These patient stories are from real patients who have had weight loss surgery. Actual results after surgery will vary with each individual. The opinions expressed by patients should not be taken as medical advice. All surgery presents risk. Weight, age, and medical history determine your specific risks. Consult your doctor to see if weight loss surgery may be right for you.

Body

Transcript: Never giving up

My first memory of being overweight, I was in about the second or third grade if I remember correctly.  Some kid at the baseball field making a real snide comment about me being overweight, with fatso or that kind of thing, and I remember walking from the baseball field and getting towards my house and I started getting kind of choked up.  I then certainly, through puberty, I started kind of letting people know, probably somewhat obnoxiously… that kind of don’t mess with me.  And that really wasn’t my nature, but it became that.  And I attribute a lot of it to being overweight.

By the time I was a junior in high school, I started this protein shake type diet, and by the time September rolled around I had lost 60 pounds.  Then within the next year of my senior year, I gained it back.  I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 19.  They immediately put me on insulin, and then my weight did go up. 

And I was diagnosed with a disease called cardiomyopathy.  And with that, that changed my life completely.  First of all, they told me, “There’s a good chance you probably aren’t going to live.  Because… you’re not eligible for a heart transplant, we can put you on a secondary list, but you’d have to lose 100 pounds.”  I was 41-years-old.  Within a 10-year period, I went from about 100, I’ll say 200 pounds, then went to 245.  My health was decreasing, and really failing. 

I went to the hospital, they did a surgery.  And I didn’t know this, but he went over and told my wife, Alison, “He’s going to die of this, and we just can’t do a whole lot more if he doesn’t lose weight.” 

It became very clear to me that it wasn’t only me that was suffering.  It was my children, and my wife.  I guess maybe on a deeper level, I thought it would be another failure.  And I didn’t want to fail again.  I didn’t want to disappoint my children and I thought a lot of what I did, and even within my personality, disappointed my children.

The first day outside of the hospital, I checked my blood sugar two or three times and there was just no need to take any insulin.  That was pretty incredible to me. I mean that had not happened from the time I was 19. I was 50 at the time.

After the surgery, I got it pounded in my head, you need to walk a lot, you need to do the supplements, or you’re going to be in trouble.  And I listened.  So, I was getting up between about five or six, never did that in my whole life, and I was walking.  And walking, and walking, and walking around the track.  And there was a lot of other people, that were doing it, and I didn’t stop for four years.  I went every day.  No matter what, whether it be raining or really hot, and I did that.  And I did my supplements, and the weight was flying off.  It was like Christmas going to the scale, it was all good for me. 

You know, I think it has inspired some people to have it.  I don’t know if I inspired my doctor, my sister, but I think I did.  If that meant that there was an impact that I’ve done, that’s my goal.  That’s my goal why I even came here today.