Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Reality Check on Weight Loss Surgery

     Today’s post is a guest post from Denise Tyssens, a patient at Meritus Health’s Weight Loss Center. –Kayla

     Three years ago, I had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and joint pain. I was diabetic, and closing in on weighing 300 pounds. I tried dieting with my bible study group and Weight Watchers, but every time I’d lose the weight, I’d gain it right back again.

     As a nurse, I knew something had to change, but it wasn’t until I got the results from a health survey that I knew I could face heart disease in the next five years. That’s when I began to soul-search and pray. I ran into a friend that had lap band surgery done out of town. It sparked my interest, but I wanted the convenience and reassurance of a local doctor. After doing my research, I chose Meritus Health’s Weight Loss Center.

     In April of 2009, I had laparoscopic gastric banding surgery. It took just four little incisions to divide my stomach into two sections. The upper section now holds only about 1/2 cup of food—that’s how you lose the weight. I came home the day after my surgery confident in how I needed to eat because the Weight Loss Center spent so much time preparing me.

     Things are different for me now. I follow the “band rules.” I eat three times a day, finish my protein first, avoid pasta, and never drink soda. I listen to my body and eat slowly. When I go out to dinner, I ask for a small plate and split an entrĂ©e with my husband. The lap band is there so I don’t overeat.

     I’m 81 pounds lighter now and off seven medications. I’m still diabetic, but don’t need nearly as much medication as before. This year I turn 55, but I feel like I’m in my 30s! My joints don’t hurt and I’ve gone back to doing craft fairs with my husband and running around with my grandkids. I’m four dress sizes smaller and some my patients don’t recognize me! Lap banding isn’t an easy fix. It’s really a tool to keep me from gaining weight—but it’s worth it.

Denise, 81 pounds lighter! 
By Denise Tyssens

1 comment:

  1. Good for you Denise! Many of us have this struggle. Like you, I've tried Weight Watchers, Atkins, Carbohydrate Addicts and many other diets to lose the weight. What worked best for me was 1. Phen-Fen (which was pulled off the market for safety concerns) w/exercise. 2. Liquid meal supplements from my local hospital. I lost about 47 lbs with the liquid diet. While it was great, it was difficult for me to maintain my weight loss after returning to food, despite knowing what to do. Even though I knew what to do, I still ate uncontrollably and ate foods that weren't healthful. I truly think my heart wasn't in it. I think when you lose weight, it needs to be an overhaul of how you think of food, yourself, and your body. It's easy to stick to meal supplements but difficult to keep that up after returning to food. My point is, that weight loss is a commitment of mind, body and spirit. I commend you for taking the steps to get healthier and doing what it takes to stay on that path.