(somber music) – Seriously, you need to drop this weight. It's killing you. I cried. I cried all the way home. I said okay, I'll do it. I'm excited to go through
this surgery because I believe on the other
side there's so many benefits to that that several years ago I would never have thought of it that way. (somber music) I'm going through this for health reasons.
My doctors really suggested
this a couple years ago and I didn't really
take it seriously then. I have cardiology problems, I've had two open heart surgeries, a triple
bypass, and two and a half years later I had my
aortic valve replaced. My heart is enlarged, it's very stiff, it's not as pliable as it should be and so kind of a walking mess. I was a chunky monkey from birth. I was eight, seven, 19 inches long. I even have pictures of
me at nine months old and I was always a chunky
child, and we had to drive from that town to Lawton,
Oklahoma, or Oklahoma City, Oklahoma just to buy my clothes because I was in the chubby
sizes, so that kind of set a thing in my mind, I'm overweight.
My parents had tried to help me with losing weight as I got a little older. When I got married at 20 I was very thin. Looking back now I thought
I was heavy as I am now. And then let's see, it
was in I want to say 2009 I had lost 50 pounds and I
was pretty thin at the time, and then we moved here to
Kansas and I started to get sick and they immediately put me on insulin.
And from that point on I
started to gain the weight. And I wish I had known more
to know how to fight it some because it's a natural thing
that it makes you hungry, and that happens to a lot of people. They put on the weight
and it's a vicious cycle because the more insulin you take, the less it is that you
can drop the weight, so that's kind of the cycle I became in. I've been on insulin since that time, like 2009 I want to say. I have been on an insulin
pump for five years. My cardiologist suggested
because of the issues that I'm having, that I
would seek out Doctor Brown and this surgery, and at
that time as we walked out of his office, my
husband and I, I said I've been through so many
surgeries, I have had so many heart caths, I just
don't want to go through another surgery, I just can't do it.
And so I didn't proceed with that. And then this summer,
which was June, I started having issues, had to go
through another heart cath, and I came back up here
and saw Doctor Bowles, my primary cardiologist
that has taken care of me all through for years,
and he said seriously, you need to drop this
weight, it's killing you. I cried, I cried all the way home. I said okay, I'll do it. At that time, I was 298, the heaviest I have ever been in my whole life ever.
And it was like a total wake up call. So we had that settled and then I started working with Amanda, the
nurse with the program, and Rebecca, dietitian,
they're awesome people, and even though I'm in Oklahoma I feel like I have a life line to them. They're easy to contact
by email, phone, whatever, I mean you don't feel like
you're just out there floating. And so that's made a whole
big difference for me too. They gave me this notebook, Amanda did, the first time I met with
them, and it breaks down your nutrition, what you will go through before your two week
liquid diet before surgery.
My problem the first week was
to get enough shakes down. Some days I'd only get two
in because they're so sweet. Through my pharmacist, she
helped me find a plant based protein shake which was such a blessing because it cuts that sweetness. I'm excited to go through
this surgery because I believe on the other side
there's so many benefits to that, that several years ago I would never have thought of it that way. The gastroparesis will be
gone because the bypass will bypass the nerve that
causes that issue in my stomach. And just to know I won't
have that anymore is awesome.
My CPAP, I don't know
how long it will take, but I know eventually I
will come off of the CPAP. And I said what about the retinopathy, do you think that that could go away? He said yes, it's very possible. I got so excited I didn't
think that was ever possible. So I kind of look at
this, it's like a redo. How many people get the chance to have a redo with their health? I mean the weight loss
is just a nice bonus. The biggest thing was
I worked for a designer years ago, his name is Manuel,
he did stuff for Johnny Cash, he did Elvis' jumpsuits,
James Dean movie stuff, you know that kind of
thing, and I was fortunate enough to work for him for a short time. But the thing that broke my heart is when I worked for
him I could never try on any of the coats in the
stores that he does. I mean here I would put
shirts together, you know, and it's like oh man just to try one.
In fact, at one party we went to, my husband was able to borrow a shirt, you know, a Manuel rhinestone
embroidered western shirt. And I thought oh wow, if I could have only borrowed a coat, I mean
it had been so easy. So that's my goal, is to
go back down to his store, he still has his store in Nashville, and try on any coat I want..