For Nicole Goodman, keeping her weight under control has been a struggle for as long as she can remember.
“When I was born they thought I was going to be twins, but I was just a really big baby,” she said. Her first diet, at age nine, was the start of a vicious cycle of weight loss and gain. “I’m an emotional eater. I would have an emotional trigger of some sort that would have me go off the diet and then I would gain it all back, plus 10, 20 [pounds]”.
As a nurse at ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital, Nicole sees first hand how obesity can affect a person’s health. In fact, it was becoming a nurse that made her determined and motivated to find a way to keep the weight off. “I needed something that would help me at that 6-7 month mark,” she said. That something was weight loss surgery.
Nicole met bariatric surgeon Daniel McCullough, MD, FACS, in the fall of 2016 when she weighed 317 pounds. Despite not having any health issues, she was still considered a good candidate for a sleeve gastrectomy.
Dr. McCullough explained that the procedure can play a role in prevention: “We know if we can treat them and have them lose the weight and keep the weight off before they develop diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea, that they do much better in the long term.”
With the help of surgery, Nicole has lost more than 100 pounds and has kept it off. But the surgery alone is just one piece of the puzzle.
“One of the highlights of ProMedica Weight Loss surgery is that we follow our patients indefinitely in the future,” explained Dr. McCullough, “Not only to ensure that the medical problems and co-morbidities resolve, but also to ensure that they are following a lifestyle change and keeping up with it.”
“[ProMedica has] this amazing post-op program; they’re with you through the rest of your life, and not all the programs are with you,” Nicole said. “ProMedica wants to make sure that you keep this weight loss off and it’s not just some band-aid that you’re putting on or a quick fix to lose the weight.”
Every day, at work and at home, Nicole is reminded that she made the right decision.
“I see what obesity does; I see that it leads to diabetes, hypertension. I just knew that if I continued on this path with my obesity and I kept this weight on my body, that eventually I would be that patient in the bed in 20 years, and I did not want that. I did not want that for myself and I did not want that for my family”