Helen recalls how family members reacted to her dramatic weight loss from bariatric surgery.
My family was unbelievable. Last October my brother-in-law surprised my sister and I. He called me one day and said, “Helen, I want to buy you a plane ticket and have you come to New York. You haven’t seen Janet in three years, and I want to do something good for her.” So I was ecstatic. I said yes, and we kept trying to get a date and get a date.
Finally when I did go to New York, he told her he was picking up a neighbor at the airport, and she just went along for the ride and they were just going to go out and have dinner after they got back from the airport. So when he walked in to the airport to get me, I scooted around the back of the pillars. He took my big bag and walked out on the street and brought it towards the car. And Janet got out of the car to open the trunk and she says to Joe, “Why did Nancy bring such a big bag? I can’t understand why she brought such a big bag.”
I was just supposed to be coming back from Florida from a weekend, and I walked up to my sister. I was about three feet away from her; she almost passed out. She didn’t recognize me at all, and we just cried and held on to each other, and he made us get in the back seat, the New Yorker he is, made us get in the back seat and sit back, relax, enjoy the ride. And we just held hands and talked and cried, and it was just wonderful.
And then I went and saw my kids, and my kids were very surprised. I sent them pictures all along how I was progressing, but a picture is so much different than seeing your mom. And when they came to pick me up, they couldn’t believe. They couldn’t believe it was me.
Even my little grandson, he didn’t warm up to me right away. He didn’t remember who I was till I started talking. Then he knew the voice from the telephone, and then he knew who I was, but he didn’t really, he was too young, he didn’t say anything about the weight, but there was a strange reaction from him, too.
But it’s a good reaction from all these people. It’s a really good reaction. I feel great about it. I saw my brother when I was in New York, one of my brothers. I saw a cousin that I had not seen in a few years, and my nephew and two nieces, and it was wonderful to see the reaction of everybody because I have always been fat.
I have always been “Helen Helen, watermelon,” always been made fun of, always, you know, poked jokes at. And now my brother said to me, “Boy, the next time you come home, I am going to really feel a waist on you, aren’t I?” So now he could feel a waist.
Condition: Obesity, Morbid Obesity, Weight Loss, Morbidly Obese
Related Terms: Weight Loss, Bariatric Surgery, LAP-BAND®, Nutrition, Eating Habits, Adjustable Gastric Band, Excess Skin, Dramatic Weight Reduction
Expert: Dr. Carson Liu, Carson Liu, M.D., Dr. Liu, Doctor Liu, Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Liu, Carson Liu, M.D.