“I’m Heather Oset and I am 29-years-old. I was 356 pounds and borderline diabetic. I experienced hypertension, sleep apnea, problems with sciatica and back pain as well as leg pain all from being morbidly obese. My weight was not only affecting my health, but my job as I’m a hairdresser. I’m on my feet all day and there were days I really struggled to make it through the day. When I did get home, I was barely able to get out of my car to my front door, that’s how much pain I would be in on a daily basis. I’ve been overweight almost all my life starting at a very early age.
My father was abusive and anytime something bad happened, I would run to the fridge and would eat whatever hostess cakes, snacks, pies, or cookies I could find, because they were his and I guess in my head that was my way of fighting back when I physically couldn’t. I never really talked about It to anyone. I just felt embarrassed and ashamed, so instead I would just eat my feelings and would continue to do so over the years.
As I got older and started working my first job as an assistant in a hair salon, my eating habits just got worse. I would never eat breakfast and then I would eat whatever I wanted for lunch.
Whole Sub sandwiches, pizza, Chinese, you name it because in my head I thought oh I didn’t eat breakfast, so I can eat whatever I wanted for lunch. Also, was a huge soda drinker, basically would have soda all day long. Dinner time was just as bad, as I worked a lot of late nights. So, dinner for me was eating a two-cheeseburger combo meal, chicken tenders, and an apple pie from McDonald’s. I never cooked or meal prepped so I basically had take out all day long.
One day when I was in the middle of a blow dry, I was experiencing sharp chest pain. I tried to ignore it thinking it would go away and continued to finish my client’s service. After I was done and still felt that pain and palpitations, I was so scared, and I left work early and my husband took me to the hospital. I remember feeling so embarrassed as they were literally taking my clothes off and putting all these wires and ekgs and I’m half naked in front of everyone. I felt like I hit rock bottom and all these thoughts in my head of ‘oh my gosh I’m going to die’ and ‘I’m too young to die.’ Thankfully after all the tests and everything I was ok and the drs. believed I was experiencing the chest pain and palpitations due to hormones. My body was so messed up due to my weight. Prior to this event, I was on birth control for years and when I got married in 2014 I stopped the pill in hopes of being able to start our family.
That never happened, because I never had a cycle for over a year and a half. My weight was holding me back in every aspect of my life between family, work, and day to day activities. After talking to a coworker of mine one day, we happened to be talking about my weight and she recommended me this local bariatric center after her mother in law had bariatric surgery and did amazingly well. I made an appointment right away.
I met with Dr. Yurcisin and we discussed my options. I wasn’t a candidate for gastric bypass, but I was left with a decision to make to either have the sleeve or the loop duo denal switch. The loop DS is kinda like a sleeve, they still remove a portion of your stomach, but they also reroute your intestines, so you have malabsorption as well as the restriction. After he explained the difference in the procedures and how if I wanted I could have the sleeve done and if I felt like I didn’t lose enough go back in for a revision to the loop DS. Just the thought of having to go back in for a revision I dreaded. So, I left that day with two decisions I had to make the next coming months, what surgery I was going to have and also putting off starting our family even longer as I would have to wait 18 months after surgery to even think about getting pregnant. That was really hard for me to hear as I had hoped I would have had a baby already. To find out I would have to put that dream off even longer was hard. I knew though in the back of my mind that there was no way I would be able to have a healthy safe pregnancy with the weight I was at. After talking it over with my husband and making sure he was ok with my decision, I went ahead with the process.
Over the next couple months, I went to my nutritionist appointments and medical testing to get clearance for surgery. I also had changed some of my eating habits before surgery and lost 20 pounds on my own right before surgery. I cut out all soda, made my lunch, and drank protein shakes for breakfast in the morning. I didn’t work out or anything because I physically was in pain all the time.
I had my surgery January 18, 2017 and it was one of the best decisions of my life. It was the start of the first day of the rest of my life. I’ll never forget the day of my surgery. I remember being butt naked on the OR table with my goods out for the world to see thinking ‘Oh my gosh am I making the right decision?’ Next thing I knew I was knocked and waking up in recovery.
It was an amazing experience the next couple months. Having to relearn my body and this new way of life actually wasn’t so bad. I’m one of those people that you tell me what I need to do, and I’ll follow everything (for the most part) to a T.
In the beginning the only exercise I was doing was just walking. Eventually after 3 months, I joined my local YMCA where I started my love for water aerobics. To this day it is my favorite workout! It’s amazing on the joints and the body and it really is a great workout. I had this fear in the back of my head that I would be the one person who had this surgery and went through all of this and not be able to lose weight.
