Welcome. I know if you are reading this, you have some interest in bariatric surgery. I hope you find my story of interest and help in your journey. You can also watch me tell my story here and here.
First off, a bit of history that resulted in the decision of surgery. I am in my mid 40’s and was never a ‘thin person’, although not obese during childhood/early adulthood. I will warn you that I am a brutally honest person and pretty much tell it like it is. I do rely on humor to get me through many tough situations… my mantra… Laugh so you don’t cry and cry so you don’t go crazy. I have done my share of both…. and some might still consider me crazy, which is ok. I am a very visual person and have quotes and sayings posted on every cabinet door to remind me what is important. At 18, I married the only love of my life, went to college, and began work. Once my lifestyle changed from being a farm girl to an office worker, my backside began to take on the shape of a chair. A complicated pregnancy, at age 29, resulted in a premature baby and the real life stress began. Although I laugh and tell people that the last successful weight loss plan I was on was pregnancy, I don’t recommend that plan for anyone. I was very sick throughout my pregnancy resulting in a loss of 24 pounds in 7 months… but I quickly gained that back once my son was here and life became focused on raising a premature baby (2 pounds 11 ounces).
CAUTION/ATTENTION: I do not share my story looking for sympathy or in a ‘woe is me’ attitude. Regardless of education, race, gender, marital status, financial status, etc everyone has stress; everyone has things happen that we don’t plan on and everyone experiences tough times. In the peak of any situation, it seems like a very big deal. However, one commonality exists, when under stress we all tend to abuse ourselves the most – alcohol, drugs, food, spending (retail therapy), withdrawal, affairs, becoming workaholics, etc. Most of us just do the best we can with the cards we are dealt. This is just my story.
When our son was 25 months old, he began having frequent extreme projectile vomiting episodes. Many tests were completed over the next 6 weeks leading to the ultimate parent nightmare…. “I’m sorry; your son has a brain tumor!” Children’s Mercy became our home away from home. Surgery was performed immediately, diagnosis of malignancy was confirmed and treatment plans developed. Our son had a very rare brain tumor which left us and doctors scrambling for treatment options, but a plan was created and chemotherapy began. Life was split between being a farmwife, a teacher, a nurse, a caretaker, and most importantly a mom to a sick little boy. Needless to say, caring for me was on the back burner. I have always been a person that found great comfort in food – especially Hostess Cupcakes and Ice cream… so yes, the pounds continued to creep on, and it was the last concern for me. In the summer months, I would do pretty well at doing some walking and dieting, lose a few pounds, but then pack them right back on. The roller coaster of a child with cancer and treatments ensued for the next four years of my life. Many doctor appointments, hospital stays, discouraging reports, etc. Our son ultimately passed one week prior to his 6th birthday from tumor progression. For a time frame… this was July 2005. Needless to say, depression followed and my husband and I found the most comfort in going out to eat. While this was good for us and our relationship, it was bad for our waistlines. I have always enjoyed cooking and baking, so again, bad for our waistlines.