Submitted by Cyrus Anderson
Written with contributions from Jay & Jean Melquist
Living with Type II Diabetes for nearly 10 years was bearable for retiree Jay Melquist. However, when he began to notice the beginning of complications… numbness in his feet – a symptom of neuropathy, he decided to do some serious research on options, if any, to end diabetes or limit further complications. His family doctor John Ardesia recommended that he and his wife Jean, may want to check out seminars being given by a couple of Bariatric Surgeons in the area, which he did. These seminars along with his own extensive research helped him make a serious decision about moving forward. He chose the gastric sleeve surgery. In this procedure a large portion of the stomach is removed using a minimally invasive method. Prior to the surgery, for six months, he met with a dietician to set expectations and prepare him for a successful post surgery lifestyle change.
In December 2011, doctor Thomas Bass performed the operation. He used the laparoscopic procedure that left only small marks in the stomach area made by small incisions and allowed for a fast recovery. Within a few hours after the surgery, Jay was able to walk around his floor at the hospital. He spent one night at the hospital before returning home where he spent two weeks on a semi-liquid diet to allow his stomach to heal. After this initial healing period Jay was able to transition to eating traditional foods – with smaller portions, of course.
Jay recalls feeling different, in a positive way, soon after the surgery and the blood sugar numbers had moved quickly into the normal non-diabetic range. Some of this may have been as a result of an expected decrease in hormones that simulate the hunger sensation. There were other significant changes as well … within a couple months he was able to eliminate 4 of his prior 7 medications and a significant reduction in his prior blood pressure Rx dosage. Within 6 months he lost 62 pounds, no more sleep apnea and his Type II Diabetes, based on his A1C blood test now being in the mid-5’s and blood glucose levels in the 85-95 without meds, appears to be resolved.
At age 64, Jay welcomes the healthier lifestyle with more energy than he has felt in years…walks his dog Missy a mile or more everyday. He emphasized, this personal decision for him, was a good decision…the operation is not reversible so cannot be taken lightly, but has provided him with an invaluable “tool” to help him maintain the new healthy lifestyle. Jay has no regrets and now more than ever looks forward to many active years with his wife, adult children and grandkids.
Specialties: bariatric surgery, type II diabetes, weight loss