Client Profile: Ron
My story began when I was very young and being inducted into the "Clean Plate Club." Many kids in my age group and older can remember not being allowed to leave the table until their plate was clean because there were starving kids somewhere in the world. You can't waste food! In addition, there was just a love of food in my family--especially around the holidays.
I have always been big and tall. So, I held my weight well. Everyone, including me, thought I just required more food to function. Of course, I didn't say no when it was being offered and it went down without a problem! After a while, I stopped limiting myself with food.
In my youth, I was overweight enough to be called fat but not enough where it limited me in playing sports or other activities. I just wasn't the fastest and I sweated more than everyone else!
From my early teens to the present (except for three years of working in an office), I've always worked a manual labor job. I was able to eat what I wanted as I would more than likely burn it off just doing my job. What I didn't realize was that as I progressed in my truck driving career, I was doing less manual labor and more sitting behind the wheel just driving. Still eating the same amount of food in a given day and slowly blowing up.
In August 2009, I weighed in at nearly 370 pounds. My wife and I have a four-year old son and he wants to play. I had been thinking about and researching gastric bypass surgery for about three years. At this point, I had been off my high blood pressure medication for a couple of years through a change in diet. But, my cholesterol and triglycerides were still jacked up. I had been taking medication for that for almost four years and nothing was really changing. I got annoyed at myself enough to ask my doctor if he knew anyone that did the surgery. He gave me the number to Dr. Frank Chae and I had a consultation with him.
Before After After meeting Dr. Chae, my fear and any other hang-ups about having the surgery were put to rest. He answered all my questions. He even gave me his cell number telling me to call him anytime if I thought of anything else. These days, it's rare to have a doctor make himself that accessible. I also met his nutritionist, Kelly Elliot. It was clear she was a wealth of knowledge when it came to food, nutrition and the successful relationship one can have with food. I left with a good feeling about doing the surgery but the "when" became the question. I put their business cards in my pocket and left the office.
In November 2009, I received a call from my doctor's office asking me to come in to discuss my monthly blood results face-to-face and ASAP. My doctor suspected Hepatitis A, but thankfully they determined it was a fatty liver. My liver was being destroyed by the amount of fat it had to filter out of my blood. That was my "Ah-Ha" moment! I left his office feeling terrible and knowing I had to get this surgery done if I was going to see my son graduate high school. Two weeks later, another unfortunate event happened. I wrecked my concrete mixer on an icy road and my company fired me, which gave me plenty of time off.
Following my rehabilitation from the accident, I began the three-month process of getting ready for the surgery. Satisfying the requirements of the insurance company was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Everyone in Dr. Chae's office was very professional and made it happen. During this time, I began attending the monthly support groups at Sky Ridge. I met great people and was able to ask many questions. My big concern was if they had any regrets with the surgery. The overwhelming answer to that was, "I wish I had done it sooner." Right then and there, I knew I made the right decision. My surgery was February 27, 2010 and I weighed 365 pounds.
Surgery went well and I was home in three days. This was a complete life change for me, but I was determined to make it work. Armed with Kelly Elliot's post-surgery booklet, I've made it through every step of the post-surgery process. In July, I began working with a personal trainer. I attained my goal of 225 pounds on October 27, 2010. Currently, I weigh between 215 and 220 pounds. For the first time in about 20 years, I actually feel good about my appearance!
I want to thank Dr. Chae for being the great surgeon and person that he was to me and will continue to be to all his future patients. Thanks for being the catalyst for my success. Thank you to Kelly Elliot for being the encyclopedia of nutrition and food that someone like me needed to meet. Your encouragement throughout this process helped me to realize my weight loss goal.
Thank you to Chris Hanenburg from The Gym in Castle Rock for giving me the confidence to finally get off my butt and really work out. I'm on my way to being in better shape than I was when I was a teenager. You are the trainer to be reckoned with. Thank you to the wonderful people I've become friends with at Kelly's support group at Sky Ridge. Your shared experiences and encouragement have helped me more than you'll ever know. Most of all, I want to thank my wife, Billie Ann, and my son Brendan. While not on board at first, due to fear of losing me, you have come around to be my biggest supporters. That has enabled me to be the husband and father you both deserve. I love you both.
If any of what I have written here rings true to you, PLEASE make an appointment with Dr. Chae. I promise you will not regret it. YOU WILL GET YOUR LIFE BACK! You will join the rest of us in saying, "WHY THE HELL DIDN'T I DO THIS SOONER?!"