In Sickness and In Health

In Sickness and In Health
FROM MACUNGIE, HELMA (63) AND RICHARD (75) ROSENTHAL WENT THROUGH LAPAROSCOPIC ROUX-EN-Y GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY TOGETHER. THEY HAVE BOTH LOST APPROXIMATELY 100 POUNDS EACH.

On February 18th, my husband Richard and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and our commitment to one another is stronger than ever.

For years, we’ve both struggled with being significantly overweight. As it often occurs with married couples, we also had similar lifestyles—a long history of unhealthy eating habits and little to no exercise. As we got older, losing weight and maintaining our health only became significantly more challenging. I was diagnosed with diabetes and high cholesterol. Richard suffered from sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and diabetes. We decided to more seriously consider our options.

We researched and attended several local hospitals offering bariatric surgery and were impressed by the breadth and depth of the Weight Loss Program at St. Luke’s. Their approach included highly qualified and experienced doctors. In addition, it offered support—our physician’s guidance, monthly group meetings, regular information sessions, and access to a nutritionist. This breadth of support, as well as the reputation of the program and St. Luke’s surgeons, made our decision easier.

 Sounds crazy, but we decided to do the surgeries together—the same day, to be exact, one right after the other. It reinforced the love and support we’ve always had for one another.

Post-surgery, each month has brought us closer to our weight loss goals. Not long after the procedure, Richard’s sleep apnea and high blood pressure were resolved, and he significantly reduced his insulin level to treat his Type 1 diabetes. Aside from now being able to enjoy activities we previously couldn’t, we feel so much better about ourselves.

We no longer feel trapped by our weight. We look and feel healthier and our numbers show it. We have self-esteem, confidence, and energy again. My ability to shop for a variety of clothing styles has allowed me to more fully express myself and my husband thinks I look great! Although we haven’t signed up for the St. Luke’s Marathon and 5K yet :-), it’s brought us closer together.

Today, Richard and I tell anyone thinking about bariatric surgery to go to the St. Luke’s information sessions. We also stress talking to someone who has already gone through the procedure. For me, I only wish we would have done it much sooner because the experience has been life-changing.

Happy Anniversary Richard,

Love Helma

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