Mike H. - My Story

Gastric Sleeve  |  2017

My Life Before Bariatric Surgery

As a high school and college athlete, my weight was 240 pounds at 6'4" tall. During my playing days, I ate as much of anything I wanted and didn’t put on any weight. After a sports-career-ending injury, I kept eating the same way.  Over the next 20 years, this resulted in a tremendous weight gain. The excess weight caused me to go on blood pressure medication, and develop gout. 

I had painful gout attacks in my feet and knees. The damage from the gout in my right knee was so bad that I had to have 25-50 cc’s of fluid drained every month and my patella tendon replaced.  The pain was unbearable.  

Making the Decision

The final straw that lead me to the decision to have gastric sleeve surgery was a very sharp kidney pain. My doctor sent me for many tests, including a cancer screening--that scared the living daylights out of me.  All of the tests came back negative. My doctor sat me down and told me the cause of my pain was due to the excess weight putting so much pressure on my kidneys that they were starting to shut down.  If I didn’t lose the weight, I could be in serious trouble.  

I had tried to lose weight many times. I lost weight and just put it all right back on and then some. Portion control was always the biggest issue. After telling my doctor that information, he suggested I look into gastric surgery.  I started looking into the options online and felt that the surgery was a good fit for me.  I called Barix Clinics and set up an appointment for an initial consultation. 

My Barix Clinics Experience

From the very first phone call to Barix Clinic and every day after, the experience has been nothing short of amazing. Every question, concern and doubt was addressed and talked about up to the very last moment prior to surgery. My surgeon and his team could not have been more supportive and compassionate and continue to be.

After the surgery, the support and follow-up was and continues to be amazing. Knowing that if I have any questions, concerns, problems or need any kind of support, all I have to do is call and I get everything I need to succeed. Working with the nutritionist and following the plan that my surgeon and I set together makes the process of losing weight much easier than I could ever have imagined.   

The day of the surgery was overwhelming and exciting at the same time. My surgeon and his team were caring and understanding. My wife was nervous and my surgeon took the time to answer all of her concerns and to reassure her.  My nurse, Rebecca, was by far a gift from above. She sat with me, made sure I was comfortable, helped me on my walks, and kept me focused on my goals. She also kept me laughing and made the time go by so fast. 

My Life After Surgery

Life after surgery has been nothing short of incredible. Health-wise, all my pains are gone—including the gout. I'm off all my medications and I feel like I'm in my 20's again.

I am doing activities I have not done in years-- like riding roller coasters since I now fit on the rides. I'm running at least one 5K race once a month. I LOVE CLOTHING SHOPPING in the stores in the mall now and appreciate the fact that I don't have to go to BIG AND TALL shops anymore.   

People are constantly telling how great I look and that I seem much happier-- I am. It’s fun when people that I have known for years don't even recognize me.

Thank you to my surgeon and all the staff at Barix, but especially my wife Laureen, my daughter Maura, and my best friend Barbara! Thank you for all the support and understanding. I know dealing with me and the lifestyle change has not always been easy.  Thank you, Thank you Thank you!

To Someone Considering Bariatric Surgery

Whether you are considering the surgery for your health, lifestyle, family or just to be happier—do it! You will not regret it! You will learn how to deal with any food issues you may have. There will be times where it isn’t easy, especially the first party, holidays, and special events. I found the amazing results outweighed the temptations of unhealthy food choices.   

Listen to your doctor, follow the plan, be patient, and you can have the amazing life you're looking for! I'm the proof!

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