Imagine carrying a 90-pound bag of potatoes – that’s what 61-year-old Kathy Losh considers thinking back to early 2011, when she was 90 pounds heavier, had a myriad of weight-induced health problems and was, admittedly, depressed. “I was just a mess,” Kathy explains.
The St. Bernard, OH resident says she’d been thin her entire life – even after birthing her two sons – but when she hit her early fifties, weight started creeping on. She hadn’t changed her lifestyle, however, but felt like her metabolism came to a screeching halt. To combat the weight gain, she tried a number of diets, including Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, but felt like these diets weren’t realistic for her to permanently maintain. “I felt like I was hungry a lot.”
As Her Weight Went Up, Kathy’s Health Declined
The weight gain was one thing, but the health conditions that coincided are what put Kathy over the edge. She developed type 2 diabetes, fibromyalgia and sleep apnea – and with the progression of each issue, she grew more frustrated.
Online research led Kathy to TriHealth Weight Management. In mid-2010, she attended a weight loss seminar and was interested in pursuing Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (Lap-Band). However, during her first consult with George Kerlakian MD, he recommended Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery, which could potentially cure her diabetes.
The Tipping Point
Kathy’s insurance provider approved the surgery almost immediately, but she waited nearly a year to schedule her surgery, because she wanted to do research – both online and word-of-mouth – to fully prepare before starting the process. During this time, she confided in Dr. Kerlakian, too. “He just looked at me and said ‘it’s a big decision and you decide when it’s right for you.’” she explains
She labored over her decision quite a bit, but once Kathy’s doctor prescribed daily insulin injections (she was already on two medications for diabetes management), Kathy decided it was time. She scheduled her surgery for July 2011, and in spite of some initial nausea she experienced post-surgery, she couldn’t be happier with her decision. “Here I am, almost four years later and it’s the best thing I ever did in my life,” she gushes. “I weigh less than I did in, probably, my twenties! I feel like I’m a high school kid again – and I’m 61,” she laughs.
“I’m Myself Again”
What’s the best part? Kathy’s completely off her diabetes medicines. She also no longer wears a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine for sleep apnea. “I had to wear a mask for 10 years,” she points out. “I used to drag that thing everywhere. I’d go to the airport and they’d stop me and check me. It was such a hassle!”
Additionally, while Kathy says her decision for gastric bypass surgery was never about vanity, she admits her newfound confidence was “definitely a bonus.” She says her husband, Bill, friends and family have all noticed a personality change – for the better. “It’s so much more fun to do things. I’m more outgoing. I’m myself again.”