Medical Services

Patient testimonial from Shell

I was resistant to surgery. A strong woman who worked hard to achieve everything in my life, I worked hard to love my body too. So I was fat. I was smart and strong and beautiful. But as my age and my weight caught up with each other, I developed some health concerns I couldn't rationalize away. Type two diabetes was running amok in my cells and high blood pressure was holding on for dear life. My joints ached after a block of walking and taking the stairs left me out of breath and sometimes in tears. I wanted to take walks with my youngest daughter, do yoga with my oldest, eat small meals and feel full, stop checking my blood sugar and upping medication every month. I wanted to live. And it wasn't about a number on the scale, it was about truly living. I needed to make a change. But I was scared of dieting. I had tried that. In my 20s and 30s I did it all: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Slimfast, Fasting, Phen Fen (when it was legal), joining countless gyms, and more. I always lost 20 pounds. Then I would gain back forty. I'd sworn off that cycle long ago. I decided to look for something different.

A few weeks later, I found myself talking with Sara Maduka at Mercy. She was welcoming, funny, and open to my concerns. Jenny Finch, the bariatric dietitian, helped me break through my bias after too many bad experiences with the nutritionists of my past. And Dr. Sarabh listened to me, let me learn about my options, and truly respected my wishes (I opted for the Gastric Sleeve instead of the Bypass for example). The team at Mercy helped me feel informed, nurtured and heard. I had been to other hospitals, and I knew how special the attention and respect I got at Mercy was.

Three days before my 44th birthday, I underwent Gastric Sleeve surgery. It was hard for me. I vomited for days. But Dr. Saurabh did everything he could and eventually, it stopped. Jenny Finch helped me with my food every step of the way. And Sara Maduka made me laugh at everything. I left the hospital off of diabetes medication. Two weeks later, my blood pressure medication was cut in half. And now, six months later, I am 73 pounds down from my highest weight nine months ago, and 61 pounds lighter than surgery day. I have a bit more to go, but if everything stopped today, I am happy. I am changed. I am healthy. I can take walks with my youngest and my now much happier dog. I do yoga twice and week. I swim laps. LAPS. I feel better. I don't crave the way I used to. I have a tool to help me feel full. I have learned to listen to my body.

I always loved myself. But now, with the tools I learned at Mercy, I show my body every day how much I love her. As I tell my daughters, you only get one body, love her fierce.