Lisa & Chris Chesrown
This is a story of a couple that truly does everything together. Hello my name is Chris Chesrown and this is a Journey that me and my wife Lisa began 1 year ago. Since late August in 1999 me and my wife have been a team in life, a team in love and a team in faith. Shortly after getting married and starting our family we both started to slowly and steadily gain weight. We both struggled with the usual see saw battles of dieting and exercise. The roller coaster of weight loss and emotional stress. While we were completely satisfied with each other and our lives together, we were also prisoners in our own bodies. We both felt lost, hopeless, and miserable about our own appearance, our eating habits, and overall fitness level. After 14 years of dieting and trying just about every gimmick or fad known to man we were so lost and had no direction on how to turn our life and our health around..... It gets to a point after so many years that you just feel hopeless and too far gone.
This next chapter in our lives together we so proudly and happily refer to as "our journey". In the summer of 2014 Lisa was just done!!! Fed up with how she looked and felt day to day. She had mentioned over the past couple of years that she would really like to possibly have bariatric surgery. So wanting my wife and partner to be happy and feel about herself the way that I feel toward her I set out to research these types of weight loss surgeries and what they are about. Like beacon from above the very first site I ended up checking out was The Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado at Parker Adventist Hospital. There was an advertisement for a free seminar about these surgeries by the Surgeon who performs them. Something just seemed to feel very comforting about the info on the seminar so I signed Lisa up and just as we always do we went together to find out if this was something Lisa would really like to do. After meeting Doctor Long and listening to how he works not only as a surgeon, but more so as a person and how he approaches his life's work with such reverence and passion to truly help people break the chains of weight and the other health issues that come with it. We weren't in the car on the way home 5 minutes before Lisa said I want to do this..... Never even thinking this was something I would ever do I turned to her and with complete confidence said "I want to do this too". Our Journey began that night! We called the office the next day and signed up for a trio of consultations. We would need to meet with their in house nutritionist, psychologist, and of course meet with Doctor Long. From the very first time we anxiously and nervously opened the door to the clinic we were welcomed with gorgeous smiles, caring words and people that truly love what they do and the people whose lives they touch every day. From that day forward we had many consultations, classes and requirements to not only help us confirm our commitment to this life change, but to also teach us how to live a more educated and disciplined lifestyle with all of the negative attributes which contribute to weight and health issues.
The surgery!!!! We both of course chose to have the same procedure from the list of many that they offer. We chose to have "the switch" otherwise known as laparoscopic duodenal switch. Our stomachs would be reduced in size and volume by up to 80% and some other plumbing would be rerouted as well. This seemed like the best option for us because of the amount of not only the amount of weight we needed to lose but also we want to have the best opportunity to keep the weight from coming back as we have learned a lot of weight issues are more then food related it can also be genetic. Lisa had her surgery first on October 27th, and I was right behind her on Nov 17th. Oh what a difference a year can make!!!!!
Life after surgery. Recovery was exactly what they said it would be and just a few weeks after surgery we both could really start to feel the difference as well as see the weight disappearing. We were no longer prisoners in our own bodies, we were no longer handicapped by our weight, we were living and moving and feeling better then we had felt in so many years. We found ourselves wanting to go our and go for walks and adventures and wanting to explore our new lives. We were set free and it feels better then any dream or fantasy you could imagine, because it is real and continues to get better everyday! We fit in any booth, chair, seat there is and for me that is something I have never felt in as long as I can remember. We are currently planning a huge family vacation and we can't wait to go on the plane and be able to sit in the seat comfortably. We owe our new lease on life and our amazing new health to The Bariatric Center, Doctor Long, and the entire staff who has brome not only great mentors and coaches, but true friends and life long partners. We are forever grateful and proud to be a part of Doctor Long's family of success!
Big boned. Husky. A little more to love. These comprise the short list of phrases that I've heard time and time again. Tie unintentional hurtful comments to a perfectionist mentality and I was doomed from the start. I have tried every fad diet and I did occasionally experience successful weight loss: it was never long lasting and it always came back at least double.
You see, I am actually a very driven person. I set goals and I exceed them. I love to learn and have not one but two masters' degrees - ironically in health care administration and public health. But despite my drive and my education, I've been over weight for as long as I can remember. Ok not totally true, I have one picture in my mind of myself when I think I was just right. A "Goldilocks" moment at the tender age of 11 when I was able to borrow a pair of shorts from my cousin. I couldn't believe that they fit just right. My work had paid off, at least for that day.
