Ever since I was little, I was always the “big girl”. Despite my efforts with various diets and exercise, I continued to yo-yo with my weight, each time going higher and higher. In May of 2017, I had my first sleeve gastrectomy. I was at my highest weight (at the time) and had done every diet program in the book. I had several comorbidities and needed a change. I was able to lose around 50lbs with the first procedure, and keep it off for a couple of years.
Then Covid hit. All of my softball and volleyball leagues ended, I was not going to work (where I am a PE teacher and have built-in activities), and we were stuck at home. There wasn’t much to do besides eat and drink… and we did just that. By the summer of 2023, I was at my new highest weight and feeling like a fraud. Here, I am teaching about health and wellness, being physically active, and being a role model—all while in this body that didn’t match what I was teaching.
Additionally, I got engaged in April and am getting married in July of 2024. I hated the way I looked and felt and didn’t even want to take pictures or go dress shopping. My body was preventing me from enjoying everything I should feel happy about.
On a girl’s trip with my family in July 2023, I spoke with my cousin (Chelsea D’Ascanio- Head of Anesthesia Services for Bariendo) about having a revision procedure for my gastric sleeve. She got me in contact with Dr. Jirapinyo and Z as soon as we got home from our trip and started the conversations. In August 2023, I flew down to Miami, was the “first patient,” and had my gastric sleeve revision procedure. The entire Bariendo staff, as well as the staff at Miramar Surgical Center in Miami, were incredible to work with. They welcomed me as soon as I arrived at the location, comforted me through the process, and have been supportive ever since. Anytime I have a question or concern, I reach out to Z and have answers almost immediately.
Since having the procedure in August, I am down 43 pounds and have so much more energy and confidence. It hasn’t always been an easy ride, but the Bariendo staff has been there to support me every step of the way. I am still working towards my overall goal, but I am on my way! I no longer feel like a fraud in my job; I have more stamina for softball and volleyball; and I am excited to go dress shopping!
Thank you, Chelsea, for introducing me to Bariendo and supporting me in a healthier life!