“NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES,” said CVMC gastric bypass patient Jennifer Lane. “You can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results.”
By age 25, Jennifer had been struggling with her weight for years and there were already signs it was affecting her health – she had developed arthritis in her knee and was taking prescribed medications to help manage high cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. Then she got the diagnosis that changed her life – diabetes. Faced with taking daily shots of insulin, she decided it was time to take control of her health, and she explored the option of having surgery to reclaim her life.
Jennifer had tried many diets, but her weight would yo-yo. She could lose weight but couldn’t keep it off. She made attempts to exercise but explained how muscle cramps impaired her ability to push her body beyond the limited level of activity her body could sustain. With her weight reaching an all-time high of 299 pounds, she said cramping after exercise made it impossible to do anything.
“I felt like I was on an endless loop of poor health. Looking back—I just didn’t realize how bad I felt.”
Her weight was taking a toll on her not only physically, but also emotionally. Everyday actives became a source of anxiety and she was rattled by uncertainty about whether she would even be able to fit in a restaurant booth at dinner or squeeze into a seat in the movie theater.
Jennifer attended a free bariatric surgery seminar, offered by CVMC to explore the various options available. After learning that gastric bypass surgery has a 97% resolution rate for diabetes, she knew this was her best option for a chance at a healthy life. Having had several minor procedures at CVMC before, Jennifer felt confident about the healthcare system’s commitment and accountability for high quality care.
“It really wasn’t a hard decision to make, especially after hearing about the extensive support system that the staff offers to accompany the surgery,” Jennifer explained. “The system that is set up is a total care package. Activities before, during, and after your surgery are outlined on how best to succeed.”
And succeed she did! Four years post surgery, Jennifer has achieved:
- Sustained weight loss of 120 pounds
- Cured diabetes; declared immediately following gastric bypass
- No longer needs medications to manage cholesterol or blood pressure (both are within healthy range now)
- Enjoys exercising – especially without arthritic knee pain aggravated by the accumulated weight she carried prior to surgery
- Greater confidence in social situations
Before surgery the thought of walking a quarter of a mile seemed impossible, now she walks at least two miles every morning. She attributes her success to the quality of the program, her own tenacity for sticking to it, and her husband’s unwavering support before, during and after surgery.
As a part of our surgical weight loss program, CVMC offers a support group that meets monthly. Attending the group has been key to Jennifer’s success. She says that she looks forward to attending the meetings where she gets to hear about the progress others share as they experience different stages in their journey.
Jennifer encourages potential surgical weight loss candidates by sharing her story at the informational seminars. Speaking from a patient’s perspective, she tells about how the surgery so drastically improved her life and uses her success to mentor new patients.
“The life I live now has nothing to do with the number on a scale or what size jeans I can get into. It has everything to do with keeping myself healthy and happy,” said Jennifer.
If you are interested in the CVMC Surgical Weight Management Program, consider attending a free information seminar where you can meet our surgical weight loss experts and inquire about whether or not your health insurance covers a procedure you are considering. Accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), CVMC continues to build on an impressive legacy of quality outcomes and patient safety. View the schedule of our upcoming seminars and events or call Libby Shaver, Bariatric Program Coordinator, at 828.326.2082.