by June Zaragoza, MPH, RD, LD
Before having weight loss surgery every day was a struggle for LaRissa. She says, “I was in pain, tired, and short of breath. I had sleep apnea and my head was hurting.” She didn’t have the patience for her job as a day care provider and felt like she was a burden to everybody. Finally, she decided she didn’t want to live that way anymore.
It was scary and a big decision to have surgery, but “I did a lot of research and knew what I was
getting into.” She chose the bypass over the band because it was quicker and she didn’t want to go back for the fills. Also she stated, “I needed something fast.”
After losing 94 lbs in the first year, LaRissa says, “I feel so much better. I can walk stairs without stopping. Life is so much better for me.” She feels good about how she handles her job. “I have less anger issues, my emotions are much better. I’m just like a little kid with them again.”
Sometimes she still misses food. “You still want to eat, still want to have your best friend with you. I can’t have that big juicy burger with fries with a big piece of cake. My friend is a little piece of chicken. I can eat a very small piece of dessert. Now I don’t have that guilt.”
But LaRissa cautions that weight loss surgery doesn’t solve all your problems. “I have self-image problems and I still feel like people are looking at me.” Before she could tell they were looking at her with disgust because of her weight and sometimes wouldn’t even speak to her. Now she says, “They treat you much nicer when you’re an average person.” And finally she states, “I just wish I had done it earlier.”
LaRissa would also like to thank her surgeon, Dr. Gibson, and the staff here at Vista Medical Center East (June, Stacey, and the floor staff) for all their help.
Vista Medical Center East
1324 N. Sheridan Road
Waukegan, IL 60085