My name is Dina. I’m married to John – seriously, the coolest guy there is. I’ve got three kids (one – Jessica - in college, two - Jonathan and William– in high school) that I adore, and am incredibly proud of. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest on a wonderful little 1/2 acre just a stone’s throw from Portland. We have Pepper, the wonder Chicken dog – she’s an Australian Shepherd, Caleb and Jake – the Maine Coon Cats, and 30 chickens in our backyard flock. On July 2, 2002 my life was changed pretty significantly! I underwent an open biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch – otherwise known as BPD/DS (a form of weight loss surgery), although we affectionately call it the “DS.” On that day I weighed 365 pounds and my BMI was 66. I was wheelchair-bound, had out of control diabetes (with five medications in a desperate attempt at control), stroke level hypertension (even though I was on four medications), congestive heart failure, severe chronic obstructive sleep apnea, horrible GERD, stress incontinence – to name a few. I was dying. Pretty much everyone acknowledged it – and so my DS was kind of like a last ditch effort at saving my life. My PCP didn’t think I’d live through surgery – but felt I had to try at least. So I went to Spain – to the wonderful Dr. Aniceto Baltasar – and underwent a very, very successful surgery. Since then I’ve lost 240 pounds, a boatload of co-morbidities, and a wheelchair – and gained a quality of life I never dreamed possible. I should mention that I didn’t have the money for surgery – but someone from my church anonymously donated $15,000 for my surgery – and so my life was saved. To say that I’ve been blessed is an understatement of gargantuan proportions.
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