My Patients


Personal Stories

Fannie - Oceanside, CA

Fannie Before Weight Loss SurgeryI have been overweight most of my life. I remember as child always being told to eat everything on my plate, after all, children are starving in China. When it came time for school you could always find me in new Husky jeans. I was never one to go outside and play. I would stay inside and read. Exercise was not even considered. By the time I had graduated high school I was around 180lbs. I moved to Southern California when I was 23 and I weighed round 220 lbs. My weight went up and down as I went from diet to diet. I did them all. Deal a meal, weight watchers, Nutri-system, Cabbage diet, Slim Fast and nothing worked. Even if I lost 20 lbs, I would gain back 40 lbs., thinking back I realize I never learned how to eat properly. Once in 1997 I managed to get down to 195 lbs however I did not stay there very long. I finally gave up on dieting and accepted that I was fat and that was not going to change. By the time I was 37, I was very close to 300 lbs.

In the summer of 2001, while I was driving to work one morning, I had a severe burning sensation in my chest. I wanted to rip off my brassiere because I thought some kind of irritant was in the material. I soon realized this was not the case; I was experiencing the absolute worst heartburn ever. For the next year I carried a bottle of Pepto Bismol with me all of the time. I had heartburn everyday. I joined a local bowling league for the spring of 2003. I was on a team with a girl named Kristie. She was always bouncing around and very lively. After several weeks I noticed she was getting smaller, and smaller. I asked her what she was doing to have lost weight in such a short time. She told me she had had the gastric bypass surgery that previous November.

Fannie After Weight Loss SurgeryKristie went on to tell me she had it done at Alvarado hospital in San Diego and Dr. Ellner was her surgeon. I went home and looked the hospital up online. I attended a meeting in July 2003 where I saw a young guy stand up and say he had lost 97 pounds in three months. I was amazed. I thought, hey this is for real. Why would it not work for me? I needed help so badly. I signed up that day and started the paperwork.
In February 2004, I was notified my insurance company would cover part of the cost and that my surgery date was March 23, 2004. When I met with Dr. Ellner, she sat down next to me on a couch in her office and explained the procedure. She started speaking, she said something like, “and these are the tools I use”. I am not sure exactly because I was shocked with the realization that I was actually going to have the surgery!

In the recovery room after the surgery, I woke up and I think I thanked Dr. Ellner. I remember saying to my sister, I really got it done. I remember thinking to myself huh, I do not have heartburn, Very cool. For the next two days I was watched around the clock. Dr. Ellner visited regularly and the staff took care of me very well. I was discharged from the hospital on Thursday March 25

Fannie After Gastric Bypass SurgeryAs I lost weight, I was told that there would be” wow moments.” One of my first “wow moments” was when I had to fly to get to a vacation destination July, 2004. I actually fit into the seat. My hips did not extend over the seat and I did not need a seatbelt extension. I was in tears on the plane. My weight was 214. During my vacation I had my picture taken. I cried again seeing a neckline. Wow!

Another “wow moment” was when I was at home one day and without thinking, I crossed my legs. I actually could cross my legs! This was incredible; my thighs were getting smaller. By December 2004, I had lost 110 lbs. I was thrilled when I recently realized that my thighs do not rub anymore, WOW!

I thank God and Dr. Ellner all the time. This has truly been a wonderful procedure that has saved my life. I have learned how to eat to live and not live to eat. Wow!