“No feet swelling, no seatbelt extensions, no stares, I can shop in regular stores, no snoring/apnea, no huffing & puffing and sweating when I walk, no embarrassment at all thanks to my band! I’ve even gotten whistled at a few times this last couple of months!!!”
I come from a family of obese people. I was always a chubby kid, and then thinned out when I was a teenager but once I hit my mid-30’s something happened and I put on 100 lbs within an 8 month period of time! I was completely out of control and had basically given up. I did the yo-yo diets, tried the pills, tried starving myself, and would lose a little but would always put it all back on plus more. By the time I scheduled my surgery I was a whopping 354 lbs! I was at a BMI of 54, which put me at a very high risk of co-morbidities, and with cancer, heart disease, diabetes (you name it) running in my family, I was desperate.
I did about 6 months worth of research online and found a local Lap Band seminar here in the states. I felt I had hope for the very first time in a long time, but that hope was soon dashed when I found out that the procedure was a whopping $18,500 dollars. There was no way I could afford to have it done. Once again, I went back online and saw Dr. Kuri’s name everywhere I looked. I researched his practice, researched his patients success stories, and even tried to find negative blogging regarding him and never found any, which is unheard of these days, so I chose him as my surgeon. His prices made it affordable for me to get the Lap Band.
I decided to contact his office and before I knew it, their friendly staff had scheduled me for surgery Sept. 2, 2005! I couldn’t believe it, I was finally going to start a newer, healthier life!
The flight out was the usual embarrassing ordeal. The tray wouldn’t unfold all the way so I could sit my drink down. I needed a seatbelt extender, everyone looking at me as I huffed & puffed, sweating all the way through the airports. I even had one gentleman on the plane get up & move out of the seat next to me to give me more room. I was mortified, and even though he meant it as a polite gesture, I was still embarrassed. I was so unhappy, unhealthy and depressed, and only by the grace of God did I not have any co-morbidities other than slight apnea and very swollen feet & ankles. I was in a size 28 (probably could have done a 30), and almost couldn’t find clothes in the big woman’s shops anymore. But as soon as I stepped outside of the airport in San Diego, something inside me told me I was getting my life back! Miguel the driver met us and was so courteous and friendly. I got to meet others just like me, and didn’t feel out of place at all.
My surgery went off without a hitch. No complications, no problems (other than my own stubbornness to refuse to let go of old eating habits!), but with my band, I have been trained to enforce portion control, as well as quality control on all the food I eat. And I’ve discovered I’m NOT allergic to exercise after all!!!
I am down just about 100 lbs now, and feel fantastic! I’m in a size 18, and my scales are starting to dip just a little more. No feet swelling, no seatbelt extensions, no stares, I can shop in regular stores, no snoring/apnea, no huffing & puffing and sweating when I walk, no embarrassment at all thanks to my band! I’ve even gotten whistled at a few times this last couple of months!!! Even if I didn’t lose another ounce, I wouldn’t trade my band for anything in this world! Thank you, Dr. Kuri for giving me my LIFE back!!!
Update: August 14, 2013
I found an old photo ID of mine from about 10 years ago, and couldn’t believe it was me! I was trapped inside my own body, trying desperately to get out and just LIVE! I thank God every day for Dr. Kuri, his caring attitude, his wonderful staff, the awesome support I’ve always gotten and the great friends I’ve made along the way. The best advice I have is if you are genetically prone to obesity like I am, the band will DEFINITELY help limit your food intake, but then it is up to YOU to determine the quality of the food and drinks you wish to take in. I eat SO many more veggies than I ever used to eat! I also choose GOOD quality protein, and absolutely do NOT drink sugared drinks except maybe a drink at the company Christmas party once a year! If you can just realize that you’re worth it – your attitude will change about yourself, and you’ll realize you ARE worth it! I had such a problem with sabotaging myself – thinking, “Well, I’m already obese, so what do these potato chips really matter? I’ll always be fat anyway so why even try?” But I was so wrong! With the help of your band and support from friends/family or here, you can do it! There is a beautiful/handsome healthy new you in there! You should be excited about every single pound that comes off, no matter how long it takes! Nope, nobody’s perfect. I enjoy a treat every once in a while, but believe me – when you stop having them, you really (REALLY!) don’t miss them after a while. Now, get out there & start – even if you only lose 20 lbs – that’s 20 POUNDS that’s GONE! Don’t compare your success to anyone else – you’re beautifully unique! Keep going because it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, it only matters that you get back up again – I started all over again probably 27,000 times during my journey! YOU CAN DO IT!
Patti Wilkins – Banded 9/2/2005, LOTS of bumps along the way – went from size 28/30 to a size 12/14!!!