My decision to have the surgery came when:
I tried everything and nothing worked. I realized I needed to make some changes during my dad’s funeral. That was an epiphany for me. I saw something in the hospital’s newsletter about the surgery soon after. I was also glad to know that I didn’t need to travel to Baltimore.

My biggest surprise after the surgery was:
When you decide to do this for yourself, everything falls into place after that. People that know you and see you after are so knocked out.

Conditions I had before the surgery that have now improved or disappeared:
I had high blood pressure, borderline diabetes and sleep apnea. All of these are gone and I have boundless energy. I feel like I’ve extended my life by 30 years – at least!

Advice for others considering the surgery:
Find out when the next information session is and go. I’d go with anyone that asked me. That’s how much I believe in it. Learn about your options and find out everything you can. For example, I chose lap banding because I wanted to keep my body parts and wanted to maintain control over myself. Know that you don’t have to eat bland food and be ready to communicate and share information. It’s important to the whole process.

The best part of the program at the University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital Bariatric Surgery Center was:
The support I got before, during and even now after the surgery is so great. They keep in touch and they genuinely care.