We are pleased to now begin adding testimonies from those who believe we have helped them in some way through their journey following their bariatric surgery. More will be added soon. If you would like to hear from us personally about what we can do to help you please schedule an appointment for a free consultation.
Ashleigh D Testimony
Why did you choose to pursue your weight loss journey? Was it because you wanted to be able to get on the floor to play with you kids or grandkids? Because you wanted to be able to shop in a regular department store? Did you decide that it was finally time to take action to control your diabetes? Everyone had different reasons for choosing this avenue, but when it boils down to it, we all shared the long-term goal of becoming healthier individuals.
Before surgery, we were educated about what would be required to maintain a healthy life. This care included routine labs, follow-up, personalized vitamin supplementation, nutrition maintenance, etc. I know that all of you, like myself, were more than willing, eager even, to comply with your individualized treatment recommendations. Chances are, you were compliant for a period following surgery. You went to have your labs drawn and met with someone like Nurse Jackie to determine if you needed to adjust your supplements; you called her when you weren’t feeling well so that you could work together to find a cause and then a solution. What changes a few years down the road? Many of us get busy with life, forget to take our vitamins from time-to-time, and don’t have our blood work drawn as often as we should. This can lead to devastating complications and illness.
In the fall of 2016, I was working full-time and attending graduate school all while continuing to satisfy my wife and mommy duties. I started to feel run down and tired all the time. I was getting very little sleep, hurt all over, and just plain didn’t feel good. I attributed this to my busy life and figured that when things settled down, I would start feeling better. I had not had my labs drawn in over six months, but I assumed that I was okay because I was taking all of my vitamins, just like I was supposed to. WRONG! At the end of January, I called Nurse Jackie and told her what was going on. In the back of my head in knew something wasn’t right, but I didn’t have time to be sick, so I kept pressing on. Like the professional clinician she is, she kept her anger to a minimum as she explained that she had been attempting to get in touch with me for months to schedule my routine follow up and labs. She worked with me and ordered blood work to complete at my local laboratory. Then the call . . .
“Ashleigh, this is Jackie, you need to call me back ASAP, we need to talk, NOW. Your labs are horrible, and we need to discuss what we need to do”
“We” – that is one of the things that I love most about Nurse Jackie. No matter how negligent I’ve been, she has never given up on me. She has always been willing to do whatever it takes, often sacrificing her own personal time, to make sure that I am taken care of. Jackie is invested in my health, as she is with all of her patients. She does not expect us to know how to adjust our medications or know when we need to have further workup. Her knowledge base and expertise are extraordinary! She has been a pioneer in metabolic monitoring, and she is honored and respected in the bariatric community. How fortunate we are to have the privilege of her managing our care.
So back to me . . . Long story short, if I would have listened to her in the first place, returned her emails and phone calls, been an active participant in my own health care, I could have saved myself a five day stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where I underwent multiple blood and iron transfusions, as well as expensive testing and consultations. I was informed that upon admission, my labs were critical and that I was extremely lucky I had not suffered a heart attack, stroke, seizure, or worse. The day after I was discharged, I met with her, and she adjusted all of my supplements. I have gone to have my labs drawn as she has deemed appropriate, and she has fine-tuned my personalized treatment regimen. Needless to say, I feel like a million bucks! My stubbornness caused me to neglect my health. What good am I to myself or anyone else if I’m not healthy? Another note, thin does not equal healthy! Nurse Jackie quite literally saved my life. I know that not all cases are as severe as mine was, but I can guarantee that I will never allow myself to be so negligent with my health and well-being. You do not have to do this alone. Please be sure to take care of yourselves. That is why we chose this path in the first place, isn’t it?
Ashleigh D * Surgery: 6-8-2012
"Nurse Jackie quite literally saved my life. "
I would like to inform all bariatric patients the importance of having regular lab tests and the necessity of taking the correct vitamins and minerals. As a post bariatric patient I always took my vitamins, but my family Dr. never could see the importance of regular blood work. I lost over 100 lbs and kept it off. I felt super until one day I woke up and my world changed. What I didn't know was, just how important it was to have specific blood work on a regular basis. My B12 was off the chart low and my protein also. Vitamin A and D were also very low. I was anemic and malnourished. I was a walking "mess". So even though I had been taking a lot of supplements it didn't matter if labs were done. I was wrong. I never bothered going back to where I had surgery because it was over two hours away. Wrong thing again! When I did go back Jackie was able to see that I would have the proper blood work and then followed up by getting me back on track with the necessary supplements. Jackie knows her stuff inside and out. Most Drs. know what they know and rarely take the time to learn about "us". So let me put this in perspective....DO THE RIGHT LABS ON A REGULAR BASIS!!! Follow up with JACKIE! I'm not saying Drs. aren't smart by any means. I'm simply saying....they don't know "us". Joann R. Surgery: 3-26-2009
"Why Follow-up is Crucial"
It has been 16 YEARS!
I just celebrated the 16th anniversary of one of the best decisions I have made in my life. The year 2001 was a new beginning. At 58, I decided I had too many good years to enjoy life and I wasn't going to carry around over 100 pounds of extra weight. I had a duodenal switch. Lost 111 pounds and 16 years later have kept off 80. Yes, losing 30 would be grand and I do make an effort, but we know the buts....
I must say after the surgery, I found it vital to have blood work done yearly. As the body changes, and we know it does, the need for supplementing various minerals and vitamins becomes essential.
A dear friend, not a patient of Jackie's, died at 67 of malnutrition at 170 pounds. She rarely had blood work done. Her neglect killed her. Sad, very sad!!!!
I feel great, have wonderful energy and bless the day I called Jackie to make my first appointment, who to this day continues to do my follow-up for labs and bone density and to make sure I am taking the right supplements.
Roz F. 7-10-2001
I will mark the 15th anniversary of my Duodenal Switch surgery this coming November. I have been able to keep all of my 155 pounds off give or take a 5 pound fluctuation weekly. I have faithfully reported in to Jackie for labs every year. There have been needs for changes in supplements through the years. Who would know, but Jackie?
Your doctor doesn't have the knowledge on this stuff! I have called Jackie the guru on nutritional needs for DS patients.
For peace of mind, even if you gained all your weight back and more, it is so important for your health, to get your blood work monitored and evaluated with Jackie.
She is your guide. Make good use of her.