My name is Karianne and I had the Gastric Band placed May of 2009 by Dr. Sherman Smith. Then in July of 2013 I had the band removed and converted to Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. The highest weight that I have documented was 368 pounds. I think I was higher but don’t know for sure how high I have been. As of today, I am currently 170 pounds making my overall weight loss to date 198 pounds! I have come so far since 2009, and I’m so grateful to Dr. Smith and the Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians (RMAP) team. They have truly saved my life and given me a new life where I am able to thrive in.
So why weight loss surgery? Here is my why, my story:
In 2006 I was diagnosed with Pseudotumor cerebri, an autoimmune disease which is compounded because I was morbidly obese. My weight was making it worse and continued to cause fluid to build up on my brain, causing severe headaches, my optic nerves to swell, and at risk of losing my vision. I was told that I had permanently lost 30% of my vision in my left eye. My doctors said if I didn’t lose at least 60-80 pounds AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, I would lose all my vision, and if I didn’t then I was looking at requiring a shunt put in to my brain, which would mean to have open brain surgery. During this time, I was also diagnosed with lupus and was put on five different medications to help with all areas of complications I was having.
I had already done several kids of diets that were out there, Weight Watchers, Atkins, the radical pills, increased dosage of a medication Topamax hoping it would assist with my headaches and decease hunger. But I was on Prednisone that made me gain weight no matter what I did and on top of everything I was just too big to do regular exercise. Don’t get me wrong I did have some success. I would lose 10-20 pounds here and there only to gain it back, it was never enough to help and each time I would gain more weight and therefore would always ended up making matters worse.
At the end of 2007 my eye doctor asked if I had ever thought of having weight loss surgery. I said the thought never came to my mind. He said that he would work with me and my other doctors to see what they could do to get this for me. So, after a year of struggling and working with a team of doctors including the amazing staff at RMAP, I got insurance order phentermine 37.5 mg tablets approved. In 2009 I was approved to have the gastric band placed and on May 9, 2009 I started my journey.
From May 2009 till December of 2010 I had lost 120 pounds, I was doing better and my headaches subsided. Unfortunately in 2012, because of lupus I had to have the gastric band removed.
So February of 2013 we removed all the fluid out of my band and started the process for conversion to gastric bypass. It was a long and painful road to approval; I had to go through the whole approval process through my insurance company all over again. The RMAP staff was so helpful and patient with me. I had constant questions and calls to the office and nurses. In July 2013 I was approved for removal of the gastric band and conversion to the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.
In July of 2013 I had my gastric bypass surgery weighing in at 270 pounds. One year later I have lost 100 pounds, and have gone from taking 12 pills in the morning and 14 pills at night, to being off all my medications! I have gone a year without a seizure and my blood pressure is back to normal. (MIRACLE)
I have had some amazing success, from being able to ride on rides at Lagoon, to doing 12 miles on a Church Trek, and my current success was on October 4th, 2014 I ran my first 5K, a year ago I would have never even thought about doing any of these things, let alone finishing them.
I know that RMAP has saved my life; I have regained freedom to go and do what we all hope for ourselves, which is a long healthy, happy life. With the help of RMAP I was able to achieve and find ME again. Because I am worth it, I deserve it and my family deserves to have a healthy Mom and Wife.
I only hope those that read this can come to know through even just a small part of my story, that you are enough and you are worth it. That you deserve to be the you that is inside waiting to come out.
I wish you the best in all your doings and if you have not started your journey yet, take that first step by reaching out to the amazing staff and doctors at RMAP it will be so worth it.
Wishing you all my love and support,
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If you would like to share your weight loss surgery story with others and on Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians (RMAP) other social media outlets, contact Jessica at Jessica@rmapinc.com.