Client Profile: Mary
The journey that led me to the Sky Ridge program and Dr. Chae began in February 2006 when I visited my primary care physician seeking an explanation for my swollen ankles. Congestive heart disease was a possibility so I was sent to a cardiologist for tests that proved my heart was in good shape but I was overweight, as I had been for most of my life. The cardiologist then referred me to a pulmonologist who administered several more tests and determined I had sleep apnea. I didn't want to be on a CPAP machine so he referred me to yet another specialist who believed I could be cured with surgery to carve off some of my soft palette and fix my deviated septum. But, that surgery seemed awfully drastic and the side effects described were not going to be pleasant. All the doctors I saw agreed that weight loss definitely would help my situation. After 30 years of trying diets, programs, pills, and fads, I was just worn out.
Even though I exercised at least five times per week and was watching my diet, I was not losing weight. My cholesterol numbers were high, my sugar levels were bordering on diabetes, and my blood pressure was going up. The fear of developing additional health problems and possibly shortening my life, led me to look for program in which I would once again pay money to lose weight that I would probably gain back in a year or two. During my research, I learned about the gastric band procedure as a less invasive alternative to gastric bypass surgery. I had my surgery just before Thanksgiving in 2007, thinking "what better time to test my ability to stick with a weight loss program than through the holidays?" Little did I know that my weight loss would be so significant the following year that people only recognized me because I was with my husband!
My first post-surgery year was spent losing a lot of weight and I was delighted with the results. This second year, I continued losing weight and I actually lost too much. With 132 pounds of weight gone, I was looking very gaunt and had developed an irritation in my esophagus. To cure this, I had to have the entire fill taken out of my band, heal and then have my band refilled. Although I gained some of the weight back during this break, I felt and looked so much better. Year two I focused on exercise and getting in shape.
Now that I am in year three, I am continuing to exercise but find I have to watch what I eat to maintain my weight, just like everyone else. The difference is that now I am the size I want to be and it's a huge incentive to stay this way! My life is GREAT! My hope is that more general physicians will recommend bariatric surgery as an option to their obese patients who have lost, and regained, hundreds of pounds over the years.