A Personal Decision: Choosing to Undergo Bariatric Surgery

For as long as I can remember, I have always thought of myself as "fat." I have really grown to dislike that word. Even in college, when I was 155 pounds, I still felt bigger than all of my peers. I have never considered myself attractive because of my weight. Because I felt embarrassed of my size, I knew that I had to be the "best" mom and the "best" wife.

Pre-surgery

Being kind to others has always come easy to me because it is has been my nature. But I have also taken a lot of hurtful and humiliating comments. On more than one occasion I was asked when my baby was due. My children were four and five years old. How do you answer something like that?

I knew many years ago, after dieting for most of my life, that I was destined to be obese, that's just how it was going to be. I watched my father with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, open heart surgery, diabetes; I could go on and on. I knew after my father passed away that the road he traveled would soon become MY destiny. I had to make a change. I gave one more diet program a chance with minimal success.

My final stop was on the doorstep of Dr. Christina Li's office at Sinai Hospital. I had a friend that had surgery with Dr. Li, and I was amazed when I saw how successful she was at only four months out of surgery. I actually turned my head twice, not recognizing her the first time until I heard her speak.

3 months post-surgery

The point that I wanted to make telling you my story is that making the decision to have bariatric surgery is a personal decision. It most certainly is not the "easy" way out. It takes hard work and dedication to living a healthier lifestyle.

On January 19, 2012 I made that decision. To date, I have lost 43 pounds, and I am feeling more healthy with every day. My choice to have the sleeve gastrectomy did not come from vanity but from the will to live a healthier me. I will be forever grateful to Dr. Christina Li and her staff for their unwavering support of my decision.  They were supportive and available every step of the way.

Bariatric surgery should never be your first try at losing weight; the bariatric division at Sinai will tell you that. The surgeons are here to give us the tools to make the changes in our lives. I decided that I wanted to live to see my grandchildren. I wanted to live to be active with my husband as we grew old together.

If you feel you are at a crossroads and desire to live a healthier life, please give Dr. Christina Li or Dr. Cynthia Long a call at 601-WELL. It certainly is not a quick fix, but a slow and steady progression. I have lost 43 pounds and I am amazed. Every day is a new and exciting challenge. I am so ready to take it on!

-Written by Diana Naanaa, LPN, Division of Bariatrics, Sinai Hospital

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

Print this entry

1 Response

  1. Bettina S
    You are doing such a wonderful job and are an inspiration! I can't wait to follow along on the rest of your journey to greater health and wellness. Congrats on your success so far!

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • As a sponsor of #Baltimore's 2017 Light City festival, #LifeBridgeHealth was thrilled to join city leaders, including Mayor Catherine Pugh, for today's announcement about the bigger, bright and bolder festival coming this spring. It was excited to hear about the amazing art, music and cultural events that are planned. #LightCity2017

    lifebridgehealth: "As a sponsor of #Baltimore's 2017 Light City festival, #LifeBridgeHealth was thrilled to join city leaders, including Mayor Catherine Pugh, for today's announcement about the bigger, bright and bolder festival coming this spring. It was excited to hear about the amazing art, music and cultural events that are planned. #LightCity2017"
    14
    0
  • Congratulations to our January #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar #employees! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond, every day. We appreciate all that you do! Thank you. #TeamLifeBridge From top left to bottom right: Jill Horn of #CarrollHospital; Catherine Oyedeji-Ojo of #SinaiHospital; Sylvester Campbell of #Levindale; and Donna Miller of #NorthwestHospital

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to our January #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar #employees! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond, every day. We appreciate all that you do! Thank you. #TeamLifeBridge 
From top left to bottom right: Jill Horn of #CarrollHospital; Catherine Oyedeji-Ojo of #SinaiHospital; Sylvester Campbell of #Levindale; and Donna Miller of #NorthwestHospital"
    17
    0
  • #Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (second from left) stopped by #SinaiHospital today for a tour. He is seen here with Dr. Jonathan Ringo (Sinai Hospital interim chief operating officer), Neil Meltzer (LifeBridge Health president and CEO), Martha Nathanson (LifeBridge Health vice president of government and community development), George Mitchell (Neighborhoods United president) and Dr. Scott Brown (chief of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Sinai). #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (second from left) stopped by #SinaiHospital today for a tour. He is seen here with Dr. Jonathan Ringo (Sinai Hospital interim chief operating officer), Neil Meltzer (LifeBridge Health president and CEO), Martha Nathanson (LifeBridge Health vice president of government and community development), George Mitchell (Neighborhoods United president) and Dr. Scott Brown (chief of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Sinai). #LifeBridgeHealth"
    27
    0
  • This week in our #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet our Health Information Management Coders. This hardworking group of professionals is responsible for assigning codes that describe a patient’s care and diagnoses. These codes are then stored and used to support billing, quality reporting, and reimbursement programs. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare #Employees

