I want to offer a special thanks to Tammy Louthian for
sharing her experiences with us. Here is her story.
My name is Tammy Louthian. I live in Ohio. My decision to
have a Gastric Bypass-RNY was made in the summer of 2003.
Even though I weighed 357 pounds, I was very active and
even participated in organized women’s athletics, like volleyball and softball.
Although I did suffer from “aches and pains” I’ve always been very confident in
the way I looked, so viewing myself as a morbidly obese woman, honestly never
crossed my mind. Then one afternoon, during a soccer scrimmage with my
daughter’s recreational soccer team, I went one on one with one of the players.
Needless to say, she got the best of me, and I fell. That fall prevented me
from walking properly for over two weeks. I was in a lot of pain and
discomfort. My doctor told me I was crazy for thinking I could run, jump or
slide into bases with all the weight on me and he was surprised I hadn’t broken
several bones or had other extensive injuries.
He suggested yet another diet, even after looking at all my past medical history
of trying to drop some pounds. This diet was unsuccessful. Fortunately, it was
all logged because at the time, I was a military dependent, and they believed in
other programs before weight loss surgery. My doctor felt it was time for me to
consider weight loss surgery.
At my weight, I was fortunate not to have any major medical
issues besides being morbidly obese. He informed me that at some point my body
was going to start snowballing into problems and I should highly consider the
surgery as a preventative measure. At first I had to think hard about it,
because my mother had the procedure done in 1983, and all I could remember was
how after visiting her I was traumatized by all the tubes and IV’s she was
hooked to. He explained to me that operations had changed over the years and
the procedure she had was obsolete. After a month or so of research pre-operative and post-operative,
in June, 2003, I decided to do it!!
I was given a wonderful tool by the bariatric department
head nurse that gave me step by step instructions on what I must accomplish
within a 6 month period. I had to lose 10% of my current body weight, begin a
regular daily food and exercise log, enroll and complete 6 weeks of nutritional
eating classes and of course have visitations with a psychologist to learn some
behavior modifications. I had never been more gung-ho about this. I had a
wonderful support system. Everything went so wonderfully that I accomplished my
goals within 4 months.
My surgery was on November 16, 2004. I did have a
complication during my surgery, so that the surgery, which usually takes 3 hours, took over 7.
A tool they use to clip off and staple your intestine to seal it, slipped and
went through several layers of my intestines, causing over 10 rips throughout
it. With the surgery being done laparoscopically, it was very tedious for them,
especially after sewing up one tear, another area would rip, but all fared well.
I am now over 3 years post-op from gastric bypass surgery
and 1 year post-op from my corrective surgeries. There have been many changes
in my life due to the surgery. Some negative, but mostly positive. I think
it’s important that people considering this surgery be very realistic with their
expectations. My 20 year marriage ended. I knew there was a good chance I would
have to have the excess skin removed. And I knew there would be bouts of
depression. I knew that food was my best friend, and I wasn’t going to be able
to call on it when I needed emotional support. And finally, I knew that I used
to live to eat; now I was eating to live.
I am proud to be a successful gastric bypass patient. I am
proud of what I have accomplished. I am thankful to my doctors who have given
me the insight of preventative medicine. Who knows where I could be medically on
this date if I hadn’t had this surgery. My doctors saved my life.
|I love good news. If you have good news, a success
story to share, or inspiration, please send it to me at
Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can include it in future issues.