The guest blog below is the fifth in an occasional series by Shaun Thomas, a young man in northern Colorado who weighed 725 pounds before undergoing bariatric surgery in Fort Collins, performed by Dr. Stefan Pettine of Northern Colorado Surgical Associates.
Shaun’s first guest blog focused on his thoughts before surgery in August and his hopes for an improved lifestyle, while his subsequent blogs gave an update about his progress. They are all inspiring reads: one month after surgery; a Q&A with Shaun; and his dreams for 2012.
If you or a friend think bariatric surgery may help, please call 866.495.7579 or click here to learn more.
I can’t believe it’s been a year.
On Aug. 18 last year, I went in for gastric bypass surgery. At 32 years old and well over 700 pounds, I needed some pretty serious help to change my life. I could only walk a few steps at a time. I couldn’t drive a car. I couldn’t go out with friends. My life was pretty full of “couldn’ts.”
I’m happy to report that life is going great. I can do a lot more. I’m driving. I haven’t been able to drive a car in something like 10 years. I don’t have to ask my mom and my brother to take me places. Now it’s more like, “Who gets the keys?”
I’m fishing. I like to fish and we go out a lot. This summer, I’ve only caught two fish that were worth keeping. Can you believe it? Only two decent fish all summer? I swear the rest have all been bluegills.
I have endless opportunities. Opportunities where I’m not relying on other people to get me around.
I can run. If I fall down – like I did the other day – I can get back up. My stamina has improved. I played basketball with my brother the other day and didn’t really get tired. I’m walking a lot. In fact, I finally got the courage to go walk around Old Town. It’s still hard sometimes because people still make comments even though I’ve lost more than 300 pounds.
Yes, 300 pounds. Can you believe it? It’s been a great year. And yes, it’s been hard sometimes. I really have to watch what I eat. I can’t eat shrimp – long story. And I’ve had to have a camera sent down my throat to see if anything was wrong when I kept throwing up. (Nothing was wrong. I was just eating bites that were too big. Now I have a mini-fork that helps me eat smaller bites.)
If you can remember, I work as a tattoo artist. Now I’m able to do mobile calls. I can actually go see people and give them tattoos. I also said last year that I had endless opportunities. Now I can say for sure that is the absolute truth. I have endless opportunities. Opportunities where I’m not relying on other people to get me around. Endless opportunities where I can stand on my own two feet. I can only imagine what those opportunities are going to be like in a year. I know I still have a long way to go but I’m motivated.
Getting this surgery has completely changed my life.