What was life like before bariatric surgery?
Before surgery, I was fully disabled. I have a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis (in the family of Rheumatoid Arthritis), and I have a lot of pain. I was unable to walk to my mailbox. I am an RN, but I haven’t been able to work upon my feet in my chosen career as an L & D nurse for about 20 years. I had “desk jobs” until about ten years ago, when I could not work at all. I also had high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, pre-diabetes, and I snored. My top size was between 2XL and 3XL. I could only wear stretchy bottoms, usually size 2XL. My 18-year old daughter has no memory of me ever being anything but sedentary and in pain.
If you put off the decision to come in for a long time, why was that? What kept you from booking a consultation?
I actually hadn’t been thinking about this for long. In the past, when I had thought about it, I just thought that there was no way at all I could do. I just “knew” I couldn’t give up Diet Cokes. I drank them all day every day. Sonic was my best friend. I LOVED food, often eating out two times a day. But then the global pandemic hit. Things closed up. Restaurants closed. Because I was immunocompromised because of the medications I take for AS, I had to really dig in and STAY HOME. So for almost a year, my eating out almost completely stopped. I really kind of “broke up” with food. It became a chore for me. I no longer WANTED to eat. If I couldn’t go out to eat my beloved Mexican food with chips and salsa, I just didn’t want to eat at all. So about 5-6 months before my surgery, when my best friend told me SHE was having a sleeve done, I just said, “I want that too.”
What was it like to work with the team, from the start of your journey to today?
The PWLC staff have been helpful. You can tell they have done this a thousand times!
What is your life like now? What’s the #1 thing you love being able to do now?
Oh, wow! My life is so incredibly different now! I’ll start with the fact I’m off both of my blood pressure medications! I am no longer considered pre-diabetic. I do not snore. I can walk for up to 2 MILES!!! I take my dog on a walk almost every day. I have the energy I did 20 years ago!! (I am now 56 years old.) I am not quite well enough with my AS that I can return to working as an RN, but I now work for AISD as a substitute teacher, working 8-9 days a month. I am so incredibly proud to be able to help out my community in their time of need. And I am in AWE that I can physically do it!!! I wake up every day feeling refreshed and hopeful for the day!
I have the energy I did 20 years ago!Kelly W.