Bariatric Surgery Gives Special Education Teacher More Energy for Students

After years of taking multiple medications and struggling with infertility, Loren, special education teacher, made the decision to undergo gastric sleeve surgery with Dr. Samuel Bledsoe, bariatric and general surgeon, at the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute at Arkansas Heart Hospital. Read about her journey to better health.

Goodbye to Medications

I’m off all medications that are needed for serious health issues which has been a huge accomplishment for me. I was on blood pressure medications for seven years, and two months before surgery, I was actually put on the highest dosage of that medication I had ever been on.

I also took medication for chronic pain as well as for migraines. I had also taken medication to help me achieve a menstrual cycle since my weight caused polycystic ovary syndrome.

Now, the only meds I take are my vitamins and omeprazole for my acid reflux, which I was told by BMI I would probably need after sleeve surgery.

Non-Scale Victories

My health, energy and overall well-being have improved drastically. I can do so many things that I wasn’t able to do before. My body doesn’t hurt, and I want to be active.

I was able to walk with my students around the entire school building and take them to the nearby playground and participate in those activities with them. Before surgery, I was unable to do any of those things.

Scale Victories

A little over six months out from sleeve surgery, I lost 81 pounds and too many inches to count. I have gone from a 3XL shirt to a L/XL and from a size 24 pants to a 16. I’ve also lost a whole shoe size, which I’m extremely proud of it. My clothes fit so well!

Overwhelming Gratitude

The BMI clinic has blessed me in ways I cannot even express, and my journey is still far from over. Before this surgery, the prospect of having a family was out of the question and they have not only made this goal achievable but put it within reach! We are praying for the child we have wanted for so long.

Dr. Bledsoe and his team changed my life forever, and I am incredibly grateful for the tools they gave me. They gave me my life back, and I cannot thank them enough for that opportunity.

I would tell someone considering it [bariatric surgery] that it does not come without its own set of struggles, but that it is the best decision I’ve ever made for my health, and I wouldn’t change anything that I’ve done.

If you’re interested in learning more about bariatric surgery, visit Read more inspirational patient stories and find BMI-friendly recipes on the Arkansas Heart Hospital blog.