Transcript: Taking my life back
My struggle with weight actually didn’t start until I got a little older. I guess probably (in) my early thirties, I started gaining a little weight. Got a little heavy, was going around 320, then 330, and I started having at that point some high blood pressure issues started coming up.
(In) 2008, I had a heart attack and that was a big thing. That was a catalyst for some weight change. I woke up in the middle of the night, and felt like an elephant was on my chest about 3 o’clock in the morning. And, before then, I didn’t have really any issues that I knew of. I had three major blockages at that time and they said I was literally minutes away from dying.
I had two stents at first, and then they kept me in CICU for a day and then did the other two stents. So I had four stents and I was in my mid-forties. And about three years ago, I was at my heaviest. I was at 305. My joints hurt, to do any exercise hurt, my back hurt, my knees hurt. And so that point is like, you know, it’s hard to exercise because you hurt all the time.
In 2015, that fall my blood pressure shot up and I couldn’t get it down. And I was working in a high risk job at that time. And my doctor told me, and my wife, if you don’t quit that job you’re going to die. Did a stress test. And the doctor there says something’s showing like you might have some more blockage.
(In) January 2015, I went in to the cath lab not knowing what to expect. They were going in to see what they find, so there I am laying in the cath lab. And I hear them saying I am in sort of a twilight sleep and I hear them saying, “okay his right coronary artery is 99 plus percent blocked, let’s go in and cath it.”
At that time, I was like, I was laying there and I’m thinking… I’m 50, and it is going to be stent number five. You know, what if I don’t make it? What if something happens? I thought I was invincible. And it really shook me up.
Then, that summer of 2015, I confided to my wife I got to do something... I’m looking at surgery. Because I kept hitting the wall, and I had to do something.
My family’s been very supportive, and my whole family, my wife, my kids have been supportive of me. People see me now that haven’t seen me in a while and don’t recognize me.
I didn’t think I was going to be able to lose the weight this fast, that I had. And so I thought it was going to be next year until I hit my goal and I am getting pretty close to my goal now. And I think I’ll be able to have hit my goal by the time I do my first marathon in December. And, to me, that’s going to be a celebration.
I just had my surgery in April, and this is, you know, the first of September. And I am training for a marathon, and I never thought I would be training for a marathon. I want to leave that legacy to my kids, my grandkids, that health is important.
If you are overweight, look at the surgery. Look at it because it is a great tool. And, no, I don’t regret it. I am never going to be that guy again that I see in those pictures. I’m not going to do that.