After Bariatric Surgery: There is Light at the End of the Tunnel

Since having bariatric surgery on January 19, 2012,  I would like to tell you a few of the awesome new things I can do:

First, I can cross my legs. WOW! I find myself sitting down and instantly I can cross them without difficulty.

Second, I can fit into any booth they place me in when I go out to eat. I used to hurry up and go in front of everyone so that I could scope out the best seat, the one with the most room that I knew I could fit into.

Another “simple pleasure” I have experienced is the ability to walk up and down the steps like everyone else. I have osteoarthritis in my left knee. For the past several years I have honestly avoided steps like the plague. First of all, I was always completely out of breath while going up the steps. Secondly, the pain in my left knee was too painful.  I would literally take each step one at a time. Since having the surgery the relief of that joint pain has been nothing short of miraculous.

Life was all about doing anything I could to not embarrass myself. I now have a sense of self that I have never had before. It was like I woke up one day and realized that my thoughts and feelings were just as important as everyone elses. I was a “yes” girl. It didn’t matter what the favor, I was going to do it, even if it was inconvenient for me or my family. I allowed others to take advantage of me because sadly, I was afraid of losing a friend. My thought was that nobody would see past my outside to see who I was on the inside.

It was not only my weight that held me back, but my self esteem. I am a little over three months out of surgery and down 51 pounds. The new me that I see emerging is stronger, healthier, wiser and full of more self love that I ever could imagine.

Believe me, 51 pounds is a drop in the bucket compared to what I need to lose. I am doing this one step at a time, one pound at a time. Anyone that tells you that bariatric surgery is the easy way out has never had bariatric surgery. It is hard work with diet, exercise, eating responsibly and for once in my life, holding myself accountable.

Meals need to be planned. I don’t just go to the cafeteria and get some nachos or french fries. I go to the cafeteria and once again, hold myself responsible to make healthy choices. The dietitian, Melissa, is always available and helpful with any question. The Nurse Practitioner, Mike, has always been available if I had any medical questions. The team here at Sinai is amazing! From the top to the bottom, I received amazing care. I have never felt the genuine concern and care with any other physician office. I hope that in some way this is helpful to at least one person. I know there are many people just like me out there.

My bariatric surgery story could just as easy be your story. There is help. There is hope. There is a light at the end of that tunnel! You first have to make the choice that your life is worth living. Once you have lost 51 pounds I hope that you too can enjoy those simple pleasures that everyone else takes for granted. I am determined that I will never again have to get off an amusement ride because the seat belt did not fit.

I am where I am today because of the skill and knowledge of the bariatric team at Sinai. What I hope for you is that you will be the next blogger to share your story because you made that call, you made the decision that YOU are worth it!

I will continue to share my story and my journey. As we have heard many times, life is not a sprint, but a marathon. The same can be said for weight loss surgery. I wish you all the simple pleasures, no matter how big or small.

-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.

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