Stephen A. - My Story

Gastric Bypass  |  2009

My Life Before Bariatric Surgery

My weight battle began in middle school. Being tall, I was always bigger than most, but I started noticing my weight was becoming a factor. The same story continued year after year. I would always maintain, or even lose a little weight in the spring and summer months.

However, the pounds would pile on in the winter. This process continued for nearly 30 years until I had reached the age of 38 and was 425 pounds.

In my early adult life, I always found myself active, going out, socializing, and staying on the go. As my weight continued to increase, my activity decreased. I began to isolate myself. The TV became my best friend. Soon I found myself not wanting to do anything but be alone. Clothes were an after-thought; nothing fit me unless it said 5 or 6XL.  Hunting, fishing, and any activities I used to love became only memories.

Medical problems began to plague my life. I was diagnosed with depression; my zest for life was gone. I was now sleeping with a breathing machine as I had developed sleep apnea. My blood pressure was high. My knees and joints ached constantly. I was 38 years old and in horrible health. I could barely fit into my vehicle any more.  My weight was ruining my marriage. I had completely shut myself off from my wife and family and I just wanted it to be over. Any attempts to lose weight on my own were futile. I’d lose 2lbs, only to gain 4lbs back. I couldn’t do it alone.

Making the Decision

I finally realized I was killing myself and it needed to stop. I was only 3 years younger than my father when he had passed 17 years earlier. I truly believed this was my last option for getting my life back. In January of 2008 I visited several informational seminars from various hospitals. I visited Dr. Schram at the Barix clinic in Michigan. This was the last one I visited; I had found my doctor and facility to have my surgery. The decision was easy.

My Barix Clinics Experience

In the informational group meeting, My surgeon took the time to be very informative and answer all the questions that we had. There was no stone left unturned. After the group meeting he met with me individually. We discussed which surgery was best for me and what my goals were. Communication with the benefits and scheduling departments were open and ongoing until my schedule could be cleared for my surgery. The staff at Barix took all the pressure off me with my insurance. They sent me information about the surgery process and any specific things that needed to be followed or done. The day of surgery came and I was nervous. However, everyone on staff put me at ease. Their dispositions and smiles made me comfortable, and when Dr. Schram came in and prayed with me right before the surgery, I knew I was going to be OK! I spent two days at Barix before I was able to go home. The staff took great care of me, and allowed my visitors lots of access to me. The staff was tremendous.

How My Life Has Changed

Today, two weeks short of my one-year weight loss surgery anniversary, I have lost a total of 207 pounds and currently weigh 218. Without a doubt, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made! My energy level is back, I’m constantly on the go and I’m that social person I spoke of earlier. The biggest thing I’ve learned is how and what to eat. The surgery is a tool, NOT a cure, and I continue to tell myself this. It is my job to stay focused. So far, so good! I’m seeing friends I haven’t seen in a while and they don’t recognize me. It’s a riot! I’m so glad I did this.

To Those Considering Bariatric Surgery

Don't hesitate, do it now. Rediscover your world and explore a whole new one. If you follow the Barix Program, your weight loss will be a success. I guarantee it!

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