My Patients


Personal Stories

LindaMae - Fairbanks, AK 

I have always loved working out at the gym and was strong and in excellent shape. About 15 years ago I started gaining an incredible amount of weight and no matter how hard I exercised or how close I watched what I ate I kept gaining.

 LindaMae Before Gastric Bypass Surgery
LindaMae Before Gastric Bypass

In a short time I found out I had high blood pressure, then acid reflux, sleep apnea, diabetes, and other co-morbidity's followed. I not only felt sick, I looked sick. I continued to go to the gym through it all and watched what I ate. The odd thing was that my A1C was good.. 5.6 or 5.7. My home doctor told me I had something he referred to as "metabolic syndrome". My body was not functioning correctly. Over time one medicine was added and then another and I was putting a total of 32 pills a day in my body. This alone frightened me. My weight continued to climb.

My doctor then referred me to Dr. Ellner at Alvarado Hospital for a gastric bypass. I started all of the pre-op papers and hung on to the hope that all would clear and I would be able to have the surgery. In the end, my insurance company turned me down. The insurance company wouldn't cover me and told me that I was not obese enough ( I did not have 100+ pounds to loose) and my medicines I was taking were taking care of my problems so the surgery was not necessary. My husband and I figured out that in the expense of my medicine  alone, within 2 years the insurance company would have paid for the surgery. It made no sense. In the end we financed the surgery ourselves. As my husband said, "When you need a new car, you buy one." I needed a new car!

 LindaMae After Gastric Bypass Surgery
LindaMae After Gastric Bypass

My surgery was scheduled for January 4th, 2008 at 8:00 in the morning. The following morning at 7:30 Dr. Ellner and the Internist came into my room and told me that I was going to be taken off all of my medicines. I cried. I felt like I had been gifted with a new life. I was so happy.

The surgery for me was easy. It was painless. I never took any of the pain medicine or any Tylenol after the surgery as I had heard was necessary. I was up and walking right away and there were no complications of any kind.

The strict diet was not hard for me to abide to either. Being diabetic for so long and so very strict with my diet before the surgery left little change for me. I just continued the disciplined eating I adapted to before as a diabetic with a few minor changes to accomodate the criteria for a gastric bypass patient.

LindaMae After Weight Loss Surgery
LindaMae After Gastric Bypass Surgery

My main reason for having this surgery was for medical reasons. I did not have the great amount of weight to loose as I mentioned above. However, I did loose 82 lbs. The greatest gift is that I have my life back. I go to the gym 4 to 5 times a week and love to exercise more than ever now. I can move again, feel free, and feel in control of my body.

I have spent my 3 months of summer for the past 14 years directing a ministry in Honduras Central America. I used to die in the heat and was never able to feel comfortable wearing the normal sleeveless tops or less covering summer clothes due to my size. Now, summer clothes are fun to wear and I no longer go through my days drenched with sweat.

As I write this I am almost two years out from my surgery and I still abide by Dr. Ellner's rules to keep the weight off. I believe that exercise is the biggest key to this, though eating correctly goes hand in hand. This surgery gave me life back again. I was so sick and thought my days were numbered. Now, I consider every day a blessing and a gift.


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