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Nancy 's Story

Posted on: 10/25/2023

I have spent most of my 54 years struggling with my weight. I have gone from perceiving myself as overweight when I wasn’t that big, to being morbidly obese. When I first sought out the Parkland Medical Center Surgical Weight Loss Program, I was 5’ 6” and was at my top weight of 302 pounds. In the year previous to meeting Dr. Yarbrough and the team at Parkland, I had dropped to 220 pounds only to regain it all. That was always my pattern. Buckle down to lose a lot of weight only to go off the wagon and regain it quickly. I finally had to admit I was powerless to control my food addiction alone and decided to pursue surgery and the support of the program to help me fight the battle.

At my first appointment with Dr. Yarbrough, I weighed 300 pounds. I had a heart attack when I was 44 that required a stent, my A1c was eight, and I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and required me to use a CPAP machine. I began the journey to prepare for surgery with a determination to make permanent positive changes to my life. Dr. Yarbrough was great and patiently went through all of the options, risks, and benefits. In the end, I opted for the Roux-en-y gastric bypass procedure. I spent 3 1/2 months completing all of the pre-surgery requirements with the group meetings, nutritionist, psychologist, physical therapist, anesthesiologist, and cardiologist.

I was 270 pounds on March 15, 2023, having lost 30 pounds during the pre-op process. When I arrived at Parkland Medical Center for surgery, everyone went above and beyond to make me feel well taken care of, safe and secure. Dr. Yarbrough performed the surgery and repaired a hiatal hernia without incident, and my family received text messages updating them on my condition. As soon as I was settled into a room, I was up and walking around with virtually no abdominal pain. . The staff at Parkland Medical Center were attentive and friendly and after one night in the hospital, I went home with no issues.

It’s now October 2023 and I am seven months post-op and I weigh 164 pounds for a total weight loss of 136 pounds. My cardiac health is now excellent for someone my age, my A1c is in the normal range, and I no longer have sleep apnea events that require the use of a CPAP. My confidence and self-esteem have increased and I love being able to shop for clothes in any store I want and not just the plus size stores. I also have noticed a huge difference in my physical stamina. I recently went to Boston with friends and had no issues keeping up and sometimes taking the lead as we walked all over the North End and even climbing the stairs in the parking garage. I no longer have to consider physical limitations when I make plans.

There are still challenges. I believe when you spend a lifetime being overweight, adjusting your physiology alone is not enough. Surgery is a tool, not magic. There have been times when I have been frustrated with myself for making the same old mistakes with poor food choices and I occasionally struggle with portion sizes. However, the surgery does bring those poor choices to your attention pretty quickly. Exercise has never been my favorite thing and that hasn’t changed. Although I have made walking a part of my daily life and even make it to the gym 2-3 days per week. I continue to retrain my brain with regard to portion size, food choices and body image and Dr. Yarbrough, the medical/office staff and nutritionist have been wonderful, supportive and essential companions in the ongoing journey to a healthier me.

Posted on: 10/25/2023

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