I have always been overweight, from the day of my birth I was a fat kid. Never really thought much about it. It never bothered me that I was fat. I had learned over the years to use it to my advantage at work and while participating in athletics. I was raised with a lot of self-confidence and with the knowledge that I could accomplish anything that I set my mind to, and have carried myself and acted accordingly to this day.
When I graduated from high school I was 6’4” and weighed 280 pounds, most of those pounds were on my belly. 15-20 years later, I had reached 366 pounds and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I was still not bothered by any of it, just started doing what I had to do to treat the diabetes. I tried several times to lose weight; with the support of my PCP I tried several diets, as well as the Fen/Phen medication fad over the years. I did lose weight with Fen/Phen but we made the decision to stop it when it caused a situation that caused my mother to have to have heart surgery to repair some damage that she had gotten while she was taking it. I promptly regained all the weight I had lost.
Then my mother had weight loss surgery through Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians (RMAP) and did amazingly, that is when I first thought of it as an option, which I promptly forgot all about. Then things started to change for me, a few minor injuries, continually having to increase my diabetes medication, and osteoarthritis started to cause me a lot of issues and started to make it difficult for me to take care of everything I needed to, as well as to keep the commitments that I had made. That is the reason that I decided to start this journey. I never did it for me; I did it for all of the people in my life that needed me. That I care about, that I had made promises to. Never about me, but all about them.
About that same time my PCP brought up WLS as a good option for me. I then spent the next two years studying it thoroughly and had decided to do it. I found out what my insurance requirements were and started the process with my PCP to get them taken care of. I had attended the information class with RMAP under advisement from my PCP and started the process with them as well. This was the first time I met Dr. Steven Simper and chose him to be my surgeon, all from a statement that he made in the class that impressed me beyond belief.
Seven months later I finished the process for my insurance; they then denied it and wouldn’t tell me why. I and the RMAP insurance specialist then spent several months trying to get it figured out and finally they told us that they had an issue with the nutritionist report that they had received from my PCP. She was very much anti-WLS as an option and had put several things in my report that were not accurate. So, the decision was made to start the process over again, which I did.
Another 7 months, jumped through all of their hoops, different nutritionist, and then waiting a few more months for things come together and I was approved. My surgery was scheduled for December 9th, 2015. I had Gastric Bypass that morning and took the biggest step of my journey. In the month prior to my surgery, I weighed 347 pounds. In the ten days prior to surgery, I had lost 11 pounds while on the 1000 calorie pre surgery diet that was required and according to my scale, I was 336 on the morning of surgery.
After the surgery I had committed myself to following every rule and instructions that I had been given, which I did. I started losing weight at an astonishing rate; I went past my goal weight of 210 pounds in 4½ months.
By June of 2016 I was 190 pounds and had started the maintenance process. Then at the end of June I developed a perforated ulcer that was unrelated to the surgery. Dr. Simper made the repairs and I was set back for several months by it. It set back the maintenance not the weight loss as I went down to 172 pounds, which was my lightest since grade school. I slowly gained back a few pounds settling on 185 pounds as the place where I was feeling good. That was my weight at the time of the after pictures and I have been maintaining it ever since.
It is my sincere belief that Dr. Simper, along with my PCP has saved my life twice. I am now able to get around well, and have no more difficulties taking care of my responsibilities and commitments. It hasn’t been easy; it was a total lifestyle change. It is, however, well worth it all and the greatest thing I have ever done. Dr. Simper and the entire crew at RMAP are spectacular individuals, and the support and help they give you is beyond compare. My heartfelt thanks to them for all they have done for me and my loved ones. It is very much appreciated.
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