Weight Loss Surgery, Gastric Bypass

Jackie's Weight Loss Journey

Before Gastric Bypass
260 pounds

I have been hot and uncomfortable since I was 30. At almost 300 pounds, a girl can really overheat and perspire a lot. I remember thinking, "I am having hot flashes. Maybe that is just part of being a woman at my age." But really, I was just hot.

I tried at least 2 new programs a year, for 25 or more years, which adds up to a lot of money, as well as destroyed hopes and dreams. I'm not sure when I gave up.

In the beginning of 2005, I found it difficult to tie my shoes or retrieve an object on the floor. At the end of a 12 hour shift at Odessa Regional Hospital, my feet and legs were so swollen that I couldn't bend my knees. I had pain in every part of my body. My blood pressure was very high despite taking daily medication to treat it. My cholesterol was 280. I also had gastric reflux and urinary stress incontinence. I was so short of breath that I could barely walk through a parking lot to my car. I was afraid the day when I would no longer be able to work was coming soon.

The final straw was when my granddaughter came to visit and I had no lap for her to sit on. As she grew, I had great difficulty carrying her. I could not prop her on my hip because she just slid down the rolls of fat. I feared I would not be here to enjoy being a grandmother. I begged God for help. I remember I was eating with a friend one day and she commented, "I just need to eat a little bit." I longed for that attitude toward food.

Eleven months after
Gastric Bypass
182 pounds

After years of struggling to lose weight, I decided to have gastric bypass surgery on March 6, 2007. It took a lot of hard work and time to get my insurance company to approve the procedure. During that time, I talked with God and made many bargains and promises. I was determined to follow the doctor's orders to improve my success.

Now, my blood pressure is normal, my cholesterol is 130, and I can walk a mile in 17 minutes! It feels so good to stand up straight, with my shoulders back, and walk full stride while swinging my arms. I can work my 12 hour shift and not leave in total pain. My feet and legs no longer swell. I can eat "just a little bit" and be satisfied. I can now buy clothing off the rack at a regular store and no longer have to special order my size. I can play with my granddaughter at the park and go down the slide. She can sit on my lap because I have one, and I can easily carry her on my hip now that I can find it. I am so thankful that my prayers were answered and that my cries for help were acknowledged. The staff at Bridges has been so good to me, validating my fears and now my joy. My family and friends are genuinely thrilled to see me so healthy and happy. I am blessed and thank God for answering my prayers and sending me the help I needed. I am proud to say I have been hot since I was 30, but now it's not because of the temperature.

- Jackie Rodriguez


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