I want to offer a special thanks to Lorraine
Evans. Here is her story:
It has been two years and four months since I
found myself struggling to breathe. There I sat on the side of my bed
with my Service Dog leaning into me and licking me to keep me in the
here and now. I clung to her as I was struggling to cling to life. I
tried to relax to get air. I tried using my CPAP machine with a setting
of 16, for air. I knew I needed to make a call for help but how would I?
I was breathless, immobile and trapped?
That one call was to my health advocate. She knew
the in’s and out’s of my circumstances and she would understand my
distress signal even if I were silent. I made the call. I was gasping for
air but managed to get out only one word: “hospital.” She called the
ambulance, raced home to meet the EMT folks, followed the ambulance to
the hospital, and spent the night watching me on oxygen, struggling to
breathe. I nearly died. As she watched me hang between life and death,
the thought came to her mind, ‘Take note, this could be you ten years
from now if you fail to take preventive action now.’
By God’s mercy, my life was spared. And not only
mine, but also the life of my friend, for on that day we each made
The milestones have been these:
April 19, 2006—I attended Dr. Verseman’s seminar on
bariatric surgery. As I waddled in that evening accompanied by my
Service Dog and health advocate, using a walker and portable oxygen,
there was a kind and compassionate-looking gentlemen who calmly and
patiently came from behind and held the door open for me. Yep, you
guessed it. It was Dr. Verseman!
May 9, 2006—I met with Dr. Verseman for the bariatric
surgery preliminaries. I would be having RNY gastric bypass surgery.
The next three months—I prepared for surgery and lost 50
pounds by mere portion control and learning how to sip water day and
night, night and day.
August 4, 2006, my surgery
The next months—I spent this time adapting and adopting a new
way of eating for life and health.
While I do not remember the date, I well remember the
glorious feeling of success the day the durable and medical equipment
people came to take all the oxygen paraphernalia out of the house, as
well as the day I folded up my walker and put it in the closet!
April 19, 2008—After many other milestone, on that day,
two years to the very day and at the same time and place as I attended
my first seminar on bariatric surgery, I stood with my Service Dog and
friend by my side announcing to fellow sojourners and celebrating not
only my weight loss, but the weight loss of all of us. And Barbara
Thompson was there, too, to offer her support and encouragement with a
blue ribbon for each of us, telling us that we are winners by being
I understood that my hospital experience was a
wake-up call. On oxygen 24/7 and housebound and chair-bound, within 2-3
weeks after coming home from the hospital at over 400 pounds, I began a
rigorous program of pursuing health that has led to my losing over 200
pounds in the last twenty-one months. And I am still working hard to
pursue health. Within recent weeks I got the latest blood work report,
and most people would be envious of my numbers! My journey – a new
journey has just begun.
Even though my friend was only on the sidelines,
she also heard a wake-up call: ‘Take note. This could be you ten years
from now if you fail to take preventive action now.’ So she too has
worked hard at pursuing health over the last two years. Her journey has
been through a different means and she would tell you she has worked not
as consistently, but nevertheless hard! By God’s grace she has been able
to get to the gym fairly regularly, and by His grace she has been able
to shed 65 pounds. Both of us have further to go, and it’s slow-going
these days, but we both heard a wake-up call and heeded it.
When I got my wake-up call, I heard it and got into
action within weeks. From the sidelines my friend heard it chiming for
her as well, and she got into action within weeks. There has been much
work, but also a lot of reward. I wish each person well who embarks upon
this journey to health!
|I love good news. If you have good news, a
success story to share, or inspiration, please send it to me at
Barbara@wlscenter.com so that I can include it in future