Sandra’s Story (Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy)
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Losing nearly 90 pounds in just several months is no small feat. More than that, losing weight and keeping the weight off requires a significant lifestyle change and a life-long commitment. Sandra’s personal weight loss story and journey with her dedicated surgical weight loss team is nothing short of inspiring.
Sandra moved to the greater Fairfield County area in the early 80s, around the same time her mother was faced with a breast cancer diagnosis. She recounts, “It felt like my whole world was ending and I started to gain weight after I found out. I was close to my mom and dealing with the stress was so hard. After she passed in December of 2000, I kept gaining even more weight. I knew I was too overweight."
In recent years, Sandra began to feel sicker as a result of the increased weight gain. After being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the pain became unbearable. “I was crying every day. The pain was so bad, I couldn’t breathe well, or even walk.”
During Sandra’s period of medical challenges wherein she’d lose weight only to gain it back, she made the decision to go back to school. She became a medical assistant, graduated with honors and found a position working with patients who had lost their limbs. “I loved their stories, but at the same time it was difficult trying to comfort them when I was in so much pain myself. That’s when I told my husband, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I have to lose weight and I need surgical help.’ ”
When Sandra first met with her surgical weight loss team, she was reassured immediately that they’d be there every step of the way. She credits everyone, from the physicians to the office staff, for their sympathetic approach. In February of 2018, Sandra decided to undergo the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy, a minimally invasive removal of a large part of the stomach. Following the removal, the surgeon reshapes the stomach to resemble a very thin banana, resulting in the consumption of far less food.
“It was the best decision I've ever made. I’ve lost almost 90 pounds. Everything I’m doing now, I couldn’t do before, even sitting down or standing up for 20 minutes at a time.”
Now, Sandra commits to an exercise routine of one hour a day. She also spends her leisure time “chasing around” her 5 grandkids. “Now I could keep going all day. I see the difference,” Sandra expresses.
Sandra’s words of wisdom to others is as follows: “Don’t get me wrong. Becoming healthier is a big change, but it’s possible [with the right team by your side]. I wish the same chance for other people. Don’t give up.”
Sandra’s ultimate goal is to pursue her passion of helping others lose weight.