“My blood sugar this morning was 116, and it used to be 200 in the mornings,” says Jim Johnson, 67, Knoxville. “I’m on no diabetes medication, I’m not on any cholesterol medication, my blood pressure is 110 over 68 with a resting pulse rate of 65, and I’ve been off the CPAP for six months.”
Johnson is enthusiastic about sharing how much his life has changed since undergoing gastric bypass surgery at Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery, last year. He’s happy with the results, but also amazed that he spent so many years of his life not realizing how much his extra weight was holding him back.
Johnson once carried 244 pounds on a body that was five feet and three inches tall. “I’ve always had a high motor,” Johnson jokes. As an energetic person with a successful career and a family to care for, Johnson never felt like his life was lacking anything.
As he began to age, the weight started to take a toll. Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and GERD began to tip the scales toward a life that was not quite so satisfying by the time he reached his 60’s.
He decided to pursue a weight loss procedure. Gastric bypass surgery was performed by Dr. Mark Colquitt in June of 2015 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center.
“On surgery day I weighed 218, and at my six-month checkup I was down to 146,” Johnson says. “I had lost 78 pounds, and I was within six pounds of my goal weight.”
What Johnson thought was a high energy level before gastric bypass surgery is nothing compared to the powerhouse he feels like now.
“The stamina and energy I have is just incredible,” Johnson says. “I would recommend gastric bypass surgery to anybody.”
Johnson emphasizes that weight loss surgery is not an easy way out. It takes discipline and dedication. The procedures offered by Dr. Colquitt are simply meant as a tool to help patients be proactive about having a better quality of life. “It’s like if you go to the garage to work on your car,” Johnson explains. “You have to have the right tool, and they gave me the tool I needed.”
Johnson advises anyone whose life is restricted by weight to talk to a doctor about bariatric procedures. “I would do it again in a heartbeat,” he says.