Raul now, 223 lbs
Raul then, 470 lbs.
“I was eating a large plate of food and looked down and was disgusted with what I was doing to myself!”
- Has lost over 240 lbs in one year!
- No longer diabetic!
- Swelling in legs decreased and now he can run over three miles!
Gastric Bypass Surgery Success Story Raul Diaz from Del Rio, TX *
“[Texas Bariatric Specialists’ staff] were always very straight forward with me and told me exactly what I needed to do to be successful.”
Highest Weight: 470
Current Weight: 223, goal weight 175-180
Procedure: RNY on June 8, 2015
Raul Diaz, at his heaviest, weighed four-hundred and seventy pounds! As a child Raul described himself as, ‘husky’ and would have to buy big and tall clothes when his older brothers were still in children size clothing. Throughout his childhood Raul was unable to play sports because of his weight, however, this did not stop him from having a large group of friends. While still maintaining an active social life, Raul also was very close with his family. His Grandmother would have him over all the time and he can remember, ‘Her having a large tub of lard that she would use to cook everything with!’ Despite a strong family network and social life, Raul does remember having some low points as well. Most notable, was in High School while grocery shopping with his mom, “I remember being at the grocery store and a child looked at me, turned to his mom, and said ‘Look mom look at the fat kid!”
As Raul matured and began life as an adult his weight was becoming more of an issue in his everyday life, ‘I began retaining water in my legs and sometimes it would get so bad they would swell and pop, causing fluid to leak from my legs!’ Coupled with high blood pressure and on the verge of becoming a type-two diabetic, things were not looking good for Raul. He would constantly be having to check in with his primary care physician (PCP) to manage his health problems. His PCP told him one day he did not believe that he would make it to fifty years old. With the thought of not living past fifty and having friends pass away from heart attacks, Raul was beginning to realize how bad his health had become. The turning point came on his forty-sixth birthday, ‘I was eating a large plate of food and looked down and was disgusted with what I was doing to myself!’
His first attempts at losing weight were diet and exercise. This, however, only provided temporary results, “I tried weight watchers and when they gave me a scale to weigh myself, the scale couldn’t weigh someone over four-hundred and forty pounds.” His weight fluctuated constantly and Raul knew that he needed a more permanent change. That was when he decided to speak with Dr. Patel, over ten years ago, about a more permanent solution to his weight issues.
Raul was excited for the possibilities, at first. However, when he found out his insurance would not cover the procedure he was devastated. For the next few years, Raul went back to his regular regimen without much success. He thought to himself that, possibly, his insurance may cover the procedure a few years later. He went into the office once again but received the same response. This time, however, was different for Raul. A new program had been started, thought of by Dr. Patel, to help his patients receive the treatment they needed despite not having bariatric coverage through their insurance. When Raul found out he was eligible for this new program he was ecstatic.
‘I met with James Houston and received all my testing orders and we agreed that I had to lose the weight as soon as possible!’ A few short months later Raul was ready to have his Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass performed. In describing life after surgery, Raul said, ‘The first two months were difficult because, mentally, I was still obese, but physically, I could see the weight coming off.’ Raul credits his mother for being there to help him during the toughest time after his surgery, ‘She would get up and walk around the block with me and help me with anything I needed. I could not have done it without her!’ In addition to a strong mother, he also elected to go through the pre-operative program with a friend. They were able to help one another and be there pre and post-operatively to support one another.
A little over one year removed from surgery, Raul now weighs two-hundred and twenty-three pounds. A drastic change from his days weighing four-hundred and seventy pounds! He keeps pictures, of his heavy self, at his work and in his wallet. These serve as a daily reminder that, Raul, no longer has any desire to be the “husky” man he once was. A customer at his work one day came in asking for him but did not know him by name. Raul says the conversation went as such, “A lady came into my work and asked, ‘for the big guy that helped me a few months ago.” He told the lady that big guy was him and her response was as such, ‘No, it is not you this guy was fat and ugly.’ Raul laughed off the comment, grabbed the photo from his desk, showed the customer, and the she was in shock. These comments are common now for Raul, having lost two-hundred and forty-seven pounds. His niece will tell him, ‘You’re disappearing on me Uncle Raul!’ Commonly, Raul’s father will tell him that he is, ‘looking skinny and looking good!’ Raul credits many people in his life with helping him achieve his goals. He says that his mother, friend, father, Dr. Patel, James, San Juanita (medical assistant at Texas Bariatric Specialists), and the staff for all his success, “Dr. Patel, James, and San Juanita saw the most of me. They were always very straight forward with me and told me exactly what I needed to do to be successful, there was no sugar coating and that really helped me a lot!’
Most importantly, Raul’s determination, discipline, and persistence to become a healthier person, is what changed his life. He is no longer a borderline diabetic, nor does he struggle with high blood pressure. The swelling in his legs has decreased significantly and is now able to run and walk over three miles. When before he could barely walk a half of a lap around a track. Raul’s family, friends, and staff at Texas Bariatric Specialist could not be happier with the success Raul has had, and will continue to have.