A Life-Changing Event Motivated Don’s Surgery
Date of Surgery: 6/22/05
Surgeon: John Zografakis, M.D.
Total Weight Loss: 107 lbs
"I’m almost 55 years old. Two years ago (2005) I flew out to Arizona to attend my 62-year-old brother’s funeral. As I looked at him, I realized that I was walking down the same path in life (overweight, high blood pressure, sugar diabetes).
I weighed almost 380 lbs. I took 400 units of insulin and oral medications that did not control my sugar because of what I ate. I could not climb steps, walk, stand or exercise.
I had lost weight many times in my 40 plus years of being overweight. On three separate diets, I lost over 100 lbs on each attempt. But, after every diet it would all return with even more weight until I just gave up.
I had been to two informational meetings about weight loss surgery and just could not commit to surgery until after my brother’s funeral. I told my wife that I wanted to have the surgery, and she told me Summa had just started a program at Akron City Hospital. After attending that informational meeting, I made an appointment in February 2005 to talk with Dr. Zografakis. He explained in great detail both types of surgery, and I picked the Lap-Band. I had my surgery on June 22, 2005.
The one thing that I have learned over the last year is that this is not a magic pill. It is a tool and you must, as Dr. Z. pointed out in the informational meeting, EXERCISE AND USE BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. I don’t think I heard that POINT during the first info meeting. In January 2006 I came to a fashion show and heard Dr. Z. speak on that point again. However, this time I heard it loud and clear. The surgery is only 50% of the answer; you are the other 50%.
My wife and I get up at 4:15 a.m. Monday thru Friday and go for a 2.6 mile walk. We then go to the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium and work out from 5:30 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., head for home and get ready for work. My wife has been my best supporter.
I have lost 107 lbs since my surgery and take only 25 units of insulin a day, and my sugars have never been more controlled; I have stopped taking blood pressure pills, and I feel like a million dollars. I have even started playing tennis again after 10 years."