    lifebridgehealth: "This week in our #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet our Health Information Management Coders. This hardworking group of professionals is responsible for assigning codes that describe a patient’s care and diagnoses. These codes are then stored and used to support billing, quality reporting, and reimbursement programs. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare #Employees"
    16
    3
  • Why was #WBALTV 11 talking to members of a local #motorcycle club at #NorthwestHospital? On January 11, tune into the 5:00 pm news and learn how this club is helping women with #breastcancer. This story is part of #BuddyCheck11, our partnership with WBAL that encourages you to check in with a buddy on the 11th of each month to remind each other to perform a breast #selfexam. #LifeBridgeHealth #Prevention #Cancer

    lifebridgehealth: "Why was #WBALTV 11 talking to members of a local #motorcycle club at #NorthwestHospital? On January 11, tune into the 5:00 pm news and learn how this club is helping women with #breastcancer. 
This story is part of #BuddyCheck11, our partnership with WBAL that encourages you to check in with a buddy on the 11th of each month to remind each other to perform a breast #selfexam.
#LifeBridgeHealth #Prevention #Cancer"
    20
    2
  • Shoveling #snow is a moderate-intensity #exercise that often results in injury when done incorrectly. To avoid injury this season it’s important to take the extra time to be prepared, and use proper form and equipment – your legs, back and heart will thank you! #Winter #InjuryPrevention #WednesdayWisdom

    lifebridgehealth: "Shoveling #snow is a moderate-intensity #exercise that often results in injury when done incorrectly. To avoid injury this season it’s important to take the extra time to be prepared, and use proper form and equipment – your legs, back and heart will thank you! #Winter #InjuryPrevention #WednesdayWisdom"
    16
    0
  • #LifeBridgeHealth wishes everyone a healthy and joyous 2017! #NewYear

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth wishes everyone a healthy and joyous 2017! #NewYear"
    17
    0
  • Let’s meet this week’s representatives of #TeamLifeBridge: our Telecom Department! With 15 operators and two team leads, the #LifeBridgeHealth Telecom Department is available 24/7 to provide a wealth of information to our customers. We appreciate all that you do and the 24/7 commitment you make to our organization. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #EmployeeOfTheWeek #HealthCare #CustomerService #Spotlight #Appreciate #WorkHard

    lifebridgehealth: "Let’s meet this week’s representatives of #TeamLifeBridge: our Telecom Department! With 15 operators and two team leads, the #LifeBridgeHealth Telecom Department is available 24/7 to provide a wealth of information to our customers. We appreciate all that you do and the 24/7 commitment you make to our organization. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #EmployeeOfTheWeek #HealthCare #CustomerService #Spotlight #Appreciate #WorkHard"
    19
    0
  • #LifeBridgeHealth teams are showing their caring this season! In the spirit of the #holidays, the entire Therapeutic Recreation Department of #Levindale decided to cancel their annual #giftexchange and instead bought #gifts for a local family in need! They say they hope their contributions bring some #holiday cheer to their adopted family! (not pictured: Amanda Bojan, Shellia Lavezzary) . . . #GiveBack #HolidaySpirit #CommunityOutreach

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth teams are showing their caring this season! In the spirit of the #holidays, the entire Therapeutic Recreation Department of #Levindale decided to cancel their annual #giftexchange and instead bought #gifts for a local family in need! They say they hope their contributions bring some #holiday cheer to their adopted family! (not pictured: Amanda Bojan, Shellia Lavezzary)
.
.
. 
#GiveBack #HolidaySpirit #CommunityOutreach"
    14
    0
  • Our #LifeBridgeHealth employees and patients had a great time getting into the holiday spirit at our annual facility #holiday parties. On behalf of our team, we'd like to wish everyone a very safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. . . . #SinaiHospital #NorthwestHospital #Levindale #Celebrate #HolidayParty #EmployeeParty #OfficeParty #Healthcare #Maryland #2016

    lifebridgehealth: "Our #LifeBridgeHealth employees and patients had a great time getting into the holiday spirit at our annual facility #holiday parties. On behalf of our team, we'd like to wish everyone a very safe, happy, and healthy holiday season.
.
.
.
#SinaiHospital #NorthwestHospital #Levindale #Celebrate #HolidayParty #EmployeeParty #OfficeParty #Healthcare #Maryland #2016"
    26
    0