A new future: Weight loss surgery changes life trajectory for Parkland Nurse

By Jacob Luecke and Ursula Kthiri

As a nurse in Parkland Health Center’s Intensive Care Unit, each day Angela Weiss sees people battling serious health problems. Not long ago, she also saw something else in her patients.

Nurse Angela Weiss poses at Parkland Health Center.

“It felt like I was seeing my future,” Weiss said.

Weiss had long struggled with her weight. She also had high blood pressure and was insulin resistant. All of these put her health at serious risk.

Seeking to make a change, Weiss decided to try a surgical option to help her lose weight.

Surgical weight loss had been added as a BJC HealthCare employee health benefit at the beginning of 2011. Weiss reached out to Boone Hospital Center’s Weight Loss Surgery program.

“Boone has a great reputation for quality care,” Weiss said. “When I called them, they were very easy to talk to, and made me feel like they were interested in my wellbeing.”

After participating in pre-surgery education and dieting, Weiss came to Boone Hospital on July 5 and had a gastric band placed on her stomach by Dr. Thomas Etter.

The band works by reducing a patient’s stomach capacity. With gastric banding, patients get full faster and stay full longer.

Weiss said her surgery went well.

“I felt so good and had so much energy,” she said. “I wasn’t sore at all. Recovery was very easy.”

Weiss said the surgery helped her eat less without feeling hungry.

“I can still eat everything I ate before, just much less of it,” she said. “I eat around 4-6 ounces of food at a meal and I don’t feel hungry. The ‘head’ hunger is gone, and I get hungry at the appropriate times.”

Angela Weiss before surgery.

With this change, Weiss has already lost 62 pounds. In addition to the weight loss, her blood pressure is now normal and she no longer takes blood pressure medicine. She’s also seen her cholesterol and non-fasting blood sugar drop. In addition, she’s stopped getting the daily headaches that have bothered her for most of her life.

“I feel like a different person,” Weiss said.
But more than anything, Weiss said the surgery has improved how she feels about herself.

“I can do more, feel happier, and I even work better,” she said. “I feel more valuable.”

With improved health, and a better life, Weiss’s future is looking brighter all the time.

“This program has changed my life. It’s changed my family. I’ll be around longer for them,” she said.

To learn more about Boone Weight Loss Surgery, visit http://www.boone.org/weightloss. You can also call the hospital’s Coordinator of Bariatrics, Lisa Schaffer, at 573-815-6447, or reached her via email at las7217@bjc.org.

2 Responses to A new future: Weight loss surgery changes life trajectory for Parkland Nurse

  1. Wonderful instruction and points. Looking forward to lose a few kilos. I’ll offer some feed back soon after i consider this. Kudos!

  2. Loreen Mckethan says:

    If you are concerned about your blood pressure there are different types of medication you can take to help control or lower your pressure. You might try some lifestyle changes first before opting for medicine. Remember that sometimes medicine is the only way you might be able to lower it. Different lifestyle changes do not always work on their own. First you might consider your diet. Do you consider yourself a healthy eater? Do you think you have a pretty healthy diet? Your diet could be affecting your blood pressure. High amounts of salt and sodium intake can raise your blood pressure. Try to limit your salt intake and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. If you love salt, consider substituting it with a different seasoning. There are so many different kinds of seasonings available you can easily find something to your liking.`

    Our very own web blog
    <http://www.healthmedicinecentral.com/chest-muscle-pain/

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