Skinny Nana

I moved to NH in 2018 after the death of my father. At that time I was considered “morbidly obese” and I knew I was. I had considered Weight Loss Surgery three times while living in CA. Each time was not the right time. At the time I had moved I was smoking a half pack of cigarettes a day, I had trouble moving, I had high blood pressure and depression.

In February of 2019 I had two back to back AFib attacks. When I saw the cardiologist the beginning of March of 2019 I was told I needed to loose at least 50lbs or I would have a major cardic event. When I asked how major, I was informed it would most likely result in death. When I told my husband this news he signed me up for “new” program at Wentworth Douglass he saw on FaceBook.

March of 2019 I went to my first informational meeting and heard what the different options were for WLS. My sister had WLS through another program in 2017 and I have seen her success along with her struggles and I was very interested. I came home and told my husband I wanted to go through with having the Vertical Gastric Sleeve, but I would do whatever surgery the surgeon felt was best for me. I was set on the Sleeve as I would have to learn a new way to live but I didn’t have to have my insides “rewired” sort to speak.

I went to my sister and asked her if she had to choose a surgeon who would she choose as she knew two of the surgeons that were now at WDH. She said she had Dr P and would recommend Dr P, as she’s calm, gentle and very thorough.

At the time I went through the program very quickly (9 weeks) and then I got to meet Dr. P. I will never forget the first time I met her. She came in and calmed a very excited but nervous patient (me) down. She answered all my questions, took her time and explained both procedures to me. I was very clear I wanted the sleeve. I did not want to look back and was ready to start my new life.

On June 11, 2019 Dr P gave me my second chance to live again. I woke up and asked my husband if they had done the surgery and he laughed and said yes they did. The next morning when Dr P had come to check on me, she again answered all my questions. I made a promise to her I would protect my tool and never again take for granted her talent and gift. I should note that I did develop a hiatal hernia and had Dr P repair the hernia and do a revision after a lengthy discussion with her about my options to a Gastric By Pass in September of 2021.

Since my surgery I am no longer at risk for a “major cardiac” event. I no longer take blood pressure meds, I have walked and ran several 5K’s. I am able to run and play with my grand babies. In fact my 5 year old grand daughter refers to me as her “skinny” Nana.

There are many WLS programs out there, this program teaches you how to succeed after surgery. Through support groups, the FaceBook support page and each other. Since I have moved back to California I have come into contact with several WLS patients and have actually been asked to be a coach to others. This program gave me the opportunity to have those doors open and confidence to do so.

My advice to anyone considering this major life step is, be informed. Don’t be afraid to ask ANY question. Understand this surgery is not a ‘quick fix’ it’s a lifestyle that needs to be practiced daily. Life throws us curve balls and we can fall into old habits easily, finding new ways to deal with those curve balls is challenge but so worth it.

This program has taught me that I no longer live to eat but I eat to live. I have always hated exercise I still do. I miss when I don’t exercise though. This program has taught me that exercise is a good way to get out frustrations, sadness, and way to celebrate.

Lastly when the group was still young it was asked on our FB page if Dr P had a hashtag. I randomly threw out #poweredbypaciulli, that hashtag has stuck. I am blessed that I have been in fact #poweredbypaciulli.

Dr. P gave me the tool to have my life back, it’s a tool that I will always take care of and treasure. I have often told people if she ever asked me to walk through fire I would. Writing my testimony for her is a small repayment for the excellent care and work she has given me.

Thank you Dr. P for giving me the chance to see my grandbabies grow up.

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