Weight Loss Surgery, Gastric Bypass

Linda's Weight Loss Journey

Before Gastric Bypass
265 pounds

I have been overweight ever since I can remember. I tried every diet from the cabbage soup diet to the Atkins diet to lose weight. I even tried a diet that gave me night blindness, which has since improved, thank God. I had several medical problems correlated with being overweight. I had high blood pressure and hypothyroidism, and was on medication for both. My blood sugar was high and I was almost to the point of being put on medication for Type 2 Diabetes. I also had extreme back pain, and an orthopedic surgeon said I needed a disc replacement, but he could not perform the operation unless I lost at least 100 pounds. My knees were horribly achy all the time, my feet hurt, and would swell if I were on them for any length of time at all. I could no longer enjoy long walks with my husband because my knees and feet hurt too much, and I became short of breath very easily and frequently.

I had been very interested in the gastric bypass surgery, and had done a lot of research on the subject on the Internet. Then, I saw an advertisement for one of Dr. Raja's seminars, so I immediately made a reservation. I needed moral support, so I asked my husband to attend the seminar with me. When I met Dr. Raja, I felt very comfortable with his knowledge and his experience with the gastric bypass procedure. I made my first appointment for September 2, 2004, which was also my 49th birthday. My mom went with me for a long day of consultations. It was a great way to spend my birthday, knowing I was going to make a long-term difference in my life.

After Gastric Bypass 139 pounds

I worked on the goals the Bridges Center gave me, and once I was finished, I went back to the office for my pre-operative visit. At the visit, I learned that I had actually lost weight with the prescribed practice diet and the exercise goals. I scheduled my surgery for November 10, 2004. On that day, I had the most drastic but most needed change in my life. I was ready for whatever would happen next. I had very few problems after my surgery, and went from 265 pounds, to my lowest weight of 139 pounds.

On my 50th birthday the next year, I was asked if it bothered me to be 50. I told everyone that I was fine with being 50 because I looked and felt better at 50 than I did at 49. The first of many wonderful moments was when I was able to chase and catch my 7 grandchildren without feeling winded or being in pain. It was such a great feeling to run into someone I knew and had not seen in a while and watch them try to figure out who I was. That was the best. I really enjoy going to clothing stores, and being able to dress like I feel, instead of feeling old and tired all the time. One of my biggest accomplishments since having gastric bypass was entering in my first 5k walk/run 9 months after my surgery and I finished in about 45 minutes. The highest compliment I have received from my grandchildren was the first time one of them hugged me and could reach all the way around me, and said, "Look Ma, I can give you a good bear hug now." People have asked me if I would do this again, and my response is always, "In a heartbeat."

- Linda Hanneman


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