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Melanie D.
“I have so much life and very little free time.” 



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Surgery Date: March 2010
Surgery: Gastric Bypass

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What was life like before your surgery?

I could not fit into the plane seat...embarrassing. I am a special needs teacher who also does charity work. I couldn't get down to play with the kids in the class without holding onto something to get up and down...embarrassing. I couldn't do the gym activities so I just supervised and hoped every time that I didn’t have to chase anyone.

I dreaded clothes shopping, so if it fit, I wore it till it disintegrated. I was a couch potato and ate just to be able to enjoy something. I tried to diet and I would lose then gain more back...you know, same old story. I was also a victim of a hostage-taking domestic violence incident. For years afterward, I gained weight without realizing it was to make sure no one would want me. By the time I was better mentally, I was physically a mess. I went to my family doctor for almost two years trying all kinds of ways to lose weight. Nothing really worked for long.

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What led to your decision to have the surgery?

It took me two years of thorough research and talking to doctors to make the decision. But one day I woke up and decided I hated feeling “blah” all the time: 389 pounds, having no energy, not liking myself, and feeling ashamed when I saw the look on my niece’s face when I couldn’t fit into the airplane seat. That was the day I decided to make the phone call to start the process. I also started to lose some weight on my own, knowing I would have to do it before surgery anyway. I researched other clinics, but Barix was the one I chose in the end.

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How was your experience with Barix?

I love the Barix family; they did everything right. “Dr. Pop” (Dr. Poplawski) is the best, and I thank the whole team for the new me... everyone there listened. They helped me feel like a human, not a product. I was treated very well and not talked down to, which helped more than you know. I have to travel over six hours so they are very accommodating with my appointment needs; I have never felt rushed– only helped.

Dr. Poplawski was also very tuned in to domestic violence issues in my past, and made sure that I was in the right place mentally. That made me feel like he really cared about me, and was not just doing another surgery. When I got back to Canada I had to go to a hospital because I had pneumonia. The hospital found “Dr. Pop” and the team very accessible and easy to communicate with. He makes sure to see me every visit.

I enjoyed the support I got from my Barix team.

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How is your life after surgery?

Surgery day I was 301 lbs. It was not easy right afterward, but it got easier. I love kayaking– the movement – and the idea of no restrictions on activity. I can walk and not get short of breath. I can buy clothes off the rack. And I have inspired my niece, who lived with me through this process, to change her life, too (she has lost almost 50 lbs). There is so much more I could say but it adds up to this: before I had very little life, and now I have so much life and very little free time. I love it.

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What would you tell someone considering Barix?

If you are thinking of it, that means you should be doing it. If you are a candidate, then take the hands of the Barix team and do it...never look back except to say, “See how far I have come!”  Life is there for the taking, so take it and enjoy, with the help of Barix.

Latest Update

I got married! I never thought this day would come. Size 10 wedding dress!!! Thanks for my life back, Barix....Mrs. Melanie D-E... xo

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