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Presurgery Weight: 282 pounds
I have been dieting since I was 18. I’ve tried everything from the “holding your breath when you are hungry” diet to the more extreme prescriptions, such as Meridia. Always saying the same thing, “This one will work” or “I’ll start again on Monday.” But this time it had to work, right? I was getting married! This time I would have the willpower, right?
I weighed 248 pounds. At five-foot-three, I was morbidly obese—more than 100 pounds over my ideal weight. I pretended to be happy, but inside I was miserable. I realized that I was never going to lose the weight on my own. I had tried everything. I believe each person has a defining moment when they realize that they need to make a dramatic change.My wedding came and went, but a week before my wedding, I had to have the entire dress let out. I spent a lot of time telling myself, “I don’t need surgery. I can do this on my own!” All that got me was more weight gain, knees that hurt and high blood pressure.
I was never full. I would eat a large dinner and an hour later I’d be ready for dinner again. Many nights I would cry myself to sleep. I even lost my true passion, riding motorcycles. I was just too large and uncomfortable to ride anymore. The last straw was when we were going to Disneyland, and the night before I had a dream that I was too big to fit on a ride and they made me get off. That’s when I knew I couldn’t do this on my own. I surrendered to myself. It was time to get help.
I started attending seminars at different hospitals to get more information about gastric bypass surgery and always left feeling like a number and with no peace of mind. The last seminar I attended was Dr. George Mueller’s at Sharp Memorial Hospital. I felt very insecure as I walked into the building. I was greeted immediately not by staff, but by Dr. Mueller himself. He made me feel at ease immediately by joking around and treating me like a person, not a number. I left feeling well-informed and knew this was the right choice.
As I proceeded with the weight-loss surgery program [potential bariatric patients at Sharp Memorial Hospital attend an informational seminar, consult with a psychiatrist, nutritionist and bariatric specialist and have their insurance verified prior to surgery approval], I became more convinced I had made the right choice with Sharp. I continued to speak with people who had gone elsewhere to compare notes. It seemed Sharp’s program was stricter and more thorough, which made me feel comfortable. Dr. Mueller takes no chances, and gave me every opportunity to succeed. The program covers every aspect, from physical to mental changes, so you are well prepared for what follows surgery. Looking back now, I can’t tell you just how invaluable that became.
From the time I made my decision to have Roux-en-Y laparoscopic bypass surgery to the time I got approved was very stressful and frustrating. There are so many steps to complete, but the program helps prepare you. I thought I would never get the surgery, and then the call finally came: “You got approved! You get the surgery! … Jodie?”
I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say. I hung up the phone and let it sink in a bit. Then the tears flooded down my face. I was no longer destined to a life of confinement, high blood pressure, diabetes and, eventually, an early death. I was given another shot at life. Follow more of Jodie's weight-loss journey.
For More Information
If you would like to start your own weight-loss journey at Sharp HealthCare, learn more by attending a free informational seminar. To register, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277) or register online at Sharp weight-loss surgery seminar.