Transcript: A life without joint pain
Marybeth: My name is Marybeth and I had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.
When I got married, I was about 160 pounds, but I lost 20 pounds to fit into my wedding dress. When I quit smoking a year and half later, I think I gained almost 40 pounds. But I was about 210 pounds when I got pregnant, and just found myself… when (my daughter) was a teenager, at almost 290 pounds.
By then I was already having so many problems with my joints. Especially my ankles. I would be in pain, through a normal day, not doing anything. I wasn’t working, I was a stay at home mom. Mostly, I would just become exhausted. I did have a disability placard, and I used it. I would get as close as I could to the grocery store and I had several times where I just rode the little mobile cart around the grocery store.
You know my regular primary care doctor would just tell me, “Yeah, you should lose weight, you should lose weight.” But I did make an appointment to decide, I’ve got to get these ankles fixed, whatever’s wrong with them. We were in there about 15 minutes and we were done, and I was on my way home and I was crying. He said, “There is nothing wrong with your feet that losing about a 100 pounds can’t help”.
I probably cried almost every day for a month. Hurt turned into anger, and I just took that and turned it into motivation. I woke up one day and I knew he was right. I did need to lose the 100 pounds and there was no other way it was going to get better, and it would help. How I was going to do it, I wasn’t sure.
And about six weeks later, I went to the hospital to have weight loss surgery.
Gary (Marybeth’s husband): I just never ate right. I just started gaining more and more weight, I started having bad medical problems.
Marybeth: He had started off on oral medications and then one shot after a while and then two and then the long acting and then the everyday meals.
Gary: So then I wound up having the surgery because I saw how well she did by having the surgery and how she lost all the weight and she was keeping it off and she was having a more healthy lifestyle.
Marybeth: Now I walk probably two miles, four or five days a week. And I know that I just have a different healthier more active life because of the surgery.
Gary: We have annual passes to The Biltmore, so we go up there quite a bit. We’re now a whole lot healthier than we ever were.
Marybeth: The surgery is just a tool. It’s not going to work if you don’t do all the stuff you’re supposed to do. I’ve maintained for 14 years but I’ve had to work at it, but it’s worth everything I do.