Taking control of my future.
Being overweight was a condition I had learned to live with since I was 8 years old.
That’s how old I was when my father died. As a child, I didn’t really know how to handle my emotions, so I turned to sweets and overeating. Fast forward to 29 years old, 350 pounds and newly married. I was extremely sick. I bled so much from a condition tied to my obesity (called polycystic ovarian syndrome) that I didn’t have enough iron and blood in my body. Several hospital stays and numerous iron infusions and platelet transfers followed. Nothing about that experience was pleasant. I think finally, I was just done.
When I was told I might need to get a hysterectomy not even six months into my marriage, that was my last straw. I was tired of the way I felt and was ready to do something about it. I was thrilled to discover I qualified for gastric bypass surgery. It was an easy choice for me as I had tried every fad diet out there over the years with little to no results.
While the surgery was an easy choice for me to make, I was still nervous, of course. I had decided on Orlando Health and it took exactly one meeting with bariatric surgeon Dr. Andre Teixeira for all of my worries to subside. He was very knowledgeable and thorough in explaining everything and asking me what I wanted and giving me his recommendations. Luckily, we were on the same page. He agreed with me being a candidate for minimally invasive gastric bypass and he explained the procedure to me. He made the decision a very smooth, easy process.
I had met with the nutritionist and had my psychiatric evaluation, so when it came time for the surgery, I felt prepared. But, I was also nervous. My mom was there with me and she wanted to meet the doctor before surgery, so Dr. Teixeira came in, and he put both our minds at ease. He also checked on me several times during my stay at the hospital. That meant a lot to me.
All things considered, I never really felt like I was in a hospital during my stay. It was more like I checked in to a five-star hotel for two nights. It was a beautiful facility and the care was excellent. The nurses checked on me regularly and when I was walking the halls, just hours after my surgery, I would hear cheers of“You’re doing a great job!”every time I’d pass the nurses’ station.
Today, I am 180 pounds less than I used to be. In a short amount of time, my life has changed completely, but in the best kind of way possible. I’m off my blood pressure medication. I’m no longer considered pre-diabetic. In fact, I no longer take any medications at all. I can easily climb a flight of stairs without getting short of breath, I can shop at any store I want to and they’ll have my size, and I can walk my dogs for a few miles at a time, no problem!
Not so long ago, I used to lean on a buggy just to walk around a grocery store. I couldn’t even walk from my desk to the bathroom without excruciating back pain. Because of Orlando Health, I was able to change my life, and was given the second chance that I needed and wanted so badly. They made everything so easy for me, and I felt such encouragement and compassion from every single person I came into contact with, from Dr. Teixeira to my nutritionist, Laurie, to the front desk receptionist to the people in the cafeteria. It was truly a remarkable experience.
I am Amber and I choose Orlando Health.
Two months into my marriage, I weighed 350 pounds, was pre-diabetic, on blood pressure medication, and had problems walking even short distances. It’s not how I wanted to start a new life journey. I wanted something very different. Lucky for me, the doctors and nutritionists at Orlando Health were able to provide the exact care I needed.