April 8, 2014

Taking My Life Back: A Patient’s Perspective

barbara2For those who are contemplating surgery, here is my story:

My journey really began years ago.  I was trapped in someone else’s body! I’d given bariatric surgery a thought after my first son was born but was laughed out of a doctor’s office and told to diet and exercise. He gladly gave me prescription diet pills that helped while I was on the medication. As soon I stopped taking them, my weight came right back with an additional 40 pounds as a bonus.

So as life moved along, I just became comfortable as the “fat & sassy lady” and accepted that I would always be the “fat” girl.  This was until I became friends with a woman over two years ago.  Everything about her was beautiful: her spirit, her personality, and her confidence. She shared with me her story, who her surgeon was (Dr. Bruce), and what an easy journey she had. I decided right then and there that I wanted to duplicate her success and so I came to Bariatric Specialists of NC and began my transformation!

I was assigned a case manager who was so sweet and befriended me right away. The whole team was so warm and understanding.  They didn’t see me as the “FAT” girl. They too saw the beautiful woman I was trying so hard to show everyone else. My case manager help navigate me through each of my preoperative requirements, scheduling my hospital testing and recommended a psychologist.

Psychologist…that’s right I had to have a psych eval which scared me more than the physical surgery itself. I was scared they would see all the issues I was eating to solve, but again I was comforted and told we all have issues and this was about helping me be successful after surgery.  I was also reminded this was a requirement for my insurance. I made it through and before I knew it, my day had come to schedule surgery! On December 20, 2012, I took my life back for ME!

Today, I am fourteen months post-op and 8 pounds shy of losing one hundred pounds! I am healthier than ever!! I feel like I am twenty again with a new energy and quest for life.

Oh, and I do believe I forgot to mention something.  I am not only a bariatric patient, but I am also your case manager! I can’t wait to meet all of you and hear your story!

2018, WakeMed