"When I was younger I could manage my weight with athletic activity. However, like many football players, there is no carry over of the sport once you put away the gear. Eating habits that allowed the consumption of huge quantities of food had been deeply established and this led to constant weight gain over the years. I also did not escape all the years of football without some injuries that now were becoming debilitating.
"I had 14 knee operations and finally knee replacements on both knees. My shoulder had to be replaced and my spine needed some surgery as well. When I went to see Dr. Chylsta, I could only get around using a walker.
"In spite of all these problems, one good thing is that I had established a routine of exercise. I spent three to five days a week at the Health & Wellness Center using the weight machines and the pool. Without this regimen I would not have made it to this point. However, I could not exercise at the level needed to lose the weight that had piled on.
"I had gastric bypass surgery at Akron General on April 15, 2009. Today, as I write, I have lost 207 lbs. Many of my medical issues are gone or are much improved. My sleep apnea and high blood pressure are gone. I no longer need a walker, but do use a cane. I have been able to increase my level of activity and this has been critical to the weight loss and more importantly, maintenance. One of my new activities is bike riding. Once I found my recumbent bike, my orthopaedic surgeon agreed that it would provide a good workout, but cautioned me about falls - he didn’t want to have to rebuild my body again!
"I truly have another chance at life with much improved quality. Every day I find I can do things that I had given up on because of excess weight.
"Recently, we took another cruise to Alaska. I worried about the damage a cruise diet can cause. With the help of the cruise line, they provided me a diet to meet my needs and I came home one-half pound less! It was also so nice to fit in a seat on the plane with so much room to spare."
To learn more about the Akron General Bariatric Center, attend a free Bariatric Surgery Information and Support Group Meeting. Call 330-344-2462 for a free brochure and to register.