I want to offer Kim Jones a special thank
you. Here is her story:
A testimony is summed up with one word: proof. Proof that
something I strongly believed would happen, did in fact happen. The
testimony I want to share is the proof that my life has drastically
improved through bariatric surgery.
The first question I received from everyone when they found out I
was going to have bariatric surgery was “Why?” and the very next
response was “You just want to be skinny!” Skinny, no; lose weight,
yes; improve my health and quality of life, yes, yes, yes!!!
Most of my young life was spent dealing with other people’s
ignorance of overweight problems in children and teens. Some people
were well-meaning, but most were just down-right cruel. It’s hard
enough dealing with your peers much less some adults. Believe me;
trying to embarrass or shame someone into losing weight does not
work. If it did, I would not be writing this testimony today.
The older I became the more overweight I became. It worsened
after each of my two daughters were born. I tried very hard to blame
them, but they both refused to accept the guilt trip I was trying to
lay on them.
By this time I had hardened myself against the verbal abuse and
accepted my weight as just a fact of life. So life decided to put
another wrinkle in the plan; in my case several wrinkles.
I became a diabetic dependant on 100 units of insulin daily.
Osteoarthritis in my feet and hips had me taking 800 mg of Neurontin.
My blood pressure was so out of control that I was on three
medications and even then it was not controlled. I was also
diagnosed with life-threatening sleep apnea which caused me to be
dependant on a CPAP for over six years.
During this time I developed an extreme lack of energy. Just
putting in a day’s work would tire me out till I would just go home
and sit down for the rest of the evening. I stopped wanting to do
anything or go anywhere. I could not take the heat, nor could I walk
more than 5 or 6 feet without being out of breath. In effect, I was
in danger of dying from any one of these conditions.
Then June 23, 2004 arrived. Thanks to Dr. Davenport, Denise and
his wonderful staff, my life turned around completely. My life did
not change instantly, but I was given the tool to start controlling
my life and start living again.
So far, I have lost 167 pounds. I am no longer on insulin or any
type of diabetes medicine. My blood sugar levels have been normal
since the 4th day after surgery. With the weight gone, my
osteoarthritis does not bother me; so I am off the Neurontin. I am
only on one blood pressure medication
and it is under control. Six months after my surgery I underwent a
sleep study and subsequently was removed from the CPAP; I no longer
have sleep apnea.
As far as the energy level goes, this past week I spent my
vacation in the mountains of Georgia, camping, hiking and horseback
riding with my grandchildren (yes, the horse survived). I even hiked
850 feet up the side of a mountain to see a tower built in the
1800’s by Indians. I made the trip up and back down without any
problems. Then we went swimming.
Everyone asks me how much have I lost. The more important
question should be how much have I gained?
I gained a normal weight (not
skinny), a healthier body, a better self-image and the ability to
play with my grandchildren in a way I was never able to play with my
own children. My body is no longer trapped by obesity, illness and
lack of energy.
For those who are reading this and contemplating bariatric
surgery, make sure you are doing it for all the right reasons. I was
told by some this was just “the easy way out” to lose weight. That
statement could not be further from the truth. It is a diet you will
never go off of. There is no, “I’ll start my diet Monday.” There is
no binge eating if you get depressed.
Dr. Davenport and his staff gave me all the information on what I
should eat and when, but I was sometimes my own worst enemy during
this time. I learned that you will adapt or your “new” stomach will
adapt for you. This is not a “quick-fix,” but a life-long tool to
pursue a healthier life. I am right now healthier than I have been
in over 30 years.
I am human and I made mistakes while I was
learning this new way of life. You will make mistakes too, just
learn from them. I would not change one thing about the surgery or
what I went through. In fact I would recommend bariatric surgery to
anyone who wants to get their health back.
RNY GB 6/23/2004 by Dr. Donald Davenport,
Weight loss 167