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Shelley Gaston

Surgery Date: July 6, 2015
Starting Weight: 293 lbs.
Current Weight: 191 lbs.

 

Shelley knew that she was done being over-weight when she no longer had the energy to play with her son. Now she can easily get up and down off the floor and run around in the back yard
with him. Shelley says: “I feel like I can conquer the world!”


Before your surgery, what medical conditions were you suffering from? I had slightly high blood pressure, but I was not taking any medication as treatment. Otherwise, (remarkably)
I had not been diagnosed with any medical conditions.

Since your vertical sleeve gastrectomy, in which conditions or diseases have you seen a change? Now I have perfect blood pressure!

What made you decide to have a vertical sleeve gastrectomy? I was outside playing with my almost 2-year-old son (at the time). I was sitting on the landscaping while he was digging in the dirt. He kept saying “Mommy, play with me.” While remaining seated, I started to dig with him because it just took too much effort to get up. He finally said “Mommy, get up and play with me!” I knew at that moment I was done being over-weight. I never wanted my son to ever feel like I couldn’t play with him. I want to make sure I am here to see him grow up.

Besides the external changes you have experienced, how has the surgery altered your outlook on life and your relationships? I feel like I can accomplish anything placed in front of me. The way
I explain it to my friends and family is: “I feel like I can conquer the world.” My self-confidence and motivation are back and I’m once again the outgoing, rowdy person I once was! I want to make sure that I’m here for my family and never miss an opportunity to enjoy my time with them.

What kinds of things are you able to do now that before the surgery were difficult or impossible? I can go up and down stairs without being winded or my knees hurting. As a family we love to go
bike riding. This was something I wouldn’t have even tried to do before. I can get up and down off the floor and run around in the back yard with my son. He never has to ask me to “get up and play with him” anymore! I fit comfortably in my chair at work and now have the ambition to walk during my lunch hours. Most of all…I can purchase clothes at any store I walk into now.

What do you wish you’d known before the surgery? I wish I had known before how life changing (for the better) weight-loss surgery would be. I spent too many years of yo-yo dieting, failing each time. I spent years being miserable and angry for letting myself get to a point from which I felt I could not recover. I struggled with infertility due to being overweight. I always questioned why and tried to place blame on so many other things. My only regret is not having the surgery sooner.

What would you say about Dr. Eibes and the Iowa Weight Loss Specialists team? Amazing!!! This group is outstanding. They truly care about your success. What I like most about Dr. Eibes’s office is that it’s a “one stop shop”. He staffs a Physician Assistant, Dietitians, Social Worker and numerous nurses to help guide you throughout your journey. There are no multiple offices to visit all over town. The staff at the Belmond hospital, where I had my surgery, were all “top notch”. Everyone was friendly and well educated about caring for bariatric patients like myself. I have had a few hospital stays throughout the years and this was by far the best experience I’ve had.

What would you tell someone who was considering the surgery? Do NOT wait! If you are thinking about it definitely get to one of the informational meetings hosted by Iowa Weight Loss Specialists. It’s FREE and it will help you understand the surgery process better and answer any questions you may have. Dr. Eibes and his team are dedicated to helping you become a healthier YOU!

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