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Kelly Bettis. from AMELIA

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Reasons to choose Dr. Ortiz at OCC.

I came to the Obesity Control Center with a clear mind and focus of what I wanted. I found them by a lot of researching and questioning. Trying to decide to have surgery with a doctor I have yet to meet was worrisome to most, but to me I was confident after all the support I was given not only by the clinical staff, but the Facebook support group was extremely helpful. As of right now I am comfortably sitting at 141 pounds from 211 when I first started this journey down this path of mine. It has had a few ups and downs, but I would not change anything about it. I went from a tight size 14 to a size 6. It is so much easier to shop for clothes and find clothes that fit. I would like to get to 135, which I believe is a realistic goal in the near future. With the warmer weather coming soon I will be more active outside doing activities that I have missed. The only regret I have about this is, WHY DID I NOT DO IT SOONER! Thank you Dr. Ariel Ortiz, you are the best and you made this all possible.

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Where do I begin...

Life begins without you knowing it. You are dealt cards before you even know it. You are provided tools from your family and friends, but does it change the cards of genetics dealt to you when your life begins? How you play your cards will be your choice. My first and foremost reason I had the gastric sleeve is because of my father’s history of health. On my father’s side his baby brother died of a massive heart attack at an early age their mother had to bury him, which should never happen for a parent. His mother had a massive heart attack, doctors told family she had a small chance of making it through the night, but she pulled through and later died of cancer. His father died of a massive heart attack at age 65. His sister had a weak heart and was on a heart transplant list, but never gotten one. In the end died of cancer in 2014. His younger brother has Parkinson’s disease with no cure, but when first diagnosed he was able to receive treatment with batteries put into his body to help with the shaking and pain the batteries have literally worn down to nothing as of now. He is still alive, but has many challenges. In a family of five children there are only three remaining. My father’s challenges started at an early age as well, he went in to see the doctor because he felt tired, sluggish, heavy in the arms and chest discomfort. Doctors ran the initial examinations and tests. From the outside looking in the tests said everything was fine. His doctor was still concerned because all these symptoms point to the serious health issues if gone undetected so he kept him for observation and did an exploratory surgery called angioplasty and with the medical history on his side the doctors concerns were right on. He was facing the worst news possible at this moment in time. My father had 4 blocked arteries, 2 of them were 100%, 1 was 75% and the last one was starting to close up as well. The only reason the EKG given at first admit shows a false reading was because my father luckily had a STRONG heart that pumped blood to the heart with collateral veins, but these were insufficient. My father was rushed in for a quadruple by-pass surgery and had to stay in the hospital for some time. Doctors put him on numerous medications, which included a blood thinner during at which time the cardiologist and primary doctor both told him to NOT let anyone take you off this medicine because my father was prone to blood clots. This was the first scare my mother had to endure with him and there were many more in the future. I believe my mother lost count of how many heart attacks he had in between then and now after she couldn’t count them on both of her hands. Fast forward my father is living, but with a lot of challenges as well. He has had many heart attacks, too many to count from then until now. I know for sure it is more than ten at the present time. He is now almost 75 years old and this all first happened around age 41 years old. Since then he has taken roughly about 20 pills a day that is a staggering 262,800 pills to the present day. Each medicine has side effects of something harmful and sometimes death if you are not careful. In turn these medications took a long toll on his body. It started affecting his spleen/liver functions and in March 2015 his esophagus varices exploded and he almost bled to death in a matter of a few hours. Luckily, my mother got him to the hospital in time because we almost lost him. Emergency surgery was performed on him at 3:00 am on a Sunday morning and recovered, but then later that night he began accumulating fluid on his lungs and was unable to breathe. They moved him to the ICU. That following Monday I left work early afternoon luckily I was able to file this under FMLA because I had no PTO at the time when this happened. I have to say I am glad I was able to go up there and spend a week with him because it was life or death. It was scary for my mother. My parents live 10.5 hours from me and for 32 years of my life I have never been this far from them. As of right now he had to be put on more medication to hopefully slow down the non-cirrhosis of the liver from the medicine. He is diabetic as well which ultimately goes almost hand in hand with heart disease. He now lives on one open artery which is his aorta with four stents in it presently and a pace maker/ Defibrillator was put in 1.5 years ago. Of course they are retired and come down and visit from time to time, but my father is not in the best of health as you may know now. In his younger days my father did smoke for a brief time, but he quit in his twenties. He did drink occasionally so I do not blame any of the health issues on his lifestyle. He was in the military, active, strongest man I have ever known and now I see a bag of bones. Welcome to my history so far. Presently, 37 years old, health issues include intermittent asthma and knee issues. When I was young I did not have a weight issue I was not super skinny nor was I overweight. I would like to say a healthy weight. This changed when I got pregnant with my daughter, although I was told by doctors when I was young after going through appendicitis I would never have children because of all the damage it did to my reproductive area of my body. I gave birth prematurely to a beautiful baby girl whom now is fifteen years old. I had her at twenty—one before I had any life skills to help me focus on me. Long story short she was diagnosed with Begin Extremal Hydrocephalus which is fluid around the brain, but she did NOT have it in the brain, which I am grateful for because it would have been tragic end if it was. I lost almost all of the baby weight gained in a few short weeks, but after she was diagnosed with this I became agitated, stressed and food became my source of ease. I began to gain like never before because I was always able to eat whatever I wanted and not gain an ounce. Living on fast food and in/out of hospitals was my story. After finding a specialist that dealt with this condition my daughter had numerous tests were ran to her fragile body being premature a month early medication was prescribed in within a year she was cleared from her condition. She no longer had it. She was on a diuretic to absorb the extra fluid her body was producing. Fast—forward a few years (24 years old) later I decided I had enough with my body and shape I went on a diet and exercised almost every day non—stop. I was able to lose weight and keep it off, but with my time being stretched to capacity I didn’t have time for the maintenance of exercising I gained most of it back after keeping it off for over a year. It was so easy to put it on too. For years after this I struggled up and down with weight. I lost some and thought plastic surgery was the answer doing a tummy tuck and liposuction to reconstruct my stomach area where there was a hideous scare from my appendicitis would take away some of my self-conscious low—esteem issues about it. It was great while it lasted and helped with my stomach weight and my scar, but this was not the answer.

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