Work·a·hol·ic – noun – a person who compulsively works hard and long hours. Meet Susanna Alexander, a self-confessed workaholic and definitely the kind of person that any business would love to have on their team – dedicated, motivated, focused and driven to succeed. Unfortunately, the long hours at work made it difficult for her to give her health and wellness the care and attention it needed. As Susanna recalls “I’ve been overweight ever since I had my son, and he’s 48!” And like many others struggling to lose weight, she tried everything – yet nothing yielded any lasting results. In 2013, she suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood-pressure and fibromyalgia. Something had to change.
Her Son’s Connection Started Her Journey
In what seemed like simple happenstance (Susanna believes it was much more than that), her son, Troy, had worked with Grace, our Nurse Practitioner, at a previous job. It was through this connection that Susanna began to wonder if weight loss surgery might offer the solution she needed. Well, as we’ve already pointed out, Susanna is not one to just sit idly by, so she got to work. She started researching and very quickly she discovered that Dr. Ayoola had an impeccable reputation – and glowing reviews from his patients. But Susanna makes it clear that Dr. Ayoola wasn’t the first physician she reached out to, “I had talked to three doctors before I talked to Dr. A.” But her initial meeting with Dr. A was very different. “He entertained EVERY question I had. He walked me through EVERY step.”
Easier Than She Expected
On December 21, 2021, Susanna had a sleeve gastrectomy. “Everyone told me how much pain I’d be in after surgery,” but as it turned out, she barely felt a thing. “I told Dr. A if I didn’t have three scars in my stomach, I wouldn’t believe you did anything!” But he did. And it worked quite well for Susanna. She’s lost 67 pounds and has found her stride living as a bariatric-surgery patient. For her, it’s been way more mental than physical. “My mind tries to tell my body that I’m still hungry and to keep eating, but I’ve learned to control that.” She still has to “battle” her husband whom she refers to as her ‘feeder’ – “he thinks I’m losing too much weight” she says jokingly.
No More Meds
Prior to her surgery, Susanna was plagued with several chronic conditions. Now, she’s no longer taking insulin and instead of nine prescription medications, she’s down to just two! “My quality of life is so much better!” she says excitedly. No longer held back, she’s active and feeling more energetic than ever.
Susanna’s Best Advice
Looking back, Susanna has some advice for those facing similar challenges. First, she says “Surgery is not a miracle! You have to be disciplined.” As she recalls her visits with Sandy (registered dietitian), “Sandy was so thorough and always accessible to answer my questions and keep me on track.” It was that kind of support that made Susanna feel like she was never in it alone. Another tip she shares is to make sure you get connected with a support group. Fortunately, Weight Loss Specialists hosts regular meetings where patients can share their experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly). Susanna also encourages patients to prepare themselves for diet changes prior to surgery. As she says “If you wait until after surgery, it makes it that much harder, so go ahead and start making the changes before your procedure.” And she saves the most important piece of advice for last – “You have to do your part!”, raising her voice to drive home the point.
Looking For A Way Out?
If you’ve spent years trying every diet program without success or maybe you have a loved one or close friend who you’ve watched suffer at the hands of obesity, there is a way out. At Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas, we practice no blame, no shame, compassionate care. We invite you to start your journey today. You’ve got this. We’ve got you.