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Michael H.
“I used to be a 'live to eat' person but now I am just living.”


Surgery Date: October 2009
Surgery: Gastric Bypass


What was life like before your surgery?


I had no life. My sleep apnea was controlling me. If I did not use my CPAP (breathing aid) machine at night I would spend all day asleep. I would doze off in mid-conversation. Even when I did use the machine I still did not feel energetic. When I did want to go out, I would put on my clothes, only to realize they did not fit any more. So I would just end up staying home. I had no energy, no motivation and absolutely no self-esteem.


What led to your decision to have the surgery?

My cardiologist was the first person to suggest the surgery. When he skipped the usual diet and exercise talk and went right to the subject of weight loss surgery, I knew I was in worse shape than I’d thought. I had a long 6-month debate with myself. I did all the research, and talked to people who had had the surgery done. I was 29 and on 3 different blood pressure medications, using a breathing machine and seeing a cardiologist. I knew that if I kept living the way I was, I would not live to see age 49.


How was your experience with Barix?

The first time I met with Dr. Pupkova she could see that I was hesitant and scared about the surgery. I had question after question and she gave me the answer to every question I had. We were in the room talking for an hour longer than a normal post-surgery visit would be. Dr. Pupkova did not want to leave till I felt comfortable with the decision I was making. She treated me like a friend she had known for years, guiding me along the way. Even the nurses seemed like they were my best friends. If it weren’t for all the medical equipment I would have forgotten I was in a hospital. We were always joking and talking. But they were also on top of things--making sure I ate and walked around. Everyone made me feel like I was home and amongst friends.

From day one I fell in love with the place. I honestly could not say anything bad about my experience at Barix. I was only there for 2 days after surgery but I kept asking if I could stay longer because I was having so much fun. Everyone there just made me feel comfortable.


How is your life after surgery?

My life is all around better. My health is perfect. My blood pressure is perfect. I sleep like a baby and I have the energy of a teenager. I was playing basketball last month with a bunch of friends.  We played for about 2 hours and afterward I was barely winded. If I would have tried that before surgery I would have been on the ground passed out in 15 minutes. My confidence is so high I almost have an ego. I have been on 7 dates in the last 2 months. I don’t think I had 7 dates in the first 29 years of my life. But it’s not just the big things: it’s also the little things, like tying my shoes… yes. Tying my shoes! Before, it would take me about 10 minutes. A couple months after surgery it took me about a minute to tie them. I stood up and realized that I wasn’t winded. It was so easy; I sat back down, untied them, and tied them again! It’s the little things.

What would you tell someone considering Barix?

Remember that this is only a tool. I exercise and eat right now, too. I have given up a lot of things I used to love, like soda, but for the way I look and feel, it is totally worth it. You will have the energy to wake up and work out, and the drive to do it consistently. If you feel yourself wanting a doughnut, just stop and think about how good you feel.


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