Before my gastric sleeve surgery, my life was drastically different. I was a 48 year old woman that felt
like my body was 84 years old, with the humiliation of being labeled morbidly obese. I had tried every
diet and exercise program possible. I would lose about 10-15 pounds, then gain it right back. When I
was 43, I had a heart attack with stents being placed. I weighed 218 pounds and was 5 foot 3 inches.
Over the next 5 years, I had a total of 3 more surgeries to have a total of 4 stents placed. I was on
medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high heart rate, high triglycerides and
hypothyroidism. My cardiologist had referred me to a gastric doctor to try to help me lose weight, but
my insurance would not cover anything gastric related. My heart disease is hereditary and I will always
have a chance of having another heart attack. However, as my cardiologist told me, I might not be able
to control my chances of having another heart attack, but weight loss would help me with the recovery
from one, since it would take stress off of my heart. It would also help me drop some of my
medications and take some of the work off of my liver from having to break them all down.
On the emotional and personal side, I didn’t have the energy to spend time with my 3 grandchildren.
With my husband, even though he would always say he loved me and how beautiful he found me, I was
self-conscious around him and felt there was no way he could feel proud to call me his wife. There
would be times he would want to go hiking or camping and I knew we were both thinking the same
thing…..will I make it without quitting or will I hurt myself trying to hide my pain and embarrassment.
I had considered weight loss surgery for about 2 years prior to coming into the office. The only thing
that stopped me was my fear of the pain (I am a recovering opioid addict) and the cost. When I found
Dr. Doucette, the cost was extremely reasonable for self-pay and highly recommended. Once I spoke
with Dr. Doucette, I explained my fear of the pain, since I would not be able to take the traditional route
for pain medication, and he assured me he would work through it with me.
I live in Georgia, so my initial contact was via phone call with the office team. This initial contact was
so reassuring. They answered my questions and went out of their way to make sure I not only
understand the process, but were patient with my many questions. When I finally came for my surgery
and met the office team, they were every bit as helpful as they had been prior to that visit. They had laid out all of the steps I needed to do prior to the surgery. They even helped with getting the pre- authorization forms I needed, since I had heart related issues. After the surgery, they have continued to check in on me and are just as helpful if I call for questions or need clarification for anything.
I am now 8 months post-op and I have met and exceeded my weight loss goal. My goal was to weight
135 and wear a size 10 jeans. Today, I weigh 129.6 and am in a size 8 jeans. But, the best part is when I
go to take my medications each morning and I only have a couple. I no longer take medication for
blood pressure, triglycerides, hypothyroidism, or heart rate. I will always take cholesterol medication,
since my family history is so extreme with heart disease, but my numbers are much lower.
I love how I wake up and feel my energy racing through my body. I look forward to grabbing my dog’s
leash and heading out to walk him, I love when my husband and I go on impromptu hikes, I love that we
were able to go zip lining without fear that I weighed too much and I love being able to have the
grandkids over and not need to take a nap before they leave.