Bariatric Surgery Patient Stories

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Fredina Lives Life to the Fullest After Bariatric Surgery

FREDINA-BEFORE
FREDINA-AFTER

Life was very difficult. I had the hardest time getting up, and exercise was something I did not incorporate into my daily routine. My medical issues were to the point that I was on so much medicine that it was unreal. I took medication for asthma, diabetes, blood pressure, sleep apnea, and pain that resided in my joints and knees. I had a problem accepting who I had become, knowing I could do better! Here I was in my 40s feeling like I was 70 or 80 years old.

My relationship with family and friends was not the best. My attitude had changed, but I still tried to remain friendly even though on the inside I was hurting, not feeling loved or important, just unhappy. I knew then I had to make a change. The change was to live or die, to stop feeling sorry for myself, and do something about it.

My mobility and stamina issues were very difficult, not to mention breathing was a big problem as well. Going up and down the stairs was a challenge because the pain in my joints was unbearable. I did not want to walk or exercise, and because I felt tired all the time I slept instead. I tried all kinds of ways to lose weight such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and fad diets only to gain back every pound. I was so tired of what was going on with me, and I felt like there was no hope.

My aunt had gastric bypass surgery when it first came about, but I was afraid of the procedure. I started watching my aunt, who was 400 to 500 pounds, lose weight that was beyond belief. In the end she was 165 pounds, and God was truly blessing her body to where she could walk again, wow! I knew if it could work for her, then there was hope for me. After a while, I then realized I could not let my fear hold me hostage because I wanted to do better; I had to do better! I decided to get information about the surgery and learn what I had to do to go forth with the procedure.

I got the information I needed to have the surgery done. At the doctor visits, they would perform different evaluations, lab work, sleep studies, and explained to me that I had six months to lose the weight. Every bit of it was worth it, and I began to get even more excited about the procedure. After I finally completed what I had to do, the doctor cleared me to have gastric bypass. I felt excited and scared at the same time because of the possible risk and not knowing if I would come out of the surgery, making the decision even harder.

My four wonderful children, who I could not dare be without because I love them so much, were another reason I decided to go ahead and have it done. I knew I was a Christian woman and that my belief would get me through. God’s promises never change, and he promised life more abundantly. God said cast all your cares on him and he would carry them as well as you! The day of my surgery my son pleaded with me not to go forward with the procedure and said, “Please don’t have the surgery. I don’t want you to die because I can’t live without you.” My mind was made up because I had already had a talk with the Father and it was in his hands. I assured him I would be alright because I trusted God and believed he would bring me through.

Not knowing I was done with the surgery, I woke up asking the doctor when surgery would begin. Dr. Gram said the surgery was over and successful. I was taken to my room with no tubes or drains, which was a blessing in itself. I got up and walked the same day of surgery, and to my surprise my pajama pants did not even fit the same, wow! The changes in my life since surgery, lots and lots of changes were all for the better. Just looking at me, I felt better knowing a change had come. When my children saw me, my son was so happy he said, “Man you look different!” He was very pleased.

I had to get used to the way I ate because my stomach was so small. Learning how to eat small portions and waiting 30 to 45 minutes before I could drink fluids was a challenge, but I did it. After going home it was hard for me to lie down so I slept in the recliner for a while. After gastric bypass, I no longer had medical issues. My energy level had increased, I was able to move around and exercise a lot better, and I found myself not sleeping as much. All the problems I had before such as breathing all became easier.

My psychosocial issues and relationships changed for the better as well. I see myself as a person who was trapped, but now I am free. I now have a chance to be me, the person I used to know so long ago; free at last, able to live again, and feel good about me.

I realize everyone is not going to be happy about my change. I deal with the attitudes and people not liking me, but it is ok because guess what? I love me! My advice for a person who is considering having the surgery would be to go on, do what you have to do to live life to the fullest. Remember, do it for you; don’t cheat yourself any longer. There is a person waiting to be free, so free yourself from the chain and locks that hide the real person who is inside. Find yourself, free yourself!