Patient of the Month – Robyn
I was always the chubby kid in class growing up. All the other girls were petite and girly. I was the odd ball, tom-boy who played with legos and the boys down the street not the Barbie dolls. I enjoyed riding my bicycle everywhere. I enjoyed swimming at the community pool every summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day, sun up to sun down. However, I also loved to snack. I enjoyed chips and dip, cookies and especially my grandmother’s homemade cake icing. My grandmother and aunt made wedding cakes. My aunt would bake the cake, and then my grandmother would decorate the cakes. After many times finding finger streaks through her icing bucket she started making me my own batch in a cool whip bucket. She also spoiled me with my snacks – my favorite was white wonder bread with Fleischman’s soft squeeze butter and white sugar. That was my snack in the afternoon at her house. I came by my size naturally. I had been lucky to receive the genes from both sides of my family to be on the large size.
I had tried for years to get healthy and get my weight under control. I tried fad diets, programs and diet and exercise. I would lose a little but never enough. I was married and we wanted to get pregnant. I went off birth control pills in April 2005 and did not have a cycle till September 2005. I went to my OB/GYN and he gave me clomid. We got pregnant the first time; unfortunately it did not take, 5 weeks and 5 days. I gained so much weight so quickly it did not come off. I was almost 300 lbs by that point. The marriage didn’t last and I have been working on getting healthy ever since.
After the divorce the main reason I started worrying about my health was that of my mother’s passing in 1999 at the age of 54. My mother was diagnosed with late stage Ovarian Cancer on May 15, 1998. She died September 6, 1999. I was very much my mother’s daughter. We both were large women, had irregular cycles and had tried to lose weight many times. After her death I did my research into Ovarian cancer. The leading cause of this reproductive cancer so far is PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It is a collection of issues revolving around unbalanced hormones causing many different symptoms. The most dangerous one is that of not having a regular cycle. Without birth control pills I would not have a cycle but twice a year.
Recently I also found out that I had severe acid reflux and already had an ulcer. That was news to me as I never thought that I had heart burn. There were many nights though I would wake up running to the bathroom gasping for air as I was aspirating the acid and that would make me sick. My father has Barrett’s Syndrome – due to his acid reflux his esophagus has eroded and he has to be checked regularly for signs of esophageal cancer. I was heading in that direction quickly. It came down to being at the right frame of mind and realizing that I needed a tool that would help both acid reflux problem and my weight.
Enter The Center for Surgical Weight loss and Dr. Weaver. I had my consultation and we discussed all my current issues and I even asked about body temperature issues. I have always been HOT natured. She said that is her biggest complaint from her patients is going from hot natured to being cold all the time. I told her she would never hear me complain about being cold! I am cold now but I can add a sweater! We discussed the sleeve procedure, but once we realized that the acid reflux would only get worse we decided the gastric bypass would be the best option.
After surgery I was amazed at how the weight started to come off. I started by eating about 4-6 times a day. I ate a lot of homemade deer chili in the beginning. I made a large batch and portioned it out in small containers of 4.2 oz each. I would not eat it all but at least I had it there and I knew how much I could handle. At home and at work for the first four and a half months I wore a “control” type cami top to help with my posture & holding in my stomach.
Since surgery I have not had I episode of acid reflux at all. I have also had regular cycles since surgery; I am off birth control for the first time since I was 18 years old. While at work I eat 2 meals and a small snack. I still drink a warm decaf tea every morning and ½ of a Greek nonfat yogurt. For lunch I try to get a much protein as I can; salmon, shrimp or chicken as the base. Then when I get home I again try to eat a base of protein and veggies. I have prefer Isopure to the milk based protein drinks right now. On the weekends I tend to graze all day long on what I have at home, mostly protein. Since day of surgery I have gone from a size 18/20 in slacks and 2 or 3 XL in tops to I am in a size 8/10 in slacks and M/L in tops. That translates from 234.5 lbs day of surgery to today I am 154.4 lbs. I graduated High School at 155 lbs wearing a size 16.
I could never thank Dr. Weaver and her staff enough on how they have changed and saved my life.
I just had my 6 month check in and was asked what my new weight goal is… I said, “If I stopped losing weight today, I would be ok with that.”