"Gastric Bypass Surgery Gave Me My Life Back"
"I failed a class because I was too self-conscious to go." continued...
After graduation, I got my first job, and shared an office with someone
who'd had gastric bypass surgery. When I met her, I thought, She's
beautiful. I could never look like her. But then she told me her story. So
I went to an information session where a surgeon explained the three types of
weight-loss surgery. Afterward, I felt optimistic. If this worked, I wouldn't
ever have to worry about fitting into a seat. I could finally have a normal
Next, I was checked out by a cardiologist, a pulmonologist, and a
psychiatrist; I also went to nutrition seminars. This gave me time to decide if
surgery was what I really wanted. I still wasn't sure. I started a journal of
things I hated about being fat — like those looks at the gym that said,
"Why are you here?" Finally, I decided surgery was the only way
to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off. I chose gastric bypass
because with other procedures (like stomach stapling or lap band) I'd still be
able to eat sugary, high-fat foods with no consequences. I needed to make a
bigger change. But I was scared. I scheduled the appointment, then felt like I
was going to throw up. I'd always wanted to be skinny, but to dream it is one
thing. To live it is different.
I had my surgery on April 11, 2006. I took some pictures at home, said
good-bye to the old me, and walked out the door. Once I got to the hospital,
everything happened so fast. The surgery took about two hours. My surgeon
stapled across the top of my stomach, creating a small pouch the size of a golf
ball. Then he sewed part of my small intestine directly into the pouch. This
would redirect food to bypass most of my stomach and enter my small intestine
instead. I was in the hospital for two days. When I woke up, I felt like I had
done 200 sit-ups, but that was the worst of the pain. Over the next three
months, I went from a liquid-only diet to soft food to regular food. I was
frustrated at first, but excited and anxious to see results. I thought, I
can do this.