Life After Laparoscopic Surgery
A little over a year ago I walked into Dr. Marc Zaré’s office with the aid of a walker, carrying an oxygen tank on my back, and filled with a determination I’d never felt before. My life was miserable and I was ready to do anything necessary to make things better.
Several months earlier my cardiologist had recorded my weight at 302 lbs and diagnosed me with Pulmonary Hypertension. I was so weak I couldn’t even walk to the mailbox without getting winded and dizzy. The quality of my life was that of a prisoner confined in my own home. My prognosis wasn’t good and she promptly sent me to a pulmonologist who prescribed more medications, a Bi-Pap machine, and constant oxygen at 6 liters per minute. My life became a nightmare of portable oxygen tanks and 12 medications several times a day. Besides the morbid obesity, they were treating me for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, asthma, gout and thyroid disease. There were days I didn’t even feel like getting out of bed.
Then they talked to me about weight loss surgery and sent me to Dr. Zaré. Like all overweight patients, I’d heard about the surgery for years but always felt like it was too extreme, and not really for me. Being told that I might not live another five years if my situation didn’t change was all it took to convince me to give it a serious chance.
Going to Dr. Zaré changed my life in more ways that I can really count. His wonderful staff talked to me at length about the procedure and what to realistically expect as an outcome. They were helpful in guiding me through the process to get approved by my insurance company, and helped me to make dietary plans for after surgery. Always available when I needed to call with a question, or needed reassurance, they made me feel as if I was their number one concern each and every time I talked with them.
For several months I completed all the pre-surgery testing and educating required to give you a fighting chance at success with the procedure. Then, on December 22nd I checked into the hospital and underwent surgery. I’ve never regretted the decision to go ahead with it for even one minute.
Immediately I began to see results. By the end of January I was no longer taking blood pressure pills or needing a Bi-Pap machine, and best of all, I no longer needed oxygen tanks. My energy level increased and I began to really enjoy life.
I’m a writer of romantic fiction and prior to surgery I’d written and had published one book. Since losing my weight, and becoming healthier, I’ve managed to finish 3 more that are already published, and have 2 more finished ones coming out early this year. There’s nothing I don’t feel like I could accomplish now.
Today I weigh 178 pounds and have gone from a size 42 jeans to a size 14. The only medications I need now are for thyroid and cholesterol. I eat 6 small meals a day consisting of a lot of protein and even managed to inspire my husband to follow a diet I designed for him. He got so upset when I started out-pacing him on our walks he became determined to get his own weight down. He’s managed to lose over 80 pounds in just a little over a year. My exercise routine now consists of walking with a friend 8 miles a day, when weather permits, on the bike trails around my home in California.
My eating and my life is pretty normal – I walk and exercise everyday along w/ my normal day-to-day. I’ve put on a little weight – I weigh just under 190 at tops. I’m not a believer in God – but I have been dealt a miracle and I am conscious of it every time I swallow solid or liquid. I want to run up to people. I witness eating/drinking and shake them and tell them how very lucky they are, etc., but, of course, I’d be arrested. I went onto the Achalasia Support Web Site and into their email to ask where I send donations and told them of my story and how their reference of Dr. Doty lead me to Dr. Zaré I’ve tried this twice – but no one responds.
I owe my current health and peace of mind to my wife and closest, bestest friend who ‘took charge’ and called 5-7 doctors on the Support Web site that Thursday – the 16th of December 2010, and I think you, Ben, were so gracious when you returned her call and said the doctor would call her later – which he did and made the appointment the next morning and Dr. Zaré who took the baton from my friend and told us that cold, rainy morning that he could FIX me w/ his operation – and I’m living that FIX and I can never thank him enough and, although, I hope I never have a need for a surgeon again I will always sing Dr. Zaré’s praises and am frustrated for not having the circumstance to be able to show my appreciation more/better.