believe a miracle happened. My husband’s company changed insurance plans and it was a covered benefit. We immediately began the process of preparing for Gastric Bypass Surgery. It took some time but on Nov. 23, 2011, I had my Gastric Bypass Surgery. My husband had his Gastric Bypass Surgery onDec. 22, 2011. The very day that he had his surgery, I had to leave his recovery to go pick up our 2 grandsons as my son had left them to go on a drug binge. We immediately started our recovery, raising 2 boys. I say this not for sympathy or “look at me” but to encourage you that no matter what comes in your path during your recover, you can persevere. Gastric Bypass Surgery changed my life and I will be eternally grateful. It has been 2 years and I have kept off the 102 lbs. I have not had any exacerbation with my M.S. since my Gastric Bypass Surgery, we now have guardianship of our 2 grandsons ages 12 and 14. Had we not of had our Gastric Bypass Surgeries, we would not have had the abilities to keep up with the activities, practices and school. My knees and back no longer hurt, I can walk without overheating, my stress level has decreased and I no longer have heartburn. I’m happier now with my health and appearance at 57 then I have my entire life. If you’ve tried it all and are at the end of your rope, I would highly recommend that you research if weight l0ss surgery would be right for you.
Pat is a part of RMAP Patient Advocate Program. She has extended her support to those interested in learning more about weight-loss surgery. You can contact her at the resources listed above.