"I have a brand new lease on life"
Brian Parker had lost hope until he decided to give bariatric surgery at Palmdale Regional Medical Center a try. He shares his story:
My story began at age five. I spent one summer with my grandmother and put on about 40 pounds. Since then, life has been difficult.
I wasn’t the average fat kid. I was very athletic and was stronger, faster and seemed healthier than even the skinny kids. Things really changed for me as an adult. My health started to suffer around age 21. High blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, kidney disease, sleep apnea, erectile dysfunction, lethargy, kidney disease. The list just kept getting longer.
At age 30 I decided to take control of my health. I was 350 pounds and in one year I lost 90 pounds through conventional diet and exercise. Around age 32, that came to a halt. Gout flares were constant and debilitating. By age 34, working out became an impossibility and I couldn’t quite figure out a diet that didn’t set off a major gout flare. I fell into a deep depression and felt like dying. I threw my hands up and decided to talk to my doctor and try one last avenue.
My health situation qualified me for weight-loss surgery. For years I was reluctant because I felt like I was able to live the proper lifestyle without actually getting the surgery. I enrolled in the 12-week educational course to prep for what was to be expected. That process was just as painful and depressing as life could be because the weight never really came off until the end of the process. Dr. Yadegar required me to lose 10 more pounds from my original 10 percent. That took three months abstaining from food and indulging in more physical pain, which primed my body for post-surgery weight loss. Before surgery, I had lost over 20 pounds and I felt painfully unstoppable.
Granted, I felt better about myself, but mentally I was hopeless. I was tired and had huge doubts about the procedure. Bowel prep and the additional 10 pounds of weight loss restored a little faith that I needed to do this.
Fast forward a month and I believe I had lost 25 pounds but I could not see it. I kicked my workout game into high gear and followed the dietary constraints by the book until my second checkup revealed my kidneys were not in good shape. I didn’t let that deter me, I just followed my team of doctors’ advice and stuck to the program. At my six-month checkup with Dr. Yadegar, I had lost 145 pounds.
Never in my life would I have thought I could achieve that. I want more and I have a brand new lease on life. I feel great and subsequently look great.