Brandy McFarland Tells a Story About Struggle and Success.
Brandy Nelson-McFarland struggled with her weight all of her life. She says she was always the big girl out of her group of friends, but she felt comfortable and confident and kept covered up. She knew others who had suffered from obesity and had severe complications from obesity. She had never suffered from much other than hypertension and didn't think she was on a dangerous path.
"One of my co-workers that was the same age as I am, recently had to get his foot amputated because he was a non-compliant diabetic. I was like, I don't have diabetes, just bad hypertension. However, my medication doses were steadily increasing, so when I went for my annual check-up, and the nurse weighed me, the scale stopped on 334 lbs, I could have fainted. I knew I had gained some weight, but I had packed on so much weight that it started making me winded when I would walk up the stairs, or just walking in general. Once the Doctor told me that I really needed to get my diet on track or otherwise, I was going to die from complications of obesity. He told me just because you don't have any issues other than your hypertension; it doesn't mean that you won't have any problem later in life. That statement shook my world upside down. I have two little boys who depend on me for everything. I couldn't give up on myself; I had to get my act together now and make changes not just for myself, but for those two little's who need me."
Brandy led a fairly confident life but had her fair share of moments where the reality of her weight led to embarrassing and devastating moments.
"I went to Belk department store to look for a dress for Easter Sunday Service, and I couldn't find anything in my size even the really ugly dress didn't fit. I stood their look at the mannequin and cried. I told my Husband that I have to do something, so I started Keto, and it worked for a while, but I fell back into old habits and then my weight got out of control."
Brandy feels that she would have lived a fuller life if she hadn't been struggling with her weight and body image.
"I would have lived more when I was younger. My weight stopped me from being the adventurous person that I am today. I'm actually getting ready to complete one of the things I have always wanted to do. I'm going zip lining. There is a cut off weight of 250 lbs, and now that I'm 229 lbs, I can finally do it and enjoy it without the fear."
Brandy knew people who had weight loss surgery, co-workers she had received successful weight loss procedures. Brandy asked about their experiences and where they went to have their operations done. She also watched a video on youtube posted by the Chic Savvy Belle. This woman had surgery at Pompeii Surgical and posted her experience through the whole process. So once Brandy hit her breaking point, she began researching Pompeii Surgical.
"It was research research research. I spoke with my friend and family about their weight loss journey to see what they did to maintain a healthy weight. I also tried one of those weight loss clinic's where you came in for weekly visits. But even with that, something would happen and throw me right back off the wagon. So at that point, I knew whatever I did has to be something that I can stick with for the rest of my life and not just a diet but a lifestyle change. Nothing ever worked until now, thanks, Dr. Q. I'm glad I researched Pompeii Surgical because they changed my life for the better."
Brandy had hypertension prior to surgery as previously noted, but she also suffered from her blood pressure being at "stroke level."
"The only way I knew my blood pressure was increased was when I would get acute migraines with blurred vision. These episodes would always scare the life out of me because this was a sign that I had to go to the ER. It wouldn't come down without intervention medication like clonidine."
Brandy was nervous before her surgery, but she knew that she needed this surgery to get her life and health back on track.
"I prayed to God for this to not be like another fad diet, but something to help me change my life, health, outlook, and confidence level. After praying about it, I had a sense of calmness rush over me. I became this positive and optimist about my new lease on life. As I was researching, I was scared about going into another country to have surgery by myself, but I received better care there than I have ever received in the states. The facility was very clean, and the staff was very helpful and nice to me."
Brandy had the Gastric Sleeve Procedure and had about 85% of her stomach removed.
"I really couldn't take off from work more than the four days that I was there in the hospital. When I arrived back home, I had one day to rest then that Saturday I had to go work a double, which was a 16-hour shift. Surprisingly I worked my whole shift without any pain or discomfort. The first time I could wear my scrub top that was usually tight around my arms and it actually fit was amazing."
Brandy no longer has to take hypertension medication because her blood pressure is normalized. She can do everyday things that she wasn't able to do without effort now, and she feels happy and healthy.
"My experience was just that, an experience. I have never had people to care and treat me with respect like they did. Everyone was so awesome, and I truly appreciate you all for giving me my life back. I have always been the fluffy woman with ambitions to do many things, but my weight was stopping me at every turn. I couldn't walk without being winded. I felt like I was existing, not really living. I had to make a change for the better, my children and husband need me to be here. So after having a lot of messy ups and downs and yo-yo diet fads, I finally have something that's working for me. I have lost 105 lbs in the past nine months, and no diet can do this for you alone, at least not for me. My fear of having surgery in a different country almost stopped me from having this life changing story to tell today. From crying in the mall because I could find anything to wear, to going to any store in the mall and being able to find something really cute to wear, I can dress with confidence and not just for comfort. I chose not to be another statistic but to fight for my life with the help of Pompeii Surgical. I will forever be thankful for Dr. Q and his team of angels."