I want to offer a special thanks to Rita Phillips
for sharing her story with us. Here is her story:
I am Rita Phillips, a registered respiratory therapist with Foundation
Bariatric Hospital of Oklahoma (FBHOK) and am an eight-month post-op bariatric
I have worked at FBHOK since the facility opened
its doors in January of 2006. At that time I weighed 287 pounds.
Although dedicated to my work in healthcare, I did not agree with
weight loss surgery because I had been exposed to patients with bad
outcomes at my previous job. I vowed that I would never choose weight
loss surgery because I thought it was the lazy way out and just too
risky. By mid 2007, I changed my mind.
I am a trained caregiver and a loving daughter
In April 2007, while visiting my aging mother who had overcome many
health obstacles related to diabetes and cardiac disease, I came to a
realization that I didn’t want my own children and grandchildren to
witness the same with me.
I knew at 287 pounds if I didn’t do something
soon, this would be my scenario. From that day on I did everything I
needed to do to get the weight loss surgery process going.
I knew it would not be easy. With hopes of
ridding myself of the constant joint and muscle aches from carrying
the extra weight to lowering my high blood pressure and cholesterol
levels, I found motivation from the happy patients who surrounded me
everyday at FBHOK. After working at the Foundation for almost a year
and a half, and seeing the wonderful results and few complications, I
decided that weight loss surgery was something that I owed to myself.
In order to meet insurance requirements, I had to
follow a six-month plan of diet and exercise before I could be
considered for surgery. There were days that I thought my turn would
never come. But it was so worth the wait.
By December 2007, the wait was over. I underwent
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery. I would finally know what it was
like to be one of my patients and following my own surgery. I have
gained a new perspective and knowledge of the service needed for my
weight loss surgery patients. The supportive team at WeightWise who
consults with me on nutrition, exercise, and behavior modification has
become like new family members in my weight loss journey.
Now, eight months following my surgery, I have
lost 116 pounds and am enjoying life again.
My life has changed in so many ways. I have not
taken blood pressure or cholesterol medications since the day before
surgery. I have more stamina and energy. I go out in public more
often. I can enjoy my grandchildren more now. We can play and go to
the park, and go shopping all in one day. I attend more social events,
and the list goes on and on.
It’s those WOW moments that now make me catch my
breath. Weight loss surgery patients refer to WOW moments as events
that are common to most of us, but new or rediscovered by successful
patients of weight loss. Here is one I had. This summer I will take
my first airplane ride without having to require a seat belt
extender. It’s those little victories that add up and help patients
of WeightWise get back to life.
My journey toward my goal weight continues, but I
am not doing it alone. The support from my family and friends has
been tremendous, not to mention the built-in support of co-workers and
the WeightWise team. I would like to thank God for working in his
marvelous ways and bringing Dr. Gregory Walton into my life. For
without either one of them I wouldn’t have had this second chance at
life that I have today.
|I love good news. If you have good news, a
success story, or inspiration to share, please send it to me at
Barbara@WLScenter.com so that I can include it in future