I remember setting my first goal in my head was to hit 250lbs. As I got closer to that number I then lowered it to 200, than to 180, than to 160. Never did I think I would weigh 125lbs as of today! I’ve lost 231lbs total including the 20 I lost on my own right before surgery. I remember thinking that even if I only lost 100lbs I would have totally been ok with that because that just meant I was 100lbs healthier than what I was. Never thought I would have lost all my excess weight as I was told by my Dr with the loop duo denal switch you can lose 80-85% of your excess weight.
I never thought I would go from 356 pounds. to 125 pounds. This all just seems surreal to me! I’m so happy with my decision to have bariatric surgery, it’s saved my life! I have my health back! I’m no longer a borderline diabetic, have hypertension, or sleep apnea and eventually I’ll be able to start my family one day.
Through this journey though recently I received a good amount of comments/negativity about my weight loss. ‘You’re done losing weight right’ ‘you’re too boney’ ‘you’re too skinny’ ‘oh you took the easy way out you had surgery.’
Nothing about having surgery was easy. You have to put the work in, you have to eat right. It’s not a magic wand, it’s a tool and it’s something I’m always going to have to keep in check. I hear all the time now ‘So, are you eating normal food now?’
A couple months ago I started making and recreating recipes from Pinterest and kind of making them my own by using ground up sunflower seeds as my flour since I have a tree nut allergy. I make different variations of protein bagels, donuts, muffins and etc. This really is helping me with my maintenance because I’m still able to enjoy the things I used to love so I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself. I think that’s one thing that has really helped me with my weight loss journey is finding different/healthy ways to eat the things I used to love.
Not every day is going to be a good day. I’ve had my moments where I ate my feelings and I ate a bite more than I should have and regretted it. But I’m only human and it’s something I’m always going to deal with the rest of my life. I can tell you I have no intentions on going back to the way I was that’s for sure. I’m incredibly thankful every day for this second chance at living an actual life! I’m excited to be the best possible me I can be.
I hope to inspire others in their own journeys and just know that you’re not alone! That the impossible is possible, no matter how out of reach it seems in that moment.
Man Dies Just 48 Hours After Contracting Flesh-Eating Bacteria In Florida – Now His Daughter Wants To Warn Others
Dave Bennett from Tennessee has died 48 hours after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria while on a trip to Florida to visit his daughter.
Taking to Facebook to share the story, Cheryl Bennett Wiygul, explained how her dad, Dave Bennett, contracted Vibrio vulnificus which later killed him and issued a warning that she believes people should heed. In the post she wrote,
“Flesh eating bacteria sounds like an urban legend. Let me assure you that it is not. It took my Dad’s life. This is so raw and personal to me that I did not want to post about it, but if I can help one person, then it is worth it.”
Cheryl revealed that her dad had cancer and as a result, his immune system was compromised. Cheryl’s dad along with the rest of Cheryl’s family had fun and enjoyed family time out in the water near Crab Island during their visit to Florida. They had no idea of what was about to happen.
Before her family’s visit, Cheryl had heard of a 12-year-old girl who had contracted bacteria through an open wound that began to eat her flesh but didn’t think much of it. In her post she writes.
“My parents were coming down to stay with me in Florida about a week after the post about a 12 year old girl contracting bacteria that turned into necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria) in Destin started circling around. I didn’t want to believe that.
“My family loves being in the water. Our county, Okaloosa County, posted an article titled “Rumor Control” in response to the post which seemed to diffuse everyone’s fears. The girl had a cut on her leg so I felt like it reinforced to me not to go in with a cut. I researched a little. When my parents got in town I was fanatical about Neosporin and liquid band-aid.
“My Dad didn’t have any open wounds. He had a couple places that were practicality healed small scratches on his arms and legs that I made sure were super sealed up. My mom religiously sun-blocked him. We were taking precautions and we were good, so I thought.”
However, Dave Bennett had unfortunately contracted a potentially deadly bacteria. Early the next morning, on a Saturday, Dave awoke with fever, chills and cramping. Soon afterwards, he developed pain in his legs and a badly swollen black spot on his back.
Dave was rushed to the hospital and put on IV antibiotics. Several spots started to appear on his skin. The next day, on a Sunday, he passed away.
“There were no bacteria warnings at any beach or park we went to,” Cheryl wrote. “They do post advisories for high bacteria but there were none. I would never have taken my Dad in the water if there was a bacteria advisory but it would have been because I didn’t want him to get a stomach virus not because I thought it would kill him.”
