Weight Loss Surgery, Gastric Bypass

Linda's Weight Loss Journey

Before Gastric Bypass
268 pounds
After Gastric Bypass
128 pounds

I could never be overweight! Boy, was I kidding myself. By the time I made it to age thirty-five, I was a few pounds overweight, but nothing drastic. Then, in 1992 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Medications in the form of steroids helped, but at a cost, because I was no longer slightly overweight.

Before I knew it, I was forty pounds overweight. I figured forty pounds was no big deal. There were people who were hundreds of pounds overweight. I would never let it get to that point. It was that type of attitude and thinking that got me to the heaviest I had ever been, two hundred and sixty-eight pounds.

Walking became difficult; I would get leg cramps, my feet would hurt, and I would get winded. I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes last year. I was also having problems sleeping and I couldn't understand why I was so sleepy during the day. I realized I was heading in the same direction as some of my family members, and it wouldn't be long before I was suffering from the same health problems.

My cardiologist had me do a sleep study to find out why I was having difficulty sleeping. As a result, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, a condition in which an individual actually stops breathing during deep sleep. I was fitted with a machine called a CPAP that I had to wear on my face at night while I slept.

My cardiologist also told me that I had a Left Bundle Branch Block and Mitral Valve Prolapse, and that it would really be in my best interest if I tried to lose some weight. That was not where I wanted to be at that stage of my life. I started taking all the medications my doctors prescribed and started using my CPAP machine every night, but I wanted to do more to improve my health.

I had thought about having some kind of weight loss surgery, but I have to admit it scared me a little. My youngest sister had the surgery three years ago and it was successful; she lost one hundred and eighty pounds and has kept it off. This began to motivate me to look into the possibility of having surgery to help me lose weight. I certainly had health issues that I needed to address, and I was the only one that could make a difference in my health.

I spoke to my sister at length about her experience with the weight loss surgery and decided to attend one of the seminars with the Bridges Center for Surgical Weight Loss. Dr. Raja was very informative and answered all of my questions at the seminar. I was on my way to improving my health, I had the support of my family, my job, and my insurance.

I started the process, which required several diagnostic tests and letters of clearance from my physicians; they were very encouraging. My physicians told me that I was doing the best thing ever for my health and that I would be adding years to my life.

My surgery took place on July 9th of this year, and even though it has only been a little over four months, I have already lost eighty-five pounds! Dr. Raja expects me to reach one hundred percent of my goal. One of the most important things I tried to have was a very positive attitude about the surgery, and Dr. Raja along with his staff helped me develop and maintain this philosophy so I could reach that goal. I feel like I have been given a second chance at having a healthy life. I exercise regularly, am eating healthier than I ever have and I feel good about it. I don't feel deprived or restricted in any way. If I had it to do over again, I would have the surgery a hundred times over! Thanks Dr. Raja!

- Linda Tavera  
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