May 29

My Weight Loss Surgery Light-Bulb Moment

shutterstock_194947928Although I was not faced with suffering from obesity all my life, I did have weight issues, even as a teenager. Then as a college student, I hit size 14. After that 16. I managed to stop my weight gain in my mid-twenties, not using healthy measures, and stayed thin through my 30’s.

Finally, the fat hit the fan. Through my 40’s and 50’s, I got increasingly bigger. Slowly, slowly, slowly but surely. In August 2012, at a top-end weight of about 225 pounds on my 5-foot, three-inch frame, I ended up in a hospital in South Haven, Mississippi, had a stent placed in the LAD (the widow maker) artery of my heart, by a doctor I’d never met and in a town where I knew no one.

That was my light blub moment. The depression that follows heart procedures in many patients, hit me like several tons of bricks, not just one. I was miserable. I could not live the obese lifestyle any more.

I'd lost everything I loved about life, the outdoors, family, fun and even doing daily tasks.  © LL Dovey, lldovey.com

I’d lost everything I loved about life, the outdoors, family, fun and even doing daily tasks. © LL Dovey, lldovey.com

I’d lost everything I cared about, my ability to maneuver without pain, to hunt and fish, garden, play with my niece’s kids, even tie my dang shoes without practically passing out.  I still don’t even want to admit the rest of the story.

“What the hell have you done with your life?” I asked myself. “Do you really want to die before you’re 60 as an obese form of a person you now longer know?”

Previously, I’d toyed with the idea of weight loss surgery. But that’s all I did. Toy with it. I wanted an immediate solution. I didn’t want to spend six months preparing to see if my insurance would cover me. So, I used that as an excuse not to take control.

“No more excuses,” I said, in Dec. 2102, after I healed from the stent procedure.

I called my hospital’s weight management center and made an appointment, which I kept. By March, I was in the weight loss program pre-surgery program. In September 2013, I entered the operating room and my amazing surgeon Dr. Patrick Gaitmatin helped me change my life, my world, and the world of those around me.

What was the final straw that broke your camel’s back. What made you finally decide to take control of your life, have surgery and become healthy? Share your story below.



About the author

Laurie Lee Dovey

LLD is a writer, photographer, marketing and media consultant, hunter, angler, RVer, sports nut, poker player, and wife.

1 comment

  1. Sandy

    I have always been somewhat overweight. But when I look back on pictures of myself at a teenager, I realize that I wasn’t as fat at I thought I was. I would have loved to have that body now, at 5 feet, two inches and 200 lbs. I was pretty active in my 20’s and 30’s, but then I went from a job at a factory–where I would stand on my feet for 10 hours a day–to sitting at a desk job. After 2 children, my weight started creeping up, and so did my health problems. I had high cholesterol, acid reflux, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. I was taking insulin, but my A1C and blood sugar levels kept going up and up. I had toyed around with the idea of weight loss surgery, but not seriously. I started eating a higher fiber diet, and over 2 years had lost about 20 lbs, putting me at about 186 lbs. But, with my health problems not improving, I decided to check it out, sure that it wouldn’t happen, because I wasn’t 300 or 400 lbs. I went to the seminar, and then got a call to set up appointments with the dietiitian. I had to go to the dietitian for 6 months for my insurance requirements. I went along with it, knowing that in the end, they would say I wasn’t fat enough for the surgery. Well, imagine my surprise when I got approved! I was right at the border for the weight limits, but they actually go on your average weight over the past few years. I had the laproscopic procedure and although the recovery was tough at times, I ended up losing over 50 lbs, and got to go off lots of my medications. Almost 3 years later, I still take a scoop of protein powder every day and try and aim for my protein and fiber requirements. I have always been a walker, and go for a 30 to 40 minute walk every day. I have 3 dogs, and that is the highlight of their day, and I hate to disappoint them!

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