For years I struggled. The older I got, the more real the struggle. Mostly though I was healthy. I exercised and I ate whatever I wanted. I also drank Cola like I should have been drinking water. I've learned that I ate when I was happy, stressed, tired, angry ... did I say stressed?
By the age of 37 I weighed in at 287 pounds. Being only 5'3" I was finally noticing that I couldn't move as easily as I once had. After climbing a flight of stairs I would be wheezing and out of breath. I could no longer fit comfortably in the size 24/26 clothes I was shopping for. It was depressing and I was a failure.
One day I went to a lunch 'n learn at work to hear about bariatric surgery. I think I knew it was the only answer, but still wanted to investigate more. I met privately with the surgeon and his team. When I left the building, I never looked back. I didn't trust THAT team and decided that I would try again on my own. Another year went by. My husband and I tried to start a family but were not having luck. We wanted a family so badly so we went in for a consultation. My OBGYN told us that she could not help us get pregnant until I lost weight. It would be too risky. That was a hard conversation. And it wasn't like I didn't try. I had. I did! In fact, over the last several years nothing I tried worked - I gained weight even under the close guidance of a fitness coach! Who does that?
By this time I was suffering from sleep apnea, head and body aches, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, anxiety, infertility, and probably much more. My outlook was bleak.
My OBGN asked if she could make a referral for bariatric surgery and I agreed. The next week I received a call from her. She had made the referral and had also run into Dr. Long and told him all about me. They were both excited for me to meet with him! A couple of weeks later I went in to Dr. Long's office and I knew I was making the right choice:
1. His staff is awesome. They are personable and knowledgeable. They care. Sometimes we keep going back to a doctor even when they have terrible staff - I don't know why, but we all know that it happens. This isn't the case at all at the Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado. They really want to help people lose weight in the healthiest whole person centered & least invasive method possible. Never once did I feel like I was being pushed into surgery.
2. They have a truly holistic approach. My first appointment included time with a bariatric counselor and a dietitian. I then met with Dr. Long and his PA Sarah. Before I left they helped me prepare to get approval from my insurance.
3. Dr. Long's team teaches classes that prepare you for every aspect pre and post surgery. I know people who didn't have this wrap around support and they have NOT been as successful. Dr. Long's team also offers a monthly support group for ongoing learning and peer support!
After 6 months of classes (a requirement by my insurance), I had surgery in September 2014. I took a full month off of work and I spent that time healing and being mindful. I practiced all the tools that I was taught by Dr. Long's team. I developed habits and I was strict about all the rules for the better part of a year. I'm not as strict these days because this is life and I want to live it and occasionally life includes a small treat.
It hasn't always been easy. The life changes though have been worth every second. My advice: Stop waiting. Don't blame yourself. Find a care team you can trust. Play with recipes. Play outside. Find protein you love. Include your friends and loved ones on your journey. Don't give up.
I've lost more than half of my weight. I no longer take prescription medications and am no longer diabetic, hypertensive, etc. We hike and cross country ski, kayak, ice skate, remodel our home and go for long walks. Who could have imagined? The only thing left is to start that family, which we hope to do this year. Thank God for Dr. Long and his team!
I am writing to share my amazing experience with Dr. Joshua W. Long. I am a bariatric patient and started my journey back in 2007. I had a lapband, however, unfortunately in 2014 I had to have it removed. I was referred to Dr. Long in 2015 by my hairdresser, who was very pleased with the treatment and services she received from him. I will be eternally grateful to her and to God for putting me in the most competent hands I’ve ever been.
As I embarked on my journey to pursue bariatric surgery again, Dr. Long renewed my motivation and my respect for bariatric medicine. From the moment I met him and his staff, I was impressed at the professionalism, the high standards, the exceptional coordinated team effort and the level of care I received. Dr. Long took the time to listen to my situation and he allowed me to voice my fears and concerns as well as ask several questions. He treated me like a valuable human being. I was highly touched by his compassion as he laid out the plan of action for my treatment. During the first appointment, I cried tears of mixed emotion as I realized how much he really cared and as I witnessed his tremendous passion for his profession.
Throughout the journey, Dr. Long never talked at me, nor down to me. He explained his answers as I asked my questions. I originally decided upon the sleeve, then later changed to gastric bypass after months of research and self-reflection. Dr. Long was hoping I would change as it was in my best interest, however, he never forcefully said so. He was compassionate, encouraging and very savvy in his guidance. Dr. Long was extremely thorough in all of my pre-operative processes, he took the time to obtain necessary testing so that any risk may be mitigated. Although at times I was annoyed, I know he did so in my best interest.
