Jennifer M. - My Story

Gastric Bypass  |  2010

My Life Before Bariatric Surgery

Prior to surgery there were a lot of aches and pains. I was limited in some of the activities I could participate in with my family. Long walks and walks with an incline were a thing of the past. Enjoying the outdoors was not possible if it was even remotely warm out.

I had been scheduled for surgery in November of 2007; however 4 weeks prior to surgery I found out I was pregnant. In June of 2008, we had a son. He was our 4th child and the final addition to our family. At that point I decided to give it one more shot on my own.

After a year I went back to work where I had three co-workers who had previously had gastric bypass surgery. Seeing their success made me start to seriously think about surgery again. The final decision to pursue gastric bypass came the day my husband and 3 1/2 year old daughter went on a hike to the top of a cliff. My husband had done this hike twice before and had always told me how beautiful it was up there. This was his third time doing it but this time he took our daughter up with him. I wasn't able to join them because my weight affected my asthma and I knew I would never be able to make it to the top without having an attack. When they returned a few hours later, my daughter came running up to me and excitedly told me, "Mommy, you can see the whole world from up there!" THAT was IT! I wasn't going to let my weight stop me from seeing my kids enjoy life. THAT was the final straw. When we returned home from the holidays, I made the phone calls and started the process of getting approved for the Roux en Y gastric bypass.

Making the Decision

My decision to have surgery was not made lightly. I did a lot of research and also had the benefit of having three co-workers who had had the surgery already. I was not initially a fan of the surgery. I soon became more educated about it and started to see the positive effects it had on their lives. It's surprising that they still speak to me sometimes. I bombarded them with questions about the surgery...the pros, the cons and everything in between. I left no stone unturned. I wanted to be sure that this was right for me. After many discussions with my husband (because he had just as many questions as I did) we both decided that this was the right thing for me and the right time to do it. I wanted to teach my kids better habits than I had but I needed a tool to help me do that. Gastric bypass was my tool.

My Barix Clincis Experience

When dealing with Barix Clinics it was very reassuring to know that these people dealt with this surgery day in and day out. Everyone was so friendly and willing to answer questions. You never felt like you were being looked down on for being overweight. They were there to help educate and answer questions so you could make an informed decision.

Everyone was great. My pre-op nurse kept me very informed about what was going to happen and how my next couple of days were going to be. He was very friendly and he kept me calm; this was my first surgery ever, so my nerves were starting to get the better of me. The anesthesiologist came in and was very thorough and friendly as well. The doctor was the last to come see me before we went to surgery. He too went over everything. He then met with my husband after surgery to give him an update on how well it went. The nurses on the floor were phenomenal during my stay--always very friendly.

How My Life Has Changed

This year I was able to join my family on the hikes during our holidays. This was just a mere 6 months after having my surgery. What a great feeling. The aches and pains are gone. My energy level is through the roof. My husband thinks I'm a much happier person now and notices the positives changes that have happened in such a short time. He's even noticed the simple things I do, like painting my nails, doing my hair (instead of throwing on a ball cap), and wearing make-up and jewelry. Being able to buy clothes off the regular racks at regular stores and not being charged more for them has been a really nice feeling too.

To Those Considering Bariatric Surgery

This surgery is not for everyone. Do your homework and research; be very informed. This is a great tool but that is all it is...a TOOL! This is a lifelong commitment. Not a quick fix! I wish I could talk to everyone who is thinking of having this surgery. There is so much to talk about. While this surgery does help with portion control, it is possible to stretch your pouch back out. You always have to watch how much you put on your plate and listen to your body when you begin to feel full. Lose the mentality 'I have to clean my plate.'  NO YOU DON'T. It's ok to push your plate away with food still on it. Take advantage of the tool and use it to its full ability. The possibilities are endless. 

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