My troubles began in 1985 when my mother had a catastrophic stroke. My children were two and five at the time. My husband was wonderful, however, I was the only child who lived in the same state. My father fell apart mentally and physically. I was working full time, and trying to maintain two homes an hour apart from each other. This went on for two years. My mom passed away, dad needed bypass surgery and I was constantly gaining weight trying to keep it together. My husband got layed off and we decided to move to Atlanta. Shortly after our move, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I continued to gain weight and my sugar was out of control. I was put on insulin. The heavier I got the more insulin I was put on. The more insulin I was on, the heavier I got. I was like a dog chasing it’s tail and was disgusted. In early February of 2008, I was talking to a friend about my frustration. She told me a friend of hers had lap band surgery in Mexico and lost a lot of weight. She suggested I check the web site to see. She asked her friend if I could call to talk to her.

I first called my insurance here to find out if they would cover the surgery and they assured me that no Bariatric surgery was covered even though I was diabetic and had high blood pressure. I spoke to the girl who went to Mexico and had her surgery and she raved about her whole experience from being picked up at the airport, meeting the R4ac Coordinator, having the surgery and how wonderful her doctor was. I was getting excited. My sister who lives in Florida also had Type 2 Diabetes. I gave her a call and asked if she wanted to take a trip to Mexico and have lap band surgery with me. She wanted to do a little research first.

About two days later she called and told me about a report that came from Australia saying how lap band surgery is a good fix for Type 2 diabetes. The weight loss lowers the blood sugar and most diabetics get off all medications. We were psyched and she wanted to do it immediately. I asked her to wait until April when I was on spring break. She called Judy at Ready 4 A Change and set up our reservations. We would arrive on April 8th and surgery was set for the morning of the 9th. That happens to be my son’s birthday so I just knew all would be well.

I was picked up at the airport and brought to the hotel (which was gorgeous). I met my sister there.
We met our Coordinator and she thoroughly explained what to expect the next day from an early morning pick up, the surgery, the hospital stay, and everything we would encounter. She was fabulous. We went out to dinner and went back to the hotel to prepare for the “new people” we would become.

We were picked up early the next morning and brought to the hospital. All I can say was the entire experience was fabulous. The doctor was wonderful, the nurses didn’t speak English but anticipated all our needs. My sister was next door to me. We were walking the halls later the same day as surgery. The doctor came to see us both later in the day and the next morning to release us back to the hotel. He was just wonderful. The R4ac Coordinator also came by and was so kind. She called my husband after surgery to tell him I was fine and then when she came to the hospital she called him again so I could say hello. We went back to the hotel with liquids, broth, juice, and anything we would need for the night. We arranged to go into town to walk and shop for about an hour. We then went back to the hotel to rest in anticipation of our flights home.

When I came home I followed all directions. Within about a month to 6 weeks I lost 50 pounds. I was thrilled. My journey was longer than my sister’s because my doctor was slow in taking me off the insulin. I was exercising and working with a personal trainer. Finally last June they took me off most of my insulin and the weight started falling off. I went back to school last August 80 pounds down, wearing a size 12 from a size 22, which is what I wore when I started the journey. This past October I was taken off all insulin. I continue to work out with my trainer, swim everyday if it is sunny, and am now a size 6 and have lost 123 pounds. I am almost 59 years old and feel wonderful and healthy. I never could have done this without Ready 4 a Change. I was so thrilled and I guess I look good because three people have gone to have the surgery after my recommendation. I actually brought one who paid for my flight. She has done great also.

Debra Sherman
Banded 4-7-08