Kevin Murphy's Story: "I've Revamped My Life Thanks to GBMC"
My journey to bariatric surgery began early in life in grade school being teased as “pudgy.” When I entered high school, I still considered myself overweight but upon graduating I enlisted in the military in 1971. Basic training was a bit challenging physically, but I got through. When I finished my active duty service, I joined the Maryland Air National Guard. I served in different positions over the years, thoroughly enjoyed myself and took pride in serving my country.
I was on the weight control program often throughout my career. I had been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and was no longer able to be deployed worldwide. The writing was on the wall. I retired in December of 2004 and did not complete the 42 years I had promised myself I would do for my country. Since I was out of the military, there was no reason to work on my weight – at least that’s what I thought. My diabetes got worse and my blood pressure and cholesterol were all quite high. My primary care physician said I was “a walking heart attack” and was “lucky nothing had happened yet.” I was aware of the different gastric surgeries but was afraid to commit, due to the fact that I lost a friend to it in the early 1990s when this surgery was in its infancy. But, after being told that I was not at all healthy, I contacted the GBMC Bariatric department and started the process.
I did not care for the doctor I was assigned at all. He was two hours late for the first appointment. Thankfully he left, and along came Dr. Elizabeth Dovec. After chatting with her, I was 100 percent confident that I was in good hands. She thought I would not go through with it, but I had every intention to – I was just waiting for my military TriCare health insurance to kick in. We discussed the three possible procedures and together agreed on the gastric bypass surgery…the full Monte.
Dr. Dovec greeted me prior to entering the OR which really meant a lot to me. She also took the time to reassure my family, especially my son, who was holding back tears, that all would be well. My surgery went very well and I was released the next day. No pain for me whatsoever. I followed the plan prescribed and have never looked back. I have lost nearly 90 pounds, have more energy than I can ever remember and am really enjoying the gym with my very special gym partner (you know who you are).
Currently, for the most part, my diabetes is under control and my last blood pressure reading was 110/64. I am currently still shopping at Goodwill, the best place to find clothing while I am still losing. I have dropped ten inches from my waist and three inches from my neck. I’ve gotten rid of almost all of my medications, which included two types of insulin that I was injecting five times a day. I go to the gym regularly and look forward to long walks.
My surgery was May 1, 2014. I am still not used to my new body because I wake every morning and wonder where it all went. I have completely revamped my diet along with some very bad eating habits. I ran the first 5K of my life six weeks after surgery. I have regular visits with the bariatric department, and those people will stay with me for life.
Dr. Dovec is constantly fine-tuning the bariatric surgery process to make it a very efficient, well-oiled engine for all of her patients. I feel myself very fortunate to have her as my surgeon for life. She reflects great credit upon herself and the GBMC System, which is blessed to have her on staff.
Had it not been for Dr. Dovec, her able staff and the entire GBMC facility, I may not be here today. GBMC will always be my hospital of choice. I’m looking forward to being around for quite some time – after all, my dad is 92 and going strong. Thank you, GBMC.