She had tried the fad diets that came and went but wasn’t seeing the results she wanted. At 260 pounds, her blood pressure and cholesterol were climbing, and she could no longer relish the physical activities she loved. As she watched her daughter grow older, Traci knew she had to make a change if she was going to enjoy the outdoors with her.
“Even just going for a walk around town, I’d get out of breath,” Traci said. “I’d get frustrated and just give up.”
Traci had thought about gastric surgery in the past, but new health complications were forcing her to seriously consider it this time. She researched the process online and underwent gastric sleeve surgery on Jan. 12, 2016.
“They went in and took out about 80 percent of my stomach,” Traci continued. “I researched a video of the procedure just to put my mind at ease of what I was going to go through; it seemed straightforward.”
One reason Traci chose UP Health System — Marquette was because of the positive reviews she received from others concerning the staff at UPHS. As for Traci’s experience, PA Michelle Lexmond was able to put her mind to ease about any concerns she might have.
“She was so caring and involved in the whole process,” Traci said of Michelle. “She did everything just to make you feel comfortable and answered all the questions if I had any concerns. I had to call her post-surgery and was even able to talk with her.
“It was excellent service from everyone. The nurses, staff and doctors were wonderful. After surgery, they had me up and walking laps, and if I had pain, they would give me something for it. I would definitely recommend them.”
The operation allowed Traci to lose 125 pounds — 25 more than her initial goal. It also meant Traci could return to one of her favorite outdoor activities: downhill skiing.
Before the surgery, Traci could no longer fit her boots around her calves, forcing her to give up skiing for eight years. But with the successful surgery, she was now able to enjoy the slopes with her teenage daughter.
“I was a little nervous at first with not being on skis for a while,” Traci explained, “but it came back to me like natural. It was exciting to be able to do something that I used to love to do, and my daughter is really excited that I was able to do more with her.”
Traci still remains active, and during the summer, enjoys hiking the Porcupine Mountain Trails near her home where she’s now able to travel further thanks to her bariatric surgery. She’s chronicled her journey through the surgery and her active lifestyle on a Facebook page titled “Traci’s Weight Loss Surgery Journey” in hopes of motivating others to change their lives for the better.
“I made a Facebook page to inspire people that don’t want to just sit on the sidelines, people who want to get out there and be healthy,” Traci said. “Even if I can just inspire one other person.”
For more information about UP Health System — Marquette’s Bariatric Medicine Services, click here or call (906) 225-7979.