As a wife, mother and grandmother, Michele Adair struggled with her weight for years. But thanks to her faith, and the skilled medical team of Community Hospital South’s bariatric services, Michele feels her battle has been won.
Despite a wide range of diets, Michele was never able to achieve the substantial weight loss she desired, and needed. In many cases, Michele gained weight, rather than losing it. After years of denial and resentment about the way she looked, Michele says she just stopped looking. Like many bariatric patients, Michele never let family or friends know how she truly felt about herself. So, on the outside, she seemed fine, but inside, she was in turmoil. As the years passed, Michele’s weight soared. She admits she was on a self-destructive cycle, although she didn’t truly realize it at the time.
In 2008, Michele started having episodes of not breathing while sleeping, and would wake up gasping for air. Although Michele didn’t realize she was doing this, she did realize that she had no energy. She was taking naps during her lunch break, so that she could get through her work day. After her primary care doctor ran a battery of tests, the only thing that was revealed was that Michele was borderline diabetic and had an iron deficiency. Even after taking iron pills, she was still feeling exhausted. At this point, her husband told her about her breathing issue when she was sleeping. Michele went for a sleep study, and it was confirmed she had sleep apnea due to her morbid obesity. Michele said being told she was morbidly obese brought tears to her eyes. She knew it was time to aggressively take control of her weight, so she could correct her other health issues.
Michele knew it was going to take more than the support of her husband, friends and family. It was going to have to be a spiritual, physical and mental change. Michele found what she was looking for at the Community Hospital South bariatric program. She was pleased with the fact they knew and understood that major weight loss was going to be life-changing. Not only did the program deal with the physical aspect and the mental aspect, she was also encouraged to lean on her spiritual beliefs as well. Michele clicked with Dr. Steven Clark and his team from the very first day. She attended Dr. Clark’s presentation of weight loss surgery options, including the pros and cons of each. Michele was determined to be a candidate for gastric bypass.
In early December, Michele had her surgery. She returned to work one week after her procedure. Within two weeks, she had lost 25 pounds. By sticking with the program mapped out by the bariatric team, Michele dropped weight so quickly, she kept having to change clothing sizes. With her dramatic transformation, Michele found herself almost not recognizing herself in the mirror. As she says, “It was like being on the most exciting ride you had ever been on in your life.” Michele said she started feeling great and looking even better. Because of her transformation, friends she didn’t see regularly didn’t recognize her, and some even thought her husband had remarried.
Michelle says she’s healthier than she’s ever been, and relishes her weight loss victory every day.