My Patients

 

Personal Stories

Christine

before gastric bypass surgery
Before My Journey Started

H

aving gastric bypass surgery has been the BEST thing I have ever done for me and my health!

When I sat down with Dr. Ellner for a consultation in May 2013, I was at my heaviest weight of 367 lbs with a BMI of 53.4 (I’m 5’ 9.5” tall). I had been struggling with chronic lower back pain for 10+ years, discovered that I had sleep apnea through Dr. Ellner’s pre-operative testing, and overall felt like a prisoner in my own body. Walking up a single flight of stairs was a struggle. My heart would race like crazy and I would be completely out of breath. I was unhappy and unhealthy and life was passing me by.

My “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment came when a back injury kept me bed ridden for a couple of weeks. The pain was debilitating and I absolutely hated being on the heavy doses of pain medicine. I felt helpless and hopeless and my back injury really opened my eyes to the fact that I needed to act now and change my lifestyle so that I could be healthy and enjoy life like I wanted to enjoy it. I did not want my obese body holding me back anymore.

I had always considered weight loss surgery as an option but I had deemed it my “last resort.” I was stubborn to think that I could lose 100+ lbs on my own, without help. I was wrong! I tried many different diets over the years. I would lose some weight but would then gain the weight back and more. With my weight creeping up to its highest point and my constant lower back pain affecting my quality of life, I decided to move forward with weight loss surgery. I had family members, friends, and co-workers who have had weight loss surgery and they were a great resource of information. I also read books, browsed the web, and attended one of Dr. Ellner’s seminars to come to the decision that the gastric bypass surgery was the weight loss surgery for me.

after gastric bypass surgery
7 Months After Gastric Bypass Surgery

When I began Dr. Ellner’s pre-op program, I was immediately put on her low fat, high protein, and low carb Liver Shrinking Diet for 6 months (the 6 month period was a requirement of my insurance). Throughout the entire process, Dr. Ellner was the biggest cheerleader that I had. I met with Dr. Ellner every month to track my progress and in turn would be motivated and inspired to keep moving forward. I also began attending the monthly support groups which helped set realistic expectations and better prepared me for what life would be like after surgery. By the time I reached my surgery date 7 months later, I weighed 249 lbs. I had lost a total of 118 lbs on the Liver Shrinking Diet alone! My BMI had gone down from 53.4 to 36.2.

It felt like a new beginning when my surgery date arrived on Dec 20, 2013. The surgery itself was a breeze, it couldn’t have been executed any more perfectly (yes, I consider Dr. Ellner to be a rock star surgeon)! I woke up from surgery with some pain in my chest from the liver retractor and some nausea from the anesthesia but that subsided and I was up and walking around the same night. By the time I was released from the hospital (2 days after surgery), I only had some soreness and discomfort in the lower left incision and G-tube but had no problems walking frequently as directed by Dr. Ellner and getting in/out of bed . As the days turned into weeks, then to months, I slowly began to learn how to eat with my new pouch. No more two bites and swallow. I now have to chew, chew, chew the food to an applesauce type consistency before swallowing to ensure the food will not get stuck. I am also learning to eat when my body is truly physically hungry, to stop eating when my body feels satiated and to always, always eat protein first. I still battle with “head hunger” but now that I get full on a small amount of food, I am much more cognizant of the quality of food I eat. One day at a time, I try my best to make healthy choices and give my body what it needs, not what my head wants.

It’s been 6 months now since I had gastric bypass surgery. I now weigh 177 lbs with a BMI of 25.8 for a total weight loss of 190 lbs (118 lbs lost on the Liver Shrinking Diet & 72 lbs lost since the surgery). I have gone from wearing a size 24 pant to a size 4. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be wearing a size 4! I am absolutely blown away by the weight loss that I have achieved on Dr. Ellner’s program in just a little over 13 months. I have never been a “normal” size before and it feels fantastic! I have so much more energy now and enjoy exercise. I jog and go hiking regularly and have even started training for a ½ marathon. Best of all, my back pain is gone!

I feel like a whole new world has been opened up to me and I am so excited to start exploring it. I no longer have obesity holding me back. I have already reached my personal goal of losing half of my starting body weight and celebrated with skydiving which I never thought would be physically possible for me to experience. It was such an awesome moment because it solidified for me that I am now healthy and enjoying life like I want to enjoy it.

None of this would have been possible without the help and support of family, friends, and especially Dr. Ellner. I truly feel that Dr. Ellner is the best of the best and I highly recommend her. I can tell you firsthand that she is 100% committed to your lifelong success in overcoming obesity. I can’t thank her enough for helping me regain my health.

If you have any questions, feel free to message me on Facebook or send me email.

Celebrating Success With...SKYDIVING!!!

Cadeucus