Carolyn: LAP-BAND Surgery
My name is Carolyn Starling and I am 63 years old. I have been overweight all of my adult life. After losing our baby girl, I fed my depression through my 2 other pregnancies and for the next 35 years. In addition to the weight spiraling upward, I developed high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, a sleep disorder, thyroid problems and depression. Medication was prescribed to help me control these problems. I remember how devastating the words “morbidly obese” were to me when my ob/gyn wrote them down on my file after my children were born. I was in my mid 20s then. Those two words haunted me daily for many years.
When my children were preschoolers, I frequently took them to the city pool in the afternoons when I returned home from work. My boys always begged me to go swimming with them but I was embarrassed to put on a swimsuit. I didn’t even want them to see me in a swimsuit. So, in desperation at their repeated begging me to go in with them, I told them that “they don’t let fat people swim at this pool.” This settled the issue then and as far as I was concerned, forever! UNTIL, one day we arrived at the pool and as we approached the entrance, I noticed another mother sitting on the edge of the pool with her children at her feet. She was severely overweight. Just as my mind was processing this tender maternal moment, my 5 year old spotted her and yelled out in overwhelming joy, “Look Mama! They do let fat people swim here.” The only thing that kept me from choking my precious, sweet, loud mouth darling was the fact that I was too stunned to move or breathe. I realized then something was dreadfully wrong if I had to lie to my children to avoid the reality of my condition.
For decades I tried many diets, plans, exercise routines and pills in an effort to find a magic cure for overeating. At one point my weight reached 280 lbs. Some of the things I tried were successful for a while, but I was not able to gain control until I made the life changing decision to have Lap Band surgery.
Two summers ago, my husband and I took our grandchildren to Panama City for a day of fun at the beach. The wind was up that day and I decided it best to get in the water with the girls although they were in round inner tube floats. Shortly after I entered the water, a wave pushed me down and I could not get up. I tried and tried to get up, but literally could not raise myself up long enough to balance before another wave knocked me down. All the while, my grandchildren were floating away from me. Luckily they were in no eminent danger and I finally managed to get my bearings, but this was the pivotal event in my life that made me realize that my weight was totally out of control. I thought a lot about that day at the beach and knew I had to do something.
I heard about Dr. Bagnato’s high success rate with Lap Band surgery and attended several seminars to learn more. For anyone considering Lap Band surgery, I strongly recommend attending the pre-surgery seminars. They confirmed in my mind that this was the answer for my dilemma. After much prayer, I felt God had provided this opportunity for me to regain control of my life.
I had surgery in April 2011 and have not had one regret or one moment of doubt of whether this was the right thing for me to do. I am no longer on any meds for blood pressure, depression, thyroid, or diabetes and I no longer need the bi-pap machine at night. I feel better than I can ever remember feeling as an adult. Both my self esteem and confidence have been restored. I am able to do things with my grandchildren I was unable to do with their parents when they were growing up. I praise God for guiding me to the person who gave me the tools to reclaim my life. Thank you Dr. Bagnato!!
Pre-op wt. 260 BMI 42
Current wt. 185 BMI 29.9