Bariatric Surgery Patient Stories


Laverne Gains Confidence and a New Wardrobe After Bariatric Surgery


I started my weight loss journey over six years ago. I enrolled in an intense weight loss program with a beginning weight of approximately 393 lbs. Over a period of five years, my weight fluctuated from 393, down to 365, and back up to 402, 416, and more. Diagnosed medical conditions aggravated me to the point that I never thought I would lose weight effectively, nor progressively no matter how hard I tried.

Finally, due do medical reasons, all of my doctors agreed with me that a permanent weight loss surgery accompanied with my current age would be my only way out.

During my attempts to comply with the directives of the nutritionists, clinic nurses, and my doctors, my morale only deteriorated more. I was unable to walk, run, and even sit. I had already had a total knee replacement on one of my knees, and the other knee had no knee cap at all. Therefore, hardcore exercises were not an option for me. I was unable to run because that would have caused harm to my joints; and sitting caused swelling. My walking would cause me to begin breathing heavily, which then would trigger the heavy sweating, shortness of breath, and swelling in my major extremities.

My marriage was affected by the weight I had gained over the years, and so was the attention I was willing to give to my children. I was afraid to walk distances for my children’s activities because I would wonder if I could walk in and not be the last person to exit the buildings and fields due to my weight. I would become so tired from attempting to keep up until I felt like I was a burden to others. My husband didn’t pay attention to me anymore.

There were rare occasions when he would take me out. I didn’t like simple social gatherings because I was ashamed of the weight I had gained. I couldn’t even fit into the chair that was being provided in places where I would visit. I was frightened to the point of just not attending at all. Just looking at other females dancing and entering places we would go began to depress me. When we traveled on the airlines, I would have to sit to the far side near the window and wear shades to pretend to be asleep and un-attentive to other passengers boarding to take attention off the vacant seat next to me. My purse would be in the seat directly beside me to keep others from asking me to move it for the seat to be used. I was often afraid of being asked to purchase two tickets during a trip.

I became afraid that I wouldn’t live to see my children grow up, or have my grandchildren and share in their lives in a healthy manner. When my grandchildren would play ball and have cheerleading tryouts, I couldn’t go because I was unable to walk or sit long periods of time. My desire is to really live a long time and share in my children’s lives, and the upbringing of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and more. I desired to grow with them and to tell the stories of the older days. However, with the excessive weight, my chances were beginning to be very slim for prolonged life.

Later, during the weight loss process, I began to develop other medical conditions I had never imagined that I would become diagnosed with. I had been diagnosed the CHF, Cardiac Ischemia, MVT, DVT, Hypertension, Asthma, Degenerative Arthritis, MVP, Anxiety, and Cancer. These diagnoses and the ongoing hospital admissions became the decision-making factor to proceed with this surgery. After an evaluation of my medical conditions, my doctors proceeded with the plan for surgery.

To-date, I have lost approximately 100 lbs. since my gastric-bypass surgery in March 14, 2012. I feel lighter and I’m beginning to feel better as the days go by. My clothing is no longer fitting me, and I proceeded with a new wardrobe. My shoe size is down by two sizes. I’ve been able to shop in stores I’ve never attempted to enter before. My confidence level is higher. I’ve begun receiving more and more compliments on my appearance. To hear not only men, but other women compliment me on the beauty they see in me is definitely a big plus.

Today, I thank God! Then, I thank God for keeping me alive and working my doctor’s hands and knowledge to successfully perform this surgery (Dr. Richard Stahl). I thank all of Dr. Stahl’s staff and others who played a part in the success for surgery.