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PATIENT TESTIMONIAL
When you asked for a picture of me doing something that I can do now that I could not do prior to my surgery, I thought about it long and hard for several days. I thought I can send you a pic of me on the treadmill, playing freeze tag with my kids, going down the slide or across the monkey bars, I could even send you a pic of me tying my shoes. I thought about taking a picture of my shadow, the one thing I use to hide from. I hated my shadow…it looked like a huge marshmallow with arms BUT now I love my shadow; I jump at the chance to chase it. But, the biggest change in my life is one that is hard to capture in pictures.
Prior to my surgery I had so many medical issues like gout, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver, severe sleep apnea, Meniere's, arthritis throughout my spine, gull and kidney stones and I was just plain miserable. I remember lying awake at night fantasizing about what would make me happy again…a big house, winning the lottery, a fancy car or maybe moving out of the state or even the country…surely those things would make me happy. All the pain and discomfort and the sadness masked the fact that I had so much to be happy for because I have always had love in my life but I could not see it; I even think I stopped feeling it for a long while. I would smile at my loved ones and occasionally I would laugh too but it was more mechanical than anything else. It broke my heart the day my youngest son told his teacher that I never laugh. I thought he had to be wrong; surely I laugh but you know kids…they are not easily fooled. I think Jayson knew that I wasn't feeling what you should feel when you are laughing or smiling.
Finally I made the decision to go with the gastric bypass surgery and I can tell you, with each day of recovery after the bypass I began to feel again; I was crawling out of a depression that I did not even know I was in. Before I knew it I was even laughing and smiling and I was truly feeling it. I am off the c-pap machine and all of the medicine I was on and the nights of fantasizing about what would make me happy were replaced by happy memories of the day's events and making plans for the following day. My happy memories are now of silly little moments like playing with the kids, dancing with my daughter, walking the dogs and laughing at random things my loved ones do. The plans I make for the future make me giddy; these aren't huge plans of travel or spending money…these plans are bigger than that, they are of living my life…baking cookies, coloring with my kids, playing freeze tag, and walking my dogs.
You see Cindy, the biggest thing this surgery did for me was to allow me to smile at my life…and truly mean it. So…I am sending you a picture of me smiling.
 

- Lora



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