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Gary and Madelyn

“Recently, we took our first vacation since weight loss surgery. We were able to sightsee on foot, something we had not been able to do in years. We look and feel years younger.

For more than thirty years, my husband Gary and I have lived in the beautiful city of Camarillo enjoying ocean breezes in this coastal valley community located in Ventura County, about 55 miles north of Los Angeles.

My husband and I have had careers in healthcare for most of our working lives. We’ve raised two children and for the most part, enjoyed life with friends and family. Yet, somewhere along the way, we started gaining weight  together. And together we tried diet after diet, including Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, Nutrisystem and Ally. None brought us any long-lasting weight loss. Soon, my knees and back began to hurt. At my highest weight I found it difficult to sleep in my bed. My husband, however, developed Sleep Apnea, Hypertension and Diabetes Type II. We were both suffering.

By this point, Gary and I were no longer living lives we enjoyed. Gary could not play golf, and I gave up dancing, activities we loved. For years, we heard about weight loss surgery, but we also heard horror stories from coworkers  who knew someone, who knew someone else who had a bad outcome. But diets weren’t working, we could not exercise, and Gary’s medications increased. He spoke with his primary care physician about surgical weight loss. He decided to move forward with a consultation and meet with a bariatric surgeon. I decided to follow his lead.

Together we met with Dr. Yadegar in July, 2009. He was so knowledgeable, but more importantly he shared his knowledge with us. He has such a wonderful manner about him. He is totally patient- focused. We never felt as if he was hurrying us along. He answered all of our questions and spent as much time with us as we needed. We left his office having complete confidence in him and his abilities. Our pre-operative meeting was very educational as was the class with Dr. Yadegar and his dietitian, so there was no fear of the unknown.

Gary and I decided to have the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass on the same day. So in April, 2010, we entered the hospital fully aware of what to expect at each step of the process. Our surgeries went perfectly. Gary reported very little pain after the surgery, which allowed him to be walking around the hospital the morning after surgery. I joined Gary for the walks, having no pain after surgery. We left the hospital after two nights and headed home for Camarillo, ready to get healthy!

We were feeling well and able to return to normal activities two weeks after surgery, and returned to work after three weeks. But during our recovery something extraordinary happened. We quickly saw how the surgery was already changing our lives. We wanted to enjoy life as much as possible, and hopefully make up for some lost time. Gary and I retired 6 weeks later.

Now we go to the gym, take exercise & water aerobics classes, and go on long walks. Gary no longer uses a CPAP machine to sleep and he is off of diabetes and hypertension medications. I can sleep through the night in my bed now and the knee pain has improved, controlled further by periodic cortisone injections. Our family and friends are in awe of our transformations. They have been supportive every step of the way and they celebrate our new lives with us.

Recently, we took our first vacation since surgery. We were able to sightsee on foot, something we had not been able to do in years. We look and feel years younger. We are more adventurous now, looking forward to vacations where we walk from morning until night, enjoying everything we can. In fact, as I write this, we are getting ready for a two week trip to Hawaii! Gary is playing golf again and we are starting dance classes soon so we can really celebrate on our anniversary cruise in September!

People do ask Gary and me about our significant weight loss. We openly tell them about our surgeries and answer their questions honestly. We believe weight loss surgery is a personal decision that must be made after research and contemplation. For us, it was absolutely the right decision.”