Shanae S.. from West Valley
As a 13 year-old who weighed 230 pounds, this young girl felt hopeless. "Being a teenager is hard enough," she says, "but being an obese teen is an excruciating heartache!" This heartache would be removed forever by Dr. Ortiz.
My story is a simple one. I was obese by the time I was in the third grade. Watching (or talking) about everything I ate became my way of life. By age 13 I weighed 230 pounds and was gaining all the time.
Even as young as I was, I had been on many fad diets and convinced my parents to let me try “just one more” info-mercial miracle weight loss or exercise program. But when my grandpa (who I loved deeply and was extremely close to) passed away I hit ROCK BOTTOM! I was so depressed and as a result just ate non-stop out of emotion. I got on the scale one day and had reached 228 lbs and that made me sink into a deeper depression. The reality of it all had hit me hard but I was simply out of control.
My mother knew where I was heading with my weight because she had gastric bypass surgery 12 years ago. My mom lost a lot of weight with her bypass surgery but has gained much of her weight back. She will suffer the rest of her life now with the health issues she has. She was adamant that I would never, ever have surgery for weight loss, but one time I became so depressed my parents were desperate to find a way to help me.
My mom did some research on obesity and found out all the new things that had been developed since her time and learned about the lap band surgery. Because of the differences in the lap band and the gastric bypass (mainly the fact that if there was a problem they could just take it out!), my parents decided it would be safe and said that I could do it.
We looked into getting the surgery done in our home state, but nobody would even consider it until I was the age of 18. I could only imagine how much heavier I would be in 5 years at the rate I was going! My parents were really nervous about me having surgery in Mexico, but Dr. Ortiz was willing to meet with us and after we met with him, he felt I was mature enough to handle the surgery and my parents felt it was safe.
I had my lap band surgery 6 months ago and have now lost more than 50 lbs and I have another 50 lbs to go. I also realize I still need to watch what I eat and how important exercise is to reaching my goal weight. Yeah, it’s hard to go to a sleepover when everyone is pigging out on pizzas and sodas, but I am feeling better about myself all the time and that is better than the taste of the best pizza! I now have HOPE! The lap band surgery has made it possible for me to finally get my weight under control.
I feel like I now have a chance at a normal adolescence. I am a freshman now and I am feeling more confident all the time. I am kind of a shy person anyway and being so heavy kept me from making new friends. I certainly would have never even have considered talking to a guy!
I am gaining the confidence I need to change all of that. I’m getting compliments all the time on how much better I look. I’m very grateful to my parents for supporting me in having this surgery and that Dr. Ortiz did it. I am trying out for a dance company next year and I’m looking forward to school dances and activities. Being a teenager is hard enough but being an obese teen is an excruciating heartache!
I have never believed in being obsessed with worry over a few extra pounds, but I think it’s fair to want to be normal. I want to be a normal healthy weight. I want to get married and have children and live a healthy adulthood.
Because of all the positive traits of lap band surgery, I can have it adjusted to assure that my weight loss will continue. I can have it adjusted when I choose to give birth, or I always have the option to simply remove it if there ever is a problem. Doing it at this point in my life made perfect sense and I have absolutely no regrets about having the surgery! I have had no complications at all! The Lap Band surgery simply gave me a chance at a happy adolescence and a healthy adult life.