Life before bariatric surgery felt like a blur. I felt like I was painfully going through the motions but never really like I was living and getting to experience the beauty. I hid behind my weight and was extremely introverted. I was in my late 20s and experienced weight-induced pain keeping me from social life or playing with my young nieces. I suffer from PCOS, and before surgery, my symptoms were completely unmanaged and out of control. I also had hypothyroidism, was pre-diabetic, and had concerns about my cardiac health. I’m 5’3″ and was almost 330 pounds. I wasn’t living or thriving. I was just trying to survive.
I had considered weight loss surgery for about ten years. I had been overweight all the way to morbidly obese since I was an adolescent, so when I first heard about surgery, I contemplated it. I was so scared, and the what-ifs flooded in my mind. What if I can’t give up certain foods? What if I fail? What if it doesn’t work. I was justifying why I shouldn’t do it for the longest time. It wasn’t until early 2020 did I realize how “sick” I was and how much I needed the surgery. I was constantly having leg, foot, and knee pain. My PCOS symptoms were unbridled, just completely wreaking havoc on my body. I remember the feeling that I could die if I didn’t seek treatment. I even vividly remember my dream that I had died and my family, including my sweet young nieces, were mourning my death. When I woke up and knew I was ready. It was time I reached out to Dr. Doucette and his team, and together, we could work to save my life.
It has been a wonderful experience. I knew and still know that if a problem, question, or concern arose, it would be one phone call to ease my mind. I am from Indiana, so that added a challenge. However, it never worried me. From the consultation to post-op, I have been treated like family. The hospital they chose to perform my procedure was wonderful as well. Office staff, patient care staff, Dr. Doucette, and the anesthesia team treated me and cared for me wonderfully. I had my surgery in July of 2020, so the pandemic and imposed restrictions were a hurdle, such as not having my support person in pre-op. However, everyone went out of their way to make me feel at ease. I’ll be forever grateful for that. I cherish my Registered Dietician, Carolyn, as well. She has been such a wealth of knowledge and someone to lean on as I learn how to fuel my body. This is a journey, not a destination and this wonderful group of individuals is always right by my side.
I’ll be completely honest, life after surgery hasn’t been easy, and this is NOT the easy way to lose weight. However, it has been worth it through the tool of surgery and me taking this seriously and fighting for my health. Life is beautiful, and I feel like I finally have control over my life. I have been able to go on vacations and explore. I’ve gone white water rafting and can park far away from the entrance to the stores. I can shop wherever I want and dress how I want! I’ve been able to run and take the stairs, and I could never do that before. I’m a lot less introverted and have gained the courage to follow my dreams professionally. I take pictures, and I mean, I’m actually in the photos. I’m able to be the sister my sister deserves and can play on the floor with my nieces. I met the man of my dreams the first few months after surgery, and we’re getting married this next year. I even got to pick out my dream wedding dress a couple of weeks ago! I know he would have loved me no matter what, but now I get to offer him the healthiest and happiest version of myself. When the time comes, I’ll be able to have healthier pregnancies than I would have been pre-surgery. Overall, I love all of the small and big moments I get to experience now post-surgery!