Amazing Medicine 

Carl & Chris Davis, Springfield, Oregon

Gastric bypass surgery

”I’m half the man I used to be!” exclaims Carl Davis.

It’s true. Carl has lost 215 pounds and 51 percent of his body mass. His wife, Chris has lost 100 pounds. Both underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2007 at the Oregon Bariatric Center at Sacred Heart Medical Center.

“I knew I couldn’t change my habits on my own,” Carl says. “So I decided to have the surgery.”

Six months later, Chris did the same. “He made it look really easy,” she says.

Although both are quick to point out, bariatric surgery should not be viewed as a quick fix.

“It’s not a magic pill,” Carl explains. “Don’t do this unless you are ready to accept a whole new lifestyle.”

The Davises' new lifestyle includes hiking, skiing, running and taking long walks together. Days that used to be spent on the couch are instead filled with activities.

“Our friends can’t keep up with us!” says Chris.

But it wasn’t always this way. For years, both Carl and Chris struggled with their weight, succeeding at losing weight only to gain it all back, and then some.

“I’ve been on every kind of diet you can imagine,” explains Chris. “But it never worked.”

Tired of special ordering large-sized clothing, fed up with worrying about whether restaurants would have a chair large enough to fit him and being forced to buy an extra seat on an airplane, Carl knew it was time to make a change. He called the Oregon Bariatric Center.

“The staff members at the Oregon Bariatric Center were wonderful. They really care about you. To them, you are not just a number. They want you to succeed, and they want to help make you well, for the long term,” Carl says.

When Chris also underwent gastric bypass, she had the added benefit of one-on-one support from Carl, who was already successfully losing weight from his surgery.

“It changes your life,” Chris says.

“You need a support person post-surgery, whether they go through the surgery themselves or not, it’s important to have a strong support person post-surgery to help you along,” Carl explains.

Both Carl and Chris also attend support groups through the Oregon Bariatric Center, where they discuss their weight loss and compare notes with other bariatric surgery patients.

“It’s very helpful, we feel great when we go there,” says Carl.

Both are happy to report that all the aches and pains they suffered when they were heavier are gone; so is the sleep apnea they both used CPAP machines to treat.

In addition, Carl and Chris say they have more self-confidence and a new outlook on life — especially when it comes to new activities. “Before the surgery, I had an ‘I can’t do that’ attitude. Now I think, ‘I’ll try that…at least once!’” explains Chris.

Together, the two look forward to traveling and working to keep up the lifestyle that’s allowed them to drop a combined total of 315 pounds — a number that still seems to amaze them.

“That’s another person…” Carl says.

“…And then some!” Chris adds, smiling.

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