"I was usually in constant pain when I tried to be active pre-surgery. I was always tired, had high blood pressure/cholesterol and my weight had gotten to the point where it was affecting both my own life and the lives of my family. I would get turned away from rides at Disneyland and my kids would be confused as to why they couldn’t get on the ride. It felt impossible to explain to them I was the reason.
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Finally, while I was pregnant with my son, my OBGYN told me I wouldn’t live to see him graduate. It was then I knew I had to do something. I didn’t want to go through life like this any longer. Honestly, I wouldn’t even consider what I was doing as living. I wanted my lifestyle to change. I was desperate to be present and active in my kids’ lives and I decided I’d do whatever it took to play, laugh and watch them grow.
After doing the research and consulting with my primary care doctor, I decided on Gastric Sleeve surgery in 2014. It took extensive research and I quickly learned this would not be the ‘easy way out.’ Throughout the process, you have to make sacrifices all of the time and endure some very painful days. It’s a lifelong journey and commitment, and one you can never take a step back from.
Since the surgery, I have lost 150 pounds. I can ride on ANY ride I want and get to see the elation on my kids’ faces. I no longer have to shop at specialty stores to find something that might actually fit. I play softball, volleyball, run and ride my bike all of the time with no pain or exhaustion.
If you are on the fence about having surgery, my advice is to make sure your mind is in the right place. This is a complete lifestyle adjustment. You must follow the instructions given and cut out all the bad things in your life, especially the ones that put you there in the first place. You didn’t gain the weight overnight and you won’t lose it overnight either, but you will be happy with the results. This is not an easy process, but it did save my life.
I can’t say enough about the weight loss team at UnityPoint Clinic. Dr. LaMasters really cares about you as a person, and as a family. To her, you are not a number or a statistic, but rather a part of a lifelong family and support system. The way she comes and speaks to you and your family on a personal level is something I’ve never experienced before with a physician. It shows that she truly cares about you and your success. Thanks to this process, I will happily watch my kids AND my grandkids graduate."
- Valerie B.