Audrey: LAP-BAND Surgery
Before the Lap Band, I thought I was destined to live a life I didn’t like, hiding and settling for what was ‘appropriate’ for a fat girl because every attempt to lose the weight was always in vain. Not everybody really understands what it means to have always been big and to be made fun of your entire life. Plus, when I say ‘entire life,’ I do mean exactly that. I came out of the womb measuring at the hundredth percentile on every growth chart, and I didn’t stop there. At 20, I was 6 feet tall, with a BMI of 46, wearing a size 24. Being dealt this kind of card, you learn quickly just how judgmental people really are, and how cruel they can be. Everything you do and say becomes so restricted, and I had it down to an art. I developed irrational fears, only because I was scared of what other people thought. I had convinced myself I didn’t want to travel, when really I was scared of the embarrassment of having to ask for an extender on my seatbelt. I had to act like I didn’t like to swim much, when I was really afraid of being seen in a swimsuit. These examples are the tip of the iceberg; my weight limited everything I did!
In October of 2011, I started seeking help for my weight for what seemed like the millionth time with my OBGYN. After various labs, he told me that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and that I am insulin resistant. He let me know that diabetes is definitely in my future, closer than I could imagine, unless I got in control of my weight. Didn’t he know I’ve tried everything though? After giving me Adipex again, for the umpteenth time, and absolutely no new advice to help my situation, I began my own research. Surgery always seemed too extreme to me, but I felt like I was out of options, something had to give! The Lap Band was the best surgical option for me because of its safety. The minute I started looking for a surgeon, Dr.Bagnato was the first to appear at the top of my screen. After seeing his seminar, I was convinced this was a great idea. I called, made an appointment, participated in a weight loss program, and jumped through all the hoops for my insurance company. Finally, I got approved and scheduled. The surgery wasn’t a terrible experience at all, and I was back at work the next week. I was surprised about how easy everything was.
One hundred pounds later, my entire life has changed, and I’m still surprised about how easy this was. I want to do everything; everything I’ve ever held back on, and everything new that comes my way. For the first time in my life I feel like I can be proud of who I am, just how I am. I am smaller and healthier now than I was in middle school, with so much more opportunity than ever before. A few months after my surgery, I was privileged when Dr.Bagnato and the staff here at Palmyra agreed to let me become part of their team. I now spend my days helping people who were feeling exactly like me. I enjoy eating clean and getting fit because it’s easier now than ever before. On the weekends, I love being outside and finding other fun things to do. There is no more hiding out for this girl! My new plan is to see and know as much as possible, and this drive was developed during my weight loss journey. I definitely have to give a HUGE thank you to Dr. Bagnato, Jeni, Missy, Terri, Erika, Ashby, Merrilyn, and Margaret for so much encouragement and support.
Surgery Date: July 2012
Before weight: 353 BMI 46
Current weight: 243 BMI: 33
Total weight loss: 110