Elizabeth: LAP-BAND Surgery

Elizabeth: LAP-BAND Surgery

I want to begin this testimonial by saying that Dr. Bagnato and Palmyra Bariatric Institute has definitely changed my life not only physically but mentally…and for the positive!

I will not begin with a sad, sob story about how I was a lonely over-weight child/teen and all the problems and drama that came along with it because most everyone that has had the Lap-Band surgery has probably had similar stories and can relate to my journey through all that. I am not going to retell all the rollercoaster trips on the many other failed diets that I had tried over the years, or the disappointment of regaining the lost weight plus extra weight and embarrassment of explaining why “I” failed again! I am going to explain my decision to choose Lap-Band, Dr. B. and Palmyra Bariatric.

My wonderful husband, Jeff, has listened to me whine and cry and cry and cry and drive me to stores that only carry larger sizes so I could attend functions during his 20 year military career. I never felt like I really fit in with the other cute, tiny, little military wives. One day as we were having lunch at a Subway sandwich shop in Texas, where we were stationed, we were having conversation and to be honest, I do not ever remember how the conversation turned to weight, but he offered to put his re-enlistment bonus toward Lap-Band surgery for me if I was interested. If I Was Interested! If I Was Interested! I was appalled! Now after all these years he finally expressed his true feelings! I just got up and left! I cried all the way home! Come to find out, he had researched some local docs and the procedure’s safety risks to enlighten me in case I was interested. I was not ready…that was 2007.

Fast forward to 2009: My wonderful husband let that roll off his back (unlike me…who pouted and ate for a couple of days!), and has retired from the military, our 2 girls are older and we have moved from Texas back to Valdosta, Georgia, my hometown. Our first summer here, of course, as a family, we have to go to Wild Adventures. My youngest daughter has never ridden a roller coaster before and wanted me to ride the Swamp Thing with her. I tell her I will because I love roller coasters! Well, we get in line, wait our turn, get to our car…and…mom can barely fit! After I tuck everything into the seat and pull the bar down, the turns were so uncomfortable. I wanted to cry and ended up with bruises on my hips for several days afterwards. That’s was in the summer! My parents have a pool…I barely even took the kids over to use a FREE pool all summer because I didn’t want to wear a swimsuit! So, November 2009, Jeff was brave enough to ask again (That’s a soldier, for ya, going back into battle with his heart on his sleeve!)! This time, I knew I better take him up on his offer because I probably wouldn’t get another chance!

Right then and there, the two of us jumped on the internet and Dr. B.’s website was first up! I usually don’t go to the first site, but this time, it called to me! I called and got so much great info right off the bat, we decided to go over and check it out! Everyone was so nice and listened even though it was such an emotional trip, and I couldn’t help but cry every time someone asked me a question! Just couldn’t believe I was actually making the effort to do something about my weight for good! Jeff and I came home, discussed the surgery, made the finally decision and had a surgical date within 2 weeks…1 week before Christmas of all times…Dec. 17, 2009! Happy New Year to Me!

When I went in for my pre-op appointment with Dr. B., I felt so comfortable with him. He told me straight forward that if I kept up my present habits, I probably would not be around for my kids and family. My health was beginning to deteriorate at the age of 40, and my knees were about shot. My blood pressure was beginning to go up, and I was experiencing reflux. I had a history of migraines and upper back pain. Dr. B. never promised to heal all my ailments, but he could probably decrease my symptoms with the surgery, not to mention my quality of life! I said lets go for it! So it was on…

I had the surgery on Dec. 17, 2009, with no complications, other than a long drive back to Valdosta. Yes, I knew I was not supposed to lift anything or do anything the next day…here we go…my confessions…but I felt so good…I did do some laundry under supervision and protesting of my mother and had to wrap “Special” gifts because I ran out of time before the surgery and school was to let out for Christmas break that day…ok…it’s out! Sorry, Dr. B…I suppose I have one more confession to make…this is a personal one…I have really stuck to the diet all the way through, but I really only expected to lose 30 to 40 pounds from the entire experience. From the first 3 weeks of modified soft diet, I lost 25 pounds. I was shocked! I never really had a “goal.” Everyone kept asking…I would answer, “As much as I can!”

I continued with fills. Eventually worked to no bread, no rice, no broccoli (lots of gas), LOTS of protein, small bites, and NO beverages while eating (for Michelle! LOL!)! When I hit the 80 pound mark, I cried! I had never been that weight before! But now I will tell you a quick sad story…I went to a mall in North Carolina when we were on vacation. I saw a blouse that I thought was very pretty and bought it without trying it on because I was in a hurry. When I got home to GA., I tried it on and it wouldn’t fit. I was so disappointed, so I gave it to my 13 year old daughter who was thrilled.

At the 80 pound mark, I developed a new attitude, things don’t bother me as much. I just let things roll now. I don’t ruminate on things and use food as company. Now, I get out and become active when I need to think and found getting out of the house adds to your number of face-to-face friends! At the 80 pound mark, I decided that if I can hit 80 pounds, what the heck? I can hit 100 pounds! I made it to 97.…and stalled! But that’s ok!!!! That might be where God wanted me to be in the first place! But I am in a GREAT PLACE! My back no longer hurts, my cholesterol and blood pressure are within normal limits! My migraines are few and far between! My knees are good enough to walk in some 5ks with my marathon-running child! And I am in a size 8/10! Yes, I went from a size 22/24/26 to 8/10 (242 pounds on surgery day to 145 pounds last weigh-in)! And remember that sad story of the blouse that didn’t fit? It does now! And I took it back from my daughter! She was not happy! LOL! I am Great!

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