Patti’s past includes a family history of serious health issues. Her father passed away at the much-too-young age of 51 from a heart attack. He suffered from an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea, something that was not a recognized illness 30 years ago at the time of his passing.
The alarm bells rang loud and clear when Patti was herself diagnosed with sleep apnea. But that wasn’t all. She also had an underactive thyroid, fibromyalgia and arthritis in her knees. At her heaviest, Patti was 275 pounds and suffered from shortness of breath, felt lethargic, and was depressed.
Patti’s sleep disorder specialist advised that she be on a BiPAP machine because her sleep apnea “was out of control,” and if she didn’t do anything, she could be on a respirator next.
Besides sleep apnea, Patti has a family history of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. She knew she had to take action.
On January 29, 2012, Dr. Samuel Bledsoe performed the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery on Patti, and her life was never the same… for the better, of course!
“I really didn’t expect most of my medical problems to disappear. That still amazes me,” says Patti. “I have bodily functions that did not work well previously that are normal now.”
Patti experienced what many of her fellow weight loss surgery patients experience after their procedure: a change in her tastes for certain foods. She now no longer craves fried or heavy foods, rather, she finds herself craving healthy foods.
“I eat a lot of seafood, salads, and make sure my carbs have plenty of protein. I try to get my protein in first. I can eat just about anything really, just in moderation. I watch the sugar content in things. I know what triggers to stay clear of.”
Like all bariatric patients are all too familiar with, Patti knows that her procedure wasn’t a cure that would help her lose weight without any effort on her own. She finds that she has to make an effort to get enough fluids and protein, but also listen to her body’s signals on a daily basis.
Her other challenge, ironically, is making an effort to eat. Sometimes she’s simply not hungry, but knows that healthy nutrition is vital for a healthy body.
She’s also considering her options when it comes to addressing the sagging skin left from losing so much weight. Since her gastric bypass, Patti has lost 140 pounds. Her current weight is 135, which fluctuates within a normal and health range of just a few pounds of that number.
Patti’s advice to anyone considering weight loss surgery is that once you get through what she considers the most difficult part (the first 6 months), it should be smooth sailing. Just listen to your body.
“I would most definitely do the surgery again,” she says. “Dr. Bledsoe, in my opinion, is the best doctor. If you follow the rules you are given, you will be a success!”
Can’t get enough weight loss success inspiration? Check out Julie Taylor’s story.