On March 8, 2016, Dr. Long performed gastric bypass and my recovery was going well. Unfortunately, I suffered some complications shortly thereafter due to a genetic blood clotting disorder previously unbeknownst to me. Well, Dr. Long worked diligently and immediately to remedy my situation and he worked tirelessly with the hospital nurses to provide me with everything I needed to return to health. During the process, he continued to include me in the treatment planning process whether in person or by phone. Dr. Long came in to see me every single day while I was in the hospital – Saturday and Sunday included, taking time away from his family to fulfill his Hippocratic Oath. I was mind-blown that a physician would do this. He also called and checked on my status multiple times even late into the evening and wee hours of the morning. Dr. Long would make suggestions and would allow me to decide what to do, never telling me what to do. I will forever be grateful for this amazing surgeon who saved my life. I am humbled and touched that he would have such relentless determination to make me well again. He was just as thorough to get me well as he was in the pre-operative process. Never once was I afraid or anxious because I knew that I was in highly competent hands. I was discharged from the hospital as soon as I was stable, not a moment too soon.
I am doing amazingly well and I will continue my journey as a bariatric patient with great confidence now that I have an amazing surgeon with an amazing team as my back up. I did not have this experience with my lapband and now I feel very empowered that I have Dr. Long and my team walking alongside me as I embark a new bariatric path.
I am close to fifty years old and I have had a total of ten surgeries in my life, the first being at the age of sixteen. By far, Dr. Long is the best surgeon I’ve ever had and I’ve had several! He is compassionate, dedicated, and determined to provide the safest, high quality care possible. At my worst he was there every step of the way to restore my health and I look forward to having him by my side as I navigate the journey to optimum health. Dr. Long saved my life in more ways than one, I look forward to this exciting chapter in my life with my bariatric surgeon and team!
After working with a health coach and my doctor, for the last 2 years, charting my exercise and food intake, I had limited success. After a heart to heart with my doctor and then with my health coach, both suggested that perhaps I need a different tool to give me success and they suggested gastric sleeve surgery. Several weeks later my doctor called me out of the blue and said he had just attended a “get to know” the doctors in the new network. He said to me “Johnetta, I listened to this young man and he’s the one. I just know that he’s the one to do your surgery.” The reality of what he was telling me was this “it’s time to get real and make the call.” I made that call in March 2015 and have never regretted it. Like an addict admitting to an addiction, that was the hardest call for me to make. I cried and barely got through the telephone interview. Later, as I thought back over that call, I had a sense of understanding and of compassion from the receptionist I talked with and thought “if the doctor is anything like this, I’ve made the right decision.”
I met with my team at the Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Rockies-Parker Adventist Hospital, on March 18, 2015, I could not have been more impressed. After meeting with the dietitian, psychologist and nurse, I could not wait to meet Dr. Long. I was not disappointed. Dr. Long was sincere, genuine and took his time to listen about me and my weight and health issues. We went over each surgical option and I made the decision to have the duodenal switch. I was on my way!
I had my surgery September 1, 2015. Twenty two days later my mother died and I went through a very trying time. Dr. Long called me at home and asked how I was doing and what could he or the “team” do to help. In January, my father had a stroke and again Dr. Long called to lend his support and guidance through another of life’s trials. Time and again, Dr. Long or one of his team members has reached out and gone beyond the “usual” doctor/nurse/patient relationship to ensure my success but more than that to inquire and lend assistance for my well being, whether mentally or physically. I cannot say enough about my team. They get 10 stars out of 5 for being the best!
Dr. Long and his team have assisted me in every step of this journey and their positive attitude and atmosphere of the office make each visit a wonderful one. From the surgery day to my follow-up appointments, I actually look forward to seeing Dr. Long and having a health related and non-health related conversation with him-because he cares. Truly a man that followed his calling. I can only thank Dr. Long and his staff for giving me my life back. I have set some new goals for myself and look forward to walking a 5k and participating in a triathlon. Due to the compassion, guidance and support I receive from Dr. Long and his staff, I know I’m going to be alright!!!
I've included three pictures, the picture of me in the brown shirt and white pants was taken in 2010 and I weighed 459, the one of me in the green and blue shirt was taken July 2015 I weighed 413 pounds, then picture of me with the hot pink jacket was taken March 2015 and I weight 278. For a grand total of 175 pounds lost, never to be found again!!!