Gastric Sleeve: Darren
Probably mid 280s and that time was probably eight years ago maybe.
How long have you been overweight?
You know I was a very thin guy as a young man. My parents got divorced when I was 13 and we moved off to a strange place, and I just got fat and stayed fat. I went from being a very active young person to a couch potato.
Was being overweight a problem for you?
I never really thought about it until I started having kids, and realized some of the things I couldn’t do with them. You know going to a theme park and not being able to fit into the rides I used to always ride as a kid. But you know I had these bad habits that I did not really know how to get out of them. I tried all the diets, I tried the Weight Watchers, tried the low carb. I just never I guess had the motivation, the correct motivation to stay with it. So I would drop a lot of weight and bring it all right back.
Did being overweight hold you back?
I’ve raised three great kids, got a great marriage so I don’t know that the weight held me back from that standpoint at all. My mother passed away very young, 62, from diabetes related heart disease, and so that scared me because I want to see my grandkids. My mother never saw any of my kids graduate high school. As a matter of fact it was three months from my son’s graduation that she passed away, so she’s never seen you know – and I want to see all that. I want to see my grandkids graduate.
What prompted you to consider gastric sleeve surgery?
I met Dr. Basa and Dr. Abando and just loved them, and worked with them very closely in the OR and saw what they were doing. I’ve kind of been thinking of weight loss surgery for a while, but when I met them I was like these are the right people to do this. These are the people that I trust. Having been in the OR for a lot of years now I see a lot of people, a lot of doctors, but when I met these two individuals I knew they were the right people. And so I said okay what do I need to do?
As someone who works in the operating room, were you concerned about being a patient?
I knew from the minute I went to sleep to the minute I woke up what was going to happen intraoperatively to me. Of course that didn’t scare me because I’ve been doing it for so long putting me at rest or comfort with Dr. Basa’s abilities. I’ve seen here work day in and day out in the OR, and I know how well she does it, what kind of job she does. And so I said okay what do I need to do? The first thing was a bunch of lab work, and that’s when I found out I was severely diabetic. And so that’s when I was like okay I got to make this happen.
What was the first difference you noticed after your gastric sleeve surgery?
Now I’m used to it, but at times I still think about it. I’ve not been hungry since the day of surgery. That is something that’s very very strange, but I think a gift. The only way I know I need to eat is somebody has to tell me. Darren you haven’t eaten today. Or maybe getting a little bit of discomfort in my stomach, but there’s none of those hunger pains that the typical person has when they miss a meal.
What else has changed since your weight loss surgery?
Major, major changes in my body and the way I look. My wife is like I don’t even recognize you anymore. It’s a really nice feeling. I have a lot more energy. I’m back in the gym, swimming, that’s been nice. While I still get tired from it, you know cardiovascular I’m just not up there yet, I don’t get the same feeling I did when I’m heavy. I got get out of breath. I’m already down several pant sizes and shirt sizes. I mean I can wear medium scrubs at work, and I’ve never done that before. It’s pretty crazy.
Are the changes just how you look?
I’m much more positive about things, I’m much more positive about what’s going on in my life. Much more positive about what’s going on at work. I just feel like I’ve got more to live for now, because I know there’s nothing holding me back. If I could go through this there’s probably nothing I can’t get through.
How do you feel now?
Incredibly proud. It’s a lot of work to get to where I’m at, but it’s not hard work. It’s very self-fulfilling I guess is the right word. That I could look in the mirror and see this difference. And initially I think that’s what was hard for me to see until I went and bought new clothes, because I kind of just kept wearing all of my other clothes even though they were just hanging out on. Just because you’re losing so fast you don’t want to go out and spend money on clothes that you may only wear for you know a few weeks. But when I finally did I was like wow, big difference.
My kids, my eldest is 23, they’ve never seen me small. They’ve always seen their heavy set Dad.
What do you tell people considering weight loss surgery?
The biggest thing is people don’t need to be scared. It’s a lot of work but it’s incredibly well worth it. Incredibly well worth it. I wish I had done it ten years ago, but I wouldn’t have had Dr. Basa if I had. So I’m glad I waited.