Weight Loss Surgery - Christina's Story - The Nebraska Medical Center

Uploaded by NebraskaMedCenter on 06.01.2011

I’ve been overweight always; I was a 10-pound baby. For a brief moment about six months
in high school, I got down to a goal weight and a rude woman made a rude comment that
was unwarranted and that ended that and I ate it right back on. It was first suggested
to me in ’96 that I needed to have weight-loss surgery. Thought about it, toyed with the
idea, wasn’t ready, hadn’t hit my rock bottom. It wasn’t until the summer of 2009
when I realized that I had become a prisoner (literally turned my house into a cage) and
made my 16-year-old child be the zoo keeper and if I needed to leave the house, he had
to help me. It was much easier to let him go get groceries and not leave for two, three,
sometimes four weeks at a time. And I realized that I was eating myself to death.
When I first met her, she had a list of health problems that filled up a piece of paper and
a list of medications that filled up a page and a half of her writing them out of her
medications that she had to take every day.
It was very dark and it wasn’t until I started thinking about how bad I had let it get that
I realized I didn’t want to continue that way. My kids are 18 and 22; they’re not
that old. But I couldn’t do it for me; I had to have another reason and it had to be
for my sons to not have the obligation.
I’ve lost 230 pounds in 50 weeks. I’m still losing it at the rate of about 3 pounds
a week. The rest will be gone soon.
It has several unique advantages that make it different than the other weight-loss surgery
options and the primary one is we basically take out 80 to 90 percent of their stomach
and leave a very small amount of stomach left. But the part of the stomach we take out is
the part of the stomach that seems to be what makes you hungry and so by removing it these
patients just don’t tend to be hungry for a couple of years and if you’re not hungry
all the time, it’s much easier to learn healthy eating habits and change and modify
your behavior the way you need to successfully improve your weight and health. Weight loss
surgery patients in general get to the point where they are considering surgery because
they have exhausted all of their other options. And most of them have been told by doctor
after doctor after doctor, “If you don’t lose weight, you are going to die. If you
don’t lose weight, you are not going to live as long as if you were lighter and healthier.
If you don’t lose weight, all of these health problems are going to get worse instead of
better.” So all weight-loss surgery patients sort of feel like they’ve been given a new
opportunity and a new life. Christina in particular has worked incredibly hard to lose weight.
The sleeve, just like all the other operations, is a tool. The patients still have to change
what they eat, they have to change how they eat, they have to be physically active, they
have to exercise to get the maximum benefit from this tool. And Christina has done that.
I found that if I got my on a schedule of eating at certain times, it made a difference.
Otherwise, it’s easy to forget to eat and when I get busy or get nervous or stressed,
I will forget to eat and that’s not good either. There isn’t a hunger. When they
told me, “you’re going to have a four-ounce tummy,” I thought, “Yeah, that’ll last
three weeks.” You only want four ounces and sometimes you don’t even want four ounces.
I would have never believed in a million years I would be satisfied with half of a diet yogurt.
I’ve had French fries (I’ve had two or three of them). I tasted them; they’re not
as good as I remembered. You’re not hungry and you’re full very quickly. So it makes
it very easy to follow it.
The list of health problems is decreasing every month. The list of medications she’s
taking is decreasing every month and there’s no doubt in my mind that the health benefits
that have come from it are going to give her a long life with her family and that’s what
she wants.
Yeah, I think I have a lot of things left to do and I keep coming up with more and more
ideas of places I can make a difference and things I can do. Yeah, it’s very exciting.