Vibrio bacteria live in certain coastal waters and are found in higher concentrations between May and October and is the cause of as many as 100 deaths in the U.S. each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cheryl and her family. May God’s love and grace comfort them.
Please remember to share Cheryl’s warning about this potentially deadly bacteria, You may just save a life.
A plant that can cause LIFETIME blindness & burns is spreading across the US
Heracleum mantegazzianum or ‘the giant hogweed’ has been described by many as a ‘horror’ plant. Hogweed has been constantly spreading and growing across the US states of Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
Hogweed is a beautiful plant but touching it can cause lifelong consequences such as permanent scars and burns or possibly blindness if it comes in contact with your eyes.
It grows between 8-14 feet and has lobed, dark green leaves that can hit 5 feet in diameter.
There are a number of life-threatening plants out there that irritate our skin when touched or poison us if consumed. But giant Hogweed is one of the deadliest.
The plant is known by many names such as cow parsnip, giant cow parsley, cartwheel-flower, or hogsbane.
What makes Hogweed Dangerous?
Hogweed has a special sap that contains a chemical called Photosynthesizing furanocoumarins.
The chemical makes the plant extremely sensitive to light for growth and better health.
When you touch Hogweed, it will immediately make the area of contact extremely prone to sunburns which may lead to skin problems.
“Once you get it on you, it makes your skin unable to protect itself from the sun.”
If by any chance the sap comes in contact with your eyes, the extreme sensitivity to light can possibly cause blindness.
What to do if the sap gets on your skin
To lessen the damage, wash the affected area with soap and water and contact your physician immediately. A doctor may prescribe medicine that will help it heal faster. Cover your skin to protect it from sunlight for the next few days.
If you spot giant hogweed in your backyard, do not try to get rid of it by yourself. Instead, contact a pro plant control specialist as soon as possible.
7-Year-Old’s Bruises Get Worse Daily, By The Time They Realize It’s Meningitis It’s Too Late To Save Her Legs
Everything was going great for Aimee and her new husband, Craig. They were loving every moment of their honeymoon which had just started, but quickly their fairy tale turned into a nightmare.
It all started when their daughter, Brogan, began to develop black and blue marks all over her body. Just 14 days after she stood beside her mom at the altar, little Brogan was left fighting for her life in a hospital bed.
Initially, everyone assumed that Brogan’s bruises were simply a consequence of a child being a child. Even the physicians at a local hospital simply brushed it off for a minor skin issue.
However, when Aimee realized that the spots had spread to the other parts of Brogan’s body, she knew it was something gravely serious.
She immediately rushed to the doctors who realized the cause rapidly this time.
The 7-year-old showed clear indications of meningitis. She was then rushed to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.
Meningococcal meningitis is a possible life-threatening illness and seeing as Brogan’s treatment started so late, there wasn’t much that doctors could do. They were forced to amputate Brogan’s left leg in order to save her life.
“It looked nothing like a rash, it looked more like bruising – at the time I never thought it was meningitis and that’s the problem. When people are aware of what symptoms to look out for with meningitis, they say look for a rash but that’s not what it looked like to me.” Aimee explained.
After the amputation, Brogan was fitted with a prosthetic leg to help her walk.
Soon after, the doctors discovered that Brogan’s other leg was also badly affected and was a threat to her life. Last year, the family and the doctors agreed to have it amputated as well.
Thank God Brogan had a strong support system in her family. “Nothing can prepare you for what meningitis does to a body, let alone a little seven-year-old girl,” Lisa Reece, Brogan’s mom’s cousin said.
Blessed with a strong and fighting spirit, she has been able to overcome all challenges life threw her way.
Brogan’s mom, Aimee, says she wants to remind other parents to be on the lookout for odd changes in their children’s bodies so that they can recognize the symptoms in time and don’t have to go through what Brogan has.
Common symptoms of meningitis:
- Sudden high fever
- Severe headache that seems different than normal
- Stiff neck
- Headache with nausea or vomiting
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- Sleepiness or difficulty waking
- No appetite or thirst
- Sensitivity to light
- Skin rash (sometimes, such as in meningococcal meningitis)
PS: In newborns, they often show symptoms such as: High fever, Excessive sleepiness or irritability, Poor feeding, Constant crying, Inactivity or sluggishness, Stiffness in a baby’s body and neck and a bulge in the soft spot on top of a baby’s head (fontanel)