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October 17th, 2016

My bariatric surgery was the best thing I have ever done for myself

By uclahealth

Janet's Story

janetTotal Lost: 86 pounds*

My bariatric surgery was the best thing I have ever done for myself. My health is vibrant, my energy more than doubled. I feel great, and I'm having a great life.

Janet knew that her life was at risk if she didn't make a change. She had severe apnea that disrupted her sleep all night, and during the day she would nod off suddenly, even while driving. Doctors found that one of the chambers of her heart was enlarged. She suffered from fibromyalgia and chronic bronchitis, and couldn't walk more than a few feet without having to stop to rest. Though she didn't have high blood pressure or diabetes, she always thought of those conditions in terms of "yet."

"It really was very scary," she says. "I could not physically undertake much of anything. About all I could do was work, and then come home and rest. I had very little quality of life."

Though her doctor had been counseling her to consider bariatric surgery to address her weight problem, Janet was opposed to the very idea of such an operation. "I was not yet in a place where I felt I would be successful with it," she says. "The idea of not being able to turn to food for comfort was just too much to bear."

But with encouragement from her husband, and the help of a therapist, she came to understand that for her, undergoing gastric-bypass surgery would be the right choice. "I finally decided I was ready to change my life completely," she says. "I knew that's what it was going to take, a complete change. It felt like my back was up against the wall, and that I was going to die if I didn't do this. And so I made the decision."

Janet underwent a Roux-en-Y procedure at UCLA on March 7, 2006. Almost immediately, she says, Janet noticed benefits. Her fibromyalgia went away, as did her sleep apnea. She hasn't had bronchitis since the surgery. It felt miraculous, she says. "I came home from the hospital five days after the surgery and I walked around the block with my husband and the dogs for the first time ever."

Then as the weight came off, her husband took her to Disneyland. "I hadn't been able to fit on the rides there for almost 15 years, but now I could sit in the bobsled! Oh, it was fantastic," Janet says. Flying also had been an ordeal for her, but not any longer. "The first time I got on a plane after my surgery, I cried when I didn't need an extender for the seat belt," she says.

And now when she goes on vacation, she doesn't have to wait behind while others take walking tours. "My bariatric surgery was the best thing I have ever done for myself," Janet says. "My health is vibrant, my energy more than doubled. I feel great, and I'm having a great life. This was an incredible tool that not just gave me back my life, but gave me a life worth having and a future full of possibilities."

*Weight loss results can vary depending on the individual. There is no guarantee of specific results. Read full disclaimer »

Tags: bariatric, Bariatric Surgery, bariatric surgery, chronic bronchitis, exercise, fibromyalgia, gastric bypass, loss weight, patient story, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleep apnea, weight loss

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