A teenager’s journey through weight loss surgery


April 19th, 2017 will always be a big date
in my mind. I get very sentimental with things like that. And I’m like this was the day it all started. This is the beginning of a whole new journey,
it really is. This is the beginning of a whole new life
I feel like. Ok. This is week one of the video diary. Last week I had an endoscopy done. So this week I got the letter saying all is
well, I’m all good for the surgery. I’m just going to go through a couple quick
questions for you. Did you still want Dr. Shope as your surgeon? Oh yeah sure. Ok we’ll make sure he’s doing your surgery. After I’ve lost a significant amount of weight
with the surgery I expect my life to get easier in certain areas. When it comes to school, like I said mobility,
climbing steps, or sitting in smaller desks. I’ll have an easier time shopping for clothes. We’re going too…! Cheesecake Factory! I didn’t really consider bariatric surgery
for myself until my mom was considering it for herself and that was what kind of sealed
the deal for me. We are from Nigeria in West Africa. The notion that we have in Africa is the bigger
you are, the money you have to spend. So when we came here all our weight just grew
up. And it was something else. I got up to like 50 pounds, yeah, since we
came here. And then you want for your children what you
missed as a child, you don’t want them to miss it, eat whatever you want to eat. OK so I decided that I wanted McDonalds for
breakfast. Hi can I get one bacon, egg, and cheese McGriddle
meal? Large hot caramel mocha. I think a lot about college will be different
from high school. I want to be a lot more social in college,
I actually want to join a lot more clubs. And now I have this kind of surgery thrown
in there, the after effects, the after math of that. Good morning it’s April 19th its the day of
surgery. I’m really happy I’m really excited. Mom are you excited? Yay! I’m having vertical sleeve gastrectomy today
and I decided to do this because, well I’m like 230 pounds overweight. I’ve thought a lot about the positive life
changes that are going to come from this and I’m really really excited for them. I’m happy I’m chill at the same time I don’t
know. I’m mellow but excited I don’t know. But I’m not nervous. Well if I was gonna rate it from 1 to 10. 10 being like the worst pain I’ve ever felt,
it was probably, maybe around a 7. Nasea, pain in my abdomenal area, I threw
up at least twice. Well I get full very quickly, I also, you
know, I get hungry quicker than I expected. So a few weeks ago I notice that my weight
went up. There’s no way that I could’ve eaten enough
food to maintain my weight. I was really sad I like didn’t tell my mom
for like 4 days after I weighed myself. I went through some like chats and things. People who have had bariatric surgery, after
3 or 4 weeks their weight will stall, or go up even. And it’s not necessarily uncommon. Initially, my intentions were to go to college. But due to financial issues I decided that
the best thing to do was for me to defer for a year. So, I’m working 40 hours a week. So, I’m going to be saving at least half of
my income, for school. So, I just finished with my first day of my
first job ever, which was at Checkers. Really they just had me on the grill, flipping
patties. I was on my feet the whole time as I expects. I did, definitely, get hot at times. My feet kinda hurt, but it was my first day. So, me and my sister decided that we were
going to start walking to Safeway. The first time we did this, it was such a
mess. We were so weak! But we stuck through it because we’re champions. What are we?! Champions! What are we?! Champions! I’m so serious they’re gonna kick us out of
this goddamn community. Overall, I just felt like Checkers wasn’t
the job for me. It was just so uncomfortable. I was also slow because of my lethargy from
being so hot all the time. I interviewed at Safeway, and I was hired
same day. It’s cold in there, because it’s a grocery
store. It’s much more comfortable for me. I had my surgery about 4 and a half months
ago and by bariatric standards, my progress isn’t that good. But, I mean by my own personal standards,
50 pounds in 4 and a half months, is great. What I decided to do, is meal-prepping. I made sure that, like, every bowl I made
had at least, 30 grams of protein in it. So, I went shopping recently and I was trying
on the same sizes that I was wearing pre-op. I was noticing that they too big on me. And then I tried on things that were, 14-16,
and they fit. And I was like, what you talking about? I was just so excited. And in the dressing room, they were playing
music, I was dancing along, I was so happy. As I was looking through the videos, I actually
don’t think I saw a single video of a teenager. I feel like when you’re younger you have a
bit less control in your life. So, you have to be able to adapt to all the
changes that are coming your way regardless of whether you asked for them. So, the first few months I was really in this
mindset of like, I don’t have to do as much, because the, like, restrictive space in my
stomach is enough to just, to just on it’s own help me lose a lot of weight, without
me having to put in much effort. And think that is true for a lot of bariatric
patients, but it wasn’t really for me. I think it helped me grow as a person. For me it wan’t perfect, it wasn’t super super
ideal. But I wasn’t just gonna sit back and be upset
about it and just let it happen. I’m not that type of person. So, quick update for you guys. I’ve been super super dedicated to me and my mom’s business, I’ve been putting in a ton of time and effort. I’ve also been applying to colleges and applying to scholarships. Right now, I weigh around 310. Bring my total weight loss to 76 pounds in 8 months! It’s beautiful how life can change like that so unexpectedly. It’s just been absolutely amazing.

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