Betsy: LAP-BAND Surgery
My name is Betsy Pope and I am 49 years old. Thinking back to my younger years, my mom always bought my clothing a little bigger so I could “grow into it”! After high school started, that was no longer necessary. The pounds started to pile on and I was always a good bit larger than my friends. After I got married, I continued to gain weight. Trying to lose in many different ways, I was finally successful losing 35 pounds with Weight Watchers. After losing the 35 pounds, my mom died and I gained those back plus more.
Losing both of my parents hit me very hard. Yes, I had a wonderful husband (who by the way has NEVER complained or criticized me about my weight) and two wonderful daughters. At the age of 43 with daughters that were 11 and 15, I found myself in an extremely surprising situation. Even though I was on birth control pills, I was pregnant! In December of 2005, I gave birth to our amazing son.
When he was 9-months-old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The weight continued to rise. After a partial mastectomy and a breast reduction (I was a 40DDD) to help the 6 weeks of radiation treatment I was required to undergo, the Lord has blessed me with 5 ½ years of no cancer.
I had previously considered surgery but my insurance didn’t cover it. Being a middle school teacher, I was on my feet most of the day. Each day, I was exhausted with no energy, heel spurs, back trouble, etc. While I was at the board teaching, I was breathless. When our son was small, he ran out the gates of a baseball field one day right out into a street. I couldn’t catch him! Luckily, there were no vehicles coming. I had a daughter in high school participating in competition cheerleading and the bleachers were such an effort to climb. My other daughter was at UGA studying Pre-Vet and the hills were excruciating to just walk from one place to another.
My husband is a farmer and I never wanted to be at the farm because of the heat and effort it took. In August of 2010, my husband was leaving the house to go for a ride on his motorcycle. At that very moment, as I watched him drive away, I made my decision to do whatever necessary to have Lap Band surgery for myself. The surgery I had was in no way a decision of vanity, but one of necessity.
I first attended a seminar of Dr. Bagnato’s and I was hooked. The six months of meetings and other requirements couldn’t pass quickly enough. Finally, I had my first appointment. I weighed in at 285 pounds. I had to go through 2 weeks of sugar busters to prepare for the surgery. Terry and the other ladies in his office were so great to work with and answered every question I had and I had plenty of them.
My surgery was scheduled for a Thursday morning, April 21, 2011. I took Thursday and Friday off from school. We were out the next week for spring break but I feel like I could have returned to school on Monday or Tuesday if we had not been out. Lap Band is certainly not a diet, but a way of life. Dr. Bagnato explained that it’s like a hammer. It’s a tool to use and if you don’t pick it up and use it, it will not work. My entire family has been so encouraging and they are so very proud of me!
I am so happy to say that I have now lost 100 pounds and I feel like a completely different person. I am hoping to lose some more and I will, but I no longer have breathlessness, my heel spurs do not bother me, my back very seldom bothers me and I am able to do most anything I feel like doing! My daughters and I can shop all day with no complaints from me! I can play with my son and get up off of the floor easily! If you are on the fence trying to make a decision, I would tell you to go for it! Dr. Bagnato gave me my life back!
SX date: April 21, 2011
Before weight: 285 BMI: 45
Current weight: 185 BMI: 28