Therèse van den Berg

20 January 2017

Today marks my 1 year anniversary of my gastric bypass.  I am ecstatic!  My name is Therèse, and this is my story…

A few years ago, weighing in at 130kg, I went to see Dr Swanepoel with regards to gastric bypass.  Unfortunately my medical aid did not cover the operation and I wasn’t in any financial position to go the cash route.

In 2015, I went to see Dr Swanepoel again and was hoping that my medical aid would now pay for the operation as I was on a different medical aid and a better one than what I was on previously.  Unfortunately, once again, no go for the medical aid.  Then we got a breakthrough in our business and God provided the funds needed for this operation I so desperately needed as now my weight was over 150kg (my scale only went to 150kg) and my diabetes was far out of control.  I was in poor health and just miserable all the time.

8 December 2015 I had a consultation with Dr Swanepoel, weighing in at 152kg and he informed me I have been approved by him and the rest of the team to have the surgery done.  I was over the moon!!  Panicking as to when this operation will happen, I went with a clenched jaw to Lorraine (Dr Swanepoel’s receptionist) to see when he would be available to operate.  And I got my date for the 20th of January 2016.  Thank You Lord was all I could say and walked out of the practice in tears.  When hubby and I got back into the car and the radio went on, the song of Hezekiah Walker played – Every praise, to our God.  We sat there in the car praising God for this situation.

Then began my lifelong struggle with food…  I promised myself that I will never over indulge or live such an unhealthy lifestyle ever in my life again.  Uhm, that’s AFTER the op I would do that…  I knew I had to do a liquid diet 2 weeks before my op so I thought to myself, well, then let’s start eating… Yes I know, wrong attitude but I did…  When there was a hole in my tummy, I filled it.  And not with good stuff, I filled it with nonsense!!  Like pizzas, junk food, chocolates, snacks, etc etc.  I went up to 160kg.  I then started my liquid diet and was extremely strict with myself.  The morning of my operation, 20 January 2016, I weighed in at 149.7kg.

My op went extremely well and I felt great.  Not much pain at all and I was ready for this big change in my life that I so needed.  The physician took me off my insulin immediately and to date I have not used any insulin again!  I am only on diabetic tablets.  After being on insulin for 15+yrs, this was quite a big deal to me.

The road in this year has not been easy, but worthwhile!  I couldn’t do it without the support of my God, my husband, my family and my friends.  I also do all my follow ups with the necessary people religiously and attend the meetings of the Bariatric group.  It’s nice to see other people go through the same I have been going through and encouraging one another.  Those that have been on this road for a long time, short time and those still making the decision if they must do the op or not.  Every day I watch what I eat and I follow an exercise program.  It’s very important to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the road ahead.  This operation is not a quick fix, but an awesome tool for helping you gaining your ideal weight.

Judy, the dietitian, gave me my goal weight at 88kg.  I thought it was going to take me forever to get there!  In December 2016 I reached my goal!!  What a joyous day that was!!!

I just walked back in from seeing Dr Swanepoel, weighing in at 87kg.  He is very happy with my progress and said that I would be ready for skin removal in about 6 mnths time 🙂

Blessings to you all!

Therèse

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