NEA Baptist Weight Loss Surgery

Lori Norris

My name is Lori Norris and I had been overweight all of my adult life and my teenage years.  I am now 50 years old.  My highest weight was 308 pounds.  That was the day I walked into Dr. Jones' office and told him I was finally ready for gastric bypass surgery. 

I had severe acid reflux disease.  I had trouble for several years and had to sleep with my bed elevated to the point where I was practically sleeping sitting up.  I had an ulcer in my esophagus that wouldn't heal and was told that if something didn't change I was looking at esophageal cancer in my future.  I chose the gastric bypass over the sleeve because of the acid reflux.  I needed a cure for that disease.  I needed a do-over.

On April 28, 2014, my life changed for the better.  I entered NEA Baptist Hospital excited and nervous.  I was excited about the possibility of someday no longer being morbidly obese.  That didn't seem real to me. My nervousness came from the unknown.  Before surgery I tried to educate myself on this process.  I read books and watched several you-tube videos of individuals that documented their weight loss journey after surgery.  I had information overload, but I wanted to know everything I could.

Several years ago Dr. Jones performed a surgery on me to try and help me with the acid reflux problem.  Unfortunately, that surgery wasn't enough.  However, because of that surgery, I had to have an open incision for my surgery instead of laparoscopic.  Unfortunately, this led to a complication after my surgery.  The day I thought I would get to go home from the hospital, I started passing blood.  Because of the undoing of my previous surgery, there apparently was a weakness that caused some bleeding.  After 2 days in ICU and 4 units of blood being given to me, I was finally on the mend.  Through it all I never got worried about what was going on.  The medical professionals took great care of me.  It scared my family, but I had faith that everything was going to be fine.  I knew this surgery was the right thing for me to do and would be worth it.

Now the real work begins.  I followed my instructions on what my diet should consist of in each stage.  Meals now become something I have to do to give my body the necessary nutrients to heal.  It is strange to realize how little food you are putting in your body and you are not hungry.  Planning became very important.  My meals and snacks center on Protein.  I use an app on my phone called Spark People.  It tracks calories, fat, carbs and protein.    At first I used this app to make sure I was getting the required minimum of protein grams per day.  Now I use it to keep me on track for eating healthy every day.

When I look back over the past year at how my life has changed, I see the healthy person that I always wanted to be, but could never get there on my own.  The surgery gave me a fresh start.  I eat more healthy foods now.  I work out at a gym.  I actually want to do all of this.  I guess at 50 years of age I finally had the right mindset to take care of myself.  My only regret is that I didn't have this mindset earlier in my life.  If I had taken care of myself earlier in my life like I do now, I wouldn't have needed the surgery to get me on the right track.

          To date, I have lost 139 pounds and the BMI chart finally says that I am at a normal weight.  I would like to lose about another 9 pounds, but just being 'normal' is a cause for celebration.  I thank God every day for this blessing.  Dr. Jones and his staff saved my life.

Lori Norris after pic.jpgLori Norris before pic.jpg