I struggled with weight all my life, suffering the typical teasing because of my weight. I’ve heard every insult possible, and it hurt. Like many people, I tried every single diet program out there, without lasting success.
At the age of 34, I reached rock bottom after the worst winter Down East Maine had seen in decades. It was cold and my joints hurt. I was uncomfortable getting around, and tired of struggling with weighing more than 400 pounds.
With support from immediate family, I made the call to EMMC. A very kind, helpful Lynn Bolduc answered my call. And with zero judgment, she helped me to begin navigating through the program and I made the decision to have surgery.
From the very first phone call and email to EMMC, to all the pre-surgery appointments, everyone involved has been nothing short of amazing. They are truly a compassionate team of professionals that clearly understand the struggles we face. Not once have I felt judged by anyone along the way for failing to maintain proper health on my own. It has been nothing but the best of care, explaining the process in detail along the way.
To be able to make med decisions along the way, I needed the facts, without sugar coating the challenges facing weight loss surgery. That’s what I got, along with great compassion toward me and the extremely difficult path ahead.
It takes roughly six months to navigate the pre-surgical time. Because this is truly a lifestyle change, one must have some time to make the changes necessary to ensure success. New habits must be created.
What might seem silly really makes sense once you can make those changes. Whether it’s no longer chewing gum, using a straw, drinking water with a meal, quitting smoking and eliminating alcohol, they all make a difference. I used that time to wrap my head around all those changes, including incorporating regular exercise, healthy eating, and positive thinking to ensure success.
I had gastric bypass surgery in November 2015 with Dr. Michael St. Jean, MD. On day of surgery I had lost about 65 pounds already, which I was very pleased with, but on the day of surgery, I was a nervous wreck. My concerns melted away as I was treated by one professional after another. Many compassionate, sensitive professionals came to see me before surgery.
By the time I was wheeled to the operating room, the employees and I were on a first name basis and we laughed together as I waved to everyone along the way to surgery. Some staff members who didn’t know me even came out of their work areas to wish me well as I headed to surgery. Talk about relieving stress!
Next thing I remember, I was waking up in the bustling recovery room and later to my room for the next two days for recovery, where shift after shift, more top notch nurses, doctors, and techs showed that sensitivity, love, and compassion were the bedrock of their chosen profession. There just are not enough words to describe the incredible care that I received while at EMMC.
Follow up care from EMMC has been just as positive as the lead up to surgery. To date, I have lost 240 pounds and I feel incredible, both physically and psychologically.
There have been so many changes in my life, well beyond the weight loss. I am able to operate my businesses without the stress that weighing more than 400 pounds creates. My blood pressure is normal and my sleep apnea has reduced significantly. My chronic back issues have disappeared and I’m in a relationship with a woman who means the world to me.
Unlike all previous attempts to lose weight, I wasn’t doing it for anyone else. I was doing this for myself, for my health and well-being, both physically and psychologically. My advice to anyone considering surgery as an option is to be sure you are doing it for yourself. Don’t do it because someone else thinks you should.
Also, if you follow the program and advice from the dietitians and doctors, it truly works. It is hard work, but worth it. I have no regrets. Surgical weight loss has quite literally saved my life.