I had planed to write a big long schpeel about being one year post op. And then I was clicking through the VSG vlogs that I enjoy watching and I saw LessOfSarah’s latest video. Dr. Aceves, who performed countless bariatric surgeries including my own passed away. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel absolutely gutted. I’ve heard before that people can have a certain “messiah complex” when it comes to their surgeons. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I saw Dr. Aceves as my savior, but I did and still do credit him as the man who gave me the tools to take back control over my life.A year ago I was 323 pounds. I was battling the effects of insulin resistance and PCOS. My back hurt, my knees hurt, and I got winded walking up more than two flights of stairs. I felt like my life would be a constant struggle to find the right diet. When my doctor suggested I look into VSG I was terrified. I’d watched those TLC specials and saw people who I considered to be taking the easy way out. I was even more terrified by the idea of leaving the country to have surgery.
I remember at one point when I was at the airport with my Dad I suddenly questioned everything I was doing. What if I died? What if I tried just one more diet before I allow someone to permanently alter my body? All of these questions and scenarios played themselves out in my mind the entire trip. Once I met Dr. Aceves, once he gave me the no-nonsense answer I needed, I knew I was making the right decision. I’ve had struggles and bumps along the way of course, but his words have always stayed true, “I can do the surgery but it is up to you to make it work”.
I look at all of the amazing ways my life has changed, and I know that if I was still inhibited by my weight and the comorbidities associated with it, that I wouldn’t have the life I have now. In one calendar year I have lost over 130 pounds and I’m under 200 pounds for the first time in my adult life. It’s surreal.
So I want to pay my respects one last time to Dr. Alberto Aceves. His kindness, straightforwardness and his incomparable skill as a bariatric surgeon has allowed people such as myself to live longer, healthier and happier lives.